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Jesus is our ADVOCATE, so we do not have to worry about punishment for SIN?

1-john-2The idea that we can take cover behind Jesus and hide our sin from God the Father

Some Christians not only believe that we sin daily ”in thoughts, words and deeds”, but also that we do not have to worry about the consequences for our sins since Jesus is our permanent advocate who always walks behind us to sweep up and erase our sins as soon as we commit them. With other words, these people are convinced that we can have our sins and our salvation too, and that the cross we must carry is light as a feather since we are always walking under a cloud of forgiveness. However, I am not saying that Christians with this view automatically take the chance to sin just because they can. They might just be deceived into believing they could get away with it if they only wanted, but still choose to obey the holy Spirit and therefore avoid sinning. It is never too late for Christians who are deceived to overcome their deception and see things clearly.

An ”advocate” is not the same as a ”judge” though, since an advocate is someone who pleads another one’s cause before a judge. An advocate might be one who presents his client’s interest in court by trying to highlight the advantages and extenuating circumstances for the crimes committed. An advocate is also expected to sympathize with the client. In a worldly court, a person cannot be sure of a favorable verdict just because he has an advocate. In the Biblical sense, the word is usually translated as ”Comforter” rather than advocate, and this Comforter is the holy Spirit. Having the holy Spirit in our lives does not mean that we are forever exempted from guilty verdicts no matter how we live. It is true though, that a person with the holy Spirit has previously gone through a major spiritual transformation and is therefore well equipped to obey the commandments of God. This does not happen automatically but certainly IF we are led by the holy Spirit. In order to get the holy Spirit in the first place we must first meet the conditions – first we must believe, repent and obey. IF we are led by the Spirit (if we obey him), we are not under the law and therefore free. Here is where the ”advocate” part comes in! We would be totally lost if Jesus had not not have died for us, and sealed us (marked us) with the holy Spirit.

Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

Gal. 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. —18 But IF ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

The word advocate is a translation from the Greek noun παράκλητος (paraklētos, Strong’s 3875) and is usually translated as Comforter in the KJV. It can also mean an intercessor, a consoler, a helper and someone who pleads our cause before someone with authority. Here are the five cases where the word is used:

1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, THAT YE SIN NOT. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous

John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

So John writes in 1 John 2:1 to the recipients of the letter in order that they ”sin NOT”. If no one can avoid sinning for an extended period of time, then John would be in error for believing that his words could make a difference. He continues his letter by saying ”IF any man sin…” (not ”when” he sins) we have an advocate with the Father”, etc. This does not mean our sins are therefore always excused and that we always have a right standing before God no matter how we live. He is only saying we have an advocate/comforter, provided that we have confessed our sins, truly repented and turned away from them! How do we know that? Because of John’s own words. He is very clear about that we cannot be saved sinners, and also that we will be cut off the vine if we do not show any fruit. We know that we know him IF we keep his commandments:

1 John 2:3 And HEREBY WE DO KNOW THAT WE KNOW HIM, IF WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked

What else did John say?

1 John 3:Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.Little children, let no man deceive you: he that DOETH righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: WHOSOEVER DOETH NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GOD, neither he that loveth not his brother.—22 And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

1 John. 5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

2 John. 1:6 And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it.

3 John 1:11 Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. HE THAT DOETH GOOD IS OF GOD: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.

John 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.23 Jesus answered and said unto him, IF A MAN LOVE ME, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.—If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.10 IF YE KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS, YE SHALL ABIDE IN MY LOVE; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

Do read about the holy Spirit raising us up from the dead in this blog article.

The purpose of the LAW, and our ability to obey God according to the Bible

sin 4The temporary Mosaic Law does not cancel or detract from the eternal MORAL law of God, which applied/applies both before and after the time of the Mosaic Law

Unlike what is commonly claimed, God appears to believe it has not only been possible for us to obey his commandments throughout history, but it is even required for us to always be faithful to him based on the commandments given. This does not mean that he only provides one single chance for us to do so, but serving two masters nevertheless leads to spiritual death. It is not logical to believe that God would give us laws he knew all along we could never obey. It would be equally illogical to view people as guilty transgressors of his laws, if the same people were incapable of obeying him in the first place. Did God really create mankind too weak to obey him? If we instead prefer to blame Adam because we have inherited his sins, would this really be our fault or something we could do anything about? (Read more about the false doctrine of original sin on my Blog.) If we on the other hand have always been capable of obeying our Lord but chosen not to, then we cannot put the blame on anyone else but ourselves. We are guilty transgressors precisely because we could have obeyed God but chosen not to. One sin is enough to be a sinner and in need to be cleansed and forgiven by someone with proper authority.

It is still possible to say that the Law was never intended to justify, and also that it ”cannot” save. Not because God gave us commandments too grievous for us to obey, but rather because he knew that man would eventually choose at least one sin (most of us many more and repeatedly) which would make him in need of God’s mercy rather than being saved for having obeyed the Mosaic Law perfectly. Moreover, babies cannot sin since they are not able to transgress the law, and sinning is transgression of the law.

1 John 3:4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

The purpose of the law of Moses

A great deal of flexibility is found in the use of the term “law” in the New Testament. Sometimes it refers not only to the five first book in the Torah but to the entire Old Testament, including Psalms and Isaiah (compare for instance John 10:34 and 1 Cor. 14:21). It could also mean the ten commandments as compared with Ex. 20:3-17. The Law could also be a principle or influence for a holy life style (Rom. 7:21-25). In the New Testament we find Paul quite often talking about circumcision (a ceremonial law included in the Mosaic Law) which confused many Jews who had come to Christ. For this reason Paul had a great focus on uplifting the law of Christ rather than the former Mosaic Law. See how Paul is differentiating between the two laws while still not claiming that ALL laws are done away with:

1 Cor. 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, BUT KEEPING OF THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD.

It is clear that Paul was not of the view that we are no longer bound by ANY law just because we are not bound by the law of Moses. We are not living in lawlessness and there are still divine commandments to follow. We are slaves to the one we obey, so if we obey sin we are slaves to sin and not free. Sin continues to cause spiritual death just like it always has.

Paul does not believe that being faithful to the Lord – by avoiding murder, theft, lies, adultery, etc –  is called ”bondage”. When Paul is talking about ”turning back”, and ”bondage” in Galatians, he has the Mosaic Law in mind and particularly the ceremonial laws such as circumcision. There is no way Paul would be upset with the Galatians if they ”turned back” to ”silly old laws” such as ”Do not murder, steal, lie, commit adultery”, etc. Those type of activities are still sins in the ever existing moral law of God, and they will never be outdated.

Gal. 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?10 Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. 21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law?

One reason for the implementation of the Mosaic law was to keep the Jews as a distinct people:

Lev. 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God: the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.7 The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:8 But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.9 Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations

It was also given due to our transgressions, to keep us in place by detailed rules. The law was the Jews’ schoolmaster to bring them to Christ, and when Christ came this schoolmaster was no longer needed. Now our guide is rather the holy Spirit.

Gal. 3:19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.—23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Rom. 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not knownsin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

The law is not made for the righteous man (who comes to the light and acts righteously out of a pure heart), but to the ungodly disobedient man. Paul explains that it is possible to live with a good conscience, but also that it is possible to shipwreck our faith if we for instance blaspheme God.

1 Tim. 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a PURE HEART, and of a GOOD CONSCIENCE, and of faith unfeigned:6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

Rom. 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are PAST, through the forbearance of God;26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Ja. 2:If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.11 For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law.12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.13 For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?

The Old Testament and our ability to obey Godgrace 5

Prior to the time of Moses there were no stone plates with any commandments written on them, but there were nevertheless commandments to obey . other than not eating of the forbidden tree. From the very beginning it has always been considered a sin to murder, steal, lie, commit adultery, etc. God says early on that we should rule over sin. If we do not well, sin lieth at the door…

Gen. 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, SIN lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and THOU SHALT RULE OVER HIM.

Gen. 26:5 Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.

God required from the Israelites that they must keep his commandments, and as well as emphasizing that they shall live in them and by them. God even gives a curse on those who do not obey the words of his covenant. He makes clear that ”THE WORD is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and IN THY HEART, THAT THOU MAYEST DO IT”, showing that he does not find it impossible for us to obey him at all. He repeatedly says ”I COMMAND THEE this day to love the Lord thy God, TO WALK IN HIS WAYS, AND TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS and his statutes and his judgments.”

Deut. 30:8 And thou shalt return and obey the voice of the Lord, and do all his commandments which I command thee this day.9 And the Lord thy God will make thee plenteous in every work of thine hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good: for the Lord will again rejoice over thee for good, as he rejoiced over thy fathers:10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou TURN UNTO THE LORD thy God WITH ALL THINE HEART, and with all thy soul.11 For THIS COMMANDMENT which I COMMAND thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, NEITHER IS IT FAR OFF.14 But THE WORD is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and IN THY HEART, THAT THOU MAYEST DO IT.15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;16 In that I COMMAND THEE this day to love the Lord thy God, TO WALK IN HIS WAYS, AND TO KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.

Lev. 18:Ye shall do my judgments, and keep mine ordinances, to walk therein: I am the Lord your God.Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord.

You are to observe my laws and rulings; if a person does them, he will have life through them; I am Adonai. (Complete Jewish Bible)

Ez. 20:11 And I gave them my statutes, and shewed them my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them.13 But the house of Israel rebelled against me in the wilderness: they walked not in my statutes, and they despised my judgments, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; and my sabbaths they greatly polluted: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them in the wilderness, to consume them.—19 I am the Lord your God; walk in my statutes, and keep my judgments, and do them;—21 Notwithstanding the children rebelled against me: they walked not in my statutes, neither kept my judgments to do them, which if a man do, he shall even live in them; they polluted my sabbaths: then I said, I would pour out my fury upon them, to accomplish my anger against them in the wilderness.

Neh. 9:29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear.

Deut. 15:4 Save when there shall be no poor among you; for the Lord shall greatly bless thee in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it:Only IF THOU CAREFULLY HEARKEN UNTO THE VOICE OF THE LORD THY GOD, TO OBSERVE TO DO ALL THESE COMMANDMENTS which I COMMAND thee this day.

Deut. 27:1 And Moses with the elders of Israel commanded the people, saying, Keep all the commandments which I command you this day.— 10 Thou shalt therefore obey the voice of the Lord thy God, and do his commandments and his statutes, which I command thee this day.—26 Cursed be he that confirmeth not all the words of this law to do them. And all the people shall say, Amen.

Jer. 11:2 Hear ye the words of this covenant, and speak unto the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem;3 And say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel; Cursed be the man that obeyeth not the words of this covenant,4 Which I commanded your fathers in the day that I brought them forth out of the land of Egypt, from the iron furnace, saying, Obey my voice, and DO THEM, according to all which I command you: so shall ye be my people, and I will be your God:6 Then the Lord said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them.

Deut. 28:1 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:—13 And the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail; and thou shalt be above only, and thou shalt not be beneath; if that thou hearken unto the commandments of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to observe and to do them:14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them.15 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:—45 Moreover all these curses shall come upon thee, and shall pursue thee, and overtake thee, till thou be destroyed; because thou hearkenedst not unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which he commanded thee:—-58 If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, The Lord Thy God;

Deut. 5:12:28 Observe and hear all these words which I command thee, that it may go well with thee, and with thy children after thee for ever, when thou doest that which is good and right in the sight of the Lord thy God.—32 What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

1 Pet.Those are righteous who DO righteousness – in both the Old and the New testament

We cannot hide behind another person’s righteousness (like Jesus), but we are responsible to live righteous lives. Only the righteous will be saved.

Ez. 18:18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby

1 John 3:7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.

Living righteously = LIFE, living in sin = DEATH. Here is the Old Testament verification for that, and Ezekiel explains it best:

Ez. 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: THE SOUL THAT SINNETH, IT SHALL DIE.5 But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, 8 He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man,9 Hath walked in my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, HE SHALL SURELY LIVE, saith the Lord God.13 Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him.17 That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live.18 As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity.19 Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord God: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.25 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?26 When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die.27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.29 Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord God. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel?32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.

Ez. 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. —-8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live?11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?12 Therefore, thou son of man, say unto the children of thy people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression: as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall thereby in the day that he turneth from his wickedness; neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth.13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.14 Again, when I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; if he turn from his sin, and do that which is lawful and right;15 If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.16 None of his sins that he hath committed shall be mentioned unto him: he hath done that which is lawful and right; he shall surely live.17 Yet the children of thy people say, The way of the Lord is not equal: but as for them, their way is not equal.18 When the righteous turneth from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall even die thereby.19 But if the wicked turn from his wickedness, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall live thereby.20 Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. O ye house of Israel, I will judge you every one after his ways.

The New Testament and our capacity to obey  false sheep

Jesus repeats the most important commandment in the Old Testament: to love God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength, as well as Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. He does not seem to believe it is impossible to obey these commandments, nor that they are no longer valid. These commandments sum up the major part of the ten commandments.

Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.

Jesus says about the commandments ”whosoever shall do and teach them…”, indicating that there are people who indeed practice obedience to the commandments, or else he would not have phrased himself quite like that:

Matt. 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.19 Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.21 Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

  • Who will be great in heaven? – Those who DO the commandments and teach others to do the same.
  • Who will be least in heaven? – Those who break one of the least commandments and teach others to do the same.

Note that there is also a risk that some believers will not even make it into the kingdom of God due to their behavior! It is possible that it is particularly breaking of the greater commandments which prevents a person from entering the kingdom of heaven, unless he/she repents of course. Then again one sin – big or small – makes a person a sinner and in need of cleansing and forgiveness. It is best to take interest in walking with God and be led by the Spirit. We should avoid criticizing those who claim we can be successfully faithful to Jesus here and now (Titus 2:11-12) and who live holy lives. After all, Jesus says they are the ones who will be great in heaven (if they ”walk the talk” that is). Naturally we have a right to criticize them if they are hypocrites like the pharisees – which means they are not being obedient after all.

We are supposed to be sanctified of the holy Spirit unto obedience, which means we have been given the power to successfully obey. If we are being led by the Spirit we will walk on the road to obedience. If we fail we cannot blame God but ourselves:

1 Pet. 1:2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

Peter says that we have purified our souls by being obedient, and also suggests that there will be righteous people who will be  ”scarcely saved” (perhaps due to scarce good fruit in the person’s life). It is the ungodly sinner who is in deep trouble:

1 Pet. 1: 22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

1 Pet. 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?18 And if the righteous man is scarcely saved, the ungodly and sinner — where shall he appear?19 so that also those suffering according to the will of god, as to a stedfast Creator, let them commit their own souls in good doing.

matt. 12Compare with these verses about a pure heart:

1 Tim. 1:5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

1 Tim. 6:13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 Tim. 2:21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

Acts 8:21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

Hebr. 10:22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Matt. 5:7 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.8 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.9 Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matt. 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

John seems to be saying that we can obey the truth and that is why we come to the light – because we have nothing to hide or be ashamed of. Some translations say that ”he that obeys not the son shall not see life…”. 

John 3:20 For every one that DOETH evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.—36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Luke says that the holy Spirit is given to those who obey him.

Acts 5:32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

Below in Romans follows Paul’s clarification that we will get eternal life by well-doing and that those who do not obey the truth will be affected by the wrath of God. It is possible to ”by nature” do the law because the law can be written in our hearts. We will be judged accordingly and depending on our thoughts and our conscience. Paul explains that a true Jew is actually one who has a circumcised heart rather than circumcised flesh. Paul spends a lot of time in the book of Romans to get the christian Jews to understand their new position in Jesus Christ – in whom the Mosaic Law is fulfilled – and that followers are saved by faith rather than being a Jew under the former law.

Rom. 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) — 27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Paul tells us that ”henceforth we should not serve sin”, indicating that we have the ability to do so. He also explains what this means when he says that we should not obey the lust of our mortal body (using our body to sin with), and we are reminded that we are servants to the one we obey – sin unto DEATH or obedience unto righteousness and life. The NKJV explains it with an easier language 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. 13 And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not have dominion over you—”. If we obey sin, we die and if we obey the holy Spirit (towards righteousness) we will live. Satan is still wrong with his claim that sinning will not cause death. We have an awesome power to overcome sin thanks to the holy Spirit!

Rom. 6:5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that HENCEFORTH WE SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, THAT YE SHOULD OBEY IT IN THE LUSTS THEREOF.13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of SIN UNTO DEATH, or of obedience unto righteousness?17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for THE END OF THOSE THINGS IS DEATH. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end EVERLASTING LIFE 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Read this article about Paul’s expressions in Rom. 7 where he is not talking about his new christian life even though he uses present tense. Below Paul continues to assure us that there is no condemnation for those who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit He offers no such assurances for those who do NOT walk after the Spirit, and Christians are not exempted from any risks. To be carnally minded is death, according to Paul, so if he would have lived in sin – as some Christians claim he did as per Rom. 7) then Paul would be spiritually dead when he wrote all those letters to us in the New Testament! He would also have been the biggest hypocrite in the New Testament. ”If you live after the flesh, you shall die”, is his serious message, but the wonderful promise is that if we are led by the Spirit we are the sons of God and we have tickets to an eternal life in God’s kingdom!

Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but AFTER THE SPIRIT.4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT. 5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.6 For to be carnally minded is DEATH; but to be spiritually minded is LIFE and peace.7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of RIGHTEOUSNESS.12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.13 For IF YE LIVE AFTER THE FLESH, YE SHALL DIE: but IF YE THROUGH THE SPIRIT DO MORTIFY THE DEEDS OF THE BODY, YE SHALL LIVE. 14 For as many as are LED BY THE SPIRIT of God, they are the sons of God. 

It is possible to obey Christ out of a pure heart.  memory

Eph. 6:5 Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ;6 Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart;

Hebr. 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY HIM

Rev. 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

As I stated above, Paul is not criticizing the Galatians because they reverted back to laws such as ”Do not murder, steal, lie or commit adultery”. There would not be any reason at all for Paul to be mightily upset with the Galatians if they were convinced they needed to avoid such sins for salvation’s sake in order to show their true love for God. It was rather the topic of circumcision that Paul was talking about. The Galatians were in liberty from the ceremonial laws, but none of us are in liberty to sin against God. Again, we are slaves to the one we obey, so if we obey sin we are slaves to sin and not free. The ”yoke of bondage” that Paul is talking about is not concerning the eternal moral law but the 613 Mosaic laws. If the Galatians wanted to stick with circumcision as requirement for salvation, then picking and choosing among the Mosaic laws would not be satisfactory. If they wanted to stick with circumcision requirement, they had to obey the rest of the laws as well, and Christ would have died for them in vain.

Paul compares their stance with the new testament where we are rather saved by faith (apart from the Mosaic law). Being saved by faith does not mean that we are now able to sin without consequences, because we are never free if we are slaves to sin. ”Faith which works by love”, means that we are expected to love God out of a pure heart when we are led by the holy Spirit, rather than multiple written instructions. The Spirit leads us away from a life of sin. Paul does ask the Galatians who hinders them to obey the truth, meaning they are still required to obey, and ”A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump” (one sin is enough). Paul says ”all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself”. We are expected to continue loving God with all of our of our heart and our neighbor as ourselves. Paul promises us ”Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh”, and ”if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law”. We are not on the right track unless we are being led by the Spirit. Paul continues by giving examples of the works of the flesh, and assures the christian Galatians that they will not inherit the kingdom of God if they do such things.

Gal. 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.7 Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?8 This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.—13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

”If you love me, keep my commandments”. That is a rather clear command. Jesus died for all of us due to his love for the whole world (and wanting no one to perish), but in a way God’s love is also conditional. ”IF A MAN LOVE ME, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: and my Father will love him”. If we truly love our spouse we stay faithful to him/her, and it is the same thing with our love for God.

John 14:15 IF YE LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS. 21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.23 Jesus answered and said unto him, IF A MAN LOVE ME, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.24 He that loveth me not KEEPETH NOT my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

God’s commandments are not grievous. The solution to the sin problem is to repent from our sins and start being led by the Spirit in holiness. The solution is not to hide behind Jesus and pretend that God doesn’t see our sins. He does. How do we know that we love God? If we keep his commandments. All unrighteousness is a sin, and sin continues to separate us from God. We can overcome sin thanks to our Helper!

1 John 5:By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.3 For THIS IS THE LOVE OF GOD, THAT WE KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS: AND HIS COMMANDMENTS ARE NOT GRIEVOUS. 4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.5 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?6 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.17 All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death.18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

Some Christians use this verse as support for the idea that we are free to sin without serious consequences:

Rom. 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Acts 15However, Paul is still focusing on circumcision and the many ceremonial laws in the Mosaic Law, which is clear if we read the verses before and after. We must never forget Paul’s reason for this emphasis when he tried to reason with some of the christian Jews:

Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, EXCEPT YE BE CIRCUMCISED AFTER THE MANNER OF MOSES; YE CANNOT BE SAVED. 2 When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.

It was never about a disputation about Jews claiming it is still necessary to be faithful to God and avoid murder, theft, lies and adultery, but about the Mosaic Law. It is still not a sin for a Jew to circumcise his flesh, but it is wrong to teach that this is required for salvation – since it is an unnecessary yoke for Jewish believers.

150 things we must DO to get saved, and the myth of salvation by FAITH ALONE

gräva”Ye see then how that BY WORKS a man is JUSTIFIED, and NOT by faith only” – Ja. 2:24

You will sometimes hear that we do not need to do anything at all to be saved apart from just having faith in God, because Jesus did all the rest for us. Some will even tell you that the salvation formula is ”Faith + nothing = salvation”.  The Bible, however, tells us that we must show our faith by doing good works – and without serving two masters. There is no salvation unless there is true REPENTANCE, which does not mean ”oops!”, but is a total change of heart where you confess your sins, make a complete u-turn and start walking in the light with Jesus. Faith without works is dead. Below are not really 150 different things we must do, but at least 150 verses which describe things we must do. All can be wrapped up in the one commandment ”love God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself”. 

In order to be saved, the Bible tells you to … (NKJV if nothing else stated):

  1. ABIDE IN JESUS, to get eternal life – 1 John 2:24-25,28
  2. ABIDE IN JESUS, in order to not sin and to know him – 1 John 3:6
  3. ABIDE IN JESUS, so that he will abide in you, and you will not be thrown in the fire – John 15:4-7
  4. ABIDE IN THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST and do not transgress it, in order to have God – 2 John 1:9
  5. ABSTAIN FROM FLESHLY LUSTS, which war against the soul – 1 Pet 2:11
  6. AGREE WITH YOUR ADVERSARY quickly, lest he delivers you to the judge – Matt. 5:25
  7. ACKNOWLEDGE THE SON, to have the Father – 1 John 2:23
  8. BE A DOER OF THE LAW, to be justified – Rom. 2:13-14
  9. BE A DOER OF THE WORD AND NOT A HEARER ONLY, to not deceive yourself – Ja. 1:22
  10. BE A FAITHFUL SERVANT OF THE LORD, in order to enter into the joy of the Lord and not be cast into the outer darkness – Matt. 25:23,30
  11. BE A HOLY AND UNDEFILED TEMPLE, in order to not be destroyed – 1 Cor. 3:16-17
  12. BE A PEACEMAKER, in order to be called a child of God – Matt. 5:9
  13. BE A SLAVE TO GOD, to be set free from sin, and to get everlasting life – Rom. 6:22
  14. BE CONVERTED AND BECOME LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN, in order to enter the kingdom of heaven – Matt. 18:3
  15. BE DILIGENT, to present yourself approved to God – 2 Tim. 2:15
  16. BE DILIGENT TO ENTER THE REST, lest you fall due to disobedience – Hebr. 4:11
  17. BE DILIGENT TO MAKE YOUR ELECTION SURE, to get an entrance into the everlasting kingdom – 2 Pet. 1:10-11
  18. BE GENTLE TO ALL, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, to be granted repentance and be a servant of the Lord – 2 Tim. 2:24-25
  19. BE HUMBLE, to get grace – Ja. 4:6
  20. BE LED BY THE SPIRIT, in order to not be under the law – Gal. 5:18
  21. BE OBEDIENT TO GOD, in order to be righteous and a slave to God instead of sin – Rom. 6:16
  22. BE PATIENT AND AVOID THE MARK OF THE BEAST, to keep your name in the book of life – Rev. 16:2, Rev. 13:8-10
  23. BEAR GOOD FRUIT, to not be cut down and thrown in the fire – Matt. 7:19
  24. BEAR FRUIT WORTHY OF REPENTANCE, to not be thrown into the fire – Matt. 3:8-10, John 15:2
  25. BEAR ONE ANOTHER’S BURDENS, to fulfill the law of Christ – Gal. 6:2
  26. BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS THE ”I AM”, to not die in your sins – John 8:24-25, 28, 58
  27. BEWARE, LEST YOU ALSO FALL FROM YOUR OWN STEADFASTNESS, being led away with the error of the wicked – 2 Pet. 3:17
  28. BRIDLE YOUR TONGUE, to not deceive your heart and be in a useless religion – Ja. 1:26
  29. CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD, to be saved – Rom. 10:13
  30. CLEANSE YOURSELF, in order to be a vessel of honor and sanctified – 2 Tim. 2:21
  31. CONTINUE IN THE HOLY SCRIPTURES, which enables you to be wise for salvation – 2 Tim. 3:14-15
  32. CONTINUE IN THE FAITH, GROUNDED AND STEADFAST, so that Jesus will present you as holy and blameless in his sight – Col. 1:22-23
  33. CONFESS JESUS BEFORE MEN – so that Jesus will confess you before the Father – Matt. 10:32
  34. CONFESS THAT JESUS IS CHRIST AND HAS COME IN THE FLESH, in order to not be of Antichrist’s spirit and be a deceiver – 1 John 4:2-3, 2 John 1:7
  35. CONFESS THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD, in order to abide in God – 1 John 4:15
  36. CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH the Lord Jesus, in order to be saved – Rom. 10:9-10
  37. COME TO THE LIGHT and expose your deeds, to be a person who does the truth – John 3:21
  38. COMPETE FOR THE PRIZE, to obtain an imperishable crown – 1 Cor. 9:25
  39. COMPETE ACCORDING TO THE RULES, in order to be crowned, and BE FIRST in order to partake of the crops – 2 Tim. 2:5-6
  40. CONTINUE IN GOD’S GOODNESS, in order to not be cut off from the olive tree – Rom. 11:2
  41. DENY YOURSELF, TAKE UP YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW JESUS, in order to come after him and be his disciple – Mark. 8:34, Luke 14:27
  42. DO ALL THINGS WITHOUT COMPLAINING AND DISPUTING, so that you may become blameless and a child of God without fault – Phil. 2:14-15
  43. DO NOT TAKE AWAY FROM THE BOOK OF THIS PROPHESY, or God will take away your part of the book of life and from the holy city – Rev. 22:18-19
  44. DO NOT LIVE IN AN UNRIGHTEOUS WAY, or you will be affected by God’s wrath – Rom. 1:18
  45. DO NOT TURN THE GRACE OF GOD INTO LEWDNESS, to not be condemned – Juda 1:4
  46. DO NOT BE a fornicator, an unclean person or covetous man, in order to inherit the kingdom of God – Eph. 5:5
  47. DO HIS COMMANDMENTS, to get the right to the tree of life and be able to enter through the gates into the city – Rev. 22:14
  48. DO GOOD, in order to be resurrected to life – John 5:29
  49. DO GOOD, be rich in good works, ready to give/share, that you may lay hold on eternal life – 1 Tim. 6:18-19
  50. DO GOOD DEEDS with patience, to get eternal life – Rom. 2:6-8
  51. DO GOOD WORKS, in order to be righteous/justified and not have a dead faith – Ja. 2:14-26
  52. DO GOOD WORKS and be righteous, in order to inherit the kingdom of God, like give food/drink, provide shelter for strangers, clothe the naked, visit the sick/prisoners, etc – Matt. 25:34-36
  53. DO THE THINGS THAT JESUS SAYS, in order to not fall – Matt. 7:24-27
  54. DO THE WILL OF GOD, to be Jesus’ brother, sister and mother – Matt. 12:50, Mark 3:35
  55. DO THE WILL OF THE FATHER, in order to enter the kingdom of heaven – Matt. 7:21
  56. DO THE WILL OF GOD, to receive the promise – Hebr. 10:36
  57. DO THE WILL OF GOD, in order to abide for ever – 1 John 2:17
  58. DO THE WILL OF GOD, in order to be heard by him – John 9:31
  59. DO TO OTHERS WHATEVER YOU WANT THEM TO DO TO YOU, in order to fulfill the Law – Matt. 7:12
  60. DO WHATEVER JESUS COMMANDS, in order to be his friend – John 15:14
  61. DISCIPLINE YOUR BODY AND BRING IT INTO SUBJECTION, lest you might become disqualified – 1 Cor. 9:27
  62. DEPART FROM INIQUITY, in order to be known by God – 2 Tim. 2:19
  63. DRINK OF THE WATER GIVEN BY JESUS, to store a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life – John 4:14
  64. EAT THE FLESH OF THE SON OF MAN AND DRINK HIS BLOOD, to be raised up at the last day and get eternal life – John 6:53-56
  65. ENDURE TO THE END, to be saved – Matt. 24:13, Matt. 10:22
  66. ENDURE, AND DO NOT DENY JESUS, in order to reign with him and to not be denied by him – 2 Tim. 2:12
  67. ENDURE TEMPTATION, in order to be approved and to get the crown of life – Ja. 1:12
  68. ENTER BY THE NARROW GATE , to avoid the way that leads to destruction – Matt. 7:13
  69. EXAMINE YOURSELF whether you are in the faith, in order to not be disqualified – 2 Cor. 13:5
  70. FEAR GOD AND WORK RIGHTEOUSNESS, in order to be accepted by him – Acts 10:35
  71. FEAR GOD AND DO NOT BE HAUGHTY, in order to be spared – Rom. 11:20-21
  72. FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT, and lay hold on eternal life – 1 Tim. 6:12
  73. FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT, FINISH THE RACE, KEEP THE FAITH and LOVE HIS APPEARING, to get the crown of righteousness – 2 Tim. 4:7-8
  74. FOLLOW JESUS, in order to get eternal life – John 10:27-28
  75. FORGIVE YOUR BROTHER, so that the Father will forgive you – Mark. 11:25, Matt. 6:14-15, Matt. 18:35
  76. GIVE THE MORE EARNEST HEED TO THE THINGS HEARD, lest you drift away – Hebr. 2:1
  77. HOLD STEADFAST TO THE END, to become partakers of Christ – Hebr. 3:14
  78. HOLD FAST TO THE WORD OF JESUS, in order to be saved and to not have believed in vain – 1 Cor. 15:2
  79. HOLD FAST WHAT YOU HAVE, so that no one may take your crown – Rev. 3:11
  80. HUMBLE YOURSELF IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD, and he will lift you up – Ja. 4:10
  81. HUMBLE YOURSELF UNDER GOD, to get grace and so that he may exalt you in due time – 1 Pet. 5:5-6
  82. IMITATE THOSE WHO THROUGH FAITH AND PATIENCE inherit the promises – Hebr. 6:12
  83. KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS AND LOVE EACH OTHER, in order to abide in God – 1 John 3:23-24
  84. KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS, (Jesus lists 7), in order to enter into life – Matt. 19:16-19
  85. KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS, in order to be loved by the Father – John 14:21
  86. KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS, in order to abide in the love of Jesus – John 15:10
  87. KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS, in order to not be liars but be in the truth – 1 John 2:3-5
  88. KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS, in order to truly love God and overcome the world – 1 John 5:3-5
  89. KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS, to show that you love Jesus – John 14:15
  90. KNOW the only true God and Jesus Christ who is sent, to get eternal life – John 17:3
  91. LABOUR FOR THE FOOD, which endures to everlasting life – John 6:27
  92. LAY ASIDE ALL FILTHINESS, and receive the implanted word which is able to save your soul – Ja. 1:21
  93. LAY ASIDE all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking, that you may grow in respect of salvation – 1 Pet. 2:1-2 NASB
  94. LET YOUR CONDUCT BE WORTHY THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST, to get salvation and avoid perdition – Phil. 1:27-29
  95. LET YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS EXCEED THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE PHARISEES, to enter the kingdom of heaven – Matt. 5:20
  96. LIVE IN HOLINESS and not uncleanness, because rejecting this is to reject God – 1 Thess. 4: 7-8
  97. LIVE RIGHTEOUSLY, in order to inherit the kingdom of God – 1 Cor. 6:9-11
  98. LIVE WITHOUT DEFILEMENT, or causing an abomination/lie, in order to have your name in the Lamb’s book of life – Rev. 21:27
  99. LOVE YOUR ENEMIES, do good to those who hate you, to be the Father’s son – Matt. 5:43-44
  100. LOVE JESUS MORE THAN FAMILY MEMBERS, to be worthy of Jesus – Matt. 10:37
  101. LOVE THE BRETHREN, to pass from death to life – 1 John 3:14
  102. LOVE IN DEED AND IN TRUTH, to remain in God’s love – 1 John 3:17-19, 1 John 2:10
  103. LOVE ONE ANOTHER, to be born of God and abide in him – 1 John 4:7-9, 12
  104. LOVE ONE ANOTHER, to fulfill the law (5 commandments listed summed up in 1) – Rom. 13:8-10
  105. LOVE YOUR BROTHER, in order to not be a liar and to obey God’s commandment – 1 John 4:20-21
  106. NOTE AND AVOID THOSE WHO CAUSE DIVISIONS AND OFFENSES contrary to the true doctrine, in order to not be deceived – Rom. 16:17-18
  107. OBEY JESUS, to get eternal salvation – Hebr. 5:9
  108. OBEY GOD IN FAITH, in order to enter the promised rest – Hebr. 3:18, Hebr. 11:8
  109. OBEY THE GOSPEL OF GOD, in order to be righteous and saved – 1 Pet. 4:17-18
  110. OBEY THE SON, in order to see life and avoid the wrath of God – John 3:36 NASB
  111. OBEY THE GOSPEL OF JESUS, in order to avoid everlasting destruction – 2 Thess. 1:8-9
  112. OBEY THE TRUTH, to not leaven the whole lump – Gal. 5:7-9
  113. OBEY THE TRUTH, in order to purify your soul – 1 Pet. 1:22
  114. OBEY THE TRUTH, in order to not be considered bewitched and having suffered things in vain – Gal. 3:1-4
  115. OPEN THE DOOR FOR JESUS WHEN HE KNOCKS, so that he will come in and dine with you – Rev. 3:20
  116. OVERCOME, in order to be dressed in white garments and not blotted out of the book of life – Rev. 3:5
  117. PRACTICE RIGHTEOUSNESS, to be considered born of Jesus – 1 John 2:29
  118. PRACTICE RIGHTEOUSNESS, to be righteous just like Jesus is righteous – 1 John 3:7
  119. PRACTICE RIGHTEOUSNESS, to be of God – 1 John 3:10
  120. PREACH THE UNPERVERTED GOSPEL, to not be accursed – Gal. 1:8-9
  121. PRESENT YOUR MEMBERS AS SLAVES OF RIGHTEOUSNESS, to be holy– Rom. 6:19
  122. PRESS TOWARD THE GOAL, for the prize of the upward call of God – Phil. 3:14
  123. PUT TO DEATH YOUR MEMBERS, like fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness in order to not be affected by the wrath of God which is coming upon the sons of disobedience – Col 3:5-6
  124. PURGE OUT THE OLD LEAVEN, that you may be a new lump and saved on the day of the Lord – 1 Cor. 5:5-7
  125. PURSUE PEACE WITH ALL PEOPLE, AND HOLINESS, without which no one will see the Lord – Hebr. 12:14
  126. PUT OFF THE OLD MAN concerning your former conduct, to not be corrupt through deceitful lusts – Eph. 4:22
  127. PUT TO DEATH THE DEEDS OF THE BODY, in order to live and be a son of God – Rom. 8:13-14
  128. REPENT FOR THE REMISSION OF SINS, to be forgiven and not perish – Luke 3:3, Luke 13:3, Acts 2:38, Acts 11:18
  129. REPENT through godly sorrow, leading to salvation – 2 Cor. 7:10
  130. RUN IN THE RACE, to get the prize – 1 Cor. 9:24
  131. SERVE IN THE NEWNESS OF THE SPIRIT, to not bear fruit to death – Rom. 7:5-6
  132. SERVE GOD ALONE AND NOT MAMMON, to be loyal to God – Matt. 6:24
  133. SERVE THE LORD JESUS HEARTILY, to receive the reward of the inheritance – Col. 3:23-24
  134. SHOW GOOD WORKS, in order to prove that you do not deny God but know him – Titus 1:16
  135. SHOW MERCY, to get mercy on judgment day – Ja. 2:13
  136. SHOW MERCY TO YOUR NEIGHBOR, to inherit eternal life – Luke 10:25-28, 36-37
  137. SOW TO THE SPIRIT, to reap everlasting life – Gal. 6:8
  138. STAND FAST, in order to not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage and Christ will profit you nothing – Gal. 5:1-2
  139. STRIVE TO ENTER THROUGH THE NARROW GATE, to be known by God and be saved – Luke 13:23-24
  140. TAKE HEED if you think you stand, lest you fall – 1 Cor. 10:12
  141. TAKE HEED TO YOURSELF, TO THE DOCTRINE AND CONTINUE IN THEM, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you – 1 Tim. 4:16
  142. TAKE YOUR CROSS AND FOLLOW JESUS, in order to be worthy – Matt. 10:38
  143. WAGE THE GOOD WARFARE with a good conscience, to not shipwreck your faith – 1 Tim. 1:18-19
  144. WAIT EAGERLY for the second return of Christ, for salvation – Hebr. 9:28
  145. WALK ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT,  to be in Christ, to fulfill the law and to not be condemned – Rom. 8:1-2, 4-6
  146. WALK ACCORDING TO HIS COMMANDMENTS, to have love – 2 John 1:6
  147. WALK IN THE LIGHT, to be cleansed from your sins – 1 John 1:7
  148. WATCH AND BE SOBER, in order to be prepared and obtain salvation – 1 Thess. 5:6-9
  149. WATCH AND DO NOT FORGET YOUR OIL, or else the son of man will not know you – Matt. 25:12-13
  150. WORK OUT YOUR SALVATION, with fear and trembling – Phil. 2:1

So there is at least some effort involved in order to be a child of God, and you should not trust those who try to make the cross that you must carry light as a feather. Apart from the above examples there are even more verses which tell us what we cannot afford to do if we want to remain saved. In summary these 150 requirements tell us one thing only:

”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27)

If we believe in Jesus and truly love him, we also stay close to him and get help by the holy Spirit to overcome sin. God is merciful and will absolutely forgive you upon repentance, even if you are guilty of having disobeyed the entire list of requirements.

Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord REQUIRE of you But to DO JUSTLY,To LOVE mercy, And to WALK HUMBLY with your God?

Abraham showed his faith by obedience and was therefore righteous

(An excerpt from Jesse Morell’s upcoming book, ”The Vicarious Atonement of Christ.”

abrahamThere was a problem in Israel of thinking that righteousness consisted in external works of the law, which notion Paul needed to confront. There were Israelites who thought that they were righteous before God as long as they obeyed the Torah, even while sinning in their hearts. Jesus said our righteousness needed to exceed that of the Pharisees who obeyed the outward requirements of the Torah but were sinful inwardly. In context Jesus expounded upon the sins of the heart and not mere outward action, in regards to our righteousness exceeding that of the Pharisees.

Paul argued for a circumcision of the heart by faith in order to be righteous. Paul argued that Abraham was righteous and justified before the Torah was given through Moses, so that the external works of the law that the Torah demanded cannot possibly be what true righteousness consisted of. It could not be the means through which we are made righteous or justified in character. Paul argued that by faith in God Abraham was righteous and consequently justified, and so that is how Gentile believers are made righteous and are justified too.

In his heart Abraham trusted God so that in his life Abraham obeyed God. Faith of the heart was the seed to real obedience of life, so God imputed (reckoned or considered) Abraham’s faith as righteousness, as that was what it really was. A heart of faith is a righteous heart. Faith, which results in obedience, is what real righteousness is. Righteousness is not merely being circumcised or keeping the dietary requirements of the Torah. It is what comes out of the mouth that defiles a man, not what goes into it. It is not by obeying the external requirements of the Torah and having outward works, even with selfish motives to be praised by men, which makes a man righteous before God.Real righteousness is not a work of the law at all, but is faith in God.

However, there is a problem in the church today just like there was in Israel. That is a problem of thinking that righteousness consists in works of the law or obedience to the Torah. Like the Pharisees who thought that they were righteous on a technicality, by observing the outward requirements of the Torah while still sinning in their hearts, the Theologians of today are teaching that you can be righteous before God on the same technicality as well. They teach that Christ obeyed the Torah or the law for us on our behalf as our substitute, so that His works of the law are imputed to us. In light of Christ’s works of the Torah being imputed to our account, they say, we are made righteous in the eyes of God and are consequently justified even though we are still sinful in heart and character. This is identical to the problem Paul had to confront when he argued that we are not righteous or justified by the works of the law but by a faith in Christ that purifies the heart. Paul was confronting this Pharisaical notion of being technically righteous before God by outward obedience to the Torah while still sinning inwardly in your heart.

The Pharisees and reformed theologians are both wrong in assuming that righteousness does not consist in works of the law, either performed by the individual or performed by a substitute on their behalf and imputed to them. There is no righteousness by works while still sinning in heart. It is a faith in Christ, a trusting of the heart that results in obedience of life, that is real righteousness in the eyes of God. When a man is sinning in his heart, he is not trusting God in his heart. But when a man is trusting God in his heart, he will not be sinning in his heart or life, and so God will impute or consider his faith as righteousness. It is by faith that our heart is purified so it is by faith that we are made righteousness.

Demons BELIEVE and tremble – faith without deeds is dead

love2

Faith alone is not enough for salvation

When Paul told the Philippian jailor in Acts. 16 that he must BELIEVE to be saved, he didn’t have an empty faith in mind but a faith that is the same as ”loving God with all your heart and all your soul”. If we truly believe in Jesus and love him with all of our heart, then we would like to obey him and this is what saving faith means. We can read that Paul and Silas afterwards spoke with this jailor and those with him in his house, and at that point they likely explained the meaning of a prosperous life together with our savior Jesus Christ – who is son of God and God in flesh.

Acts. 16:27 And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.—29 Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,30 And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?31 And they said, BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.32 And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.33 And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

1 John 3:23 And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment.

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.-21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

What demons (devils/evil spirits) believe

James makes it clear that also demons (devils/evil spirits) believe (see verse further down below) so a faith without deeds is dead, which means that we can’t be saved without works. It’s true that angels and demons can’t be saved in the same way as human beings because they are messengers of God, but once upon a time Satan and 1/3 of his angels were expelled from heaven due to their behavior – and not due to lack of faith in the only true God. The point James is making is that demons don’t have good fruit to go with their faith, and he also gives examples of various DEEDS one is expected to do as a truly saved person. James is not impressed with a person who says he believes in God, unless the same person shows good fruit to go with his faith.

If you think you’re saved if you only

  • believe in Jesus Christ
  • believe he is the son of God
  • believe he is the Holy One of God
  • believe he is the Messiah (the Christ)
  • believe he is from Nazareth
  • believe he has power over heaven and earth, and tremble by this awareness
  • believe he is able to punish you for your actions
  • believe there is ONE God only
  • believe the first christians (like Paul, Silas, Luke, etc) were true servants of God and individuals who showed mankind the way of salvation (which they constantly claimed to be through Jesus Christ only)
  • fall down before Jesus
  • confess out loud that Jesus is the son of God and the promised Messiah
  • have good Bible knowledge

then you must keep in mind that also demons/devils also accomplish all those things on that list, as the below verses will show:

James 2:19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Mat. 8:28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Mark 1:23 And there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit; and he cried out,24 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Yeshua of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art, the Holy One of God.

Mark 3:11 And unclean spirits, when they saw him, fell down before him, and cried, saying, Thou art the Son of God. 

Mark 5:7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Yeshua, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

Luke 4:33 And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice,34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.35 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, Hold thy peace, and come out of him. And when the devil had thrown him in the midst, he came out of him, and hurt him not.

Luke 4:41 And devils also came out of many, crying out, and saying, Thou art Messiah the Son of God. And he rebuking them suffered them not to speak: for they knew that he was Christ

Luke 8:27 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.

Acts. 16:16 And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying:17 The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation.18 And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour.

Matt. 4:And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Read more about James 2, and faith/works, in this blog article

James 2 says that we are justified by WORKS and not by faith alone

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only (James 2:24)

In order to avoid the implications of what this verse is saying – that we are not justified by faith alone – people suggest that we are justified by our works before PEOPLE, whereas we are justified by our faith (alone) before GOD. But does understanding hold up to scrutiny? Let’s see what James 2 is saying about Abraham:

James 2:21Was not Abraham our father justified by WORKS, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar22Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24Ye see then how that BY WORKS a man is justified, and NOT by faith only25Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26For as the body without the spirit is dead, so FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD ALSO.

Here is the incident where Abraham offered up his son Isaac:

Genesis 22:And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him.Then on the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off.And Abraham said unto his young men, ABIDE YE HERE WITH THE ASS; and I AND THE LAD WILL GO YONDER and worship, and come again to you.And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.—11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy“, he said. “Do not do anything to him. NOW I KNOW that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”—18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; BECAUSE thou hast obeyed my voice.19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beersheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beersheba.

If James 2:21-24 is supposed to show that christians are justified by works before people, then James couldn’t have chosen a worse example since there were NO people around to see Abraham nearly sacrificing his son which James described as ”Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?” Abraham was alone when he offered up his son, and not even his servants were around to see it (which is also confirmed by the secular history as per The Book of Jasher). We can read that God says ”Now I know” when he beheld Abraham offering his son. Clearly Abraham’s famous work which labelled him ”righteous” (the most famous example) was before GOD and not before people. We can get this established also here:

Romans 2:13 For not the hearers of the law are just BEFORE GOD, but the doers of the law shall be justified  

The passage earlier in James 2 says this:

James 2:14What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble20But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 

The context is about WORKS (and not about the constitution of God or angels). James compares faith without works with the faith that demons have, and even though he confirms that demons also have faith they don’t have the right fruit to go with it. Faith without works is dead, and works without faith is dead as well. We can’t merit salvation with our works, but works is still a condition for salvation and therefore needed. If we don’t show good fruit, Jesus promises we will be cut off the vine so it’s something very essential for our salvation. We know that sinning doesn’t mean reduced rewards in heaven, but our SOULS are at stake:

Rom 6:21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in DEATH!

Romans 6:16: Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin UNTO DEATH, or obedience unto righteousness.

1 Pet 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your SOUL.

Romans 8: 6For to be carnally minded is DEATH; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. —13For if ye live after the flesh, YE SHALL DIE: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, YE SHALL LIVE. 

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son WILL NOT SEE LIFE, but the wrath of God abides on him.

Mark 9:47.And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into HELL

Matt. 7:21 Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who DOES the will of my Father who is in heaven.

1 Peter 4:18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and sinner?

1 Cor. 9.“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived…”

Matt. 16:24 Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up theircross and follow me.

Ephesians 2:8-9 doesn’t promise us that we can serve two masters and still be saved

The oft mentioned verses in Eph. 2:8-9 doesn’t speak against the above. We are either saved by the law OR by grace through faith (one or the other), and we know it could not be the former since that option requires 100% obedience at all times which we have not achieved. Thankfully God offers the gift of salvation by faith, but this doesn’t mean that obeying the MORAL law (the ten commandments) is from now on just ”optional” to obey, albeit ”good” if we manage to obey them. No, we are supposed to have these laws in our hearts and we are not under the law IF we live by the spirit. The ten commandments are just as important to obey today as they have always been (ever since the time of Adam) since iniquities continue to separate us from God. We are free from ceremonial laws but certainly not from the ten commandments. Being cleansed in the blood of Jesus doesn’t mean that we are still saved if we continue to get filthy in the future. See also how Paul on one hand says we are NOT under the law, but on the other hand lists numerous examples of sins which separate us from God.

Gal.5:18 BUT IF YE BE LED OF THE SPIRIT, YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21Envyings murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 

1 Corinthians 7:19 Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

Rom.3:30Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.31Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, We ESTABLISH THE LAW.

Justified by the works of the law?

God cannot lie so he cannot justify the wicked (Ex. 23:7; Deut. 25:1; Prov. 17:15; Nah. 1:3). While the law condemns the guilty, God has the authority to forgive and pardon the sinner. Justification by grace is when those who are guilty and deserve punishment are pardoned and forgiven. Justification by works of the law is merited and deserved, while justification by grace is unmerited and undeserved. Jesus used the word justification synonymous with forgiveness (Lk. 18:10-14). God will not set aside the penalty of a sinner who still plans on sinning. God says that it is an ”abomination” to ”justifieth the wicked”. (Prov. 17:15). God said ”I will not justify the wicked” (Exo. 23:7). God is ”angry with the wicked every day” (Ps. 7:11).  We  must give up our wickedness if we want to escape the anger of God and the punishment of hell.  ”Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon” (Isa. 55:6-7). Those who are described as being ”justified” in the Scriptures are also described as being ”sanctified” and ”washed” (1 Cor. 6:11). Those who will inherit the kingdom of God are ”them which are sanctified”. (Acts 20:32)  When a sinner repents he actually becomes a holy saint. Without this repentance or moral transformation, there is no forgiveness or eternal life.

Jesus righteousness is not imputed into us

Are we cleansed in the blood of Christ upon repentance (resulting in our purification), or do we cover up our filth with an injection of the righteous blood of Jesus? If we need to get Jesus righteous blood into our veins, then we are saved by WORKS – namely the works that Jesus did for us when he obeyed the law perfectly. Those who repent and believe are justified by God’s grace through the atonement. Our new clean status will last as long as we keep ourselves clean, because God will not pretend that we are righteous when we in reality mix holy living with unholy living.

We do not earn our salvation by anything we do or believe since we have sinned.Justification by works of the law is when you are pronounced innocent because your record is perfect in the sight of the law. Justification by grace is when you are pronounced forgiven even though you have been guilty of sin in your life. Christ died for us but He did not obey for us.  We are imputed righteous through Christ, but we do not receive the imputed righteousness of Christ. Biblical imputed righteousness is when you are forgiven and treated as if you had always been righteous even though you haven’t been.

Paul quoted Psalms 31:1-2 when he said.

”Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, saying, blessed are they whoses iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin” (Rom. 4:5-8).

To be imputed righteous is when your sins are forgiven and covered, and after that moment we need to continue living in obedient faith. There is no way that God would declare us righteous and forgiven while we continue to practice unrighteousness. Abraham OBEYED God and THEREFORE his faith was credited (imputed) to him as RIGHTEOUSNESS. God did not have to pretend that he was righteous because his heart was upright and obedient in faith. It was his FAITH that was imputed as righteousness (Rom. 4:5), and it doesn’t state that it was Christ’s righteousness that was being imputed.

The fear of the Lord and holy living

Our unpopular message for the day

So many Christians are compromising these days! It is not very popular to make a stand for holy living. You become ”self righteous” to many by doing so. It is a sad fact that many are falling while truly believing everything is just fine, because they hold a knowledge of God within them.

”Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” 2 Corinthians 6:17

Unfortunately, too many people have been deceived to think they can have their sin and be a Christian at the same time. These lack wisdom! And the Bible tells us in Proverbs 9:10 ”The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom …” And that is just it. People do not fear God, and therefore they have no wisdom to lead them. So they naturally turn to fleshly pleasures while trying to convince everyone that they are Christians.

2 Timothy 3:1-5
1This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Do you allow sin in your life while trying to convince everyone that it isn’t all that bad? Do you claim to be a Christian because of a knowledge of the truth, with a form of godliness, but denying the power of it to free you completely from this world and its sins? The good news is that Jesus can set you free! There is great joy in separating ourselves from this world! It can only come by the Holy Spirit as He fills us and transforms us, making us new creatures that are set apart from the rest of this world. If you look like the world; talk like the world; act like the world; and live like the world; then you are of the world and cannot be of Christ – no matter how much you may think you are. The form of godliness is a great deception of these last days! So many believe they are right with God, but are not! The Bible says in Isaiah 5:20

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

This is exactly what so many ”Christians” are doing today. They will go out drinking, smoking, partying like the world, and then claim they do it in moderation. Many will cuss up a storm, get involved in bitter arguments, gossip, slander of others, and act lie the world in every way – never living according the the fruit of the spirit. When confronted about there sinful living, they will accuse the righteous person of being full of pride, self righteous, and judgmental. Some will go as far as to think they are more spiritual in their drinking and smoking, as they are more tolerable of sinners, and they are not so ”self-righteous”. They are more mature Christians and able to handle doing those things. Hogwash! It is time to rise up people of God! It is time to stand for what is right! Start with your own life. Start with your family. Be an example for others to follow. Share the love of God and the good life He offers through holy living. Otherwise, sin lies at your door – Genesis 4:7.

We are in a spiritual warfare! This is a war that is unseen in the natural, so that those who drift away from Christ cannot even see it is happening all around them. All the while thinking they are right with God because of what they once had, they slip away into the darkness of the enemy. Don’t ever think you are so spiritual you cannot be overtaken! Our ONLY hope is in Christ jesus alone. Look to Him and search your own heart in humility.

”The fear of the LORD teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.” Proverbs 15:33

Many Christians today are not necessarily sinning, but they are playing with a strange fire, and then offering it up to the Lord. What do we offer to Him? Is it holy or strange? Paul said that we need to examine ourselves whether we be in the Lord. Never assume it! But let us examine our own hearts as we look for the deception in our own minds that has been planted by the enemy.

Righteousness is not a gift, nor is it something we work for. It is a choice. A choice to walk in what he has provided for us. But we have a choice set before us, as it says in Deuteronomy 30:19, ”This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”.
John dealt with the issue of sin and said in 1 John 5:18, ”We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.” Then in 1 john 3:3-10

3 Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure.
4 Everyone who sins breaks the law; in fact, sin is lawlessness. 
5 But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin.
6 No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.
7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 
8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 
9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. 
10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.

So, I am not talking about new converts who have not yet been sanctified. I am talking about seasoned Christians who after years of living holy lives slowly begin to turn back to sinful living while claiming to be saved. This is very dangerous territory!

When Jesus said, ”It is finished”, He was not saying that sin no longer had any power to condemn. Obviously many sinners are still going to hell. Paul’s said in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. Nothing changes this. Not even the work of Christ. The gift of God that is eternal life is through Christ Jesus. To be IN Christ is to walk in the spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Paul said that if we sow to the flesh, we will reap of the flesh corruption. He also said that if we defile the temple of God, which we are, then such people will God destroy. Many, many more warnings are given to Christians all throughout the scriptures to be careful and always check our hearts, lest will fall. In Romans 11:21 Paul said, ”For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.” Obviously, we are not in the clear just because Jesus died for our sins and we are presently saved.

We cannot miss the good news in this message, which is that God will cast our sins as far as the east is from the west and remember them no more. But we need to understand that this ONLY refers to past sins that have been confessed through repentance, and not to present or future sins. No scripture says anything close to the idea of future sins being cover under our first repentance. It is not an issue of being completely sinless. We know that is not possible. It is an issue of not committing sins we know are wrong, and thus being in rebellion to God – which the bible says is as the sin of witchcraft. And we know that no witch will be saved. But as we turn to Him after we have examined our lives and allow Him to purify our lives, we will be transformed, becoming new creatures. And such a creature will hate sin as much as God does and will want nothing to do with it. 

James spoke of a sin unto death and a sin not unto death. The sin not unto death are those little things that we are not aware of that are buried deep within and only pop up on certain occasions. These are a part of our spiritual growth. A sin unto death is a sin of rebellion, when we do something we know is wrong but just don’t care. We can try to justify and deceive ourselves, and then our conscience can be seared – causing us to think all is fine, when in fact we are backslidden in heart.

Jesus will take us just the way we are – no doubt! But He will not keep us the way were are. This is what being ”born again” is all about. We start a new life in christ and we are transformed as it says in 2 Corinthians 5:17. The old is passed away, and all becomes new.

What married couple will say that because they are married they do not need to work on their relationship, but that their married alone makes the relationship? This kind of marriage is one that winds up in divorce. Their is always work involved in a relationship. a relations takes two parties both working together to make it work. We know God is always faithful to do His part in this. His part is never in question! It is our part that has to be questioned. Are we talking to Him? Are we listening to Him? Are we submitting to Him? Or are we doing our own thing and then calling it a relationship?

Any person who allows sin in their life needs to fell bad, low, and unworthy. This is called conviction. This is not condemnation. However, the bible does that that those who live in sin are condemned already. The great hope is that Jesus came to set men free. And He who the Son sets free is free indeed! He came to take away the guilt, to lift up our spirits, and to make us worthy! It is only in Him that we can have all of these things. If we turn to sin, we are not turning to Him. And if we are not turning to Him, then we cannot have what He offers – which is freedom from sin. This is not a superficial freedom, and a real life changing freedom. How we live our lives is a direct expression of what Christ has done and is doing in our lives. And this is something He has put in our own power to receive and walk in, or to reject and walk away from.

The original lie of Satan was to tell Eve, ”You shall not surely die as God has said”.

The same lie exists in the Church today as many will teach that you shall not surely die (spiritually) as God has said. That sin has completely lost its power to damn the soul of the Christian to hell. Sin has not lost its power! Sin still brings death! But the gift of God is eternal life through CHRIST JESUS. Not a one-time confession, but a daily confession through an obedient walk in the spirit.

There is plenty of good news to put behind this entire message. But it is all in Christ Jesus alone! It is not in a doctrine. It is not in a one-time confession of sins. It is not in a previous relationship with Him. It is in a continued walk with Him, in obedience to His commands, as we are ”free indeed” from sin and the walk of the flesh. He is ever present to make intercession for us. But we must be willing to confess our sins so He can do that.

In Romans Paul makes it clear that if it had not been for the law then we would not know right and wrong. Jesus said that He did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfill it. It is in Christ that we receive power of sin and to live holy lives. Law is fulfilled in us as we walk in the spirit and do not fulfill the lists of the flesh.

Jesus took away the burden of animal sacrifice and penalty for sins in this life. Now, through Him, we have access to the throne of grace, whereby we may receive forgiveness of sins. But forgiveness can only come through repentance. We know that true repentance means to turn ourback on our past sins. This is a choice we have to make. And as we make the choice, God gives us the ability to overcome. Repentance of sins is first of all an act of obedience. And Jesus said, ”if you love me, keep my commandments”. Jesus has done the work! But He leaves the choice up to men whether they will follow and obey His commandments. If we do not obey His commandments then we are denying Him. We are saying we do not trust Him or believe in what He said in His Word. And if we deny Him, He will deny us before His father in heaven. Our lives must be a walk of faith or we cannot please Him.

 ‎[Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel]. 1 Peter 1: 14

If anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me [to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying] and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. John 12: 26

It is through Him that we have received grace and [our] apostleship to promote obedience to the faith and make disciples for His name’s sake among all the nations. Romans 1: 5

Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)? Romans 6: 16

If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love. John 15: 10

But He said, Blessed (happy and to be envied) rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey and practice it! Luke 11: 28

For as the human body apart from the spirit is lifeless, so faith apart from [its] works of obedience is also dead. James 2: 26

But now we are discharged from the Law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under [obedience to] the old code of written regulations, but [under obedience to the promptings] of the Spirit in newness [of life]. Romans 7: 6
For the time [has arrived] for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will [be] the end of those who do not respect or believe or obey the good news (the Gospel) of God? 1 Peter 4: 17

And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him. 1 John 3: 22

Whoever says, I know Him [I perceive, recognize, understand, and am acquainted with Him] but fails to keep and obey His commandments (teachings) is a liar, and the Truth [of the Gospel] is not in him.
1 John 2: 4

[Live] as children of obedience [to God]; do not conform yourselves to the evil desires [that governed you] in your former ignorance [when you did not know the requirements of the Gospel]. 1 Peter 1: 14

The wise in heart will accept and obey commandments, but the foolish of lips will fall headlong. Proverbs 10: 8

Since by your obedience to the Truth through the [Holy ] Spirit you have purified your hearts for the sincere affection of the brethren, [see that you] love one another fervently from a pure heart. 1 Peter 1: 22

Jesus said that no man can serve two masters. The devil is a thief who has come to steal, kill, and destroy. He cannot steal what one does not have. Sinners have nothing he wants to take or end in their lives. It is Christians he is after. He wants to steal our peace and joy and the abundant life we have in Christ; he wants to kill us spiritually; and then it is his final hope to destroy our souls in hell if he can. Many have been deceived into thinking they can serve two masters and still be okay. If this was an easy thing to see, then it would not be a deception. People who call themselves Christians and even go to Church every week are perishing in the pews of the Church. This is because they live like the world during the week, and with this deception have come to believe that they are saved all along.

As much as we would like to strip satan of all his power, and claim that he has be completely defeated by the work of Christ, this simply is not at all what the scriptures teach us. He is only defeated for those who abide in Christ, walk in the spirit, and obey Him daily as they take up their cross and follow Him. But satan is hard at work for a few different reasons. One, because he knows he only has a short time to get his job done. Second, it the fact that he knows he is able to deceive even Christians and pull them away from a walk with Christ. Otherwise he would be totally wasting his time and efforts to no avail.

Not too many Christians are going to take the bait of blatant heresy and lies. If they knew they were lies then they would turn away immediately! But satan is very slick at what he does. He will make sin appear to be ”not so bad”, as it sucks the spiritual life out of people without them even realizing it. This is why Jesus told us to be watchful, be on the guard, to beware, and to diligently seek Him. The bible says that satan walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Obviously this is not referring to sinners. He already has them. It is Christians he is after. He is looking for those who have put their guard down; who have lain down their spiritual armor. This is why we need to go thru our spiritual armor check list and make sure we have it and keep it on all the time. Satan is looking for the one he can catch off guard. And then he will come in subtly so that we do not even realize it is him.

This is why Paul said that when you think that you stand, take heed, lest you fall. An overconfidence in the work of Christ without doing our part will lead to spiritual death. We can believe we are saved all we want. But faith without works is dead! We can have COMPLETE confidence in the work of Christ – as long as we walk in obedience to His will and commands. But if we allow sin to creep in, then death lies at the door. Faith then becomes nothing more than a presumption, without any true power to save. And just as the devils in hell believe and cannot be saved, so it is with those who claim Christ and willfully and in rebellion live in sin.

All the promises we have are ”in Christ”. We must understand what it means to be in Christ. It is not a one time prayer that magically transfers us from death to life without any further conditions. It is a transformed life! The old is passed away, and all is become new. So as John said, we no long live in sin, but we walk in the spirit and by true faith thru obedience.

Through Jesus Christ we are no longer under the condemnation of the law?

Let’s not forget one major thing here. We must be “in Christ” in order to be free from these things. The devil is given back his rights the moment we give in to willful sin and do not repent. The cross DID NOT disarm him! It is only through our faith in the cross that he can be disarmed. And just as we can have faith, we can lose faith. This is a fact that has be proven to be true with many backsliders.

The Bible does not teach a sin debt. It teaches “wages of sin”. Wages are earnings, not a debt. We have earned death for our sin. Christ came to die as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. But not as a literal payment. This term should only be understood as a figurative term to say that Christ took care of the sin issue on our behalf. The literal understanding of what Christ did can only be properly understood as a provision for forgiveness. When John saw Jesus coming to be baptized, he announced, “Behold, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world”. Now we know that Jesus has not literally taken away the sins of all men. Otherwise all men would be saved already without any conditions. This actually points back to the Levitical sacrifices for the sins of Israel, as two goats were brought. One was just a sacrifice unto the Lord, while the other was the one who had sins confessed over it and it was released into the wilderness. Some believe it was led to a cliff to fall to its death. But either way it was not punished for sins, nor did it “pay” for sins. What this was is a picture of the true atonement that was to come through Christ as men are being born again through faith in the sacrifice of Christ. Then as Paul said, the old is passed away and all things become new. When we are transformed in such a supernatural way, our old life of sin passes away, and we enter into a new life of faith and holiness in Christ. If we sin, we deny this power to free us from sin, and thus deny Christ.

Sin really is not the issue at all. It is only the symptom. The root of the problem is never the sin, but a matter of our faith. If we truly walk by faith, then we will be walking in the spirit, and we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

James, in the first chapter says this: 14. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
15. Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.

You see, sin still brings death. Only a true Christian who walks by faith can later be “drawn away and enticed”. The end result of sin is and always will be death. The wages of sin IS death, and always will be. So it is our responsibility to discipline our own lives to make sure we make wise decisions and do not give in to the lusts of the flesh – as they can and will bring death.
There is no doubt that Satan will bring condemnation upon us for past sins that we have been forgiven of. It is at this time that we need to realize he is a liar and all that is under the blood of Jesus and cast away. But present and future sins are a completely different issue. No sin is automatically forgiven just because we are Christians.

In Hebrews 10:26 we are told, “For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins.”

So obviously sin still has the power to harm the Christian. “No more sacrifice” here does not mean that there can be no future forgiveness, or that the sacrifice of Christ is not sufficient. This means that the confession of a past sin in which we trusted in the sacrifice of Christ cannot cover future sins committed – without another act of repentance on our part. The work of Christ is finished! But it does not cover unrepented sins, or else the entire world would be saved. Sin is only the symptom of a much deeper issue taking place in a persons heart. And if it goes undealt with, then their soul is in danger just like the rest of the world who is in their sins. And If Christ conquered sin in the way you are saying, then sinners should not need to repent to be saved. Since sin has lost its power, all they need to do is believe in Him and believe they are save, and they can continue in their sins. All is good.

Christianity is done done done, not do do do?

What Christ did for us is only on the sacrificial and provision part. It is man’s part to believe, continue, abide, follow, trust, walk in the spirit, etc. So many commands are given it is incredible. This is not about “works salvation” as many like to try to make it. This is about truly trusting in His work. A true faith will have a direct affect on the way we will our lives every day. But we are able to lose that faith through lust, which leads to sin. This is why we are told we must take up our cross and follow Him daily, crucify the old man, and walk in the spirit so we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Such instruction is given because of the absolute certain possibility or probability of falling from Grace and forfeiting the life we once had in Christ.

We are not talking about working on our own. We are talking about having true faith in His work, which leads to holiness and a separation from sin. Sin is only the works of the flesh that show where we are spiritually. Just as the fruit of the spirit shows where we are spiritually. Jesus said, “You shall know them by their fruit”. How a person lives shows where their heart really is. And if it is after sin, the father of sin is then their master. As the scripture says in Romans 6:16, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey-either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?”

Any person who turns to sin is doing what the devil wants, and he becomes their master. I am not talking about sins we commit now and then, and then repent. I am talking about habitual sins that people try to justify. And notice the word “Obey” here? We are only considered the servant of God if we obey Him!

Romans 3:25, “Whom God hath set forth to be an atoning sacrifice through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.”

Only past sins can be forgiven. Present sins have not godly sorrow if they remain. And future sins – lets get real. If I slug a brother in the face and I say I am sorry and ask him to forgive me – does that mean that if I do the same thing every now and then that he should automatically forgive me each time without me ever being truly sorry? Or if I punch him today, but tomorrow I steal from him, should my stealing be forgiven because I asked for forgiveness for punching him? Yet this is what this idea says of God and salvation. Sin has offended God. He is holy and He cannot be in the presence of sin. If men want to abide in His presence, then they have to separate themselves from sin. The work of Christ in no way changes who God is. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. And He see’s sin in the same way as always. Having law or doing away with it changed nothing. Men sinned and offended God long before the law came. God judged Cain, He flooded the earth in Noah’s day, He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, and so much more before the law ever came along. So after law we cannot expect Him to have any different of an attitude towards sin. Sin is not covered up. It MUST be removed from us through the work of Christ, and by repentance. If it isn’t it will damn the soul. This is just a simple Biblical fact. It was taught by the early Church very boldly for hundreds of years – before the corruption by the Catholic Church. It is a truth that we must take heed to today. This is why Paul said that when you stand, take heed lest you fall. Sin still has the power to destroy the soul. We are completely safe “In Christ”. But if we step across the line into sin, we give up our protection.

“John 1:29 29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! that word sin is a noun ( person place thing), John knew that Jesus came to take sin the whole thing from the world, it doesnt say who comes to take away the past sin of the world, current sin of the world, but ”SIN of the world” What a waste of time it would have been to have God send His only Son Jesus to do a work like that,”

As already mentioned, atonement is a provision, not a literal payment. And sin is not a substance that can be literally removed. It is an issue of heart that has to be changed. The figurative always leads to a literal meaning different than the figure itself. This is why we must be “born again”, which we know is not a literal entering back into the womb, but a new life in Christ that starts as we are changed – transformed. So of course not part of the sin of the world is taken away – because it is not talking about a substance of sin, but an issue of heart that is changed when a person puts their faith in Jesus. And this can only happen when there is faith in Christ. The sins of millions will take them to hell still, regardless the work of Christ. So did Christ’s work fail or fall short? Of course not. It is men who failed to not put their faith in Him. Jesus dies for ALL sins, past, present and future. But forgiveness of these sins can ONLY come through repentance of them. And until there is repentance, there is not forgiveness or taking away of sins – since the heart of the person has not been change when they continue to sin.

”He who the son sets free is free indeed”

Absolutely! But what is freedom? It is not freedom in sin, but freedom FROM sin. Huge difference here. There is not “freedom” in sin. That is called bondage. The word “indeed” is like an exclamation point on the “free”. This shows it to not be a superficial freedom from the power of sin to condemn while still committing sin, but a real and complete freedom from both sins power, effect, and existence in our lives. In Romans 6 Paul made it clear that sin will no longer have dominion over those who are in Christ and remain in Him. A true freedom from sin is the completely changed life where sin no longer has any controlling power. If we do sin, we will confess that sin. But we will not live under it.

I wrote a book called, “Faith without Works” years ago that is full of hundreds of scriptures against this doctrine. Since then I had studied and read through the early Church writings that had proven what they really believed on the issue, confirming everything I am saying here. Then after that I did an in-depth study and research on the Levitical sacrificial system and how it pointed to the work of Christ. It is from false ideas of atonement that so many false teachings arise. But this work shows through the sacrificial system how sin has always been the issue with God, and that Christ took care of it in the provisional sense – but not as a payment as so many assume. The Bible does not teach a payment in the literal sense at all. The fact that WE are bought does not speak of sin, and it is figurative – as no money was exchanged or deal made between Satan our old master and Jesus our Atonement. It is through the OT that the NT is revealed. Yet so many try to teach atonement from the NT perspective without understand the OT system. When we really look into the OT, then we can see what atonement is really all about in Christ. And now, it is by faith that we are able to obtain Grace, as we confess Him and our sins in repentance as the people were told by Peter in Acts 2:38. A one-time repentance can never cover future sins! This is been show by scripture and simple logic.

Thanks to LYNDON CONN