Tag Archive | gospel

”For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law”, Rom 2:12

works of the lawPeople can perform righteousness without having heard about the Bible content

The common question about the inhabitants in the jungle ”What about those who live in the jungle and who have never heard about the gospel?”

People are certainly not doomed due to the unfortunate circumstances of having been born in the jungle with no chance to hear about the gospel of Jesus Christ. Romans 2 tells us:

Rom. 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;

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: 

Apparently people are able to naturally do the things contained in the law even though they do not have it written down for them. In this case it does not mean all the 613 Jewish laws containing many ceremonial aspects, but it does mean the law of love, or the law of God that has existed ever since the days of Adam and Eve. It has always been against nature to murder, steal, lie and commit adultery. On the question (from a young man) what one must do to inherit eternal life, Jesus did not say ”Just believe in me”, but he said:

Mark. 10:19 Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.

Other versions of the same story:

Matt. 19:17 — if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 

Luke 10:26 — What is written in the law? how readest thou?27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.28 And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

If you love God with all your heart, soul and strength and your neighbor as yourself, then you automatically also follow the other detailed commandments, to not murder, steal, lie, commit adultery and dishonor your parents. Adam and Eve were not only expected to not eat of the tree of knowledge, but both prior to their sin and afterwards they were expected to stand with their Creator and by doing so obey the basic commandments. The promise for us today is ”Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Gal. 5:16). If we truly walk with God, we automatically obey his commandments. If we truly love God, we naturally obey him.

Also the people in the jungle know that there is a Creator (his divine attributes can clearly be seen in nature) and that it is wrong to treat others in a way that we would not like to be treated ourselves. To take another person’s life, or to steal, lie and cause someone to be jealous and sad, are things that our conscience will tell us are wrong. It is true that we can learn to make our conscience more flexible with time, but this does not change the fact that we are deviating from the law of love. Our upbringing, traditions and culture can affect our understanding and reasoning, but in the end we have all been given a conscience and God will judge us based on our thoughts and actions.

Rom. 1:18-32 makes it very clear that we have no excuse if we do not seek our Creator and do good:

Rom. 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:  —28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

Romans 2 and sinning without the lawfree will 2

It says in Rom. 2:1-3 that God will pay attention to how we judge others, and he will judge us accordingly – and most of all righteously. God can see the whole truth about our hearts. v. 5-8 continues to explain how God will judge us. If we want to escape his wrath on the day judgment (or the day of wrath), we must obey the truth and patiently do good. If we harden our hearts and do not obey the truth, we will be in big trouble unless we repent. This is about a spiritual life or death:

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. Who will render to every man according to his deeds:7 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

Paul continues to explain that it is actually the doers of the law who will be justified. Also gentiles can ”do” the law (without having the law) and this includes also people in the jungle:

Rom. 2:12 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;)16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

The NKJV renders v. 15: ”who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them)”. 

Paul made a clear distinction between the Jewish law and the law of love (which has always been in force):

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

Rom. 2 ends with Paul explaining to the Jews (who are the ones in focus in his letter since they are confused about the law) that gentiles can indeed fulfill the law – people who might not be circumcised but who do what the law says. It is the heart that counts (the inside) and not an outwardly circumcision.

Rom. 2:25 For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?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.

Jesus said (of course without suggesting that circumcision is a sin):

Matt. 23:25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence.26 Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

So do we not need Jesus since we could be saved without him? Yes of course we do. There is no forgiveness without the blood, and Jesus shed his blood for us as a final sacrifice once and for all (more in Hebrews). We have no authority to forgive ourselves for our own sins. The gospel about Jesus Christ urges people to repent from their sin and live in the light. People need to hear about Jesus and what he did for humanity. They need to understand the love that God has for us. Jesus is the living bread!

John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

Naturally we cannot believe in Jesus Christ if we have not heard about him:

Rom. 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.19 But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

The law was the Jews’ schoolmaster to bring them to Christ, and when Christ came this detailed 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. 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

Ja. 2:8 If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well

1 mos. 3Being saved prior to Jesus, in the Old Testament

People who lived prior to Jesus Christ made an entrance to earth as God in flesh could of course be saved without having heard about him. Naturally the people of Israel had heard about God their Creator, but Paul’s explanation in Romans 1-2 applies both for them and for the gentiles. Moreover, people who lived prior to Moses could of course be saved as well without having heard about the son of God. They too had laws to obey, despite the absence of commandments written on stone tablets. God said early about sin:

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.

In Ezekiel we can find a good explanation how we can be saved. By believing in God and do good (just like in the New Testament):

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.

You can see the same story in Ez. 33.

Make yourself a new heart, for why will ye die? (Ez. 18:31)

love3God can clean us up and give us a new heart, but in order for him to do this we must choose to repent, come to him and place him as No 1 in our lives. WE are actually asked to cleanse, purify and circumcise our own hearts (which we can if we cast away our sins). 

Ezekiel 18:31 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?

Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.

Isaiah 1:16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;

Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the Lord, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.

Jeremiah 4:14 O Jerusalem, wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts lodge within thee?

Amos 4:6 And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the Lord.

Ezekiel 24:13 In thy filthiness is lewdness: because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged, thou shalt not be purged from thy filthiness any more, till I have caused my fury to rest upon thee.

Deutoronomy 10:16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.

Acts 7:51 Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye.

Matt. 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

2 Timothy 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.

To be regenerated is to be cleansed. We are not clean before we come to Jesus and repent for our sins, and we can’t get the Holy Spirit unless we are born again and have purged hearts. We must choose to come to Jesus to be born again and leave our old man behind. John the Baptist preached about repentance for the remission of sins, and Jesus picked up after him and did the same – by preaching about repentance and faith in him as the promised Messiah and son of God. Jesus work was to call sinners to repentance so that they could get life and he taught his disciples – and all of us – to continue preaching this gospel throughout the whole world. The path that you should walk is 1) come to Jesus and believe in him and his work on the cross 2) confess your sins and repent 3) you’re now cleansed, purged, regenerated and born again 4) you’re given the Holy Spirit as a Helper. A person can never be considered clean as long as his sins are not washed away, and the Bible doesn’t teach ”once cleansed, always cleansed”. We must endure to the end to be saved.

Mark 1:4 John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.

Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Matthew 9:13 But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

Luke 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Luke 24:46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behooved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.48 And ye are witnesses of these things.49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Matt. 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Acts 3:19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

Thanks to Jesse Morell for the below concerning regeneration after faithheart3

Regeneration requires consent and cooperation. A man’s free will must be synergistically involved in his regeneration. God cannot change a man’s character without the cooperation of the man himself. That is why God said, “I have purged thee, and thou wast not purged” (Eze. 24:13). This is because unless a man is willing to have his moral character changed, it will and cannot be changed. It is impossible for Omnipotence to change a man’s moral character without the consent of his will because this would involve an intrinsic contradiction. Therefore, God and man both have an active role in regeneration. This is why the Bible says that God gives us a new heart (Eze. 11:19; 36:26), while also saying that men should make for themselves a new heart (Eze. 18:31). When a sinner’s will is changed from being disobedient to obedient, both God and the sinner have an active role in bringing about that change. God’s role is His gracious influence upon our will. Man’s role is the yielding of and obedience of his will.

Jesus said, “Cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also” (Matt. 23:26). For Jesus to tell men to clean themselves on the inside (change their intention), takes for granted that it is their choice and that they can do this. Jesus was actually filled “with anger, being grieved, for the hardness of their hearts” (Mk. 3:5). This indicates that the state of man’s heart is man’s own fault, that the state of his heart is something which he causes and which he has control over.

The Bible even commands men to make unto themselves a new heart. God said, “make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die…” (Ezekiel 18:31). “Wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved” (Jeremiah 4:14). “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded” (James 4:8).

What does it mean to change your heart? To change your heart is to change your intention. It is to change the motives for all your actions. It means that you are no longer living for yourself or have a selfish motive but are now living for God and the well-being of His universe, thus having benevolent motives.

Men are even commanded to circumcise their own hearts (Deut. 10:16; Jer. 4:4). Since they are commanded to do so, this means that it is their own responsibility and choice. To circumcise your heart means to repent or put off your sins (Col. 2:11). Therefore, to circumcise your heart means to repent of your sins but to have an uncircumcised heart is to have an impenitent heart.

When Stephen was open air preaching, he said to the crowd “Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Spirit: as your fathers did, so do ye” (Acts 7:51). Stephen was rebuking them for disobeying a specific commandment, “Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked” (Deut. 10:16).

Why would Stephen rebuke them for being uncircumcised in their heart unless they were capable of circumcising their hearts? Why rebuke them for breaking a commandment unless they were capable of obeying the commandment? Why rebuke them for having uncircumcised hearts unless having such hearts was their own free choice? Why would he rebuke them for resisting the Holy Spirit unless they were capable of yielding to the Holy Spirit? Unless they were capable of doing these things, why rebuke them for not doing these things?

Stephen seemed to take for granted or assume the ability of his audience. He blamed them for their impenitent which must mean that their impenitent was their own free choice. You cannot rebuke a man for something which is not his choice. A man cannot be blamed for that which is beyond his control or for what he cannot help.

A film with students mocking a preacher of God on college campus

Wow what patience Jesse Morell (the preacher) has! Students are shouting, showing filthy signs and purposely standing in his way on the sidewalk. A guy proudly starts ripping his motor cycle as soon as Jesse speaks.  If these individuals won’t repent, I fear for what is awaiting them on judgment day.

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Proverbs 14:9 Fools make a mock at sin: but among the righteous there is favour.

Jude 1:18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.

Miracles in Moscow – 40-50 people got healed in a shopping mall

Torben shows that there is no requirement to use expensive computer equipment to explain the gospel for a large crowd of people. A few paper mugs from KFC and a tray work just fine. 🙂

And people get healed!

Sometimes the most simple ways are the better ways…

All glory to God, and we can only pray for more workers like Torben and his team who are so willing to explain the gospel to people on the streets – including the important truth that sin separate us from God whether we are non-believers or not.

What is The Law of Christ?

Paul said,  “Bear one another’s burden, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  (Gal. 6:2)

What is the law of Christ?  The law of Christ is the body of commands and teachings He taught to His disciples and they in turn were to teach every new disciple.  (Matt. 28:20)

Paul equated Christ’s law to God’s law.  (1 Cor. 9:21)

“To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law.”

Paul told the Christians in Galatia to carry each other’s burdens, and in doing so they would fulfill the law of Christ.  (Gal. 6:2)

Paul also said such things as “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”  (Col. 3:16)

What is the word of Christ?  

It has to do with everything Jesus taught and commanded! I have heard people try to get away with what Jesus taught by claiming it belongs to another dispensation in the future; that what Christ taught cannot be applied doctrinally to the Christians in the Church Age.

The word “doctrine” simply means “teaching or instruction.”  It is not some mystical word that is hard to grasp.  Whatever Jesus taught applied to the apostles, to those at that time, and to us!  If one does not abide in the doctrine of Christ, he does not have God.

2 John 1:9 says,
“Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son.”

As one author has well stated,

“It seems strange that men should forbid Jesus the privilege of teaching, during His earthly ministry, and great principles governing man’s relation to God – not only during the few remaining days of His brief earthly ministry, but throughout the age to follow, for which He was even then preparing His disciples.  It seems even stranger that men who so easily reject much of our Lord’s later teaching as ‘not applicable to the present dispensation’ do not hesitate to accept much of His earliest teaching (to Nicodemus, for example) as being fully applicable to the present age.  (One friend, in conversation with the author, even denied that our Lord’s words in John 15 have any bearing on the question of our relation to Christ today, since they were spoken ‘before Calvary’ – a few hours!  What delicate, fragile hairs skilled ‘rightly dividers’ can sometimes neatly split with one swift, sure stroke of their hermeneutical broadaxe!)

It is true that Jesus made reference to certain legal and ceremonial aspects of the Mosaic economy which are not applicable today.  But it is also true that He enunciated cardinal principles governing man’s spiritual relation to God which are as valid today as the moment of utterance.  One of these principles, according to His teaching in the Parable of the Law of Forgiveness, is that true repentance toward God is inseparably associated with our attitude toward our fellow men and cannot exist apart from a charitable, forgiving spirit toward others.

Such true repentance, like sincere faith and the faithful retention of the saving word of the Gospel, is necessary, not merely for a fleeting moment at the occasion of one’s conversion, but continually and habitually, as an essential condition of forgiveness and salvation.  ‘So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you,’ warned Jesus, ‘if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.’  It is possible, warned Jesus, that Peter and others who have known the forgiving grace of God might forfeit that forgiveness.  The forgiving grace of God cannot dwell in bitter, unforgiving hearts.  He who refuses to forgive his brother has no real sense of need for the forgiveness of God and no just claim on His gracious forgiveness.  ‘Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.’”

What does Jesus expect from us? 

Jesus expects us to obey Him.  He was not suggesting it, nor did He say it was for another dispensation.  Jesus said true believers are those who obey Him.  Jesus said if you love Him, keep His commandments (John 14:15).

We are to abide in the doctrine of Christ.  When we abide in the doctrine of Christ, we are fulfilling the law of Christ and it shows that we have both the Father and the Son.   (2 John 1:9)

God’s will is expressed in the Law of Christ. 

The law of Christ is anything Jesus taught in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and is considered the will of the Father.  (Matt. 12:50)

Jesus said whoever hears these sayings (of Jesus), and DOES THEM, is likened to a wise man who built his house on the rock. (Matt. 7:24)

The teachings of Jesus come from the Father. 

Jesus said His teaching were not His own, but came from the Father.  (John 7:16-17)  Everything Jesus taught and commanded came from God. (John 8:28; John 12:49-50; John 14:10; John 14:24; John 14:31)  Jesus obeyed the Father perfectly. Everything Jesus did was the will of God.

Jesus said to His disciples, “Teach them to obey all that I commanded you”.  By teaching others to obey all that Jesus commanded, is teaching the will of God.

The law of Christ is a law of the heart and mind. 

When one starts talking about how we should obey Jesus, immediately the cry is, “You are teaching a works salvation!”  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The Bible never says one can earn his salvation, but what the Bible does say iS to WORK OUT your own salvation (Php. 2:12).  You can’t work out what you don’t have!  On the other hand, all they teach is that one can’t help but sin every single day in thought, word, and deed.  Throughout both Testaments God wants people to forsake wickedness.  Jesus told people to “go and sin no more,” and Paul said, “Awake to righteouness and sin not!”  But on every side we are attacked by Satan’s followers who say you can keep sinning and never die (the same lie from the Garden).  Just listen to this clip ”Today’s Gospel”  of what is being taught out there, and hear how God’s word refutes them!

The secret to living a holy life, free from the bondage of sin, is LOVE.  The purity of your actions is not only from the mind, but from the heart. What is in your heart will fill your mind as well. Jesus called the teachers of the law and Pharisees hypocrites.  They were beautiful on the outside, but inside were full of dead men’s bones.  People, from the outside, can appear as righteous but inside are full of hypocrisy and wickedness. (Matt. 23:28)  It is from out of the heart that proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornication, thefts, false witness, blasphemies (Matt. 15:19).  Jesus is not looking just for external actions to be pure, but his desire is for us to be pure in heart and mind as well.

 Will the Holy Spirit be given to those who do not obey Jesus – who claim to continually sin everyday in thought, word, and deed?

Jesus said the Holy Spirit will only be given to those who obey Him.

If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever.”  (John 14:15-16)

This is corroborated by Peter.

And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.”  (Acts 5:32) 

John tells us,

“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 3:24)

The Holy Spirit whom God has given abides in those who keep the commandments of Jesus!  For those who claim to sin everyday in thought, word, and deed cannot have the Holy Spirit, for they do not obey God.  They even write off what Jesus said as for another dispensation and therefore it doesn’t apply to them doctrinally!  Why?  Because it will knock down the wall of a false teaching called Unconditional Eternal Security!  When you listen to all these false teachers, and get rid of all the fluff in their sermons, it all boils down to one thing…..you can keep on sinning and you won’t die!  It’s the same lie the Serpent told Eve in the Garden.

The Bible is clear that if you don’t obey and abide in the doctrine of Christ, you do not belong to Christ, nor do you have the Holy Spirit. (2 John 1:9; Rom. 8:9)

Jesus said whoever obeys His commands, he is the one who loves Him.  And He who loves Jesus loves the Father.  Again, if anyone loves Jesus, he will obey His teachings. (John 14:21; John 14:23)

The reverse side is true just as well.  Jesus said those who do not love him do not keep His words. (John 14:24)

Jesus’ love is conditional as long as we continue to obey. 

Jesus’ love is NOT unconditional.  Note the condition in the words of Jesus,

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.   (John 15:10)

Being friends with Jesus is also conditioned upon our obedience.

“Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”  (John 15:14)

If we hold to the teachings of Christ, we are the real disciples of His. 

“Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed.  And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32)

We are assured by Jesus we will never see death if we keep His word.

“Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.” (John 8:51)

It is obedience to the teachings (keeping His word) that causes the blessings.  Just as blessings were promised for obedience to the law of Moses, so are the blessings promised to us based on our obedience to Christ.

One cannot have salvation without repentance followed with obedience.

The Scripture says,

“And having been perfected, He (Jesus) became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him,”  (Heb. 5:9)

It doesn’t say salvation is given to those who sin every day in thought, word, and deed.  God does not want people to sin.  He tells people to forsake their sins and follow Him.  Jesus commanded that all men to repent, but modern man will tell you repentance is not part of the Gospel. It’s a lie.  God wants repentance preached (Luke 5:32; Luke 24:47; Acts 20:21, etc. etc.).

There is a “godly sorrow.”  “For godly sorrow worketh repentance TO SALVATION not to be repented of;”  (2 Cor. 7:10)

Jesus said of the Holy Spirit,

“And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” (John 16:8)

And as we read above, God gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him. (Acts 5:32)  When a person feels the conviction of the Holy Spirit about his sinful condition, he can shrug it off, or he’ll come to God to forgive him of such a sinful life style.  He will want pardon through the mercy of God.  He knows his only hope is through Jesus who provided a way for his salvation and freedom from sin.  He will hate his sin because he can see what it has done to him and where it will send him.  He will not have a desire to do it anymore.  At that point of repentance, he wants to give up sin and not do it again.  Some people may be bothered for weeks under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, some may be a few days, and for some it may be on the very day (process of repentance).  He will not have rest until he comes to that crucial point of “godly sorrow” that leads to salvation.  He has to believe (faith) that God is able to forgive him of all the sins he has committed up to that point in his life, and his heart must be dead set against sinning again, which it would be if he is truly under godly sorrow.  Jesus came to set us free from sin, that it no longer has to have dominion over us.  His repentance will be proven by his deeds (Acts 20:26).  One’s deeds (obedience – NOT disobedience) will prove his repentance!  God will give that person strength if he will obey Him.  He gives the Holy Spirit to those who obey Him.  From there, as he reads the Scriptures (needs to grow in the faith), he will be warned not to go back to the way he once walked.  He can quench the Holy Spirit (1 Thess. 5:19).  The Scripture shows us certain sins will not let one inherit the kingdom of God, but instead lead one to eternal doom (Gal.5:19-21; 1 Cor. 6:9-10; Eph. 5:3-6; Rev. 21:8, etc.).  The Bible doesn’t say we work FOR our salvation, but it does say to WORK OUT our own salvation, and that with fear and trembling! (Php. 2:12).

Salvation is conditional upon the fact that we continue to abide in Jesus.  One who abides in Jesus will not sin.  Remember, Jesus said if you love Him you will obey Him and His teachings.  The Scriptures tell us,

“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments.  And His commandments are not burdensome.”  (1 John 5:3)

The Scriptures also say,

“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2:4)”

In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”  (2 Thess. 1:8) 

And you want to claim that you SIN everyday in thought, word and deed? This is simply being disobedient!

Which one is it – believing or obeying? 

Some Scripture passages say salvation is a result of obedience while other texts say salvation is through faith.  Is this a contradiction?  No.  Paul said,

“By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:  (Rom. 1:5)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,” (Eph. 2:8)

Faith comes first and obedience is the evidence of the faith.  The Gospel is to be obeyed for salvation sake.

“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:”  (2 Thess. 1:8)

Disobedience is manifested in unbelief.

“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.” (John 3:36)

“And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them thatbelieved not?  So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. (Heb. 3:18-19)

So if you are disobedient, sinning everyday in thought, word, and deed, you are walking in unbelief. Among the sins that will send one into the Lake of Fire, the “unbelieving” is one of them.

“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
(Rev. 21:8)

The Bible is clear that a past moment of acceptance of Christ does not guarantee anyone eternal salvation regardless how they live afterward.  If they don’t continue in the faith they will suffer the consequences in Hell for all eternity.

Scriptures say that there will be Christians who will depart from the faith (departing from the faith doesn’t happen to lost people!) (1 Tim. 4:1).  The widows turned from Christ and started following Satan (1 Tim. 5:11-15). Demas is another example. He was a traveling companion of Paul (Col. 4:14; Phm. 1:24). They worked together and endured various troubles and persecutions preaching the kingdom of God. But what happened to Demas? Paul said, “For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica;…”  (2 Tim. 4:10). Demas, a saved man, fell away and went back to loving this present world.  He loved the world more than God. The god of this world is Satan! (2 Cor. 4:4). Demas got deceived and it affected his behavior. In his unrepentant state, he lost his salvation for he did not endure! (1 John 2:15; James 4:4)

Those who obey Jesus’s commands live in him.  Paul said to examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5).  John corroborates Paul by saying, “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 3:24)

Those who have a true saving faith in Christ will obey His teachings and commands.  Obedience is natural evidence of saving faith.  Those who are disobedient display their lack of saving faith.  Jesus NEVER asks us to do something we cannot do. If you love Jesus, you will obey Him, and to obey Him is fulfilling the law of Christ.

(Thanks to Sandra)