Weak, Disobedient Soldiers

April 22, 2013

Friends,
Somehow I missed reading the 3/24/13 post by Israeliteindeed on “Dead Works vs. Good Works”. (See excerpt below.) I wish I’d have read it so that I could have referred David S. to it when we corresponded at my comment page earlier this month. I tried to explain then how our deeds (works) certainly do have a lot to do with our salvation –a doctrine which much of Christendom’s counterfeit gospel vehemently repudiates. Here (broken into three paragraphs for easier reading) is my response and explanation of the True Doctrine which I gave to David:

~~ OSAS people seem not able to hear the True Doctrine. Their ears are closed. The mind is truly a strange thing, for once someone has false doctrine, it seems so hard for them to pry their mind off from it and accept the Truth. I feel like I keep saying the same thing to you over and over. You again give the same argument and say, “Our works have no part in our salvation (CHRIST alone paid this debt)” However, those are two different issues. Yes, they overlap and have much to do with each other, but they are not identical issues.

Yes, we know that Jesus alone paid our sin debt. No one else could. This atonement bought our salvation –the salvation for all mankind. However, every person must do some things in order to come into that salvation and have it applied to them personally. What is necessary is that each person must bow at the King’s feet, confess their sins, renounce their sins, ask for forgiveness, and pledge to be ruled (controlled / mastered) by this King. They must submit to a cleansing and a crucifixion of Self. This covenant is an agreement to obey Christ and His words / laws / commands. That is how our works DO have a part in our salvation.

But it’s not just about the pledge; it’s also about following through with our pledge and upholding our part of the covenant we’ve made with God. That follow-through is a life-long commitment and we must uphold it. That is our work. And the quality of this work will be judged on that Last Day. The Good News is that we don’t do any of that work on our own. We do it all in the power, instruction, guidance, wisdom, and mind of the Lord Himself (His Spirit, to be exact). ~~

David S. came over to my comment page, wrote out two of OSAS adherents’ favorite verses, and then left without any comment of his own. Five weeks before that, he confronted me about teaching a perfectionist lifestyle. Yes, I teach that because Jesus teaches that (Matt. 5:48) as does 1 John 3:6-10, along with Rom. 6:1,2 & 8:9,13 and Gal. 5:24 and 1 Thes. 4:7 and 1 Peter 1:15 & 4:1,2 and more. I do accept that it takes an infant Christian some time to learn to walk in righteousness, but anyone who has been a Christian for 20 or 30 years should be alarmed with himself if he has not yet learned how to consistently obey Christ’s commands nor how to use His power by which to walk in holiness on a regular basis.

OSAS groups apparently think Christianity is about a playground as they basically advertise this: “Get the insurance, study a verse or two a week with us, and enjoy the club’s parties, food, and volleyball games. And it’s okay too if you lust a bit –that’s some of the fun, for God doesn’t see your sin anymore, but sees only Christ’s perfection. What part of this doesn’t sound great to you? Because we can try even harder to please you if you’ll just come and join us.”

Not only is their whole doctrine skewed, but so is their attitude, for we’re not on a playground. We’re in battle. We’re not soldiers on a picnic nor are we called to beat drums in a parade. Really, what genuine soldier wants to be aligned with inexperienced, immature soldiers who have weak fortitude against temptation and attacks from the evil side?! We’re in the real thing –and it’s called WAR! Not war with guns, but with the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. (Eph. 6:17) Frankly, I find it quite disconcerting to realize that other “soldiers” are taking pride in (and feigning false humility) by holding to a weakling’s creed of, “It’s all Christ’s work; I do nothing.” But Christ doesn’t work through that creed. He works through, “I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.” (Phil. 4:13) I do it. I receive the strength to do it. Through Christ –who turns every weak man, who continues to obey Christ, into one who is strong! But the human himself is the one commanded to advance and obey and act.

God’s Word is not lenient on those who continue to walk in false doctrine, in sin, or in carelessness. Neither then are we who preach (because of God’s love in us desiring that all men be saved) to be lenient on them. Instead, we are to warn them to think about how hard, on Judgement Day, the Judge will be on all those who tolerated sin, weakness, unbelief, and false doctrine –in others and in themselves– when the Lord gave us more than adequate instruction and power via His Book and Spirit. Tolerating that which God’s Word clearly says that God does not tolerate, is not a trivial matter.

For more explanation about “works”, please read Israeliteindeed’s article by clicking here: http://israeliteindeed.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/dead-works-vs-good-works/

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Dead Works vs. Good Works

by israeliteindeed

Hebrews 6:1-2 contains a list of foundational principles of the doctrine (teaching) of Christ. In order, they are: repentance from dead works, faith toward God, baptisms, laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment.

So…what exactly is repentance from dead works?

I have heard it taught that this refers to a repenting of doing good works, and that one must be sure not to do good works when they are seeking salvation.

The gospel, presented with this particular understanding of repentance from dead works, looks like this:

You must repent of doing good works (often called “self-righteousness”) and you must understand there is nothing you can do. Then have faith in Jesus and He will do it all.

This explanation of the gospel is woefully inadequate and dangerous. Some people who hear this message conclude that their works (good or bad) don’t matter at all, and that trying to live a life pleasing to the Father is sinful. They think it would be a better expression of faith if they stop (repent of) trying to do good, and just go with the flow, trusting the mercy of God to cover them. I believe this false understanding is a recipe for spiritual shipwreck.

While it is true that we can’t earn salvation with good works, I do not think this is what the writer of Hebrews had in mind. By dead works, I believe he meant works that lead to death–or in other words, sin. Remember, the wages of sin is death. We are required to repent of sin/iniquity (2 Tim. 2:19). We are to repent of dead works, and we begin to do the good works that glorify our Father (Matt. 5:16) which God has ordained for us to walk in (Eph. 2:10). We don’t begin to do those good works in order to earn our salvation, but because we have been converted from the heart to love righteousness and hate wickedness as

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