Lacking Obedience = Unjustified

January 12, 2014

Friends,
It’s strange that so many who study and teach God’s Word seem to remain blind to the fact that eternal life is attained through our actions. (John 5:29 // 1 John 2:29) These actions have to do with believing the Gospel of Jesus Christ (who is God in human form –John 1:1,14 // Col. 2:9), and proving our belief is genuine by being obedient to that Gospel / God’s commands. (John 14:23 // 2 Thes. 1:8 // Rev. 12:17) This includes:

1. The confession of having previously been in rebellion against God / God’s ways,

2. Renouncing sin completely and forever,

3. Pledging to submit to Christ as one’s permanent, round-the-clock Boss,

4. Fulfilling that pledge by submitting, on a continual basis, to the authority of God’s Spirit and Word.

“But no one is truly good in God’s opinion,” Christians insist, “unless we are in Christ.” That’s exactly right. For only God is good (Luke 18:19), and we must therefore be IN Him (by being in Christ) in order to be righteous. Moreover, “remaining in Christ” (see John 15:4,5) must be continual. It is not a one-time experience of stepping in, saying, “Okay, I’ve done that,” and then stepping out. For unquestionably, any pledge or claim is proved worthless once it has no appropriate back-up conduct to go with it.

Instead, the meaning of “being in Christ” and thus “being justified before God” is a state of being that must be present / occurring, before God, at all times. This is accomplished only through obedience –and fervent, eager, willing obedience at that! For lukewarm, half-hearted, half-way, or inconsistent obedience is not obedience. (1 Sam. 15:13-24 // Rev. 3:1-6,14-22) Faith must be completed by actions (Ja. 2:22), and only those actions done in the will of God. (Mt. 7:21) Otherwise a person does not belong to Christ (12:50) because he is not considered righteous before God (Ja. 2:23), is not justified before God (v. 24), and does not possess a faith that saves. (v. 17,26)

To follow Jesus consistently, a requirement for eternal life (Luke 9:23-25,57-62 & 14:25-35 & 18:22 // Rev. 17:14), means faithfully obeying God’s commands (Mt. 19:17) and Christ’s doctrine. (John 8:31) It means imitating Christ and His perfection (Mt. 5:48 // 1 Peter 2:21,22 // 1 John 2:6) by having God’s own nature. (2 Peter 1:3,4 // 1 John 3:9) This means having self, sin, and the sin nature abolished by Christ (Rom. 6:6,7,15-18 // Gal. 2:20 & 5:24 // Col. 2:11 // 1 John 3:5-10) so that we are freed up to be controlled, not by rules of religion, but controlled forevermore by the Holy Spirit (Rom. 7:6 & 8:9 // 2 Cor. 3:6) through whom we fulfill God’s requirements of righteous conduct. (Rom. 8:3,4)

How can any of this teaching from the Word of God leave a person thinking that conduct / behavior / deeds / actions are not important? How can anyone think that, as long as a person claims to love, serve, and/or worship God, any unrighteous behavior he has is not seen, or taken into account, by God? How contrary such doctrine is to that which is taught through multitudes of Scripture verses, as well as from the overall counsel of God’s Word?!

Well, all the false gospels out there, including many which use the banner “Christianity”, are precisely why we must read God’s Word for ourselves, doing so under the tutelage of the Spirit and not under the tutelage of natural men (Mark 7:6-9 // John 5:37-40 // 1 John 2:26,27) or the devil. (John 8:42-47 // 1 Tim. 4:1) For there are many bold, arrogant, and depraved “know-it-alls” who are trying to lead others astray (1 Tim. 1:5-7 // 2 Peter ch. 2 // 1 John 2:26), and are doing so in order to bring themselves advantage. (2 Peter 2:15) –Either they are trying to gain a following (Acts 20:30) and thus money and/or admiration, or they are simply trying to rationalize the “normality” and “safeness” of sinning so that they, themselves, can go on committing it. (2 Peter 2:1-3,14,15,18,19 // Jude 1:4)

As the Word of God warns repeatedly, “Keep away from them.” (See: Rom. 16:17 // 1 Cor. 15:33 // 2 Cor. 6:14-18 // Eph. 5:3-12 // 1 Tim. 6:20,21 // Titus 3:9-11 // Ja. 4:4) Because anyone who has not remained in Christ by being obedient to His teaching / message / doctrine, and proving this position through deeds that produce that which is good, will not be an inheritor of eternal life. (Luke 3:7-9 // John 5:29 & 15:1-10 // Acts 26:20 // Heb. 5:9)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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