Live According To The Life Promised
April 23, 2014
God commands that the world repent of sin. He has not, however, left us unable to do so. He has shed His blood to pay the debt of sin, He has risen to prove His triumph over sin and death, and He has offered everyone who believes, repents, and trusts in Him and His Message, to be filled with His own Spirit through which the power to live forgiven and pleasing to God is made possible.
Consequently, we who say we have come into Christ, and in whom the power of the Kingdom, Spirit, and Word are at work (Luke 17:21 // Eph. 3:20 // 1 Thes. 2:13), are to fan this Gift into flame through faith and obedience. (2 Tim. 1:6) Those who do so, step into God’s calling of becoming conformed to Christ-likeness. (Rom. 8:29,30) For God forgave us and saved us so that we will live a holy life (2 Tim. 1:9 // Titus 2:11-14) and conduct ourselves “according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 1:1) Whoever does not do so defiles God’s temple, rejects the Holy Spirit, and will not remain in Life. (1 Cor. 3:16,17 // 1 Thes. 4:7 // Heb. 12:14)
This manner of life, this True Life, is accessible –to anyone who grabs ahold of it and abides there– by way of Christ Jesus, the Savior of mankind, “who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.” (2 Tim. 1:10) Thus, spiritual and eternal death, which is the wage of sin (Rom. 6:23), has been replaced with the opportunity to know Him who is Himself Eternal Life. (John 14:6 // 1 John 5:20)
Therefore, those who say they have repented and now belong to Christ –they must prove this by their deeds. (Acts 26:20) Of course we do not deserve God’s grace (2 Tim. 1:9) –that grace of forgiveness and transformation He has offered to the whole world through Christ. (1 John 2:1-6) Does a death-row inmate deserve to be pardoned and set free from his just punishment and death penalty? Of course not. For whatever good behavior he shows in prison is not enough to lift the sentence he has, through his wickedness, brought himself under. But, if a powerful ruler chooses to set the criminal free, then he is freed, though not because that criminal could ever have earned the pardon. Thus the pardon can only be granted through mercy, forgiveness, and grace.
But once pardoned and freed, is the criminal expected to go out into society and freely commit more crimes and without fear of being again punished for those new crimes? Preposterous! In the same way, once a person seeks pardon from God and is indeed pardoned, does this license him to go forth and commit further rebellion against God’s laws? Only outrageously false theology teaches that this entitlement belongs to those who come into Christ’s Kingdom! (Jude 1:4)
The True Gospel teaches the Truth –that not only did Christ’s atonement expel spiritual death (John 11:25,26), it also expelled sin from those who hold to His teaching. (John 1:29 & 8:34-36 // Rom. 6:2,18 // Heb. 9:28 // 1 Peter 2:24 // 1 John 3:5) This is the New Covenant. “As it is written, ‘The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob’; ‘and this will be My Covenant with them, when I take away their sins.'” (Rom. 11:26,27) This does not say that those in Covenant with God, while holding onto their sins, have their sins removed from His sight. It says that He has taken away their sins. Yes, God, having cleansed us from our past sins (2 Peter 1:9), has also removed the penalty of those past sins (Rom. 6:23), but more than that, He has circumcised completely off from us the sinful nature. (Col. 2:11) And this, so that we will not be banished from Life! (Rom. 8:13)
So, if we are living in Life, we must be living according to God’s will. (1 John 2:17) We must be “living according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Tim. 1:1) This life is a life void of all disobedience to God as the Scriptures repeatedly reveal. (Mt. 19:17 // John 14:15 // Rom. 8:9 // 2 Tim. 2:19 // 1 Peter 1:15 // etc.) Only those who walk faithful in holy conduct will be those who hear the words, “Well done. You have been faithful. You have overcome till the end. Enter the joy of My Eternal Life.” (See Mt. 24:13 & 25:21) The rest will hear, “Depart from Me, you fakers and unfaithful who have continued to practice lawlessness.” (See Mt. 7:21-23 & 24:45-51 and 2 Peter 2:20-22)
Therefore, let us obey God and conduct ourselves according to the Life which is available to us by our choice to daily abide in Christ.