Mark, You Wrote…

October 27, 2014

Mark,
You wrote this morning, “Rachel, of course we should not expect a believer to continue to struggle with sin.” Yet in your previous comment you said, “In this respect I would draw a distinction between sinning knowingly and sinning willfully. The STRUGGLE is what makes the difference. Note Paul’s struggle in Romans 7.” Were you not saying that Paul, even while being an apostle and teacher, was struggling with sin? So are you not now contradicting yourself?

About the word perfection: While using the word in Mt. 5:48, Jesus told us, “You therefore must be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.” True, words can have various meanings, but it is not honest to say that Jesus was commanding us, “You therefore must be mature, as your Heavenly Father is mature.” Regardless, He was telling us to be just like the Holy, Perfect Father-God in our whole being –behavior, mind, and heart. This command is confirmed for us in such verses as 1 Cor. 2:16, Phil. 2:5, and 1 John 2:6.

About works: Jesus has told us, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.” (John 6:27) There is work involved. To carry one’s cross is work. To follow after Jesus, which is to serve Him, is work. To continually deny Self is work. (–All three are required for attaining salvation, as Jesus explains in Luke 9:23-25) Doing God’s will (which is the only way to belong to Christ and achieve eternal life –Mt. 7:21 & 12:50 & 19:17 // 1 John 2:17) is work –which we do by choosing to obey God and submitting to His Spirit who gives us the power, wisdom, guidance, etc. This is how we produce a crop useful for God’s Kingdom (Heb. 6:7) –this production being a “work” (v. 10), and a “diligence to the very end” (v. 11) so that we make our hope sure. (same verse) For land that produces a worthless crop will be burned. (v. 8) Production is about doing; therefore those who become lazy will lack the enduring faith and patience required for inheriting the promise. (v. 12)

In one of my past posts I noted these verses:

~~ “A person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” (James 2:24)

~~ “But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:5) Repentance does not mean a one-time prayer. It means a turn forever from sin and a complete and final crucifixion of Self.

~~ “I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.” (Acts 26:20) Deeds, actions, behavior, words, thoughts… –these prove repentance… or the lack thereof. This is why, contrary to the teachings of the false teachers, deeds will indeed determine one’s final destination –as Jesus makes crystal clear in this next verse:

~~ “Those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.” (John 5:29) Many people think they are not evil. However, God’s Word says they are; for one sinful act, one stumble, is to be guilty of breaking the whole law (James 2:10), and “sin is lawlessness” (1 John 3:4), meaning sin is rebellion against God. This is why Jesus so often warned of these words He will say to believers: “Depart from Me, you evildoers.”

That whole post can be read here: https://knowgodsword.wordpress.com/2011/05/30/deeds-will-indeed-determine-destination/

Yes, we should examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith. We do this by comparing our deeds, words, thoughts, and beliefs with those commands and teachings found, not in men’s words, but in God’s Word.

Faith is made complete by what we do. (Ja. 2:22) “A person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.” (v. 24) Faith without deeds is as dead and useless as a body is without the spirit. (v. 26) Is the book of James heresy? Is it –when Jesus Himself taught that it is by doing (obeying) what He says, (not by merely calling Him Lord), that we are in right standing with Him? (Mt. 7:21-23 // Luke 6:46-49 // John 15:10) Catholicism teaches that their doctrine trumps God’s Word and that adherence to their church is what saves; thus Catholicism is indeed heresy. However, to deny that obedience to Christ’s words and Spirit is the requirement for maintaining our salvation, is to teach heresy as well. (Rom. 8:4-14 w/ Gal. 1:4-9) But, to teach that we maintain our salvation by obeying the One who is Lord (Boss / Commander / the Most High Authority), doing so in thought, word, and action and through the power of the Holy Spirit within us, is to teach the Truth found in God’s Word.

Let us examine whose doctrine we are actually believing and spreading –men’s or God’s.

Rachel

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