It Is About Doing
October 8, 2015
We are either in the love of the Lord or we are under His wrath. The people of the whole world exist under God’s condemnation for having –each one of us (Rom. 3:23)– committed lawlessness (1 John 3:4) against His Royal Law of Righteousness. (John 3:18 // Gal. 3:22 // Ja. 2:8-10) But, thanks be to God, through Jesus, those who believe and obey God’s Word are rescued from this state! (Rom. 7:24,25 // Ja. 1:18 // 1 Pe. 1:22,23) Through Him we are rescued from the kingdom of darkness and brought into Christ’s Kingdom. (Col. 1:13,14) By being baptized into Him we have had the sinful nature circumcised off and live instead with a new nature birthed and enabled by His Spirit and Word. (Rom. 6:1-7 & 7:6 & 8:9 // Gal. 5:24 // Col. 2:11,12 // Ja. 1:18 // 1 Pe. 1:22,23)
Now, once we are in Christ, we must produce fruit. We do this by remaining in our Lord, who then remains in us. (John 15:4) If we neglect to feed on Him, we will be rejecting the flow of Eternal Life (6:53-57), be unable to bear fruit (15:4,5), and will be cut off from Christ by God Himself. (v. 2,6) This severance means we will no longer be in God’s love (His kindness and mercy), but rather be once again under His condemnation. (Rom. 11:20-22) If genuine repentance occurs and there is a real change, we may be accepted back (v. 23 // 1 Cor. 5:5), but for some the condemnation is final. (Mt. 18:32-34 & 24:45-51 // 1 Cor. 3:16,17 // Heb. 10:26 & 12:14-17)
So, let us heed the Lord’s words when He says, “Now remain in My love.” (John 15:9) And how do we do so? He tells us: “If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love.” (v. 10) Obedience to Christ’s commands is the only way to remain within God’s love. (1 John 2:5) It is the only way to remain one with His Spirit. (3:24) It is the only way we can be (legitimately) confident concerning the Day of Judgement. (4:17) Why? “Because in this world we are like Him.” (same verse) Because in this world we conducted ourselves as Christ did. (2:6)
“No one who lives in Him keeps on sinning.” (1 John 3:6) This is plain wording. Those born of God cannot go on sinning because God’s own nature abides within them. (3:9 & 5:18) This is not, as so many teach, referring to Christ’s righteousness covering over a person who remains sinful, but refers to the believers themselves being pure and holy in mind, heart, and conduct! As we are told, “He who does what is right is righteous, just as He is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil.” (3:7,8) And again, “Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God.” (v. 10) And again, “…everyone who does what is right has been born of Him.” (2:29) The meaning is plain: What we do –our behavior, our words, our thoughts, our attitudes, our actions (deeds / works)– reveals who we belong to –God or Satan. So as Jesus says in John 5:29, “Those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned.”
Everyone is either doing what is right or doing what is sinful. Everyone is either obeying God’s commands or being disobedient. Everyone is either in the sphere of the Lord’s love or outside of it. Those outside remain condemned in their sin. Those inside are remaining there by doing what is right.
It is about doing. Doing sinfulness or doing righteousness.
It is about doing.