"Mark 16:15 preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded: Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega .. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, .. they .. have right to the tree of life, and .. enter .. the city."
I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
If you prefer to hear the video clip also, please click on this link: "Video; By Works"
1). We are not Saved by works that we boast off.
1). We are not Saved by works that we boast off.
Ephesians 2:9 says "Not of works, lest any man should boast." Most Christians and preachers hold this verse dear to them; the reason is, not because they love God, but they can live the way they wanted to live, and still go to heaven. The verse says that salvation is not by any kind of works that men could boast. When Jesus was a man, boastings were in Circumcision, religious rituals, ceremonial laws, observing traditions, and so on. At present, what are such boastings? They are, to be part of mega churches, international ministries, hold ancient traditions, conducting healing crusades, high education, fame, enticing eloquent speeches, and such. These works are boasted. God has rejected such works for salvation. They are pride of life and are of the world. But preachers quote this verse, to reject the humble life of righteousness and holiness, labeling them as boasting works.
Romans 2:6-11: "6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: (that is according to what we do). 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: (that is, if we continue to do good, we will get eternal life) 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, (if we are ungodly, God's wrath will be upon us). 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; (if we do evil, we will be punished in the lake of fire, both to Jews and Gentiles, or Christians and non-Christians; Christians will have no special consideration in the final judgment). 10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: (if we do good, no matter who we are, even non-Christians or not will be in heaven; this is the word of God). 11 For there is no respect of persons with God." (that is, God has no partiality among anybody). So, if we are contentious, evil, unrighteous, or do not obey God, we will be under the wrath of God; that is the lake of fire. If we do good works of righteousness and obey God, we will receive eternal life.
Jesus Christ says in Matthew 5:16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." Jesus tells us to show our good works to men, and tell them that you are righteous because of God, then it will glorify God the Father. But it is a trend that preachers boldly proclaim that they are not saved by good works, as if it is sin. The devil is behind them, and they are not saved. But Jesus Christ says in Matthew 16:27 "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." Jesus Christ will give these rewards at his second coming, it is eternal inheritance in the kingdom of God; and these are according to our works that we do here now. So, be good and do good works so that we may inherit the rewards in heaven.
"Acts 15:1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved." False preachers posed themselves as followers of Christ and preached that ceremonies and traditions were needed for salvation. At the time of Jesus, it was circumcision; but now, they are different traditions and ceremonies according to wherever we are. But the same preachers preach that we are not saved by doing his commandments since they are works, and we are not saved by works. It is ridiculous. But we must obey God for our salvation.
We all claim and believe that Jesus died on the cross to save us. But we ignore the fact that he has died to unite the people of the whole world as one regarding salvation. Until the time that God became man Jesus, Jews were the people of God, and salvation belong to them. After the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, Christians took over, assuming that God has rejected the Jews; Christians are the people of God; and others are pagans. Let us see how God deal with us. "Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. (before Gentiles were distant to God, but now they are brought near to God). 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; (here God brought peace between Jews and gentile by breaking the separating wall between them). 15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; (he made the Jews and Gentiles as one by his death and by breaking the commandments of ordinances; so, God removed the entire Mosaic law for salvation)." In order to bring the whole world as one for salvation, God abolished all the ordinances, ceremonies, and commandments; which made the Jews as special people. God has done it by the blood of Jesus Christ. So, nobody will be special for salvation. Yet, you and I believe that salvation is special Christians.
"Colossians 2:14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; (he nailed all ordinances that favored Jews, to his cross). 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. 16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:" So, Gentiles, as well as Jews, are made free from all works of ceremonies including Sabbath days. But what have we done? We have converted all Jewish ceremonies into Christian ceremonies, observances. Our salvation depends on our ceremonies, but not in our life. So, we are saved by worship services, miracle exhibits, church program, tithes and offerings, and fake grace. But Jesus died to offer salvation to the whole world, through righteous living, but not through a religion. "1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:" But unfortunately, Christianity became a religion, instead of being a following of Jesus Christ. Does anybody preach righteous living by following the steps of Jesus Christ? No!
Jesus Christ was God the Word even before the beginning. Then he became a man, died for the sins of the world, was raised from his death, and became God again as before. He has created the whole universe, with everything in it, from an atom to the stars much bigger that the sun. He will destroy the whole solar system and will create new heavens. He is and he was God. He was a man for 33 years in between. Acts 3:26 says, "... God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." He is seated on the right hand of God the Father, and at the same time he is here on earth, turning his people away from their sins, as God in the omnipotent Spirit. Christians always prefer to see him as a man; rather they like to see him on the cross crucified forever. Christians can better relate to him if he is on the cross. They prefer to sympathies for him, rather than to be fearful of him and then to obey him. "2 Corinthians 5:15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. (it says that we must live for him, since he gave his life for us. Since he rose again, he is not in flesh anymore, but he is in the Spirit). 16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. (So, we must not look at him in his flesh anymore, since he is resurrected, and he is in the omnipotent Spirit)." That is, we must have the perspective that Man Jesus is history, and real Jesus is God in the Spirit, and this is reality; and it is Spiritual reality. If we do not have this perspective of Jesus Christ, then we are not spiritual. We must become born again, must become spiritual, and know the truth and the Spirit.
Jesus Christ says in "Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? 47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, ... 48 ...laid the foundation on a rock: ..." Jesus Christ tells us do what he says; if not, don't bother to call him Lord. "Hebrews 5:9 says, ... he (Jesus Christ) became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;" The Lord Jesus Christ became the author of eternal salvation to those who obey him. So, obey him if you want to be saved. 2 Thessalonians 1:8 says, "In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:" Jesus will take vengeance in flaming fire, if we do not obey him. So, we must obey him.
We all say that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. But nobody seems to know what it means. Lord and Savior is; if we treat him as our Lord (lord is the master of our life), then he will save us from sins as well as from hell fire. A master always gives commands to servants, and servants will do them. What are the commandments? Examples are in the gospel of Matthew 5, 6 & 7. So, let us pick one verse from here. "Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." That is, his command is to be more righteous than the religious leaders, to enter heaven. It was easy, since they were all total hypocrites, who were real bad. Even now, it is so easy to be more righteous than our religious leaders, since they are also hypocrites and open sinners.
"Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." Here, to believe and to be baptized are conditions by the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved. Yet, preachers say that baptism is not a condition for salvation. They never tell the truth.
"Luke 13:23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, 24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able." When his disciples showed concern about whether just a few people be saved, Jesus Christ replied that only those who strive hard will be saved and those who just seek short-cuts to be saved, will not be saved. Striving is hard work; and salvation is through striving.
"Philippians 2:12 ... as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Most Christians and our preachers think that it is impossible to obey God; it is because we are spoiled brats. This verse says that they have already obeyed; so, they can obey again. As you have obeyed, continue to obey even in your private life. God will always see us. So, fear him and tremble before him. Now, these terminologies are alien to Christian culture and to churches. That is our problem. But, work out our salvation is to obey, if we want to be saved.
Apostle Paul wrote the doctrine of salvation in the form of an epistle. He tells them what happened in their life and explains to us that this is the salvation of God. "Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:" Previously they were under the power of the devil, and so, they lived a worldly life. At present, disobedient people live that way. "3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." Previously we lived with them, fulfilling the lust and desires of the flesh and mind; and were under the wrath of God. "5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)." We were living that way, but God has given us life, that is the holy spirit, and united us with Jesus Christ. This is called saved by grace. "10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Since we are saved, the holy spirit and Jesus Christ worked on us, and so we became the workmanship of God. So, we will do only the works of righteousness. So, we are, and we will live a godly life.
God Bless You