"Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. 2 Corinthians 7:1 ... dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God."
|I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
Nothing is free in this world. We are willing to pay the price for whatever things we want to get. If we are caught in a situation that we may have to face a prison sentence, we will not hesitate to pay anything to get out of that situation. But, when we come to eternal life, which delivers us from the prison sentence of eternal fire, which also gives us an inheritance in the heavenly kingdom of God, which transforms us to a glorified body as of God, etc, we demand that it must be free, guaranteed, unconditional, etc. We behave as if we do a favor to God by accepting eternal life. We set conditions to God that we cannot and we will not obey his commandments, and so on. All of a sudden we become very prestigious. Why? Christians neither believe the Bible nor God. They just play religion.
"Ephesians 2:8 For (a) by grace are ye saved through faith; and (b) that not of yourselves: (c) it is the gift of God: 9 (d) Not of works, lest any man should boast." So, (a) you can be saved by the grace of God, if you have faith in God. If you have faith in God, you will do what he tells you to do. If you don't, you do not have faith in him and you will not be saved, but be damned. (b) It is not by your smart aleck stupidity. (c) If God gives salvation, he gives it as a gift. God does not gives gifts to street vagabond gangster addicts. He gives gifts to his children, and truthful servants. (d) Salvation is not of your making, so that you can boast that you have done it. But, it is by sincerely doing what God wants you to do. All the rest is goof.
"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. This was the thrust of certain Jews who pose themselves as followers of Christ, but were false. The apostles of Christ opposed it as the works of Judaism and the works of the law that will save nobody. Obedience to the commandments of God or Jesus Christ was never referred as works in the Bible. But false preachers twist it to mean that obedience to God or Jesus Christ as works and so there is no salvation by obedience. They confuse this purposely because they follow Satan and are deceivers.
"Ephesians 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; 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;" Here, the purpose of the cross is to bring Jews and gentiles together as one for salvation. So he abolished the ordinances, which are prescribed usage, practice, ceremony, etc in the commandments, for all. "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; 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:" Gentiles, as well as Jews, are made free from all works of ceremonies including Sabbath day observing.
"Acts 15:24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no such commandment: 25 It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, ... 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;" Here, the gentiles are exempted from Mosaic Law and circumcision. So, they do not have to do any works of Judaic law for salvation.
"Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matt 24:13)." Here, "endure" is the work and "unto the end" is the limit. Those who fulfill the same shall be saved.
"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 added as a condition by the Lord Jesus Christ. Yet, preachers say that baptism is not a condition.
"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 ways to be saved will not be saved. Striving is hard work.
Zacchaeus loved Jesus. He climbed on a sycamore tree to see him. Jesus invited himself to his house and Zacchaeus received him joyfully. Zacchaeus was a sinner. But, he was saved. How? "Luke 19:8 And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold. 9 And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost." Zacchaeus told Jesus that he will give half of his wealth to the poor and he will restore fourfold if he had taken anything wrongfully. Zacchaeus proved himself to be the son of Abraham by his works of faith in God. Based on his good works, the Lord Jesus Christ proclaimed salvation to him.
"Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." Servants of God as well as servants of Satan teach the Bible. Both bring just opposite views. So, we have to be careful. Satan will twist the word of God. With our mouths we can confess truth as well as lie. Confession is telling truthfully what happened. So, "confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus" means that we tell the truth that Jesus Christ is our Lord. If Jesus Christ is not the Lord for us, then our confession is no longer be a confession, but a lie. If it is true, then "with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" it will lead us to salvation, which is free from sin and to the reward which is inheritance in heaven. Then again another point in this verse is that we believe in our hearts that God raised the Lord Jesus Christ. This belief will guide our life unto a righteous life (believeth unto righteousness) of course by the grace and power of God. If we do not have righteousness then it is proof that our belief is not from our heart, but it is superficial. We may not have Jesus Christ as our Lord, master of our life. There may be a disconnect.
"Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;" The Lord Jesus Christ obeyed God the Father and became the author of eternal salvation to those who obey him. Those who will not obey him will not be saved, but will be punished in eternal fire. "2 Thes 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:" Obeying the Lord Jesus Christ is the must in order to be saved.
"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." This verse brings controversy among Christians. The main reason is that it is given to those who already obey the word of God, (as ye have always obeyed). But, when a person, who never obeyed God reads this, he bursts into anger. To begin with, it does not belongs to him/her. If we already obey God, we have to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. Rebellious people are not called into it or they are already rejected from it.
"Ephesians 2:2 ... the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 ... and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)" They were children of disobedience and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Now they are saved by grace. Their sins became past by the mercy and love of God. They became the workmanship of God. "Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Salvation is not by our works of ordinances, ceremony, circumcision, etc, but by our work of departing from our sins and iniquities. God saves us, which is verified by our righteous and holy walk in our life.
You may click on these links for more scriptures. Lessons: "Judgment", "Works" and Video: "By Works".
If any point needs explanation,
if you find an error according to scripture,
Please write to me in the 'Mail Box' below.
If any point needs explanation,
if you find an error according to scripture,
I will reply promptly. Thanks.
God Bless You