Deuteronomy 6:1-3 ESV
“Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.”
As followers of Jesus, what are we commanded to do? The same, only we don’t have to follow all the Mosaic laws and customs. But first we must believe in Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, and that involves repenting of (turning away from) our sins and turning to follow Jesus Christ in obedience and in surrender to his will for our lives (See: Lu. 9:23-25; Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 2 Co. 5:15; Ac. 26:18).
And, what is our “promised land,” i.e. our inheritance? It isn’t just heaven. It is entering into God’s rest, which is our salvation from sin and eternal life with God. And, we are able to do this by God’s grace, through God-given and God-persuaded faith in Jesus Christ, because Jesus Christ, God’s Son, gave his life up for us on a cross about 2,000 years ago. When he died, he became sin for us, so that in his death, he put sin to death, on our behalf.
The whole gospel can be summarized in this one sentence: Jesus Christ died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness (See: 1 Pet. 2:24). This is the essence of the gospel of our salvation, that when we believe in Jesus we die with Christ to sin, and we are reborn of the Spirit of God, and we are resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (See: Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
And, to walk in the fear of the Lord is also New Testament teaching. And, this means that we honor, respect, value, obey, and submit to God, to Jesus Christ, and we follow him in his ways, doing what he says. And, when we do this, we will be fruitful and we will multiply in faith, in commitment to Christ, in maturity in our walks of faith, in ministry, and in spiritual fervor and fruit in other people’s lives, as well. For, we will reap what we sow (Gal. 6:7-8).
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 ESV
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
This commandment, and the one that says we shall love our neighbors as ourselves, are both repeated in the New Testament, as Jesus said, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” (See: Matt. 22:34-40).
For, if we are loving God in this way, and we are truly loving others as we love ourselves, which is not human love, but God-like love, which prefers what God prefers – which is what is holy, pure, moral and faithful – then we won’t commit adultery, steal, cheat, lie to, hate, murder, and bear false witness against one another. And, we won’t cheat on God, either, with other gods, and we will forsake our sins, and we will follow Jesus in obedience.
And, this is to be our lifestyle, the way in which we live day in and day out. For, this should be what is upmost in our hearts, and in our minds, resulting in actions (behaviors) which glorify God and not the flesh. For, we are not saved merely to have our sins forgiven so we can go to heaven one day, but we are saved from our slavery to sin and the control of Satan over our lives so that we can now become slaves (bondservants) of Christ’s righteousness.
Deuteronomy 6:10-16 ESV
“And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you… and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you— for the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth. You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah.”
And, here is a warning or a caution to us from God. When we are delivered from our slavery to sin, and we enter into God’s eternal rest (eternal life), we need to take care that we don’t forget the Lord and what he did for us in dying for our sins so that we could be delivered from our addiction to sin and walk in his righteousness. We need to continue in him, and walk in the fear of the Lord, in obedience to his commands, and not go after other gods.
So, what other gods are God’s people, his church, going after today?
The institutional church, i.e. the church in partnership (in an unholy union) with the federal government, is at the top of God’s list of idols the church is following after. Not only are they living in disobedience to God by being unequally yoked together with the government and with the world, but they have turned God’s house (his church, the body of Christ) into a marketplace.
So, the institutional church (of man, not of God) is filled to the brim with seductiveness, sensuality, enticement, and temptation to follow after a flesh-driven gospel rather than the gospel taught by Jesus and his NT apostles. So much of the true church within the meetings of the institutional church is, thus, regularly subjected to what is of the flesh, what is worldly, and what is sensual in nature. And, it is an allurement to them, which is a trap.
For, the institutional church is more about entertainment and having fun and making people feel happy and making the world (of sin) feel at home. Thus, they scheme and they manipulate and they deceive the people in order to trap them in worldliness, and in order to reel them into following after the flesh rather than after God. And, they do this by teaching them a false (cheap) grace gospel, which is contrived of men, not of God.
The Lord was showing me last night that this had its beginnings with the reformation and with John Calvin and his Once Saved Always Saved doctrine. For, what this teaches people is that they can pray a sinner’s prayer, and then they are in, and they are good to go, and nothing can ever take that away from them, so they are assured of heaven as their eternal destiny no matter how they live their lives from that point forward.
So many of these church leaders here in America have bought into and are teaching this cheap grace gospel which appeals to human flesh, and which is based in pride, not in humility. For, the message it spreads is that one can merely acknowledge Jesus Christ and believe he forgave them of their sins, or they can merely say some words after someone, supposedly in prayer to God, and they are now congratulated that they are God’s children, that heaven is guaranteed them, and that nothing can take it away from them.
So, this feeds the flesh, for it makes no demands of death to sin or of obedience to Christ or of living to Christ and his righteousness. Instead, they teach that that is legalism, and that it is works-based salvation, and so they teach that the true gospel is the false gospel and that the false gospel is the true gospel, and by doing so they trap many Christians back into lifestyles of sinful addictions while promising them heaven as their destiny.
So, this lying grace (false cheap grace) is party to the present spiritual and moral decline we see in the church in America, and in our nation, as a whole. It is a cause and effect, basically. Convince Christians that God does not require repentance or obedience or submission to him, and convince them that these are actually “works-based salvation” and that they are wrong (evil), and that God’s grace merely forgives sins but makes no demands of us, and thus we see the results – a massive spiritual and moral decline.
So, God is at work within the church via his messengers in separating this cheap grace gospel from the true gospel, to expose the falseness of the cheap grace, and to reveal to his church the real truth of what his gospel teaches. He is at work within the church in making proclamation of his true gospel so that many will turn their hearts to the Lord (or back to him).
For, the Spirit of God is not in this cheap grace gospel teaching. God doesn’t say we don’t have to obey him or that we don’t have to repent of our sins. He doesn’t say that salvation means we can now live however we want without guilt. The Spirit of God has, essentially, been disallowed in the teaching of this false grace gospel, even though God’s Spirit is still alive and available and accessible to all who would trust in his counsel, instead.
So, don’t be lured into believing that God, now that we are under grace, makes no demands for repentance and obedience and submission to him and to his commands. Scripture does not teach that!! Read it! In context! All of the New Testament. It says that if we live according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, no matter what we profess with our lips.
One day many will come before God and say “Lord, Lord,” and he is going to say, “Depart from me. I never knew you!”
A Believer’s Prayer
An Original Work / July 31, 2012
With my whole heart, Lord, I pray
To be Yours, and Yours always.
Lead me in Your truth today.
May I love You, and obey.
Lead me in Your righteousness.
When I sin, may I confess;
Bow before You when I pray;
Live for You and You always.
Love You, Jesus, You’re my friend.
Life with You will never end.
You are with me through each day,
Giving love and peace always.
You will ne’er abandon me.
From my sin You set me free.
You died on that cruel tree,
So I’d live eternally.
Soon You’re coming back for me;
From this world to set me free;
Live with You eternally.
Oh, what joy that brings to me.
I will walk with You in white;
A pure bride, I’ve been made right
By the blood of Jesus Christ;
Pardoned by His sacrifice.
Friday, February 1, 2019