John 3:16 ESV
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
Our God is a triune God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit – three distinct personalities in one person, one Godhead. They are all one God who has always existed. Jesus Christ, God the Son, always existed with God, and he is God, as well as he is the only begotten Son of God. And, he is our creator God, as well (See: John 1; Philippians 2; Gen. 1:26).
When God (they) made human beings, the humans were without sin. But, when Satan, in the form of a serpent, tempted Eve to disobey God’s command, she sinned against God, and then her husband Adam followed suit. Since that time all human beings have been born with sin natures, separate from God and unable, in their own flesh, to be acceptable to God.
But, from the beginning of creation God had a plan for how he was going to save us from our sins – to deliver us out of our bondage to sin. He sent his Son, Jesus Christ, to the earth to take on human form, to be born of a human mother as a baby, and to suffer like we suffer, and to be tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin.
But, when Jesus began his earthly ministry as an adult, and he began to preach the gospel of our salvation to the people, he was hated by many. He was rejected, despised, falsely accused, ridiculed, and hounded continuously, and attempts were often made by the religious rulers within the temple of God to trip Jesus up with his words.
When that didn’t work, they plotted and carried out his death on a cross. But, this was God’s will that Jesus should die, for in his death he put our sins to death, and when he rose from the dead, he rose in victory over the grave, sin and Satan. So, through faith in him, we are able to die with Christ to sin and to be resurrected with Christ to newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness (Rom. 6:1-23; Eph. 4:17-24).
By God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, thus we are able to be delivered from our slavery (bondage, addiction) to sin so that we can now, in his power and strength, live righteously before our God. But, this faith, this belief is present tense, not past tense, and it is continuous, and it must endure to the end of time if we want to have eternal life with God (Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Heb. 3:6, 14-15).
John 3:17-18 ESV
“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.”
When Jesus Christ came to the earth the first time, he did not come to judge humans, not in the sense of passing judgment on them in condemning some to die without hope of salvation from sin. He came to save them from their sins and to give them hope of eternal life with God.
But, he did talk about judgment, and he did talk about hell, and he did warn people that judgment would await those who refused to believe him as their Lord and Savior. So, he made judgments. He judged people’s sins, and he told them that they would die in their sins if they did not repent of their sins and if they did not follow him in obedience to his commands.
Yet, one day he is going to return, and he is going to condemn to death those who have refused him and his salvation. And, the sad reality of it all is that many who profess to know him are going to one day be surprised to hear him say, “Depart from me, I never knew you!” And, that is because they did not submit to him as Lord, they did not repent of their sins, and they did not follow him in obedience, but they went their own way instead.
So, what we need to understand about this “belief” is first of all that it is God-given and divinely persuaded, and if persuaded by God, it submits to Jesus Christ as Lord, it repents of sin, and it follows the Lord in obedience to his commands, all in the power and strength of God’s Spirit alive and at work in the hearts of those trusting in him as their Savior and God.
Secondly, we need to understand that this faith is not a one-time experience, then we live however we want, and one day we die and go to heaven. This faith is present tense, and it is ongoing until the day Jesus comes back to take us home to be with him forever. It must endure to the end of time. And, it must walk (in lifestyle) according to the Spirit of God and no longer according to our sinful flesh (Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).
So, if our belief in Jesus is just superficial, or intellectual, or if it is a false belief based on a lie, and it doesn’t submit to Christ as Lord, or repent of sins or follow him in obedience, then it is the same as those who do not believe in Jesus, and who stand condemned already for their unbelief.
John 3:19-21 ESV
“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”
Many people make professions of faith in Jesus Christ, and they claim that they are now saved from their sins, and that heaven is guaranteed them, and yet they have no sense of loyalty or devotion to Jesus Christ at all. He was just the means for them getting a “free ride” into heaven, but they feel no obligation whatsoever to leave their lives of sin behind them or to follow him in obedience.
So, their “salvation” is false, because it is of their own flesh and not of God. And, this is because they created their own gospel to suit their own lifestyles rather than to submit to the truth of the gospel as taught by Jesus and by his New Testament apostles. Thus, they did it by themselves, on their own, their own way, without God, because they refused to submit to God.
It is false, as well, because they took the truth of what the scriptures teach regarding our salvation, and they removed from that truth what didn’t fit with the way they wanted to live. They just deleted, ignored, or attempted to discredit what they didn’t want to accept or yield to. Or, they twisted it to make it say something else – something more soothing, comfortable, and appealing to their flesh. Then, they could go on in their sin without guilt.
They reduced our salvation from sin to mere forgiveness of sins and escape from punishment in hell. But, they deleted that part about being delivered from our slavery to sin and dying with Christ to sin and living with Christ to his righteousness. Or, they made it optional. And, that is because that doesn’t fit with how they want to live. For, they want to believe they can be saved from their sins, go to heaven when they die, but that they can still live for the flesh and not for the Spirit. Thus, they refuse to come to the light.
For, the light is the truth of the gospel. And, they want to continue in their evil ways. So, they just don’t come into the light, and they remain in the darkness, and yet they console themselves with God’s grace, believing they are saved and forgiven and that their sins no longer matter to God. And, many have gone so far as to discredit the light so that they can remain in the darkness guilt free. But, that doesn’t change the truth. For, if we want to have eternal life with God, we must live by the Spirit of God in holiness.
An Original Work / August 29, 2018
Your bond is broken
With your Lord and Savior
And, your testimony is
Separate from Him.
Your words not matching
Your actions today.
Repent of your sin and
Bow down and pray.
Live what you testify
In truth always.
Purity’s lacking in
Your life and witness,
For you profess one thing,
But other you do.
Not moral, spiritual.
Still of the flesh.
Not living in truth to
What you confess.
Lying about it
Puts you in a mess.
Living a lie is your practice,
‘tis true of you.
Masquerade righteousness –
None of it true.
Your heart is not given
To your Lord God.
Because of how you live,
You are a fraud.
Turn from your sin and
Give your life to God.