On Some Points

Romans 15:14 ESV

“I myself am satisfied about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.”

If we are in Christ Jesus, by God-given faith in him, and if we have died with him to sin, and if we are living to him and to his righteousness, we should be able to instruct one another in the faith in Christ Jesus, our Lord.

No matter if we are fairly new in the faith or if we have been in the faith for many years, we ought to be able to share with one another the knowledge that we have in Christ Jesus from his word, yet in context. But we should be living it, too.

But, that doesn’t mean that everyone who calls himself a believer in Jesus Christ is one, or that if he is one, that he is qualified of God to share the word of God with other believers in a manner which would encourage them in their walks of faith.

And, it doesn’t mean that he is capable of sharing the word of God with others in a manner which would have the potential to bring his fellow Christians to walks of maturity in Christ, in unity with Christ, and in unity with other believers who are like-minded with Christ.

For, not everyone who calls himself a Christian is one. And, not everyone who is a believer is walking in holiness and righteousness. And, not everyone who thinks he is a believer in Jesus is following the right gospel. For, many people are following a false gospel and a false grace and a false salvation and a false hope of heaven, all based on a lie, which is a half-truth.

And, that is largely due to the fact that what they are being taught by their leaders is a false gospel of salvation, which promises them heaven as their eternal destiny regardless of how they live their lives while they are still on the earth. And, so they are just regurgitating what they have been taught, some of them naively, while many of them knowingly and defiantly.

Romans 15:15-16 ESV

“But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”

And, so they need someone who will tell them the truth, who will point them to the right way, and who will expose the lies to them for what they are. And, this is so that, hopefully, they will reject the lies, and they will embrace the truth, and they will start living the truth and not the lies.

And, in this way, they will be able to walk in victory over darkness and live in the light of God’s love, grace, and truth, and thus grow to maturity in Christ Jesus.

And, even those of us who are walking according to the Spirit, and no longer according to the flesh, we need reminders. So, I am thankful that the New Testament Scriptures do repeat the same messages and the same warnings over again because there are times when we need that gentle nudge or perhaps even a stronger nudge, depending upon where we are.

The Lies

So, what are the lies being taught that need to be corrected? Well, I am certain that they are more numerous than I can count, or that I am even aware of. But today I am being led primarily to focus on the main lies being spread regarding the gospel of our salvation.

What so many of these false teachers are teaching is that we can come to faith in Jesus Christ by a mere acknowledgment of him, by a mere outward confession of faith, by words we repeat after someone in a prayer, or by just accepting God’s forgiveness and his grace being offered. And, they are teaching that this one-time experience in our lives seals the deal and that we now have heaven guaranteed us regardless of how we live our lives.

So, what they are doing by teaching this is that they are giving their followers the notion that they can remain in sin, living for the flesh, and still be saved from their sins and have the hope of heaven when they die.

The Truth

But the truth tells us that Jesus died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. He died that we might no longer live for ourselves, but for him who gave his life up for us. In fact, his blood, which was shed for us on that cross, bought us back for God that we would now be HIS possession, and so we would now honor God with our lives (1 Pet. 2:24; Rom. 6:1-23; 2 Co. 5:15, 21; 1 Co. 6:19-20).

The truth that is in Christ Jesus also teaches us that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who WALK, not according to the flesh, but who walk according to the Spirit. For, if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins. But if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live with Christ for eternity (Rom. 8:1-17).

Thus, our salvation is not about some words we said or some outward confession of faith in Jesus Christ, but it is about our walks of faith with Jesus Christ. And, it is about our obedience to Christ as Lord of our lives. So, how we live does matter. It matters for eternity. For, our salvation is not complete until Jesus returns (Eph. 4:17-24; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; 1 Jn. 2:3-6).

If we want to come after Christ, we must deny self, and daily we must take up our cross (die to sin daily) and follow (obey) Jesus. For, if we hold on to our old lives (of living in sin and for self) we will lose them for eternity. But, if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin), for the sake of Jesus, then we have eternal life with God (Lu. 9:23-26; cf. Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9).

For, one day we are all going to reap what we have sown. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we will reap destruction (decay, death). But if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:7-8; cf. Rom. 2:6-8; 2 Co. 5:10; Gal. 5:16-21; Eph. 5:3-6).

The Instructions

So, if we have been following the lies and not the truth, and if we have been walking according to the flesh, and not according to the Spirit, yet convinced that we are “saved” and “bound for heaven,” what must we do?

We have to repent of our sins, and this means that we have to die to them, forsake them, and leave them behind us. And we must reject the filth that has been inserted inside the gospel message, too. And, we have to embrace the truth that is in Christ Jesus, our Lord (Eph. 4:17-24; Rom. 6:1-23).

Then, we must turn to our Lord, submit to his Lordship over our lives, surrender our lives to him, and then follow him in obedience to his ways. And, we must reject those lies which tell us that we don’t have to obey our Lord, or which tell us that if we do obey our Lord, that we are somehow trying to earn our way to heaven. We aren’t! We must obey our Lord if we want to have eternal life with him in heaven (Tit. 2:11-14; 1 Jn. 2:3-6).

If we want to be saved from our sins, be united with Christ in love, have fellowship with our Lord, and have the hope of eternal life with God, we must get rid of the filth in our lives. We must forsake all the lies, adulteries, immorality, slander, hatred, cheating, gossiping, and all lewdness. And, we must walk in holiness, purity, honesty, uprightness, godliness and in self-control to the glory and praise of God (Tit. 2:11-14; Gal. 5:16-26).

And, we must present our lives to God as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to him, which is our acceptable worship of him. And, we must no longer be conformed to the ways (patterns) of this sinful world, but we are to be transformed in heart and mind of the Spirit of God so that our lives give evidence of what God’s good and perfect will is for our lives (Rom. 12:1-2).

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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