Submitting to God’s Purposes

Proverbs 15:9-11 ESV

“The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord,
but he loves him who pursues righteousness.
There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way;
whoever hates reproof will die.
Sheol and Abaddon lie open before the Lord;
how much more the hearts of the children of man!”

We are saved by God’s grace, through God-given faith in Jesus Christ, and not of ourselves, it is the gift of God, not the result of works lest any of us should boast. Yet, we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Eph 2:8-10).

So, our own works done in the flesh will not profit us at all for salvation from sin and for eternal life with God. We can do nothing to earn or to deserve our own salvation. But our faith and our salvation are not absent of works. But they are the works of the Spirit, done in the power of God’s Spirit, which we were created for, in Christ, that we should walk (in practice) in them.

So, what is the purpose of God’s grace to us? First of all, we have all sinned, and we have all come up short of attaining God’s divine approval. And nothing we can do, in our flesh, can gain us that approval (acceptance). We cannot be righteous in God’s sight by way of our own good works. Truth!

So, God the Father sent his Son Jesus Christ to the earth to take on human form and to eventually be put to death on a cross. In his death, he who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God. For, he died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness (Phil 2:5-11; 2 Co 5:15, 21; 1 Pet 2:24).

Jesus died on that cross, not just to forgive us our sins and to give us the hope of eternal life with God, but he died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. In fact, by his blood we were redeemed (bought back for God) that we might glorify God with our lives (2 Co 5:15, 1 Co 6:19-20).

When we come to faith in Jesus Christ, which is God-given faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, that we might walk with him in newness of life in him. Our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin, but that we might now become slaves of his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23).

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Tit 2:11-14).

Thus, we are not to continue living in sin. For, how can we who died to sin still live in it? We are not to let sin reign (rule supreme) in our mortal bodies, so that we obey its passions. We are not to present our members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but to God as instruments of righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over us since we are not under law but under grace (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24).

“What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness?” (Rom 6:15-16 ESV).

For, if we walk according to the flesh, in darkness, we will die in our sins because we refused to die to our sins. If we make sin our practice, and if we hold on to our old lives of living for sin and self, we will lose our lives for eternity (Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8).

Proverbs 15:21, 24, 29, 31-33 ESV

“Folly is a joy to him who lacks sense,
but a man of understanding walks straight ahead.”
“The path of life leads upward for the prudent,
that he may turn away from Sheol beneath.”
“The Lord is far from the wicked,
but he hears the prayer of the righteous.”
“The ear that listens to life-giving reproof
will dwell among the wise.
Whoever ignores instruction despises himself,
but he who listens to reproof gains intelligence.
The fear of the Lord is instruction in wisdom,
and humility comes before honor.”

There are many people today claiming faith in Jesus Christ who are greatly lacking in good sense, and who are ignoring the counsel and the instructions of the Lord recorded for us in the Scriptures. They have forsaken the way of righteousness, and they hate life-giving reproof. They do not pursue righteousness, but the ways of the wicked.

And this is because they have believed Satan’s lies which tell them that they can believe in Jesus and be guaranteed eternal life with God, but that they don’t have to repent of their sins, obey the Lord, or submit to Christ as Lord. They may not all say that in those exact words, but they imply it by what they teach.

For they teach a faith in Jesus Christ that is a mere acknowledgment of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins, but which does not put sin to death in their lives, and which does not teach that we must walk according to the Spirit of God if we want to have salvation from sin and eternal life with God.

So, they have altered the grace of God, and they have diluted it to make it into a free license to continue living in sin, only now without guilt. So, they have lessened its power and influence and its command over our lives, by making it into a mere pass for continued and deliberate sinning against God.

And that is because they want to continue living in sin. They want to remain intoxicated to sin, living for self-pleasure in self-indulgence, without conscience, and without guilt, and without any requirement to change, and without fear of punishment.

So, they have picked apart God’s true grace, and they have removed from it the parts they don’t like, and they have added to it the parts they like. They have basically emasculated the grace of God, weakened its power, and rendered it useless for delivering human hearts from their bondage to sin and for empowering them to live holy lives, pleasing to God.

But for the righteous, who believe God, and who have chosen the straight way, they are not in agreement with those who are emasculating God’s grace, and so they do not go along with them in their diluting of the gospel, but they are standing firm on the word of God, even against great opposition.

They are saying “No” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts, and they are living self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the power of God’s Spirit and for the glory of God. They are walking in the fear of the Lord, they are listening to life-giving reproof, and they will be saved from death and will have eternal life with God, because they submitted their lives to God’s purposes.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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