Students of the Scriptures

2 Corinthians 11:1-4 ESV

“I wish you would bear with me in a little foolishness. Do bear with me! For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.”

I empathize with Paul’s sentiments here, for I feel the same way about many who are professing faith in Jesus Christ today who have been led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ to follow after another Jesus, a different spirit, and a different gospel from the one they should have been taught or were taught many years ago.

For, when we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith we die with Christ to sin that we might live to Christ and to his righteousness. Our old self is crucified with Christ in death to sin, we are reborn of the Spirit to newness of life in him, and now we walk (conduct our lives) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24).

What is Being Taught

But this is not what is largely being taught in the church (or in the institutional church) today. What is primarily being taught today as the gospel is that we pray a prayer to invite Jesus into our hearts or we make a public confession of him as Lord and now we are saved, our sins are forgiven, we are bound for heaven, and how we now live doesn’t matter.

Some go so far as to teach that belief in Jesus Christ requires no turning from sin (no repentance), no obedience to Christ and his commandments, and no submission to Christ as Lord (master) of their lives. For, they claim this is works-based salvation and we are not saved by works.

The Lies vs The Truth

But they twist the Scriptures and they take Scriptures out of context to make them say what itching ears want to hear.

Yes, we are saved by God’s grace, through faith, and this not of ourselves. It is the gift of God, not of works lest any of us should boast that we earned or deserved our own salvation. We, in our flesh, can do nothing to be approved by God or to go to heaven when we die (See: Eph 2:8-9; Rom 3:23).

But our salvation from sin is not absent of works or obedience or repentance or submission to Christ as Lord (owner-master) of our lives. In fact, Eph 2:10 says this:

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”

And Romans 2:6-8 says this:

“He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury.”

And Philippians 2:12-13 says this:

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

And James 2:17 says this:

“So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

So, while it is true that we cannot be saved by our own works of the flesh, it is also true that works done in the Spirit are required for our salvation and that we will be judged by our works (Gal 6:7-8; 2 Co 5:10; Rom 2:6-8).

For, Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self and take up his cross daily (die daily to sin) and follow (obey) him. He said if we hold on to our old lives, we will lose them for eternity, but if we lose our lives (die with Christ to sin), then we will live eternally (Lu 9:23-26).

Paul reiterated Jesus’ words when he said that the righteous requirement of the law is fulfilled in us who walk not according to the flesh but 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 (Rom 8:1-17; cf. 1 Jn 1:5-9).

2 Corinthians 11:12-15 ESV

“And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.”

Paul stood in defense of his own ministry (vv 5-11), because his ministry was preaching the gospel, which was being brought into disrepute. So, in defending his own ministry he also defended the truth of the gospel, and that is what he said he would continue doing.

I empathize with him there, too, for as one who has been called of God to write down what he teaches me from his word each day and to place it on the internet so that the internet could “run with it,” I have also faced much opposition, and I have had to defend what I do sometimes in order to also defend what I teach.

The Lord has taken me through much in my life to prepare me for such a time as this so that I would “set my face like flint,” and so I would stand strong on the truth of Scripture, for there are so many liars and deceivers out there convincing people they don’t have to follow Jesus with their lives to be saved and to go to heaven.

I have to be tough sometimes in standing on the truth, not mean, but just determined to keep speaking the truth in opposition to the many lies. I would love it if we were not in such a fierce spiritual battle as we are now to where we are continually having to defend the truth, but this is where we are and so it necessitates having to reiterate the same things over again.

There are so many false teachers out there, and not all claim to be teachers, but they are slipping in those false doctrines everywhere, on blog sites, on social media, on Christian discussion sites, and in church gatherings and small group studies.

So, we need to be on the lookout for these who masquerade themselves as servants of righteousness but who are servants of the devil and who are false apostles and deceitful workmen who claim to work for Christ. And they will come at us from all different angles, too. So, we need to be people of discernment, students of the Scriptures, and people of prayer.

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.

3 thoughts on “Students of the Scriptures

  1. Amen! This is the truth. May many will read this too and be blessed.
    Yes, our salvation does not mean the absence of good works. We are saved by grace but our works should manifest the truth of living in the Spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

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