We Need to Honor God

Isaiah 1:1-3 ESV

“Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;
for the Lord has spoken:
‘Children have I reared and brought up,
but they have rebelled against me.
The ox knows its owner,
and the donkey its master’s crib,
but Israel does not know,
my people do not understand.’”

Under the Old Covenant, God’s people were a physical nation of people who came to be his people by physical birth, i.e. they were physical descendants of Abraham. But not all had faith. Not all believed in the Lord. And during the time of the exodus and the 40 years in the wilderness many of them died and/or were put to death and they did not enter into God’s eternal rest because of their unbelief, i.e. because of their disobedience.

Under the New Covenant, God’s people are those of genuine faith in Jesus Christ, who have been crucified with Christ in death to sin, and who have been resurrected with him to walk in newness of life in him and who are walking with him according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. But this is not a one-time faith and we are good to go. Daily we must be dying with Christ to sin and living to him and to his righteousness.

But not all do. For one, not everyone who says to Jesus, “Lord, Lord,” will enter into his eternal kingdom but only the ones doing the will of God the Father who is in heaven. For it is not enough to just profess faith in Jesus Christ but we must be those who live what we say we believe. For belief is not some intellectual assent to who Jesus is and to what he did for us in dying for our sins, but faith is action. It is doing what we say we believe.

Now, it isn’t as though the people of God under the Old Covenant did not know and did not understand what was expected of them. They did. They just did not acknowledge God and his commands. They despised his commands. They did not give God the respect that he so deserved. They did not bow to him as their Lord and Master. And they did not regard him nor esteem him as they ought, but they went their own way, instead.

And this is where many people professing faith in Jesus Christ are today, as well. Some of them may be of genuine faith in Jesus Christ who have wandered, for a time, from their pure devotion to the Lord. Others never were of true faith in Christ. They made a profession of faith but they never walked the walk. Some of them just talked it. And some of them have been taught a false gospel, but still God says we are all without excuse (Rom 1).

[Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:13; Rom 3:20-31; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Rom 13:8-10; Gal 2:16-21; Gal 3:2-5,21; Gal 5:4,14; Gal 6:2; Eph 2:15; Phil 3:9; Rom 2:6-8; Gal 6:7-8; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10]

Isaiah 1:4 ESV

“Ah, sinful nation,
a people laden with iniquity,
offspring of evildoers,
children who deal corruptly!
They have forsaken the Lord,
they have despised the Holy One of Israel,
they are utterly estranged.”

Under the Old Covenant, the people of God were a physical nation of people. Under the New Covenant we are a spiritual nation. For them, the temple of God was a physical building. For us who believe in Jesus, we are God’s temple. We are the body of Christ, his church, comprised of all who believe in Jesus with genuine faith which dies with Christ to sin and lives to him and to his righteousness. The church is not a physical building.

Now, it is possible for those of genuine faith in Christ to sin (1 Jn 2:1-2). And it is possible for us to rebel and to wander from our pure devotion to the Lord and to be of need to be brought back to repentance (Rev 2-3). But if after professing faith in Jesus Christ we continue on a sinful course in deliberate and habitual sin against the Lord, and if we do not repent of our sin, then our faith is considered false, that we don’t truly know God.

And the Scriptures teach that if we walk (in conduct, in practice) in sin, regardless of what we profess with our lips, we will not inherit eternal life with God. Heaven is not guaranteed to all who profess the name of Jesus but only to those who walk the walk. We must die daily with Christ to sin and live daily to him and to his righteousness. And we must walk (in practice) in obedience to his commands and not in sinful rebellion.

So, God is not okay with you continuing in sin while you profess him as Lord and Savior. He is not okay with you living your life the way that you want while you barely acknowledge him. He is not okay with you giving him a few moments of your day while the rest of your day is given over to the flesh. And he is not okay with you living like the world, doing and saying all the same things as the people of the world while you barely mention his name.

Isaiah 1:5-6 ESV

“Why will you still be struck down?
Why will you continue to rebel?
The whole head is sick,
and the whole heart faint.
From the sole of the foot even to the head,
there is no soundness in it,
but bruises and sores
and raw wounds;
they are not pressed out or bound up
or softened with oil.”

The Bible teaches that the Lord disciplines (rebukes, reproves, chastises) those he loves, and that his discipline is painful, but that the discipline is for our good, that we may share his holiness. Now, the discipline may be to humble us, to mature us in Christ, and to grow us in our walks of faith in Christ, or it may be a corrective measure to get us back on course because we have wandered from our pure devotion and need to be brought back.

[Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; Matt 5:10-12; Lu 21:12-19; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; Jn 15:1-11]

But if it is a corrective measure, then it behooves us to listen up and to respond to the Lord with repentance and with obedience. For if we don’t, we are in danger of falling away beyond recovery. And this is why the Scriptures teach us to exhort one another daily so that we are not hardened by sin’s deceitfulness, and this is why the church is given so many warnings against falling back into sin for if we walk in sin we will not inherit eternal life.

[Lu 9:23-26; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 1:28-32; Rom 2:6-8; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; Rom 6:16; Rom 8:3-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:26-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Jn 15:1-11; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Matt 7:21-23]

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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