Isaiah 63:7-9 ESV
“I will recount the steadfast love of the Lord,
the praises of the Lord,
according to all that the Lord has granted us,
and the great goodness to the house of Israel
that he has granted them according to his compassion,
according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
For he said, ‘Surely they are my people,
children who will not deal falsely.’
And he became their Savior.
In all their affliction he was afflicted,
and the angel of his presence saved them;
in his love and in his pity he redeemed them;
he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.”
Now, this is regarding the children of Israel in the Old Testament, and they were God’s people by physical birth, by being born into this world as physical descendants of Abraham. But that doesn’t mean they all had faith, and those who did not have faith did not enter into God’s eternal rest. So, when we read the Old Testament Scriptures, if we want to apply them in any way to our lives today, then we must interpret them in light of the New Testament and the Messianic age and the New Covenant God has with his people.
For, when Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, who is the second person of our triune God – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – was crucified on that cross, he became our Sacrifice for sins. And the Old Covenant, with all its liturgical, ceremonial, sacrificial, purification and dietary laws and restrictions, was done away with. But God’s moral laws remained the same, only Jesus summarized them into two – to love God with our whole being and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:34-40).
Now we become God’s people by God-given faith in Jesus Christ which involves us being crucified with Christ in death to sin, and us being raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer in sin, but now as those who have been set free from slavery to sin, and now living as slaves to God and to his righteousness. So we are no longer to let sin reign in our mortal bodies, to make us obey its passions. For if sin is what we obey, it leads to death, but if obedience to God is what we obey, it leads to life eternal (see Romans 6:1-23; cf. Ephesians 4:17-24).
So now we must walk (in conduct, in practice) not according to the flesh but according to (in agreement with) the Spirit of God. For to live according to the flesh is to set our minds on the flesh, and to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. So, if we live according to the flesh, we will die, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live (see Romans 8:1-14).
Therefore, our salvation from sin is not a one-time thing which takes place in our lives, done deal, regardless of how we live. Our salvation is progressive and continuous, and it won’t be completed until Jesus returns to take his bride to be with him for eternity. But for us to be that bride, we must walk no longer according to the flesh, but now according to the Spirit, and we must walk in obedience to our Lord, and not in sin, but in righteousness and holiness, by God’s grace, in his power, strength, and wisdom. And we must continue in that faith steadfast until the very end.
[Matt 7:21-23; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 9:23-26; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14,24; Rom 12:1-2; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; 1 Co 1:18; 1 Co 15:1-2; 2 Tim 1:8-9; Heb 9:28; 1 Pet 1:5; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 2:8-10; Eph 4:17-32; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-17; 1 Pet 2:24; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6,24-25; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 3:6,14-15; Heb 10:23-31; Heb 12:1-2; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
So, even if we have professed faith in Jesus Christ, and even if we have attended gatherings of the church, or of what is falsely being called “church,” and even if we have been taught the Scriptures, and even if we have done religious things and even good things, none of that guarantees us heaven when we die or eternal life with God or salvation from sin. For human-based faith is not what saves us. God-given faith is what saves us, and since it comes from God it is going to obey the Lord and what his New Covenant teachings teach us to do. For faith = obedience.
Isaiah 63:10 ESV
“But they rebelled
and grieved his Holy Spirit;
therefore he turned to be their enemy,
and himself fought against them.”
Nonetheless, many people, at least here in America, profess faith in Jesus Christ, but by their words and their actions they deny him. For they do not follow him in obedience, and they are not dying daily to sin and denying self. But they are going their own way, doing their own thing, living just like the world, and mostly ignoring the Lord or giving him only a cursory nod here and there. And the New Testament teaches what this Scripture passage teaches us, too. The Lord may be giving you time now to repent, but that is not going to last forever. So, please take that to heart.
So, please pay attention to what Jesus and his New Testament apostles taught us, for they did not teach that we could believe in Jesus and yet still walk in deliberate and habitual sin and not walk in obedience to our Lord in righteousness and holiness. They taught that if sin is our habit (practice) and if obedience to our Lord and walks of righteousness and holiness are not what we practice, that we do not have salvation from sin, and we do not have eternal life with God, but we will face the wrath of God.
[Matt 7:21-23; Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 1:18-32; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; 1 Co 6:9-10; 2 Co 5:10; Gal 5:16-21; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Col 1:21-23; Col 3:5-11; 1 Jn 1:5-10; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Heb 10:23-31; 1 Pet 1:17-21; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15]
Praise the “I AM!”
An Original Work / February 24, 2012
Jesus, my Savior, full of compassion,
Glorious in power, mighty in strength;
Gracious Redeemer, mighty deliv’rer,
My heart adores Him. Praise to His name!
Perfect salvation my Lord provided
When He died for my sins on a tree;
Crucified my sins; conquered in vict’ry,
When He arose, so I could be free!
I am so thankful for His forgiveness;
Grateful that He chose to pardon me,
Giving me new life full in His Spirit,
So I can serve Him; His servant be!
Walking in daily fellowship with Him,
Obeying Him whate’er He commands;
Forsaking my sins, living in freedom,
I will endure with Him to the end!
He gives me peace and calm reassurance
In times of sorrow, or in distress.
His grace is sure, and oh, how sufficient
To meet me in my need for sweet rest.
Oh, how I love You, Jesus, my Savior.
My heart longs for You where’er I am.
Your word is precious; speaks to my spirit;
Brings comfort, healing. Praise the “I AM!”