Not in Truth or Right

Isaiah 48:1,4,8 ESV

“Hear this, O house of Jacob,
who are called by the name of Israel,
and who came from the waters of Judah,
who swear by the name of the Lord
and confess the God of Israel,
but not in truth or right.”

“Because I know that you are obstinate,
and your neck is an iron sinew
and your forehead brass..”

“You have never heard, you have never known,
from of old your ear has not been opened.
For I knew that you would surely deal treacherously,
and that from before birth you were called a rebel.”

These were God’s people of old, but now all who believe in Jesus Christ are true biblical Israel. And there are aspects of what God said to his people of old that can also be applied to his people now who believe in Jesus Christ, but also including those who give lip service only to the Lord, which will become clear as we delve into what this is saying. For his people then were his people by physical birth, and not all truly believed in him. But his people now are those who are his by spiritual birth, but there are many who profess faith in him who do not truly know the Lord, although they believe they do.

[John 8:18-19,38-47; Romans 9:4-8; Galatians 3:16,26-29; Galatians 4:22-31; Ephesians 2:14-18; 1 John 2:22]

There are many people today, at least here in America, who profess faith in Jesus Christ. Some claim to be Christians and children of God, and they claim Christ as their Lord and Savior, and heaven as their eternal home, but not in truth or right. For they are obstinate people who have convinced themselves that they can believe in Jesus, have all their sins forgiven, and be on their way to heaven, while they largely ignore the Lord and his commands, and while they largely continue in their deliberate sins. And, according to the Scriptures, they do not know God, even if they say they do.

And the reason they do not know God, and this includes knowing his character and his divine purpose and will for us and his teachings, is because their ears are stopped up, because they refuse to listen to the truth. And this is so true of so many people in America who claim to be Christians. For they are following after the lies, and so they are largely rejecting the truth, the whole truth. They may accept parts of the truth, but not all, so they are still following after the lies which are intentional half-truths. And even if you show them the truth they refuse to hear it. Their ears are stopped up.

For we can’t just profess faith in Jesus Christ with our lips but then go on living in sin without regard for God and for his gospel message. We can’t just hand-select what we will believe and then disregard the rest which is the bulk of what it means to be a Christian and a follower of Jesus Christ. We can’t just claim the promises of God for ourselves if we do not meet all the requirements of God for those promises to be fulfilled. In other words, we can’t make up our own gospel and decide for ourselves what our faith and what our salvation should look like.

For Jesus Christ died for us on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to his righteousness. He died that we might now live for him and no longer for ourselves. And he shed his blood for us on that cross to buy us back for God out of our lives of sin (to redeem us) so we will now honor God with our bodies (with our lives). And so when we believe in Jesus with genuine faith, we are crucified with Christ in death to sin, and we are resurrected with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer as slaves to sin, but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness.

[1 Peter 2:24; 2 Corinthians 5:15; 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Romans 6:1-23]

Isaiah 48:10-11,17-18,22

“Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver;
I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.
For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it,
for how should my name be profaned?
My glory I will not give to another.”

“Thus says the Lord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel:
“I am the Lord your God,
who teaches you to profit,
who leads you in the way you should go.
Oh that you had paid attention to my commandments!
Then your peace would have been like a river,
and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.”

“There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”

Now this is speaking to those of genuine faith in Jesus Christ today, for our Lord disciplines those who are truly his, and if we are not disciplined by the Lord, then we are illegitimate children. And again, there is not an exact parallel here between the Israel of the Old Covenant and the Israel (body of Christ) of the New Covenant, for one was his children by physical birth, although all did not believe in him, and the other is his children by spiritual birth. But even there not all are walking in holiness and in righteousness, which is why the apostles often warned against deliberate and habitual sin.

So, there really is a fine line between those of genuine faith who are not walking in righteousness and holiness presently and those who give lip service only to the Lord and who are still walking in sin. But the end result is the same. For regardless of what faith we presently profess, whether real or not, the Scriptures teach that we must walk (in conduct, in practice) according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, and we must walk in obedience to our Lord and in righteousness and holiness, in practice, and not in sin, or we do not have eternal life with God in the end.

But the purpose of God’s discipline of those who are his is so that we will learn and we will walk in the ways of the Lord in righteousness and holiness and not in sin (Hebrews 12:1-13). So the discipline is for our good so that we will humble ourselves before God and so we will be willing to be led by him in the way that we should go. But not all who know him are presently listening to him, and not all who give lip service only are willing to listen to the Lord and to be led by him. But there is no peace for those who will not submit to Christ as Lord and who will not walk in the ways of the Lord.

And please know that the Scriptures define the wicked as those who practice wickedness. So, regardless of what faith you have professed, if you are walking in sin, and not in righteousness and holiness, and if you are refusing to obey the Lord and his commands, because you prefer your sin more, unless you truly repent (turn from your sins) and you now walk in obedience to the Lord in righteous living, you will not inherit eternal life with God.

[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]

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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