I read a lengthy meme on social media yesterday that describes the false message of the gospel which is widely being spread throughout the church here in America. Now, it has an element of truth to it, for deception often blends truth and lies together in order to deceive people. So it isn’t all wrong, but it isn’t all right, either.
Now this is written from the vantage point of a singular person and this person (I am going to choose female) first listed all the things she had done wrong in her life. And then she thanked God that she wasn’t too lost or broken to be saved by his grace, “which covers a multitude of sins.” And then she continued, “It’s not because I am a good person, it’s because I know that I am not, that I trust fully that He is a good God.”
So, where is the mention of humbling herself before God in genuine repentance and of choosing to now turn from her sins to now walk in obedience to the Lord and to his commands (under the New Covenant), in walks of surrender and submission to God, and in walks of holiness and righteousness and no longer as a slave to sin? This is not mentioned at all. She admits that she is not a good person and yet she continues..
Because despite my many downfalls:
I am 𝐋𝐎𝐕𝐄𝐃 (John 3:16)
I am 𝐀𝐂𝐂𝐄𝐏𝐓𝐄𝐃 (Romans 15:7)
I am 𝐑𝐄𝐃𝐄𝐄𝐌𝐄𝐃 (Psalm 111:9)
I am a 𝐂𝐇𝐈𝐋𝐃 𝐎𝐅 𝐆𝐎𝐃. (John 1:12)
I can 𝐂𝐀𝐒𝐓 𝐎𝐔𝐓 my anxiety ( Philippians 4:6-7)
I have 𝐏𝐔𝐑𝐏𝐎𝐒𝐄 (Proverbs 16:4)
I am 𝐅𝐑𝐄𝐄 (John 8:36)
I am 𝐅𝐎𝐑𝐆𝐈𝐕𝐄𝐍 (1 John 1:9)
I am 𝐒𝐀𝐕𝐄𝐃 (Ephesians 2:8-9)
I will not be defined by my bad decisions and sinful nature. 𝐈 𝐚𝐦 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐇𝐄 𝐬𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐈 𝐚𝐦. I walk with Jesus not because I’m perfect, but because HE is.
“𝘍𝘰𝘳 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘺 𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘣𝘦𝘦𝘯 𝘴𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘥, 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘧𝘢𝘪𝘵𝘩 – 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘷𝘦𝘴, 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘨𝘪𝘧𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘎𝘰𝘥 – 𝘯𝘰𝘵 𝘣𝘺 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘴, 𝘴𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘯𝘰 𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘰𝘢𝘴𝘵.” – 𝘌𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘪𝘢𝘯𝘴 2:8-9
If you’re a wretch like me, I ask that you share the hope that comes only from Jesus.
Now, is it true that, as followers of Jesus Christ, that we are not yet fully perfect, even though we are being perfected by God? Yes, it is true. Is it true that we might still fail (sin) sometimes? Yes, it is true. And is it true that our salvation is not of our own doing, but that it is a gift to us from God, and that it is not of our own fleshly works that we are saved, lest we should boast that we somehow earned or deserved our own salvation of our own accord? Yes, that is also true. But what is the overall message here?
There is no mention of repentance, and the suggestion is that she still is not a good person and that she is a person of many downfalls, some of which she listed, who still makes bad decisions and who is still of the sinful nature. And there is no mention of being crucified with Christ in death to sin nor of being raised with him to walk in newness of life in him, no longer in slavery to sin, but now in walks of obedience to the Lord. There is no indication of a change of heart and mind towards God at all. And yet she is claiming the promises of God over her life. But God’s promises have requirements.
For, if we read most of these Scriptures she referenced, in context, we will see that we must walk in the light (truth, righteousness) and no longer in darkness (sin, wickedness) in order to be saved and to have eternal life with God. For if we claim to be in fellowship with God while we walk (in practice) in sin, we are liars. And we will see that forgiveness comes after or in conjunction with true repentance and walks of obedience to our Lord and that we are created in Christ Jesus for GOOD WORKS which God prepared in advance that we should WALK IN THEM (1 John 1:5-10; Ephesians 2:10).
And we will see that the life of a true follower of Jesus Christ is not one who claims to be still walking in sin, making bad decisions of the sinful nature, and who is a person of many downfalls who is not a good person. But a true follower of Jesus Christ is one who professes to have died with Christ to sin and who is living to his righteousness, not in absolute sinless perfection, but no longer walking (in conduct, in habit) in sin, but who now walks in holiness and in righteousness in the power of God (Romans 6:1-23; Romans 8:1-14).
Are we absolutely perfect in every way? No! But we should be no longer walking in sin, but now we should be walking in holiness and in righteousness, in obedience to our Lord, in humble submission to his divine will and purpose for our lives. For this purpose Jesus died on that cross. For, the hope that comes from Jesus is a hope which transforms our hearts and lives and which turns us from darkness (sin) to light (righteousness) and from the power of Satan to God so that we can receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those sanctified by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 26:18).
“And he said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels’” (Luke 9:23-26 ESV).
[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]
Dwelling In Beulah Land
By Miles C Austin (1911)
Far away the noise of strife upon my ear is falling;
Then I know the sins of earth beset on every hand;
Doubt and fear and things of earth in vain to me are calling;
None of these shall move me from Beulah Land.
Far below the storm of doubt upon the world is beating,
Sons of men in battle long the enemy withstand;
Safe am I within the castle of God’s word retreating,
Nothing there can reach me, ’tis Beulah Land.
Let the stormy breezes blow, their cry cannot alarm me;
I am safely sheltered here, protected by God’s hand;
Here the sun is always shining, nothing there can harm me;
I am safe forever in Beulah Land.
Viewing here the works of God, I sink in contemplation;
Hearing now His blessed voice, I see the way He planned;
Dwelling in the Spirit, here I learn of full salvation,
Gladly I will tarry in Beulah Land.
I’m living on the mountain, underneath a cloudless sky,
I’m drinking at the fountain that never shall run dry;
Oh, yes! I’m feasting on the manna from a bountiful supply,
For I am dwelling in Beulah Land.
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