The Bible says that Jesus came to save us from our sins. This has spiritual and natural components, I believe. The world needs to be saved from sin. If this only has a spiritual component then the world would remain in wickedness and sin while claiming it is holy. This is what is happening to the teaching of holiness today. We are told in our churches we will sin, but that God accounts us as being righteous in Christ. It does absolutely nothing for the state of the world to be spiritually holy while our actions remain wicked and corrupt, so to speak. Our lives testify to the power and glory of God to change us from the children of darkness to the children of the light. This is the true Gospel.
We need deliverance from sin, a complete freedom from sin, and God has provided for this through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit. God says he gives us a new heart, a new spirit, a new mind, and a will to obey his commandments. Once we were wicked, the Bible says, but now we walk in newness of life. Once we committed atrocities, but now we do good works that others applaud and are grateful for and are encouraged to see still happening.
Wickedness and sin is increasing rapidly in the world. We hear of unbelievable atrocities occurring in our own country and elsewhere. It’s not just a small group of people doing these things. We are hearing and reading about many people across all walks of life being charged or accused of unspeakable crimes against others.
A quote by a Canadian psychologist and university professor (currently a social media and You Tube sensation) who is rebelling against the recent Canadian compelled speech legislation, “I believe we make a decision between heaven and hell with every decision we make. I think that’s literally and metaphorically true.”
“Listen to them and obey them because they sit in Moses’s seat but don’t do as they do. Your righteousness has to exceed that of the Pharisees or you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” These are the words of Jesus to his disciples as recorded in the NT.
We make many daily decisions as disciples of Jesus Christ. We need to understand how important it is that we make righteous decisions. We cannot ‘go along with the flow’ unless we can maintain our integrity and honesty in that flow. The psychologist above says that we will lose our soul if we do. We must stay true to ourselves, Jesus Christ, and the Word of God.
The church in our day says that Christ will forgive you no matter what you do. However, forgiveness from God requires repentance and truth from the believer and a turning away or ceasing from what action the believer did that needs forgiving. Faith and repentance are the most important components of the Gospel. Without repentance there is no forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Without forgiveness there is no redemption in Christ. This is clear in the Bible scriptures. We are told in scripture to cease from our sins. If this ability was not provided for by God, or if it was impossible for a believer to not sin, then God would not ask it of us. It’s as clear as that in my mind.
There is a children’s song, “Every move I make, I make in you Jesus, every breath I breathe, I breathe in You.” We as believers need to be very careful about what we are saying and doing. We must not compromise or risk our very soul because we take sin lightly in our day. Scripture says, “May your very mind, soul and body be preserved blameless until the coming of the Lord”. The devil has compromised believers in our day by deceiving them into thinking that they can participate in the table of devils while also participating in the Lord’s Table. This is not true. Ananias and Saphira tried to do that by lying to the Holy Spirit about the amount of the selling price of their land. They were struck down dead. This is a warning sign given to us in scripture by God.
I read a teaching yesterday stating that the Word of God does not have to obey the rules of righteousness in a culture. This teaching stated that God’s ways override culture. The example they gave was Isaac taking Rebecca as his wife by ‘going into her tent’ suggesting that this is all that is required for marriage to be authentic and acknowledged by God.
I don’t think that this teaching is altogether right. The way a culture has set up behaviors of propriety and rightness matters. Some scripture that I thought of was Mark 1:44 where Jesus instructs the healed the man with leprosy to offer the sacrifices to the priest that Moses had commanded for a testimony to them. In Acts chapter 18 the apostle Paul shaved his head when he made a vow. This action was the custom of that day and place. When we follow the culture’s methods of showing righteousness we provide a testimony to them.
In this teaching that I read yesterday it was suggested that believers could co-habitate without a marriage ceremony or certificate and be married before God. However, in the culture of the West cohabitation is worldly and is still somewhat inferior to being married. To be a testimony to the culture here in the West would be to make a strong commitment to each other and get married. The scriptures admonish believers to avoid even the appearance of ungodliness.
In other scripture God makes it clear that engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage is fornication. This is an extremely serious teaching. No fornicator will enter the kingdom of God scripture says.
There are other areas of teaching on this website that I feel are good and that my attitude has been given a bit of an adjustment that may have been needed. What this shows us as believers is that we must be discerning when we read something. We have to read a teaching with scripture in the back of our minds to either confirm the teaching or cause us to pause and consider as we read.
I Thess. 5:21 “Test everything. Hold on to the good. Avoid every kind of evil.”
Scripture says you will know them by their fruit, meaning what we see concerning others we can judge. The book of James says that if you do not have works you do not have faith. Jesus said believe that I am who I say that I am because of the works that I do. The works of Jesus were done openly for all to see and judge. God has prepared good works for us to do the Bible says. We are admonished in scripture to keep adding virtue and good works to our lives.
2 Peter 1:5 says “make every effort to add to your faith goodness, and to goodness knowledge, and to knowledge self-control, and to self-control perseverance and to perseverance godliness, and to godliness, brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness love. If you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ”.
The opposite of unproductive means to produce something. Something that others can see and judge. We must be adding goodness to our inner selves and to our behaviors as believers. Works do not save us, but they are the witness of a work of Christ in us. The scriptures are very clear on this. Good works follow the believer.
Any church that teaches that good works are legalism and that a believer does not need this visible witness is not teaching a balanced theology. This is not rules following, but an outcome that is assured for the believer who is in Christ, and who applies the Word of God to their lives. This is not legalism. Legalism is following a list of rules thinking that by following these outward rules they are in good standing with God without the need for faith in Christ Jesus.
We are seeing something in our day that is not new, but it is something we haven’t seen as obvious and prolific until recently. This is masses of society in hypocrisy, narcissism, denial of reality, denial of truth, and deceiving and being deceived. We seem to have some projection happening in the progressive left part of our society whereby accusations are made toward others that they themselves are portraying and doing. Some of these accusations thrown around are fascism, racism, intolerance, and discrimination.
I’ve been trying to do some reading to see what I can find out about this situation happening in the society of the West. Some are saying that personality disorders, cognitive dissonance, and mental illness is behind some of what we are seeing. People have constructed ideologies in their minds that they are holding onto above the values of truth and reality. This is why facts do not make any sense or any difference to them. They have constructed their own world in their minds and their own false reality. They are unable to see any hypocrisy in what they think or do and anyone who interferes with what they believe will likely stir up their wrath. We are seeing this happen before our very eyes in the United States, Europe, Canada, and other western nations.
This then leads to the church. What is happening in the churches. Churches are not hanging onto truth but are presently trying to change truth from within. Churches are trying to change the meaning of scriptures to better match the current ideologies of society. Many churches are saying “God has not said….”
Reading something I have found on line that is particularly scary is a comparison that is made of what was happening in the Roman Empire before it fell to what is occurring today in our western society. We are experiencing much the same things. This article says that we are in a place of a likely fall, and then an end to our own civilization in the West.