THE HOUSE OF GOD - part 16

 

 

Salvation is by grace, and the Gospel of salvation is that which teaches only the grace of God in the salvation of man. Those who do not believe the Gospel of grace, or who believe in grace and works as a viable means to salvation, are lost. The apostle states: “…as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse…” (Gal. 3:10). Paul’s meaning is “…as many as seek for justification by the works of the law, and trust in their own righteousness for acceptance with God, these are so far from being blessed or justified hereby, that they are under the curse…” To have sinned against God, and drawn His Wrath upon you, to be under the curse of God is never more clearly evidenced than when a man vainly looks to himself, to what he can do to get saved, or remain saved. God does not want sacrifice, but obedience to His Gospel of salvation according to His grace and Christ’s obedience. “But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead” (2 Cor. 1:9). As the apostle Paul, and others with him, was “…taught to lay aside all self-trust and confidence…” in himself, and to place all his trust only in God, Who not only is a very present help in times of trouble for His people (see Psa. 46:1), but Who also raises the dead, so too, man is in the dilemma he is in—being dead in sin, without God and without hope—that he might learn that he is to place all his hope and trust only in Almighty God as his one and only hope for salvation. The saved man looks only to God, His mercy and His grace. The lost man looks to his imagined god, and/or to himself, to his own obedience, his moral code, and strivings in his vain religious efforts at pleasing his notion of God, and in an attempt to placate his fear of death, which is no less than the fear of Judgement “Thus saith the Lord; Curseth be the man that trusteth in man…” (Jer. 17:5). It is this fear of death, fear of ultimate judgement, that keeps a man in bondage to the law, and imprisoned by an insatiable craving to establish a righteousness of his own. “…who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Heb. 2:15). This fear of death which keeps a man subject to bondage is what underpins the whole of religion, and gives rise to all sorts of fears and superstitions which are based on nothing but ignorance of the truth. Much like the fear of Judgement led Adam and Eve to hastily clothe themselves in a sinful, vain attempt to cover their shame. The Biblical reality is that only Christ can make a man free. The lost man seeks to establish a righteousness of his own, a righteousness which exalts him, and leaves him unjustified. The publican asked for God’s mercy, but the Pharisee confidently thanked God for what he, the Pharisee, was like, and for what he, the Pharisee, had done: character and conduct. Christ responds “I tell you, this man (the publican) went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted” (Lk. 18:14). “For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth” (2 Cor. 10:18). The Pharisee judged himself, not by God’s Standard, but by his character and conduct: what he was like, and what he had done. Those who look only to God are the justified ones. They are not justified because they look to God alone, but they only look to Him because they are justified. Those who claim to be looking to God, but who also look to themselves, in any way to any degree, for assurance that they are ‘saved’, exalt themselves and remain unjustified. Faith in God is trusting only in God. You see, the ground of salvation is the obedience of Christ, it is by HIS Righteousness, and not man’s, that a person gains entrance into eternal life. Christ does not give eternal life to those whom God has given Him, only to see them turn to what they do as assurance they are saved and have eternal life. God’s people are not ignorant of God’s Gospel of grace. They know they are saved, and they know how they are saved. God’s people look only to Him in complete adoration, for it is He Who has saved them. They look only to the Righteousness of Christ imputed to them as the only ground of their salvation.  

 

To attempt to gain salvation, or maintain it by our own obedience, has been natural sinful man’s way ever since Adam and Eve attempted to cover their nakedness. It is a view of reality obscured by man’s sinful nature, according to which no one has ever been saved. Some say that a man’s perspective is his reality, but a perspective which comes from a perception which is based on erroneous views is nothing but illusion. “It is the perception of our reality that governs the perspective towards our life. The question is where do our perspectives come from? In fact they come from our perceptions.” A proper perspective can only come from an accurate perception of the facts according to truth. The proper perspective of the Gospel of God, of how God saves, comes from the perception a man is blessed with when He is saved by the grace of God. Two people who have differing perceptions are not both right simply because they are people who have a view. They are either both wrong, or one is right and the other is wrong. They cannot both be right whilst holding to differing, therefore, opposing perceptions. Perception based on anything other than fact will always produce a distorted perspective, a wrong perspective. Those who do not have the gift of faith, who have not been born again, cannot have a proper perspective on God’s way of salvation, therefore, their perception of what the truth is, and of how God saves, is a perverted one because it is based on illusion rather than on the Gospel of God. An illusory view of the reality of God’s truth is about as far as one can get from the true God. Those who are not saved cannot discern the truth of God (see 1 Cor. 2:14; Jn. 14:17). There are so many opinions out there which are based on nothing but personal perception. Such perception is not built upon proper Biblical teaching, and, therefore, produces a warped perspective that can never provide an accurate picture of what the truth is. Because there are so many opinions, and perceptions, many seem to have given up on what the truth is, while many others have gone to the extreme and concluded there is no actual truth, but only an individual’s perception of it. Equally naïve and ignorant folk have thrown their hands up in the air, and foolishly concluded, like the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, that “There are no facts, only interpretations”. A more asinine statement one would be hard-pressed to find. Such thinking, which is nothing more than the stench emitted by the rotting corpse of man’s spiritually dead state, is also prevalent in today’s ecumenically-minded church attendee. Trying to judge what the truth is by seeking the opinions of men, is like trying to find out the meaning of color from one who was blind since birth. Those who have the truth have had it revealed to them by the true God. Everything else is just opinion.  

 

Just about everything to do with God today is seen as subject to a man’s opinion. Truth is viewed as fair game for the ‘wise’ of this world, where opinion of what the truth is, is considered as viable and valuable as truth itself. “Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity within themselves, but they only have relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration.” If there is no truth, nothing matters. If there is no truth, there are no facts. If there is no truth, there are no absolutes. If there is no truth there is no God. Satan loves to confuse man with words. He knows that each word is a seed. Satan is the king of doubt, and the author of confusion and double-mindedness. He says things with the intention of sowing uncertainty, and promoting indecision in people’s minds (see Gen. 3:1; Matt. 4:3), thereby, causing even the obvious to seem inconceivable, and the ridiculous plausible. Many become attracted to the abstract way of thinking which doubt creates in the minds of the susceptible among us. Willingly doubting, and questioning, the obvious is a poor man’s version of freedom. We saw this in the 60’s hippie drug culture. Without truth there can be no coherence. Without truth, everything begins to unravel. If a man can be convinced that all is relative, that there is no truth, then he becomes vulnerable, and invariably subject, to that which is untrue. Regardless of all the doubt that fills the minds of millions, the truth of God remains, and will always remain TRUTH. One can deny the truth, one can even believe that something other than truth is truth, but this can never change the fact that only the truth is truth. The Word of God is the Light that shines in a dark world (see 2 Pet. 1:19-21). Universities are actually instructing their students that no one is right or wrong, for there are no facts, no absolutes, and, therefore, no single reality. Reality is seen as something which varies from one person to another. What was once something which was only experienced by those who indulged in drug taking, is now becoming the norm in society. The various ‘realities’ which exist in the minds of individuals, create a ‘nobody’s wrong, if everybody’s right’ atmosphere. But the problem with such an approach to actuality is that if all is relative, then nothing can be taught as absolute. One cannot even say that all is relative, for in doing so one is stating an absolute which simply does not comply with the philosophy behind relativism. If all is relative then there can be no exceptions. Without truth, man is his own god. To believe that there are no facts, only interpretations, or to think that nothing really matters, or that nothing is real, reveals a man’s natural lost state. Sin has reduced man to a mumbling, bumbling creature whose ‘wisdom’ is only surpassed by his madness. (for more on this please see my book ‘That’s just your opinion!’).

 

To look to anything outside the reality of the grace of God, and the Righteousness of Christ in the salvation of man, or to look to add to what the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have done, is to deny grace, it is to deny the sufficiency, and, therefore, the efficacy, of grace and the obedience of Christ unto death. It is no less than a denial of the new birth as that which is essential to salvation. Paul the apostle explained in Philippians 3 that he had absolutely no confidence in the flesh whatsoever. No confidence at all in his obedience, his righteousness, but happily counted all his prior efforts at establishing a righteousness before God, as dung. Paul was bursting with joy that the God of grace had shown Him the Gospel of grace, that unique Gospel which reveals the Righteousness of Christ as the only Righteousness which a saved man is saved by, and, therefore, by grace, believes in, and trusts as his only ground for salvation. To be saved one must have perfect obedience. Since this is patently not possible for any man, he must look to Christ as Saviour and provider of the perfect obedience He imputes to all who believe on Him, to all for whom He died whose sins were imputed to Him. There are many professing Christians who firmly believe they are believing in salvation by grace, however, they also look to their own obedience and way of life as confirmation they are saved. It is a silent observance, an unspoken habit, it is the last thing they look to as that which assures and convinces them that they are true believers in what God has done! Looking to oneself, one’s character, lifestyle and sincerity of conviction in whatever one believes, as grounds for salvation, is the acquired behaviour pattern of the lost. Many are comforted by the thought that of course God was always going to save them, because they see themselves as well-intentioned, nice people who wish no one any harm. Everyone knows they will die, but, curiously, no one really expects to. Everyone knows people go to Hell, but no one ever thinks they will. Such belong in the same league as those who always look for a reassuring sign from within that they are saved. Christ said “…An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas” (Matt. 12:39), this being a reference to Christ’s death and Resurrection (see Matt. 12:40).

 

No one is saved who looks to what they do as the evidence they are saved. Assurance of salvation comes by looking to what God has done: saved His people by grace through faith in His Gospel. The Righteousness of Christ, and the eternal life he has been given by Christ, is the saved man’s assurance. Those who are saved by grace look to Him. Those who only think they are saved by grace, look also to themselves. If looking to the true God, and believing His Gospel of grace is not enough for you, then you are among the saddest of all people. You are blind to the Gospel of truth, and are currently lost. Christ will not be of any profit to anyone whose faith is in one’s works. Looking to oneself is trusting in oneself. No such person is currently in a saved state. The saved man has completely let go of everything he is, and everything he does, or will do, as that which forms the basis of his salvation, or plays any role in it. The saved man is too busy holding on to Christ to even think of looking to his own character and conduct. If one is saved by grace through faith, one’s trust is only in God and what He has done. How can anyone justify to themselves that they are true believers in grace, when they, quite ironically, look to what they do for that ultimate assurance and conviction that they are true believers in grace alone? Such people may just as well become circumcised. They all have their favourite sins which they find easy not to commit, like murder, as some sort of justification for their alleged salvation. They go to church, prayer meetings, and Bible studies, they take pride in their humility and being lovely people, kind and so forth. They read their Bibles faithfully every day, and take pride in the fact they always seek to live holy lives, but they fail to realise that they are basing, at the very least, the maintaining of salvation on their own obedience, their manner of life, what they do instead of trusting in God alone by grace alone through faith alone. In doing so they are at the very least adding their obedience, their morality, to Christ’s obedience, and by so doing have replaced Christ’s Righteousness with their own righteousness as that which forms the ground of their salvation. What is actually happening is man, in his sin-deluded state, is trying to become his own God, his own Saviour. The sin nature can never tear itself away from causing man to look to himself for salvation. Christ’s Righteousness comes by grace, and if one looks to one’s own righteousness made up of one’s works, then they cancel out Christ’s Righteousness, God’s grace and any valid Scriptural claim to salvation. They fail miserably in truly believing what they claim to believe: that salvation is by grace alone, and conditioned only upon the justifying Righteousness of Jesus Christ the Lord. The Jews had, and still have the same problem. The apostle Paul prayed for the salvation of the Jews for they were seeking to be saved by their own righteousness, and not the Righteousness of Christ (see Rom 10:1-4 & Rom. 9:32). Everyone who does not believe in the Gospel of Christ’s Righteousness have no alternative but to rely upon their own righteousness, their own efforts at obedience for salvation. Their trust is not in God, but only in themselves, thus evidencing the fact that they are without God and without salvation. If you are not looking only to Christ as your hope for salvation you are looking to something, or someone else. If you are looking to yourself you cannot be looking to Christ alone. The truth simply does not resonate with the dead. One must be made alive to be alive to the Word of the Truth of the Gospel of God. Until a man is made alive by God, until he is made a new creature in Christ (see 2 Cor. 5:17) that believes only in grace alone as that which saves, he is a stony figure transfixed by an inward obsession with his own righteousness.

 

The more we read and search the Scriptures, the more we learn and discover. Paul’s first Letter to Timothy reveals more about “…the House of God, which is the Church of the Living God, the pillar and ground of the Truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). Here we see that the House of God is the Church of God, the ones called out of the world by the Living God. We also learn that the Church of God, the House of God, made up of the elect people of God, is the pillar and ground of the Truth of God. This aligns perfectly with the passage from 1 Peter 4 which informs us that the House of God is filled only with believers in the Gospel of God, the Truth of God and about how He saves. If God’s House were not filled exclusively with believers in His Gospel, or if it were filled with Gospel believers and those who do not obey the Gospel, it could not rightly be called the pillar and ground of the Truth, at all. Some would believe the Gospel whilst others would not merely disbelieve it, they would be actively opposing God’s Gospel whilst residing in God’s own House! Those who obey not the Gospel of God are not of the lively stones, the exclusive material used in building the House of God. Such ones abide in false gospels, and are used by Satan to build a temple completely devoted to the worship of him via a humanistic love of oneself. God’s House would be a house divided if it were not filled exclusively with those who obey His Gospel, and, therefore, would not and could not stand (see Lk. 11:17 cf. Matt. 12:25; Mk. 3:24). Christians are collectively, and individually, the pillar and ground of God’s Truth, for they are all believers in His Gospel, and the sole inhabitants of God’s House. The only people who do believe and obey the true God are those used to build His House.

 

The apostle Paul’s Letter to the saints which were at Ephesus says: “…ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the Household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; In Whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In Whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit” (Eph. 2:19-22  cf. 1 Pet. 2:5). Again, collectively and individually, Christians are the habitation of God through the Spirit of Truth, the Spirit of God. The House of God is the pillar and ground of the Truth of God, His Gospel, and is built upon the teachings of the apostles and prophets. The chief corner stone, the focal point of the building, is the Lord Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul says “…the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1 Cor. 1:18). The preaching (Gospel) of the cross of Christ is the power of God unto salvation. Not the preaching of a counterfeit, not the preaching of one who is simply called jesus, who is only found in false gospels, but the preaching of the only Son of God which details what He did on the cross by His death, and for whom He did it. That which people find foolish about the preaching of the cross, is that salvation can only come by the Righteousness of Christ alone, and that no obedience on man’s part is necessary, and, therefore, something which is not required. Roman Catholicism, Arminianism and every other religion of the world counts the true preaching of the cross of Christ as foolishness. They do not overtly attack the historical fact of Christ’s dying on a cross, or that He died for sins, but what they will not accept, in fact that which they count as utterly foolish teaching, is that only Christ’s obedience saves. If the chief corner stone is the Christ of Truth then it is of necessity that all those who inhabit the building which is founded on Him, are believers in, and protagonists of, His Truth. The House of God is the Holy Temple of God which is built as a habitat for God, through the Holy Spirit. Scripture teaches “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16). Also, “…we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (1 Cor. 3:9). Just as the Holy Spirit does not indwell any who obey not His Gospel, so too, none who obey not the Gospel of grace can be of those who are called the House of God, or the Household of God. The House of God are God’s people. These are the ones He has chosen to love and save by grace alone, consequently,  they are the ones who believe only His Gospel, for they have all been saved by grace through faith, led to the truth of God by His Spirit. They are in Him, and He in them forever (see Jn. 17:21).

 

For a more detailed study of the Gospel of God and the doctrines it contains, please see my other books such as ‘God’s only Gospel’ and ‘The Doctrines of the Gospel of the Grace of God’. It must be pointed out that to truly believe in God, one must believe He is Creator of all things, that He has always been and always will be, and that He is all powerful and all knowing; That God the Son was not created but is very God Himself, that He came to this earth and was born of a virgin; That the Holy Spirit is very God Himself and is just as much a Person as is the Father and the Son. These are the absolute fundamentals of the Persons of the Trinity, and without belief in these truths one is not believing in the true God, and therefore cannot be saved. The Gospel, or Doctrine, of Christ is fundamentally as follows: Man is dead in sin (see Eph. 2:1,5), without Christ, without God, and without hope in the world (see Eph. 2:12). This is due to man’s disobedience toward God in the Garden of Eden. God had told Adam “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17). Subsequent to their sin “…they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden (Gen. 3:8). This means that after the Fall there was nothing left in man, no desire that would cause him to seek the true God: “No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him…” and “It is the Spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing…” and “…Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto Me, except it were given unto him of My Father” (Jn. 6:44,63,65). “…Except a man be born again; he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (Jn. 3:3). When asked who can be saved, the Lord Jesus replied “…with men this is IMPOSSIBLE; but with God all things are possible” (Matt. 19:26). If all things, including salvation, are possible with God, then nothing, including salvation, is possible without Him. In other words without God man has no hope of salvation. Clearly, salvation cannot be the result of what a man does, but only by the grace of God. Salvation is something which comes either from man, which Christ has declared can never be, or by God, Whom Christ has declared is the only way. Man’s not being able to attain salvation is at once a declaration that nothing within the scope of man’s abilities, or capabilities, can in any way be used to gain, or maintain, his salvation. That is why salvation is only possible with God, and must be something which is 100% according to the grace of God. This is in accord with the teaching just mentioned, that a man without God, and without the Gospel of God, is without any hope of salvation. Man, if left to himself, has no hope of eternal salvation, of everlasting life. He does not know the Gospel, he does not know God and he does not know the way to God. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10-12 cf. Psa. 10:4). The world cannot receive the Spirit of truth “…because it seeth Him not, neither knoweth Him…” (Jn. 14:17 cf. 1 Cor. 2:14). Man is spiritually destitute! Consequently, far from being that which facilitates the salvation of a man, his every thought, and every gospel, is consistent with that which impedes his salvation by catering to man’s natural aversion to God’s Gospel of salvation by grace alone.

 

The Bible says “…verily every man at his BEST state is altogether vanity” (Psa. 39:5). It is God Who makes alive, purely by His Sovereign will and grace (see Rom. 4:17). Paul, addressing believers wrote: “But God Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved;)” (Eph. 2:4,5; cf. Col. 2:13,14). "...OF HIM are ye in Christ Jesus..." (1 Cor. 1:30). It is by Christ Jesus the Lord that His people believe in God: “Who BY HIM do believe in God…” (1 Pet. 1:21). God does not grant the gift of faith so that people may have a mere potential to believe, but to ensure they WILL believe His Gospel which declares salvation to be by God and grace alone. God has chosen people from among every nation to be His people, His very own elected children (Rev. 5:9). God did this according to His Own Counsel. He did not confer with man, nor did He act based on any man’s ‘good deeds’. “Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counsellor hath taught Him? With whom took He counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of judgment, and taught Him knowledge, and shewed to Him the way of understanding?” (Isa. 40:13,14 cf. 1 Cor. 2:16; Job 33:12,13). God choosing those whom He would bless before the foundation of the world, based on grace, is proof positive that man is dead in sin, and cannot come to God by works, or will. Why is salvation by grace? Because it cannot be by works. The elect are saved, not by means of their own obedience, but by the obedience of ONE: “…by the obedience of One shall many be made Righteous” (Rom. 5:19): “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to OUR WORKS, but according to HIS own purpose and GRACE, which was GIVEN us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Tim. 1:9), and not, as so many falsely teach, according to God’s foreknowing who would choose Him, for such an ‘election’ would be according to a man’s deeds, and by reward, something which he has earned, rather than by God’s own will, purpose and grace. The Scriptures speak plainly: “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt” (Rom. 4:4 cf. Rom. 6:23). If man must do something before salvation, in order that salvation can then take place, it is not salvation by grace, but salvation by works. Salvation would be something God would be indebted to reward a man with, rather than a gift given freely by His grace. It is Christ who has saved us, and not we ourselves. “In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Eph. 1:11)—not man’s will, or works. The Bible says of Christians that the reason why God loves us is not because we loved Him first, it is not we who have taken the initiative; it is not anything that we have done which has attracted God to us, and prompted Him to love us and choose us, but “We love Him, because HE FIRST loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19 & v.10; cf. Rom. 5:6,8). God is the sole motivating factor behind a saved man’s believing. If God had never granted the gift of faith to His people, none of them would ever have savingly believed in Him. It is God Who makes alive, and not man who comes alive. Man is given eternal life, he does not attain it.

 

The Lord Jesus paid the penalty of all the sins of all the elect of God whom God had given Him (Isa. 53:4,5), and has replaced their sin with His Righteousness: “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness WITHOUT WORKS” (Rom. 4:6  cf. Rom. 4:8). The Righteousness which is given a man is not a reward for anything the man has done, for then it could not be called a salvation purely by grace. Christ’s Righteousness is freely imputed, or charged, to the elect sinner, by God’s grace based on the obedience of Another: Christ Jesus the Lord: “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Rom. 11:6). Salvation is not the result of anything a man has done, for salvation is by the grace of God, and the Righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is God’s grace, and it is Christ’s Righteousness. Salvation is not at all by man’s works, and, therefore, his righteousness. God’s Justice is satisfied, for the penalty which the sins of God’s elect had incurred has been met, and could only have been met, by Christ alone: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree” (Gal. 3:13). “…by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:12). If God has done it, then it could only have been God that could do it, therefore, salvation can only be by grace. The grace is God’s, the faith is God’s, the obedience is Christ’s, we are chosen by Him, we are made alive by Him, and so on. Salvation is all of God, and, therefore, not at all by man. Nothing that is necessary to salvation comes from man, for nothing that is necessary to salvation is dependent on man. Every Gospel believer shall be presented to God holy, faultless, spotless, blameless, and unreproveable (see Jd. 24; Col. 1:22; 2 Pet. 3:14), for they are robed with Christ’s perfect Righteousness, and no longer covered in the filthy rags of their own righteousnesses (see Isa. 64:6): “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the Robe of Righteousness...” (Isa. 61:10 cf. Gen. 3:21). Jesus Christ alone has fully met the requirements of God’s Holy law, by His perfect obedience: “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so BY THE OBEDIENCE OF ONE shall many be made righteous” (Rom. 5:19). The elect referred to here as the many, will not be made righteous because of their own individual and imperfect adherence to God’s commands, but are made Righteous solely by the obedience of One: Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory! 

 

All of God’s elect will hear the Gospel, and will, at the appointed time, believe it, for this has been predetermined, ordained, by God’s immutable Counsel and eternal Will (see Acts 13:48; see also Acts 2:47). The Word of God teaches that all for whom this has been done will never perish (see Jn. 10:27:28; cf. Jn. 6:37-40). They have been saved eternally, and are preserved in Christ Jesus their Lord (see Jude 1 & Psa. 37:28). They are all “…hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3 cf. Psa. 83:3; Jd. 1:1). “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (Jn. 6:37). The blood of Christ has not provided a temporary state of salvation for those for whom it was shed, but it has ETERNALLY saved all for whom it was shed. Their sins and their guilt have been charged to Another, Who has blotted them out forever, their debt has been paid in full, and a perfect Righteousness established and imputed unto those for whom Christ died (see Rom. 4:6-8). The salvation that a Christian has is not one which is subject to change, for it is not conditioned on a man’s efforts at obedience, but is solely conditioned  on Christ, from beginning to end, and is, therefore, eternal and wavers not. The saved man is not kept saved by his efforts, but by the power of God through faith in Christ: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1:3-5 cf. Jn. 17:11,12; 2 Cor. 1:21,22). To believe otherwise is to deny the efficaciousness of Christ’s atoning death, and Christ’s finished work as being sufficient, not only to save His people, but to ensure the eternal security of those people. To deny the Work of Christ is to deny the Person of Christ, and to deny Him is to deny His Father’s Testimony, and the Holy Spirit’s Testimony, of Who He is and what He has done, as revealed in the Gospel. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the Witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son” (1 Jn. 5:10). Jesus said “…the Spirit of truth…shall testify of Me” (Jn. 15:26 cf. Jn. 16:13,14). “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also” (1 Jn. 2:23). Just as those who deny the Son do not have the Father, so, too, those who do not stand in Christ’s doctrine do not have either the Son, or the Father: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9).

 

The life every true born of the Gospel believer now has is everlasting life, because they have, by the grace of God, been made alive unto Him eternally. God does not do things by halves, for if He has saved you, you are saved forever. THERE IS NO SIN THAT CAN UNDO THIS, FOR CHRIST HAS BLOTTED OUT THE BELIEVER’S SINS, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE, HAVING NAILED THEM TO HIS CROSS! (see Col. 2:13-15). EVERY SIN OF EVERY BELIEVER HAS BEEN MET, IMPUTED TO THE SAVIOUR, DEALT WITH, PAID FOR, AND FORGIVEN, FOR CHRIST DIED FOR ALL THE SINS OF EVERY BELIEVER, AND HAS CARRIED THEM AWAY FOREVER. Christ imputes His Righteousness to all those whom He became a curse for (see Gal. 3:13 & 2 Cor. 5:21). If every sin of every believer has been atoned for, would it not be right to conclude that the sin of unbelief, that sin which for so long kept the believer from God, and evidenced his dead spiritual state, has also been taken out of the way? If not, then the sin of unbelief has not been done away with, not even for the elect, and there is no atonement for it. The penalty it has incurred has not been paid, and, therefore, no one can possibly come to God, for the sin of unbelief reigns supreme, being untouched by the blood of Christ. How ludicrous is the arrogant claim that a man can lose his salvation in light of what God says in His Holy Word. Has not Christ suffered the penalty of all the sins of the elect, including the sin of unbelief? As this is patently obvious, how could anyone for whom Christ has suffered, possibly die in unbelief, when the penalty for that very sin of unbelief has been paid in full by the Lord Jesus? How can a man undo, by forgiven sin, no less, that which Christ has done? How can Christ’s gift of eternal salvation be prevented, or undone, by the sins of those whom He has eternally forgiven? Christ’s forgiveness does not depend on you not sinning, but on His eternal, covenant love, and the fact that your sins have been washed away by His blood, and His Righteousness put in their stead. Moreover, God will never leave His chosen people, nor forsake them (see Psa. 37:28 & Heb. 13:5), and because of this, they can/will never leave, or forsake, Him. The seed of man might procreate physical life, but it is only a temporal life, for it comes from corruptible seed, which means that it will one day perish. However, all that spring from the Seed of God have a spiritual life which is eternal, it will never perish, for that Seed which they have been born out of—the Gospel—is incorruptible. Christ said it this way: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (Jn. 3:6). This means that which is born of the flesh, that is, man’s natural sinful nature, cannot but be natural and sinful itself, and will one day die. The Pharisee, Nicodemus, who had just asked if what Jesus meant by the phrase “...except a man be born again...” (Jn. 3:3,4) implied that a man must enter a second time into his mother’s womb, did not understand what Christ had said. Even if a man could re-enter his mother’s womb “He would still be possessed by the same natural propensities and passions....” (that which is of the flesh). Man “partakes of the nature of the parent. As the parents are corrupt and sinful, so will be their descendants. And as the parents are wholly corrupt by nature, so their children will be the same. The word ‘flesh’ here is used to denote ‘corrupt, defiled, sinful’.” On the other hand, that which is born of the Spirit of God, or by the agency of the Holy Spirit through the means of the Gospel of God, is spirit as well. Only the born again man will see the Kingdom of Heaven. “Here we learn that all men are by nature sinful. That none are renewed but by the Spirit of God. If man did the work himself” (or contributed in any way to any degree), “it would be still flesh, and impure.” Man must be born again; he must be born of that incorruptible Seed; he must be born of the Gospel if he is to see the Kingdom of God. “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever….And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you” (1 Pet. 1:23,25 cf. 1 Cor. 4:15).

 

None of God’s children believe anything less, or more, than this simple Gospel as the only way to salvation. Christ said He is the only Way to the Father: “...I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (Jn. 14:6 cf. Heb. 7:25). Also, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The way to God is not a life of good works, for the Bible says “…by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Gal. 2:16 cf. Rom. 3:10-12, 20). Good works are a fruit of salvation, but they are not in any way to any degree a contributing factor, or the means, to anyone’s justification (see 2 Tim. 1:9). A man is saved purely by God Himself electing the man to be saved by means of his hearing, understanding and believing God’s Gospel. All who abide in the doctrine of Christ are preserved in Christ (see Jude 1), and their inheritance is reserved for them in Heaven. According to the abundant mercy of God, and not our works, HE “...hath BEGOTTEN US AGAIN unto a lively hope by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith UNTO salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1:3-5 cf. Col. 3:3; Psa. 83:3). All who reject the Doctrine of Christ obey not the Gospel of Christ, they have not God, and shall be eternally damned if they remain in that state: “Whosoever transgresseth, and ABIDETH NOT IN THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, HATH NOT GOD. He that ABIDETH in the doctrine of Christ, he HATH both the Father and the Son. If there come ANY unto you and bring not THIS DOCTRINE, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 Jn. 9-11). “…the Lord knoweth them that are His” (2 Tim. 2:19). All that are known of God will know Him, and believe only His Gospel.

 

 

REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL

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