Believers, when you jump into a pool, there’s no way you can avoid getting wet. Nobody has to order you to get wet when you are submerged in water. Same principle applies with living a righteous life under Grace through Christ. When you are under God’s Grace, you will live a righteous life. It is automatic. God works His will and the ability to do His good pleasure in us and our salvation is evident (Philippians 2:13). Without trying or knowing it, we bear fruit to holiness, and through no effort of ours too, all because we abide in Christ the True Vine.
Good works are EVIDENCES of our salvation, not CONDITIONS.
Imagine a person being in an impregnable prison (of sin) and a rescuer coming along and saying “I will save you from this prison (of addictions, sin and disobedience), but only if you save yourself first.” Imagine that you’ve got diarrhea that’s so bad that you can’t hold the poop for a second. You hear about a doctor who can make you well but you don’t know how to hook up with this doctor. A fellow comes along and offers to introduce you, but tells you that you have to heal yourself of the diarrhoea and also smell of roses before you can see the doctor. If you could heal yourself, why on earth would you still need to see the doctor?
Believers, if we could save ourselves from the bondage of sin and addiction, Jesus would not have needed to come and rescue us! Matthew 1:21 says of Him:
“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
But the opposite is the message that many churches preach today; people are being told to stop sinning, put their lives in order and then come to Jesus and that you have to maintain your salvation and remain right with God by obeying the Law. Believer, the law is not of faith. The one who is trying to obey the law to get right with God has no faith. And without faith, it is impossible to please God. The arm of flesh will fail.Salvation, even from sins, is not at all about behaviour modification. Salvation is all about hearts’ transformation by the Holy Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says:
“But we all with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transformed to the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
With Christ as our righteousness and forsaking that which comes from obeying the law, the Holy Spirit transforms us from within; our thoughts, words and deeds align with the work of the Spirit within. But some people tell you to depend on the arm of flesh that will fail in order to live right and reject the power of the Holy Spirit to transform the sinner to right living! Salvation, even salvation from sins, is not suppressing the urge to sin and doing right by human effort. The arm of flesh will fail, and when it does, the suppressed sins will explode in a volcanic eruption of sinful deeds. But see what Christ came to do in Titus 2:14-
“He gave His life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.”
Some people who teach this false doctrine of “do good, get good; do bad, get beat” mean well and want people to live right but many are agents of Satan who try to keep the flock focused on doing the impossible work of obeying the law in order to be godly (be like God same strategy Satan used with Eve to get her to try to be godly (be like God) through human effort aka eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.See the forbidden fruit as a picture of the law that many are trying to obey in order to be godly in Romans 7:8-12 (MSG)-
“The law code started out as an excellent piece of work. What happened, though, was that sin found a way to pervert the command into a temptation, making a piece of “forbidden fruit” out of it. The law code, instead of being used to guide me, was used to seduce me…”
Satan is still seducing people through his ministers today by deceiving many into thinking that they can be godly by human effort at keeping the law. It seemed good to Eve, as it seems good to many in the church today. But the end is death. The letter kills. We can do nothing without Christ, least of all be godly, but these ones deny God’s power in making the sinner who believes righteous through Christ.
Philippians 3:2 counsels us concerning preachers who preach that your salvation is dependent on how well you can obey the law : “Beware of dogs…” This is how God makes the sinner godly/righteous but they reject His power to make the sinner righteous in His sight:
“and He makes sinners right in His sight when they believe in Jesus. 27 Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. 28 So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.”
Notice “right in His sight” and not in the sight of man?Also Romans 5:19- “By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.”
Believers, beware of that false teaching that says a believer can stop being a child of God or “fall from grace” if he sins. Such preachers have no idea that the reason why we are not committing particular sins is because we have not been tempted beyond what we can bear in those areas. The potential to commit heinous crimes (sinful nature) was inherited by everybody thanks to Adam’s sin which made all mankind sinners (Romans 5:19 above.) God sees this potential and how favourable circumstances can make some people think that some sins are beneath them.
Trying to obey the law in order to be godly only cuts one off from Jesus Christ the Tree of Life, same way it cut Adam and Eve off from the Tree of Life in Eden:
“For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.” Galatians 5:4.
Christ came to rid us of this sinful nature and to save us from our sins. Why would our Saviour who came to save us from our sins use those very sins that He came to save us from as an excuse for not saving us from them and even lay on us the same punishment for sins that He took for us?
Bear in mind that God disciplines His children, but His chastening is that we might “live” and “for our benefit” (Hebrews 12.) The punishment that Christ bore for us was unto death and God will NEVER lay that on us a second time. Christ suffered our punishment and died our death for us and us.
But does this mean that we can now go and wallow in sins? Certainly not! This is the Way to live in triumph over sin and death. Try to obey the law in order to get right with God and sin will have dominion, “For sin shall not have dominion over you for you are not under law but under Grace.” Romans 6:14. But this is taught in reverse in many places of worship today.
Living in triumph over sin and death (sickness, lack other earthly ills are “death begun” does not come from obedience to the Law. It comes through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ:
“For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and His gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one Man, Jesus Christ.”
We don’t need Hagar (the Law) to bring up Isaac (Believers in Christ). Sarah (Grace) is enough!
Maintaining our salvation by ourselves is like asking a child who has the great Physician as his father (and has no clue about medicine) to treat himself when he gets sick! He’ll probably kill himself.
We often put the cart before the horse – we think that we must do good works in order to belong to Jesus/maintain our salvation. The reverse is the case – believing in Jesus and accepting God’s gift of righteousness and no condemnation through Christ is what makes us “go and sin no more.” This is why Jesus came, to deliver us from sin and death!
Because Jesus took our place, we are always in right standing with our Heavenly Father. We are the righteousness of God in Christ. Nothing we do or don’t do can change this for those who believe it, because we did not earn it to begin with. It is undeserved, unmerited favour. If you are “playing your part” by obeying the law, Christ becomes of no effect in your life– Galatians 5:4!
Believers, our salvation and transformation is by the Grace of God, not by our efforts. This is why it is Grace – undeserved, unmerited favour. Ask our Lord God for wisdom today. Ask Him to erase the wrong theology and traditions that you have believed. Tell Him you desire to not lean on your own understanding. Trust in Him and not your own knowledge. He will help you and direct your path!
Believe Right and you will Live Right.