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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Untying the Knot, continued
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, (I Timothy 6:3,4)
In the previous essay we stated that all true Christians believe that the commandments given by Christ and His Apostles came from God. The Great Commission enjoins the commandments upon us.
We noted, however, that in four areas there is considerable disagreement among Christian people.
* The consequences of not keeping the commandments.
* The approach we take to the commandments.
* The role of our own personality in keeping the commandments.
* What the results are of keeping the commandments.
We are going to combine all the disagreements into two major viewpoints. The first viewpoint is the one we hold to be true and scriptural. The second we think is often held by Evangelicals.
Our purpose in this discussion is not to prove we're right but to urge people to keep God's commandments. We believe the Lord has prompted us to emphasize this point.
The first viewpoint maintains that if we do not keep the commandments there will be very serious consequences and that grace does not alter this fact.
The first viewpoint maintains that our approach to the commandments is to be one of strict obedience, looking always to the Holy Spirit for comfort, wisdom, strength, and courage. We cannot possibly keep God's commandments in our own strength. Nevertheless they must be kept and so we must pray without ceasing.
The first viewpoint holds that we keep the commandments by the deliberate choice of our own personality. We do not wait for Christ to keep them for us.
The first viewpoint holds that the promises of both the Old and New Testament are assigned to those who keep Christ's commandments. The result of keeping the commandments is that God blesses us and gives us eternal life and salvation.
We are not saying that we earn eternal life and salvation on the basis of our works. We are saying rather that in order to receive eternal life and salvation we must do what the Lord commands.
His first commandment is that we put our faith in His blood atonement rather than in our dead religious works. If we do not obey Christ and His Apostles in this we do not receive eternal life and salvation.
After we believe in the atonement we must repent of our past life and be baptized in water. After we repent of our past life and are baptized in water we must do all the other works of the Christian life including gathering regularly with fervent believers, coveting the ministries and gifts of the Spirit, presenting our body as a living sacrifice, reading the Scriptures, praying, and giving of our means.
We must continue to shun evil and embrace the good. We must be careful to pursue righteousness and be zealous in all good works.
We must keep on doing throughout our lifetime what the Lord commands both in His Word and to us personally. If we do not, then we have believed in vain. We were obedient to begin with and then did not continue to obey.
To be continued.