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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Iron, Fire, and Stern Obedience, continued
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. (Romans 12:9-17—NIV)
There are numerous such commandments in the New Testament. It is being preached today that while we ought to do such things, we still are "saved" even though we do not do them.
In this we reveal that we do not understand Christ or His Apostles.
It is absolutely true that we cannot ignore the blood atonement and attempt to please God by behaving righteously.
It is equally true that after we have received forgiveness through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ we are to turn from our sinful nature and begin to obey Christ and His Apostles. Freedom from condemnation depends on our willingness to turn from our sinful nature and follow the Spirit of God. When we need assistance in living righteously we have access through the blood of Jesus into the Holy of Holies in Heaven where we will receive grace to help in our struggle against sin.
Please note that the "believer" who is grossly negligent concerning the commandments of Christ and His Apostles, preferring to be "saved" by a naked grace, is deceived. If he does not judge himself, God will judge and chastise him. If he still does not repent he may become ill, or die prematurely, or be broken off from Christ altogether. This is what the Scripture states.
God will have no children who continue to behave unrighteously, paying little heed to the commandments of His Son, Jesus Christ, His Apostles, and His inspired Word.
Do we have to keep these commandments? Absolutely!
We know we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God's love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. (I John 2:3-6—NIV)
Scholars believe the Apostle John was reacting against Gnosticism, an ancient philosophy. The philosophy of Gnosticism teaches that we are saved by our mental adoption of certain principles and our behavior in the body is irrelevant.
After more than fifty years as an Evangelical Christian I have become convinced that the Evangelical doctrines of today are largely Gnostic and not Christian at all.
To be continued.