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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Inner and Outer Kingdom of God, #15
For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; (Titus 2:11,12)
One of the greatest misunderstandings of current Christian thinking is that the grace of God is a new manner in which God deals with His creatures, an alternative to actual righteousness of behavior and personality. It is taught that God is content for us to remain unchanged indefinitely in order that His "grace" may shine more brightly. The concept is that God continues to receive us in spite of our unwillingness to abide in Jesus and bear the fruit of the Divine image. God's receiving of us while we continue to sin reveals (according to the current delusion) His mercy and love toward us.
It is incomprehensible that a doctrine could be created and then accepted that would be so contrary to the true plan of Divine redemption. Yet, this perversion of the teaching of the Apostle Paul abounds in Christian thinking. It promotes the moral chaos that exists in the Christian churches and in the nations that look to them for moral guidance.
Whoever believes that God is pleased to accept continually in Christ those who are not living in obedience to the Master is ignorant of the program of salvation. The scriptural truth is, the believers who do not bear the fruit of God's moral image will be cut out of the Vine (John 15:2).
The writer knows something of the mercy and longsuffering of God, having ignorantly made a multitude of hurtful errors during his pilgrimage. God's mercy and longsuffering are extended to us as long as we repent of our sins and continue to move forward in the plan of redemption, that is, toward the removal of spiritual darkness from our personality. The heavenly Farmer demands fruit. Our acceptance by the Lord depends on our bearing fruit.
The scriptural principle that our salvation depends on certain actions on our part is being denounced today by Christian scholars. The current teaching is that God's "grace" (whatever is meant by that!) "saves us" (whatever is meant by that!) apart from our response to the admonitions and exhortations of the Lord's Apostles and Prophets as recorded in the Scriptures.
The teaching of "unconditional grace" is not the true doctrine of the new covenant. The new covenant places God's law in our minds and inscribes it in our hearts. To do away with the need for righteous behavior is an erroneous interpretation of Paul's teaching in the first few chapters of the Book of Romans. This interpretation has destroyed the spiritual life and strength of the churches that have received it.
Christian people have understood from early days that if we would gain the heavenly prize there is a race to be run; there are enemies to overcome. In these last days the believers, being lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God, have embraced teachers who, for the love of money, preach what their listeners desire to hear.
The Divine Word stands immovable. We must be cleansed before we are glorified.
Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope [of being like Him at His appearing] in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (I John 3:2,3)
To be continued.