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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Pressing Into God's Rest, #5
David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: (Romans 4:6—NIV)
The problem today is that Christian believers believe in the facts of salvation but do not press forward until they gain Christ and attain to the resurrection from the dead, believing that salvation does not depend on their behavior.
Perhaps some will respond with Paul's quotation from Psalms that the person is blessed to whom God credits righteousness apart from works. The argument then is we should do nothing but believe Christ died for our sins.
In the early chapters of the Book of Romans the Apostle Paul stressed that we are not saved by works but by faith in Christ. But a careful reading of these chapters will reveal that Paul was saying we are not saved by obeying the letter of the Law of Moses but by faith in Christ. We are to look up from the scroll and behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
To then interpret this transfer of our faith from Moses to Christ to mean righteousness is credited to Gentiles who make a profession of belief in Christ and then do the works of Satan is to discount the numerous exhortations of Paul that we live righteously, and his abundant warnings that if we continue to live according to the lusts of our flesh we shall die spiritually; we shall not inherit the Kingdom of God; we shall reap destruction.
See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. (Hebrews 3:12—NIV)
The problem is that of turning away from God, of not pressing forward to the fullness of salvation, which is perfection, the rest of God.
We see this today as people receive salvation and the baptism with the Holy Spirit, but then do not, as Paul, lay aside everything in order to gain Christ. They suppose that because they have made a profession of Christ they will go to Heaven when they die. Then they become occupied with amassing money, entertainment, sometimes immorality or drugs and drunkenness, and other aspects of the American culture. They do not realize God has warned them in the Book of Hebrews about the destruction that awaits those who have received Christ and then have neglected their great salvation.
We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first. (Hebrews 3:14—NIV)
Again we see that our place in Christ depends on our holding firmly to Christ until we reach the goal God has set before us. It is he who endures to the end who shall be saved.
And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? (Hebrews 3:18—NIV)
The Jews demonstrated their unbelief and rebellion by disobeying Moses. The result was they died in the wilderness. The writer of Hebrews is telling us that if we do not press forward in Christ every day of our discipleship we will not attain to the position in Christ we are hoping for.
To be continued.