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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The New Jerusalem, #6
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. (II Corinthians 6:16,17)
It is not belief in doctrine that brings fellowship with the Lord, it is coming out from among the works of darkness that brings the desired relationship. If we would walk with the Lord and be His sons and daughters we must "cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit" (II Corinthians 7:1).
What, then, is the meaning of "grace" under the new covenant?
Under the new covenant, God is ready and willing to forgive the repentant sinner who comes to Him in Jesus' name. God washes away his sins and puts His Spirit in him. God encourages him in every possible way to turn away from sin and to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
Modern teaching in many instances does not present the grace of God as the Divine means of giving us a new start, of guiding us into godly living. Rather, it is being taught that if we make a profession of faith in Christ, godly living is not necessary; that any efforts toward righteousness on our part somehow interfere with the righteousness that God is giving us through Jesus. We shall enter the new Jerusalem on the basis of our "faith," it is said. Attempts to live a godly life are viewed as "legalism."
We have made the grace of God a means of living as we please and then receiving the reward of the righteous.
Paul, in the sixth chapter of Romans, warned us against such an interpretation of his teaching. We have seized on Chapters Three through Five and have ignored the safeguard of Chapters Six through Eight.
There is a Kingdom law of sowing and reaping. What is being taught contradicts this law by saying that if we have "faith" in Christ we will not reap what we have sown. We are looking for a way to bring sin into Paradise, and we believe we have found it in Christ. We are erring in our heart!
God is not mocked. Whatever an individual sows he shall reap. If he receives Christ, and then through the grace of Christ he is enabled to cleanse himself from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, he will enter with joy into the new Jerusalem. If he makes a profession of faith in Christ and then proceeds on his way without cleansing himself, through the blood and the Spirit, of the works of his flesh and the pride of his self-will, he will be judged accordingly in the Day of Christ.
To be continued.