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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Perversion of Grace, #2
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)
It is impossible for Paul or anyone else to contrast godly behavior with the grace of God in Christ because the grace of God in Christ always will produce godly behavior if it is applied correctly.
Paul also pointed out the difficulty our flesh has concerning observing the Ten Commandments. But it never was Paul's intention to leave the Christians with the impression they now are without law. Rather, the point is we are dead to the Law of Moses in order that we may be married to Christ.
We do not save ourselves by keeping the Law of Moses or any other religious or moral code. But when we are married to Christ and are living in and by Him we are free from the Law of Moses and now are able to keep the commandments given by Christ and His Apostles. As we keep the commandments found in the New Testament, Christ is formed in us.
As Christ is formed in us we keep the moral law of God by nature because of the Divine Life being created in us. If we do not obey Christ and His Apostles such that Christ is being formed in us we are not dwelling in the true grace of God. We are not "being saved."
It never was, is not, and never will be God's intention that His grace in Christ be used as a means of encouraging sinful behavior. The soul that sins shall die. It is only as we, through the grace of God in Christ, turn from our sins and serve God that we attain eternal life.
But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. (Galatians 2:17,18)
The present-day perversion and heresy is that Christ came to forgive the sins of men so He may bring them to Paradise in their unchanged state. This is the concept held by the majority of Christians. It is not scriptural.
Christ came to save men by delivering them from the Kingdom of Satan and bringing them into the Kingdom of God. Christ destroys the works of Satan in men. Apart from the moral transformation of the individual there is no salvation. It is the moral transformation that is the salvation, the redemption from the hand of the enemy.
Jesus did not come primarily to forgive our sins and bring us to Heaven, although an initial forgiveness is necessary if we are to start on the path to full reconciliation to God. Rather, the Lord Jesus came to deliver us from our sins. Forgiveness and deliverance are different concepts.
Repentance and forgiveness remove the man from the cesspool.
Deliverance removes the cesspool from the man.
Salvation is not the bringing of men from earth to Heaven. Salvation is the bringing of men from Satan to God.
Salvation is not a change of location, it is a change of the individual. By viewing the Christian salvation as a change of location from earth to Heaven we are destroying the work of God in the earth. We are perverting the Divine plan of redemption.
To be continued.