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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Spiritual Forces of the Last Days, #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)
The error in goal and means. It may be true that the common denominator of the deceptions of the last days is a misunderstanding of the grace of God under the new covenant. The current perversion of Paul's teaching of grace may prove to be the deadliest, the most destructive, of all the heresies that have afflicted the churches of Christ.
All the forces of the New Age, Communism, Socialism, and the Muslim religion combined probably have done little to harm the churches. God's elect are aware of the dangers in these and are watching for them. But the misunderstanding of the new covenant and the resulting doctrinal errors have destroyed the Christian testimony throughout the world.
It is taught commonly among Christians that the goal of the Christian redemption is to go to Heaven and dwell there forever in a beautiful mansion, and that the means of going to Heaven is to proclaim belief in the theological facts concerning the Nature of Christ, the atonement made by Him, and His bodily resurrection from the cave of Joseph of Arimathea.
Nowhere in the Scriptures is the goal of redemption presented as eternal residence in Heaven above. Rather, the goal of redemption is twofold: to be formed in the image of Christ, and to be perfected in union in Christ and He in us. These are the goals toward which every saint is to be pressing.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be changed into the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (Romans 8:29)
That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. (John 17:21)
All of the inheritance promised to the sons of God is possible only as the believer is changed into the image of Christ and is perfected in oneness in the Father and the Son.
The current Christian doctrine concerning the role of grace in bringing us to the Divine goals is so incorrect as to be terribly destructive. This error may be the foundation of the perversions that have come forth in the last two hundred years.
The current teaching states that since we are complete in Christ, our sin is not counted as sin. It says we ought to try to do good, but if we are not successful in our attempt there is no critical problem. It claims that God does not hold us guilty of sin because Christ's righteousness covers us.
Although Christian believers do not always draw this teaching to its logical conclusion, what they are stating is that if a Christian rapes and kills an individual he is not guilty before God of rape or murder because he is complete in Christ. To claim that a truly saved individual would not rape or kill someone is to dodge the issue. It is a fact that Christians sin. Either the Lord judges sin as sin or He does not.
To be continued.