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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Untying the Knot, continued
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (John 15:14)
Here is a way we can work at this knot. Let's take each of the four areas of disagreement and state the first viewpoint, and then supporting passages, and then the second viewpoint, and then supporting passages, and so forth.
The four areas of disagreement:
* The consequences of not keeping the commandments.
* The approach we take to the commandments.
* The role of our own personality in keeping the commandments.
* What the results are of keeping the commandments.
First, what are the consequences of not keeping the commandments given by Christ and His Apostles.
The first viewpoint—the consequences are very severe.
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:7,8)
And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works. (Revelation 2:23)
I would say these are severe consequences and we easily could add many more from the New Testament.
I know some will say these apply to the Jews, or to unsaved people, or whatever. But this is playing fast and loose with the Scriptures. It reminds us of the original problem: "Thou shalt not surely die."
Now for a passage that supports the second position—the consequences of ignoring the commandments are removed by the authority and power of grace.
As far as I know there is only one such passage, at least only one as clear and unencumbered as those listed for the first position.
I have written to you who believe in him so that you will have no fear of the judgment seat of Christ. Even though you have lived a life of immorality, violence, lying, and treachery, having spent your days in amassing money, the grace of our Lord has made you whiter than the snow. Your filthiness of the flesh serves only to make his grace shine more brightly. No matter what you do you will hear, "well done, good and faithful servant." Praise God for his salvation which leaves people as they are and forgives them so they may stand before him forever, praising him for the grace that permits them to continue in unrighteousness and enter joy and peace in the Paradise of God. (Farout 4:5-7)
Remember, when Paul was comparing grace and works he was referring to the Law of Moses. We concur heartily that the works of the Law of Moses have no bearing on our salvation in Christ.
To be continued.