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The Daily Word of Righteousness
A Fatal Interpretation, continued
Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. (Heb 6:7,8—NIV)
Righteous behavior is not conduct that is merely "nice," or something we should attempt in order to show our appreciation to Jesus for "saving" us. It is what salvation is. There is no salvation apart from a transformed personality because salvation is our change from Adam to Christ.
Can we save ourselves apart from Christ by keeping the Law of Moses or by our Gentile efforts to do what we think is righteous?
Absolutely not. We are saved by the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
What is the result of being saved?
Deliverance from all wickedness and the possession of power and wisdom, through the Holy Spirit, to live as holy people belonging especially to God, eager to do what is good.
Is there any salvation apart from a transformed moral nature?
The answer is no, and yes.
There is no salvation apart from our change into the moral image of Jesus Christ because this is what salvation is.
If by salvation we mean only preservation from destruction in the Day of Wrath, this depends on how Jesus judges us. He always reserves the right to permit any individual to enter Paradise. There are people who receive Christ at the last minute who never had a chance to follow Jesus through the work of becoming a new creation.
But let not the careless Christian who neglects to press forward into the rest of God suppose he or she will be "saved by grace." The expected destiny of the careless, lazy, disobedient believer is the outer darkness.
How do church people behave today?
For I am afraid when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder. I am afraid when I come again my God will humble me before you, and I will be grieved over many who have sinned earlier and have not repented of the impurity, sexual sin and debauchery in which they have indulged. (II Corinthians 12:20,21—NIV)
Now, where did Paul get the idea that people who were saved and spoke in tongues would ever behave in the above manner?
How did Paul respond?
Did he say, "Do not worry, beloved. As long as you are in this world you have to sin. But you stand in grace so don't be overly concerned about your behavior. You must try to do better but God and good old Jesus have so much love for you that no matter what you do you are going to spend eternity in Heaven"?
How did Paul actually respond?
I already gave you a warning when I was with you the second time. I now repeat it while absent: On my return I will not spare those who sinned earlier or any of the others, (II Corinthians 13:2—NIV)
To be continued.