Every Believer Must Do Good Works and Proclaim the Gospel

As opposed to bearing “bad fruit”, which means doing evil works,

…but a bad tree bears bad fruit. (Matthew 7:17)

Which are sins and transgressions, such as evil works that break any of these commands in the Law,

…if she begins to fornicate…she shall be burnt with fire. (Leviticus 21:9 [JB2000])

You shall have no other gods before Me. “You shall not make for yourself an idol…
(Exodus 20:3-4 [NASB])

You shall not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14 [ESV])

A woman shall not wear a man’s garment, nor shall a man put on a woman’s cloak…
(Deuteronomy 22:5 [ESV])

If a man lies with a male as with a woman…they shall surely be put to death… (Leviticus 20:13 [ESV])

You shall not steal. (Exodus 20:15 [ESV])

You shall not covet…anything that belongs to your neighbor.” (Exodus 20:17 [NASB])

You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people… (Leviticus 19:16 [NASB])

“‘Do not defraud or rob your neighbor… (Leviticus 19:13 [NIV])

 All who come to the belief of Jesus Christ must then begin to yield “good fruit”,

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16 [ESV])

Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. (Matthew 7:19 [ESV])

Which means to do “good works”, hence,

so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, (Colossians 1:10 [NIV])

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8 [ESV])

Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:21 [ESV])

that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:17 [ESV])

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:16 [NIV])

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.
(James 3:13 [ESV])

who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. (Titus 2:14 [ESV])

Do everything you can to help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way and see that they have everything they need. Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order to provide for urgent needs and not live unproductive lives.
(Titus 3:13-14 [NIV])

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:10 [NIV])

They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, (1 Timothy 6:18 [ESV])

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:17-18 [NIV])

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, (Titus 3:1 [ESV])

remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:3 [ESV])

So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. (1 Peter 4:19 [NIV])

Also, the women are to dress themselves in modest clothing, with decency and good sense, not with elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive apparel, but with good works, as is proper for women who affirm that they worship God
(1 Timothy 2:9-10 [HCSB])

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58 [ESV])

but both first to those in Damascus and Jerusalem, and all the region of Judea, and to the Gentiles, I kept declaring to repent and to turn to God, doing works worthy of repentance. (Acts 26:20 [BLB])

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give aeonial* life. (Romans 2:7 [MODIFIED-NIV])*

Interlinear Links: *αἰώνιον (aeonial), Romans 2:7

Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21 [ESV])

“‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. (Ezekiel 16:49-50 [NIV])

Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” (Luke 14:12-14 [NIV])

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith. (Galatians 6:10 [ESV])

Share with the saints who are in need… (Romans 12:13 [BSB])

All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I had been eager to do all along. (Galatians 2:10 [NIV])

this is the interpretation, O king, and this is the decree of the Most High, which has come upon my lord the king: that you be driven away from mankind and your dwelling place be with the beasts of the field, and you be given grass to eat like cattle and be drenched with the dew of heaven; and seven periods of time will pass over you, until you recognize that the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind and bestows it on whomever He wishes. And in that it was commanded to leave the stump with the roots of the tree, your kingdom will be assured to you after you recognize that it is Heaven that rules. Therefore, O king, may my advice be pleasing to you: break away now from your sins by doing righteousness and from your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, in case there may be a prolonging of your prosperity.’ (Daniel 4:24-27 [NASB])

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh? Then shall your light break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up speedily; your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’ If you take away the yoke from your midst, the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness, (Isaiah 58:6-9 [ESV])

Whoever closes his ear to the cry of the poor will himself call out and not be answered. (Proverbs 21:13 [ESV])

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”– when you already have it with you. (Proverbs 3:27-28 [NIV])

“Wash yourselves, and make yourselves clean; remove your evil behavior from my presence; stop practicing what is evil. Learn to practice what is good; seek justice, alleviate oppression, defend orphans in court, and plead the widow’s case. “Please come, and let’s reason together,” implores the LORD. “Even though your sins are like scarlet, they’ll be white like snow. Though they’re like crimson, they’ll become like wool. (Isaiah 1:16-18 [ISV])

Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 5:8 [NIV])

Where good works must accompany belief, for belief without works is dead and useless,

So also the belief, if it should not have works it is dead by itself. (James 2:17 [ABP])

Yet good works are performed not because works themselves save,

not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:9 [NIV])

For all have broken the Law of God and deserve to die,

They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. (Romans 1:29-32 [ESV])

You must certainly put them to death. Your hand must be the first in putting them to death, and then the hands of all the people. Stone them to death, because they tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.(Deuteronomy 13:9-10 [NIV])

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 [NIV])

And there are no works anyone could do to earn mercy or pardon for having transgressed the Law of God, hence why the favor of God is called a “gift”, because God grants mercy if he wants to, or does not if he does not want to,

For by favor you are being preserved through the belief; and this gift of God is not of you; (Ephesians 2:8 [ABP])

For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” (Romans 9:15 [NIV])

So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. (Romans 9:18 [ESV])

Where this choice of God to grant mercy came before the foundation of the world, which is why it is not of works that anyone is saved, but of the election of God,

So then it is not of the one wanting, nor of the one runningbut of the showing mercy of God. (Romans 9:16 [ABP])

though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” (Romans 9:11-13 [ESV])

even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love (Ephesians 1:4 [ESV])
For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. (Romans 8:29-30 [NIV])
Where God has chosen to grant mercy to those who merely believe,
He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. (Galatians 3:14 [NIV])
and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith. (Philippians 3:9 [NIV])
he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, (Titus 3:5 [NIV])
Where as a result of having received mercy and pardon to not be condemned to death as the Law of God requires,
If a man is found sleeping with another man’s wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die. You must purge the evil from Israel. (Deuteronomy 22:22 [NIV])

 

“‘If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife–with the wife of his neighbor–both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death. (Leviticus 20:10 [NIV])

and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery… “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:4-11 [NIV])

he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. (Psalm 103:10 [NIV])

A man then begins to perform good works, demonstrating his own belief, having been pardoned for previous sins,

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead. (James 2:14-26 [ESV])

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 [ESV])

whom God set forth as an atonement through the belief, in the one of his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the letting pass of the preceding sins, (Romans 3:25 [ABP])

Which is the purpose of receiving favor and pardon, to subsequently begin to perform good works as instruments of righteousness, as opposed to doing evil works as instruments of unrighteousness,

So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. (Romans 7:4 [NIV])

Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. (Romans 6:13 [ESV])

Where as opposed to evil works that the Law forbids, the Law also commands what good works to do,

If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. (Leviticus 25:35 [ESV])

If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the LORD against you, and you be guilty of sin. (Deuteronomy 15:7-9 [ESV])

You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:18 [ESV])

Where all these commands define “righteousness”,

And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.” (Deuteronomy 6:25 [NIV])

Where the greatest example of a work of righteousness is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to bring salvation to others,

Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. (Romans 5:18 [NIV])

For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45 [NIV])

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15:13 [NIV])

Which is why whoever does not do good works, which is  commanded by the Law, will incur sin and transgression,

If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them. (James 4:17 [NIV])

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the aeonial* fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to aeonial* punishment, but the righteous to aeonial* life.” (Matthew 25:41-46 [MODIFIED-NIV])*

Interlinear Links: *αἰώνιον (aeonial), Matthew 25:41Matthew 25:46

For doing good unto others is doing good unto God, for man was created in the “representation” of God,

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27 [ESV])

Which is why serving others is how believers serve God,

Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, (Matthew 20:26 [NIV])

The greatest among you will be your servant. (Matthew 23:11 [NIV])

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.” (Mark 9:35 [NIV])

For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13 [ESV])

Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:37-40 [ESV])

Which is why someone who serves money by pursuing wealth cannot possibly please God, because he is doing the opposite of what he should be doing, pursuing giving to others and serving others,

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money. (Matthew 6:24 [NIV])

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.
 (Luke 16:13-14 [NIV])

It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Mark 10:25 [NIV])

For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. (1 Timothy 6:10 [NIV])

Where the Law even reveals the hospitality to house foreigners that the righteous must also do,

And the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre, as he sat at the door of his tent in the heat of the day. He lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing in front of him. When he saw them, he ran from the tent door to meet them and bowed himself to the earth and said, “O Lord, if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by your servant. Let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree, while I bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh yourselves, and after that you may pass on—since you have come to your servant.” So they said, “Do as you have said.” (Genesis 18:1-5 [ESV])

The two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them and bowed himself with his face to the earth and said, “My lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house and spend the night and wash your feet. Then you may rise up early and go on your way.” They said, “No; we will spend the night in the town square.” But he pressed them strongly; so they turned aside to him and entered his house. And he made them a feast and baked unleavened bread, and they ate. (Genesis 19:1-3 [ESV])

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. (Hebrews 13:2-3 [ESV])

and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work. (1 Timothy 5:10 [ESV])

…Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:13 [BSB])

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. (1 Peter 4:9 [NIV])

If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. (Leviticus 25:35 [ESV])

Hence why Lot is called “righteous”, because his righteousness is evident with his hospitality towards the angels that went to Sodom,

and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless (2 Peter 2:7 [NIV])

And these are the matters of the Law that the Pharisees, scribes, and lawyers of the Law discarded,

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. (Matthew 23:23 [KJV])

25 And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit aeonial* life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” 27 And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. 28 And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.” 29 But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor? 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side.32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him.35 And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’36 Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” (Luke 10:25-37 [MODIFIED-ESV])*

Interlinear Links: *αἰώνιον (aeonial), Luke 10:25

Because they only concerned themselves with lesser matters of the Law, such as tithing, wearing tzitzit, wearing phylacteries, observing Sabbaths, observing Festivals, for although these matters of the Law must not be neglected, whether someone fulfills them literally or spiritually, depending on whether the command is merely a foreshadow of a future reality in Christ or not,

But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and behold, all things are clean to you. But woe to you, Pharisees! for ye tithe mint, and rue, and all manner of herbs, and pass over judgment and the love of God: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the others undone. (Luke 11:41-42 [WBT])

“Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; (Matthew 23:5 [NIV])

and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.” (John 5:10 [NIV])

Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come;the reality, however, is found in Christ. (Colossians 2:16-17 [NIV])

The great matters of the Law are doing good works, which are actions of love and mercy towards others,

Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot endure; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary of bearing them. And when you spread forth your hands, I will hide my eyes from you: yea, when you make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood. Wash you, make yourself clean; put away the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil; Learn to do good; seek justice, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:13-17 [NLT])

For I desired mercy, and not sacrifice; and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings. (Hosea 6:6 [KJV])

For good works are in themselves the spiritual sacrifices and gifts that God desires from the elect, to be offered up to the temple that is in heaven, whose high priest is Jesus Christ,

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. (Hebrews 13:16 [NIV])

And ye yourselves also know, ye Philippians, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church had fellowship with me in the matter of giving and receiving but ye only; 16 for even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my need. 17 Not that I seek for the gift; but I seek for the fruit that increaseth to your account. 18 But I have all things, and abound: I am filled, having received from Epaphroditus the things that came from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well-pleasing to God. (Philippians 4:15-18 [ASV])

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9 [ESV])

you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:5 [ESV])

I call upon you, therefore, brethren, through the compassions of God, to present your bodies a sacrifice — living, sanctified, acceptable to God — your intelligent service; (Romans 12:1 [YLT])
Here is the main point: We have a High Priest who sat down in the place of honor beside the throne of the majestic God in heaven. (Hebrews 8:1 [NLT])
Where no one is to appear before God empty handed,

Three times a year all your men must appear before the LORD your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the LORD empty-handed: (Deuteronomy 16:16 [NIV])

Where more examples of good works include helping widows, helping orphans,

Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. (James 1:27 [BSB])

Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.
(1 Timothy 5:3-4 [ESV])

Visiting those in prison, looking after the sick, clothing those who are naked, giving water to the thirsty, giving food to the hungry,

Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ (Matthew 25:34-36 [ESV])

does not oppress anyone, but restores to the debtor his pledge, commits no robbery, gives his bread to the hungry and covers the naked with a garment… walks in my statutes, and keeps my rules by acting faithfully—he is righteous; he shall surely live, declares the Lord GOD.
 (Ezekiel 18:7-9 [ESV])

Performing works of the power of the holy spirit to heal those that are sick,

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. (Acts 3:6-8 [NIV])

Then Jesus asked them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.
 (Mark 3:4-5 [NIV])

And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
(Mark 16:17-18 [NIV])

Or any type of help to someone who is afflicted or has a need. And some will do more good works than others, since all will bear different measures of good fruit,

Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:8 [ESV])

Which is why after Jesus Christ revealed how men who wish to become his disciple must humble themselves, which was by “selling their possessions”,

When Jesus heard his answer, he said, “There is still one thing you haven’t done. Sell all your possessions… (Luke 18:22 [NLT])

Looking at the man, Jesus felt genuine love for him. “There is still one thing you haven’t done,” he told him. “Go and sell all your possessions… (Mark 10:21 [NLT])

Sell your possessions… (Luke 12:33 [NIV])

So therefore every one of you who does not give up all that he himself possesses, is not able to be My disciple. (Luke 14:33 [BLB])

They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. (Acts 2:45 [NLT])

that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. (Acts 4:34-35 [NIV])

The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. (Matthew 13:44 [NLT])

 

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,
(1 Peter 5:6 [ESV])

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you. (James 4:10 [ESV])

if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 [NIV])

For the LORD, who is high and lifted up, looks upon the humble, but the proud he does not know.
(Psalm 138:6 [JB2000])

He then gave the next instruction, “give to the poor”, which is doing “good works”,

…and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22 [NLT])

…and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21 [NLT])

and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. (Luke 12:33 [NIV])

But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham.
(Luke 19:8-9 [NIV])

Which is also what the “saltiness” of salt symbolizes, “good works”,

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. (Matthew 5:13 [NIV])

And also what the light of a lamp symbolizes, “good works”,

You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16 [ESV])

Which is why Paul instructs all to work to earn wages, that they may then have something to give to those in need,

Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. (Ephesians 4:28 [NIV])

You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:34-35 [ESV])

And even why Cornelius eventually received the holy spirit, because his righteousness, which means obedience to the Law, was accompanied by good works,

The men replied, “We have come from Cornelius the centurion. He is a righteous and God-fearing man, who is respected by all the Jewish people. A holy angel told him to ask you to come to his house so that he could hear what you have to say.” (Acts 10:22 [NIV])

At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said, “Cornelius!” Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it, Lord?” he asked. The angel answered, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. (Acts 10:1-4 [NIV])

Cornelius answered: “Three days ago I was in my house praying at this hour, at three in the afternoon. Suddenly a man in shining clothes stood before me and said, ‘Cornelius, God has heard your prayer and remembered your gifts to the poor.
(Acts 10:30-31 [NIV])

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles.
(Acts 10:44-45 [NIV])

Where someone must then continue doing good works throughout the appointed time in this body, without ceasing, hence,

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9 [ESV])

For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. (Hebrews 6:10 [ESV])

Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. (Luke 12:33-36 [NIV])

And the Lord replied, “A faithful, sensible servant is one to whom the master can give the responsibility of managing his other household servants and feeding them. If the master returns and finds that the servant has done a good job, there will be a reward. I tell you the truth, the master will put that servant in charge of all he owns. (Luke 12:42-44 [NIV])

Which relates to the parable of ten virgins, for the light of their lamps symbolizes “good works”, where their lamps must continue burning until the bridegroom comes, where if someone stopped doing good works, which is what is meant with running out of oil to keep a lamp lit, but then again began giving their money to the poor at the arrival of Jesus Christ, which is what is meant with buying oil to light a lamp again when the groom comes, its already too late,

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. (Matthew 25:1-13 [ESV])

Which also relates to the parable of talents, where the talents also symbolize “good works”, where the initial talents anyone receives are the “first works” anyone does as a newly appointed servant of the master, when first doing “sell your possessions and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven”,

“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. “‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. (Revelation 2:1-5 [ESV])

“‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first. (Revelation 2:19 [ESV])

For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. 16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master. (Matthew 25:14-23 [ESV])

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10 [NIV])

Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21 [NIV])

Where an appointed servant must then continue to receive more talents, which means continue to do more “good works”,

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. (2 Thessalonians 3:13 [NASB])

From the time he became appointed as a servant to the time of the return of the master, where talents, which have monetary value, are used in this parable because the measure of good works anyone does relates to the measure of reward anyone receives, as such, “talents” also symbolize “reward” as a result of “good works”,

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. (2 Corinthians 9:6 [NIV])

“Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done. (Revelation 22:12 [NIV])

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:20-21 [NIV])

A wicked person earns deceptive wages, but the one who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward. (Proverbs 11:18 [NIV])

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. (Revelation 3:1-2 [ESV])

Hence why the servant who was lazy and did not continue doing good works,

He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ (Matthew 25:24-25 [ESV])

Had his talent taken away, because he lost his reward from that one good work he initially did, because he didn’t continue doing good works to receive more talents,

But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed?… So take the talent from him… (Matthew 25:26-28 [ESV])

And rather, his share of reward from that one good work went to those who had continued doing good works and already had reward from their own good works, for those who who do not give up will have an abundance, hence,

…and give it to him who has the ten talents. For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. (Matthew 25:28-29 [ESV])

Yet if this lazy servant had been wise, instead of earning more talents himself, he could’ve invested his talent with bankers to earn more talents,

Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. (Matthew 25:27 [ESV])

Which means to teach others to do good works, and thus the “talents” they produce because of the servant that is dedicated to teaching them to do good are accredited to the servant,

I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles. (Romans 1:13 [NIV])

Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. (Philippians 4:16-17 [ESV])

For although all are called to do good works, only a few are called to become teachers,

Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. (James 3:1 [NIV])

Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? (1 Corinthians 12:29 [NIV])

To equip others to do “good works”,

So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up (Ephesians 4:11-12 [NIV])

Where these teachers are laborers for the sake of the gospel, who correct, rebuke, and teach,

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. (Luke 10:2 [NIV])

We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 [ESV])

…Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. (2 Timothy 4:2 [NLT])

Let the elders ruling well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those laboring in the word and the teaching. (1 Timothy 5:17 [BLB])

Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. (Hebrews 13:7 [ESV])

Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:17 [ESV])

Now I urge you, brothers—you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints— be subject to such as these, and to every fellow worker and laborer.
(1 Corinthians 16:15-16 [ESV])

and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:2 [ESV])

On account of this I left you in Crete, that you might set in order the things lacking and might appoint elders in every town, as I directed you, if anyone is blameless, the husband of one wife, having believing children, not under accusation of debauchery, or insubordinate. For it behooves the overseer to be blameless, as God’s steward; not self-willed, not quick tempered, not given to wine, not a striker, not greedy of base gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined; holding to the faithful word according to the teaching, that he may be able both to encourage with sound teaching and to convict those contradicting it. (Titus 1:5-9 [BLB])

I beg you therefore, be imitators of me. Because of this I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways which are in Christ, even as I teach everywhere in every assembly.
(1 Corinthians 4:16-17 [WEB])

And are worthy to make a living from teaching,

If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? If others share this rightful claim on you, do not we even more? Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right, but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who are employed in the temple service get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in the sacrificial offerings? In the same way, the Lord commanded that those who proclaim the gospel should get their living by the gospel. (1 Corinthians 9:11-14 [ESV])

Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house. “When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
(Luke 10:7-9 [NIV])

Yet as opposed to teaching, which only a few are called for, apart from all being called to do good works, all are called to also announce the gospel, for there is a distinction between teaching believers, which only a few should do, and announcing the gospel to unbelievers, which all must do,

proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. (Acts 28:31 [ESV])

But Paul and Barnabas stayed in Antioch, teaching and proclaiming the good news, the word of the Lord, with many others also. (Acts 15:35 [BLB])

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. (1 Peter 3:15-16 [NIV])

Where the effective way of announcing the gospel to unbelievers, aside from telling them about it, is by doing good works that can be seen by them,

For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. (1 Peter 2:15 [ESV])

Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. (1 Peter 2:12 [NIV])

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Faith Alone Does Not Save . . . No Matter How Many Times Protestants Say It Does

Clearly in the parables of Christ Jesus are enough indications given that we can loose salvation or miss the entrance in the Kingdom of God when we assume the things are all right. In the Old and New Testament is referred many times what we do have to do to enter the Kingdom of God. With Christ those statutes or ordinances of God are not finished with. The Word of God demands from us repentance and change of mind. It would be far too easy to think to be reborn and to be baptised (= a work) and than to carry on as before, lying, fornicating, stealing or even murdering. Christian faith demands a change of attitude with demands many ‘works’.

*

To remember:

Bible doesn’t say: “We are saved by faith alone.” >>> Bible rejects it

Justification by faith alone” = Protestant doctrine

not part of Christian belief for the first 1,500 years of Christianity

minority of Christians who do believe in it think it’s the most important, essential teaching of Christianity

Approximately 20% of Christians belong to churches that teach that faith alone saves

Approximately 32% of the world’s population identifies as Christian

+> approximately 6.4% of the world’s population belongs to churches that teach that faith alone saves

=> over 93% of the world’s population is going to hell

if we broaden definition and say that everyone who believes in Jesus can be saved = a success rate of only 32% at best => major fail on God’s part.

**

According to us it is not right to judge God and to measure Him according to the”best success rate God could possibly have in the population of the world today” It are the people themselves who have rejected God. We may be sure the majority of the world population shall receive a second death and will be forgotten for ever.

Only the righteous shall stay over.

And yes you may consider the refused ones as the “Rejected”. But that is not God His fault but their own fault.

We must be aware of the bible facts.

***

Question: How many times does “faith alone” appear in the Bible?

Answer: Once.

Here it is:

You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. (James 2:24)

Paul did say that we are saved by faith apart from the works of the Law (Romans 3:28) = one of the most misunderstood verses in the entire Bible.

Paul said:

God will repay each person according to what they have done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honour, and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; but glory, honour, and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For God does not show favouritism. (Romans 2:6–11)

Paul, like every other writer in the Bible, taught that we must do good works in order to be saved, and that if we don’t, we will be condemned.

“Faith apart from the works of the Law”

= Law of Moses.

=/= Jewish ritual code or ritual laws of Judaism

= For by grace been saved through faith =  not your own doing = gift of God = not result of works, so that no one may boast

 

Martin Luther, by Lucas Cranach the Elder

doctrine of salvation by faith alone came from Martin Luther (1843–1546) = part of his doctrinal break from Rome

John Calvin, by Hans Holbein the Younger

John Calvin (1509–1564) adopted the doctrine of salvation by faith alone from Luther.

Philipp Melanchthon, by Lucas Cranach the Elder

+ Philipp Melanchthon, who systematized Lutheran theology, established salvation by faith alone as the fundamental doctrine of Protestantism

****

What do you spend more of your time at: believing things or doing things?

most of us, believing things takes up only a small part of our time and energy => reality: we’ve got work to do.

Most of us spend most of our days, and most of our lives going about our daily tasks

everything we do all day—all of our work, all of our struggle, all of our blood, sweat, and tears—does matter in eternity

God put us here on earth to act on our faith, and live by our beliefs

Bible tells us: if we wish to be saved, we must love our neighbour, care for our neighbour, and engage in active service to our neighbour. Jesus himself tells us that only those who tend to the needs of others will go to heaven (see Matthew 25:31–46).

Our daily labour, our daily job, our daily service to our fellow human beings is the crucible in which our eternal life is forged.

++

Additional reading:

  1. Being Religious and Spiritual 8 Spiritual, Mystic and not or well religious
  2. Salvation and Righteousness
  3. God’s wrath and sanctification
  4. The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong
  5. To Soar In The Spirit You Have To Be Hard Core

+++

Spiritual Insights for Everyday Life

“We are saved by faith alone.”

The Bible doesn’t say it. In fact, the Bible rejects it.

It was not part of Christian belief for the first 1,500 years of Christianity.

Even today, only about one-fifth of Christians belong to churches that teach it.

And yet, the minority of Christians who do believe in it think it’s the most important, essential teaching of Christianity.

Justification by faith alone” is the Protestant doctrine that the one and only thing that saves us is believing that Jesus Christ died for us on the cross. Our “works,” meaning what we do and how we live, do not contribute anything to our salvation. If we believe that Jesus died for us, we will go to heaven. If we do not believe that Jesus died for us, we will go to hell.

I have been told that I am going to hell because…

View original post 2,340 more words

God’s wrath and sanctification

Intro: Salvation and sanctification

In “How do I know what God’s will is“, “Does God stands behind all evil on earth” and in “What Is Sanctification?” we looked at the creation its inhabitants which from the start of creation choose a way contrary to the Will of the Creator.

The choices made in the Garden of Eden determined the coarse of history. We still bear the consequences of the choices made by the first man (man: 1° Adam) and mannin (woman: Eve).

Throughout Christendom many Torah teachings were put aside for human teachings. One such got varying adherents. Namely lots of people want to believe:

Once saved, always saved.

Calvinist thought about believers and salvation

Edwin H. Palmer in “The Five Points of Calvinism” (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1972, p 68) does find it:

It is one of the grandest thoughts in the Bible

According to him and many Calvinists

once you believe, you can never be lost, you can never go to hell.

First of all, everybody goes to hell, like Jesus also went to hell (for three days). Nearly all people shall have to face their end of their life. The only exception shall be those few at the end of the Big Battle, World War III, the Armageddon, who would be able to survive that.

Secondly not all who believe at one point shall keep the faith and shall consider Christ as their Messiah. So for those who lose their faith in Christ and in God, Jesus shall not always be their Saviour.

Secure key to eternal destiny and perseverance of saints

Contrary to what the author for his Calvinist followers writes it shall not be possible to get your eternal destiny (or eternal life) settled once for all so that you never have to worry about it

It is nice that the person has so much confidence in humankind that he thinks that  those who have been baptised shall persevere in trusting in Christ as their Saviour. Strange that when this pastor wrote that book he was already 50 years old (or young) and than you would consider that he would have already had several experiences in life, having seen people leaving his church or worse having already seen pastors who lost faith and became atheists.*

Edwin H. Palmer, referring to the fifth point of Calvinism, said the following:

This is strictly a Reformed doctrine and hangs or falls together with the other four points that we have been discussing. There are, however, Christians today who hold to the perseverance of the saints while at the same time rejecting the other four points. We believe, however, and will try to show later on, that this is an inconsistency in their thinking. (The Five Points of Calvinism, Moelker Printing Co. [Grand Rapids, Michigan], 1954 ed, p. 59.)

Doctrine of limited atonement

In keeping with his expert opinion of this theology, Edwin H. Palmer went on to write about the perseverance of the saints:

This doctrine also naturally follows from the doctrine of the limited atonement … (ibid., p. 61).

In other words, if the doctrine of limited atonement is true, then so is the perseverance of the saints. But then on the other hand, if limited atonement is untrue, so is eternal security. The above two quotes from Edwin H. Palmer are valuable to Christians who know all five points of Calvinism are not from God and especially desire to help free some Calvinists from the theological snare they are trapped in. Calvin shared with Luther belief in the absolute authority of the bible and in justification by faith alone, and as such many came to believe that their faith in Jesus Christ was enough to have them justified to enter the heaven, though if they would have looked closer into the Holy Scriptures they would have found that the Kingdom of God will be for most here on earth and that faith without works is dead, and as such would not bring salvation to any person. We do know the envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like shall not inherit the kingdom of God; but often still can be found by people who are baptised or who call themselves “new born Christians”. Even when they do know that the law is good they still have to try to keep it. If a man uses it lawfully there does not seem a problem, but when they stay kneeling in front of statues, worshipping more than one god, not obeying the Only One True God, doing unholy and profane things, murdering, killing or hurting by manslaughter,  or fornicating, doing homosexual acts, slave trading, but also being liars, perjurers,encountering a road to success dotted with many tempting parking places, they should know that if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, they should know they will not be able to enter the small gate of the Kingdom of God. It is just called a small gate and being it more difficult for a camel to enter the eye of the needle, because God demands full recognition and keeping to His commandments. According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to the trust of the apostle Paul he has been enabled by Christ Jesus, that he counted him faithful, putting him into the ministry. He was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and insolent, but he obtained mercy, because he did it ignorantly in unbelief.  Though afterwards when he got the call of Jeshua, when the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus, he got on the right track and changed his life.  If we do not change our way of life, our calling shall not result in saving ourselves. It really is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, but if the sinners do not repent, the blood of Christ, which also was shed for them, shall have no use for them because there is no reason for whitewashing for them. We can only obtain mercy, that in us first Jesus Christ might show forth all longsuffering, for an example to them who should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting, when we do come but also stay in the faith of Jesus Christ.

Now the works of the flesh are obvious, which are: sexual immorality, uncleanness, lustfulness,  (20)  idolatry, sorcery, hatred, strife, jealousies, outbursts of anger, rivalries, divisions, heresies, (Galatians 5:19-20 NHEBJE)But we know that the law is good, if a man uses it lawfully,  (9)  as knowing this, that law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,  (10)  for the sexually immoral, for men who practice sexual relations with men, for slave-traders, for liars, for perjurers, and for any other thing contrary to the sound doctrine;  (11)  according to the Good News of the glory of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.  (12)  And I thank him who enabled me, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he counted me faithful, appointing me to service;  (13)  although I was before a blasphemer, a persecutor, and insolent. However, I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.  (14)  The grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.  (15)  The saying is faithful and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.  (16)  However, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first, Jesus Christ might display all his patience, for an example of those who were going to believe in him for eternal life.  (17)  Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. (1Timothy 1:8-17 NHEBJE)

Legitimate ones to receive Grace

In 1980, the year of Edwin H. Palmer’s death, an enlarged edition of this same book was released. In this more recent edition the words were slightly changed from the previous quote, while retaining its essence:

All five points of Calvinism hang or fall together (The Five Points of Calvinism, Baker Books [Grand Rapids, Michigan], 1980 enlarged edition, p. 69).Dear reader, if you know that any of the five points of Calvinism are unscriptural, then the rest are as well. All a Christian has to do, therefore, is to refute any of the five points of Calvinism and by doing so he has destroyed all five points, according to Dr. Edwin H. Palmer himself. But dear Christian, please be assured that people who embrace Calvinism’s beloved fifth point won’t surrender it easily. They often feel just like Palmer did as reflected in his following statement:The teaching of “once saved, always saved is one of the grandest of Biblical teachings (ibid., p. 79).

In the Christian set of beliefs that is based on the teachings of John Calvin and that stresses God’s power and the moral weakness of human beings a strong emphasis is placed on the sovereignty of God, the depravity of humankind, and the doctrine of predestination. For Calvin, God gives himself to be known, and that revelation is about who God is, not an explanation of how God is three and a unity, nor a revelation that human reason could reach on its own.

In the Bible, God’s Word, there is given a distinction between the God of Abraham and the Jewish man, not a god-man, but a human, a man from God, who worshipped that God of Moses and only wanted to do God His Will and not his own will, and as such giving his body as a Lamb for God and becoming the Christ.

We do believe everybody received the grace of salvation, but that does not make it that everybody is saved for ever. Those who do not want to accept God in their life shall when they die, when staying with their mind not willing to know about a Divine Creator, shall not be legitimate to receive the Grace, provided by the blood of Christ. Those who at a certain point in their life came to accept Christ Jesus as their saviour, got baptised, but then continue or come back to a way of life not in accordance to the Law of God, shall miss the salvation also.

Under or not under a Law and righteousness

Now we know that whatsoever things the law says, it says to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.  But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets. We do have the Holy Scriptures for us to witness and to take the words of it into our heart.

Even the righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe, which means shall not be onto those who do not believe. The Grace of God and the salvation by the Lamb of God comes over all the same way, for there is no difference, for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. We all may be happy that we can be justified freely by Jehovah God His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.  It is that Jewish Nazarene man of flesh and blood, who gave his life, Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.

We shall not be justified on the account of the Law nor just works, but by the law of faith and the works of faith.  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

Now we know that whatever things the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be closed, and all the world may be brought under the judgment of God.  (20)  Because by the works of the law, no flesh will be justified in his sight. For through the law comes the knowledge of sin.  (21)  But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the Law and the Prophets;  (22)  even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all those who believe. For there is no distinction,  (23)  for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;  (24)  being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus;  (25)  whom God set forth to be an atoning sacrifice, through faith in his blood, for a demonstration of his righteousness through the passing over of prior sins, in God’s forbearance;  (26)  to demonstrate his righteousness at this present time; that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.  (27)  Where then is the boasting? It is excluded. By what manner of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.  (28)  We maintain therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.  (29)  Or is God the God of Jews only? Is not he the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,  (30)  since indeed there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith, and the uncircumcised through faith.  (31)  Do we then nullify the law through faith? May it never be! No, we establish the law. (Romans 3:19-31 NHEBJE)Therefore, we are always confident and know that while we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord;  (7)  for we walk by faith, not by sight.  (8)  We are of good courage, I say, and are willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be at home with the Lord.  (9)  Therefore also we make it our aim, whether at home or absent, to be well pleasing to him. (2 Corinthians 5:6-9 NHEBJE)So then, those who are of faith are blessed with the faithful Abraham.  (10)  For as many as are of the works of the law are under a curse. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things that are written on the book of the law, to do them.”  (11)  Now that no man is justified by the law before God is evident, for, “The righteous will live by faith.”  (12)  The law is not of faith, but, “The man who does them will live by them.”  (13)  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us. For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,”  (14)  that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:9-14 NHEBJE)

Living according to the true faith required by God

Snowy Grand Rapids, MI 12-23-08

Not all who are whitewashed by baptism somewhere in their life on this earth shall be able to enter the gates of the Kingdom of God. – Snowy Grand Rapids, MI 12-23-08 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Every Christian should know that those who do not live according to the true faith required by God shall have judgement without mercy. Without changing his or her attitude, the Christian shall  not be different than the one who does not believe in Christ. Did the Calvinist preacher does not wonder what does it profit when those many people who say they have faith (in what?) but did not show they are real followers of Christ living according his teachings and according to the Will of God? The many people we can encounter daily who say they are a “Christian” but do not really have faith, or those who have faith but not show any works; can faith save them?

It is easy to say you believe in Christ or in God, perhaps you might find other people around you who also believe there are many gods and Jehovah is one of them, or they even might consider Jesus to be one of the many gods. And what is the real difference between the Jew, Christian, Muslim, the ones believing in the God of Abraham, and the ones who do good works, live decently, but do not believe in the One True God, Divine Creator of heaven and earth? Many atheists do live very well and do many good deeds? Many who say they are believers in Jesus Christ do lesser good deeds than those non-believers. Christ also died also for them, for all sinners, believers and non-believers. Would that mean they all come in the Kingdom of God?

Not all people shall come into the Kingdom of God.

Jesus has told enough parables which make it clear how people do not only have to have faith and have to honour God. His stories also make it clear how we can loose the right of entrance or the right of salvation.
Scripture tells us also that a man may say, “You have faith, and I have works” or “you believe that there is one God; you do well: the demons also believe, and tremble”.  The Bible warns us not to be vain and to be aware that faith without works is dead. We should be very careful by our idea that our baptism would be well enough. We can be very mistaken by thinking and by being assured that everything what we do after our baptism would be all right, because it does not matter any more because we are saved by Christ. When we do not mind doing things against the Will of God we might be very surprised at the End-times, standing in front of Jesus Christ, being rejected by him and not able to enter that gate to eternal life. Like Abraham believed God we too should have it imputed unto us for righteousness and being a real Friend of God. Looking at Abraham we should see how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

For judgment is without mercy to him who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.  (14)  What good is it, my brothers, if a man says he has faith, but has no works? Can faith save him?  (15)  And if a brother or sister is naked and in lack of daily food,  (16)  and one of you tells them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled;” and yet you did not give them the things the body needs, what good is it?  (17)  Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead in itself.  (18)  Yes, a man will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith.  (19)  You believe that God is one. You do well. The demons also believe, and shudder.  (20)  But do you want to know, foolish man, that faith apart from works is dead?  (21)  Wasn’t Abraham our father justified by works, in that he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?  (22)  You see that faith worked with his works, and by works faith was perfected;  (23)  and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him as righteousness;” and he was called the friend of God.  (24)  You see then that by works, a man is justified, and not only by faith.(James 2:13-24 NHEBJE)

Doubters and the ones mulled back and forth

The one who are pulled back and forth, shall also not find God turning on and then turn off their life chance. Contrary to what the Calvinist writers wants us to believe they will not continue believing forever and they will not be saved for ever. History has know many cases of people who “came to the lord” but later left him. History has also seen people who were supposed to be “men of God”, became religious people, became priest, bishop and even pope, but who misused boys and girls, fornicated, did homosexual and other acts with man or with animals. According to us those shall not be able to enter the Kingdom of God.

To blame God for having them going astray is, according to me a sort of blasphemy. It is too easy to blame God for the wrongdoings of man like the pastor does when he writes;

Thus they will always be saved…It is possible, however, to use another term to describe this fact, namely, the perseverance of God. For really the perseverance of the saints depends on the perseverance of God. It is because God perseveres in His love toward His church that the church perseveres in its love toward Him. (Edwin H. Palmer, The Five Points of Calvinism, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1972, p 68).

Having said that, he wants citizens to believe that clergy or holy men, who want to oppress the people in their church and demands things of them which they themselves do not keep, persevere their love for God or do that because that God has given up His love for them.

It is also easy to say

if someone appears to be obeying God but then turns to rebellion, it only means they were never actually elect by God’s grace to begin with. Or if they really are God’s elect, God will bring them back to obedience at some later time before death. {How to Rely on God’s Grace without Becoming a Calvinist-Perservance}

A puller and a decider and the elected

God is the One Who pulls the people towards Him, but it are the people themselves who have to make their own free will choice: coming close to God and accepting Him as the Divine Creator, Sovereign Master over heaven and earth, and presenting themselves as Children of Him, to behave as children of God.

The latter believe that a moment of faith brings the grace of God into the lives of the elect and their later behaviour has no bearing on their salvation because Christ’s atonement covered all their sins, past, present, and future. Be aware that the former position is that of Calvin; the Stanley position is a corruption of true Calvinism (at least so it seems to me).

says Edwin Crozier, who calls himself a disciple, husband, father, preacher and author who is convinced God’s way works and would love to discuss it.

Calvinism has taught that election is unconditional. Man does absolutely nothing as a determining factor of whether or not he is elect. Additionally, the true offer of atonement is only made to the elect. But more than that, when that true inward call is given, the elect cannot resist it. They will be effectively drawn by it. That, of necessity, means the elect will persevere in God’s grace. There is simply no alternative for them. Since they can’t resist it, they will, of necessity, continue in it until it ultimately saves them in the end. {How to Rely on God’s Grace without Becoming a Calvinist-Perservance}

How can it be than that so called elect have gone up and down like a yoyo, and several at the end of their life also obstinately refused to believe any more in Christ or in God? How did it come that they were not “effectively drawn” by the inner call which came unto them at a certain point in their life?

Is it also not too easy to say you just rely on the calling of God? Is it also not too easy to you are going

“to be through relying on God’s power to carry me through”.

Arminianism, God’s sovereignty and Predestination

Also Robert A. Peterson and Michael D. Williams recognize the role of grace in the opposing view of salvation but show how Calvinists part company with Arminians by affirming that God’s grace is efficacious, particular, and irresistible. As compatibilists, they present God’s sovereignty as the ultimate cause of things, while “human freedom, although not ultimate, is significant and considerable” (Why I Am Not an Arminian. By Robert A. Peterson and Michael D. Williams. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2004, 224 pp., p. 64). Prevenient grace gets special attention as universal opportunity and conditional election require biblical justification.  Predestination is buttressed by data from every major section of Scripture; the authors prefer an asymmetrical election to salvation. The bottom line for Peterson and Williams in this debate:

“Divine sovereignty and human responsibility cannot be pitted against one another” so that libertarian free will is unnecessary (Why I Am Not an Arminian, p. 151).”the human will is free and the divine is not” (Why I Am Not an Arminian, p. 140).

They sometimes exaggerate the Arminian view of saving faith as if it were meritorious:

“Rather than affirm a boot-strap doctrine of merit, the Calvinist insists upon the effectiveness of divine grace” (Why I Am Not an Arminian)

All requested by god to believe in Him and His Word

Each human being may hear some call by the Most High but is left totally free by the Creator how to cope with his freedom how to use his will. “Elect” and “non-elect”, are requested by God to believe the gospel. Before a person came to God he might have been foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.  When the person came to see and understand what it was that after the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we had, have done, or still would be going to do, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Spirit;  whom he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour. The apostle tells us that being justified by Jesus his willingness to offer himself, doing the Will of God, and not his own will, giving us his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:4-7)

This is a faithful saying, and these things we should desire that everybody in our congregation would affirm ‘constantly’, that they who have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. (Titus 3:8)

These things are good and profitable unto men.  (9)  But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.  (10)  A man that is divisive after the first and second admonition reject;  (11)  Knowing that he that is such is perverted, and sins, being condemned of himself.  (12)  When I shall send Artemas unto you, or Tychicus, be diligent to come unto me to Nicopolis: for I have determined there to winter.  (13)  Bring Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their journey diligently, that nothing be lacking unto them.  (14)  And let our own also learn to maintain good works for urgent needs, that they not be unfruitful.  (15)  All that are with me greet you. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.

Getting to know God and consequences

We can hear the call of God and answer to it. We can going to be by relying on the grace of God poured out on us through His Holy Spirit. We can come to proclaim God’s command to repent and believe to all men. But are going out to tell others about god should not be so much because for our fear for missing sanctification, but our of our love for God. Knowing the reality of God’s wrath, the sin of man, believing implicitly the promise of God that anyone who turns in faith to Christ will be saved, we will ave others to be saved also.

that God will assuredly bestow life and salvation upon all believers (The Death of Death in the Death of Christ, John Owen)

misses out on the point of the Biblical teaching that we should prepare ourselves for the Kingdom of God.

True believers should faithfully warn the unsaved, to show wherein their sins consists (enmity against God), and they should also warn the believers that it is very important to keep the good faith and to make sure we obey because the gospel is a command.

Now you know what is restraining him, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season.  (7)  For the mystery of lawlessness already works. Only there is one who restrains now, until he is taken out of the way.  (8)  Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will kill with the breath of his mouth, and destroy by the manifestation of his coming;  (9)  even he whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,  (10)  and with all deception of wickedness for those who are being lost, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-10 NHEBJE)Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold, or silver, or stone, engraved by art and design of man.  (30)  The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked. But now he commands that all people everywhere should repent,  (31)  because he has appointed a day in which he will judge the world in righteousness by the man whom he has ordained; of which he has given assurance to all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.” (Acts of the apostles 17:29-31 NHEBJE)

The times of ignorance God overlooked has gone. Man is being asked everywhere to change. The change is what God wants to see and shall take account of.

John MacArthur says:

When you share the gospel, you command people to believe. You command people to repent so that it is crystal clear that what they have done is obey or disobey. That’s why I say invitation is not a word that is consistent with commanding. Better to finish your sermon with a command than an invitation.” (“Two Paths, One Way”, John MacArthur)

Condemnation from old

There are many people who may believe in God, gods, Satan, wrong doing and good doing. Many shall have heard the Voice of God in their life, but it shall depend on how they reacted if they shall be justified to enter the gates of the Kingdom. Whoever believes in the ‘Son of God‘ Jesus is not condemned, but whoever does not live according to that believe shall have to face the consequences of his acts. Like the false prophets and false teachers who also arose among the people, who will craftily bring in deadly heresies, even disowning the Lord who bought them and bringing on themselves quick ruin. And the many who will follow their shameless ways and by these the path of truth will be profanely spoken of. In covetousness they will make gain out of many by their cunning words. But their condemnation from of old shall not not be inactive. They should really be fully aware that also for them, though they may call themselves believers, their destruction has not been sleeping.  For if God did not spare angels that had sinned, but thrust them down to Tartarus and committed them to pits of darkness to be kept for judgement, and did not spare the ancient world, but guarded Noah, a herald of righteousness, and seven others, when he brought the flood on the world of the ungodly;  and if reducing to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah he condemned them to destruction, making them an example for the godless of what would come upon them,  and rescued righteous Lot worn out by the indecent lives of the lawless, —  for that righteous man living among them was tortured day and night in his righteous soul by the sight and hearing of their lawless deeds, —   the Lord knows how to rescue the pious from trial and how to keep the wicked under punishment for the day of judgement,  especially those who go after flesh in polluting passions, and despise lordship. They are daring, self-willed; they do not tremble to speak insultingly of glorious beings, whereas angels who are greater in might and power, do not bring against them a railing accusation before the Lord.

But false prophets also arose among the people, as false teachers will also be among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, denying even the Master who bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction.  (2)  Many will follow their immoral ways, and as a result, the way of the truth will be maligned.  (3)  In covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words: whose sentence now from of old does not linger, and their destruction is not asleep.  (4)  For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them down to the lower parts of hell, and committed them to pits of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;  (5)  and did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah with seven others, a proclaimer of righteousness, when he brought a flood on the world of the ungodly;  (6)  and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly;  (7)  and delivered righteous Lot, who was very distressed by the lustful life of the wicked  (8)  (for that righteous man dwelling among them, was tormented in his righteous soul from day to day with seeing and hearing lawless deeds):  (9)  the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment;  (10)  but chiefly those who walk after the flesh in the lust of defilement, and despise authority. Daring, self-willed, they are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries;  (11)  whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not bring a railing judgment against them before the Lord. (2 Peter 2:1-11 NHEBJE)

Also for those so called reborns if they have eyes full of adultery and unceasing sin; ensnaring unstable souls; having a heart practised in greediness; an execrable race; having forsaken the right road they have gone quite astray, they should know that for them there shall also not be a salvation at the end. They by the lusts of the flesh, by acts of lasciviousness, shall miss the boat. For if alter fleeing from the pollutions of the world by an acknowledgement of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, any are again entangled and overcome by them, the last state of such persons is worse than the first. They also should be well aware that they even could be worse off than a person who was never been baptised. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn away from the holy commandment delivered to them.

But these, as unreasoning creatures, born natural animals to be taken and destroyed, speaking evil in matters about which they are ignorant, will in their destroying surely be destroyed,  (13)  suffering the penalty as the wages of evil; people who count it pleasure to revel in the daytime, spots and blemishes, reveling in their deceit while they feast with you;  (14)  having eyes full of adultery, and who cannot cease from sin; enticing unsettled souls; having a heart trained in greed; children of cursing;  (15)  forsaking the right way, they went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of wrongdoing;  (16)  but he was rebuked for his own disobedience. A mute donkey spoke with a man’s voice and stopped the madness of the prophet.  (17)  These are wells without water, and mists driven by a storm; for whom the blackness of darkness has been reserved.  (18)  For, uttering great swelling words of emptiness, they entice in the lusts of the flesh, by licentiousness, those who barely escape from those who live in error;  (19)  promising them liberty, while they themselves are bondservants of corruption; for a man is brought into bondage by whoever overcomes him.  (20)  For if, after they have escaped the defilement of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in it and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.  (21)  For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after knowing it, to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.  (22)  It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “The dog turns to his own vomit again,” and “the sow that has washed to wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:12-22 NHEBJE)

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* Note Edwin H. Palmer (1922-80) was born, grew up and went to school in Quincy, Massachusetts. He graduated from Harvard College (A.B.) in 1944, following which he served as first lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps 1944-1946, service which included operations in the Pacific theatre and involvement in the fighting around Okinawa.
In 1949 he received his Th.B. degree from Westminster Theological Seminary and furthered his education at The Free University of Amsterdam, receiving his doctorate (Th.D.) there in 1953. His accomplishments and contributions were so respected by the Christian academic community that, in 1977, Houghton College conferred on him the honorary degree of Doctor of Divinity.

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Additional literature:

  1. Are you religious, spiritual, or do you belong to a religion, having a faith or interfaith
  2. People Seeking for God 1 Looking for answers
  3. People Seeking for God 2 Human interpretations
  4. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  5. Doubting the reality, genuineness and effectiveness of God’s love
  6. Seeing or not seeing and willingness to find God
  7. Do you believe in One god
  8. Does there have to be a Holy Trinity Mystery
  9. How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice
  10. Science and the Bible—Do They Really Contradict Each Other?
  11. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  12. Believing in God the rewarder
  13. Jehovah steep rock and fortress, source of insight
  14. Bric-a-brac of the Bible
  15. Bible basic intro
  16. Bible power to change
  17. Bible word of God,inspired and infallible
  18. Bible Word from God
  19. Creator and Blogger God 7 A Blog of a Book 1 Believing the Blogger
  20. Creator and Blogger God 10 A Blog of a Book 4 Listening to the Blogger
  21. God’s forgotten Word 1 Introduction
  22. Eternal Word that tells everything
  23. Missional hermeneutics 3/5
  24. Missional hermeneutics 4/5
  25. Belief of the things that God has promised
  26. Exceeding Great and Precious Promise
  27. God wants to be gracious to you
  28. Heed of the Saviour
  29. A Living Faith #1 Substance of things hoped for
  30. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  31. A Living Faith #4 Effort
  32. A Living Faith #12 The Love for Jesus
  33. Faith
  34. Faith Requires a Basis
  35. Faith and works
  36. Faith moving mountains
  37. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  38. What Should I Preach ?
  39. Understanding what we read
  40. Counterfeit Gospels
  41. A promise given in the Garden of Eden
  42. Old language to confirm the promises
  43. God’s Special Gift
  44. Do not be afraid. Good news because a Saviour has been born
  45. A remaining name
  46. Entrance of a king to question our position #1 Coming in the Name of the Lord
  47. Entrance of a king to question our position #2 Who do we want to see and to be
  48. An unblemished and spotless lamb foreknown
  49. In the death of Christ, the son of God, is glorification
  50. Love and forgive this friday
  51. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  52. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  53. Shabbat Pesach service reading 1/2
  54. Shabbat Pesach service reading 2/2
  55. After the Sabbath after Passover, the resurrection of Jesus Christ
  56. Seven days of Passover
  57. A Holy week in remembrance of the Blood of life
  58. Bread and Wine
  59. Ember and light the ransomed of Jehovah
  60. Ransom for all
  61. No Other Name (But Jesus)
  62. Faithful to the listening ear
  63. Nazarene Commentary Luke 2:36-38 – Anna’s Thanks before Those Waiting
  64. It is not try but trust
  65. How Many were Bought
  66. We are redeemed; we are “bought with a price”
  67. Joining for a new year in the assurance to be bought with a price
  68. It is Today
  69. Self-preservation is the highest law of nature
  70. Commit your self to the trustworthy Creator
  71. Man’s plans prevailed by God’s purpose
  72. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  73. Ask Grace to go forward
  74. Dying or not
  75. Not to speak is to speak
  76. Immortality, eternality – onsterfelijkheid, eeuwigheid
  77. I Can’t Believe That (1) … God would send anyone to hell
  78. Being Religious and Spiritual 7 Transcendence to become one
  79. Not all will inherit the Kingdom
  80. We are ourselves responsible
  81. Reasons why they cannot do what they want to
  82. Only the contrite self, sick of its pretensions, can find salvation
  83. The road to success is dotted with many tempting parking places
  84. Choices
  85. Never making mistakes because never doing anything
  86. Let not sin reign in your mortal body
  87. Self inflicted misery #3 A man given to suffer for us
  88. Self inflicted misery #6 Paying by death
  89. Let me keep to “first importance” things
  90. Wishing to do the will of God
  91. Get Your Wonderful Disease-proof Human Body
  92. Give your worries to God
  93. Atonement And Fellowship 1/8
  94. Atonement And Fellowship 4/8
  95. Atonement And Fellowship 7/8
  96. Atonement And Fellowship 8/8
  97. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  98. Divine service (16-10-2013): “The way to salvation/ Die weg na verlossing”
  99. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  100. Follower of Jesus part of a cult or a Christian
  101. Looking for something or for the Truth and what it might be and self-awareness
  102. Deliverance and establishment of a theocracy
  103. End of the Bottom Line
  104. All Positive Energy People Are Acceptable
  105. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  106. Continuing Paul’s Prayer Requests
  107. God’s forgotten Word 5 Lost Lawbook 4 The ‘Catholic’ church
  108. Condemnation of the World and Illustration of Justification
  109. Being of good courage running the race
  110. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  111. Bearing fruit
  112. Together tasting a great promise

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Further Additional literature:

  1. Calvinism
  2. Calvin: A Biography
  3. Calvin in Context
  4. Calvin and the Rhetoric of Piety
  5. Calvin for Armchair Theologians
  6. Calvin as Biblical Interpreter among the Ancient Philosophers
  7. Calvin and the English Episcopate, 1580-1610
  8. Calvin and the Beasts: Animals in John Calvin’s Theological Discourse
  9. Calvin, Classical Trinitarianism, and the Aseity of the Son
  10. Calvin and Praying for “All People Who Dwell on Earth”
  11. Lincoln’s Calvinist Transformation: Emancipation and War
  12. Calvinist Pilgrimages and Popish Encounters: Religious Identity and Sacred…
  13. Why I Am Not a Calvinist/Why I Am Not an Arminian
  14. Greatest single cause of atheism
  15. Shapers of English Calvinism, 1660-1714: Variety, Persistence, and…
  16. Dutch Neo-Calvinism and the Roots for Transformation: An Introductory Essay
  17. Ethnic Persistence among Dutch-Canadian Catholics and Calvinists
  18. The Influence of Calvinism on Seventeenth-Century English Baptists:…
  19. Traditional Baptists and Calvinism: If We Are Not Calvinists, What Shall We…Calvin, John

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  • Calvinism vs. Arminianism: Should We Tell Unbelievers That God Loves Them? (thegraceapparatus.wordpress.com)
    God does not love the reprobate (those who ultimately reject him) in the same way he loves his children. His children are chosen from before time to be his children, and nothing will ever change that. It doesn’t matter whether you have a covenantal theology, only those who are the elect will be regenerated, given faith and persevere until the end. The reprobate have no chance whatsoever.
    One obvious problem with this line of thinking is that not all children who grow up in a Christian home become Christians. If they ultimately die and go to hell, then telling your children that God loves them was a big fat lie (in the Calvinist way of thinking about God’s love). And if these children prove to be reprobate, then they are no different than any other unbelievers. This is a double standard where you tell some unbelievers that God loves them (your children) but not others (strangers).
  • Did God really say “Prevenient” Grace (onedaringjew.wordpress.com)
    The problem is that “grace” for the Arminian and the Calvinist is as different as “faith plus works” and “faith alone” in justification. In Arminianism, grace (“prevenient” grace, which is not in the Bible) possibly saves, whereas in Calvinism, grace does nothing else but save. Yet both Arminians and Calvinists believe that grace is glorious and love singing “Amazing grace.”
  • Southern Baptist Pastor, Randy White, Rebukes Evangelicals for Promoting Racial Justice as a Gospel Demand (blackchristiannews.com)
    “Seems to me that racial reconciliation is a good thing and is a social issue, not a doctrinal or theological issue, and certainly not a “gospel demand.” If there is something Biblical that expresses racial reconciliation as a gospel demand, I’ve missed it.”

    To this, McKissic says, “WOW! That is an incredible, reprehensible, biblically incorrect and racially offensive statement.”

    In citing this statement, McKissic fails to note that I am responding to Matthew Hall, who says, “all Christians should be mindful of the gospel’s demands for racial reconciliation and justice.”

  • Limited Atonement and the Divine Command to Believe Falsehood (arminianperspectives.wordpress.com)
    Many times, an incorrect belief by itself isn’t particularly harmful, but if taken to its inevitable conclusions, tends to produce great inconsistencies. Limited atonement, if taken in conjunction with the common Calvinist beliefs about the gospel call, inevitably leads to the conclusion that God commands people to believe falsehood. I’ll start by postulating and defending the necessary premises.
    +
    Christians since the beginning have understood that believing in Christ is more than just assent that He died and rose (as James also notes, even the demons believe that). True and living faith in Christ requires that we trust in His work on the cross, and in Him as our Savior. Herein lies the second part of the premise: that the aforementioned command requires that they believe that Christ can save them. I don’t think any tenable objection can be raised to this point. One cannot trust Christ as his Savior without believing that He has power to save him.
    +
    Many Calvinists don’t like language that Christ cannot save certain people, but that is an inescapable ramification of limited atonement. Christ either can save one through His sacrificial death, or He cannot. Christ cannot save people for whom He did not die to save. The sacrifice has already been offered, there’s no going back and changing who it was for; there is no other sacrifice, and there is no other way. If the non-elect were excluded, that decision has already been made, and cannot be abrogated. It matters not how many sins the sacrifice was sufficient to cover, if its power to save is not applicable to a person, then Christ cannot save that person.Thus to believe that Christ can save one of the non-elect, if limited atonement be true, would be a falsehood -often called a ‘lie’ when speaking in an objective sense.
  • Spurgeon’s Calvinism (baldreformer.wordpress.com)
    In Spurgeon’s Calvinism, the Prince of Preachers walks readers through the five points that were formulated at Dort.  Readers familiar with his style will be drawn to his passion for Scripture and his ability to relate the doctrines in a unified whole.  While Spurgeon’s treatment of the doctrines of grace prove to be unshakeable in the final analysis, the real highlight of the book is its ability to draw worshippers to the throne of God.  Spurgeon’s Calvinism is a fitting introduction to this biblical way of viewing God’s purposes in redemptive history.
  • Is Atheism a Specifically Western Phenomenon? (the-american-interest.com)
    Atheism, as we know it, came out of a Judaeo-Christian context. But I would slightly re-phrase Garfinkle’s question. The dichotomy is not western/non-Western. It is Abrahamic/non-Abrahamic. It is a rebellion against the monotheistic faiths that originated in the Middle East–Judaism, Christianity, Islam. It makes much less sense in a non-monotheistic environment.
    The rebellion is triggered by an agonizing problem: How can God, believed to be both all-powerful and morally perfect, permit the suffering and the evil afflicting humanity? This is the problem called theodicy, which literally means the “justice of God”; in the spirit of the rebellion it is also a demand that God has to justify himself. The most eloquent expression of this atheist rebellion in literature is by Dostoyevsky’s Ivan Karamazov rejecting God, because he allowed the cruel murder of one child.
  • I was wrong – but I am right – Calvinists preach a false gospel. (craigbenno1.wordpress.com)
    Basically the doctrine of Divine Impassibility is one which states that God is not effected by his emotions. He suffers no pain and cannot suffer pain. Certainly within the framework of the Godhead, God isn’t affected by sinful emotions. Nor does God suffer tiredness, broken limbs and old age.

 

138) Cheap Grace

Many people try to hide behind their church denomination. They leave all matters of responsibility of what to believe to their church and take it for granted everything their church says is true, instead of checking everything every time with their Bible, God His Word.

Lots of Christians also think they do not have to do any works any more because they are reborn and got Grace. They forget that faith without works is dead. It is totally wrong to think our actions are in vain and that we should live the same way as the world does. We do live in the world and do have to be aware of it, but should not always agree with it and live like the rest of it. We have to make a proper choice, living according to the Law of Christ and the Laws of God.

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Please do find to read:

  1. God wants to be gracious to you
  2. The redemption of man by Christ Jesus
  3. About faith
  4. Belief of the things that God has promised
  5. Do not forget the important sign of belief
  6. Knowing where to go to
  7. To mean, to think, outing your opinion, conviction, belief – Menen, mening, overtuiging, opinie, geloof
  8. Getting to know the Truth
  9. How to look for and how to handle the Truth
  10. Faith antithesis of rationality
  11. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  12. What’s church for, anyway?
  13. Pulpit reserved for the pastor
  14. Many forgot how Christ should be our anchor and our focus
  15. What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits
  16. We are ourselves responsible
  17. Ask Grace to go forward
  18. Being of good courage running the race
  19. Bearing fruit

+++

  • Grace and Endurance (gingersnaptheater.wordpress.com)
    In my church we have a phrase that we love to say and hate to think about. We repeat it to the hopeless, but the phrase itself is hopeless. We are told to “endure to the end”. Then they tell us that life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured. So, we’re supposed to be happy in this life, but there is this looming shadow, a dark pressure to grit your teeth through everything, until the end.
    +
    The phrase “endure to the end” starts to make sense. It’s the faith that this darkness will somehow get better. It’s the belief that this will pass. And if it doesn’t, that’s okay. It’s the selflessness to your future self when you want to be selfish and do what you want now. It’s trusting Him to know what to do with your life. That it’s not supposed to be over yet.
  • Grace, Grace, God’s Grace! (brittanyjburke.wordpress.com)
    Grace defies human reasoning. The way we think is not the way God thinks! “My thoughts are not your thoughts,” He says, “neither are your ways my ways.” (Isaiah 55:8)

    • Why do we struggle to give grace? The “Pharisee Syndrome” (the self righteous cant experience grace. If you cant see your sin you cannot see grace), short memory (we forget how much grace we need. On my best day, I am still like a filthy rag in comparison to the righteousness of God.), and “Rightness Insecurity” (we have to be right. We get this God-complex. We seat ourselves on the Throne and try to play God. God plays his part perfectly without our help =) True rightness comes from humility and surrender!)
    • We need to develop cultures of grace. Because we have been given grace we must learn to give it and cultivate it in our lives.
  • Fred Phelps, Grace, & the Sovereignty of God (beardedmanley.wordpress.com)
    Like many other Christians there sometimes seems to be a scale of grace that we give to people.  A little offense = abundant grace whereas a great offense = little grace.  The higher the offense, the less grace given.
    +
    ALL have sinned, but Jesus is that propitiation.  So here’s the bottom line, you in your sin, me and my sin, etc., are as unlovable and heinous as Fred Phelps seems to be. The difference for the believer is that Christ has intervened and taken that unlovable heinous person and made a new creation in him/her (2 Corinthians 5:17).  As Christians, God has called us to mirror Him, and part of that mirror includes issuing grace to others, especially when it is a vile and offensive thing/person.
  • Why is the Church not a democratic organization? (travismikhailblog.wordpress.com)
    The hierarchical element in the Church consists in the fact that Christ himself is the one who acts in the Church when ordained ministers, by God’s grace, do or give something that they could not do or give by themselves, in other words, when they administer the sacraments in Christ’s place and teach with his authority. The collegial element in the Church consists in the fact that Christ entrusted the entire faith to a group of twelve apostles, whose successors govern the Church, with the Pope, the Petrine ministry presiding. Given this collegial approach, councils are an indispensable part of the Church. Yet even in other administrative bodies of the Church, in synods and councils, the manifold gifts of the Spirit and the universality of the Church throughout the world can be fruitful.
  • Amazing Grace (livingtodayforgetingtomorrow.wordpress.com)
    You may expect people in third world countries to have less faith in God because many of them, like Edmond Dantes from TCOMC, have been stripped of their belongings, pushed out of their homelands, and thrown into horrible prisons, and so they would feel that He has favored them less. But their faith is so much stronger than many Americans and others from prosperous nations because they recognize that goodness and hope that lies within the teachings of the Lord for salvation and enlightenment.
  • Bad Theology – Grace (exposegcm.wordpress.com)
    Why are we given grace?  We need it!  We are all sinners who will have to pay the penalty for the sin we commit against God unless we are given undeserved favor from the Lord Himself. (2 Thes 1:5-12; Ephesians 2:4-9; Romans 5:6-9;)
    +
    Vanessa, from Hearts on Guard, said this about cheap grace.

    “Grace is cheapened, sugar-coated, spread around with happy platitudes and warm-fuzzy pictures and songs. Declarations of our awesomeness, holiness and righteousness ring out, and any call for repentance, any mention of our old Adam is hushed and called displeasing to God.”
  • Conservative Lutherans how bout you actually read Boehoeffer fo once (religionron.wordpress.com)
    I disagree strongly with Boehoeffer since imo he insists that you can come to Christ without the Holy Spirit.  That is not Lutheran teaching.  However, The ones that cherry pick the above quote not only don’t read the whole page, they don’t read the whole book.  They are guilty of what people do with the bible on homosexuality lets quote 1:26-27  and ignore 1:15-25, 28 on to 2:1-3.  They don’t realize that they are the ones talked about in the passage they are quoting.
    I know professors that will debate me being wrong about Bonhoeffer and human ability to come to righteousness.  I’ll leave that part out.  There aren’t any with academic credentials that will say that Boehoeffer was referring to costly grace as having a price.
  • ‘Cheap grace’ is not Grace at all (gtwilliams1983.wordpress.com)
    There is a common misunderstanding that the Grace Message teaches that it’s ‘okay’ for Christians to make poor decisions, and act irresponsibly without any repercussions.  ”Cheap Grace” is the term law bound religion fearfully labels it.  Well, I’ve yet to meet a Grace leader or teacher that has said it’s okay to go out and act a fool.  That’s not wisdom.  That’s not Jesus.  So let’s take a minute to make this real.Here’s the truth of the matter, and I hope this really gets into some skulls.  The thinking that “I can make bad, unhealthy choices because God forgives me anyway…” is NOT grace, it’s self-righteousness.  Look at all the ‘me, me, me’ mentality in that.  There is no freedom found in ourselves.  Only the cross.
    +
    So what is Grace, really?
    Grace (Strong’s G5485: “CHARIS”) Unmerited, undeserved favor and kindness of God as if no wrong had ever been done to begin with.  God’s grace is not a response to us, but to Jesus on the Cross  We just get to enjoy it and the justification that comes with it (Romans 3:24).  The sweetest freedom for ourselves is letting go of ourselves.
  • Days of Grace-Day 20 (livinginhisgrace.wordpress.com)
    Grace, defined as unmerited favor by some; a gift of something we did not earn or deserve others will say. A little surfing the net, here are a few of the definitions I found:

    •       Beauty of Form
    •       Good Will
    •       Favor rendered by one who need not do so; indulgence
    •       To give beauty, excellence or charm to
    •       Divine love, protection; freely given
    •       Excellence or power granted by God
    •       Effortless movement
    •       A condition of protection or sanctification by the favor of God
    •       Reprieve, pardon
    •       Mercy
  • His Grace Is [enough; As Much As Is Needed] (carolyncam1.com)
    It is easy for us to see the error of the religious leaders.  But adding rules and requirements to God’s gift of salvation is something most of us regularly do, though it is generally less obvious to us.  We accept Christ’s payment of our sin debt as a gift initially, but as we live out our faith, we unwittingly add “details” and expect ourselves and others to comply with our ideas of Godly behavior.
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EmailMeditations

A reading from the modern classic The Cost of Discipleship (1937) by Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945).  This is a great passage to apply to other people.  We should also apply it to ourselves.

       Cheap grace is the mortal enemy of our church.  Our struggle today is for costly grace.

     Cheap grace means grace as bargain-basement goods, cut-rate forgive­ness, cut-rate comfort, cut-rate sacraments; grace as the church’s inexhaustible pantry, from which it is doled out by careless hands without hesitation or limit.  It is grace without a price, without cost…

       Cheap grace means grace as a doctrine, as principle, as system.  It means forgiveness of sins as a general truth; it means God’s love as merely a Christian idea of God.  Those who affirm it have already had their sins forgiven.  The church that teaches this doctrine of grace thereby conveys such grace upon itself.  The world finds in this church…

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