...if we be honest with ourselves,
we shall be honest with each other.  ~ George MacDonald

Jesus Wept 

Jesus Wept

 

“Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation —but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live,” (Rom 8:12, 13)

It couldn’t be clearer.

The New Testament urges those who are walking in the light to continue to walk in the light (i.e. to continue to follow Jesus by doing what he commands). It does this over and over again. It is also full of warnings to those who are not walking in the light, telling them they will die in their sins if they do not start walking in the light. Despite this being repeated again and again, many who have read the Bible can't see it. They can’t see it because they have embraced a theology which makes them believe they are saved, no matter how they live their lives. They choose to believe they are in the light because they said a prayer, and through quoting scripture that does not apply to them, have come to believe they are Christians. 

Many well meaning people in the Church have attached to the words “faith” and “believe” false meanings. Then they use a few verses which tell us we must believe and tell us we must have faith to reinterpret the many, many verses which tell us plainly what it means to walk in the light. Those verses about walking in the light (or running the race etc) tell us what it means to believe; what it means to have faith. 
 

“This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.” (1 John 1:5, 6)

“No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.

7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1 John 3:6-8)


“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.” (Rom 6:16, 17)

 

“...thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance.”

According to Paul, if you are not trusting and obeying Jesus, you do not have faith in him.


Paul begins the book of Romans by saying he has been made an apostle to

“call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.” (Rom 1:5b)

Notice he doesn’t call them to faith. He calls them to obedience. But it’s an obedience “that comes from faith.”

The gift of God is the obedience that comes from faith. (That's why no one has reason to boast. It is God who works in us to will and to act according to his good purpose (see Phil 2:13). We are unable to obey God without his help (see Rom 7). But with his help we can do all things (see Phil 4:13 and John 15:5).

“Oh, but we all sin!”


We do, and if we are not confessing our sins and repenting of them, we will die in our sins (see 1 John 1:7-9). He purifies us from sin through repentance. (And slowly makes us like Christ. See here.)

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)

According to 1 John 1:7, Jesus purifies us from sin if we walk in the light. Our purification from sin is conditional upon walking in the light. If we are not walking in the light we are dead in our sins and he has died in vain for us. (If we are not walking in the light, accepting a theory of atonement will not save us. See here.)

In all the epistles, the apostles are talking to two groups of people, those who are walking in the light, and those who are not. Over and over again they say those who walk in the light will inherit eternal life; and those who continue to sin will die. (The verses quoted above are but a small sample.)

If we are not obeying Jesus we should not assume that we have eternal life.

“But if this is true, How can anyone be sure of their final destination?”

Here is my answer to that question. Why Hell?