God sent Jesus to the earth for a special mission; to save mankind (LUKE 19:10: JOHN 1:29)! Jesus said, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me" (JOHN 6:38). Jesus accomplished that mission at Calvary (LUKE 23:33)! The wonderful work that Jesus Christ did was in the eternal plans and purposes of God (EPHESIANS 2:10-11; 2nd TIMOTHY 1:9; TITUS 1:2)!
Right before Jesus died, He said "It is finished!" What is the "IT" that Jesus finished? God's work! Reconciliation (2nd CORINTHIANS 5:18-19), Redemption (EPHESIANS 1:7), Salvation (ACTS 4:12), Forgiveness of sins (ACTS 13:38), Peace with God (ROMANS 5:1) [just to name a few]. Jesus finished the work! He did what no human could do, living a perfect and sinless life (2nd CORINTHIANS 5:21). It is blasphemous to claim that Christ is coming back to the earth to finish what he failed to accomplish during His first visit. Imagine telling "The Word" (JOHN 1:1, 14) that became flesh, "You failed!" Sadly, this is what many in the denominational world teach. But remember, "For with God, nothing will be impossible" (LUKE 1:37). Yes, Jesus finished His Father's work!
Because of what Jesus did, we are justified [rendered righteous, declared free]. We are justified by faith (ROMANS 5:1), justified by blood (ROMANS 5:9), justified by grace (TITUS 3:7), justified by works, not by faith only (JAMES 2:24). [James is in no way claiming that man can earn his salvation. He is simply stating that faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead - JAMES 2:17].
SALVATION CANNOT BE EARNED
1. "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast" (EPHESIANS 2:8-9).
2. "Who saved us and called us with a holy calling, NOT ACCORDING TO OUR WORKS, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began" (2nd TIMOTHY 1:9). [Literally, before times eternal].
3. "But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, NOT BY WORKS of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior" (TITUS 3:4-6).
OBEDIENCE LEADS TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
So Samuel said: "Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in OBEYING THE VOICE OF THE LORD? Behold, to OBEY is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams" (1st SAMUEL 15:22). "But this is what I commanded them, saying, 'OBEY MY VOICE, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I HAVE COMMANDED YOU, that it may be well with you'" (JEREMIAH 7:23). God the Father gives the Holy Spirit to those who OBEY HIM (ACTS 5:32). Jesus is the author of eternal salvation to all who OBEY HIM (HEBREWS 5:9). Peter and the other apostles said, "We ought to OBEY GOD rather than man" (ACTS 5:29). Many of the priests were OBEDIENT TO THE FAITH (ACTS 6:7). Concerning the living oracles that were given to Moses, Stephen said, "Whom our fathers would NOT OBEY, but rejected" (ACTS 7:38-40). Man will either OBEY THE TRUTH, or he will OBEY UNRIGHTEOUSNESS (ROMANS 2:5-10). Paul said, "OBEDIENCE leads to righteousness" (ROMANS 6:16). We must OBEY THE WORD (1st PETER 3:1). The saving blood of Jesus Christ IS NOT contacted in disobedience; it is contacted in OBEDIENCE!
OBEY THE GOSPEL
Many in the world of 'Christendom' have never heard the phrase, "Obey the gospel." It is found 3 times in the New Testament.
1. But they have not all OBEYED THE GOSPEL. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our report" (ROMANS 10:16).
2. In flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not OBEY THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ (2nd THESSALONIANS 1:8).
3. For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not OBEY THE GOSPEL of God (1st PETER 4:17). [The gospel of Christ and the gospel of God are one in the same].
"The just shall LIVE BY FAITH" (HABAKKUK 2:4; ROMANS 1:17). "For we WALK BY FAITH, not by sight" (2nd CORINTHIANS 4:7). Christ dwells in our hearts THROUGH FAITH (EPHESIANS 3:17). Now FAITH is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (HEBREWS 11:1). But WITHOUT FAITH it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (HEBREWS 11:6). God justifies the circumcised [Jews] BY FAITH and the uncircumcised [Gentiles] THROUGH FAITH (ROMANS 3:28-30). For you are all SONS OF GOD THROUTH FAITH in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as were BAPTIZED INTO CHRIST have put on Christ (GALATIANS 3:26-27). For by grace have you BEEN SAVED THROUGH FAITH, and that not of yourselves; IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD, not of works, lest anyone should boast (EPHESIANS 2:8-9). BURIED WITH HIM IN BAPTISM, in which you were also RAISED WITH HIM THROUGH FAITH, in the working of God, who raised Him from the dead (COLOSSIANS 2:12). Who are kept by the POWER OF GOD THROUGH FAITH for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1st PETER 1:5).
THE INVITATION OF JESUS THE CHRIST!
Come to Me (MATTHEW 11:28, 19:14; LUKE 6:47, 14:26, 18:16; JOHN 5:40).
Come after Me (MARK 8:34; LUKE 9:23).
Hear Me (MATTHEW 17:5; MARK 7:14; JOHN 10:27, 12:47).
Believe in Me (MARK 9:42; JOHN 3:18, 7:38, 17:20).
Enter by Me (JOHN 10:9).
Follow Me (MATTHEW 8:22, 9:9, 16:24, 19:21; JOHN 21:19).
**LEARN FROM ME (MATTHEW 11:29; EPHESIANS 4:20-21)** [Cannot be stressed enough. If you want truth, go to Jesus]!
Abide in Me (JOHN 15:4-7; 1st JOHN 2:28).
WE MUST DO WHAT JESUS SAID TO DO ***[DEUTERONOMY 18:18; ACTS 3:22-23]***
"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and DOES THEM, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock" (MATTHEW 7:24). Jesus said, "My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and DO IT" (LUKE 8:21). Those on Pentecost said, "Men and brethren, WHAT SHALL WE DO" (ACTS 2:37)? Saul said, "Lord, what do you want me TO DO" (ACTS 9:6)? The jailer said, "Sirs, WHAT MUST I DO to be saved" (ACTS 16:30)?
A rich, young, powerful ruler came to the right place [Jesus], with the right attitude [heart], and with the right question [about eternal life]. "What shall I do that I may have eternal life" (MATTHEW 19:16)? Jesus told him, "If you want to enter life, keep the commandments" (MATTHEW 19:17). He had everything that some people today are looking for; wealth, riches, and power. Yet he knew something was missing! The young man asked which commandments he was to keep? [He was under the Old Covenant Law]. Although there are hundreds of laws that were to have been kept, Jesus only mentions a few; and one was love your neighbor as yourself [not a part of the 10 commandments]. The man told Jesus, "All these I have kept, what do I lack?" Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me" (MATTHEW 19:21). The man left sorrowful! Why? He had great possessions; but he did not do what Jesus asked him to do! He left Christ in the same condition as when he came to Him; without salvation! [A person could not gain eternal life under the law of Moses; else this man would have never come to Jesus with the question].
Contrast this man with the man born blind in John 9. Jesus made some clay, anointed his eyes, and told him to go and wash in the pool of Siloam. By faith, he went, he washed, and he came back seeing (JOHN 9:10-11). How does one know it was done by faith? Because he did not even know who Jesus was; for he said, "A man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, 'Go to the pool of Siloam and wash.' So I went and washed, and I received sight." (JOHN 9:11). [Notice that the man did not argue with Jesus?] Later on, after he was cast out of the synagogue, Jesus found Him and said, "Do you believe in the Son of God?" He said, "Who is He Lord, that I may believe" (JOHN 9:34-38). He didn't even know who Jesus was; yet he did what Jesus asked him to do! Did he earn anything by doing what the Lord asked him to do? Absolutely not! He gained his sight by obedience to the Lord's commands "Go" and "Wash!" For the first time in his life, he saw with his eyes. When did he see? Before he did what Jesus asked him to do; or after he did what Jesus asked him to do?
I'm going to do whatever Jesus said to do! I will not listen to man! I will not be persuaded by man's beliefs! I REFUSE to follow denominational doctrines! I will follow my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! Even Jesus' mother said, "Whatever He says to you, DO IT" (JOHN 2:5). Where do I find God's will for my life? THE BIBLE (2nd TIMOTHY 3:16-17)! If man does what Jesus says to do, he is earning nothing! He is simply doing what the Lord asked him to do (LUKE 17:7-10). And remember, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (HEBREWS 13:8).
1. Jesus said, "Unless you BELIEVE THAT I AM HE you will die in your sins" (JOHN 8:24).
2. Jesus said, "Unless you REPENT, you will perish" (LUKE 13:3).
3. Jesus said, "Unless one is BORN AGAIN, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (JOHN 3:3).
4. Jesus said, "Unless one is BORN OF WATER AND THE SPIRIT, he cannot enter the kingdom of God" (JOHN 3:5).
5. Jesus said, "Unless you are CONVERTED and become like little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven" (MATTHEW 18:3).
6. Jesus said, "Whoever CONFESSES ME before men, him I will confess before My Father in heaven; but whoever DENIES ME before men, him I will deny before My Father who is in heaven" (MATTHEW 10:32-33).
7. Jesus said, "Go into all the world and PREACH THE GOSPEL to every creature. HE WHO BELIEVES AND IS BAPTIZED WILL BE SAVED; but he who does not believe will be condemned" (MARK 16:15-16).
8. Jesus said, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go and MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL THE NATIONS, BAPTIZING THEM in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS I HAVE COMMANDED YOU; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. Amen" (MATTHEW 28:18-20).
9. Jesus said, "Why do you call Me 'Lord, Lord,' and NOT DO THE THINGS which I say" (LUKE 6:46)?
While He was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, IN WHOM I AM WELL PLEASED. HEAR HIM" (MATTHEW 17:5)!
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