Posts tagged salvation
People immediately assume that (in God’s eyes) your faith is dead without works. But, if we dig deeper and look closer, we will see that faith does not need works, in the eyes of God. God sees your faith and that is enough for Him. You and I are different; we must see works in order to say if someone has faith. People cannot see faith; they only see your good and bad works.
Many times we forget to read things in the context. This passage in James 2 gives the illustration of faith in the eyes of man. Check out the following list of people this passage is talking about:
- “if someone,” (not God)
- “if a brother or sister” (not God)
- “and you says to them” (not God)
- “give them” (not God)
- “But someone” (not God)
- “show me your faith” (not God)
This whole passage is not about God seeing your faith, but it is about, “someone” else seeing your faith. Let me ask you a question, can you see faith? No, we can’t see faith; we can only see works.
let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. – Mathew 5:16
I have no idea what someone believes until I SEE it, with my physical eyes. I see them worship, pray, or sing, and I say, “Oh they are probably a Christian.” Now, can you see that the message James was trying to get across was, “what’s the point of your faith to a homeless man?” He cannot see it; you should have given him some food instead of telling him you will pray for him. Imagine someone is starving and I say, “Hey, I’m praying for you.” That would not help (save) him, in his eyes.
14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can [a]that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “ Go in peace, [b]be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” – James 2:14-16,18
Now you say, “Well, Caleb it’s clear in black and white; faith without works is dead, so it must be true.”
My dear friend, if our faith is dead without works, tell me why did Paul say Abraham (a picture of us today) was justified by faith?
For if Abraham was justified [b]by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. – Romans 4:2
That is the KEY words, “but not before God.” It was not in God’s eyes that he was justified, but he was justified by faith. You and I are like Abraham.
Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM (ABRAHAM) AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 23 Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, – Romans 4:22-24
Abraham was accredited with righteousness, and, “for our sake also… those who believe in Him (God)” will be credited as righteous. Now, let’s compare these two verses.
• For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. – Romans 4:2
• Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar?– James 2:22
One verse said Abraham was justified by works and one says that Abraham was not justified by works. So what is the truth? The truth is that James talks about faith, in man’s eyes, and Paul talks about faith, in God’s eyes.
- Abraham was not justified by works, BEFORE GOD. – Romans 4:2
- Abraham was justified by works, BEFORE MAN. – James 2:22
People Use, “faith without works is dead” to promote the law, but in this context we can see that God only needs to see faith. Salvation is not faith + obedience + our law keeping + our behavior. No, Salvation is faith alone. Know today that you are made right with God, not because of your good works, but you are made right with God because of Jesus alone, case closed!
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3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
And who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul [b]to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive a blessing from the LORD
And [c] righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face—even Jacob. Selah.
In case you don’t know it yet, this chapter is all about Jesus! Psalms deals with an interesting question; who shall ascend to the hill of the Lord? So let’s break this down.
The word who is speaking about a person, the Psalmist is looking for someone.
2. Shall ascend
This person is obviously going up into a place where many people are not. This idea of ascending means that the person is going into a higher place.
3. To the Hill of the Lord?”
The Hill of the Lord is obviously not a literal hill (mountain) because God does not dwell in one place, but it speaks of a place where God is; it speaks of his presence.
When we understand each word in this Psalm, we can realize the meaning of this Psalm. If I could paraphrase the Psalm I would write, “Who can go into the presence of God?” Who can stand before a Holy God with confidence?
My friend, when this was written, only Jesus had clean hands and a pure heart, but He did not just stay on that hill; He came down to bring us up. My friend, because of what Christ has done, YOU can ascend to the hill (presence) of the Lord!
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. – Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)
Now, thanks to the cross, we can come boldly into the presence of God knowing the price has been paid.
You say, “But only the ones with clean hands and a pure heart can ascend to the hill of the Lord.”
Yes, that man is Jesus, and you are in Jesus! If Jesus can ascend to the hill and you are in Him, then you can ascend! Have you forgotten that you have been cleansed of your sins? 2 Peter goes through a list of things
• Mutual Affection
Then the next verse says,
“But if anyone does not have them (goodness, knowledge, etc.) , he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.” – 2 Peter
My bible says that we have been CLEANSED of our sins! And, the reason why our young people don’t have self-control, the reason the church body doesn’t have mutual affection, and the reason people quit church and don’t have perseverance is because we have forgotten we have BEEN (past tense) cleansed.
People still think they have dirty hands and a dirty heart, but you have been cleansed of all of your sins! Like I shared earlier with the post Is Our Heart Desperately Wicked, your heart is brand new. You are a new creation, and all old things (sin) have passed away!
It is self-righteousness to say you can ascend to the hill of the Lord on you own strength. People think, “Well if I obey God’s word as much as a can, then I will get clean hands.” The truth is that, you cannot do anything to get a pure heart without the blood of Christ!
Psalm 24 says that we shall ascend into the presence of God because God has cleansed us of our sin, and Jesus has cleaned our hearts and hands!
The reason I believe it (Psalm 24) is for us today is because of verse 5.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD
And righteousness from the God of his salvation. – Psalms 24:5
So, what is a verse about righteousness doing in a chapter about the presence of God? Well, verse 5 says that these people who ascend to the hill “shall receive a blessing.” So, what is that blessing? Righteousness, When someone is righteous that means the person is right with God. This person is YOU! You have been given a blessing, right standing with God.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:21
Anytime, anywhere, and any period in time you need God, you can go to Him! You shall ascend to the hill of the Lord; you have clean hands, and you have a pure heart. Doesn’t that make you feel loved?
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Sin Sends People to Hell
Before we unravel the title of this post, let me ask a question.
“How does someone get saved?”
I believe we can all agree that salvation is based upon two things.
1. Jesus’ punishment for our sins
2. Us believing in Christ
The first part has been complete, so now once someone believes in Christ they are saved. Amen, it is not Jesus’ death +our obedience + our law keeping that grant us salvation. It is Jesus’ payment, period.
So, what sends people to hell then? Our sins send us to hell and nothing else. When a person has sinned that person is doomed for hell, but if that same person receives Christ’s payment for their sin that person’s sins are removed.
“as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”
Once that payment has been made and sin is removed there is no other works to do, no other works to inherit eternal life. Now once sin is removed from the person that same person will make it to heaven and that is the beauty of the cross.
What is not beautiful is that people think that although Christ has been punished for my sins, if I sin, I will not make it to heaven. In the first place, if Christ has been punished for your sins and you receive it, God would be unjust to punish you for your sins. It is called, “double jeopardy.” No not the game show, it is written in the U.S. constitution; it reads, “Nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb.”
Double Jeopardy means a person cannot be tried or punished for the same offence twice. This is liberating because when someone believes in Christ, God charges Jesus with all the punishment due to that person. Remember God is not in time; salvation is for anyone who receives Christ’s payment.
“What if I sin after I receive Christ?”
You will receive NO punishment. God would be unjust to punish you and Jesus for your sins. Either you pay for your sins or Jesus pays for you sins.
All Sins Were Future
Let’s think about the following:
3 A.D. – (or around then) Christ Paid for Your Sins
1972- George gets saved
1973 – George sins
As we can see, all of George’s sins were future when Jesus died and made the payment, so why do Christians think that if I sin after the I accept Jesus, my sins have not been payed for? We have to realize that all of our sins were future when Christ died. If you claim you past sins were removed except for your future, you are acting as if you sinned before Christ came. Before our great grandparents were born, Christ paid for your sins. Sin cannot tell Jesus you’re going to hell if Jesus is telling your sins that you are going to Heaven!
God Has Intentionally Forgotten That You Sinned
This is my last and best point I have for why I believe in secure salvation. It comes from Hebrews. In this context the Holy Spirit is quoting from Isaiah about the new covenant. At the tall end of this quotation we read…
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
There Is Nothing you can do to lose your salvation! Because every one of your sins is forgiven and FORGOTTEN! Amen, how can God send you to hell for a sin, He does not know about?
I pray that you seek out the scripture and see the truth that Jesus has secured your salvation!
For more information on this subject, I encourage you to check out Joseph Prince’s message on this, and if you click this link below, it will take you to the website to get the CD.
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