But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 5:22-23 ESV
Man is the problem. You can ban guns, knives, Visine, Radiator Fluid, Arsenic, Cars, Soda, Sugar, Fat…and men will still find a way to kill each other. Hurting People, Hurt People. It is impossible to deal with the problem, by banning things, when the problem is in the heart and mind of man. Paul tells us this clearly in Romans 3:23: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Paul wasn’t told by Jesus that SOME fall short, that MANY fall short, or that MOST fall short- Jesus told Paul- ALL FALL SHORT. God requires perfection. The Apostle Peter challenges us: As he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:15–16) Peter allows no wiggle-room here. We can’t interpret the verse in a halfhearted way. Holiness defines God’s essence, and since God calls his people to be like him, holiness isn’t optional for us. The Holy One commands his chosen ones to be holy—ALL, without exception! If we choose to doubt the seriousness of Peter’s command, we should listen to the equally serious words of Jesus: “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew. 5:48). Does your dictionary define “perfect” as, “Trying your best”? Not according to Paul either: “For it is written, ‘Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them’” (Galatians. 3:10). God actually does demand perfection.
Leader, God demands perfection! It is written: For the person who keeps all of the laws except one is as guilty as a person who has broken all of God’s laws. For the same God who said, “You must not commit adultery,” also said, “You must not murder.” So if you murder someone but do not commit adultery, you have still broken the law. (James 2:10-11) Now are you ready for the GOOD NEWS? In order to GET THE GOOD NEWS, you need to know the BAD NEWS. The BAD NEWS that leads to the GOOD NEWS is that you, nor I, nor any other human being can be good enough for God! None of us can keep even the 10 commandments, nevertheless God’s newest and greatest commandment: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. ‘All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40) We were given the 10 commandments to point us to a Savior. It is impossible to LIVE the 10 Commandments unless your name is Jesus of Nazareth. The Old Testament had Shadows, and Forms of our Savior in people like Moses, Noah, Joseph, and activities that showed Judgement, and deliverance from the judgement for God’s people in the Exodus, the journey in the desert, Passover, The Feasts and appointed times, the Flood, Lot, and his wife out of Sodom and Gamora. The New Testament is the arrival of that Savior, Jesus, and the beginning of His Kingdom reign. Since God requires perfection, because He is a perfect God- and since man can never be “GOODNUFF”, God took care of the SACRIFICE and the GIFT through His Son, our Savior JESUS.
Conduit, hear the Word of the Lord: But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. (Romans 5:15-18) Paul who was taught directly by Jesus, for 3 years in Arabia…who wrote half the books of the New Testament and 25% of it’s content Paul clearly expressed the fact that eternal salvation is the “gift of God” (Rom. 6:23). He even specified that it is a “free” gift (Rom. 5:15-18) Salvation is NOT A REWARD, it is a GIFT! What happens is the “Shiny One’ wants to confuse. Confusion is facilitated by CONFLATION. Conflation is the merging of two or more sets of information, texts, ideas, etc. into one. All people are judged. There is the White Throne judgement of God and the BEMA seat of Judgement, for Christ Followers. One is about destination; White Throne Judgement. One is about REWARDS IN HEAVEN, Bema seat of Christ. Both are based on works. However one requires PERFECT WORKS for ENTRANCE. One requires PERFECT MOTIVE for REWARDS in HEAVEN. The Bible is clear; And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. (Hebrews 9:27-28) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9) It is finished- PAID IN FULL! Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He knows the plans He has for you- plans to prosper you. Accept the FREE GIFT of SALVATION and work out your REWARDS WITH FEAR and TREMBLING! “Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing”.