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The Gospel Part 1

It’s really so very simple:  Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose again.
Will you repent and accept this Good News?

I often over-complicate the message to my own shame, but it is just that simple.  It amazes me how there are entire denominations (thinking RCC) that constantly refer to “the Gospel,” yet when pressed they cannot even define what “the Gospel” is anymore... or if they do define it, it is some sort of faith + works complicated mess, far beyond what Paul described in 1 Corinthians 15:1–4:

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.

Why is it such a temptation to go back to the law?  Maybe it gives us a sense of security.  In other words, if the whole “by grace through faith apart from works” thing doesn’t pan out, we can fall back on our works.  Yet God has removed the cover off of my sin and now I am daily confronted with the impossibility of being perfect enough.  Not only can I not be perfect enough, but actually I am utterly wretched and have accrued a debt that I realize is simply impossible for me to pay back.

Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin. (Rm. 3:20)

Now the “but” starts.  “But what about James?“  The question here is particularly regarding James chapter 2, which to some seems at odds with virtually every other New Testament epistle.  It is largely upon James 2 that the Roman Catholic Church bases its dogma that salvation is by faith and works (in apparent contradiction to Ephesians 2:8–9: “faith apart from works”).

Just step back for a minute and think about all you know about the Bible.  What’s the story?  Isn’t it the story of man’s fall from grace, man’s continual rebellion, God’s promise of a coming Redeemer, and then ultimately the Redeemer coming to reconcile us back to God?

What about the law?  Was it not a system of rules that no one could perfectly keep, so there was a parallel system of sacrifices and offerings “to make up for” man’s inability to keep the rules?

If you boil it down, the Bible is the continually repeated pattern of man’s inability to save himself, and so God steps in and does it for him:

  • Adam and Eve sinned and had shame... God provided a covering.

  • Through Moses God gave Israel a law system they could not keep... God provided them with sacrifices and offerings to atone for their inability to keep the law.

  • God required moral perfection to be saved and man couldn’t live up to that... God provided Jesus who not only lived the perfect life we couldn’t live, but He died the death we deserve.

Before you dissect James 2, you have to read Galatians 2:11–3:14, which is literally the lens through which James must be interpreted.  Let no one fool you, this issue of faith vs works is not a new issue, it was at the very heart of early Church conflict, and the very author of James’ epistle is one of the main targets of Paul’s fury in Galatians 2 & 3:

11 When Cephas [Peter] came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles. But when they arrived, he began to draw back and separate himself from the Gentiles because he was afraid of those who belonged to the circumcision group. 13 The other Jews joined him in his hypocrisy, so that by their hypocrisy even Barnabas was led astray.

14 When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas in front of them all, “You are a Jew, yet you live like a Gentile and not like a Jew. How is it, then, that you force Gentiles to follow Jewish customs?

15 “We who are Jews by birth and not sinful Gentiles 16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.

17 “But if, in seeking to be justified in Christ, we Jews find ourselves also among the sinners, doesn’t that mean that Christ promotes sin? Absolutely not! 18 If I rebuild what I destroyed, then I really would be a lawbreaker.

19 “For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!

3:1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh? 4 Have you experienced so much in vain—if it really was in vain? 5 So again I ask, does God give you his Spirit and work miracles among you by the works of the law, or by your believing what you heard? 6 So also Abraham “believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.”

7 Understand, then, that those who have faith are children of Abraham. 8 Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, and announced the gospel in advance to Abraham: “All nations will be blessed through you.” 9 So those who rely on faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

10 For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” 11 Clearly no one who relies on the law is justified before God, because “the righteous will live by faith.” 12 The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, it says, “The person who does these things will live by them.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14 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.

Above, in red, you can see the terrible results of thinking works have anything to do with saving you.  You can see that James initial teaching:

1. Caused Peter to stop ministering to Gentiles

2. Broke fellowship between Jews and Gentiles

3. Forced Gentiles to bear burdens not necessary for salvation (i.e. circumcision)

4. Caused the church in Jerusalem to stop meeting with sinners (unlike Jesus Himself)

5. Ignores the Cross of Christ

6. Is impossible to keep

7. Brings the curse upon those who believe it

Galatians 2 & 3 is even more significant when you realize this is likely Paul’s description of the issue at hand in Acts 15.  What is Acts 15 about?  This is the Council of Jerusalem, known as the first council of the universal Church, and the very issue at hand was faith (Paul and Barnabas) vs works (James and the “circumcision party”), specifically circumcision vs uncircumcision.

The council sided with Paul.

Peter’s final verdict can be found in vv. 7–11:

After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: ‘Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.’

Going back to James, you must first realize that he was no longer at odds with Paul and Barnabas because their preaching had won him over (see vv. 13–19).

So now, before considering James 2, you have in favor of “grace through faith apart from works”:

1. The general theme of the Bible

2. The entire sacrificial system of the Torah

3. Virtually every epistle in the New Testament

4. The Cross of Christ itself... Jesus died for your sins!

Considering #4, which is Christianity 101 (what Paul literally called “of first importance”), why do so many denominations in technicality reject that?  Jesus died for your sins, he literally took your sins in His body to the tree (1 Peter 2:24).  Tetelestai!  It is finished, debt is paid, Jesus sat down (Hebrews 1:3).

Catholicism and Orthodoxy have developed entire systems of sacraments, indulgences, and intercessions to have man again go back to the stage of having to continually atone for his sins through his own works.  It is like rewinding the Bible back to Leviticus.

If Jesus died for your sins (which again is Christianity 101), why are you trying to atone for them yourself?

Consider James 2:10:

For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

James is exactly right and goes on to talk about mercy triumphing over judgment (vv. 12–13).  It is amazing to me that even though Jesus died for our sins (Revelation 1:5) to free us from the James 2:10 predicament (1 John 2:1) that so much of Christianity through the centuries drifted from the simple Gospel message of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, into a message of sacraments, indulgences, and other-than-Jesus intercessions.

Consider the current Catholic system.  If you commit even once any one of these sins without confessing before death you have a one-way ticket to Gehenna whether you believe Jesus died for you or not.  In fact, every single time you commit a “mortal sin” in Catholicism you become unsaved and are “re-saved” upon confession and priestly pardon.  Notice that this process completely decouples forgiveness from faith in Jesus’ finished work.  Instead, the Torah system of the endless sacrifices of bulls and goats is replaced with the Catholic system of the endless sacrifices of the Mass, and priestly confession, and other sacraments, because no one can truly live up to the Catholic standard just as no one could live up to the Levitical standard.

In light of the Catholic system consider also Jesus’ standard where hatred = murder and lust = adultery.  Are people so blind as to not see how at any given time the vast majority of Catholics would be unsaved under their own standard?

With these things in mind, it is my belief that James is not contradicting the rest of the Bible in James 2.  He is not debating faith vs works, but rather a profession of faith (v. 14: “says he has faith”) vs an actually demonstrated faith (v. 18).  It’s the difference between saying something and actually believing it.  Knowledge is just “knowing” some facts, while belief is what one acts upon because he trusts that knowledge.  I have much knowledge of Islam and Hinduism, but I do not believe either of them because I believe they are false.  I have knowledge of Christianity and I believe it to be true, so I naturally act upon my belief.  The demons know that God is one, but they do not believe that His way is right and they fight against the Gospel.

This leads to the final question about James, which regards justification.  James says that a man is not justified by faith alone (while Paul frequently does).  Just as there are two types of faith, there are also two types of “justification.”  This article nails it:

It is also true that the justification of which James speaks is not the justification of which Paul speaks. One indication of this is the timing. Abraham was justified by works ‘when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar’ (James 2:21). This was about thirty years after he had been justified by faith (Gen. 15:6). James shows that he is sensitive to timing when he says in 2:23 that Abraham’s justification by works “fulfilled” Genesis 15:6. He speaks of Genesis 15:6 as a prophecy, and of Genesis 22 as its fulfillment. Prophecy and fulfillment do not occur at the same time and are not the same thing.

What then is the nature of justification in James? James indicates this plainly in 2:18: ‘Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.’ He is speaking about demonstrating the genuineness of faith.

In Romans 4, Paul addresses the question, How was Abraham justified? In this question, ‘justified’ means ‘reckoned righteous before God,’ and Paul’s answer is: by the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, received by faith alone. But when James asks how Abraham was justified, he is assuming that Abraham already had faith. So his question really is, How was Abraham justified in claiming to have faith? In this question, justified means ‘judged to have made a valid claim,’ and James’s answer is: by producing good works. The questions are different, the answers are different, the justifications are different.

Paul speaks of a justification that comes by faith and not by works, while James speaks of a justification that comes by works and not by faith. Paul teaches us that we are constituted righteous before God by faith alone. James teaches us that the genuineness of our faith is demonstrated by our works.

The take away from all of this is simple:  Get back to the Gospel.  Know it.  Believe it.  Accept it.  Preach it.

“Gospel” - εὐαγγέλιον - Strong’s Greek 2098 - literally “Good News”

The time is short! MARANATHA!

Hebrews 10:14: “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.”

So what should you do?  Now that you’ve heard the message of God’s unmerited and undeserved grace for you, prove to the world that your faith is authentic.  The first thing to do is to get baptized as a testimony to the world that Jesus is now your Lord and that you have been crucified and raised with Him.  Then begin living out your faith.  Devote yourself daily to the reading of God’s Word and to prayer.  Share your faith!

Here is what the first step of obedience looks like:

Further Reading:



















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  1. Working out our own salvation is not the same as 'keeping the law of the old testament', or doing 'good works' to gain God's favour. It means being 'doers' of the word enlightened to us by the Holy Spirit which is sent to convince and convict, and not just being 'hearers' of that word. We are told that we have our minds renewed in Christ Jesus, and this is what happens as we mature in Christ through the teaching of the Holy Spirit. There is no way we could gain eternal life through our own 'works', like 'being good', because until we are born again in Christ Jesus we do not even know what is good and what is evil in God's eyes. However, we are not to continue in sin once we know that a thing is wrong in God's eyes, as we are told that we will be 'crucifying Christ afresh' if we do. The Lord is very long suffering with us, but we can not just sin wilfully if we are convinced by the Holy Spirit that it is wrong what we are continually doing. .(Hebrews ch. 6 v.6)

  2. I hear you, but can you name one Christian in history who has not sinned after coming to a knowledge of the truth? I agree with you that we must be doers of the word, and not only hearers, but if you imply that those works are necessary for salvation rather than the underlying faith that produces those works I would have to disagree, as I think Paul would, and also all the apostles after being confronted by Paul and Barnabas in Acts 15.

    We are saved through faith apart from works, but the works demonstrate that we have a true faith.

    "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8

    "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us." 1 John 1:10

    "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;" - 1 John 2:1

    Daily I sin and need God's continual forgiveness as I strive to be a "doer".

  3. No, I am not saying that 'works' are necessary for salvation, there is a difference between 'doing works' and 'working out'. 'Working out' means 'exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something', Salvation is a two way relationship as it states in John ch. 15 v. 7:- 'If you abide in Me, AND MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU'. We have all sinned, even after being born again of God's Holy Spirit, and could not have the promise of eternal life if it was not for the sacrifice of Jesus, but we must not have the attitude that we can continue sinning wilfully or take sin lightly, for it actually says in Philippians ch. 2 v. 12 that we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.
    We have a loving, long suffering God who understands that we are flesh, but it is good to point out the fact that we are told that many shall fall away in the latter days. By sharing balanced scripture (the rod and the staff) we are kept on the right road.
    1 John ch. 5 vs. 16 and 17 can be an excellent reminder to us to encourage one another to take seriously and try to listen to what the Holy Spirit is teaching us and to have our minds renewed in Christ Jesus:-. ' If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin which does not lead to death, he will ask, and He will give him life for those who commit sin not leading to death. There is sin leading to death. I do not say that he should pray about that. All unrighteousness is sin, and there is sin not leading to death.'
    I like your last sentence in your comment, and I believe that is what God encourages us to be, a 'doer'. Jesus said 'If you love Me keep my commands' I believe what He means as 'commands' are the words that He speaks to us through the Holy Spirit.

  4. Thank you Brenda for your thoughts, I think we agree. I would just add that I don't "work out" to be saved, I do it because I am saved. My debt could not be paid and Jesus paid it for me (Ephesians 2:4-6):

    "having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross." - Colossians 2:14

    The works that I do (like preaching the Gospel, abstaining from sin, seeking reconciliation with God) show that I believe in the Gospel.

  5. That is what Brenda is saying, Gary. Because we are saved we work out what the Spirit has worked in. He works the Word into us and we work it out by surrendering to Him to obey it--because we love Him who saved us, that's why.
    Work out your own salvation in fear and trembling. Phil 2:12 just as she mentioned.

  6. Good evening,

    I love all of the comments. Starting with the 1 Corinthians 15 passage that tells us "if you hold fast...".

    My thoughts are rather random and certainly not a scholarly exegesis in response to such a big topic...

    Salvation is a big topic and our God is indeed Big. His wisdom unsearchable and the mystery of the gospel is great. I'm glad our God and His plan is simple, but also beyond my understanding. In it is food for the child and difficult contrast.

    These things are written that you may know... 1 John 5:13

    Work out your own salvation in fear and trembling... Phil 2:12

    Which is it? Well it's both.

    His grace is complete. His calling and election sure. Yet I must respond. I must take up my cross and follow, taking every thought captive, with fear and trembling, abiding/enduring....

    Yet it is His Spirit that holds me, compels me and transforms me.

    It is a beautiful dance between Groom and Bride.

    It is not intellectual ascent - James 2:19 - even the demons believe and shudder....

    In my life it is a ragged, flighty, inconsistent, weak journey. But it is an unmistakable journey. I am not much, but I'm not who I was. 1 John tells us the evidence of our faith is that we love. I don't love well, but I love much better than I did.

    If the proverbial thief on the cross, had been cast off the cross and healed by the creator of the universe who hung just next to him, but 20 years later there was no life change, no repentance, no faith, no baptism, no grace, no love and no transformation, you could say He had knowledge, but not obedience.

    The very trembling that causes us to ask "God am I really saved" - SCREAMS our Salvation! Because in that simple question we acknowledge His Lordship, our Depravity and our desperate need for Him. The trembling/working out is really praise and really a James 2 sacrifice of works in response to our active faith.

    I think we don't understand the depths of the Greek language very well and get confused.

    There is the word work as we are not saved by works. Then there is work out your salvation. These are not the same. One is trying to earn your way in, as opposed to working out of gratitude, which is an evidence of faith, but not faith itself. The working out with trembling, is in my mind more of the abiding/enduring/remember/sabbath/be still and know / reminder / relationship / transformative / journey / renewing your mind (Romans 12:1-2).

    The works from James 2:26 is a noun - Strong's 2041 (Noun - something in your head, an act)

    The working out with fear and trembling is a verb - Strong's 2716 (this is not a head knowledge noun, it is an active moving verb that is as a result of faith)

    What if instead of "work out your salvation with....", the Bible said "let your head knowledge, move into your heart, and come out of you in the fear and trembling that comes from an abiding faith" (or some such expansion)?

    Love you all.

  7. Anonymous has said exactly what I feel the scriptures say regarding salvation. Obedience is a very important part in working out our salvation, and it comes out of 'belief' (which has a commitment meaning), and love for Jesus. This love grows the more we come to know God through the Holy Spirit, and realize His love for us, and is a love that is far above what I have ever known

  8. Greg wrote...
    "In my life it is a ragged, flighty, inconsistent, weak journey. But it is an unmistakable journey. I am not much, but I'm not who I was. 1 John tells us the evidence of our faith is that we love."

    Beautifully said

  9. Blessed are the merciful

  10. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. Psalm 73:26

  11. Great thoughts everyone. Thank you for sharing. One thing I've noticed is that I've never met someone (at least that I'm aware of) who heard the Gospel, recognized their personal need for its saving message, and then produced no works.

    On the other hand, I've met many who have heard it numerous times and produce no works... what stands out to me is that they have never expressed to me any personal need for the Gospel (for God's forgiveness in Christ). It's just a story to them.

  12. i had a debt i could not pay----He paid a debt He did not owe. Jesus the Lord and Savior is the One Worthy of All Glory. no wonder heaven will last forever..........we will never run out of thanks and praise to give God.


  13. James 2 isn't about salvation at all, but service. This explains: https://expreacherman.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/cucuzza-faith-without-works-is-dead.pdf

  14. You guys contradict the Bible, in the very verse you cite!

    "For by GRACE are you saved, through faith, and that NOT OF YOURSELVES, NOT OF WORKS, it is the GIFT of God"

    You can't say "salvation is by fauth...but you have to do works also"; that flies directly in the face of the above verses, as well as Romans 4:2-8 and 11:6. Paul eliminates the possibility of ANY works being a part of salvation. Your confusion comes from using the context of Galatians to interpret James? What? You should be using the context of James, which is written to "the 12 tribes of the dispersion", i.e, the Jews, AFTER the letters of the apostle to the Gentiles, and isnt even written to Gentile Christians! It's written to the Jews in the Tribulation, and is talking about their service to the Lord, and their salvation from the Tribulation, which is why James references Rahab.

  15. I disagree with many of previous posters...

    The gospel is in 1 Cor 15:1-4.
    It is FAITH alone in the fact that Jesus died for your sins in your place, was buried and rose again the third day.

    It is not faith + you striving/at least trying to sin as little as possible or not sin.
    It is not faith + you working out in fear your salvation (misinterpretation!).
    It is not faith + anything.

    It is faith alone.

    I could very well chose to kill, steal, lie, commit adultery while believing in 1 Cor 15:1-4 and I will still be going to heaven, legally and absolutely strictly speaking.
    And in fact, I am sinning daily, multiple times a day, knowing and unknowingly!

    Why? Because it is not about what I do, at all.
    Not the good stuff nor the bad stuff.
    And whether willfully or ignorantly, does not matter as well!

    The "willfull sin" is misinterpreted by many.
    The "willful sin", in context, is the fall from grace - it is trodding under foot the sacrifice/blood of Christ and going back to the law and doing animal sacrifices again.
    Read the chapter again, in context this time! That is the willful sin!
    It is not "willfully" sinning.
    These things are worlds apart.

    I do not work out my salvation in fear by trying to be "doers" of his will.
    No, I work out my salvation in fear to check whether I truly am relying on his grace without trusting in absolutely anything I do, which "trying to not be only hearer but also doer" IS NOT...

    In the end, when I stay before the Lord and he asks me why he should let me in, I am going to say "I have no merit, I do not deserve it. But you promised that if I trusted in you, in what you did, that you paid for my iniquities by dying in my place, were buried and were resurrected three days later by the Father, I would have eternal life. And I trust your words. So that is why".

    Then there will be people saying..:
    "Yes, because I believed in you and I tried my best to not sin, be also the doer"...
    Or in another, more biblical form ~:
    "Lord Lord, did we not do all these great works in your name",
    to which we know that the Lord will say "Depart from me, I never knew you, you workers of iniquity"!

    These people rely on their own efforts, on their own religious "performance" (doing good & not doing evil) to justify themselves before God.

    I will not.
    Since I do not look at myself at all, I do not think about sin.
    The sin issue was solved. It is finished.
    So, I am not religious.
    I do curse, I do lie, I do all these evil things.
    You say you do not or try not to. But you do.
    I do not try because I understand my nature - I know that my flesh is corrupt!
    I know I will be receiving a new body!
    So i am not deluding myself to be good nor do I play religion, which I detest when I see it, because it stinks of hypocricy and drives people usually away from Jesus! Remember, Jesus is against religion! His only disputes and fights were with religious authorities!!

    That is the difference. I worked out my salvation. I know for a fact whats up!

    Oh and regarding the topic:
    I think James is talking about justification in men's eyes, while Paul is talking about justification in God's eyes.
    To be just before God, it is faith in Jesus Christ's work alone.
    To be seen just by men, it is by your works.
    It is evident by the fact that James talks about your faith not benefiting a naked, homeless man if it has no works! It is for demonstration purposes! It is for others to see your faith!
    So it has nothing to do with salvation (God)!

    God bless!

    1. I am the same Anonymous guy,
      I will just add one thing:

      Through Adam (& Eve) came death unto mankind.
      And likewise, through the second Adam (one man, Jesus Christ), lives came to mankind.

      This is what the bible says.

      And furthermore, it says this:

      ... the wages of sin is death ...


      ... sin is the transgression of the law (God's commandments) ...


      So lets use our brains a bit:
      If the result (wage) of sin is death and we humans all die, regardless of saved or unsaved, it logically follows, that we sin.

      If we did not sin, if we were perfectly sinless and therefore without blemish, we would not die.
      Adam & Eve were immortal.

      God said the DAY you eat of the fruit of that tree you will surely die.
      Adam died at the age of 900-something, before reaching 1000 years of age.
      A day is like 1000 years to the Lord...
      So Adam died the same "day"!

      So, literally, if we go against what God says, we damage ourselves.
      What God says is good.
      The opposite is bad. And leads to death.
      And that is why we are dying. We are infected with this death, which Jesus cured.

      So, no, even if you are saved, you are still sinning, just as before.
      Whether you sear your conscience with guilt afterwards, does not change anything.
      You are still a sinner.
      So why sin against your conscience?
      Where is the "liberty" in Christ?!

      "Sin" should be forgotten right after salvation.
      It is a non issue!
      We are declared holy and righteous (sinless) by our faith.
      So why still bother with sin?
      Why put a yoke around your neck or your conscience?
      Why bother "not sinning" (which is, keeping the law since sin is transgression of law)?!

      We do not.
      It is the good news!!!

    2. Good thoughts. I probably agree with all of what you're saying, but just a comment on your first post. While technically we are saved no matter what we do (through genuine faith in Christ and His atonement and resurrection), we are still repeatedly exhorted not to sin. There's no doubt the NT writers were very consistent in teaching that we should live a godly life even though a godly life does not save. There are four reasons given in the NT:

      1. Out of our love for God and His children

      2. For rewards in eternity

      3. So that we don't lead anyone astray

      4. So that the beauty of our holy lives attracts unbelievers to the truth

      There will be many "saved as through fire", but that is neither noteworthy nor honorable.

      "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" - Romans 6:1-2

      " 'I have the right to do anything,' you say--but not everything is beneficial. 'I have the right to do anything"--but not everything is constructive.' " - 1 Cor. 10:23

      " 12'I have the right to do anything,' you say—but not everything is beneficial. 'I have the right to do anything'—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13 You say, 'Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.' The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14 By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, 'The two will become one flesh.' 17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

      18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." - 1 Cor. 6:12-20

  16. Wow. A thorough and brilliant analysis. God bless you.



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