The work of faith wrought in us through belief in Jesus Christ and His glorious gospel of salvation brings us from death to life, from eternal destruction to eternal life. The work that Christ accomplished on our behalf was a once in history reality that spreads throughout all time to any and all who call upon the name of Jesus Christ in repentant faith. What glorious good news! What wonderful redemption. This transforming work by God through His Son Jesus Christ and the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit enable sinners to become saints and to know the only True God and His Son Jesus Christ. There is no other change as momentous as the salvation of a sinner. Where once there was enmity there is now joyful fellowship; where willful rebellion reigned now resides grateful obedience.
Faith in the Savior frees us to obey our great God and Savior, but God’s Word admonishes us to go through some changes. These changes are all contingent upon Jesus Christ and His work of saving grace on our behalf. I would like to share the verses in the New Testament epistles that exhort us to turn from our former way of life to the new way made possible by our all-powerful beneficent God.
17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 18 having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: 19 who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 if so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Therefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. 26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. Ephesians 4:17-32
Jesus Christ Himself teaches us the right way to live as we study His Word, the Bible and rely upon Him through pray and the power of the Holy Spirit. This new life has not only raised us up from the dead, but it has also given us the ability to live the life of obedient faith. We can put off the old man, that dead, stinky body of decaying rotten flesh, and put on the new man, freshly alive with the holy and righteous life of God to live for Him and His glory. Truth reigns where once deception hid; giving holds sway where once greed led; loving communication prevails where once railing ruled; and loving kindness graces our lives where once bitter enmity disfigured and deformed us. This is all true because of Jesus Christ and His great power towards us. Jesus is coming again for us which should be the motivating force to live godly lives. We must look for His imminent return!
4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 for which things’ sake the wrath of God comes on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them. 8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; 10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him: 11 Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all. 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Colossians 3:4-17
Through faith in our Beloved Savior Jesus Christ we are no longer children of wrath; we must live the truth of our redemption and inheritance in Christ’s glory that we have received from our glorious God. We are elect by God and must live with humble love and forgiveness towards our brothers and our sisters. God’s peace, love and Word must rule in our hearts and our minds. We must be united in Christ through our common faith in Him that rests upon the revelation of the Holy Scriptures alone. We must encourage one another with godly music to God’s glory and do everything for Christ’s praise. The conviction of our redemption moves us to godliness and righteousness. The reality of our future judgment before Christ’s Judgment seat also causes godly fear to motivate us to live for Him and love our brethren.
9 Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. 2 Corinthians 5:9-11
7 For none of us lives to himself, and no man dies to himself. 8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that He might be Lord both of the dead and living. 10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Romans 14:7-12
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 1 Corinthians 3:11-15
So my beloved brethren, we have the great and precious promises of God that guarantee our inheritance of the saints in the light with Jesus Christ as our Head in Whom all the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily, and we are complete in Him. (Read Colossians) By His great provisions we can live holy lives to His glory. If we neglect these great and precious promises then we can expect to suffer loss when we come before the Judgment Seat of Christ. We will be saved, but as though through fire. Let us determine to know the Word of God, by reading, studying and hiding it in our hearts. Let us determine to exhort one another while it is still day. Let us determine to love one another with godly love that emanates from God the Father and Jesus Christ. Let us determine to walk by the Holy Spirit, bearing His fruit, and so abstain from fulfilling the desires of the wicked flesh. Let us turn away from all deceivers and liars who lead us away from the simplicity that is in Christ. Amen!
1 Simon Peter, a bondservant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have obtained like precious faith with us by the righteousness of our God and Savior Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 2 Peter 1:1-4
Lord Jesus Christ, may we glory in You and what You have done for us for eternity and in the here and now that we may live for Your glory and honor and for the love of the brethren. Amen!