CRY OUT TO JESUS
Isaiah 61: 10
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God;
For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation,
He has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
JESUS DOES EVERYTHING AND THEN FREELY GIVES US THE BENEFITS
If you have read many of my articles about Jesus, then you must know that I am fully convinced of the truth of the gospel of grace that Jesus died to give us. I am fully convinced that we, as followers of Christ, follow Him. I am fully convinced of the necessity of the Church, that Jesus built, must live holy lives. The area of difference in what I believe and the majority of the people that I talk to about it is how we actually accomplish the holy living.
Most people in the church have no difficulty in agreeing that the way to be saved is through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. We all agree with the power that is found in His shed blood. We then approach the cross road of division when it comes to whose responsibility it is to live holy lives.
We call people to the alter and tell them that they need a savior to heal, prosper and save from hell, then pray the prayer of salvation with them and dance and shout about us having a new brother or sister in the family. Then the next week we tell them that they must obey all of His commandments in order to be or remain blessed. We give 7 steps to everything and put the responsibility on them to live holy by their own effort. When they fail at this, we then extend the pointed finger and condemn them.
Isaiah, in the scripture above is just one of many hundreds, if not thousands of examples in the bible of whose responsibility it is to make us holy. Notice that we have a joyful soul which is what produces the correct behavior only by knowing that Jesus has clothed us with His Salvation, and put His robe of righteousness on us. All of the action is done by Jesus, all we do is to see what He has done and believe in His work and then by His Spirit He transforms us into His image.
If we want to see people saved, delivered and living holy lives then let’s continually point them to Jesus and what He has done for them. How can we continue to tell people that they cannot save themselves and then once they see Jesus and give their lives to Him, reverse it again and now tell them that they have to correct all of their behaviors by their effort in order to stay in fellowship?
It was not until Jesus revealed Himself in the law and prophets that the hearts of the disciples was set on fire. (The Road To Emmaus) The new testament was written as a revelation of the law and prophets. It reveals Jesus in all of the old testament, so let us follow their example and discover Jesus from Genesis to Revelation and preach Him and let His salvation and grace change the people into holy vessels, not their obedience.
If our obedience to the law was able to save then Jesus would never have had to die the death on the cross. It is that same finished work that only by believing in it, that will produce the holy men and women of God. Right believing = Right living. Lift up the name of Jesus across the whole earth and behold His glory and majesty.
Thank You and Be Blessed,
Joe D. Willis