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RLJ-727OL

When is "Good Enough" Good Enough?

or

What Is Godís Standard?

This Sermon was preached at Resurrection Life of Jesus Church, Sunday July 30, 2000 by Raymond C. Knopp

1. We are justified by grace through faith -- NOT BY WORKS!

Eph. 2:8-9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God 9: Not of works, lest any man should boast. Rom.6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Gal. 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Titus 3:5-7 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6: Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7: That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

2. Being justified by grace through faith, are we free from the law?

John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14: And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. 1 John 5:4 For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

Here we see that to receive "justification" we must be "born again."

3. What should, according to Godís word, be the result of the "born again" experience?

2 Peter 1:3-4 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, (that is "Immanuel!") having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Ps. 119:11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. John 6:53, 63 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. 63: It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. Matt. 4:4 But [Jesus] answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.

The born again experience means partaking, or receiving, the very nature of God. Before this experience, we are rebellious toward God. He says, " . . . my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways . . . -- Isaiah 55:8

4. Does having Godís nature free us from keeping the law?

1 John 3:4 4: Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. Rom. 4:15 . . . the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Rom. 7:7 What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

We learn here that the law is our teacher and reveals to us our "sin" nature.

5. If we now have Godís nature, what happens to our sin nature?

Rom. 6:4-6 Therefore we are buried with [Jesus] by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5: For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6: Knowing this, that our old man (sin nature!) is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 1 John 3:3-9 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as [Jesus] he is pure. 4: Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5: And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6: Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7: Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8: He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

Our sin nature is buried with Christ in baptism, and we are resurrected into the newness of life, partaking in the nature of God.

6. What then is the sign of our new birth?

James 2:10-12 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. 11: For he that said, Do not commit adultery, said also, Do not kill. Now if thou commit no adultery, yet if thou kill, thou art become a transgressor of the law. 12: So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. 1John 2:3-6 3: And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4: He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5: But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6: He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

Godís love is now being perfected in those who, by partaking of Godís nature as a result of the "born again" experience, " . . . keepeth his word."

7. Does freedom from the law of sin and death free us to sin, or free us from sin?

Rom. 8:2-6 2: For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. 3: For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: 4: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 5: For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6: For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Rom.8:13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

We are free from our bondage to sin, which caused us to be transgressors of the law, and now, through the spirit the deeds of the body are mortified "killed."

8. Having been "born again," we are no longer servants of sin!

John 8:34-36 34: Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. 35: And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. 36: If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. I John 3:3-9 3:3: And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as [Jesus] is pure. 4: Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5: And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 6: Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 7: Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8: He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9: Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. Titus 2:11-14 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12: Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly (with Godís nature!), in this present world; 13: Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14: Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

We are to be a "peculiar people," purified unto Jesus -- His Glorious Church!

9. What assurance do we have that Godís nature will accomplish this?

1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as [Jesus] is pure. Heb. 4:15-16 15: For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16: Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. 1 Cor. 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Jesus is our high priest and knows our struggles because he was tempted as we are tempted, and he has overcome, and, as a result,

10. Jesus and his followers (believers) are one, and he makes reconciliation for us!

Heb. 2:11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, Heb. 2:14-18 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; 15: And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. 16: For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17: Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18: For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. Heb. 5:8-9 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9: And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; Matt. 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins Rom. 1:3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; Phil. 2:7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: Rom. 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

11. After we have accepted the free gift of salvation and are truly "born again," what does God do with the law?

Heb. 8:10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: Phil. 2:5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 2 Cor. 5:14 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: John 15:10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. 2 Thess. 2:8-12 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10: And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11: And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

And "pleasure in unrighteousness (sin!)" is the result of the sin nature that remains in those who have not been born of God.

12. So are Godís standards a burden for the believer?

1 John 5:3-4 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. 4: For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Ps. 119:47 And I will delight myself in thy commandments, which I have loved. 77 Let thy tender mercies come unto me, that I may live: for thy law is my delight. 97 O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day. 174 I have longed for thy salvation, O LORD; and thy law is my delight.

13. Many who think they are born again will be disappointed on the Day of Judgment.

Matt. 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. 1 John 2:3-6 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4: He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5: But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6: He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

14. In conclusion . . .

Eccl. 12:13-14 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. 14: For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Rom. 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. James 1:25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

Rev. 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. Rev. 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

1Jo:3:5: And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. 1 John 2:29: If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. 1 John 3:6-7: Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. 1 John 3:7: Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous 2 Cor. 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

 

 

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