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Developing Spiritual Understanding ~Part 2

John 14:6

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

Wow! That seems pretty restrictive, doesn’t it? As a child, and then for years, I pondered the dilemma of how a Good God could automatically condemn the millions of poor souls who had never heard of Jesus and never would.

The clear answer I have received is, “He doesn’t.” As He loves his mankind creation, God has always made a Lawful provision for His people to get to Him. It is by turning from their evil ways ~ and His son, Jesus, will be the final judge of that.

(CEV) Romans 2:14~16 Some people naturally obey the Law’s commands, even though they don’t have the Law. This proves that the conscience is like a law written in the human heart. And it will show whether we are forgiven or condemned, when God has Jesus Christ judge everyone’s secret thoughts, just as my message says.

(TEV) Romans 2:14~16 The Gentiles do not have the Law; but whenever they do by instinct what the Law commands, they are their own law, even though they do not have the Law. Their conduct shows that what the Law commands is written in their hearts. Their consciences also show that this is true, since their thoughts sometimes accuse them and sometimes defend them. And so, according to the Good News I preach, this is how it will be on that Day when God through Jesus Christ will judge the secret thoughts of all.

So, even if one does not know The Lord Jesus, they will still be judged by Him, judged according to our actions and our heart’s condition. It seems to me that God wants to give people the time to change and stop doing what is wrong.

2 Peter 3:9(NKJV)

The Lord is not slack concerning [His] promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

(BBE) 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his word, as he seems to some, but he is waiting in mercy for you, not desiring the destruction of any, but that all may be turned from their evil ways.

(GodsWord) 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord isn’t slow to do what he promised, as some people think. Rather, he is patient for your sake. He doesn’t want to destroy anyone but wants all people to have an opportunity to turn to him and change the way they think and act.”

For those of us who are blessed to have been introduced to Jesus, it is a little different. We have the recorded life example of Jesus, His own words, and those of the early apostles, to serve as model of how we must live to help us. Receiving salvation via Jesus is pretty simple.

These three translations all say how.

(NKJV) Romans 10:9~10 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

(CEV) Romans 10:9 So you will be saved, if you honestly say, “Jesus is Lord,” and if you believe with all your heart that God raised him from death. God will accept you and save you, if you truly believe this and tell it to others.

(Darby) Romans 10:9~10 that if thou shalt confess with thy mouth Jesus as Lord, and shalt believe in thine heart that God has raised him from among [the] dead, thou shalt be saved. For with [the] heart is believed to righteousness; and with [the] mouth confession made to salvation.

Once we have done that, what next? We are told in the scripture to be baptized.

Mark 16:16

He who believes and is baptized will be saved, but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Acts 2:38

Peter said to them, “Each one of you must turn away from his sins and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your sins will be forgiven; and you will receive God’s gift, the Holy Spirit.

Acts 8:12

But when they believed Philip’s message about the good news of the Kingdom of God and about Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

1 Peter 3:21

“Baptism, which is like that water, now saves you. Baptism doesn’t save by removing dirt from the body. Rather, baptism is a request to God for a clear conscience. It saves you through Jesus Christ, who came back from death to life.”

Entire volumes have been written about baptism. Baptist denominations have been established which indicate the importance of the act. Catholics consider baptism a sacrament. Certainly there is more involved here than the simple act of emersion in water.

Perhaps something occurs in the process which is spiritual. But, at the least, the baptized person should come out of the water convinced that he or she has been totally forgiven for past sins, saved from eternal death, and determined to serve Jesus.

Does this mean that we can continue sinning (doing what God has made clear to us is wrong) once that we become Christians? I don’t think so.

Mark 10:19


Romans 13:9

For this, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET,” and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, “YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

1 Cor 6:9~10

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

So, it seems that we Christians must change too, if we are ~in fact~ believers.

1 Cor 15:34

Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

Well, what about ‘Grace?’

(NASB) Ephesians 2:8~10 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

James 2:18

But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”

James 2:20

But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?

James 2:26

For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.

So what are we, as Christians, to do if we have a sin or weakness problem? We confess to Jesus who paid the price of our penalty for us, make a genuine, heart~felt commitment to stop, and ask for help in overcoming the weakness.

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

So, does that mean that we can go right on sinning?

1 John 3:9

Whoever is a child of God does not continue to sin, for God’s very nature is in him; and because God is his Father, he can not continue to sin.

But I thought that we were not held to the “Law” any more!

Matthew 5:19

So then, whoever disobeys even the least important of the commandments and teaches others to do the same, will be least in the Kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys the Law and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the Kingdom of heaven.

So what “Law” are we talking about here? I feel that the “Ten Commandments” are the “Law” that is referred to in this New Testament scripture, that Jesus was talking about the “Big ten” ~ specifically ~ and not the rules and ceremonial ordinance laws that the Jews were to practice to cover their sins and atone for their shortcomings.

Matthew 5:17

” Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

John 13:34

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Ephesians 2:15

by abolishing in His flesh the enmity, which is the Law of commandments contained in ordinances, so that in Himself He might make the two into one new man, thus establishing peace,

Is there a case for “Eternal Security?” Perhaps.

Matthew 5:19

So then, whoever disobeys even the least important of the commandments and teaches others to do the same, will be least in the Kingdom of heaven. On the other hand, whoever obeys the Law and teaches others to do the same, will be great in the Kingdom of heaven.

1 Cor 3:14~15

“If what a person has built survives, he will receive a reward.” If anyone’s work is burned up, it will be lost, but he will be saved; yet it will be like an escape through fire.

(NASB) Romans 8:38~39

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 14:4

Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

I believe, if our time doesn’t run out, God will lead His lost sheep back ~ perhaps into a new, more loving, fold ~ so we may serve Him even better than we once had. Because He knows people’s hearts, God is willing and able to use people’s mistakes for the glory of establishing the kingdom of Christ Jesus. Perhaps, this is the very reason many of us are still alive?

John 14:26

but the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and shall remind you of all things that I said to you.

John 15:26

And when the Comforter comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, that One will witness concerning Me.

John 16:7

But I tell you the truth, it is advantageous for you that I should go; for if I do not go away, the Comforter will not come to you. But if I go, I will send Him to you.

There is an unforgivable sin, but most people have not committed it because they have never know the Spirit in such a way as to be able to deny Him ~ the Comforter ~ that provides the blessed assurance that we are going to be right with God ~ and led out of our blind spots ~ cleaned up if you will ~ and make us better witnesses of God’s enduring power and love.

[ See the Holy Spirit in Developing Spiritual Understanding ~ Part 3 ]
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