First the Question: No matter how religious a dead sinner may be, God wants none of his good works or religious doings. True or False?
Please take a moment to respond at the LLM Question of the Day
And now the answer to the LLM Question of 10-25-2011
Question: No matter how religious a dead sinner may be, God wants none of his good works or religious doings. True or False?
Answer: TRUE! No matter how religious a dead sinner may be, God wants none of his good works or religious doings until he is made alive by God’s Grace and power, until he is the recipient of God’s saving Grace through faith in the perfect redemptive work of the perfect Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5-8). Now, out of the 747 responses we received to this question, 95.5% of you got it right! You guys are on a ROLL! Praise God! Therefore,
Today let us consider, THE GOSPEL OF JOHN....THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST, pt. 24 of 30
The Gospel of John The Book of Life
When we call “The Gospel of John,” “The Book of Life,” we are not referring to “The Book of Life” mentioned in Revelation 20:14-15, “And death and hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in ‘the book of life’ was cast into the lake of fire.” In these verses we have a very short but Scriptural definition of the “second death.”
In 1 John 1:2 and 1 John 5:20 we have the definition of eternal life, “The Life was manifest, and we have seen, and bear witness, and show unto you that ‘Eternal Life’, Which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us.”, AND, “We are in Him that is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and ‘Eternal Life’.”
Now note 1 John 5:11-12, “This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He that hath the Son hath life: he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” We read in John 1:4, concerning Christ, “in Him was life.” Then these words of Christ, in John 5:21; “the Son giveth life to whom He will.” Another short and Scriptural definition of Eternal Life is found in the words of Christ, in His prayer to His Father, recorded in John 17:3, “this is ‘Life Eternal’ that they might know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent.”
The Lord Jesus testified, according to John 10:10, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Christ testified in John 14:6, “I am the LIFE.” Again hear His words in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the ‘LIFE’; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in Me shall never die.” Again these words of Christ, in John 6:51, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this Bread, he shall live forever.”
The Apostle Paul testified, “for me to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21). Paul said, “Christ liveth in me.” (Galatians 2:20). “When Christ, who is our ‘LIFE’ shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:3-4). In this same Epistle to the Colossians, Paul wrote to saints, “you hath He made alive together with Him (Christ), having forgiven you all trespasses.” (Colossians 2:13).
In Paul’s Epistle to the Ephesians he addresses the believers as Saints, and adds “to the faithful in Christ Jesus.” In Ephesians 5:3-4 these saints are instructed how to walk and behave “as becometh saints.” So in this Epistle, as in other Epistles of Paul and Peter, we are told how to become saints, and how to behave as becometh saints.
God has much service for saints to do, so many good works for saints to perform, instructing us, in Ephesians 2:10, that we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, unto good works which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. But in God’s Grace message the Holy Spirit has so clearly stated the all important truth that no dead sinner becomes a living saint by behaving or walking or working. No matter how religious a dead sinner may be, God wants none of his good works or religious doings until he is made alive by God’s Grace and power, until he is the recipient of God’s saving Grace through faith in the perfect redemptive work of the perfect Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-9, Titus 3:5-8).
In this message series, “THE GOSPEL OF JOHN....THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST”, you have undoubtedly observed that we have shown and will continue to show that the truth in John is NOT so much like the truth in Matthew as it is like the Grace message which the LORD revealed to and through the Apostle Paul.
In Ephesians 2:1-6 we learn that the sinner is by nature the child of wrath, dead in sins, far beyond helping himself toward God, but that by the Faith he is made alive by God and is raised up and made to sit down in the heavenlies in Christ. In Ephesians 1:4-5 we learn that the dead sinners, who become living saints, were chosen by the Father and the Son. Then as we study Ephesians from Ephesians 2:10 on through the Epistle we learn that the Father wants His redeemed children to walk worthy of the calling wherewith they are called, to be established in His Truth, and know that they are called to separation and service. Also He wants them to know that they are joined to the risen Christ in an inseparable and eternal union, and all joined by the Holy Spirit to one another as members of Christ’s JOINTBODY (NOT ‘same’ Body as in Ephesians 3:6). With this truth in Ephesians let us read John 6:29, John 5:24, and John 15:16, “This is the work of God that ye believe in Him Whom He hath sent.” “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My Word, and believeth Him that sent Me hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but has passed out of death into life.” “Ye have NOT chosen Me, but I have chosen YOU, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” This last statement is in connection with Christ’s teaching concerning The Vine and The Branches, the truth that Christ was the Vine and those who received Him as Savior were the branches abiding in Him. The branches were to bear much fruit (John 15:8), and prove to the world that they were branches by loving one another. (John 15:12). According to John 17:21-23 the Lord Jesus prayed that the branches abiding in Him, The Vine, should maintain perfect unity, so that the world would believe that the Father sent His Son from heaven into world.
Again we find the truth of the last verse of Romans 5 and the last verse of Romans 6 running all through John’s Gospel. Note these two verses, “that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might Grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord”, and, “For the wages of sin is death; but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Before we quote from John let us again read and believe 2 Timothy 1:9-10. In these verses we do not have what some Christians call “Grace plus nothing.” We DO have God’s unmixed Grace Gospel, eternal salvation without man’s works, but the tenth verse tells us what Christ had to do in order that God might save believing sinners by grace. So it is indeed “Grace PLUS something.”
Some church members think that the news in 2 Timothy 1:9-10 is too good to be true. It is both good and it is true. Hear it, and believe it with all your heart, the wonderful, glorious message of salvation by Grace from the Holy Spirit through the pen of the LORD’s faithful ‘Grace’ messenger, the Apostle Paul, right before he departed to be with Christ, the Grace messenger who suffered as a ‘malefactor (2 Timothy 2:7-9), that you and I might have this glorious truth,and here it is, “God, Who saved us and called us with a HOLY calling, NOT according to our works, but according to HIS own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, Who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and incorruptibility to light through the gospel.”
Let us read the wonderful truth, which the Risen LORD revealed to His ‘Grace’ Apostle to record, with Christ’s statement in John 10:17-18, “therefore doth My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I may take it again. No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.”
Let us also read what Christ said to John long after He had abolished death and ascended far above all heavens, “I am He that liveth and was dead: and behold I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of hades and of death” (Revelation 1:18). Surely we can understand why the apostle Peter said to the eternal, omnipotent Christ, “Thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68). We can understand why the Apostle Peter called the crucified and risen Son of God, “The Prince of Life.” (Acts 3:14-15).
What may surprise us is the fact that in Peter’s ministry recorded in the Book of Acts and in his two Epistles he did NOT mention EVEN ONCE “eternal life” or “everlasting life.” He wrote of an abundance entrance into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 1:11), and that faithful teachers of the Word would be rewarded with the Crown of Glory; that Christians have been called by the God of all Grace unto eternal glory by Christ Jesus. (1 Peter 5:4-10). Most Christians do not seem to like the other calling mentioned in Peter’s two Epistles, ‘suffering’.
As we compare John’s messages of eternal life with Paul’s messages of eternal life, we think of the truth in Titus 1:1-3, ETERNAL LIFE WHICH GOD PROMISED BEFORE THE WORLD BEGAN!
“Believe on the LORD Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” Acts 16:31, while there is still time!
So There You Have it!
Spread this message to everyone you know, far and wide. The time is short
Grace be to you and peace, from God: our Father, and The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The LORD Jesus Christ,
The Lion and Lamb Ministry
Pastor David Picos, D.D.
Minister and Ambassador for Christ in the Ministry of Reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20)