People search for knowledge and insight, and/or spiritual experience, or peace and holiness and righteousness, or assurance and clarity, as the greatest spiritual attainments.
People might seek for these things in many ways, in many different places.
But the best thing anyone can possibly receive is UNION WITH GOD through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
God is love.
Union with the God who is love is the greatest thing that can happen to anyone.
Union with God is joy unspeakable.
Union with God gives us the peace our souls crave.
The best possible thing for any human being is to live united with God our loving Father, in Christ our Savior, and the Holy Spirit, who indwells our spirit.
We receive EVERYTHING GOOD by God’s grace, through Jesus, by His death on the cross for all of our sins, through His burial, and through His resurrection.
We receive knowledge of the Gospel through the Scripture.
We receive salvation through believing in the Gospel of Jesus: 1st Corinthians 15:1-4.
We receive perfect sanctification through believing in Jesus’ Gospel.
Jesus Himself IS our sanctification.
We receive experience of God through his Holy Spirit in our the intuition of our conscience of our spirit, through Jesus’ Gospel, because we have been crucified with Christ, we have been buried, and we have been raised to eternal life through His resurrection.
Though we still sin, God daily forgives us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. God also tells us to confess our sins to one another. The forgiveness of God in the Lord’s Prayer is in the sense of daily practical fellowship, but we are forgiven for all our sins forever, past, present and future, in the moment of faith in Christ.
We are the holy children of God, through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God, indwelled by the Spirit of our Father.
When a person first comes to faith, he believes in Jesus, who died for all sins of everyone on the cross, was buried, and rose again on the third day.
And Paul the apostle tells us that Jesus, the Christ, did more than simply die for our sins.
Look deeper into what Jesus actually did for us.
The Bible tells us also that we were in Him in His death and resurrection, washing away all our sins past, present, and future, with His holy shed blood, and giving us a new life of eternal glory. (Galatians 2:20)
We receive this free gift forever and irrevocably in a moment of faith.
When we believe in Christ, in that moment, we repent or change our minds about unbelief about our sinfulness, and we change our minds in thinking that Jesus was just a man.
Repentance from sins and/or commitment and perseverance in holy living are not requirements ~for~ salvation. But they are the possible, but not required for salvation, natural outgrowth and working out of salvation. A holy life is God’s will for His children, made holy in Christ.
When we believe in Jesus, we are immediately spiritually baptized by the Holy Spirit into the death and resurrection of Christ. (This is not water baptism, but spiritual baptism.)
We are saved and preserved forever in Christ.
We are saved by sheer divine grace, there is no merit or worthiness in us.
The Bible says all of our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.
Jesus is the infinite and eternal and unimaginable divine pinnacle of all spiritual desires, who dwells in glorious white light forever and ever.
Jesus is forever worshiped and glorified by the angels in Heaven and by the saints in Christ.
In Christ are ALL the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Through Jesus we receive forgiveness of sins.
Through Jesus we receive union with God.
Through Jesus we are destined for Heaven.
Through Jesus we commune with God the Father, through His Holy Spirit in our spirits, forever loved and at peace.
EVERYTHING SPIRITUALLY GOOD is given to us in Jesus who is God incarnate in human flesh, who died for all of the sins of everyone on the cross, who was buried, and who rose again on the third day.
All to the glory of God my Savior. John 6:47.
There are six main areas that I believe Satan is working in to cause tremendous hindrances in the Christian church today. These include everything from blocking the true biblical Gospel of Salvation, to almost completely stopping Christian spiritual growth in individuals. Here they are the six areas, and the lies Satan is telling concerning them:
Eternal Security: Salvation is ~permanent~ for those who once have believed in Jesus as Savior. Salvation ~cannot~ be lost or returned or renounced. Heaven is the permanent destiny of all those who have once believed in Jesus as Savior. God’s “not guilty” declaration of believers is ~irrevocable~. (Romans 11:29; Ephesians 1:13,14)
Satan’s Lie: “your salvation can be lost.”
God’s Truth from His Word: a believer’s salvation is “sealed” and “irrevocable.”
Baptism: There are at least 9 different baptisms in the Bible, and all of them are without water, except for one. The baptism that ~saves~ is the non-water, spiritual, baptism into the death and resurrection of Christ, which the Holy Spirit does at the moment of a person’s belief in Christ. (1st Corinthians 12:13) Being baptized into water is ~not~ a condition of salvation.
Satan’s Lie: “you need to be baptized in water to be saved.”
God’s Truth from His Word: whosoever believes in Jesus ~has~ everlasting life. (John 6:47)
Repentance: The Greek words translated “repentance” are “metanoia,” a noun; and “metanoeo,” a verb. They carry the idea, “change of mind.” Change your mind about a sin you are committing, would be one usage of these words.
However, when these words are used in connection with salvation, they mean “change of mind” about Jesus–change your mind from unbelief, and believe that He is your Savior from your sins.
“Repenting of your sins,” or changing your life from sinful behavior, is ~not~ a condition of salvation.
Satan’s Lie: “You need to stop sinning to be saved.”
God’s Truth from His Word: “he who believes in Me (Jesus), ~has~ everlasting life.” (John 6:47)
Faith: The Greek word is “pistis.” In connection with salvation, this word means to ~believe~ the Gospel, to believe in Jesus as Savior, or to trust in Jesus as Savior. The worst error in Christianity is to add human good works to what it takes to save us. This spiritually deadly false doctrine is called, “Lordship Salvation.” Everyone and anyone is saved who trusts in Jesus as Savior, ~without~ any good works. Even our ~good~ works are as useless “as filthy rags,” as the Bible says in Isaiah 64:6.
Satan’s Lie: “You need to be a faithful disciple in order to earn your salvation.”
God’s Truth from His Word: whosoever believes in Jesus ~has~ everlasting life. (John 6:47)
Sanctification: In this area of doctrine, many saved believers are under the false impression that God simply works in them automatically, without their active obedience to His Spirit and to His Word. This is not true. God works in us, “to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)
Satan’s Lie: “God works in you automatically. You don’t need to do anything to grow in grace.”
God’s Truth from His Word: give every effort to grow in godliness. (2nd Peter 1:5-8)
Church Membership: Anyone who believes in Jesus as Savior is immediately a member of God’s family, which is the church, which is also called, “the body of Christ. There is no need to condition an approved or saved status upon local church members who have believed in Jesus as Savior. They are already approved and saved by God because they are believers. (Romans 12:4,5)
Satan’s Lie: “You need to belong to a local church and be a member of a local church to be saved.”
God’s Truth from His Word: He or she who believes in Me ~has~ everlasting life. (John 6:47)
P.S. I have rarely felt such spiritual opposition and struggle as I did while writing what is above. Satan absolutely hates what I have written here. Which is good, because what I have written above reflects the truth from God’s Word in the areas where I believe that Satan is being most successful and destructive in the Christian church.
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
John 13:34 NKJV
Jesus is speaking these words. In the NKJV, above, this is a direct command from Jesus. Love others as Jesus has loved us. Immediately, we think, how are we going to be able to love others as Jesus loves us? Impossible. Well, right. Impossible, unless we are relying in God’s Spirit and His power, like a branch relies on the tree trunk (vine).
In the NIV, the verse is rendered, adding the word, “must.” As in, “so you -must- love one another.”
Must, or what? “Must,” or we aren’t saved? “Must,” or Jesus will no longer love us? “Must,” or there is some other threat?
That “must” is not in the original Greek, but was added in the bad translation of this verse.
The NIV is a very beautiful English rendering of the Bible, but it is verses like this that make using it very problematic, because it gives the wrong idea, or suggests the wrong idea.
A command was given by Jesus: love one another as I have loved you.
The concept of “must” is not in that verse, stated or implied, but was added presumably because of the Lordship salvation ideas of the translators.
Salvation is a free gift received by believing in Jesus as Savior (Ephesians 2:8,9). Lordship salvation false doctrine adds the wrong idea that obeying Jesus in acts of discipleship is part of what saves us. This is a false idea.
Adding anything to faith in Jesus for salvation is condemned in the strongest possible terms (two damnation curses) by the apostle Paul in Galatians chapter one verses eight and nine.
Jesus promised that anyone who believed in Him ~has~ eternal life. (John 6:47)
The repentance (Greek–metanoia: “change of mind”) that is to eternal life is changing your mind about the sin of unbelief in Jesus.
“Repenting of sins” in order to be eternally saved is ~NOWHERE~ commanded in Scripture.
Repenting of your sins is not part of what saves anyone. That is salvation by human good works. Also, “committing your life to Christ,” (from false prophet Billy Graham) a.k.a. dedicating your life to discipleship, has NOTHING WHATSOEVER do with being saved. Salvation comes ONLY from ~believing in Jesus~. Sanctification (growing in grace, love, and holiness) and fellowship, grow out of our salvation, which is eternally and irrevocably secure.
The biggest false teachers/preachers/churches are: the Roman Catholic Church (some within this church are saved, if they trust in Jesus alone without relying on any good works), The Lutheran Church (which I grew up in), (and almost all Reformed and Calvinist Churches), Billy Graham, John MacArthur, and John Piper.
There are many, MANY other False Gospel Teachers who teach that SALVATION comes by ~repenting from sins~ and a ~commitment~ to ~lifelong discipleship~. These all teach WORKS RIGHTEOUSNESS salvation. But the Bible says that salvation is a FREE GIFT received through faith in Jesus.
People think these churches and preachers are conservative and respectable, but they are deadly. Jesus said: “MANY false prophets will appear and DECEIVE MANY PEOPLE.” (Matthew 24:11), and Galatians chapter one puts -two- damnation curses on anyone who preaches a False Gospel.
The Gospel is found in 1st Corinthians 15:1-4: “Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the Gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this Gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures…”
Notice that there is no mention of repentance of sins or discipleship included as the way to be saved. These are NOT part of the saving Gospel.
The Bible clearly says that salvation is “not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:9)
Everyone who believes in Jesus alone, without relying on his or her good works to be saved, has everlasting life. (John 6:47: Most assuredly, I say to you, he [or she] who believes in Me HAS everlasting life.”)