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.
John 6:47. Jesus said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me HAS everlasting life.” Everlasting life is permanent, irrevocable, and–everlasting and eternal. It cannot be lost. It cannot be given back. The gifts of God are irrevocable.
Some people will be surprised to be in Heaven.
If a person believes in Jesus as his Savior from sin, even if he never does a single good work, he has everlasting life and will go to Heaven the minute he dies.
Allow me to pound this point in as loudly and clearly as I can: If, ***after believing in Jesus***, if a person burns down churches, becomes a mass-murderer of Christians, becomes a blasphemer, renounces the Name of Jesus, and commits suicide, he will -most assuredly- go to Heaven the moment he dies.
Why? Because ***he has already been given everlasting life***. Because salvation is NOT BASED ON HUMAN GOOD WORKS, and ALL of his sins were paid for by the blood of Christ, shed for him on the cross.
Again, for the hard of hearing: SALVATION IS ALL OF GOD’S GRACE, THROUGH FAITH IN JESUS. ALL SINS, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE, ARE FORGIVEN–PAID FOR BY THE SHED BLOOD OF JESUS ON THE CROSS.
NO HUMAN GOOD WORKS JUSTIFY THE BELIEVER. THE BELIEVER IS JUSTIFIED BY FAITH IN JESUS ***ALONE*** (Jesus said so in John 6:47). IT IS THE GOOD WORKS OF -JESUS- THAT SAVE THE BELIEVER.
THE BELIEVER IS ETERNALLY INDWELLED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT AND DECLARED NOT GUILTY BY GOD ALMIGHTY.
NOTHING CAN CONTRAVENE THE ETERNAL JUDGMENT OF ALMIGHTY GOD.
Pharisees hate God’s grace because there is no pride and no self-justification in it–turning from sins (reforming your life) cannot save you.
And–your good works cannot save you.
Of course, the sins mentioned above are horrible, terrifying, and awful, 100% against the will of God, but that is why I chose them as examples–to make a point about salvation and the extreme offensiveness of God’s grace to sinful human self-justifying desires.
Also, there may be other things involved: God may severely chastise a believer like the one above. God may kill a believer like this. That person may have zero assurance of salvation (why is he acting like this if he believes?). And he will lose rewards in Heaven. But he WILL go to Heaven. He must. God gave to him irrevocable eternal life. He was declared not guilty.
JESUS HAS FORGIVEN ALL OF MY SINS, PAST, PRESENT, AND FUTURE, THROUGH HIS HOLY BLOOD SHED ON THE ROMAN CROSS OF CRUCIFIXION.
ALL OF JESUS’ RIGHTEOUSNESS IS MINE. I AM AS RIGHTEOUS AS JESUS, BECAUSE HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS IS MINE, THROUGH FAITH IN HIM.
Spiritually, everything boils down to this: having faith in the God-man Jesus, crucified on the cross for all sins, and resurrected, for our salvation; loving God, and loving and forgiving others as yourself, as Jesus loves; believing and following the Word and Spirit as a redeemed child of God, by His grace; and eagerly looking forward to Jesus’ Return and Our Father’s promise of Heaven–our destiny.
If I needed to sum up what Christians and churches should be, these three things would be it.
Of course, there is Bible study, prayer, evangelism, worship and fellowship, and many other things, but based on the Bible, if I could pick three things that are really needed, these would be those.
Today’s churches focus on Lordship Salvation False Gospel, attendance–large crowds, theologically deficient ego-rock for songs, Family focus (what about all the single people like me?), Money and Entertainment and Politics.
My guess is Jesus is ready to spit many of them out of His mouth after getting a taste of what they are doing. (see the book of Revelation)
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.”)
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me HAS everlasting life.”
JESUS said this, in John 6:47
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you THE GOSPEL which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, BY WHICH also YOU ARE SAVED, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you–unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
1st Corinthians 15:1-4
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, HAVING BELIEVED, YOU WERE SEALED with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the GUARANTEE of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
For by grace YOU HAVE BEEN SAVED THROUGH FAITH, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, NOT OF WORKS, lest anyone should boast.
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to A DIFFERENT GOSPEL, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach ANY OTHER GOSPEL to you than what we have preached to you, let him be ACCURSED. As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches ANY OTHER GOSPEL to you than what you have received, let him be ACCURSED.
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. 6 If we say that we have FELLOWSHIP with Him [NOT “SALVATION” –C.S.], and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1st John 1:5-10
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
A Psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
A Psalm of David. A Contemplation.
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, Whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, And in whose spirit there is no deceit. 3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old Through my groaning all the day long. 4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah 5 I acknowledged my sin to You, And my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” And You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah 6 For this cause everyone who is godly shall pray to You In a time when You may be found; Surely in a flood of great waters They shall not come near him. 7 You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. 9 Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, Which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, Else they will not come near you. 10 Many sorrows shall be to the wicked; But he who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him. 11 Be glad in the Lord and rejoice, you righteous; And shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
To the Chief Musician. To Jeduthun. A Psalm of David.
Truly my soul silently waits for God; From Him comes my salvation. 2 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved. 3 How long will you attack a man? You shall be slain, all of you, Like a leaning wall and a tottering fence. 4 They only consult to cast him down from his high position; They delight in lies; They bless with their mouth, But they curse inwardly. Selah 5 My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. 6 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. 7 In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. 8 Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah 9 Surely men of low degree are a vapor, Men of high degree are a lie; If they are weighed on the scales, They are altogether lighter than vapor. 10 Do not trust in oppression, Nor vainly hope in robbery; If riches increase, Do not set your heart on them. 11 God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God. 12 Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; For You render to each one according to his work.
In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.
2nd Timothy 2:24,25
My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. 2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. 3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. 7 Brethren, I write no new commandment to you, but an old commandment which you have had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which you heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write to you, which thing is true in Him and in you, because the darkness is passing away, and the true light is already shining. 9 He who says he is in the light, and hates his brother, is in darkness until now. 10 He who loves his brother abides in the light, and there is no cause for stumbling in him. 11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.
1st John 2:1-11
He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly.” Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus! The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.