Experiencing the Power of the Gospel
Part 3―Biblical Doctrines in the Light of the Gospel
Part 4―Last Day Events (Eschatology)
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If your motivation to serve Christ is either: (1) Hope of Reward or (2) Fear of Punishment, then Christ cannot accept this motivation.
Why? Because, it is all about self, what you want.
Satan wants for you to focus on your Performance, the "fruit production."
Christ wants you to focus, on Him being the vine, and He will take care of the fruit.
Do we see the difference?
John 15 (v. 5) I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Christ is waiting with longing desire for the manifestation of Himself in His church. When the character of Christ shall be perfectly reproduced in His people, then He will come to claim them as His own.
What does the devil want for you to do?
➔ to focus on good works and Law keeping.
Look Away From Self to Jesus….Satan tried to deceive some of the honest children and had got them looking to self to find worthiness there. I saw they must look away from self to the worthiness of Jesus and….draw by faith strength and nourishment from Him.
The devil is trying to draw your attention away from Jesus.
Christ will produce the “good works”, but not because it saves you!!
It is the Evidence & Proof that you are abiding in Him!!
A faith that is not sustained by works is worthless. Says the apostle,….I will show thee my faith by my works. That faith if cherished in our hearts will necessarily draw after it the good works which “justify” and endorse the faith of the believer. Good works are indispensable as the fruit of faith, and are the sure evidence that we have passed from death unto life....
What does Jesus expect from us?
Lev 19 (v. 18) ....you shall Love your neighbor as yourself....
Rom 13 (v. 8) Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.
(verse 10) Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore Love is the fulfillment of the Law.
But where do people go wrong?
John 14 (v. 15) If you love me, keep my commandments.
They think, that is how you show Jesus that you love Him; by “grudgingly” keeping those 10 rules perfectly!!
Don’t try to keep them, unless you first love Jesus; or else you will be keeping them the way Satan wants you to:
➔ Keeping them in order to get a Reward, a ticket to heaven.
To trust in man's good purposes or works is….to be utmost folly. To suppose that a few deeds of beneficence or the performance of duty will cancel a life-time of sin, is a blindness that Satan brings over the mind to befog the moral perceptions, and lead men to trust in themselves.
What is the difference?
Let’s take a look at an example of using the Law “(2) as a means or method of Salvation”
Luke 18 (v. 9) Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous.... (v. 11) The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself: God, I thank you that I am
not like other men....
Now compare that with: "(1) a standard of Christian living"
Matt 22 (v. 36) ....which is the great commandment in the Law? (v. 37) ....you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart.... (v. 38) this is the first and great commandment (v. 39) and the second is like it: you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
Do we see a difference between the two methods?
One is loving yourself first, while the other one is Loving others first!!
(1) The commandments as a standard of Christian living:
➔ Is a whole different lifestyle, focused on loving your neighbor as yourself.
➔ It is God who “produces” commandment keeping in you, but only to show others what Jesus is like, that is the right motivation.
(2) The commandments as a means or method of Salvation:
➔ Is loving yourself first and making sure, that you make it to heaven, ahead of everybody else.
➔ It is working hard to make it to heaven, and can only result in death.
A legalist is concerned with doing the very least that he can do and to still keep his ticket to heaven!!
Luke 18 (v. 14) ....for everyone who exalts himself will be abased, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
A legal religion can never lead souls to Christ; for it is a loveless, christless religion. Fasting or prayer that is actuated by a self-justifying spirit is an abomination in the sight of God....it is all a deception. Our own works can never purchase salvation.
1. Christ's Object Lessons, p.69, par.1
2. Selected Messages (book 3), p.145, par.1
3. Bible Training School, (1 Jun 1915), par.2 "The Work of Faith"
4. The Signs of the Times, (15 Dec 1887), par.6
5. The Desire of Ages, p.280, par.2
Image #1: For the Glory of My King Jesus, (2015). Abide in Me. Retrieved from https://joyellewills.wordpress.com/
Image #2: My spark people, (2013). Will work for salvation. Retrieved from http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5242373
Image #3: Jesus-Resurrection.info, (n.d.). God is love. Retrieved from http://www.jesus-resurrection.info/bible-ten-commandments.html
Image #4: Pure Faith, (2015). Your ticket to heaven. Retrieved from https://stenila.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/one-way-ticket-to-heaven/
Image #5: James Tissot, (1886-94). The Pharisee and the Publican. Retrieved from http://www.philipkosloski.com/a-short-and-simple-prayer-that-can-transform-your-life/
Image #6: Top 100 Love Yourself Quotes, (2017). Love yourself first. Retrieved from http://www.quoteambition.com/love-yourself-self-esteem-self-worth-self-love-quotes/