2020-08-26 How Much For This Sin? Or That One?

“I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law,
then Christ died for no purpose.”
Galatians 2:21

It is my hope in these writings of late to show through scripture the basis of salvation, and that is through faith alone, not works. And, yes, works is important, don’t misunderstand, but obeying God’s commands (works) is a manifestation of his grace, not the other way around or in tandem with each other. In fact, to suggest otherwise is taking credit for something that only Jesus is worthy of. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be doing that.

Is it reasonable to think that my future sin disqualifies my salvation? If one is wrong to think so, his/her spot in heaven will not be in jeopardy no matter how convinced s/he is otherwise, provided they indeed are saved. Even so, one is therefore willfully choosing a lie over truth. Nothing good can come out of that. On the other hand, if I am wrong and my sin actually CAN tear my golden ticket from my hands, then I had better pay very, very close attention so that I don’t end up in the lake of fire.

There is a broad spectrum of thought on all of this with the Catholics on one side saying one mortal sin kills salvation. Others, like the Methodists, it is my understanding, believe that you have to willfully reject Jesus entirely after once believing in him to lose salvation. I’m sure you’ll find those with everything in between.

Let’s just take a look at a few more verses in Hebrews as to whether or not Jesus’ work is sufficient to save.

Hebrews 1:2-3 He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. And after making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Hebrews 2:8b Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside of his control.

Hebrews 5:9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him.

Hebrews 8:6, 13 But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises…. In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Hebrews 10:10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Hebrews 10:14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.

Hebrews 10:18 Where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

Perhaps the hang-up that works people have is that they never see anyone stop sinning. The truth is, nobody does. Does that mean we don’t obey him, and therefore disqualify us from Hebrews 5:9? If that is the only verse you use, then, yes, there is reason to question the assurance of salvation. Or if we just use John 8:11 when Jesus told the adulteress, “and from now on sin no more,” we’ll have problems.

But that is not the conclusion we would have if we take the whole of scripture into account. Folks, I admit that it is confusing, but faith at its very core is believing God. My actions follow through with what I believe. No one ever completely stops sinning, so is Jesus able to do something about sin or not? Must he completely eradicate sin to convince us he did? Or, did he simply plant a flag on a hill and it is up to us, individually, to win that battle of sin or die trying?

Folks, when are we going to understand that we cannot win this battle over sin? We will not obey the law of God. Parts, yes, maybe we will obey parts, but we are required to obey it all (Deut. 27:26; Gal. 3:10, 5:3; James 2:10; Rom. 7:7-12). Can you do that? You’ll keep saying, “sorry,” over and over and over and over and over and never stop sinning. That’s a fact. If you haven’t come to this understanding yet, then stop to really think about it. Your sin is a far, far bigger problem than you can possibly comprehend. That’s why it took a perfect priest and a perfect sacrifice to pay for your mess. INFINITELY PERFECT.

Look, do you think you can truly make good on your sin? How? By saying, “sorry”? By doing a few good deeds, you know, like a child might clean up the dishes for breaking a window? Do you really think that will suffice? Hear me on this. If God consigns sinners to the lake of fire for ETERNAL punishment, there simply must be much, much more to our sin than what we think.

Hebrews 10:30-31 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” It is a fearful thing to fall in the hands of the living God.

Hosea 13:7-8 So I am to them like a lion; like a leopard I will lurk beside the way. I will fall upon them like a bear robbed of her cubs; I will tear open their breast, and there I will devour them like a lion, as a wild beast would rip them open.

This salvation business is no joke, my friends. God says these things; he means them. All whom are not saved are his are enemies. And his are not his just because they say they are Hebrew or Christian or Catholic. These will receive a greater condemnation.

Hebrews 6:4-8 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

And yet we think we can work our way out of our sin. Foolish people!

Matthew 19:25-26 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Your good deeds, your sacraments, your priests, your absolutions, and your penance are all rituals of man when it comes to matters of salvation.

Mark 6-8 And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandments of God and hold to the tradition of men.”

These things terrify me. They steal the glory of God that is reserved and deserved for his Son, alone. I absolutely shudder thinking about the Catholic system, and many, many others who think they can and must perform to be saved. They have heard the gospel and read the bibles for themselves, yet they insist on doing things their own way. Wow.

Isaiah 42:6-9 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you; I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. I am the Lord; that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to carved idols. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth I tell you of them.”

Philippians 2:5-11 Have this in mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Folks, the Catholic faith speaks of Jesus, but steals his glory. Who then, ultimately, is behind this false religion?

Father, heavy stuff here. I pray that some who read these words are driven to the bible, today, to see if these things are so. Only your words, not mine, will save a human soul. Amen.

Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers

Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash

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