God’s kingdom is free!

Image

Part of the covenant that God made with Abraham was that anyone who wanted to be an Israelite had to be circumcised.

Genesis 17:9-14
9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations.
10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.

Because of this covenant, it was very difficult for Jews to accept the new covenant that was established through Jesus Christ.  It is important to realize that the new covenant was prophesied through the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 31.

Jeremiah 31:31-34
31 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
32 Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
33 But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
34 And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

Notice that this new covenant is not according to the covenant God made with their fathers (vs. 32).  It is a completely new and different covenant.  The New Testament writer to the Hebrews quotes this passage from Jeremiah in Hebrews 10:16-17.  He uses this passage to teach the Hebrews that their sins are remembered “no more.”  Jesus has paid the sacrifice for sins completely when Jesus died on the cross.

Hebrews 10:14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

The scripture is teaching here that Jesus’ “one offering” on the cross perfects the saints forever.  This passage is warning the Hebrews not to offer up any more sacrifices, but to trust in Jesus to pay for their sins.

Throughout the New Testament the Hebrews, or the Jews, continually struggled to accept Jesus Christ alone to forgive their sins and to take them to heaven.  Even if they believed in Jesus, they struggled to understand that Jesus eliminated animal sacrifices and circumcision.  In other words, they thought that in order for someone to get into God’s kingdom, that person needed to believe in Jesus, be circumcised, and offer up animal sacrifices just like the Jews had been doing under the old covenant.

The problem with this is that Jesus established a new covenant.  It is not part of the old covenant.

Matthew 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament [or covenant], which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Jesus blood covers all sins.  If we do anything other than confess our sins and believe in Jesus to receive forgiveness then we say that Jesus blood was not enough.

1 John 1:7-10
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth 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.

The apostle Paul warned in his letter to the Galatians about not being circumcised for salvation.

Galatians 5:1-5
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.

The problem with being circumcised for salvation was that it was a statement that Jesus Christ was not enough for salvation.  Salvation under the new covenant does not come by anything we do.  It comes only by Jesus Christ.

Galatians 2:16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

Romans 4:4-5
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

Ephesians 2:8-9
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

You see, if we try to do good works of the law in order to get into heaven then we are no longer relying on God’s grace.  We are trying to pay off our sin debt by our own good works.  The problem is that  we cannot do anything perfectly.  Even when we try to do good many times our motives are wrong.  Notice that in the Galatians’ verse above that “by the works of the law” “no flesh” is justified.  It says that we are justified by the “faith of Christ.”  Notice that Ephesians said that salvation is not of “yourselves.”

Salvation means to be saved from God’s wrath.  The Bible teaches that those who have salvation enter into God’s kingdom.

Luke 18:25-26
25 For it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
26 And they that heard it said, Who then can be saved?

Why then do people insist that we must do certain things to get to heaven?

Part of the answer is because of many false teachings in our world.  The Bible warns that false teachings will come.

Matthew 7:15-17
15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

Many people are unlearned in the Bible, and when false teachers pull out verses to try to teach us to do things for salvation the unlearned simply follow.  The word begins to spread and, before you know it, many think that there are certain works they must do to be saved.  [I would encourage you to read the New Testament part of the Bible.  It will help you to understand the Old Testament.  Ask God, and He will reveal himself to you through what you read.]

The Galatians were sharply rebuked for trying to add circumcision to obtain salvation.

Galatians 3:1-3
1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

Galatians 5:2-4
2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing.
3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

Are we made perfect by our flesh? No! Absolutely not!

However, a true Christian will do good things because Christ lives inside of him.

John 15:4-5 [Jesus is speaking here]
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Yes, the Bible teaches that “faith without works is dead” because faith in Jesus Christ produces good works.  Jesus was and is perfectly righteous.

1 John 3:7-9
7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.
8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

This passage is not talking about sinning one time.  It is talking about a lifestyle full of sin.  A true Christian does not live a life in continual sin because God’s seed is in that person and that person cannot live in continual habitual sin.  It is important to look at everything I John says.

1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Yes, the Bible does warn that people living in sin will not go to heaven.

Ephesians 5:5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

When a person comes to Jesus Christ they forsake their sins.  To say your sorry for sin requires the action of trying not to do that sin again.  Someone living in habitual sin is not truly sorry for the sin.   This is not to mention that living in sin is trampling God’s grace and forgiveness.  This is very dangerous.

John 3:20-21
20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

The only way to live with God forever in His kingdom is to be completely righteous.  The only way to be completely righteous is to be completely forgiven from all of our sins.  The only way God can completely forgive all of our sins is for Jesus blood to cover our sins.  The only way for us to have Jesus blood to cover our sins is by repenting of our sins to God and believing in Jesus Christ’s death and burial for our sins, and believing in Jesus resurrection.  Jesus resurrection proves His power to raise us from the dead so that we can live forever with God in God’s kingdom!

Mark 1:14-15
14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Romans 10:9-14
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Dear friend, what are you trusting to get you into God’s kingdom? Yourself or God?

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Want to find a good church?

Try contacting the National Association of Free Will Baptists.

Would you like a good devotional book to get you started in your Christian life?

Try Won by One.

Advertisements

3 comments

  1. […] believe? Read my blog God’s Kingdom Is Free. […]

  2. […] and God has planned it all.  (To learn about God’s plan of forgiveness see my other posts God’s Kingdom is Free , What is Faith?, and God Cares About […]

  3. Mrs. Nancy L. Cavey · · Reply

    You said it well. It’s only through the blood of Jesus that we are reconciled to God and our lives will bear the fruit of righteousness because of His seed within us! Praise God for His unspeakable gift!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: