I thought I'd share a little about what's on my mind the past few days.
When I think of the "fear of God" I generally accept that to mean a healthy, reverent respect for the Lord. At the same time, I can't ignore some passages of Scripture that tell us differently either.
Hebrews 10:26-31 -- "If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know him who said, 'It is mine to avenge; I will repay, and again, 'The Lord will judge his people.' It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (NIV)
Now, I know that traditionally there are some who have used those verses as proof that we can lose our salvation. I'm not here to comment on or debate that today. Instead, I want to focus on something else I think it speaks to -- holiness.
Boy, are those verses sobering or what? Man, I should read that every morning if not a few times throughout the day because it's a powerful reminder and encouraging word for desiring holiness. I hope it is clear that "holiness" does not equate to "salvation" either. That is to say, you don't need to become "holy" before you can become "saved". still, we're told that we should make every effort (relying on the Holy Spirit of course) to live holy lives.
Plus, this is precisely why I believe we should be examining ourselves DAILY to guard against sin from creeping back into our lives and establishing a stronghold. You know what they say, "Give the devil and inch, and he'll become your ruler..."
I recall what I once heard about how before we're saved we're sinners who are sometimes saints, but after salvation we become saints who sometimes sin. I was thinking about that today.
Of course, Revelation 19:6-8 connects to this discussion as does Jude 1:3-4. That being said, perhaps we should ask ourselves the following:
Have we rationalized our ungodly lifestyles and behaviors because of the blood of Jesus Christ and His grace to love and forgive?
Ecclesiastes 12:13 -- "Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man." (NIV)
Lastly, please also understand that I'm not promoting a works-based theology here as if the way you live determines your salvation. However, the Bible has a lot to tell us about how we're supposed to try and live once we're saved by the faith in Jesus Christ and the grace of God.
That's what I wanted to call our attention to here today.
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Our faith in action, or our small contribution in trying to apply what we're taught in Hebrews 5-6 and James 2:17-26 for the benefit of our dear brothers and sisters within the Body of Christ...
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