If somebody becomes a Christian what’s required of them? Will they be able to live sin-free perfect life? What is the nature of the law in the new covenant? If you sin, will you lose your salvation? What did Jesus mean by things like, “Think not that I have not come to destroy the law” and “If you love me then you will keep my commandments”?
Let me start with my conclusion and answer to these question in a plain and easy to understand way. And then, I will go into a lengthy technical discussion to show the details on how and why this works from the Bible.
Been set-free is technically possible to those who’ve been truly saved but it has never been achievable. However, you can and you will be free from the habitual power of sin in your life eventually if you have indeed been born again, that is to say truly saved. These should first manifest in the big sense in your life. And it is accomplished by the new desire to quit sinning, sometimes called the conviction of the Holy Spirit. The process however can be a slow one or a fast one depending on you level of commitment to making Jesus Lord of your life. The more you make him the boss in your heart the faster this process will go.
For example, it took me sometime to beat major addictions in my life after becoming saved, even a few years regarding one particular one. But the fact is that i did beat the major sins eventually and not only that, I am freed from the bondage of desire to do them as well. And the process was one of the continued steady progresses although there were stumbling and fallings along the way. But even those stumbling encourage me more to return to the process of trying to beat sin that I was slaved to. But in many cases, Christ totally takes away the desires for those big types of sins at the moment of salvation. I’m not sure if the process was different although it was. Although you can’t be perfect, you should be in the process of being perfected and that process will continue in your entire life.
Many years later I still struggle with sins. But there are “sins” that I am not even sure that I would have called “sins” when I was first saved. Although to me now they are just big and as important to defeat as those so called “big ones” were back then. In fact if a person has claimed him to be a Christian for many years and still a slave to major sins and addictions and such then it is likely that they are not truly saved and I would encourage them to repent. That is to change their mind about their sin and to change their mind about not following Christ and be willing to put all of your sin and all of your life on the table. Without him we have no power to change our hearts, no power to truly desire Him or to desire holiness or hate sin. Salvation is a supernatural thing that God does to people. That is was the new covenant is all about.
Now let me explain these all from the Bible. I want to start in a place that is not quoted all that often, Ephesians 1:13-14. It says, “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”.
So it says here that at the moment of hearing the gospel and believing in Him, that is the moment of salvation, something happens. It says that you are sealed with the Holy Spirit. Then it says something pretty radical. It says that the presence of the Holy Spirit is the guarantee of your inheritance. Now the inheritance of the believers many things: eternal life, resurrection, reigning with Christ, everything. This seems so strongly that the presence of the Holy Spirit in your heart at salvation is the proof that you have been saved once and for all.
The word for there for “guarantee” is very strong in the Greek language. It’s kind of like a down payment which is proof of future payment. And this is not the only time that it speaks of this. 2 Corinthians 1:22 says, “Who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee”. 2 Corinthians 5:5 says, “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also given us the Spirit as a guarantee”. I want to show you why the Bible can be so bold about of this claim and why I can say that if you can see evidences of Holy Spirit in your heart, then you are saved forever. I suggest that if you really understand the bible in the old testament and new testament together, you will see exactly why this is such monumental event. But first since this is so important, let us take a look of some of the evidences of the Holy Spirit in your life.
Now many of you might remember your salvation experience very clearly. You may have had a powerful experience where the Holy Spirit is coming into your heart and your life was very obvious and wonderful. For me it was not very obvious at first. But it soon became clear as the months progress that I had indeed been saved and given the Holy Spirit. The good place to start is Galatians 5:22-23. It says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law”. Okay, so these things are the so called “The fruits of the Spirit”. That is if you have the Spirit. These are the things that begin to develop overtime, “Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, and etc.”
These things will not be perfected in your life. Perfect love for instance is only found in God but you will notice this fruit in your life and in the same way you notice the fruit on a tree in a season. In fact, you might not know what kind of tree is until the fruit shows up. Perhaps this is the idea that Jesus had in mind said, “You will know them by fruit”. Jesus also claims to be the only way will be able bear this kind of fruit.
In John 15:5 says, “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.” So the fruit of the Holy Spirit is a guarantee of salvation. It’s the proof of salvation. Jesus seemed to be backed that idea up here by saying that unless you have him you cannot bear fruit. Therefore, it follows that when you bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit, you have Him and He has you. Let us back up, we need to explore the idea why his Spirit in us is so important to God and how the Bible can be as bold as this to say that it is somehow guarantee of proof of salvation.
In the Old Testament, There were prophecies about a new covenant coming. one that would be different somehow than the one He made Moses. The book of Hebrews confirms that the following promises are speaking of the covenant that Jesus was talking about when He said, “The He took the cup and give thanks, and gave it to them saying ‘Drink from it, all of you for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.’” So this new covenant that had happened on the cross would be about the remission of sins. So let us look of some prophecies in the Old Testament about this new covenant to see what else we can discover about it.
Jeremiah 31:31 in the Old Testament says, “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah. But this covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put my Law in their minds and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Verse34 says, “No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”
Okay so first of all, although this is talking about Israel and I do believe will ultimately include Israel as well before it’s all over with. The book of Hebrews does make it clear that these prophecies are referring to the church in the new covenant, which we have through Jesus Christ as well. So take notice of few characteristics of this covenant. It will include God right in His law on people’s hearts, in deep level of knowing God and forgiveness of sins and in forgetting of sins.
In the next chapters, we will see a little more information about this covenant. It says, “And I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from doing them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from me.” Herein we see this covenant associated with putting something in our hearts. In these case, we so called “fear”. This is not the same kind of fear we normally think of any English apparently. Because God says that these is the effect of it. “I will put my fear in their hearts so that they will not depart from me”.
Another old testament, Ezekiel, also speaks of this covenant. He says these in 37:26-27, “Moreover, I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore. My tabernacle also shall be with them; indeed I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” This is an interesting one. Not only do we find same elements here about these new covenant that he implanted making a deep knowing of God and everlasting unconditional covenant but we see more about how he can accomplish these change in the hearts of people. He plans to himself, dwell in them. He says, “I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore.” Now he mentioned that this sanctuary will be His spirit in their heart a chapter earlier when He says in the new covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statues, and you will keep My judgments and do them”. This is interesting because that the time, Gods chosen way to dwell with His people was in a very specific temple in a very specific room in that temple. And we hear these about way back in Exodus when God was telling them how specifically to construct these place. He said in Exodus 25:8, “And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.” This is the same word that Ezekiel uses. This would be amazing to a Jewish person to Ezekiel. God was prophesying that the day was coming in which He would not dwell in the sanctuary of the temple but He will dwell each one of his people and His presence will change the nature of each person as a result in abiding in them.
Again Ezekiel 36:26-27 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you. I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them.” This is why in the new covenant each believer is referred as the temple of God. 1 Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” So, good question would be this. “Why did God wait until after the cross to be able to dwell in the hearts of men? Why did he have to wait until the new covenant?” I mean after all Holy Spirit is mentioned in the Old Testament several times and that is true. But there are some notable differences between the work of the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. So let us explore a little bit.
In the Old Testament, the Spirits come upon men was the sovereign choice of God rather than God’s response to the initiative of men. Generally speaking, men did not expect the spirit of God to come upon them nor did do anything prompted. The spirit coming upon men in the Old Testament was, as a rule, not the result of their great spirituality nor did necessarily result in spirituality. That is to say that when the spirit upon men possess supernatural ability or power that power or ability with not unlimited but generally was limited to certain tasks, abilities or functions like prophesying, or building, or ruling effectively, basically, anything that God wanted to do, and often did in these way. That power did not necessarily make the recipient more spiritual.
Samson for example was overcome by the Holy Spirit but his life was a moral disaster. The Holy Spirit in the Old Testament is not also a permanent state. Often, it was referred to living those that he ones empowered. So what was prophesied about God dwelling in his people, as he dwells in the holy of holies and these dwellings would change their hearts and minds was totally new concept anything and anyone would heard of.
So again, “Why does he has wait after the cross has able happened”. There are two basic answers to that question; “God is holy and man is sinful”. God is so holy that when He did dwell in the sanctuary in the temple, He dwells behind a thick veil in place called the holy of holies. And only the high priest can enter to that room and he can only enter one day in the Day of Atonement. And even as the high priest enter the holy of holies in the Day of Atonement, he had to make some meticulous preparation. He had to wash himself, put on special clothing, bring burning incent to let the smoke cover his eyes to a direct the view of God. He had to have his own personal sins carefully atone for before that he could enter and he could never of course not sin while he was in there or he would die. They used to tie a rope in his ankle if incase he did die so that they can pull them out without having go in themselves. Such is the holiness of God.
In the book of Habakkuk 1:13 it says, “You are purer eyes than to behold evil, and cannot look on wickedness”. Psalms 5:4-5 says, “For You are not a God who takes pleasure, wickedness, not shall evil dwell in you. The boastful shall not stand in your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity”. The problem should be obvious as to why God’s promise about unconditional dwelling in His people forever in their hearts is a bit of problem. No one could ever keep the Holy Spirit. He would have to leave every time we sin or if He didn’t leave, he dies as soon we sin. One thing for sure is God not become less holy. Nor his standards change to one bit. Nothing less than absolutely perfectness required in order to receive the Holy Spirit. And that perfectness must be maintained forever. Jesus made it clear in the law is not really going anywhere when He said, “Think not I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, until heaven and earth pass from the law, till all is fulfilled”.
In fact, He not only said that He’ll go anywhere. He then make it clear that it was the matter of the heart and therefore, even tougher to do even the Pharisees who appeared to be righteous were doing it. Matthew 5: 27 and 28 says, “Ye have heard that it was said by them of old tie, Thou shalt not commit adultery; But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. “ He even concluded that chapter by saying these words, “Be ye therefore perfect, even s your Father which is in heaven is perfect”. Nothing but complete and perfect righteousness is required to be saved. God cannot dwell of anything either on earth or on heaven that has not been declared to be righteous.”
Jesus also said in Matthew 5:20 “For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven”. So what do we do now? Don’t worry the story is only halfway told. We need to know what these verse means in the book of Galatians. “I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” So it would be seem righteousness does not come by the law and if it does then Christ died in vain.
Okay let’s tie that within this verse. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For He (that is God) made who knew no in to be sin (that is Jesus) to be seen for us (to put our sin on Jesus), that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” So it seemed that it is Christ bearing our sin to the cross that makes us righteous, if we accept it. That explains exactly happens in a 15-minute video called, “What Do I have to Do to Be Saved?” If you are concerned about that, watch that video back to this one. Let me briefly explain how it works. God made Christ sinned that is He put your sin on Christ punished him for all that you’ve done. So that God’s just and good wrath for into sin could be satisfied and competed on Jesus. And then God could remain good and perfect judge and still forgive that is because that debt is actually been paid in full.
In that second part of that verse is that He did this for the purpose of making us righteous which is accomplished because Christ gives us His righteousness to be covered with, to be seen by God with, and to replace our imperfect record with his. He was actually righteous. He totally obeyed the law He deserves to go to heaven. It is that righteousness that He gives us to trust Him and for God. The switch has been made on the cross. You give Christ your sin to be punished and He in exchange gives you His righteousness.
This is called propitiation. 1John 4:10 says, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be propitiation for our sins”. Also in 1 John 2:1-2 says these, “My little children, these things write I unto you that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and no for us our only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”
If you have the chance to pick up the Bible and read the entire chapter of Isaiah 53. It amazes me every time I read it that it was provably written hundreds of years before Christ death. But one important part of that chapter says this about the Messiah that suffers the wrath of God so that we can be justified for God. It says in Isaiah 53:11, “He (that is God) shall see the labor of Hi soul, and be satisfied. By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many, For He shall bear their iniquities”. So when God looks at you in terms of your rightness before God if you’re saved, He sees Christ and not your sins.
There is a good illustration in the Old Testament with something called, “The Mercy Seat.” The Mercy seat is basically the lead of the arc of the covenant. The Arc of the Covenant was the only item that was in the holy of holies temple. Remember that was the place where God dwelled. In the top of this lead, two golden angels or cherubim that was facing one another and God’s spirit was said to dwell between those cherubim. Psalm 91:1 says, “The Lord reigns! Peoples tremble. He dwells between the cherubim. Let the earth be moved.” Inside the Arc of the covenant was the tablet of the 10 commandments and other few items. The day when the high priest entered, it was his job to sacrifice the limb on the mercy seat; this will make atonement for the sins of the people of Israel that were not already covered by their regular sacrifices during the year. It could set therefore, God’s Spirit dwelling between the cherubim, who were looking down did not see the broken tablets of the law. But instead saw the blood of the Lamb.
These maybe John the Baptist who knew about the prophecies made by Isaiah and others said when He saw Jesus, “Behold, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.” He knew that new covenant of reconciliation to God was coming very soon. In the book of Romans, there is one and only times that there are specific words for Mercy Seat, in Romans 3:25. It’s translated there as propitiation. And it’s the actual word that is used for mercy seed in the Old Testament. Now, there are other times that propitiation was used in the Old Testament but only two times where the exact same word was used for mercy seed. Later in the arc of the covenant in the Old Testament, in Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [Mercy Seat] through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God. To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus”.
Where is boasting then? It is excluded, by what law, of works? Nay, but it is by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Basically, if you repent and believe the gospel, you will be justified for God. You will receive Christ-like righteousness which means, God who now sees you totally accepted, your sins forgotten and you can be now acceptable in God and that brings us back to the verse that started at whole these on. Ephesians 1:13-14, “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”. So the fact that we have been given the Spirit is the very proof of our salvation. Because we have the spirit of God that in us and were not dead then we know that we must be viewed by God with Christ righteousness and not our works.
So this brings question to the sanctification. That is the process of changing your old person to the new person. The process of changing from the heart of stone to the heart of flesh, the process of those fruit to the spirit of developing your tree is where many people confused. Before we get started with this, I want to start clear. Not everyone says that they are safe or saved, especially now a days.
About a hundred years ago, the idea started to become popular to tell to people that they are saved if they raised their hand and agree to a few questions. This is not what the Bible says. It says to repent and believe that the gospel. Again explain exactly what that means on my video, “What do I have to do to Be Saved?” As a result to this bad theology many people believe that they are saved even though they have no evidence of the Holy Spirit in their life and even though their life is totally governed by sin. So as to progress, know those have been truly been saved. So when the truly had been sinned, what happens? Do they lose the Holy Spirit?
So, when the truly saved sinned, what happens? Do they lose the Holy Spirit? No. That will not make any sense. In that case, the presence of His Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation could be no way be said to be seal or a guarantee of an eternal life, it would be way easy to lose. But they do grieve the Holy Spirit when they sin. Ephesians 4:28-32 says, “Let him that stole no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good that he may have to give him that needed. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.”
Notice in this passage its exhorting those in Ephesus to flee from sins, big ones and small ones. There are two important things to notice here. It says that when one sins as a believer grieves the Holy Spirit. But notice also that in the same sentence is still refers to seal until the day of redemption. It’s not going anywhere, even I you seen. It is still your guarantee of your salvation but it will grieve God and it is in that grieving and that is the engine of your sanctification. It is in that sense that Jesus is like a shepherd and his followers are like sheep. If his sheep go astray it is the shepherd goes after it. And Jesus is a good shepherd. He’s coming after you is accomplished through the spirits conviction of sin in your life.
After I was saved, I simply got to a point that I can’t longer resist the spirit’s conviction and had to take steps to rid myself a certain sins. It was his doing more than that it was mine. The love of God now that dwells in your heart will begin, sometimes slowly at first, to cause you to want to turn from sin and the cause you to want to strive for holiness. No longer are you doing these, not of an obligation, fear of judgment. You are doing it by doing it in new love, a new power that’s not yours.
Galatians 3:23-25 says, “But before faith came, we were kept under guard by the law, kept for the faith which would afterward be revealed. Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. But after faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.” The reason that we are no longer a tutor is that we finally received God’s Spirit and reconciliation with him and He has written His own law in our hearts just as it was prophesied that he would. This is why the interesting line is in the end of the fruits of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5. I’ll read it again. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” These stump the unsaved and the legalist. And I secretly believe that they did not believe that this is true. But this can happen to one’s heart. The unsaved, can only speak of salvation as the blind speak of color.
There are two terms that they can call themselves Christians do at this point. one, they will take the verses about grace and use them as a license for sin. They might say, “I see the verses about grace in the New Testament and I say the sinner’s prayer. So, I guess I’m good. I can do whatever I want now. And I am saved no matter what. ” Hopefully you can see that era right now. They are missing the first part in all of these, the new covenant, the relationship with God, his Holy Spirit living in the tabernacle of their heart and changing their desires. “Grace only works when you are in fact saved.”
The only thing that the unsaved person will do in the absence of God is that they will heat up all the kinds of lust to follow. So it’s the other extreme. one unsaved person said that, “I don’t need to do anything.” And the other saved person said, “I’ve got to do everything”. I feel that they have to do these so come kinds of reasons that they can hold on too that gives them comfort right before God. A truly thing that in the only day of judgment, they would give them a defense of themselves for God how many things he did do, or, how many things that they did not do.
The church of Galatia in the Bible was Christians. They were gentile Christians. But false teachers have told and corrupted them to start keeping the Jewish law in order to I guess to be extra saved. In Galatians 5 rebuked them and says, “And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace. ” It’s dangerous for you to think that to justify to what you do or don’t do as suppose to the power of God. This is important. Sins and even good deeds do not change your status before God if you’re saved. If you’re saved you are always viewed with Christ righteousness. Therefore, his views you like a lifeline of him and do not go up or down depending on your actions. It’s always a flat line. Sins and good deeds do have inherit and built in consequences of them. If you sin, it’s going to have physical and spiritual consequences. And if you do good deeds, they also have also physical and spiritual consequences.
Think of some of these to think to make you more saved or more justified by doing good deeds like, giving money to the poor or walking a lady across the street. If you want to do in that way then nothing less absolute perfection is required. And it is just as absurd that you are going to get less saved by doing bad deeds if you really understand the gospel means. Sometimes a new believer is pretty anxious about this. Perhaps they were like me and their development is pretty slowly even though it is steady. Back then, even though I was saved, it still has many you know pretty big sins that I was still doing even though I was super convicted about them. It wouldn’t be scary for me at time just after salvation to analyze my life to see if I am developing the fruits of the Spirit in my life because it was so slow at first. If you are a brand new believer don’t be too critical.
Now these days, I am supremely confident that there is no other way I could be where I am if I were not the Spirit work in my life. But on the other hand, if it has been on the wrong time, even years that you profess that you were a Christian, and as justified as to sins, don’t fool yourself. You are not saved and you need Christ.
Finally Let us move on the some of the things that confuse people about some of Jesus’ statements. They pointed to them and saying is like, “Be ye perfect” and all of the ways he talked about the law was really, really, serious and if he said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments” and all of that. And they copied all of Matthew 5:17 that says, “”Be ye not destroy the law and the prophets but not to destroy but to fulfill”. And they conclude that we need to follow the 10 commandments to be saved, or Jesus saved us so that we can now follow perfectly the law, they may not say it exactly but that’s really they imply.
Some people who certainly realize that the New Testament obviously describe the idea that we are saved through works say something like, “I only listen to Jesus works”. They throw out the rest of the word of the Bible. So for their sakes, I’ll prove to you what I say today with my arm tied behind my back so to speak. I will show you that Jesus’ version of salvation in the new covenant and the rest of the Bibles is exactly the same.
The first way to understand the gospel of accounts that is Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, is that they are narrative of what happened. There’s not a ton of explanations or theology behind of what happened but take the most important event in the gospel, the cross. You hear the details of what went down, the nails, the gambling for clothing etc. but you don’t hear the whole theology about it.
The apostles don’t provide much out. They don’t even know what’s going on with their selves in the crucifixion. Today the most interesting scenes in the gospels are when Jesus apparently explains into his apostles why this had to happen from the scriptures in an interesting manner after He had risen from the dead. But the details of that conversation were not given to us. It says in Luke 24:25-27, “Then He said to them, O fools, ad slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all scriptures the things concerning himself.”
So what I’m trying get you to understand here is, Christ didn’t get here to teach us to obey the law. He had Moses for that. To look at the gospels and simply what Christ said, and forget what He did, will be missing the most important part and it would set you up to the biggest area that you can ever make. Let’s review the facts.
Jesus did not crucify in an accident. He told to the disciples that it would happen several times after several times. And He would rise again 3 days later. And it was not only and accident. He was controlling every detail. Did you know that He arrange beforehand to ride to Jerusalem on a donkey on the very day and in the gate that the prophet that the Messiah would?
Did you also know that, that is just happened be the day that the people of Jerusalem choose for themselves and families the pass over lamb that they would sacrifice 3 days later? Did you know that 3 days later on the pass over, the Jews did not want to kill him on holy day at all? But Jesus is essentially forced and made acted on them? Did you know that Jesus did not deliberately did not take the last drink of the wine in the pass over meal that would have ceremonially close the meal and instead, waited until it took the sour wine in the sponge while He was on the cross and only then did He say the words, “It Is finish” and gave up his spirit.
Jesus was God Almighty. He could have gone down on that cross at any time. It is his will to be there for your sake. If you forget that Jesus was doing something and not just teaching something, you may be missing something more than you can think. He knew that he will bear the wrath of God for the sins of the world. That’s why He was sweating blood in the garden of Gethsemane. He knew that he has going to take all the punishment for you and you your sin so that you could be reconciled to God and He could put His Spirit in you and change you. This is why John the Baptist said, “Behold, the lamb of God takes away the sins of the world. Jesus did not rebuke him. So back to the words that He had said, let’s take this one first.
Matthew 5:17, “Think not I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.” How did Jesus fulfill the law? Well, in few ways. He fulfilled the doctrinal teachings of the law in that he brought full revelation of the law. Jesus fulfilled the predictive prophecy of the law and that He is the Promised one showing the reality behind the shadows. 3, Jesus fulfilled the law that He was perfectly obedient to the law thereby by being the only one that could save us. Jesus did not come in our opposition to the law and the law has not passed away. Everybody’s sins will be judged by the last letter of the law. The only question is are your sins will be going to punish in the future on the judgment day or are they punished 2,000 years ago on the cross?
Now what about the saint? John 14:1 says, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments”. Before we discuss the meaning of this first, we need to first find out what these commandments are. Most people assume that he’s talking about the 10 commandments and then he say that we should keep the 10 commandments to be saved. Even though it is a contradiction to the scripture and makes the gospel no effect. But thankfully the Bible doesn’t want us to be ignorant of which commandments Jesus is speaking about here.
If you do a word search in the New Testament for the word “commandments”, and look for all the places that Jesus spoke of them. You’ll find it that indeed refers to the 10 commandments and into the commandments of God several times. But he referred to them every time as earthier Father’s commandments or the law’s commandments or these commandments. He never referred to it as his commandments. Now to be sure, I think Jesus was God of himself and his commandments are the 10 commandments. But when Jesus was on earth, He did not speak of the 10 commandments as his. We would just read Jesus about his commandments was said in the last supper. Now just before that, at the same last supper, just as Judas left the room after he betrayed Jesus, Jesus had told them, What is his commandment was? John 13:34 and 35 says “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have loved one to another?” So when Jesus talks about his commandments later, it clear that he is referring to these commandments. I can begin to tell you the important verse of the apostles. And this will be referred to again and again, all throughout the New Testament.
There are 2 things to notice about new commandment that which Jesus himself gives. Number 1 is about loving your brother that loves one another and it is specifically his commandment that he gives. Number 2, it is by these specifically people will know if we are truly his disciples. Now that is going to be very important. Jesus doesn’t give any important signs of salvation except this one thing, “If you love one another”.
So as we look at the references to these commandments in the New Testament notice the connection it has with this evidence to salvation. John the apostle, many years after he wrote the gospel of John, wrote some letters. They’re also in the Bible. And it’s fair to say that the singular focus of his letters is this new commandment about brotherly love given by Jesus. He refers to it over and over. 1 John 2:3 says, “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments”. And again, notice that talking about ‘his’ as in Jesus in his commandments, it is always tied to the evidence or proof of our discipleship. John doesn’t leave us guessing as to what commandment is specifically. 1 John 3:3-24 “And this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”
John mentioned also in the second commandment that Jesus gave in the last supper. There are two commandments. John said that the other was to believe in him. Let’s review what Jesus said at the last supper that time that Judas left until the first time and says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments”. To see if he has given these two commandments that John says he did.
The first one we already know. “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another”. But then He says this, “Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me”. “Jesus said to him, “I have been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He who has seen me hath seen the Father so how can you say thou hath then, Show us the Father? Don you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you I speak not of my own authority, but the Father that dwelleth in me, he does the works. ” “Believe me that I am in the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works himself. Mostly I say unto you, He who believes in me, the works I do, he will do also”. And then he says, “If you love me, keep my commandments.”
John is the only gospel that tells us about this conversation, the last supper which is the only place besides the letter of John that this phrase occurs. That is Jesus talking about his personal commandments about loving one another and believing in Him.
I want to read more versus about John because I want you to be really sure this. Specially that this new commandment, the one Jesus called ‘his’ about loving one another, is the one that is always tied to the evidence of salvation which is consistent because Jesus says, “These is how people will know if you are my disciples”. 1 John 3:14 says, “We know that we have passed from death unto life”. Okay he was talking about salvation. This is how we know that we had been saved because we love the brethren. That He that loveth not his brother abideth in death (Do you see the pattern yet?)” These brother thing, this new commandment, Jesus is specific commandment is the very evidence that every believer has in salvation.
How about 1John 4:12 and 13 says, “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.” I hope you started to picture. When Jesus refers that to the new commandment that he gave them, and says “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” He is saying that it is the proof that Spirit is in you. It will begin to bear fruit.
In legalist looks at this verse the exact opposite. They say that, keeping the commandments is not the evidence of salvation; it is the requirement of salvation. I hope you see the very important difference there.
Let’s continue looking at these verses as I said that the New Testament is very consistent on these. Let’s first finish these at John and his second letter. He says the following: “And now I beseech thee, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment unto thee, but that which we had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, that as ye have heard from the beginning. We should walk in it. For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
So you see here again, He refers to this commandment, Jesus and his commandment about loving with one another, and it is directly connected to a conversation of who is and who isn’t a Christian. Galatians tells something interesting that says, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”. The law of Christ, that’s interesting. There is a law that is Christ law specifically. And Galatians says to bear one another’s burdens.
Now the reason is the New Testament writers referred to us like this are that, Jesus made it so clear. In fact, towards of that end of the last supper, Christ re-iterates again and defines what his commandments this new commandment is. In John 15:12-13 it says, “This I my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends. ” The apostle James, the brother of the Lord, refers to this commandment of Jesus as the royal law. He says in James 2:8, “If ye fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalth love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well:” And James talked about this well in regard into works that prove your faith. The consistency in this is overwhelming. And how many times of you heard the following verses? And somebody was using that the salvation is by works? Perhaps now as we read these verses, we hear James as he was meant to be heard.
“If ye fulfill the law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, ye do well: If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; not withstanding ye give them not those things which re needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.” James is saying, “Okay you say that you are a Christian”. But we all know the royal law so prove it. If you say that you have the love of Christ in your hearts, do we see any evidences of it in loving one another? So again, remember Jesus’ in his words in Matthew 26:28, “For this is my blood, a new covenant, which you shed too many to remission of sins.” When He was saying the New Testament, which literally means ‘new covenant’, He was not making something up. He is referencing the prophets who spoke of coming king who would take upon Him the sins of the world and be crushed in God’s wrath so that God could forget the sins of His people and begin into dwell in them and change them from the inside out.
Jeremiah 31:4 says, “No more shall every man teach his neighbor and every men and his brother saying know the Lord for they shall know all me from the least to the least of them to the greatest of them says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquities and their sins, will remember them no more.” So, where these all will leave us? Do we strive for holiness? Do we try to eradicate sin our lives? How does it affects our earnestly lives in seeking God in our lives? Strive for holiness with all your heart. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be diligent and eradicating sin. You now, think of yourself as sin assassin. All sins are leading to death,
All sins are stealing the joy and destroying your lives. We have all now the power to resist them. So we definitely should. Thank the Lord for setting the bar so high with His life and his teachings and let us strive to reach holiness. But if you stumble in the way God is not mad at you. You have not lost your salvation. Don’t listen to the devil who is your accuser. And after he whisper and says in your ear, “Don’t go to God, He’s mad at you” It’s a lie! Run to God! It’s not going to hide from Him anyway. He wants to hear from you about it. He wants you to help you through it. He wants you to learn from it. If nothing else, pray that for more and more conviction of sin. So that you sin will be increasingly detestable to you. Thanks for your time.