Some Christians have a very bad habit of plastering a smile on their face as they go through the motions of their religion. Showing up at functions and attending church services weekly, hosting dinners and putting old clothes in drop off boxes does not make a person righteous, no matter what the flesh says.
See, the lust of the flesh (as it is used in the New Testament) is not referring to any sordid physical desires but rather to one overwhelming desire the non-spiritual side of every person wants more than anything else. What is that lust? To be SELF RIGHTEOUS.
The lust of the flesh tries to figure out a way to be a good person and thus store up enough brownie points to make it to heaven when it dies. There is no God in the logic of the lust of the flesh. It is entirely selfish in nature and seeks only to do what looks good on the outside thus bringing about the pride of self accomplishment.
Ted Turner has given away millions upon millions of dollars to various charities around the world. Ted Turner is a self professed atheist who breathes out utter disdain and hatred toward anyone foolish enough to believe there is a God. So, do all of his good works override the unbelief in his heart and earn him a place in the same eternal abode true Christians look forward to?
History is full of so-called good people who devoted their lives to helping alleviate poverty, homelessness, famine and illness. Unfortunately many of these good people vehemently denied any existence of God or His Son Jesus Christ. So, do all the good works of these philanthropists cancel out the unbelief in their hearts and earn them a place in the same heaven true Christians look forward to?
There is an event mentioned at the end of the Book of Revelation known as the Great White Throne Judgment. At this judgment, this is what the Bible says will happen as recorded in Revelation 20:11-13:
And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
It certainly appears that there will be a day when those who rejected God in this life but still did good works will have their day in court to plead their case before the Almighty. The lust of the flesh banks on this event as the time when all those good works done in this life at the expense of true righteousness will prove the person worthy of eternal life.
The lust of the flesh must be confronted with the truth and the truth is laid out very plainly in Romans 3:10-12:
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
There is none that understands, there is none that seeks after God.
They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Paul is simply repeating what David wrote in Psalms 14:1-3:
The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that does good.
The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God.
They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Contrary to what the flesh thinks, no amount of good works will ever be enough to earn righteousness from God. To the contrary, even the goodest person is so full of sin they could never in and of themselves be righteous.
Abraham was imputed righteousness but not because of his good works. He was declared to be righteous because of his utter and complete faith in the promises of God. Even Abraham would have failed in his quest to be righteous if he had spent his lifetime running around just trying to be good.
Doing good works to look good is religion. Doing good works because of compassion is agape love in manifestation. None of us are good enough to make it to heaven based strictly on our own self righteousness. We need to understand and accept that once we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord, God declares us RIGHTEOUS and it has nothing to do with our good works whatsoever.
I will leave you with Paul's words from Ephesians 2:8-10 (NKJV):
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
So good that we are saved by grace and not by works ,or else those who are handicapped may not qualify or heaven. Under His grace we are all equal ..and everyone has access if he/she will accept God's offer of love.
Praise the Lord for His wisdom.
Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wrench like me.
Saved by grace not works, God always does things right way. Yet we should always do as many good works as we can becasue that is what Jesus would have us do.
Dear B2Y--I heard a preacher say that, when he gets to heaven, he is sure he will be surprised. Surprised by the absence of people he would have bet would be there. And surprised by the presence of people he had sworn didn't stand a chance.
The hymn says: "Just as I am without one plea, but that Thy blood was shed for me, and that Thou bidd'st me come to Thee, O Lamb of God I come! I come!" Well written and well said, my brother. :) YBIChrist--Ron
God says, basically, I have died and paid for the ticket to heaven for you with my own blood. Here's the ticket, take it please! It's absolutely free, just because I love you, trust me.
Grace from the Lord to me for salvation, works from me to others that they may come to the Grace from the Lord, and praise from us to the Lord for His Grace. I do not come to the Lord by my works, it was the works of other that showed me the Grace and thus my works show others. Our works do not make us righteous they show other the one who can make them righteous.
I find that the verse that tells me there is nothing I can do to earn my salvation very very reassuring. For I mess everything up, and I would surely mess up my salvation if it were in my hands.
But to know that He has taken care of it all, and to know that its all grace... . well that humbles me and makes me feel very very very safe indeed. For if HE saves then He will keep that which he has saved.
Love this blog, thank you for putting it back up.