John the baptizer had three responsibilities: 1) to identify the Lamb of God–Jn. 1:29, 2) to tell people to repent of breaking God’s Law–Mat. 3:1,2 and 3) to tell people to walk the path of righteousness trod by the Son of God–Lk. 3:4. In John 1:12 the apostle spoke about the individual path each person must take in order to receive eternal life. Christ laid out THE one and only path to salvation and walked it perfectly. In and of himself, man does not have the power to walk that path. Therefore, upon true conversion one receives the Holy Spirit which provides the power to “walk as He (Jesus) walked” (1 Jn. 2:6) so as to become a son of God and be born again upon Christ’s return to earth. Read Born Again. Key word–Again. Those who are led by (obey) the Holy Spirit throughout the remainder of their earthly lives, and are hated by churchites for doing so, are true sons of God who will be saved at the end of the age (Mat. 10:22).
It is onnly by OBEDIENCE TO THE “LIGHT” (Word of God) that a believer can be saved. In the “fine print” of John 1:12 we are told that believing (faith) alone is not enough to attain eternal life. Note that the Holy Spirit ENABLES those who “receive Him (Christ),” who “BELIEVE in His name” to BECOME sons of God. John refers to the process of “becoming” a son of God “working out our own salvation.” He stresses that we are to do so in the fear of God that compels us to BELIEVE AND OBEY His Word/light/way/Truth. The “straight paths” we “WORK out” in our quest for “salvation” must be THE straight path Jesus trod while on this earth (Heb. 12:13). Matthew 3:3 and John 1:23 also refer to THE “path” and THE “way” of the Lord. Regardless of how many people have “walked” a religious path or how how many years they have walked it, only one path/way that will take the seeker to God’s Kingdom. Jesus said that He was the (only) “way,” the (only) Truth and the (only) life” (which awaits at the end of the path. What “everyone believes” is not the issue. As I have pointed out in other postings, there was a time when everyone on earth “believed” that the earth was flat. Belief/faith is not enough; much WORK must be done in order for a believer to be saved.
The Lord used the Apostle James’ to emphasize the WORKS that must be done by the salvation seeker. We DO these WORKS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS when we “WORK out our own salvation.” Contrary to popular opinion, righteousness must accompany faith in order to qualify for salvation. So what is righteousness and how do we attain it? Righteousness is the opposite of sin. Sin is the transgression of the Law (1 Jn. 3:4). Therefore righteousness is obedience to the Law. Works of righteousness are accomplished when we obey God’s Law. In James 2:23 the apostle tells us that Abraham BELIEVED (had faith in) God, and that “his faith was accounted to him as righteousness.” The “headline” that everyone embraces is the “truth” that faith equal righteousness in God’s eyes. Convinced that he needs to know, the reader stops reading. This leads one to assume that to receive Christ’s righteousness all one needs to do is believe in God and Christ. This is a deadly error. DO NOT STOP AFTER READING THE “HEADLINE” FOUND IN VERSE 23. THE “FINE PRINT” WHICH EXPLAINES VERSE 23 IS FOUND IN THE PREVIOUS VERSES. There we learn that it was Abraham’s WORKS (of obedience) that rendered him righteous, and that his faith was made perfect by his works of obedience (vs 22). Without those works his faith would have been meaningless. As James tells us in chapter 2 verses 10,14,17,18,20,22,24,26, FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD FAITH. FAITH ALONE, HE TELLS US IN VERSE 14, CANNOT SAVE THE SOUL. WITHOUT WORKS (OBEDIENCE), FAITH IS DEAD. Spiritually, we live (or die) by our faith. Sinners live by dead faith while being convinced by their hirelings that they are spiritually alive. Judas had faith that Jesus was who and what He said He was. Judas’ deadly problem involved the execution of his faith–he was a thief. Satan has great faith. He knows God’s Word and knows that it is true. Like Judas, his problem involved execution. Today, those who call themselves “Sinners Saved By Grace” suffer from the same deadly affliction–lack of execution. They are all blow and no go.
In John 1:18 we find an important statement about Jesus–God’s light to the world–and His relationship with the Father and those who would spend eternity with Them. In that verse John writes that Jesus “DECLARED THE FATHER.” In this context, “Declare” is an all-important, all-inclusive word which involves every aspect of Christ’s commission to be God’s Messiah and mankind’s “light.” Recall that Jesus answered Philip’s request that He “… show us the father” with the immortal Words: “HE WHO HAS SEEN ME HAS SEEN THE FATHER.” Every aspect of His life was a “declaration” (reflection) of His heavenly Father. He was the perfect fleshly, human manifestation of His perfect spirit Father. He admitted: “I CAN, ON MY OWN POWER, DO NOTHING” (Jn. 8:28). He said that He did only what He saw His father do. He “saw” what His Father did through the Holy Spirit living within Him in the same way that His true saints “see” the works of God by that same Holy Spirit living within them. Here is another little-known Truth: THE “VOICE” OF THE HOLY SPIRIT AND “VOICE” OF THE HOLY BIBLE ALWAYS AGREE. God is declared to us by the prophets, the apostles, Jesus Himself. Their “declarations” are preserved in His printed Word. All of the declarations of all of these sources must agree in order for a “declaration” to be legitimate. Many a trusting soul has “heard the voice of God” tell them to do the exact opposite of what He has written in the Scriptures. Question: how is this possible? Answer: ignorance of His Scriptures. Church doctrine is based totally on Scriptural ignorance. If you have a Bible, you do not need church doctrine. The Bible is the doctrine of God’s church. Some believe that they are not accountable for what they do not know. However, the Lord tells us that ignorance is no excuse: “My people perish for lack of knowledge” (Hos. 4:6). Note it: HIS PEOPLE ARE SPIRITUALLY DYING BECAUSE OF IGNORANCE OF HIS WORD.
How many times have we heard a “Bible truth” that was neither Bible nor truth. Following a Biblical Truth I often say, “That’s Bible.” And because the Truth is plainly stated in God’s “fine print,” the hearers cannot refute it. However, they always come back with such statements as, “Well, you can make the Bible say whatever you want it to say.” This is true, but only if it is altered. God’s undying light is His unchangeable Word. His Word is, like Him, “from everlasting to everlasting.” He and His Word are the same yesterday, today and forever. He sent His light/Word into the world and the world received it not. Nothing has changed. The world, including the church world, still does not receive His Word as THE Truth. To the world, the Holy Bible is nothing more than framework of possibilities from which one can create one’s own “truth.” Catholics have created their own “truth.” Each of the Protestant cults has created their own “truth.” What they all have in common is their rejection of God’s Truth–His “light,” His “way” that leads to His “life” being lived within true believers who then “DECLARE THE FATHER” by their thoughts, words and deeds. If one does not “declare the Father” as did Jesus, one is not God’s child and is not a spiritual brother of Jesus (Mat. 12:46-50).
Jesus warned that the religious masses would stand before Him on Judgment Day: “And you will say unto Me, “Lord, Lord” and remind Him of “… all the wonderful works we have done in Your name. And I will profess (declare) unto you, ‘I NEVER KNEW YOU. DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO WORK INIQUITY (LAWLESSNESS)'” (Mat. 7:22,23). Jesus will tell disobedient churchites that, though they had spent their lives doing wonderful works in His name, HE HAD NEVER KNOWN THEM AS FELLOW SONS OF GOD WHO OBEYED HIS WORDS. He asks those who claim to be His spiritual brethren, “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord’ and do not what I say? (Lk.6:46). In other words, why does one call Him one’s Lord, then refuse to manifest the “light” He manifested as a man? and refuse to “walk” as He walked while on earth?
In order to live eternally with Him we must “work out our own salvation,” making certain that we are “walking” the “way” of “Truth” and “light” exactly as did the Son of God while on earth. Like Him, we must “DECLARE THE FATHER” THROUGH THE LIVES WE LIVE. There is no other path to salvation. There will be no participation trophies handed out at judgment. As Paul said, many run in the “race,” but only one wins the prize (salvation). Each salvation seeker runs the race alone and wins or loses the race alone. Each plots his own course “path.” Whether we live eternally or are burned to ash in the Lake of Fire is our own, personal decision. We must learn God’s race rules, believe them and obey them in order to win the race and live eternally as overseers of God’s creation. Read God’s Very Elect: Future Caretakers of the Universe. Key Word–Caretakers. L.J.