How should a Christian live his or her life?

What does the Bible tells us about how to behave?

What does the Bible say about forgiveness?

What does the Bible say about obedience?


There's so much controversy about how a Christian should live.  People talking about judgment vs tolerance, supposing we should be wealthy if we believe vs giving and sacrificing for others, forgiveness vs hate, etc.  Let's look at what the Bible actually says about these things.

First of all, what does being a Christian mean?  What do we believe?  Are there rules we should follow?  Is there anything we should or should not do? Who do we believe Jesus is?

If you're not sure who Jesus is, please click here...

Jesus said, "John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments."

John told us, "1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him."

What did He mean?  What commandments?

Jesus gave a lot of commandments, but there is one in particular that is the greatest and one that is in itself the fulfillment of all the law.

Matt 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment . 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

If we truly love the Lord, do we trample on His sacrifice to suit our own will and desires?

Loving the Lord is understanding who He is, the creator, the awesome God who made all things and gave us life, and then came to earth as a man to die in our place to pay for sin with His own blood.

If we really understand this, it should humble us.  It should bring us to our knees before such a loving God.  We should understand we don't deserve His kindness or His sacrifice!  There is NOT ONE who is worthy. Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one.  Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

We should follow this example and be as the publican in this story:

Luke 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. 12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. 13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner . 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.

We should get rid of our pride and humble ourselves before our God!

1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

Mark 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, 22 Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride , foolishness: 23 All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

Prov 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.

If you have read the entire Bible even once, you know that pride is the main thing that causes men to fall and the biggest thing that keeps us from turning to God with all our heart!  Don't let pride get in the way of obeying the first and greatest commandment!

If we love the Lord, we should be humble, and we should HATE EVIL!

Ps 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil...

Prov 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil : pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

Eph 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice :

God is a holy God! He's pure, righteous, just, true!

1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy ; for I am holy.

We should live a holy life, free from wickedness, walking in His ways and worshiping Him in all we do.

Hab 1:13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness.

We should have tremendous respect for Him! He is the Mighty God! He is a holy God who put on flesh and became a man with all the same temptations we have, but He did not sin! And then He died in our place even though He can't stand to look upon evil! Praise His holy name!

We should have a fearful respect...

Phil 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Prov 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding.

If we profess to love God, we want to please Him, right?  We won't obey our lusts, but will strive to walk in the Spirit and exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. And we should absolutely hate evil!

Zech 8:17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate , saith the LORD.

Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. (This doctrine of the Nicolaitans is the teaching that sexual immorality is ok, just like today's teaching that being gay is ok)

Col 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Is everything really ok? Do we just live how we want because Christ died for our sins? Anything is ok because Jesus loves us just the way we are?

God forbid! No no no no no!!

Hebrews 10:23-31 tells us that if we do that, we're trampling under foot the Son of God!  We're despising His grace!

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) 24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. 26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Do Not Sin!

DO NOT BE DECEIVED!

Eph 5:6 Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

We're REVOLTED by some sin (pedophilia, murder) but not other sin. Why not? We should be revolted by ALL SIN!

This generation seems to believe because God is loving that He won't cast them into hell no matter what they do! Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Jesus questions why we would not obey Him...

Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.

If we love God, and profess to know Him, why wouldn't we obey Him?

1 John 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

We cannot take a few truths out of the Bible and ignore the rest of it.  Many people like to justify themselves by hanging on the fact that God saved us by His grace.  It is by grace that we are saved, but God expects us to obey Him and love Him with all our heart, mind and strength. John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. If we’re looking for excuses, God sees our inner hearts and we can’t hide from Him.  We can fool other people and can even fool ourselves if we really want to, but do we really want to do that?  Do we really want to justify ourselves instead of pleasing our God and trying to do His will?

Matt 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord , shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord , have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

There is great danger in taking scripture verses out of context and misinterpreting them!

For example:  John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.  Basically what some people teach is that the Bible says that if we believe, we are saved.  That's true!  It does say that.  Here in John it says that if we eat and drink of the body of Jesus, we're saved.  Does this mean that all we have to do is take communion (symbolically eat and drink of his body) to be saved?  If we wanted to take this verse and make a doctrine of it, we could.  But that would be silly, wouldn't it?  So why do we allow people to deceive us with similar types of doctrine?  We have to take the Bible as a whole and obey God in every thing He says, not just pieces of it.

It's important to understand that Jesus is the body of God manifest in the flesh and that He came to the earth as a man, born of a woman as we are, to die in our place. Sin began with Eve when she believed Satan and ate of the tree that God commanded not to. Adam took the apple and listened to the voice of his wife instead of God and ate as well (Genesis 3:17 and 1 Timothy 2:14). The penalty for sin is death, and Jesus paid the price for us. He died, was buried, and rose again. That, is the gospel. He will return to gather those who believe this and turn away from sin (repentance) to follow the Lord in obedience. That, is the way to salvation.

The fulfilling of the law of grace is:

Matt 22:36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

If we truly love God, we will obey Him and strive to please Him.

Matt 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

Obedience is, in a huge way, helping others.

Let's turn away from our fleshly and prideful lusts and desires to turn and follow the Lord, giving back that gift He so graciously gave us, by giving to others!

"Love your neighbor as yourself" is the second commandment, the fulfilling of all the law:

Giving to others in need, sacrificing our own pride to forgive others, loving others enough to warn them of their wicked ways even if it costs us persecution because we aren't sugar coating the gospel as so much of the world is doing today.

Gal 5:14 ... love thy neighbour as thyself.

Does this mean that we should love other people regardless of what they do, and not tell them that they're doing wrong and thereby "judging" them by doing so?

Let's look at the scriptures...

Rom 13:9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

If we love our neighbour, we won't commit adultery, kill, steal, lie or covet. We won't harm our neighbour by doing those things. Love works no ill to his neighbour.

So do we just hang out with people who do whatever they want and "love" them, be friends with them, accept them no matter what, joke about anything and laugh and have a great time no matter what their lifestyle, never telling them about sin, and even living the same type of lifestyle doing the same things?

Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

If we love them, shouldn't we help them. Shouldn't we tell them the truth?

Ezek 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. 7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

If we are Christian and don't speak to warn the wicked from his way, we are condemning him to death, and his blood is on our hands.

Jude 23 And others save with fear , pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

But, to those who profess to be Christian, we should go much further!

Paul tells us in 1 Cor 5 (quoted below here) that we should not go out completely from the world or we would not be able to witness to the world as Jesus showed us in Mark 2:16-17, but that we should never tolerate a wicked person among us who is professing to be a Christian.

1 Cor 5:9 I wrote to you in my epistle not to keep company with sexually immoral people. 10 Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. 11 But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner — not even to eat with such a person. 12 For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? 13 But those who are outside God judges. Therefore "put away from yourselves the evil person."

We don't go around condemning the world, because we were just as much a sinner before we came to Christ (and still are, but for the redeeming sacrifice of Christ). We are all sinners (Rom 3:23) and it's only the grace of our Lord Jesus that saves us.

Those that are without (those who do not know Jesus) need to know who Jesus is, how He died for them and why, and what the Gospel means to them, but with love and with the understanding that we were once sinners like them.

Like Jesus, who talked with sinners when they came to hear what He said: Matt 9:10 And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. 11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners ? 12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.

We need to be in the world in order to preach the gospel to the world.  If we only hang out with those who already know Jesus, how could we ever reach anyone who doesn't?

But we are to stay away from sin, ourselves, and put away any among us that will not stop living a sinful life! Read on...

An example Jesus gave us, a the woman caught in adutlery: John 8:3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. 9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. 10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? 11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go , and sin no more.

Jesus did not condemn her for her sin, but what did He tell her?  Go, and sin no more...

Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

Galatians 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

We should HATE evil! If we love the Lord, who can't stand to look at evil, why would we allow it in our lives and/or not say something to our brother or sister?

Hab 1:13 You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness.

Ps 97:10 Ye that love the LORD, hate evil:

Zech 8:17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate , saith the LORD.

Rev 2:6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. (This doctrine of the Nicolaitans is the teaching that sexual immorality is ok, just like today's teaching that being gay is ok)

We can't judge those without because we were once the same (this doesn't mean we justify or condone sin), but to our brothers and sisters in Christ, we should rebuke and exhort!

Rom 15:14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another .

Titus 3:10 Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, 11 knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned.

Proverbs 27:5 Open rebuke is better than secret love.

1 Timothy 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

Titus 1:13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

We absolutely do not condone sin among ourselves and we should rebuke and exhort, with love, those who are our brothers and sisters in Christ!

Listen to Paul and Peter in the following passages...

Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Cor 6:9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

1 Peter 1:17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work , pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

2 Timothy 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Pass the time here in fear (Prov 9:10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom) and turn away from evil.

How far should we go to admonish and rebuke?

1 Sam 2 contains the story of Eli the priest who had two sons that did not know the Lord (v.12). These two sons made merchandise of the offerings brought to the Temple (v.29) and used their position and power to prey upon the women who came to the temple (v.22). Now, Eli rebuked them verbally (v.23-25), but the Lord knew that he put his sons above the Lord and didn't MAKE them stop, and even partook with them (v.29). His verbal rebuke meant nothing to God because he didn't do what was right and stop the evil from happening (1 Sam 3:13).

How does this relate to the scriptures listed above?

We should NEVER allow sin among our brothers and sisters in Christ without lovingly admonishing them. If they won't stop, we should turn away from them.

2 Timothy 2:19 Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

We should warn everyone else of their wicked ways and, if possible, pull them from the fire.

2 Thess 3:13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

If we love Jesus, we will obey His commandments by loving Him so much that we get rid of our pride and humble ourselves before Him, and we will love others enough to esteem them greater than ourselves and give to those in need, warn the wicked, and rebuke those who call themselves Christians but do not obey His word!

Phil 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Let's talk about forgiveness...

Jesus tells us that we should forgive, and we understand from the above scriptures that this forgiveness does not mean we should "tolerate" all behaviors.  So what does it mean?

Most Christians have heard the Lords prayer, but the two verses which immediately follow it are not widely remembered:

Matt 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. 10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread. 12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. 14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: 15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

We will be forgiven as we forgive those who "wrong" us.

Matt 18:23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. 29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: 33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

How can we expect forgiveness from the Lord if we don't extend His mercy to others?

Luke 17:3 Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.

So, we see that forgiveness in these passages is about forgiving someone who owes us or has wronged us somehow, and asks for forgiveness.

In these cases we should extend Gods loving kindness toward them and forgive.  It does not mean we should tolerate evil or forgive everyone for everything no matter what.  This is one of the confusing doctrines that many churches do not teach clearly on.

Have you ever heard the old saying, "Turn the other cheek"?  This is what God is referring to in Matthew 5 and Luke 6 when He said that.  It's not talking about sitting idly by while evil is being enacted in your presence, it's talking about forgiving those who speak evil of you or sue you, etc.

Matt 5:43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

Rom 12:19-21 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

Does believing on the Lord, having faith and trusting in Him mean we will be successful and gain wealth in this life?

1 Tim 6:5-10 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness : from such withdraw thyself. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

Speaks for itself, I think...

So, what about the "Law of Moses", and the 10 commandments?

I've heard so many people spout the word "legalism" any time anyone talks about obedience to the Lord in "works" (doing things, anything, that amounts to doing something in relation to salvation).

Now, we are not instructed to obey the law of Moses, or the Levitical law of the Old Testament.  I invite you to read the entire book of Galatians where Paul goes into great detail concerning this.

In the book of Acts, the instruction given to Gentiles (anyone who is not a Jew) concerning the law was this: Acts 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood , and from strangled, and from fornication.

This is not the do-all end-all however, this is only concerning the law of the Old Testament and what Gentiles should practice instead of the law.  Notice, if you will, how fornication (sexual sin) is right up there in importance along with things offered to idols...

Paul stood up to Peter about circumcision, which is one of the laws of the Old Testament

Gal 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed. 12 For before that certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: but when they were come, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. 13 And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him; insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with their dissimulation. 14 But when I saw that they walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel, I said unto Peter before them all, If thou, being a Jew, livest after the manner of Gentiles, and not as do the Jews, why compellest thou the Gentiles to live as do the Jews?

Peter, when he was older, said how Pauls writings were wise

2 Peter 3:15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

Obedience to God in works is not legalism, it is simply part of being obedient to God. 

The Bible teaches us that it's not works that save us, but it is works that follow salvation. It's the fruit that we bear, that shows the Love of God in us.

Jesus said, "Matt 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them."

Paul gives us an example of what the fruit of the Spirit is, "Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh."

Faith without works is dead.  Faith without works is nothing! If you say you have faith and have no works, your faith is dead!

James 2:14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Paul actually answers this question for us very clearly, here in Titus:

Titus 3:8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. 9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.

Be careful to maintain good works, but avoid foolish questions and strivings about the law. It's not legalism to do good works, it's obedience to God.

Matt 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Works (the things we do for God) are because of salvation, not for salvation.

So, how far does obedience go?

Go and preach the gospel to all the world

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

An example of why we should not keep the gospel to ourself in the following parable of men given money to hold:

Matt 25:14 For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15 And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16 Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17 And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two. 18 But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money. 19 After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them. 20 And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more. 21 His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 22 He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them. 23 His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. 24 Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed: 25 And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine. 26 His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed: 27 Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury. 28 Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents. 29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. 30 And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

We should not hide what we have been given, but tell others!

Matt 5:15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel , but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

In the book of Acts we see that virtually everyone who became a Christian also became an evengelist.  They gave up everything and went to do the Lord's work!

We should warn the wicked, as with the watchman in Ezekiel:

Ezek 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. 7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. 9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

Not in word only, but in deed:

1 John 3:16 Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 17 But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word , neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

James 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

Look upon the things of others, not your own

Phil 2:2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. 4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. 5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

Do the works Jesus said to do:

Matt 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these , ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

BUT - that doesn't mean we hold out our hand and expect to be taken care of if we are less fortunate than our brothers and sisters in Christ!

2 Thess 3:10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work , neither should he eat.

Everyone should work and do their part as they are able.

Pure religion is:

James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. 26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain. 27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Instruction on how we can "neither be barren nor unfruitful"

2 Peter 1:1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue : 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue ; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Warning to be sober and obedient, passing the time in fear!

1 Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy ; for I am holy. 17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

Treat our spouse as we are instructed in the Word:

Family Gods Way - click here to see information on how husbands and wives should treat each other

Obey the gospel:

Take up our cross and follow Him...

Matt 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Matt 19:17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments . 18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, 19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? 21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. 22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. 23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. 27 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? 28 And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first.

Everyone who forsakes their life for Christ's sake will receive an hundredfold, and everlasting life!

Can we "depart from the faith"?

1 Tim 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

It's important to know that these being spoken of here are "saved" people, who have DEPARTED from the faith!

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

The above are they that the Lord gives up as apostate...

Matt 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord , shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord , have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

These people in Matthew 7 professed to know Him!!!

Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Draw back unto perdition (destruction)...  believers who draw back?  Can you draw back from faith and/or belief?  If not, what is Paul talking about here?

Your righteousness cannot save you, and your salvation cannot be cut off by anything outside of yourself. Nothing can take you out of Gods hand. But, if you turn away from God after knowing the truth, with enough perseverance, do you think God will not let you go? If not, who is being referenced in 2 Pet 2 and 1 Tim 4? How do they "turn" from the "way of righteousness", "after they have known it"? How do they "depart from the faith" if they never were "in" the faith before? How could a name be blotted (Rev 3:5) from the book of life if it is not written there in the first place? No, we can't lose our salvation by being human and making mistakes, and as we know, God is very merciful and forgiving testified throughout the Bible, but if we wilfully sin (Heb 10:26) without repentance how can we tread Jesus under foot without punishment? Living a holy life in obedience should be our passion, and as Jesus said, we are known by our fruits. If we have no fruit we aren't a part of the true vine...

Like Simon in Acts 8. There are those who believe, but their heart is not right in the sight of God, and they will eventually turn to their own vomit.

1 Cor 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

If belief alone, without repentance, without a change of heart, without picking up our cross and turning to follow Jesus, is all we need, then what does Paul mean when he said "unless ye have believed in vain"?

Conclusion: How should we live?

Live a Quiet and peaceable life

1 Tim 2:2 ...that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;

Have no part with (sin) works of darkness

Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness , but rather reprove them.

Be holy

Heb 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

1 Peter 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy ; for I am holy.

Separate

2 Cor 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate , saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.

As Paul said in 1 Cor 5, we should not go out of this world, like going into a commune or something completely away from the world, for then how would we be a light to the world?  How would we witness to them?  Being separate means to refrain from acting like the world and ceasing from sin and not doing the things the world does.

Cease from sin

Rom 6:15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

Heb 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins...

Galatians 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.

2 Timothy 2:19 Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

DO NOT DO THESE THINGS:

1 Cor 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God ? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, 10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God .

Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God .

DO THESE THINGS:

Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Be of ONE MIND

Rom 15:6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Cor 13:11 1 Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind , live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.

Phil 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;

Phil 2:2-3 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind . 3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind , having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous

Obey the gospel

1 Peter 4:17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

2 Thess 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Preach the gospel

Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Don't hide our candle but be a light unto the world!

Matt 5:14 Ye are the light of the world . A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.

Do works meet for repentance

Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

Hold each other accountable

We should NEVER allow sin among our brothers and sisters in Christ without lovingly admonishing them. If they won't stop, we should turn away from them.

2 Thess 3:13 But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good. 14 And if anyone does not obey our word in this epistle, note that person and do not keep company with him, that he may be ashamed. 15 Yet do not count him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

God bless you and keep you, and give you strength to do what is right and stand on the Truth!

Micah 6:8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

 

Early Christians vs Now