Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Preparing for Salvation

Isaiah 56:1,2
This is what the LORD says: "Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed.  Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil."


Comment

Although God justifies the wicked as it is written, "to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness." Rom 4:5, God does not justify the unrepentant wicked. "Just as I am Lord" is not true if by "Just as I am" means that the person has no intention of living a godly lifestyle and repenting from sin. True that the unregenerate are slaves to sin, and that the salvation God offers is salvation from sin, but nonetheless the unregenerate are capable of repenting from sin to a degree. Just look around you. What does John the Baptist say about this in Luke 3:8-14:
"Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham.The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire."
"What should we do then?" the crowd asked.
John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same."
Tax collectors also came to be baptized. "Teacher," they asked, "what should we do?"
"Don’t collect any more than you are required to," he told them.
Then some soldiers asked him, "And what should we do?"
He replied, "Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely— be content with your pay."
Consider also Peter's presentation of the gospel in Acts 2 For when they asked him, "Brothers, what shall we do?"
Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit." and so also With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation."

The freedom we have in Christ should not be viewed as a freedom to sin, but a freedom from sin. Due to the influence of Free Grace Theology there are Christians deceived on this point, even as John warned about such deception in 1John 3:7-10

Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.
Therefore if you're looking for God's salvation, then act accordingly - live righteously and keep your hands from doing any evil. For many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ Matt 7:22,23


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