God's word instructs us to know the Truth, and in so doing, we are promised to be made free:
And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free. Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Whoever commits and practices sin is the slave of sin. So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free (John 8:32, 34, 36 - Amplified Bible).
So then, according to Jesus, the Truth shall make you free, but, is He speaking of freedom to go on "intentionally" sinning against Him ... against His word? Or, is He speaking of the freedom from the bondage sin has over us? Let's see what the word has to say regarding heeding what God commands, from the Amplified Bible:
ALL THE commandments which I command you this day you shall be watchful to do, that you may live and multiply and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers. And you shall [earnestly] remember all the way which the Lord your God led you these forty years in the wilderness, to humble you and to prove you, to know what was in your [mind and] heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. And He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you recognize and personally know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord (Deut. 8:1-3 - Amplified Bible).
Perhaps you're saying ... "Ah, but that's the Old Testament. We don't have to live by the Old Testament any longer". You think that's the case? Then, let's take a look at what Jesus Himself had to say about this in the New Testament:
Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Matt 4:1-4 - KJV).
Here, when being tested by satan himself, Jesus proclaimed that men are to live by "every word" that proceeds out of the mouth of God. Here, in the above verses, Jesus is in agreement with the Old Testament writings, in Deuteronomy.
In closing (and, it is a long one:)), I'd like to add yet one more verse to confirm that we are to live God's word (by His ability in us, not our own). These are words spoken by Jesus, Himself, from the Amplified Bible
Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until the sky and earth pass away and perish, not one smallest letter nor one little hook [identifying certain Hebrew letters] will pass from the Law until all things [it foreshadows] are accomplished. Whoever then breaks or does away with or relaxes one of the least [important] of these commandments and teaches men so shall be called least [important] in the kingdom of heaven, but he who practices them and teaches others to do so shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness (your uprightness and your right standing with God) is more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:17-20 - Amplified Bible).
These are words spoken by Jesus the LAWGIVER, and in no way is He telling us to "do our own thing". If that were the case, He would not tell us that we must live a more righteous life than that of the Pharisees. After all, why would it matter if we live right or not? Look again. Jesus is telling His listeners that if they do not pursue a more righteous life than that of the Pharisees, they will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
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 (Matt 7:21 - KJV).
God desires to work His righteousness in our hearts. We mustn't think that we can earn (by way of our works) our way into God's kingdom. Our own works do not guarantee us such a place. In Matt 7:22, the scriptures go on to reveal that these that were speaking to the Lord had been casting out devils, prophesying, and doing the works that "believers" do, and yet, they were not ready for God's kingdom. Christ went on to tell them "away from Me, ye workers of iniquity". You see, once again, there is the old "sin",or "iniquity" issue. In verse 21, Jesus declares that those who do the Father's will, shall enter the kingdom of heaven. What is His will? We've just seen that it's not works in themselves that will yield us the promise of life eternal in God's kingdom, but rather yielded, submitted hearts unto Him ... hearts willing to be changed and rearranged ... hearts willing to live in obedience to Him ... to live in accordance to "His" will.
Jesus told us in His word that we are to live holy lives (again, by His power, strength, and given ability), and for us to not do so, comes with great risk. Let's look at what we stand to lose:
Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord (Heb 12:14 - Amplified Bible).
In this verse, we are told we will not see the Lord, if we choose not to live holy and consecrated lives. Our Heavenly Father is looking for hearts that are willing to change ... hearts that are in submission to Him ... hearts yielded and plyable to the work of His Holy Spirit ... hearts daily being made pure. There is a great promise in God's word, given to those with pure hearts. Here's what it says:
Blessed (happy, enviably fortunate, and spiritually prosperous--possessing the happiness produced by the experience of God's favor and especially conditioned by the revelation of His grace, regardless of their outward conditions) are the pure in heart, for they shall see God! [Ps. 24:3, 4.]. (Matt 5:8 - Amplified Bible).
A pure heart gives us the promise of seeing God, to which I say ... glory to God!
Father, we so thank You that through Your Holy Spirit, such blessings are available to us. The desire of our heart is to see You Lord. We come to You, yielding our heart to You. Work in us Lord. Make us to be Your holy people ... a prepared people, a people made ready for Your kingdom, prepared to one day see You face to face. Jesus, Your name is "LAWGIVER". We've seen in this writing, that You came not to change the Laws, but rather, to fulfil them ... to fulfil them in us, by Your Spirit. We say "yes Lord". Fulfil Your word in us. Accomplish Your work in us, making us whole and complete in You. We pray this in Jesus righteous name ... Amen. His blessings of Truth be great in your life! In Him ... Marcia.ARCHIVES