In the Christian culture, we’ve been taught that in Jesus’ death, we who believe in Him, now have life. More specifically, we have eternal life, and we now have access to serving in God’s kingdom once our time here on earth ends. It is that symbol of God’s grace and our understanding of faith that makes our obstacles bearable, but as Christians, should we really use God’s grace and Jesus’ death on the cross as a license to sin? Most importantly, is there any truth that Jesus’ crucifiction did away with the commandments?
Now in our churches, we hear less and less about the importance of obedience. Mostly today, we hear the good news, which is the salvation we have at the expense of Jesus Christ’s death. Our pastors have become more like motivational speakers, and while it’s understanding that we can use motivation in such a depressing economic condition, they aren’t preaching the bad news, which is the very news that will save your soul.
Obedience may be an afterthought in the church, but since the beginning of days, it’s been one of the most requested things God has asked from his people.
The History of Sin
God created the Earth in six days, and on the sixth day, he asked the first two people on the planet to obey Him, or face death.
Eve decided to pick the apple from the tree against God’s command, and she and Adam were kicked out into a world of pain and suffering.
As the Bible shows us, sin started with Adam and Eve, and the generations after were also sinful people. When God saw his own creations murdering, fornicating, committing adultery worshipping false gods, and commiting other acts of sexual immorality; He decided to wipe out the human race. He only saved Noah and his family (and certain animals), and the only reason Noah was saved was because he was obedient.
Because Noah was the only one that walked with God, he and his family were the only human beings that received God’s mercy.
Why is that? Well, from Scripture, it’s clear that God hates sin. We as Christians think of evil as anything pertaining to satan or disbelief in God, but honestly, God views evil as disobedience to his commandments. And that is what Christians must understand…you’re either Godly or ungodly. In essence, either your lifestyle is Godly or it is ungodly. And anything that is not of God or in alignment with his commandments, is evil and subject to destruction.
6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom. 7 You love righteousness and hate wickedness;
8 But to the Son He says:
“ Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
9 You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions.”
A careful look at Hebrews 1:8-9 reveals the term lawlessness. Lawlessness means to not uphold the law, which is the commandments, better known as God’s law.
Jesus’ Death and Our Salvation
Before Jesus, those who sinned had to offer animal sacrifices as a form of repentance. Even when Moses helped lead the Jews out of Egypt, the Passover required the Jews to sacrifice a lamb.
Jesus’ death put an end to animal sacrifices, and that is why He is referred to as the Lamb:
35 Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. 36 And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!”
Now, we can all agree that Jesus was the Lamb of God, as it is clear in the Scripture above. The problem is what we also take his sacrifice to mean, and that is the do away of obedience. Many Christians believe Jesus’ death means sins no longer exist.
In fact, many Christians say he washed away our sins. Well, yes, he washed away our sins, but he didn’t abolish the commandments or God’s instruction to follow them. In fact, even Jesus stated He did not come to do away with the commandments, and we are still required to obey them:
17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. 18 For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. 19 Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them,he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
James 1:1212 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.
God’s Grace and Sin
God’s grace has been used as an excuse to sin in our present day society. But let’s be clear of what God’s grace entails.
God’s grace was sending his only begotten son to die on the cross and be the final sacrifice. Through Jesus, we are forgiven for our sins, and now we are able to repent and turn away from our sins…not commit them anyway. No where in the Bible does it say we no longer have to be obedient:
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not! 16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
Sin Leads to Death, Even After Jesus’ Death and Resurrection
In the world today, we can see that breaking the commandments comes with some pretty horrible consequences. Fornication leads to STD’s and even death due to AIDS and HIV; as well as heart break and shaky relationships…as well as a long list of regrets.
Adultery leads to unblessed second and third marriages.
Murder leads to prison, so does theft. While many others lead to more attacks on our health and our spitirual relationship with God.
But the Bible also says sin leads to death. The death it refers to is a spiritual death. This spiritual death means we who are sinful will be destroyed with the rest of those that are evil and disobedient.
Again, even after Jesus’ death, it is made clear that those who are still sinning will not inherit the kingdom of God:
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.
Jesus also said:
9 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast itfrom you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.
Do not be deceived by the modern day church or lost believers, God is clear that sin will lead to permanent separation by those who disobey. Yes, even Christians can go to hell:
1 Corithians 6:9-10
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, 10nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
How God Determines Who Really Loves Him
Love is truly a word we take so lightly with other people, so can any of us be surprised that we also take it lightly with God? Many Christians will tell you with a straight face that they love God, yet their hearts and actions say otherwise. Simply put, God has his own way of determining who really loves Him, and it doesn’t have to do with what we say…but all about what we do:
15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.”
So if we love God, just who should we obey? The Creator or the creation (world)? Besides, our bodies are not our own, so we must use our bodies to bring glory to God or face destruction:
1 Corinthians 3:16-17
16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and thatthe Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.
3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.
4 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.
So if you are a believer and you follow Christ…you ought to walk the way He walked. No one said it would be easy, but to love God, requires action…not just our faith.