"miss the mark." His goal is to keep you out of the coming Kingdom of God, which will replace him and his demons—by blinding you to what is really happening! God inspired the Apostle James to write: "You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!" (James 2:19).
Then James explains how the true Christian must not merely believe in God, but must surrender to God's will and do what He says (vv. 20-23). James writes: "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only" (v. 24).
"Justified by works?" Yes—along with faith! Read verse 24 for yourself. It should be very clear that true Christianity involves more than just accepting, in faith, Christ's death—which is a free gift from God—as full payment for our sins. When we accept Christ's sacrifice, we must also make a literal "covenant with our Creator" to quit sinning in the future—to truly surrender to let Christ live His obedient life in us through the Holy Spirit! For, God's inspired Word tells us: "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4, KJV). So we must repent of sin, repent of breaking God's spiritual Law, the Ten Commandments. This involves a life of humble obedience—the "works" of keeping God's laws and commandments.
Let us understand that no one can ever earn salvation—it is God's gift! The true grace of God leads to the gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8-10; Romans 6:23). Those willing to obey God (Acts 5:29, 32) and who are under true grace will be God's "workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works" (Ephesians 2:10). God's grace does not eliminate the need for obedience and keeping God's commandments. The Apostle Paul warned that one could "receive the grace of God in vain" (2 Corinthians 6:1). And while the Apostle Peter exhorted Christians to "rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:13), he continues with the expectation that we do so "as obedient children" (v. 14; cf. v. 2).
But when men cleverly misuse "grace"—teaching "cheap grace" without real repentance from sin—it is the very essence of the doctrine of the Antichrist! This false concept has allowed millions of professing Christians to go through life regularly and habitually disobeying the Ten Commandments—yet still assuming they are "good Christians"!
The Apostle Jude was inspired to warn us of this very deception. "Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ" (Jude 3-4).
Notice that Jude warns of false teachers using the idea of "grace" as a vehicle for "licentiousness"—license to disobey the very laws of God!
"Oh, my minister would never do that!" you may protest.
I am sorry, my friends, but chances are that he or she will verify what I am saying if you approach your priest or minister directly with this question: "Pastor Jones, does God require true Christians to keep the Ten Commandments?" If you ask the question directly in these words, most ministers will begin to mumble something about being "saved by grace." Then, they may hastily add that the Ten Commandments are a good moral guide but that "you don't have to keep them since you are saved by grace."
If you press on and try to "pin your pastor down" to a straightforward answer on this matter, he may try to skirt the issue or point you to the "new" commandments of Jesus. Or, perhaps, he will finally come right out and say what virtually all mainstream theology actually teaches—the Ten Commandments were either "nailed to the cross" when Christ died or the Apostle Paul somehow "did away" with them! As I will now clearly explain, this is the very "heart" of the doctrine of Antichrist!
And why is this such a serious matter? Because it creates a "lawless society"—a society cut off from God since the Ten Commandments actually portray His character. God's awesome purpose involves putting His "divine nature" into us through the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:4). It involves our going through a process of spiritual growth and "overcoming" to reflect the very character of God and be made fit to rule with Christ in His soon-coming Kingdom. Jesus directly states: "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations—'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the potter's vessels shall be broken to pieces'—as I also have received from My Father" (Revelation 2:26-27).
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