Since hearing a teaching at my church that dealt with the topic of living by grace, and my pastor pointing this fact out, The Lord has kept it on my mind. Earlier this morning, there was a post (now deleted) on the International House of Prayer’s facebook page that talked about living a consecrated life, because what we do now determines how we will spend eternity. Some people agreed. Others disagreed, citing Ephesians 2:8. I agree that how we live now determines how we will spend eternity, with the perspective of Ephesians 2:8, Romans 6, and Jesus’ own words in Matthew 5.
People often say that they are saved by grace, and so that they can live how they choose, citing human rights, or how they live doesn’t really matter, and that they aren’t bound by the law of the Old Testament. People often say that “well God knows my heart”. He does know your heart, and its filthy and He desires to change it because He loves you too much to let you stay the way you are! If you can find a spot in The Word where it says that “God knows my heart” and the implication of it is that you can live however you want, please show me! Jesus came to fulfill the law… also, look at Jesus’ words from Matthew 5 (vs 21-48), as He takes it a step further, and determine for yourself which is the higher standard. The Law? Or Jesus?
Murder Begins in the Heart
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny.
Adultery in the Heart
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
Marriage Is Sacred and Binding
“Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.
Jesus Forbids Oaths
“Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.
Go the Second Mile
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away.
Love Your Enemies
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.
– Matthew 5:21-48 (NKJV)
How often is it that Jesus does this? It’s so opposite to our way of thinking. I guess that’s why He was fully man AND fully God. He came saying only what His Father said. So which is the higher standard? The Law? Or Living Under Grace? I think The Word speaks for itself here.
The Bible doesn’t say you will know them by their church attendance, it says that you will know them by their fruits. Examine your heart. Is whats in your heart producing fruit in the Kingdom? If so, GREAT! Keep going. If not, determine to do so, and then, do it. Asking God for all that you need!
Living under grace does not mean that we can be lukewarm. Jesus says in Revelation that the lukewarm church will be spit from his mouth. It is better to be hot or cold. In other words, if you’re only gonna do it half way, it would be better for you to not do it at all. I challenge you all to determine to be, and to be hot and on fire. And if you aren’t, then don’t only do it half way.