Friday, October 20, 2017


Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.... Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets." Matthew 7:1-8 (parts) NASB

While I believe that every Christian who has been baptized into the New Covenant of Christ is saved by God's grace, to believers, Jesus had words of warning. Act in accordance to the covenant, for your judgement will be according to the mercy you give others.

So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Matt. 7: 17-19

Here again, those who have entered the covenant with God through faith are expected to bear fruit. This is not a suggestion, but a commandment. How we bear fruit is through His grace, but if it was automatic, there would be no need for a warning attached--a pretty scary warning at that! This is not supposed to scare the Christian, but to keep them awake. Christ is saying something like: You have an enemy--the Devil--who is trying to put Christians to sleep, to keep them occupied with other earthly matters. Have the courage to stay awake and stay actively attached to the Father! 

I think of the story of the good Samaritan. When a situation is presented to you, put at your feet, do not walk by those in need--for you are your brother's keeper. Do. Don't just feel sympathy. Don't just wear a ribbon that says, "Be a good samaritan." Do. Act. Give. Sacrifice. Pray. 

Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Matt. 7: 21-23
Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.” Matt. 24-26

Jesus used action words. He spoke of obedience, not faith alone. When I read the words of Christ, I cannot fathom anyone understanding it as did the Reformers who taught that all that was required of Christians was faith. That is not found anywhere on the lips of Christ. The gospel is about believing that He is the Messiah and following Him. 

Jesus did not teach a works-righteousness, but He did teach a righteousness by His grace flowing to the believer enabling the believer to will and then act, sometimes courageously, sometimes sacrificially for others. 

While we may all be saved by our faith, we have a duty to be Christ to the world so that others will see our love and be drawn to the Cross. Christians are His arms, His feet, His heart to the world. 

For our salvation and our faith are not for us alone. Our salvation and our faith, given with overflowing, superabundant grace are meant to save others. Jesus makes this clear in Matthew 7. Act. Act in mercy. Act in love. And it is through His grace, His power, His strength freely given that we can act.