|Ephesians 2:9 |
9 Not by works, lest any man should boast.5 [Paul is speaking of dead works, (from your own will), of the law: circumcision, washings, sacrifices, special foods, sabbath restrictions, days, feasts, tithing, etc.; but he is not excluding observing the moral laws written on every man's heart, nor works of loving obedience to the commands you hear spoken from God in your heart, which are energized by faith and are essential. Paul said: glory, honor, and peace, are to every man who works good. Rom 2:10. Paul said: To those who by perseverance in good works, seek for glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life. Rom 2:7.]
5 Not by works, lest any man should boast. Look at the next verse (we are his workmanship); but gentle reader, unless you have experienced the purifying grace of the work of Jesus, you have no salvation. We are not saved by our works, lest any man should boast; we are saved by the operations and process of grace. But grace will charge you with sin in your heart, and then you must repent in obedient faith to have any hope of salvation. Per Paul: Grace teaches us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; that he might redeem us from all iniquity [lawless deeds, sin], and purify for himself a people who are his very own with a zeal for good works. Tit 2:11-14. This statement has been twisted by the false prophets to rationalize doing nothing, but believing.
True, works of the law count for nothing. Works of the law are the cereal offering, the lamb offering, the bull offering, washings, not eating certain foods, circumcision, tithing, sabbaths, celebration of days, feasts, etc.; these are dead works of the law, decided when to be done by the carnal mind of man.
But what about the moral commandments of the Law: love your neighbor as you love yourself; and don't steal; and don't commit adultery; and don't lie; and don't covet; and don't murder; and honor your father and mother? Clearly to observe these commandments is not works of the law; a work is not to cease murder today, or to not commit adultery tonight, or to not lie this afternoon, or to love your neighbor today, or take an hour to love God, etc. These commandments are the moral core of the law and are a part of the law written on every man's heart, whose conscience bears witness, while their thoughts accuse or excuse them, and by which God will judge them. Rom 2:14-16; these commandments have not been annulled by faith in Jesus or grace and must be kept in mind by any who wish to please God.
Do you not know brothers, (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? Rom 7:1.
While Christ's blood sacrifice made the Mosaic law obsolete, the inner law on every man's heart is still alive, never cancelled, (which inner law includes the moral core of the Mosaic law); and for you to be free from this inner law, by which all men shall be judged, you must submit to God condemning the sins in your flesh, with commands that you hear when waiting on Him; those commands are established as additional laws in your heart, in which are the laws you must obey and continue to obey until you are crucified, to then walk in love and liberty under no laws.
Until you lose your life by crucifying your sinful nature, your carnal mind, and your evil spirit, you are still under the law; until then you are still walking in restricted flesh; until then the law is your schoolmaster. Until Christ replaces your nature, mind, and spirit with His so that your fleshly nature is dead, you are under the law. When Christ controls your thoughts, words, and deeds, then the law no longer has dominion over you because the selfish "you" has died. Even those who know no law have the inner law on their hearts by which a man is judged and which has dominon over him until the death.
The inner law on every man's heart makes us feel bad when we lie or steal. This law includes the external moral laws:* do not steal, do not lie, do not covet, do not murder, do not commit adultery, (and all sexual immorality), honor your parents, do unto others as you would have them do to you, etc. The inner law's moral laws exceed the external, Mosaic moral laws for as Jesus said, he came to fulfill the law; and then He told us how it was to be strengthened, which the inner law reflects. This strengthened inner law can be understood to have been violated anytime you exhibit a fruit of the flesh, which includes: sexual immorality, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, jesting, profanity, adultery, lack of restraint, sorcery, hatred, arguments, jealousies, rage, selfish ambition, divisiveness, envies, murders, drunkenness, revelries (partying), evil thoughts, fornications, wickedness, deceit, blasphemy, pride, anger, boasting, flattery, immodesty, immorality, and foolishness. Any of these disqualify all men from heaven. A man innocent of all these fruits of the flesh is in full compliance with the rigid requirements of salvation stated in the scriptures: be perfect as the Father is perfect, Mat 5:48; be righteous as He is righteous, 1 John 3:7-10; be merciful as He is merciful, Luke 6:36; become pure as He is pure. 1 John 3:3; as he who has called you is holy, so you be holy in all manner of conduct, 1 Pet 1:15; walk as he walked, 1 John 2:6; and as he is, so are we in this present world. 1 John 4:17.
For you to be free from this inner law, by which all men shall be judged, you must submit to God condemning the sins in your flesh, with commands tailored to your life's circumstances and that you hear when waiting on Him; those commands are established as additional laws in your heart, in which are all the laws you must obey and continue to obey until you are completely crucified, to then walk in love and liberty under no laws.
From the Word of the Lord within:
- "You must have a devotion to the law that is on every man's heart; you must listen; and you must obey.
- Restraint of sin is not enough; salvation is being freed from even the desire of your sins.
- Only a heart that is purged of sin is acceptable to God.
- Be on your guard at all times to be sure your words do not reflect the fruits of the flesh."
Paul makes it very plain that if you do not obey the moral laws, you have no salvation and no inheritance in the Kingdom of God:
Clearly the moral laws cannot be dead, when disobedience to the law keeps you out of the kingdom and salvation. The law is not dead and a believer in Jesus is not exempt from being banned from heaven when still sinning at death. The moral commandments have not been annulled by faith in Jesus or grace. We must strive to obey all the moral commandments until we are under total control of the Spirit of God; then we fulfill the law walking in obedience to the God's promptings. Until you have been freed from all sin; until you have been translated into the Kingdom of God, until you are an entirely new creature, until Christ has been revealed in you so that you behold his face, you must strive to obey the moral laws.
God judges every man by his words and deeds; every man means no exceptions — every man, even those who believe in Jesus:
You cannot be saved and justified by trying to observe the commandments or by doing works of the law. Salvation and justification come by faith that purifies your heart and soul through his grace. It is impossible to completely love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, or to love you neighbor equally as you love yourself until the power of God actually circumcises your heart from all selfishness and evil. But trying to observe these moral commandments, turning from evil as best we can, is a prerequisite to sincerely seeking God and his salvation; in the beginning you can't control your mind yet, you can't totally control your mouth yet, but you can control your hands and feet from running to and grasping evil. If you think you are saved, simply because you believe Jesus is the Son of God, was resurrected from the dead, etc., or because you were also baptized in water, then you have a form of godliness without the power of God to cleanse you, purify you, circumcise your heart, and make you holy; which when completed, the love of God is perfected in you and you fulfill the law.
Christendom's ignoring the moral commandments as a works of the law is ridiculous; that makes a work of the law include someone who decides to "cease adultery;" when clearly God looks with favor on someone who repents of evil.
Even worse, since whoever of you tries to be justified by the law has fallen from grace, and Christ has become of no benefit to you, Gal 5:4; then, following the faulty logic, (that observing the moral commandments of the law is works of the law), should you decide not to steal, you have lost your salvation through grace and faith in Jesus. Christendom's twisted logic of just "faith in Jesus," ignoring the moral commandments and classifying their observation as works, makes Jesus the author of lawlessness; it makes the blood of Jesus an unholy thing, an excuse for continuing in sin and ignoring all laws, a license for immorality; and in teaching this doctrine, the blind guides of Christendom have led billions of their "believers" into the pit of destruction. From the Word of the Lord within: "they totter to the slaughter;" drunk with their lusts, passions, pride, and pleasures. This is a doctrinal error of colossal magnitude; it is a breakage of the covenant of God.
Until we can hear the Spirit of God teach us by grace to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and how to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, the inner law on the heart of every man, which includes moral core of the outward law, is our schoolmaster that reminds us of our shortcomings and motivates us to go to God for his changing grace.
Works without faith in obeying what you have heard commanded, counts for nothing; but faith, which is energized and demonstrated by works through love, is of great benefit. Faith without works, counts for nothing. You cannot just say "I believe" and live in your sinful nature without obedience. Works of faith energized by love, are esteemed and required by God; those first works of repentance that you hear commanded by God are energized by your love for God.
Works of your own will are dead works; and unless your selfish spirit is crucified on the cross of Christ, to have the Spirit of Christ take its place on the throne in your heart, you will not be prompted by God what good works to do.
Before you can hear the Word of the Lord within your heart to guide you, the first works are repentance, which John the Baptist told us were the prerequisite to seeking the kingdom of heaven, by showing your sincerity in seeking God's further teaching and change by grace:
Repent: think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct. Matt 3:2
Share from your excess with those who are without the necessities of life. [This is very key to your success in receiving God's favor.]
Be honest in all your dealings, never exaggerating or overreaching anyone.
Don't oppress people or frighten anyone, don't lie, don't want more, don't complain. Luke 3:10-14
And before you can hear the Word of the Lord within your heart to guide you, the inner law on every man's heart that is still alive, (which inner law includes the moral core of the Mosaic law), is our schoolmaster.
The moral core of the law is: don't steal; and don't commit adultery; and don't lie; and don't covet; and don't murder; and honor your father and mother; do for others as you would have them do for you, etc.
Clearly to observe these moral commandments as best we can, while waiting for the Spirit's direction, is not doing works of the law.
The moral laws remind us of our shortcomings and motivates us to go to God to receive his heart and soul purifying grace,
— to become free of all sin, even the desire to sin,
— to be able to love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might, and
— to be able to love your neighbor as yourself.
When you can hear the Spirit of God from within your heart, as you wait on the Lord and listen to the Lord, he will command further repentance in your life.
The commands you hear him speak to you are to be kept, remembered, and obeyed; if he orders you to deny something in your life, you are to keep denying it.
The commands you obey and keep are then written in your heart and mind, supplementing the inner law already on every man's heart;
thus the scripture is fulfilled: I will put my laws into their hearts, and I will write them in their minds [inward understanding]. Heb 10:16
As you continue to obey His commands to you, you are eventually purified by his grace that teaches you how to live righteously, soberly and godly in this present world, until you are redeemed from all sins and purified to be a peculiar people with a zeal for good works. Tit 2:11-14
From the Word of the Lord within: "We go to him, and he rains help on us; well does this exercise of God purify those who do."
We seek, watch, listen, hear, and obey God's voice. The words we hear him speak to us impart the life of God to us, John 6:63.
From the Word of the Lord within: "Everybody who believes the son, shall be made perfect." To believe him speaking to you is true faith. True faith purifies.
Doing this repetitively over time is how we are able to comply with the Bible's stated requirements that Christendom ignores to protect their false doctrines:
— be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect, Mat 5:48
— be merciful as He is merciful, Luke 6:36
— become pure as He is pure. 1 John 3:2-3
— as He who has called you is holy, so you be holy in all manner of conduct, 1 Pet 1:15
— so that we walk as He walked, 1 John 2:6, and
— as He is, so are we in this present world. 1 John 4:17
This is how we rid ourselves of the fruits of the flesh that disqualify us from any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ.
This is how to mortify the sins in your body and become totally free of sin, even the desire to sin.
This is how to carry your cross and follow Jesus, by denial of your own will and obeying the commands he speaks to you.
This is how to witness passing from death to life (of God), to experience Jesus bring to you your salvation and the eternal life of God.
After purification, then God prompts you to do good works to his glory and your joy.
Faith, which does not motivate, energize, and produce works, is dead.
Works of love, energized and prompted by God are essential.
James said, "faith without works is dead." James 2:17.
James further said, "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." James 2:24.
Many people think Paul conflicts with James; but of course James and Paul don't conflict, and never would conflict.
In the below scriptures, Paul is speaking in context of works of the law: sacrifices, tithing, washings, Sabbaths, feasts, restrictions of foods, circumcision, etc.
——Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, Gal 2:16, (hearing him, believing him, and obeying him)
——A man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Rom 3:28.
Paul has disdain for works of the law, but he is grossly misunderstood to include all the law, including the moral commands.
——No man is justified by the law in the sight of God. Gal 3:11. This verse alone, without looking at its context with the previous verse, is part of the error.
——For all who rely on works of the law are under the curse Gal 3:10.
But Paul makes it very clear that the consequences of sin still apply to every man, and works of love energized by obedient faith are required and esteemed.
Paul says obedience to the moral commands of the law are required until you are totally led by the Spirit of God:
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Gal 5:18
The law is your schoolmaster until faith has come. Gal 3:24-25
A mature Christian is filled with love and fulfills, even exceeds, the the moral laws, continually walking in obedience to God's commands that he hears.
From the Word of the Lord within: "There are no laws when you are under complete control of the spirit; you walk in love in obedience as prompted — you don't walk in restricted flesh." Faith that frees from the law comes with the receipt of the fruit of the Spirit, against which is no law. Gal 5:22-23.
Up to this time, as you are hearing the Spirit of Grace within convict you of sin and teach you about righteous living, you are in the Ministry of Condemnation, yet to receive the ministry of righteousness, yet to receive the end of grace, still subject to the Law of Sin and Death, still walking after the flesh and carnal mind, yet to receive the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, yet to be in Christ, yet to be dead to the law through the law, and yet to walk after the Spirit's prompting of your thoughts, words, and deeds.
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Gal 5:6. (works activated and energized through loving obedience to what God directs you to do)
And let us consider how to encourage one another to love and good works. Heb 10:24
Paul is not saying that you can ignore the moral laws — to be unloving, immoral, covetous, given to pleasures, angry, etc.
Paul said: I declared.. that they should repent and turn to God, and do works consistent with repentance. Acts 26:20
Paul said, "continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2:12
Again Paul said, grace, results in a people zealous for good works. Titus 2:14
Paul said: Charge those who are rich in this world not to be high minded,
nor to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God who gives us richly all things to enjoy;
[Charge] that they do good, to become rich in good works, to be generous, sharing with others. 1 Tim 6:17-18
If you live in a prosperous, industrialized nation, you are rich, compared to the rest of the world. So be rich in good works.
Paul said: glory, honor, and peace, are to every man who works good. Rom 2:10.
Paul said: To those who by perseverance in good works, seek for glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life. Rom 2:7.
Peter said: whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. Acts 10:35
Peter again: make every effort to add to your faith virtue.. knowledge.. self control.. perseverance .. godliness. 2 Pet 1:5-6
Jesus said, Unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:3. Repentance requires effort on your part.
And, As many as I love, I chastise [rebuke, discipline]. Be zealous therefore, and repent. Rev 3:19 (Zealous means filled with ardent desire, enthusiastic).
Jesus further said, Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. Mat 11:29
Jesus said, If any man desire to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23
In His messages to the seven churches, Jesus mentions to every church how their works are key.
Jesus said, I have not found your works perfect before God. Rev 3:2-3. He wants perfect works, energized by faith.
Hear! Jesus said: Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. Luke 13:24
The doctrine of no works would have you believe striving is unnecessary, yet Jesus ordered us to strive, (to make every effort),
Jesus further says, the gate is narrow and compressed which leads to life, which few will find,
and many I say to you will seek to enter and will not be able to. Mat 7:14, Luke 13:24. (Don't Jesus' warnings seriously conflict with just believing in Jesus?)
Gentle reader — heed what Jesus is saying. Your having said a sinner's prayer and gotten wet is not hard to find or do.
But he who practices truth comes to the light, so that his deeds may be shown to have been produced [effected, formed, prompted, energized] through God." John 3:21.
Those who have been experiencing the Spirit's removal of sin from their hearts, love the light and eagerly come to the light for further destruction of sin.
Those who have been freed from sin, eagerly come to the light to be directed by God to do works of love, to their joy and God's glory:
for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. Eph 2:10.
A man comes to the light by waiting on God in silence, watching and listening in hope of change by Jesus.
Those who come to the light, love Christ, as evidenced by their obedience to the truth.
God judges every man by his words and deeds; every man means no exceptions — every man, even those who believe in Jesus:
Faith without works is dead. Those without works, energized and prompted by God, will have their souls destroyed and their spirits banned from heaven. The first works of a true believer are works of repentance.