10 For with the heart, man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth, man confesses to salvation.2 [Salvation is to be delivered from all sin, to have been purified by the grace of God that separates man from sin. To confess salvation is to confess you have been freed from all sin and have witnessed Jesus being raised in your heart, bringing your salvation, which is eternal life in God; like Paul confessed: It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. Gal 2:20. Your believing what you hear the son speak to you from your heart, and obeying what he commands, results in salvation with accompanying righteousness. Obedience leads to righteousness, Rom 6:16; we believe what the Spirit of Christ in our hearts speaks to us as we wait for the hope for righteousness, Gal 5:5; for the words that He speaks to us impart the life of God, John 6:63.
As John said: Little children, let no man deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. 1 John 3:7; John could see the apostasy of Christendom coming, trying to fool you with the twisting of this verse and a few others meaning to deceive you that you are righteous because you believe in Jesus. He tells us that our conduct must demonstrate righteousness even as Jesus is righteous, not a presumed righteousness by believing. Peter warned us about covetous ministers, who work for money and promise you liberty to live in your sins, while they are slaves to sin themselves. 2 Peter 2:14-21. Peter also warned us about how easily Paul's letters were twisted by the wicked (those still sinning): There are some things in his letters that are hard to understand, which those who are unlearned and unstable wrest [twist] to their own destruction, as they also do the other scriptures. Therefore, beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also, being led away by the error of the wicked. 2 Pet 3:17-18. The wicked try to convince you that sin is overlooked and excused by your believing in Jesus. But the righteous plead with you that sin is not acceptable: Paul said, Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. 1 Cor 15:34. To believe in Jesus, is to believe what he commands you to do; that belief results in obedience which leads to righteousness and salvation.]
9 But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man does not have the Spirit of Christ [to rule a man as his king, doing His will], he is none of his. [Paul has clearly said in the preceding verses that unless your sinful nature has been destroyed, including your carnal mind; that unless you are no longer walking according to your lusts, passions, and pleasures; that unless you are walking under control of the Spirit in thought, word and deed; then you are not a part of Christ — you are not in Christ — you do not belong to Christ — yet. You first must mortify your fleshly, sinful nature on the inward cross of self-denial... Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (lusts and affections). Gal 5:19-24. Click to see more on being "in Christ."]
10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is your life because of righteousness. [If the Spirit of Christ dwells within you, then the deeds of the body, (the flesh, the sinful nature), have been mortified, verse 13, below; then the body is dead, its fleshly, sinful lusts and passions no longer controlling your life. But when the righteous Spirit of Christ is within you, which is formed as you have carry the inward cross of self-denial, that Spirit of Christ does not die.]
38 Now the righteous shall live by faith; but if any man draws back, my soul will have no pleasure in him.
39 But we are not of those who draw back [don't endure] to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul. [A believer can draw back into perdition before his soul has been saved in ceasing to wait, listen, and obey; or by failing to stay on the inward cross of self-denial until the death of his selfish nature, which requires patience and great endurance. The parable of the sower explains why people draw back failing to produce the fruit of the Spirit.]
|2 Peter 2:20-21 |
20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in it and overcome, the latter is worse for them than the beginning.
21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy command delivered to them.