If you are purposeful and intentional in your faith, works will be a natural byproduct of that faith. To be purposeful, intentional, and deliberate, one must come to faith of their own free will, fully aware of what they are submitting and surrendering to. If there’s never a surrender, if we never humble ourselves and submit to the authority of Scripture, then we’re fooling ourselves, believing fanciful tales with no Biblical foundation. Somebody had to say it, and everyone else seems to be busy doing something else.
Acts 3:19-21, “Repent therefore and be converted, that your
sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence
of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before,
whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which
God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”
The Christian life is not some auxiliary pursuit in our
lives; it is the center, the core, the principal focus of our existence. Once
we surrender and humble ourselves, our lives are forfeit and the only thing
that matters preeminently is the will of God for our lives.
Accepting Jesus into our hearts, as has become the popular
way of saying it, isn’t something we do just to check it off a list never to be
revisited until we’re on our deathbed being reassured by family that we are
going to heaven because of that one time we raised a hand in church.
Salvation is transformative. You cannot remain as you were
once the indwelling of Christ in your heart occurs. It’s not me saying it; it’s
the Bible, and we should maybe get back to reading it once in a while rather
than believing newly tattooed octogenarians just because they said otherwise.
Romans 12:1-2, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the
mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,
acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to
this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove
what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
Why don’t we ever quote those words from Paul? Is it perhaps
because they imply that the least we should be doing as believers is to break
ties with sin and present ourselves as holy and acceptable to God? Is it
perhaps because Paul explicitly says it’s the least God expects of us? Holiness
isn’t for elite Christians, nor is it exclusive to pastors or evangelists; it’s
the reasonable service of every believer.
That’s works! No, it’s truth. If the faith you claim to
possess has not been transformative, if your mind has not been renewed, and you
haven’t rejected conformity with the world, then you have not come to the
knowledge of Christ, nor do you possess a salvific faith.
This is one of those issues we need to stop beating around
the bush about and calling as it is. There are people who feel no need to
pursue righteousness, have a relationship with Christ, grow their faith, or
obey God’s commands because they were told all it took was the sinner’s prayer
and the wave of a hand.
Perhaps if we’d told those people the truth, some of them
might have sought discipleship, some of them might have sought holiness, and some
of them might have sought a maturing of their faith and a transforming of who
Just because it sounds good on a pledge drive card to say
20,000 souls came to Jesus in one afternoon, it doesn’t make what such
individuals do noble or biblical. You’re telling me you’re racking up four
times the Book of Acts numbers, and they all stuck the landing?
They raised their hand, didn’t they? And where is that in the
Bible as a sign of true and abiding faith? Where is that in the Bible as a sign
that the individual isn’t only saved, but all his future sins are expunged as a
signing bonus, so go forth and revel?
But we’re not saying it’s a license to sin. Have you told
them it isn’t? Why is there such an overwhelming emphasis placed on the future
sins part, if the whole go and sin no more aspect of this faith of ours, was
We can gaslight, wag the dog, and play games with each other.
We can call people who point to the uncomfortable bits of Scripture legalists
and work salvationists, but the Word is the Word, and it is the plumb line by
which all who name the name of Christ will be judged.
Simple and easy mean two different things, and we must stop
conflating them. The way is simple, but it isn’t easy. It’s not me saying that;
it’s Jesus. What did He know, though, am I right? Maybe He was a legalist, too.
A supposed pastor in Manhattan just called him a xenophobic racist, so what’s a
Sorry, not sorry, this is not the faith once delivered to the
saints; it’s an amalgam of feel-good, easy-going, no accountability, no
responsibility, no sacrifice nonsense that’s being peddled and passed off as
gospel truth because it’s easier to swallow by the masses, and you can draw
more bees with money than with holiness any day.
On a more somber note, is anyone seriously going to sit there and insist that this is the generation that’s going to usher in the greatest revival in the history of the church? God may use the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, but not the heretical ones.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea, Jr.