The Biblical Truth that will be presented in the remainder of this faith series will be welcomed by those who hunger and thirst for His Truth. For them, the following statement is a Biblical fact. Every positive thing the true saint has, including faith, was given to him by the Father of Lights from Whom all blessings flow. Weak, puny man is incapable of producing anything positive in the spiritual realm. Righteousness, which is necessary for salvation, is a gift given by God at the point of conversion when one’s past sins are wiped away, thereby rendering him sinless–justified. Contrary to church opinion, this is only the first of many steps leading to salvation. The convert’s job from that point on is to obey the Lord’s Word–walk in ever-increasing righteousness until holiness is attained. Such holiness, if maintained, will, at the return of Jesus Christ, result in eternal life (Rom. 6:19,22). No man is good in and of himself. Man must receive, retain and manifest God’s goodness by obeying Him in word, thought and deed. There is no other path to the Kingdom of God.
A man once called Jesus “good.” The Lord corrected him, telling him that HE, AS A MAN, WAS NOT GOOD, THAT ONLY GOD WAS GOOD. The goodness possessed by Jesus of Nazareth, which was pure and total, had been given to Him by the Father. Jesus “walked” (lived–1 Jn. 2:6) in the faith His Father had given Him. Through obedience to God Jesus retained that faith throughout His life, thereby qualifying to be mankind’s Messiah while showing His saints how to follow Him into the arms of His loving Father.
There are those–the vast majority within professing Christendom–whom Satan has deceived into believing (having faith) that righteousness is “a gift that keeps on giving.” Not so. In order to maintain righteousness one must walk the walk and not merely talk the talk. A common illustration is in order. I have total faith that my car will take me from Athens, Texas to Dallas where my daughter lives. However, that faith alone will not deliver me to her doorstep. I must perform several acts (works of faith) in order for the car to do its job. I must open the door, sit down, close the door, insert the key, start the engine, enter the street, go to the highway and follow it to Dallas, take the correct streets to her apartment complex, punch in the correct gate code, drive through the gate, enter a parking space, open the door, get out, close the door and walk to her door. If I fail to perform even one of these acts my car will not deliver me to my desired destination. My car represents God’s Word in which I have faith. The acts I perform represent the works required for my car to do its job. My daughter’s apartment represents the Kingdom of God that my faith in the car and my acts relative to that faith will deliver me. Any deviation from this formula will nullify my faith in the car. Any deviation from God’s Word will have the same result, EVEN IF I HAVE TOTAL FAITH THAT I AM RIGHT WITH HIM. Many people have submitted to martyrdom believing that they are right with Him. But their deaths have been in vain. They have been lied to by the devil and his prophets; they have believed the lies; they have died in their sins because they did not know, believe and obey the Lord’s Holy Scriptures. The Apostle Paul made this clear when he stated that failing in only one area would make him a spiritual outcast (1 Cor. 13:1-3). Knowing this we understand why God declared that only a “few” would “find” and “strive to enter” His strait gate and walk His narrow way (Mat. 7:13,14), and that the Very Elect in His true church would just barely make the cut (1 Pet. 4:17,18)? These are life and death words. Believe and obey them and live. L.J.