The Believer’s Reasonable Service
The true Gospel message is that the God of the Bible determined to save a multitude of guilty, deviled, hell-deserving sinners based solely on the blood and imputed righteousness of Christ alone, without any consideration of, or contribution from, those sinners Christ redeemed at Calvary.
When a man clearly and dogmatically proclaims this message, lost religion immediately begins to raise their arguments about how that kind of preaching will lead men to “live like hell”. This was one of the charges raised against the Apostle Paul’s preaching – “And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just,” (Romans 3:8).
Even the Lord Jesus Christ, WHO WAS HOLINESS INCARNATE, was accused by the religious world of being “a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners,” (Matthew 11:19; Luke 7:34).
And yet, even though these were hated by religionists for their message, yet they didn’t change their message in order to satisfy the self-righteous desires of sinful man. The apostle Paul wrote, “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross (the legal act of redemption) of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world,” (Galatians 6:14).
Even though people accuse the message of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ of promoting loose living in those who believe, actually the exact opposite occurs. Those elect sinners who were redeemed at Calvary by Christ’s substitutionary death, are in time regenerated, and converted under the preaching of the one true Gospel alone, NOT A FALSE GOSPEL OF WORKS RELIGION.
Therefore, they don’t need to be stroked, bribed, or threatened in order to get them to seek to love God with all their heart, mind, and soul, or to seek to love their neighbor as themselves. “We love him, BECAUSE he first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
You also will never see a true child of God who is satisfied with their obedience to God in this life. Their thought is ever that of the apostle Paul, “That I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” (Philippians 3:9)
Now, the self-righteous religionist will openly boast of his or her own accomplishments, even as “the Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican,” (Luke 18:11).
This Pharisee actually gave God the credit for enabling him to be the moral, sincere, dedicated, religious person that he thought himself to be. On the other hand, the publican only sought mercy and grace – “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful (literally, be a mercy seat, a reconciliation) to me a (the) sinner,” (Luke 18:13).
The justified saints’ motive to love God and their neighbor isn’t a legal obligation held in check by rules and regulations, but a debt of grace and gratitude to God who did everything to accomplish their salvation through the work of His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. THIS IS OUR REASONABLE SERVICE!
By Richard Warmack