By: Edward Hendrie
Let us look and see what Jesus states is the means for obtaining eternal life. First, Jesus makes clear that all the law and the prophets are summarized in just two commandments.
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying, Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:35-40 AV)
Second, God states that in order to gain entrance into heaven one must obey and keep all of God’s law. “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” James 2:10. See also Matthew 17:17-19.
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. (Luke 10:25-28 AV)
If we sin by transgressing God’s law, we must be punished, for God is just. One cannot enter heaven with any sins, God’s wrath is upon all who have sinned. “For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.” (Ephesians 5:5-6 AV) All who do not keep every one of God’s commands are under a curse. “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” (Galatians 3:10 AV) The cursed punishment for violating God’s law is eternal. See John 5:29; Matthew 25:1-46.
But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath. (Romans 2:5-8 AV)
The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Matthew 13:41-43 AV)
And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 AV)
God’s standard is perfect righteousness. Examine yourself; have you ever lied, coveted, envied, stolen, idolized, hated, lusted, gotten drunk, fornicated, been angry with someone without just cause (Matthew 5:21-22), or called someone a fool? If you have done any of those things, then the punishment for your sins is to be cast into the lake of fire that burns with fire and brimstone.
Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10 AV)
He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. (Revelation 21:7-8 AV)
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21 AV)
These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. (Proverbs 6:16-19 AV)
God’s standard for righteousness is so high it even accounts for idle words. “But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” (Matthew 12:36 AV) God’s standard is not a physical standard that only addresses conduct, his standard is a spiritual standard that judges men’s hearts. Even if you have not acted upon your evil thoughts, your sin still must be punished. For instance, if you have ever lusted after another, then you have committed adultery in your heart. Matthew 5:28. If you have committed any of the above sins, you are not alone. The fact is that no one is capable of keeping God’s law through their own effort; none is righteous, not one single person.
As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes. Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (Romans 3:10-19 AV)
It being the case, that not one person is righteous, nobody could ever inherit eternal life by their works. So now we have a dilemma. All who do not keep the law of God are under a curse. God requires us to be perfectly righteous and keep the whole law, but we are incapable of doing so. It would seem that there is no way for us to be freed from the curse of the law and get into heaven. God resolved the dilemma by coming to earth and living a perfect life and then he, being innocent of any sin, allowed himself to be punished in our place for our sins. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 AV) If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, his perfect life will be imputed to you, and in the eyes of God you are sinless and righteous. Galatians 3:6-9. You are justified not because you are good, but because Christ is good and paid the price for your sins. If you believe in Jesus, his righteousness will be imputed to you. He took the total punishment for your sin, which was required by God’s perfect justice, so that he could forgive you completely, according to his perfect mercy. The key is that it is through faith in the work of Jesus Christ and not by one’s own works that one is saved.
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Romans 3:21-28 AV)
What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. (Romans 4:1-8 AV)
Jesus has redeemed us from the curse of the law by being cursed in our stead. He, who knew no sin was punished for our sins.
But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3:11-14 AV)
Why didn’t God just forgive all our sins without coming to earth and sacrificing himself for our sins? Because God’s character is that he is both perfectly just and perfectly merciful.
And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. (Exodus 34:5-7 AV)
God’s perfect justice requires complete punishment for sin. God’s perfect mercy requires that he forgive our sins. God must punish our sin perfectly and at the same time forgive our sin totally. A seemingly impossible task. Nothing, however, is impossible for God. God punished himself in our place for our sins on the cross, according to his perfect justice. Those that believe in Jesus Christ are then forgiven of all their sins and are cloaked with the perfect righteousness of Christ.
If God planned all along to come to earth and sacrifice himself for us and knew we could not keep the law, what then is the purpose of the law? It is a schoolmaster that was instituted in order to teach us that we are sinners in need of a savior. Jesus fulfilled the requirements of the law for us, so that through faith in him we can be justified. “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Romans 3:20. Jesus did not do away with the law, he fulfilled the requirements of the law for us. Matthew 5:17-18. Those who try to work there way into heaven, have not submitted to the righteousness of God, but have put themselves under the curse of God. True righteousness comes only through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 10:3-4; John 14:6.
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:16-26 AV)
It is not by one’s own efforts in keeping God’s law that one is saved. Rather, it is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ that we are born again. “Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3 AV) Being born a new spiritual creature, the old creature of the flesh was crucified with Christ on the cross. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.” (Romans 6:6 AV) We are now in Christ. “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17 AV)
We who believe in Jesus are adopted children of God. We were chosen by God for adoption before the world was created. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” (Ephesians 1:4-5 AV) “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30 AV)
Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:3-7 AV)
We have become a part of the body of Christ. “Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.” (1 Corinthians 12:27 AV) We, who believe in Jesus Christ, were predestined to be glorified with Christ. “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” (Romans 8:16-17 AV) “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Romans 8:29-30 AV)
For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. (Philippians 3:20-21 AV)
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (1 John 3:1-2 AV)
To be glorified with Christ as an adopted son of God is to wonderful a thought to even comprehend. “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9 AV)
If anyone saith that by faith alone the impious is justified; in such wise as to mean that nothing else is required to cooperate in order to the obtaining the grace of justification, and that is not in any way necessary that he be prepared and disposed by the movement of his own will; let him be anathema. COUNCIL OF TRENT, SESSION VI, DECREE ON JUSTIFICATION, Canon IX, January 13, 1547.
The Catholic Church has placed a hellish, but ineffectual, curse on anyone who believes the gospel: that we are saved by God’s grace, that Christ payed the whole penalty for sin, and that there is no need for any works to merit justification. The Catholic Church doesn’t just have different teachings from the Bible, it is the avowed enemy of the God’s word, God’s method of salvation, and Christ. It is truly antichrist.
If anyone saith that men are justified, either by the sole imputation of the justice of Christ or by the sole remission of sins, to the exclusion of the grace and charity which is poured forth in their hearts by the Holy Ghost and is inherent in them; or even that the grace, whereby we are justified, is only the favor of God ; let him be anathema. COUNCIL OF TRENT, SESSION VI, DECREE ON JUSTIFICATION, Canon XI, January 13, 1547.
The theme of the Bible is that God wants us to turn from sin in repentance, he does not want us to do penance to atone for our sins. Jesus has already atoned for our sins. To perform penance is the best evidence that one lacks faith in Jesus, his sacrifice, and his promise of eternal life. The Catholic church teaches that the temporal punishment for sin is God’s grace.
The forgiveness of sin and restoration of communion with God entail the remission of the eternal punishment of sin, but temporal punishment of sin remains. While patiently bearing sufferings and trials of all kinds and, when the day comes, serenely facing death, the Christian must strive to accept this temporal punishment of sin as a grace. He should strive by works of mercy and charity, as well as prayer in the various practices of penance, to put off completely the “old man” and to put on the “new man.” CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, § 1473 (1994) (emphasis added).
How could God’s grace be punishment when the whole purpose of God’s grace is to forgive our sins so that we will not have to suffer any punishment for those sins? If salvation is by God’s grace then it could not be through any punishment, atonement, or works that we perform. The grace of the Catholic church involves punishment and works, that Catholic grace is not God’s grace!
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (Romans 11:6 AV)
The official canons of the Catholic Church are contrary to the gospel of Christ. The Catholic Church teaches that good works are the means to merit salvation and an increase in grace. As Romans 11:6 makes clear, works and grace are mutually exclusive. One cannot increase grace through works, otherwise grace is not grace. The Catholic grace in fact is not the grace of God. It is salvation by works which is no salvation at all.
If anyone saith that the good works of one of that is justified are in such manner the gifts of God, as they are not also the good merits of him that is justified; or that the said justified, by the good works which he performs through the grace of God and the merit of Jesus Christ, whose living member he is, does not truly merit increase of grace, eternal life, and the attainment of that eternal life, – if so be, however, that he depart in grace, –and also an increase of glory; let him be anathema. COUNCIL OF TRENT, SESSION VI, DECREE ON JUSTIFICATION, Canon XXXII, January 13, 1547.
By turning toward Christ in faith, one turns away from sin in repentance. The Roman Catholic Church substitutes “penance” for the biblical doctrine of “repentance.” Salvation in the Catholic Church is a very tenuous salvation. Catholic doctrine is that there is no assurance of salvation, the Catholic form of salvation (which is really no salvation at all) is one that can be lost by the will of man. It is necessary that the Catholics constantly do penance in order to atone for their sins and maintain their salvation or in order to regain their salvation if it is lost. “As regards those who, by sin, have fallen from the received grace of justification, they may be again justified (can. xxix), when God exciting them, through the Sacrament of Penance, they shall have retained to the recovery.”
A Christian is assured of salvation, because the Bible states clearly that God does the choosing and once one is chosen by God, he is chosen for eternity and cannot lose his salvation. Those who do not believe in Jesus, do not believe in Jesus because, very simply, they have not been chosen by God. “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.” (John 10:26-30 AV) Once one is chosen for salvation, one cannot “unchoose” oneself. That would mean God made a mistake, and it would also mean that man can overrule God’s choice, which would make God a liar and man more powerful than God. Read in Matthew 7:23 what Jesus will say to the unsaved at the final judgement. He will say he never knew them. It is not that they once were known by God and then they fell from grace. The unsaved were never chosen by God in the first place. God does the choosing, not man. Notice in Matthew 7:22 how ineffectual good works are to obtaining salvation, the unsaved protest before Jesus: “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” Notice also in Matthew 7:18-27 that it is not possible for the unsaved to do truly good works. The purported good works of the unsaved in the Catholic Church are not the works of God, they are the “evil fruit” of disobedience. They are works that are contrary to the will of God; they are faithless works done in order be justified according to pagan rules like those of the Catholic Church. In contrast, the good works of the saved are not the means of obtaining justification; they are the fruit of the Holy Spirit, done in loving obedience to Christ. The good works of the chosen put the words of Jesus into practice. In contrast, the works of the unsaved are exposed as evil fruits when they are illuminated by the light of the gospel.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it. (Matthew 7:18-27 AV)
The Catholic Eucharist is a sacrament that is taught to be necessary to satisfy God. God, on the other hand, has made it clear that salvation is not by works but by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. The Romish church has a gospel that is different from the gospel of Christ. The Romish church is doing the same thing that the Jews did, they have ignored the commandments and the grace of God and have set up their own religion purporting it to be the only way to heaven. In reality, Catholic doctrine is a highway to hell. If you add poison to water it is no longer water, and if you add works to faith it is no longer faith.
But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. (Matthew 9:13 AV)
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. (Romans 3:20-28 AV)
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:4 AV)
But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (Romans 9:31-33 AV)
For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (Romans 10:2-4 AV)
No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an old garment, for that which is put in to fill it up taketh from the garment, and the rent is made worse. Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved. (Matthew 9:16-17 AV)
People asked Jesus how they could work their way to eternal life and Jesus answered that they must simply believe on him.
Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (John 6:27-29 AV)
Good works flow from salvation, good works do not earn salvation. Good works are the fruit of spiritual rebirth. Salvation is by God’s grace through faith in Jesus Christ. If one believes that good works must be added to faith in order to be saved, then that person does not truly believe in Jesus and the sufficiency of his finished work on the cross.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 AV)
The Catholic Church is not Christianity, it would be more appropriate to call it Churchianity. Catholic doctrine is that everything flows from the church, including faith. The Catholic Catechism states: “It is through the church that we receive faith and new life in Christ by Baptism.”
The Holy Bible, on the other hand, states that faith is a gift from God. We, who are saved, were at one time dead in sin, but God, through his Holy Spirit, made us alive by his glorious grace. “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.” Ephesians 2:1. It is not possible for a dead man to do anything, a dead man cannot even have faith, he must be made alive again. Man does not have it in him to come to Jesus; God must draw him. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:44 AV) In order to get into the kingdom of God a man must be born again. John 3:3. It is not possible to born oneself, God must do it. “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.” (James 1:18 AV) Those who are born again, have been chosen by God before the world was even created. “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” Ephesians 1:4-5. Those chosen by God for salvation have done nothing to merit that salvation. We were not good, we were simply chosen, because God decided according to his own purpose to choose us. “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began.” 2 Timothy 1:9. “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” (Ephesians 1:11 AV) Jesus made clear to his disciples that they did not choose him, he chose them. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” John 15:16.
Consider the example of Paul. How did God choose him and save him? Did he use gentle persuasion? No, he knocked him to the ground changed his heart and then commenced giving Paul commands as to what he must do. Notice what Paul said immediately after being knocked to the ground. “Lord what wilt thou have me do.” In a split second, Paul went from a persecutor of the church to a member of the church, all according to the will of God, who chose him and changed his heart.
And as he journeyed, he came near Damascus: and suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven: And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard fricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. (Acts 9:3-6 AV)
How did he select his apostles? He commanded them to follow him, and they dropped what they were doing and followed him. Keep in mind that at that time Jesus was a total stranger to these men, yet they immediately obeyed his command to follow him without hesitation or question. That is the supernatural power of God at work.
And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him. (Matthew 4:18-22 AV)
Some may ask: “doesn’t man have a free will to choose to believe or not believe in Jesus?” The answer is that man has a will, but it is not free. Man is enslaved by sin and death. Sinful man wishes to rule in his own life, his every impulse is in rebellion against God. Indeed, man cannot freely believe in God. God must transform man by the rebirth wrought by the Holy Spirit. The worldly Roman Catholic Church curses anyone who says that man’s will is not free: “If anyone saith that, since Adam’s sin, the free will of man is lost and extinguished; or that it is a thing with only a name, yea, a name without reality, a figment, in fine, introduced into the Church by Satan; let him be anathema.” The Catholic church doctrine is that man’s will cooperates with God in bringing about his own justification. The Catholic Church rains curses down on anyone who disagrees with it. “If anyone saith that man’s free will, moved and excited by God, by assenting to God exciting and calling, no wise cooperates towards disposing and preparing itself for obtaining the grace of justification; that it cannot refuse its consent, if it would, but that, as something inanimate, it does nothing whatever and is merely passive; let him be anathema.”
The reality is that man’s will is enslaved to sin. Man will not serve God nor seek God, because man is spiritually dead. It is God’s will that is free, and by his grace we are born again. God does the choosing, not man. James 1:18. “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.” (Romans 3:10-11 AV) Jesus came to set us free. He gives his chosen a new spiritual birth and they are set free from sin and death to serve the Lord. “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. For he that is dead is freed from sin. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:6-11 AV) “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.” (Romans 6:22 AV) See also, Romans 5:16-19; 7:1-8:17. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:23-24 AV)
Chapter 6 of John makes clear that salvation is all of God. God “giveth” eternal life to his chosen through faith in his son, Jesus.
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (John 6:32-35 AV)
Salvation is not taken from God; it is given by God to those whom he has chosen for salvation. To make that point even clearer Jesus states in verses 36-40 that God the Father has given Jesus those chosen for salvation and that “all” those that are chosen by God the Father “shall” come to Jesus. Furthermore, Jesus assures that he will lose none of those whom God the Father has given him; he will in no wise cast them out, they shall “all” be saved.
But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:36-40 AV)
“All” “shall”come to Jesus that are chosen by God. Once they are chosen they will not ever lose their salvation. In addition, the only way that one can come to believe in Jesus is if he is drawn to Jesus by God the Father.
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. (John 6:44-47 AV)
Some, such as David Cloud, who labels himself as a “fundamental Baptist,” believe that everyone is drawn to Jesus by the Father, but not everyone who is drawn believes in Jesus. Cloud states on his Way of Life website: “while it is true that no man can come to Christ except that he be drawn by God, it is equally true that all men are being drawn and that those who are rejected are those who reject the truth and do not believe.” Cloud believes that, of those who are drawn, the only ones who are saved are those who, of their own free will, believe in Jesus. The problem with Cloud’s argument is that it contradicts the express words of Jesus. In John 6:44, Jesus states clearly that no man can come to him unless the Father draws him and Jesus will raise up those who are drawn to him on the last day. All who are drawn by the Father to Jesus will believe in him and be saved. The drawing by God is effectual. Once one is drawn to Jesus, he will believe in Jesus and be raised by Jesus on the last day.
What does it mean to be drawn to Jesus? Jesus explains what it means in John 6:45. To be drawn to Jesus by the Father means that God opens one’s ears to hear and learn from the Father and believe in Jesus. “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” Notice that it is not just some, but “every” man who hears and learns from the Father comes to Jesus. The faith to believe in Jesus comes from God. Faith in Jesus is a gift from God; it is not the exercise of the free will of man. They who come to Jesus do so in faith, and Jesus states that “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” John 6:47. It is clear, “no man” can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him, and “every man” that is drawn to Jesus will come to him and believe in him.
Those who do not believe in Jesus and are not saved do not believe because the Father has not drawn them to Jesus. “No man” can come to Jesus unless the Father gives him the faith to come to Jesus. In John 6:63-66, Jesus stated to those who “believed not” in him that they did not believe in him because the Father had not given them the faith to believe in him. The message of John 6 and the entire gospel is clear. Salvation is by the will of God not the will of man. See John 1:12-13. In John 6 many of the supposed disciples went back and walked no more with Jesus. They walked away from Jesus not because they were saved and lost their salvation, but as Jesus explained, because the faith to believe in him was not given to them by his Father.
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father. From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. (John 6:63-66 AV)
The point is driven home in John 6 that salvation is by God’s sovereign grace and that faith, which is the means of salvation, is a gift of God. In John 6:70-71, Jesus stated that one of the twelve he had “chosen” was a devil, referring to Judas. Judas did not lose his salvation; he was never saved to begin with, because he was not chosen for salvation. Jesus chose him for the purpose that Judas would betray him. Eleven were chosen for salvation and one (Judas) was chosen for damnation.
Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve. (John 6:70-71 AV)
Jesus lost none of those whom he had chosen for salvation. God preserves all who are chosen for salvation. Judas was preordained to be lost in order to fulfill the prophecy in scripture.
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. (John 17:12 AV)
Judas was chosen for damnation before the foundation of the world according to the will of God, just as the other apostles were chosen for salvation before the foundation of the world according to the will of God. See Ephesians 1:4-5.
The unbiblical doctrine that God is willing that all should be saved, and that it is only man’s free will that thwarts God’s desires has crept into many ostensibly Protestant churches. These corrupted churches point to 2 Peter 3:9 as authority for their doctrine. “The Lord is . . . not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9. At first glance it would appear that 2 Peter 3:9 supports their position. Closer examination of that passage reveals that the passage does not in fact support that false doctrine.
Those who try to force the square peg of scripture into the round hole of their false doctrine must shave off parts of the bible in order to get it to fit. In this case, they delete that portion of the passage which limits its application to those who are already chosen for salvation. What God means in that passage is that God is not willing that any who have been chosen for salvation should perish, but that all those who are saved should come to repentance. Read the entire passage in context and you will see that God is “longsuffering to us-ward.” God is not willing that “us” should perish and that “us” should come to repentance. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9.
Who are the “us” in 2 Peter 3:9? Simply read the first paragraph of the letter and we see that Peter is writing to “them that have obtained like precious faith with us.” “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:” (2 Peter 1:1 AV) You see, in 2 Peter 3:9, Peter was stating that God was not willing that any who believe in Jesus should perish. God’s will is always done, and his will cannot be thwarted by man’s will. If God has foreordained one to salvation, noone can stay his hand. “And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” (Daniel 4:35 AV)
Many who advocate for the free will of a person to believe in Jesus often cite Titus 2:11. “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men.” They argue that Titus 2:11 indicates that God has bestowed his grace on all men, it is up to them to accept the free gift of salvation. That is, all men are given the grace for potential salvation, and they of their own free will must choose to accept that free gift of salvation.
Titus, however, says no such thing. Verse 11 is not referring to every man in the world. If one reads all of chapter 2, up to verse 11, one will see that it discusses “aged men,” “aged women,” “young women,” “young men,” “servants,” and “masters.” If one puts them all together, one sees that the “all men” referred to in verse 11 are the “all men” discussed in the previous verses; that is, all kinds of men in the world: aged, young, servants, and masters. “All men” does not mean every single man in the world; rather it means every type of man in the world. God is no respecter of persons. God bestows his grace on men according to his will, not according to whether they are men, women, young, old, servants, or masters, and certainly not according to their will!
Another passage taken out of context by those who would like to reduce God to a passive participant in the salvation of men is John 1:12. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” Those who would elevate the will of man over the will of God argue that passage means that a person must be willing to receive that free gift of God by believing in Jesus. According to this false doctrine, God is passively offering salvation as a gift, but man must receive that gift of his own free will in order to be saved. That passage, however, does not say any such thing. John 1:12 simply explains that those who receive Jesus, meaning those who believe in Jesus, will be saved and become adopted sons of God. When the passage is read in context we see that the very next passage explains the source of that saving faith through which one is born again. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13 AV) John 1:13 makes it crystal clear that we are saved by the will of God alone, and not by our own will.
We are dead in trespasses and sin such that Jesus must supply the faith for our salvation. That’s right, he is not only the object of our faith, but he is also the source of our faith. Everything for our salvation is supplied by and through Christ. Our faith in Christ is the faith of Christ. See e.g., Romans 3:22; Galatians 3:22; Revelation 14:12.
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Galatians 2:16 AV)
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 AV)
Another Catholic curse is: “If anyone saith that the grace of justification is only attained to by those who are predestined unto life; but that all others who are called are called indeed, but bought receive not grace, as being, by the divine power, predestined unto evil; let him be anathema.”
The Bible is in direct contradiction to the doctrines of the Catholic Church. If God chooses some for salvation, that means that those not chosen for salvation are in turn chosen for damnation. “Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?” John 6:70.
Many use Revelation 3:20 as a proof text that it is up to the sinner to make the choice and decide to follow Christ. “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:20. They claim that God is helplessly knocking at the door of the believer’s heart in the hope that he will open the door and believe in him. That is not at all what that passage means. The passage states that “if any man hear my voice, and open the door.” It does not say, as some would suppose: “if any man decides to hear my voice and chooses of his own free will to open the door.” It is clear that any man who hears Christ’s calling and responds to it Christ will come to him. It does not say that it is the decision of the person to hear. It is a statement of fact that those who are chosen by God will hear. It is not a statement of condition that the hearer of God’s voice must now decide on his own whether to allow Jesus in. Jesus made this point to Pilate when he said: “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.” John 18:37. Those who hear God’s calling will respond, because they were chosen by God to respond. The calling of Christ is effectual. God is not a helpless and impotent being, who must rely on the “decisions” of men.
Jesus states time and again throughout the Bible: “If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.” Mark 4:23. What does he mean by that? In Matthew 13:9-17 Jesus explains that he speaks in parables because not all who hear his words will understand. Those who are chosen by him will hear his voice and understand with their hearts and are converted. The parables are spiritual and can only be understood by those whom God has chosen for salvation. Revelation 3:20 is completely explained in Matthew 13:9-17. Those who are chosen by God will hear his voice and open the door, those that are not chosen will not hear his voice, because they cannot hear his voice. In fact Jesus explained that he used parables not only to reveal the gospel to those chosen for salvation, but also to hide the gospel from those chosen for destruction.
Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. (Matthew 13:9-17 AV)
And when he was alone, they that were about him with the twelve asked of him the parable. And he said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables: That seeing they may see, and not perceive; and hearing they may hear, and not understand; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should be forgiven them. (Mark 4:10-12 AV)
The unsaved will not believe in Christ because they cannot believe in him. Only the chosen sheep, who have been born again from heaven, can believe in the good shepherd. “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep.”(John 10:26 AV)
The Old Testament is an example, it is an allegorical pattern of the spiritual reality that is God’s kingdom. See Galatians 4:22-26; Hebrews 8:5. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart which is an example of how he hardens the hearts of unbelievers. “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” Romans 9:17-18. “(According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.” (Romans 11:8 AV)
And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses. And the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh: for I have hardened his heart, and the heart of his servants, that I might shew these my signs before him: (Exodus 9:34-10:1 AV)
The unsaved cannot believe in Jesus because God has hardened their hearts and blinded their eyes.
Therefore they could not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. (John 12:39-40 AV)
Jesus rejoiced that the truth of the gospel was revealed to the saved and hidden from the unsaved, according to God’s will.
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. (Luke 10:21 AV)
It is a lie that God loves everybody. If God loves everybody, then casting some into hell is an odd way of showing his love. The Bible makes clear that, in fact, most will be cast into an eternal lake of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 22:13 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 AV) “For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Matthew 22:14 AV)
God has made all things for a purpose, and one of his purposes in creating some is to reserve them for eternal punishment.
The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. (Proverbs 16:4 AV)
The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished: (2 Peter 2:9 AV)
That the wicked is reserved to the day of destruction? they shall be brought forth to the day of wrath. (Job 21:30 AV)
God does the choosing, he has already chosen who will be saved and who will be cast into the eternal lake of fire. He made his selection before the world was created. God will have mercy on whom he will have mercy, and he will have compassion on whom he will have compassion. “It is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” Romans 9:16. Those who are chosen for eternal destruction are not loved by God; God hates them. “Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.” Romans 9:13.
Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory. (Romans 9:7-23 AV)
You won’t hear that preached in the Catholic Church. Why? Because there is no profit in it. If God does it all, then who needs the sacraments, and why give money to the church for masses, etc. The fraud of the Catholic doctrines becomes apparent when they are held up to the light of the gospel. It is only those who have been chosen by God that can believe in Jesus. Notice what happened in Acts when the gospel was preached to the Gentiles, only those who were preordained by God for eternal life believed. “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” (Acts 13:48 AV)
Those who do not believe in Jesus, do not believe because they cannot believe. “[T]he natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:14 AV) It is Christ who dwells in the believer that quickens him from death to life eternal. Without that Holy Spirit it is impossible to believe in Jesus. Those chosen by God for salvation cannot lose their salvation. See John 10:26-30.
For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. (Romans 8:5-11 AV)
Good works are the evidence of faith. Hebrews 11:1-40. Faith without works is dead. James 2:14-20. Good works are done as a consequence of salvation, they do not earn salvation. God has done all the work for you. If you believe in Jesus, then you can please God with your good works, which he has foreordained for you to do. “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10 AV) If Jesus is your Lord, then you will desire to obey his commandments, and he has a new commandment for his chosen. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” (John 13:34 AV)