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“Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:12-17 ESV)

When we believe in Jesus Christ with God-given faith in him, it is not just so that we can have our sins forgiven and so that we can go to heaven when we die. The reason that Jesus died on that cross was so that we could die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. It was so that, by God-persuaded faith in him, we would be crucified with Christ in death to sin and raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, no longer as slaves to sin but now as slaves to God and to his righteousness.

[1 Peter 2:24; Romans 6:1-23; Romans 8:1-14; Ephesians 4:17-24].

So, all these people who are telling you that no works are required of you at all, and that God does everything, and that you do nothing other than to “believe,” which is rarely biblically define, they are lying to you. Yes, we are not saved through human effort. I agree! Yes, our faith, the grace of God, and our salvation are all gifted to us by God and they are not of our own doing – not of the will nor of the flesh of man. But that also means that we do not get to define what that faith looks like. God does. His word does!

[Hebrews 12:1-2; Ephesians 2:8-10; John 1:12-13; John 6:44]

So we need to know that Ephesians 2:8-9 is followed by Ephesians 2:10 which says, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” And Titus 2:11-14 lets us know that the grace of God, which is bringing us salvation, trains us to renounce (say “No!” to) ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives. For Jesus Christ “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.”

And we also need to know that Jesus Christ said that if anyone would come after him that he must deny self, take up his cross daily (die daily to sin and to self) and follow (obey) him. For if we hold on to our old lives of living in sin and for self, we will lose them for eternity. But if for the sake of Jesus we deny self, die daily to sin, and follow him in obedience, then we have eternal life in him. For he also said that not everyone who calls him “Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one DOING the will of God the Father.

[Luke 9:23-26; Matthew 7:21-23; Galatians 5:16-21; 1 John 3:4-10]

So, when we read instructions in the Scriptures written to the body of Christ, the church, which are intended for the church of all generations, we are not to dismiss them just because they don’t fit with a particular theology which is telling you that God requires nothing of you other than some innocuous “faith” in him, which is of yourself because it is not according to the Scriptures. All throughout the New Testament we who believe in Jesus are being instructed in what we are to stop doing and what we are to be doing.

And these instructions are not optional. They are to be taught as required of God, not as mere suggestions or recommendations (see Colossians 3:5-11). So, when we are instructed here to put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, etc., this is what we are to do, not in our own strength, and not of the flesh, but in the power of God as being led by the Spirit of God. But we are first of all to put off all that is earthly in us – sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, evil desire, idolatry, and the like.

But so many people are following a false gospel message which is an adulterated version of the true gospel which is giving them the impression that how they live will not alter their relationship with the Lord and that it will not impact their salvation and eternal life. Just not biblical! And so we have a massive amount of people here in America professing faith in Jesus Christ and heaven as their eternal destiny who are still living for self and for the flesh and who are still walking in sin and not in obedience to the Lord.

But we are to be people of God who are putting off the flesh, who are dying daily to sin and to self, and who are putting on love and compassionate hearts and kindness and humility, and who are forgiving one another, and who are loving one another with agape love which prefers what God prefers. And what God prefers is all that is holy, righteous, morally pure, upright, honest, faithful, and obedient to God and to his commands. So we will do for others what is for their spiritual good and not just to please them.

So, yes, the word of God is to be dwelling within us, not just in our intellect, but as part of who we are and of what we do. We are to be daily putting that word into practice, which is for us who are followers of Christ. And then we are to be teaching the word of God to one another, and we are to be admonishing one another in accord with that word. And we are to be spreading the truth of the gospel to the world around us. We are not to be living for ourselves doing whatever pleases us, but what pleases God.

[Matt 5:13-16; Matt 28:18-20; Jn 4:31-38; Jn 13:13-17; Jn 14:12; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:14-18; Acts 26:18; Rom 10:14-15; Rom 12:1-8; Rom 15:14; 1 Co 12:1-31; 1 Co 14:1-5; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Php 2:1-8; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13; Heb 10:23-25; 1 Pet 2:9,21; 1 Jn 2:6]

Broken and Contrite

An Original Work / May 13, 2012

I come before You, Lord, my Savior,
With humble heart and crushed in spirit.
I bow before You, I implore You,
Heal my broken heart, I pray.
Love You, Jesus, Lord, my master,
You are the King of my heart.
Lord, purify my heart within me;
Sanctify me, whole within.

Oh, Lord, I long to obey fully
The words You’ve spoken through Your Spirit.
I pray You give me grace and mercy,
Strength and wisdom to obey.
Father God, my heart’s desire,
Won’t You set my heart on fire?
Lord, cleanse my heart of all that hinders
My walk with You, now I pray.

Oh, Jesus, Savior, full of mercy,
My heart cries out for understanding.
I want to follow You in all ways,
Never straying from Your truth.
Holy Spirit, come in power,
Fill me with Your love today.
Lord, mold and make me;
Your hands formed me;
Live Your life through me, I pray.