Rom 12:1-2 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We are given the divine call to live lives of holiness. That is, to live lives that are “not conformed to this world but transformed” into lives that are a “living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God”. This is the divine call to separation that He has given to each of His saints.
To come to a proper understanding of this call we need to understand what this separation entails. What are some of the specifics that we need to understand if we are to live separated lives for Him?...
In 2 Pet 1:3-4, we are told that “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
We can know all things that apply to living Godly lives through “knowledge of God” and His “exceeding great and precious promises”. Where can we find the “the knowledge of God” and “His exceeding great and precious promises” revealed to us? We can find them exclusively within the pages of His Word. It is within the pages of His Word that we can learn all the specifics concerning our call to separation….
2Tim 3:16-17 - All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Here, we find a clear declaration of the purposes of the Word of God. These purposes are described as:
1. doctrine - teachings
2. reproof – to show error
3. correction – to show how to remedy the error
4. instruction in righteousness – to show how to live Godly lives
When the Word is applied to our lives the following two results are exhibited in our lives:
1. perfect – spiritually mature, spiritually complete, whole
2. throughly furnished unto all good works– completely furnished to perform works that are pleasing to God
The God-breathed Word is the basis for all instructions pertaining to living our lives and godliness. If we simply look to His Word and follow its divine dictates we will find ourselves living lives of separation from sin to His service.
This is why the Lord Himself said in Matt 4:4, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Not only is it through His Word that we find the gospel message that shows us the way to eternal life, but also, everything that we need to know to live a life that is well pleasing to God.
Let’s take a moment and look at the standard for holy living that He has given to us in His Word.
Psalms 119:1-150 Matt 4:4 Matt 5:17-20 Matt 7:21-27
John 1:45 John 5:39 John 12:48-49 John 17:17-19
Romans 3:19-20 Romans 3:28-31 Romans 7:12 Romans 12:1-2
2 Tim 2:14-16 2 Tim 3:16-17 James 1:22-25 2 Peter 1:3-4
1 John 3:1-4 Revelation 20:12
The Word of God, the container of His divine standard for holy living, is multi-faceted and all encompassing. To illustrate the many aspects of God’s Word, notice the variety of descriptions that His Word is given in Psalm 119:…
- Law – emphasizes the unity and completeness of His Word
- Word – emphasizes the fact that His Word is spoken by God to man.
- Judgments – emphasizes His Word is based upon His decision making. Also emphasizes the finality of His Word
- Testimonies – His Word is His witness to man. He is revealing to us what He has personally seen and experienced as the Eternal God.
- Commandments – The Word is not a series of “suggestions”, it is our individual responsibility to keep His Word
- Statutes - His Word is appointed to us. It is personally, specifically handed to each of us.
- Precepts – His Word is given by God as an act of His oversight and care for us.
Based on the above we can begin to get a glimpse of the complexity and completeness of God’s Word.
The importance of God’s Word for the Christian is taught by Christ Himself….
Matt 5:17-20 - Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach [them], the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed [the righteousness] of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Here, we find that the entire Word of God, both Old and New Testaments is applicable to His people as they seek to live lives that are honoring and pleasing to Him. Notice what is said… the law and prophets were fulfilled by Christ, but not done away at His first coming. Through His life, He established their truthfulness and validity, but did not bring their relevance to an end. Even the ceremonial laws of God, which are no longer to be practiced, are still valuable in our understanding of the person, nature, attributes and work of the Messiah. Every part of the Word is still of value for Christians in today’s time. Likewise, the civil commands that only pertain to the physical nation of Israel, can be used by others as a source of instruction concerning the justice and Kingship of the Messiah.
Those who break the least of the moral commandments found in His Word and teach others to do the same will hold a low position in His eternal kingdom that will arrive at His second coming. But those who uphold His Word through obedience, and then teach others to do the same, will hold a high position in His coming kingdom. Why is this? It is because by keeping the dictates of His Word we will find ourselves living lives of separation from sin and to His service.
In the above verses Christ also reminds us that these commands were not given to save anyone. Why then were they given?
1. They were given to define and reveal sin - Rom 3:19-20…
“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. 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.”
2. They were given to reveal Jesus – John 1:45 & John 5:39…
“Philip findeth Nathanael, and saith unto him, We have found him, of whom Moses in the law, and the prophets, did write, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.”
3. They were given to equip us for separation and service to God – Psa 119:1-11 & 1 John 3:1-4….
“ALEPH. Blessed [are] the undefiled in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed [are] they that keep his testimonies, [and that] seek him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in his ways. Thou hast commanded [us] to keep thy precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep thy statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. I will praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned thy righteous judgments. I will keep thy statutes: O forsake me not utterly. BETH. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed [thereto] according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.”
“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. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.”
When we see all the wonderful benefits of the law of God it is no wonder that Paul describes the entirety of God’s Word as Rom 7:12….
“Wherefore the law [is] holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.”
You see, although men are not saved through the keeping of the law that does not mean that the law has no value in the life of a Christian… as a matter of fact, the opposite is true. Roms 3:28-31…
“Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. [Is he] the God of the Jews only? [is he] not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also: Seeing [it is] one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.”
Here we are told that although the Christian had been saved by grace through faith without the deeds of the law, the law is still applicable to his life. As a matter of fact, we are to “establish” the law. The idea of “establish” carries with it the idea of “to cause to stand”, “to plant firmly”, “to support”, “to hold up”. How does the Christian establish the law of God? We “support” His law by living our lives in accordance to it. In other words, when we choose to abstain from lying we are “holding up” God’s command that says “thou shalt not bear false witness”. When we live our day in a prayerful, submissive attitude to God, wanting to be shown His will, we are “planting firmly” God’s command to “pray without ceasing”. The list can go on and on.
We can easily see that the Word is our instructions for living that He has given to us. Because of this, it will also be the ultimate standard to which we are held accountable and by which we will be judged in the last days (John 12:48-49, Rev 20:12)….
“He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.”
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is [the book] of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” Here we read about the final judgment based upon two criteria “the book of life” (a listing of all of those God has chosen to salvation) and “the books” (the 66 books of the Bible whereby our works will be judged) (see also Dan 7:9-10)
For those who have been made separate to His service by His wondrous grace….
We have seen “the Word of Truth”, God’s Word is the life standard we are to use as we seek to fulfill our call to separation in John 17:17-19...
“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.”
Based upon this standard we have a two-fold responsibility…
1. We are to be faithful in our study of God’s Word. By this we can be knowledgeable of our divine standard.We can see this principle in 2 Tim 2:14-16….
Of these things put [them] in remembrance, charging [them] before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, [but] to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane [and] vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
2. We are to honestly compare our life with the Word, using it as a mirror to reflect our shortcomings and areas needing change we can see that in James 1:22-25….
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth [therein], he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
For those who have yet to be separated from the bondage of sin ….
When a person desires to live their life as they please with no respect for God’s desires, this indicates that the individual in question has never received forgiveness of their sins, nor have they ever become a new creature in Christ. In this condition, they are destined for a great fall. A fall that will result in entering an eternity separated from God and receiving eternal punishment for their sins. We can see this principle clearly illustrated in Matt 7:21-27…
“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.”
If you have any questions about salvation, I have a tab available on my blog that gives in depth information on what salvation is and what you must do to be saved. Please click on this link for more information about salvation.
If you continue to have questions or concerns about your salvation, find a Bible-believing church in your area. The Pastor would be glad to share Christ and the way of salvation with you. If you feel more comfortable communicating through email, you are always welcome to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
May the Lord bless you as you seek His truth.