- Religion and Philosophy
The Mere Professing Faith of a Christian and Romans 7:15-25
The methods of modern church system equate salvation with a profession of faith in Christ. Usually, all someone has to do is follow the steps written in some gospel tract, or accept an invitation to say some canned prayer at altar call and that equates to the sum of salvation and eternal life.
Is this really the foundation of our eternal destiny?
Church buildings are filled with people who outwardly declare their beliefs, but do not adhere and practice the standards of Scripture. These are people who profess they are Christian.
Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you PRACTICE THESE QUALITIES you will never fall. – 2 Peter 1:10
Scripture supports evidence that there will be many who will be separated from Christ on judgement day.
NOT EVERYONE WHO SAYS TO ME, ‘LORD, LORD,’ WILL ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, BUT THE ONE WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you WORKERS OF LAWLESSNESS.’ – Matthew 7:21-23
There are many who profess Christ and point to their achievements as a means of qualifying themselves for salvation, but their actions are in vain. The clear words of Christ have not been be evaluated thoroughly enough. Unfortunately, this will be the tragedy of many who profess Christ, but have been disobedient to God's ways. They have disregarded the standard of obedience and the pure doctrine of the Gospel.
It doesn't matter how bold, zealous and confident they are in their relationship with Christ, it still may lead to the wrath of God upon them. The justification and twisting of Scripture as a licence to sin is rebellion against God.
Unfortunately, many professing Christians have not received the grace that leads to salvation, but they have obtained a counterfeit grace from an antichrist. Many have not carefully self-examined themselves to see whether they are in the true faith because they have no studied the word of God with the help of the Holy Spirit for themselves, but have been spoon fed false doctrine from hirelings upon their pulpits. It seems the only Scripture verses they have memorized are the loophole verses they use to justify their lifestyle of sin, or to keep others from judging their poor choices and behaviours.
Everyone who makes A PRACTICE OF SINNING ALSO PRACTICES LAWLESSNESS; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. NO ONE WHO ABIDES IN HIM KEEPS ON SINNING; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. WHOEVER MAKES A PRACTICE OF SINNING IS OF THE DEVIL, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning....
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. NO ONE BORN OF GOD MAKES A PRACTICE OF SINNING, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: WHOEVER DOES NOT PRACTICE RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GOD, nor is the one who does not love his brother. – 1 John 3:4-10
There are No Assurances in Compromise
There is no room for compromise, or complacency in the body of Christ. We should all be striving to crucify our flesh daily and purify ourselves from the lusts of our carnal flesh. The work of Christ by what he did on the cross should manifest in the fruit of repentance and lead to a life of victory. Our old man has been crucified; therefore, we are no longer slaves to our sinful nature. We have a new Master, Christ who died and rose again to free us from the captivity of the fallen world we live in. We are sanctified in him through repentance.
Therefore, IF ANYONE IS IN CHRIST, HE IS A NEW CREATION. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
There is a confidence that comes from the man-driven church system, but this is a deception. It is not ecclesiastical church men that give assurance of salvation, but it is the Holy Spirit. The test of anyone who professes Christ must be living in an obedient lifestyle of righteousness and holiness towards God. Righteousness through the grace of God through Christ is justification that comes from being obedient to His word. Many have it backwards and believe that their self-righteous works will give them justification, but it is only justification through Christ that results in good works that are acceptable to God. Man’s self-righteous efforts mean nothing to God.
For we are his workmanship, CREATED IN CHRIST JESUS FOR GOOD WORKS, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. – Ephesians 2:10
There are many professing Christians who live in a sinful lifestyle. They are children of the devil. This means that the work of Christ has not destroyed the works of unrighteousness in them. They profess faith in Christ, but habitually sin and walk in an antichrist spirit. They denied true repentance and the work of the Holy Spirit. This is one of greatest deceptions in the modern church system today because many believe that their self-righteous canned religious activities gives them right standing with God.
So also faith by itself, IF IT DOES NOT HAVE WORKS, IS DEAD. – James 2:17
When we have the seed of Christ within us, pursuing sin is an undesirable endeavour because of our desire to pursue holiness.
Strive for peace with everyone, and FOR THE HOLINESS WITHOUT WHICH NO ONE WILL SEE THE LORD. – Hebrews 12:14
Don’t rely on the assurances of man, but let the Holy Spirit guide you to the truth and the assurance of the true faith.
Do you crave righteousness?
Do you know that you may be professing Christ, but walking in disobedience?
The witness of the Holy Spirit comes by reading the word of God for your self-examination of the state of your spirit.
In contrast, the professing Christian will not know the words of Christ and the apostles and simply accept the traditions of man. This does not lead to victory, but bondage where Satan has access to possessing their hearts and minds.
And with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because THEY REFUSED TO LOVE THE TRUTH AND SO BE SAVED. – 2 Thessalonians 2:10
When someone continually refuses truth, God will give them over to a reprobate mind as a result of their willful rebellion because of the choices they have made. They have taken pleasure in their sins and see things through the lens of double-mindedness. This is called compromise, or lukewarmness.
Now TO HIM WHO IS ABLE TO KEEP YOU FROM STUMBLING AND TO PRESENT YOU BLAMELESS before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. – Jude 1:24-25
These verses explain who the true believers are. A mere professor of Christ can accept the history, doctrine, facts of atonement and still be lost because they have failed to do God’s will. Their lifestyle choices defy God’s word because they have not genuinely repented and surrendered their life to Him.
Are you willing to confront someone you love on the account of God’s truth?
Are you willing to be persecuted by others for God’s truth?
Total surrender and commitment to Christ puts God at our side and enables us to do His will. God’s way is the doorway to the knowledge of His Kingdom. The Gospel of the Kingdom is the key to shutting the door on Satan resulting in true believers who walk in obedient faith.
Who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. – 1 Peter 1:5
Do not rely on the claims of people, but always weigh and test their words with the standard of God's word. Unfortunately, many professing Christians are in a dangerous situation in their lives because they are unrepentant. They profess Christ and give off a veneer of piety, but the doctrines they believe in are antichrist.
The Context of Romans 7:15-25
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.
For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. – Romans 7:15-20
These verses from Romans 7 may seem to many that Paul was continually overcome by sin, but he would then be a hypocrite by saying,
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. - 1 Corinthians 11:1
What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. - Philippians 4:9
Do you believe that God's word is telling us to follow after and imitate a struggling sinner?
I urge you, then, be imitators of me. – 1 Corinthians 4:16
In Romans 8, Paul says that by the Holy Spirit we are delivered and set free with a new mind of life and peace in Christ.
My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. - 1 John 2:1-2
The word ‘if’ in the verse and also the phrase, ‘and if anyone sins’ makes a contextual point. Many continue to live in a habitual lifestyle of sin try to find loopholes for the behaviours. In essense, they substitute "if" for “when” in 1 John 2:1 in what they think their interpretation of this verse means. They believe in a counterfeit ‘grace’ that gives them ‘assurance’ while remaining in bondage to their sin.
If you try substituting ‘if’ for ‘when’ in 1 John 2:1 the distinction becomes clear. By substituting in 'when,' the most important part of grace is missing, which is the power of Christ by the Holy Spirit to attain victory.
When Christ forgives us of our sins, he also enables us to be set free from the enslaving power and bondage of sin that is over our lives. Those who just profess Christ without the fruit of repentance will continue struggling in their habitual sin lifestyle because they believe that God’s grace is a ‘get out of jail free card.’ You see, the word ‘if’ means that something might possibly happen, but most likely won’t, but 'when' assumes that it is going to happen.
The excuses that we are only human, born this way and can't help sinning negates the power of the Son and what he did on the cross.
A true follower of Christ will become slave to righteousness and walk in obedience. Reading Romans 6 and 8 dispels the notion that a true believer will continue to live a life struggling in a lukewarmness.
You have to wonder why most seem to gravitate to and isolate Romans 7 on its own.
Romans 7 does not describe a believer who is to remain in this state. A genuine follower of Christ does not live a life in guilt, religious bondage, condemnation and despair.
1 John 3:5-9 says that a true believer does not make a practice of sinning. Those who merely profess, but continually sin without any fruit of repentance are counterfeits.
In Romans 7:19, Paul anguishes about not being able to control his behaviour,
“For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”
Paul was going through the process of coming out of bondage into freedom in Christ. He realized he was still sinning without having any control over his behaviours. Paul was not yet in the fullness of God.
And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. - Ephesians 3:19
The true spirit of being in the fullness of God is everywhere else in the epistles except in Romans 7. Paul was still in process of regeneration where he would eventually come under the full control of the Holy Spirit before he started the ministry that he was called to.
Many misuse Romans 7 and use it a doctrine. This dilutes the true Gospel and the nature of a true believer. Paul said in Romans 6 that we are dead to sin and in Romans 8 he speaks of fullness in life.
So, why does Romans 7 paint a picture of someone who is struggling with sin?
It gives a clear picture of what happens when we turn our lives over to Christ where we allow him to change us from being a sons and daughters of disobedience to obedient faith. Paul was conveying that by trying to do good on his own strength put him into a dichotomy of being pulled two opposing forces. Paul was not yet under the full control of the Holy Spirit because he was focusing on himself and striving against the Law to be righteous.
Galatians speaks of a time period after Paul’s conversion where he was taught the mystery of the fullness of God’s grace. His experience was expressed in Romans before his ministry started.
For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” – Romans 7:7
In the same manner, we all make mistakes as a new believers until the Holy Spirit brings us into the truth and into the fullness of Christ.
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. – Colossians 1:27
When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. – Colossians 3:4
When we strive with in our human strength through our own self-righteous efforts without Christ, it is all in vain. Paul realized that he was wretched by asking who will set him free.
Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? - Romans 7:24
When we take our focus off ourselves and onto Christ, the question is answered. Paul went from unregenerate to regenerate by the process of coming to the understanding and obtaining the fullness of Christ. It was not through mere human effort, but through the divine power of the Holy Spirit.
It is not okay to remain in partiality, or neutrality lacking maturity in the knowledge of truth. We are to continue to grow in our maturity in Christ.
The modern church is full of programs showing people how to strive to beat the sin out of their lives, but they do not teach why they should be dead to sin. They focus too much on their inability to overcome sin and that their 'righteousness is filthy rags' in their double-minded state of confusion.
The fullness in Christ was not attained by Paul in Romans 7 because as he stated his old self was still getting in the way.
Many people are stuck here and cannot move forward because they are still unregenerate in their sinful behaviours. They too have not attained fullness in Christ because their desires operate in the flesh.
If Paul was ministering in this state, he would have disqualified himself.
Romans 7 is expressing a transitional phase. To remain in this dichotomy is not victory because there is no movement on from the older self into the working knowledge and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit into a new person in Christ.
‘Regeneration’ is the process of coming out of the darkness and into the light. It is being called out of the world into the Kingdom of God that brings growth and maturity. Paul was learning and understanding the mystery of grace as the Holy Spirit led him into that knowledge and then on into the ministry of the Gospel.
‘Regeneration’ can also mean restoration, renewal and growth. Going through the process is paramount in understanding the fullness of who we are in God because through His Son we are made complete.
Someone who is unregenerate will profess Christ, but will not be growing because they have not been spiritually renewed. They will remain in a lukewarm faith that nullifies the power of the Holy Spirit.
When one is born again, the old man is dies. Satan wants to deceive those to believe that something that is dead can still give you trouble, but those who are in Christ need to understand that we need to treat the old man for what it is, dead.
Believers at all levels of maturity can find comfort and help from Paul's words; however, the way Roman 7 is used in the modern church system creates lukewarm believers who merely profess Christ. They find comfort in Paul’s words in this static state and find justification for their sins in them. That is not the standard for victory.
So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. – Revelation 3:16
Let us live a life of victory, not of compromise. This means discarding the many false antichrist doctrines that are taught in the man-driven church system.
Do you believe that there are more people who just merely profess Christ than those who are obedient to his ways?
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