Receiving Jesus (when you wish upon a star! Magic Part two)
He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 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 Jh1:11-12
What does it mean to 'Receive Jesus', does it mean you merely
respond to the altar call (of sorts) go forward and repeat a little Prayer with
the Evangelist or Pastor, as is Common in the Professed Christian world? Or does
it mean something ENTIRELY different than the main-stream Pundits
THINK it is. When the Apostles went out Preaching Jesus to the world at
large never once did they tell anyone to 'receive Jesus', or 'repeat'
any Magic Words that would guarantee their eternal Salvation. (as most
people have done and believe they are saved) Rather they told people to
Repent and PROVE their Repentance by their DEEDS!
Jesus used this 'expression however several times throughout His Ministry, BUT
in a manner 'unknown to our present preacher, pundits. He said:
And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. Mat10:38
What does He mean ... 'Taketh' is to 'Receive upon oneself, lay hold of and take possession of something in a manner as to seize and apprehend a goal with a determined Purpose in mind. So when you 'Receive Jesus' you have taken hold of everything He taught with the Purpose of FOLLOWING after His example to the end. It has NOTHING to do with 'repeating Words or even making some kind of mental Commitment to take up a new leaf in life. It has EVERTHING to do with a Radical Transformation of the mind, purposes, inclinations and desires and in consequence a TOTAL CHANGE in Conduct. The true essence of Repentance Proven by Deeds. Acts26:18-21
This is why Saving Faith is clearly distinguished from 'Mental faith or as James 2:19 puts it 'The devils faith'.
Faith is the WORK by which you are Saved, when you 'believed from your heart that form of doctrine (teaching) by which you are saved, you took the first and initial step toward a 'FAITH that will lead to genuine Reconciliation with God. Works do not 'Follow faith, as the Pundits keep telling you, Faith is a WORK! By is very definition: Faith is FAITHFULNESS, when it says the 'Just man shall live by his Faith', its saying by his Faithfulness and Fidelity in following and obeying Christ. The main reasons this Kind of true Saving Faith is not clearly defined are:
1) It Doesn't fit into the 'not of works' mind-set of current
2) It's God who effects (brings about) Repentance, not man's personal Choice to turn from his sins
2) And if 'Jesus PAID it all, did it all and you merely Trust in that, where is need of Faithfulness to Him
Therefore 'Faithfulness in taking up your cross, following Christ, Keeping His Commands, are considered 'WORKS and cannot be preached as the imperative of saving faith. 'Works can follow faith, meaning you are 'Saved first and then (perhaps) take up your Cross, Obey God and do what is right, but they cannot NEVER be mandatory in initial salvation because that would mean you're 'Saved by what you DO and NOT by Faith ALONE! (opposite: Js2:24) So the concept of faithfulness to Christ remains hidden to MOST of mankind as a result of this false notion of faith having the upper hand in professed Christianity. They continue to 'Receive Jesus in various methods, as altar calls, repeating a magic prayer, being persuaded to make an emotional commitment to Him that has no impact on their conduct or just merely acknowledging they 'believe since no effort is required anyway.
Works or Deeds (call it what you like) is essential in the preaching of the
Gospel. Jesus NEVER once said anything about it being 'not of works',
Paul said it in order to refute the Judaizers coming in among the new
Gentile Converts and trying to convince them they needed to Keep the Law of
Moses, as well as following Christ to be Saved. He put the entire emphasis on
DEEDS in many of his Epistles; Rom2:7-8 being a classic example of
his understanding that faith and works were inseparable. It is by the
LAW of faithfulness to Christ, Rom3:27, that a person is Saved and by that
same concept, Faith establishes and upholds the Moral Law of God, Rom3:31, Faith
results in PURITY of heart by Obedience to the Truth and Victory
over sin, the flesh and devil when you put forth the Effort to 'Work out
and Add to' it so you can Finish the Race. (1Pet1:22, Act15:9, 1Jh5:4-5,
Phil2:12, 2Pet1:10) Paul could NEVER have endorsed an 'effortless
Salvation as the Pundits suppose, if he ran around telling people 'Its not of
works, receive Jesus and trust in His work (like our present preachers) he
would have been considered a false teacher by his peers. Instead he said that
ALL men would Stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ and give account for
their DEEDS done in the body! 2Cor5:10-11. He said the Lord would
Judge the Secrets of men's hearts and that NOTHING will be hidden
from His eye in that Day. Rom2:16, 1Cor4:5. LAW in his mind meant
Circumcision and Ritual Sacrifice, the many Ordinances not conducive
to Faithfulness from the heart. (Gal5:24, Eph2:14, Heb9:10) Circumcision
must be of the HEART not the flesh, made without hands to Crucify the
self-indulgent passions and desires (Rom2:26-29, Col2:11) so the Righteous
Requirements of the Law will be upheld in a person Renewed in Christ. Rom6:4-6.
It's really that SIMPLE, if you dispel all the dogma and rhetoric surrounding the many 'WINDS of Doctrine removing the imperative of Deeds in the Process of Salvation. NOTHING in the Book of Acts even remotely suggests that the early Christians ran around telling people to 'Receive Jesus or Repeat any magic words, or that God loved them, so come as you are because He has a wonderful Plan for your life. YET you rarely hear any Pundit, Pastor, teacher, street evangelist or itinerant preacher today defining these things or telling people they MUST Produce Deeds Worthy of Repentance BEFORE Jesus will RECEIVE them! It's always 'receive Him and 'Trust He will Save you, BUT what are you 'Trusting in .... that's the question? If you have not put forth the required Diligent effort to be Reconciled to Him in Repentance Proven by Deeds, you're 'receiving a fable and 'Trusting in His shed Blood or Work on the Cross will be without Purpose and to no effect in your life. That's why 99.99999% of professed Christians who have been 'Saved by the 'Trust method are still in bondage to various types of vile behavior and evil dispositions.
AGAIN, its the base on which the Gospel Message is presented, IF He DID it all for you, WHAT remains for you to do? NOTHING except 'receive the Package (Gift, they call it) and trust that He's going to take you in as a pile the Filthy Rags that you are. And that's been the Fundamental flaw in Gospel preaching for the last 500 years! Their understanding of the Cross. To them it means Substitutionary Atonement, Jesus died on the Cross to PAY off man's Sin debt, He was Punished by God in man's Place, received God's Full Wrath poured out on Him and now God's Punitive Justice is Satisfied in full and He can Justifiably 'APPLY this vicarious Sacrifice of His Son to man IF he will but 'believe it is done. So man can be Declared Righteous by Proxy, receiving Jesus' righteousness and be Cloaked in His Virtue as a 'sinner saved by Grace.
To one extent or another above describes what MOST preacher / teachers out there today THINK happened on the Cross and how it applies to preaching the gospel. They see it as a Substitution not as an example of man dying to sin and living for Righteousness, redeemed from the corrupting influence of sin through repentance and faith proven by deeds. Its TWO entirely different gospels! In theirs Jesus does it all, you merely ‘receive it and ‘trust in the exchange, your sin for His Righteousness. No imperative to produce any deeds worthy of repentance, that can come later after He ‘changes your desires from naughty to nice. It’s not what you do, its what He has already Done. The ‘Atonement provides all that’s required to ‘Reconcile sinful man to a Holy God. You’re ‘returned to favor’ by what Christ did on the Cross, NOT by anything you do to initiate the process. To recognize this gospel when you hear it tap in on
The KEY phrases: 'Jesus Paid it all, He died for your sins, Confess you’re a sinner, trust in Jesus only, receive Jesus, it’s His Righteousness not yours, 'Clothed in His Righteousness, sinner saved by grace, 'its not of works, no one is perfect, Filthy Rags, Wretched man, Chief of sinners, if I say I have no sin, receive His Righteousness,
So the question remains: 'How do you ‘receive Jesus?
First of all there are no MAGIC Words, or Magic Cloak or some magic transfer of His Virtue. NOTHING in Scripture suggests that Jesus Paid it all or that His death on the Cross was some kind PROVISION to excuse man from Obeying God and Producing Deeds Worthy of Repentance. Jesus said 'Take up your own Cross, Deny Yourself, Lose your life in this world and COUNT the COST! If He PAID the Cost (as supposed) WHY does He tell us to Count it? So 'receiving Him' begins in Repentance and Proceeds in Obedience. GRACE does NOT exempt you from DOING your part! If you have received Grace godliness and self-control will be evident in your life, otherwise you've received it in vain, without Purpose to no effect. (Ti2:11) The Free Gift is forgiveness of Past Sins, (Rom3:25) NOT future assurance of a 'sin-confess, sin-confess (supposed) relationship with Christ. Your 'returned to favor with God (Reconciled) when you Come Clean with Him in Repentance. Christ didn't Obey in your place or do the WORK of Faithfulness for you. His Blood will indeed Purge and Cleanse you of all (past) Sin, (Heb9:14) IF you approach His Mercy Seat of forgiveness, EMPTY of all guile and deceit, as a Vessel FIT for the Master's use! That's how you 'receive Jesus', it's not Magic, BUT it is a real and genuine Transformation and Renewing of the Mind.
Faith is inseparable from Faithfulness, Fidelity, obedience. Believe means the same thing
Right action is Not Self-Righteousness, it is DOING what God has
Repentance is coming clean with God, (Its not a Gift!) It's forsaking sin, requires action, effort on your part
Grace is empowerment, energy to live a godly life as a 'Worker together' with Him, Phil2:12-13
Mercy, Remission (is the Gift) is forgiveness of PAST Sins, Rom3:25, there is no magic cover for continual sins
Sin hardens your heart not humbles it, forsaking sin (not merely confessing it)
is what God Requires
There are no Magic Words, altar calls or provisions in the Bible. The Way to eternal Life is VERY Narrow and FEW are willing to STRIVE to enter that Path and endure to the end. What they are selling in the Churches is a FARCE and spells death to your soul. But MANY are Satisfied with it and prefer to 'receive rather than FOLLOW and OBEY.