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hamartia in the Greek, literally means to miss the mark? It does. But, what exactly the mark is that is being missed is many times a moving target for some? So what exactly is the mark that is being missed that the Bible says makes us sinners? This is the $64,000 question.
Under the law the mark was the law. John said for those under the law “Sin is the transgression of the law” in 1John3:4. While going on to say that the New Covenant believer, “he who is born of God can not sin” in vs.6-9. Ezekiel told Israel that “the soul that sinneth it shall die” in Ez.18:20. And Paul told Israelites who wanted to remain under the law in Rom.6,7 that “the wages of sin is death” under the law. Because to sin(miss the mark, the law) in some cases resulted in physical death for those under it.
But, since the New Covenant was given power by Jesus’ death on the cross the law has been removed. Heb.10:9 tells us that the first Covenant has been “taken away to establish the second”. And Eph.2:15 tells us that it has been abolished so that with that “enmity that was between us” removed God could make one new man from the two. The Jew and the Gentile. So that now in the New Covenant the mark is no longer the law. It is Jesus. And since Jesus came all men, both Jew and Gentile, are made accountable to trust in Jesus for eternal life. Because there is no other name under heaven by which men can be saved.
This then is why John could say “He who is born of God can not sin”. Because to be born of God is to believe in and know Jesus. So that we have not and can not miss Him.
This is why He told the disciples in John16:7-11 that when the Holy Spirit would come the sin He would reprove the world of is only one thing. “They believe not on me”. Because to sin(miss the mark) in the New Covenant is to miss Jesus. Not the law. It is unbelief in Jesus as savior and Lord.
So to miss Jesus is the only sin that keeps men from inheriting God’s kingdom. Because by missing the mark which is Jesus- to sin- one is not born of the Spirit. But, instead remains the natural man that we are from Adam as God made him when He was created. Not born of the Spirit. But, made from the dust of the ground. And it is only those who are born of the Spirit that can see God’s spiritual kingdom(John3:4-6). Because flesh and blood, which all men are if they are not born of the Spirit, can not inherit the kingdom of God(1Cor.15:50).
This is why reminding people of bad behavior as if that is why they are going to hell will only lead to confusion about why they need Jesus. Because by doing so is to place them under the law. And the law is not of faith. It is of works. And by works shall no flesh be justified(Gal.2:16-21).
So prompting a person to confess that they have been bad does nothing in regard to deliverance from death to life. It only creates or reinforces in them guilt with a false assurance that if they stop doing them they will have eternal life. With the proof that it works being that they won’t feel guilty anymore. Made possible as so many falsely teach by their trust in Jesus for Him to impute His righteousness to them that came through His perfect law keeping. An imputation that is supposed to make them good enough for God. With the added benefit that they no longer feel guilty.
But, freedom from guilt does not equate to eternal life. As is attested to by the fact that there were those in Israel who did all that the law required. And even though it may have given them a sense of approval. It did not bring them eternal life.
Examples of this are found in Luke where an account is given of 2 Israelites that “walked in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless”? It’s found in Luke1:5,6. Also we see Paul says of himself that “touching the righteousness which is in the law, (he was) blameless”? It’s found in Phil.3:6.
The Bible speaks of many men who had attained the righteous that comes through the law in this way. So to believe that if you could keep the law perfectly(live the perfect life) you would then not need a savior because you have no sense of guilt is a product of false teaching and not the plain teaching in the Bible. Because even though these men kept the law blamelessly they all still needed Jesus as much as anyone does. Why? Because knowing Jesus is eternal life. It is not dependent upon sinless perfection. Whether it is imputed or lived out by one who keeps the law blamelessly. Eternal life can not be gotten through blameless lawkeeping.
Some believe that eternal life can be achieved through repentance by confessing all the naughty things one has done. But, believing that repentance for salvation means turning from bad behavior so Jesus’ good behavior can be imputed to you shows that one has fallen into the trap of satan. A deception that comes from believing in the salvation by works sin nature and original sin false doctrines. Because it makes salvation, or not being saved, dependent on faith in works rather than faith in Jesus. By either pointing to your own works + Jesus’ as the means to salvation as Roman Catholics, Mormons, and JW’s do. Or to Jesus’ works alone as that means as evangelical protestants do. But, either way it is still a belief in salvation by works. And therefore is not the faith once delivered to the saints.
Because the faith once delivered to the saints rejects the notion that works have any role in justification. Paul taught in Rom.7:1-4 that if works and faith were combined for salvation that constitutes spiritual adultery. And he taught in Rom.11:6 that if salvation is by faith then it can not be by works otherwise works are no more works. Paul was also very clear in Gal.2:16-21 and Phil.2:6-9 that justification/righteousness does not come by works, but only “by the faith of Christ”. So that only when we trust in Jesus as He trusted the Father saying “Nevertheless not my will but thine be done” are we justified. Neither His nor anyone else’s works have anything to do with justification.
This is why those who have “lived the perfect life” by “walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless” still needed Jesus. Not because they were bad. But, because knowing Jesus is the righteousness that is eternal life(Gal.3:21). This is what Jesus was teaching them concerning the vine and the branches in John15. He showed them that not only did they need to keep the law as Israelites who were under the law. But, that they needed to trust in Him as their Messiah as well.
When one is delivered from death to life they are delivered from the sin of “They believe not on me” to the righteousness that is knowing and trusting Jesus. Which is to trust Jesus as He trusted the Father. Being delivered to life is to trust in Jesus as Lord and believe He has raised from the dead. Not trust in His works. Because faith is our response to God’s love that brings us into relationship with Him. A relationship that Jesus said is eternal life. Deliverance from death to life only comes by the faith of Christ. Not by works. No matter who we say has done them.
The only way for a person to be free from the salvation by works paradigm created by the false sin nature and original sin doctrines of antichrist is by the faith of Christ. As long as one believes that works, no matter who one says has done them, have anything to do with justification, they will remain under the deception of the spirit of antichrist. A very unenviable place for anyone to be as Paul shows us in 2 Thes.2:7-12.
So trust in Jesus as He trusted the Father as Paul taught us to by saying “Lord, nevertheless not my will but thy will be done” and you will have eternal life. Believe in works, whether done by Jesus or yourself, and you will never know Him for eternal life. Because the sense of relief from guilt for doing bad things because you have confessed them is not eternal life. Knowing Jesus is.
This is why Paul said that the ministry of reconciliation is that God does not impute their trespasses(bad behavior) to them(2Cor.5:19,20). And because He does not hold it against them the only thing that stands in their way for eternal life is not knowing Jesus. The only sin, the only way we miss the mark, of the New Testament that keeps one from heaven. And has nothing to do with behavior one way or the other.
Because God changes the way we do things after we are saved. Not in order that we can be saved.
If you do not know Jesus. If you have not trusted in Him as Lord and His resurrection. But, want to know Him to have eternal life. Then please pray with me now.
Dear Jesus. Thank you that you came as a man to join with me in my death. So that I could join with you in your life. By faith. I believe in you. And now say not my will but thy will be done. Thank you for loving me and giving me eternal life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
If you prayed with me please leave a comment in the section below so I can rejoice with you. And welcome to God’s spiritual family. Keep reading the Bible and believe what it plainly says. Keep coming here often to hear the word of God and His saving grace.
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Edward O’Hara Thu 9/17/2020 5:32 PM…
2. Corinthians 4:8-11 New King James Version (NKJV)
8. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed 10. always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. 11. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
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