Iniquity. What is it when Jesus uses it in Mt.7:21-23 saying "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."
If we will consider the context as we must in everything we read in scripture we will see that Jesus is not referring to immorality here. Because these people are doing good things like casting out devils and prophesying. And they believe they are doing these morally good things in Jesus' name.
So if these are not immoral things they are doing then what is this iniquity Jesus refers to here? It is that they have believed these works have anything to do with what makes them righteous unto salvation. And with what joins them to Jesus.
In Isaiah 64 we read where he told Israel their righteousness' were as filthy rags. He wasn't saying they were not keeping the law. They were. He wasn't telling them they were behaving immorally. They weren't. He was telling them that their belief that keeping the law made them righteous before God was filthy rags.
And this is what Jesus was referring to here concerning iniquity. Why? Because knowing Him is righteousness. Trusting in Him is righteousness. This is why God said Abraham was righteous. This is why anyone that is righteous before God is righteous.
There is a school of thought known as moral gov't theology. Men like Pelagius and Charles Finney and many today have adopted this belief. But, while they have rightly understood that the doctrine of original sin and sin nature are not Biblical. And that man indeed does have free will. They have wrongly adopted the thinking that because with their free will men can and do choose to do good, the proof that a man is saved is shown by their good works. And that if one chooses to do bad this shows they are not saved.
But, this is the same kind of filthy rags thinking many Israelites under the law fell into. They believed that by keeping the law this righteousness is what made them acceptable to God. So even though these moral gov't theology believers have rightly understood that the doctrine of original sin and sin nature are pagan gnostic false doctrines. They have nevertheless fallen into the same trap these Israelites and Roman Catholics and her daughters have fallen into. Because they too believe men are saved by works.
This trap of satan is the most subtle of all of his traps. Because while it's appeal is only to the flesh, he is able to convince them of it's spirituality by using their carnal thinking against them, to believe that works play a significant role in their righteousness before God. Saying that because Paul said "we are saved unto good works" in Eph.2:10 means those good works show that we are saved. Even though this came right after Paul said we are not saved by works.
They mistake James' teaching in James2 to mean we have no faith and show that we are not righteous unless we do good works along with our faith. But, James says these works are needed only so that the natural man can see our faith. And are not to be considered as the the proof that we have faith.
This is why he says "faith without works is dead being alone".
Because works are only needed to make our faith visible to the natural man. Because he looks on the outward. But, because God looks on the heart He knows we have faith without us ever doing any works. And it is only this faith that saves us. It is only natural men that need to see our works.
But, even then we must share the truth of the gospel with them for them to know in whom we have placed our trust for righteousness unto salvation. And the kind of righteousness by which we are saved. So works are not proof of faith even to the natural man. Our profession of our faith is.
This is why in Mt.12:37 Jesus said, "By your words you shall be justified. And by your words you shall be condemned." Because our confession that Jesus is Lord. And our belief in His resurrection are what make us righteous unto salvation. Never works.
So don't let yourself be deceived by the doctrines that tell you works have anything to do with the righteousness by which you are saved. Or how you stay saved. Not even water baptism. Because works, ours or anyone else's, have nothing to do with this. And in baptism we show up. We walk into the pool. We lower ourselves into the water. We raise ourselves up. And we walk out of the pool. We do it all by our own works.
So baptism is only symbolic of the salvation we already have by faith without works.
It shows that we have already been made righteous and saved by believing in Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. And now show it by going under the water as in burial. And raising out of the water as in resurrection. So anyone who believes baptism is necessary for salvation believes they are saved by works.
We are saved by grace through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is a gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. We are saved when we confess Jesus is Lord and believe He has raised from the dead. Adding nothing to this. Because it is our relationship with Jesus that makes us righteous unto salvation. This is eternal life. That you might know Him and His Son whom He has sent. Eph.2:8,9, Rom.10:9,10, and John17:3 respectively.
Believe Paul's gospel of grace and you will be saved from death to life. From mortality to immortality. From temporal to eternal. And from natural to spiritual. Believe without the iniquity of works and be righteous just as Abraham was when he believed.
Because no matter what anyone else says, it is your belief in Jesus as Lord and His resurrection without works that makes you righteous before God. Gal.2:16 shows us that it is this same righteousness that made Jesus righteous before the Father. A Son in whom the Father was well pleased.
So if you pray this prayer you will be saved. Jesus I believe in you. Save me.
This is the righteousness that is of faith. This is the righteousness unto salvation.
But, while there is time don't stop there. Get to know Jesus more and more by reading His word so that you will learn to love as He does.
Do this... and I will see you there or in the air!
This message can also be heard at: Rumble