WHAT YOU NEED TO BE BELIEVING - TO BE RIGHT


PREFACE

     It may be unpopular today, or even undesirable to many, for any group to adopt a particular confession of faith, creed, or statement of faith. However, I see a great need for us to express what we believe and what we adopt as a confession of our faith. It is easy for us to say we believe the Bible, or that the Bible is our only creed. I do believe the Bible, and the Bible is our only creed. The problem is that we are not the only group who makes such a claim. How many hundreds, even thousands, of groups claim to believe the Bible, from cover to cover, but who differ greatly with one another in doctrine, each claiming the Bible as their authority? We believe many people are deceived in their doctrine, while thinking they adhere strictly to the Bible's teachings.

     My desire, then, to express my beliefs is not due to an arrogant or elitist attitude. It is my desire to tell people what I believe the Bible teaches. I believe I adhere to the doctrine of Scripture, and I believe I preach the true Gospel revealed in the Bible. My desire is that people will read things here and elsewhere on this site  and search the Scriptures to see whether these things are so (Acts 17:11). My prayer is that God will be pleased to use this writing to communicate His Gospel, save His elect, and edify Christ's church.

     This site  in no way attempts to state everything I believe the Bible teaches. That would be a foolish undertaking. It concerns what I  believe to be the basic Gospel message of the Bible and some of the fundamental doctrines which spring from the Gospel.  I am  not an  advocate of creedalism, and I am not a creedalist. I  am a Biblicist. Our words are not verbally inspired of God and infallible. The Bible is the only written word which is verbally inspired and infallible. It is our only source of doctrine and practice. I  simply ask all who read this short statement to consider it carefully and reasonably as it adheres to the Holy Bible. All quotations from the Bible are taken from the King James Version. May the Lord bless each and every one who reads this statement.

WE BELIEVE ...


     I  do hereby adopt to the fullest expression of our faith the Holy Scriptures, both Old Testament and New Testament, given by inspiration of God, as the only sufficient, certain and authoritative rule of all saving knowledge, faith, love and obedience. As a summary of this confession we do hereby adopt the Gospel revealed in these Scriptures as the basis for all Scriptural interpretation, for all doctrinal matters, and for all motivation to obedience, worship, and love. The Gospel we adopt is defined in the holy Scriptures as the following:


     God's promise of eternal salvation and final glory grounded upon the merits of Christ's obedience and death, His very righteousness, freely imputed and received by faith.


     Romans 1:16-17   I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.


     Romans 3:21-26 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;  Even the righteousness of God <which is> by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:  Whom God hath set forth <to be> a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;  To declare, <I say>, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

     It is the ministry of this site , as a "ministry of reconciliation" by the "word of reconciliation" to encourage every sinner who hears this Gospel to seek and expect salvation based on the imputed righteousness of Christ.

     2 Corinthians 5:18-21   And all things <are> of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech <you> by us: we pray <you> in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.  For he hath made him <to be> sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

     The Gospel is "that form of doctrine" whereby sinners are brought from condemnation and wrath, as "servants of sin," to justification and eternal life, as "servants of righteousness."

     Romans 6:17-18   But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

I BELIEVE in one God, the Maker, Preserver, and Ruler of all things, having in and of Himself all perfections, and being infinite in them all. To Him all creatures owe the highest love, reverence, and obedience.

I BELIEVE the one God reveals Himself in the Trinity of His sacred Persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, each a distinct Person but without division of nature, essence and being. It is the purpose of God in redemption to glorify Himself in the salvation of sinners through Christ, based on His merits alone. Each Person of the Godhead performs a specific office in the purpose, plan, and employment of the redemption of the elect, and that it is all sure and certain in that God is faithful to fulfill His promise based on the righteousness of Christ.

     In light of this, and in compliance with the Holy Scriptures, I do hereby boldly confess:

I BELIEVE God the Father, before the foundation of the world, chose a multitude of guilty, ungodly, totally depraved sinners that no man can number, out of Adam's fallen race. He promised to give eternal blessedness, all grace here and all glory hereafter, to all these objects of His love, conditioned, not on the sinner, but on the obedience and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, their Representative and Surety.

     2 Thessalonians 2:13-14   But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:  Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I BELIEVE God the Father sent Christ, the Son, into the world to become incarnate, be born of a virgin, obey His holy law, and die on the cross, to satisfy His law and justice on their behalf, based on their sins being imputed to Him, and, thereby, fulfil all the conditions of the salvation God's elect.

     John 3:16-17   For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

I BELIEVE Christ accomplished in full this redemption, as He fulfilled all conditions of their salvation. This was signified and declared by His resurrection from the dead on the third day. Christ's righteousness in and of itself insured His own salvation, His resurrection form the dead. Christ's righteousness in and of itself also insures the salvation of all whom He represented, all for whom He lived and died, and all that is included in salvation, from their new birth (regeneration and conversion) to their final glorification.

     Romans 4:24-25   But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;  Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.

I BELIEVE God the Holy Spirit makes all the objects of God's love, all whom Christ redeemed, in each successive generation, full partakers of all that God has provided and all that Christ has purchased. He applies this to them as He regenerates them and calls them by the Gospel. He brings them to faith in Christ and to repentance of former idolatry and dead works. He continually dwells in them that they might be comforted by the absolute certainties of their final glory based solely upon the imputed righteousness of Christ as revealed in God's word.

     Ephesians 1:3-14 Blessed <be> the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings heavenly <places> in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:  That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; <even> in him:  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.  In whom ye also <trusted>, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,  Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

     1 Peter 1:23-25   Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.  For all flesh <is> as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away:  But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

I BELIEVE Christ's righteousness in and of itself insures all the work of God the Holy Spirit in God's elect and that no part of the Holy Spirit's work in the sinner, though necessary and vital for salvation, forms any part of the ground of that sinner's salvation. God the Holy Spirit's work in the sinner is the fruit and effect of Christ's work of redemption for the sinner. We therefore believe that God justifies His elect based solely upon the righteousness of Christ freely imputed to them and received by faith, with no consideration of, nor contribution from, the sinner's efforts at obedience and reform.

     In light of this, and in accordance with the Holy Scriptures, I adhere to the doctrines which are commonly referred to as the doctrines of sovereign grace. Grace means all of salvation conditioned on Christ alone. These doctrines, in compliance with the Holy Scriptures, can be stated as follows:

Total depravity and inability of man

     Total depravity must be considered from two points of view:

(1) Legally (objectively), as it concerns how God views us. We are born guilty, under His just wrath, owing a debt to God's law and justice, a debt of which we are unable to pay. We cannot even contribute to the payment of such a debt.

(2) Morally (subjectively), it concerns how we view God. We are born spiritually kin to Satan, at enmity with God.

     This does not mean that we are all openly immoral and profane, or unconcerned about religion. Even as totally depraved sinners, we are able to perform duties of religion and morality that would make us appear righteous.

     Matthew 23:27-28   Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead <men's> bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

     Total depravity is spiritual kinship with Satan and is revealed in the fact that men by nature are void of a righteousness that answers the demands of both God's law and justice. It is also revealed in that we, by nature, are totally opposed to obtaining such a righteousness by imputation
ALONE and by faith alone, apart from our efforts at obedience. This is also revealed when sinners, like Adam, will speak peace to themselves and to others based on something other than the righteousness of Christ. This doctrine is revealed, not to relieve us of our responsibility, but to show us our deservedness of God's wrath because of sin, to show us our need of free grace, and of a righteousness which we cannot produce.

     Romans 3:10-12   There is none righteous, no, not one:  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.  They are all gone out of the way, they are together unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

     1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know <them>, because they are spiritually discerned.

     Ephesians 2:1-3 And you <hath he quickened>, who were dead in trespasses and sins: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

     John 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

     2 John 9-11 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into <your> house, neither bid him God speed:  For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds.

Unconditional election

     In order to reveal and honor all the perfections of God's redemptive character in the full, free, eternal salvation of totally depraved sinners, God chose or elected a definite number out of Adam's fallen race and conditioned all of their salvation upon Christ. God the Father appointed God the Son to be the Representative and Surety of each and every individual sinner whom He had elected unto salvation and made them one with Christ in the eyes of His law and justice. By God's appointment, Christ took on the entire responsibility to do everything necessary to bring each and every one of the elect unto final glorification. Unconditional election, then, automatically means unconditional salvation. Why God chose one and not another is known only to God Himself. All were totally depraved, equally ungodly, alienated from God and aligned with Satan. All without exception, which includes God's elect, were by nature children of wrath, owing a double debt to both God's law and justice. They could not be saved apart from conditioning all of their salvation upon Christ.

     2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

     Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

     1 Peter 1:1-2 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

     1 Thessalonians 1:4 Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.

     Romans 11:5-7   Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according the election of grace. And if by grace, then <is it> no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if <it be> of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

     1 Peter 2:9 But ye <are> a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:

Definite atonement

     This teaches us that Christ actually, in time, satisfied all the conditions and requirements of the salvation of God's elect by establishing a perfect righteousness for them. This atonement was for all whom He represented, thus, glorifying His Father in their full salvation. God's elect are going to be saved by promise, based on the imputed righteousness of Christ. God the Son became incarnate in order to do everything necessary to
SATISFY all the conditions required for the eternal salvation of all those whom He represented, and they will be saved. Not one sinner for whom Christ lived and died will finally perish. Christ's atonement, His accomplishment of redemption, and the righteousness of God revealed in the Gospel insures their salvation, all grace here and all glory hereafter. Christ's righteousness insures that they all be made full partakers of all that He purchased for them, including the work of the Holy Spirit in them.

     Isaiah 53:10-12   Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put <him> to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see <his> seed, he shall prolong <his> days, and the pleasure of the
LORD shall prosper in his hand.  He shall see of the travail of his soul, <and> shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.  Therefore will I divide him <a portion> with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

     John 10:11,14-16,26   I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd, and know my <sheep>, and am known of mine.  As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.  And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, <and> one shepherd.  But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you.

     Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

     Hebrews 2:9-18 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.  For it became him, for whom <are> all things, and by whom <are> all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.  For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified <are> all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,  Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.  And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me.  Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;  And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.  For verily he took not on <him the nature of> angels; but he took on <him> the seed of Abraham.  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto <his> brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things <pertaining> to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. {18} For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

     Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

     Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

     Hebrews 10:10-14   By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once <for all>.  And every priest standeth ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;  From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

Invincible grace

     This refers to the application of salvation to persons of the elect, whereby they are made actual partakers of justification and life in this world. This is just as sure and certain as Christ's death on Calvary. This application is the effectual call of God the Holy Spirit through the preaching of God's Gospel. God the Holy Spirit is the sovereign Agent who quickens spiritually dead sinners, and the Gospel preached, heard by the quickened sinner, and understood is the means, the very power of God unto salvation. God must do right, and just as Adam's sin is imputed and his fallen nature is imparted to each and every one whom he represented in each successive generation, when we are born by natural generation, even so, Christ's righteousness is imputed and His very nature is imparted to each and every one whom He represented in each successive generation, when they are born again by regeneration and conversion. Regeneration and conversion always comes together in the new birth. Just as the sin of our representative Adam plunged all whom he represented into guilt, total depravity and all the particulars involved in this state, even so, the righteousness of the Representative Christ Jesus demanded that each and every one whom He represented be made actual partakers of all grace here and all glory hereafter.

     John 6:37-45   All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.  For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.  And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.  The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.  And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?  Jesus therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.

Romans 10:17 So then faith <cometh> by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Titus 3:5-7 {3} Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; {6} Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; {7} That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Romans 8:29-30 {29} For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate <to be> conformed the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. {30} Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

1 Corinthians 1:18-24 {18} For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. {19} For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. {20} Where <is> the wise? where <is> the scribe? where <is> the disputer this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? {21} For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. {22} For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: {23} But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; {24} But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.

2 Timothy 1:8-9 {8} Be not therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; {9} Who hath saved us, and called <us> with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Preservation and perseverance of the saints

All whom God elected, whom Christ redeemed, and whom the Holy Spirit gives life, will without fail persevere unto final glory by God's preserving grace. God's people know that all of salvation (which includes our preservation, perseverance and final glorification) is conditioned on Christ our Surety according to God's promise. We know the only true God who made the promise, and we know the only true Christ who merited for us all grace here and all glory hereafter. We are fully persuaded that what God has promised, HE IS ABLE TO PERFORM. Our confidence is not in ourselves, but it is in God our Savior, and we are encouraged and motivated by the absolute certainty of salvation conditioned on Christ alone which produces true love and loyalty to Christ and His sheep. This causes us to delight and be diligent in the use of all the means which God has provided for our preservation. God's people will be preserved by His grace, and His people will persevere, continue in the faith, the absolute certainty of salvation conditioned on Christ alone. We know that any who profess to believe the Gospel, and who later leave it, they never truly believed the Gospel, and they had never truly repented.

John 10:27-29 {27} My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: {28} And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any <man> pluck them out of my hand. {29} My Father, gave <them> me, is greater than all; and no <man> is able to pluck <them> out of my Father's hand.

Romans 8:29-30, 35-39 {29} For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate <to be> conformed the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. {30} Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. {35} Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? <shall> tribulation, distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? {36} As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. {38} For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, {39} Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform <it> until the day of Jesus Christ:

2 Timothy 1:12 For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

1 John 2:18-19 {18} Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. {19} They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would <no doubt> have continued with us: but <they went out>, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

WE BELIEVE these doctrines are revealed to show us God's faithfulness to fulfil His promise of salvation grounded upon the blood atonement and imputed righteousness of Christ as an encouragement for all without exception to believe that same promise. These doctrines exclude NO ONE, but sinners do exclude themselves by unbelief, by refusing to seek salvation based upon the imputed righteousness of Christ and by refusing to repent from former idolatry and dead works. God has clearly revealed our disease in order that we might seek and find the only remedy. Self-righteous men and women deny the severity of the disease and invent their own remedies. God promises to save the very chief of sinners based on the righteousness of Christ without deeds of the law. So, sinners exclude themselves by refusing to believe these truths which honor the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

WE BELIEVE that all who hear this Gospel are commanded, encouraged, and fully warranted to believe God's promise and expect its fulfillment based on the merits of Christ. This is to be expressed in Scriptural ways such as:

SAVING FAITH which, upon hearing and understanding the Gospel, receives Christ, and His righteousness as the only ground of eternal salvation and final glory, and fully expects the fulfillment of that promise.

Ephesians 2:8-9 {8} For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is> the gift of God: {9} Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Romans 10:9-10 {9} That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. {10} For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin <is> death; but the gift of God <is> eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

REPENTANCE OF FORMER IDOLATRY AND DEAD WORKS which is the first evidence of saving faith, and which by faith in Christ sees that every effort at obedience and reform before saving faith was evil and wicked attempts at removing God's wrath and gaining favor in opposition to His redemptive glory. These are aimed at the ground of salvation, and, therefore, casts shame and reproach upon the Person and work of Christ. Works without faith are dead.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

Mark 1:15 The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: [repent] ye, and believe the gospel.

Hebrews 9:14 How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Philippians 3:7-9 {7} But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. {8} Yea doubtless, and I count all things <but> loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them <but> dung, that I may win Christ, {9} And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.

GODLY SORROW OVER SIN which is that continual aspect of repentance whereby a saved sinner constantly sees his own sinfulness in his character and conduct in order to constantly realize that his only hope for salvation, now and forever, is Christ and His righteousness imputed.

Romans 7:24-25 {24} O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? {25} I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Psalm 130:3-4 {3} If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? {4} But <there is> forgiveness thee, that thou mayest be feared.

2 Corinthians 7:9-10 {9} Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. {10} For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Psalm 51:15-17 {15} O Lord, open thou my lips; and my mouth shall show forth thy praise. {16} For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give <it>: thou delightest not in burnt offering. {17} The sacrifices of God <are> a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

LOVE TO GOD AND TO THE BRETHREN which is love that flows from saving faith, of which the natural man is incapable. It is of the Spirit, and it respects first and foremost the honor of God's redemptive glory revealed in salvation based on the righteousness of Christ. This love will take sides with those who believe the gospel, and it will not speak peace where sinners are either ignorant of or not submitted to the righteousness of Christ as the only ground of salvation.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 {1} Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become <as> sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. {2} And though I have <the gift of> prophecy, and understand mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. {3} And though I bestow all my goods to feed <the poor>, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

John 13:34-35 {34} A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. {35} By this shall all <men> know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

1 John 3:13-16 {13} Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you. {14} We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not <his> brother abideth in death. {15} Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. {16} Hereby perceive we the love <of God>, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down <our> lives for the brethren.

ACCEPTABLE OBEDIENCE which is obedience that flows from saving faith. It is the obedience of saved sinners motivated not by legal fear of punishment, nor by promise of reward based on personal merit. It is obedience motivated by the absolute certainty of final glory based solely upon the imputed righteousness of Christ. This is the liberty and freedom of grace, the spirit of adoption and love, whereby saved sinners express love for God and love to one another. It includes any sincere, diligent attempt to obey God's commands, to perform and maintain good works, to seek to bring our character and conduct into conformity to Christ our Savior. This is not an option but a necessary response to the love and grace of God through Christ. As works without faith are dead, we also believe faith without works is dead. It is important that we know that this obedience is not acceptable due to any merit of its own. It is only acceptable because it is performed by a justified sinner, through Christ, based on His merits alone, and it is motivated by the certainty of final glory based on Christ's merits alone.

Romans 12:1-2 {1} 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. {2} 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.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Titus 2:11-14 {11} For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, {12} Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; {13} Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; {14} Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

James 2:17-18 {17} Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. {18} Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 {16} All scripture <is> given by inspiration of God, and <is> profitable doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly unto all good works.