Every decision we make in life has some
effect upon us from that time forward. God
gives each person the privilege of responding
to His invitation to salvation. This is the most
important decision anyone will make in their
lifetime. However, each one must freely
choose for themselves. Oftentimes we see
people choosing to become Christians by
considering only the privileges of receiving
eternal life. One of the Creator's promises is,
"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" (John 3:16).
Along with the promised privilege comes
the price. Ignoring the costs contracted in
becoming a Christian will not change the
Word of God which says there is a price of
responsibility that accompanies our decision.
The cost? Obeying His commandments. "If
you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15).
We hear so often about God's love and
grace (unmerited pardon), that it is easy to
forget or totally ignore His commandments.
Of course, we should always acknowledge
His love and grace. If God did not love us, Jesus
would not have been sent to die for our sins.
Untempered justice would demand death
to all mankind. "For all have sinned, and
come short of the glory of God" (Romans
3:23). "For the wages of sin is death; but the
gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ
our Lord" (Romans 6:23). 'Mere is simply no
way to escape the fact, we are born sinners.
Without God's grace, expressed through Jesus
Christ who died for us, we would be completely without hope for eternal life.
What Is Sin?
Sometimes it is amusing to hear how
people answer the question, "what is sin?"
Some will say it is playing cards or
going to movies. Others say it is watching TV
or drinking a glass of wine or even dancing.
While a Christian would certainly want to
watch his or her conduct in the above activities, the Bible never calls any of these things
sin. The Biblical definition for sin is, in part,
breaking the commandments of God. "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the
law:for sin is the trangression of the law" (I
Somehow, people get the idea that God
gave His law to keep us from having any fun
in this life. Just the opposite is true. Consider
His Word, "And the Lord commanded us to
do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God,
for our good always..." (Deuteronomy 6:24).
"To keep the commandments of the Lord, and
his statutes, which I command thee this day
for thy good" (Deuteronomy 10: 13).
Just think of the misery to millions caused
by those who have chosen to ignore God's
commandments. Murderers have left orphans
and widows in their wake of terror. Billions of
dollars are added to the cost of goods because
of thieves in the market and workplace. The
venereal diseases and unwanted pregnancies
are caused by adultery, many of which are
ended in abortion, with its emotional scars
remaining on the mother. Obeying God is
more than idealism. It is both true and practical to suggest that obedience to God's
commandments is "for our good."
Abuse Of Grace
The Bible tells of some who abuse God's
grace, using it as license for disobedience.
"For there are certain men crept in unawares,
who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of
our God into lasciviousness, and denying the
only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ"
On the other hand, we can know those
who belong to Christ by their conduct. "And hereby do we know that we know him, if we
keep his commandments. He that saith, I
know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (I
The Biblical view of grace and law is
that they are two sides of the same coin. Grace
is given to every believer who accepts Christ
as their Savior. Law is given to every believer
who accepts Christ as their Lord. True Christians must accept Him as both Lord and
Savior. If we refuse Him as our Lord, we lose
Him as our Savior.
"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
[lawlessness]" (Matthew 7:22-23).
The cost of rejecting the Messiah is
death. The cost of accepting Him as Savior,
but not as Lord, is rejection by Him on the day
of judgment. The gift of eternal life is reserved for those who accept Him as both Lord
and Savior, obeying His commandments.
The remnant of His people living in the
last days are described in the Bible. "And the dragon [Satan] was wroth with the woman,
and went to make war with the remnant of her
seed, which keep the commandments of God,
and have the testimony of Jesus Christ"