[Word Count: 1244]
Down the Straightaway
We're down to the last Three Words of Jesus (by my list) on discipleship. Of course Christ said a lot more... i encourage you, Dear Reader, to continue your own exploration into the Four Gospels: Matthew (one of the original Apostles), Mark (a companion of both Peter and Paul), Luke (who knew everybody and wrote more of the New Testament than anyone) and John (the Apostle Jesus loved and the Scribe of the Book of The Revelation of Jesus Christ). These Four Testimonies can never be "outgrown" since they contain the Verified Sayings of our Lord Who has the Final Word on all matters of Faith and Practice. Well...let us crack on with the Sixth Word...
The Sixth Word
“Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.” — Jesus Christ, John 15:8 KJV
The Glory of GOD
It could be SO EASY to jump right into the fruit stuff, but i would be ashamedly remiss if i just skipped over this Divine Glory business...
...EVERYTHING THAT EXISTS, INCLUDING EXISTENCE ITSELF, SERVES TO MAGNIFY THE GLORY OF GOD.
Whether saved or damned...if your life did not glorify GOD by some means, you would not exist.
"How can GOD be glorified if I am damned to Hell forever?!?!?!"
GOD is always glorified when justice is served, vengeance is appeased, wrong is set right and loose ends are tied and i promise you: when GOD is finished evaluating the intent, thoughts and deeds of every sentient creature who has ever lived, there will be NO loose ends.
Am i trying to scare you?
If you're not afraid of GOD, you're worse than an idiot.
So, what is the Glory of GOD and why is It so critically and penultimately important? To answer the first question, check out my blogpost on the Glory of GOD...
...and the answer to the second question is not glaringly obvious to sinners because we sinners are so incredibly and narcissistically blind: GOD IS ETERNALLY MORE IMPORTANT THAN YOU or i or anyone since none of us would BE without Him!
Ahhhhhh...now that i've gotten that off my chest...where was i? Oh yes...
Works and Fruit
Religious folks are always getting works and fruit mixed up; that's because works are easy to see and even easier to judge (and easy to misunderstand and misinterpret). Fruit, on the other hand is invisible to the undiscerning eye and can only be seen by GOD, yet its consequences ripple throughout time and Eternity. We can turn to the Bible, however, for clarity:
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” -- the Apostle Paul, Galatians 5:19-24 ESV
Notice they're not called the Works of the Spirit but the Fruit of the Spirit. The Apostle is drawing a contrast between the WORKS of the flesh and the FRUIT of the Holy Spirit of GOD...subtle yet critical.
"Works...fruit...what does it matter?"
Ahhhh...it does matter, and the difference determines the destiny of billions for Heaven or Hell!
Works are done to earn a wage (there may be people who work for free; these are either volunteers or slaves). The Bible tells us we worked extremely hard (many of us with a great deal of relish) to earn our place in the Lake of Fire and Sulfur. Others among us didn't see our damnable activities as work at all...GOD did.
There is therefore a certain degree of logic in the idea that if we can work to earn Hell, we can also work to earn Heaven...
...nice try. Unfortunately for you, the price for a ticket to Heaven is far more expensive than "good works." If you want to go to Heaven you must be Perfect like GOD is Perfect (Matthew 5:48).
How is GOD Perfect? GOD is Perfect without effort or exertion. Perfection is GOD's Nature. Given proper care and nourishment, a fruit tree bears fruit simply and easily, just like GOD "bears" Perfection. More importantly, That Perfection is expressed in the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. The Fruit of the Holy Spirit is what GOD is like!
People who believe they can achieve Perfection themselves without GOD to the degree necessary to be accepted by GOD (a truly insane idea) find out quickly how impossible their goal is. They then either give up and leave religion altogether, give up and fall at Jesus' Feet to beg for mercy, or not give up and become something terribly dangerous: a religious zealot completely empty of the Spirit of GOD and therefore completely vulnerable to the manipulation and possession of Satan; Judas Iscariot and most members of the Judean Sanhedrin during the time of Christ fell into this reprobate state.
The heinous religious idea that you can be saved by works or by a mixture of works and faith will only serve to make your damnation more lamentable and tragic.
The Election of Grace
Your situation is ABSOLUTELY HOPELESS without the Lord Jesus Christ. And Jesus will not help you as long as you believe that His Help or Assistance is all that you need. Christ is not going to triage or bandage your hopelessly evil and wicked soul only to contaminate Heaven with it. To save you CHRIST MUST RECREATE YOU ENTIRELY, from the soles of your feet to the hairs on your head.
Perhaps now the First, Third and Fifth Words finally make sense to you: the old you must die if there is any possibility the new you--hidden in the Person of Christ Himself--will finally appear when Jesus returns to Earth to consummate His Marriage to His Bride...His Body...those whose names were written in the Book of Life before the Cosmos was created!
If by the Faith of Jesus planted by the Holy Spirit in your heart you receive Christ as Lord, Lover, Friend and Savior, GOD The Father will ADOPT you by placing The Spirit of His Son in you to unite with your spirit, bringing your being to Life...Glorious Divine Life: this is what is called being born again of the Spirit (conversion). Your sins--past, present and future--are taken away because Jesus took responsibility for them on His Cross and WAS PUNISHED for them as though He had committed them Himself (tears).
He Who was just a mental concept now becomes A REAL PERSON Whose Presence is as real as your own! This Wonderful, Comforting Presence will NEVER leave you...not even in death. Every thing you do from this moment on (prayer, Bible study, fellowship with other disciples) only serves to cultivate your bond with GOD's Presence as It becomes stronger and more intense. Without you realizing it, Jesus begins to express Himself through you in manifestation of the Fruit of His Spirit and His Perfect Character...
In Part Twenty-One...
...well, you'll see!