Matthew 6:22-23 ESV
“The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!”
Jesus Christ, the Son of God (God the Son) left his throne in heaven, came to earth, and took on human form so that, when the time was right, he was sent to a cross to die for our sins. Although he was without sin (perfect in every way) yet he became sin for us on that cross so that when he died our sins died with him, in order that we, by faith in him, might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness daily.
Jesus Christ did not go through that horrible death on a cross just to forgive us our sins so that we could go to heaven when we die. He died to free us from our slavery (addiction) to sin so that we might now walk in his holiness and righteousness, free from the control of sin, in walks of obedience to our Lord. And he died so that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us, and so that we might honor him with our bodies.
Today in America that is not being taught much anymore. Instead we have false teachers (strangers – see John 10) who are teaching lies to the people and who are telling them that all they have to do is to call on God or to pray a prayer or to acknowledge what Jesus did for us, or to just accept his grace, his love, and his forgiveness for their sins, and now heaven is guaranteed them as their eternal destiny, regardless of what kind of lives they live.
These false teachers are making a profession of faith in Jesus Christ but they are not teaching the people that they must turn away from their lives of living in sin and of living for themselves, and that they must now walk (in practice, in conduct) according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh. So, they are leaving their adherents still bound in slavery to sin, still living for self, and still headed for hell, but on the promise of heaven.
So, what they are teaching people is not the truth, but it is a mixture of truth and lies which are often the result of teaching Scriptures out of context and applied in ways which were not intended by God and by the writers of the Scriptures. So, what they are teaching is a false gospel which does not secure heaven for the (false) “believer,” nor forgiveness of sins, nor an intimate and permanent and lasting relationship with Jesus Christ.
So, if the light (truth, righteousness) in us is darkness (evil, wickedness, unrighteousness, and lies), how great is that darkness (total absence of light, truth, and righteousness). And this is exactly where many people are living, including many people who profess faith in Jesus Christ. They are still walking in the darkness for they refuse to come into the light, i.e. they refuse to turn from their sins to follow Jesus Christ in obedience to his will.
Therefore, their confessions of faith in Jesus Christ “do not hold water,” i.e. they are invalid and not sound in doctrine. They are incomplete, because they did not die with Christ to sin and thus they were not raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him. And they are not continuing to die with Christ to sin and therefore they are not living to him and to his righteousness in walks of obedience to the Lord in purity of devotion to him.
Matthew 6:24 ESV
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
The word “money” is literally “the treasure a person trusts in.” So, it isn’t just money, but it can be anything we cherish, adore, value, or hold dear to our hearts, meaning the things or people of this world or of the flesh of man. Therefore, we can’t serve (obey) God and mammon (earthly treasures). So, basically this is saying that we can’t obey (be slaves to) the things of this world and obey (be slaves to) God/Jesus Christ at the same time.
So, this is why we can’t be saved from our sins and be on our way to heaven and still live in deliberate and habitual sin and not in obedience to our Lord. The two are in conflict with each other. We can’t just “get saved” and then be guaranteed heaven when we die if we are still living in habitual and deliberate sin and not in obedience to our Lord, and if we are not walking in holiness and in righteousness. For we can’t serve the flesh and God, too.
Too many people are teaching a cheapened form of the true gospel of Jesus Christ where they are giving the people “quick fixes” for their sins, but it is a lie from hell, not from God. And so many people are holding on to the hope of salvation from sin and eternal life with God while there has been no dying with Christ to sin nor living to God and to his righteousness taking place in their lives at all. So their “faith” is of the flesh and not of God.
So, just know that the gospel that is taught by Jesus and by his New Testament apostles requires that we die with Christ to sin, not just once, but daily, that sin is to no longer be what we practice, that righteousness is now to be our practice, and that we must walk in obedience to our Lord and to his commands (New Covenant) or we don’t have eternal life with God. For Jesus died to deliver us from the clutch of sin so we can live holy lives.
[Lu 9:23-26; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10,15,21; Tit 2:11-14; Rom 12:1-2; Col 3:5-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-11; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev 21:8,27; Rev 22:14-15; Eph 2:8-10; Heb 12:1-2; Jn 6:44; 2 Pet 1:1; Rom 8:24; Rom 13:11; 1 Co 1:18; Ac 26:18]
By Henry Barraclough, 1915
My Lord has garments so wondrous fine,
And myrrh their texture fills;
Its fragrance reached to this heart of mine
With joy my being thrills.
His life had also its sorrows sore,
For aloes had a part;
And when I think of the cross He bore,
My eyes with teardrops start.
His garments, too, were in cassia dipped,
With healing in a touch;
In paths of sin had my feet e’er slipped—
He’s saved me from its clutch.
In garments glorious He will come,
To open wide the door;
And I shall enter my heav’nly home,
To dwell forevermore.
Out of the ivory palaces,
Into a world of woe,
Only His great eternal love
Made my Savior go.
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