Can I accept God’s gift of salvation – and then live like the devil?
By: The John Ankerberg Show
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|Why is it important to be sure where you will spend eternity? Is the faith that people have in God going to get them into Heaven? Matthew 7 says, “I’m sorry. I never knew you,’ here’s what His message is.” What are two ways that Jesus talked about misplaced faith.
Copyright: 2003, Number of Programs: 4, Cat. No. YBS1
Keywords: justification, New creation, Romans 6:1, 2 Corinthians 5:17
Ankerberg: Erwin, I’ve got some follow up questions on what you were saying and that is, number one, some folks would say, “Look, if what you’re saying the righteousness of Christ, His track record, is applied to me legally the moment I put my faith in Him, does that mean that I can accept Christ and then live like the devil?”
Lutzer: You know, I love to hear people ask that question, and I’ll tell you why. First of all, that the only person who would ever ask that question almost always is someone who has never accepted the Gospel. And you know, the reason is because they don’t understand its implications. You know, the Apostle Paul in Romans when he was explaining the Gospel, he knew that the unbeliever, reading what he was writing, would conclude that. And that’s why the Apostle Paul says, “Well, shall we continue in sin then that grace may abound?” [Rom. 6:1] You remember the Apostle Paul says because the natural man, hearing the Gospel, is going to think, “What a deal! I believe in Jesus; I live like the devil; I get the best of both worlds.” The part that is missing is an understanding of what happens. We are not merely declared righteous in Heaven by God, which is justification. At the same time – and I do believe that our next program is going to be all devoted to this topic – at the very same time, we are born again of the Spirit, which means that God gives us a whole new set of desires, a new set of aspirations, a desire to serve Him, and we become different people. “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is passed away and the new has come” [2 Cor. 5:17]. So, there’s that. And if we, as children of God, think that we can live like the world and go back to our old sins, God will work with us; God will discipline us; God will work in our hearts. He won’t let us get by because His desire is that the sins of the past fall away and we walk in newness of life.