Post details: Do the commendable deeds of non-believers please God?


Permalink 10:56:00 pm, Categories: GraceHead teaching, By Trent, 838 words   English (US)

Do the commendable deeds of non-believers please God?

John Chapter 8
34Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

skipping a verse

36"So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.

37"I know that you are Abraham's descendants; yet you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.

38"I speak the things which I have seen with My Father; therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father."
skipping a few verses

43"Why do you not understand what I am saying? It is because you cannot hear My word.

44"You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

What if there are slaves of sin, sinning without end? Jesus was speaking this to the teachers of the Torah, who obeyed the law, memorized the first five books of the Bible by the age 15, and did all the things commendable in the site of men! (BTW, can you imagine spending your formative years memorizing Leviticus?!?!)

Jesus sets the slaves free, so that they may do something besides sin (which otherwise they would continually do!)

There is no truth in anything that an unbeliever does, because The Truth is not in them. None of it pleases God at all. Though it is deemed commendable or damnable by men, God turns away from all they do, for they are turned away from Him.

Hebrews 11:6
And without faith it is impossible to please God, ...

To be SET FREE from being a complete slave to sin ... is to believe upon the Lord Jesus, to welcome into your life, so that just as the Father lived through Him, He might live through you and produce good fruit that you might bear.

A branch that is not attached to Him, produces nothing. Who has ever seen a dead branch produce fruit? It cannot happen, but grafted into the Life giving Vine, so will God's work be manifest in that which was once dead and fruitless!

By: Major W. Ian Thomas

Christian living is not a method or technique; it is an entirely different, revolutionary principle of life. It is the principle of an exchanged life" not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Galatians 2:20).

This is all part of our Gospel - it is not the Gospel plus! We must not get our terminology wrong. To divorce the behavior of the Christian from the Gospel is entirely false and is not true to the Word of God, yet all too often such is the characteristic of gospel preaching.

I would like to explore with you what is the true spiritual content of our Gospel not just heaven one day, but Christ right now! Christ in you, on the grounds of redemption this is the Gospel! To preach anything less than this must inevitably produce "Evan-jellyfish" folk with no spiritual vertebrae, whose faith does not "behave!"

Do you remember what James says in his epistle? "As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead" (chapter 2:26). The "spirit" there means breath, and a body without breath is dead. Stop breathing and folk will bury you! In other words, a living body breathes, and a living faith breathes, and a living faith breaths with divine action. A living faith breathes with the activity of Jesus Christ. That is why the Lord Jesus, in John 6:29, said, "This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent."

That is the work of God. It is your living faith in the adequacy of the One who is in you, which releases His divine action through you. It is the kind of activity that the Bible calls "good works," as opposed to "dead works."

"Good works" are those works that have their origin in Jesus Christ - - whose activity is released through your body, presented to Him as a living sacrifice by a faith that expresses total dependence, as opposed to the Adamic independence (Romans 12: 1,2).

It is only the life of the Lord Jesus -- His activity, clothed with you and displayed through you, that ultimately will find the approval of God.

From: The Saving Life of Christ. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House. ©1961.

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Comment from: Pam [Member]
Hi Trent,

When Jesus walked the earth, His Will was seamless with the Will of His Father. Jesus didn't walk the earth, choosing for Himself that which was a good work for Him to perform and that which was an evil work but was so in tune with His Father that it was actually the Father's work on earth that was enacted through Jesus the Son of Man who thought it not robbery to make Himself equal with God, He was the Son of God. In the same way, we who are in Christ and in whom Christ also dwells are also to have such a seamless closeness to the Will of the Father through Jesus that it is not our work that is accomplished but the work of the Father. Good works are beyond morality (which can be accomplished by human choice), they are the very works of God. Good works are not works done by man in an attempt to imitate God's goodness. We did not receive a gift of good morality when we accepted Christ, we received Life. That gift so radically changes us that we become the very instruments of God upon the earth. It is by Christ within us that God's Will is done upon the earth as it is in Heaven.

My twenty-two cents and when your hit fifty, you'll have earned the privilege of always being able to add more than the customary two cents also!;-}

Permalink 02/13/07 @ 00:19
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·
John 20:21
Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you."
Permalink 02/13/07 @ 10:00
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·

You will not find one single believer that has followed the Lord in the following passage for one moment of their life.

John 6:29
Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."

The greater includes the lesser, so in all their ways do they stumble. In not one single moment have they followed Jesus, nor the Father, as unbelievers refuse to believe upon Him.

So it is written:
John 16:7-9
Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me;
Your argument is not with me, but Jesus. Not just in the above passages, but in all the other passages that I have already referenced.


Permalink 02/13/07 @ 10:41
Comment from: Trent [Member] ·
You said: [[anyone can do this - even the braches that abide not in the vine and are dead.]]
Jesus said: "Apart from me, you can do nothing."

I believe Jesus.

He commands us to "be perfect as the Father in heaven is perfect" ... "be more righteous than Pharisees" ... "be holy as God is holy" ... "love your enemy" ... "turn the cheek" ... "gift wrap your coat to give to the person who stole your shirt"
And to as many as believe upon Him, the fulfillment of these things are theirs in Christ.

Jesus is their perfection, so they can no longer break the command to "be perfect as the Father".

Jesus is their righteousness, so they no longer break the command in all their ways to fall short of God's righteousness.

Jesus is their holiness, and they are made holy by Him, so they are not slaves to break the command to be as holy as God.

Jesus is the One, whom will express His life through those that are drawing life from Him as the Vine, so that they would bear fruit - loving enemies, turning cheeks, and returning every evil with good.

Break the least of the commands, and you have broken them all.
Welcome the Spirit into your innermost being and be made alive by the Lord Jesus, inheriting all the divine attributes, even the fulfillment of the Law, and forgiveness for every shortcoming.

It is God's will that all choose, and choose they will. He will fix their choice and make it according to their willingness.

It is pride that says, "I need not the Lord Jesus to be pleasing to God" ... and that is the exact pride that keeps every non-believer from the Kingdom.

Permalink 02/13/07 @ 11:30
Comment from: Timothy [Member] ·
Indeed any good work done without the Spirit in God's eyes is no more work at all, but futile. There are many verses about work being no more work and that the wicked do the same and so on. Not that unbeleivers "good" works don't help others, but why are they doing them really? This they must ask themselves within their heart of it selflessness, or attempt to gain Heaven by works, "just in case", or vanity for their own glory? In the end ONLY works done in faith by the Holy Spirit profit...."apart from God we can do nothing".

Either we are in Christ working toward His purpose in ourselves and for those to whom He sends us; or we are not in Christ and we are serving satan by default.

Cain was seemingly doing a good work by his offering to the Lord, yet his work was rejected by God and Abel's was accepted.

So then let us all do works unto God, by God, and for God, according to how God commands us to do them. Let us work to please Him and not man or ourselves. All is the Lord's and He shall judge between us and that which we have done in Him or without Him; and whether it will be rejected or accepted, having already told us, works done with out Him that are not done in Christ by His Spirit are no more works. So even a seemily good work of another done without belief is not a good work. For all good works the Lord Jesus commanded us that we do where commanded of them who beleive and walk in Him, following Him wherever He goes. Only those of the Truth hear His words and those not of the Truth hear not His words. So then, the Lord was speaking only to those who know Him and beleive in Him. And so these, who hear and love Him obey His word, giving away there coats, tending the sick, visiting those in prison and the widows, clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, and taking in the stranger are doing good works, because it is because of Him that they do them.

Let us remember that we are servants of the Lord together; and if we are servants of the Lord we also become servants one to the other... washing each others feet.

Blessings to you all in Christ,
Timothy (your servant in Christ) :-)
Permalink 02/13/07 @ 13:35
Comment from: SocietyVs [Visitor] ·
"Your argument is not with me, but Jesus. Not just in the above passages, but in all the other passages that I have already referenced." (Trent)

Okay. But are we not the interpreters of the book? Or is it all laid out so perfectly that we do not make mistakes?

"I believe Jesus." (Trent)

That makes a few of us.

"Either we are in Christ working toward His purpose in ourselves and for those to whom He sends us; or we are not in Christ and we are serving satan by default." (Timothy)

In in that there lies the rub of the convo - who is the unbeliever? How can we pick him out and verbally stone the fellow? Which is what we are doing we say things like 'oh your work is useless since you never believed in God'. Maybe God has reached him/her too and we don't see it (being not them nor God). We have these teachings and I find this interpretation most interesting 'apart from God we can do nothing'...what does 'apart' mean in this context? It sounds like 'without' from what I read - and yet they still do something. Maybe, just maybe, they have also been approved by God.
Permalink 02/14/07 @ 15:19

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