John 3:19 (KJV) And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Jesus was speaking to the world in general but directly to Nicodemus. Jesus told Nicodemus, a Pharisee, who practiced the law perfectly in deed, that he preferred darkness because his deeds were evil. The law is not evil, as Paul would teach repeatedly it was meant to expose humanity of their need for a Savior. The law in itself had no power to produce righteousness that we, as a fallen creature, desperately need. The righteousness that we all look for is God’s righteousness, which is the body of Jesus Christ “law made into flesh”.
Matthew 20:25-27 (KJV)
25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister [an attendant, i.e. (genitive) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties)]
27 And whosoever will be chief [foremost(in time, place, order or importance)] among you, let him be your servant [a slave]:
When the apostle John died, the church slipped into apostasy as darkness started to prevail over the truth of the light and the Catholic Church began to emerge. In 1557 Martin Luther nailed his 95 thesis to the door of the local Catholic Church which can be summed up as “The just shall live by faith”. This was the first time a glimmer of the true light pushed through the darkness of false doctrine.
“Luther came to understand justification as being entirely the work of God. Against the teaching of his day that the righteous acts of believers are done in cooperation with God, Luther asserted that Christians receive that righteousness entirely from outside themselves; that righteousness not only comes from Christ, it actually is the righteousness of Christ, imputed to us (rather than infused into us) through faith. “That is why faith alone makes someone just and fulfills the law,” said Luther. “Faith is that which brings the Holy Spirit through the merits of Christ“. Thus faith, for Luther, is a gift from God, and “. . .a living, bold trust in God’s grace, so certain of God’s favor that it would risk death a thousand times trusting in it.” This faith grasps Christ’s righteousness and appropriates it for itself in the believer’s heart.”
“The just shall live by faith” is a profound statement for a believer, but before a person can live by faith he has to be made “just”.
*My comments are within scripture*
Galatians 2:16-17 (KJV)
6 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ (who’s faith?), even we have believed in Jesus Christ (a derivative for the cross of Christ), that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law (anything can be made to be law not just the Law of God for example praying, fasting, memorizing scriptures.): for by the works of the law shall no flesh (there is only one flesh that is justified: Christ’s) be justified.
17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners (found to be trusting in the works of the law through our flesh), is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
This is a notable example of how people can take something that is true (the bible) and convert it into something false. False doctrine is one of the reasons why a person can continually feel a lack of knowledge. Total truth is always present within scripture, but the lack of truth comes when we attempt to turn the truth into something that it is not.
1 Cor 13:9 (KJV)
9 For we know in part …
While we are maturing in the faith of Jesus Christ, we only “know in part”. The other “part” we will fill in with our own understanding if we are not careful. This is exactly how believers went into the darkness of the Catholic Church and this is why modern believers dwell in darkness today.
Just to be clear, this is not a “Catholic” issue, but a “Church” issue. I am simply using the Catholic Church as an example of how we as believers can dwell in a “works related” relationship and totally miss a more purposeful and fulfilling relationship.
Martha was a woman that thought there was so much to do for the Master of the Universe, and Mary sat at Christ’s feet and learned of him.
Luke 10:41-42 (KJV) 41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: 42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
I have heard many times that Martha was doing something that was necessary, but Christ said, “one thing is needful” and Mary chose to do the needful thing: setting at the foot of Christ and hearing him.
Luke 10:39 (KJV) And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
Let us not take scripture and comprehend it with our own understanding.
Isaiah 5:20-21 (KJV)
20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
21 Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!
The modern-day church is facing the same darkness that Martin Luther faced. Martin Luther’s church read from the same bible that we read from today, but the “priests” preached everything but the true gospel. Hundreds of years later believers have not realized their error and made the corrections that are so desperately needed. We would like to think that we have evolved in our mental capabilities, but the fact is technology does not measure human’s intellect.
As Martin Luther stood at the door of the church ready to nail his thesis, what had to be going through his mind? What was he going to face when it came to acceptance? The people welcomed the truth, while the leadership rejected it. Jesus faced the same criticism from the leaders of his day as well.
What made the false prophets in scripture false?
Jer 14:14 (KJV)
14 Then the Lord said unto me, The prophets prophesy lies in my name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.
Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
It is not to say that these prophets were not called to be prophets, but they were not chosen to be prophets, “many are called but few are chosen Matt. 22:14”. A chosen minister is one that preaches a singular message, the cross of Christ. A person that has been called, but not chosen yet (I say “yet” because every chosen minister is first called), will preach the cross but will also preach “pet” doctrines as well (“things of nought” i.e. unprofitable doctrines). For example, King Saul was one that was called whereas King David was chosen.
1 Sam 8:11-17 (KJV)
11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
13 And he will take your daughters to be confectioneries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
15 And he will take the tenth (tithe) of your seed, and of your vineyards…
16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.
17 He will take the tenth (tithe) of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants.
Saul was “called” to be king and always took from the people. David on the other hand was “chosen” to be King. He (David) is the old testament representation of Christ (8 Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David… 2 Tim 2:8 (KJV). Let us seek to not only be called of God but chosen as well.
Romans 8:30 (KJV)
30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified (A person that has not been justified cannot live by true faith), them he also glorified.
Going back to Gal. 2, we should all pray to be judged. Judge me now Lord.