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Sun, Oct 12, 2008

01 - Repentance from Dead Works

Hebrews 6:1-2 & Hebrews 5:10-14 by David Nathan
The writer of Hebrews admonishes the believers because they had not grown in their faith, nor had they become fruitful in teaching/discipling others. There comes a time in every Christian’s life when God expects us to be able to share the fundamental principles of our faith with others. We all reach this stage at different times but God expects us all to arrive and begin to produce fruit. Only once we have mastered these basic principles can we begin to mature in the things of God. Ironically, most Christians do not fully comprehend these basic principles of the Christian faith.

What are "dead works"?

Isaiah 64:6 (NIV) "... all our righteous acts are like filthy rags"

Philippians 3:1-9

  • Although Paul had been obedient to the Mosaic Law and was zealous for the Jewish traditions, he counted these good works as rubbish (skubalŏn – dung) in the light of Christ's righteousness.
  • The Apostle Paul did not rely on his own righteousness through obedience to the Law but relied on the righteousness that comes through faith in Jesus.
  • His faith was in the finished work of the cross of Calvary for his salvation and right standing with God.

Romans 10:1-4 (NKJV) " Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes."

  • Israel was zealous for God but their zeal was not according to God's word but rather their good works.
  • There pre-occupation with their own righteousness hardened and blinded their hearts to God's righteousness through Jesus.

Galatians 3:10-14 (NIV) " All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit."

  • Obeying the law or doing good works in order to earn God's righteousness brings about a curse.
  • The curse of disobeying the law was once and for all removed through Jesus.

Galatians 3:19-25 (Read)

The purpose of the Mosaic Law was to:

  1. Show man God's standard of holiness
  2. To keep our sin nature restrained by meeting out consequences for our disobedience.
  3. To point man to God's plan of salvation through the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

Definition of dead works

Dead works are the laws we try to obey and the works we do in order to earn God's righteousness apart from submitting to the finished work of the cross.

How do I repent from dead works?

Salvation – Is a Free Gift from God it cannot be earned and we do not deserve it. It is given by a merciful and gracious God.

Romans 3:20-26

  • Understand that God's righteousness is separate from the law of Moses i.e. it exists and operates independently and separately of the Mosaic law. The law and prophets foretold of the righteousness that would come through the new covenant sealed in Jesus' blood. (Jeremiah 31:31–34; Isaiah 53:1–12 are just two of many examples).
  • Every individual has sinned against God and cannot by any self-effort earn their forgiveness.
  • We are forgiven and justified freely (without any cost), by faith, in Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, alone.

Ephesians 2:4-9

  • Salvation was purchased for us while we were still sinners, through God's mercy, born out of His love for man.
  • God does not want us to first become righteous before coming to Him for this is the sin of dead works.

Rather He saves us in the mire and depths of sin and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Romans 5:6–11)

  • Salvation is a free gift, it is neither deserved nor earned, it is bestowed on those who receive by faith the Lord Jesus.

All our Sins Forgiven

Colossians 2:13-14

  • Jesus has forgiven us for every single sin we ever have or will commit.

Hebrews 10:11-18

  • Jesus' one sacrifice has forever paid the penalty for man's sin.
  • God has chosen to never again remember the sins we have committed.

2 Corinthians 5:21

  • In Christ we are as righteous as God is. Our righteousness is given as a gift from God through Christ and is not earned.

How do we Receive Salvation?

Galatians 2:16

  • By believing and putting the hope of our salvation alone in Jesus and the finished work of the cross.

Romans 10:9–13

  • We are saved through faith in the finished work of Calvary.
  • We are born again when we by faith confess Jesus' lordship over our lives and surrender, without reservation, ourselves to Him.

Romans 8:28–39

  • The Father has predestined believers to become like Jesus in nature and character (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).
  • God has called us, He has justified us from sin and He has glorified us in Jesus.
  • There is nothing in all creation that can separate us from God's love, except ourselves.

Crucifixion of the Sin Nature

Understanding the sin nature

Romans 5:12

  • All of us inherit a sin nature at conception as a result of Adam's sin (Psalm 51:5).
  • Galatians 5:16-17 " I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish."

Romans 7:13-25

  • Our sin nature is extremely powerful before salvation and controls our actions.
  • It usurps our desire to obey God's law and wages war against our spirit through our minds (soul).

Romans 8:6–8

  • Our sin nature cannot be saved "for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be."
  • As long as our sin nature dominates our lives we cannot please God.

How does God deal with our sin nature?

Romans 6:5–14

  • Our sin nature was crucified with Jesus on the cross.
  • It was made powerless to rule over us through the cross of Jesus. Sin's power was broken when we died to self and were born-again.
  • In order to walk in this spiritual victory, we must acknowledge and receive this spiritual truth by faith.
  • Only by renewing our minds to agree with God's word, do we experience all the things that God has freely given us in Jesus our Lord (Romans 12:2).

Walking in newness of life

Galatians 5:24-25 " And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit."

Ephesians 4:17–23

  • To live in obedience to God we must choose to put off our old sin nature by accepting the finished work of Calvary.
  • We are to renew our whole soul (mind, will and emotions) to line up with our spirits.
  • Clothe yourself with the knowledge that you are a new creation in Jesus. 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things
  • have become new."
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