(Article for publication week of 8-29- AD 2013)
“And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity’ “ (Matthew 7:23).
We have been writing the last few weeks on the danger of false profession and had begun to discover some of the root problems with false profession as shown by the words of our Lord in Matthew 7:21-23. In this passage our Lord declares that multitudes will discover to their everlasting anguish that they were lost church members and finally be sent to hell. Multitudes have a profession of Christ, but they are not possessed by Christ.
We had previously observed that these false professors never doubted their salvation and never examined themselves if they had the genuine article. We had also pointed out that they did not the will of God. They were disobedient and reprobate Titus 1:16).
Next to be noticed is that they were “workers of iniquity.” The Greek word translated “iniquity” here means “lawless.” If there is one word to describe professed Christians and preachers here in Simpson County, this is it- “lawless.” The professed church here in our area, and from what I hear throughout our land is, by and large, lawless. The majority of professed Christians completely disregard the law of God. How often do hear professed Christians and even ministers proclaim, ”we are not under the law, we are under grace”! Romans 6:14 is one of the most misunderstood, and most abused scriptures in all of God’s word. Multitudes are misusing it to their final and eternal ruin. I am reminded of a man who was a member of a church I once pastored. The report came to me that he had been getting drunk, and I went to see him to try to restore him. When I pointed out the seriousness of his sin, and the fact that this was behavior unbecoming to a professed follower of Christ, he protested, “you are trying to put me under the law, but I am under grace”! He completely misunderstood Romans 6:14, and what it means to be under grace, and not under law. I hope all you antinomians who think that Romans 6:14 gives you license to live in sin will go and read that verse and what goes before and follows after. It is true that believers in Christ are not under the law for their justification. It is also true that the believer is not under the condemnation of the law. But the happy consequence of this is that the believer in Christ is not under the dominion of sin. Those who justify their careless living by misquoting Romans 6:14, and insist they can live any way they choose will hear the words of Christ, “depart from me, you lawless ones”!
The Apostle Paul makes it clear in Romans 3:31 that faith in Christ does not make void the law, but rather establishes the law. Our Lord plainly stated in Matthew 5:17 that he came to fulfill the law, not destroy it. The believer in Christ does not look to the law of God for his justification, but he looks to it as a reflection of the perfect character of God. It is his rule of life, and thus can say “O Lord! How I love Thy law”, and “I delight in the law of God after the inward man.” The believer in Christ knows he cannot be saved by keeping the law, yet he wants to please God and knows that God has revealed His will to us by the moral law, that is the Ten Commandments. By the moral law of God, the believer knows what is sin (I John 3:4), and is always repenting of his sins and looking to Christ Who saved him from his sins, by keeping the law to a jot and a tittle.
Lord willing, we will continue the subject next week.