The death of Jesus fulfilled the letter of the Old Testament Law and the writings of the prophets telling of His coming. Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17. In the context of atonement for sin, His death left nothing undone. Therefore, why don’t all people everywhere get to go to heaven no matter what they believe, either He died for the sins of mankind or not? Jesus died for the sins of mankind, but to live forever in heaven is according to a new and living way–a New Covenant of the Spirit by the LIFE of Jesus the Christ! By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; Hebrews 10:20.
From here, we now “see” God’s plan for reconciliation through the body of Christ and for the body of believers in Christ (explained later) if we look to His will! Of course, we do not worship His will, but Him, as the source of it. We also see the foundation for a life in the Spirit which is not by His death, but by His life–the Word according to the will of God and His Spirit. A life in the Spirit is enabled by His death, but realized by His life when we live in Him as explained in detail later. Simply stated, Jesus gave His flesh and blood as a man to save us from our sins, but His death does not give us eternal life. It gives us the “power to become” eternally alive as the sons of God provided we believe the Word and live by it literally and figuratively. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:12 (Emphasis added).
The Bible describes the blood sacrifice of Jesus as the taking away of the penalty of sin for the believer, thereby rendering His body a form of physical “door” unto eternal life we cannot pass through unless we accept Him for who He is–the Word! Jesus said: I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. John 10:9. There is no other way to eternal life! Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. John 10:1. But note, every door blocks a doorway as a way of passage. Thus, the Spirit is the “doorway” unto eternal life. Stated another way, Jesus the man in the flesh himself is the door as a physical barrier. The Word, as the statement of the Father’s will and the Holy Ghost Spirit of truth bearing witness as to the truth and veracity of the Word, is the Father’s will, and that is the doorway unto eternal life. (Recall, the Spirit of God is the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost. We come to know the Father according to His will (as He desires) and no other way!)
We get His life (i.e., eternal life) as an exercise of the aforementioned “power to become the sons of God” (John 1:13) when we pass through the door of His flesh and the doorway of the Spirit by “receiving Him” and acting on (doing) what He said. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:40. (Emphasis added). As explained in detail below, “believeth on Him” means to act in accordance with the Word to do the Father’s will by the power of the Holy Ghost in truth—being in one accord with Him not just in mind, but also in heart which brings about our amendment in lifestyle as action, not just talk.
By way of reproof, pursuant to John 1:12 and 6:40, the “belief” in Him we need is more than recognition of the fact He died for our sins. We need to “receive Him” which is more than believing in His death as a fact of human history, because the devils also believe and tremble (James 2:19). We don't want to be like the devils and simply believe and tremble; faith does much more. We must act on our belief proving we truly believe. In short, we must believe what He said as the Word of God, and live by the spirit of it (i.e., the Father’s will). But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. James 1:22. For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified. Romans 2:13. (Not surprisingly, under the New Covenant the reference to the “law” is God’s supreme law, i.e., His will.)
For His words to enable us to do the will of God in sincerity, we rely on the spirit of truth that bears witness to the Word and quickens our mortal bodies as explained below! Thus, believing in Him MUST also include our heart’s desire to learn of Him in order to do what the Word/Bible says as being a true “yokefellow” (i.e., doing what He did) as stated previously. We must stay willing to learn that faith without works does not work. Works of obedience perfect and complete our faith, however, we can't earn saving merit before God by our good deeds. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Matthew 11:29.
Also note, only the Father determines who He will draw (“call”) to Jesus, i.e., bring to the door or doorway of eternal life. No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:44. While the Father’s “choice” of whom He will draw to Jesus is not an exclusionary selection process, because God is no respecter of persons (Acts 10:34), He does select based on the condition of our heart as our place of love in each of us. Who then does the Father draw to Jesus unto eternal life? As proven from the beginning with the first man, then the Jews, and everyone thereafter, whoever desires the will of God from the heart is called to Christ Jesus. Remember, God is a Spirit and God is love, so whoever desires the love of God from the heart desires His will and is drawn to Christ Jesus. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 1 John 3:20.
Therefore, as a first prerequisite, our heart must be of a condition to regard God as God. …for he that cometh to God must believe that he is… Hebrews 11:6. Regarding Him as God is the first aspect of desiring the will of God unto eternal life. The Word is God, and so we also need to regard the Word as His will for all mankind, including the words of our brethren chosen by the Lord like Paul–a “chosen vessel” by Jesus Himself. (See Acts Chapter 9). As a “chosen vessel” Paul, formerly named Saul, helped pen the Word for our benefit. If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 1 Corinthians 14:37.
As to faith generally, there can be no faith in something that has already happened and becomes a fact. Also, the phrase “[n]ot of works” in Ephesians 2:9 means we cannot do anything to earn salvation, and yet the phrase does not mean there is nothing to do if we believe on Jesus. We believe Jesus died as payment for our sins as a fact, and have faith He has (is) the Words of life. It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life...Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. John 6:63, 68-69.
For example, the death of Christ on the cross, as well as His resurrection unto life thereafter, is a fact of human history to be believed. There is no faith required for the death and resurrection of Christ Jesus–only belief in those events remain. The fact is that the original disciples less Judas, more than five hundred (500) miscellaneous people, James and all of the apostles, and Paul saw Him alive after His death! For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 1 Corinthians 15:3-8. As a fact of human history to be believed, belief in His death and resurrection alone cannot be faith unto salvation in itself because that which is done cannot be undone, or done again just for us. Simply stated, there can be no faith in the fact He died on the cross and was raised from the dead by the Holy Ghost three (3) days later simply because there is nothing “undone”. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? Romans 8:24.
Most assuredly then, the events of His death and resurrection are facts to be believed as having been done thereby fulfilling the Old Testament. This provides the means by which we have the “power to become” the children of God if we believe it as explained previously. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: John 1:12. Stated another way, if He died on the cross to save us from our sins and was raised from the dead by the Father as facts of human history, and we are said to have died with him on that cross, therefore, we too are then considered dead to sin, and yet how do we “live”? ...How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Romans 6:2-3. How do we “get raised from the dead” and become saved by faith?
The “faith” Paul speaks of for salvation (Ephesians 2:8-9 above) is living (doing) according to the Word in hope for the “undone” including our own salvation. Therefore, faith itself is the evidence of things we have not seen. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1. Faith for salvation is proved by our “life” by Him, i.e., as He lived here. The love He had on earth is by the Word and the Holy Ghost. Thus, the Spirit requires a heart desirous of an amended lifestyle according to the will of God starting with the Word which we believe and do. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. James 2:18.
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