Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error. 1 John 4:4-6
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 1 Peter 4:12-19
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. Romans 6:1-13
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8
The fruits of the Spirit are listed in Gal. 5:16-25, where we can also find a description of the kinds of behaviors that are inspired by the flesh. Those rotten fruits of the flesh will prevent our inheriting the kingdom of God—not because we earn our way there, but because they show an absence of the Spirit in us. (2Cor. 13:5, Rom. 8:9-11) It’s not about slipping now and then, but making a PRACTICE of sinning, which grieves and quenches the Holy Spirit. (1Thess. 5:19, 22, Eph. 4:30) We put our own faith at risk if we refuse to listen to Him as He trains us to renounce ungodliness—when we refuse to yield to His influence over us. (Heb. 3:14-15) Our faith will be TESTED through trials and tribulations, but God does not TEMPT anyone. (Jam. 1:2-3, 1Pet. 1:6-9, Job 23:10, Psa. 66:10, Prov. 17:3, Isa. 48:10)
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. But that is not the way you learned Christ!—assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:17-24
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Romans 8:16-17 (Also see 2Thess. 1:4-5, Acts 5:41, Heb. 10:32-36.)
A similar conditional promise to the Church is found below:
“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ Revelation 3:1-6
My understanding of the passage about Jesus remaining faithful is that even if no one were faithful to HIM, the fact remains that He completed His work—His offer of salvation has been made and will not be rescinded. We have choices—whether to believe in Jesus as our Savior or not, and also whether to obey Jesus as Lord or not. (Rom. 10:8-10) The glorious promises of inheriting the kingdom of God apply to those who LOVE God. (1Cor. 2:9, Jam. 1:12, 2:5, Heb. 6:9-12)
Obeying the commands and keeping the words of Jesus does NOT mean reverting to the Law of Moses. However, when we do as Jesus instructed us to do, the heart of the law will be kept automatically. Keep in mind that it is a given that those who are indwelt by the Holy Spirit do not wish that others would sin with them or approve of their sin. So that is not what is meant by “doing to others as you would like them to do to you.”
“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40
Paul reiterates this, and James clarifies which “laws” we are under:
Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. Romans 13:8-10
If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. James 2:8
Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing. James 1:21-25
We ARE free in Christ, but we will be JUDGED by Him as to how we chose to exercise our freedom. (Rom. 2:16, 1Cor. 8:10-12, Gal. 5:13, 1Pet. 2:15-16, Jam. 2:8-26, Rom. 6:12-13) Don’t listen to anyone who celebrates sin and perverts grace. There are many ear-tickling teachers getting rich by offering “freedom,” but what they are really doing is causing people to become enslaved once again to sin.
In Christ, we have freedom from the enslavement to sin that once held us in its grip (“in chains” if you will). We need to understand that this is not only from the penalty FOR our former sins (2Pet. 1:9), but even from the desire to indulge our former passions. How is that? Through the power of the Holy Spirit IN us, and by the driving force of our love FOR Jesus (which is a gift along with faith) that we want to please Him MORE than old ourselves. (Phil. 2:12-16) We are new creations whose greatest desire is to honor our Savior with every thought, word and action, to advance His kingdom and store treasure in heaven where our HEART (Jesus) is. (2Cor. 5:17, Matt. 6:21, 2Cor. 7:1) To know Him is to LOVE Him—read your Bible to learn what He’s like, all He has done and even what He’s going to do in the future.
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:31-36
Psalm 90 was written by Moses, who was inspired by the Holy Spirit to include the time period of 1,000 years in a passage which also refers to “flying away”, “numbering our days” and a “heart of wisdom.” Peter, through the Holy Spirit, specifically related the “1,000-year day” to the return of Christ.
The second resurrection is AFTER the millennium, along with the second death of all among those resurrected at that time whose names are not written in the Book of Life. We can clearly see from the evil that pervades this present world that Satan is NOT bound at this time. Certainly we expect that when Jesus reigns in earnest over EVERYTHING, things will be noticeably different. (Heb. 2:8, Rev. 11:15-19) At the end of the millennium, Jesus does not need to return, as He is already here ruling with a rod of iron. The enemies then surrounding the holy city will not be killed by Jesus and the sword of His mouth in the way the enemies will have been destroyed at His return (Rev. 19:11-16), but with fire from heaven.
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying, “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. The nations raged, but your wrath came, and the time for the dead to be judged, and for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints, and those who fear your name, both small and great, and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.” Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. Revelation 11:15-19
We were warned in the Bible about people who would “have the appearance of godliness but deny its power.” What else is that when people go through the motions of “faith” in Jesus on Sunday morning and live for themselves the rest of the week? Listening to a short sermon containing a few Bible verses will not give anyone the power they need to resist temptation and walk with God DAILY, let alone withstand persecution. People aren’t told often enough (or sometimes at all) about how the Holy Spirit empowers them to resist sin IF they are truly born again. Most think “the church” is a building or a service they attend to hear short, palatable sermons. The result is a body of believers unprepared to do spiritual battle against the forces of evil in this fallen world. We need to put on the whole armor of God EVERY DAY. Let’s be READY for His return, not ashamed.
So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:1-5
The one being joined to the Lord becomes one spirit with him. Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:17-20
Now if anyone builds on the foundation [Jesus] with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire. Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple. 1 Corinthians 3:12-17
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:10-20