One of the cool tricks invented by Christians to keep faith a past tense, already did that and checked it off the list thing, is the idea that believers don’t have to do anything good, Christ already did all the good for me.
This concept is stated in different ways but all mean the same thing–I don’t have to do anything.
Again, note that this is the same logic Israel used in the Old Testament–I’m circumcised, I don’t have to do anything. Then note that after this thought took root Israel was rejected by God, judged and dispersed.
They thought keeping circumcision was good enough to prove they kept the whole law. But as Paul says in Romans, circumcision doesn’t free you from the rest of the law, but actually binds you to it. Circumcision is not one act and now I’m done with the law. Doesn’t work that way.
Nor should you think saying the sinner’s prayer, getting baptized or whatever else suddenly frees you from obeying God. Paul says that circumcision of the heart is what is needed.
Messing with the external proves nothing as faith has to do with the heart. This applies to whether your physical body got wet in baptism or your mouth physically said the sinner’s prayer. Neither are the issue; the issue is always the heart and true faith.
True faith results in being born again, having the Spirit who empowers us to live by faith–by God’s Word.
When people say “Christ fulfilled the law for me so I don’t have to” what they want to believe is that they can keep sinning and still go to heaven. People want to believe that faith fulfills the law.
In fact, I bet you think the Bible even says “faith fulfills the law” we’ve heard that so many times. Perhaps again we can trace this back to Martin Luther who said, “the whole Decalogue is fulfilled by faith.”
Rest assured, I already checked, the Bible doesn’t say faith fulfills the law. What it does say is that “faith establishes the law.”
Hmm, now that’s different. I’ll go into it tomorrow.