True Christianity is a body of imperfect people striving toward perfection.
Ecc 7:20 – There is no man on earth of such righteousness that he does good and is free from sin all his days. (BBE)
Ecc 7:20 – There is not a righteous man on earth who (always) does what is right and never sins. (NIV)
So you see how a righteous man isn’t perfect, but yet, is still called “righteous”?
The reason is that such a man doesn’t “practice lawlessness”.
What does that mean?
Well, for example, after conversion, Christ’s apostles eventually sinned. Because, no one is perfect, or has ever been. No one can keep God’s Law perfect for the rest of their lives, in spite of their noble efforts.
So were they sinners? Yes! Did they practice lawlessness?
There is a difference.
Let me explain. An electrician practices electricity. He has incorporated this practice as a way of life. He deliberately practices electricity. Is he perfect in his craft? No! But he performs it to the best of his abilities.
A lawyer practices law. He has incorporated this practice as a way of life. He deliberately practices law. Is he perfect in his profession? No! But he practices law to the best of his abilities.
In true Christianity, a righteous man practices righteousness (God’s Law). He has incorporated God’s Law as an ongoing way of life. On the occasion that he slips and sins, he repents and asks God for forgiveness. He deliberately practices righteousness.
“For all Your Commandments are righteousness.” Psalm 119:72 (NKJV)
Is he perfect in his righteousness? No! But he practices righteousness on an ongoing basis to the best of his ability.
A lawless person practices lawlessness. He has incorporated violations of God’s Law as an integrated part of his daily living. For example, keeping Sunday sacred instead of the Sabbath. Or eating unclean animals whenever he wants. Or having replaced God’s Holy Days with pagan holidays.
He has DELIBERATELY incorporated aspects of Lawlessness – which is sin, as a FIXED WAY OF LIFE. He’s not repenting of these things, he is actually living them! He deliberately practices lawlessness as an ongoing way of life.
See the difference? This is not a sign of true Christianity which purposely aims to live free of sin.
And interestingly enough, for over thirty-five years I’ve been hearing these people accredit this lifestyle of neglecting the Law to a freedom in Christ that hasn’t been afforded them through scripture. They boast a freedom which allows them to live in such an antinomian way- via a supposed personal relationship with Christ. And without any fears of facing any future consequences for doing so.
But, what does Christ have to say about “a perceived” saving relationship with Him that EXCLUDES a relationship with the Father and not making any effort to DO His will?
Notice, how Christ paints a very grim and somber picture of this end-time prophetic glimpse of Judgment Day when he’ll be faced with many of these, “In the name of Jesus” ANTINOMIANS, attempting to qualify their case based exclusively on a PERCEIVED relationship with Him:
Mat 7:21 – “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he Who Does THE WILL of My Father in heaven.
Mat 7:22 – Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied IN YOUR NAME, cast out demons IN YOUR NAME, (bound Satan IN YOUR NAME), and done many wonders IN YOUR NAME?’
Mat 7:23 – And then I will declare to them, ‘I NEVER KNEW YOU; depart from Me, you who PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS!’ (NKJV)
Powerful. This proves that all along, in spite of all their hyped pretensions, they never even had a true and valid relationship with Christ, much less with the Father. What disqualifies them? Lawlessness! A blatant disregard for God’s Law.
So what is the moral of this story?
That a professing Christian without God’s Law, is just as useless as a Banker without money. NEITHER PROFESSION IS VALID WITHOUT THE GOODS!