We Live To Do; We Don’t Do To Live?

The Calvinists and church at Birmingham types are fond of saying something like: We live to do; we don’t do to live.

But why can’t both be true? Indeed the verses at the bottom of this message prove we also – do to live.

If you see a verse that seems to be saying we don’t do to live, examine it and you will see it is either talking about the law of Moses specifically (like Acts 15:1ff and the book of Galatians), or it is talking about the BASIS for our salvation, not whether or not our salvation is CONDITIONAL.

The difference between basis and condition can be illustrated with the walls of Jericho. If I say “the Israelites didn’t knock down those walls themselves; they would have had to use sledgehammers to do that,” I am discussing the BASIS for the walls coming down. God did it miraculously. But if I say “the Israelites had to walk for those walls to come down,” then I am discussing CONDITION.

We can do the same thing with Naaman (II Kings 5) and the brazen serpent (Num 21). Naaman was cleansed by God’s healing power (Basis), but Naaman had to dip seven times for that to happen (Condition). The Israelites were healed of their snake bites by God (Basis), but they had to look upon the brazen serpent for that to happen (Condition). Likewise when it comes to our spiritual salvation, basis is God’s part; condition is man’s part. If there is no man’s part, then everybody would be saved, because Jesus died (Basis) for everybody (Heb 2:9).

Hebrews 5:9 “the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him”

Matt 7:21 “he that doeth the will of my Father … shall enter into … heaven”

Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city”

James 2:14-24-26 “by works a man is justified, and not by faith only”

I Peter 1:22 “ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth”

I Pet 1:17 “Father … without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work

Revelation 20:11-15 “they were judged every man according to their works

Philippians 2:12 “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”


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