First, we see that God is love, but not an indulging love. The New Testament does mention one sin that can never be forgiven. We can see the results for Ananias and his wife Sapphira due to cheating the Holy Spirit. Many people emphasize love in the era of the New Testament. There are indeed teachings on righteousness. Finally, we talk about how there is one God in both the New Testament and Old Testament, and that we’ll not be judged twice for the same sin. It is better to get tribulations when we are alive. We explain this point by some events happened to David. On the top of that, tribulations could be pretended blessings. Although Jesus died for us, we still need deeds out of faith like what was described in the Book of James, and fear the Lord in love. Remember that the final judgement is still based upon what we do.
We see first that God is love as said in 1 John 4:8, “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” “By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10) As said in Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” And said in Romans 5:10, “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”
But this love is not an indulging love, “For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.” (Hebrews 12:6) We should not look for troubles. It is measured by God depending upon our needs. We must be willing, as said in Matthew 16:24, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” We have to deny ourselves as said in Romans 8:13, “for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.”(Colossians 3:5)
Although God is love, the Bible does mention one sin can never be forgiven in Mark 3:28-29, “Truly I say to you, all sins shall be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin.” It is also said similarly in Matthew 12:31-32,”Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”
Let us take a look at one example in New Testament. It is said in Acts 5:1-5, “But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the price of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it.” “Now there elapsed an interval of about three hours, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for such and such a price?” And she said, “Yes, that was the price.” Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.””(Acts 5:7-9) Don’t think that the Holy Spirit doesn’t know what we do in secret. He is omniscient. Remember, although God is love, it isn’t an indulging love. We must fear the Lord in love. But we should know, “By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”(1 John 4:17-18) At that time, there was the need for immediate penalty since it is said in Acts 5:11, “And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.”
The Bible doesn’t say directly that Ananias was baptized, but I believed so logically. Otherwise, he shouldn’t be with disciples. As a matter of fact, he seems pious in the surface because he was willing to sell his land. But he couldn’t just obey the law but cheat the Holy Spirit. It is really not easy to distinguish, as said in Matthew 13:29-30, “But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘” We can only use the fruit to distinguish. We must long for a good fruit as said in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”
Next, let us look at the teaching about righteousness in the New Testament. First, we notice from the Strong’s Concordance that the Greek G1343 as nouns appears 92 times in the New Testament, and G1342 as adjectives 81 times. It is impossible to mention all of them in this short article. Therefore, our goal is just to mention that there are absolutely teachings of righteousness in the New Testament. Although many people emphasize the teaching of God’s love and mention the righteousness fewer times, Jesus mentioned two times out of eight blessings from sermon in the mountain. They are in Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” and in Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” He also taught the there was a order in prayer. In Matthew 6:33, it says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
In the following verses, we can also see that there are absolutely the teachings of righteousness. John 17:25 says, “O righteous (G1342) Father, although the world has not known You, yet I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me.” In Acts 17:31, it says, “because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.” “for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”(Romans 14:17) The full armor includes the righteousness as described in Ephesians 6:14, “Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness.” In new heavens and a new earth, there still is righteousness as stated in 2 Peter 3:13, “But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells.”
There is only one God in both the New Testament and the Old Testament. In Hebrews 2:9, “But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone.” Our salvation is through the blood of Jesus as stated in Hebrews 9:14, “how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” We see in John 3:16-18, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. …He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” “Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith.” (Romans 3:27) Don’t get it backwards. It is based in faith, and we should have deeds proportional to our faith, the deeds like what is described in the Book of James. The Bible says clearly, we will be judged by our deeds. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.”(2 Corinthians 5:10) It is also said in Revelation 20:11-13, “Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat upon it, from whose presence earth and heaven fled away, and no place was found for them. …and they were judged, every one of them according to their deeds.”
We must believe that it is preferred to have judgement when we are on earth. It is because God has no partiality. Once one sin is judged, the same sin will not be judged twice. This can be seen in some events about David recorded in the Old Testament. First, note that he committed adultery as described in 2 Samuel 11:3-4, “So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house.” He paid the price as stated in 2 Samuel 12:9-12, “Why have you despised the word of the Lord by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. …Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and under the sun.'”
Now we see another sin of David by counting people as described in 2 Samuel 24:10-12, “Now David’s heart troubled him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done. But now, O Lord, please take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have acted very foolishly.” When David arose in the morning, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Gad, David’s seer, saying, “Go and speak to David, ‘Thus the Lord says, “I am offering you three things; choose for yourself one of them, which I will do to you.”‘”” He also suffered because of this. Let finally see what the Bible says in 1 Kings 15:5, “because David did what was right in the sight of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the case of Uriah the Hittite.” He is not judged again for those sins mentioned. So, our tribulations may be the results of judgement. It is better to have judgement when we are on earth, like what happened to David.
(Verses refer to those in NASB unless otherwise specified.)
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