What is a Biblical Christian? by Albert N. Martin
There are many matters concerning which total ignorance and complete indifference are neither tragic nor fatal. I am sure that there are few of us who can explain all the processes by which a brown cow eats green grass and gives white milk but we can still enjoy the milk! Many of us are totally ignorant of Einstein’s theory of relativity, and if we were pressed to explain it we would really be in difficulty. And not only are we ignorant of Einstein’s theory but most of us are quite indifferent; yet our ignorance and indifference are neither tragic nor fatal.
There are some matters, however, concerning which ignorance and indifference are both tragic and fatal. One such matter is the answer to the question, “What is a biblical Christian?” In other words, according to the Scriptures, when does a man, woman, boy or girl have the right to the name “Christian”?
One must not make the assumption lightly that he or she is a true Christian. A false conclusion at this point is tragic and fatal. Therefore I want to set before you four strands of the Bible’s answer to the question, “What is a biblical Christian?”
1. According to the Bible, a Christian is a person who has faced realistically the problem of his own personal sin.
One of the many things which distinguishes the Christian faith from the other religions of the world is that Christianity is essentially and fundamentally a sinner’s religion. When the angel announced to Joseph the approaching birth of Jesus Christ, he did so in these words, “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (). The apostle Paul wrote in , “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.” The Lord Jesus Christ himself says in , “Those who are well do not need a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.” A Christian is one who has faced realistically the problem of his own personal sin. When we turn to the Scriptures, we find that each one of us has a twofold personal problem in relation to sin. On the one hand, we have the problem of a bad record and, on the other hand, the problem of a bad heart. If we start in and begin with the tragic account of man’s rebellion against God and his fall into sin, then trace the biblical doctrine of sin all the way through to the Book of the Revelation, we see that it is not oversimplification to say that everything that the Bible teaches about the doctrine of sin can be reduced to these two fundamental categories -the problem of a bad record and the problem of a bad heart.
What do I mean by “the problem of a bad record”? I am using that terminology to describe what the Scriptures set before us as the doctrine of human guilt because of sin. The Scriptures tell us plainly that we obtained a bad record long before we had any personal existence upon the earth: “Through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” ().
When did the “all” sin? We all sinned in Adam. He was appointed by God to represent all of the human race. When he sinned, we sinned in him and fell with him in his first transgression. That is why the apostle Paul writes in , “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” Man was created without sin in the Garden of Eden; but from the moment Adam sinned, we too were charged with guilt. We fell in him in his first transgression and we are part of a race that is under condemnation.
Furthermore, the Scriptures teach that after we are born, additional guilt accrues to us for our own personal transgressions. The Word of God teaches that, “There is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin” (); and every single sin incurs additional guilt. Our record in heaven is a marred record. Almighty God measures the totality of our human experience by a standard which is absolutely inflexible. This standard touches not only our external deeds but also our thoughts and the very motions of our hearts -so much so, that the Lord Jesus said that the stirring of unjust anger is the very essence of murder, and the look with intention to lust is adultery ().
God is keeping a detailed record. That record is among “the books” which will be opened in the day of judgment (). In those books a_ recorded every thought, every motive, every intention, every deed, and every dimension of human experience that is contrary to the standard of God’s holy law, either failing to measure up to its standard or transgressing it. We have the problem of a bad record -a record according to which we are guilty. We have real guilt for real sin committed against the true and the living God. This is why the Scriptures tell us that the entire human race stands guilty before Almighty God ().
Has the problem of your own bad record ever become a burning, pressing, personal concern? Have you faced the truth that Almighty God judged you guilty when your father Adam sinned, and holds you guilty for every single word you have spoken contrary to perfect holiness, justice, purity and righteousness? He knows every object you have touched and taken contrary to the sanctity of property. He knows every word spoken contrary to perfect, absolute truth. Has this ever broken in upon you, so that you have awakened to the fact that Almighty God has every right to summon you into his presence and to require you to give an account of every single deed contrary to his law which has brought guilt upon your soul?
But this problem of a bad record is not our only problem. We have an additional problem -the problem of a bad heart. The Bible teaches that the problem of our sin arises not only from what we have done, but from what we are. When Adam sinned, he not only became guilty before God, he also became defiled and polluted in his nature.
This defilement is described in : “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Jesus describes it in : “From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts”; and then he names all the various sins that can be seen in any newspaper on any given day -murder, adultery, blasphemy, pride. Jesus said that these things rise out of an artesian well of pollution, the human heart Notice carefully that he did not say, “For from without, by the pressure of society and its negative influences, come forth murder and adultery and pride and theft” That is what our so-called sociological experts tell us. They say it is “the condition of society” that produces crime and rebellion; Jesus says it is the condition of the human heart.
Each of us by nature has a heart that the Scriptures describe as “desperately wicked,” a fountain of all forms of iniquity. asserts, “The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.” Paul does not say that the carnal mind, that is, the mind that has never been regenerated by God, has some enmity; he calls it enmity itself: “The carnal mind is enmity against God.” The disposition of every human heart by nature can be pictured as a clenched fist raised against the living God. This is the inward problem of a bad heart -a heart that loves sin, a heart that is the fountain of sin, a heart that is enmity against God.
Has the problem of your bad heart ever become a pressing personal concern to you? I am not asking in theory whether you believe in human sinfulness. You might agree that there are such things as a sinful nature and a sinful heart My question is, have your bad record and your bad heart ever become matters of deep, inward, pressing concern to you? Have you known anything of real, personal, inward consciousness of the awfulness of your guilt in the presence of a holy God? Have you seen the horribleness of a heart that is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked”?
A biblical Christian is a person who has in all seriousness taken to heart his own personal problem of sin. The degree to which we may feel the awful weight of sin differs from one person to another. The length of time over which a person is brought to the consciousness of his bad record and his bad heart differs. These are many variables, but Jesus Christ as the Great Physician never brought his healing virtue to anyone who did not know himself to be a sinner. He said, “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” ().
Are you a biblical Christian -one who has taken seriously your own problem of sin?
2. A biblical Christian is one who has seriously considered the divine remedy for sin.
In the Bible we are told again and again that Almighty God has taken the initiative in doing something for man, the sinner. The verses some of us learned in our youth emphasize God’s initiative in providing a remedy for sinful man: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son”; “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”; “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love with which he loved us” (; ; ).
A unique feature of the Christian faith is that it is not a religious self-help scheme where you patch yourself up with the aid of God. Just as surely as it is a unique tenet of the Christian faith that Christ is the only Savior for sinners, so it is also a unique tenet of the Christian faith that all of our true help comes down from above and meets us where we are. We cannot pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps; God in mercy breaks in upon the human situation and does something which we could never do for ourselves. When we turn to the Scriptures, we find that God’s divine remedy has at least three simple but profoundly wonderful focal points:
(a) First of all, God’s remedy for sin is bound up in a Person. Anyone who begins to take seriously the divine remedy for human sin will notice in the Scriptures that the remedy is not in a set of ideas, as though it were just another philosophy, nor is it found in an institution, but it is bound up in a Person: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son”; “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins” (; ). Jesus himself said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” ). The divine remedy for sin is bound up in a Person, and that Person is none other than our Lord Jesus Christ -the eternal Word who became man, uniting a true human nature to his divine nature, Here is God’s provision for man with his bad record and his bad heart a Savior who is both God and man, the two natures joined in the one Person for ever. If your personal problem of sin is ever to be remedied in a biblical way, it will be remedied only as you have personal dealings with the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Such is the unique strand of the Christian faith: the sinner in all his need, united to the Savior in all the fullness of his grace; the sinner in his naked need, and the Savior in his almighty power, brought directly together in the Gospel. That reality is the glory of God’s Good News to sinners!
(b) Secondly, God’s remedy for sin is center in the cross upon which Jesus Christ died. When we turn to the Scriptures we find that the divine remedy in a unique way is centered in the cross of Jesus Christ John the Baptist uses the Old Testament image of the sacrificial lamb when he points to Jesus and says, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” (). Jesus himself said, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” ().
True preaching of the Gospel is so much centered in the cross that Paul says it is the word or message of the cross. The preaching of the cross is “foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (). When Paul came to Corinth -a center of intellectualism and pagan Greek philosophy- he did not follow their prescribed patterns of rhetoric but said that he “determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified” ().
The cross is not to be thought of as an abstract idea or a religious symbol; the meaning of the cross is what God declares it to mean. The cross was the place where God, by imputation, heaped the sins of his people upon his Son. On that cross there was substitutionary curse-bearing. In the language of the apostle Paul, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us” (), and “He made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him” ().
The cross is not a nebulous, indefinable symbol of self-giving love; on the contrary, the cross is the monumental display of how God can be just and still pardon guilty sinners. At the cross, God, having imputed the sins of his people to Christ, pronounces judgment upon his Son as the representative of his people. There on the cross God pours out the vials of his wrath unmixed with mercy until his Son cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (; ).
At Calvary, God is demonstrating in the visible world what is happening in the invisible, spiritual world. He shrouds the heavens in total darkness to let all mankind know that he is plunging his Son into the outer darkness of the hell which your sins and my sins deserve. Jesus hangs on the cross in the posture of a guilty criminal; for him society has but one verdict: “Away with him” “Crucify him” “Hand him over to death” -and God does not intervene. In the theater of what men can see, God is demonstrating what he is doing in the realm where we cannot see. He is treating his Son as a criminal. He is causing Jesus to feel in the depths of his own soul all of the fury of the wrath that should be vented upon us.
(c) Thirdly, God’s remedy for sin is adequate for all men, and it is offered to all men without discrimination. Before we have any felt consciousness of our sin, it is very easy to think that God can forgive sinners. But when you and I begin to have any idea at all of what sin is, our thoughts are changed. We see ourselves as little worms of the dust, creatures whose very life and breath are held in the hands of the God in whom “we live and move and have our being” ().
We begin to take seriously that we have dared to defy the God who consigned angels to everlasting darkness when they rebelled against him. We confess that this holy God sees the effusions of our foul, corrupt human hearts. Then we say, “0 God, how can you be anything other than just? If you give me what my sins deserve, there is nothing for me but wrath and judgment! How can you forgive me and still be just? How can you be a righteous God and do anything other than consign me to everlasting punishment with those angels that rebelled?” When we begin to feel the reality of our sin, forgiveness becomes the most stubborn problem with which our mind has ever wrestled. It is then that we need to know that in a Person, and that Person crucified, God has provided a remedy adequate for all men and offered to all men without discrimination.
If any conditions were placed on the availability of Christ we would say, “Surely I don’t meet the conditions; surely I don’t qualify.” The wonder of God’s provision is that it comes in these unfettered terms: “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price” ); “The one who comes to me I will by no means cast out” ().
See the beauty of the free offer of mercy in Jesus Chris We do not need God to step out of heaven and tell us that we, by name, are warranted to come; we have the unfettered offer of mercy in the words of his own Son, “Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” ().
3. A biblical Christian is one who has wholeheartedly complied with the terms for obtaining God ‘s provision for sin.
The divine terms are two: repent and believe. Of Jesus’ earliest ministry it is recorded, “Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel’” (). After his resurrection Jesus told his disciples that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (). The apostle Paul testified “to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” ().
What are the divine terms for obtaining the divine provision? We must repent, and we must believe. Although it is necessary to discuss these as separate concepts, we must not think that repentance is ever divorced from faith or that faith is ever divorced from repentance. True faith is permeated with repentance, and true repentance is permeated with faith. They interpenetrate one another in such a way that, whenever there’s a true appropriation of the divine provision, you will find a believing penitent and a penitent believer. What is repentance? The definition of the Shorter Catechism is an excellent one: “Repentance unto life is a saving grace, whereby a sinner, out of a true sense of his sin, and apprehension (that is, laying hold) of the mercy of God in Christ, does, with grief and hatred of his sin, turn from it unto God, with full purpose of, and endeavor after, new obedience.”
Repentance is the Prodigal Son coming to his senses in the far country. Rather than remain at home under his father’s rule, he had asked to receive his inheritance early and left home for a far country, where he squandered it. Reduced to misery through his sins, he came to himself and said, “How many of my father’s hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants’” ().
When the Prodigal Son recognized his sin he did not sit there and think about it, write poetry about it, or send telegrams home to Dad. The Scripture says, “And he arose and came to his father” (v 20). He left those companions who were his friends in sin; he abhorred everything that belonged to that lifestyle and turned his back on it. What was it that drew him home? It was the confidence that there was a gracious father with a large heart and with a righteous rule for his happy, loving home. He did not write saying, “Dad, things are getting rough down here; my conscience is giving me fits at night. Won’t you send me some money to help me out, or come and pay me a visit and make me feel good?” Not at all! He did not need just to feel good; he needed to become good. So he left the far country.
It is a beautiful stroke in our Lord’s picture when he says, “But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him” (v 20). The Prodigal did not come strutting up to his father, talking about making a decision to come home.
There is a notion today that people can walk up an aisle, pray a little prayer, and do God a favor by making their decision. This has nothing to do with true conversion. True repentance involves recognizing that I have sinned against the God of heaven, who is great and gracious, holy and loving, and that I am not worthy to be called his son. Yet when I am prepared to leave my sin, turn my back upon it and come back meekly, wondering if indeed there can be mercy for me, then -wonder of wonders! -the Father meets me, and throws his arms of reconciling love and mercy about me. I say, not in a sentimental way but in all truth, that he smothers repenting sinners in forgiving and redemptive love.
But the father did not throw his arms around the Prodigal when he was still in the hog pens and in the arms of harlots. Do I speak to some whose hearts are wedded to the world and who love the world’s ways? Perhaps in your personal life, or in relation ship to your parents, or in your social life where you take so lightly the sanctity of the body, you show what you really are.
Maybe some of you are involved in fornication, or in heavy petting, or in looking at the kind of stuff on television and in the movies that feeds your lust, and yet you name the name of Christ. You live in the hog pens and then go to a house of God on Sunday. Shame on you! Leave your hog pens and your haunts of sin. Leave your patterns and practices of fleshly and carnal indulgence. Repentance is being sorry enough to quit your sin. You will never know the forgiving mercy of God while you are still wedded to your sins.
Repentance is the soul’s divorce from sin, but it will always be joined to faith. What is faith? Faith is the casting of the soul upon Christ as he is offered in the Gospel. “But as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in his name” (). Faith is likened to drinking of Christ, for in my soul-thirst I drink of him. Faith is likened to looking to Christ, and following Christ, and fleeing to Christ. The Bible uses many analogies and the sum of all of them is this: in the nakedness of my need I cast myself upon the Savior, trusting him to be to me all that he has promised to be to needy sinners. Faith brings nothing to Christ but an empty hand, by which it takes Christ and all that is in him. What is in Christ? Full pardon for all my sins! His perfect obedience is put to my account. His death is counted as mine. The gift of the Spirit is in him. Adoption, sanctification and ultimately glorification are all in him; and faith, by taking Christ, receives all that is in him. “You are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God -and righteousness and sanctification and redemption” ().
What is a biblical Christian? A biblical Christian is a person who has wholeheartedly complied with the divine terms for obtaining the divine provision for sin. Those terms are repentance and faith. I like to think of them as the hinge on which the door of salvation turns. The hinge has two plates, one that is screwed to the door and the other that is snowed to the jamb. They are held together by a pin, and on that hinge the door turns. Christ is that door, but none enters through him who does not repent and believe.
There is no true hinge made up only of repentance. Repentance that is not joined to faith is a legalistic repentance. It terminates on yourself and on your sin. Likewise, there is no true hinge made up only of faith. Professed faith that is not joined to repentance is a spurious faith, for true faith is faith in Christ to save me not in but from my sin. Repentance and faith am inseparable, and “unless you repent you will all likewise perish” (). The unbelieving are named among those who “shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Revelatian 21:8).
4. A biblical Christian is a person who manifests in his life that his claims to repentance and faith are real.
Paul preached that men should repent and turn to God and do works consistent with repentance (). God intends that there should be such works: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” ().
Paul says in that faith works by love. Wherever there is true faith in Christ, genuine love to Christ will be implanted. And where there is love to Christ there will be obedience to Christ. “He who has my commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves me.. He who does not love me does not keep my words” (). We are saved by trusting Christ, not by loving and obeying Christ, but a trust that does not produce love and obedience is not true saving faith. True faith works by love, and that which love works is not the ability to sit out on a beautiful starlit night and write poetry about how exciting it is to be a Christian. True faith works by causing you to go back into your home and to obey your father and your mother, or to love your husband or wife and children as the Bible tells you to do, or to go back to your school or to your job to take a stand for truth and righteousness against all the pressure of your peers.
True faith makes you willing to be counted as a fool and crazy -willing to be considered out dated -because you believe that there are eternal, unchangeable moral and ethical standards. You are willing to believe in chastity and the sanctity of human life and to take your stand against premarital sex and the murdering of babies in mothers’ wombs. For Jesus said, “Whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” ().
What is a biblical Christian? It is not merely one who says, “Oh, yes, I know I am a sinner, with a bad record and a bad heart. I know that God’s provision for sinners is in Christ and in his cross, and that it is adequately and freely offered to all. I know it comes to all who repent and believe.” That is not enough.
Do you repent and believe? And if you profess to repent and believe, can you make that profession stick -not by a life of perfection, but by a life of purposeful obedience to Jesus Christ?
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, “Jesus said, “but he who does the will of my Father in heaven” (). In we read, “He be came the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him.” says, “He who says, ‘I know him,’ and does not keep his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him”.
Can you make your claim to be a Christian stick from the Bible? Does your life manifest the fruits of repentance and faith? Do you possess a life of attachment to Christ, obedience to Christ, and confession of Christ? Is your behavior marked by adherence to the ways of Christ? Not perfectly -no! Every day you must pray, “Forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me.” But at the same time you can also say, “For me to live is Christ” or, in the words of the hymn, “Jesus I my cross have taken All to leave and follow thee.”
A true Christian follows Jesus. How many of us are true, biblical Christians? I leave you to answer in the deep chambers of your own mind and heart.
But remember, answer with an answer that you will be prepared to live with for eternity. Be content with no answer but one that will find you comfortable in death, and safe in the day of judgment.
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” (ESV)
15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. (ESV)
5:1 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
12 While he was in one of the cities, there came a man full of leprosy. And when he saw Jesus, he fell on his face and begged him, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” 13 And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And he charged him to tell no one, but “go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as Moses commanded, for a proof to them.” 15 But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. 16 But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
17 On one of those days, as he was teaching, Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with him to heal. 18 And behold, some men were bringing on a bed a man who was paralyzed, and they were seeking to bring him in and lay him before Jesus, 19 but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. 20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 25 And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God. 26 And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.”
27 After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” 28 And leaving everything, he rose and followed him.
29 And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them. 30 And the Pharisees and their scribes grumbled at his disciples, saying, “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?” 31 And Jesus answered them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 32 I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (ESV)
3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.
8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
16 To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”
17 And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
20 The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. 21 And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. 24 He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life. (ESV)
12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— (ESV)
22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (ESV)
20 Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins. (ESV)
22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
28 But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (ESV)
12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. (ESV)
19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. (ESV)
9 The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it? (ESV)
21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, (ESV)
7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. (ESV)
13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (ESV)
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV)
10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (ESV)
4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, (ESV)
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. (ESV)
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (ESV)
28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (ESV)
18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (ESV)
2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (ESV)
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— (ESV)
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (ESV)
22:1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? (ESV)
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (ESV)
“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;
as even some of your own poets have said,
“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’ (ESV)
55:1 “Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price. (ESV)
37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. (ESV)
28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (ESV)
14 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” (ESV)
47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. (ESV)
21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. (ESV)
17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ (ESV)
12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, (ESV)
30 And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, (ESV)
3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. (ESV)
20 but declared first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all the region of Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance. (ESV)
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (ESV)
5:1 For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
2 Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. 3 I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. 4 You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace. 5 For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. 6 For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.
7 You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth? 8 This persuasion is not from him who calls you. 9 A little leaven leavens the whole lump. 10 I have confidence in the Lord that you will take no other view than mine, and the one who is troubling you will bear the penalty, whoever he is. 11 But if I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed. 12 I wish those who unsettle you would emasculate themselves!
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. (ESV)
21 Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me. (ESV)
38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.” (ESV)
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (ESV)
9 And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, (ESV)
4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, (ESV)