All of the links below will take you to consecutive chapters of a book by David Servant titled The Great Gospel Deception.
Those of us who are born again strive to obey Jesus, not to earn a place in heaven, but for at least five other reasons:
- Because we love Him. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). That is pretty simple.
- Because we believe in Him, and the Bible teaches that faith without works is useless, dead and cannot save (Jas. 2:14-26).
- Because He has put His holy Spirit in us, and His Spirit leads us in “paths of righteousness.” Paul wrote, “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).
- Because Jesus has delivered us from our former slavery to sin (Rom 6:5-7). “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).
- Because we fear God. Paul wrote, “Beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).
And there are other reasons beyond those five why genuinely-born-again people strive to obey Christ’s commandments.
The Great Gospel Deception thoroughly elaborates on the “obedience of faith” (Rom. 1:5, 16:26) that Paul preached. It contains hundreds of scripture references that help readers find the biblical balance between legalism and antinomianism. You don’t have to fall into either ditch! And if you don’t know what antinomianism is (even if you think you know what legalism is), you will understand both after you’ve read The Great Gospel Deception.
Chapter 1: The Unrighteous Shall Not Inherit This introduction and first chapter lay a biblical foundation for the fact that heaven only awaits true followers of Christ—those whose faith is revealed by their obedience.
Chapter 2: The Immoral “Christian” This chapter elaborates on Paul’s warning that no immoral person, even if he claims to believe in Jesus, will enter heaven.
Chapter 3: The Greedy “Christian” This chapter defines greed and elaborates on Paul’s warning that no greedy person will inherit God’s kingdom. Jesus warned that many who think they are His sheep really are goats, and their true nature is revealed by what they do with their money. Greedy people are actually idolaters. This chapter also outlines practical steps for better stewardship.
Chapter 4: The Uncommitted “Christian” This fourth chapter exposes the common belief that one can be a believer in Christ without being a disciple of Christ. True Christians are committed to Jesus and deny themselves for His sake and the sake of the gospel. This chapter also considers modern teaching regarding so-called “carnal Christians.”
Chapter 5: The Antinomian “Christian” Many professing Christians unfortunately think that because salvation is given by God’s grace and received by faith, keeping God’s commandments is not part of the salvation equation. Scripture teaches, however, that faith and works cannot be separated. What many today call “legalism,” God calls “the holiness without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14).
Chapter 6: Jesus’ Greatest Salvation Sermon The Sermon on the Mount is Jesus’ longest sermon of record, in which He makes it very clear that only those who do the will of His Father will enter the kingdom of heaven. He warned that our righteousness must exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees. In this important sermon, Jesus revealed that His followers must possess an inward holiness that manifests itself through outward actions.
Chapter 7: Jesus’ Greatest Salvation Sermon Continues Christians are not “under the law of Moses,” but they are definitely “under the law of Christ.” Jesus continues to expound upon His law in the Sermon on the Mount.
Chapter 8: Sanctification: Perfecting Holiness Salvation begins with repentance and continues with on-going repentance, the process known as sanctification. True believers “hunger and thirst for righteousness,” and this hunger is evident by their disciplining themselves for the purpose of godliness. This chapter lists every commandment Jesus has given us to obey.
Chapter 9: Striving Against Sin We grow in holiness as we cooperate, as an act of our will, with the indwelling Holy Spirit.
Chapter 10: Beware of False Teachers Jesus warned us that the outstanding characteristic of false teachers is their downplaying the importance of holiness. We are told by Jesus to look at the example that spiritual leaders are setting before us and know if they are wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Chapter 11: The Assurance of Salvation It is possible to be assured right now if we are truly saved, and in his first epistle, John tells us three tests by which we can make that determination. He makes it clear that there is definitely a link between obedience to the Lord and possessing assurance of our salvation.
Chapter 12: Revival When? This final chapter is an impassioned cry for the church’s return to a biblical gospel that calls people to a living faith that actually saves. Only when the church embraces the actual gospel of Jesus and His apostles will there be any hope of true revival.