I Never Knew You Says Jesus to People With Works

Matthew 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.”

John Robbins

“At first glance, verse 21 seems to be saying that the decisive difference between those who are excluded and those who are admitted into the Kingdo is the difference between empty professors and actual doers of the Word. It is not those who say, Lord, Lord, but those who actually do the will of the Father, who are admitted. In verse 21, Jesus seems to be making the same distinction that James makes in 2:14: What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

The contrast in James is between a person who says something with his lips, but does not give evidence of his faith by his works. But, unlike James, Jesus does not explicitly mention belief in verse 21; he mentions doing and saying, asserting that doing the will of the Father in Heaven is required to get into the Kingdom of Heaven, but saying Lord, Lord is not enough.

Again, at first glance, verse 21 seems to contradict verses such as Acts 16:31: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved…. and Romans 3:28: Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law; and Ephesians 2:8-9: 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; and scores more verses that deny salvation comes by doing.

This apparent contradiction in the New Testament raises a further difficulty: Does the Bible contradict itself? Many scholars say, Yes, it does. Or if they are coy rather than candid, they say the Scriptures contain tensions and antinomies. The scholars apparently never consider the possibility that they have misunderstood the Scriptures. They are quick to attribute logical difficulties to the revealed propositions (and they add that it is pious and humble to do so), but they do not even contemplate the possibility that they might not understand the text. That would be unthinkable! Imagine! Professors and theologians not understanding the text! Impossible! Therefore, the text itself must be paradoxical.

But as Christians we ought to be humble and say, Of course the Scriptures contain no contradictions, no paradoxes, and no tensions. When we come to what seems to be a contradiction in our theology, we must check our premises, return to the propositions of Scripture, and conform our thoughts to what the non-contradictory Scriptures say.

The first glance reading of verse 21 raises still another problem: Does Jesus teach legalism? Here I am using the word legalism in its proper sense: the notion that one can obtain, in whole or in part, salvation by doing, rather than by mere belief. Norman Shepherd appeals to this verse because he believes that Jesus does in fact teach salvation by doing here. The central problem in verse 21 is the meaning of Jesus’ phrase– he who does the will of my Father in Heaven. Shepherd believes that that phrase means works. But that interpretation implies that the Bible contradicts itself. That interpretation of the phrase cannot be correct, because of what verse 22 says.

Verse 22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons in your name, and done many wonders in your name?

Now if we understand verse 21 as Shepherd understands it, what Jesus says in verse 22 is both unexpected and inexplicable. If Jesus’ point in verse 21 were that faith is not enough, that good works, or covenant faithfulness, or obedience is also necessary in order to be sure we are saved, then Jesus should have said something like this in verse 22: Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, we trusted in you alone, we had faith in you alone, we believed the Bible and your words.’ But of course Jesus says nothing of the sort. Instead, he reports that many people will appear before him at the Judgment and will talk about their works, not their faith or correct doctrine. But these people-the ones who present works-will be excluded from the Kingdom of Heaven.

Let us examine this verse carefully.

First, Jesus says Many. At first glance, verse 21 suggests that there will be only a few among those who will say, Lord, Lord who will be excluded from the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus had said, Not everyone, and, sinners that we are, we jumped to the conclusion that he meant almost everyone. But here in verse 22 he says many. Many will come before Christ Jesus and speak to him, saying, Lord, Lord, and they will be excluded from the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus in his mercy tells us what many will say to him in that Day: First, they will acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ, addressing him as Lord. Not only will they say it once, they will repeat it: Lord, Lord. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, they will plead for their lives. This repetition of Lord may also suggest that they think they are on familiar terms with Jesus.

Next, they will ask Jesus a series of questions, calling the Christ himself as a witness in their defense. Notice that they will not directly assert that they have done good works. They will speak in interrogative, not declarative, sentences. Because of this, their defense will actually be much stronger than their own mere declarations would have been: They will call Christ Jesus himself as their defense witness. They will ask him to testify to the facts of their lives: their prophesying, exorcising, and wonderworking.

Some commentators have tried to dismiss the claims of these defendants by suggesting that they will lie or exaggerate, that they really will not have done what they will claim to have done. There is nothing in the text that supports such an accusation. That misinterpretation is a desperate device to evade what Jesus is telling us in this passage. The defendants will make no direct assertions. They will ask questions. They will address those questions to Jesus, whom they will acknowledge as Lord. They will ask him to testify to the truth of their claims. They actually will have done these things on Earth: prophesying, casting out demons, and performing wonders.

Now the fact that many people will have done these things on Earth implies several things.

First, it implies that these people are not mere professors, without works and without practice, as we may have concluded from our superficial reading of verse 21. They are not pew warmers; they are not spiritual spectators; they are not churchgoers who show up only on Easter and Christmas; they are not those who have no works. These people have many works, and they will call on Jesus himself to testify to their works on Earth. Theirs is not mere lip service; theirs is not an empty profession. They will have been very active in church and in other religious endeavors.

Second, not only are these people active in the churches, they are church leaders. They prophesy, they preach, they proselytize, they teach; they cast out demons, they exorcise; they perform many wonders -not just a few, but many. These are things publicly done, not things done in a corner or in the privacy of one’s own home.

Third, they will do all these works in the name of Jesus Christ. Notice that the defendants will use the phrase “in your name” repeatedly: They will prophesy in Jesus’ name; they will cast out demons in Jesus’ name; they will perform many wonders in Jesus’ name. They will be leaders in professedly Christian churches. They are not Buddhists, performing these things in the name of Buddha. Nor are they Hindus, performing these works in the name of Shiva or some other Hindu god. Nor are they Muslims, doing these things in the names of Allah or Mohammed. Nor are they Jews, doing these things in the name of Abraham. These are not pagans ignorant of the name of Jesus; they are professing Christians who will do all these works in the name of Jesus Christ.

Do not the Scriptures say that every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord? And do not the Scriptures say that some people will not be saved? It therefore follows that confessing Jesus as Lord is insufficient for salvation; one must also confess him as Saviour.

Now, consider the irony of the exegetical situation. Proponents of assurance by works appeal to this passage in Matthew 7 to support their view that belief alone in the Lord Jesus Christ is not enough for salvation, that we must also practice the Lordship of Christ by faithfully performing works in order to show ourselves that we are saved. Yet this passage clearly teaches that some of those who confess Jesus as Lord and perform amazing works will be excluded from the Kingdom of Heaven.

Therefore, one may acknowledge the Lordship of Christ, perform many wonderful works, and still perish. The passage is not a contrast between mere believers (who are lost) and workers (who are saved), for Jesus himself says that the workers are lost.

Let us turn our attention briefly to the sorts of works these church leaders will have done. They will have prophesied in the name of Jesus; they will have cast out demons in the name of Jesus; they will have performed wonders in the name of Jesus. Now, these are not only works; they are extraordinary and supernatural works. In fact, they are the greatest works done by men and among men, to use John Gill’s phrase. None of us, perhaps a few of us, but certainly not this writer, has done anything remotely as great or as impressive as these works. Our works are ordinary: attending church, being good neighbors, giving money to the church and to the poor, taking care of our families, and so on.

Now here is the question: If none of us has done or will do anything like the works these men will have done, and if these men are lost, then what hope is there for us? If Jesus himself turns these men out of the Kingdom of Heaven-these many men who have performed such great works in the name of Jesus-what hope have we?

The answer is, We have no hope, if, like these men, our assurance of our faith depends on our works. We will have no hope, no matter how faithful our obedience, regardless of whether we act in the name of Jesus, or whether we confess Jesus as Lord. When these church leaders give their defense at the Judgment, they will offer their works as Exhibits A, B, and C. Their plea to Jesus will be their works-works done in the name of Jesus, to be sure, but works nonetheless. And far from lessening their guilt, doing their works in the name of Jesus increases their guilt before God.

Far from teaching a message of works, Jesus warns us that anyone who comes before him at the Judgment and offers his covenant faithfulness as his defense will die the second death. What is wrong with their defense? Jesus tells us plainly: They will plead their own lives and Christian works.

What their defense should be is not their works, but the imputed righteousness of Christ. Those condemned will not mention that they are sinners saved only by the righteousness of the Man Christ Jesus. They will not deny the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ for his people, but their assurance will be their own idea of what “doing the will of God” means.

John Robbins, The Trinity Foundation

My hope is built on nothing less
than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

His oath, his covenant, his blood
supports me in the whelming flood.
When all around my soul gives way,
he then is all my hope and stay.

When he shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in him be found!
Dressed in his righteousness alone,
faultless to stand before the throne!

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14 Comments on “I Never Knew You Says Jesus to People With Works”

  1. David Bishop Says:

    The workers are lost. Or as Romans 4 puts it; “David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works: ‘Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them.’”

    Excellent summary of Robbins’ article, Mark. Some very sobering thoughts here. 2 Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test! Who is our assurance, and why? The answer to this question is the one we must never tire of hearing.

  2. markmcculley Says:

    Titus 3:14—“And let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful.”

    I have been married to my beautiful wife LInda for 33 years. In our marriage, I am the one who likes to write the poetry. I am the verbal romantic who likes to joke about needing to earn points from my wife. And she is the one who calms me down by saying: “I already married you. What more do you want?” And of course I reply: everything!

    “Experimentalists” are not sure if you are married yet. If they are consistent and not simply self-righteous, they are also not sure if THEY are married yet. The more they insist on the inevitability of mandatory fruit, the more they need to ask themselves: am I the fourth dirt in the parable, or one of the other three?

    I remember the time before I was married. Even up there on the
    platform before the “I do”, I was still anxious. It was not too late
    for Linda to open her eyes and see me as I was, and then call the whole thing off. So what I am saying?

    We are married now. It’s too late now to stop it. Or, as my wife
    says: I already married you. I am not denying of course that in some sense what we do now is a condition of staying married. The analogy breaks down between our marriage to each other and God’s love for the justified elect. But I deny that what we do counts as evidence that we are or are not already married.

    I am not an Arminian, and I don’t believe that the justified elect
    lose their salvation, and therefore I don’t think that Christians have to do stuff to stay in the new covenant. I also don’t believe that the justified elect have to do stuff to prove to themselves or to God that they are real Christians.

    Some Calvinists let you in the front door by faith alone, but then
    after they allow you a little time, they will let you out the back
    door if your faith is still alone. In addition to faith, they ask:
    what have you done for me lately? It would be like my wife saying to me: sure, I married you for love, but now I want to see the big house with the bird nests in the big back yard.

    I am not denying that a husband could do more. I also agree that a husband SHOULD do more. But how much does a husband have to do in order to show himself and his wife that he really married the wife? Notice, I am not even talking right now about keeping the wife!

    When I walked down that aisle 33 years ago, what was my thinking? Was it probation, so that I had so much time to prove to Linda’s parents that I was not worth-less? No. So was I thinking—- now that I am married, I don’t need to love her? It’s not strictly necessary?

    We need to ask the question: necessary for what? I deny the formula that says that works are not necessary for justification but that synergism is necessary for “sanctification”. That “difference” cannot account for the biblical idea of sanctification by the blood (Hebrews 10:10-14). Romans 4:4—“To the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due”. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ has elected the elect in Christ and has blessed the elect in Christ with every spiritual blessing.

    Wives need their husband to work for them. Husbands need their wives to work for them. Love works. But works are not needed to prove that we are already married.

  3. markmcculley Says:

  4. markmcculley Says:

    We cannot by our best works merit pardon of sin, or eternal life at the hand of God, by reason of the great disproportion that is between them and the glory to come; and the infinite distance that is between us and God, whom, by them, we can neither profit, nor satisfy for the debt of our former sins, but when we have done all we can, we have done but our duty, and are unprofitable servants: and because, as they are good, they proceed from His Spirit, and as they are wrought by us, they are defiled, and mixed with so much weakness and imperfection, that they cannot endure the severity of God’s judgment. (WCF 16.5)

  5. markmcculley Says:

    WCF 16: 7. Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands; and of good use both to themselves and others: yet, because they proceed not from an heart purified by faith;nor are done in a right manner, according to the Word;a nor to a right end, the glory of God,b they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God, or make a man meet to receive grace from God: and yet, their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing unto God.

  6. markmcculley Says:

    7. Works done by unregenerate men, although for the matter of them they may be things which God commands, and of good use both to themselves and others; yet because they proceed not from a heart purified by faith, nor are done in a right manner according to the word, nor to a right end, the glory of God, they are therefore sinful, and cannot please God… and yet their neglect of them is more sinful and displeasing to God

    but for Cain and his offering God had no regard. Genesis 4:5

    I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. 22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals, I will not look upon them. Amos 5:21-22

  7. markmcculley Says:

    We love (obedience to law), because Christ loved us (gospel). Both very distinct yet closely related. We obey (law-keeping), because Christ obeyed for us (law-keeping for us). The law points the way of our obligation which is our reasonable duty, yet as sinners we can never fully accomplish. The gospel announces Christ’s satisfactory fulfillment of that obligation for us. The burden of that obligation of the law is lifted because Christ lifted it by bearing it for us. http://theworldsruined.blogspot.com/2014/06/tullian-phillips-and-all-that-further.html

  8. markmcculley Says:

    In The Future of Justification: A response to N.T. Wright, John Piper softens the gospel by making a distinction between hard and soft legalisms.

    The essence of legalism is the belief that our right standing with God is based on, comes by means of, or is sustained by our works — regardless of whether these works are self-produced (hard legalism) or whether they are completely produced by God’s grace in us (soft legalism). (p. 152, Footnote 14)

    …while legalism involves the view that ‘salvation consists of the observance of precepts,’ boasting and self-righteousness mayBUT DO NOT ALWAYS accompany this motion. When they do not, we may speak of a ‘soft’ or ‘torah-centric’ form of legalism; when they do, we have a ‘hard’ or ‘anthropocentric’legalism. To this, we may add that ‘soft’ legalists may not believe that they are thereby ‘earning’ their salvation, still less that they are ‘establishing a claim’ on God based on their own ‘merit’.

    Unfortunately, in most definitions of legalism by New Testament scholars, the possibility of ‘soft’ legalism is not even considered. The ‘legalist’, for Cranfield, is the one who tries to use the law ‘as a means to the establishment of a claim upon God, and so to the defense of his self-centeredness and the assertion of a measure of independence over against God. He imagines that he can put God under an obligation to himself, that he will be able so adequately to fulfill the law’s demands that he will earn for himself a righteous status before God.’ For Moule, legalism is ‘the intention to claim God’s favour by establishing one’s own rightness.’ For Hübner, those who see righteousness as based on works define their existence in terms of their own activities, leave God out of consideration, and, in effect, ‘see themselves as their own creator.’ For [Daniel] Fuller, legalism ‘presumes that the Lord, who is not ‘served by human hands, as though he needed anything’ (Acts 17:25), can nevertheless be bribed and obligated to bestow blessing by the way men distinguish themselves.’

    Such definitions would be innocent enough if they were accompanied by an awareness that ‘legalists’ of this kind represent only some of those who interpreted Deut. 30:16 as saying that obedience to God’s law was the way to life. But all too frequently there is no such awareness. The alternative to faith is not (as it is in Paul) simply ‘works’, — a statement which embraces both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ legalism — but rather the sinful, self-seeking, merit-claiming works of the (necessarily ‘hard’) legalist.

    Whereas Paul can contrast faith in Christ with ‘the works of the law’, and mean by the latter no more than the deeds commanded by the law, the very notion of ‘works’ is so inextricably in the minds of some scholars with self-righteousness and pride that the ‘works of the law’ can only be conceived as sinful.I

  9. markmcculley Says:

    are you serious (enough) ?by D. G. Hart
    Can someone, anyone, explain why John Piper is so popular among evangelicals? The reason for asking is his tendency to overreach on the way to reinforcing his doctrinal brand — an earnest Calvinism that seems to resonate with the young and restless fans of Jonathan Edwards. Consider the following where he argues a believer can have assurance of faith and not be saved (for anyone who’s a Calvinist, as Piper pretends to be, this is scary):
    It is possible to believe the promises of God, and have the assurance of salvation, and yet be lost forever.
    This possibility is implied in Matthew 7:22, “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?” These folks believed that they were secure in relation to Christ. They called him “Lord,” and they tapped into supernatural power in his name.
    Perhaps they had even more “assurance of salvation” than many strugglers today (who are genuinely saved) because supernatural power was flowing through their hands. So when they read the promise, “I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you” (Joshua 1:5), they believed it was true of them. But it wasn’t.
    That is why they will be shocked when Jesus says to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matthew 7:23). They are lost. But they thought they were saved.
    The way to tell if you have genuine faith — and here comes Piper’s brand (more scary stuff), Christian hedonism — is to have a taste for spiritual sweetness:
    In other words, saving faith in the promises of God includes spiritual enjoyment of the God of the promises. I don’t want to overstate it. I only say that saving faith must include this enjoyment. Enjoyment of the glory of God is not the whole of what faith is. But without it, faith is dead. . . .
    This satisfaction is missing from the hearts of the professing Christians of Matthew 7:22. If the enjoyment of God himself were there, they would have delighted on earth in the very divine excellencies that such enjoyment anticipates. But instead they were “workers of lawlessness.”
    This reality has a huge implication. It means that it is not just the security of the promises that frees us from motives to sin; it is also the heart’s enjoyment of the sweetness of God in the promises. When we perceive and enjoy the spiritual beauty of what is promised, not only are we freed from the insecurity of greed and fear that motivate so much sin, but we are also shaped in our values by what we cherish in the promise (1 John 3:3).
    The Bible might say that faith the size of a mustard seed moves mountains (Matt 17:20), or Jesus might have recognized the genuineness of the faith of the man who said, “Lord I believe, help my unbelief” (Mark 9:24). But Piper ignores the slight amount of faith that might save the thief on the cross (Luke 23:39-43) and adds an extra helping of feeling or experience or sense of sweetness to faith in order to insure it is genuine. (For those keeping doctrinal score, this is an example of a Calvinist seeking a Wesleyan second blessing.)
    Why complicate Matt 7:22 that way? Why tart it up with intensity, sweetness, introspection? Why can’t the text be simply about hypocrites who are proud of their piety — hint, being proud of one’s spiritual earnestness is not a good thing? …. With Calvin I get a strong warning against pride and hypocrisy and I have enough trouble resisting those. But with Piper, I may get rid of vanity and outward conformity and still need to go deep, really deep, and worry that I haven’t believed hard enough

  10. markmcculley Says:

    Luke 6: 3 “A good tree doesn’t produce bad fruit; on the other hand, a bad tree doesn’t produce good fruit. 44 For each tree is known by its own fruit. Figs aren’t gathered from thorn bushes, or grapes picked from a bramble bush. 45 A good man produces good out of the good storeroom of his heart. An evil man produces evil out of the evil storeroom, for his mouth speaks from the overflow of the heart. 46 “Why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and don’t do the things I say? 47 I will show you what someone is like who COMES TO ME, hears My words, and acts on them: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the FOUNDATION on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears and does not act is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The river crashed against it, and immediately it collapsed. And the destruction of that house was great!”

  11. markmcculley Says:

    David Bishop Another form of Antinomianism is found in the teaching of those who say we are justified by the absence of any law altogether. They tell us that because there is no more law to condemn us, therefore we are righteous. Notice, it’s not that because Christ died for us as the reason why we are righteous. No, these antinomians say it’s because there is no more law to condemn us which is why we are righteous.
    These are the folks who tell us true Christians are not still sinners. They tell us it is impossible for Christians to sin; because, after all, there is no more law to sin against. They interpret the words “not under law but under grace” to mean that there’s no law satisfied by Christ’s death
    Antinomianism undermines the true grace of God by eliminatomg justice from the gospel. It does this is by placing the blame with God’s law rather than with the sinner.
    It is true, as revealed to us in Romans 5, we would have not known what coveting was had the law not said do not covet. But this does not mean the law was wrong to say do not covet. No, the law was good and holy and just to say this. The problem was not with the law. Rather, the problem was and always is with us. We are sinners. Not only do we attempt to say—I have done enough of the law to make the difference. But we also on top of that sin against the law—we do what the law says not to.do. We don’t do what the law says to do.


  12. markmcculley Says:

    Dr. Steven Lawson, “It will Cost You Everything”, http://illbehonest.com/it-will-cost-you-everything-steve-lawson

    “The exchange is not bartered or bought with real money, but it is purchased with the total, complete surrender of your life to Christ. That’s what saving faith is”.

    1. you are not yet ready to hear the truth, because you have not yet totally surrendered even by your own definition of total surrender.

    2. yet you give yourself a pass (and assurance) because you claim to have been a Christian even before you started talking about your total surrender being the cost of salvation.

    3. if the gospel is the gates open to offer you a chance to totally surrender, why did Christ need to die to make that offer?

    4. Lawson is one of the famous preachers who put on a show for RC Sproul and John Macarthur


    Romans 6: 17 But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred[ to,

    Matthew 16: 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth is already bound[l] in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed[m] in heaven.”

    Luke 11: 46 Then He said: “Woe also to you experts in the law! You load people with burdens that are hard to carry…47 “Woe to you! …the wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of the prophets they will kill and persecute,’ 50 so that this generation may be held responsible for the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary….52 “Woe to you experts in the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge! You didn’t go in yourselves


  13. markmcculley Says:

    Proverbs 15:8 “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD”

    Romans 6:20 ”For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? The end of those thing is death”

    Romans 7:4 Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we now bear FRUIT FOR GOD. 5 For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear FRUIT FOR DEATH.”

    Luke 16:15 That which is highly esteemed among humans is abomination in the sight of God.

    David Bishop—“If grace makes me angry, if the law of Christ makes me angry, then I have not been converted. I don’t get upset at Christ’s commandments. I get upset with the sinner-exalting attempt to use Christ’s commands as a means to establish self righteousness. I get upset at the lie that people who attempt such wickedness are Christians. I don’t get angry at our Creator and Redeemer’s law. I delight in Christ’s word revealed, I see Christ’s holiness in His commands, and my sins against Christ’s law drive me again and again to Christ to thank Him for grace and to confess His glory in my salvation.”


    Hebrews 13: 14 For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come. 15 Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name. 16 Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

    I Peter 2:5 you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ”

    Romans 12 I appeal to you therefore, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

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