Know Your Bible
November 2004

Does God Accept Me "Just As I Am"?

Occasionally I hear or read it said that God accepts us "just as we are." I am not entirely sure what is meant by that statement. I would very much like for someone who says, "God will accept me just as I am" or "God has accepted me just as I am" to explain what that means, using the word of God to establish the sentiment (1 Thess. 5:21-22).

The Scriptures teach that God will not accept me "just as I am":

1) If I refuse to believe in Jesus Christ. "To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name, whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sin" (Acts 10:43). The unbeliever will not be accepted by God "just as he is", but the lake of fire will accept him in his unbelief (Rev. 21:8). To think that Christ will save you "just as you are" while you refuse to live by faith is to be self-deceived. (Jn. 8:23-24)
2) If I refuse to repent of my sins. "I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish" (Lk. 13:5). Paul preached that sinners "should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance" (Acts 26:20). So, God will not accept the liar "just as he is" - he must repent of his lying and "speak truth with his neighbor" (Eph. 4:25). God will not accept an adulterer "just as he is" - he must repent of his adultery and stop his sinful relationship and conduct (Rev. 9:20-21).

Some brethren teach people that they should continue to live in their unscriptural (sinful, adulterous, Matt.19:9) remarriage relationship when they obey the gospel. The words of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 7:24 are twisted to support this encouragement, convincing sinners they may remain in an unholy remarriage that they believe has been sanctified by baptism. But, this passage describes people who are "with God", and does not describe the adulterer before baptism nor does it rightly describe him if he continues to commit adultery after baptism. No, Jesus will not receive you "just as you are" if you refuse to repent of and cease your sin. One cannot continue in sin and be accepted by the Lord. (Rom. 6:1-2)
3) If I refuse to confess my faith in Christ. "...if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation" (Rom. 10:9-10). Do you see the conditional nature of Jesus accepting a sinner "just as he is"? If the sinner will not confess Jesus before men, then Jesus will not confess him before the Father in heaven (Matt.10:33). He will not be accepted "just as he is" without confessing faith - he will be lost in sin.
4) If I refuse to be baptized for the remission of my sins. "He who believes and is baptized will be saved" (Mk. 16:16) - not the one who believes but refuses to be baptized. Many souls will be lost because they comfort themselves believing God will accept them "just as I am" in spite of their rejection of the Lord's commandment to be baptized to be saved.
5) If I refuse to be faithful to the Lord. "But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,' and do not do the things which I say"? (Lk. 6:46) That warning should resonant in the ear of every Christian who thinks the Lord will accept him "just as he is" even when he is living unfaithfully. Faith without works (of faith) is dead; while faith working through love avails in Christ (Jas. 2:17; Gal. 5:6-7). Christian, the Lord will not accept you "just as you are" if you are living unfaithfully.

What is your spiritual condition before God? Will God accept you "just as you are"? Not if you do not believe Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Son of the living God; not if you believe Jesus is the Son of God but you will not confess your faith before men; not if you have confessed your faith but will not repent of your sin and remove it from your life (Rom. 6:1-2); not if you reject baptism as essential for your salvation from sin (1 Pet. 3:21; Acts 22:16); and not if you are a Christian yet are not being faithful to Jesus in your daily life (Gal. 2:20).

God will accept you (save you) when you surrender to His will and do what He wants instead of remaining "just as you are."

---Joe R. Price

Page 1

Beware Of Normal

According to a humorous television commercial, one of the first signs of termite infection in your home is that "everything looks perfectly normal." It is their way of convincing us that a lot of damage can be done before you even notice it. The ad might serve to remind us of problems that can occur in our spiritual house if we do not take protective measures. The very foundation can be destroyed while everything on the outside seems to be normal by the standards of our day. When our lives are comfortably blended into the society we live in, when there is nothing unusual about our moral or religious principles, when our priorities are the same as the great majority of our neighbors, then things are dangerously "normal." The problem is that "normal" is a term that is determined by man's standards, and though measuring up to it may provide a degree of comfort here, it falls far short when it comes to laying up treasures in heaven.

Paul warned the Corinthians of some who "measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves with themselves, are without understanding" (2 Cor. 10:12). It is God's yardstick that matters, not that of the "mainstream of society." God has always required His people to be separate (Isa. 52:11; 2 Cor. 6:17-7:1) not physically withdrawn, but distinct in conversation and conduct, not fashioned according to the world (Rom. 12:1,2). It is a sobering Biblical truth that few will be saved; the majority will enter the broad way that leads to destruction (Matt. 7:13,14). It is strange, then, that we should be satisfied with attaining a status accepted by society. What value is it, if we lose our souls?

Friend, if your life seems "normal" enough by man's standards, it may be that your spiritual house is caving in. It will not be shored up by man's money or man's tools, but by the Word which framed the worlds (Heb. 11:3). The answer is some honest, objective study of it, for it is the standard which will judge us (John 12:48).

---Larry Walker

Page 2

(Go To Home Page On This Web Site And
And Follow The Directions.)

Back To Know Your Bible Home Page