Clearly, there is no substitute for carefully reading, then pondering and contemplating, everything written in the Old-and-New-Testaments Judeo/Christian Holy Bible.
Christ Himself [NOT "herself"] is NOT physically around to directly speak to you, the reader, nor is He running for United States President in the November 2016 Election. That does NOT mean that YOU need to, nor necessarily should, disregard MY sermonizing, because:
Proverbs 3:1 My son, do not forget MY teaching, but let your heart "keep" MY commandments
Proverbs 4:2 because I give you good precepts: do not reject MY teaching.
Proverbs 6:20 My son, keep your father's commandment, and reject not your mother's teaching.
Proverbs 13:14 The teaching of the WISE is a fountain of life, that one may avoid the snares of death.
Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the APOSTLES' (NOT Christ's in person) teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that YOU prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
3 By the grace given to me I ask every one among you to not think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith which God has assigned him.
4 As in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function,
5 so WE, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.
6 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to US, WE use them: if prophecy, in proportion to OUR faith;
7 if service, in OUR serving; HE who teaches, in HIS teaching;
8 HE who commands, in HIS orders; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.
9 Let love be genuine; hate [be non-inclusively judgmental and intolerant against the diversity of] what is evil, hold fast to what is good
First Corinthians 14:6 Now, brethren, if I come to you speaking in various languages, how shall I benefit you unless I bring you some revelation or knowledge or prophecy or teaching?
First Corinthians 14:29 Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others evaluate what THEY said.
Colossians 1:28 [CHRIST] WE proclaim, [negatively and not just positively] WARNING EVERY human and teaching EVERY person [e.g. the ACLU, AUSCS, FFRF, MSNBC and CNN, FOX, SPLC, PFAW, humanists, homogays, feminists, evolutionists, abortionists, Jews, islamic jihadists, Black Panthers, Black Lives Matter, ISIS, neo-nazis, atheistic communists, etc.] in all wisdom, that WE may present every individual mature in Christ.
First Timothy 4:13 Until I come, YOU attend to the PUBLIC [in and at wherever and on the Web] reading of Scripture, to preaching, to teaching.
First Timothy 4:16 Take heed to yourself and to YOUR teaching; hold to that, because by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
The group of GENUINELY-orthodox-and-fundamentalist Protestants (and some NON-Mary/Pope/Apocrypha-worshiping actually-Christian Catholics!) who REALLY are part of the body of Christ, understand the past AND present NECESSITY for reviewing and living by the always-was-and-is-and-will-be-REQUIRED Moral Law (instead of getting hung up on fulfilled-ceremonial nor concocted-adiaphoric diversions).....plus realize and acknowledge that in whatever ways they have or possibly are or perhaps will NON-ACCEPTABLY fall short of perfectly and consistently complying with the TOTALITY of that Moral Law....understand the seemingly-paradoxical balance of BOTH obediently doing their best to ALWAYS delight in (instead of abhor or despise) and obey ALL of THAT Law....WHILE obediently and humbly believing and accepting the Gospel of Atonement [which obliterates the ultimate penalty for their own disobedient sinful failure against any and all parts of such Moral Law - even because of non-solicited and non-wanted temptational sinful duress from evil ones] by Christ and Christ Jesus alone relating to His once-and-one-time-accomplished redemptive provision for the penitent by His own lethally-hanging death via crucifixion on some Roman cross at what is currently for us in 2016 A.D. a certain past time in recorded history.
The other group of FAKE and SPURIOUS PSEUDO-"christians" essentially (and insanely!) presume that the Law was perfectly fulfilled by Christ alone AND THUS no longer applies to them, so there is no need now to review that Moral Law anymore because of a demonic and apostate presumption that they now instead "live by the Spirit" (whatever the helle that means and/or does not mean, and excuse my language) instead of finding out or reviewing what ALL the Law requires THEM to do for "the holiness without which no one will see the Lord" (Hebrews 12:14).
Suppose, for instance, that a traveling or itinerant college gal gets up during an evening service in church CLAIMING that she is "born again, saved, knows Jesus as her personal Savior, is a committed Christian"....and YET is despicably and deplorably exhibiting herself with erotically-enticing loose long hair, bare-naked arms with a sleevesless dress or gown, nude legs with a shortened skirt or shorts, and/or parts of toes-exposed soxless bare feet in sandals.
She might be a Christian (but then she ALSO QUITE possibly could be a FAKE or charlatan - a deceptive and deceiving fraud or quack or imposter)....but in ANY case SHE is NOT acceptable to look at nor speak to....and will NOT be acceptable to look at, speak to, nor associate with until she ties that loose long hair (longer than mouth-level) into a back-of-head single ponytail or puts it into an up-do AND KEEPS IT THERE CONSISTENTLY...and/or permanently and not capriciously changes into a long-sleeved top, long slacks or long non-slitted skirt, and wears socks with whatever shoes.
Matthew 22:11 But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment;
Matthew 22:12 and he said to him: "Friend [not: Dork, Goof, Creep, or Jerk], how did you get in here without a wedding garment?" And he was speechless.
Matthew 22:13 Then the king said to the attendants: "Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness; there humans will weep and gnash their teeth."
Matthew 22:14 Because many are called, but few are chosen."
First Corinthians 3:1 [paraphrased] But I, sister, could not address you as a "spiritual" gal, but as a female of the conformity-to-demonic-"sexy"-glamor, sinful-selfish-attention-and-popularity-craving, ridicule-and-persecution-for-modesty-despising flesh, as a babe in Christ.
"Dressed in His righteousness alone" is NO acceptable substitute for ACTUALLY being PHYSICALLY dressed modestly ENOUGH in general mixed-gender public view [read the First Samuel chapter 15 account of somewhat-but-inadequately-obedient Saul] -- especially within a church sanctuary, instead of voluntarily or deliberately seducing like some lurid and lewd porn model! [Pertinent Modesty Guidelines are rather directly alluded to in RSV's/NASB's/NKJV's/ESV's Numbers 5:18 [mopheadedness], Deuteronomy 32:42 [mopheadedness], Second Samuel 13:18 [arms], Proverbs 5:19 [breasts], Song of Solomon chapter 7 especially verse 5 about "flowing locks" [footsteps in sandals, belly, navel, etc.], Isaiah 3:17 [crotch], Isaiah 20:4 [buttocks], Isaiah 47:1-4 [legs], Jeremiah 2:25 [feet], First Corinthians 11:14-16 [anti-public-mopheadedness] in pre-and-post-context, rightly-interpreted].
It is interesting that the Jesus who purportedly broke legalistic, pharisaic, connived, weird, and arbitrary human rule-and-regulation applications of a mixture of ceremonial-and-moral law (e.g. healing cripples on the sabbath, letting His disciples pluck and eat grain in a field without first washing it, advocating pulling an ox out of a hole - when necessary - on the sabbath, figuratively or symbolically calling His own body "this temple" destined to be destroyed and rebuilt in three days, not stoning an obviously-David-with-Bathsheba-like penitent woman caught in adultery, ousting noisy commerce-instead-of-prayer money changers out of the temple, and equating Himself one with and as the Creator God Almighty, etc.).....certainly did not break nor pooh-pooh nor disregard nor ignore Moral Law when He, in His OWN words, stated:
Matthew 15:17 Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth passes into the stomach, and so passes on?
Matthew 15:18 But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person.
Matthew 15:19 Because out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander.
Mark 7:18 And He said to them: "Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him,
19 because it enters, not his heart but his stomach, and so passes on?" Thus he declared all foods clean [including pig, mouse, snake, alligator, turtle, eagle, jellyfish, and bat?]
20 And He said: "What comes out of a person is what defiles a person.
21 Because from within, out of the heart of humans, come evil thoughts, fornication, theft, murder, adultery,
22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, foolishness.
23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person."
Sure sounds like reference to Mosaic Torah-and-other-Old-Testament Law to me!
Sorry all you accursed heretics who say that "the Mosaic Law no longer applies to us modern saints anymore," and that "we are instead now merely saved by grace through faith not of our own works but because of His righteousness."
I have news for you license-to-sin or at least no-need-now-to-modestly-improve free-from-Law guys and gals:
We are saved by Law, saved by US doing good works of the Law, saved by US not despising the Law of God but instead (as Saint Paul stated in Romans chapter 7) US "delighting in the Law of God in our inmost selves."
The one-sided: "saved by faith apart from works of law" of Romans chapter 3 is not contradicted (although to some seems so) but rather rightly (and both understandly and thankfully) BALANCED by the: "saved by [obviously doing good] works, NOT [sometimes-unreliable] faith alone" of James chapter 2.
To give a human example:
Do we need to be reminded, or remind ourselves, that a red stoplight at an intersection means: STOP - and reminded (or be reminded) that IF we do NOT stop, there quite possibly will be flashing-blue-and-red punishment soon awaiting rebellious or forgetful offenders?
DO we need to be reminded, or remind ourselves, that committing (and NOT "performing") certain evil works of sin-craving flesh which Jesus sequenced in Matthew 15 and Mark 7 (listed above) will result in all sorts of self-destructive and socially-harmful consequences?
To me, God's "grace" is simply His general benevolence to all saints and sinners on planet Earth - but especially to saints, because sinners do not logically nor sensibly accommodate to God's entities and forces of nature and thus cause themselves painful and even deadly complications leading to their much-appreciated-by-others demise.
They "don't get it" that many created physical objects which more-or-less are immovable are an IMMUTABLE manifestation of GOD the Creator's overpowering sovereign will, and in essence say to all: "YOU get out of MY way, because I am NOT going to get out of YOUR way!"
God's "grace" is that He has usually? not chosen to nor chooses - and in fact frequently? did not nor does not - quickly, painfully, and totally annihilate anyone and everyone who only slightly or a little more grievously did not nor does not comply nor accommodate to His natural rules or laws of natural order for human survival.
That, of course, is NOT to say that there is not self-inflicted retribution for even little or sort of common or semi-insignificant sins against nature, because the consequence is commensurate and proportional to the degree, type, and severity of the offense for each person (whether by self-imposed disappointment, grief, or pain resulting from personal mis-interaction against the Creator's natural phenomena, or retaliation directly from the Lord by Acts of God).
But in terms of forgiveness, justification, sanctification, and atonement, "grace" (synonymous to many as "forgiveness" - whether one penitently deserves it or impenitently does not deserve it) is meaningless without Moral Law.
WHAT is to be "gracious" about if there is no Moral Law which can nor has been violated (even under non-solicited temptational duress)?
"Grace" then, without Law and without sinning against Law, is useless, ridiculous, and absurd....a non-sensical and laughable concept having absolutely no relevance nor importance. Downright embarrassing and humiliating, in addition. A deplorable and asinine waste of time.
Moral Law (stated plainly and verbatim in already-written Scripture, and not oozing down out of nowhere by some mystically-psychic "Spirit-only" hocus-pocus voodooism) is VITAL not merely as a previous tutor for leading us to Christ and His provided atonement.....but an ONGOING NECESSITY for CONTINUING to lead us to and not away from Christ as mandatory atonement for us which is REPEATEDLY relevant, applicable, and important.
Not that we have a deviantly-sordid predilection, predisposition, or habit of (deliberately) going through red stoplights. But if we occasionally or accidentally do, without us (not the stoplight!) to blame and at fault for causing a horrible collision at an intersection, normal and expected welcomed relief, guilt, and remorse of having run the red stoplight without damage nor injury during that frighteningly-apprehensive and unsettling experience leads us to live on unscathed and without acquiring a police record and thereafter should intensify our intention to more conscientiously comply with that life-saving Stoplight Law of Traffic Survival.
The "we are saved by grace through faith apart from us doing good works of Law" does NOT "cut it" if the hideous and dangerous mis-application turns out to be: "we can go through red stoplights because of grace through faith apart from obeying traffic Law."
And in being saved by Law, FAITH is very much involved.
The Law says: DO NOT TOUCH THE HIGH VOLTAGE TRANSFORMER IN THE SUBSTATION. KEEP OUT.
IF we have faith that there is good cause for that Anti-Electrocution Warning Law to be there, and dire consequences will occur (if we do not believe nor have faith in that sign) whatever that "might" be (and for your information and enlightenment the operative word is: electrocution), faith in Law works with Law to keep you (and me) from being lethally shocked and fatally fried by more volts and amps than any human body can tolerate.
Is THAT a work of your/our/my own: to not enter an electrical substation to touch the terminals of a high-voltage transformer therein....or is that instead "Christ's imputed righteousness only and not my own?"
I would argue that that is YOUR OWN GOOD WORK of righteousness, imputed or not, to not defy nor disbelieve the electrical-substation warning-sign Law.
It is doing YOUR OWN good work of obeying and complying with, or accommodating to anti-immorality Law, that results in you not getting VD or AIDS - again, by YOU obeying the Moral Law against sexual immorality stated in BOTH the Old AND New Testament...which selfie "saves" you from extinction, and Hell.
It is DOING YOUR OWN good work of obeying the Moral Law to not screw your neighbor's wife and so not get shot by her enraged husband for what would have been committing adultery with his wife, that "saves" you from extinction, and Hell.
It is YOU doing YOUR OWN good work of Law to not shoplift nor vandalize nor murder nor rape (thus YOU not violating all sorts of Moral Law) so as to not get incarcerated in prison or executed by injection, hanging, gas, electrocution, or firing squad. And survive without extinction. And not guarantee your future residence suspended within the tormenting invisible flames of everlasting outer darkness.
NOT Christ's righteousness. Rather: YOU doing YOUR OWN meritorious good works of Law obedience that "justifies" and "sanctifies."
Christ was and is already perfect.
Now it is YOUR turn:
Matthew 5:48 YOU, therefore, MUST be (not "should be " nor "can be" nor "will be") completely PERFECT, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
Matthew 7:21 "Not every one who says to me: "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he [or she] who does the will of my Father [NOT "mother"] who is in Heaven."
Luke 6:46 "Why do you call me "Lord, Lord," and not do what I tell you?"
Romans 6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in SIN that grace may abound?
[ NOTE: "Sin" is ONLY correctly and legitimately defined by Law, and specifically: GOD's Moral Law - not the law of homosexuals, nor abortionists, nor antisemitic, nor evolutionists, nor pornographers, nor publicly immodest]
Titus 1:16 They PROFESS to know God, but they deny Him by their deeds; they are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.
But how about:
Philippians 3:9 ... and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith...
We're talking ATONEMENT there, baby, with reference to THAT sense of "righteousness" - and NOTHING else! Obviously no intent to do good works perfectly, nor having done [under or not under outside compulsion] some good works in the past along with the evil ones, nor doing whatever good works are being done now, will atone for past sins committed. Only the blood of Christ absolves that.
Don't worry: In the eyes and estimation of squad-car police, you have PLENTY of righteousness all your own based upon your own obedience to Traffic-Stoplight Law along with your own faith in that Law.
And WHO gets the credit? WHO can boast?
Second Samuel 22:21 The LORD rewarded me according to MY righteousness; according to the cleanness of MY hands He recompensed me.
Second Samuel 22:25 Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to MY righteousness, according to MY cleanness in His sight.
Job 27:6 I hold fast MY righteousness, and will not let it go; my heart does not reproach me for any of my days.
Psalm 7:8 The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, LORD, according to MY righteousness and according to the integrity that is in ME.
Psalm 18:20 The LORD rewarded me according to MY righteousness; according to the cleanness of MY hands He recompensed me.
Psalm 18:24 Therefore the LORD has recompensed me according to MY righteousness, according to the cleanness of MY hands in His sight.
And WHAT did Davey base his self-acclaimed and self-proclaimed righteousness on? That he had accepted Jesus as His personal Savior? Are you crazy? Jesus had not even been born yet. And Dave had screwed Bathsheba then contracted her husband Uriah to be slaughtered.
So WHAT was it? That Dave believed "God is ONE?" Even the demons believe - and shudder, according to Saint James.
That he prayed to the Lord? Lots of people expletive God and Jesus. But we're getting warmer. How about:
Exodus 15:2 The LORD is my strength and my song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him, my father's God, and I will exalt Him.
Second Samuel 22:3 My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my Savior; you save me from violence.
Second Samuel 22:47 The LORD lives; and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation
Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
18:46 The LORD lives; and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation
25:5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me, because you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
27:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
27:9 Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, you who have been my help. Toss me not off, reject me not, God of my salvation!
38:22 Hurry to help me, Lord, my salvation!
51:14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, God, God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing out loud of your deliverance.
62:1 To the choirmaster: according to Jeduthun. A Psalm of David. For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.
62:2 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly moved.
62:6 He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
118:14 The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation.
118:21 I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
Second Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
I, I, I!
First Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By His great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
First Peter 1:23 You have been born anew, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and residing Word of God
First John 2:29 If you know that He is righteous, you may be sure that every one who does right is born of Him.
First John 3:9 No one born of God commits sin; for God's nature resides in him, and he cannot sin because he is born of God.
First John 5:4 Whoever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith.
First John 5:18 We know that any one born of God does not sin, but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him.
Talk about self-esteem!
Beats the feces out of the repetitious liturgical confessional drone: "I, a poor miserable sinner, am in bondage to sin and cannot free myself, and cannot of my own obstinante will or wimpish strength come to God nor love Him but am like a frigid non-responsive non-affectionate motionless bride in bed, even though He has affectionately called and coaxed me. I have not loved God, nor have I loved my neighbor. Have mercy on me, have mercy on me, have mercy on me, have mercy on me, don't divorce me, don't cheat on me, have mercy on me, have mercy on me, have mercy on me, have..."
Or even the Baptist mantra: "I'm a sinner saved by grace."
But realize that such esteem is a gift of the most generous, benevolent, and merciful God the Father (praises be given Him):
James 1:17 Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow of changing.
Acts 17:28 "In HIM we live and move and have our being" as even some of your poets have said: "We indeed are His offspring."
Colossians 1:16 ....in HIM all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities [or UFOs or legal or illegal aliens], or authorities.....ALL things were created through Him and for Him.
Colossians 1:17 HE [NOT "she"] is before all things, and in Him [NOT "her"] ALL things hold together.
Ephesians 1:23 ....which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.
Every nucleonic atomic particle of every molecule of everything in physical existence in this Universe is now being controlled and regulated by Christ the Son of God: every molecular lifeless-but-active component of every cremated-into-ashes or non-cremated dead body buried underground in vaults and caskets, every cell of every blade of grass and flower, every cell of every leaf or needle on every tree, every atmospheric particle of air and clouds, every photon of sunlight, moonlight, and starlight, every graviton of gravity, every heartbeat, every set of vocal cords and tongues, every brain, every deep sea creature and bit of known and non-known underwater vegetation and creature, every hidden cache of gold and silver and uranium on Earth, every atom of every rock particle on every planet and every thermonuclear nucleonic combo of every star in every galaxy and every nebula in the Universe....is being monitored, watched, controlled, and stabilized by the Creator Son of God at this and every moment of time.
As the pretty multi-colored rainbow celebrates God's promise to never again destroy homoperverts and other vile filth with a worldwide Flood, so it also promises the following:
Second Peter 3:1 This is now the second letter that I have written to you, beloved, and in both of them I have aroused your sincere mind by way of reminder;
2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles.
3 First of all you must understand this, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own [agnostic and atheistic] passions
4 and saying: "Where is the promise of His coming? Ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things have continued as they were from the beginning of creation."
5 They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago, and an Earth formed out of water and by means of water,
6 through which the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished.
7 But by the same word the heavens and Earth that now exist have been stored up for fire, being kept until The Day of Judgment and Destruction against godless persons.
8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
9 The Lord is not slow about His promise as some misconsider slowness, but is patient toward you, not wanting any to perish, but that all reach repentance.
10 But The Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the Earth and the works that are upon it will be incinerated.
11 Being that all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of persons ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness,
12 waiting for and expediting the coming of The Day of God, because of which the heavens will be kindled and dissolved, and the elements will disintegrate with fire!
13 But according to His promise we wait for new heavens and a new Earth in which righteousness resides.
14 Therefore, beloved, being that you wait for these, be zealous to be found by Him without spot or blemish, and at peace.