The Bible tells us that God determines who the wicked are based on their actions, including their thoughts and deeds (works).

Isaiah 55:7
“Let the wicked forsake HIS WAY, and the unrighteous man HIS THOUGHTS: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

Here’s another example of God giving the same description of who He calls “wicked”, it’s found in Ezekiel 3:18, “nor speakest to warn the wicked from his WICKED WAY,…”. The wicked have departed from doing God’s will (God’s ways) and are instead acting on their own carnal will (their own way).

The Bible clearly tells us that “no flesh”, meaning no person, has ever been justified by the works of the law EVER not even under the Old Testament. That’s because no law could ever pay our sin debt so no law could ever give us life once we lost it by committing a sin, “the wages of sin is death”. One of the functions of the law is to tell us what sin is.

The thing that stands out the most when I’m reading Ezekiel 3:17-21 is the fact that even though no one has ever been justified by the works of any law, God still says that if we don’t repent AND KEEP His laws we will die, He will destroy the wicked and God is no respecter of persons (no favoritism).

Even if we are His children and have received the Holy Spirit but we choose not to obey His laws then He says we are wicked because of our wicked works. Jesus told Peter, “Get thee behind Me Satan…”. The apostle Paul called an unrepentant Christian believer “that wicked person” in 1 Corinthians 5:13.

1Peter 1:16-17
“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear”

Romans 2:6-11
“Who will render to every man according to his deeds: To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, ETERNAL LIFE:

BUT unto them that are contentious,
AND DO NOT OBEY THE TRUTH,
but obey unrighteousness,
indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, UPON EVERY SOUL of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;

But glory, honour, and peace, TO EVERY MAN that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: For there is no respect of persons with God.”

God is very clear that this applies to EVERYONE including the righteous. If a righteous person turns away from doing what’s right and sins, the penalty for death reapplies. This is why we have a covenant of salvation, so that when we do fall and sin, we follow God’s covenant (including sanctuary law) to remove sin from our record in heaven and from our conscience.

Paul who said in Romans 6:14, “… for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” also said this just one verse down:

Romans 6:16
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; WHETHER OF SIN UNTO DEATH, or of obedience unto righteousness?”

He explains in the next verse that it’s because they have believed AND obeyed God that they are no longer the servants of sin (righteous).

Romans 6:17
“But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.”

God has always operated according to His own laws, sin is not automatically forgiven, removed or erased; from the time of Adam, justification has always been processed through God’s Everlasting Covenant which includes the blood of Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus could cover everyone’s sins, it’s possible, but it isn’t automatically applied to everyone without obedience, without faith. God’s expectation is for us NOT TO SIN. But when we do, He has made a way to save our life if we choose to cooperate with Him.

Ezekiel 3:17-21
“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel: therefore hear the word at My mouth, and give them warning from Me. When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, TO SAVE HIS LIFE; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Yet if thou warn the wicked, and he turn not from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. Again,

When a righteous man doth turn from his righteousness, and commit iniquity, and I lay a stumblingblock before him, he shall die:

because thou hast not given him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he hath done shall not be remembered; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

Nevertheless if thou warn the righteous man,
that the righteous sin not,
and he doth not sin,
he shall surely live,
because he is warned;
also thou hast delivered thy soul.”

So these two types of people are living or dying based upon what they do, their works.

Jesus said in Matthew 16:27

“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works.”

2Corinthians 5:10
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”

Jesus also said in Revelation 2:23:

“And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you ACCORDING TO YOUR WORKS.”

Revelation 20:12
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the bookof life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS.”

Revelation 20:13
“And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS.”

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These scriptures completely destroy the false teaching that when God the Father looks at you He only sees Jesus’ works and not yours. I’m convinced Satan loves this lie because it takes all responsibility away from the individual and puts 100% accountability on God and takes it off the sinner. This is Satan’s perfect trap because believers won’t ever continue in confession and repentance like the covenant requires for inheriting eternal life and they are dead in their sins but don’t realize it.

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Isaiah 55:7
“Let the wicked forsake HIS WAY, and the unrighteous man HIS THOUGHTS: and let him return unto the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.”

Numbers 5:5-7
“And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, When a man or woman shall commit any sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the LORD, and that person be guilty; Then they shall confess their sin which they have done”

Hebrews 11:6-7
“But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. By faith Noah, …”

In these scriptures we see the evidence that faith in God, confession, repentance and asking for the forgiveness of past sins were part of the justification process under the Old Covenant.

These are also laws governing the heavenly sanctuary and the Everlasting Covenant that’s administered under the New Covenant as well.

The Lord’s Prayer combines all these elements together because they are what’s required under our conditional covenant of salvation.

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