This week at our church, we are concluding our study in a study over the 12 apostles as we progress through the Gospel of Mark. Here are four quick takeaways from a study this week over the life of Judas. These aren’t in the sermon – but ones that came out of study.

A fake Christianity will end you up in a very real hell.

Believing in your own made up version of God is actually just believing in Satan. Judas was a lover of money (Matthew 26:15), a liar (Luke 22:48), a thief (John 12:6), and a traitor (Mark 14:10). And he believed in a version of Jesus that cost him eternally.

Biblical Christianity says there’s a real God, there’s real sin, there’s a real heaven and a real hell, and, thus, so there’s a real need for real grace in each one of us. This is a great reminder to us that, although there is a worldly sorrow without faith that leads to death (Judas), there is also a godly sorrow with faith that leads to life (2 Cor. 7:10)

The false convert and the hypocrite is clean in his own eyes and knows nothing of the battle which the true believer fights against sin.

The only sinner who can fight sin successfully is a justified sinner. We fight against sin because it dishonors God, opposes Christ, grieves the Spirit, and separates us from intimacy with our Lord.

Christian, the best way to fight sin is to love Christ. You can fight sin, not because you’ve gotten smarter or stronger, but because, by grace, a powerful Spirit lives inside of you.

Emotional manifestations of contrition are proven counterfeit by a fruitless life. This is a warning to us all.

We are told that Judas repented (Matt. 27:3). Judas’ disemboweling “became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem” (Acts 1:19). The terrible testimony of betrayal’s end.

The assurance of our salvation is not tied to our emotional enjoyment of it. It’s tied to Christ, outside of us. You are saved by faith, not by the fruit of your life. But you’ll never be saved by any type of a fruitless faith. The Christian life is a torrentially emotional one with deepest pains over sin and highest unspeakable joys in God’s abundance of grace.

Because of the gospel, you don’t have to inflate your importance, downplay your need or fake your spirituality today.

Pleasing God doesn’t involve trying to put a smile on his face by your efforts. But, rather, resting in the pleasure God has in Jesus’ work for you. You can’t put a bigger smile on God’s face. He already loves you as much as he loves Jesus. So serve him freely today.