I’m sorry to get back to your comment so late, but thank you for expressing yourself and clarifying yourself.
I will start by saying this, when Jesus speaks of good trees and bad trees in Matthew 7, the reality is that everyone is a bad tree, none of us start out righteous from birth, none of us start out blameless, although we may be regarded as "innocent". Psalm 51:5 says, " I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin did my mother conceive me." Romans 3:10-12 says "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."
When it comes to all the good things we do, all the morality and good works that men accomplish, here is what scripture says they are because all men are sinners. Isaiah 64:6 "We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment."
So, none of us are good in God's eyes, we all are sinners and there is nothing we could do to be acceptable in God's sight. It doesn’t matter how many bad habits we drop, how many homeless people we feed, or how much money we put in the offering plate. All of our works outside of trusting in Jesus Christ are polluted and trash. DMX's "God-given gift" has not and is not being used to glorify God - and he is just like not only all other secular rappers, but all who are dead in sin - why? Because the fruit of his life is sinful...everyone’s is. Whether we curse in our music, or murder millions, get strung out on drugs, or just think up a small insignificant lie in our minds, all men are sinners and its not the magnitude of the sin or the duration of the sin that makes it so wrong, it is Who we are sinning against, and that is God.
I too know many who have had a hard life, troubling times, and difficult circumstances, and I have seen many come out of those circumstances by helping themselves to get better, but the point is, that if we do not trust in and know and obey Jesus Christ with all of who we are, everything we did in our lives will mean absolutely nothing. All of the years clean, all of the years making ourselves better, all of the time trying to be a good person means nothing if we are not saved by believing in Jesus Christ and His worth.
I guess the main point I was trying to make before is that we CANNOT redeem ourselves. Ephesians 2 says this "And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind."
All men who do not know and obey Jesus Christ are DEAD in sin. Friend, If you or I approached a dead corpse and told it to lift its right arm, could the dead corpse perform this? No. Why? It’s dead. So therefore if we approached that same spiritually dead corpse and told it to make a better life for itself and be pleasing to God, what could it do? The answer remains the same, NOTHING.
So this is a great problem! What can we do to be right with God? How are we supposed to be acceptable in God's sight if we are dead in sin? Lets look more at Ephesians 2 "But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—"
God saves...God raises spiritually dead men, and the evidence of that, the proof that God has raised someone from the graveyard of the spiritually dead, is that they have a new heart and , and a new spirit, and they are a new creation...meaning they cannot love sin and love the things of the world anymore than a human could love digging their face into pig slop and cow dung....
Friend, if you have been saved, if DMX has been saved, it is not because you have redeemed yourself, but its only because of the grace and mercy and kindness and love of God towards you, and even while you were sinning against God , He still loved you and sent His son to die for you....not because of who you are, but in spite of who you are. The proof that you have been saved is not because you did a whole bunch of good things, but it is because you long to seek the face of Christ, you desire to obey Him, and you turn away and run from sin..
DMX is not saved because he prays at the end of his albums...In Matthew 7:21 there are people who say "Lord Lord!!" and they preach and cast out devils and more...but Jesus says they will not enter the kingdom of heaven because they did not KNOW HIM and obey Him...which means repenting and believing on Him for the rest of your life....
The only reason DMX or any other sinner...both you and I, are living today is because of the sheer grace of God....because He wills that all men be saved...but if X keeps deceiving himself...thinking that good works and "gospel albums" will save him...he will be lost and perish forever in hell....but if he relies and trusts in and loves the Lord Jesus and believes on Him....then he will be saved and God will have worked in his life….
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DMX's Gospel Album