Eternal Security


Eternal Security, or Perseverance of the saints, maintains that none who are truly saved can be condemned for their sins or finally fall away from the faith. 

Discuss.

By the way – please avoid cutting and pasting arguments of other writers from other sites to prove your argument.  If you want to cut and paste a bit here and there, that is fine, just put the URL where you got the info.  You can also reference another URL, too, if you want us to go there to see what that writer says.  Thanks! 

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159 thoughts on “Eternal Security

  1. Well, as best as I have come to understand it, we are saved the moment that we both realize that we are completely lost without the grace of God, and that we accept that unconditional grace.In other words: salvation might be only for those who really want it to begin with.We all have the capacity and ability to desire salvation, but unfortunately some will not choose to want it. But those that do, God will not hold back His grace and His promise from them.In short we are saved by Christ the moment we desire and accept Christ. Nothing we can do will either enhance or facilitate that, or cause us to lose our salvation in Him.Believe you me, I know.

  2. Even though the words “eternal security” – like “trinity” – are not found in the Bible, there is much in Scripture to show demonstrate that it is a reality.

    Romans 8:35-39 says,

    “Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, ‘For your sake we are being put to death all day long; we were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    Philippians 1:6 says,

    “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

    God finishes what He starts. If God has really begun a good work in a person, He will be successful in completing it.

    1 Corinthians 1:8 says,

    “[Jesus Christ] will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 says,

    “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”

    2 Thessalonians 3:3 says,

    “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”

    John 3:16 says,

    “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”

    And when Christ died on the cross, his death purchased the church.

    Acts 20:28 says,

    “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”

    We, the church, belong to Christ. We are His. How could we belong to someone else? How could anyone (including ourselves) take something (or someone) from Him?

    1 Peter 1:3-5 says,

    “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

  3. as long as you want to be saved you will be.
    anything more than that takes away from our free moral
    agency.
    lee

  4. “On July 10, 2008 at 7:17 am faithful Said:

    So did Judas go to heaven?”

    Based on what Jesus says about him, I would say more then likely not.

    And I hold to the belief that nothing can separate me from him except me. I have to choose to walk away from him.

    Luke 15:31″ ‘My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. 32But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ ”

    The story of the prodigal son, the son was dead and now is alive again. This has meaning at two levels. First for those who are lost in sin can come back to a heavenly father who will run to them and celebrate their returning to him. Secondly for those who walk away and then return, during that period of time when they have walked away they are dead, thus I take that to mean they are no longer in fellowship with the Father and thus are lost.

    Now this parable gets more interesting when comparing it to Hebrews 6:4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, 6if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because[a]to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.

    Now according to the Prodigal Son story the son ALREADY HAS a relationship with the father and walks away, yet in Hebrews you can come back. So how do they work together in harmony? I pondered this for some time before realizing that there is a difference between Jewish customs and gentiles. Thus as a Jew if I return to the old ways I am not able to return, but as a sinner I am able to return to his fellowship.

    Otherwise, one or the other is in error.

  5. Hi faithful,

    The question you need to ask about Judas was – was Judas saved in the first place?

    When we read over the descriptions of Judas in the Gospels, it doesn’t sound like he was really into Jesus’ ministry wholeheartedly in the first place.

    John 12:4-6 tells us:

    But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was going to betray him) said, “Why wasn’t this oil sold for three hundred silver coins and the money given to the poor?” (Now Judas said this not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief. As keeper of the money box, he used to steal what was put into it.)

    Jesus also referred to him as “the son of perdition” (John 17:12). That doesn’t sound like someone who is really on His team.

    Now, obviously, the answers to these two questions ultimately rest in God and His judgment. But, it would seem that he was not saved, and therefore would not be in heaven.

  6. Couldn’t have said it better myself, Nathan.

    Scripture is clear that Jesus knew that Judas was going to betray Him and it seems like Judas had no choice but to play his infamous role. But he had the same moral choice as anyone else has been given. He didn’t have to betray Jesus, if he had truly desired to follow after Jesus to begin with.

    But in the end, his disappointment with Jesus (I’ve come to think that Judas wanted the more “militant”-type leader that many other Jews were looking for in their messiah) and his greed led him to a very dark place. He neither had a real faith in Jesus, or a desire for that which is above what this world can provide.

    So no, Judas was not saved. But isn’t it amazing that Jesus loved Judas anyway? That during the Last Supper, Jesus even washed the feet of the man who He knew was about to give Him up for brutal torture and then death.

    Now, that’s love.

  7. Judas is a perfect example of the fact that God can and will accomplish His purposes through both the just and the unjust. No one, righteous or unrighteous can stop His will from being accomplished.

  8. I think all of the verses Nathan posted are great. I do, however, think that they refer to those who are faithful to Christ throughout their lives when balanced with the sum of the word. Let me point out a few verses:

    Galatians 5:4:
    You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace

    Those who seek something other than Christ for justification have fallen from grace. That they have fallen from it shows us that they were once covered by it. If we are saved by grace, and we fall from grace, that means we are not saved.

    There is no stronger language showing us that “eternal security” doesn’t exist than this:

    Hebrews 6:4-6:
    4For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

    Again, here are people that were Christians since they had been made “partakers” of the Holy Spirit. This passage shows us that Christians can choose to forsake Christ, go back into the world, and are worse off than before! They’ve crucified Jesus again.

    Look at Revelation:

    Revelation 2:10
    ‘Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to cast some of you into prison, so that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation for ten days Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

    Jesus puts a condition upon the crown of life given to the righteous on judgment day – faithfulness until death.

    Now, as to Judas, when we see how overcome with remorse he was, I think there is no doubt that he knew what he had done. He knew he had played a part in crucifying the Christ. That shows me he had faith that what Jesus said about Himself was true.

    The interesting thing to me is how those who believe in eternal security are so quick to judge the salvation of others. Heaven forbid that someone teaches that certain forms of baptism are not scriptural, but it is perfectly acceptable to judge whether or not someone was truly saved. Let me give you an example:

    Jimmy goes to the Baptist church and “gets saved”. He’s faithful for a year or two. Then he stops coming to worship services. He starts doing drugs and wants nothing to do with the people who come to encourage him to straighten out.

    Now everyone at the Baptist church says, “well, I guess Jimmy was never saved in the first place”.

    If Jimmy had been a part of my congregation, obeying the gospel, remaining faithful for a while and then doing what I said above, no one would doubt that Jimmy was actually saved when he obeyed. We would see him as the Bible describes such individuals – one who has ceased to remain faithful and needs to repent and come back to the Lord.

    I see the doctrine of eternal security as a very dangerous teaching as a person might neglect the commandment to “remain faithful until death”, thinking that “hey, I was saved and now nothing can change that”, allowing them to continue to sin if they want to. As Paul wrote:

    1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

    The implication is clear – if we continue to live in sin, grace is not simply going to increase to cover those sins. When balanced with all of the scriptures on the matter, I think it is clear that a person can fall from grace and lose their salvation.

  9. Thinking outloud..not arguing any points:
    At what point does Jimmy loose his salvation? after 2 days, 2 months, 2 years of sin and not returning to the church? Who decides when Jimmy has lost his salvation? If Jimmy returns to the church after 2 years of falling away, does he become saved again and is rebaptized?

    (and can’t Jimmy fall away from some church other than the Baptist church? say, maybe the church of Christ also?)

  10. Dear Corey,
    Without saying too much else about it (only ‘cuz it would take all day to share the story), I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with some of what you’re saying. Because if we did have to have perfect faithfulness after we are saved, then there is no way that I could be going anywhere but Hell. Because I did make mistakes after my salvation. Including some that although I know God has forgiven me for, they still bother my own conscience to this day. And in the worst of times, I do have to remind myself that it is by the grace of God and not anything that I have done that will forgive me even for those things.

    But on the other hand, I think you are also touching on something that we’ve been discussing here: that salvation has to be earnestly and sincerely desired and sought after, in order for God to be able to give it.

    There is a danger in “easy believe-ism”, in that it does seduce some to think that all they must do is believe “the right way” and do “the right ritual” or belong to “the right church” and voila: salvation! But that’s not wanting salvation for the right reason at all! That’s just wanting salvation for… I know of no other way to put it… “fire insurance”. It become a “Get Out Of Hell Free” card.

    A serious desire for salvation won’t stem from a fear of Hell at all. A serious desire for salvation will come from nothing more or less than an understanding that we all fall short of God’s design and that we need and should want to fulfill His expectation… but without His mercy and grace, we cannot possibly do that on our own.

    In short: salvation is only for those who genuinely want to be in a real and loving relationship with God. Who will love Him regardless of the threat of Hell. No one was ever made to seriously love another person because they were motivated to do so out of fear of that person. Neither is it like that with God.

    God wants us. He just desires for us to want Him in return. If we do that much, if we honestly want Him, He won’t turn us away or forever reject us, no matter how we fail to live up to his expectations (the story of Hosea demonstrates God’s own love for us, though we so often turn away from Him). He won’t deny us the Kingdom of Heaven, regardless of what we may or may not do in our time on Earth…

    …that includes baptism, too.

    So maybe instead of “saving souls”, the business of the body of Christ on Earth should be showing people the love of God so that they might want to love Him, too. If that much is done, God will take care of the rest.

  11. At what point does Jimmy loose his salvation?

    I don’t know Rick, because the Bible doesn’t say. That alone should encourage us to be cautious to be sure we’re being faithful. I know that John said that when we walk in the light, as He is in the light, He cleanses us from sin. When one ceases trying to walk in that light then certainly I’d say they’re lost at that point.

    If Jimmy returns to the church after 2 years of falling away, does he become saved again and is rebaptized?

    No re-baptism would be necessary. They would need to repent to come back into the grace of God. Paul wrote to expel the immoral man that he might be shamed to repentance. Look at the wicked attitude of Simon in Acts 8. He was told to repent lest he die. I don’t know if that one thing alone caused him to fall from grace, but he appeared to be in the same danger zone that Ananias & Saphira fell into.

    and can’t Jimmy fall away from some church other than the Baptist church? say, maybe the church of Christ also?

    If you’ll notice I showed what would happen when Jimmy fell away from the Baptist church and the church of Christ.

  12. Chris,

    I’m not going to get into all of that, but I want to say this – I never stated that we will attain “perfect” faithfulness.

    1 John 1:10
    If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us.

    We’re still going to fail God and sin. As I pointed out earlier, if we are faithful and walk in the light, Jesus’ blood cleanses us from our mistakes. It is when we cease to seek and follow Him that we can fall away.

  13. I don’t know if a person who falls away was saved to begin with, Corey. Because that would seriously imply that they never had a true desire for God. Although there have been times since my own salvation that I have felt like I had “fallen away” myself, and even doubted that God was there. But I always came back to Him. I do not believe that my salvation was ever in jeopardy because of those things though: God knew that I wanted Him, in spite of circumstance and myself.

    In the end, it’s not any of us who can pass a judgment on whether one is bound for Hell or not. And I’m glad that none of us can claim that right, either.

    Salvation is not something that we have to fight and strive to “keep up”. In fact, I think that it’s good that we fall sometimes. We should fall, so as to be reminded that we can’t do this on our own, and that it’s only God’s grace which can sustain us. That is not only how we live in the faith, but how we grow in the faith as well.

    Based on my studies and experience, that is the true mark of salvation. Not whether we “obey” a ritual.

  14. Hi Corey, welcome back and good afternoon all! Gal 5:4 and Hebrews 6:4 are both directed towards the old pratices of the Jewish law of Moses.

    I do believe you can walk away from your salvation as in the parable of the prodigal son demonstrates.

    Luke 15:23 Bring the fattened calf and kill it! Let us eat and celebrate, 15:24 because this son of mine was dead, and is alive again – he was lost and is found!’ So they began to celebrate.

    The son was dead, I read that to mean he was no longer in fellowship with the father and was lost. Had he died in that state he would have been lost forever.

    Contrast that passage and Hebrews that states you can not return to Christ if you go back to the laws of Moses once you have tasted Christ. They are in conflict only if you read them without taking into account the context. In Hebrews it is talking about a return to the old law and not being able to come back. In Luke, while the son knew his father, he goes off living for himself only to return to seek restoration.

    The sinner is forgiven, the Jewish person who returns to the old ways is lost. That is how I read this.

    So I have to conclude you can choose to walk away as a believer and go off and sin but could be restored but as a converted Jew, if I return to the old ways I am doomed.

  15. Hi Corey,

    Glad to have you back.

    1) The Galatians passage:
    “The problem is in the conclusion we draw, not in the premises. The whole issue here is what falling from grace means. Does it mean that the believers in question have fallen from their positional standing in grace? If it does, then Paul contradicts himself because in other passages he clearly states that is impossible (cf. Romans 8:38-39; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; Colossians 2:13-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:10; 2 Timothy 2:13). Since scripture is God’s Word, it cannot contradict itself. Thus, whatever Paul meant by falling from grace he did not mean falling from one’s position as a child of God.”

    http://www.faithalone.org/news/y1988/88jan1.html

    2) The Hebrews passage

    It would seem that that passage would be a slam dunk for the side of eternal insecurity. And Corey, you write that “Again, here are people that were Christians since they had been made “partakers” of the Holy Spirit.” Where do you find that? It doesn’t say “filled with the Holy Spirit”. “partaking” means “sharing in”. In other words, a person who sits in the presence of Christians could regularly receive the benefits of sitting in the presence of Christians and never actually be saved.

    However, you can’t stop at verse 6, and if you continue on, you’ll see that the next few verses support that reading.

    Verses 7&8… “For ground that drinks the rain which often falls upon it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.”

    Here we have a picture of two different kinds of fields – one that is blessed and fruitful – one that is cursed and barren. What is the commonality? They have both drunk the rain – or received the good things of God – and there have been two reactions: lush vegetation and thorns and thistles. In other words, it’s possible to sit in church and hear the Word preached and experience the fellowship of believers, but then turn your back on it. In the second case, the rain drunken in (light, Spirit, word, powers) produced no life in the field.

    And then verse 9:
    “But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.”

    things that accompany salvation… or to put it another way, the writer is saying is that he believes they really are “saved” and that therefore they will not be a barren field. They will bear fruit. They will not fall away.

    That’s enough for now. I’ll look at the Revelations passage, too, and respond later if nobody else does.

    Again, good to have you back, Corey.

    Nathan

  16. From Corey: Hebrews 6:4-6:
    For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame.

    – If this means what you say, its says its impossible to renew them again, so that mens no way to come back if this means one loses salvation. The context here was to those who were rejecting Christ and his work on the cross and these people were wanting to use other means to get to God, they are not called “saved” but people who tatsted and partook in the things of the Holy Spirit, meaning they knew the truth but wanted to still turn back to the old ways of sin atonement…after tasting the word…they heard the truth and still wanted to go back under the law and things….this is not Christians who loose their salvation, if so, it says its IMPOSSIBLE for them to be renewed…CONTEXT PLEASE !!!

  17. Hey guys – I’m logging off for a while. Thanks for the beginning of a good conversation!

  18. Nathan,

    Not a single one of these verses:

    Romans 8:38-39; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30; Colossians 2:13-14; 1 Thessalonians 5:10; 2 Timothy 2:13

    states that it impossible to lose our salvation. While most of them don’t seem to even warrant addressing, I will address the passage from Romans. If you read it you’ll notice that all of the things listed are external forces. I agree that no outside force can separate us from God. That is something the individual alone can do, as evidenced by the verses I posted.

    As to Hebrews 6, how can someone fall away from something they aren’t a part of? That is what you’re suggesting – that they were merely “in the presence of”, not actually a “part of”. The passage also mentions them repenting again. Are we to believe that the writer is addressing repentant unbelievers? That makes no sense.

    wdtbs wrote:
    If this means what you say, its says its impossible to renew them again, so that mens no way to come back if this means one loses salvation.

    It doesn’t say that it impossible for the individual to repent, but it impossible for others to renew them to repentance. In other words, if they already know how great Jesus is, and all He’s done for them, yet they still turn their backs on Him, there is nothing that you can say or do to cause them to come back. It is squarely on them at that point.

  19. Anyone else having problems posting? I have lost 3 posts here and at least one of them said that I had already posted the same thing, yet it did not display.

  20. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistle_to_the_Hebrews has a good overview and should be considered in reading the passages.

    I do believe that Jewish followers are the focus in this passage and that returning to Mosaic law made it impossible to crucify Christ again.

    In effect the bar was raised higher for Jewish believers then the gentiles. And thus going back to sin was different then going back the law of Moses.

    I agree with Corey as nothing external can separate us for Christ, but we can decide to do so by walking away.

    Compare the Prodigal Son and Hebrews 6:4 and tell me how they coexist without one being the focus on returning to the old law and the other returning to sin or entering sin?

  21. First, this was one of the reasons for my warning against cutting and pasting. When it is someone else’s words, you are likely to not read carefully enough. However, even though you are correct that the writer I cited was mistaken in saying that the referenced verses “clearly states” that it is impossible, they do suggest that it is impossible quite clearly.

    And I think most of them do “warrant addressing”.

    Eph 1:13,

    “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.”

    You are saying it is possible for us to break a seal that God has placed?

    Col 2:13-14,

    “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”

    What happened to the dead? Made alive.
    How many trespasses were forgiven? All (past, present, future… all
    What happened to the handwriting that was against us? Wiped away.
    Where did He put it? Nailed it to the cross.

    Sounds pretty final to me.

    1 Thessalonians 5:10,

    “[Jesus Christ] who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.”

    You are right about this one – it doesn’t address this issue specifically. Sorry about that.

    2 Timothy 2:13

    “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”

    What could be more impossible than changing a faithful Jesus into a fickle Jesus? If we are faithLESS – He remains faithFUL.

    As to the Romans passage, you are suggesting that Paul should have thrown in something like this…

    “…nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing (except you yourselves), will be able to separate us…”

    I think the difference in our theology on this subject (and probably others) is our different understanding of God’s sovereignty and the ability of a person to disrupt God’s plans.

  22. You are saying it is possible for us to break a seal that God has placed?

    Do we not have a role in obtaining the seal in the first place? Isn’t it our obedience that must come before the seal is placed? If you agree, how is it so unreasonable that we could have a part in breaking that seal?

    What happened to the dead? Made alive.
    How many trespasses were forgiven? All (past, present, future… all
    What happened to the handwriting that was against us? Wiped away.
    Where did He put it? Nailed it to the cross.

    It was you that put “past, present, future…” in there, not the inspired writer. Are you saying that ALL sins are forgiven at the point of salvation? Even those that we haven’t committed? That completely conflicts Paul’s statement that:

    1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

    What sin is there to continue in if all have been forgiven. Also, the “handwriting” is the old law, which Christ removed.

    What could be more impossible than changing a faithful Jesus into a fickle Jesus? If we are faithLESS – He remains faithFUL.

    No, men are fickle, not Christ. Look again at the last line of the passage:
    He cannot deny Himself.
    Jesus is true to Himself and cannot deny Himself. We know that He will deny some people. I submit that the scriptures teach that some of those He’ll deny are those that at some point professed faith in Him (Matthew 7:22-24).

    “…nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing (except you yourselves), will be able to separate us…”

    Paul didn’t have to write that. All you have to do is look at the entire passage and see that EVERY single thing he lists are external forces. I believe that the scriptures teach the security of the believer in that the faithful cannot be taken from Christ’s hand. There is no outer force that can take us away, only internal forces and I think that is what Paul is referring to.

    I think the difference in our theology on this subject (and probably others) is our different understanding of God’s sovereignty and the ability of a person to disrupt God’s plans.

    I’m sure that is true.

  23. walkinlove,

    I don’t see how the parable of the Prodigal Son proves eternal insecurity. I would say just the opposite, actually. Keeping in mind that it is a story that Jesus told to illustrate a larger point.

    First, he was telling the story as a result of the Pharisees and scribes murmering against him because he was hanging out with sinners. This included both “cultural” sinners (tax collectors) and just plain sinners who were as lost as they could be.

    So, when he was telling the story, he was wanting the listeners (both the Pharisees and the sinners) to hear about God’s feelings towards sinners.

    If (as you said) the story had gone that the boy left home and died in his rebellion, then okay, I could see it – that it would be a pretty stark warning that you can abandon the family and die. But, that’s not how the story went.

    The boy leaves home, rebels, comes back, and is welcomed with open arms. There is no doubt whatsoever that the Father will welcome him back. And on some level, the boy knew that he would be welcomed back – even if only as a servant – and that’s why he felt the freedom (or security) to return.

    AND don’t forget that the father ran to him, hugged him, and covered him with kisses BEFORE the boy “repented”. He was already forgiven.

    As to the fact that the father said the son was dead, it is actually more specifically translated “was like one dead, as good as dead”.

    Great parable, and it gives me great hope and encouragement.

  24. “It was you that put “past, present, future…” in there, not the inspired writer. Are you saying that ALL sins are forgiven at the point of salvation? Even those that we haven’t committed? That completely conflicts Paul’s statement that:

    1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?”

    Yes, all sins are forgiven at the point of salvation. Those that have been committed and those that we will still commit.

    What Paul is saying here… what I’ve always taken to mean what Paul is saying here, anyway… is that we shouldn’t want to go on sinning at all. And that goes back to the earlier discussion, that salvation must be desired.

    If a person does want salvation and a relationship with God, it will be impossible for that person to want to keep on sinning. And yet, we sin anyway…

    To follow Christ means to be saved in an instant. But it also means a lifetime of sanctification. That means that saved though we are, in spite of that we still sin… but that doesn’t negate out our salvation at all. Instead, God uses those times when we fail to lovingly correct us, so that we might not sin anymore (though we inevitably do).

    What Paul is also saying here is that it is absolutely wrong to keep on sinning in the hopes of acquiring more grace from God.

    There was a fella named Rasputin back in the early part of the twentieth century, incidentally, who believed such a thing. He was a monk who thought that the more he sinned, the more God would forgive him and love him. Dude wound up playing more than a small role in bringing down czarist Russia, but I digress…

    So yeah, instant salvation but ongoing sanctification. The people of the local hyper-legalist cult are demanding instant and continuous sanctification in addition to salvation… but that’s not spiritually possible. That’s certainly in no design of God that I’ve ever heard of.

  25. I would agree with Nathan that the Prodigal Son is not the best example of the fact that a human can so sin as to lose their salvation. However, this:

    AND don’t forget that the father ran to him, hugged him, and covered him with kisses BEFORE the boy “repented”. He was already forgiven.

    is incorrect. The boy repented when he made up his mind to return to his father as a servant and left the far away land to return. He had a change of mind followed by a change of action, which is the very definition of repentance.

  26. Good point, Corey.

    BUT (there’s always a but, isn’t there?) the father’s actions at the point of the son’s return suggest that he was already forgiven, and he was just waiting for him to return.

    But, it is a story, and so I don’t want to read more into it than was intended.

  27. The boy was dead, he was with prostitutes and using his abilities and gifts from the father for his own pleasure, how much more sinful can you get?

    The Prodigal son, while one could argue that it is about redeeming the lost, you have to pick up on the son having the relationship with the father already and going off on his own instead of staying where he should have.

    It is a story about someone in relationship with the father who is God in this instance. Who walks away to do things his way and who at that time is dead to the father.

    nek-ros’ is the greek word for dead it has the following meanings:

    1) properly
    1a) one that has breathed his last, lifeless
    1b) deceased, departed, one whose soul is in heaven or hell
    1c) destitute of life, without life, inanimate
    2) metaph.
    2a) spiritually dead
    2a1) destitute of a life that recognises and is devoted to God,
    because given up to trespasses and sins
    2a2) inactive as respects doing right
    2b) destitute of force or power, inactive, inoperative

    Now one of those definitions is spiritually dead I read this as such, otherwise why throw a party simply because he is has come home but that he is now alive again spiritually.

    What makes his father so happy? And why does he call him dead and how alive? This is more then a normal celebration!

  28. And my point to this is that while he was out of the will of the father and had turned his back on him he was lost or dead, thus you can decide to waste your inheritance and be dead or you can run home looking for forgiveness and find it to be more then you could hope for.

  29. acoc said: “f (as you said) the story had gone that the boy left home and died in his rebellion, then okay, I could see it – that it would be a pretty stark warning that you can abandon the family and die. But, that’s not how the story went.

    The boy leaves home, rebels, comes back, and is welcomed with open arms. There is no doubt whatsoever that the Father will welcome him back. And on some level, the boy knew that he would be welcomed back – even if only as a servant – and that’s why he felt the freedom (or security) to return.”

    Still the boy was dead while he was gone. If he had not returned he would have been lost! Just as a sinner who does not return is lost. And I do believe he was forgiven the moment he wanted to go home.

  30. why do you fret?
    if you want to be saved you will be.
    if you wish to go back you can.
    if we confess our sins he is faithfull and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrightousness.
    this is only talking to christians.
    it implies that cleansing happens after confession.
    you cant sin willfully and live anyway you wish and think that god has already taken care of your present and future sins. it dosent wash. we all sin some more than others, so you cant say that the man who does was never saved in the first place.
    what might be helpful is to look at eternal security
    the way i do. if you do what jesus said to do, you dont have to walk around wondering if your saved.
    either we believe him or not.
    amen?
    lee

  31. walkinlove,

    That’s fine – we have two different ways of reading that parable. That’s the interesting thing about storytelling, that two people can read the same story and interpret it differently.

    By the way, I found your lost comments in the spam filter and I’ve un-spammed them so they’ve been posted.

  32. I also believe that un-forgiveness of others will lead to death and loss of salvation!

    Matthew 18:34And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.

    35So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

    I personally do not want to be held accountable for the debt I owe God, do you? And what is that debt? Sin and the penalty or payment for that debt is death!

    Now you can call it a story also but it is what it is and it is the most disturbing text in the Bible and one that points to how serious God is about our relationships with others who are our neighbors.

    So if you believe and do not forgive those who have sinned against you, you are in danger of being held accountable for the sin you owe God.

    It is a way to “lose your salvation”.

  33. And this is one of the reasons I don’t allow Johnny or any other believer offend me and create a debt situation to possibly get me to fall into the trap of that offense and not forgive the debt.

    So if you can lose your salvation from unforgiveness and you are offened by CoC pratices are you walking in unforgiveness towards them.

    And secondly, what is the penalty for the one(s) who tempted the other into sin? Being angry and sinning not is very difficult to do as a human being.

  34. James 2:1313 There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you.

    Also this has to be balanced with our actions that mercy plays an factor in the judgment against us and that if we have shown mercy we will receive it!

  35. “So if you believe and do not forgive those who have sinned against you, you are in danger of being held accountable for the sin you owe God.

    It is a way to “lose your salvation”.”

    Hmmmmm…

    I don’t know if it’s a way to absolutely guarantee that one can lose his or her salvation, but not having the capacity to forgive at all would certainly demonstrate that a person does not possess salvation to begin with.

    The reason I say that is because it has become easier over the years for me to forgive others. But there are times, Lord have mercy on me, when it is still very hard to forgive someone. And I know that, I struggle with it. I think even the early followers of Christ did as well. Look at John: he started out wanting Jesus to call down fire from heaven to smite those that opposed them. He was so infamous for his anger and lack of forgiveness that he was known as the “Son of Thunder”. But by the end of his very long life, he had become known as the “Apostle of Love” instead.

    So if we don’t forgive one person or the other, no that won’t cancel out our salvation. Doesn’t mean that it’s excusable though: it’s definitely one more thing toward the top of the list to hand over to God. Just all part of that spiritual growth process 🙂

  36. Chris read the unmerciful servant again please!

    The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
    21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”

    22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[f]

    23″Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents[g] was brought to him. 25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

    26″The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.

    28″But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.[h] He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.

    29″His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’

    30″But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.

    32″Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

    35″This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

    What is your debt to the king of kings and what is the payment for that debt?

  37. I think the key here is “unless you forgive your brother from your heart.” If we forgive because we are told to, then that becomes a kind of legalism again. Jesus wanted His disciples to be moved and motivated toward forgiving others because they sincerely loved others, even their enemies.

  38. If you are not saved by your good works, what bad works will unsave you? If God ONLY has the power to save, how can a human being undo His work? If we are kept by the power of God, per the bible… how can we break His power? To suggest one can unsave himself is a lack of faith if God, and distrust in what God promised. To believe one can unsave himself means you have faith in yourself, and not God.

  39. I have heard people try and bypass this by saying Christ takes you where you are, well he clearly through prayer and teaching on forgiveness has shown that our debt is tied to how we handle the small debts others make against us. The only variable is the mercy found in James 2:13 that regulates how harsh God will be. So I would argue that if a believer who was raped by a stepfather had not been able to forgive him but had used mercy in all other areas of life might be covered by those merciful acts over the area that did not have mercy. But that is a dangerous line to walk and I would rather not come close knowing what the payment for my debt to God is!

    I do believe that being held accountable for your debts even though you are a servant of God is clearly shown in the story, that you in fact can suffer the full payment for your sins because you did not forgive the payment of others to you!

    It says that clearly and is a warning to all of us to walk carefully with one another!

  40. whatdoesthebiblesay, you can lose it and suffer your full payment of your debts by practicing unforgiveness towards others here. The illustration is clear on that matter. Jesus prayer example is clear on that matter also. “Forgive us as we forgive others”

    In the story of the King who is God, what is the debt you owe and what is the payment for that debt?

    Sin is the debt and death is the payment. Do you want to pay your debt in full or be covered by Christ instead?

    Forgive and be covered, be unforgiving and be uncovered and held accountable for your debt!

    It is clear, and if you do not see it then what is Jesus saying?

  41. forgiveness and love are alot alike.
    they both on most occasions have absolutely nothing to do with feelings. i can choose to do both in relation to
    anyone and not like them personaly.
    now you see obedience to a command is what is required,
    not enjoying it. more often we love in spite of the way we feel.
    lee

  42. I think we need some more Bible discussion…how about this passage:

    2 Peter 2:20-22 (ESV)
    20 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.
    21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them.
    22 What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.”

    Verse 20 (especially) speaks of escaping the defilements of the world (cleansing) only to be entangled in them again and overcome. It speaks of a first state that was bad (lost), and a last state that is even worse (lost again). Verse 22 references a sow that was dirty, has been washed, then gets dirty again, and a dog that vomits, leaves, then returns to its vomit. The word in verse 21 translated “knowing” is epignosis…which means a complete or full understanding, not just a cursory knowledge. This seems to strongly suggest that the person in question did not just know of Christ, but knew firsthand through faith, through being saved.

    All of this seems to point to the fact that this warning is for Christians who are considering getting wrapped up in sin. And the warning strongly implies (if nto states) that such a Christian would not only loose their salvation, but would be in a worse state than a lost person who never even heard the gospel.

    Other thoughts?

  43. My post is again hung in the spam filter most likely because I posted an external like to wikkipedia and a reference to 2 peter.

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_Epistle_of_Peter maybe this will get past just add the h t t p : part.

    Anyway I was hoping to hear comments on 2 peter’s authorship issues before assigning weight to the passages.

    It is indirectly on topic because the passage indicates a relationship with the Lord followed by a falling away.

  44. Re 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.
    (KJV)

  45. On July 11, 2008 at 10:28 am whatdoesthebiblesay Said:
    “If you are not saved by your good works, what bad works will unsave you? If God ONLY has the power to save, how can a human being undo His work? If we are kept by the power of God, per the bible… how can we break His power? To suggest one can unsave himself is a lack of faith if God, and distrust in what God promised. To believe one can unsave himself means you have faith in yourself, and not God.”

    I would have to strongly agree with that.

    Pastor Rick

  46. I just stumbled across your blog. I currently attend North Atlanta Church of Christ but was converted in the old Crossroads movement (I attended a Crossroads-type church in college.)

    Feel free to drop by my blog if you wish!

  47. Regarding what the Bible has to say about being guarded by the power of God, please reference 1 Peter 1.3-5. How are we guarded by the power of God? What is the mechanism that allows us to be guarded by the power of God? I believe that Peter clearly states that our faith is what allows us to be guarded by the power of God.

    If you stop having faith, then you no longer have that access to God’s power. Very similarly, of all the things that are listed by Paul in Romans 8 about the things that cannot touch us, the one thing not listed is ourselves. Can we turn away from God? Sure, the Scriptures seem to bear that out. Does this mean that God lacks the power to save? No, reference Isaiah 59 to see that God’s hand is not short. God will not make us believe and God will not make remain faithful.

    On the other hand, we have the assurance to enter into the holy place through the veil if we remain faithful. Our faith is the assurance of things hoped for and things that we have yet to see. Can we be secure in our knowledge that we will be in heaven? Yes, so long as we are faithful to God we never have a need to doubt.

  48. whatdoesthebiblesay said:
    “To believe one can unsave himself means you have faith in yourself, and not God.”

    I’m not quite sure what to do with this (and related) statement(s). How were you saved in the first place? By grace and faith…grace being God’s part, faith being your’s. So, if salvation was contigent on your faith, could not “unsalvation” also be contigent on your lack of faith…or faithfulness, as it were? Couldn’t we also define faith as commitment…and say that if you loose your faith or commitment you can loose your salvation?

    And…your statement also indicates that one who believes they can fall away has put their faith in themself. Wouldn’t this, then, be an example of someone who has fallen away? You have a logical paradox in this statement. The person who believes that they can be “unsaved” must have been saved to begin with (to be “unsaved”). But, according to you, to believe this means they have faith in themselves. Faith in God is required for salvation, faith in anything or anyone else brings condemnation. Therefore, this person in your statement is a saved person who now trusts in himself, and, is, therefore, condemned.

    Or was he never saved in the first place? Then he cannot be “unsaved,” and your statement makes no sense. If he were saved in the first place, then he now has faith in himself rather than Christ, and has fallen away…and your statement looses its meaning.

    Besides all this…you said “To suggest one can unsave himself is a lack of faith if (sic) God, and distrust in what God promised.”

    So, what did God promise? Unconditional salvation? Absolutely not. Salvation is and has always been contigent on the individual’s faith. As Corey already quoted, Revelation 1:10 says, “Be faithful unto death and you will receive the crown of life.” That is the promise, and it is conditional. [see also John 3:16; Mark 16:16; Luke 13:3; 1John 1:7; Eph 2:8; Gal 3:8,26]

    One final thought:
    2 Timothy 2:12 (ESV)
    “if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us”

    Who are the “we” and “us”? Paul is the one writing, Timothy is the primary recipient, Christians (saved people) are considered in context. If we (Paul, Timothy, or Christians) deny Christ He will deny us…what happens if Christ denies you?

  49. “Re 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.”

    Well faithful, most scholars have agreed over the years that this passage refers to ONLY those who are lost, because those in Christ are already with Him. And that each of the lost would be judged according to his or her works. And ultimately, none of those works could merit salvation.

    Once again, it is demonstrated in scripture that we are saved by the grace of God and not any work or action on our own part.

  50. Hey all. Just wanted to get some viewpoints on Heb 6:4-6. For those who believe this passage to teach that a believer (born again) can lose his/her salvation…how do you explain that they can’t get it back…”that is:

    (Heb 6:4-6) For it is impossible for [believers] If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

    I’ve don’t recall many people who use this verse to teach you can lose salvation also tackle the fact that you can’t get it back.

    Thanks!

    Jim

  51. “Chris you are lost. If not how did you get into him?”

    If you had read anything that we had been discussing faithful, you would know that you, more than most people in this forum, stand to be among those who are truly lost.

    Or is it that you really are authorized to speak for God Himself now?

  52. “On July 11, 2008 at 8:46 pm Jim Said:

    Hey all. Just wanted to get some viewpoints on Heb 6:4-6. For those who believe this passage to teach that a believer (born again) can lose his/her salvation…how do you explain that they can’t get it back…”that is:

    (Heb 6:4-6) For it is impossible for [believers] If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.”

    I’ve don’t recall many people who use this verse to teach you can lose salvation also tackle the fact that you can’t get it back.

    Thanks!

    Jim”

    Hi Jim, I read this in the context that it is written. It is to the Hebrew or Jewish believers who are tempted to fall away. They are not going to be able to crucify Christ a second time. You have to weigh this against the Prodigal Son parable, otherwise it does seem you are out and can’t come back. Yet the prodigal does return to his Father. The father is God in that story.

    Chris, faithful is trying to misdirect the conversations, please ignore him unless he sticks to the topic of Eternal Security! 😉

  53. walkinlove,

    What? A hypercon trying to misdirect a conversation? Whodathunkit!?! 😉 That was probably the first thing they teach at their preacher’s school. Misdirection 101.

    But, back to the topic at hand, I think Jim asked a very good question. Not to ignore your response, walkinlove, but just to get the perspective of another person who believes the doctrine of eternal insecurity, I wonder how Corey would respond to Jim’s question?

  54. Chris said:
    “most scholars have agreed over the years that this passage [Rev. 20:13] refers to ONLY those who are lost, because those in Christ are already with Him. And that each of the lost would be judged according to his or her works. And ultimately, none of those works could merit salvation.”

    I’m not sure “most scholars” agree to this…but some do. But, does this view hold water?

    If this judgment is only of the lost, then why judge their works at all? If we already know they are all condemned, then certainly God knows, too. Why does He need to go through the whole ordeal of judging their works even though everyone already knows they are lost? That doesn’t make any sense.

    Besides, what about the description of Judgment in Matthew 25:31f where all nations stand before Christ’s throne to be judged and separated by Him? And what about Romans 14:10 that says “we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God”? And 2Corinthians 5:10 “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” Doesn’t this passage also teach that we are judged based on our works?

    I understand salvation is by grace through faith…but faith without works is dead, and our faith is completed by works, or shown by our works. [James 2]

    Salvation is by grace…but is not guaranteed to those who do not produce fruit since fruitlessness is evidence of faithlessness.

  55. I have heard many times…and seen several times already in this discussion…the argument that those who seem to fall away were never really saved in the first place. Given in defense of eternal security, this argument removes the difficulty of those who show up at our congregations for awhile but then stop coming, or go back to a sinful life.

    You see, your argument seems to assume some kind of uncanny knowledge of the motivations and sincerity of every person. If they go back to a sinful life later you assume that they were not really committed in the first place.

    So, a question to those who use and believe this argument:
    Is it not possible that someone can genuinely come to Christ and put his faith in Him only to be lured away by temptation or some false teachings later? Is it not possible for someone to change his mind?

  56. The works we do will be judged for the rewards we will recieve when in heaven. As far as our salvation it is guaranteed by the grace of God.

  57. The church of Christ has had a couple of live tv debates this week with two different muslim groups , one being the Nation of Islam on Thursday night. This morning , Sturday, one of the preachers called to let me know someone had painted a picture of a bomb with the word boom under it on the side of the building in Danville Va. Both of the men that came to debate the church are from Danville. I’ll will have video covering the story up sometime tomarrow on youtube.

  58. faithful, you have posted a very confusing report. Whose building was it that was vandalized: the Church of Christ’s or the Nation of Islam’s?

    And if it was the Church of Christ building, are you suggesting that it was the Nation of Islam that is responsible? Because that’s what it sounds like you are saying.

  59. I know someone who thinks and their church thinks I am going to hell because for one thing I left their church because I don’t agree that they are the only church going to heaven like they think. They don’t think God will love and save those who don’t live exactly by the laws as they see it. They are so full of pride and so full of themselves in thinking they are the only ones who are living for God that they cannot see how wrong they are in the things they say and the way they treat others who disagree and they think it justifies them. God wants us to love each other. They certainly don’t know how great Gods love, mercy and grace is for people. It bothered me for a while at first that these people laid burdens on me and made me feel like I wasn’t good enough or ever could be good enough for God. But I came to know how much God does love me and always has and because of that no matter what these people think they can do to hurt me they no longer can hurt me. I know God forgives me for my sins with His mercy and grace and we should also show mercy and forgiveness to others, and I have forgiven these people although their pride keeps them from showing the same to me. They think they are so Godly but they don’t see how God tells us we should be kind to other people even those we don’t agree with, I leave that in Gods hands. I’ve learned it is better to follow Christ because of my love for Him and knowing He died on the cross to save me from my sins, not because someone tells me I have to earn my way into heaven. Jesus paid that debt for all of us who accept Him. Knowing this gives me a greater desire to live better. I don’t ever want to think I can earn my own salvation. God knows what is in my heart and it is His grace that saved me.

  60. I hope in telling this it might help someone know how much love and mercy God does have for them.

  61. I’m sorry , forgot you all had soooo much trouble figuring things out. The building for the Danville church of Christ had the bomb painted on it.

  62. faithful,

    I hope that the vandalism episode is resolved peacefully. Obviously, nobody here wants any of you folks hurt.

    However, don’t blame us for the fact that your report was not well-written and not clear. If you take a moment to read over your comments before you post them, this problem could be avoided.

    We will be interested for you to keep us updated on the situation.

    Meanwhile, you lobbed a theological grenade a few days ago about Judas and then didn’t respond to the replies. Were you going anywhere with that question, or were you just trying to stir the pot?

  63. “I’m sorry , forgot you all had soooo much trouble figuring things out.”

    Yes, we admit it: we are all, compared to the vast intellect and raw power cosmic of the hyper-legalist branch of the Church of Christ denomination (“it’s not a denomination”, nothing more than a bunch of dunces.

    Heaven help us if we did not have faithful, Johnny Robertson, James Oldfield, Norm Fields and whoever else makes up the “Church of Christ” to explain things to us mortal peons!

    (p.s.: You still can’t spell very well.)

  64. faithful – are you going to explain your Judas comment, or just keep throwing around pithy one-liners?

  65. lee makes a good point. “Pithy” might not have been the best word. How about “irrelevant”?

  66. i made several good posts a few days ago but got no
    response.it was about the topic of this post.ill even take a nice one liner from faithless.
    lee

  67. “There won’t be spelling test in heaven”

    Abel brought his best before the Lord and was accepted. Cain did not, and his offering was rejected.

    If you’re not giving YOUR best to God, faithful, then how is He going to bless it?

    Besides, how do you think this looks to those who are not saved, when those who claim to be as pious as you are doing come across as severely deficient in vocabulary and grammar?

  68. My writing here are not offerings. You really need to study.

    1Pe 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
    (KJV)

    You really are dumb as you look. I saw the video of you appearing in front of the school board dressed in your get up. LOL . You sure looked like an idiot if you aren’t one. So far I think you have shamed yourself in front of the whole community and the man that runs this website has shown himself to be just as dishonest in heart as you . I ‘m talking about whare he said he just used the preachers to get attention for the blog site. That was just as dishonest as you using the preachers to get your so called movie on tv. By the way , I thought it was sad try at movie making

  69. This conversation has digressed beyond the point of being edifying. I suggest that the conversation be started afresh and we focus on studying the truth with one another in love. That’s in the Bible you know 🙂

  70. I agree, aggie03. However, I do need to point out an error in something that “faithful” wrote.

    “…and the man that runs this website has shown himself to be just as dishonest in heart as you. I‘m talking about whare he [in reference to me, apparently] said he just used the preachers to get attention for the blog site”

    I never said this. faithful, please cite your reference – a direct quote or give the URL for the day I allegedly said it. If you can cite where I said this, then I will apologize, for it’s certainly not what I meant. If you can’t find a reference, then I would appreciate that would do the same.

    Now, if we can all get back on track like aggie03 suggested, does anyone have anything else to offer to this subject?

  71. A man may always defend his honor, so long as it is honorably defended 🙂

    I’ve always summed this idea up by stating that it is possible for one to wander from the fold, that is, one may decide to no longer serve God. However, that doesn’t mean we have to worry about whether or not we are going to be saved. 1 Peter 1.3-8 make it very clear that so long as one is living faithfully toward God, they are guarded by his power. What reason is there to doubt our salvation if we are guarded by God?

    Can one fall from grace? Yes, Galatians 5.4 clearly says that. Can one have security in their salvation? Yes, 1 Peter 1 clearly says that, too.

  72. Wow, faithful do you have ANYthing nice to say? All I have seen you do is put down, make fun of, and be rude to people. Did you miss the “love one another” command?

    These guys must go to some special training school to learn how to do this. The truth should be enough, but because so many of their beliefs are man-made, this is what they resort to.

  73. Wow, truth-thank you so much for sharing. What a great testimony-I am glad God delivered you from that and your found peace, mercy, and grace in Him. It is pretty incredible when you KNOW and LIVE in the truth that the arrows of others and of satan cannot hurt you. Many blessings in your journey~

  74. Thank you Katherine. I almost had decided I didn’t want anything else to do with church at all after I left that church. But I do believe God saw that I wanted to know the truth and He gave me the will to find the truth. And I am so grateful for that. It does concern me for other people that because of an experience like this may turn them away from God because of people like that. People sometimes come into church broken and beat up by life and already feel bad enough about themselves, they don’t need people to lay burdens on them and step on them more. They need to know that God has so much mercy and love for them and that He is there for them.

  75. Here is the “bomb” video:

    And I assume that this means that “faithful” is Mitch, since he said yesterday that he was going to post this video.

  76. faithful,

    I’m sorry you are feeling attacked.

    Let’s get back on task, folks.

    Let me post more from the article I referenced above with regards to Galatians 5:4, where the writer has looked at the context of that passage as well as the wider witness of Scripture to help draw his conclusion:

    “Falling from grace means that a believer who reverts to pharisaical thinking and practices has fallen from a present experience of grace. While our position in the grace of God is secure, our experience of His grace is not.

    If a believer today is unwittingly duped into joining a works-salvation cult, he will cease to experience God’s grace until he leaves the cult. In fact, if a believer joins any group, cult or otherwise, which teaches that we must produce good works in order to maintain our salvation, he will cease to experience grace. Even the linking of assurance to the quality of our lives can lead a believer to fall from a daily experience of grace.”

    http://www.faithalone.org/news/y1988/88jan1.html

    While Galatians 5:4 does clearly state that a believer can fall from grace, it doesn’t mean that a believer can lose his or her salvation. Those are two different things, and the second one simply is not true.

    As to the criticism of people who say that those who leave the faith were not Christians, this is simply an attempt to explain what happens when a person who appears to be a follower of Jesus turns his back on Jesus, or flat out rejects Jesus in light of the witness of Scripture.

    Of course, the truth of the matter is that only God knows, but I’m okay with that, because I trust Him to be faithful with that knowledge.

  77. if works are done to maintain salvation out of fear they are done not because of the relationship but of the fear of the punishment are they really works of faith?

    Works done because you love the savior are done because of the relationship and are of faith and thus are just and true. There may seem to be only a slight difference in the two but they are worlds apart.

    I do things because of what was done for me and because I want to honor him who gave it all and thus honor the one who sent him. Not because of a fear that I will still go to Hell.

    I believe that is the message that Gal 5:4 is saying to us!

    That being said, some seed falls on poor soil and the plants do not take root. Some here and are in the word and walking in freedom for a time, but the worlds pull takes them away.

    They in effect have lost their salvation because they allowed to blind them into making a choice to take their gifts and walk away like the prodigal son and if they fail to return they are dead to the father!

  78. faithful I hope you called the police and they have tested the paint to determine where it came from and then all paint stores need to run a check on who bought paint in the past month that was that type of paint.

    I will be praying for your safety and those who worship God there!

  79. I am sorry you guys were threatened-no one deserves that, and I certainly hope nothing comes of it.

    I don’t want you to feel attacked on here, either “faithful”-just because I challenge your beliefs and behaviors does not mean I am attacking. You are the one who cut me off and won’t listen, saying things like “no time for Katherine” and ignoring me-accusing me of things that are not true and writing me off. I have not done that to you. I want to have a conversation with you, and understand where you are coming from-but you don’t seem willing to do that.

    Anyway, I hope you find out who painted on your building and that everyone remains safe.

  80. Hmm I have to ask an off topic question, since this is an Answering the Church of Christ site, will Lee be given a thread to answer the Spiritual Gifts teaching that was given last night?

    Or is this purely a baptist answer to the CoC? I ask because I have erased the slate clean as far as previous teachings and am going back through scripture and evaluating everything based on that.

    So I would like to see that answer given even if it conflicts with Baptist teachings!

    Thanks!

  81. Why do you think Baptists are offended by spiritual gifts? I challenge our folks to use their spiritual constantly. Baptists are not in conflict with spiritual gifts!

  82. Hey walkinlove,

    I’m not Baptist, although I have many good Baptist friends, and appreciate much about what they do. So, no, this is not a Baptist answering the CofC.

  83. If someone can give a nice, concise phrasing of the question regarding spiritual gifts, I’ll be glad to start a conversation topic that way, like we have here for Eternal Security. That way it won’t confuse things with regard to the current topic.

  84. Sorry my apologies as I had assumed that because the CoC were after many of the Baptist Churches that this was the response to that. As to the details of gifts lets take it to a new thread and leave this one on topic.

    I would have asked via email but I did not see an address to reference.

    Thanks!

  85. walkinlove, the church I left practiced speaking in tongues. The church I go to now believes that the gift of tongues never ceased, but there is an order that God teaches in the bible about speaking in tongues. We believe God gives many gifts some we may not realize we have, such as some may have a gift in singing or playing music and some have a gift in being able to listen when someone needs someone to talk to. In our worship we sing and play music(contemporary)to praise God and hear the teachings of Gods word with order. What the other church did with speaking in tongues did not look like anything from God. The pastor of the other church told me that if I didn’t speak in tongues that I wasn’t saved, nowhere does the bible say that. I never spoke in tongues but I know God has saved me because God said in the bible I am saved by His grace, and the Holy Spirit has filled me with Gods Holy Fire.

  86. Some of these churches that speak in tongues teach that if you don’t speak in tongues you are not saved along with the works that they teach such as women should not cut their hair and should always wear nothing but dresses, men can’t have any kind of long hair, you can’t wear any jewelry, you shouldn’t watch TV, you shouldn’t speak about your beliefs to unbelievers outside of the church, and that all other churches that don’t believe the way they do are going to hell. I think a good topic for this would be how they teach that if you don’t speak in tongues you are not saved.

  87. “You shouldn’t speak about your beliefs to unbelievers outside of the church”??!!

    How would the message ever get spread if we did not do this? That is a pretty twisted belief.

    It amazes (and saddens me) how many people truly miss the beautiful (and simple) message of the Bible.

  88. Truth lets table that until the thread is available to talk about all the issues surrounding the Gifts etc.

  89. I’m still waiting for someone to give me the topic you want to discuss re:spiritual gifts…

  90. btw, Ken Copeland and another man once had a speaking in tongues contest with each other – its on the net. Modern day tongues seem to be a bunch of jibber-jabber to me. I was born and raised in this movement and have seen tongues over and over…but nothing like “what does the bible say”

  91. is it true that since i am the only admitted pentacostal, i would be the resident expert
    on tongues. first of all i know all about the conservative dress as well as other rules that
    had to be followed. now im speaking of the church of god {cleveland tenn}. i dont agree that those rules were ever important to god but as time has gone by
    there has been such a complete change in the COG that
    you cant tell them from anyone else.
    that certainly wasnt true 30 years ago. i dont think all the changes have been for the best.
    now before john or faithless posts a link to some group barking or running around on leashes i dont know anything about that. i dont agre with a great deal of things i have seen from interpretive dance to
    laughing in the spirit.
    but that dosent change god. paul said “i would that ye all spake in tongues”. if you dont believe in that
    take it up with paul.
    let it be by two or at the most by three and that by course and let one interpret. let all things be done deciently and in order. hast thou faith? have it to thyself and before god.
    jesus is lord to the glory of god………..
    cant you just feel it? amen
    lee

  92. When Paul said “tongues” he made it clear that tongues were languages with meaning, not drum symbols only making noise. Also, Acts makes it so clear that tongues were “unknown languages” and even names the places that some of the people were from. Note the miracle was not gibberish, but when they ( the apostles ) spoke ….everyone heard them speaking in their own language that they were born with…..so the miracle was not just on the speakers, but also on them that “heard”.

    When the apostles spoke…..everyone heard his own tongue-language . The miracle there is twofold. I suggest strongly that you do a study on the Church at Corinth and the former practices of the people of Corinth. Its obvious that they were abusing “gifts” or even faking them. Paul condemned them for this. Btw, I too was born and raised Pentecostal.

  93. Ooh, that is so cool that you mentioned that…I actually did a sermon on that once (on the Acts 2 passage)-that the miracle was in the hearing (yes, I am a woman and gave a sermon-it was in a preaching class which was amazing) :). It just made me think of that when you said it-that really resonated with me.

  94. thank you so much for pointing out that i should do a study.
    i had never thought of that. please excuse my ignorance. but if i may………….
    there are other tongues- acts 2 and there are various kinds of tongues- 1 cor 12:10
    this is what i believe is the unknown tongue. unknown is unknown. why else would we need to pray for an interpreter. dont run away from pauls wish that we all spake in tongues. and i also pointed out the need to follow the rules he set in place. ie if there is no interpretation to keep silient. im not saying that this is the end all in gifts but what god chooses to give i cannot refuse.
    do not discount the weapon of a secret language to communicate our deepest desires to god without the devil being able to decifer the message.
    praise god.
    lee

  95. Katherine, yes when I went to this church they told me to be real careful even to those close to me about this because those who didn’t believe everything like they believed could lead me away from the truth as they believed it. And as I said I never spoke in tongues and I knew something was wrong with the things they were trying to teach me. And I agree with you if it is so much the truth why hide it just in the walls of the church. In the faith that I have in God now I want people especially unbelievers to know how much God loves them and wants to save them with His mercy and grace.

  96. “On July 14, 2008 at 11:05 am answeringchurchofchrist Said:

    I’m still waiting for someone to give me the topic you want to discuss re:spiritual gifts…”

    Spiritual Gifts, are they available today? I posted this before, it is a request based on CoC teachings that the gifts are no longer needed because the Bible exits.

  97. I also suggested the topic on how some believe that if you don’t speak in tongues you are not saved.

  98. “do not discount the weapon of a secret language to communicate our deepest desires to god without the devil being able to decifer the message”.

    – book chapter verse would be nice. There was a purpose for the gift, but not now. Maybe ‘walinginlove” had a good suggestion. Are Spiritual Gifts available today?

  99. I do believe the Spiritual gifts the bible talks about do exist for one because I don’t deny the power of God and also the bible says that they will cease to exist when knowledge ceases to exist which knowledge will cease to exist when Jesus comes back for us. But to say that we need to have any of these gifts in order to be saved the bible doesn’t say that. And I believe that people have taken these spiritual gifts the bible talks about and has made a mockery of them.

  100. Amen, truth!!

    That is the hint of a cult-when they don’t want you to share with anyone else because their “truth” might be challenged-that is when you know it was never truth in the first place if it cannot stand outside of the walls.

    A church that is really seeking God and others to know Him will challenge and want their members to proclaim it outside of the walls to the whole world. After all, that is why we are here!

  101. Well since this is a CoC response site I think responding to their teachings with a entry about if they are available today would allow the issues to be talked about from both sides with scripture to back them up.

    We can talk about the abuse of the gifts in the thread also after talking about if they exist today.

  102. KAtherine said:
    “A church that is really seeking God and others to know Him will challenge and want their members to proclaim it outside of the walls to the whole world.”

    Actually I think one could argue that based on the principles that Paul sets up about the weaker brother that this is not totally the case. Because if we declare someone as essential and it is not we will cause our brother to stumble. A perfect example is music in worship. If I attended a CoC meeting and they sang without music I would still participate even if I disagreed with the teaching lest I caused one of them to stumble over my sitting and not participating, same would be said for a Church that believed you could not raise your hands in worship. If I visited there I would do as they do, lest I cause them to lose focus on worship of the King.

    So I would argue that doctrine while important can’t be a stumbling block to another if it is not a core issue. For example Jesus as God would be a core issue, Christ being the only way to the father would be a core issue. However worship style is not a core issue to me and I would modify my behavior based on where my brothers and sisters were on the matter.

    However if a CoC member showed up and demanded that the Church not use music because they were the weaker brother I would have to argue that they were not and were using it to manipulate others. Its a difficult raod to walk but I think some of our rights as believers have to take a back seat to our brothers.

  103. well then since there is no purpose for that gift then
    there must be no need for any gift.
    it seems you have answered your own proposition,
    the gifts must not be available.thanks for the light.
    class dismissed.
    lee

  104. walkinlove, I can see your point, but when I was at the other church part of their worship was making weird sounds come from their mouths, falling on the floor, and in all being pretty weird. No matter how hard they tried and pushed me to do the same I could not feel it was right to God to do that. When they would get me to go up front to try to get the Holy Ghost, which they believe the only way you know you got the Holy Ghost is to speak in tongues, which the bible doesn’t say that either, I did pray for the Holy Ghost. The things they were doing did not look like anything from God and it did not feel like anything from God either. The church I go to now does not do any of those weird things. We believe that spiritual gifts still exist but teach that there are many gifts God gives us. We worship God by singing and playing music and praising His name. Our main purpose is to bring people to Christ and to hear Gods word.

  105. God performs miracles today, but the gift of miracles is not in use today. The gift of miracles is seen in examples in the book of Acts where a given individual has a supernatural ability to do those works of power as a result of the Holy Spirit within him.

    The church at Corinth had the gift of healing, but they had that ability as a result of the ministry of the Apostle Paul in their midst. Healing is inseparably linked to the ministry of one of the apostles.

    When Paul was writing to Timothy he advised him on his health. “No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments” (1 Tim. 5:23). Why didn’t Paul just heal Timothy? Timothy had enough problems without having stomach problems. Why didn’t Paul just use his gift of healing instead of giving him some advice on how to help the problem?

    In 2 Timothy 4:20, Paul had to leave Trophimus behind at Miletus because Trophimus was so sick. Why didn’t Paul, who had raised Eutychus from the dead (Acts 20:10), just heal Trophimus? The only explanation seems to be that this ministry — this particular gift of healing — is being phased out, because in 2 Timothy, Paul is close to the end of his ministry. It was no longer necessary to validate Paul’s ministry by the miraculous — Paul’s writings were beginning to be recognized as Scripture (2 Pet. 3:15 16).

    Philippians 2:27 gives another example where Paul does not (cannot) heal a fellow Christian, “For indeed he (Epaphroditus) was sick to the point of death, but God had mercy on him, and not on him only but also on me, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow.” That is strange as you think of Paul’s power as a miracle worker in the earlier part of his ministry.

  106. 1 cor 14:2 does this still apply?
    i never got the memo if it dosent.
    theres your coded language to god. even an enigma machine cant decipher it.
    still praising god…….
    lee

  107. Okay, new topic posted. Let’s please move this conversation up there. I’ll post a reference back to this for newbies.

    Thanks.

  108. Pingback: Spiritual Gifts « Answering the Church of Christ

  109. lee, it says that those that speak with tongues men cannot understand that they are not to use these tongues in front of other people but only to God because when you speak these tongues in front of other people you are just trying to edify yourself it doesn’t edify the church and it also tells you that if others cannot understand what you are saying it’s not doing them any good. So right there it shows you these churches that do all this weird stuff and speaking in tongues as they say they are are not following the bible.

  110. Katherine said:
    “A church that is really seeking God and others to know Him will challenge and want their members to proclaim it outside of the walls to the whole world.”

    Wow, “walkinlove”-I think you COMPLETELY missed my point. I was not talking about doctrine or worship styles AT ALL. All I was saying by this statement is that I believe church should not be left within the four walls-we are to proclaim the message of the Good News of Jesus to the world. “Truth” was saying that the church he previously attended did not want them to share their beliefs with unbelievers, and that is what I was responding to. No, we should not force “our” beliefs on people-that is not what I am saying…I am saying we should tell others about the simple message of the cross-what Jesus did, His love, mercy, grace, and free gift of salvation that He offers us.

    If we are just about sitting in the pews a few hours a week (which are good things indeed), and we somehow think that is all there is to “church”, then we are sorely mistaken and have missed the point of who we are supposed to be.

    That was my point-I hope that cleared things up.

  111. Just a reminder about the bit that faithful wrote about me recently, and my response…

    faithful wrote:

    “…and the man that runs this website has shown himself to be just as dishonest in heart as you. I‘m talking about whare he said he just used the preachers to get attention for the blog site”

    I responded:

    I never said this. faithful, please cite your reference – a direct quote or give the URL for the day I allegedly said it. If you can cite where I said this, then I will apologize, for it’s certainly not what I meant. If you can’t find a reference, then I would appreciate that would do the same.

    And of course, faithful has not proven his slanderous allegation, nor has he offered an apology.

    I’m not going to allow this to go unanswered, faithful. Johnny Robertson has already refused to admit that he was wrong and apologize when he said his intention was to “defeat” and “destroy” me in his pursuit of his attempt to “uplift truth”, now I am going to see if you have learned just as well from him how to be hard-hearted and see if you lack humility just as much.

    Or, are you a little better than all of that? We’ll see.

    Philippians 2

  112. truth,
    in reguard to your statement yesterday,
    show me where it says you shouldnt speak in an
    unknown tongue in front of others.
    and as to the weird stuff, i already said you shouldnt
    be barking. but lets get to the heart of the matter.
    quite likely someone has hurt you that is pentacostal.
    if so i apologize, but no matter what has been done to us jesus is the one we follow. i know it can be difficut to rise above the hurts we run into.
    i believe you can and will.
    lee

  113. The Greek word that’s used in Galatians 5.4, which is talking about the relationship between Christ and a Christian, is katargeo. To give everyone an idea of its meaning, it is also used in Romans 7.2 when Paul writes about a woman being “loosed” from the law at her husband’s death. In Romans 7.6, Paul states that we are delivered from the law.

    So we must ask ourselves some questions. What is the relationship of the widow to her dead husband? Are they still married? No, death has severed that bond according to Paul. What is the relationship between a Christian and the law? Must we keep the law in order to be justified? No, we have been severed from the law through our death and rebirth in Christ. In every instance where this word appears in the New Testament, it refers to being severed or separated from something brining about a nullification in the previous relationship. A marriage ends when death occurs.

    What is the bearing of this on the passage from Galatians 5? This passage clearly states that a Christian may be severed from Christ. They may be katargeo from Christ. This means that the relationship between the two of them is severed and the previous arrangement is nullified. This is a very clear, very legal, and very exact statement that no one from the first century would have misunderstood. They could be severed from Christ, they could fall from grace. Another way to think about this is that their marriage to Christ could be annulled, made void, just as death annulled, or made void, marriage.

  114. Lee, been at work all day. Yes I believe these people made me feel like I was not good enough for God or ever could be good enough for God and made me feel like everything I did was wrong according to them. Those things can no longer hurt me because I know now even though don’t do everything just right that Jesus has saved me. And I want other people that may think they can’t be good enough for God especially when people who call themselves christians give them this impression, I want them to know that God has mercy for them and that God does love them.
    And here’s your verse, 1Corinthians 14:2 “For he who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him; however, in the spirit he speaks mysteries.”
    Thats all I’m going to say about it here because there is another post for this.

  115. hi truth,
    i think this says what i said,
    an unknown tongue is only understood by god.
    but it dosent prohibit us from speaking in the presence
    of others.
    this also shows that there is a difference between this and what happened in acts 2 since they understood it.
    good to hear from you
    lee

  116. And Lee I actually have spoken with people from other congregations that have some of these beliefs, and they weren’t so judgemental on others as the church I had went to and it showed me that even though they use the same name they do not believe or act all the same way. And I agree with you Lee, Jesus is the one to follow and with Gods help we can rise above the difficulties we run into.

  117. Great conversations all around. Thanks to everyone for maintaining the blog policy on civil discourse.

    faithful… speaking of which… I am still waiting for you to make things right regarding your baseless allegations against me. It’s your chance to be the big man!

  118. That’s “the great and powerful oz”. C’mon, lee, get with the program. 😉

  119. i knew you would get it.
    im most impressed by the ones who get the subtle refs
    with only minimal info.
    lee

  120. On July 15, 2008 at 2:56 pm aggie03 Said:
    What does it mean to be severed from Christ? Cf. Galatians 5.4.

    – It means just as you stated aggie, one can be cut off from Christ. But in that context, why were they cut off, or why did they fall from Grace. You left out part of the verse, so I will include it all. “You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.” Now, we can see clearly why they fell from Grace…here are two links you may find interesting

    http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/sg1665.htm
    http://www.biblebb.com/files/MAC/sg1666.htm

  121. The questions is “why is one cut off from Christ”. Is one cut off from Christ for his lack of perfect faithfulness to Christ?? If so, we are all cut off if perfect faithfulness means “not sinning”. One who abandons Christ are the ones who are cut off from Christ. If you leave Christ and become a Buddhist, you are cut off from Christ, because you sought another way to God other than Christ. Christ is the door, Christ is the way, any other way will be seen as man trying to justify himself before God. But, I also tend to believe that those truly in Christ will not leave. As John pointed out, “those who left were not of us, if so they would have continued with us”.

  122. My biggest fear is that many, of not most CofC assembles have fallen from grace to a system of deeds. I cant help but think that they make baptism as did some in Paul’s day made circumcision. Paul said to these people “ye have fallen from grace”. Even if baptism is part of one coming to Christ, its still should be faith alone in Christ that justifies one before God, not the act of baptism. I fear that many CofC people have fallen from Grace….trying to make their own way to heaven…

  123. I also agree that some people think and do in a way in such that they believe it is the works they do that save them. When people do this they are taking away that it is Gods grace that saves us. Our flesh cannot save us, Jesus is the only one who can save us.

  124. aggie, maybe you missied what I wrote above – how can I not say a seperation can occur if the bible says it can, but the point was why were they cut off, and that was because they wanted to be jusified before God by their own deeds/works. If youre suggesting one is cut off for sinning, how much sin would it take, which sins, and then answer which sins does Jesus blood not cover. Shall we sin that grace may abound, God forbid, may it never be so ! But when one does sin they have Jesus at the right hand pleading their case…either you have faith totally in Jesus, or you trust your own works…btm line !

  125. as I stated before, I fear that many CofC people have fallen from Grace to works as a means of salvation. And baptism is often treated likethey were treating circumcision…faith + works = salvation. Thats what scares me about the CofC

  126. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. John 10:27-29. Who are kept by the power of God through faith . . . I Peter 1:5. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39. For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Romans 11:29. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out. John 6:37. And this is the Father’s will who hath sent me, that all of which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again on the last day. John 6:39. In whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6.

  127. I agree that there are many people who have a works oriented view of both initial and final salvation – but there are also people who have a skewed view in the other direction as well. To say that there is nothing required of man to receive God’s grace goes too far. To say that it depends on man entirely to be saved goes too far, too. The real answer, in my understanding of the Scriptures, lies between those two extreme views.

    I think that to get any further in the discussion I’ll need you to define for me what you understand as a “works based salvation”. I would also like you to phrase your definition in terms of initial salvation and final salvation. Does that make sense? I look forward to hearing back from you.

  128. On the subject of eternal security:
    If one believes that we can “lose” our salvation, then we must also assume that the grantor of that Salvation-Jesus Christ can take it back. He alone is responsible for giving us salvation. His gift of salvation, upon our confession and repentence, is unconditional. He does not tell us “Son, you are saved – I have extended the lifeline to you, but…. you better tow that line or I am going to drop my end of it and it will be your fault!” To think in this way is absolutely ridiculous. God is not in the business of pulling people’s chains. Because of our sinful nature and free will, we can strive all we want to live a sinless life, but it will never happen and God knows this. If we truly believe that Jesus died for us, loves us and we confess and repent and ask forgiveness, He will save. I feel sad for those who believe that in the end at the throne of God they would hear “Well son, you did ask for salvation, you struggled but repented often but you just didn’t live up to my standards of what good works, a good life, etc….. were so you can’t come to heaven. I do however have another home for you..”
    There is no hope or true faith in that type of thinking. I think more highly of His power and grace than that. He is the almighty God – Faithful and True.

  129. Great thoughts, slcperson.

    That reminded me of the vintage21 series they produced a few years back.

    http://www.vintage21.com/sunday/video/

    They say this: “In the Spring of 2003, Vintage21 had a four week series on Jesus Christ, taking a deep look at what He said and did. It was difficult at times to get past our preconceived notions that had been developed by staunch, starched Sunday School classes of old. This is a satirical look at what some people think Jesus is like. Thank goodness He’s not.”

    I hope no one takes offense to them-they are not making fun of Jesus, but are a parody of how some people really do view Jesus. Thank goodness He really is not like that! 🙂

  130. Hebrews 6:4-6

    1 Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, 2 and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3 And this we will do if God permits.4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. (Hebrews 6:1-6)

    This is a weighty topic and it is not easily explained in few words. I want you to understand the meaning of this passage, so think with me here. Before we begin, the primary intended readers of the book of Hebrews were Jews. The basic theme of the book is the superiority of Christianity over Judaism. You see that theme all throughout the book. The point of the book of Hebrews is the superiority of Christ over all things. All throughout the book you see the writer emphasizing this. At the beginning of the book Jesus is superior to Angels. Then it talks about how He’s superior to the prophets: Moses, Joshua, Aaron, the sacrifices, the priesthood of Aaron. Jesus is superior to everything. That is the theme of the book.

    In this passage the point is whether you are a Jew still holding to Judaism, or a Jew who has embraced Christianity. It is not talking about losing salvation. This passage is clearly talking about Jewish people who are not saved. Look at the very beginning of verse 1: “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity.” That word “maturity” also translated as “perfection” is always used in the book of Hebrews to speak of salvation. It is never used to mean spiritual maturity, always salvation. Let’s take a look and see:

    Now if perfection had been attainable through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need would there have been for another priest to arise. (Hebrews 7:11)

    What does this verse mean? It means that if salvation were attainable through the Old Covenant priesthood, there would be no need for Jesus. It is speaking of salvation. Look at verse 19:

    18 For on the one hand, a former commandment is set aside because of its weakness and uselessness 19 (for the law made nothing perfect); but on the other hand, a better hope is introduced, through which we draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:18-19)

    Again, the Old Testament Covenant is set aside because by it, no one was saved. The Old Testament law was merely a picture of the Lamb of God who would actually save His people. Here’s another:

    For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified. (Hebrews 10:14)

    This verse is saying that by His death, Jesus Christ perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Sanctification is the process in which we become more like Jesus. It is our constant progression toward spiritual maturity. We see here that the word “perfected” is not referring to spiritual maturity. Christ perfected (or saved) those who are growing in spiritual maturity. Were you spiritually mature the instant you trusted Christ? Absolutely not. This is another instance where the word translated “maturity” or “perfection” is referring to salvation. You will find that such is always the case in Hebrews.

    So, let’s return to our text. In the beginning of verse 1 we have, “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity.” The writer of Hebrews is saying, “Leave the teachings of Christ and get saved!” I know, this raises an interesting question. How in the world does one leave the doctrine of Christ and move on to salvation? Isn’t the doctrine of Christ the basic foundation of salvation? For the Gentile believer, yes. But for the Jew, absolutely not. You see, the word “Christ” is not a reference to Jesus. In the Hebrew langauage the word Christ literally means “Messiah.” The writer of Hebrews says here, “Leave the elementary teachings of the Messiah and come to perfection in Jesus!” This statement would never be made to a Christian, therefore we know that this passage is not intended for Christians! The writer is speaking to Jews who have been around the gospel so long that they should be teachers of it (Hebrews 5:12), yet they are so caught up in the tradition of the Old Tesament Covenant that they have not converted to Christianity.

    Continue with the rest of verse 1 and through verse 2:

    “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. “

    Repentance from dead works is not referring to salvation. Repentance is to turn away from something. That is an Old Testament concept. Old Testament repentance is turning away from sin, or dead works. New Testament salvation is turning away from sin and turning to Jesus Christ. This is not a reference to salvation. It is referring to turning away from the Old Testament concept of repentance. It’s like a half-way repentance. Turning from sin is not enough, you must turn to Jesus!

    Next is faith toward God. It is not enough to believe in God. Is anyone saved because they believe in God? Absolutely not. In order to be saved you must believe in God, manifested in the flesh. This is the fundamental problem with Judaism. They believe in God, they just don’t accept Jesus as the Son of God. It’s like a half-way belief. Believing in God is not enough, you must believe in Jesus!

    The next thing is the teachings about washings. Jewish tradition had all kinds of ceremonies of washings. The writer of Hebrews is saying to leave those teachings. It’s like a half-way washing. Ceremonial washings are not enough, you must be washed in Jesus!

    Next is the laying on of hands. Because of the Jewish context, this is not a reference to the New Testament laying on of hands as a symbol of ordination. Instead, it is a reference to the Old Covenant sacrificial system found in Leviticus.

    He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. (Leviticus 1:4)

    And he shall lay his hand on the head of his offering and kill it at the entrance of the tent of meeting, and Aaron’s sons the priests shall throw the blood against the sides of the altar. (Leviticus 3:2)

    7 If he offers a lamb for his offering, then he shall offer it before the LORD, 8 lay his hand on the head of his offering, and kill it in front of the tent of meeting; and Aaron’s sons shall throw its blood against the sides of the altar. (Leviticus 3:7-8)

    12 “If his offering is a goat, then he shall offer it before the LORD 13 and lay his hand on its head and kill it in front of the tent of meeting, and the sons of Aaron shall throw its blood against the sides of the altar. (Leviticus 3:12-13)

    He shall bring the bull to the entrance of the tent of meeting before the LORD and lay his hand on the head of the bull and kill the bull before the LORD. (Leviticus 4:4)

    And the elders of the congregation shall lay their hands on the head of the bull before the LORD, and the bull shall be killed before the LORD. (Leviticus 4:15)

    22 “When a leader sins, doing unintentionally any one of all the things that by the commandments of the LORD his God ought not to be done, and realizes his guilt, 23 or the sin which he has committed is made known to him, he shall bring as his offering a goat, a male without blemish, 24 and shall lay his hand on the head of the goat and kill it in the place where they kill the burnt offering before the LORD; it is a sin offering. (Leviticus 4:22-24)

    And he shall lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and kill the sin offering in the place of burnt offering. (Leviticus 4:29)

    32 “If he brings a lamb as his offering for a sin offering, he shall bring a female without blemish 33 and lay his hand on the head of the sin offering and kill it for a sin offering in the place where they kill the burnt offering. (Leviticus 4:32-33)

    And Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, and confess over it all the iniquities of the people of Israel, and all their transgressions, all their sins. And he shall put them on the head of the goat and send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a man who is in readiness. (Leviticus 16:21)

    Before Old Testament sacrifices were made, the priest had to lay his hands on the sacrifice, identifying that animal with the sins that were being atoned for. This is the laying on of hands that is referred to in Hebrews 6:2.

    Do you see what the writer is doing in these verses? He is saying, “Leave the half-way repentance of the Old Testament and turn to Jesus, leave the half-way belief in God and believe in His Son Jesus, leave the half-way ceremonial washings and be cleansed by Jesus, leave the half-way Old Testament sacrificial system and be joined to the perfect sacrifice of Jesus! The writer of Hebrews is telling these Jews to leave the ways of the Old Covenant and commit the the New Covenant in Jesus! Again we see the superiority of Jesus as the theme. This is not directed to Christians, this is a call of Jews to become Christians! Now let’s see how that applies to our “problem text”:

    4 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. (Hebrews 6:4-6)

    Some will say that this means a believer can lose their salvation. If anyone says that is true, just point out to them that according to verse 6, they can never be saved again! If this is talking about a Christian, it says that once they have fallen away it is impossible to restore them to repentance. If this passage is talking about Christians, which it is not, once you lose your salvation you can never regain it. Nobody, not even those who believe you can lose your salvation, would allow for that.

    But for us, we have seen that this passage is not talking to Christians. It is the writer of Hebrews persuading Jews to become Christians. It is written to unbelievers.

    The Jews in this passage have received the full revelation of God. They “have been enlightened” (verse 4). This refers to the light through knowledge and teaching. The natural knowledge acquired through the senses. They have heard the gospel many times and they understood it fully. They comprehended it intellectually and were on the edge of decision. They knew it completely, yet they had not committed themselves to it.

    They “have tasted the heavenly gift and have shared in the Holy Spirit” (verse 4). They saw first hand the miracles done by the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 2:4).

    They “have tasted the goodness of the Word of God and the powers of the age to come” (verse 5). They had been around long enough that they should be teachers (Hebrews 5:12). They had the privilege of sitting under the Word of God on a consistent basis. They knew God’s word and understood it intellectually. They had the head knowledge, but had not committed themselves to it.

    Here is the picture the writer of Hebrews is painting. These are Jewish unbelievers who have received the full revelation of God. They have known and understood the gospel, they have seen the work of the Holy Spirit first hand, they have been under the sound teaching of God’s word and understand it comprehensively. There is no further revelation for them to know. They have heard everything there is to hear about the gospel message. At this point, if they turn away from Jesus, back to their Old Testament traditions, it will be impossible for them to be brought to a condition of genuine repentance because they have rejected all the truth that there is! There is no more revelation to be seen, no more truth to be proclaimed. They have seen it all and comprehended it, yet they reject it and refuse to commit themselves to it. Therefore, they are hopeless and will never return to the edge of conversion.

    The writer of Hebrews summarizes this section with an illustration:

    7 For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. 8 But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. (Hebrews 6:7-8)

    And so we see that the rain of God’s complete revelation has fallen on these people. In some it produces an abundant crop of genuine repentance and faith in Jesus. In others it produces the rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. Those who reject God’s revelation of His Son are cursed and thrown into the fire of Hell. This is not a warning to Christians about losing their salvation. This is a call for Jews to turn to Jesus and become Christians themselves!

    By His Grace – For His Glory
    Brandon

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