Eternal Security – Genuinely Saved, Always Saved!

Saved Lost - eternal security

Genuinely Saved, Always Saved!

A Believer is Eternally Secure!

Is there a true and false version of Eternal Security?  Yes there is. 

1)  Was the person saved to start off with?  If not then no he is not secure in anything. He can however be sure he is going to hell.

2) The other revolves solely around being saved/born again and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the believers’ life because:

God has given me eternal salvation as a free gift in Jesus Christ, and it is His will that I obey Him, not in order to save myself or in order to help God save me, but BECAUSE I am already saved. It is God who provides the complete salvation. Obedience, holy living is the evidence of salvation. The Christian life is a miracle of God that is wrought from within. The power of the Christian life is the indwelling Holy Spirit, but the Christian is not passive. He is to be controlled by the Spirit (Eph. 5:18), to be led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14), to walk after the Spirit (Rom. 8:4; Gal. 6:25), to mind the things of the Spirit (Rom. 8:5).       [Emphasis added]    — Quoted from David Clouds article below

ETERNAL SECURITY

Note:  Permission received to publish this article in full.  Thank you David Cloud © 2008 Way of Life Literature –  http://www.wayoflife.org

The following study is from the Way of Life Encyclopedia of the Bible & Christianity, copyright © 1994:

ETERNAL SECURITY AND PROBLEM PASSAGES

Eternal security is the Bible confidence that every born again believer has perfect, complete, eternal salvation in Jesus Christ. As soon as a sinner receives Christ, he possesses full, unending salvation. To have Christ is to have a secure position before God (1 Jn. 5:10-13). Though the Bible does not use the term “security” to describe the believer’s relationship in Christ, it leaves no doubt that the child of God is eternally safe in Christ. Eternal security refers only to those who are born again through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. It does not refer to hypocrites or to those who are merely dabbling in the things of Christ. Those who permanently fall away have never been born again. 

How the book of Hebrews teaches eternal security?

Some think the book of Hebrews poses unanswerable problems for the doctrine of eternal security, but the opposite is true. In the following ways the book of Hebrews strongly affirms this Bible doctrine:

Conclusion

I do not profess to be able to answer every question which can be raised on this subject. No man can. Eternal security, though, is a Bible doctrine that has satisfied and blessed my heart for 29 years. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).

HOW WE CAN BE SURE TRUE CHRISTIANS ARE ETERNALLY SECURE.

1. Because of the terms used to describe salvation.  eternal life (Jn. 3:16; 1 Jn. 5:11); all assurance (He. 6:11; Col. 2:2);    strong consolation (He. 6:18);   “hope … sure and stedfast” (He. 6:19).

2. Because of what we are.    All of the following are spoken of in the present tense; this is the present condition of each true believer:    (1) Forgiven (Ro. 4:7; 1 Jn. 2:12). (2) Justified (Ro. 5:1,9; Tit. 3:7). (3) Reconciled (Ro. 5:10). (4) Risen with Christ (Ro. 6:3-6; Col. 3:1,2). (5) A child of God forever (Ro. 8:15; Ga. 4:4-7; 1 Jn. 3:1). (6) Sanctified in Christ (1 Co. 1:2). (7) New creation (2 Co. 5:17). (8) Accepted in the beloved (Ep. 1:6). (9) Saved (Ep. 2:8,9; 2 Ti. 1:9). (10) Light in the Lord (Ep. 5:8). (11) Made fit for Heaven (Col. 1:12). (12) Complete in Him (Col. 2:10). (13) Citizens of Heaven (Ph. 3:20). (14) Children of light (1 Th. 5:5). (15) Elect (1 Pe. 1:2). (16) Born again (1 Pe. 1:2,23). (17) Sanctified once for all (He. 10:10). (18) Perfected forever (He. 10:14). (19) Passed from death unto life (1 Jn. 3:14).

3. Because of where we are. (1) In God’s family (Ga. 3:26; 1 Jn. 3:2). (2) Brought near (Ep. 2:13). (3) In the heavenlies with Christ (Ep. 2:5-6). (4) Translated into the kingdom of His dear Son (Col. 1:13).

4. Because of what we have. (1) Eternal life (Jn. 3:16). (2) Peace with God (Ro. 5:1). (3) An Intercessor in Heaven (Ro. 8:34). (4) All spiritual blessings (Ep. 1:3). (5) Forgiveness of sins (Ep. 1:7; Col. 1:14; 2:13). (6) Sealing of the Holy Spirit (Ep. 1:12-14). (7) Access to God (Ep. 2:18). (8) Everlasting consolation (2 Th. 2:16). (9) Eternal glory (2 Ti. 2:10). (10) Eternal redemption (He. 9:12). (11) Mercy (1 Pe. 2:10). (12) An Advocate with the Father (1 Jn. 2:1-2).

5. Because of what is past. (1) Condemnation (Jn. 5:24). (2) The law of sin and death (Ro. 8:2). (3) Death and wrath (Col. 3:3; Ro. 6:11; 1 Th. 5:9). (4) Night and darkness (1 Th. 5:5).

6. Because of our promises. (1) Never perish (Jn. 10:27-28). (2) Shall never die (Jn. 11:26). (3) The glory of God (Ro. 5:2). This speaks of Christ’s kingdom glory. (4) Shall be saved from wrath (Ro. 5:9). (5) Glorious liberty of the children of God (Ro. 8:21). (6) Redemption of the body (Ro. 8:23-24; Ph. 3:21). (7) Predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ (Ro. 8:28-29). (8) Cannot be separated from God’s love (Ro. 8:31-39). (9) God shall confirm you unto the end (1 Co. 1:8). (10) He that hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Ph. 1:6). (11) Shall appear with Christ in glory (Col. 3:3-4). (12) Delivered from the wrath to come (1 Th. 1:10). (13) Not appointed to wrath but to salvation (1 Th. 5:9). (14) Eternal inheritance (He. 9:15). (15) Incorruptible inheritance (1 Pe. 1:4).

HOW DO WE KNOW THESE BLESSINGS CANNOT BE LOST?

1. The blessings of salvation cannot be lost because of the nature of salvation: (1) Salvation is eternal (Jn. 3:16,36). (2) Salvation is a present possession (Ro. 5; 1 Pe. 2:24-25). (3) Salvation is by imputation and substitution (2 Co. 5:17; Ga. 2:20; He. 9:10; Ro. 3:24). (4) Salvation is positional (Ep. 1:3 — “in Christ”; Ro. 6:7; Col. 2:10; 3:1-4,12). (5) Salvation is not of human merit; it is a free gift of grace which cannot be mixed with works (Ep. 2:8-9; Tit. 3:3-7; Ro. 3:19-28; 4:4-5; 11:6).

2. The blessings of salvation cannot be lost because of the results of salvation: (1) Eternal life (Jn. 3:16). (2) Justification (Ro. 5:1; 3:19-28). (3) Peace with God (Ro. 5:1). (4) Sure possession of future glory (Ro. 5:2; Col. 3:1-4). (5) Salvation from future wrath (Ro. 5:9). (6) Raised up with Christ (Ro. 6). (7) Blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ep. 1:3). (8) Sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ep. 4:30). (9) Passed from darkness to light (Col. 1:12-14).

3. The blessings of salvation cannot be lost because of the teaching of election: Election does not destroy human responsibility (2 Th. 2:10-13; Ac. 13:46,48), but election does promise security for the believer (Ro. 8:28-39; Ep. 1; 1 Pe. 1:2-7).

4. The blessings of salvation cannot be lost because lack of good works involves loss of rewards and fruitfulness, not loss of one’s eternal relationship with Christ (1 Co. 3:15; Tit. 3:14; 2 Jn. 8).

5. The blessings of salvation cannot be lost because of the believer’s union with Christ. The believing sinner is placed “in Christ” and stands or falls with Him (Col. 1:14; Eph. 1-3 — “in Christ” mentioned 25 times; He. 9:10; 1 Pe. 1:18-23; 2:6,24-25).

DOES ETERNAL SECURITY MEAN ANYONE WHO PROFESSES CHRIST IS SAVED, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY GIVE EVIDENCE OF GENUINE FAITH?

1. No, salvation demands repentance (Lk. 13:3-5; Ac. 2:38-42; 17:30-31). Repentance means a change of mind resulting in a change of life (2 Co. 7:8-11). The person who has never changed his mind about God, sin, Christ, the Bible, etc., and who has never evidenced this changed mind with a changed life, has never repented and has never been saved. The Thessalonian believers exemplify biblical repentance. They “turned to God from idols, to serve the living and true God” (1 Thess. 1:9-10).

2. No, salvation requires the new birth, and the new birth always changes a man’s life (2 Co. 5:17-21; Mt. 18:3-4; Jn. 3:1-18; 1 Jn. 3:10; 3 Jn. 11).

3. No, salvation is evidenced by perseverance (Jn. 10:27-28; Col. 1:21-23; He. 3:12-14; 10:38-39; 1 Jn. 2:19; 3:3). According to these Scriptures, the one who is truly born again will persevere in Christ; or it could be better stated that Christ will persevere in him!

4. No, saving faith always produces works (Eph. 2:8-10; He. 11:4, 7, 8; Jam. 2:14-26). If one claims to have faith in Christ, but his life does not reflect the works of Christ, that one does not have biblical faith. A fruitless profession of fruit cannot lay claim to God’s promises of eternal security.

DOES ETERNAL SECURITY CAUSE PEOPLE TO LIVE CARELESSLY?

Eternal security does not cause people to live carelessly. The very opposite is true. The Bible teaches that the grace of God actually motivates believers to serve God with a thankful heart (Ro. 2:4; Ep. 3:14-19; Tit. 2:11-14). The more a believer understands the unfathomable love God has for him in Christ, the more he wants to please God.

WHO HAS ETERNAL SECURITY?

It is important to further emphasize the fact that the doctrine of eternal security does not promise safety for anyone who merely professes Christ. In the following study we see that the Bible connects eternal security only with the true believer, the one who has been born again, and differentiates him with the mere professor. Who has eternal security —

(1) Those who continue in the word (Jn. 8:31,32). (2) Those who follow Christ (Jn. 10:27-28). (3) Those who bring forth fruit (Jn. 15:2; Lk. 3:9). (4) Those who are led by the Spirit of God (Ro. 8:14-15). (5) Those who have been born again (2 Co. 5:17; Ep. 2:10; Ga. 6:15). (6) Those who are sanctified from an unrighteous way of life (1 Co. 6:9-11). (7) Those who have demonstrated their election (1 Th. 1:4-10). (8) Those who depart from iniquity (2 Ti. 2:19). (9) Those who maintain their confidence in Christ (He. 3:14). (10) Those who have an undivided, convinced faith (He. 4:10,11). (11) Those who evidence the “things that accompany salvation” (He. 6:9-12). (12) Those who are looking for Christ’s return (He. 9:28). (13) Those who remain patient and steadfast in tribulations (He. 10:35-39). (14) Those who are in the truth and continue in the truth (1 Jn. 2:19-21; 2 Jn. 1-2). (15) Those who are purifying themselves (1 Jn. 3:1-3). (16) Those who love the brethren (1 Jn. 3:14).

WHO DOES NOT HAVE ETERNAL SECURITY?

(1) Those who profess but do not repent(Lk. 3:7-14; Acts 26:20). (2) Those who have mere intellectual assent (Jn. 2:23-25; Jam 2:17-20). (3) Those who have self-willed faith, only believing what they want to believe rather than the testimony of the Scriptures (Jn. 6:60-66). (4) Those who have religious zeal apart from the gospel (Ro. 10:1-4).

IF THE DISOBEDIENT CHRISTIAN DOES NOT LOSE HIS SALVATION, WHAT DOES HAPPEN TO HIM?

(1) The sinning Christian is out of fellowship with the Lord and his people (1 Jn. 1:3-7).

(2) The sinning Christian is helped and loved by the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Jn. 2:1-2).

(3) The sinning Christian is chastened by the Father (He. 12:5-11).

(4) The sinning Christian loses irreplaceable opportunities for service and fruit(Ep. 5:14-17; Mt. 9:36-38; 1 Th. 5:4-10). The sinning Christian can be forgiven, but he cannot regain the lost opportunities and the hurt he has caused by his sin.

(5) The sinning Christian will suffer loss at the judgment seat of Christ (1 Co. 3:11-15; 2 Co. 5:10; 1 Ti. 6:17-19; 1 Jn. 2:28).

ETERNAL SECURITY AND PROBLEM PASSAGES

The following introductory comments offer a background for dealing with the “problem passages.”

First, the few passages which present apparent problems with the doctrine of eternal security must be interpreted carefully in light of the context. It is a fact that the New Testament promises eternal security to the true believer. I do not believe God would have given so much plain and simple teaching on the eternal nature of salvation only to overthrow it with a couple of relatively obscure passages. We interpret the less clear passages in light of those which are crystal clear. This is a working principle which I believe is honoring to the Word of God, and it is the proper way to handle it. False teachers, on the other hand, delight in using the more obscure portions of Scripture to overthrow the plain. To interpret any of the passages you mentioned as saying that a born again child of God can lose his salvation flies in the face of hundreds of clear passages of Scripture. When the context of a Bible passage is plainly directed to the subject of salvation, there is never a question about the security of the believer.

Second, a key problem in this matter is reading the doctrine of insecurity into various passages. This is called eisegesis (reading into the Scriptures), as contrasted with the proper method of exegesis (interpreting out of the Scriptures). Most passages which are put forth to support the idea that salvation can be lost have absolutely nothing to do with such a thing if approached without preconceived ideas.

Third, many who teach eternal security do so in an unbiblical manner. To fail to emphasize the necessity of repentance, to fail to warn the casual “professor” that profession is not the same as possession, to comfort and impart security to a professor who has no evidence of regeneration is to do injustice to the biblical doctrine of eternal security. The Bible frequently warns about the possibility of appearing to be saved while actually being lost, about coming close to salvation without actually being saved. Those of us who teach eternal security must not ignore the solemn charges of the Word of God such as John 8:47 and 1 John 3:10.

An example is the soul winner who leads an unbeliever in a sinner’s prayer after a short presentation of the “Roman’s Road,” then gives him assurance right then and there, before there has been any evidence that the person is genuinely born again.

Now to some of the passages most frequently used to undermine eternal security:

MATTHEW 7:21. This has nothing to do with a believer losing his salvation. To do the will of the Father is certainly not the way to Heaven. It is the evidence of genuine faith in Christ; it is the proof of regeneration.

MATTHEW 8:11-12. The “children of the kingdom” here are the Jews in the nation Israel. One of the key teachings of the Gospels is the rejection of Jesus Christ by His own people, the Jews. Time and again Christ warns and rebukes the Jews and their leaders, but most of them reject him. The first half of Matthew, in particular, documents this fearful situation.

MATTHEW 25:1-13. The parable of the ten virgins is given in the context of Christ’s coming and of the establishment of the kingdom of God in Israel (see Matt. 25:31-34). The foolish virgins are not true believers but are unbelievers who knew about Christ’s return but did not act on it. (1) They didn’t have any oil (vv. 3,4), but the oil is symbolic of the Holy Spirit. (2) They wait until it is too late to obtain salvation (v. 9). In light of everything the New Testament promises to the child of God, the foolish virgins MUST be those who are unsaved. To interpret this otherwise is to throw multitudes of clear Scriptures into confusion.

MATTHEW 25:14-30. (1) The man’s concept of the Lord shows that he is a lost man. He considered the Lord “an hard man” who reaped where He had not sown. It is obvious that he did not know the blessed Lord Jesus Christ! The Lord is exactly the opposite of how this man described Him. He is gracious and merciful and patient and meek and lowly in heart; He gives us MUCH more than we deserve. The fact that this man is called a servant does not mean necessarily that he is saved. The Jews are called the Lord’s servants, but they were not all saved (Is. 43:10). (2) The man’s destiny also shows that he is a lost man. He is cast into outer darkness, which is a description of hell (2 Peter 2:17; Jude 13). Nowhere in Scripture is a child of God said to be in outer darkness. The Bible says believers are children of light and are not of darkness (1 Thess. 5:5). (3) Further, the weeping and gnashing of teeth are associated with eternal damnation and Hell (Matt. 13:42,50; 22:13; 24:51; Luke 13:28). It is not wise to establish doctrine upon parables. The parables have one central point, and if you try to push every detail of the parable you can have all sorts of doctrinal problems.

JOHN 15:6. This passage does not say that a true believer will be cast into Hell; it says that the person who proves not to be a true believer will be cast into Hell. Those who teach that this applies to a true believer read that interpretation into it. The rest of John’s Gospel makes this matter very plain. Consider John 1:12,13; 3:14-18,36; 4:14; 5:25; 6:37,40,47; 10:27-30; 11:25; 17:2,3; 20:31. Whatever, therefore, the meaning of John 15:6 in reference to the child of God, it CANNOT mean that the true believer will be rejected and cast into Hell. That would make the promises of Jesus Christ to the believer into a lie. Christ is referring here to the difference between sincere and insincere, true and false believers. He mentions such a thing in other passages in John’s Gospel. Consider John 2:23-25 and 6:64. John 15 is a warning that the evidence of true faith in Christ is to bear fruit for His glory.

ROMANS 11:19-23. Consider the context: Paul is not addressing the subject of personal salvation. He is addressing the matter of the Jews and their place in the program of God. Paul is speaking in a general sense of Gentiles and of the Jewish nation. Today God has turned temporarily from the Jews and is calling a people for His name from among the Gentile nations. The day will come when God will again turn to the Jewish nation to fulfill His promises to them. Verses 24-26 make this plain. Paul is speaking in a general sense, not in a personal sense. A careful reading of this chapter illustrates this.

1 CORINTHIANS 9:27. The context here is not Paul’s salvation, but his Christian service. Paul was concerned that he would be castaway in the sense that he would be put on a shelf in this life or that his service would be rejected or disapproved at the judgment seat of Christ. The same Greek word is translated “rejected.” Paul was not afraid that he would be lost. In the same epistle he taught that Christ preserves the believer (1:7-9). What he feared was falling short of God’s high calling for his life. The context makes this plain. He is talking about running a race and winning a prize. To confuse this passage with salvation is to misunderstand the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Salvation is not a reward for faithful service. The Bible plainly states that salvation is by grace, and grace is the free, unmerited mercy of God (Eph. 2:8-9). Anything that is merited or rewarded, is not grace (Romans 11:6). On the other hand, after we are saved by the marvelous grace of God, we are called to serve Jesus Christ. We are created in Christ Jesus “unto good works” (Eph. 2:10). If a Christian is lazy and carnal, he will be chastened by the Lord (Heb. 12:6-8), and if he does not respond, God will take him home (Rom. 8:13; 1 Cor. 11:30; 1 John 5:16).

PHILIPPIANS 2:12. This verse does not say that the child of God must work FOR or work UP his salvation; it says he must work OUT his salvation. These are very different things. To work up or to work for my salvation would mean that I have a part in my salvation and that unless I do my part, I will not be saved. On the other hand, to work out my salvation means God has given me eternal salvation as a free gift in Jesus Christ, and it is His will that I obey Him, not in order to save myself or in order to help God save me, but BECAUSE I am already saved. Verse 13 makes this clear, that it is God who provides the complete salvation. Obedience, holy living is the evidence of salvation. The Christian life is a miracle of God that is wrought from within. The power of the Christian life is the indwelling Holy Spirit, but the Christian is not passive. He is to be controlled by the Spirit (Eph. 5:18), to be led by the Spirit (Rom. 8:14), to walk after the Spirit (Rom. 8:4; Gal. 6:25), to mind the things of the Spirit (Rom. 8:5).

PHILIPPIANS 3:9-14. How do we know that verse 11 is not referring to gaining one’s salvation through diligent effort? (1) The context is referring not to Paul’s salvation, but to his calling. He endeavored to fulfill God’s perfect will for his life. Verses 10 and 14 leave no question about the meaning of the passage. To divorce it from the context, claiming that Paul was unsure that he possessed eternal salvation, denies the plain teaching of Scripture and throws the Bible into contradictory confusion. (2) Paul said he was trying to earn a “prize” (Phil. 3:14), whereas salvation is a “gift” to be enjoyed (Ephesians 2:8,9). (3) We know that Paul was not stating in Philippians 3 that he was unsure he would be raised from the dead, because in this very epistle and elsewhere he emphasized the certainty of resurrection and the eternal security of the believer (Ph. 2:20,21; 1:6; 1 Cor. 15:51-58).The Lord Jesus Christ promised resurrection to every believer (John 11:25,26). (4) Philippians 3:11 is explained in 1 Timothy 6:12 and 2 Peter 1:10-11, which teach that we “lay hold on eternal life” and prepare an abundant entrance into Christ’s eternal kingdom by our service for Christ in this world. It is speaking of rewards and crowns.

JAMES 2:24. Roman Catholics, Cultists, and others who deny the Gospel of the Grace of Jesus Christ, love to run to James 2:24 to “prove” that salvation is not by Christ’s grace alone through faith alone, but that works are necessary.

Consider the following three observations:

First, context is crucial in understanding any Bible passage. To ignore context is to fill the Bible with contradictions. James was not addressing salvation; he was addressing the Christian life. Note verse 14 – “my brethren…” He is contrasting dead faith with true biblical faith (verses 14-17). “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (verse 14). He is saying that true faith is evident by works. Paul, on the other hand, addresses salvation directly in the book of Romans. The sinner must trust exclusively in the grace of Jesus Christ for salvation. “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works” (Romans 4:4-6). There is no contradiction if one considers the context of each statement. Paul is addressing the unsaved sinner’s perspective. The sinner must trust Jesus Christ exclusively for salvation; he must reject his own filthy works (Isaiah 64:6) and all self-righteousness (Romans 9:30-33) and lean totally upon the Lord Jesus Christ, trusting wholly in His perfect and complete redemption. James, on the other hand, is addressing the Christian’s perspective. The Christian claims to have faith in Jesus Christ. He is therefore to diligently serve God and to walk in His commandments. Those who live in rebellion and who ignore the Word of God demonstrate that they do not possess true saving faith, that they are deceiving themselves.

Second, James and Paul are addressing two different events in Abraham’s life. Paul, in Romans 4:1-4, refers to Abraham’s salvation which occurred early in his life and which is recorded in Genesis 15:5-6. James, on the other hand, refers to Abraham’s testing which occurred 20 years later (James 2:21-24; Genesis 22:1-18). Abraham was saved by faith without works, but his salvation and his faith were EVIDENCED and DEMONSTRATED by his obedience.

Third, James’ teaching is no different from that of the other Apostles. They all taught that true faith produces works. Consider the classic passage in Ephesians 2:8-10 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” This passage puts faith and works in their proper order. It is faith alone which connects us with the free salvation offered in Jesus Christ. This salvation is a gift. Our works have nothing to do with it, and cannot add to the completed salvation in Jesus Christ. Works, rather, follow after salvation and are the product of it, being created by God in the believing sinner. Consider also Titus 3:4-8; Hebrews 6:9; 10:39; 1 John 3:6; 3 John 11. This is exactly what James teaches. He says there are two kinds of faith: saving faith and false faith. The devils have faith but not saving faith (v. 19).

Some will counter that it is not important how one puts these things together. One man says works follow salvation; another says works are a part of salvation. What is the difference? The difference is ENORMOUS. It is the difference between Saved and Lost, between Heaven and Hell. If I think that my works and my righteousness and my obedience and my law-keeping is a part of salvation, even a tiny part of salvation, I am denying the perfect sufficiency of Jesus Christ and of His Atonement. “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14). I cannot add one iota to this perfect salvation which is freely offered through Jesus Christ. “Being justified FREELY by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24). If works or church sacraments or law keeping are required in any sense whatsoever for salvation, it is not FREE and the Bible is a lie. To add anything to the gospel of the grace of Christ is to bring God’s curse (Gal. 1:6).

1 PETER 1:9. First, let us consider what this verse does not mean. It does not mean salvation is a process or that salvation is uncertain. The context overthrows such teaching. Verses 3-5 tells us that the believer’s salvation is settled and sure. The believer is born again, has a lively hope, possesses an inheritance that is already reserved in heaven, and is kept by God’s power. When the Bible speaks of the believer’s hope, it uses the term differently than the way hope is commonly used today. The believer’s hope has no element of uncertainty. In Hebrews 6:18-19 it is described as “a strong consolation” and “an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast.” The reason the believer has such confidence and security is that his salvation is completely dependent upon Jesus Christ and has nothing to do with his own works. What does the verse mean, then? Two of its wonderful teachings are these: (1) Salvation has evidence (Heb. 10:38,39). True faith works. Salvation is by grace alone through faith in Christ without works (Eph. 2:8-9), but salvation also produces the fruit of good works (Eph. 2:10). (2) Salvation has different aspects. There is a past, present, and future aspect to salvation. The believer has been saved from the eternal consequences of sin; he is being saved from the power of sin in this earthly existence; and in his future heavenly home he will have been saved from the very presence of sin. When 1 Peter 1:19 says the believer will receive salvation as the end product of his faith, this is what it is referring to. It does not imply that his salvation is uncertain until the end.

1 PETER 4:18. The righteous are scarcely saved in the sense that salvation is impossible apart from God’s free gift through Jesus Christ. If judged by our earthly lives, if judged by our works, we will all perish. Even the righteous lives of born again Christians fall far short of the glory of Christ and the holiness God requires of us. Our only hope is the righteousness of Christ which is offered to us as a free, unmerited gift (2 Cor. 5:21). Even the righteousness of the religious Pharisees was insufficient (Matt. 5:20). God requires perfect obedience to His law, and no man can attain to that. Thus salvation must be a gift of God’s righteousness provided through Jesus Christ.

2 PETER 2:20-22. Though this passage is often used to prove that eternal security is not true, it actually says nothing about losing ones salvation. The context is false teachers who promote damnable heresies and deny the Lord (v. 1). It should be obvious that it is not saved men who are the focus on this passage, but hypocrites and deceivers. Any interpretation which says these are saved men who lose their salvation flies in the face of the context. The fact that “the latter end is worse with them than the beginning” and “it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness” does not imply that they were saved and now are lost. They were dogs and pigs who were unchanged (v. 22). The fact that they return to their wickedness proves that they were never regenerate. When the context is taken into account, there really is no problem in this passage in regard to the doctrine of eternal security.

HEBREWS 6:4-6. This passage refers to false believers. How do we know? (1) They tasted but they did not drink and eat (contrast John 6:54). (2) Those who fall away cannot be saved again. This shows the error of those who teach that a believer can lose his salvation. (3) The difference between the true believer and the false is the fruit and the evidence (vv. 7,8). (4) Paul plainly states that he is not referring to true believers (v. 9).

HEBREWS 10:26-29. The willful sin in verse 26 refers not to sin in general, but to one particular sin which is described in the rest of the passage. The Bible plainly teaches us that Christians do sin after they are saved (1 John 1:8-10; 2:1-2). There is no sinless perfection in the Christian life. Our perfection and righteousness is in Jesus Christ positionally (1 Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 5:21). The sin for which there is no forgiveness is the sin of “counting the blood of the covenant an unholy thing.” This means to deny that salvation is by Christ’s blood and grace alone. In the immediate context to which the book of Hebrews was addressed, it refers to the Jews who professed confidence in Christ; but, because of pressure and persecution, returned to their dead religion and thus gave up confidence in Christ. False religion, both then and now, attempts either to replace Christ’s salvation with a manmade system, or to add to Christ’s salvation a manmade system. Catholicism is an example of the latter. It preaches Christ, but it intermingles its own sacraments and priesthood and sainthood with the grace of Christ. This is a false gospel which robs Christ of His glory as the sole Saviour and Mediator. If Christ is not Saviour wholly and exclusively, He is not Saviour at all. If grace is intermingled in any sense with works, the Gospel is perverted, and there is no salvation in a perverted gospel (Rom. 11:6; Gal. 1:6-9).

HEBREWS 12:15-17. To fail of the grace of God does not mean to lose one’s salvation; it means to fall short of being saved. The context makes this plain, as the example given is that of Esau. He was not a believer, though he was born into a believing family. He was a man of the world and cared nothing about the things of God. He thought a bowl of soup was more valuable that his birthright as the son of Isaac.

1. Christ’s Purging promises security (Heb. 1:3).
2. Christ’s Rest promises security (Heb. 4:10).
3. Christ’s Hope promises security (Heb. 6:17-19).
4. Christ’s High Priesthood promises security (Heb. 7:25,26).
5. Christ’s Blood promises security (Heb. 9:12,26; 10:14). (1) We have eternal redemption through His blood (Heb. 9:21). (2) Sin is put away through His blood (Heb. 9:26). (3) We are sanctified once for all through His blood (Heb. 10:10). (4) We are perfected forever through His blood (Heb. 10:14).
6. Christ’s Covenant promises security (Heb. 8:12; 10:16-19).

The Bible plainly teaches that those who are truly born again will evidence their salvation and will continue on with the Lord (John 10:27-28; 1 Cor. 15:1,2; Col. 1:21-23; Heb. 6:4-9; 10:38; 1 John 3:3). The one who permanently falls away demonstrates that he did not belong to the Lord in the first place (Heb. 12:5-8). If a professing Christian murders someone, it probably proves that he was not genuinely saved. Revelation 21:8 is similar to 1 John 3:9. These passages are not talking about an act of sin but a way of life of sin. If these passages are referring to an act of sin, no one can be saved. It is obvious from other passages that a Christian can commit any act of sin, including idolatry and adultery (1 John 1:8-10). This is why we are often warned not to commit these evils (1 Cor. 6:18; 10:6,14; 1 John 5:21). Salvation is to be placed into an entirely and eternally new position in Jesus Christ. The old flesh cannot be redeemed; it can only be condemned and crucified. Our new position in Christ is that our old man is dead and we rise to new life in Jesus Christ. The law can no longer condemn us. Please study Romans 1-8 very carefully, for it holds the key to understanding salvation properly, as well as the proper place of sin and the law in the Christian’s life. Salvation requires perfection, and the only perfection that we can ever have is that which we receive from Jesus Christ because of the Propitiation He purchased on Calvary. Even one sin will keep me out of Heaven, but, praise God, I do not have any sin in Christ. He has taken it all away forever.

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Deborah (Discerning the World)

Deborah Ellish is the author of the above article. Discerning the World is an internet Christian Ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa. Tom Lessing and Deborah Ellish both own Discerning the World. For more information see the About this Website page below the comments section.

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Amanda

Burning Lamp

South Africans are terribly put out when we have to wear long sleeves. When it does snow it makes headline news and family outings are planned to go and build snowmen. South Africans also suffer greatly when we visit places like London and have to endure central heating. At home we might light a fire in the fireplace or switch on a heater a few times a year. Weather here.

Deborah

I think we need to petition to have the south pole moved to the north pole.

It is possible, they think. Hey, if it will keep the heretics away I am all for it. We have enough of our own.

Amanda

Groan. Now I have images of the world’s tiniest snowmen, melting away in their own hot air as they berate South Africans from their pulpits for not falling for: ‘God’s dream for this world is communism. If you would only meditate as I have taught you, it will be revealed to you. We are all oooooone’. Dripping pulpits all over the place.

Elmarie A

lol

Grant C

Deborah

I was watching a sermon delivered by Prof Johan Malan, “Heiligmaking” a few days ago, in which he does say: “As jy waarlik gered is, se die Bybel, sal jy nogtans Hemel toe gaan” and he adds the qualification that one has to grow in Sanctification after initial justification, otherwise one will stand at judgement with empty hands.

Could it be that we are (fortunately) missing his point slightly in his other piece and that his position is sound? Maybe we should pass on the DVD somehow to you…? I was relieved to hear the words.

Grant C

Deborah

I am with you on this one, but as I tried to say but maybe not clearly, is that I think, after hearing his “Heiligmaking” sermon, that he agrees with our point. That is that only the genuinely saved will go heaven, not those with false salvation – they are lost still and cannot “grow” into salvation.

In other words he says the genuinely saved will be secure, but it is a good idea to grow in sanctification (the knowledge of God by His Word, that is, not necessarily the cessation of sin because that will be aided by the true salvation, as you point out). The growth in sanctification he refers to, is not to enable us to hold onto our heavenly prospects, but to present ourselves more worthy when we are judged to determine our rewards in heaven.

He is saying the truly saved (those who bought genuine, not fake, tickets) are going to the eternal game. A valid ticket will remain valid. Which seat we get at the eternal game depends on how well we love the game once are in the stadium.

Am I making more sense? I think, however, we need to determine which was the more recent publication, the article which we have determined was incorrect, or the sermon which in which I feel he puts across the correct message, differently to the article.

Grant C

Deborah

Will do. May take a little bitty time…

Jonathan

Hi

I have been reading Hebrews and was wondering from the context whether the sin in 10:26 was not the specific sin of returning to the Jewish sacrificial cult. So I did a search and found your page. I was wondering if there were any critical commentaries which support our view? WBC does not even mention “returning to Judaism” as a possible interpretation nor does NICNT, which I found a bit shocking. NIGTC gets closer but does not say it outright.

Anyway, I would appreciate any scholarly references you used which you could share. While I have from time to time concluded that an interpretation is correct even if no well versed scholars seem to see it, it always makes me nervous.

Blessings,

Jonathan

Alan

Hi All,

I have to say that I believe that we have freedom of choice to choose to accept Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins. There is no other way to be saved. We cannot add to that perfect gift of God, in ANY way.
That said, I still believe that a person could choose to desert their salvation. Before you all shoot me with marshmallows or other soft confectionary, let me just run through the reasons why.

First of all, we do have freedom to choose. We can choose to obey Jesus’ commands, or not. If we choose not obey, we will be deceived by the false teachers and stray from the truth.
Matthew 24:11-12 says; “And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love (AGAPE) of many shall wax cold.”
Jesus says quite plainly here that because of the deception of the false prophets and the fact that many allow themselves to forget His warnings, iniquity will abound and that will cause many to lose their agape love for one another. The next verse has a comfort for those who ENDURE to the end; that they will be saved. This is not talking about works being a means of salvation, but that you don’t despair of your only hope of salvation, Jesus’ sacrifice.

As I said in my earlier post, if there is no way we can be deceived into turning away from the Lord and His grace and love, then why is there so much teaching in the NT warning us not to be deceived?
I had someone say to me once that I could never be deceived, because I am saved and therefore I can’t be deceived into losing my salvation. I was encouraged by that, but I find it doesn’t quite fit, because, once again; WHY did Jesus and every other teacher in the New Testament warn us not to be deceived? If we’re safe, we don’t have to worry about it. That means then, that all these warnings are to those who are not saved and are therefore unable to ‘hear’ or ‘see’ what the Spirit is saying through the Word of God, so, again it’s wasted effort. Those who are saved don’t need the warning, those who aren’t really saved won’t heed it, so we are almost being Calvinist here. (JUST KIDDING, DON”T STONE ME YET!)

In II Peter 2:20-22, we have the following; “For if they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the KNOWLEDGE of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have KNOWN it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.”
The words in capitals are rendered in the Greek section of Strong’s concordance as; epignosis (knowledge) and ; epignosko (known), which have the following meaning(s);
epignosis:- recognition, i.e. (by impl.) full discernment, acknowledgement
epignosko:- to know upon some mark, i.e. recognise; by impl. to become fully acquainted with, to acknowledge;-(ac,have,take) know (-ledge, well), perceive.

If you follow the notes by epignosko, you will find that the prefix ‘epi’, has several meanings listed, which all add weight to the point I’m making here, that these people are clearly seen by the text as people who KNOW the way of righteousness, not just people who have heard some preaching.

Further to that, we have II Thessalonians 2:3 says; ” …except there come a FALLING away first,…”
The word ‘falling’ is ‘apostasia’, which Strong’s renders thus;

apostasia, of the same as 647; defection from truth (prop. the state) [“apostasy”]:-falling away, forsake. 647 is; apostasion, which has as it’s primary meaning a bill of divorce.
As you will agree, you cannot get divorced, unless you have been married, so this is a very strong indication that we are looking at really born again Christians here, not ‘Churchianites’ to coin a word.
(You like that one? You can use it anytime)

One more, in Hebrews 12, the author (probably Paul, but we don’t know for sure) talks in verse 1, of us laying aside the ‘…sin which doth so easily beset us…”, then goes on to talk of the Lord ‘chastening us and how, although it’s unpleasant, it shows God’s love for us as well as our sonship. Then in verse 14, we are told to follow peace and holiness, (into v.15) “Looking diligently, lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;” and in Heb 2:1-3, we are warned against letting the things we have heard slip, because; “…every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; How shall we escape, if we NEGLECT so great salvation;…” The word ‘neglect’ is telling us again that we need to be watchful that we don’t take Jesus for granted.

To sum up, I don’t believe that anything can cause God to change His mind and reject us, but I do believe that we can come to a point of rejecting Him if we allow ourselves to be deceived to the point where we cease to love the truth as passionately as He does.

Someone (I think it was you Deb) in a post on another part of this website mentioned the parable of the wise and the foolish virgins and how the foolish ones were like not really saved because they didn’t have oil, which speaks of the Holy Spirit, but the text clearly says that they ALL had oil to start with, the foolish ones just didn’t carry any spare. I think they are like the people Jesus spoke of who begin to build or go to war without counting the cost. I don’t believe we ever stop counting the cost. God promises that we will be able to endure anything we encounter by way of testing. We can either believe it, or not.

I should go and sleep, I’ve been awake for way too many hours, so please excuse me cutting this short here. I know that we need to guard against the idea of us ‘doing’ something towards our salvation, but
even ‘believing’ could be called doing something. That is ALL we are required to do though, repent and believe that Jesus has paid the price for our sin.

God Bless,
Alan.

Burning Lamp

Alan,although I appreciate your comments and there is no doubt of your sincerity, I believe you are approaching this from the human perspective rather than God’s. When we receive Christ we are accepted in the Beloved. God knew at that moment that we might be challenged in our faith and could possibly doubt God at some point. Why would He accept us into the Beloved and His Body if He knew we would come to a point of discouragement that led to unbelief? Of course He would not.

Has He abandoned His covenant with Israel because of their rebellion and unbelief? Obviously not. God upholds His end of the covenant whether it be with Israel or the New Covenant with believers. We are adopted into His family. Does He disown one of His children just because that child is a brat and becomes disobedient? He is faithful even when we are not.

We are sealed when we are saved. This seal is put upon us by God. We have no power to break that seal. That seems pretty simple to me.

Rebellious children will be disciplined. If one is not disciplined, they are not a child. There are consequences for rebellion. Israel will have to go through a horrible time as a result of their rebellion and rejection of their Messiah. Christians who don’t live for the Lord will suffer a horrible loss or lack of rewards at the Bema Seat. There will be tears of sorrow and regret when there are no crowns to offer to the Lord Who bled and died for us. But after that, the Lord will dry those tears and invite all into the joys of heaven.

There is scripture to support all of this. Grace is grace from beginning to end for the true born-again believer. Anything we do for the Lord is to His glory, not ours. There are many reasons why a Christian may become discouraged in their faith – circumstances, trials and being deceived into false teaching. God’s promises are above all that. Only God knows the genuine from the counterfeit. That will all be revealed in the judgments.

With the belief that one can lose one’s salvation if one crosses over an imaginary line robs many of their joy and promotes a works mentality. We rely totally on the grace and mercy of God.

Alan

Hi BL,

First off, yes, I am looking at this from a human perspective. I’m a human you know. ;-)
(Just a little humour, to keep us all smiling.) (I hope.)

I know we can try to look at things from God’s perspective, but we can’t ever really do that, because we just don’t experience things the way He does and I doubt that we ever will. I know that we’ll see Him face to face and we’ll see things clearer, etc, but we’ll never actually BE God and we’ll never be equal to God (In your face Benny) (Sorry, I don’t know how to write raspberries!) ;-)
So we have to look at things from our perspective a lot of the time, which is why God has graciously written things in ways that we can relate to. A lot of the time.

I think the last two sentences you wrote deserve a comment. Or two.

IF we think of having to PERFORM to keep on God’s ‘good side’, then yes, that’s a works mentality and will bring us under the judgement of the Law.
I notice that all the current heresies such as; PDL, Contemplative Prayer, Labyrinth walks, Prayer of Jabez, etc, ALL promote works of some kind as necessary to addition to, or even replacement of grace.
The warnings of Jesus, Paul, Peter, James, John, and Jude, (I think that’s all of ’em, if I missed one, I apologize), all tell us to be careful we are not deceived by the false teachers that we see abounding in the Church today and to keep to the purity of the faith once delivered to the saints, which is; by grace we are saved, not by works, lest any man should boast.

Now if we are NOT careful to love the truth, we will be deceived into thinking that we need to DO things to keep our salvation intact. If we ARE careful to love the truth (that salvation is NOT by works, but by grace), we WON”T be deceived. These warnings about deception are absolutely pointless if there is no chance of a TRULY SAVED person being deceived, because if they are aimed at people who are NOT truly saved, they are deceived already and will never be able to even see that they’re deceived, because they can only realise that truth by the power of the Holy Spirit, which they don’t have, because they’re not saved. (I need to sit still for a minute to stop my head spinning!)

Do you see what I’m getting at? Why would Jesus (He is the one speaking all through the NT, even in the epistles of Paul, Peter, etc,) go to the trouble of warning us if we can’t be deceived? Or why would He go to the trouble of warning those who aren’t saved or ever going to be? Both ways the warnings are pointless.

Now, as to God’s covenant’s with Israel, YES, I agree that God will uphold the Covenant’s, in-spite of the behaviour of the majority of His chosen people. However, this does NOT mean that ALL Israelites go to Heaven. What makes the difference? As Moses said first, then Paul repeated later, quoting him; only those circumcised in their HEART as well as in their flesh are the ones who will be justified.
I’m constantly battling two ideas that people have about Israel (the people); They’re still God’s chosen people (correct) so they’ll be saved without Jesus,so we don’t need to preach the Gospel to them (incorrect), or more commonly, they’re forever cursed because they rejected the Messiah, Jesus Christ, so we shouldn’t preach the Gospel to them, because it’s a waste of time (Totally incorrect). AGGH! (much tearing of hair in frustration!)

David broke every law going just about, but he was called a man after God’s own heart because he realised always that salvation is by grace alone, never by works. He attributes this to his constantly meditating on the Word of God many times in the Psalms. Does this mean that David’s delight in the Law of the Lord was counted as some kind of ‘works’ that gained him favour with God? NO WAY! Rather, this habit he had of meditating on the Word of the Lord and hiding it away in his heart, kept him always mindful of the fact that it’s by God’s mercy that we are brought to repentance and by His grace that we are not consumed. It also kept him mindful of the fact that there was NOTHING he could do to earn salvation.
We are told a million times (Poetic hyperbole, please don’t shoot!) throughout the Bible from one end to the other to listen to the Word of the Lord, because there is LIFE, whereas to ignore it, is DEATH. Does this mean we are then saving ourselves by works when we read God’s Word? Memorize it? Study it? Concentrate on it with all our faculties, so as to know the TRUTH and by it be set free? Of course not!

However, we DO get lax at times and take the Word of God for granted.
Sometimes we even deliberately avoid the Word of God, because we know that the Word will show us something within ourselves we would rather not acknowledge. We know that if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. If we don’t read the Word of God and look in the mirror it holds up to our lives, we can sometimes go for a while without confessing this or that sin. We do things we know we shouldn’t do, then we try and ignore the issue by not praying and not reading the Word. God then disciplines us. It’s not pleasant.
I know very well how unpleasant it is, but I thank God for His disciplinary works in my life. They are indeed a blessing and an assurance that He loves me. Of course Positive Confession wolves would say that these things are because of a lack of faith, or some such nonsense.
(Positive confession my EYE!)
However, I also know that I could, if I chose, refuse to pick up my cross and carry it one day, or refuse to die daily, but the words of Peter ring in my ears; “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.”, so I choose to humble myself again, and die to self again, and pick up my cross again. Isn’t this why God disciplines us? To correct us? To make us conform more and more to the image of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said that if we love Him, we’ll obey His commandments. Yes it’s true that we can only do that by His power, but we still have to step out of the boat in faith. Peter didn’t walk on the water by his own ‘works’, Jesus’ power gave him the ability of course, but Peter still had to step out of the boat and take the steps that he did manage before losing sight of his Lord and panicking. He was doing fine as long as he looked at Jesus whose power kept him from sinking. As soon as he looked down, he ‘realised’ that he couldn’t walk on water, so he started to sink. He started to add ‘works’ to the mix and down he went!
However, he at least got to experience something the others didn’t, because he listened to what Jesus said and obeyed the command to “come”. His ability was not contingent on his obedience in the sense that it was the empowering factor in his water walking jaunt, but it was in the sense that if he hadn’t obeyed, Jesus’ power to make him able to walk on the water would’ve been absolutely useless to him.

In the same way, our obedience doesn’t save us, because that would be works, but we if don’t obey, then Jesus’ power to help us obey will be of no use to us whatsoever. We have a choice on whether or not we are going to obey Him. As I pointed out above, II Peter 2:20-22 makes it quite clear that the people he’s talking about are ones who have been saved by knowing the Lord, something that cannot be done without the working of the Holy Spirit in their heart. They have then “returned” to the pollutions of the world and become entangled therein. Peter then finishes with the comment that it would’ve been better for them “…not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they had known it, to turn from the holy commandment…” This can’t possibly refer to people who’ve never been saved, or it makes the words meaningless. Peter’s (or the Holy Spirit’s) repetition of the words; ‘knowledge’ and; ‘known’, emphasize the depth of ‘knowledge’ being spoken of.

If these were people who’d never been saved, then they couldn’t return to a worse condition than when they started.

How could you possibly be more worse off than to be unsaved?

Again I want to say that I absolutely deny the concept of any kind of works based salvation and state absolutely that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone.

All God’s grace and blessings be on you and your house,
Alan.

Burning Lamp

Hi Alan,

I think we are mostly on the same page.

You said:
I know we can try to look at things from God’s perspective, but we can’t ever really do that, because we just don’t experience things the way He does and I doubt that we ever will.

I would take exception to this however. The Bible and the Holy Spirit give us God’s perspective. Yes, we now see through a glass darkly and many things our finite mind cannot comprehend, but the Bible gives us enough insight to have some inkling of the nature of God and His attributes.

As I said, I think we are in agreement more than not. You do seem to believe in the eternal security of the believer unless I missed something. We cannot earn our salvation and we cannot keep it. It is all God’s mercy and grace. The reason so many Christians are not living victoriously is because they don’t grasp this great truth and all the wonderful riches at our disposal in the heavenlies. The book of Ephesians is a treasure trove of precious gems that are ours now and in the future. This knowledge should motivate us to serve and please our Lord Who has done so much for us and when we fail it should drive us to our knees in confession and repentance. Grace is not a license to sin and God will not tolerate it. David paid dearly for his sins in heartbreaking consequences, but God honored his contrite attitude. Grace and peace to you brother!

Burning Lamp

P.S. Alan, we totally agree on the false teachers and the deception. Of course, that is why this website exists – deception is escalating in these last days and more and more formerly solid teachers are falling away into error and taking their devotees with them. False teachers are coming out in droves to deceive the undiscerning. Most turn a deaf ear to the warnings of the watchers. Christians can be deceived. But that does not mean they lose their salvation. I was once deceived and am not arrogant enough to believe that I could be deceived again. But I try to be vigilant as the Bible instructs. Many Christians have a false belief about righteous judging and that this is proper and biblical.
Blessings!

Burning Lamp

Oops – I meant not arrogant enough to believe that I could NOT be deceived. Humility is key!

Alan

B L,

God bless you my brother! I grasped your true meaning of course.

Shalom,
Alan.

Jorrie

I have given myself to Christ at a young age. Then during my early adult life became entangled in sin and addiction. My life became sin, repent, sin. I struggle to overcome my addiction. Has Christ foresaken me? I know I am lost without him.

Valerie

Jorrie,

No, Christ has not forsaken you just because you are struggling.

Press on trusting in His righteousness that comes only by faith, ( having faith is the same thing as believing and trusting). Don’t trust in your own strength. The desire to be free from your addiction is an indication of the conviction of the Holy Spirit.

I know in my own life there have been stuggles with certain types of sin that in the beginning felt like I was fighting in the flesh and of course I would fail. But as I continued to persevere in wanting to please God and and desiring to resist temptation, I have found that I no longer struggle with them. I can’t even tell you the moment I was set free, but this one thing I can testify to, is that when the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

I still have issues that I struggle with since we are all still in this body of death, but I know without a doubt that one day I will be totally free from sin. I continue to fight the good fight of faith knowing that whether I am set free of my stuggle before or after He comes to take me home, I indeed will be free one day.

I will pray for you that you would be strong and resist temptation and cry out for God’s grace to strengthen you. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.

Alan

Hi Jorrie,

I have a similar life story to you. One thing I know for sure, if you feel the need and desire to repent, then you are for sure being moved by the Holy Spirit. This is absolutely a proof that you are saved, because unsaved people don’t care about their sins. Worse than that, they don’t even recognise them AS sins. So be encouraged, the Lord is continuing to work in you. Keep looking to Him to do all that you cannot, because as Paul said; His strength is made perfect in weakness. As I still tell my grown up kids, read your Bible and pray everyday and you’ll grow, grow, grow, is a children’s chorus that contains absolutely the best advice for a Christian. It’s simple, but profoundly true.
His Word is LIFE and as we pray and ask Him to teach us as we read it, He, through His Word, transforms us into His likeness.
I pray that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God our Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit will be with you, (II Cor. 13:14 paraphrased)
In Jesus’ name.

Grant

Hi Jorrie

I commend and second both Valerie and Alan’s good advice and stance above. What they are making very clear here, is that the Lord God is a loving and forgiving God. The freedom in which we can freely partake in Jesus is truly the only real lasting freedom, both in this life and in eternity.

Now, as I don’t know you and certainly will not judge you, as I would be subjecting myself to that same judgement, the following small cautions I would like to make is only in addition and complimentary to the comments of our brother and sister above. It is also caution I hope to try to heed myself, being the weak sinner I will remain.

Because God is a forgiving God and salvation is a gift from God, we are warned to not grieve the Holy Spirit. If you believe you are truly saved, then you believe that the Holy Spirit lives within you and that is the most precious thing you will ever have.

Picture the terrible sadness in the person of the Holy Spirit every time you give in to your addiction. Imagine the untold hurt and grief, that the most forgiving and omniscient God feels, when we push His gift back in unthankfulness by sinning. Remember that we are saved by His Grace, not because we deserved it, but because He loves us way more than we can ever repay, even if we are really good. Remember how very fortunate we are to be able to exchange a mere seventy or so years of relative obedience in appreciation for the gift of escaping an eternity in excruciating burning flames. For ever and ever with no one to hear your screams and apologies!

Furthermore, true repentance is sincere, tangible, tearfully real deep sorrow. That is the repentance we should be feeling every time we lose our way, because that is not even a little bit close to the sadness we can cause in the Holy Spirit.

I firmly hold to the teaching that our salvation is eternally secure as effectively detailed by David Cloud’s article here. Our interpretation of Scripture and our Faith leads us to this conclusion. Consider for a moment the consequences if we are wrong?

Furthermore, we need to pause for a further moment to ask ourselves, if we truly believe that we are saved, would we commit the same sin over and over and grieve the Holy Spirit more every time?

Peace, strength and perseverance to you, my dear brother!

Burning Lamp

Valerie, Alan and Grant, I echo your loving and caring exhortations and words of encouragement to Jorrie. So well put. I pray that the Lord will use these Spirit-led words to uplift this dear brother/sister – not sure of the gender as not familiar with the name.

When one member of the Body struggles, we all share in the burden.

Amanda

Jorrie

My life became sin, repent, sin.

As you can gather from the excellent comments above, we are all familiar with that pattern. The Apostle Paul wrote:

So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
(Rom 7:12-25)

Even Paul could not cut it!

Jorrie, if you keep your eyes only on the Law and yourself, you will despair. You need the Law to convict you of your sin and you need to hear the Gospel daily to receive forgiveness for your sin. Find good sermons that leave you with the Gospel ringing in your ears. Failing that, preach it to yourself. Daily. The Law is written on our hearts and we intuitively understand sin, judgment and punishment. But the Gospel has to be preached again and again, because we forget and revert back to Law only.

Yes, Jorrie, you are a miserable sinner indeed. The only thing you contribute towards your salvation is your sin. Jesus Christ was nailed on the cross for your sin. He who knew no sin took your punishment so that you might be saved from the wrath of God. Keep your eyes on Jesus Christ, your Lord and Savior. As you learn more about Him, your love will increase and you will hate your sin more. Feed on the Word. It was written for sinners.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die– but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
(Rom 5:6-11)

Refuse to listen to preachers who will only give you the Law and mostly man made law of self-improvement and how to live your best life now. You need God’s Law and the Gospel of Jesus Christ daily. Take care that you get it.

Grant

Jorrie

Would you be so kind as to visit and talk to us here once in a while. We would love to hear from you and share with you!

Burning Lamp

Yes, Jorrie, please know that this is a safe place and that there are people here who genuinely care about you and won’t lead you astray. May the Lord guide and protect you.

Valerie

Great comments Alan, Grant, Burning Lamp and Amanda.

Thanks for your input and Godly advice to Jorrie. I was so encouraged in my own walk by reading your precious comments. It never gets old does it?

Jorrie

Thank you very much for your responses. Where sin has made me fearful your comments and references to the Word gave me comfort again. It is good to know that you are not in the struggle alone.

Grant C

Look to Jesus, place everything, your whole life in His hands, you certainly won’t make progress in the struggle against sin alone. Know now that you will never be alone and place it firmly in your mind. Thank you for coming back to us. Please don’t be scarce, we are really good listeners and sometimes we are not too bad at talking as well!!

Blessings to you!

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