Salvation

CAPTION
General warning to people choosing interpretations of Scripture in regards to their sins.  Be careful of interpretations of Scripture that have opposing viewpoints where you are choosing a biased belief that allows you to sin verses obedience by faith to God’s word.  A fool disregards the FACT that there are two interpretations and chooses the selfish one.  The wise see the two, and chooses the righteous one out of fear and love of God above self.  That the fool has chosen the unrighteous path is proof by example that he does not love God, which is the first and great commandment.  Selflessness (Benevolent Love) – is the whole of the Law, and the Law is whole.

ARTICLE VIII – SALVATION
The keeping of the commandments never brought Salvation, the gift of Salvation made it possible to keep the commandments.  You will not find in the Bible even the opportunity to be saved by keeping the commandments, but the opportunity to be saved to keep God’s word.  That is faith, the only doctrine the Bible ever taught in regards to Salvation; both Old and New Testament, there is no new doctrine in this regard. 

Faith and love for God are joined.  You cannot be saved through faith if you refuse to love and keep God’s words by faith.  Faith is required, and faith cannot stand without love; when you try to hold one without the other this creates superstition not Salvation.  Superstition runs the gamut of religion, which is why there is no true religion in the world, “let God be true, but every man a liar.” Rom 3:4.  You have to have faith in order to experience the Lord’s gracious love and forgiveness; so you can NOW follow God’s will, as revealed by the Almighty’s words.  This is Salvation, and no one can remove any one of these without loss of all.

That is why we preach, “Repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.” Act 26:20.  In order to come to saving faith you must repent and turn to God by and through faith: “Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mar 12:29-30.  Faith is required to accomplish everything God commands and gives in relation to the gift of Salvation.

You cannot separate faith of God from faith in God.  In other words, faith of God’s existence and the keeping of God’s will/word are inseparable.  Those who express a faith divested of works merely express a devil’s faith (Jas 2:19-20).  You will never understand Salvation as long as you see desires of the flesh preeminent to the keeping of God’s will through His word while hiding under a cloak of dead faith.  Devoted faith in God is required for Salvation, and repentance is necessary in order to agree to follow His will/word to escape the judgement of those terminally unbelieving who reject His word.

God initiated Salvation out of His grace.  God also satisfied His justice; He was not ignoring sin, but brought release from sin’s bondage. 

The faithful believer has a legal declaration to righteousness.  God foreknew all that was to take place in man’s fall, and planned a Salvation as was needed, before the foundation of the world.  God’s plan of Salvation is so simple that the least among the sons of men can grasp enough of it to experience its transforming power. 

No inadequacy has ever been discovered in God’s Salvation plan.  God’s plan centers on the office of a Mediator – One who could go between God and the sinner, man.  Christ fills this position (Job 9:32-33, 1Ti 2:5).

To be a mediator for God He must be God, to represent mankind He must be man.  The penalty for the sins of mankind, which must be done away if man is to fellowship with God, was death; but because God cannot die, He must have a body, and so the Word was made flesh (Joh 1:14, Heb 2:14-17) and died for our sins and our Salvation.

One of the provisions God made for Salvation includes the sacrifice of Christ, “… for he shall save his people from their sins” Mat 1:21.  The importance of the death of Christ marks the greatest difference between the elect and other religions.  God's elect are unlike all other religions in the place they assign to the death of its Founder.

All other religion’s claim to greatness is on the life and teaching of those who founded them.  Only in Christ do we have redemption from sin.  The death of Christ is given importance and is foreseen in Scripture:
There are prophecies concerning the Salvation to come:
In the New Testament, the death of Jesus is mentioned directly more than 175 times.  There are 7,957 verses in the New Testament.  This means 1/45 of them refer to this subject.  The last 3 days of our Lord’s earthly life occupy 1/5 of the gospels.

Its relation to the Incarnation of Christ is also seen.  Jesus partook of flesh and blood in order that He might die, and be a ransom for our sins which is an accomplishment of Divine purpose (Heb 2:14, 1Jn 3:5, Mat 20:28, Heb 9:26).

It is one of the fundamental truths of the Gospel.  The Gospel is the “good news” of Salvation, the forgiveness of sins through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus (1Co 15:1-4).

It was necessary for man’s Salvation.  Many scriptures point out the absolute “must” necessity of Christ’s death in order that God could pardon sin and grant Salvation to man (Joh 3:14, Mat 16:21, Luk 17:25, Luk 24:7, Act 17:3).

God could only forgive sin on the basis of His Son bearing the penalty of the sinner’s guilt.  He cannot forgive on the grounds of repentance alone.  It can only be because the penalty is paid.  God does not forgive sinners because He loves them.  His love caused Him to give His only begotten Son’s life for a ransom, so the sinner can be forgiven.

The cross does not make an unwilling God a willing one.  It is not the cause of love, it is its consequence.  In faiths where gods needed to be appeased, man offered the propitiation; in the our faith, God provides the sacrifice.

God is more than a private Being, He is the moral Ruler of all creation.  A father forgives his child freely if penitent, but a judge cannot, even if the criminal is his child.  Pardon based on penitence would only lead to lawlessness.

Man’s sin was so great, and God’s Holiness so pure, that the gulf between them (which must be spanned), required an amazing accomplishment on the part of the Lord.  Through His death, He fully met every need of the sinner relative to sin, enabling him to enjoy eternal fellowship with God.

Christ fully met every requirement necessary for a righteous and just God to freely forgive sin and receive man back into His fellowship.  The Death of Christ as revealed in five words:
  1. Vicarious – a substitution.  “Vicar” means a substitute, one who takes the place of another and acts in his stead (Isa 53:6, Mat 20:28, 2Co 5:21, 1Pe 2:24, 1Pe 3:18).  He did not bear His own sins (1Pe 2:22, Joh 8:46).  It is immoral to punish someone who is innocent for one who is guilty, so, the strict idea of substitution is unbearable?  God knows nothing of punishing the innocent for the guilty.  Jesus took upon Himself our sins and assumed our guilt.  It is not unlawful for a judge to pay the penalty he has imposed.  It could only be immoral if Jesus were compelled to be our sacrifice, but He voluntarily took that position, so, no injustice was done (Joh 10:17-18).  We are not saved by the murder of a man, but by One Who willingly sacrificed Himself for us.
  2. Atonement – a covering and removal.  It is the entire provision of Salvation, which God made for sinners through the Sacrifice of Christ (Rom 5:11).  In Christ we have more than a covering for our sins.  They are forgiven and removed.  The backslider, however, forfeits this provision (Eze 18:24, 2Pe 2:20), and the blood of animals could only cover sin (Heb 10:4-10).
  3. Propitiation – appeasement.  The turning away of wrath by sacrifice (Rom 3:25, 1Jn 2:2, Heb 2:17).  Christ’s death removes God’s wrath (Rom 5:9).  God’s integrity is maintained.  It shows how sinful man can be reconciled.  Through Christ’s death, God’s wrath was turned away from us.  God provided the means of removing His wrath.  It is the Father's love that “sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” 1Jn 4:10.
  4. Reconciliation – Removing the enmity and making peace.  Man is brought into communion with God, to reestablish a close relationship between them, and to settle or resolve.  No man can reconcile himself to God.  God wrought this reconciliation for us through Christ (Rom 5:10, Col 1:21).  Scriptures apply reconciliation to both God and Man (2Co 5:18-20).  Since God has been reconciled by the death of His Son, man is now entreated to be reconciled to God.  It is provided for the whole world but only effective when received by saving faith.
  5. Ransom or Redemption – “Redemption” signifies a releasing or liberation from captivity, slavery, or death by the payment of a price, called a ransom.  God is removing the barrier.  Thus the word has a double significance (Mat 20:28, Heb 9:12).  Figuratively, Christ is spoken of as having bought His redeemed, making them His property by the price of His blood.  The faithful believer is being purchased out of slavery (1Co 6:20, 1Co 7:23, Rev 5:9, Rev 14:3).
We have redemption from:
For whom did Christ die?  The Holy Bible says for the Church.  Christ died for those faithful believers who are members of His Body, the Church (Eph 5:25-27, Joh 10:15, Joh 17:9-11), and for the entire world – Christ died for the whole world – for each individual (Isa 53:6, Joh 1:29, 1Ti 2:6, 1Jn 2:2).

Christ died for ALL even though most will not exercise saving faith (Rom 14:15, 1Co 8:11).  If Christ died for all, why then are not all saved?  Each person must experience a saving faith that Christ died for them before they can participate in the benefits of His death and resurrection for themselves (Joh 8:24).

The condition indicated by Christ on which the unbelievers may avoid dying in their sins is not based on His NOT dying for them, but their faithfully believing on Him.  God was not going to look in the back yard where the lamb was slain, but upon the door posts.  There must be a personal application, by saving faith, of the precious blood that was shed (Exo 12:13, 1Ti 4:10).

What about infants?  The saving grace of Christ avails until the age of accountability.

Resurrection: The importance of the Resurrection of Christ, it is one of the two primary doctrines of the Gospel (1Co 15:1-4).  It is useless to try and determine which is the more important, His death, or His Resurrection; for one without the other is not sufficient for the Salvation of man.

Had Jesus remained in the grave, He would have been merely a martyr, and we would have had nothing better than a philosophy.  Yet, without the sacrifice of His death, His Resurrection would have presented no saving power.

His Resurrection demonstrated that He was the Son of God (Rom 1:3-4).  His Resurrection proves that His death was of sufficient value to God to cover and remove all our repented sins.  It was the foundation stone on which the Church was built.

First Corinthians 15:13-19 depicts FIVE negative suppositions that can be made in connection with our faith.  If they were true, it would divest the Gospel of all its power and blessing:
  1. Our preaching is vain – “If Christ be not risen, then our preaching is vain” v. 14.  It took the victory of an open tomb and the power of the risen Lord to give effectuality to the Gospel.
  2. Faith is vain – “Your faith is also vain” v. 14.  If Christ be not risen, then Sonship, eternal life, justification, sanctification, glorification, and heaven are not yours.  Faith is always impotent unless its object gives it power.
  3. The Apostles are false witnesses – “Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ…” v. 15.  An essential qualification of apostleship was that they be witnesses of Christ’s Resurrection (Act 1:21-22).
  4. Believers are yet in their sins – “Ye are yet in your sins” v. 17.  It took the Resurrection to show the justifying value of His Death (Act 4:12, Mat 1:21).
  5. Those who have died in the faith are perished – “Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.  If in this life only we have hope in Christ…” vv. 18, 19.
There was hardly ever a message preached in the New Testament which did not mention the Resurrection (Act 4:33, Act 2:24, 32; Act 3:15, 26; Act 4:10; Act 10:40, Act 13:30-37, Act 17:31).

The nature and manner of Christ Resurrection was by the work of the entire Trinity:
It was an actual Resurrection.  The swoon theory, that He merely swooned upon the cross, and pitying hands took Him down thinking He died, and the cool tomb revived Him is false.  The following are proofs of His actual death:
  • The soldiers saw that He was dead – (Joh 19:33)
  • The Centurion attested to His death – (Mar 15:44-45)
  • Blood and water flowed from His side – Authorities claim that the flowing forth of blood and water is a physiological evidence that His heart was ruptured, and that death would be almost instantaneous (Joh 19:34)
  • Joseph of Arimathaea believed He was dead – (Mar 15:43)
  • The women who had stood by His cross believed He died – (Mar 16:1)
  • Jesus said He died – (Rev 1:18)
It was a bodily Resurrection.  The word “Resurrection,” as used by the Lord can only signify the Resurrection of the body.  The spirit never dies.

His Resurrection body was composed of “flesh and bones” (Luk 24:36-39), no blood.  This is significant because His blood is meant to deliver here not in the next existence (1Jn 5:8).

His Resurrection body could be touched and felt (Mat 28:9, Luk 24:39, Joh 20:27).  Jesus ate before their eyes (Luk 24:41-43).  The disciples and His followers recognized Him (Luk 24:31, Joh 20:16-18, Joh 20:20, Joh 21:7).

He appeared in the same body into which the nails and spear had been driven (Luk 24:40, Joh 20:20).  The Scripture indicates that these same wounds will be visible in His body when He returns (Zec 12:10, Zec 13:6, Rev 1:7).

Jesus foretold His bodily Resurrection (Joh 2:19-22).  David, through the Holy Ghost, prophesied that Christ’s body would be raised (Psa 16:10).

Jews believe that corruption of the body sets in on the fourth day.  Jesus was raised on the third day.  Martha, concerning Lazarus, said, “Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days” Joh 11:39.

It was a unique Resurrection.  There are eight incidents of people being raised from the dead in the Bible (1Ki 17:17-24, 2Ki 4:17-37, 2Ki 13:21, Mar 5:22-43, Luk 7:11-17, Joh 11:1-45, Act 9:36-43, Act 20:7-12).  These were not raised in immortality, Jesus was (1Ti 6:16, Rom 6:9-10, Rev 1:18).

His body was similar to the original but different.  It was spiritual and not physically bound.  He could enter a room though the doors were shut (Joh 20:19, 26).  He could disguise Himself and was not recognizable at times (Luk 24:13-16, Mar 16:12, Joh 20:14-15, Joh 21:4-5).

There is proof of Christ’s Resurrection:
  • The empty tomb (Mat 28:6, Luk 24:3, Joh 20:2); that His body was stolen was told after the fact via bribe (Mat 28:12-15).  The disciples were so discouraged they could not have had the courage to steal His body; also, to do so was illegal under penalty of death according to Roman law.  Christ’s enemies remembered what the disciples forgot “…we remember that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, after three days I will rise again…” Mat 27:62-64.  The body was secured with a huge stone, sealed with a Roman seal, and watched by guards.  The guards would have placed their lives in jeopardy if they allowed the body to be stolen.  And they were not asleep (Mat 28:13).
  • The grave clothes (Joh 20:5-7).  Of Lazarus we read, “…bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin” Joh 11:44.  Jesus’ body apparently slipped out of this, leaving His clothes undisturbed, only the napkin was removed.  Anyone stealing a body would not have time to unwind and replace the clothes.  Why steal a nude body?
  • His Resurrection was not challenged in the first century.  If Christ had not really risen from the dead, it could and would have been disproved; but there is no hint in history (sacred or profane), of anyone’s challenging this fact of the apostles’ preaching.
The results or benefits of His Resurrection:
  • It provides a firm foundation for our faith (1Pe 1:21).  His Resurrection is a firm affirmation that He is all He claims, the Son of God (Rom 1:4).  Christ was not made the Son of God by His Resurrection, but declared to be.  The Jews twice asked a sign so they might believe, and in each case He gave one that pointed to His death and Resurrection (Mat 12:38-40, Joh 2:18-21).
  • It provides an assurance of forgiveness of sins (Rom 10:9, Rom 4:25).
  • The New Birth is accomplished because of His Resurrection (1Pe 1:3).
  • We have an understanding, merciful, and faithful High Priest in heaven (Heb 2:17, Rom 8:34, Heb 7:25).
  • It assures the faithful believer of all needed power for life and service (Php 3:10, Eph 1:19-20).
  • The faithful believer has the assurance of Resurrection and immortality (1Th 4:14, 2Co 4:14, Joh 14:19).  Christ conquered death, not by avoiding it, but by enduring and triumphing over it (Heb 2:14, Rev 1:18).
  • It guarantees the certainty of a Day of Judgment (Act 17:31, Act 10:42, Joh 5:22,25-29).
The ascension and glorification of Christ: His ascension – when He departed from this earth, in His resurrected body, He was visibly taken into heaven (Mar 16:19, Luk 24:50-51, Act 1:9, Eph 4:8-10).  

Ascend up far above all heavens” Eph 4:10, and “made higher than the heavens” Heb 7:26, and “that is passed into the heavens” Heb 4:14, implies that there are a number of heavens.  He overcame all powers that inhabit these realms who doubtless tried their best to keep Him from passing through to present His finished work to His Father.

His Exaltation: the meaning of the exaltation of Christ – the Father giving to the risen and ascended Son the place of honor and power at His right hand (Act 2:33, Act 5:31, 1Pe 3:22, Rom 8:34).  The results of the exaltation of Christ:
The practical values of the doctrines of the ascension and glorification of Christ:
  • It is an incentive to holiness (Col 3:1-4), the upward glance will counteract the downward pull.
  • A right conception of the Church – belief in a merely mortal Christ will cause people to regard the Church as a secular society.  But it is a supernatural organism deriving Divine life from its risen Head.
  • A right attitude toward the world. “For our conversation is in the heaven…” Php 3:20.
  • A deep sense of personal responsibility.  An account will have to be rendered someday (Rom 14:7-9, 2Co 5:9-10).  Responsibility to a Master in heaven acts as a deterrent to sin and an incentive to righteousness (Eph 6:9).
  • The joyous hope of His return (Joh 14:3).
THE APPLICATION OF THE PROVISIONS 

Election: the doctrine of election is sometimes presented in a manner to make it sound as those who are elected will certainly be saved, regardless of their response to the Gospel or manner of living.  Contrarily, those chosen to be lost, perish eternally for their own want or endeavor to come to God through saving faith.  That God knows who will be saved and who will be lost does not change the urgency of each man.

What is Election?  Election is that sovereign act of God in grace whereby He chose in Christ for Salvation all those whom He foreknew would accept Him in His fullness.  Election/Predestination does not remove man’s responsibility.  Man is still accountable for his choices.

Election took place in eternity past.  It is an act of sovereign God, not us; God choosing for Himself.  It is according to His will (Rom 9:11).  It is an expression of the love of God (Eph 1:4).  It is not conditioned on man’s works in any way (2Ti 1:9).  It reflects the justice of God (Rom 9:14-15).

God's choosing does not imply the rejection of what is not chosen, but “choosing” with the subsidiary ideas of kindness and favor on those He foreknew would faithfully believe.  Election is a sovereign act of God; He does not have to consult with anyone. 

Election took place “before the foundation of the world” Eph 1:4.  There was none to consult with; all men have sinned.  He was not under any obligation whatsoever to provide Salvation for any.

Election is an act of God in grace.  All Mankind has sinned and deserves only condemnation.  Sinful man can do nothing worthy of Salvation.  Any offer of eternal life must be of grace.

It is in “Christ,” because He alone through mediation can provide the righteousness man needs.  God could not choose man in himself, so, He chose him in Christ.

Election is always said to be according to God’s foreknowledge (Rom 8:28-30, 1Pe 1:1-2).  We must distinguish between God’s Foreknowledge and His Foreordaining.  God did/does not just arbitrarily bring to pass what He foreknew.  God in His foreknowledge looks ahead like we look back. 

Foreknowledge no more changes the nature of events than after-knowledge.  There is a difference between what God determines to bring to pass and what He permits.  God is not the cause of sin; He merely permitted it to occur.  If God foresaw that sin would enter creation without decreeing that it should, He can foresee how men will act without decreeing how they should act.

God is looking at the elect by and through their faith and conformity to Christ.  By His Foreknowledge, God already saw them there when He made the choice (Eph 1:3-5).  Faithful believers were foreseen in Christ when He chose them. 

How did they get there?  Through their saving faith in His dear Son.  He did not determine who should be there.  He simply saw them there in Christ when He chose them.

The Bible does not teach selection, but election.  Nowhere does the Bible teach that some are predestined to be damned.  All are sinners on their way to eternal condemnation of their own volition.  The foreseen elect choose to repent and faithfully believe and conform to the image of Christ.  It is not man’s non-election that leads to eternal ruin; it is his sin and failure to accept Christ and walk in His light (Eph 2:1-3, 12, Heb 2:9, Act 17:30).

Many of the problems over the doctrine of election occur because some have applied it to the unsaved.  It is truly for those who exercise saving faith in Christ. 

PredestinedPredestination – or, marked out beforehand, is the word we get “horizon” from (1Co 2:7, Eph 1:5, Rom 8:29-30) or “to foreknow;” which has special reference to the persons foreknown by God.  It is a special reference to that to which the subjects of His foreknowledge are “predestined:”
  • It includes all events not just individual people
  • It determined our status as adopted sons of God
  • It assures our ultimate glorification
  • It has the purpose of extolling the grace of God
Repentance: repentance has to do with turning from sin.  Christ met the sin question for us, and it is important that we turn from our sins before we can faithfully believe on Him as our Savior.

Definition: the root meaning of “repentance” is a change of mind and purpose.  It is a sincere and thorough changing of the mind and disposition in regard to sin.  It is a change of view, feeling, and purpose.  It contains three elements: the intellectual, emotional, and voluntary:
  1. Intellectual Element – (change of view) sin comes to be recognized as a weakness, an unfortunate happening or mistake, and as personal guilt (Psa 51:3).  Furthermore it is recognized to be a transgression against God.  Not only is it seen to be guilt before God, but as that which defiles and pollutes self (Psa 51:7, Job 42:5-6).  If the Intellectual Element is not followed by the next two, it may only bring fear of punishment with no real hatred of sin.
  2. Emotional Element – repentance is defined as “a godly sorrow for sin” (2Co 7:9-10), like the publican smiting his breast (Luk 18:13) as opposed to the false, “sorrow of the world [which] worketh death.”  Godly sorrow causes you to change your opinion and feelings toward sin and willfully turn from your sins and hate that you even did them.  The world’s sorrow may cause you to change your opinion and feelings about sin in order to conform to worldly rudiments, and your heart will sin, because it loves it more than God.  There is no way to measure how much emotion is needed for true repentance, but there is a stirring of the heart when one is brought face to face with his own dread of sin.  There is a difference between remorse and repentance.  A person may feel sorry they were caught, and not truly repent.
  3. Voluntary Element – there must be the exercise of the will for repentance to be truly effective.  It is an inward turning, “to turn” from sin and a whole-hearted turning to Christ for forgiveness, as with the prodigal son (Luk 15:18-20).  As repentance touches the will it will result in: Confessing sin – (Psa 38:18, Luk 15:21); Forsaking sin – (Pro 28:13, Isa 55:7); Turning to God wholeheartedly – (Isa 55:7, 1Th 1:9, Act 26:18).
Repentance is not something meritorious – a “work” to be done in order to be saved.  We are not saved for repenting, but “if” we repent.  The sinner’s Salvation is totally of God’s provision through His marvelous grace.

The importance of repentance is emphasized by the large place given to it in Scripture.  It is emphasized in the Old Testament (Deu 30:10, 2Ki 17:13, Eze 14:6, 2Ch 7:14); and more profoundly in the New Testament:
Repentance is the will of God for all men (2Pe 3:9).  It is the command of the Lord (Act 17:30).  Failure to repent will result in eternal death (Luk 13:3).  It also brings joy in Heaven (Luk 15:7, 10).

The manner of repentance: miracles of themselves will not produce repentance (Mat 11:20-21); even the coming of one back from the dead will not produce repentance (Luk 16:30-31).

Repentance is a gift of God (Act 11:18, Act 5:31, 2Ti 2:25).  Repentance is not something that a person can bring about solely of themselves.  The person who thinks that they can live for self and the world and then repent and turn to God when they decide is gravely mistaken (Heb 12:17, Heb 10:26).  They should do so without delay (Heb 3:7-15).

Repentance comes through divinely ordained means.  In relation to the unsaved, Repentance is accomplished:
In relation to a backslider who needs to repent, it is accomplished:
There are fruits of repentance.  The results of repentance will definitely lead to:
  • Confession of sin (Luk 18:13)
  • Forsaking sin (Pro 28:13)
  • Repentance includes a restitution for wrongdoing as much as possible (Luk 19:8).  These do not constitute Repentance; but rather are fruits resulting from Repentance.
Faith: Faith is the second essential element which is necessary for Salvation.  It is questionable which proceeds, Repentance or Faith.  Both are necessary.

The importance of Faith: Faith is the only avenue of approach to God (Heb 11:6).  Everything a faithful believer receives from God he receives through Faith:
Victory over adversaries is accomplished through Faith; the chief adversaries are the world, the flesh, and the Devil:
The entire Christian life is lived by and through Faith (Hab 2:4, Rom 1:17, Gal 3:11, Heb 10:38, Gal 2:20).

The meaning of Faith: Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” The word “substance” means “foundation,” or that which underlies our hope.  “Foundation” speaks of that covenant relationship of mutual love between the Lord and faithful believer, which is our ground of hope. 

Faith is “substance” which was, in legal affairs, translated as “title deed.”  He who faithfully believes divinely has a “title deed” to God’s full provision.  Faith is that faculty by which the spiritual realities are perceived as being real, and capable of being realized.  Faith is to the Christian real “evidence,” and he needs no other to proceed in accord with the revealed will of God.

The elements of Faith (just like repentance), has three elements; intellectual, emotional, and the volition, or voluntary:
  • Intellectual Element: Faith is not a leap in the dark.  Faith must be based on knowledge.  No one can believe in something of which he has no knowledge or evidence.  We need to know the Gospel to believe it.
  • Emotional Element: is sometimes seen in the joy first realized of God’s goodness in providing for one’s needs (Psa 106:12, Mar 4:16-17).  Fact leads, Faith with its eye on Fact following, Feeling with its eye on Faith brings up the rear. The moment Faith turns its back on Fact and looks at Feeling, the procession wobbles.
  • Voluntary Element: knowledge itself is not enough.  A man may have knowledge that Christ is divine and yet reject Him.  Real Faith is in the realm of the will.  It appropriates.  It takes.  Faith is comprised of (1) total surrender of the heart to God and (2) the appropriation of Christ as Savior (Pro 23:26, Mat 11:28-29, Rom 10:9, Joh1:12).  It is not enough that Jesus has died; one must recognize that He died for them.  Salvation can only be realized as we let go of every earthly handhold and give Him both our hands.
The source of Faith and how is saving Faith received.  Faith is based on what God has done and what He has promised, and not on anything in man.  Faith is in believing God’s word and living by it.  Faith comes through hearing the word of Christ (Rom 10:17, Rom 10:8-9, Joh 5:24, Act 4:4, Act 16:31).  Faith is simply devotedly believing in what God has said and living by it.

Justification: regeneration has to do with that which takes place in the believer’s heart, impartation of life, the answer to the problem of spiritual death.  Justification concerns one's standing before God, being declared righteous, the answer to the problem of guilt.  Justification is a legal term picturing the sinner before God’s bar receiving condemnation, but instead is judicially pronounced as not guilty. 

Justification is that act of God whereby He declares righteous him who faithfully believes on Christ.  Not that the sinner is righteous, but that he is declared righteous on the basis of his saving faith (Rom 4:3). 

It is more than forgiveness, or pardon of sins, and the removal of guilt and condemnation; but the reckoning of, or putting to one’s account, the righteousness of Christ’s sacrifice (1Co 1:30, 2Co 5:21).  It is though he had never sinned.  All Evidence of his sin and guilt (in the eyes of the court) is completely wiped out (Jer 50:20, Heb 10:16-17). 

The righteousness of Christ is available to the repentant, to the faithful who overcome.  Falling from this grace and drawing back into perdition proves by example your trust in your own righteousness or the righteousness of others who tell you it is alright to drawback into sin.

The only thing we are ever told that God forgets is the sins of the one who trusts in His Salvation (Jer 31:34, Heb 8:12).  God does not see a faithful believer as a forgiven sinners, but rather as never sinned.  God forgets what you have done, not what you continue to do; you have to confess and forsake sin in order to be justified.  One can only forget that which is past and done away with.

Justification is “to bestow a favor unconditionally,” and is used of the act of “forgiveness,” whether Divine, or by man, (debt); it is to “to let loose from,” “to release,” and is translated “forgive,” and “ye shall be forgiven,” the reference being to that of setting a person free as a quasi-judicial act.  

It does not mean “to forgive,” but to DISMISS, RELEASE, and is rooted in the grace of God.  It denotes “a dismissal and release,” it is used of the remission of sins, and translated “forgiveness,” God has cancelled the debt.

We are justified through the death of Christ.  As a verb, it is used 40 times in New Testament.  The legal act of God whereby God declares the faithfully believing sinner righteous on the basis of the blood sacrifice of Christ.  It is a gift of His grace and appropriated through saving faith (Rom 5:1).

Justification is apart from the Law (Rom 3:20, Gal 3:16-17).  Law cannot pardon, justify, save, forgive, cover sins, or die in our place.  What is involved in Justification:
  • Pardon or remission of sins (Act 13:38-39, Eph 1:7).  Because the believer’s past sins are forgiven it follows that the guilt and punishment of those sins is removed.  Forgiveness – (Col 2:13) and redemption, brought us Justification.
  • Restoration to God’s favor.  The sinner not only incurs penalty but wrath (Joh 3:36, Rom 1:18).  Through Justification all this is changed (Rom 5:9).  Criminals who have been incarcerated find it hard to be received again by society, often drifting back to a criminal element and being incarcerated again for another crime.  God’s grace is so abundant that it is as if we had broken no law (Rom5:1-2, Tit 3:4-7), again the example of the prodigal demonstrates this (Luk 15:22-24).  The justified man is more than a discharged criminal.  He is restored to the position of one who is righteous.  God treats him as though he had never sinned.
  • Imputation of Christ’s righteousness.  “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works…” Rom 4:6-8.  Justification consist partly in the “non-imputation” of sin, which did belong to the sinner, and partly in the “imputation” of righteousness, of which he was destitute; and the meaning of the one may be ascertained from the meaning of the other, while both are necessary to express the full meaning of Justification.  Our sins were imputed to Christ and His righteousness imputed to the faithful believer (not sinner) who had none.  Righteousness is necessary for fellowship with God.  A pardoned criminal is never described as righteous.  But when God justifies a believer He declares that he is righteous (Rom 8:33).  To impute means to put to the account of.  Christ’s righteousness is the merit of work, not merely quality of character – it may be imputed but not infused to us; but must continue to belong to Him that accomplished the work.
The method of justification: God cannot merely overlook sin, He must preserve His holiness and justice (Rom 3:26).  There is only God’s way to Justification.

It is not by good works.  No man is justified by his own righteousness (Rom 4:2-5, Rom 11:5-6).  It is not by endeavoring to keep the Law in self-righteousness (Rom 3:19-23, Gal 2:16).  Paul teaches that Salvation is by faith and not by works, and James agrees that a genuine faith will result in good works (Eph 2:8-10).  Faith cannot be seen, it can only be judged by what a man does in relation to what the word of God depicts as a righteous faith (Jas 2:18-20).

It is by the gift of God’s grace (Rom 3:24, Tit 3:7).  Grace originally meant beauty or beautiful conduct: later, any favor granted to another, especially when the recipient had not merited such a favor. 

In the New Testament, it usually means the forgiveness of sins granted entirely out of the goodness of God, apart from any merit on the part of the forgiven.  Grace is favor shown where there is positive demerit.  Grace is a boon purchased for us by the court, which found us guilty. 

What the holy and righteous God demands of us was provided by Himself, through the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ.  As a God of justice He cannot overlook sin.  The penalty of our sin has been paid.  The sins of the faithful believer are put to the account of Christ (1Pe 2:24, 2Co 5:21). 

God can forgive sin because the Law has been kept and the penalty paid.  Also, Christ’s perfect obedience provided righteousness that could satisfy the Law’s demands and ultimately lead us to righteous (Rom 5:19).

Through saving faith alone (Rom 3:24-26, Rom 4:5, Rom 5:1, Rom 10:10).  Faith is not something we meritoriously offer to God for our Salvation.  It is the means which we receive His gracious provision.  WE ARE NOT SAVED FOR OUR FAITH, BUT THROUGH IT. 

There are no degrees in Justification.  The babe in Christ stands as the believer of 50 years.  There is no such thing as progress in Justification.

Regeneration (Joh 3:3): the word “again,” in born again, often means “from above.”  What is Regeneration or the New Birth:
  • IT IS NOT reformation – reformation is of temporal origin and is only outward in its effect.  Reformation cannot change the inner man.
  • IT IS NOT becoming religious – when Jesus was talking about the New Birth he was speaking to an ultra-religious man, Nicodemus.  The New Birth is not becoming religious or church activity.  Jesus rebuked Nicodemus for not recognizing this teaching in the Old Testament, “And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live” Deu 30:6.   Also, (Eze 36:25-27, Eze 18:31, Eze 11:19, Jer 32:39, Psa 51:10).
  • IT IS NOT a change of heart – the New Birth is not the changing of something in man, nor the removal, but the communication of something he never before possessed.  It is the impartation of the divine Nature to the heart and life of the believer, which makes him a new creature.  It is brought to pass through a personal union with Christ (1Jn 5:12).  No other religion has such a message as this.
  • It is a birth – (1Jn 5:1, Joh 3:8, Joh 1:12-13).
  • It is a cleansing – the cleansing of the soul from the defilement of the old life (Tit 3:5).
  • It is a quickening – (Tit 3:5, Col 3:10, Rom 12:2).  Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
  • It is a creation – (2Co 5:17, Eph 2:10, Eph 4:24, Gal 6:15).
  • It is a resurrection – in describing the New Birth as a resurrection, we must realize that it is preceded by a death (Rom 6:2-7, Eph 2:1-6).
The necessity of the New Birth: because the Kingdom of God cannot be seen without New Birth.  Regeneration is a necessity, not a privilege (Joh 3:3).  It is not that God will not allow the unregenerate to see the Kingdom, it is an impossibility to see without New Birth (1Co 2:14).

Because of the circumstance of man’s first birth, a second birth is necessary as the first was after the flesh and not the spirit (Joh 3:6, Gal 5:19-21, Rom 8:7-9).  Only spiritual beings inherit the Kingdom of God.

It is not possible to join the company of saints.  You have to be born into it.  Flesh and spirit are two different realms, and there is no way a sinner can make himself a child of God without rebirth.

Because man would not be happy serving God here or in heaven without New Birth.  No one could possibly be happy in God’s presence unless his inner being is transformed.  If his character has not been transformed, he will have the same sinful flesh desires that he possessed before New Birth. 

Death is not going to work a transformation equal to the grace of God.  If others do not enjoy the presence of the Lord and company of saints now, they will not enjoy it later in heaven (1Jn 3:14).

Because man, without the New Birth, is dead (Eph 2:1).  He is devoid of spiritual life (Eph 4:18, Rom 8:6).  It is a simple fact that he cannot see, let alone enter, the Kingdom of God unless he is born again (Joh 3:3).  How the New Birth is received:
  • Through no effort of man.  Man cannot bring himself into the position of divine Sonship, just as there is nothing the newly-born child does to bring about his natural birth.  Eternal life is the gift of God (Tit 3:5, Eph 2:8-9, Joh 1:13).  However, there are certain means and agencies involved in the experience.
  • The Holy Ghost is the agent (Tit 3:5, Joh 3:5-8).
  • The Word of God (along with the Holy Ghost) plays a vital part (Jas 1:18, 1Pe 1:23).  Creation was brought about by the operation of the Word and Spirit; “and God said…And the Spirit of God moved” Gen 1:3,2.
  • It is a Divine mystery.  God has thrown an impenetrable veil over the beginnings and processes of life.  That I live I know, but just how I live I cannot tell (Joh 3:8).  No one can observe the Regeneration of someone’s soul, but we can easily bear witness to the results that are apparent in this divine operation.
How the New Birth is brought about.  There is nothing man can do to regenerate himself, however, there is something he must do to obtain the regenerating work of God.

He must faithfully believe and follow the message of the Gospel.  The sinner must believe with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength that the work of Christ on the cross, and through His resurrection, that this is sufficient for Salvation (1Pe 1:17-23).  One must accept Christ as Savior (Joh 1:12, Gal 3:26).

The results of the New Birth: it makes the faithful believer a child of God (Mat 6:9).  All the resources of the heavenly Father are now open and available to him (Mat 7:11).  He immediately becomes an heir of God (Rom 8:16-17).

It makes the faithful believer a new creation and a partaker of the Divine Nature (2Co 5:17, 2Pe 1:4).  The believer’s whole attitude is transformed (1Jn 5:1, 1Jn 3:14).  He now loves God in a new and deeper way (1Jn 4:19).  He also has a deep love for the Word of God (Psa 119:97, 1Pe 2:2).  He will also have an inborn love for his enemies (Mat 5:44-45).

New Birth enables the believer to live a life of victory over sin and the world (Eph 4:23-24, 1Jn 2:29, 1Jn 3:9).  “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin,” 1Jn 3:9, indicates that the faithful believer does not practice or make a habit of sinning.

Adoption: the word “adoption” is used exclusively by Paul five times, once applied to Israel (Rom 9:4), once in reference to the full culmination of our experience at the second coming (Rom 8:23), and the other three speak of it as a present fact in the life of the Christian (Gal 4:4-5, Eph 1:5, Rom 8:15).

Definition:  Adoption in Scripture means “placing as a son,” and becomes the rights and privileges and position of a faithful believer.  it is NOT becoming a member of a family like in the natural.  We are immediately advanced to maturity and expected to observe the same requirements of holiness and service regardless of the length of time we have been regenerate. 

The “babe” of 1Co 3:1, is so because of carnality, not immaturity of years in the faith.  In mankind’s experience legitimate birth and adoption never combine.  There is no occasion for a father to adopt his own child. 

Every child born of God is adopted the moment he is born and placed as a mature, responsible child before God.  Adoption does not mean son-making, but son-placing, a new position.  The results of adoption:
  • The witness of the Holy Ghost (Gal 4:5-6).  The Holy Ghost bears witness to our Sonship (Rom 8:16).  The faithful believer will be enabled to walk in the Spirit (Rom 8:14-15).
  • Deliverance from fear (Rom 8:15).
  • You are no longer exclusively under the tutelage of the Law but Christ (Gal 3:24-25).  WHEN YOU ARE NO LONGER UNDER A TUTOR YOU DO NOT STOP DOING WHAT YOU LEARNED!
You are made heirs and joint heirs with Christ (Rom 8:17, Gal 4:1-7, Luk 15:29-31).  The adopted lost all rights in an earthly family, but in Christ, he gains all rights as a legitimate son.  He becomes heir to a new Father’s estate.

In eyes of the Law, the adopted was the son of the New Father.  The faithful believer is released from the bondage of the Law, and has new relationship with Father.

Sanctification: is a process that follows regeneration through the Holy Ghost.  There is no yielding to the old nature, and there is a bearing of fruit of the new nature.

The primary meaning of Sanctification is a dedication, consecration, or setting apart for some specific or holy use.  In the Old Testament, inanimate things were said to be sanctified.  A house (Lev 27:14), field (Lev 27:16), and the vessels of the temple (2Ch 29:19).  This signified that these vessels were set apart for service of God.  Belshazzar’s sin was that he drank from the vessels dedicated to the worship of God, and he drank in worship of heathen gods (Dan 5:3-5).

The first born of Israel were set apart (Exe 13:2); in the sanctification of the first born, no thought of moral cleansing is implied, they were separated to the service of God.  Church means “the called out ones,” especially set apart to bring glory to God.

The second meaning of Sanctification is cleansing and purging from moral defilement.  This is a progressive experience.  There are three phases or aspects:
  1. “Positional:” the initial act of sanctification, the moment a person is born again he is said to be sanctified.  To be set apart for the household of God (1Co 6:11, 2Th 2:13).  At this time, the work of Jesus is ascribed to the faithful believer (1Co 1:30).  Righteousness has to do with rightness, it applies to conduct, what a man does.  Holiness is related to character, what a man is.
  2. “Practical:” refers to the process of sanctification; Paul speaks of the saints at Thessalonica as being sanctified (2Th 2:13), but also prays for their sanctification (1Th 5:23).  They needed the Positional holiness to progressively become a “Practical” part of their daily lives.  Sanctification is seen to be a continuing process throughout a faithful believer’s lifetime.  The faithful believer learns to do his part in the process.  Virtue cannot be judged by how many vices we abstain from.  There must be a positive conformation to the Image of Christ.  This is growth in grace (Col 3:8-12, 2Pe 3:18, 2Co 3:18, Rom 8:29, Php 1:6).
  3. “Complete: or final sanctification, will be when we are in our resurrected bodies.  We have been saved from the penalty of sin; we are being saved from the power of sin; we shall yet be saved from the presence of sin, but not the possibility (Php 3:20-21, 1Th 3:13, 1Jn 3:2).
There are means of Sanctification.  The Divine side, the Triune God is involved.  The Father: Jesus prayed to the Father concerning His disciples (Joh 17:17), so did Paul (1Th 5:23-24).  The word of God is also an important part in our sanctification.  The Father reckons Christ’s holiness to us (1Co 1:30).  The perfection of the faithful believer is an important work of the Father (Heb 13:20-21).  The Father uses disciplinary measures to further sanctification (Heb12:9-10).

The Son is part, through the shedding of His blood (Heb 10:10, Heb 13:12, Eph 5:25-27).  The Holy Ghost is part (Rom 15:16, 1Pe 1:2).  The indwelling of the Holy Ghost is perhaps the greatest agency to give us victory over the flesh and world (Rom 8:13, Gal 5:17).

There is also mankind’s side.  God is the one who sanctifies the faithful believer., but at the same time we are told that the faithful believer must sanctify himself (Lev 20:7, 2Ch 30:3, Jos 3:5, 2Co 7:1, 2Ti 2:20-21).  Man can employ the means God has put at his disposal:
  • Faith – (Act 26:18, Act 15:9).  By faith the believer lays hold of the sanctifying blood.
  • Obedience to the Word – (Joh 15:3, Joh 17:17, Eph 5:26).  The only way the word can be a cleansing agent in our lives is through the obedience which we provide.
  • Yielding to the Holy Ghost – The Holy Ghost never forces, there must be a surrender (Joh 16:13).
Personal commitment – initially, God sets the faithful believer apart.  But there must come a time when he sets himself apart for the service God would have him fulfill.  He separates from the things of the world and flesh, and dedicates himself to God’s will for his life.  

The faithful believer crowns Christ King and Lord over his life.  This is a real act of sanctification (Rom 12:1-2).  The definite surrender to God constitutes the supreme condition of practical sanctification.  This involves the yielding of all our member to His will (Rom 6:13, Rom 6:19, 2Ti 2:21).  If we do all we can, God will more than do His part.  Since God must make a man holy, man must yield himself to God that He may accomplish this work.

Assurance (Act 4:12, Joh 14:6): one of the chief reasons behind God’s eternal plan of Salvation is the reestablishing of fellowship.  The foundation of fellowship is Assurance.  How can you have fellowship with someone when you have no confidence or understanding regarding your relationship with Him?  Some reasons for the lack of Assurance:
  • It is sought through keeping the Law, through one’s own good works.  God has said, “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” Isa 64:6.  If this is our righteousness, what does our sin look like to God (Rom 3:23).  Salvation is by God's grace alone (Eph 2:8-9, Rom 3:19-20).  The Gospel is not a question of what we do, but of what Christ has done.
  • Lack of Assurance may be because one has not been born again.  They have substituted religious ceremony for a vital experience with God.
  • They have not faced and dealt with the matter of sin in their lives.
  • They lack faith in what God says and in following in His word.  Some examine their conduct to assure themselves they are living what they think is a faithful life.  If their conduct is correct they have Assurance, but if they discover weakness their Assurance is gone.
  • They think it is impossible to have an absolute Assurance of Salvation in this life (Joh 5:24).
Positive means of Assurance: by the witness of the Holy Ghost.  You have to know that something definite has been transacted between you and God (1Jn 5:10, Rom 8:16, 1Jn 3:24, Gal 4:6).  If this has not occurred in your life then you are probably not saved.

The Holy Ghost witnesses within our being when the new relationship with God becomes a reality in our life.  It is not our relationship to God, but His to us, to which the Holy Ghost bears witness.

Assurance comes by the testimony of the word of God (Joh 3:36).  There must be an outward confession of the faith which is in the heart.  Faith is not in the head, it implies surrender to the One in Whom we believe (Rom 10:9-10).

Assurance comes by the possession of love toward the brethren.  If Cain’s works had been righteous, he would have loved Abel; but because they were evil, the presence of Abel convicted and made him miserable (1Jn 3:11-14).  Love is a positive thing and is obtained only from Him Who is the source of love (1Jn 4:7-8).

ASSURANCE COMES BY THE DESIRE TO OBEY GOD’S COMMANDMENTS (1Jn 2:3-5).  It is not possible to obey God without a spiritual transformation, without being born again and filled with the Holy Ghost.  Man cannot just do the will of God of his own power.  The carnal man cannot keep the commandments because they are spiritual (1Co 2:14).  Before an unregenerate man wants to do the will of God there must be a positive transformation.  The manifestation of love is obedience, and the basis of obedience is love (Joh 14:23, Joh 14:21).

Through the transformation of life and desire, you become a new creature (2Co 5:17).  We cannot see God perform His work of regeneration, but we can see the results (Joh 3:8), such as:
  • Repentance – a real turning from sin.  If one is willing to forsake sin, he can know the reality of God’s Salvation (1Jn 2:29).
  • Peace – (Rom 5:1).  As long as sin separates, man can expect no peace (Isa 57:20-21).  Peace comes the moment the burden of sin is rolled away (Php 4:7).
  • Power – a new power to resist and overcome sin.  When the guilt and condemnation of sin are gone, the bondage to the habits of sin will go, and in its place one receives the Holy Ghost and a new power and joy in righteousness.  The sinner supposes he is free because he indulges his every desire, when in fact he cannot resist the temptation to indulge.  The faithful believer is free to choose what he knows is right.
  • Fear of death removed – earth is now the dressing room for heaven, and eternal life has begun (2Co 5:1-4).
What will such an absence of doubt, such a positive Assurance, mean to the faithful believer?  It will stabilize his entire experience.  Emotional exultation and self-centered evidence make poor foundations for eternal life.  A positive knowledge and Assurance of Salvation will stabilize the faithful believer in hours of temptation (Heb 6:17-20).

It will enable him to enjoy a positive life of prayer, and giving faith that will appropriate the promises of God.  Prayer that accomplishes is founded in a relationship to God.  Jesus said, “When ye pray, say Our Father,” thus introducing us to a gracious place of Assurance within the family of God.

It will give him power over the Devil.  Success in battle depends upon the ground we fight.  If the enemy can cause the believer to forsake his “high tower” and doubt, he knows he can gain the victory.

It will give power to his testimony and his influence over others.  Religion has already offered too many vague and vain philosophies.  The Church needs the rallying call of faithful believers sold out to God who are not afraid to go ahead for God.  You must know that you have been born again (2Ti 1:12).

The Security of the Believer: The Problem – A fact in our nation is the multitude of people who have at one time served the Lord, but now make no pretense of serving Him.  Assurance is possible.  Whenever a believer endeavors to do anything for God he must be able to stand on the firm foundation of the positive Assurance that he is His child (1Th 1:5).

There are two sides to this subject.  Calvinist assert that Salvation is an eternal work and once wrought in the heart can never be undone.  Arminianist have a long list of Scriptures claiming the opposite.  Arguments take the tone of “you interpret wrongly,” and “so do you.”

There must be a reason and truth for both positions, but to carry either to an extreme is to either destroy the believer’s sense of Assurance and Security, or comfort the apostate in his apostasy.  Every spiritual blessing comes from God, but it has to do with man; and because He has made man a free moral agent, man has a spiritual part to play in every spiritual transaction. 

Therefore, in every theological matter, there is God’s side and Man’s.  This fact helps us understand why it is possible to list two arrays of scripture that seem to oppose each other, but in reality they really complement each other.  ONE HAS TO DO WITH WHAT GOD PROMISES TO DO, AND THE OTHER HAS TO DO WITH WHAT MAN MUST DO.

The balance of Scripture: there are Scriptures that depict the blessed promises of the keeping power of God (Joh 10:28-30, Rom 8:38-39).  These promises must not be minimized, but they must be understood in relation to other passages (Jas 1:13-15, Heb 6:4-8). 

One of the basic rules of interpretation is that the obvious meaning of a passage is probably closest to the true meaning.  Hebrews 6:4-8, obviously describes someone who experienced regeneration and then backslid.  While this passage warns of the danger of turning away, it must not be used to teach that there is no hope for the one who turns away (Jas 4:5-10, Jas 5:19-20, Heb 3:12-19).

What God says He will do; and what He says we must do: “work out your own salvation…for it is God that worketh in you” Php 2:12-13.  It is not God’s will that any should be lost.  We are also assured that He is able to keep them from falling.  BUT THESE THINGS ARE NOT AUTOMATIC.

God does not save a man against his will, nor does he keep him against his will.  The scriptural condition for Salvation is faithfully believing (Joh 3:36, Joh 3:18, Joh 5:24, Joh 6:47, and Joh 6:40). 

It is the continuous or progressive present tense, and implies not only an initial act of saving faith, but a maintained attitude.  There are no promises in the Bible that God will keep the man who willfully turns away from the provisions of Salvation.  In fact the opposite (Heb 10:26-29Eze 18:24).

Scriptural warnings: the word of God contains enough warnings to preclude any thought of presuming on the grace of God (Mat 26:41, 2Pe 3:17, 2Pe 1:10, 1Ti 1:19, Tit 3:8, Php 4:1, Joh 15:6, Luk 14:34-35, Col 1:23, 1Ti 6:10, 2Ti 2:24-26, Heb 2:3, Heb 3:12-13, Heb 10:26-31, 2Pe 2:20-22, Rev 2:4-5).

The believer’s responsibility: a believer can no more keep himself in the power of the flesh than he can save himself by this means (1Pe 1:5).  Our part is to faithfully believe and follow Him; His part is to keep us.

The believer’s responsibility is to continually take advantage of the means of grace which God has provided.  The believer’s part is to constantly feed on God’s word, to yield to the Holy Ghost, and maintain unbroken fellowship through prayer.  We are not saved because of our faith and obedience, nor are we kept by these; but it is faith and obedience that keeps us in fellowship with Christ (2Ti 1:12, Heb 4:15, Heb 7:25, Heb 10:22-23).

An Illustration: when the storms of temptation, doubt, and fear would buffet the ship of your experience, do not forget the loving faithfulness of God, Who, before the world was, laid the foundation of your Salvation. 

He has taken many a soul through storms worse than yours.  He experienced all these tempests Himself (Heb 2:10-17).  Do not forsake the ship.  Do not get out and trust your parachute, or endeavor to fly your flimsy plane through the storm.  Fasten the seat belt of His promises; cheer your heart with worship and praise to Him Who is at the controls.  Keep close to Jesus.  Remember His faithfulness (Php 1:6).



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