Thursday, May 23, 2013

P in TULIP



Preservation of the Saints
   
P stands for the perseverance of the saints.  The Calvinist “faith only” doctrine teaches that there is nothing one of the elect can do that will affect their eternal salvation.  Punishment for sins of the elect is only in this life, and God will save eternally every predestined person, without exception.  Obviously this doctrine does nothing to encourage Christians to be careful about their lives.  Its fruit is to produce a gang of people calling themselves Christians, but not too careful about how they live.  It is alarming that immorality is so rampant in a nation that calls itself a Christian nation.  Surely this “faith only” doctrine may be part of the problem.  If what we do only affects this life, then why should we worry, since life is short. For this reason, Calvinism has come to be called “easy believism.”
           
The Bible does teach the perseverance of God’s children, and one of my favorite passages is Romans 8:28-39 - “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”
           
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies.  Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
           
“As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’  Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NKJ)
           
Another scripture that gives great comfort to Christians is 1 John 5:11-15 - “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.  He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.  These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.”
           
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” (NKJ)
           
While these scriptures and others give great confidence to the children of God, they do not teach that God’s elect children cannot be lost.  The names of the elect are recorded in the Lamb’s book of life, and the scripture clearly states that our names can be blotted out.  Rev 22:17-19 - “And the Spirit and the bride say, "Come!" And let him who hears say, "Come!" And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.  For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (NKJ)
           
The apostle Peter warned about those who would leave their relationship in Jesus and turn back to the world and be destroyed.  2 Peter 2:1 - “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.”2 Peter 2:20-22 - “For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning.  For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.  But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and, "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire." (NKJ)
           
The following article describes the danger of a child of God looking back to the world for satisfaction. 

LOOKING BACK
           
Looking back can be dangerous.  Looking back while riding a motorcycle in the mountains is a good way to hit a tree.  Looking back to how we felt when we were 21 may leave us feeling quite depressed when we are 85.
           
Looking back was terminal for Lot's wife, as she looked back to the familiar surroundings and people left behind, and was turned into a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19)  The Israelites looked back to Egypt and longed for the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, garlic, and fish they had eaten freely in Egypt.  They were tired of eating the food God provided, and looked back to Egypt with longing for the good things they remembered.  They forgot, for the moment, about the terrible beatings and hard labor of Egypt; forgotten was the terrible exposure and death of their male children required by their Egyptian masters.  They thought only of the momentary gratification of their hunger. (Numbers 11)
           
God answered Israel's lust for meat by providing tons of birds.  Every one of the Israelites gathered many bushels of the birds, and many died with their mouths full of meat from the plague sent among them because of their unthankfullness and complaining.
           
Looking back to the pleasures of the world is dangerous for those who have started following Jesus.  After being delivered from the slavery of sin through our obedient faith in Jesus Christ, it is a terrible thing to long for the sinful things left behind.  Peter said that turning back to the world after having known the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is like a washed sow returning to wallowing in mud, or like a dog eating his vomit. (2 Peter 2:22) 
           
From the book of Hebrews we learn that it is impossible to renew to repentance those who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have fallen away; since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God and put Him to an open shame.  (Hebrews 6:4-6)  A person whose heart is hardened by rebellion cannot be touched by the love of God, since that person has willfully rejected the influence of God in his life.  Only a person who submits to the will of God can receive His grace.
           
The Christian's hope comes from looking to Jesus, who is the beginning and end of our faith.  (Hebrews 12:2)  Jesus is the "Author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him." (Hebrews 5:9)  Therefore we need to keep our eyes on Jesus, and look to Him for the Spiritual food that satisfies our soul and gives us the assurance of eternal life.
           
Friendship with the world makes us enemies of God. (James  4:4)  The desire to have what looks good to us, the desire for quick gratification of our human nature, and the lust for prestige and power, all  belong to the temporary world that is passing away. (1 John 2:15-17)  Eternal life belongs to those who through faith, hope, and love continue to follow Jesus without looking back. 
           
Jesus said, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62)  We need to forget the things that are behind us, and press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 3:14)

Only those who remain faithful to Jesus will be saved eternally.  All others will be lost.  Several scriptures set forth the conditions of salvation.  Salvation is not unconditional, but conditional upon coming to Christ by our own free will in obedience to the gospel, and remaining faithful to Him at death.  Many references from the Bible teach that we must hold fast to Jesus for salvation.  If we must hold fast to Him in order to be saved, then we will be lost if we turn loose of Jesus and quit trusting Him for salvation.  Here are some of the many scriptures that teach this principle of salvation through faithfulness: 1 Cor 15:1-2 - Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you-- unless you believed in vain.
           
Eph 5:1-7 - Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.  But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks.  For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.  Therefore do not be partakers with them
           
Gal 5:1-4 - Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.  Indeed I, Paul, say to you that if you become circumcised, Christ will profit you nothing.  And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law.  You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.
           
Phil 2:14-16 - Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.
           
Col 2:18-19 - Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.
           
Heb 3:6-12 - ----but Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end.  Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says: "Today, if you will hear His voice,  Do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, Where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years.  Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, 'They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.'
           
So I swore in My wrath, 'They shall not enter My rest.' "  Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God;
           
Heb 10:26-31 - For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.
           
Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses.  Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?  For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine; I will repay," says the Lord. And again, "The Lord will judge His people."
           
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
           
Rev 2:25-27 - "But hold fast what you have till I come.  "And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations--'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; they shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'-- as I also have received from My Father;
           
Rev 2:10 - Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
(NKJ)
           
Following are two articles from the NJP that illustrate this concept of the importance of following Jesus in our lives.  Jesus said very clearly that if we are not faithful in our use of the things of this life, we will not be entrusted with real riches, which has to do with eternity. (Luke 16:11)

FOLLOWING  JESUS
           
Many people of various philosophies, belonging to sundry organizations and even cult groups, claim to be following Jesus.  Some believe that the important thing is that we all love each other and respect each others’ religious views.  There is a pervasive attitude that all religion is good, especially if it is called Christianity.  But love is not demonstrated by encouraging false religion.
           
Calling people and organizations Christian does not make them Christian in a true sense.  To be truly Christian, we must belong to Jesus and be following Him and His teachings.  True Christians do good works in the name of Christ, and demonstrate love by keeping the commandments of Jesus.
           
However, being a Christian does not mean that I have the right to force my opinions on other people.  Since the first century, Christianity has been plagued with men who insisted on having their own way, demanding preeminence, and leading people away from a simple faith in Jesus Christ.  Such men are false teachers who develop a following for their own gain. (2 Peter chapter 2)
           
The apostle John identified Diotrephes as such a person: “I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to have the preeminence among them, does not receive us.”
           
“Therefore, if I come, I will call to mind his deeds which he does, prating against us with malicious words. And not content with that, he himself does not receive the brethren, and forbids those who wish to, putting them out of the church.  Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.” (3 Jn 1:9-11, NKJ)
           
Doing what is good and right helps us be identified as Christians.  If you believe as I do, that the Bible is inspired by God’s Holy Spirit, and that it reveals God’s will for mankind, then we must respect the word of God as truth.  Jesus said that the words that He spoke will judge us in the last day.  (John 12:48) 
           
Christ also said that those who love God will keep His commandments.  (John 14:15)
           
John  said that God’s commandments are not burdensome: “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments.  For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome.”  (I Jn 5:2-3, NKJ)
           
When Jesus told His disciples that they would know the truth, and that the truth would make them free, (John 8:32) He went on to explain that it is the Son who makes us free indeed. (John 8:36).  Therefore knowing Jesus and following Him, respecting His teaching as the word of God is evidence that we are truly following Jesus. 
           
Jesus taught that some who claim to be His followers are not known by Him, even some who claim to work miracles in the name of Jesus.  We can know who is following Jesus by their lives.
           
"A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Therefore by their fruits you will know them.”
           
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.  Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?'
           
"And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
           
"Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.”
           
"Now everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."  (Matt 7:18-27, NKJ)
           
Following Jesus takes more than wearing the name Christian; it requires commitment and obedience.

ETERNAL  INVESTMENT

Jesus tells a very interesting story recorded in Luke 16 about a steward who misused his trust and was about to lose his job.  The man wanted to make plans for his future existence, so he called in his master’s debtors and reduced their debts, so that they would take care of him after he lost his stewardship.
           
Oddly, his master commended him for being wise about planning for his future.  This story is confusing to many people, because we focus on the unjust action of the steward, instead of looking at the principle of making wise plans for our future, which is the core of this story.
           
Jesus said: “So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.”
           
"And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.”
           
"He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.  Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?  And if you have not been faithful in what is another man's, who will give you what is your own?”
           
"No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon." (Luke 16:8-13, NKJ)
           
The material things of this world are temporary, and do not deserve our devotion.  Jesus warned that we should use our material possessions in a way to make friends for eternity.  Each of us has been granted a stewardship of those resources we control during our brief lives on this earth.  That stewardship is taken from us when we die, and we must appear before a righteous judge and answer for how we have used our opportunities and resources during our lifetime.
           
The wise will make investments in people who have eternal value and existence.  All people were created in the image of God, and He desires all to be His children.  (2 Peter 3:9; John 3:16)  So we have choices to make between selfish uses of things aimed at satisfying the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life; or using our things unselfishly in a way that brings eternal life to those who do not know Jesus Christ. 
           
Apostle John, close friend of Jesus, gives this advise:  “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world-- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life-- is not of the Father but is of the world.  And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”  (I Jn 2:15-17, NKJ)
           
The selfish use of this world’s resources brings no lasting satisfaction.  Our joy with our toys lasts just a short time, and then we become tired of them and look for some new pleasure.  But the things of this world cannot satisfy, and God wants us to seek eternal values that bring everlasting joy, peace, and overflowing abundance. 
           
Recently I was in India with six young Christian men who are interested in spiritual values.  After seeing how people live in India, and as we were preparing to return home, one of them made this comment:  “Well, it is time to go back to selfish America.” 
           
America has given more to help more people than any other nation in history.  But compared to what we spend in senseless extravagance on ourselves, our giving to help other people is lacking.  We need to use our resources in a way to make friends who will welcome us into an everlasting home.

The concept of the perseverance of the saints is an encouraging thing when it is kept in the right context of our continuing to trust in Jesus.  God protects those who are in His house, and we are only in His house as long as we continue to trust Jesus for our salvation.  We can turn aside to trusting our own knowledge, and loose our connection with Jesus.  Or we can turn back to the world and look to the temporary things of this life for our hope.  When we love this temporary world to the extent that we serve it, we have become enemies of God and moved out of His house and away from His protection.  Those children of God who rebel against their Father and die in that condition will be eternally lost.  Our names can be blotted out of the Lamb’s book of life.  Here is another article that ran in the NJP.

THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
           
The P in TULIP represents the perseverance of the saints.  TULIP is the acronym used by theology students to remember the five basic tenets of Augustinian doctrine.  T is for total depravity, U is for unconditional election, L is for limited atonement, and I is for irresistible grace.  All of these concepts come from Augustine’s conclusion that man is so totally depraved as a result of his sin and Adam’s sin, that he cannot make a good choice without God making it for him.  This concept denies the personal accountability of man for his actions, and puts all the responsibility for salvation and condemnation on God. 
           
Of course God has loved us enough to give Jesus to die for our sins on the cross, even though we are undeserving sinners.  And that salvation is a gift of God, not based on merit, given to all who believe and obey the gospel, and who love and follow Jesus.  And God is able to keep all who trust in Him.  There is no outside power that can separate a child of God from our Father’s protection.  “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?  As it is written: ‘For Your sake we are killed all day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.’ "
           
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 8:35-39, NKJ)
           
God is able to protect all those He has chosen, and those He has chosen are those who have been born again through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and who love God and remain loyal to Jesus.  John says that those who do not love other people, do not love God and will not be protected by God.  “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.  He who does not love does not know God, for God is love.  In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
           
“Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us.  (I Jn 4:7-12, NKJ)
           
John also says that if we love God, we will keep His commandments.  Therefore we can conclude that God will preserve those who keep His commandments.  But God does not require us to be perfect as we follow Jesus, only that we continue to be faithful to Him.  This is a matter of desire and direction.  Loyal Christians must walk with Jesus, trusting His blood to continually cleanse us from sin.  (1 John 1:7)
           
Yes, God will save eternally those He has chosen for salvation.  Those that He has chosen to save are those who believe and obey the gospel about Jesus Christ, and who lovingly and loyally follow Jesus, and who are faithful until death.  These are God’s saints, and not one of them will be lost. 
           
But every child of God who rebels against the truth, refuses to love and honor God, hates his fellow man, turns back to the world, and tramples the blood of Jesus under foot, will be destroyed eternally, unless they repent.  And they will deserve what they get, because they refused to follow Jesus even after He suffered as He did on the cross.  They will have desecrated the blood of Jesus, and insulted the grace of God.  (Heb 10:28-29)

CONCLUSION
           
We have looked at the TULIP from T to P, and found that while it is based on some statements from the Bible, it fails to fit properly into the framework of salvation in Jesus Christ.  Therefore we can conclude that the development of these ideas is a result of taking scriptures away from their natural context in the Bible, and building arguments on part truths instead of the whole truth.  We must be careful in our study of the Bible to build our thoughts upon the foundation of Jesus Christ, savior of all who trust in Him.
           
But if the TULIP is found to be a diversion from the true path, we need to ask how it could happen that something like this could become so prevalent in the Christian community world wide?  Of course we know that Satan’s work is to deceive the people who are all potential children of God, and to lead them away from the salvation that is only in Jesus Christ.  And Augustine was doing his teaching at the beginning of the apostasy, when the church was moving away from the simple truths of the Bible and leaning on the learning of men to give insight into the scriptures.  Augustine was a learned man, a philosopher who wrote extensively to show that Christianity is superior to pagan religions.  But he was caught in the trap of explaining God’s program in human terms.  Human thinking can never fully understand the mind of God.  The closest we can get is when we look at Jesus and see how God lived in human form.
           
The human mind does not like to accept the idea that we are personally responsible for the mess in our lives.  Human nature is to blame someone else for our failures.  And God and Adam are convenient to receive the blame.  Satan uses our pride of life to great effectiveness.  If he can convince us that we have some unique perspective of the scriptures, and get us involved in the business of selling that perspective to other people, he has succeeded in creating a diversion that will lead people away from the simplicity of salvation through faith that is in Jesus Christ.
           
It is shocking to see how Satan has succeeded in diverting people away from seeing our true responsibility before God to make right choices regarding faith and salvation.  He has convinced many people that they have to wait on God to reveal to them whether they are chosen for salvation.  But the gospel message is the thing that produces faith in those who are willing to give it a good hearing. That choice to receive or reject the gospel is one made by the mind of man, the good news is preached to sinners. 
           
Because of TULIP, even the language of salvation has been changed from what we read in the Bible.  Several times I have contacted noted Bible teachers and asked them why we cannot use the same language used by the apostles to explain how a person receives salvation.  So far no one has offered an explanation.  And truly there is no acceptable explanation except that they are teaching something different than what the apostles taught.  When a person starts talking about accepting Jesus as personal savior, and praying to God thanking Jesus for having saved them, something is going on that is quite different from what we read in the Bible.  The Bible talks about obeying the gospel, about repentance and baptism in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins, about confessing Jesus as the Son of God.  Why has that language been changed to the language of TULIP, the “faith only” doctrine, the doctrine of irresistible grace?
           
The answer is that the message of TULIP is a distinctly different message from the message of the gospel taught by Jesus and His apostles.  The philosophy of man has provided a more convenient and acceptable message to mankind, one relieving them of any responsibility regarding their salvation and allowing them to live as they please.  It is a very soothing message to the mind of man, but it is false.  TULIP is a diversion from the Bible message to take us away from our responsibility to put our trust in God if we want salvation.
           
Often in India I have illustrated the concept of accepting salvation by holding out a clenched fist to a child, telling that I have a gift for them, and asking if they believe that I have a gift for them in my hand.  They cannot see, and it is a matter of faith in what I have said as to whether they believe there is a gift for them.  Usually the child will say that they believe I have a gift for them, and then I will ask them to come forward, close their eyes, and hold out their hand.  If they obey, they receive the gift. 
           
We should not find fault with the gift giver setting the terms by which the gift is received.  It is obvious that the child makes the decision to believe or not believe with their human mind.  Sometimes I will hit a suspicious audience, and go through seven or more children before I find one who believes.  But I have rarely had one who said they believed that was unwilling to come forward, close their eyes, and hold out their hand.  No one has ever demanded that I bring the gift to them where they are sitting. 
           
After the demonstration,  I ask the audience what would happen if a person remained seated and refused my invitation to come forward and receive the gift.  Without exception, the audience responds that they will not receive the gift if they do not come forward.  Why is it that we can understand a thing so simple as the responsibility of the gift receiver to conform to the conditions set by the gift giver when it is something like a 10 Rupee note in my hand, and yet people want to quarrel with the conditions set by God to receive the gift of salvation?

Yes, salvation is free, paid for by the blood of Jesus. Also, responding in faith to the simple commands of Jesus and the Apostles is not water salvation.  It is a demonstration of trust.  The gift of salvation is free, it has been fully paid for, but can only be received by those who surrender to the conditions set by God.
           
The doctrine of “faith only,” and “irresistible grace” deny the right of God to set the conditions for receiving salvation.  But God has set the conditions of coming to Jesus and receiving salvation.  Those conditions are that we believe the message about Jesus, that He is the Son of God, and that He died for the sins of the world.  We must be willing to confess that faith before others, and we must change the direction of our minds through repentance, and then be baptized in the name of Jesus for the remission of sins.  We are not to be buried with Christ in baptism because we have already been saved, but we bury a dead sinner with Jesus in baptism, and God raises that person to new life in Jesus Christ.  And that person will be saved eternally if they are found faithful to Jesus at the time of their death. 

Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 
Rom 8:2  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 

Gal 3:23  Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. 
Gal 3:24  So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. 
Gal 3:25  But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 
Gal 3:26  for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 
Gal 3:27  For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. 
Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 
Gal 3:29  And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise. 








3 comments:

  1. Do you think it's possible to teach perseverance of the saints from the Old Testament only?

    My point is the Apostles and Jesus only taught from the OT so if perseverance of the saints is indeed a Biblical concept shouldn't we see it all the way back in Eden? Instead of perseverance of the saints we see that those who left the Lord's covenants lost His blessings.

    The reformers lost touch of Biblical Christianity because their beliefs were corrupted by Roman Catholicism, Stoicism, and Gnosticism. Rather than taking the views of the philosophers and incorporating them with Christianity, they should have spent more time studying the Old Testament.

    We do see that there are those in the OT who broke God's covenant and nevertheless received His blessing. But if we study those cases we also see that those people also humbled themselves, turned back to the Lord and repented. There never has been and there never will be salvation without humility, repentance and faithfulness.

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  2. Yes, sophist arguments by Greek philosophers and others who trust human wisdom have corrupted the teachings of Jesus and the Apostles. We need the Jewish context of the scriptures to understand them better. Yes, the scriptures of the Old Testament are able to make us wise unto the salvation that is in Jesus Christ.

    We, believers in Jesus, are the house that God promised to build for David.

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  3. Calvinists don't understand that we are in a conditional covenant.

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