January 14, 1999
There is a battle going on between two groups of believers who hold to two extreme positions. Both rest their cases on the word Grace. Each believes that it is the grace of God that opens the door to the opportunity to become a Christian and that once a person accepts Jesus they are born again. From that point on they diverge, one into license to sin, the other into obedience to the law.
When this battle moves further into the extreme positions many souls are lost and the only winner is the devil laughing in the background. Understand that each has scripture to back their positions yet at the same time discount the interpretation of those same scriptures the other group uses. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness he too used scripture to try and make Jesus prove Himself. Scripture is foundation truth with plenty of examples in their application and misapplication. Only when the word is rightly interpreted can the fullness of that truth begin to reveal itself.
The bible is an extensive guide book. Everything you need for a basic understanding is there within its pages. It reveals God's plan of salvation to all who will read its pages. Or does it?
How often in the scriptures did Jesus call out to those who were following Him hearing the words that He spoke? Matthew 11:15 He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" So one would think that if you heard the words that He spoke you would understand the meaning. Jesus spoke in parables to hide the truth. Matthew 13:10 And the disciples came and said to Him, Why do You speak to them in parables? 11He answered and said to them, Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. 13Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand".
But, but, but..... you say! Understand that for you to understand the meaning of scripture it has to be spiritually discerned. Both groups above have had revelation knowledge given to them. The problem arises not because of the revelation but when the carnal mind tries to apply it as the only view to all of the bible. When that happens you end up with the extreme versions of the truth these two groups advocate. Now let us get back to the topic at hand.
What is grace? Simply put it is unmerited favour towards another. You cannot earn it based on works, good behaviour, or even faith. Do you know that even before you ever heard of the bible, Jesus, or anything else, God layed out the plan, before the foundation of the earth, how He would bring about the circumstances for you to hear the word of God and eventually accept it and His Son as your Saviour and Lord? You could have been the most vile person on the face of the earth and yet come to accept Jesus because God through His grace, revealed to you the truth.
Therefore God looked upon you with grace before you even knew Him. How He treats us in our daily walk is still all grace. When we are taken into heaven to be with Him, even then it is still a matter of grace. Beginning to end it is all a matter of His grace, unmerited favour, shown to us. But you say faith is the key reason. Here is a scripture... Ephesians 2:8For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9not of works, lest anyone should boast. So you have been saved through faith.
Here's another scripture... Genesis 15:6And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. And also this one...Romans 4:3For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. So then the righteousness that Abraham had was by faith in what God had told him? Wrong! Read it again. It was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. Why? Because by the grace of God, He accepted it as such.
The same goes for us today. When we believe what the word of God says concerning Jesus and the kingdom of God, He accounts us as being "righteous by faith" because of the grace that He shows us. Another way to say this is... we are not righteous because of our faith, but, because of His grace (unmerited favour) toward us, He will accept it as righteousness. You see it is a gift from God that we are "saved through faith". (*if you are confused take time later to meditate on this and ask God to show you what it means.)
So then with such an awesome display of grace on the part of God toward us how can we ever be lost after we accept Jesus as Saviour. Surely then Once Saved you must be Always Saved.
I had a conversation through the net with an individual from the One Sin Lost Again group. The extreme version of this group believes that if you truly repent of your sins you will not sin again. If you do sin it is because you haven't truly repented in the first place and therefore you must not have been truly saved. Though they are right in that one must seek for holy living it is incorrect to assume that this is automatically the way you live because you are born again.
There are three aspects to the general make-up of an individual. 1/ The flesh 2/ The mind 3/ The spirit. These three component parts of an individual are redeemed at different times. Two of them are instantaneous while another takes a gradual renewal.
So then as we see so far there isn't any real argument... So where is the problem then?
It is one thing to fall on occassion. Perhaps there is some part of your life that is walking in darkness still. Maybe you are making excuses so you can continue doing what is wrong. Hey... these things happen to all of us at one time or another. That is why our minds need to be renewed by washing it with the word... Ephesians 5:25Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, 27that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. This takes time to learn the word of God and to grow. The fruit of the Spirit eventually putting to death the works of the flesh.
The "One Sin Lost Again" group believes that when you sin you have fallen from grace and therefore are no longer saved. You must repent or you will be lost and sent to the lake of fire. The problem is that of being "no longer saved". This is the error that kills the soul. It is also a gross misunderstanding of grace and the cross.
Jesus died once and for all. When we accept the Holy Spirit into our lives we are redeemed. 1 Corinthians 1:22who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee. To become lost again the Spirit of God must leave the heart (spirit) of the individual. He would then revert to his previous state and be lost. Yet... Hebrews 13:5For He Himself has said, I will never leave you nor forsake you. To believe that the Holy Spirit would leave the heart of an individual is contrary to scripture. (The Holy Spirit does leave the individual who is an apostate. For these people choose to be lost and there is no more sacrifice for sins. * Another teaching for another time. It is the only biblical exception.)
The OSAS group believes grace overcomes all... yet... John 15 talks of the believer abiding in Jesus and thereby begins to bear fruit. Those without fruit are... cast out, become withered and eventually burned. It is a gross error to think that you can walk according to the flesh, bear no fruit, and think that you can escape. Those who will not abide in Jesus here will not abide with Jesus in the life to come. Do you know that without holiness you will not see God. Do you know... Romans 6:16Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that ones slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? The key words are "leading". Are you being led by the flesh or by the Spirit. Galatians 6:7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. Be careful that you do not justify your way into the lake of fire.
So then must we compromise between the two positions? Certainly not! What is necessary is to leave the extremes behind and accept the whole word of God without compromise. For the Christian to use the bible as a license to sin or to place people under the law are both incorrect. We need to learn from the examples, heed the warnings, and cling to our God.
We as Christians are under the grace of God. We need to use this time reading and meditating upon the word with Him who gives us understanding. We need to take what He shows us and begin to walk with our God. Listen up folks. We did not enter into a religion of rules or the lack of them. We have entered into a relationship with Him. And He walks by His word. Take His hand and walk with Him. Then while under grace learn to be just like Him. Without spot or wrinkle, as a bride fit to be wed to Him, earnestly contending for the Faith.
God bless you.
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