Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1 Peter 1:13-25 Cont.
16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
1 Peter 1:13-25 Cont.
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
1 Peter 1:13-25 Cont.
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
The LORD gave every man the choice
of choosing to believe in Him or to reject Him. It is God’s will that all men would repent of their sin and be saved, but all men do not choose to follow Christ.
They Have A Free Will
and the LORD will not make people choose to love Him and do right. He gives them the right to reject the LORD and be lost. Every man has been given free will. This is proven by the many scriptures that invite man to be saved, and the fact that a man does not have to be saved. It is his choice.
The Holy Spirit draws all men
John 12:32 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
The LORD has given all men a free will
to choose to follow Him and love Him, or to reject Him and His Word and so be lost:
Ezekiel 33:11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
The LORD wants every person
who has ever lived or ever will live to be saved; however, every man will not be saved, because many choose to reject the LORD’s love, and they choose a life of sin.
The LORD has given all men free will.
Holiness and Faithfulness
Is Not Salvation by Works
Free will is man’s ability to choose.
The LORD has given to every man a capacity to believe.
The Measure of Faith
Every man is born with the measure of faith
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Along with the right to choose,
the LORD gave man the gift of believing. Men who deny God have to consciously rebel and determine to do so because it is unnatural and illogical for man not to believe in his Creator.
Not only has the LORD given man
the measure of faith, He draws men with His precious Holy Spirit
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
The Drawing of the Holy Spirit
Without the drawing of the Holy Spirit, no man can be saved. God has given abundant witness of Himself to all men:
Psalms 19:1-5 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, 5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
Left with a witness
Acts 14:16-17 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. 17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
Romans 1:18-22 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Must We Deny Logic
Men have to deny all logic to not believe
in an intelligent Creator; however, it is by the gospel of Jesus Christ that He gives lost men the opportunity to believe in Christ and be saved
Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Capacity to Believe
That is, all men who hear of Jesus Christ have the capacity to believe in Him:
Romans 10:14-17 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! 16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
A Rebellious Heart
Once a person has heard the gospel and then his heart has been touched by the Holy Spirit, only a rebellious heart would resist God’s call to salvation through Jesus Christ.
Paul the apostle addressed this in
2 Corinthians 5:18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
We Need God’s Grace
Man cannot even believe without God’s grace:
Romans 11:33-36 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! 34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor? 35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again? 36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
When the LORD gave man free will,
He gave him the ability and the right to choose.
Man has the ability and the right to love or not to love, to be honest or not to be honest, to do right or do wrong.
Judged for the Life We Live
Nevertheless, the LORD will judge men for the life they live
Ecclesiastes 11:9 Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment.
When a person gets saved,
that person becomes a new creature in Christ; however, the LORD does not take away that person’s free will.
This is the difference between those who hold to an “unconditional covenant” view of scripture and those who hold to a “conditional covenant” view.
Those who believe in the
“once saved, always saved” interpretation of scripture, believe that when a person gets saved, the LORD revokes a part of that person’s free will. In their thinking, a person who is saved no longer has the ability to choose to turn away from Christ and go back to the world.
They try to contend that
there are those who have tried to turn back, but the LORD has ended their life before they completely fell away/became castaway (apostatized) and then took them to Heaven.
There is not a single verse of scripture that states that the LORD will not allow a person to fall away.
Likewise, there is not a verse
that states the LORD will terminate a backslider’s life in order that such a person can enjoy the blessings of Heaven.
As previously noted in this series, there are many verses that warn of the possibility of falling away.
Wresting the Scriptures
In the eyes of the professors of unconditional covenants,, to teach that a person must be faithful and live a holy life in Christ is to teach salvation by works (legalism).
Again, this is a statement that has no credibility.
In order to reveal the absurdity of such an accusation, one needs to consider what salvation by works consists of.
Good Works Is Not the Foundation
First a person seeking salvation by works is a person who is seeking to be saved by his own goodness.
This is the mistake the Jews, who did not give their heart to the LORD and tried to be saved by living the law, made:
Consider this Scripture
Romans 10:3-5 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them.
This is a description of Jews
who tried to obtain salvation by their own deeds, that is, by living the law without giving their heart to God.
Paul made this plain in an earlier statement
Romans 2:28-29 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
The Jews who lived under the law
of the Old Testament could be saved by believing in God, giving Him their heart, and living in obedience to His Word.
When they sinned, the sacrifices and offerings that pointed to Christ and that the LORD had provided were accepted as atonement.
However, it was not their doing
the good works of the law that saved those Jews, but their faith in God.
Many of the Jews, in their pride, fancied themselves as righteous because they kept the law.
They did not depend on the blood for their salvation, but on their own goodness of which they, like all men, had none.
So what does all this mean?
It means a person cannot be saved by merely keeping the law.
Paul said it with clarity
Romans 9:31-32 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Where in in the both fore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
the basis of the law was grace and faith
The law was given to help men not to sin and to help them to live holy lives as a result of their faith in God. It was given to show them their own sinfulness and God’s Holiness.
Salvation by works, then,
is trying to live a righteous life without being saved by the blood of Jesus Christ. Alas!
So many fall into the sin of pride.
They think they do not need to be saved.
They think they are good enough that they do not need to humble themselves before God and ask for His forgiveness.
That is one way of trying to obtain salvation by works.
Secondly, a person cannot remain
saved by depending on his own righteousness. This was the heresy Paul fought against so vigorously and exposed in the book of Galatians:
let’s read together
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
Galatians 5:1-6 Cont.
4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. 5 For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. 6 For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.
False teachers were confused
and were teaching a confused doctrine to the Galatians.
The false teachers were teaching that once a person is saved by Jesus Christ, it is necessary to live the law to stay saved.
They were teaching circumcision.
Paul made the point if a person was obligated by one point of the law for righteousness he is obligated to do the whole law
Galatians 5:3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.
James also made this same point
James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Paul’s concern for the Galatians was that once they had been saved by Jesus Christ, they would think they had to be circumcised or keep the law to remain saved.
He made it very clear that a person
who is made righteous by faith in Jesus Christ is saved plus nothing, minus nothing.
To go back to the law after being saved was to depend on a person’s own works to keep him saved. Paul said to do this meant a person would be lost.
Read what he said carefully:
Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.
Notice, Paul said that we are saved
by faith in Jesus Christ, and we are kept saved by faith in Jesus Christ.
To go back to the law after being saved is to fall from grace.
That is to be lost again.
Salvation by works is trying to be saved
by not having faith and giving one’s heart to God.
Salvation by works is having faith in anything other than the shed blood of Jesus Christ for righteousness to be saved or to remain saved.
Salvation by works is not remaining faithful and living a holy life in Christ.
Being Faithful and Living Holy
Remaining faithful to Christ is not salvation by works. In fact, it is the teaching of all of the Bible.
Peter the apostle’s message in
1 Peter 1:5-9 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
1 Peter 1:5-9 Cont.
7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: 8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
It is obvious that the LORD expects
His people to remain faithful to Him.
To try to say a person can be saved without faith is ridiculous.
It is just as preposterous to try to assert that after a person is saved by faith he can lose his faith and still continue in fellowship with Christ.
Continue in Faith & Faithfulness
Certainly a saved person must be faithful to Jesus Christ.
That is why all the warning about backsliding and falling away “apostasy” are in the Bible.
Being faithful is not works; it is love.
Living a holy life in Christ is not salvation by works; it is living in faithful obedience to the LORD:
1 Peter 1:13-16 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
For a child of God to be saved
and to strive to live a holy life is obeying the will of God. To try to say that the LORD does not require holiness of His people and will accept wickedness and rebellion is a perversion of the truth.
For people to believe they can be saved to live a holy life and then live a wicked ungodly life without repentance is heresy.
The Bible does not teach such antinomianism.
James 2:12 So speak ye, and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty.
It is in this chapter that James explains that a person cannot be saved by the law, and it is in this chapter that James explains faith produces works.
Was he preaching salvation by works?
Most assuredly, he was not.
Was he saying a person who is saved does not live like a saved person?
Anyone who would attribute such a teaching to James would have to be — you figure it out.
To Help You Figure This
in order to make the fable stick it is suggested that Matthew, Hebrews and James wrote for the Jewish Christian
the commands and the warnings are therefore not applicable to the Gentile church but somehow apply to Jewish Christians in yet a different future church age of some sort
any who question this are considered to be simpletons lacking the necessary Gnostic qualifications to rightly divide the Word of God.
Read the whole book of James,
and ask, “ Does James believe a Christian is a person, who ought to live a faithful life to Jesus Christ, strive to live holy in Christ, but instead that Christian lives a life of sin and backslides, falls away, becomes castaway (commit apostasy), and yet, still goes to Heaven?”
The resounding Answer
As words mean what they mean and we have the responsibility of a free will