PART 9 THE SPIRITUALITY PUZZLE
PART 9 The Spirituality Puzzle
What causes someone to become a child of God and have assurance of eternal life?
Salvation By Repentance And Belief?
Are Godly Works Necessary In The Salvation Process?
Does this salvation message advocate that godly works are necessary in the salvation process? By necessary I mean that without evidence of such the person was either not saved or lost their salvation. The salvation message of Repentance and Belief supports the teaching that we as Christians are created for the purpose of performing good (godly) works. However, whether godly works are necessary or not for the substantiation of our faith, let’s find out by looking at some scripture sections.
Let’s begin by going to the book of Ephesians.
Created In Christ Jesus Unto Good Works
Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
This verse tells us that we are God’s workmanship (his work of art or a masterpiece104), created (made a new spiritual creature) in Christ Jesus. For what purpose? For the purpose of performing good works (good deeds; the actions which Christians are to perform105; our faith is demonstrated by our works).
So, what I would like to ask is this, what are good works?
Some would say that good works are works which Christians are told they should perform as conveyed by the word of God such as visiting the orphans and widows James 1:27, providing shelter and food for fellow believers in need James 2:15-16, giving financially to support those who convey the word Galatians 6:5, etc. And while I would agree that these are works that Christians should perform, what is often not mentioned is, what should be the motivation behind these works before any of these are performed? You might respond by saying, this doesn’t make any sense. What do you mean?
What I am really talking about is something that we have already discussed in respect to one of the questions pertaining to this dispensation and that is, what causes a believer to have fellowship or partake of God’s nature? Do you remember what the answer was to this question? It was not like the answer in previous dispensations that talked about obeying God’s instructions in terms of doing this or doing that, but it was being filled with the Spirit. Do you remember this answer now? This is really talking about what should motivate the Christian on a day-to-day basis, their sin nature or the nature of the Spirit?
Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
What I am saying is, good works are not necessarily godly works. However, godly works are good works which evidence the graces of the Spirit while the believer is operating under the guidance, impulses, and energy of that life106.
Some might say well if a believer evidences no good works at all, then they were probably not saved in the first place, while others might say that if a believer evidences little or no good works and then stops altogether then they have lost their salvation. They base these conclusions on verses which they believe support their claims. So, why don’t we take a look at these verses that talk about good works and determine whether they substantiate one’s salvation.
Please go to the book of 1 John.
The Truth Is Not In Him
1 John 2:3-4
3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
This verse says that we as Christians know that we know Christ, if we keep his commandments. What does it mean to know that we know him? The first word “know” means to come to recognize. The second word “know” means to know in a personal way, to be intimately acquainted with a person’s intentions and character107; to have evidence to show that we are a Christian.
We are told that what causes us to know that we know Him in this manner is by keeping his commandments. What are his commandments? Most of us would probably respond by saying this must refer to the Ten Commandments. The word “commandments” in the Koine Greek is transliterated as entolas, which refers to precepts (various commands) that were given to the church by the apostles and/or by Christ when he lived on earth as pertaining to this dispensation. If the word “commandments” in the Koine Greek was transliterated as the word nomos then this would be referring to the Law, and as such we could deduce that this word was talking about one aspect of it, that being the Ten Commandments.
So, if we were to keep (habitual observance of) his commandments (various commands), then some of the examples of such are as follows.
Christians are commanded to:
a. Love one another with a pure heart fervently. (1 Peter 1:22)
b. Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:17)
c. Stop surrendering any part of themselves as weapons of wicked purposes to do evil. (Romans 6:13)
d. Be filled with the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)
4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.
But for those who say I know him intimately (professes a fellowship with him108) and they do
not observe or operate in his commandments (various commands) then he/she is called a liar (one who makes a false profession) as indicated by the fact that the truth of God’s word is not evident in his/her behavior (because this is someone who lives under the power of their sins109; in such a person the truth is not a dynamic, controlling influence110 ; they have lost the ability to recognize truth). So, what this verse is saying in effect is, if a Christian is not operating in the filling of the Spirit and claims that they are, there will be no evidence of godly works because they are living according to their sin nature.
The book of Hebrews is where we should go to next.
Unto All Them That Obey Him
8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;
The writer of Hebrews says that though Christ were a Son, the Son of God, yet he became personally and practically acquainted with the true meaning of obedience as pertaining to the things which he suffered (in terms of the suffering it entailed111; in the deepest sorrows of the body and the soul112).
9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;
And being made perfect (when he had finished his course of tremendous sufferings, and consummated the whole by his death and resurrection113), he became the author (the causing; the source) of eternal salvation (to be saved forever) to those who obey him (of those who have put their faith in Jesus Christ114). Therefore, Jesus is the source for whosoever will put their faith in him will be saved forever.
Let’s continue on, and take a closer look at the words “but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved”. Let’s go to the book of Matthew.
But He That Shall Endure Unto The End, The Same Shall Be Saved
Suggested Reading: Matthew 24:1-31
3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Jesus is with his disciples on the Mount of Olives. While there, they asked him three questions. The first has to do with, as to when the city of Jerusalem, its temple, and the Jewish state would be destroyed? The second has to do with, as to when will he return? And the third was, as to when will the end of the world take place?
He responded by telling them that there will be a future time called the beginning of sorrows when there will be certain things to look for that will indicate that the end of the world is near.
Some of these things that will be evident are that there will be:
~ Those who will claim to be the Christ and deceive many.
~ International wars, civil wars, famine, pestilence, and earthquakes in different places.
~ Believers who will be afflicted (punished) and put to death, and because of such many will stop believing in Him, even turning one another over to the authorities.
~ Iniquity or wickedness abounding everywhere, and subsequently brotherly love will no longer be a characteristic of those who follow God.
~ The occurrence of an abomination (a sacrilege; idolatry) that will occur in the temple area.
~ A declaration of the gospel of the kingdom made to everyone on the earth.
While it’s true that most of what is going on here has been going on since the Church Age began, however, what is noteworthy is that there are a few things, which are declared to happen that signify that these things didn’t happen before or hadn’t happened since a long period of time had gone by such as everyone in the world will have heard the gospel; the temple at Jerusalem will be rebuilt so that Jewish worship will be reinstituted; almost everyone on earth will be killed; the world as we know it will come to an end; and the Messiah of the Jews will return to the earth to intervene and set up his earthy kingdom.
Some believe that the time period of seven years during which these events will occur is called the Tribulation Period or Age. Just prior to this occurring, it is believed that a world ruler will arrive on the scene of international events and intervene at a time of possible world annihilation and bring about world peace. It is possible that some kind of a treaty will be signed that will hold up for three and a half years. However, at the end of this time it is alleged that this world ruler will do something that will cause this agreement to collapse.
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
The way scriptures describe it, this ruler apparently becomes full of himself and decides to enter the temple area and place an image of himself in it to be worshipped, and then all hell will break loose. This changes the peaceful climate of the world into one of full out assault with one main target and that is to annihilate the Jewish nation. Before the world destroys itself entirely, Christ returns and intervenes.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
There is divided consensus as to what this verse means and to whom it is written but what follows is one explanation of it. First, let’s try to address to whom this is written. Many believe that Matthew 24 relates to the prophecy given by the angel Gabriel to the prophet Daniel in the book of Daniel chapters 9-11. Daniel received this prophecy during the third year of the reign of Cyrus the Great of Persia, who defeated the Babylonians unto whom the Jews were in captivity for many years. Daniel chapters 10-11 This prophecy would indicate to Daniel what would happen to the Jews both in his time and in the future. So, there you have it. This prophecy and verse we are looking at was written for the Jews of the Babylonian captivity.
What about the Christian church? Are they still on the earth?
This prophecy of Daniel predicted that following the end of the Babylonian captivity, the Jews would begin the return to their homeland and certain events would take place over a period of about 490 years, the last seven of which wouldn’t transpire until the end of the world. During this time, they would begin to rebuild their temple; they would resume worship under the institution of the Mosaic Law; they would reject their coming Messiah; and crucify him on a cross. The amount of time this prophecy allotted to these events was 483 years or 69 weeks where each week lasted for 7 years. The initial number of weeks allotted was 70, leaving one week unaccounted for, and you guessed it this week pertains to the final seven years of the world’s existence.
As for Christians, it is believed they will have been removed just prior to the beginning of this seven-year period by an event called the Rapture. Therefore, the protocol of enduring to the end or of continuing to obey Christ’s commandments (various commands) until the end of the world doesn’t apply to them, because they will not be here. Just to restate this for emphasis, those that shall endure to the end will be saved doesn’t apply to Christians.
What does it mean that if the Jews endure to the end, they shall be saved?
Revelation 14:9-10 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb:
Scripture indicates that this world ruler will become severely wounded, but will miraculously recover. In commemoration of this, an image, statue, or inanimate object will be built in his honor, and somehow it will come to life and as such the peoples of the world will be forced to worship it. There will also be developed some type of a mark (possibly of a chip of some sort) that every person will have to receive in their forehead in order to be able to buy or sell anything. Those who worship the image, called the beast, and receive this mark will receive the wrath of God.
So, in this context, those who endure to the end shall be saved, refers to Jews, who respond to the gospel of the kingdom and subsequently decide not worship the beast nor receive a mark in their forehead, and therefore they will be saved from God’s wrath. That was a lot of information, but unless we are informed thoroughly, we will only understand in a limited fashion as to why someone in leadership believes the way they do as in this particular case in relation to the salvation message of Repentance and Belief.
The next section of scripture seems to clearly say that if a believer is living in habitual sin and thus not evidencing godly works, then they will not inherit the kingdom of God i.e. they are no longer saved. Is this what this verse is conveying?
These Are Contrary The One To The Other
Suggested Reading: Galatians 5:13-21
13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
19-22 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Here, Paul is speaking directly to his "brothers and sisters," which means he is speaking to Christians - those who were already saved. Yet after listing the acts of the flesh (sins), he warns them - Christians - that by living "like this" they would not inherit the kingdom of God. Paul is not referring to committing a single act of sin intermittently, but to "live like this" means one is not practicing self-control nor are they repenting of the sin(s) of which they are committing, rather they are regularly committing these sins. In other words, their life consists of these sins.
So, what does it mean that if any of these believers continued to live in habitual sin, they would not inherit the kingdom of God?
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
What is being contrasted is the flesh (the sin nature) and influences of the Spirit. If someone is a Christian there is this warring going on between the two. By living according to their sin nature in a habitual way they will not inherit the kingdom of God (will not be under God’s authority). This is not talking about a Christian losing their salvation and subsequent eternal destiny to hell, but it’s talking about sanctification, their spiritual walk. Those Christians who choose to live this way will give no evidence of being a child of God, but it remains that they still are.
Bear with me as we look at one more section of scriptures, probably the foremost scriptures that many believe claim that if a believer is not a doer of the word, then they are not saved. This is found in the book of James chapters 1 and 2.
Be Ye Doers Of The Word, And Not Hearers Only
Suggested Reading: James 1:22-25; 2:14-26
22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
The apostle James is addressing Jewish Christians, those who were scattered abroad beyond Palestine. He is instructing them to be doers (to live out the gospel message; to put the word into practice) of the word and not just hearers only, thereby deceiving themselves (not practicing what you hear and know).
23-25 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
After which, he gave them an example of what any Christian, who is only a hearer of the word, is liken unto. They are like a man who is attentively observing and considering his reflected image (his natural face; who he used to be) in a mirror. The mirror can be by analogy the word of God, which not only helps us to see our shortcomings and defects, but also provides the appropriate instruction that will help us when we find ourselves immersed in them. Some of the spiritual remedies are self-examination, name and cite known sin, and recovery (find out and memorize God’s word as it provides for us his perspective that we should reflect upon throughout each day which pertains to any are of weakness).
However, if this man (or any believer) decides to disregard the divine prescription for their life and not address the issues that they see in the mirror then they will not grow spiritually. However, if he/she looks (attentively) into the perfect law of liberty (the word of truth) and continues therein (yields steady obedience to the word), he will be a doer of the work (puts the word into practice; the (one) who obeys God from a loving heart and pure conscience115), and as such will be blessed (happy; it will exert a good influence over his whole soul116) in his deed (doing). James then decides to address the matter of not being a doer, but only a hearer by providing an example of such.
James 2:14-16 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?
He says that if a man states that he has faith (genuine faith; saving faith), and evidences no godly deeds, then can the faith he claims he is operating in, save him? The answer is no, this faith cannot save him. Save him as pertaining to salvation? No, save him from danger or destruction. It is not a salvation faith that helps us in the trials of life, but an operational faith, someone that has learned how to walk in the Spirit evidencing the fruit or spiritual qualities of the Holy Spirit.
So, if a fellow Christian, has need of clothes and food and a Christian’s response to them is to depart in peace without providing for them what they need, then what does their faith profit (words without providing actual help is worthless117; useless in evidencing godliness)?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
And so, the apostle James concludes that faith (genuine faith; saving faith) if it evidences no godly works is dead (unproductive; not operational; destitute of fruit), being alone (it is by itself and not operating according to the promptings and power of the Spirit).
21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
The answer is yes. Abraham was justified (considered a righteous person before men; his faith was evident) by works (by his conduct), when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?
Faith was a constant working partner118 with Abraham’s works, and by his works was his faith made perfect (developed; brought to maturity).
We can conclude that being a doer of the word is to put it into practice. However, putting it into practice means not being a forgetful hearer i.e. someone who looks into the mirror of God’s word and seeing any personal shortcomings and deficiencies, applies God’s spiritual remedies i.e. self-examination, name and cites known sin, and recovery (reflect on God’s word) so that they will be filled with the Holy Spirit operating in his graces.
When this is the case and they see a fellow believer in need, they will help them because their faith is operational just like the example given of Abraham who was considered a righteous man by his conduct. Faith (operational) that is not filled with the Spirit is dead (useless, unproductive, destitute of fruit). And remember, salvation faith, faith by which we receive the indwelling Spirit, is by repentance and belief. Operational faith, faith which operates according to the filling of the Spirit) is what pertains to good (godly) works.
We have essentially finished looking at the salvation message of Repentance and Belief. However, I have added one more section because some have suggested that the salvation message of Repentance and Belief encourages believers to sin meaning that after they have received the indwelling Spirit, they can live the way they want and still be saved. I would agree that after salvation the believer still has the right to live in sin, but as we shall see this doesn’t mean they get away with it. Why don’t they? Let’s find out.
Salvation By Repentance And Belief?
Shall We Continue In Sin, That Grace May Abound?
There is a natural tendency in religious circles to think that if a believer evidences no good (godly) works) at all or if they exhibit godly works for a period of time and then stop that they will have lost their salvation (the Holy Spirit along with additional benefits) because otherwise they will seemingly be getting away with sinning without consequence. What has really transpired here is that those leaders who think this way have confused salvation which takes place at a point in time with sanctification which occurs on a day-to-day basis. Salvation is by grace through faith whereas sanctification involves hearing doctrine, learning doctrine, addressing personal areas of weakness, confessing one’s sin, recovery, and if this process if followed eventually good (godly) works will begin to be expressed.
I believe there are many churches that have no idea as to what the filling of the Spirit means. They are wrought with teachings that are dependent on following many aspects of the Mosaic Law or they have devised their own religious system in order to try and please God by attempting to procure His favor solely based on do’s and don’ts in the power of the sin nature.
If a believer is not operating in good (godly) works then something is amiss. Either the teachings of the church are man-centered from which only man-centered works will be produced or if they are attending a Spirit-filled church and are learning the doctrines of the faith and how to be filled with the Spirit and no good (godly) works are forthcoming there could be one of two reasons for this. The first is, they have a lot of personal issues to deal with, but they are nonetheless growing spiritually. The second is they know what they need to do to begin to address the propensities or passions of their flesh, but choose not to do so. So, what happens to them if the latter scenario is the case? Scripture has a lot to say about what their life will be like.
Please go to 1 John
If we confess our sins
1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
One of the spiritual remedies that this believer is not exercising is confessing known sin. While it is true that every person’s sins were forgiven at the cross, confessing known sin in time provides three benefits:
~ The filling of the Spirit is recovered.
~ We are brought back into fellowship with God the Father.
~ Divine chastisement (discipline) will be removed.
Likewise, the converse is true. If a believer does not name and cite their sin, they will not recover the filling of the Spirit; they will not be restored to fellowship with God the Father; and they will receive divine discipline.
Let’s go to 2 Peter.
If After They Have Escaped The Pollutions Of The World Suggested Reading: 2 Peter 2:1-22
1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
Peter is instructing the Christian Jews to watch out, because there will be false prophets and teachers, who will privately (the metaphor is that of a spy or traitor; the introduction of false teaching alongside the true119) bring in damnable heresies (self-chosen doctrines) and deny (disown; denounce; by immorality under a cloak of religion) Jesus, who bought (purchased by the blood sacrifice on the cross) them, and will bring upon themselves swift destruction. And then the apostle Peter seems to indicate that some might have already done so and followed the teachings of these false prophets and teachers, and if this is indeed the case then here is what he has to say about them.
20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
For if after they (the converted to the Christian faith) have escaped the pollutions (the moral corruptions through evil acts) of the world by the knowledge (the moral and ethical influence of the word of God that caused their outward lives to be pure; of one that truly knows Christ, who has been taught by him to put off the old man and to put on the new man120) of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and are again entangled (gone back; a gradual process; as they persisted in the false teaching that grace gave license to sin, they became entangled in their former licentious ways121) therein to their former immoral lives, and are overcome (trapped again by the powers of these worldly lusts122), then the latter end (current state they are in) is worse (more capable of iniquity; of a more sever degree of punishment) than the beginning (before they were saved).
21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.
It had been better for them not to have fully known the way of righteousness ((a life lived according to the will of God), than to have fully known it and turned (having a change of mind; a change of direction) from the holy commandment (Christian teaching as a whole) that they were instructed in.
Why would it better for them not to have fully known what it was like to live a life according to the will of God? Because no longer are they abiding in the truth of the word and as such are under no restraints. The results of such is that they will get involved with their sinful tendencies to a greater degree which will result in a more severe punishment (discipline) from God.
In the next section, we will learn about what the purpose of chastisement (discipline) is. Most of us probably see it as punishment. Is it?
Onward to the book of Hebrews.
Nevertheless, Afterwards It Yields
Hebrew 12:6, 11
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
This is a beautiful verse about chastisement. It tells us that God disciplines those he loves, whom is us. This word chastteneth means of whatever in adults cultivates the soul, especially by correcting mistakes and curbing the passions123. God disciplines in his time and manner to help us in our walk with him. Wow!
We are also told that He scourges those who are his sons. Again, that’s us. The word “scourgeth” means to train men as children by afflictions124. And what happens if we accept his discipline and learn the lesson taught, what will it produce in us?
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
It is true that no chastening (discipline) appears to be joyous (pleasant) but grievous (painful) nevertheless, it produces something in us if we allow it to. What does it produce in us, the peaceable fruit of righteousness? Are you ready to find out what this is?
This is otherwise known as actual righteousness in ourselves125; peace, calmness, submission in the soul126; those fruits by which we gain much, and through which we are made happy127). Oh my God! But, wait, this is conditional. What is produced only gets produced as the word says for those, which are exercised thereby. This means when discipline comes, we just as someone in the ancient athletic games trained for a contest, so we must exercise ourselves in spiritual matters - the Word of God, prayer, meditation, witnessing128, name and cite our sins, putting off the old man and putting on the new man, etc.
So, chastisement for us does involve the implementation of consequences but not toward us as a criminal who has no way out, but for us his sons and daughters for our benefit so that we will recover the filling of the Spirit and be made truly happy. Isn’t that beautiful?
If and when God disciplines, what does the word tell us as to what the specifics of such are?
The next story will give us a glimpse as to some of the different disciplines and their severity.
The book of 1 Corinthians is where this story is found.
For This Cause, Many Are
Suggested Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:18-34
28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.
29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
The Corinthians held agape or love feasts, which involved church members coming together for a social meal on the first day of each week. These feasts were intended for mutual relief or charity for the poor. Apparently, when the richer members of the church came, they ate their own food, drank enough wine to get drunk, and left nothing for the poor to eat or drink. When the Lord’s Supper was to be observed following the consumption of the agape meal, the poor looked upon the elements of the bread and wine with physical motivation (satisfying one’s hunger and thirst) rather than spiritual motivation.
With this in mind, a solution was needed to address what had happened. A two-fold solution was arrived at. The first aspect of it was for everyone who attended the feast to wait until all had arrived and received their food and drink before any consumption was to take place. The second was for each person to examine themselves (their motives or state of mind) before partaking of the Lord’s supper, which was to be observed afterward.
30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.
And then he tells us about the different types of discipline that was inflicted by the Lord by those who had disgraced this ordinance. It says that many (a considerable number among them) were weak (a lack of spiritual comfort and peace; by a loss of communion with God129) and sickly (without physical strength due to bodily sickness and disease130), and many sleep (are dead, the result of their sickness). We could infer that those who died from their sickness didn’t confess their sin to God the Father. Some commentators, however, believe that physical death was a separate consequence from their sickness.
I can only say that I believe God gives each of us an opportunity to repent when we sin. Unfortunately, for some, they choose not to reap the benefits of spiritual restoration. And by the way, scripture doesn’t infer or state that those who died, Christians, lost their salvation, but rather their physical life here on earth.
So, there you have it. God disciplines us for correction so that we will recognize our mistakes, name and cite them, and recover by applying His perspective (scripture; the word of God). If we choose not to respond, we will continue in sin and a greater measure of discipline will be administered for our benefit even though we might not recognize it as such.
With all the information presented, can we conclude that the salvation message of Repentance and Belief will cause an unbeliever to find God or become a child of God and have assurance of eternal life at death? Based on scripture, it seems that we could convincingly say that this is the case. Is this the only salvation message that will satisfy the conditions stated, I don’t know? As we did here, we will have to see if scripture supports the remaining three salvation messages.
Before we take a look at the next salvation message, let’s briefly recap what we have learned about what would be the requirements for an unbeliever to be saved and along with this what other views are included in this perspective.
Some of the other views that go along with this salvation message of Repentance and Belief are:
●Jesus paid the penalty and provided forgiveness for all sin on the cross.
●Water baptism does not forgive sins.
●Water baptism does not cause the receiving of the indwelling Spirit.
●Water baptism is not necessary in the salvation process, but is important.
●Godly works might evidence the filling of the Spirit, but not as to whether someone is saved or has lost their salvation.
●A believer who lives in habitual sin will be disciplined by God.
●The Baptism of the Spirit causes a believer to be placed in union with Christ and is actually identified with Christ in his death and resurrection.
●Water baptism is symbolic of a believer’s identification with Christ in his death and resurrection.
●Following repentance and belief the believer will receive the indwelling Holy Spirit.
And the salvation message that will cause an unbeliever to find God or become a child of God and receive assurance of eternal life at death is as follows:
I acknowledge that I am a sinner, who desires a new nature so that I don’t have to continue in committing mental, verbal, and overt sins.
I believe in you Jesus, being deity, who is one of the members of the trinity, the other two being God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, left heaven being born of a virgin, having never committed one sin, died on a cross, paid the penalty for sin in order to satisfy the justice of God, forgave these sins putting them away forever never bringing them up again, rose again after three days never to die again, his sacrifice being accepted by God the Father, and ascended into heaven to be seated at His right hand.
Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to come into my life, who is evidence that I belong to God the Father and the assurance of going to heaven at physical death.
Is there another salvation message that many churches believe will cause their followers to find God or become his child and have assurance of going to a better place at death?
Yes, the second salvation message we will look at is called the salvation message of Water Baptism. We will take a look at this and see if it is scripturally founded. If it is, it will be considered as another avenue to meet the conditions presented. If not, it will be rejected as being such. Are you ready to proceed onward and take a look at this alleged salvation message? Let’s go.
104Bible Knowledge Commentary/New Testament.
105UBS New Testament.
107UBS New Testament.
108Bible Knowledge Commentary/New Testament.
110Bible Knowledge Commentary/New Testament.
111Bible Knowledge Commentary/New Testament.
114The Bible Exposition Commentary/New Testament.
117UBS New Testament.
122UBS New Testament.
128The Bible Exposition Commentary/New Testament.
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New Covenant Ministries - Ministerios NuevoPacto Sunday & Thursday Worship 7:00PM Domingo & Jueves 7:00PM Meetings at Harbor Church, Block Island Spanish (401) 580-1156 English (401) 533-6768