the need for careful Bible study
an "ed"-itorial written by "Ed" Thomason

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Basic Study Principles
Using these study principles in a discussion of salvation by grace
Using these study principles in a discussion of "Once saved always saved."
Continuation of Lesson 3a
The apostle Paul used these same study principles
Putting our beliefs to the test

Please feel free to copy this and use it in your private study or files.
Using these study principles in a discussion of
"Once saved always saved"

This study is a continuation of Lesson 3

Hebrews 3:8-13
As we read this text, let us ask ourselves these questions: What are we to guard against as Christians? What is meant by "departing from the living God? Why was this warning given if we are not placing our selves in danger of losing our salvation?
Hebrews 10:26-31
As we read this text, let us ask and answer these questions: Can a Christian who deliberately keeps on sinning be saved when there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins?
(v.26) If a Christian keeps on sinning what can he expect to receive? (v.27). Does that sound like salvation? What happened to those who rejected the Law of Moses? (v.28). Does one who rejects Christ's teachings deserve more severe punishment than those who rejected the Law of Moses? (v.29).
  When a Christian tramples the Son of God under his feet and treats the blood of Jesus as an unholy thing and insults the Holy Spirit by which he was sealed, he does not need to be given the false assurance that he will be saved in that condition. He must be warned that "vengeance belongs to the Lord" and that the Lord will "judge his people". He also needs to be warned that "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (vs.29-31).
Consider what Peter wrote:
2 Peter 1:5-10
 "If you do these things ye shall never fall."
Notice that Peter's statement "infers" that a Christian can fall!
Peter also gives a list of things that the Christian himself must do to prevent himself from falling.
2 Peter 2:20-22,
Notice Peter says that a Christian can turn away from God's commands and be in a worse state than he was before he knew of the way of righteousness. [Peter has spelled out the possibility of disaster for a Christian.]
2 Peter 3:17
Peter closed his epistle with a warning for the Christian. (We can be led away with the error of the wicked and fall from our own steadfastness.)
Consider what Paul wrote:
I Corinthians 9:27
The apostle Paul was concerned that he might be a "castaway." (Just what did Paul mean if he did not think he could be lost?)
I Corinthians 10:1-12
In this text, Paul discussed how the Israelites were over thrown in the wilderness because they were idolaters, fornicators, or murmurs. Paul taught that these things were our examples that we not lust after evil things as they lusted. Again Paul warned in verse 12, "These things happened unto them for ensamples and they are written for our admonition... Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." (Paul understood that Christians can fall and that the consequences were tragic!)
Galatians 5:4
Paul clearly stated that when Christians attempt to live under the bondage of the Old Testament law, they "fall from grace." (That is very clear isn't it?)
Earlier in the book of Galatians Paul stated that if he or others were to preach another gospel (a false gospel) "let him be accursed." [False teachers cannot claim the grace of God and claim exemption for their mishandling God's word. What does the word "accursed" mean if they are not lost? Didn't Paul include himself in this passage as one who could be accursed for not preaching the truth?]
Consider what John wrote:
I John 3:7-8
Those who sin (continuous sin is under discussion) are of the devil (Can one be of God and the devil at the same time?)
Some who cling to the doctrine of once saved always saved will go so far
 as to declare that it does not matter how wicked one lives...
 if he was once saved... he cannot be lost.
 (He can lie, commit adultery or fornication, practice homosexuality, become a drunkard, a whore, a thief, and even become a murderer and not be lost.)
I John 3:15
But John clearly states: "no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." (Can a Christian commit murder and not repent of this and still be saved? In connection with this discussion consider: Galatians 5:19-21. This text lists the works of the flesh and concludes that those who do (practice) such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (How can this be if a Christian cannot be lost?)
Revelation 2-3
In the book of Revelation, John recorded the words of Jesus to the seven churches of Asia. Each church was admonished and warned. They were commanded to repent or "else" and Jesus promised that those who "overcame would be clothed in white, sit on thrones etc. (What should we rightly conclude would become of those Christians who did not repent? What would become of those who did not "overcome?"
Jesus warned the Ephesians who had left their first love, to "remember from whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; ­or else I will come unto thee quickly, and I will remove thy candle stick out of his place except thou repent." (Revelation 2:5)
Jesus warned he would "spue out" the lukewarm Laodiceans (Revelation 3:16)
When Jesus promised "be thou faithful unto death and I will give you a crown of life" (Revelation 2:10), what was he implying would happen to those who were "unfaithful?"
But what about these verses?

There are other verses that seem to point to the idea that a Christian cannot fall from grace, what about these verses?
Romans 8:1
This verse declares that "there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus..." Yes this is what the Bible says, but please read the rest of the verse... "who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit." Those in Christ who chose to walk after the flesh and the works of the flesh stand condemned. While those who walk after the spirit (follow God's will as revealed by the Holy Spirit in his Word) do not stand condemned.
This verse is actually very similar to I John 1:7 which says, "If we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin."
Romans 8:38-39
This verse says 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 creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Again it is true, that no outside force or demon or angel can separate us from God's love... (But the verse does not say that we cannot separate ourselves from his love.) In Luke 15:11-24 Jesus told the story of the PRODIGAL SON. The father (like our Heavenly Father) loved his wayward son and yearned for his return. But the son had separated himself from his father's love and the benefits of that love by his sin and rebellion. When he returned in repentance, to the father... the father was waiting to embrace him. But the son had to return before he could regain the benefits of his father's love and so must every wayward child of God.
Can God keep us from falling? Jude 24 says he can. ("Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling...") But it is obvious from what we have read that our cooperation is needed.
Jude 21 also says "keep yourselves in the love of God." (We must do our part. When we do our part by being faithful, we can be sure that God will do his part by being gracious and forgiving.)
Remember that 2 Peter 1:10, tells us how God keeps us from falling: "Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall." God's way of keeping us from falling is to instruct and admonish us through his written word to live properly and pleasing to him. But the choice to do so is always ours. And we will reap serious consequences when we fail.
What must a Christian do in order to receive forgiveness of sins?
ACTS 8:22, JAMES 5:16, I JOHN 1:9
(If a Christian cannot be lost, then he would never need to ask God for forgiveness. Does that really make sense?)

go to Lesson 4

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