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“Eternal Salvation”

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by WordSword, Jul 26, 2021.

  1. WordSword

    WordSword Well-Known Member

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    There is only one strain of salvation--"Eternal salvation" (Heb 5:9), which is an "everlasting consolation" (2Th 2:16) and an "eternal glory" (2Ti 2:10). If it's not permanent it's not salvation, for the crux of salvation designs the intention of being in permanent and unbroken fellowship with God, which only Christianity provides. In Christianity, one who is reborn is identified by God working within, which keep us from ever again willing after the sin nature (old man) - Phl 2:13); and this is a permanent work, as nothing God does in Christ for the Christian is temporary (Rom 11:29).

    The way of the Law for the believing Jews was works related, as forgiveness was granted for obedience maintained, but withdrawn in disobedience persisted. But God always caused the believers to return to Him. This works-type method gives rise to self-dependence in believers today, misunderstanding the difference between the two administrations. In the New Covenant the Spirit of God indwells the believer and uses the Life of Christ and the nature "created" in His image (Col 3:10) to "keep you from falling" (Jde 1:24). Thus one who is only nominally professing Christianity (Mat 15:8) will eventually apostatize (revealing faithlessness), as the "fruit" will always manifest the "tree" (Mat 12:33).

    Lacking an administrative differentiation between the two Covenants is only one of a believer's difficulty. The other is the difficulty that results in misunderstanding certain Scriptures that seem to conflict with one another (but never really do), esp. those concerning the permanency of salvation, and the most important growth truths are going to be the most difficulty to learn. It is this appearance of contradiction, though all are actually in agreement, that teaches the Bible student to remain in persistent study and prayer for guidance in "the Word of Truth" (2Ti 2:15).

    One of many examples is Gal 5:4: "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." I believe the point of this passage is like saying, "It would be as though you have fallen from grace, if you could be justified by the Law." As we know, Scripture repeatedly makes it clear that the Law's intention was not to justify but to reveal what justification is, for "a man is not justified by the works of the law" (Gal 2:16; Gal 3:11).

    It might be said that one cannot fall from grace any more than one could be justified by the Law: “Whosoever of you are justified by the law” – ‘on the supposition that any of you are justified by the Law; or if, as you seem to suppose, any are justified by the Law. The apostle does not say that this had in fact ever occurred; but he merely makes a supposition. If such a thing should or could occur, it would follow that you had fallen from grace’” (Albert Barnes – 1798- 1870).

    “Ye are fallen from grace”; ‘that is, either from that grace which they professed to have; for there might be some in these churches, as in others, who were only nominal Christians, and formal professors; who had declared they saw themselves lost and undone sinners, destitute of a righteousness, and professed to believe in Christ alone for righteousness and strength, but now trusted in themselves, and in the works of the law.’” – John Gill (1697-1771)
     
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  2. renniks

    renniks Well-Known Member

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    Only that's not what it says. It's not works that save us but faith has to continue. You can fall into disbelief and/ of false religion and forfeit salvation.
     
  3. WordSword

    WordSword Well-Known Member

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    Hi, and thanks for the reply! Your comments are normally accepted concepts, but it's my understanding that even faith isn't what saves us but is only a vessel "through" (Eph 2:8) which grace comes. Also I do not see how one can profess to believe and letter profess not to believe. We can only either truly believe or not truly believe. Apostatizing is thinking you really want to believe and eventually realizing you don't really want to believe.
     
  4. fide

    fide Well-Known Member

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    I find that the Catholic understanding of what grace IS, is extremely helpful in understanding many puzzling mysteries concerning faith and salvation - and eternal life: that is, Life itself.
    The Catechism of the Catholic Church has this (emphasis mine for the sake of clarity):

    1997 Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: by Baptism the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body. As an “adopted son” he can henceforth call God “Father,” in union with the only Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity into him and who forms the Church. ​

    Grace is not merely "a favor" or "a blessing" from God (although it is both of those). The substance of grace is divine, eternal Life itself - a supernatural reality that is of God, and from God, in which we are allowed to participate. We are free to abuse this gift given and turn it away - turning away ourselves from it and thus from God. Grace does not "belong to us" as part of our being, but grace remains "of God" and "from God" to us. Our calling is to remain - to abide - to continue in - this participation of God and in God.

    Thus we are saved by grace, through faith:
    Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God—​
    Faith is a work of grace in us, a gift empowered by this grace, this participation (fellowship/koinonia) in the very Life of God. Faith brings inner light, illuminating life situations/circumstances/trials/challenges with the light of His Life. Yet the choice of the human will to live in the obedience of faith (Rom 1:5, 16:26) remains our own choice. We are called to walk, not merely talk, in faith.
     
  5. renniks

    renniks Well-Known Member

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    That's just not biblical.
    "Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God."
     
  6. fide

    fide Well-Known Member

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    Again, the Catholic - the historic, original, orthodox understanding is yes, salvation is eternally in God, and those who remain in God, remain in the eternal salvation. Thus Jesus exhorts any and all to remain - abide - dwell - in Him. He will remain faithful! He will abide, for His part! The question is, will I - will you - abide in Him and His eternal truth and love?

    Jn 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
    Jn 15:6 If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.​
    Jn 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.
    Jn 15:7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
    Jn 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you; abide in my love.
    Jn 15:10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and abide in his love.
    1Jn 2:24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you will abide in the Son and in the Father.
    1Jn 2:27 but the anointing which you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that any one should teach you; as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie, just as it has taught you, abide in him.
    1Jn 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.
    1Jn 3:17 But if any one has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him?
    1Jn 3:24 All who keep his commandments abide in him, and he in them. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us
    1Jn 4:13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit.
    2Jn 1:9 Any one who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the doctrine has both the Father and the Son.​
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2021
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  7. WordSword

    WordSword Well-Known Member

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    Hi, and thanks for your comments, though it's my understanding and belief that the evidence of one reborn in Christ is that there will never be a desire to "turn away" from God, considering that His "work in you" keeps us from this very action (Phl 2:13).
     
  8. fide

    fide Well-Known Member

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    Well, it seems you are drawing more out of that verse than I hear in it. Yes, God is at work in his called ones, ever truly being God. But the called ones are also at work, having the freedom given us by God. The verse before exhorts the people, ""work out your own salvation with fear and trembling...". God wills our cooperation - which we can give, or resist, or deny. Knowing the weakness in us, we ought to work "with fear and trembling." Fear that though He remains faithful, we may not.

    Rom 5:2 Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God.​
    Supernatural hope is a beautiful reality, which can be sinned against in two radically different ways:
    1) by despair, denying all hope.
    2) by presumption, replacing hope with certitude. By presuming upon God's perfect mercy and blinding ourselves to His perfect justice.
     
  9. WordSword

    WordSword Well-Known Member

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    Hebrews 3:12: This warning was given to identify those who were still unbelievers, so all would know what to do. The were then "walking circumspectly" of a "hardened heart" (vs 13, 15), which was confirmation of "unbelief" (vs 12, 16-19). The following Chapter reveals the same means to identify unbelief (4:1, 2, 6, 7, 11); and those who are only nominal professors of faith cannot avoid eventually being seen as apostates (those who leave their false professing).
     
  10. WordSword

    WordSword Well-Known Member

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    True, all have freedom to choose their walk, but not free to choose the consequences that follow. I believe all are either bound to sin, or bound to righteousness, which renders none truly free in their lifestyle. Righteousness renders willing servanthood to that which is holy; and sin to that which is unholy.

    When those reborn become free from the slavery sin, they "become the servants of righteousness" (Rom 6:18).

    Our understanding on this passage (Phl 2:12) differs, in that to me it means working from or out of your salvation, because salvation cannot be produced by works.
     
  11. fide

    fide Well-Known Member

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    Salvation cannot be received by works of the law that are not done in faith. Faith that is living - that is alive - does work. glorifying God and advancing the soul toward final salvation, if he persevere until the end. Thus Paul seeks to convey "the obedience of Faith". Romans:
    Rom 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,​
    Rom 16:26 but is now disclosed and through the prophetic writings is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith

    Living faith urges the child of God to LIVE the LIFE of godliness. Thus to obey that urging of the Spirit is to work the works of God, to live HIs life. This is the walk of salvation.
    Faith without works is DEAD, as James testifies.
    James 2:17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
    James 2:26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so faith apart from works is dead.​
     
  12. renniks

    renniks Well-Known Member

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    You can not be apostate from something you never had. And you can't fall away from faith if you never believed.
     
  13. WordSword

    WordSword Well-Known Member

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    True, esp. not by faithless works, which are not works, which require faith to be true works. But the sole purpose of works is to manifest salvation (Mat 5:16) and never to effect salvation. "Not by works" but by "grace" (Eph 2:8). Rebirth is always antecedent to works, for there are no works without rebirth. Right?[/QUOTE]

    One must see the Lord Jesus as the sole means of salvation (not saying you don't of course)!
     
  14. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    Bless you friend but what are your thoughts on John 15:1-7?
     
  15. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    We are incapable of having faith without God’s grace. God’s grace enables us to believe the gospel so that we may have faith. By grace you have been saved thru faith. Our salvation comes thru faith as a result of God’s grace.
     
  16. BNR32FAN

    BNR32FAN He’s a Way of life Supporter

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    No that’s not what Paul said friend God will finish what He has begun in us if we cooperate with Him. At no time has He taken away our free will and as a result we always have the ability to turn away. Jesus said that many will fall away buy the one who endures to the end will be saved.
     
  17. WordSword

    WordSword Well-Known Member

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    "Falling away, so as to perish, may be supposed, and is true of many professors of religion; who may fall from the profession of the Gospel they have made, and from the truth of it, and into an open denial of it; yea, into an hatred and persecution of what they once received the external knowledge of; and so shall fall short of heaven, and into condemnation" (Gill).
     
  18. WordSword

    WordSword Well-Known Member

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    True, "through" and not "by"; and works never have a part in effecting it, only manifest it.
     
  19. Clare73

    Clare73 Blood-bought

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    In context, I see "fallen from grace" to mean, you have fallen from the way of grace back into the way of works (circumcision), placing yourself outside the realm of divine favor, because gaining God's favor by observing the law (circumcision) and receiving it by grace are mutually exclusive (2 Peter 3:17).
     
  20. renniks

    renniks Well-Known Member

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    Gill was a Calvinist. In their theology, it's impossible for anyone to fall away because they're irresistibly chosen from eternity past. He's just echoing Calvin, not scripture.
     
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