Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Now, to me, that’s very easily understood. I did nothing to achieve salvation, therefore how could I do anything to lose it. The Bible tells me:
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (Ephesians 2:8 KJV)
Not everyone is given that gift. There are qualifications:
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:36-40 KJV)
Jesus explained more to Nicodemus:
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. (John 3:16 KJV)
So far each of these verses can be understood when standing alone, and when read within the context surrounding them, their meaning remains the same. Easily understood, and they are the basics of understanding, then accepting God’s grace. It is rather simple.
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 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? (Romans 10:13-14 KJV)
Once a person has given himself to the Lord, how could they possibly be lost? Could they sin enough? Why would being bad enough do it when being good enough isn’t possible? Salvation cannot be earned. Once saved, how can someone be lost?
Wait, I know what examples you are going to give of specific church members who turned their back on God and returned to a life of sinfulness, quite satisfied to remain there. First of all, church membership is not required for salvation. Good works are not required for salvation either, but James connects the two in a positive way:
Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (James 2:17-18 KJV)
The deeper we go in faith, the more fruit of the spirit we will display.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 KJV)
Where does faith originate?
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17 KJV)