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J_Edwards #756 Fri Jun 28, 2002 4:57 PM
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Dear Joe,


You wrote:
"Now the last time I checked I am of this world and any powers I use here (including my will) are used here in this world, but since as YOU SAY no power on earth may drag me away, thus once saved how could I ever be lost, since NO POWER on earth can drag me away???? Your own argument defeats you."

Incorrect. Since the definition of "force" is "To produce with effort and against one's will." Your own will can't drag you against your own will; that's just playing word games.

You wrote:
"So now you have God changing His mind, changing our names, changing our eternal state, changing His elective plans which are perfect and which were there before the foundation of the world. You know you DENY so many of God’s attributes it is no wonder you deny Him as Lord as well, for how could you believe in a God that apparently in your theology is constantly unable to make a decision that will stick……"

If you have such trouble with God recanting a previous decision, then I suggest you read Exodus 32. If God chooses to punish an apostate by removing his name from His book after the fact and not before, I have nothing to say against Him. I do not make God out to be a puppet any more than you make Him a roulette wheel that saves and damns people in a seemingly chaotic fashion.

In response to:
"Now to ease your understanding look back over what I said. If you THINK this verse has reference to the SAVED then look at Dabney’s illustration I gave in the other post (which of course you failed to understand, as John 3 say you will not see until.), but if you think it is to the UNSAVED then they "never had a part in the first place." This last statement was to show you that the verse in question could NOT be speaking about lost people (as you seemed to see from your own analysis of it). Thus, since it CANNOT be in reference to the lost person, but the saved alone, and since the saved can not be lost, Dabney’s explanation is clear as it gets. Sorry I did not make this clearer for you in the original post."

Yes, it is quite correct that the verse in question could only be referring to either the saved or the unsaved elect, for no one else's name is in the book of life (Revelation 13:8), and therefore no one else has a part in the holy city (Revelation 21:27). But your while your conclusion is based on a valid argument, its one of the premises is false. You reason:

1. it CANNOT be in reference to the lost person, but the saved alone
2. the saved can not be lost

Therefore Dabney's exlanation (that this is a warning against an event which can not occur, it is simply to persuade a believer to persevere) must be correct.

But the second premise is incorrect. There is no part in scripture that states that a man who is saved can never become lost again. There are in fact, several passages that make reference to that possibility, and some that speak of it as alredy having happened (such as Hebrews 6).

You also wrote:
"And again you exalt one of God’s attributes above another, for God is also a judge. Josh GOD IS MORE THAN LOVE! He is more than the sum total of all His attributes. He is the I AM! He does not change and will not change. He will not exalt one attribute of His above another though at times we may see one attribute more fully than at other times."

The only fear that God teaches is a healthy fear of Him (which all men should), and fear of damnation to the wicked. God is a judge as well. Okay. Why does that make Him teach fear all of a sudden? God does not teach fear of damnation to those that believe (though He does warn us), for His love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). To say otherwise is not emphasizing another attribute, but denying what His love does.

But consider this, if God's purpose in speaking this passage was to make believers fear that they would possibly lose their salvation so that they would endure, then am I not enforcing God's purpose by trying to persuade Christians that this warning applies to them and they should take it seriously lest they fall? Conversely, are you not going against God's purpose by sayihg that believers can be assured that this could not actually happen to them? Just a thought.


In Christ,
Josh

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Dear Joe,<br><br>I thought these passages were fairly self-evident, there is nothing in them that contradicts what I believe. But if you have some reason to believe that they make my points invalid, then just post it.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh

lazarus #758 Fri Jun 28, 2002 5:13 PM
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Dear Lazarus,<br><br>Thank you for your response. I have actually responded to this assertion at length on the post "characteristics of sheep." You can join our discussion there if you like.<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh

#759 Fri Jun 28, 2002 5:54 PM
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Please Josh:
(please excuse the Greek below it did not come out)

Now you are taking what I have said OUT OF CONTEXT. I WROTE: "Now the last time I checked I am of this world and any powers I use here (including my will) are used here in this world, but since as YOU SAY no power on earth may drag me away, thus once saved how could I ever be lost, since NO POWER on earth can drag me away???? Your own argument defeats you." but that was in response to this statement of yours having NOTHING to do with initial salvation. I said:
Quote
So again you assert man’s free-will above God’s sovereignty. Josh you speak from both sides of your mouth…..you say God guarantees security from any power in the world that might try to drag us away from Christ (see Romans 8:38-39) and then in the same breath say this does not guarantee that a believer cannot walk away from God . Now the last time I checked I am of this world and any powers I use here (including my will) are used here in this world, but since as YOU SAY no power on earth may drag me away, thus once saved how could I ever be lost, since NO POWER on earth can drag me away???? Your own argument defeats you.

and NOW YOU RESPOND:

Incorrect. Since the definition of "force" is "To produce with effort and against one's will." Your own will can't drag you against your own will; that's just playing word games.</font color=red>

If your only defense is to take things out of context than the Arminian in you but treads into the deep waters of the abyss.

If you have such trouble with God recanting a previous decision, then I suggest you read Exodus 32. If God chooses to punish an apostate by removing his name from His book after the fact and not before, I have nothing to say against Him. I do not make God out to be a puppet any more than you make Him a roulette wheel that saves and damns people in a seemingly chaotic fashion.</font color=red>

There’s nothing chaotic about election, only the Arminian view of it which makes God a puppet in the hands of sinful man [Linked Image]

As far as Exod 32:

Quote
Yet when we talk about God being unchanging in His purposes, we may wonder about places in Scripture where God said he would judge His people and then because of prayer or the individual repentance (or both) God relented and did not bring judgment as He had said He would. But, we must ask ourselves here, “Is God completely changing His mind or is He merely executing what already was apart of His purpose?” In other words we may say, “Is not this how God normally responds to true prayer and repentance?” The later of course is a better understanding of God and His attributes.


Examples of such withdrawing from threatened judgment include the successful intervention of Moses in prayer to prevent the destruction of the people of Israel (Exod 32:9-14), the deliverance of Lot (Gen 18-19), and the evangelism of Jonah at Ninevah (Jonah 3). Many point to one place in Scripture and say here God definitely changed His mind. The specific verses are those in the Old Testament concerning the life of Hezekiah.

We remember the fact that Isaiah approached Hezekiah with the word of the Lord saying, “Set thine house in order: for thou shalt die, and not live” (Isa 38:1). Hezekiah then prayed and God added another fifteen years to his life (Isa 38:2-5). Now did God actually change His mind? No! There are several factors here to understand.

1. Hezekiah repented and thus God acted in normal response to repentance and prayer.
2. Three years after Hezekiah was given this fifteen year extension to his life he had a son—Manasseh (2 Kings 21:1).
3. Hezekiah and Manasseh both were in the lineage of Christ (Mat 1:9-10):

Matthew 1:9-10 And Ozias begat Joatham; and Joatham begat Achaz; and Achaz begat Ezekias ; And Ezekias begat Manasses ; and Manasses begat Amon; and Amon begat Josias;

4. But, Christ was foreordained and predestined to be born before the foundation of the world (1 Pet 1:19-20):<br><br>1 Peter 1:19-20 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

5. Thus, since Christ had to be born, so did Manasseh (Greek—Manassess), thus God did not change His mind, but rather moved circumstances still consistent with His Being to a place where Hezekiah would change his mind.
Quote
God is consistent with His character.

Heb 6 does not speak of people who were once lost and then saved:
Quote
The Hebrews Rejecting Full Revelation

Hebrews 6:1-8 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

People can go to church for years and hear the gospel over and over again, even be faithful church members, and never really make a commitment to Jesus Christ. That kind of person is addressed here. The writer is specifically talking to Jews who had heard the gospel and not accepted Christ as Savior and Lord, but the warning applies to anyone, Jew or Gentile. All who know the truth of God’s saving grace in Jesus Christ, who perhaps have seen it change the lives of many of their friends and family members, who may even have made some profession of faith in Him, yet turn around and walk away from full acceptance, are given the severest possible warning. Persistent rejection of Christ may result in such persons’ passing the point of no return spiritually, of losing forever the opportunity of salvation. That is what always happens to one who is indecisive. He eventually follows his evil heart of unbelief and turns his back forever on the living God.

Such people often have adopted a form of Christianity, but they do not have the reality of it. Jesus says of them, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:21-23). This is the issue here in the parenthetical statement to unbelievers from the writer of Hebrews.

Unlike a knife, truth becomes sharper with use, which for truth comes by acceptance and obedience. A truth that is heard but not accepted and followed becomes dull and meaningless. The more we neglect it, the more immune to it we become. By not accepting the gospel when it was still “news,” these first century Jews had begun to grow indifferent to it and had become spiritually sluggish, neglectful, and hard.

Because of the disuse of their knowledge of the gospel, they now could not bring themselves to make the right decision about it. They were, in fact, in danger of making a desperately wrong decision, of turning around because of pressure and persecution and completely going back to Judaism.

That was the situation the unbelieving Jews faced, and it is the theme of 5:11-14. Spiritually they were growing dull, hard, and stupid. The solution is given to them in chapter 6. Actually the key that unlocks the door of understanding Hebrews 6:1-8 is found in Hebrews 5:12-14:

Hebrews 5:12-14 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. 14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

Hebrews 5:13 pa`" ga;r oJ metevcwn gavlakto" a[peiro" lovgou dikaiosuvnh", nhvpio" gavr ejstin:<br><br>What is the meaning of babe?

3516. nhvpio", nepios; of unc. or.; an infant, fig. a simple-minded or immature person:— child(5), childish(1), children(2), immature(1), infant(1), infants(4)

One may ask what type of infant this refers to. After all if one is born again is he/she not an infant in Christ? Yes, but that is not the infant in view here. Notice this infant is childish, immature, and unable to discern anything of value. A better way to understand the meaning of nepios here is to see its use in Job 3:16 “Or as an hidden untimely birth I had not been; as infants which never saw light.” The LXX reveals its Greek text as:

Job 3:16 h] w{sper e[ktrwma ejkporeuovmenon ejk mhvtra" mhtro;" h] w{sper nhvpioi, oi} oujk ei\don fw`".<br><br>The child in view is not even born. It has NOT seen the light (symbolically the eternal light) of day. The text speaks of a stillborn child, not one that has actually been born. Job literally states that in Job 3:11, “Why died I not from the womb? why did I not give up the ghost when I came out of the belly?” Thus, the Hebrews we are discussing here are not saved! They are in danger of being stillborn, of dieing within the womb and never approaching eternal life. Now on with our text:<br><br>Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.
The key ideas are leaving and let us go on unto perfection, and are really two parts of the same idea. Together they are the first step in these Jews’ becoming spiritually mature. They had to leave once and for all their ties with the Old Covenant, with Judaism, and accept Jesus Christ as Savior. They should do it immediately, without further hesitation. The maturity that salvation brings is not a process. It is an instantaneous miracle. The maturity about which this passage is talking is that of leaving the ABCs of the Old Covenant to come to the full revelation and blessing of the New.

Leaving in the Greek is aphieµmi, which means to forsake, to put away, let alone, disregard, put off. It refers to total detachment, total separation, from a previous location or condition. The Expositor’s Greek Testament translates Hebrews 6:1, “Let us abandon [give up] the elementary teaching about Christ.” Alford comments, “Therefore ... leaving (as behind, and done with; in order to go on to another thing).”

In 1 Corinthians 7, Paul uses aphieµmi in speaking of a Christian husband’s not sending away (that is, divorcing) his unbelieving wife. Divorce is total marital separation, complete abandonment of the relationship. It is wrong in relation to marriage but mandatory in relation to leaving Judaism for Christ. The unbelieving Jew must completely divorce himself from his former religion before he can be saved.

The same Greek word is often used of forgiveness of sins (as in Matt. 9:2, 5, 6; Rom. 4:7; and James 5:15). When we are forgiven, our sins are put away from us, separated from us, divorced from us. In Matthew 15:14 the same term is used to speak of separating ourselves from false teachers, and in Mark 1:20 it is used of James’s and John’s leaving their father, Zebedee, in order to follow Jesus. As far as their life’s work was concerned, they abandoned, completely separated themselves from, their father and his fishing business.

The principles of the doctrine (elementary principles is a closer translation of the Greek) of Christ (Messiah) that the unbelieving Jews were to leave was the Old Testament teaching about Him-another indication that it is not immature Christians (babes) that are being addressed. We are never to leave the basics, the elementary teachings, of the gospel, no matter how mature we grow in the faith. Remember, the issue here is not that of growing in spiritual maturity as a Christian, but of coming into the first stage of spiritual maturity by becoming a Christian. It is a matter of dropping, leaving, putting away, that which we have been holding onto and taking up something entirely new. Therefore it can only be a reference to unbelievers, because at no time does the Word of God suggest that a Christian drop the basics of Christianity and go on to something else.

It is the provisions and principles of the Old Covenant, of Judaism, that are to be dropped. It is not a question of adding to what one has. It is a question of abandoning what you have for something else. This is precisely what the Holy Spirit asked the Hebrews to do-to abandon the shadows, the types, the pictures, and the sacrifices of the old economy and come to the reality of the New Covenant in Jesus Christ. A paraphrase could be, “Leave the pictures of the Messiah and go on to the Messiah Himself,” or “Drop the Old Covenant and accept the New.”<br><br>INCOMPLETE OLD TESTAMENT FEATURES<br><br>The foundation, the Old Covenant, had six features that are pointed out in verses 1-2. These are: repentance from dead works, faith toward God, instruction about washings, laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. These are not, as is often interpreted, elementary Christian truths that are to be abandoned in order to go on to maturity. They are Old Testament concepts. To be sure, they pointed to the gospel, but they are not themselves part of the gospel.

REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS

Repentance from dead works is turning away from evil deeds, deeds that bring death.
Hebrews 9:13-14 For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh: How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?

Ezekiel 18:4 Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. <br><br>In the New Testament the truth is expressed as, “The wages of sin is death” (Rom. 6:23).

The Old Testament taught that a man should repent and turn from his evil works that brought about death. But this Old Testament pattern is only the first half of repentance. Men only knew that they were to turn away from evil works and turn toward God. That was the whole doctrine they knew. What they HAD NOT done was turn to a Saviour, the Saviour, our Lord Jesus Christ.

In John the Baptist’s preaching, and even in Jesus’ own early ministry, the basic message was, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2; 4:17). Only repentance was preached. Turn from evil toward God. But the doctrine of repentance becomes mature, complete, in Jesus Christ. Paul reminded the elders of the Ephesian church of this;

Acts 20:21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, AND faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. <br><br>In his defense before King Agrippa, Paul mentioned that he had to repent and turn to God;<br><br>Acts 26:20 But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

But, he went on to explain that the focus of this message was Jesus Christ and His work of salvation;

Acts 26:23 That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

It no longer did any good simply to turn from evil works toward God. A person could come to God only through Jesus Christ.

Now that the New Covenant is in effect, repentance is meaningless without faith in Jesus Christ.

John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

A person who, no matter how sincerely, seeks to repent of his sins and turn to God apart from Christ will never reach God. Jesus Christ is the only way to Himself that God has provided.<br><br>Repentance from dead works is simply turning from evil, and is an important and wonderful truth of the Old Testament. But it is not complete. It is fulfilled, made effective, only by a person’s also coming to Jesus Christ in faith. An incomplete dealing with sin must be abandoned for a complete one.

FAITH TOWARD GOD

The meaning of faith toward God has already been touched on. It does no good at all today to have faith in God unless there is also faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, who is the only way to God. Peter said, <br><br>Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

There is no acceptable repentance apart from faith in Christ. The only repentance that “leads to life” is that which is related to belief in Jesus Christ (Acts 11:17-18). The only faith toward God that is now acceptable is faith in God the Son. There is no way to the Father except through the Son

The Old Testament taught repentance from dead works and faith toward God. The New Testament teaches repentance in faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ, the only Way to God. The distinction is clear. The Jews addressed in this letter believed in God; but they were not saved. Their repentance from works and faith toward God, no matter how sincere it may have been, could not bring them to God without Christ.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

INSTRUCTION ABOUT WASHINGS

The King James translation (“doctrine of baptisms”) is misleading, especially since everywhere else, including Hebrews 9:10, the same Greek word (baptismos) is translated washings. It is not baptizoµ, which is always used for the ordinance of baptism. It may have been that the King James translators assumed this passage was addressed to Christians, in which case “baptisms” might be appropriate. But the use here of baptismos rather than baptizoµ is another strong indication that the passage is not addressed to Christians.

Hebrews 9:10 Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.

Every Jewish home had a basin by the entrance for family and visitors to use for ceremonial cleansings, of which there were many. It is these washings that the readers are told to abandon and forget. Even the Old Testament predicted that one day its ceremonial cleansings would be replaced by a spiritual one that God Himself would give:

Ezekiel 36:25 Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.

The old washings were many, physical, symbolic, and temporary; the new washing is once, spiritual, real, and permanent. It is the wonderful, effective, and eternal as Paul tells us in:

Titus 3:5 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

It is the being born (regeneration) of water and the spirit that Jesus told Nicodemus was necessary for entrance into the kingdom (John 3:5).

LAYING ON OF HANDS

This laying on of hands has nothing to do with the apostolic practices (Acts 5:18; 6:6; 8:17; 1 Tim. 4:14; etc.). Under the Old Covenant the person who brought a sacrifice had to put his hands on it, to symbolize his identification with it;<br><br>Leviticus 1:4 And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him.

Leviticus 3:8 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of his offering, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and Aaron’s sons shall sprinkle the blood thereof round about upon the altar.

Leviticus 3:13 And he shall lay his hand upon the head of it, and kill it before the tabernacle of the congregation: and the sons of Aaron shall sprinkle the blood thereof upon the altar round about.

Our identification with Jesus Christ does not come by putting our hands on Him; it comes by the Spirit’s baptizing us into union with Him by faith. “Forget the teaching about laying hands on the Temple sacrifices,” the writer is telling these immature Jews. “Lay hold of Christ by putting your trust in Him.”

RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD

The Old Testament doctrine of resurrection is not clear or complete. We learn of life after death and of rewards for the good and punishment for the wicked-and not much more about resurrection than this. From Job, for instance, we learn that resurrection will be bodily, and not just spiritual;<br><br>Job 19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: <br><br>There is little else that we can learn of it from the Old Testament. In the New Testament, of course, resurrection is one of the major and most detailed doctrines. It is the theme of apostolic preaching. It comes to fullness in the very Person of Jesus Christ, who said, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). The resurrection body is described in considerable detail in 1 Corinthians 15; and in 1 John 3:2 we are told, “We shall be like Him, because we shall see Him just as He is.” The writer of Hebrews is simply saying, Why should anyone be content with trying to understand the resurrection from the limited and vague teachings of the Old Testament?

ETERNAL JUDGMENT<br><br>We can learn little more from the Old Testament about final judgment than what is given in Ecclesiastes: <br>Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. <br><br>Punishment would come to the wicked and blessing to the good.

Again in the New Testament, however, we are told a great deal about eternal judgment-much more than many people like to hear. We know what is going to happen to believers. “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). We will have to stand before the Lord and have our work judged-for reward or lack of reward-but we ourselves will not be judged (1 Cor. 3:12-15). We also know what is going to happen to unbelievers. We know about the judgment of the sheep and goats (Matt. 25:31-46), and the judgment of the great white throne (Rev. 20:11-15). We know that to Jesus Christ has been committed all judgment (John 5:21-29). We know this and much more about judgment from the New Testament.

The point of Hebrews 6:1-2 is simply saying that the unbelieving Jews should let go completely of the immature, elementary shadows and symbols of the Old Covenant and take hold of the mature and perfect reality of the New.<br><br>The Holy Spirit is calling for them to leave the:
1. ABCs of repentance from dead works <br>a. for the New Testament teaching of repentance toward God and new life in Christ.
2. Leave the ABC s of faith toward God <br>a. for faith in the Person of Jesus Christ.
3. Leave the ABC s of ceremonial washings <br>a. for the cleansing of the soul by the Word.
4. Leave the ABCs of laying hands on the sacrifice <br>a. for laying hold of the Lamb of God by faith.
5. Leave the ABCs of the resurrection of the dead <br>a. for the full and glorious resurrection unto life. <br>6. Leave the ABCs of eternal judgment <br>a. for the full truth of judgment and rewards as revealed in the New Covenant.

These six doctrines were the basics of Judaism that were to be laid aside in favor of the better things that come in Christ. The Old Testament is incomplete. It is true. It is of God. It was a necessary part of His revelation and of His plan of salvation for man. But it is only partial revelation, and is not sufficient. Judaism is abrogated. Judaism is nullified. It is no longer a valid expression of worship or of obedience to God. It must be abandoned.<br><br>THE POWER<br><br>Hebrews 6:3 And this will we do, if God permit. <br>Interpreting this verse is difficult, despite its brevity and simplicity. We will look at it from two angles.<br>Some interpreters believe we is an editorial reference of the writer to himself. He is saying;<br><br>1. “I will go on and teach you what you need to know if God permits me,” or <br><br>2. “You will go on to maturity if God permits.”<br><br>I believe that both interpretations could be correct. They are not mutually exclusive and are consistent with the rest of Hebrews. The writer could be referring to himself as Paul referred to himself in the context of Romans 9:1-5 saying;

I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen. <br><br>Notice Paul’s desire was intense, but then Paul goes forth to explain Election and Predestination (basically saying even his desire can not save or change another and it is only If God permit…..), or, as Paul in

2 Corinthians 3:12-18, speaking to Christians, but still an example….;

Seeing then that we have such hope, we use great plainness of speech: And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished: But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Both service (the writer’s going on to teach) and salvation (the readers’ going on to spiritual maturity in Christ) must be energized by the Holy Spirit (if God permits) if they are to be effective and fruitful.

Everything revolves around the permission of God. Need for divine enablement is the point. <br><br>2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God;

James 4:13-15 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: 14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
“No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44). By teacher and seeker alike, God’s sovereignty should be recognized.

FIVE GREAT ADVANTAGES<br><br>Hebrews 6:4-5 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

The Hebrews being addressed here had five great advantages, which are summarized in these two verses.<br><br>THEY HAD BEEN ENLIGHTENED

First of all, we should notice that this passage makes no reference at all to salvation. There is no mention of justification, sanctification, the new birth, or regeneration. Those who were once enlightened are not spoken of as born again, made holy, or made righteous. None of the normal New Testament terminology for salvation is used. In fact, no term used here is ever used elsewhere in the New Testament for salvation, and none should be taken to refer to it in this passage.

The enlightenment spoken of here has to do with intellectual perception of spiritual, biblical truth. In the Septuagint, the Greek word is translated “to give light by knowledge or teaching.” It means to be mentally aware of something, to be instructed, informed. It carries no connotation of response-of acceptance or rejection, belief or disbelief.

When Jesus first came to Galilee to minister, He declared that He had come to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah 9:1-2, which, in part, reads,

Matthew 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up. <br><br>All who saw and heard Jesus saw this “great light,” but not all who saw and heard were saved. Seeing God’s light and accepting it are not the same. Those people in Galilee, as all people who hear the gospel, were to some extent or other enlightened (theologically this is called Common Grace, i.e. it rains on the just and unjust the same (Mat 5:45), as compared to Special Grace, which saves the soul, i.e. 1 Tim 4:10); but, judging by the biblical accounts, few of them believed in Jesus. They had natural knowledge, factual information (Romans 1:19-20). They saw Christ, they heard His message from His own lips, they saw His miracles with their own eyes. They had firsthand opportunity to see God’s truth incarnate, an opportunity that only a few thousand people in all of history have had. The Light of the gospel had personally broken in on their darkness (cf. John 12:35-36). Life for them could never be the same again. Their lives were permanently affected by the indelible impression Jesus must have made on them. Yet many, if not most, of them did not believe in Him (cf. John 12:37-40).

John 1:1-13 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness (Common Grace); and the darkness comprehended it not. There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light (Common Grace), that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light. That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world (both Special and Common Grace, some are saved, other are not). He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him (Special Grace), to them gave he power to become the sons of God (Special Grace), even to them that believe on his name(Special Grace) : Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God(Special Grace). <br><br>The same thing had happened to the Jews being addressed in Hebrews 6:1-8. They were enlightened but not saved. Consequently, they were in danger of losing all opportunity of being saved, and of becoming apostate. It is of such people that Peter speaks in his second letter;<br><br>2 Peter 2:20-21 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 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. Because of their unbelief, the light that was given to save them became a judgment against them.

THEY HAD TASTED OF THE HEAVENLY GIFT

This group not only had seen the heavenly light but had tasted of the heavenly gift. The heavenly gift could be one of several things. The Holy Spirit is spoken of in Scripture as a heavenly gift, but, since He is mentioned in the next verse, I do not think He is the gift meant here. The greatest heavenly gift, of course, is Christ Himself (God’s “indescribable gift,” 2 Cor. 9:15) and the salvation He brought (Eph. 2:8). Christ’s salvation is the supreme heavenly gift, and no doubt the one referred to here.<br><br>This great gift, however, was not received. It was not feasted on, but only tasted, sampled. It was not accepted or lived, only examined. That stands in contrast with Jesus’ work on our behalf. Having tasted death for every man (Heb. 2:9), He went on to drink it all.

Hebrews 2:9-10 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (theological note: every in vs 9 refers to the many in verse 10, thus Christ tasted death for all those that shall be saved—the many, compare with Isa 53)<br>Jesus told the woman at Jacob’s well, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10). Jesus was speaking of the gift of salvation, the “living water” that leads to “eternal life” (v. 14). Those who drank it-not sipped it or just tasted it, but drank it-would be saved. A short time later in Galilee, Jesus told His hearers, “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats (not tastes) of this bread, he shall live forever” (John 6:51; cf. v. 35). Eternal life comes from eating, not simply tasting, God’s gift of salvation in Christ.

One of the pre-salvation ministries of the Holy Spirit is that of giving the unsaved a taste of the blessings of salvation. This is part of His ministry of drawing men to Christ. But tasting is not eating. The Holy Spirit will give us a taste, but He will not make us eat. God placed the blessing of salvation to the lips of these New Testament Jews, but they had not yet eaten. The tasting came from what they saw and heard, as many today have seen the transforming power of Christ and heard the gospel.

THEY HAD PARTAKEN OF THE HOLY SPIRIT<br><br>Partakers (Greek, metochos) has to do with association, NOT possession. These Jews had never possessed the Holy Spirit, they simply were around when He was around. This word is used of fellow fishermen in Luke 5:7;<

Luke 5:7 And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

and of Christ in relation to the angels in Hebrews 1:9;<br>Hebrews 1:9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.

It has to do with sharing in common associations and events. In the context of Hebrews 6:4, it refers to anyone who has been where the Holy Spirit has been ministering. It is possible to have an association with the Holy Spirit, to share in what He does, and not be saved. As we have seen (2:4) these Jews had heard the word and had seen and even participated in numerous signs, wonders, miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit. They were actually involved in some of His work.

If I may make a play on words here: They became PART TAKERS and not WHOLE TAKERS of the Holy Spirit (an easy way to remember it).

The Bible never speaks of Christians being associated with the Holy Spirit. It speaks of the Holy Spirit being within them. Here, however, are some persons who are simply associated with the Holy Spirit. Like perhaps most of the multitudes whom Jesus miraculously healed and fed, they partook of the Holy Spirit’s power and blessings, but they did not have His indwelling. They did not possess the Holy Spirit, nor did the Holy Spirit possess them.

THEY HAD TASTED THE WORD OF GOD<br><br>Again these readers are spoken of as having tasted something of God, this time His word. The Greek term used here for word (rhema which emphasizes the parts rather than the whole) is not the usual one (logos) for God’s Word, but it fits the meaning in this context. As with His heavenly gifts, they had heard God’s utterances and sampled them, tasted them, without actually eating them. They had been taught about God. No doubt they regularly came to the assembly of the church. They may have listened carefully and even thought carefully about what they heard. They took it all in, possibly with enthusiasm and appreciation. But they could not say with Jeremiah;

Jeremiah 15:16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.

They tasted but they did not eat, just like the nation to whom Jeremiah spoke.

Herod was like this. In spite of the prophet’s hard message, including accusations directly against the king, Herod enjoyed listening to John the Baptist preach (Mark 6:20). He was perplexed but fascinated by this dynamic preacher. He liked to sample the message of God. But when pressed into decision, he forsook God’s man and God’s message. He reluctantly, but willingly, agreed to have John beheaded. His taste of God’s Word only brought on him greater guilt.

Tasting is the first step to eating. It is not wrong to taste God’s Word. In fact David encourages that very thing.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth (eat, compare Jeremiah 15:16 above) in him.

To some degree, everyone must taste the gospel before he accepts it. The problem is stopping with tasting. Like so many who hear the gospel for the first time, these Jews were attracted to its beauty and sweetness. It tasted very good to them. But they did not chew it or swallow it, much less digest it. They just kept tasting. Before long, its appealing taste was gone and they became indifferent to it. Their spiritual tastebuds became insensitive and unresponsive.
Any person who has heard the gospel and perhaps made a profession of Christ, but who is uncertain of salvation, should take Paul’s advice in 2 Corinthians 13:5, “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” Such a person needs to learn if he has only tasted the gospel without eating it.

THEY HAD TASTED THE POWERS OF THE WORLD TO COME

The powers of the world to come is the future kingdom of God. The powers of the kingdom are miracle powers.

Hebrews 2:3-4 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; 4 God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will?

These Jews had seen the same kind of miracles that are going to come when Jesus brings in His earthly kingdom. They tasted them. They saw the apostles do signs and wonders like those that will be reproduced in the millennial kingdom of Jesus Christ. They saw miracle upon miracle. And the more they saw and tasted without receiving, the more their guilt increased. They were like those who saw Jesus Himself perform miracles. How hard it is to explain the hatred and unbelief of those who saw a resurrected Lazarus, who saw the blind given sight and the dumb given voices, and yet who rejected the One who did these marvels in front of their eyes. How guilty they will stand before God in the great white throne judgment.

These Jews had been wondrously blessed by God’s enlightenment, by association with His Holy Spirit, and by tasting of His heavenly gifts, His Word, and His power. Still they did not believe.<br><br>A FOURTH WARNING

Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Still speaking to the unsaved who have heard the truth and acknowledged it, but who have hesitated to embrace Christ, the Holy Spirit gives a fourth warning, the crux of 6:1-8. Summarized, the warning is: “You had better come to Christ now, for if you fall away it will be impossible for you to come again to the point of repentance.” They were at the best point for repentance-full knowledge. To fall back from that would be fatal.<br><br>Because they believe the warning is addressed to Christians, many interpreters hold that the passage teaches that salvation can be lost.If this interpretation were true, however, the passage would also teach that,once lost, salvation could never be regained. If, after being saved,a person lost his salvation, he would be damned forever. There would be no going back and forth, in and out of grace.

But Christians are not being addressed, and it is the opportunity for receiving salvation, not salvation itself, that can be lost. The believer need never fear he will lose his salvation. He cannot. The Bible is absolutely clear about that. Jesus said;<br><br>John 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

Paul is equally clear.

Romans 8:35-39 Who (rhetorical question, he goes on to say no one and nothing can) shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, 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, (NOTHING) shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. <br><br>Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: <br><br>We receive “an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,” (1 Peter 1:4) and are “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (vs 5). If the power of God cannot keep us, nothing is dependable or trustworthy or worth believing in. A Christian has no reason at any point in his life to believe that his salvation is or can be lost. If by Christ’s death we can be saved, certainly by His life of power and intercession we can be kept saved (Rom. 5:10).<br><br>Romans 5:10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. <br><br>It is unbelievers who are in danger of losing salvation-in the sense of losing the opportunity ever to receive it. The unbelieving Jews were in great danger, because of their spiritual immaturity and sluggishness, of turning back to Judaism and of never being able to repent and come to Christ. They would be lost forever, because they had rejected, at the most vital point in knowledge and conviction, the only gospel that could save them. There is no other salvation message they could hear, no evidence of the truth of the gospel they had not seen.<br><br>These particular Jews had even heard the apostles preach and had seen them perform signs and wonders and miracles (Heb. 2:4). They had been privileged to behold virtually all the manifestations of His saving Word and power that God could give. They had heard it all and seen it all. They even had accepted it all intellectually. Any who are so informed, so witnessed to, so blessed with every opportunity to know God’s gospel, and who then turn their backs on it-for Judaism or anything else-are eternally lost. They not only reject the gospel, but crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. They had either to go on to full knowledge of God through faith in Christ or else turn away from Him, to become apostate and be lost forever. There was no other alternative.

Some have translated adunatos (impossible) in 6:6 as “difficult.” But it is clear even from other passages in Hebrews that such a translation is unjustified. The same Greek word is used in 6:18 (“It is impossible for God to lie”), in 10:4 (“It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins”), and in 11:6 (“Without faith it is impossible to please Him”). All three of these passages would be nonsense if “impossible” were changed to “difficult.” The harsh finality of the danger cannot be escaped or minimized.
A vaccination immunizes by giving a very mild case of the disease. A person who is exposed to the Gospel can get just enough of it to immunize him against the real thing. The longer he continues to resist it, <br>whether graciously or violently, the more he becomes immune to it. His spiritual system becomes more and more unresponsive and insensitive. His only hope is to reject what he is holding onto and receive Christ without delay-lest he become so hard, often without knowing it, that his opportunity is forever gone.

To renew means to restore, to bring back to an original condition. The original condition of these Jews was that of excitement about the Gospel when they first heard it. It was beautiful. They had moved from Judaism right up to the edge of Christianity, evidently even to repentance. They had turned from their old ways. They had tried to turn from their sin. They had begun to turn toward God. They had come all the way up to the edge of salvation. All the revelation God had He had given them. There was nothing else He could say or do. If they fell away they did so with an evil heart of unbelief and they did it against full revelation. They had the advantage of having been raised under the Old Covenant and they had heard and seen all the beauty and perfection of the New. If they now fell away from that, if they now departed from the living God, there was no hope that they could ever be restored to the place where the gospel was fresh, where the gospel taste was sweet, where repentance was a proper response. They could never get back there. When one rejects Christ at the peak experience of knowledge and conviction, he will not accept at a lesser level. So salvation becomes impossible.

They could not return because they had crucified to themselves the Son of God, and put Him to open shame. To themselves simply means that, as far as they were concerned, the Son of God deserved to be crucified. Regardless of what they may still have been professing openly and publicly, they now took their stand with the crucifiers. In their hearts they said, “That’s the same verdict we give.” They had made trial of Jesus Christ and, with all the evidence possible, they decided He was not the true Messiah. They had turned around and gone back to Judaism. To them Jesus was an impostor and deceiver and got exactly what was coming to Him. They agreed with those who killed Jesus, and they put Him to an open shame again. Shame here connotes guilt. They declared openly that Jesus was guilty as charged.<br>When anyone has heard the gospel and then turns away, he has done exactly what these Jews did.

Though he would never take up a hammer and spikes and physically nail Jesus to a cross, he nevertheless agrees to Jesus’ crucifixion. He takes his place with the crucifiers. If this happens with full light, such a person has become an apostate, and for him salvation is forever out of reach. He has rejected Jesus Christ against the full light and power of the gospel. He is incurably anti-God, and for him is reserved the hottest hell. He takes his place with Judas, who walked and talked and ate and fellowshipped with God incarnate, yet finally rejected Him. “Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” (Heb. 10:29).

It is dangerously self-deceptive for a person to think that, by staying on the sidelines, by holding off deciding, by thinking himself tolerant of the gospel simply because he does not outwardly oppose it, that he is safe. The longer one stays on the edge the more he leans toward the old life. Staying there too long inevitably results in falling away from the gospel forever. It may not be, and often is not, a conscious decision against Christ. But it is a decision and it is against Christ. When a person goes away from Him in full light, he places Him on the cross again, in his own heart, and puts himself forever out of the Lord’s reach.

How terribly serious it is to reject Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 6:7-8 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

Do you see the illustration?
1. All those who hear the gospel are like the earth.
2. The rain falls on all the gospel message is heard.
a. (Common and Special Grace are present, see above),
3. The gospel seed is planted and there is nourishment and growth.
a. Some of the growth is beautiful and good and productive (Special Grace).
i. It is that which is planted, rooted, and nourished in God.
b. But some of the growth is false, spurious, and unproductive (Common Grace).
i. It has come from the same seed and has been nourished by the same ground and the same water, but has become
1. thorny (beareth thorns and briers)
2. worthless (nigh unto cursing)
ii. It has rejected the life offered it and become good only for burning.</blockquote>


The only fear that God teaches is a healthy fear of Him (which all men should), and fear of damnation to the wicked. God is a judge as well. Okay. Why does that make Him teach fear all of a sudden? God does not teach fear of damnation to those that believe (though He does warn us), for His love casts out fear (1 John 4:18). To say otherwise is not emphasizing another attribute, but denying what His love does.


[color:#CC0000]GLAD TO SEE YOU FINALLY AGREE
God does not teach fear of damnation to those that believe (though He does warn us), for His love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).

And all those that truly believe will be secure for they are in the hand of God--NO POWER--being able to remove them.....unless of course you believe in a God that is less powerful than mankind.


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#760 Fri Jun 28, 2002 10:04 PM
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Josh,<br><br>First of all I want to apologize to you for the remarks I made in my previous reply. I didn’t mean to sound so condescending. I think you are sincere in what you believe even though I disagree with your conclusions. I should not be so humored by your thoughts. It’s just that your argument is so contrary to what the Bible teaches about perserverance. Your idea that a man who is truely born again spiritually would actually walk away from God and His grace blows my mind. How can one have any confidence in their salvation when it depends on themselves? You just can’t build sound doctrine by interpreting one or two verses that disagree with a larger body of Scripture. <br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>A "works righteousness?" I don't understand, please elaborate. But yes, I do believe that man has the ability to either accept or reject Jesus Christ. I do not believe that a man can come to God of his own free will, unless God draws him first.<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>The distinction here is that I believe that I am saved by grace alone and you are stating that you believe that we are saved by grace and works. For example your "acceptance" as you define it is something that God waits for you to do. You elaborated on this in the following paragraph as well...<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>"There is plenty that one can do to affect one's salvation. Read Acts 2:40 (save yourselves from this wicked generation), Hebrews 4:11 (let us labor to enter into His rest), and 2 Peter 1:5-10 to read how to make your calling and election sure. Let me emphasize, I do not believe in salvation by works, merit, or keeping of the law. But there are conditions which God has placed upon us if we are to receive (and retain) this precious gift"<p><hr></blockquote><p><br>These conditions as you describe them are what I would call works. If you were to describe them as the result of salvation rather than a condition to be saved I might be inclined to agree with you.<br><br>There are many passages that teach that those who are truly born again, who are genuinely Christians, will continue in the Christian life until death and will then go to be with Christ in heaven. In John 6:38-40 Jesus says, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."<br><br>It seems clear that everyone who truly believes in Christ will remain a Christian up to the day of final resurrection into the blessed life in the presence of God. As verse 39 states He should lose nothing of all that the Father has given Him. <br><br>Arminians have objected that “eternal life” is simply a quality of life, a type of life in relationship with God, which one can have for a time and lose it. The Hebrews 6 passage that you’ve chosen is one of those that Arminians use as a proof that believers can lose their salvation. But I don't believe that the person described there is a true believer. It's a sober warning and one that has been interpreted in different ways. But I don't believe a true Christian can lose their salvation. I think this Hebrews passage is describing an apostate. They appeared to be a Christian by their profession and participating in the life of the church but the fact that they fell away shows that their faith wasn't genuine and had no roots. <br><br>I know that Christ is all in all. Man is nothing: he has a free will to go to hell, but none to go to heaven, till God worketh in him to will and do His pleasure. Oh the excellency of the doctrine of election and of the saints' final perserverance! I am persuaded, till a man comes to believe and feel these important truths, he cannot come out of himself, but when convinced of these and assured of their application to his own heart, he walks by faith indeed.<br><br>Wes

Last edited by Wesley; Sat Jun 29, 2002 8:34 AM.

When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
#761 Fri Jun 28, 2002 10:37 PM
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All right let's clarify. you said: <blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>[color:blue]One of the characteristics of Christ's sheep are that they follow Christ. A person who is unregenerate (even if he/she is one of the elect) obviously does not follow Jesus before they come to Him. So your argument that you must be a sheep to respond to the call is invalid. I believe what it is actually saying is that those who love the Father (just as many under the Jewish law did), were Christ's sheep and would come to Him.</font color=blue><p><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>What I'm trying to state is that you are adding conditions to the term "sheep". <br><br>In John 10 Christ makes no such distinction.<br><blockquote>John 10:3-4<br>To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: <br>and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them <br>out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice</blockquote><br><br>The point is that they were His sheep (whatever their condition) in the first place, they come because He calls there is no other reason.<br><br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>[color:blue]Rest assured if I did see what you are saying, I would be hallucinating-- for there has not yet been a reply to my challenge that holds any water. If you don't believe me, read my rebuttals.</font color=blue><p><hr></blockquote><p> <br><br>As far as I can see you should patent that sieve because its useless (as are your rebuttals) for holding any water. there have been many replies most quite good. But you're like a kid with his fingers in his ears doing his best not to hear his parents commands, when they are calling out to him not to run into that freeway. You ought to rethink your position. <br>

#762 Sat Jun 29, 2002 12:10 AM
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Josh,<br><br>Others are doing a great job of pointing you to the Savior Who truly saves, with a strong hand and an outstretched arm. You would be wise to hear them, and lay down your arguments, which are now self-contradictory and, far worse, in open denial of God's glory in ordering our redemption from beginning to end.<br><br>How self-contradictory? You state: [color:red]He can save all who will hear Him. He does not need my help</font color=red>. On a quick reading, it sounds almost right. But that little word [color:red]will</font color=red> exposes your denial of your following statement. <br><br>You are saying: <br>God saves [color:red]those who will hear Him</font color=red>; the act of [color:red]willing to hear</font color=red> being, in your own view, totally contingent upon the creature, God being unable to overthrow the creature's will and remain the kind of God you hope Him to be; meaning that He absolutely DOES need your help, which, again, you want us (or maybe yourself?) to believe is not the case: witness your following sentence: [color:red]He does not need my help</font color=red>. <br><br>It seems you think you are doing the (un-)sovereign (un-)savior a huge favor, because (in your mind) He will be infinitely disappointed to have had you reject His suit. Of course, He must continue to be a little anxious until you "cross the finish line". Actually, what is to prevent you from rejecting Him in heaven, Josh? Will He override your will there? One begins to suspect that God should praise you eternally for doing the right thing to make Him happy.<br><br>This is what is coming across from your posts, Josh. Your distortion of the entire panoply of redemption, that <font class="big">[color:blue]God will save His people</font color=blue></font>, reminds me most of several conversations with local Jehovah's Witnesses, each of whom admitted that, in the final analysis, their security was directly contingent upon their performance. Which of course, in their denial of their own wretched, fallen condition, they somehow hoped they would be able to achieve.<br><br>I do pray that your eyes will be opened, Josh, to your utter need for a Savior, not one who waits, impotently, for you to accept or reject His suit of you, but One Who truly saves; so that you will be able to confidently state:<br><br>"My only comfort, in life and in death, is that I belong--body and soul, in life and in death--not to myself but to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ, who at the cost of his own blood has fully paid for all my sins and has completely freed me from the dominion of the devil; that he protects me so well that without the will of my Father in heaven not a hair can fall from my head; indeed, that everything must fit his purpose for my salvation. Therefore, by his Holy Spirit, he also assures me of eternal life, and makes me wholeheartedly willing and ready from now on to live for him."<br><br>That is the Comfort you so desperately require, Josh, and to which many are pointing you; not what you so glibly dismiss by implying that I am trying to get you to believe something on the mere grounds of "how good it makes me feel". <br>


In Christ,
Paul S
#763 Sat Jun 29, 2002 6:54 AM
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Please exegete/interpret in DETAIL Eph 1:4-13 and John 1:12, 13, for if Dabney and the rest of us are wrong, you must have a biblical interpretation of these that will further prove your point, or else we can determine your Revelation interpretation is incorrect????


Reformed and Always Reforming,
#764 Sat Jun 29, 2002 8:00 AM
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Josh,<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>You also mention John 10:27-30. You might also try Romans 8:38-39, they both make the same point:[color:red] God gives the believer security so that nothing in this world can force us away from the love of Christ.</font color=red> There is nothing in either of these passages or the whole of scripture that indicates that one cannot willfully walk away from God. The action indicated in such words as "pluck" or "separate" or "snatch" in these passages is "to take by force."[color:red] It gives me great comfort to know that nothing can force me away from God. </font color=red>But these say nothing about walking away willingly. In fact the scripture says much about those who have fallen away (read the beginning of Hebrews 6).<p><hr></blockquote><p><br><br><blockquote><br>Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? <br>8:36<br>As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." F22 <br>8:37<br>Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. <br>8:38<br>For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, <br>8:39<br>nor height nor depth, [color:red]nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.</blockquote></font color=red><br><br>OK Josh, here it is plain as day. <br>Nothing means nothing. Nothing includes yourself. You are a created thing, so this includes you or any other true Christian. <br>Nothing can separate us from the love of God, including yourself!<br>Edith Schaeffer told a story of a concentration camp where the prisoners were given their required ration of food each day, but unknown to the prisoners, they were also given castor oil in their food, so that the food could not nourish them. They died of malnourishment. The only ones who survived did so by getting access to the unadulterated food. This is exactly what is happening to you--you cannot "see" this truth because of the evil one's addition to the Word of God, making it completely ineffective to your mind. You are unable to understand what a marvelous truth this is. I pray the eyes of your understanding would be opened. You cannot see that you are adding a "Hath God said?" to every verse that is given you to prove that you are mistaken in your understanding.<br>Susan<br>

#765 Sat Jun 29, 2002 7:57 PM
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JoshT<br><br>Your wrote:<br><br>"But consider how I feel: I find it a little difficult to believe in a God that sees billions of people who will be born, all with an identical nature and all of them identical with respect as to how they would react to His life-changing power, and then He just goes and picks some. How? Did He shake them up in a giant bag and then just bestow His grace on whichever ones He randomly picked out?" <br><br>Your "feelings" are part of the sin problem, JoshT. How God 'picks' is His business...and He does so after His own wise counsel and good pleasure. PLUS...when you consider that God is no respector of persons (Acts 10:34)....unconditional election makes even more sense. <br><br>Also consider this with respect to anything taking us out of God's hands. <br><br>You say that NOTHING can take us out of God's hands, EXCEPT ourselves. <br><br>First, you've added a gross assumption to the clear and emphatic teaching of the text. I covered ALL THE BASES...nothing means nothing. <br><br>Second, if someone is born again, a new creature, justified, adopted by God, filled with the Spirit, etc....then SOMETHING, yes, SOMETHING must have been introduced into the equation to make a person CHANGE THEIR MIND/HEART/NATURE. So, can that mind changing 'something' be logic? Can that mind changing 'something' be temptation? Can it be regret? A better argument? Love of money? Sin? What can draws us from God. No, what's strong enough to PRY us out of an all-mighty God's hands? <br><br>God says NOTHING...but NOTHING can separate us from the love (and saving adoption) of God. The sheep are NOT fooled. They are not suckered. They are not cheated out of their inheritance. They do not reject their one and only Love....and if one in 100 'tried'...the Good Shepherd would bring them back.<br><br>In Him...FOREVER!!

#766 Mon Jul 01, 2002 11:30 AM
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Dear Susan,<br><br>Though it is the same God working throughout, you are right to think that there is some degree of difference between the two testaments. The Old Testament decreed destruction without mercy on any who disobeyed it --in the New Testament the stakes are even HIGHER! Whoever turns from the words spoken in it will only wish they had been stoned to death!<br><br>"He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of His covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite (lit. "insulted") unto the Spirit of grace?" (Hebrews 10:28-29)<br><br>"See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven..." (Hebrews 12:25)<br><br>Note that in chapter 10, Paul speaks of one who "hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of His covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing." We know that an unbeliever cannot be sanctified by Christ's blood, and so this must refer to a believer that has fully rejected Christ after he has been sanctified by Him. Also notice that Paul says in ch. 12, "if we neglect," not "if they neglect."<br><br>To begin with the scriptures you cited, 2 Corinthians 5:17 and 1 John 5:13 reveal some amazing truths about becoming a new creature in Christ and our eternal life in Him, but do not really say anything about their conditionality or the lack thereof. <br><br>You wrote:<br>"The Holy Spirit could be taken from a person in the Old Testament, but that is not possible now."<br><br>The NT never directly says whether the Holy Spirit can be taken from a person or not, but let's see what implication it gives:<br><br>"Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." (2 Corinthians 3:17)<br><br>Yet we also read:<br><br>"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?... [to the same people] Christ is become of no effect unto you [lit. "you are estranged from Christ"], whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." (Galatians 4:9 and 5:4)<br><br>Now as if "fallen from grace" isn't clear enough, note that many of these people who have been known of God were now departing from His Gospel of grace and putting themselves under the yoke of bondage, which was the Jewish law. If they had been known of God (4:9), then surely they received the seal of the Holy Ghost; but now many of them put themselves in spiritual bondage. But where God's Spirit is, there is liberty; so while there is not a NT passage stating that the Holy Spirit will depart from a person, I believe that this can be easily inferred from these passages.<br><br>As to John 17, Jesus prayer for His disciples was answered, and none of His disciples were lost except Judas. I do believe that in this prayer, Jesus was also praying for all believers; but the implication was not that He asked God to unconditionally prevent them from turning away, but rather to guard them from wickedness (the literal meaning for 'keep' here is 'to guard'). So this is not a guarantee that every single believer will endure to the end, but rather, that they will not be snatched away. So while I strongly affirm that nothing can force a believer out of God's saving grace, there is much scripture that attests to the fact that a redeemed person can depart from the living God. Consider this, why did Judas fall away? It was so the scripture might be fulfilled. But the scripture also foretells the apostasy of some now.<br><br>"Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils..." (1 Timothy 4:1)<br><br>1 Timothy 1:12 does make it clear that God is able to keep what we have committed to Him (namely, our spirits); but my rejection of unconditional security is not based on the idea that God is unable to keep us, it is based on the fact that if we do not hold onto Him, He will cast us away.<br><br>"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached the word to others, I myself should be a castaway (lit. unapproved, rejected, reprobate; some translators use 'disqualify,' but this is a liberal translation at best)." (1 Corinthians 9:27)<br><br>John 15 makes it clear that an apostate doesn't just slip out of God's reach all of a sudden, if he does not hear God (Zechariah 7:11) and lets his heart grow hard through the deceitfulness of sin (Hebrews 3:13), and refuses to repent (Revelation 2:21), then God will cut that individual off from Christ (John 15:2), Who is the source of eternal life (Colossians 3:4).<br><br>So I also believe that while God keeps us, our remaining in Him is contingent upon us holding fast to Him as well --but not by our own strength. I shall elaborate below.<br><br>You wrote:<br>"I would say that it doesn't depend on our ability to abide. We will abide because He is holding onto us, not the other way around. We will want to abide because we are His own."<br><br>Our ability to abide comes from God.<br><br>"Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." (1 Timothy 1:14)<br><br>If we are truly new creatures (as you referenced) who share in the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4), are given strength to do God's will by the Holy Ghost (see above), have Jesus abiding in our hearts (Matthew 28:20), and security from being snatched forcefully by the power of God the Father (John 10:29), then there is no reason why we should not abide. Some wilfully choose to turn aside after sin anyway (Hebrews 10:26).<br><br>You wrote:<br>"I disagree that the faith that was made shipwreck was a true saving faith."<br><br>If you do not believe that true saving faith can fail, note that some have "erred from the faith" (1 Timothy 6:10, and yes, "the" is also there in the Greek). When it speaks of not just faith, but "the faith," I can only assume it is a reference to the one true saving faith (Ephesians 4:5).<br><br>Let me give you something to consider. In 2 Peter chapter 2, Peter warns against false teachers that will arise. Vs. 1 says, "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."<br><br>The simple question is that if a saved person cannot be lost, then why does the word of God decree destruction on these men who were bought by the Lord?<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh

#767 Mon Jul 01, 2002 12:41 PM
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Dear Susan,<br><br>IRT:<br>"Nothing can separate us from the love of God, including yourself!"<br><br>As I stated previously, the meaning of "separate" in this passage specifically means to "pull apart by force." If something is by force, it is against the will. I can not force myself to do anything against my will, so I definitely cannot "separate" myself in the sense this passage speaks of. But as I have seen from the rest of scripture, this does not preclude me from departing from God of my own accord. Thus, no matter how passionately it is argued, this passage provides no evidence for unconditional perseverance of the saints.<br><br>If a believer does grow cold to God and quits hearing Him, then the only thing that can separate him or her from Christ is God the Father.<br><br>"I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit" (John 15:1-2)<br><br>He doesn't exactly fall into that "any created thing" category.<br><br>Please understand that my understanding is based on the whole of scripture, not one or two specific passages pulled out of context. If you think I am adding to or misconstruing God's word to justify my position, then I must ask exactly how do you explain my original post about Revelation 22:19?<br><br><br>In Christ,<br>Josh

#768 Mon Jul 01, 2002 1:12 PM
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JoshT - you wrote:<br><br>"Note that in chapter 10, Paul speaks of one who "hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of His covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing." We know that an unbeliever cannot be sanctified by Christ's blood, and so this must refer to a believer that has fully rejected Christ after he has been sanctified by Him. "<br><br>In the first instance, I'm not sure if "sanctification" is ALWAYS via Christ's blood. The word may also have more than one meaning as a function of context.<br><br>Secondly, notice how the unbelieving spouse is 'sanctified' by the believer...<br><br> 1Co 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. <br><br>The spouse is STILL unregenerate...yet being 'sanctified'.<br><br>You must also recognize that the NT often speaks to 'us' as a corporate whole....making no real distinction between 'seed' that falls upon thorns, rocky ground, eaten by birds, trampled under foot...and that seed falling on good soil. When my pastor preaches....he's preaching to the covenent community (and some yet-to-confess individuals) as they have assembled on Sunday. All who gather to hear the Word of God within the covenent community get the SAME gospel, admonitions, exhortations, etc. Some 'hear'....others only SEEM to be 'hearing'. In the end, only the Elect actually "hear" and remain joined to their Savior by true faith in accordance with God's grace.

#769 Mon Jul 01, 2002 8:40 PM
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Josh,<br>I still don't buy your reasoning about having the power to take yourself out of God's hand by your will, [Linked Image] but we'll move on to your other question.<br><blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>If you think I am adding to or misconstruing God's word to justify my position, then I must ask exactly how do you explain my original post about Revelation 22:19?<p><hr></blockquote><p><br><br>Here are more commentators' views, the same views that just about everyone has already stated who has responded to you so far.<br><br>From Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible<br><blockquote>Rev 22: 12. It is confirmed by the joint testimony of the Spirit of God, and that gracious Spirit that is in all the true members of the church of God; the Spirit and the bride join in testifying the truth and excellency of the gospel. 13. It is confirmed by a most solemn sanction, [color:red]condemning and cursing all who should dare to corrupt or change the word of God, either by adding to it or taking from it, v. 18, 19. He that adds to the word of God draws down upon himself all the plagues written in this book; and he who takes any thing away from it cuts himself off from all the promises and privileges of it.</font color=red> This sanction is like a flaming sword, to guard the canon of the scripture from profane hands. Such a fence as this God set about the law (Deu. 4:2), and the whole Old Testament (Mal. 4:4), and now in the most solemn manner about the whole Bible, assuring us that it is a book of the most sacred nature, divine authority, and of the last importance, and therefore the peculiar care of the great God.</blockquote> <br><br>The most direct answer to your question comes from John Gill's Exposition of the Bible. Here is his exposition on v 19. I am sending the link so that you can click the links with the verses cited. I hope this makes it clearer. [Linked Image]<br><br>Susan<br>http://bible.crosswalk.com/Commenta...se=019&next=020&prev=018<br>

#770 Mon Jul 01, 2002 10:52 PM
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<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr><p>As I stated previously, the meaning of "separate" in this passage specifically means to "pull apart by force." <p><hr></blockquote><p><br>Really, hmmm, interesting how Strong's defines it like this:<br>5563. chorizo<br><br>cwrizw chorizo kho-rid'-zo<br><br>from 5561; to place room between, i.e. part; reflexively, to go <br>away:--depart, put asunder, separate.<br><br>Nope don't see pull apart by force. Where did you get this greek translation again??<br>

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