BY THE OBEDIENCE OF ONE
The vast majority of professing christians are taught that in some way, and to some degree, what they do or do not do has some bearing on their ultimate and eternal destiny. They believe that what they do, or abstain from doing, is a contributing and determining factor to their attaining or maintaining salvation. In other words, they believe that their obedience and disobedience plays a major role in whether or not they get saved or stay saved. Most who name the name of Christ claim to believe that salvation is all of grace. But the reality of the situation is that most of them have no idea what true grace is and no idea of what salvation is and what it entails, because they have never been taught the truth. Most believe that what Christ has done in obtaining salvation is to have initiated the state of being saved which is then activated when a person believes. Whether or not a person remains ‘saved’ is subsequently conditioned on a combination of what Christ has done for them and upon their own obedience and faithfulness towards Him. Few there be who truly and savingly believe that what Christ has done has not been to merely initiate some process of salvation in a person which must then be perpetuated by that person’s own individual obedience to the Law of God, but that He has in fact saved eternally those for whom He died. The Word of God teaches that salvation from beginning to final glory indeed rests upon obedience, yet not the imperfect obedience of individuals, but solely on the Perfect Obedience of ONE: the Lord Jesus Christ.
"For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so BY THE OBEDIENCE OF ONE shall many be made righteous" (Rom. 5:19 cf. Isa. 53:11). The Scriptures teach that a man can be made righteous, but that the righteousness required in order to present a man faultless before a Holy God is something which sinful man cannot produce. There is nothing in man’s character and conduct, potential or actual, which can endear him to God. This saving Righteousness does not come from the many, in other words, it does not come from each individual that is ultimately saved, but the many are individually made righteous by the obedience of only One. The righteousness required for salvation comes from only ONE source. Saving Righteousness does not come from the many, nor is it expected to, but is produced by another on the behalf of the many. Only the Righteousness of this One is sufficient. Only the Righteousness produced by this One meets the Standard which is set by God and is deemed fit by God to make a multitude Righteous in His sight. The irony of blind so-called ‘Christian’ ministers, who lead vast congregations of equally blind followers, when they warn against deadly teachings such as those taught by the Roman Catholic Church which claim that Mary is a co-redemptrix (co-redeemer) with Christ, and comment that such a teaching blasphemously adds the work of another to what Christ has done to secure salvation, is not lost. In the very next breath, these ministers declare that our own obedience is essential if we are to remain saved! "By grace alone!" they shout, all the while insisting that an individual’s efforts at obedience to God are an important, even integral, part in the maintenance of one’s salvation. Like the Romanists, they teach that something more than the work of Christ alone is necessary to secure one’s salvation. Like the Romanists, they teach that God needs help, man’s help, if any are to be saved.
The above Scripture from Romans 5:19 shows clearly why and how man is in a state of lostness and despair, and declares the only thing that can change the state of lost man and make him righteous. The first half of this important verse states that it was not the individual sins of each person which initially brought them into a state of lostness. Man’s sinfulness was the result of his initial fall into sin, in the Garden of Eden. The sins of the individual are the evidence of his sinful and lost condition. Man is not a sinner because he sins, but man sins because he is a sinner. Mankind’s state of lostness was brought about, or caused, by the sin of one man: Adam. Adam was the federal head of the entire human race. Adam was the representative of all mankind and by his sin, by his disobedience to the command of God, the entire human race was plunged into a state of spiritual darkness, deadness and hostility towards the true God. This is shown clearly in several Scriptures, such as Romans 5:12: "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned." "Paul assures us, that in Adam all die. And, if so, ‘tis certain that in Adam all sinned. Tell me now, how came that personal Sin of Adam, to be charged upon us? How can his having eaten the forbidden Fruit, render us liable to Death and Damnation? How, but by Imputation? Adam was a public Person: he represented the whole race of mankind: his act was imputed to his whole posterity." In this same way, by representation, Jesus Christ the Righteous One came to this earth as the Federal Head, the Representative, not of every man but of all those whom God had given Him, and by way of imputation, His obedience is looked upon as theirs. "Thus believers are made Righteous by the obedience of their everlasting Head Christ Jesus, even as they were made sinners by the transgression of their mortal father, Adam." "But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, WHICH IS BY ONE MAN, JESUS CHRIST, hath abounded unto many" (Rom. 5:15). The grace of God, and the Gift of salvation which comes by God’s grace, does not come because of you or me, by anything we are or have done or will do, but solely by, and because of, One Man: Jesus Christ, by Who HE is and by what HE has done. "For as in Adam all die, even so IN CHRIST shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:22). Only those who are found in Christ, that is whom He represented and who abide in His Doctrine, believing His Gospel, are made alive (see 1 Jn. 2:9; Mk. 16:16).
Christ was made in the likeness of His seed, the spiritual seed of Abraham, whom He is not ashamed to call His brethren (Heb. 2:11). The following Scripture passage is crucial to a biblical understanding of who Jesus Christ made atonement for, or Represented, thereby giving us an insight into what He accomplished by that atonement: "For verily He took not on Him the nature of angels; but He took on Him THE SEED OF ABRAHAM. Wherefore in all things it behoved Him to be MADE LIKE UNTO HIS BRETHREN, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people" (Heb. 2:16,17 cf. Heb. 2:12). Reconciliation is the Savior’s business. Christ’s Work of reconciliation was done for His brethren, the Seed of Abraham. Who are the seed of Abraham? "And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise" (Gal. 3:29 cf. Rom. 4:16). These are the seed of Abraham and Christ’s brethren (Matt. 12:49,50). The seed are the many whom Christ Jesus came to save (Isa. 53:10,11). Christ’s perfect obedience to God will be imputed to all those for whom He died, thus making them righteous before a Holy God. Christ’s obedience refers to "...the labors of His life, and the Agonies of His death: all which He exercised and suffered, in Conformity to His Father’s Will, for the sake of fallen men; that they, by HIS Righteousness, might be made righteous; that, having these credentials, they may be admitted into the Court of Heaven, and carrying this Passport, may be admitted into the everlasting Habitations."
You will notice that Romans 5:19 does not mention a single word about the individual sinner’s obedience being necessary, or in any way a part of ‘getting’ saved, being saved or remaining saved. This is not to say that obedience is not required on the part of the justified sinner, but it is not required in order for him to attain or maintain his salvation because it is an impossibility for any man to obey the law of God perfectly. The Scripture says that "...ye are all the children of God BY FAITH in Christ Jesus" (Gal. 3:26). The salvation of a justified sinner is not based on his obedience, but is grounded in the obedience, or Righteousness, of Christ ALONE. Why, if saving righteousness could come from man, would God have provided a Savior and declare Him to be the only one Who can produce this Righteousness? IT IS ONLY PERFECT OBEDIENCE THAT CAN ATTAIN AND MAINTAIN A STATE OF SALVATION AND RIGHT STANDING BEFORE GOD. And there is only ONE Who has ever produced it. That is the principal reason why man needs a Savior, one who could and would obey the law of the Lord perfectly. Romans 5:19 speaks only of a solitary obedience, of a unique and particular obedience, an obedience which could never be produced by any ordinary man, but only by a Supreme Being, an Extraordinary Man. In the matter of salvation—that is from regeneration through to final glory—the Scriptures speak of the OBEDIENCE OF ONE FOR THE MANY, which makes a man righteous, not of the obedience of the many out of love for the One. Romans 5:18 says "...BY THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF ONE the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." It is clear from the context, and when comparing Scripture with Scripture, that the all men referred to here are all those who will be found in Christ: "For as in Adam all die, even so IN CHRIST shall all be made alive" (1 Cor. 15:22). None are alive who are outside of Christ, who abide not in His Gospel. Only in Christ is a man made acceptable to God: "To the praise of the glory of HIS GRACE , wherein HE HAS MADE US accepted IN THE BELOVED" (Eph. 1:6 cf. Rev. 7:14,15). God’s love and God’s mercy are found only in Christ. The way to salvation is by grace, not by works; by what God has done not by what we do. This adds weight to Romans 5:21, in that justification, the state of right standing or acceptability before God, has been achieved, not by the imperfect obedience of the many to the One, but by the Perfect Obedience of One for the many. Imperfect obedience is NO obedience at all and rather than gain God’s favor, it only attracts His Wrath (Rom. 4:15), for He has said that salvation can only be by the Obedience of His Son and none other. There is only one Righteousness which saves. This is such a glorious truth, inspiring great joy and gladness in the true believer. To know that one’s salvation is not based or dependant on one’s own deficient and substandard efforts to either get saved or remain saved, but wholly on the effort of Christ Jesus the Lord which is both Perfect and Everlasting, is of endless comfort for those to whom such Truth has been revealed. It is foolishness, however, to the unbeliever for he can never savingly grasp this truth of God, that it is only by Another’s obedience that a man can stand justified before God, and never his own. The evidence of a man’s lostness is not merely shown by his sinfulness, but is highlighted by the fact that he believes he can, by his own efforts, recommend himself unto God. To try and gain God’s favor by our own efforts at obedience is like pumping air into a punctured tyre. No matter how much you pump, or how vigorously, the tyre will always end up flat. In fact, this tyre is so wrecked and torn that it cannot be fixed and must be replaced by a new one. So, too, the Christian is not a creature who has been patched up, but one who has been made new in, and by, Christ. When a person tries to get to God by their own obedience, they are denying and opposing the Biblical Truth that the Obedience of Christ is that which God has established as THE ONLY WAY a man can be saved (see Jn. 10:1,9). Verse 17 of Romans 5 makes clear that the free gift of salvation spoken of in verse 18 comes only by the Righteousness of One, Jesus Christ, which is also a gift, and that it is HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ALONE which saves and justifies a man ETERNALLY! Though there are no Scriptures which actually say only by Another’s righteousness can one be saved, it is understood that in saying that by the Obedience of one shall many be made Righteous the Scriptures make clear that there is no other source from which this Obedience can come. "By the Obedience of one" excludes the obedience of any other. "That as sin hath reigned unto (eternal) death, even so might grace reign through Righteousness unto ETERNAL LIFE BY JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD" (Rom. 5:21). The grace and salvation which comes from the True God comes ONLY through, and because of, the Righteousness of Jesus Christ. These things cannot be merited or gained by the obedience of any sinful man but can only be received based on, and because of, the obedience of a sinless Man. The Word of God clearly teaches that this one Righteousness which alone saves, does not come through the efforts of man’s inadequate and inept obedience to the law, but by GRACE reigning through, and because of, the Obedience, or Righteousness, of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Salvation. For man to attempt to attain salvation by his own efforts at obedience, is to vainly dream the impossible dream and to reach for the unreachable height. The righteousness required for salvation is out of man’s league, for only the God-Man is qualified to achieve it.
So we see plainly from the above Scriptures that this righteousness which is required by God in order for Him to declare a man to be in right standing with Him, must be a Perfect Righteousness, and that Righteousness can only be achieved by ONE man: the Man Christ Jesus. Anyone who thinks differently to what God states is a fool. Any who look to anything they can do to either get saved or stay saved fall into the category of those who trust in their own heart, whom God calls fools (Prov. 28:26). The Scriptures bear record that none can be saved by their own righteousness, but only by the Righteousness of Jesus Christ. There is no salvation unless it is by means of the Righteousness of Jesus Christ. He indeed is the ONLY Way to the Father. He is the Savior, He is the Deliverer, He it is to Whom we must look TO THE EXCLUSION OF ALL ELSE, including ALL our own efforts at religious obedience and morality. HE OBEYED, HE SAVES, HE KEEPS. Our hope does not lie within us and our ‘capabilities’, motivated by high religious fervor, diligence and sincerity, but only in the supreme and distinctive capabilities of, and which are exclusive to, Another: Jesus the Lord Who is the Captain of our Salvation (Heb. 2:10). "For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of Righteousness by faith" (Gal. 5:5 cf. Rom. 9:31,32). Only by the Righteousness, which includes the Glorious Death, of Jesus Christ can any man come to the Father and expect mercy and grace in the Day of Judgement.
Romans 5 states that this saving Righteousness is a gift, indeed a free gift. In other words, it is not a gift which is given to someone because they have in some way endeared themselves to the gift-giver. It is not given because they have in any way merited or deserved the gift, simply because this gift is entirely unmeritable! It is completely undeserved. It is something which is not, and cannot be, merited by those who receive it. Salvation is not something which is earned or obtained by our works but is a gift given by His Grace, and the Righteousness which saves is not our own but that of Another which is given or imputed to us. The Christian is not judged by his merits for he has none, but is judged by the Merits of Jesus Christ imputed to him. If salvation is a free gift which comes only by the Righteousness of Another, then it is vividly clear that it cannot be something which is attained but given, not purchased but received. SALVATION IS A GIFT GIVEN BY GRACE, NOT A WAGE EARNED BY WORKS (see Rom. 4:4). Grace is the unmerited favor of God towards the ungodly, or, unrighteous. The saved have done nothing in any way, shape or form, to catch the attention of the Gift-Giver and influence or motivate Him to give them anything. This is evidenced by their still being called ungodly right up until the moment of salvation (see Rom. 4:5). Prior to salvation, all that a man is and all that a man does in no way changes or affects his ungodliness and unrighteousness before God. Only after a sinner has been imputed with the Righteousness of Christ can he be rightly called Godly and Righteous. It is Christ alone Who is the reason for the Gift. It is His life and death which has provided the only Righteousness that saves. Scripture states clearly that the only thing a man does merit is death: "For the WAGES of sin is death; but the GIFT of God is eternal life THROUGH Jesus Christ our Lord" (Rom. 6:23).
Anything and everything that lost man does in the name of religion, even in the name of Christ, which he thinks will gain or maintain a saved state, can only further condemn him, for Christ refers to such people as workers of iniquity (Matt. 7:22,23). All those who are outside of Christ, that is who are not born again, cannot produce any good works in order to get saved. All they can do, in fact the very best they can produce, is referred to by Christ as works of iniquity, and no one has ever become justified before God by works of iniquity. Salvation is not a reward for man’s efforts at obedience, for those efforts are imperfect and unacceptable. Therefore it can only come solely as a Gift according to the grace and mercy of God which is all based on the perfect and acceptable efforts of Another (see 2Tim.1:9). Salvation does not come by a man ‘doing his best’, but because of Christ having done His Best. In contrast with the ‘churches’ and pulpits of today and yesteryear, the focus of Scripture is wholly on the Giver, not on the one to whom the gift is given. The attention of the true believer is on Christ’s Righteousness and not his own efforts at obedience. He is not preoccupied with thoughts and observations of his own life and ‘goodness’ but is completely taken up with the Life, Death and Obedience of his Savior. Righteousness is not something which a man can, by his own efforts, acquire for the Scripture says that there are none righteous: "...there is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom. 3:10 cf. Psa. 53:2,3). Nothing clean can come from that which is unclean (Job 14:4; Psa. 51:2,5,10). Good fruit cannot come from a corrupt tree (Matt. 7:18). Perfection can only come from that which is perfect. Does it not, therefore, stand to reason that Perfect Righteousness, or Obedience, which God’s Law demands, can only come from one who is himself Perfect and Holy?
False christianity has taught, and continues to teach, a fear-based salvation theology. It is a ‘salvation’ which is legalistic, in that it teaches that man must do this or that to get saved and then must do that or this to stay saved. It is a salvation not grounded upon, or made sure because of, the Person and Works of Christ, but on man’s decision making and subsequent moral and religious conduct. It does not give God ALL the Glory for salvation because it is not conditioned solely and wholly on Jesus Christ the Savior, on His Obedience and Death alone, but gives room for a man to boast because it is a salvation conditioned on how well a man behaves himself during his life on earth. It leads man into a life of fear and uncertainty rather than freedom and assurance, of focusing on his deeds which leads to self-righteousness, rather than hoping in the deeds of Another which is true humility. The entirety of its message is ‘Christ has saved a people for Himself’, yet their immediate and ultimate destiny hinges upon their own individual adherence to the Christian way of life. Paul the apostle, like every true believer, had confidence in nothing else and in no one else but Jesus Christ and His Righteousness: "But God forbid that I should glory (boast), save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ..." Despite the establishment of a Perfect Obedience by Another, ‘do and live, disobey and die’ is still their message, whilst claiming at the same time that the salvation they teach is by Christ alone through grace alone!
Terms, the language of Christianity, are so very familiar to those who name the name of Christ. Even the secular world recognizes terms such as ‘grace’, ‘faith’, ‘salvation’, ‘to be saved’, ‘to get saved’ etc. They are heard in religious gatherings every Sunday across the world, from the televangelist to the local ‘minister’, and upon hearing them, most are under the immediate impression that they know what is meant by these terms. Everything else in Scripture requires careful study, but these things are automatically, almost mystically, ‘known’ by all who profess faith in Christ. As long as those words are mentioned in sermons and conversations, then all is well. This is the attitude many people have and they don’t even realise it. The vast majority of professing christians throughout the world are familiar with the language of Christianity but so few are aware of the meaning God has attributed to His Words. People have heard these terms and phrases uttered so many times that they believe they rightly and correctly understand the biblical meaning of such terms simply because of their familiarity with them. One of Satan’s most effective weapons in his effort to deceive is to promote a false and erroneous understanding of the Words of God. Just because one knows the words does not necessarily mean one rightly understands the true meaning of those words. If there is no proper understanding there can be no legitimate believing. True understanding and comprehension is not realized simply because we have a view, or opinion, on a matter, by what we think a word or phrase means, but by acknowledging what the Author has intended.
What do the above terms actually mean? What would your answer be to someone if they were to ask you, ‘What do you mean saved? What do you mean by salvation? What is grace?’ and ‘How is a man saved and what is it to be saved?’ Let us take a closer look at what the words salvation and saved mean and how they are used in the Word of God. This will prove an invaluable aid in arriving at a proper and biblical understanding of salvation and the saved state. From this we may gain clearer insight into, and a proper biblical perspective of, what is required for the salvation of a man, what has been achieved or accomplished, and the intrinsic meaning of the word ‘salvation’. The word salvation literally means rescue, safety, deliver, health, save, saving. To be saved is to be rescued, to be brought from a place of danger to one of safety, obviously by another. "In the N.T. salvation is deliverance from sin and its spiritual consequences, involving an attachment to the Body of Christ, and admission to eternal life with blessedness in the Kingdom of Christ." The word saved in Scripture means to save i.e., deliver or protect, heal, preserve, save, be (make) whole. Salvation, or saved, speaks of rescuing and preservation by another. The Psalms illustrate this perfectly "Thou art my hiding place; Thou shalt preserve me from trouble..." (Psa. 32:7). It speaks of being made whole by another. The Scriptures speak of the saved as being preserved in Christ. In writing to the brethren, Jude referred to them as "...sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called" (Jude 1 cf. Col. 3:3; 1 Thess. 5:23). "Since every believer is sanctified in Christ Jesus, 1 Cor. 1:12, cf. Heb 10:10, a common NT designation of all believers is ‘saints’, ie. ‘sanctified’ or ‘holy ones.’ Thus sainthood, or sanctification, is not an attainment, it is the state into which God, in grace, calls sinful men, and in which they begin their course as Christians, Col. 3:12; Heb 3:1." The true believer is preserved and is also reserved by the Father, in Christ and unto Christ. The Bible states that, "He preserveth not the life of the wicked...He preserveth the souls of His saints..." (Job 36:6 & Psa. 97:10 cf. Psa. 31:23; 145:20; Prov. 2:8). To preserve something is to protect it, to guard it from decay or dissolution. To reserve something means to obtain or secure by advance arrangement. This is what God has done through Christ. He has reserved His chosen ones from before the foundation of the world, and now preserves them by His great Power (see Eph. 2:10-14). Scripture says that God has begotten us "...to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, RESERVED in heaven for you, who are KEPT by the power of God through faith unto salvation..." (1 Pet. 1:3-5 cf. Col. 1:5,6). The saved sinner has been made alive by God and is kept alive by the power of God through the God-given Gift of Faith, not by the earned reward of the sinner, or by any effort on his part. The above Scripture tells us that the one who is kept by the power of God is done so through faith, not works, UNTO salvation. The word kept here means to keep, guard, preserve spiritually. The certainty that their salvation is eternal and shall not fade away is proof positive that their salvation is in no way conditioned on their unprofitable deeds, but on the Righteousness of another.
The true believer is sanctified, or set apart, by the Father for Christ and is unremittingly kept, or preserved, in that condition. In other words, that condition is maintained solely by Christ the Savior—His Person and His Works—as the Representative, or Surety, of His people. All those who are saved are protected and kept in that state by Christ. Any man trying to get saved or keep himself saved by his own efforts at obedience, does not know the Savior or believe in the Gospel which reveals that Savior and His Righteousness. He is like a man trying to attract a magnet with another magnet of the same polarity. Rather than attract, it does nothing but repel. The more you try and attract it the more it moves away. The word preserved in Jude 1 sheds even more light on the state of the saved. It means to guard (from loss or injury) by keeping the eye upon; to detain or withhold for personal ends, hold fast, keep. "And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and WILL PRESERVE ME UNTO His heavenly Kingdom: to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen" (2 Tim. 4:18). Notice the conviction, the absolute certainty and confidence of the writer, of his being preserved unto the heavenly kingdom. There is no doubt in his mind, because he knows his salvation is not conditioned on his imperfect obedience but entirely upon Christ’s Perfect Obedience. Salvation is not conditioned on the empty and unprofitable works of man, it is not by deeds of the Law that a man is saved, or justified, but by faith in the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. If any part of salvation came by the works of men, then it would not be by solely by faith based on the Work of Christ "Because the law worketh wrath...Therefore it (salvation) is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the Promise might be SURE to all the seed..." (Rom. 4:15,16 cf. Rom. 3:19,20; Gal. 3:10). Throughout the New Testament works and grace are shown, not to be co-workers or fellow laborers, but are always contrasted. One never sees grace and works on the same building site, as it were. This promise of salvation is sure, not because of the works of those who will be saved, but because of the gift of grace. Is it any wonder that Christ Jesus uses language as is found in the Gospel of John in reference to His sheep: "...I give unto them eternal life; and they shall NEVER perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand" (Jn. 10:28 cf. Jn. 11:26)? To be saved also means to be found. The saved sinner is said to be found by God, as a shepherd finds his lost sheep: "For thus saith the Lord God; Behold I, even I, will both search My sheep, and seek them out...and WILL deliver them..." (Ezek. 34:11,12 cf. Lk. 15:4,5). It can be guaranteed that when God finds one of his lost sheep they will never, and can never, return to a lost state because they have been saved, or found, eternally: "And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him: for they know His voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers" (Jn. 10:4,5). God, the Great Shepherd of the sheep, watches carefully over them, His gaze never leaving them. Because He will never leave or forsake them, they will forever remain with Him: "And I will make an everlasting Covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts, THAT THEY SHALL NOT DEPART FROM ME" (Jer. 32:40 cf. Heb. 13:5; Psa. 89:28-37 & Isa. 59:21). The elect are those whom the Father has reserved for rescuing. To be saved, therefore, means to have been rescued by another from a place of danger and subsequently preserved in a state of complete safety without fear of ever returning to the site, or situation, one was rescued from.
The apostle John speaks of true believers as having passed from death unto life (1 Jn. 3:14). This passing from death unto life is something which can never be reversed for it is everlasting, it is a one way journey. It has come about because of the Blood and Obedience of Jesus Christ—Christ’s Blood having forever washed away every sin that could damn us; and Christ’s Obedience unto death, has established for His people the Perfect Righteousness which God’s Holy Law demanded. "And being made Perfect, He became the Author of ETERNAL SALVATION unto all them that obey Him" (Heb. 5:9 cf. Isa. 45:17; 2 Thess. 2:16; 2 Tim. 2:10). To say that one can return to a state of spiritual death after being saved from it, is to deny the Eternal Saving Power of the Person and Work of Jesus Christ. It is to deny the eternally effective nature of Who He is and what He has done for His people; that He is a Complete Savior and that the saved are now complete in, and by, Him and in need of nothing. Jesus says: "He that heareth My Word and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath EVERLASTING life, and SHALL NOT come into condemnation; but IS PASSED from death unto life" (Jn. 5:24 cf. Jn. 6:39,40; 1 Jn. 3:14).
The Psalmist says, "For the Lord loveth judgement, and forsaketh not His saints; they are PRESERVED FOREVER..." (Psa. 37:28). The word preserved in this verse means to hedge about (with thorns), guard, to protect, attend to, beware, be circumspect, take heed of, keep, mark, observe, preserve, regard, reserve, save, watch. There is the meaning of what salvation, being saved and kept saved, is all about! Salvation is being brought from one place to another BY ANOTHER, and eternally protected from one’s former state of being and residence and preserved in an entirely new place and condition. This verse shows clearly that the Lord preserves all His people, and that eternally. He does not abandon and forsake them because of their sins, nor does He remain with them because of their obedience, but because of Christ’s Obedience, in that He has established a Perfect Righteousness by which they are eternally saved. The Righteousness of Christ alone has removed every barrier which previously obstructed fellowship between God and man. They cannot be kept from God because of their daily sins, because God imputed those very sins to His Son, Christ Jesus, Who atoned for their every sin: "...by His Knowledge shall My Righteous Servant justify many; for He shall bear their iniquities" (Isa. 53:11). Romans 5:10 informs us that "...we were reconciled to God by the death of His Son..." It is God’s will that He never remember their sins again (Heb. 8:12; 10:17). This is a fact that clearly points to the sufficiency of Christ’s Sacrifice on the behalf of His people, and that nothing more is required for their salvation: "Now where remission of these (sins) is, there is no more offering for sin" (Heb. 10:18). GOD WILL NOT CHARGE THEM WITH THEIR SIN. IN FACT, THERE IS NOW NO REASON FOR HIM TO DO SO, LEST HE COUNT CHRIST’S WORK ON THEIR BEHALF AS NOTHING: "BLESSED IS THE MAN TO WHOM THE LORD WILL NOT IMPUTE SIN" (Rom. 4:8 cf. Psa. 32:1,2). And so, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus..." (Rom. 8:1). Where once God’s Law and Justice demanded the damnation and eternal destruction of the elect, who were by nature the children of wrath even as others, now God’s Law and Justice demand their justification and eternal salvation because of the Imputed Righteousness of Christ. Scripture says that "...without shedding of blood there is no remission" (Heb. 9:22), so it stands to biblical reason that where there is shedding of blood there is full remission of sin. God does not rescue His chosen ones only to leave them to themselves to maintain or keep themselves a rescued people in a safe place, but He rescues them and remains with them eternally, keeping them safe and free from all that would dare attempt to remove them from that tranquil place. None can snatch a saved man from the hands of the Son or the Father (see Jn. 10:28,29). The hand is that which holds and secures an object, and so the Christian is said to be held safe and irretrievably secure in the hands of God. No one can loosen God’s grip or prise His hands apart. God rescues His people, He finds all His lost sheep and places them atop His shoulders and hedges them about with thorns, an obvious reference to impenetrable protection. In God’s safe keeping they are out of harm’s way and unassailable. God is their impregnable Fortress (Psa. 91:2). God is their Shield (Psa. 28:7 cf. Psa. 18:1,2) and He guards all those He has rescued and will protect them throughout time and eternity. He attends to them and watches over them vigilantly. He keeps them and observes them, or watches over them, not like a human shepherd who grows weary and slumbers, but as the Great Shepherd of His flock Who never tires, rests or sleeps (Psa. 121:4; 23:1). In light of this, how can any of His sheep go astray from before His ever watchful eyes? He both reserves and preserves them. They are set apart under the watchful, loving and eternal protection of the Father: "...Salvation is of the Lord" (Jon. 2:9 cf. Psa. 3:8) and is therefore everlasting.
God is the COMPLETE SAVIOR. He has done it ALL (Rom. 8:29,30; Eph. 1:3ff; 2 Pet. 1:1-4). He saves His people from their sins. He reserves them, He preserves them, He keeps them, and that eternally. God is not in the business of temporarily saving anyone. The salvation of none to whom the Righteousness of Christ is imputed is subject to later alteration. Nothing of God’s saving work is in any way provisional. His salvation is not fleeting but permanent, because it is based on the saving and eternal Person and Work of Jesus Christ His Son. "That cannot be an object of temporary value which He sought by coming from heaven; and if their is any object of any real magnitude in this world, it is the soul which the eternal Son of God died to redeem." That which is perfect is pure and is therefore not subject to corruption, which is why it will never fade away. That which is perfect requires no additive. It is of a certainty that if sinful man could add anything to that which is perfect, it would immediately cease to be perfect. The salvation God gives is everlasting; the Life He bestows is Eternal and His people shall never perish. By the obedience of One shall many be made eternally righteous. A Christian remains a Christian according to 1 John 2:19. There was no point in God having established and provided a Perfect Righteousness if that Righteousness was not everlasting! If the Righteousness that saves is not eternal then it must be conditional. If salvation was not eternal, based on Christ and His Righteousness, then all we are left with is a salvation which is restricted by, and conditioned on, man and his efforts to obey the Law. Seeing then that by the Law no man is justified, none would ever be saved. If the gift of salvation is not eternal and based on the Righteousness of Christ, then it must be that God has conditioned salvation on individuals who could never do anything to obtain it or keep it, and therefore it would have been nonsensical to provide it.
One of the reasons that so many false teachings regarding salvation remain prominent today is the lack of understanding, and in most cases complete ignorance, of what a Covenant relationship is. God is a Covenant God. A covenant is a contract, an agreement. The easiest way we in the West can understand it is by looking at the institution of marriage—where two parties vow allegiance to, and support for, each other till death separates them. God has made an agreement, a Covenant, with His Son Jesus Christ, and all those whom Christ died for, who are said to be in Christ, are therefore part of that Holy and Eternal Covenant which can never be broken. The Eternal Covenant is between the Father and the Son and all whom the Father has chosen and whom the Son has lived and died for, are in a relationship that will never, and can never, end (Heb. 7:22,25). Neither the Father or the Son can break that Covenant, hence it is an eternal Covenant. We have been created new creatures in Christ and because we are of Him, of His Seed, we will always remain His children. Just as a son can do nothing to change the fact that he is the son of his father, so too, there is nothing a truly born again Christian can do to alter the fact that he is the son of His Holy Father, and has been made so eternally. The new creature is an eternal being, not born of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (see Jn. 1:13): "Of His own Will begat He us with the Word of Truth..." (James 1:18). Unlike our physical bodies which suffer corruption daily and will eventually die, the new spiritual man is without corruption and therefore shall never die. In light of this, it is quite bizarre that for most, "The cultivation of the old man is considered more practical than the creation of a new man in Christ Jesus." Works religion is consumed with cultivating a ‘better man’ rather than rejoicing in the fact that the saved man has been created NEW in Christ. God’s Word says, "For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature" (Gal. 6:15). In other words the difference between salvation and damnation is not what you or I do, or do not do, but it is being made a new creature in Christ which makes the difference. Salvation is not by conformity to certain rites or customs, nor by our individual efforts at obedience, "but the grand inquiry is, WHETHER A MAN IS BORN AGAIN, and is in fact a new creature in Christ Jesus". Paul says "And as many as walk according to THIS RULE (cannon, or, doctrinal standard); peace be on THEM, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God" (Gal. 6:16). Either one walks according to the rule of ‘do and live disobey and die’, or one walks according to God’s doctrinal standard: "Except a man be born again; he cannot see the Kingdom of God" (Jn. 3:3). Man can never become saved by ‘improving himself’ but is saved because he is a totally new creation in, and because of, Christ. ‘Re-inventing’ oneself is not the way to God. Being re-created by God is that which is necessary in salvation.
Warnings of a loss of salvation can be heard from many pulpits today. They say that disobedience to God by one who is considered saved, can lead to a loss of salvation which can never be regained. In other words, they say that although salvation has been gained by Christ, it can be lost by the deeds, or the absence of them, of the individual. These ministers of Satan are trying to convince their hearers that what Christ has done was enough to get them saved, but is not enough, in and of itself, to keep them saved! They truly do the Roman Catholic Church proud. Romanism insists that they who believe that all of salvation is conditioned on Christ alone, are cursed! For these people, the matter of remaining saved is conditioned upon the obedience of each individual and does not rest solely upon the Person and Obedience of Christ. The Gospel they preach is a false gospel, for the ‘salvation’ they speak of is not one which is grounded upon the Righteousness of Christ, but is conditioned on the righteousness of the individual. They oppose His Righteousness with their own and thus preach a gospel of works rather than the Gospel of Grace. The true believer desires "no higher honor than to be saved (completely) by the Son of God". If any part of salvation is conditioned on man then that is a works salvation. They are truly anti-Christ who condition salvation on man, for they place themselves and their own righteousness in the place of Christ! This false christianity is nothing short of Babylonianism, a religion which is just as unsound as any other worldly religion and which cannot, and never has, saved anybody.
Some say that salvation, once lost, can be regained by a ‘re-dedication’ of one’s life to God and a renewed moral reformation and resolute determination to obey the Lord, and sincere promises to the Lord ‘to do better this time’. This is something which is totally foreign to the Scriptures. If you think that you, by your own religious deeds, can make up any ground which sin has taken from you, you are in a deceived state and the ‘christianity’ you have been taught is not the Christianity of the Bible. In fact, your efforts at making up for past sins is a far worse sin than those you are trying to make up for, because in doing so you are denying Christ and the only Righteousness God has declared can send sin into remission: "...to declare HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS (not yours!) for the remission of sins..." (Rom. 3:25). Scripture says that if such a thing as losing one’s salvation were possible, then it would be impossible to again ‘save’ that person (Heb. 6:4-6). Either Christ has saved His people for all time or He has not saved any at all. Anything which is contrary to this flies directly in the face of all that Christ is, and all that He has done for His people as their Complete Savior and Redeemer. It is an out and out denial of Eternal Redemption, of Christ as the Surety and Propitiation, or Satisfaction, for His people, and repudiates the Power of the Life and Death of Christ as sufficient to save, and keep saved, all for whom He died. "...He entered once into the holy place, having OBTAINED ETERNAL REDEMPTION for us" (Heb. 9:12ff.). Because this Redemption is Eternal, it stands to biblical reason that it is based on what the Redeemer has done to obtain it. If the Redemption is eternal, it shows that no sin from which one has been redeemed can make the redeemed person unredeemed again or unredeemable, for EVERY sin is precisely what the person has been eternally redeemed from! Those who deny such Truth are really saying to God, ‘what you have done in sending your Son to die for sins was good and needful but was not enough to do it all, hence we must add to what Christ has done to ensure our futures are secure and sure for heaven’.
Any religion that teaches a salvation conditioned in any way, to any degree, upon the sinner is one which does not abide in the doctrine of the all sufficiency of Christ Jesus the Lord to save, and keep, all for whom He died. They may talk of ‘Jesus’ and ‘Grace’ etc., but it is a counterfeit jesus they speak of and a sham grace they promote. Such thinkers are spiritually insane and know not God, for they abide not in the Doctrine of His Son (1 Jn. 2:9) which attributes all of the glory of salvation unto Him (1 Cor. 1:29-31). Their false gospel teaches that what Christ has done on the behalf of His people can be undone, that His Work has not achieved or guaranteed any eternal benefit but has merely provided a door around which man must now construct the house. A house, it might be added, which can collapse at any time thus rendering the door useless. Such teachings are an abomination. They are so satanic as to be beyond words. They undo all the doctrines which make up the Holy Gospel Message, which alone gives all the glory for salvation to God because it conditions all of salvation upon His Son. They tear at the very Character of God, displacing Him from His Throne and placing man there in a self-governing, sovereign and autonomous reign over his own destiny.
Our righteousness, our works, our best efforts at obeying God are the exact opposite of, and are in contrast with all that God’s Law and Justice demands. God’s Law demands pure and unblemished obedience and God’s Justice demands full and complete payment for sin, neither of which can be fulfilled or provided by mere man. Those who oppose such teaching insist that ‘God has set the ball rolling by having given Jesus to the world, but it is now up to man to keep that ball rolling on the highway to heaven’. These teachings are diametrically opposed to what the Gospel of Christ teaches and all who believe them are lost. They come from the heart of Satan and are the very antithesis of all that God’s Word says about the lost state of mankind and the only Way to Salvation: the Obedience of the Perfect Man, Jesus Christ. These people consider that to believe one is sure for heaven based on the Righteousness of Christ alone is presumption, and would rather lean on their own efforts, with all their deficiencies, and draw comfort and assurance from that.
What God has done is eternal the Scriptures say, and none can undo what He has done: "I know that whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before Him" (Eccl. 3:14). "Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which He hath made crooked?" (Eccl. 7:13). Some may argue that man indeed can, by his disobedience, undo what Christ has done, for though God made man sinless, man was still able to choose to disobey God and lose God’s favor. This is true. However, it must be noted that God did not make man eternally sinless when he created him. God created man subject to change. What Christ has done is ETERNAL. "As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give ETERNAL LIFE to as many as Thou hast given Him" (Jn. 17:2). The Life that Christ is the Author of is EVERLASTING (Heb. 5:9). The new creature in Christ is made so eternally. This cannot be over emphasised, for it testifies of Who Christ is and what Christ has done for His people. If man was made eternally sinless by God and was still able to undo this work of God, it would have to be said that God is not Sovereign and that what God desires can be prevented, or at the least interfered with, by man. "But our God is in the heavens: He hath done whatsoever He hath pleased" (Psa. 115:3). The following is what God Himself has to say about His Will: "...I Am God, and there is none else; I Am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I WILL DO ALL MY PLEASURE...I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it" (Isa. 46:9-11 cf. Dan. 4:35). Now does that sound like a God Whose Will can be changed, affected, or altered in any way?
So much of what the Devil, and those who follow him, teach, whether it be ignorantly or knowingly, is so very subtle. Satan, for the most part, leaves the obviously evil and overtly anti-God teachings to the minds of men for they, in their lost and depraved state, blinded by the god of this world, are eminently qualified to invent for themselves erroneous teachings and images of gods that cannot save. Satan is a very religious creature. His religion is the most popular on the planet and his followers number in the billions. He has far more religious people following him than those who are irreligious, and he is happy to have it so. Satan’s religious empire, made up of every false religion on earth, has one main rule: the rule of do and live, disobey and die. The rule that by a man’s deeds he can gain eternal salvation, and that by a failure to ‘measure up’, man will forever miss heaven. In other words, man’s destiny is in his own hands. It is only the true Christian who is of God. The whole world, including all the religious world outside of Christ, lies in wickedness (1 Jn. 5:19). Satan’s gospel of grace is really a disguised gospel of works which continues to deceive both sides of professing christendom: the Arminian and the Calvinist side. He has imitated God’s grace, forming his own version which, when stripped of it’s veneer, is revealed as nothing but works. Satan’s religions are man-centered. All the attention is on man and what he does and needs to do rather than on God and what He has done. This is one of the reasons why so many ‘sermons’ from pulpits today are nothing more than psychological pep talks, rather than Gospel-centered teaching. Satan’s primary goal is to promote his lies in the very name of the God he so utterly detests. His main method of operation is not to come out and openly declare his hatred for God and His Son but instead has opted for a much subtler war on the Holy God and all who seek to follow Him. SATAN HAS DECLARED WAR ON TRUTH, NOT IN ORDER TO DESTROY TRUTH, BUT TO SUPERIMPOSE IT WITH HIS OWN VERSION. For instance, Satan will tell you that Jesus is indeed the Christ (Matt. 24:5), but what he says about his ‘jesus’ identifies him, not as the one and only Son of God Who came to save His people from their sins, but as another christ, a false christ of whom God does not testify and who cannot save.
There are many truths in Satan’s arsenal of false teachings. Satan uses the truth in order to weave his lies into the lives of the unsuspecting. Satan uses the truth merely as a Trojan horse by which he can introduce his deadly lies. The healthy meal is made deadly by even a small amount of poison. After the poison is mixed in, it is no longer considered a healthy meal but a deadly one, despite keeping its inviting odor and appearance. The Scripture says that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (Gal. 5:9). A little lie changes a big truth. Yet, no matter how much truth you add to a lie it can never become the truth, but will always remain a lie. You see, a lie mixed with the truth changes the very fabric of that truth, consuming it and transforming its very essence into a deadly lie. 2 + 2 = 4, but if anything were to be added to the correct answer of 4, even the smallest fraction, then even though the answer may contain the truth, it is made an untruth by what has been added to or taken from it. The value of the truth is not realised, because it has been used in the fabrication of a lie. A ‘good’ lie always has within it some degree of truth in order to make it more palatable, but truth, when it has anything added to it or anything removed from it, ceases to be truth and will not profit any. So it is with the lies of Satan. His lies are mixed with truth so as to appear as one thing, but in reality be something quite different. A lie not only distorts the truth but is also a misrepresentation of reality.
What we learn from this is that we need to beware of everything which comes to us in the name of religion, in particular that which comes in the name of Christ Jesus the Lord. "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world" (1 Jn. 4:1 cf. Matt. 24:4ff; Acts 20:30; 1 Thess. 5:21; 1 Tim. 4:1; 2 Pet. 2:1). We must question all things, for to question is to think. We must test all things by the Word of God. Yet even in saying that, there needs to be clarification as well as adding a vital note of caution. Every cunning false teacher out there encourages their followers to test what they are saying by the Scriptures and their followers believe that the method they have adopted to do this is naturally the correct and biblical one. To properly and biblically test the validity of a teaching to see whether it comes from God or man, one must know how to do so. One cannot merely listen to a man’s teachings, make note of the Scriptures he refers to in his sermon, look them up and then conclude that because those Scriptures are indeed in the Bible, it is proof positive that what the preacher is saying about them must be true. Others ‘test’ the words of a preacher by turning to a commentary by a ‘christian’ writer, usually a dead one for they are often the most revered, to see whether his words are true or not. Others choose to refer only to those writers whom they know are in agreement with them. You would be surprised how many believe that this is ‘testing the preacher’. Rarely, if at all, do they ever investigate the writings of those who point out the errors of, or who teach that which is contrary to, what they believe. None of these methods are the correct way to test the words which come from a man’s mouth in the name of Christ. The proper and biblical method of testing the veracity of a man’s teachings is to hold them up to the Light of the Word of God: "...they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so" (Acts 17:11 cf. Psa. 119:105), to compare Scripture with Scripture (cf. 1 Cor. 2:13). By the Light of the Word you will be able to see through the teachings that are brought to you and see if they line up with what God says, or if they are completely out of alignment with His Word and therefore invalid. See if what the preacher is saying agrees with the whole of Scripture. Do not simply go by one or two verses, but compare what he is saying with whole passages of Scripture, even whole chapters and books of the Bible. Don’t accept what the preacher is saying merely because he is able to connect a few verses from different parts of the Bible, but concentrate on the context, on the passage, chapter and book the particular verses come from. On hearing this many will say, ‘but that will take a long time and I am a busy person’. My friend, you had better take the time, and make sure it is quality time, to examine what has been brought to you and your family in the name of Christ, for your eternal future depends on what you have embraced as the truth of God. Jesus says "...If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!" (Matt.6:23). YOUR SINCERITY IN THE MATTER WILL GAIN YOU NO ACCESS TO GOD. SINCERITY IS NOT THE KEY TO FREEDOM. CHRIST SAYS THAT IT IS THE TRUTH THAT SHALL MAKE A MAN FREE!! (Jn. 8:32). Scripture says, "There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death" (Prov. 14:12). There is nothing in this life which is inconsequential, and the repercussions of what a man believes and has acted on in this life will be eternal. See if the theme of a man’s message is constant throughout the Bible and not concentrated on just one verse or passage. For instance, many teach that Christ died for every single individual ever born. This is based on such verses as John 3:16, 1 John 2:2 and 1 Timothy 2:6. But if this were true, how on earth would this concur with the whole theme of the Bible, which teaches one sacrifice for the people of God. The Old Testament sacrificial system taught of a blood atonement made by the high priest on the behalf of, not every person in the world, but exclusively for the people of God, who at that time were the nation of Israel. No provision was made for any other nation. That whole sacrificial system with its ceremonies and blood sacrifices, was all a shadow of the true Sacrifice that would save eternally, that of the Holy Lamb of God. Again, not for every person ever born but for the people of God, a people chosen from every nation, not just Israel. The Gospel of John shows conclusively that Christ died for His sheep, His people, and that He prays not for the world but exclusively for those whom the Father had given Him. There are verses throughout the Bible, and not just in a few isolated passages, which prove that the death of Christ was for a people chosen by God, based on His mercy and grace, before the foundation of the world. The whole Message of the Bible is about a predestinated people whom Christ came to save from their sins. The overriding theme of God’s Word is ‘Jesus Christ and what He has done for His people’. The Scriptures are to be examined, not only to see whether who we listen to or read is wrong, but to see whether or not we ourselves have a proper understanding, to see whether it might be we who are wrong.