FOR GOD SO LOVED...WHO? (part 28)
The Bible says “…verily every man at his BEST state is altogether vanity” (Psa. 39:5 cf. Psa. 39:11; 94:11). It is God Who makes alive, purely by His Sovereign will and grace (see Rom. 4:17). Man can do nothing. The apostle Paul, addressing believers wrote: “But God Who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved;)” (Eph. 2:4,5; cf. Col. 2:13,14). “...OF HIM are ye in Christ Jesus...” (1 Cor. 1:30). It is by Christ Jesus the Lord that His people believe in God: “Who BY HIM do believe in God…” (1 Pet. 1:21 cf. Jn. 6:29; Acts 18:27; 1 Cor. 8:6). God does not grant the gift of faith so that people may have a mere potential to believe, but the granting of this precious gift is to ensure they WILL believe, and only believe, His unique Gospel which declares salvation to be by God and grace alone. God has chosen people from among every nation to be His people, His very own elected children (see Rev. 5:9), and they all receive the same “…faith of God’s elect…” (Titus 1:1), to believe the same Gospel. They all obtain “…like precious faith…through the Righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Pet. 1:1 cf. Titus 1:4; Phil. 1:5). God did this according to His Own Counsel. He did not confer with man, nor was the giving of the gift of faith based on any man’s ‘good deeds’. “Who hath directed the Spirit of the Lord, or being His counsellor hath taught Him? With whom took He counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of judgment, and taught Him knowledge, and shewed to Him the way of understanding?” (Isa. 40:13,14 cf. 1 Cor. 2:16; Job 33:12,13). “Having made known unto us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He hath purposed in Himself” (Eph. 1:9). “The Gospel is sent when and where God has determined within Himself it shall go; and persons are called by it according to His purpose and grace” (see also Eph. 1:11,12; Jn. 3:5-8). God choosing those whom He would bless before the foundation of the world, based on grace alone, is proof positive that man is dead in sins, and cannot come to God by will, or works. God says, “…I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy” (Rom. 9:15,16 cf. Ex. 33:19). The word runneth here means “strenuous effort”. “…election, which is what the apostle Paul is discoursing of, is ‘not of him that willeth', ‘nor of him that runneth’: that is, it is not owing to the will or works of men, to the desires, inclinations, and affections of their minds, or to the actions of their lives; these are not the motives, conditions, or causes of this act: ‘but of God that sheweth mercy’; in a free Sovereign way and manner, which He is not obliged to by anything the creature wills or works; God is at full liberty, notwithstanding whatever they will or do, to give His grace and mercy, when, where, and to whom He pleases; and therefore to give it to some, and deny it to others, can never be accounted an act of injustice, since God is not bound to give it to any.”
Why is God responsible for all of salvation, if there was something man could do to come to Him of his own volition; if man did have hope? Why is salvation by grace? Because it cannot be by works. Christ said “…no man can come unto Me…” (Jn. 6:65), either by his will, or his efforts, but only if it is given to the man by the grace of God. The elect are saved, not by means of their own obedience, but by the obedience of ONE: “…by the obedience of One shall many be made Righteous” (Rom. 5:19): “(God) hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to OUR WORKS, but according to HIS own purpose and GRACE, which was GIVEN us in Christ Jesus before the world began” (2 Tim. 1:9), and not, as so many falsely teach, according to God’s foreknowing who would choose Him, for such an ‘election’ would be according to a man’s deeds, and by reward, something which he has earned, rather than by God’s own will, purpose and gift-giving grace. The Scriptures speak plainly: “Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt” (Rom. 4:4 cf. Rom. 6:23). If man must do something before salvation, in order that salvation can then take effect, it is not salvation by grace, but salvation by works. If salvation was dependent upon anything a man had to do, then it would be reckoned as a debt paid, and not a gift freely given. If man can do something to come to God then he is not without hope, and salvation would indeed be conditioned on a man’s will and works, and not solely upon God’s will and grace. It would mean a man can come unto Christ, and is not, therefore, solely reliant upon the mercy of God. Salvation would be something God would be indebted to reward a man with, rather than a gift given freely by His grace. Christ is the Saviour of His people, and not they themselves. “In Whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11)—not man’s will, or works, but solely by God’s will and grace. If salvation is by God’s grace then it is by God’s will. If it is by man’s works, then it is by man’s will. The Bible says of Christians that the reason why God loves them is not because they loved Him first, it is not we who have taken the initiative; it is not anything that we have done which has attracted God to us, and prompted Him to love us and choose us, but “We love Him, because HE FIRST loved us” (1 Jn. 4:19 & v.10; cf. Rom. 5:6,8). God’s love is not a reciprocal love, but an initiatory love, a love which is independent, and, therefore, not brought about, or attracted by, anything or anyone in the entire universe. God is the sole motivating factor behind a saved man’s believing. If God had never loved, and granted the gift of faith to His people, none of them would ever have savingly believed in Him and loved Him. It is God Who MAKES alive, and not man who comes alive. Man is GIVEN eternal life, he does not attain it.
The Lord Jesus took away, He paid the penalty for, all the sins of all the elect of God whom God had given Him (Isa. 53:4,5), and has replaced their sin with His Righteousness: “Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth Righteousness WITHOUT WORKS” (Rom. 4:6 cf. Rom. 4:8). The Righteousness which is given a man is not a reward for anything the man has done, for then it could not be called a salvation purely by grace. The Word of God speaks of “…the gift of Righteousness…” (Rom. 5:17). If salvation came after something a person did, it would be due to what they did, and not solely because of what God has done. Salvation is not a debt paid, but a free gift given. Christ’s Righteousness is freely imputed, or charged, to the elect sinner, by God’s grace based on the obedience of Another: Christ Jesus the Lord: “…by the Righteousness of One the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life” (Rom. 5:18). “‘Came upon all men’; not all universally, but all sorts of men indifferently, Gentiles as well as Jews; or all that are His spiritual seed; all who are connected with the second Adam, all His brethren (see 1 Cor. 15:45). Or all men here is put for many men (see Lk. 6:26; Acts 22:15). Many is sometimes put for all, as in Daniel 12:2, and again all for many; and indeed these two words, all and many, seem to be used reciprocally by this context in particular, Romans 5:15,19. If Adam brings death in fact on all concerned, Christ must bring life in fact on all concerned also. Again, a limitation is suggested by the whole reasoning of the Epistle, and specially by Romans 8:29,30, where the justified are identical with the foreknown and glorified’, in the plain sense of the passage. The use of ‘all men’ with this change of reference is fairly illustrated by 1 Corinthians 15:22-23. For through that whole chapter the Resurrection of the Church is the sole subject; and 1 Corinthians 15:23 explicitly refers to ‘they that are Christ’s’: and yet, when the parallel of Adam and Christ is in view, the word ‘all’ is equally used there in both cases.—See for other illustrations, though less exact, John 12:32; Titus 2:11. The view of Christ as the Head of all Mankind is, to say the least, far less distinct in Scripture than that of Christ as the Head of justified Mankind, the true Church.” Salvation is not the result of anything a man has done, for salvation is by the grace of God, and the Righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ. “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work” (Rom. 11:6). It is God’s grace, and it is Christ’s Righteousness which saves. Salvation is not at all by man’s works, and, therefore, his obedience, but “…by the obedience of One shall many be made Righteous” (Rom. 5:19). Salvation cannot be by grace and works, nor can it be by works alone, for if salvation is by grace alone it cannot be by works at all. Salvation cannot be by God and man, nor can it be by man alone, for if salvation is by God alone it cannot be by man at all. A man is made Righteous not by his own obedience, but only by the obedience of Jesus Christ.
God’s Justice is satisfied, for the penalty which the sins of God’s elect had incurred has been met, and could only have been met, by Christ alone: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is everyone that hangeth on a tree” (Gal. 3:13). “…by His own blood He entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us” (Heb. 9:12). “…being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1). If God has done it then it took God to do it; salvation is of the Lord, therefore, it could only ever have come from the Lord, because of the Lord, therefore, salvation can only be by grace. THE GRACE IS GOD’S, THE FAITH IS GOD’S, THE OBEDIENCE/RIGHTEOUSNESS IS CHRIST’S, WE ARE CHOSEN BY HIM, WE ARE MADE ALIVE BY HIM, AND SO ON. SALVATION IS ALL OF GOD, AND, THEREFORE, NOT AT ALL BY MAN. Nothing that is necessary to salvation comes from man, for nothing that is necessary to salvation is dependent on man, for he is WITHOUT HOPE, and does not seek the true God. Man does not need to play his part, for he has no part to play. Man is a hopeless creature, therefore, how could salvation be in any way dependent on him? Every Gospel believer shall be presented to God holy, faultless, spotless, blameless, and unreproveable (see Jd. 24; Col. 1:22; 2 Pet. 3:14), for they are robed with Christ’s perfect Righteousness, and are no longer covered in the filthy rags of their own righteousnesses: “…all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…” (Isa. 64:6 cf. Isa. 57:12). Paul the apostle wanted to “…be found in Him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the Righteousness which is of God by faith” (Phil. 3:9). The saved man’s refrain is: “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the Robe of Righteousness...” (Isa. 61:10 cf. Gen. 3:21). Jesus Christ alone has fully met the requirements of God’s Holy law, by His perfect obedience unto death: “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). The elect referred to here as the many, will not be made Righteous because of their own individual and imperfect adherence to God’s commands, but are made Righteous solely by the perfect and imputed obedience of One: Jesus Christ, the Lord of Glory!
All of God’s elect will hear the Gospel, and will, at the appointed time, believe it, for this has been predetermined, ordained, by God’s immutable Counsel and eternal Will before the foundation of the world (see Acts 13:48; Acts 2:47; Eph. 1:3-9). The Word of God teaches that all for whom this has been done—culminating in their being given by the Father to Christ the Son—will never perish (see Jn. 10:27:28; cf. Jn. 6:37-40; 17:2). They have been saved eternally, given eternal life by, and are preserved in Christ Jesus their Lord “…sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called” (Jude 1); “…the Lord loveth judgement, and forsaketh not His saints; they are preserved forever…” (Psa. 37:28), and their lives are “…hid with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3 cf. Psa. 37:28; 83:3; Jd. 1). Christ Jesus says: “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me; and him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (Jn. 6:37). “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 blood of Christ has not provided a potential, or temporary, state of salvation for those for whom it was shed, but it has actually obtained, and PERMANENTLY saved all for whom it was poured out. Their salvation is eternally assured, for their sins and their guilt have been charged to Another, Who has blotted them out forever, their debt has been paid in full, and a perfect Righteousness established and imputed unto all those for whom Christ died (see Rom. 4:6-8 cf. 2 Cor. 1:21,22). There remains no condemnation for them. The salvation that a Christian has is not one which is subject to change, for no part of it is conditioned on a man’s efforts at obedience, but is solely, totally, conditioned on Christ, from beginning to final glory, and is, therefore, eternal and wavers not. The saved man is not kept saved by his efforts, but by the power of God through faith in Christ: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 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 ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1:3-5 cf. Jn. 17:11,12; 2 Cor. 1:21,22). “…He preserveth the souls of His saints…” (Psa. 97:10). “The Lord preserveth all them that love Him…” (Psa. 145:20). To believe otherwise is to deny the efficaciousness of Christ’s atoning death, and Christ’s finished work as being sufficient, not only to save His people, but to ensure the eternal security of those people. Salvation is not a momentary, fleeting, thing, but an eternal decree for the people God has chosen. To deny the Work of Christ is to deny the Person of Christ, and to deny Him is to deny His Father’s Testimony, and the Holy Spirit’s Testimony, of Who He is and what He has done, as revealed in the Gospel. “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the Witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made Him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His Son” (1 Jn. 5:10). Jesus said “…the Spirit of truth…shall testify of Me” (Jn. 15:26 cf. Jn. 16:13,14). “Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: [but] he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also” (1 Jn. 2:23). Just as the Scriptures which speak of whosoever believeth are, in the original Greek, saying ‘Every the one believing’, so too, whosoever denieth is here saying ‘Every the one disowning’. Both are declarative statements. Just as those who deny the Son do not have the Father, so, too, those who do not dwell in Christ’s doctrine do not have either the Son, or the Father: “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son" (2 Jn. 9 cf. Jn. 15:23).
The Bible clearly states that all are conceived in sin: “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psa. 51:5). “The fact of congenital depravity is stated, not only here, but also in Job 14:4; Psalm 58:3; it is also implied in Isaiah 43:27 and Hosea 6:7.” The original Hebrew text has “Behold! In depravity I was travailed”. The only answer to man’s hereditary sin problem is the grace of God through Jesus Christ the Saviour of God’s chosen people. All men, whether they are young or old, whether they are sick, or well, whether they are lost, or saved carry within them the sin seed which eternally condemns us all by nature. The Word of God speaks of those who are now saved as once being “…by nature the children of Wrath, even as others” (Eph. 2:3). Intrinsically, all are not the children of God, but the children of God’s Wrath. All are children by creation, but they are not in the family of God, they are not of the Household of Faith, by birth, but only by a re-birth into God’s Kingdom according to His grace (see Jn. 3:3,5). Scripture states that salvation is by God alone through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Christ said “…I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh to the Father, but by Me” (Jn.14:6). He that hath an ear let him hear. No one gets to Jesus because they died as an infant, or because they didn’t die as an infant. No one gets saved by default, by a non-payment of their sins by the Lord Jesus Christ. A man’s sins and the punishment due unto him is not something which is overlooked, or glossed over, by God, under any circumstances no matter how tragic they may be. Man thinks he has invented innumerous ways to get saved, and convinced himself of many loopholes that will excuse him from the Day of Judgement and the full extent of God’s Wrath, however, none of these inventions have ever resulted in anyone’s salvation, for none of them have ever dealt with the full payment of sin, or led to the establishment of a perfect Righteousness. Man’s excuse-filled, and loophole-laden false ways to salvation are the evidence that man, by nature, is lost and without God, without the true and only way to salvation, and without any hope of ever finding it. There is nothing about man’s age, mode of life, or death, which will influence God in any way to save him. Salvation is not according to anything of man, but according to God’s will, grace, mercy, purpose and love. Salvation is of the Lord, and He gives it to whomsoever He wills. One gets to Jesus, one is saved, ONLY if the Lord Jesus Christ laid down His life for them.
Special circumstances and situations never saved anyone! They have never exempted anyone from being judged according to the only Standard by which God judges the saved, and the lost: Perfection. Human sentimentalism, the romanticizing of a man and salvation, and the silly thought of God being ‘too nice to send anyone to Hell’, does not consider the reality of man’s sinful and accursed state, and what it takes for a man to be saved. The death of Christ is the insurmountable evidence that Almighty God is profoundly serious concerning the matter of sin and the punishment of all sinners no matter who they be who have not had their sins punished in Christ. God’s inflexible justice demands death for sin, even if that sin were charged to God the Son Himself. Nothing that man does, hasn’t done, will do, or won’t do, or that which happens to him over which he has no control, plays any part in anyone’s salvation. There are no mitigating circumstances by which God can justly overlook a man’s sins and sin nature, and, thereby, reduce, let alone waive, the eternal penalty which sin has incurred. The fact that Hell is eternal, that there are no reduced sentences, is testament to the reality that the sin seed resides in all men by nature, and if a man’s sins have not been washed away by the blood of Christ, there can be nothing but eternal punishment which awaits him. Only the blood of Christ could, and has washed away the sins of all for whom He died. Hell is not for the rehabilitation, or purification, of any, but for the punishment of all for whom Christ did not die, whose sins were not blotted out by Him, and whose trust was never in Him. Salvation only comes by the grace, purpose and good pleasure of Almighty God. Christ is the Way, the ONLY Way, and there is no salvation for anyone without Him. The redemption of sin, and the imputation of the Righteousness of Christ is the only way a man can be saved. THERE ARE NO EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES FOR ANY MAN WHICH GOD WILL USE TO EXCUSE HIS SIN, OR OVERRIDE SALVATION’S GOVERNING PRINCIPLE OF SALVATION BY GRACE ALONE THROUGH FAITH ALONE. Any such act would do despite to Christ and all that He endured for the sake of His people. All men are conceived in sin, and are deserving of nothing, but the Wrath of God whatever their situation or circumstances might be. Whether a person is confined to a wheelchair, or to whatever handicap has befallen them, or to a life which is impeded by sickness or chronic pain of any kind, nothing can make a man innocent before a Holy God, and preclude him from future punishment. Sickness, and tragedy, are not the Saviour! Nothing, and no one, can separate a man from his sin except the Lord Jesus Christ. Punishment for sin is not something which is restricted to the healthy, but to all who were not given by the Father to the Son. All that the Father does not give unto the Son shall not come to Him. Horrible deaths, murders and tragedies are simply part of man’s sin-fuelled world, the outcome, and extension, of his original sin against God. “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” (Rom. 5:12). “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:21,22,45). God having sent His Saviour into the world is the clearest of all evidences that no man by nature is a child of God, and the need of grace for salvation shows that no one can do anything to become a child of God. Man is, by nature, a child of God’s very real Wrath, and is in need of salvation which can only be provided by the obedience of the Saviour.
It is vitally important to note that no one is saved based on what are perceived to be ‘special’ circumstances, or situations, or because a person was murdered (whether in the womb or out of the womb), or because they were old, or young, blind or deaf, stillborn, or because they were your cousin, mother, father, child or friend, or because they died whilst helping others or because they were such nice people, or because they were your neighbours, or trusted friends, etc. If the opposite were true where would the loopholes ever stop, and the subsequent excuses ever end? Make room for one lie, and you will soon be overwhelmed by lies, and your whole theology will be governed by falsehoods, rather than the Word of God. NO ONE IS INNOCENT!! The deaf are not innocent, the blind are not innocent, the physically, or mentally, disabled are not innocent, the child is not innocent, the baby in the womb is not innocent, for all are conceived in sin. People love to make excuses for themselves, and for deceased loved ones thinking that some physical deformity or mental disability is somehow an excuse for their wretched sinful state, and even a veritable gateway to Heaven. Such people fail to realise the cold hard fact that all mankind, including the deaf, the blind, the mute, the physically and mentally crippled, suffers from the ULTIMATE disability: AN EXTREME STATE OF SPIRITUAL DEATH!! No physical or mental disability could ever exceed the greatest disability which has engulfed the entire cursed race of man because of his eternal separation from God by sin. “He that is asleep may awake; but the sinner is in a state of death, which implies not only a cessation from all vital actions, but an absolute disability to perform them. The understanding is disabled for any spiritual perception, the will for any holy inclinations, the whole man is disabled for the sense of his wretched state. This is the spiritual death which justly exposes the sinner to death temporal and eternal.” All are products of sin and stand guilty before a Holy God. “…There is none righteous…FOR all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:10,23). The whole race of man is under a curse: the curse of sin, and, therefore, be they healthy or sick, whole in body and mind, or incapacitated in any way, all are deserving only of the Wrath of God.
The life every true born of the Gospel believer now has is everlasting life, because they have, by the grace of God, been made alive unto Him eternally. God does not do things by halves, for if He has saved you, you are saved forever. “Wherefore He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him…” (Heb. 7:25). “This is to be understood not of temporal salvation, nor of providential favours, but of spiritual and eternal salvation.” THERE IS NO SIN THAT CAN UNDO THIS, FOR CHRIST HAS BLOTTED OUT THE BELIEVER’S SINS, PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE, HAVING NAILED THEM TO HIS CROSS! (see Col. 2:13-15). EVERY SIN OF EVERY BELIEVER HAS BEEN MET, IMPUTED TO THE SAVIOUR, DEALT WITH, PAID FOR, AND FORGIVEN, FOR CHRIST DIED FOR ALL THE SINS OF EVERY BELIEVER, AND HAS TAKEN THEM AWAY FOREVER. “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us” (Psa. 103:12). Christ imputes His Righteousness to all those for whom He became a curse (see Gal. 3:13 & 2 Cor. 5:21). They have been given eternal life, a life which is everlasting, and, therefore, cannot ever end, and consequently could not ever be dependent on their feeble attempts at obedience. “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” (Jn. 10:28,29; 17:2). They, all whom the Father has given to the Son, shall never perish FOR they have been given eternal life. Nothing can be done that will separate life eternal and those to whom it has been given. Nothing can separate the believer from God’s eternal love: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?... 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, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:35,38,39 cf. Heb.13:5). Eternal life ensures that God’s chosen will be obedient people (see Eph. 2:10), but their salvation will not depend on their obedience, for the ground of their salvation is the obedience unto death of their Lord Jesus Christ. The only way any could lose their salvation is by future sins, but even these have all been blotted out by the atoning blood of Christ, forever. What sin could they commit that would cancel out all that has been done for them, when all that has been done for them is eternal? This, of course, does not give Christians any license to do as they please, for they will be saved anyway, for no Christian thinks like that. The apostle Paul replied to such a false accusation by saying: “…Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” (Rom. 6:1,2 cf. Rom. 6:14-18; 1 Thess. 4:7). “Christians may fall into sin, and lie in it some time, yet they cannot live in it: living in sin, is not only unbecoming the grace of God revealed in the Gospel, but is contrary to it; it is detestable to gracious minds, yea, it seems impossible they should live in it; which is suggested by this question, ‘how shall we?’ & c. The thing is impracticable: for, for a gracious soul to live in sin, would be to die again, to become dead in sin, which cannot be; he that lives and believes in Christ shall never die, spiritually or eternally.” The very fact that God has appointed, or predestined, each one of these people to be eternally saved, and has “…preserved in Jesus Christ…” (Jd. 1:1), alone rules out the possibility that any of them shall ever again live in sin, and that any other fate awaits them other than salvation: “For God hath not appointed us to Wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us…” (1 Thess. 5:9,10). They have each been given the gift of life and the life which they have been given, which also comes by no other way than by the grace of God, is everlasting. Their "...life is hid with Christ in God" (Col. 3:3 cf. Psa. 37:28; Jd. 1). With one voice the elect say, "...If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31), and Scripture also says, "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth" (Rom. 8:33). Just as God’s loving them first ensures their love for Him, so too, God’s never leaving them guarantees they will never leave Him (see Heb. 13:5). Now how could something be lost when it is everlasting and made so by God Himself? How could anything damn a sinner and cause him to lose his salvation, whose sins have been eternally washed away by the blood of Christ, and who has been eternally justified by God, and given a life which can never end?
By this doctrine of everlasting life, we see that just as no work of man’s is necessary to get saved, so too, no work of man’s is necessary to keep him saved. Lost man sees this as a license to sin; the saved man sees this as reason to praise God for His unspeakable Gift, and live an obedient life devoted to Him. Salvation is because of grace, and a man remains in that saved state purely by the grace of God. The sin of doing to stay saved, is just as abhorrent as the blasphemy of doing to get saved. Just as no man is saved based on his will, or efforts, no man remains saved based on his will and efforts at obedience. A MAN IS SAVED BY GRACE AND HE STAYS SAVED BY GRACE. Saved by the grace of God (see Eph. 2:8), and kept by the power of God (see 1 Pet. 1:5), shuts out any possibility that remaining saved could ever be something which man by his obedience could achieve (see Gal. 3:3), and, therefore, any reason for him to think that part of the glory for salvation belongs to him. A man could never have this understanding were he not made aware, by the preaching of the whole Gospel of Grace, that the whole of salvation is by the grace of God allowing no room for a man to boast in anything he has done upon which salvation depended. If every sin of every believer has been atoned for, would it not be right to conclude that the sin of unbelief, that sin which for so long kept the believer from God, and evidenced his dead spiritual state, has also been taken out of the way? If not, then the sin of unbelief has not been done away with, not even for the elect, and there is no atonement for it. The penalty it has incurred has not been paid, and, therefore, no one can possibly come to God, for the sin of unbelief reigns supreme, being untouched by the blood of Christ. How ludicrous is the arrogant, and desperate, claim which emanates from man’s sinful nature which, whilst having no answer that is according to the Word of God as to what a man can do to get saved, insists that a man can lose his salvation by what he does.
Has not Christ suffered the penalty of all the sins of the elect, including the sin of unbelief? As this is made transparently clear by the Scriptures, how could anyone for whom Christ has suffered, possibly die in unbelief, when the penalty for that very sin of unbelief has been paid in full by the Lord Jesus? If none can undo what sin has done, then how can a man undo, by forgiven sin, no less, that which Christ has done? How can Christ’s gift of eternal salvation be prevented, or undone, by any sin, or sins, committed by those whom He has eternally forgiven? FORGIVENESS DOES NOT DEPEND, OR RELY, UPON THE LOVE OF THE ONE FORGIVEN, BUT SOLELY UPON THE LOVE OF THE ONE WHO HAS FORGIVEN. Christ’s forgiveness does not depend on the saved sinner not sinning, but on His eternal, covenant love, and the fact that the saved sinner’s sins have been washed away by the blood of Christ, and His Righteousness given in its stead. Moreover, God will never leave His chosen people, nor forsake them (see Psa. 37:28 & Heb. 13:5), and because of this, they can/will never leave, or forsake, Him. The seed of man may procreate physical life, but it is only a temporal life, for it comes from corruptible seed, which means that it will one day perish. However, all that spring from the Seed of God have a spiritual life which is eternal, it will never perish, for that Seed which they have been born out of—the Gospel—is incorruptible. Christ said it this way: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (Jn. 3:6). This means that which is born of the flesh, that is, man’s natural sinful nature, cannot be anything but natural and sinful itself, and will one day die. The Pharisee, Nicodemus, who had just asked if what Jesus meant by the phrase “...except a man be born again...” (Jn. 3:3,4) implied that a man must enter a second time into his mother’s womb, did not understand what Christ had said. Even if a man could re-enter his mother’s womb “He would still be possessed by the same natural, sinful, propensities and passions...” (that which is of the flesh). Man does not need to be physically born again, but rather needs to be made spiritually alive. Man “partakes of the nature of the parent. As the parents are corrupt and sinful, so will be their descendants. And as the parents are wholly corrupt by nature, so their children will be the same. The word ‘flesh’ here is used to denote ‘corrupt, defiled, sinful’.” On the other hand, that which is born of the Spirit of God, or by the agency of the Holy Spirit through the means of the Gospel of God, is spirit as well. Only the born again man will see the Kingdom of Heaven: “…Except a man is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven” (Jn. 3:3 cf. 1 Cor. 15:50). “Here we learn that all men are by nature sinful. That none are renewed but by the Spirit of God. If man did the work himself (or contributed in any way to any degree), it would still be flesh, and impure.” Man must be born again; he must be born of that incorruptible Seed; he must be born of the Gospel if he is to see the Kingdom of God. A saved man is “…born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever….And this is the Word which by the Gospel is preached unto you” (1 Pet. 1:23,25 cf. 1 Cor. 4:15). Without the seed of the Gospel there can only be the fruit of the flesh.
None of God’s children believe anything less, or more, than this simple Gospel as the only way to salvation. Christ said He is the only Way to the Father: “...I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (Jn. 14:6 cf. Heb. 7:25). Scripture also declares, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under Heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). God says of Himself: “…I am the Lord; and beside Me there is no Saviour” (Isa. 43:11). Man has no hope without God, for there is no Saviour but God, and there is no way to salvation but by belief in the Gospel of the grace of God. The way to God is not a life of good works, for the Bible says “…by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified” (Gal. 2:16 cf. Rom. 3:10-12, 20). “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith” (Gal. 3:11 cf. Hab.2:4). Good works are a fruit of salvation, but they are not in any way to any degree a contributing factor, or the means, to anyone’s justification (see 2 Tim. 1:9). A man is saved purely by God Himself electing the man to be saved by means of his seeing, hearing, understanding and believing God’s Gospel. Conversion can come by no other way (see Jn. 12:38-40). All who abide in the doctrine of Christ are preserved in Christ (see Jude 1; 2 Jn. 9), and their inheritance is reserved for them in Heaven. According to the abundant mercy of God, and not our works, HE “...hath BEGOTTEN US AGAIN unto a lively hope by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 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 ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1:3-5 cf. Col. 3:3; 1 Pet. 1:23-25; Psa. 83:3). Nothing and no one can undo what Christ has done for His people. “I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before Him” (Eccl. 3:14 cf. Isa. 43:13). “This holds good of all His works, and acts of grace; election of persons to eternal life stands firm, not on the foot of works, but of grace, and has its certain effect; it can never be made void, nor be surer than it is; it will ever take place, and continue in its fruit and consequences: the covenant of grace, as it is made from everlasting, continues to everlasting; its promises never, fail, its blessings are the sure mercies of David: redemption by Christ is eternal; such as are redeemed from sin, Satan, and the law, are ever so, and shall never be brought into bondage to either again: the work of grace upon the heart being begun, shall be performed and perfected; the graces wrought in the soul, as faith, hope, and love, ever remain; the blessings of grace bestowed, as pardon, justification, adoption, and salvation, are never reversed, but ever continue; such as are regenerated, pardoned, justified, adopted, and saved, shall be ever so; and the work of God, as it is durable, so perfect; ‘nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it’.”
The fact that the born again man has an incorruptible inheritance which cannot be defiled and does not fade away shows that his eternal salvation is 100% conditioned on what has been done, and secured, for him, and which cannot be undone by man. All who reject the Doctrine of Christ obey not the Gospel of Christ, they have not God, and shall be eternally damned if they remain in that state: “Whosoever transgresseth, and ABIDETH NOT IN THE DOCTRINE OF CHRIST, HATH NOT GOD. He that ABIDETH in the doctrine of Christ, he HATH both the Father and the Son. If there come ANY unto you and bring not THIS DOCTRINE, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds” (2 Jn. 9-11 cf. 1 Jn. 2:23). “He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life” (1 Jn. 5:12). “…the Lord knoweth them that are His” (2 Tim. 2:19). All that are known of God are loved of God, and will know and love Him, and believe only His Gospel.
“Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” (2 Tim. 2:7).
REPENT AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL