LOVE AND FORGIVENESS (PART 14)
The salvation that a Christian has is not one which is subject to change, it does not wax and wane, 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 own efforts, but by the power of God through the gift of 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), and why do they love Him, how do they love Him? Because He loved them first (see 1 Jn. 4:19). 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, inconstant, fleeting thing, but an eternal decree for the people God has chosen. To look to, or for, anything apart from Who Christ is and what He has done, is to deny the Work of Christ, and 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, concerning Who He is and what He has done for His people, as revealed in the Gospel. It is to deny that salvation is by grace alone. “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 cf. 2 Jn. 9). To deny the Lord Jesus is to deny the Person behind the name. To deny the Lord Jesus is to reject the doctrines of His Gospel which describe and distinguish Him and what He has done for His people from all false Christs. To acknowledge and have the Son, is to know the Person behind the name, and the only way to know the true Christ is to abide in His doctrine. Not knowing the truth is not knowing Him. Believing and trusting in a ‘jesus’ is to deny THE Jesus. 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 acknowledge 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. 8:32,36; 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 and mercy of God through Jesus Christ, the Saviour of God’s chosen people. All men, whether they be 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 cf. 1 Thess. 1:10). Intrinsically, all are not the children of God, but the children of God’s Wrath. None at all are children of God by nature, but only by God’s Mercy and Grace. All are children by creation, but they are not all 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 unto 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 has convinced himself of their legitimacy by wrongly interpreted Scriptures that he believes 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, or ever relieved anyone from the Wrath to come, 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 pothole laden false ways of works as a path 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 solely, exclusively according to God’s will, grace, mercy, purpose and love. Salvation is a supernatural act performed and sustained by Almighty God. 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 ultimately being ‘too nice to send anyone to Hell’, and that for all eternity, fails to consider and acknowledge 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 (see Rom. 8:32). 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, for all who have been appointed to Wrath, whose sins were not blotted out by Him, and whose trust, consequently, 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. “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 cf. Jn. 14:6; Heb. 7:25). The redemption of sin, and the imputation of the Righteousness of Christ is the only way a man is 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 entail. Whether a person is confined to a wheelchair, or restricted in some way by 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 eternal 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 reserved for the vibrantly healthy, but for 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 consequences 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…And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit” (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 in need of salvation which can only be provided by grace through 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, brother, sister, mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, auntie, uncle, child or friend, or because they died whilst helping others, or because they were such nice people, softly spoken, or because they were your neighbours, or a trusted associate, etc. If the opposite were true where would the exemptions 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. The inescapable reality is: NO ONE IS INNOCENT!! The deaf are not innocent, the blind are not innocent, the physically disabled, or mentally impaired 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, and in most cases refuse to accept 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 irredeemably 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 death, 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. That this sounds harsh to many is also the result of man’s intrinsic sinful state. In reality, all of the above is nothing but the true state of how things are, and the glorious God Who has, according to His will and love, chosen to have mercy on some and save them.
The life every true born of the Gospel believer now has is everlasting life, because by the grace of God they have been made alive unto Him eternally. God does not do things by halves, 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); “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); “Jesus saith unto him, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (Jn. 14:6). “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 ALLTO 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. When God gives eternal life, He gives it forever. Eternal life is given to those who are made alive forever. Salvation is an eternal gift which nothing and no one can hinder or prevent. Nothing can be done that will separate life eternal from those to whom it has been given, for nothing can separate the believer from God’s life-giving 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), and that is precisely where every true born again believer is at this moment: IN CHRIST! The Christian is “…preserved in Jesus Christ…” Jd. 1 cf. 1 Pet. 1:4). Eternal life comes from God’s eternal love for all His people, and it is given to them forevermore. God is eternally committed to His people, thus they will never perish. God will never leave nor forsake His people. As a result of this, how can you ever leave One who will never leave you.
It is the gift of Eternal Life which ensures 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 and Saviour 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. If Christ did not die for the future sins of His people how could they ever be redeemed from them? What would their forgiveness be based on? What could ever wash away those future sins if not the blood of Jesus? If sin can only be dealt with, punished and forgiven, by Christ’s death for a man to be saved and enjoy eternal life and have his sinfulness replaced by the imputed Righteousness of Christ, what fool would even contemplate the vacuous lie that Christ did not die for the future sins of His people. Remember, the future sins of tomorrow eventually become the past sins of yesterday. How can you argue about future sins today, after they have become the past sins of yesterday? What sin could God’s people ever commit that would cancel out all that has been done for them by God Himself no less, when all that has been done for them is everlasting? Forgiveness, redemption, the blotting out of the sins of God’s people and the imputed Righteousness of Jesus Christ are all everlasting. 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 against salvation by grace alone, 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 each and every one of them “…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 eternal 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 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), permanently! 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). How can you leave someone who is always by your side? 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, when his sins have been eternally washed away by the blood of Christ, and who has been eternally justified by God through the Righteousness of Christ, 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 of love devoted to Him. Salvation is because of grace, and a man remains in that saved state purely by the grace of God. Nothing can affect the grace of God just as nothing can change the will of God. “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). God’s chosen are saved by the power of grace, and they are kept by the power of grace. “For by grace are ye saved through faith…Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation…” (Eph. 2:8 & 1 Pet. 1:5). The sin of doing to stay saved, is just as abhorrent as the blasphemy of doing to get saved. “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3). The sinful belief that a man can lose his salvation by what he does, is just as blasphemous a sin as that which believes a man can get saved by what he does. God’s people are those who “…have no confidence in the flesh” (Phil. 3:3). Just as no man is saved based on his will, or efforts, no man remains saved based on his will and efforts at obedience, and no man can lose his salvation based on any act of disobedience. The saved man is one whose every sin, past, present and future has been punished in Christ (see Eph. 1:4,5,7-14). A MAN IS SAVED BY GRACE AND HE STAYS SAVED BY GRACE, ETERNALLY. Saved by the grace of God (see Eph. 2:8), and kept by the power of God (see 1 Pet. 1:3-5), shuts out any possibility that remaining saved could ever be something which man by his obedience could achieve (see Gal. 3:3), and, therefore, refutes 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 that 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. That which is eternal is not subject to ANYTHING. If God gives something it is eternal, and its eternality is inextricably connected to the will of God. “Consider the work of God: for who can make that straight, which He hath made crooked?” (Eccl. 7:13 cf. Dan. 4:35); “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). Nothing a man does, or does not do, can effect that which is the eternal decree of God.
Has not Christ suffered the penalty for all the sins—past, present and future—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 all been washed away by the blood of Christ, and His Righteousness given to them in their stead. God’s people are made holy and blameless forever. “And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things unto Himself; by Him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath He reconciled In the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight” (Col. 1:20-22). There is now eternal peace between God and His chosen through the blood of His Son, Jesus. His people are eternally reconciled by Christ’s death for them and presented holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight eternally. Referring to His sheep, the Lord Jesus said: “…I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish…” (Jn. 10:28 cf. Col. 2:14). Does that sound as though salvation is dependent on man, or God? God’s chosen are saved eternally and will never perish, not based on their obedience, but they will never perish because the life they have been given is eternal and predicated on Christ’s perfect obedience unto death. 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. We love Him because He loved us first, we will never leave Him because He will never leave us.
The seed of man may procreate physical life, but it is only a temporal life, for it comes from corrupted 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 (see 1 Pet. 1:23-25). 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 needs, rather, 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 be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God” (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.” Jesus said: “It is the Spirit that quickeneth (makes alive); the flesh profiteth NOTHING: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (Jn. 6:63). Man must be born again; he must be born of that incorruptible Seed of God; he must be born of the Gospel of the grace of God if he is to see the Kingdom of God. Salvation must be the work of God alone, for man’s efforts only serve to deny the grace of God and the Righteousness of Christ His Son: “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if Righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal. 2:21 cf. Gal. 5:4). 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 unprofitable fruit of the flesh (see Jn. 6:63). The wages of works is vanity and death.
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 which only comes by grace through the gift of faith. To trust in GOD’S Way of salvation is the only way of salvation in which a saved man trusts. To trust in God’s Way of salvation is to know Him through the doctrines of the only Gospel that reveals Him. 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). The faith given to a saved man trusts not in his own works, but solely in the works of God. 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 than grace (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 by God 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 by God, and which cannot be undone by any 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: “…the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with His mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and THAT OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power” (2 Thess. 1:7-9 cf. 2 Jn. 9). God's love for His people, His choice of them, His covenant with them in Christ, the redemption of them by Christ, and the grace of God in them, secures them from such destruction; nor can they perish through want of knowledge, for though they are by nature as ignorant as others, yet it is the determinate will of God to give unto them the knowledge and love of the truth by grace; and that same decree which fixes salvation as the end, secures the belief of the truth as the means (see 2 Thess. 2:13); and the covenant of grace provides for their knowledge of spiritual things, as well as other spiritual blessings; in consequence of which their minds are enlightened by the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, and they have the knowledge of God and Christ given them, which is life eternal. “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 believeth on Him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (Jn. 3:18 cf. Jn. 5:24; Acts 4:12). “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 cf. Acts 15:18). All that are known of God are loved of God, and will know and love Him, and believe only His Gospel.
To believe the Gospel of God is to believe exclusively in the Gospel of God. How can one say they believe the Gospel of God, and yet insist that a person can be saved without faith in God’s truth? To truly believe in the Gospel of God is to believe in salvation by grace alone through faith alone in the Righteousness of Christ Jesus alone. Such a belief admits no other gospel, in other words a ‘grace and…’ gospel, or a ‘Christ’s Righteousness and…’ gospel, as having any power to save. If you add anything to grace you do not believe in grace. If you feel you must add your works to what God does to save His people, you are not one of those people. If you are saved by grace you are against all gospels which promote the essentiality of your works to salvation. If you believe that you or others are/were saved BEFORE belief in the true and only Gospel of God, you are currently in a lost state (see Eph. 1:12,13). Believing the truth is salvation by grace. Prior to belief of the truth there can be no evidence of salvation. There is nothing a man can do to get saved. He cannot reach up to God, for he does not know God or how He saves. It must be God Who comes to man. That is grace. The Christian is sanctified by the Holy Spirit, but not without belief of the truth. If you are a true Christian you are saved “…because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13). If you do not believe the truth you cannot, at this moment in time, be in a sanctified state. The Christian is sanctified by the Holy Spirit AND belief of the truth. No one is sanctified by “another spirit”, who brings “another gospel” which teaches “another christ” (see 2 Cor. 11:4). Likewise, no one can be in a saved state who does not belief in the truth of the Gospel of the grace of God. Prior to salvation no man believes the Gospel of God. Subsequent to, and as a consequence of, salvation, the Christian believes exclusively in the Gospel of God eternally. Believing any other gospel but God’s Gospel is the sure sign one has not the faith which God gives to His elect (see Gal. 1:8,9). No one can savingly believe the Gospel of God before they are given the gift of faith by grace, and they will only believe the Gospel of God after they have been given saving faith by grace. God-given faith believes there is no salvation outside of belief in the Gospel of God. “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). There is no salvation outside the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus Christ. Prior to salvation there is only death. Outside of Jesus Christ and what He has done for His people there is only death. Outside of grace there is only death. To believe that one is saved before, or without, belief in the Gospel of God is to believe in salvation without grace.
You do not go to Heaven because you believe something. You go to Heaven if God by grace alone has given you the gift of faith to believe in the only way to salvation, God’s plan of salvation by the Righteousness of Christ Jesus His Son revealed in His one and only Gospel (see Rom. 1:16,17).
“Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from Him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved…My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation: He is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us” (Psa. 62:1,2,5-8).
LOVE AS GOD LOVES YOU. FORGIVE AS GOD HAS FORGIVEN YOU.
The true Christian announces with joy in his heart: I AM FORGIVEN, MY SINS ARE FORGOTTEN. Concerning all who have sinned against him the Christian declares: I HAVE FORGIVEN, THEIR SINS ARE FORGOTTEN. Simply be the lovely Christian that you were created in Christ to be, my friend. Love your enemies, friends and brethren as yourself because God loves you. Be sure of your walk with God, how others act toward you is their responsibility, yours is to love them as God loves you. With our minds set on God loving and forgiving is easy.
Someone once said “No matter how much you change, you still have to pay the price for what you’ve done". I would hasten to add, unless the person you did it to forgives you and maintains their love for you.
A final word to the unforgiving Christian. Do something you have most likely never done in your life: face yourself. Look at your actions. Do not look at the actions of others, but look at your own actions and find out who you are, and who you REALLY want to be.
“Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things” (2 Tim. 2:7).
“…REPENT YE, AND BELIEVE THE GOSPEL” (Mk. 1:15).
“…preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mk. 16:15,16).