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ROMANS 8:10-25: 
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ETERNAL SECURITY AND BIBLICAL INERRANCY

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GOD'S LOVE AND JUDGMENT
-OR-
IF GOD LOVES US, WHY DOES HE LET US BE SO MISERABLE?



 
 

Many times I have been asked how it is that the God I worship can allow so many terrible things to happen to people He "claims" to love. If you really want to understand His reasons, you must first take the time to stop asking questions and listen to what He has to say. If you are constantly busy seeking, you will bypass the answers without knowing that they are there. The answers are found nowhere in the world, save in His inspired (breathed) Word, the Holy Bible. You can seek for answers for the rest of your life, but if you don't look to His Word, you will search in vain.

The answer to all of your "why's" about God's actions is pretty simple. It all boils down to "Why does God let terrible things happen to good people?" The question is founded on the utterly false premise that man is good. I know that is not what people want to believe about themselves, but that is what God says. Consider the evidence.

The Word of God, the Bible, tells us that NO ONE IS GOOD: not men, not women, not children. NOT ONE! This is not my opinion, it is not my philosophy, is it not "just part of my religion"; God says so. Do you disagree? Have you ever watched children persecute other children? Have you dismissed that cruelty by saying, "Kids are just that way"? Your eyes and ears bear witness man's evil every day, and children are no exception.

There is the effect of human politics, a sometimes "noble" undertaking which results in no shortage of work for undertakers. Examine the government of North Korea, and the governments of other countries where people have been or are starving. Corrupt governments are the human reason for the suffering. Some of those governments, most notably in Ethiopia, confiscated the food that was being shipped to the starving people of their own land? It is the evil that men do that brings the agony they suffer. But why does God permit it? Why doesn't he stop it?

Man is not good! 6,000,000 murdered Jews, 20,000,000 murdered Ukrainian farmers, the carnage of two world wars, innumerable smaller wars, and 8000 years of blood-soaked history, all speak against the innocence or good of all men. The children suffering and dying is Somalia are the victims of the evil that is alive and well in that country as well as the world. God is not responsible, man is! While I was writing this letter a 5 month old Down Syndrome baby lay brain dead in a local hospital, while the father is in jail for throwing him to the floor because he was crying during a meal. The wages of sin is death. The baby has died, and the father has committed murder. Why did the baby die? It was because of evil, the sin which infected both it and its father. NOT ONE HUMAN BEING IS WITHOUT SIN! Not even that seemingly "innocent" baby. The world is drenched in sin, and so are the sons and daughters of men. It is amazing that God hasn't snuffed out humanity like a candle. We ALL deserve it.

Why doesn't God do something about all of the terrible conditions in the world? He already has, and the time is coming when He will fix everything. Right now, the question shouldn't be "Why hasn't he?" but, "Why should He?" We are the ones who turned our backs on Him. In the earliest part of our history, in the Garden of Eden, Ancient Egypt, and the Wilderness of Sinai God came directly to men, showing them His power. Men saw His might with their own eyes, and still refused to obey Him. They preferred and followed the temptation to do evil presented by Satan over the protective and loving hand of Almighty God. Still, God gave us a way out of this mess even after we created it. What was our response? The world, for the most part, rejected the way out, and in true human fashion murdered that promise -- or so it appeared for a moment in time. How can there be any hope for us?

God is merciful! You, and all of us have two ways to go: [1] We can shake our fists in futility, and hurl blind accusations at the Lord God Creator, or [2] we can accept the free gift of love God has offered to those He has chosen. It is incomprehensible to me how He can love us, but He does. He has sent His only Son, Christ Jesus, to suffer and die in our place, on a cross of wood in unspeakable agony.

The only way you can ever become good in God's eyes is by His sovereign will through the sin-cleansing payment that Christ Jesus paid on the cross. God must have chosen you, then you must respond by accepting Jesus' death without reservation as paying for the evil (sin) you have within you, reject your old life of sin, and profess before the world His death and the salvation it brings. When you do this, you will have entered into the new life-path which God has prepared for you.

If you are truly His, God will give you the wisdom you need to understand His will. He will reveal His inerrant Word, the Holy Bible to you in ways you never thought possible before you accepted His call. You will find soul-satisfying answers to all of your questions. You will find His words filled with a vitality, a life, and a dynamic force that you never dreamed to be reality. Then, if you persevere to the end, observing His teachings, obeying Him, and not abusing the freedom He has given you, you will be His for eternity. It is that intense desire within you which will testify to you that you are His. It will not be your own will which will make that achievement possible, but His love and power through Christ Jesus dwelling in you that will enable you to do what you could never have achieved on your own. You will have had freedom achieved for you, without having done anything to deserve or to earn it.

Freedom? Did I really say freedom? Yes, there is freedom beyond your understanding in Christ Jesus. Right now you may think that the Bible is just another bunch of rules that you have to follow; just another way to be a do-gooder, just another empty promise. That is sin talking to you. You are enslaved to sin if you do not belong to Christ. You may think you are free, but you are not; you are ignoring the shackles that bind you. If you don't think you are shackled with sin, then why can't you stop doing wrong? Why are you "seeking" something better than you have? Why aren't you satisfied with your life? Why have you read this?


Copyright 1994, 1997 Deke (a pseudonym)

This document may be reproduced and distributed freely if it is: [1] done without charge, [2] all sections of the entire text are reproduced exactly as they appear here, intact and without addition or deletion, and [3] it includes this copyright notice and the author's name. Short excerpts of this document for commentary are permissible.





 
 

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SIN AND THE MYTH OF FREETHINKING
- OR-
Rattle those chains a little harder, maybe you'll hear 'em!

(REVISED 2-26-98)

By Deke


Webster's Dictionary defines "freethinker" as synonymous with "atheist." God defines atheists in Psalm 14:1, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good." He reiterates the point in Psalm 53:1, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good." (NIV) Are the atheists right? Are they free, or are they living in self-deception and darkness? Are YOU right?

All human beings have broken the law of God which He has breathed it into the only testament He has ever given, the Holy Bible. He declares Himself as the source of Scripture in 2Timothy 3:16, "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, ...." (NIV) Sin, the act of breaking of God's law as presented in His Scripture, began with the disobedience of Eve, and Adam's acceptance of her deception. Sin is mankind's failure to meet the standard set by God's perfection. God says so in Romans 3:23, ".... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, ...." (NIV) We are all deserving of the second death, the condemnation to hell (2 Peter 2:1-10) as the result of our failure to meet His sovereignly defined standard. God made us responsible for what we do. If we deny responsibility for our acts, we will nonetheless be held accountable for every thought and deed.

After reading this far, some non-Christian apologists and anti-Christ bigots who support "freethinking behavior" (evil) will bring up the issue of God's omniscience (foreknowledge) and the apparent paradox inherent in the totally Biblical doctrines of predestination and election versus un-biblical freewill. Predestination and election necessarily flow from God's omniscience and omnipresence. The un-biblical, even heretical (as commonly taught) doctrine of freewill negates God's omniscience or foreknowledge, and His omnipresence or His presence at all times and points in creation, from the beginning to the end. If He knows what will happen, there is no free will; if He does not know what will happen, God is not omniscient and is not the God who breathed the Scriptures of the Holy Bible. Critics will ask, "If God has foreknowledge, why did He plan for man to sin, and if He does not have foreknowledge, then why do you say He is omnipotent?" The answer is simple: God is omniscient and omnipresent, and there is no freewill. Their rhetorical argument is only a fatuous attempt to reject and blame Him for our sin and its consequences. He is sovereign, He is omnipotent and omnipresent. He does not live by and is not defined by our rules and ideas about Him (Isaiah 55:8-9).

I choose to ignore the paradox of freewill (there is a Biblical doctrine of freewill) and predestination. I reckon myself to have a both choice and freedom in Christ, Biblical freewill, as God says in Romans 6:16-20 and Galatians 5:1, albeit probably limited. That freedom, nevertheless, leaves me without excuse for sin before God. Obviously, God tells us that we are responsible for what we think and do, and we will be held accountable for our actions despite our arguments to the contrary.

Predestination and election are not a fearsome thing. God says in Romans 8:14-28 that predestination and election give His elect (chosen sons) a spirit of hope, not fear. He makes this clear in Romans 8:23-24, "Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?" (NIV) I hold that I am among the elect, and reject the notion that I must consider the imponderables of predestination and election as an indictment of my Creator's infinitely just nature. Simply, I have chosen to trust God, and not to question His perfect judgment. On the other hand, those who willingly reject God's authority have good reason to fear him because of those doctrines. That is why they rail against Him.

Neither my intellect, nor that of any human defines God, His purpose, right and wrong, or the quality of His judgment. God does not think as we do. He declares in Isaiah 55:8-9, " 'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD. 9 'As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.' " (NIV) All that exists, including you and me, exists because He is the I AM (Exodus 3:14; John 1:1-4; Revelation 1:4, 11, 17.) It is the pinnacle of arrogance for human beings to say that our Creator is unfair in what He declares to be wrong. Sin and evil are defined in terms of His perfect nature and sovereign authority, not in terms of the secular humanist's self-corrupted concept of His righteous judgment. We humans neither set the standard and define the right and wrong of His promises to mete out consequences for denial of His sovereign authority, nor do we have the right to question His decisions. It is written, "But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? 'Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' " (NIV) Romans 9:20. When sin-enslaved humans castigate God for His righteous judgment, we arrogate to ourselves authority that is nothing less than delusional, and in turn, accept His righteous judgment against our rebellion according to His perfect nature.

It takes no imagination to see the degradation that has occurred worldwide since we decided to define sin for ourselves. This arrogant and self-deluded appropriation of God's authority began in earnest in this country only a few decades ago with the substitution of humanist values for His perfect Truth. The entire world, and especially our nation, is in "self-destruct" mode because we are wholly unable to substitute our sin-and-death-bound ideologies for God's life-giving perfect way. Our people grope futilely in the darkness for a version truth and wisdom that they will find palatable because they have rejected the absolute truth and wisdom of God's word. They cling to their own emptiness. God speaks in Hosea 4:6, ".... my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. 'Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your
children. ....' " (NIV) Nothing has changed about mankind in the millennia that have passed since He issued that indictment of His chosen people. His word endures forever, and it still applies today.

The world and our nation has set about redefining right and wrong (evil, or sin) according to the standards humanists have created, and has rejected almost entirely those set by the nature of God (Romans 1:20-32). Mankind fails to understand that sin is defined in terms of God's perfection, and not any of our corrupt, death-bound ideas. The humanist lie that "there's no such thing as right or wrong, only shades of gray," or that right and wrong is defined by culture, is pure deception. One need only observe the bodies of our youth draining out their lives in our cities' gutters to understand the fallacy of that claim. The humanist's relativistic ethos is just another self-constructed lane in the freeway to hell. There IS a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death (Pr 14:12, 16:25.)

You may claim to be a "freethinker." How can it be that you are free? God says that you are a slave to the law of sin and death unless He has given you to Christ (John 6:37. 44-45), and you accept Christ as Savior (Gal 4:1-20; 5:1). You may think you are free, but you are like a bee in a gigantic bottle (sin), flying where you choose (freethinking) until the air is heated by the sun, or it is shaken violently. Then, wholly broken, you drop to the bottom and die. Only Christ can set you free (John 3:16)! The freedom you think you have is an illusion; you are either a slave to Christ or a slave to sin and absolute death (Pr 14:12, 16:25; Romans 6:16). You have been deceived (Romans 1:21-32) if you are not freed from sin as His slave (Romans 6:17-20). Your choice is simple, slavery to the law of sin and death, or freedom in Christ Jesus (Galatians 2:4, 5:1.)

If you still believe that you are a "freethinker," try this experiment: immerse your head in a 5 gallon bucket of water for 15 minutes. One of two things will happen: you will die, or you will do the sensible thing and come out coughing and sputtering (sensible, that is, if you made the foolish decision to try the experiment). Guess what? You are bound to the "law of sin and death." The only difference between you and me (presuming that you have not yet accepted God's election and free gift of salvation through Christ) is that when I die, I will be acceptable to God because He has permitted me to CHOOSE to accept His Son as my Savior. The "freethinker," on the other hand, has MADE A SIN-ENSLAVED CHOICE to deny God. It is that choice to oppose God that condemns the so-called "freethinker" to hell despite the doctrines of predestination and election. Like it or not, God gives us what we choose or we are lost and without hope. Your only choice is to trust Him or be condemned to hell.

Are you still convinced that you are a "freethinker?" OK, perhaps you are ... after a fashion. The problem you face with the kind of "freedom" you have chosen is twofold: [1] you have chosen against God, and [2] you have chosen to serve hell. There is no middle ground. There is no other path. God has said so, and your opinion is meaningless in His presence and under His sovereign authority. You have chosen an illusion of freedom. You have arrogated to yourself the right to be your own god for a time, but mighty god that you are, save yourself from damnation! Go ahead and exercise your "freedom." Today that usually means sexual license. Go ahead and be promiscuous, be a homosexual pedophile recruiter, or a plain depraved homosexual. HIV is waiting for you, so is gonorrhea, syphilis, or death in prison, and you can be sure that many other worse diseases and consequences are around the corner. Perhaps "sexual freedom" is not your choice. Maybe you think you have the freedom to rob, steal, cheat, lie, and even murder. What wonderful freedom you have! -- until you are brought before a human judge. You will have set yourself free of the "oppressive" law of God as so many others before you. You will be "free" to face judgment in a human court, and "free" to "enjoy" what you have "freely" chosen -- being a slave in a prison-hell on earth. Then later, after you pay the human price of your chosen sin (your first death), you will again be "free" .... to first face God Almighty as your final judge, and then to "enjoy" eternal condemnation to hell (your second death). You are free -- after a fashion.

OK, if mankind has no hope to "get right with God" even if he sets his mind dutifully to the task of doing a good job of defining what is right and wrong in his own eyes, and then obeying what he has defined as right, is there any hope? Yes! There is one man, ONLY ONE man, who has met God's perfect standard of being without sin. He is the only Living Son of the Living God Almighty, the One called in the Greek, the "radiance" or "outshining" of God (Hebrews 1:3) -- Christ Jesus. He is the Savior who says that He is Almighty God (Deuteronomy 6:4; John 10:30, 38, 12:45; 14:7-10; 17:11). God offered His young Son as a gift to His creation, to die in sinless, innocent agony, freely and without reservation and thereby satisfy the requirement set by His perfect nature. Christ Jesus did this to pay for your sins, IF you are willing to accept His sacrifice and thereby obey God. Christ Jesus has suffered both God's righteous anger, and His righteous and perfect judgment. It may be that he has done it for you.

Now, you only have two choices: [1] willingly submit to God by accepting His free gift and then acknowledging before men that Christ paid the price of your sin as your Savior (Mt:10:32), or [2] make up your own version of salvation, thereby reject God's offer, and suffer condemnation to hell. No matter what you believe or reason, there is NO OTHER PATH that LEADS TO GOD'S ACCEPTING YOU! His Son is the only path He has provided or ever will provide. Everything else is deception. Without Christ Jesus THERE IS NO HOPE.

A few of you who read this will become enraged. You will find it politically incorrect and intolerant of other views (poor baby!) A small number of you will reply to it in writing or in thought with a bigoted, anti-Christ, epithet- laced piece of irrational drivel in a juvenile attempt to prove to yourselves that what I have written is wrong. You will accuse me of failing to "turn the other cheek" when I expose your bigotry. The former, the incensed readers who spew hatred, should look into a mirror to see perfected anti-Christ hatred, narrow-mindedness, bigotry, intolerance, and arrogance. Those latter readers are simply deceived, ignorant of Scripture, and should look into the Bible to see the truth. "Turning of the other cheek" is an act reserved for brethren, and not for Satan and his servants who are "accusers of the brethren."

In every case, whether you are in opposition or agreement, enraged and suffering in Satan's oppressive darkness, or joyous in the light of Christ's loving forgiveness, know that every one of you is in my prayers. I plead the infinite mercy of the Father in heaven for us all. I ask God to cause the spiritually blind to see for the sake of His son; to lift the darkness of sin from the eyes of those He has chosen in His perfect wisdom as His servants. May He grant that we will not perish for lack of knowledge. May He bless those who curse us. May He forgive those who hate us. May He use this ministry to draw many to him that they might be forgiven their sins through His precious Son, Christ Jesus, that they might serve Him well, and be called into His perfect presence according to His will.

You have a decision to make and a path you must follow. Webster's Dictionary defines "freethinker" as synonymous with "atheist." God defines atheists in Psalm 14:1, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good." He reiterates the point in Psalm 53:1, "The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, and their ways are vile; there is no one who does good." (NIV) Are the atheists right? Are they free, or are they living in self-deception and darkness? Now you have knowledge. Now you have no excuse. The wide road and the narrow road divide before you. Which will you take?


Copyright 1995, 1998 Deke (a pseudonym)

This document may be reproduced and distributed freely if it is: [1] done without charge, [2] all sections of the entire text are reproduced exactly as they appear here, intact and without addition or deletion, and [3] it includes this copyright notice and the author's name. Short excerpts from this document for commentary are permissible. All rights reserved.





 
 

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ROMANS 8:10-25: THE HOPE OF SALVATION
-OR-
THE INDWELLING SPIRIT OF GOD


The following explanation of Roman 8:10-25 and the Believer's current position in God's plan was written as a reply to a letter posted to a World Wide Web discussion forum. It was posted privately instead of on that forum because many deceived opponents of God's inerrant Word, the Holy Bible, would point fingers saying, "See, they are constantly fighting among themselves." I have edited out most of our brother's post, and placed brackets around the subject that I will address here.


FROM: A Brother in Christ
IN RESPONSE TO: A WWW discussion forum writer
DATE: Sunday, October 12, 1997 at 20:11 PDT

". . . . If lying to the Holy Spirit is lying to God, then [it] is clear that the Holy Spirit is God, for you can not lie to a rock, a tree, or an impersonal force. The Bible says that both the Word & the Spirit proceed from God in heaven. Jesus was God with us, and [the Holy Spirit is God in us.]"


DIAKON'S COMMENTARY:

Given that you intended to say that Believers are continuously indwelled by God when you wrote, ".... the Holy Spirit is God in us ....," the problem that I find in your declaration is reconciling that position with the clear and unmistakable tension between Romans 8:10 and 8:11. Romans 8:10 confirms that Christ is in Believers, but 8:11 is conditional and has a definite physical effect. It teachers that our mortal bodies will be "quickened" [KJV]-- given a new life like a baby in the womb [a solid translation in the KJV] -- IF ". . . . the Spirit of the one having raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, . . . ." (Nestle Greek). So, the Spirit of Christ does dwell in us, but we are not yet indwelled by God who " . . . . raised Jesus from the dead . . . . " because we still suffer mortal death (Romans 8:12-13). In v.10-11 Paul introduces a tension, a contrasting presentation of God's promise to His children.

Romans 8:10 is explained by 8:15-25, which also interweaves the corporeal body's life-status described in v.10, and by contrast v.11. Romans 8:10 relates to the following passages:

First, v.12 and 13 clearly describe the current condition of our bodies: subject to death, but containing a living Spirit because of Christ (v.11) who put the deeds of our dead bodies to death (v.13[b]).

Next, v.14 contrasts the condition of becoming sons of God who are led by the Spirit of God to the current death-bound condition of our bodies, with its deeds put to death (v.13[b]), the promise we have of the indwelling of Spirit of God (v.11), and the life the indwelling Spirit of God will give to that dead flesh (our mortal bodies). I will explain v.14 further in the next paragraphs.

V.15 tells us that the indwelling Spirit of Christ (v. 11) is a spirit of adoption causing us to regard God as "Daddy Father" or "Abba Father." Paul explains in V. 16 that we are children (as opposed to full-grown sons).

Next in v.17- 18 God, teaching us through the Apostle Paul, amplifies and continues the logic built in previous verses by explaining that we are children awaiting an inheritance, and introduces by implication the "hope" passages that are to follow. This condition, "childhood," is given added emphasis and validation by v.19 which makes it crystal clear that the *sons* of God have not yet been "revealed" (NIV and Nestle Greek) or "manifested" (KJV), but are anticipated by God's creation.

Next we move to those passages which give some theologians "trouble" -- the passages about our *hope* in Christ. Remembering v. 19, note the repetitive emphasis that Paul places on our anticipation for the future in v. 20-21 and v.23(b). Note also that God teaches we have hope of the redemption of our bodies (v.24), and that we do not yet have that redemption (v. 25). Again, keeping v. 11 in mind, remember we are instructed that when God indwells us, our mortal bodies will be *quickened* (given eternal life). That is why Paul says that what we *hope* for we do not have, because if we had it would not be hope (v. 25). It is analogous to hoping for a Rolls Royce or a Lamborghini, but not having one of them because you are still hoping to get one.

Now we return to v.11, and the conditions precipitated by the indwelling Spirit of God: First, v. 11 is explained by contrast with v.12 and 13, as well as many other Biblical passages which illustrate the irreconcilable sin-nature of man to God, save for Christ. Then v.14 describes with the body when indwelled by the Spirit of God (v.11).

Remember to be mindful that all of these passages in Romans 8 compare and contrast the condition of our bodies as bound to sin as opposed to being indwelled by the Spirit of God. So, the future condition of our physical bodies described in v.11 continues to be explained in v.14, which identifies those having the indwelling Spirit of God (v. 11) as being Sons of God.

Next, v.15 retrenches to explain the difference between being full Sons and heirs of God (in the future), and our current status as children of God. It clarifies the meaning of v.14. There is a clear parallel v.14 and 15 to the Hebrew male being considered a child until age 30, when he became a full heir of his father's estate. This can clearly be seen in the phrase "Abba Father" from v.15, which would be the same as a little child crying, "Daddy, daddy" or "Daddy, father." It is further clarified by contrasting "children and heirs " with the full "sons" of v.16-21. In those passages God tells us that we suffer toward attainment of full sonship, the "glorious freedom" of the children of God of v.21. We covered these verses in the previous paragraph.

It is the distinction between "children of God" and "Sons of God" which has given so many teachers trouble. Children are not yet full sons, full inheritors of their father's estate. Children anticipate (hope) for their inheritance, but do not have any guarantee that it is theirs; they have HOPE. Children are regarded as heirs by their fathers, but do not yet have their inheritance, they must wait until the appointed time. All Believers are children of God, but they are not Sons of God until they are indwelled by the Spirit of God and are made immortal (v.11). Until the time has come when God's elect receive that inheritance, it is our duty to persevere in the direction God has given us, and to live according to the Spirit of Christ in us (v.10), not following the sinful nature which once enslaved us to darkness.

So, although the Holy Sprit (the Comforter) does come to us, giving us wisdom and strength (v.26), there is no Scriptural support for the idea that because we do have access to the Holy Spirit, we also have the Spirit of God dwelling in us. The difference is that unlike Jesus upon whom the Holy Spirit came and remained (John 1:32), we are not God in the flesh. I have often suggested this tongue-in-cheek test for those who teach that all Believers are indwelled by God: Put a shotgun to your head and pull the trigger. If you paint the walls with your brains, you are not indwelled by God because your mortal body was not quickened before your experiment. You are still subject to the law of sin and death (Romans 7:23-24). but unlike the heathen, you do have HOPE!

You most certainly should consider yourself to be among God's elect if you accept Christ as savior, declare Him before the world, and strive to obey His commands. Nevertheless, only God knows for certain whether you are saved. Be assured and rejoice, for God is sovereign and merciful!

There is also more discussion of Romans 8:10-25 on this web site's Theology Page. That page has a Subject Index, just below the Table of Contents which may help you in your study.


If you intend to write to me challenging the dual Biblical doctrines of  predestination and election (there are more than 70 NT and OT scriptures which define these doctrines), please take the time to study the next linked page.  I hold and teach that belief without Biblical support is just empty human ideology at best and specious theology at worst.  I will only discuss predestination and election with those Arminians and other freewill advocates who can refute the dual God-breathed doctrines of predestination and election WITHOUT violating any of the premises presented on the Six Postulates web page on this web site.


Copyright 1997, Deke (a pseudonym)

This document may be reproduced and distributed freely if it is [1] done without charge, [2] all sections of the entire text are reproduced exactly as they appear here, intact and without addition or deletion, and [3] it includes this copyright notice and the author's name or pseudonym. Short verbatim excerpts of this document for commentary are permissible.





 
 

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ETERNAL SECURITY:
A CHURCH DOCTRINE IN CONFLICT WITH BIBLICAL INERRANCY
-OR-
RECONCILING JOHN 3:3 AND 16 WITH ROMANS 8:10-39
AND HEBREWS 4:6-10


When I was a "babe in Christ," as my co-worker Baptist brethren called me, I was forced to face a terrible experience which raised far more questions than either I, or my elder brothers and the church hierarchy could adequately answer. I was working in a position of great trust. I was certain that God had placed me there for a reason because it was on that job that two of my brothers in Christ led me to a "saving knowledge of Jesus Christ." Within only a few days of making a public confession of Christ as my Savior, I was drawn irresistibly to study God's inerrant written Word, the Holy Bible. While I was learning, a tragedy occurred that was destined to change my then-certain theological perspective.

A co-worker and friend of mine had publicly declared that he was a Born-Again Christian shortly after I had made the same confession of Christ as Savior. He was baptized before his congregation, and confessed Christ before men. I rejoiced because I knew that the Jesus said in Matthew 10:32: "Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven." ." Jesus also promised in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Then, in a heartbeat, everthing changed.


THE PROBLEM


Only a few weeks after his public confession and baptism, my friend caught his wife in adultery, stole a co-worker's service revolver, murdered her lover, shot her, drove twenty miles to a parking lot and blew his brains out in front of two teenagers. I was in shock, in fact I confess that I still do not clearly remember which of the two he murdered. My new-found faith was facing a massive theological crisis: He did the required acts of faith, and then committed murder and suicide. Did his acts of faith save him as I had been taught, or was he condemned to hell? After all, I had been taught the born- again Doctrine of Eternal Security: once the confession of faith in Christ is made, we are saved for eternity, and can not be separated from God (Romans 8:38-39). But my born-again friend committed the murder and suicide AFTER he had been saved. I was unable to reconcile his act with that doctrine because Scripture was crystal-clear that a murderer shall not enter the Kingdom of God. Clearly, something was wrong, but I knew the problem was not with the Bible.

Principle: The Bible does not contradict itself! But there was the inescapable example of my murdering born-again friend, running headlong into a Scriptural wall in the Book of Revelation 21:8, "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." and 22:14-15: "Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie." Clearly, the Word of God had sealed the fate of my friend to the lake of fire.

But, again, came the words given by God to the Apostle Paul that tell us nothing can separate those who are saved from the love of Christ, Romans 8:38-39, "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." My friend had made a public confession and was baptized. He was, according to the born-again Doctrine of Eternal Security, born again (John 3:3 and 16), but was condemned by Revelation 21:8 and 22:15. What was I to think? Was the Bible in conflict with itself? I had to answer "NO!" I knew better!


GOD'S WORD IS TRUSTWORTHY; MEN MAKE MISTAKES


It was clear given the case of my late Born-Again Christian friend that my church's doctrine conflicted with the Bible. I had to resolve that "tension." Was the Bible wrong? Did it have, as the scoffers claim, obvious conflicts? If those conflicts were there, how could it be the inerrant Word of God? History and archeology showed that the Bible is true and accurate. The truth prophesies proved their worth in the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ Jesus. The value of the Bible's legal principles were reflected in the founding documents that led to the United States Constitution, and the nascent and enduring democracy. So, why did it tell me that my Born-Again Christian friend was condemned to the lake of fire?

There was only one possible conclusion: The Bible was right. He murdered and he was NOT saved. Revelation 21:8 and 22:15 made that abundantly clear; he WAS condemned to hell, not by me, but by Almighty God who declared it so in His inerrant written word, the Holy Bible. So, now the Doctrine of Eternal Security became highly questionable, theologically out-of-sync with the Bible, and might even be heretical. I was fairly certain that it wasn't wholly heretical, but it was clear that there was a fundamental flaw in the doctrine.

First I considered why had I believed that my late friend, and I for that matter, were eternally saved when we made the public confession of Christ as our personal Savior? Obviously I had been listening to teachers who, like the majority of teachers, place CHURCH doctrine above the Written and Breathed Word of God. I know that they are in grave error doing that because 2Timothy 3:16-17 teaches, "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works." They were teaching the born-again version of the Doctrine of Eternal Security, but their doctrine is clearly un-Biblical at best because it could not be reconciled to Romans 8:10-39 and Hebrews 6:4-10.


AVOIDING THE PROBLEM DOES NOT SOLVE IT


After a little independent examination of the Holy Bible it became apparent why those teachers had avoided Scriptures like Romans 8:29-30, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified." It was clear why they excused themselves from responsibility of squaring theology with Scripture by saying, "That Scripture gives us trouble," when challenged with the contradiction of the born-again version of the Doctrine of Eternal Security provided by Hebrews 6:4-10, "For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned. But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister."

When the born-again's reliance on their Doctrine of Eternal Security was challenged with Scripture, my once-saved-always-saved Bible teachers would promise, "We will ask the Pastor." and do a nice "Shuffle-off-to- Buffalo" through the front door. They NEVER came back with an answer. Were they tacitly lying? Possibly. At the very least they were deceptively side-stepping the issue. It was obvious that they did not want to confront the reality that their doctrine was in irreconcilable conflict with the Word of God. So, the tragic murder and suicide, sadly, had some value to me. It pointed out with agonizing reality the worthlessness of man's doctrines, the absolute truth of God's Holy Bible, and the blindness of leaders who chose their doctrine over Biblical truth, placing their sin-enslaved human mind's ideology above the Word of Almighty God.


A SECOND OPINION


It had become incumbent upon me to re-evaluate those Scriptures those so-called teachers had avoided (hence, so-called teachers). I was what they called a "new Christian" or a "babe in Christ," but I had quickly uncovered some disturbing truths about why they used those misleading and stifling titles. They didn't want to be questioned so that they could indoctrinate me; perhaps in some of their cases, before I had the chance to discover the flaws in their doctrines. To paraphrase Tweetie-Pie from the old Warner Bros. cartoons, "They didn't know me vewy well, did they?" I knew that the Holy Spirit would help me. Given His help, I had to perform an informal exegesis (I didn't know what a exegesis was at the time) that would reconcile the ENTIRE Bible, including eternal salvation through Christ, with Romans 8:10-30 and Hebrews 6:4-10, both of which SEEMED to conflict with Romans 8:38-39 which teaches, "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." Was the Apostle Paul just stating his own ideas? No! I knew better than that, all Scripture is God- breathed (2Timothy 3:16). THERE IS NO CONFLICT IN THE BIBLE!

I began by carefully re-studying the Book of Romans, repeatedly praying for God's guidance and wisdom through His Holy Spirit. As I began reading Romans Chapter 8, a pattern "opened" to me that I had never seen before. Every study I had done with my born-again brethren quickly glossed over those passages. This time it was different. The pattern I found made the reason for their quick side-step clear. Romans 8 didn't say what they thought it did.

It was God's teaching through the Apostle Paul that was the key. We have the HOPE of sonship as taught in Romans 8:24-25. We wait for it because we don't yet have it. Simply, God expects us to trust Him ALONE to deliver us from hell through the sacrifice of His son, Christ Jesus, on the cross.

Now I began to re-think Hebrews 6:4-10 in relation to the born-again Doctrine of Eternal Security (once saved, always saved, right now). THE BIBLE DOES NOT CONFLICT WITH ITSELF! Hebrews 6:4-10, obviously, can't have been saying that salvation can be lost, but that was implied if I accepted the born-again version of Eternal Security; salvation was lost for my murdering, late friend. The born-again version immediately conflicted with Romans 8:38-39, "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." It could not have been speaking of those who have the Holy Spirit because they are God's chosen (John 14:16-17 [Jesus to His disciples] esp. v.17; Galatians 3:2; 1Corinthians 2:10-14, esp. v.14;). It could not have been speaking of sinners because the Holy Spirit is not given to sinners, who are God's enemies (Romans 8:7; 1Corinthians 2:14- 16), but to those who obey God (1John 3:21-24); so, Hebrews 6:4-10 MUST have been speaking of someone else, but of whom? The answer eluded me for a very long time.


THE SOLUTION: SIMPLICITY WITHIN COMPLEXITY


Finally, a brother provided the answer. It was so simple that I had missed it. Hebrews 6:5-6(a) ". . . . (5) And have TASTED the good word of God . . . ." There it was, they had TASTED, they had NOT ACCEPTED the good word of God. The answer, really, lay in my Nestle Greek text. It reads "For it is impossible [for] the [ones] once being enlightened and tasting of the gift heavenly and sharers becoming Spirit of [the] Holy and the good tasting of God word and powerful deeds of a coming age, (6) and falling away, again to renew to repentance . . . ." More, the NIV translation was superior to the KJV. "It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have TASTED of the heavenly gift, who have SHARED in the Holy Spirit, who have TASTED of the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back [Gk: "to be renewed to"] repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again [Gk: "crucifying for the Son of God for themselves again"] and subjecting Him to public disgrace." Those who taste and share do not HAVE, theyonly vicariously experience the good gift of God's word. They then turn away WITHOUT EVER HAVING BEEN ELECTED by God Almighty, although they did respond to His CALL. That is the reason that Jesus teaches in Matthew 20:16(b)* that, ". . . .MANY BE CALLED, BUT FEW CHOSEN." (KJV) *

The apparent "believers" of Hebrews 6:4-10 have a veneer of righteousness, a patina of the presence of Christ reflected from the influence of the elect company they keep, but it can not be sustained because they utterly lack the indwelling Spirit of Christ (Romans 8:10); their spirits are dead. They will be unable to "endure to the end" to be saved (Matthew 10:22). They are reprobate. They are condemned. They will join and have been joined by my murdering late friend. The Scriptural conflict is solved. PRINCIPLE: THE BIBLE DOES NOT CONTRADICT ITSELF!


CONCLUSION AND FURTHER STUDY


So what will befall my friend who murdered? I can only base my opinion on Scripture. It seems that he is condemned. Nonetheless, it is up to Almighty God to judge him. Only God knows what was truly in his heart. I pray that God will be merciful to him.

I have concluded that the born-again version of the Biblical Doctrine of Eternal Security conflicts with the Bible. There is, however, a Biblical Doctrine of Eternal Security. It is not for this time in our Christian lives, as our born-again brethren believe. We have HOPE of, not a guarantee of, salvation. The guarantee of salvation is for those whom God has elected, not just called. God's sovereign choice in that regard has not yet been revealed. The Biblical doctrine of Eternal Security is explained in Romans Chapter 8, starting with verse 10. It militates against the born-again version of that doctrine. I have provided an informal EXEGESIS OF ROMANS 8:10-25 in another article on this page.

--Diakon

NOTES:

* Note that the NIV does not include this in its translation. Since this is not a formal exegesis, its presence or absence is not of vital concern to the topic of this informal exegetical work and critique. There is more than sufficient Scripture to support the position presented here without Matthew 20:15(b).
 


If you intend to write to me challenging the dual Biblical doctrines of  predestination and election (there are more than 70 NT and OT scriptures which define these doctrines), please take the time to study the next linked page.  I hold and teach that belief without Biblical support is just empty human ideology at best and specious theology at worst.  I will only discuss predestination and election with those Arminians and other freewill advocates who can refute the dual God-breathed doctrines of predestination and election WITHOUT violating any of the premises presented on the Six Postulates web page on this web site.



 
 
 


Copyright 1997 Deke (a pseudonym)

This document may be reproduced and distributed freely if it is: [1] done without charge, [2] all sections of the entire text are reproduced exactly as they appear here, intact and without addition or deletion, and [3] it includes this copyright notice and the author's name. Short excerpts of this document for commentary are permissible.



 




 
 

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WHAT IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAY TO STUDY THE BIBLE?


In late 1997 I received a request from a brother in Christ for my advice on how to study the Bible. I've received many of these requests over the years. So, to save everyone a little time, here's my answer:


Greetings! I am known as [ ] in the [ ] system. I have read many of your posts in the Mike Reagan "Religion" Forum, and just took a brief look at the webpage you have put together. I have a simple question : what is the most effective way to study the Bible? I have tried groups, books, various guides, etc. but have found none of these to be inspiring. Is it something within me that can be changed or corrected? I like what I saw at the webpage, and will re-visit it when time permits. Peace . . . .
 
 


Greetings Brother!

. . . . First, there's nothing wrong with you finding Bible studies and guides uninspiring -- unless there's something wrong with me, too. Save for the studies I chaired, totally separate from church influence, I learned little from study groups. The studies I chaired were the foundation of a new church, which generated another set of problems almost identical to those I sought to avoid. So, join the crowd (of two, at least).

The method I have used to study Scripture is, above all, self-directed. I used church doctrines as a focus of critical study rather than a source of truth. I recognized as a so-called "babe in Christ" that every church has an agenda, and that doctrine and theology held precedence over the Holy Bible. In one church I've visited, a doctrinal statement in a primary classroom posts the hierarchy as: 1. Doctrine, 2. The Bible.

So, disenchanted, I developed my own methods. With the help of several other brothers we held independent Bible studies despite relentless criticism and opposition from the elders of a church we all attended, but none of us were members. Here are the methods and materials I found worthwhile:


I. Pray for wisdom, asking God to fulfill His promise found in James 1:5.

II. Obtain at least three translations of the Holy Bible, avoiding any paraphrased "translations." I also use several reference texts. I use each of them, but most frequently use the NIV and KJV. These are the study materials and methods I use (I've used tabs to set up columns): 1. New International Version 2. King James Version 3. New International and KJV The Zondervan Parallel (interlinear) New Testament in Greek and English. 4. New American Standard 5. The Layman's Parallel Bible, Zondervan, with five translations (mine includes The Living Bible which is really a biased commentary) 6. Nave's Topical Bible 7. Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible 8. A Hebrew parallel

III. Diligently cross-compare the translations using the Greek interlinear with Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. D. Choose several teachers and/or churches that draw your interest. E. Use what you have learned to Biblically criticize the theology of the teachers you find most interesting.

IV. Ask questions, and reject teachers, pastors, and churches who side-step, avoid, or criticize you for asking.

V. Never rely on the theology of dead and dying human beings. Trust the Bible, and the Bible alone and in its entirety as your only source of truth.

VI. Pray for wisdom, asking God to fulfill His promise found in James 1:5.


I believe that most if not all of the study materials I have listed are currently available on CD ROM. That can be a significant single-expense, but the speed of access to large texts like Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, and the ability to cross-reference Scripture in the many translations with lightning speed make the cost worthwhile. I am still using printed texts, but will probably purchase a Parson's Quick Verse set after I upgrade my hard drive -- and gather the bucks. I have avoided buying it in the past because of the impending publication of the modern English KJV and Hebrew Interlinear. Having those items available electronically would be a major time-saver.

At the moment the only CD Bible I have is Compuworks' King James version _Desktop Bible_. It was only $12.95, and has paid for itself many times over in time-savings alone. I'm really looking forward to CD versions of the modern English KJV, NIV, Greek and Hebrew interlinears, and Strong's. Those are my primary reference materials, and paging through the books eats a lot of valuable time.

I pray these suggestions are worthwhile for you. I understand and have abandoned the studies that you so kindly call "uninspiring." I would call them dull, boring, theological propaganda, designed to feed milk, not meat (1Corinthians 3:2; Hebrews 5:12). There is benefit for both religious and government bureaucrats in keeping their "flocks" on baby formula. Believers and citizens who can't think, don't ask hard questions. Unfortunately many if not most of today's leaders grew up with the nipple in their mouths, too, so they "don't have a clue" either.

Each time I receive a letter like yours I am encouraged to continue my ministry. I am overjoyed (not kidding) that there are brothers and sisters in Christ who find my "take no prisoners" ministry worthwhile. There have been many times in the past when the opposition of misunderstanding brethren, and the direct and destructive intervention of Satan did great harm. Satan physically and repeatedly attacked one of my ministries several years ago. The Father of Lies finally brought enough discouragement and financial loss to bear that it had to be closed, but that's another story. Suffice it to say that the brother who owned the computer system that was our frequently attacked "electronic church," remarked that we must be doing something right to be facing all of that destructive opposition. The growth of the World Wide Web, and the cost of repairs finally gave us no alternative but to close. Looks like I told the story anyway!

I hope the list, above, came through as I set it up. When I posted it, it was in nice, neat columns. I think I will put a copy of your letter and my reply on my web page, with appropriate name and e-mail address changes. I always provide anonymity for my correspondents unless they say otherwise.

Keep on fighting the good fight. Thanks for writing. Trust in God alone. He won't let you down!

Doulos kai Diakonos Chrisou Iesou
(Koine Greek: A slave and servant in Christ Jesus)
--Diakon


Copyright 1997 Deke (a pseudonym)

This document may be reproduced and distributed freely if it is: [1] done without charge, [2] all sections of the entire text are reproduced exactly as they appear here, intact and without addition or deletion, and [3] it includes this copyright notice and the author's name. Short excerpts of this document for commentary are permissible.



 




 
 

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Note: the article on water baptism is too long to present on this page. Click on the link, below, to access water baptism page

IS WATER BAPTISM REQURIED FOR SALVATION?
 


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09-23-99

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