Salvation – What is It & How To Obtain It (Notable Work)

Cross, Jesus, man

Introduction
The following article has been expanded and updated.  And though many mature believers may be tempted to pass by, I assure you there are some deeper insights they may not be aware of, and therefore worthy of their time.

There are mainly two types of people that would have a vested interest in posing the question “How does someone become saved”?

The unbeliever with whom the Holy Spirit is convicting unto salvation; or the new believer (or unsure convert) who questions if they’re truly saved (For unsure converts please see: “Proof of Eternal Security ~ Ephesians 2:8“, and “Eternal Security – Its About God“).

Both individuals should seek the answer to this question based upon God’s Word.

Hopefully this brief introduction will start them on their quest.

The first question should be which God are you seeking salvation from – what religious system are you checking out?

There are so many, and as we know the term “God” is simply a title, not a personal name.

In Islam there is “Allah,” in Hinduism there is “Brahman,” within Sikhism there is “Ik Onkar,” within the worship of Zoroastrianism there is “Ahura Mazda,” within Judaism there is YHWH, and within Christianity there is God the Father YHWH, and God the Holy Spirit (unnamed), and God the Son; Jesus the Christ .

Rather than starting by investigating other religions, if you find yourself here, then I suggest that you start with Christianity, and check it out according to what it says in the Bible.

I mean if God truly exist, and He desires to have a relationship with you and therefore is guiding you to Himself – perhaps you are here for a reason? 

His Children Are Miserable without Him
Do you want to know one of the ways to figure out if you’re His or not, His children desire Him.  How well do you live without God.  Are you miserable after you have sinned, do you find yourself constantly seeking forgiveness, what does the Scripture say about us seeking God in our own nature  

As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”  (Romans 3:10-12 ~ KJV)

This passage says that none seek God, so if you find yourself desperately seeking God where did that desire come from?

We are told that the children of God are sealed with the Holy Spirit, it i the Holy Spirit that seeks out God. The child of God may sin but is not content doing so. And were not just talking about guilt, were talking about individuals that when they sin they are miserable, even if they keep on sinning, they constantly are thinking about God.

The devil doesn’t want you to ever think about God, your flesh wants to be comfortable so it doesn’t want to think about God either, which is why Paul says that no one seeks after God on their own.
And in spite of my previous statement which has been revised, God does want men to come to him, as is stated in 1 Timothy 2:3-6

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (KJV) 

To the true child of God – NOT those who are not simply pew warmers – but REAL Born-again Believers, they understand that nothing is by coincidence (“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” ~ Romans 8:28 [“this Greek word for all things is one word, which is: “pas” and means: “all things, everything, anything” in the Greek, without exception] ).  

It has been said that: “Coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.”

When it comes to salvation, God is real straight forward about who can be saved as stated in Romans 10:13:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (which is also without exception)

jesus-on-the-cross

Faith
Yet, more precisely salvation is achieved in accordance with faith as stated in 2 Timothy 3:15, which says:

And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

As well as 1 Peter 1:9 which states:

Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.

What Faith is Not
What first must be said concerning salvation is what it is NOT, salvation is NOT gained in exchange for faith.  

Ephesians 2:8-9 states:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

A person is saved by grace, God’s unmerited favor wherein they have access to salvation through this favor, yet they must also exercise faith in appropriating salvation “by grace.”

Being saved by grace, rather than faith is actually a big difference.  

If we were saved by faith, this would be a trade – we would trade faith for salvation – this would a “works-based” relationship (A Theology of works, meaning: “Theo” is God in Greek; and “logy” is science or study; therefore a “works-base theory within the study of God”) wherein a person is saved by their deeds.

Yet Ephesians 2:8-9 makes it very clear exercising faith is not a trade for salvation, that salvation is a gift of God (See Endnote #1), God is not in the bartering business.  

If you wish to barter with God His response is very simple – you will go to hell.  

When it come to understanding grace it might be good to define two words.  

Mercy: defined is displayed by God in that He does not give us the righteous judgment that we do deserve.

Grace: defined is displayed by God in Him giving us the benefits that we do not deserve.  

We are saved by grace, period!  

And the fact that faith is necessary to receive that grace is still NOT an act of trading, but an act of mercy.

Faith Misunderstood
What so many Christians misunderstand is that faith is not primarily meant to be experiential (“pertaining to or derived from experience”), at least if you’re using the Bible, experience is not our foundation; God’s Word is.

Romans 10:17 states:

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Therefore, it is the Bible that is to be the foundation from which faith is grown, and therefore the Bible and it alone is our primary resource (See below: “Confidence Comes from God’s Word” for more insight concerning this).

What Faith Is
Faith is much more than mere belief, which is simply a mental thought, a cognitive process.

Faith changes not only the way that people think, but the way that they act, faith produces a behavior, an action.

Many years ago the acronym of the ABC‘s of faith was created, and has been used and reused to the benefit of many believers, it stands for the fact that faith is:

Action based upon Belief, sustained by Confidence.

Faith is an Action
Faith is always seen in a behavior, something displayed, something that is done – an action; much more than mere belief.

The English word belief is a mental process or cognitive function only, meaning that belief is an unseen feat that does not demand physical action,wherein comparison faith always produces physical change in behavior and expression – it is impossible to exercise faith without observable action.

And while the act of faith begins with belief, and must begin with mental assent, this is the start of the process that leads to biblical faith, wherein IF belief does not progress, and changing action does nor occur;  it is not biblical faith.

Belief is mandatory in the process, but the process must grow.

This is why you see many individuals that appeared to be saved as they produce mental assent yet as seen in Jesus parable concerning the different seeds, the belief is choked out by either the pleasures of the world, or the tribulations of persecution and go no further in producing biblical faith as seen in Matthew 13:1823, which states:

“Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not [It is not understood and therefore not processed mentally], then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it [He believes the gospel of the kingdom, mentally]; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful [There is mental belief, but no change in action that produces fruit, behavior or deeds which are the product of biblical faith]. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty [This is where belief progresses to faith and produces a change in behavior that results in producing fruit – You must have a change in the way someone behaves and acts for them to produce fruit!].” 

The progression here is that belief must move on and mixed with confidence wherein the action of faith is produced – belief alone will not save you as James testifies (James 2:19).

Yet as the starting place of salvation, belief is the first step (See Endnote #2).

So now we understand that Faith is more than a mere belief, faith is an action.  

A Good Example of this is the Old Analogy of a Chair. 

You can visually inspect a chair and observed that it appears to be very sturdy and able to hold your weight.  

You can note the thickness of the beams and crossbeams, as well as the legs and the back rest.  

You can observe that the brackets are screwed in and appear to be heavy-duty.  

You even note that the cushions seem to be plush and comfortable.  

You can spend hours walking around the chair observing that it will hold your weight and be sound in this belief.  

However, if you never sit in the chair you are only exercising mental assent – a cognitive belief that the chair is able to hold your weight.  

It is when you take the action of sitting in the chair that you are expressing Biblical faith that the chair can hold your weight.  

Believe

Believe Comes First 
So now we understand that faith must be in action, that it must start with a mental assent called belief, yet it is more than this in that confidence is added with a mental assent wherein we have the confidence to take the action.

(You will notice that I am quite repetitious in my teaching – saying the same thing more than a few times, this is because it is Biblical to do so.  Please see Endnote # 3).  

Confidence Comes from God’s Word
Where does this confidence come from.  It comes from reading or hearing the Word of God.  Which again explains Romans 10:17, which states:

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

You see it is what you put your belief in that really counts – and if you read the Bible and move from a place of merely believing it, to a place that it builds confidence in you; this is where confidence brings an action – where you make a stand or commit your life to it – this is Biblical faith.  

Above in the acronym of the ABC’s of faith, it is presented and explained from an observational perspective: Action based upon Belief sustained by Confidence – as it is seen by others (And as James says: “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?” ~ James 2:21-22).

However, from an experiential point of view, from the view of the person exercising faith it occurs like this:

1) A person gains belief in the gospel, God’s Word – the Bible; they believe it,
2) then as time goes on (Or rarely, within a short amount of time a person exercises a leap of faith; as seen in the miracles of Jesus and the apostles), they examine the Word of God through reading it or hearing it, this produces confidence in God and His Word,
3) which in turn produces change, it produces actions.  

We Cannot Separate Belief, and therefore Faith from the Bible
For it is within the Bible that we:

 Observe prophecies which create credibility,

find knowledge which is beyond comprehension,

and gain wisdom which exceeds human capabilities.

Biblical Faith
Biblical faith is found in God’s word because of the consistency of witnessing miracle after miracle exhibited in God’s word, with the end result being that truly this book could not have been authored by man, but must have been offered by He who can see the ending from the beginning – God Himself, wherein this book deserves our greatest attention as God’s revelation to man.  Biblical faith is to be primarily based upon an interaction with God’s word, as is declared in Romans 10:17, which states:

Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God

The Source of Biblical Faith
Biblical faith is created and grown wherein as a person reads the Bible, and the Holy Spirit opens their spiritual eyes to perceive that which is laid out, it is a logical reasonable process of coming to the conclusion that this book could not have been written by mortal man (2 Timothy 3:16), because:

1) There are prophecies given in Old Testament, that are fulfilled in the New Testament.
2) There are prophecies given within the Bible as a whole, which are fulfilled since it’s closing.
3) There are scientific and natural insights presented in the Bible, which were once considered completely false; in time, science has caught up with the Bible proving that it was correct in the first place, and that it is beyond human insight.
4) There is deep wisdom that is written between its pages, which are far beyond the capacity of a human being to create.
5) There are internal evidences found in the Bible when it is crossed-referenced within itself in such a way that it is obvious that 40 different men could not have utilized the exact same type of “Figures of Speech,” including: typology, such as seen in metaphorsimilesmodels; along with prophetic symbols as seen in even the use of numberscolorseventsmaterial and substancesdatesmathematicsnamesroles, and even people’s personality and lives; all done to portray a shadow of things to come rather in heaven, or in the particular case of Jesus, the fulfillment of the Messiah; as witnessed in His First and Second coming – as well as Last Days events – all done in such a way that the only explanation is that God orchestrated the creation of this Book.

All leading to the conclusion that this book was not written by man, but by a God that is outside of our time domain, who can see the ending from the beginning (Isaiah 46:9-10); who is all-powerful, and in total control of His creation (Isaiah 45:5-7), and therefore worthy of our complete trust and faith in what He has said and what He will do (Isaiah 46; Jeremiah 29:11).

This book could not have possibly been written by human beings, that it could ONLY be written by a superior being outside of our time domain – God is the only One that could have created it – no one else.  

To put faith in Jesus Christ you must have knowledge about who Jesus Christ is, or else how do you Or the person that is telling you about Jesus Christ gain insight concerning Christ, where did they learn about Him; and how do you know what is true.  

The Bible warns us that in the last days there will those who claim to be prophets or spokesmen of these false deliverers, who can use the name of Jesus, and even say they represent the historical Jesus in order to present their false gospel.

2 Timothy 3:13 says:

“But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 

The question then becomes what is your reference material, where do you start in understanding the Gospel of Jesus Christ and who He is, and how to be saved.

For true Christians, the only answer to this question is God’s Word – the Bible

Bible 002

The Bible
The Bible is where faith starts, grows
, and finishes in a true born-again Believer’s life.  


There are Movements which refer to themselves as Christian which utilize folklore and experience and talk-down a literal interpretation of the Bible; which are very dangerous to Believers.  

Such as the Emergent church, or the Emerging Church (2 different movements) which feeds narcissism because it focuses on self, experience, and emotions; at the expense of the validity of God’s written Word to man.  

They claim that the Bible is simply a book written by man that holds wisdom, but does not have a divine source; and even if it did, it would be so polluted by the time we have it 2000 years later, it cannot be trusted.  

They homogenize diverse doctrines, based upon their own presuppositions, using known biblical and Christian words; yet assigning different meanings which creates confusion, wherein they become the only true source of correct Christian knowledge.  

They claim that organized religion, in particular, Christianity has lost its way; and is no longer relevant, or a tool which God utilizes today.  

And wherein there is no doubt that the church as fallen from its lofty spiritual peak of bygone years, and has compromised with the world within many denominations (Mainly within liberal denominations, but also within evangelical circles, Pentecostal movements and even fundamentalist churches) , and many times has lost its potency; it is still the vehicle wherein Christ utilizes for the greatest outreach in regards to the true gospel wherein God’s Will, as opposed to man’s will; is proclaimed.  

The Emergent church in particular attempts to draw people to itself utilizing the tools of modernity, claiming to do the opposite; yet in the long run destroying individual’s faith in God’s Word, which eventually leads to their spiritual demise.

They prophetically fulfill 1st Timothy 3:1-7, which states:

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

This is why it’s so important to understand that if God CANNOT communicate accurately and completely with man, how can we trust Him?  

If God CANNOT produce a book to communicate with us, how can He be all-powerful?

Which is why the God that some of these people profess is not the God of the Bible.  

The God of the Bible IS all-powerful and can preserve the Gospel, as it is handed down generation to generation revealing His Word to mankind. 

That’s why what some claim is Christianity, which proclaims that the Bible is a human book, and filled with errors or legends; tear down the faith of believers.  

Because faith is based upon God’s Word, and His ability to communicate those things He chooses to teach us within this written Word – the Bible.

Within the Gospels is recorded numerous times that Jesus Christ Himself validated the Old Testament Scriptures, referred to as the “Law, the Prophets, and the Writings;” as well as His own words and the words of His apostles on numerous occasions; as the inspired word of God.  

Now while true this is a document which gives credence to itself, there are no other secular or religious documents produced at the time of  its writing  which attempt to defy the inspiration of the Scripture.  

The Gospel and New Testament books have repeatedly been accepted time and time again by the Church Fathers, as well as the congregations located around the world as the Word of God.  

The Canon of Scripture (A technical term meaning “a list of books considered to be authoritative scripture,”) does not determine which books create the Bible, as we know it.  

The Canon of Scripture only states what has been recognized throughout the church age as those books which based upon certain criteria are accepted as the Word of God.  

The Bible is the only Scriptures in its completeness, excepted within Christianity.  

 

The Bible is about Jesus
God’s Word, the Bible is about Jesus as recorded in the following Scripture:

Hebrews 10:7, states:

“Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.” 

And as Jesus is recorded as saying in John 5:39:

you search the Scriptures for and then you think you have life, it is these that speak of me.”

Matthew 5:18 states:

“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.”

Luke 24:27 states:

And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.”

Acts 8:35 states:

Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture [Isaiah 53:7], and preached unto him Jesus.

Acts 26:22-23 states::

Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles.

Acts 28:23 states:

And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening.”

Romans 1:1-3 states:

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.”

Hebrews 1:1-3 states:

In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.”

Matthew 24:35 states:

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

Either the Bible is what it says it is, the inspired God breathed book of God (“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, throughly furnished unto all good works.” ~ 2 Tim. 3:16-17), or it isn’t; and if it isn’t then we should all go out and live for the day until the day we die!

The Bible is Literal
If the Bible is not literal, how can you trust it.  Anything can be turned figurative.

 Do you realize that every person in the Bible, when referring to prior statements made in the Bible took those statements to be literal not figurative?

All of the minor prophets including Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah, and Daniel; took what was written before, especially prophecies as literal not figurative!

Even those allegorical prophecies which appear to be figurative were taken as symbols of literal events.

And that in the New Testament every New Testament writer took previous prophecies and statements as literal, never figurative.

Again, many prophecies which were given figurative in their pronouncements are symbolic of literal events and situations, and the book of Revelation is no exception!

So how can we not follow the same example – how can we make figurative when all those who are our example never did?

 Our Conclusion Regarding the Bible
As true Born-again Believers in Jesus Christ, our only conclusion is to take the Bible for what it says it is, wherein our confidence is assured, and mixed with our belief to the extent that actions are produced in our lives because of our faith in God and His Word, which teaches that it is Jesus alone who makes salvation available to those that would believe and receive salvation through grace by faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning work on the cross. 

As Romans 10:17 states

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

 Therefore: You cannot separate the God of the Bible, from the Word of God – the Bible.  

 Faith

Faith’s Importance
God made us in His image, and as part of that, faith is the foundation of every relationship that we will ever have.  
Faith is the most important ingredient in every relationship we will ever have!

How can you have peace when you are married to someone you don’t trust, how can you have security if you are in partnership with someone you don’t trust, how can you do business with someone you don’t trust, the answer is you can’t; at least not without fear and trepidation, coupled with constant vigilance.

An Example of the Need for Faith Within Relationships
Over the years, psychologists have attempted to say different values are most important to a marriage.

First they said love was the most necessary part of a relationship, yet there are times when you may not feel love, or even like your spouse; but if you hang in there, the feelings will return.

They then said communication was the most important, though again there are times when we don’t listen to each other, or don’t communicate well; yet if we hang in there, the relationship can grow.

Finally, they said that finances were the most important facet of the relationship, yet if couples we hang in there, the relationship can stand the strain and grown even closer having went through the terrible stress of economic disaster together.

This is why the Bible speaks so highly about faith, because it is the most important ingredient in a marriage or any relationship that you or I will ever have – because if you can’t trust someone, what is there to build on?

How Faith WorksArm Muscles
In the Greek language, the word faith is never stagnant, it either grows or it diminishes.

Faith is synonymous with the working of a muscle.

Faith, when placed in someone wherein a relationship is involved will be tested by tribulation (Especially in your relationship with God – 1 Peter 1:7), wherein the person’s words or deeds will be proven or disproven to be true; wherein the trustworthiness of the person is at stake.

In the case of God, trials are necessary in that God proves His trustworthiness in the life of the believer.

Faith, as a muscle is torn by trials (in most cases a synonym for tribulations), then there is relief, and the muscle heals, with yet eventually another tribulation to stretch it even further occurs.

This is how a physical muscle grows, and this is how Biblical faith grows as well, this is how faith works; this is how faith grows.

Faith cannot grow without tribulation (Personally, I hate this fact; but it does not change that this is a fact).

The following Scripture, James 1:1-4 further validates this point.

James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”

Here we see the progression of faith as it grows, the word here for “patience (Greek: hupomone) means: “cheerful or hopeful endurance,” “constancy,” and “patient continuance.”

The way that faith works as it grows is also seen in 1 Peter 1:7, which states:

That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ

The words trying or trials used in these two passages are singular, from the same root Greek word (dokímion).  And while somewhat misleading in the English, they are much clearer in the Greek

(A WORD OF WARNING: The use of a concordances, such as Strong’s or Young’s; and even Greek dictionaries are a bad habit for young believers to develop using if they are attempting to define a specific Greek word, because the person believes that they understand what a particular word in a Scripture means specifically.  Greek dictionaries which displays generic spellings and definitions of words do not indicate the specific rendering of any word outside of its original context.  In the Greek, most of the times a word is spelled differently in different passes as it is often combined with other words or letters are added which render specific meaning which is outside the definitions of the generic dictionary.  Greek words should be studied individually, based upon their specific usage within any single passage in order to gain a full meaning of what the word means.  The following words, “trial” and “trying” are good examples of misunderstanding concerning the specific meaning of the word based upon the grammar and etymology of the word itself; especially in understanding the English translations, which are different.)

The Greek word used in these two passages is dokímion; in which Spiros Zodhiates states:

dokímion, gen. dokimíou, neut. noun from dókimos (G1384), means: “approved,” “tried.”  The means of proving, a criterion or test by which anything is proved or tried, as faith by afflictions (James 1:3).

In 1 Peter 1:7 the meaning is slightly different.   Here it reflects an adjectival sense which means “genuine or “approved.”   In NT times it was used of metals that were without alloy. Peter uses the word as a subst. referring to the genuineness of faith.” (See Endnote #4)

A literal Greek translation of James 1:3 would be:

Knowing that the proving of your faith works out endurance – but endurance works perfect – let it have that ye may be perfect and complete  – in nothing – lacking.”  (Interlinear Greek New Testament, Scrivener’s Textus Receptus [used to produce KJB])

And a literal Greek translation of 1 Peter 1:7 would be:

That the proving of your faith much more precious than gold that parishes by fire – through – being proven be found to praise and honor and glory in the revelation of Jesus Christ.”  (Interlinear Greek New Testament, Scrivener’s Textus Receptus [used to produce KJB])

The point I’m attempting to make is that God is not constantly putting us through testing situations which are to prove IF we have or do not have faith – this is the English understanding of the word trial, to prove the innocence or guilt of a person – which is not at all what God is attempting to do.

Remembering that God has foreknowledge and knows of our failures even before He chose us; before the foundations of the earth (“According as he hath chosen us [As Barnes states: “The word “us” here shows that the apostle had reference to individuals, and not to communities.”] in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.” ~ Eph 1:4).

God would not test us to prove or disprove what He already knows in order that we would be found to be genuine – this is not the God of the Bible – He does not put His children through tribulation simply to see if they trust Him.

Trials, which is actually a synonym of the word tribulation (“...knowing that tribulation worketh patience…” ~ Rom. 5:3), occurs in the Believer life to strengthen their faith – they are meant to accomplish the “proving of their faith.”

The word proving here means to strengthen and purify – not the proving of their faith to see if it is real or not!

Many people find themselves resenting God, thinking He is testing them to see if they really will trust Him – when what He is doing is putting them through situations so that their faith will grow stronger.

And while true one of the benefits of the proving or strengthening of faith, is that it validates the existence of trust as seen in the case of Job.

Yet it is seen this way only through the eyes of Satan – it is Satan that attempts to use the tribulations against Christians as excuses to prove that they do not have faith.

However, through God’s eyes, it is an established fact, yet He uses the tribulation to strengthen their faith as the muscle is torn and yet grows again.

God causes, allows or orchestrates; if you will, tribulation brought into the Believer’s life by allowing the devil to put believers through tribulations that they will grow in faith – it is meant for the Believer’s good and not their evil as stated in Romans 8:28 which states:

But we know that to those who love God – all things work together for good to those who according to purpose – called on.”  (Interlinear Greek New Testament, Scrivener’s Textus Receptus [used to produce KJB]) 

Yet, to reiterate it is through God’s Word that we learn the meanings of these individual words and come to a fuller understanding of God’s grace and mercy in our lives, it is His Word which teaches what these words mean, and it is the understanding of these words which lead us unto salvation.

It is through reading His Word that we come to a knowledge concerning the righteousness (integrity*) of God, and that which He requires of us.

It is in understanding the righteousness of God and our lacking of it which creates the barrier between us and Him.

Sin
Our sin has separated us from God—our corruption is to such a degree that we cannot know Him personally, and cannot experience His love on our own.

God’s Word says,

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”  (1 John 1:8-10)

However, man was created to glorify God (Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” ~ Isa 43:7), as well as to have fellowship with Him (“God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.” ~ 1 Cor. 1:9), but because of man’s sin (sin is anything that is against the righteousness revealed in God’s Law); however, sin has prevented us from these roles.

Sin includes anything and everything that is less than perfect obedience to God’s commands.

An Illustration within the Terminology of the Greek Word for Sin
The word that is used primarily for the word of “sin” within the Greek New Testament is the word hamartia.

hamartia means to literally to: “miss the mark.”

It is an archery term that indicates that the bull’s-eye, which is a circumference of the arrow itself, is size of the mark to hit within the target.

There are no other rings in order to earn merit.

The target has only one bull’s-eye the size of the arrow, and anything outside of that bull’s-eye is “missing the mark.”

Within the analogy of the word hamartia, only the bull’s-eye is perfection, and “missing the mark” of perfection is sin.

Nothing that you or I do as human beings which is outside of complete perfection, can ever please God, and is simply disobedience – it is sin.

Death
And disobedience in turn requires death (Death is not the end of existence, death is separation; rather it’s a separation from life on this Earth, which is God’s creation.  Or it is a separation from the presence of God in the world after; which is hell.  [Even within our own English vernacular we understand what death means to a relationship – a relationship is dead when one person says to another “you are dead to me,” meaning there now is a separation wherein the relationship is no more] And don’t misunderstand hell is the punishment for the choice of sin – and worse yet it is the punishment for refusing the salvation God offers through Jesus Christ for those sins – it is pride that refuses to submit to God and His demands in our lives which includes salvation.  It is more than physical pain, is a separation from God and His creation into the sphere of eternal separation from all that is good, that which is God’s – into eternal torment.), which is to be permanently separated from God and all that He has created which is good.

As God has proclaimed in Ezekiel 18:4, which states:

“Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.”  And

“The wages of sin is death.(Romans 6:23a)

The ultimate result of this death is an eternity in Hell.

This spiritual death forces a separation from God.

Man is sinful and God is Holy, in fact God cannot even look upon sin which is why God the Father never leaves heaven.

“Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity…” (Hab 1:13a) 

The Great Divide
This creates a gulf un-crossable (“unbridgeable,” to make up a word) by man because of sin, making the intended fellowship and glorification of God impossible.

The only solution is a divine bridge—that bridge is Christ.

God created a way by sending His Own Son to pay the price for our sin.

“God demonstrated His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)

Jesus died in our place; He who knew (never committed any sin) no sin, became sin for us (For he [God] hath made him [Jesus] to be sin for us, [he] who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” ~ 2 Cor. 5:21).

This removed our burden of sin, and allows us to enter into those roles that God designed us for.

Jesus is the only way.

Jesus Shepard

“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; to declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Romans 3:25-26)

The word propitiation means to provide an atonement, which in turn means: a “Covering (as well as: “to reconcile” or “brought back to”) this word goes back to the first sin in the Garden on Eden, when man sinned and developed a conscience and knew he was exposed – knew that he was naked and tried to cover himself – he tried to fix his sin, his own way (the fig leafs) – called SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS.

God rejected this – God in His mercy and grace provided a covering Himself for them of animal skins (God killed innocent animals Himself, just as God the Father orchestrated the death of His Own Son wherein He took the life of His Son Jesus to pay for the sins of the world – for those in the world that would receive this salvation based upon the trust in God ~ Please see Endnote #5), which symbolically displayed how sin was to be forgiven by being paid for by another – and that the shedding of innocent blood was necessary to pay for the guilty.

And as sin came into the earth by the first Adam who also brought death; wherein we have all said how unfair it is that because of Adam we are all cursed; yet God in His mercy provided a second Adam (Jesus) who brought life (“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” ~ 1 Cor. 15:22; “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” ~ 1 Cor. 15:45), a sacrifice that was pure and unsoiled by sin.  

It is Jesus, and Jesus alone that is the substitute for a dying man’s sins in order that he would be accepted in God.  

There is no other way to God but by the sacrifice that God provided in the shed blood of His Own Son Jesus Christ 

Jesus said:

I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me. (John 14:6)

It is not enough that we know these truths. 

We must individually place our trust / faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord, Savior, and God.

“And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”  (John 17:3)

“And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.”  (1 John 5:20)

Repentance
It is the act of repentance that is mandatory in expressing faith in God because he demands that we change our belief system and direction of life.

To refuse to repent is to refuse to believe what God has said and commanded in His Word – it is an act of non-faith to refuse to repent.

Repentance means: “to change a person’s direction, because they’ve changed their mind;” it is not a singular act of sorrow, but a change in belief system. 

It is changing the way that you think from following your own direction of life to God’s direction.

Wherein the sinner declares that sin is unacceptable to God, and to be forsaken as a way of life – we stop following our own self-centered sinful course of life, and follow Jesus Christ.

Repentance is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, it is to change, to change from seeking ourselves and start seeking God and to please Him as stated in the following Scriptures:

Hebrews 11:6 states:

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Acts 2:38 states:

 “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins.”

Acts 20:21 states:

 “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Acts 26:20 states:

 “But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judaea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.”

You can receive Jesus Christ right now by faith.

man humble

If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart, one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. (Romans 10:9-10)

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:8-10)

“But as many as receive Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” (John 1:12)

If you now believe in God and place your faith in His Son, congratulations—and welcome to His family.

We, being His children, share in a heavenly inheritance!

We are heirs of heaven and are promised eternal pleasure with God.

As our life here on earth progresses, God will continue to work in our hearts (both in the Greek and Hebrew languages, the word “heart” does not mean simply the emotions as it does in the English. In both languages, it means the total inner-man; 1) the mind, 2) the emotions, 3) and the will.  The mind is where we obey God according to His Word.  The emotions are responses that are never meant to lead our discretion, yet where we feel joy and sorrow – See “The Heart and the Mind ~ What the Biblical word “Heart’ Means“).

We are to be daily, being conformed to the image of Christ, Himself (See Endnote #7).

We will begin to live lives of righteousness, though sin will always be there, though not as our master as before, we can NOW choose NOT to sin – we all mess up and sin; but all of our sins HAVE ALREADY BEEN PAID FOR – so stop the sin before it comes a habit, repent and go on.

DO NOT LET SIN BRING YOU INTO CAPTIVITY, choose to stop it and follow the Lord.belief-red-blue-pills

As we begin to mature in Christ based upon God’s Word, and the faith that He develops in our lives, obedience to God’s Will will become a joy.

You may wonder, now that you are a Christian, “What now?” 

Our greatest recommendation for believers, new and old, is fourfold:

1. Find a church so you might hear the preaching of the Word,  and rejoice in the fellowship of other Christians.

This is much harder than it sounds, as many seeker friendly churches focus on self at the expense of the preeminence of Jesus Christ. 

They present grandiose presentations appealing to the senses, have a program for everyone and everything that would tantalize and intrigue the child of God away from the focus on Jesus Christ, back upon themselves.  

Their numbers are growing, however we are to seek quality, not quantity.  

While other churches focus on an experiential form of worship, where emotions are mistaken for the move of the Spirit; and the immaturity of the believer is apparent; don’t get dragged into these little nest of emotionalism where self-gratification is what is preeminent, instead of Jesus Christ.  

We are not here to feel good and the seek to have a better life as our primary existence.  

We are here to serve God, so find a fellowship which gigs deep into God’s Word, and is not obsessed with feeling good or outward expressions (As the Pharisees did) of what they say is being spiritual; but seek fellowship with those that through the matured exhibit of their humble display of life, express the mind of Christ on a daily basis; expressing faith that is more than mere talk service, to the extent that they die daily to the flesh.  

Do not become discouraged, keep looking until the Holy Spirit, not your emotions let you know you are where you should fellowship. 

An expositional preacher who teaches God’s Word is a good place to start.

2. Study the Bible, for that is where we learn of God and His plans, and Will for our lives.

3. Pray to Him to strengthen your faith and increase your love toward Him and others – talk to Him!

4. Enjoy the blessings given by God in the heavenly ordained sacraments: baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

All of these will work to encourage and build upon your faith.

If you have any questions, search the Scriptures, ask your Pastor, or please feel free to ask us.

bb

Endnotes
1.  The Key verse Ephesians 2:8-9 states:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

 Warren Wiersbe states concerning this verse:

“Grace means salvation completely apart from any merit or works on our part. Grace means that God does it all for Jesus’ sake!  Our salvation is the gift of God. (The word “that” in Eph 2:8, in the Greek, is neuter; while “faith” is feminine.   Therefore “that” cannot refer to “faith.”  It refers to the whole experience of salvation, including faith.) Salvation is a gift, not a reward.”

Also Albert Barnes states concerning this verse:

For by grace are ye saved –
By mere favor. It is not by your own merit; it is not because you have any claim.  This is a favorite doctrine with Paul, as it is with all who love the Lord Jesus in sincerity; compare the notes at Romans 1:7; Romans 3:24.”

Through faith –
Grace bestowed through faith, or in connection with believing; see the notes at Romans 1:17; Romans 4:16.”

And that not of yourselves –
That is, salvation does not proceed from yourselves.  The word rendered “that [Greek:] touto – is in the neuter gender, and the word “faith[Greek:] pistis – is in the feminine.  The word “that,” therefore, does not refer particularly to “faith,” as being the gift of God, but to “the salvation by grace” of which he had been speaking.  This is the interpretation of the passage which is the most obvious, and which is now generally conceded to be the true one; see Bloomfield.”

2.  The difference between the Greek words for believe and faith in the New Testament

In the New Testament, the Greek word for “faith” can be found 241 times in the noun form (Greek: pístis), which we translate into the English word “faith”; and 240 times in the verb form (Greek: peítho), which we translate into the English word “believe,” within the English translation of the New Testament the word believe is used as a synonym for faith.

However, if the English word for belief is mere mental assent which is different than the English word for faith which goes beyond mental assent and produces action why is there this contradiction in the use of these two terms–

In the King James Bible (KJB), in the book of John the verb form of Greek word for faith pisteuo is not translated into the English word “faith,” but rather the English word “believe,” which has a different meaning today.  While the verb pisteuo, translated into the English “believe” comes from the Greek noun  pístis, which is translated into the English word “faith,” and while in the Greek the words are synonyms, in the English the words faith and believe are not synonyms.

The reason why the word “believe” is utilized in the book of John as the verb form of faith, which in the English are two separate words, with different meanings is that in the late fifteenth century, just prior to the production of the KJB, there was a verb form of the word faith, known as “faithe,” which fell out of usage in the English.  And back then the English word for belief was similar to the word faith so they simply used the next closest thing to faith, which was belief.

However, over time the word believe has come to mean something different that the word faith – believe has changed and come to mean mere mental assent – as seen in English dictionaries.  NOW, believe and belief  mean a mental process only, which is different than it was in the 16th century.  

This is why the book of John using the same Greek word which means faith in the Greek, means belief in the English NOW.

(Holman”s Bible Dictionary, PP 469)

3.  Repetitious Repeating the same thing is biblical and useful in teaching God’s Word

Philippians 3:1 – “Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not grievous, but for you it is safe.

Titus 3:8 – “This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.”

2 Peter 1:12-13 – “Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance;

2 Peter 3:1-2 – “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour

4.  THE COMPLETE GREEK WORD STUDY DICTIONARY, Spiros Zodhiates, PH T., AMG Publications, Chattanooga, TN 37422, USA, 1990.

5.  Who Crucified Jesus Christ

We must understand that it is all three persons of the Trinity (Psalms 2 – see Endnote #6) was involved and orchestrated the crucifixion in order to fulfill the will of God.

And that men: Pontius Pilate, the Romans, the Jewish religious leaders, and the Jews themselves were simply the instruments that God used to perform His goodwill.

God The Father

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.”  (John 3:16)

“...but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:10)

Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father(Galatians 1:4)

He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us…” (Romans 8:32)

Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain” (Acts 2:22-23)

Jesus

Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (Joh 10:17-18)

Holy Spirit

Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered Himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.”  (Hebrews 9:14 NLT).

It is of note that even the translators recognized that the phrase “the eternal Spirit” was a reference to the Holy Spirit, used here as a synonym; wherein they capitalized the word “spirit” in reference to the personality of the Holy Spirit.

6.  One of the most unusual Scriptures in the Old Testament is found in the book of Psalms, chapter Two.

This chapter makes no sense unless you understand that this is a passage which records a conversation between the Trinity concerning Their plans for man and the planet Earth.

When you read this passage understanding this it makes sense.

What is perfectly apparent is a conversation between God the father and God the son, what is less apparent is the conclusion that is articulated by God the Holy Spirit.  The following was written by Warren Wiersbe (And Chuck Missler’s insert):

The Voice of the Spirit – Psalms 2:1-3 (Chuck Missler)

The Voice of the Father – Psalms 2:4-6

How does God respond to the threats of men? He laughs! It is the holy voice of derision, for God is greater than man and need not fear the proud attacks of puny kings. God does not speak today in judgment; He speaks in grace from the cross. But the day is coming when God will have “the last laugh” (Psa. 37:1-15; Psa. 59:1-8). Remember how proud Sennacherib defied God and the Jews and then was suddenly wiped out? (2 Kings 19:1-37) This will happen again when God decides to deal in judgment with the nations of the world.

There is also the voice of displeasure (Psa. 2:5). We can say it again: today God is not speaking in wrath; He is speaking through His Son in grace (Heb. 1:1-2); one day, however, He will send His wrath upon the nations of the world. The word “displeasure” here means “fiery anger.” This is the tribulation, described in detail in Rev. 6-19. It will be a time of awful judgment upon the land and sea, the heavens, the world of nature, and people and nations. Millions of people will die in plagues and heaven-sent disasters. During the tribulation period, the nation of Israel will be “purged” to prepare a believing remnant for the return of Christ to establish His kingdom from Jerusalem. Multitudes will be saved during this time, but many of them will seal their decision with their own lives.

Finally, God’s voice is a voice of declaration (Psa. 2:6); God has set (“anointed”) His King upon His holy hill. This is Christ (Isa. 9:6-7; Dan. 7:13-14). Though He is not yet seated on His own throne of glory, or upon the throne of David, He is seated at the Father’s right hand; and His throne is as certain as the Father’s word! Today, Christ is a priest-king like Melchizedek (Heb. 6:20-7:17). He intercedes for His own. One day He will return in glory and sit upon the throne to judge and rule the nations (Matt. 25:31-46).

III. The Voice of the Son – Psalms 2:7-9
Christ speaks in these verses and tells us what the Father said to Him in His eternal decree. How good to know that God has decreed the fulfillment of His plan, and that man will not hinder God’s working. “You are My Son, today I have begotten You.” When did the Father say this to the Son? Not when He was born into the world, but when He came out of the tomb. Read Acts 13:28-33 carefully. Christ was “begotten” from the virgin tomb into a glorious life of resurrection power. (This verse is quoted again in Heb. 1:5 and Heb. 5:5.)

Because of His victory over sin and death, Christ is given an inheritance; see Hebrews 1:4-5. You will recall the Father saying to the Son at His baptism, “This is my Beloved Son(Matt. 3:17 4, NKJV). He repeated this at the Transfiguration where Jesus faced His death on the cross (Matt. 17:5). Jesus has all the nations as His inheritance because of His faithful work on the cross. However, Satan offered Him these same kingdoms apart from the cross; see Matt. 4:8-10. Jesus could have received the nations without suffering had He yielded to the devil, but then He would have stepped outside the Father’s will. (Of course, it was impossible for Christ to sin, but the temptation was still just as real.) Satan will offer these kingdoms to Antichrist, and he will rule the nations for a brief season. See Revelation 13:1-10.

When will Christ receive “the uttermost parts of the earth” for His possession? When He returns to the earth in power and glory; see Revelation 19:11-21. Psalms 2:9 is referred to in Revelation 12:5 and Revelation 19:15; and in Revelation 2:26-29, we are told that Christians will reign with Him. See also Daniel 2:42-44.

IV. The Voice of the Spirit – Psalms 2:10-12
The closing three verses are an appeal from the Spirit to the sons of men to submit themselves now to Jesus Christ. The Spirit appeals to every area of the personality: He speaks to the mind when He says: “be wise” (vs. 10), to the emotions when He says “fear” (vs. 11), and the will, when He says: “serve the Lord” (vs. 11).

7.  Scriptures to Study

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”  (Romans 12:1-2)

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.”  (Php 2:5-16)

Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 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. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.  (1 Peter 1:1-25)

All Scripture verses listed, unless otherwise noted, refer to the King James Version.


Biblical Perspective
is an ongoing topical series dealing with abstract thoughts, ideas, and insights into God’s Word and its practical application for today’s Christian.  While not meant to be the ultimate authority on any subject, our purpose is to be a resource, and more importantly a catalyst to motivate people to search and study God’s Word.  Our main focus is always on Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of the world, God incarnate, He alone deserves preeminence in God’s Word.  God’s Word, the Holy Bible stands alone as our source of guidance and direction, and is our singular foundation for and of faithBiblical Perspective is an outreach ministry of Faith Video Ministries Inc. You may contact us at our e-mail address: bb@faithbibleministries.com

8 comments

  1. […] following five articles which primarily address “Eternal Security” – LINK – LINK – LINK – LINK – […]

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  2. […] following five articles which primarily address “Eternal Security” – LINK – LINK – LINK – LINK – […]

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  3. “And if God doesn’t want you it does no good to look for him.” Who does God not want to come to him? Could you elaborate on this statement?

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  4. Drew,
    You pose a very baffling statement when you say that if God doesn’t want you it doesn’t do any good to look for him. Can you point out a Scripture that would validate such a premise. Then concerning your question, again I find the context vague, could you refer to the sentence in my article you’re referring to or the Scripture.

    I will wait for your reply.

    I must admit I receive a lot of emails of those that do not believe in Eternal Life, or as they refer to it “Eternal Security.” I prefer the biblical word “assurance” when it comes to salvation.

    Subsequently, I get many halfhearted questions trying to muddy the water and try to stump me, so I’ve learned to make sure I understand what’s being asked.

    As you know part of the problem with this issue is context.

    There are many scriptures that talk about losing rewards, losing your position in ministry, losing many different things; yet when you take them out of context and apply they mean concerning salvation, the word is being twisted in this manner.

    Please allow me to elaborate so you understand why I want to completely understand the context of your questions. A good example is Hebrew 6:4-6, which states:

    Heb 6:4 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,
    (6:5) And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
    (6:6) If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

    Without understanding the context of this Scripture it would seem to indicate that a person could lose your salvation, yet if you look at verse 6 it says that if they shall fall away (in the Greek there are conditional clauses concerning the four different applications of the word “if” in the Greek, I won’t bore you with the Greek name for these conditional clauses but the one that is used here is hypothetical, it would be like saying “if I could fly like a bird, I would cut down drastically on my purchases of shoes.”

    Granted this is a ridiculous comment but I’m dealing with the ridiculous presumption here when people speak about the Greek language based upon their understanding of the translation into the English which doesn’t hold the same grammatical insights. You have to know Greek if you want to know the grammar of the New Testament. Figures of speech and many other tools of rhetoric are used in this is why the Bible says that we need teachers and why their feeder blessed, because they explain things.)

    Unfortunately many of the individuals I deal with are not interested in learning anything, there simply making their own presumptive statements based upon the doctrines of men according to the denomination or church that they were raised in, their not open to what God’s word says in the original language that he intended it, wherein the New Testament was delivered in koiné Greek.

    Yet getting back to Hebrew 6 as an example of clarifying context you’ll notice what it says is that “if they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance,” yet it doesn’t say to renew them to salvation.

    You see the subject matter is not salvation, it’s repentance.

    So many people stamp on their own meaning to biblical words because of repetition wherein many people believe the word repentance only has to do with salvation, which is an utter fallacy.

    The word has nothing to do specifically with salvation though what can, yet what it means in the Greek is “to change one’s mind to the extent it changes their behavior.”

    It per se has nothing to do with salvation singularly or only, It can be used concerning any subject where an individual changes what they think about something

    It is what men must do to stop going their own way and to start to follow Christ to hundred and 80° opposite of where they were going based upon their own ambitions.

    But this passage is not talking about renewing them tell salvation, which hypothetically would be impossible based upon the use of this conditional clause as found in the English word “if.”

    But understand that even if this word for “if” was literal, it still doesn’t change the fact that the subject matter is not salvation, but it is concerning them changing their mind, as seen in the word repentance.

    What this is saying is that if someone has started to experience an interaction with the Holy Spirit, wherein they start to believe that Christ may be the atonement for their sin, and therefore stop doing Temple sacrifices which would be a blasphemy to a believer, that if they start doing the Temple sacrifices again and start living the liturgical life, how can you change their mind, you can’t – again hypothetically.

    But the subject matter here is changing their thinking about the sacrificial system and about how they are saved.

    Now you may say that this has to do with salvation which in the end it does, but you must remember that people are saved NOT in the twinkling of an eye though we think so. (Remember in the book of Ephesians and other places that speaks about the believer having been called before the foundation of the earth, God was not surprised at who they are, Who is saved and not saved.

    Yet we think of it as that “aha” moment that mentally we start to exercise belief, but even then were not saved until belief which is a cognitive event only done in the brain which displays no action grows into faith wherein Romans 10:17 states, “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God.” Even James speaks about how the belief if this is where a person stops in their understanding of Christ die in their sins and are not saved any more than the demons)

    The Holy Spirit always works in our lives getting the soil ready for the seed, even if the seed doesn’t grow, in God’s justice he prepares the soil so that all men have an opportunity to accept salvation based upon the atoning work of Jesus on the cross or to refuse it; soil preparation is God’s mercy.

    If you wish to debate how being “called” and “free will” cannot function together, your speaking about something that you or I cannot understand any more than we can understand the incarnation, the Trinity, or many other subjects that we take based upon faith in God’s word.

    How he chooses us,How we respond in faith, How we exercise our free will; is what many people argue about and are NOT prepared to accept what God’s word says, but proclaim that this is a paradox and cannot be true.

    A paradox is that Jesus Christ was fully a man and he walked on water, Do you care to argue about this paradox, or do you accept it. My point is that God calls people to him, men must respond in faith, yet salvation is completely a work of God and man does nothing to deserve it – now this is a paradox.

    And the seed will be in the soil for quite a while before we see if it grows and becomes the plant. That’s why the parable of the sower and the different seed is so important. People keep worrying about if the seed will grow, and that is true, but much more important is we need to keep our eyes on the fact that it is the seed becoming, in a process the plant, which in turn produces fruit.

    Salvation without an eventual sign of fruit is not salvation, hence many people say in the last day did we not cast out demons, and do miracles; yet Christ will say I knew you not.

    They knew who he was, but they didn’t have a relationship with him, which was seen that they never produced fruit, his kind of fruit. Not church busyness, which is what they were referring to with casting out demons and doing miracles.

    This lets us know that these individuals had a position in the church wherein these sanctions are allowed to them and not the common man, but to leaders. These were churchgoers, but they were not believers in Jesus Christ.

    So the point is this, context declares that these three verses in Hebrew are talking about Jews, hence it was written to the Hebrews, who had started to live the Christian way, forsaking the temple life and the liturgical acts that were done to symbolize addressing their sin, wherein persecution from the Jews became so bad they could not work or even buy in the marketplace because they were excommunicated for stopping the Temple sacrifice.

    And due to this pressure they again started to do those liturgical things of giving sacrifice, which again is the reason why the statement is how do you get them to change their mind about the liturgical system when they have already experienced the blessing of the Holy Spirit, well you can’t – hypothetically speaking.

    What we who reaf the English translation are not aware of is that this kind of presentation by the speaker is a tool of rhetoric where you present a situation that is impossible so that you’ll understand that which is possible. I will not bore you with the names of these types of rhetorical devices which are found throughout the Bible.

    One other example of type of tool of rhetoric, do you member when Jesus quoted an Old Testament passage to the Pharisees pronouncing that they were gods. Was Jesus agreeing with this, of course not. He was using their own belief system which was wrong to show how ridiculous it was because it could not be true to begin with.

    The Greek language is beautiful in its ability to communicate using double negatives and other grammatical tools which we don’t utilize in the English and therefore the translation into our language is shortsighted many times.

    But again the way that we deal with this is to declare context.

    So please answer my question so I can answer your question (ever notice how Jesus used to do this very thing because individuals were trying to trick him by switching context or taking things out of context, but I am not saying you bare doing this, so please understand I’m following my Masters behavior and don’t take offense.

    Therefore, if you are sincere in your question, and I hope you are; then you just learn something about biblical interpretation and Greek grammar especially concerning conditional clauses and Greek tools of rhetoric, and Hebrews chapter 6, maybe a few other things.

    But understand I take what you’re saying seriously if I understand the context, because I don’t have very much time, but look how much time I have spent in addressing this comment.

    Time is the most precious thing we have because it is not renewable, and I have a lot on my plate, but I’m willing to bet that you are worth it, I hope that you are willing to learn, not simply attempting to win an argument.you been taught Greek

    Thank you much for taking the time to read this and I look forward to clarification concerning your question. Brent

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  5. Drew Oneill · ·

    Hello, I’m sorry I was reading your post on salvation and how to obtain it and I read this in your post. It’s the 10th paragraph down. On May 17, 2016 12:06 PM, “Faith Bible Ministries Blog” wrote:

    > Brent Bolin commented: “Remember’sDrew, You pose a very baffling statement > when you say that if God doesn’t want you it doesn’t do any good to look > for him. Can you point out a Scripture that would validate such a premise. > Then concerning your question, again I find the contex” >

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  6. Drew,
    Thank you very much for your fast reply. Unfortunately I’m going to be tied up the rest the day and tomorrow, but I will attempt to get back to you on Thursday. I know I went through a lot of rabbit holes in your response because normally I’m dealing with people that are opposed to the teaching on eternal life when used in the context of eternal security. And normally it gets quite frustrating attempt to reexplain what I’ve already spent hours explaining before. But please forgive me because I always want to clarify something I have said. Looks like I drank too much coffee this morning, hope what I did state brought some meeting on the subject, but again I will address your specific question in a day or so. I want a chance to dig into the context of my statements while reading what the word says to make sure I was correct in my statement. Talk to you then, your brother in Christ Brent.

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  7. Drew Oneill · ·

    Lol no problem!! I look forward to your response! I’m not one to try to trip anyone up. I’m sorry you have to deal with that. I want to follow God and have a close relationship with him. I also read your writing on blasphemy of the holy spirit. I have the most terrible thoughts about the holy spirit. I’ve lost 30 pounds worrying over it. I try to reread your post but I am so worried I can’t sleep at night. Any words of advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you, Drew On May 17, 2016 2:09 PM, “Faith Bible Ministries Blog” wrote:

    > Brent Bolin commented: “Drew, Thank you very much for your fast reply. > Unfortunately I’m going to be tied up the rest the day and tomorrow, but I > will attempt to get back to you on Thursday. I know I went through a lot of > rabbit holes in your response because normally I’m deal” > Respond to this comment by replying above this line > > New comment on *Faith Bible Ministries Blog > * > > > > *Brent Bolin* commented > > on Salvation – What is It & How To Obtain It (Notable Work) > . > > in response to *Drew Oneill*: > > Hello, I’m sorry I was reading your post on salvation and how to obtain it > and I read this in your post. It’s the 10th paragraph down. On May 17, 2016 > 12:06 PM, “Faith Bib

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  8. UPDATE (05/19/16)- Drew
    Thank you for pointing out that statement it was meant to be an oxymoron but I can see where it is inappropriate so I have changed that section of the article to read as seen below,

    His Children Are Miserable without Him
    Do you want to know one of the ways to figure out if you’re His or not, His children desire Him. How well do you live without God. Are you miserable after you have sinned, do you find yourself constantly seeking forgiveness, what does the Scripture say about us seeking God in our own nature

    “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10-12 ~ KJV)

    This passage says that none seek God, so if you find yourself desperately seeking God where did that desire come from?

    We are told that the children of God are sealed with the Holy Spirit, it i the Holy Spirit that seeks out God. The child of God may sin but is not content doing so. And were not just talking about guilt, were talking about individuals that when they sin they are miserable, even if they keep on sinning, they constantly are thinking about God.

    The devil doesn’t want you to ever think about God, your flesh wants to be comfortable so it doesn’t want to think about God either, which is why Paul says that no one seeks after God on their own.
    And in spite of my previous statement which has been revised, God does want men to come to him, as is stated in 1 Timothy 2:3-6

    “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (KJV)”

    Drew, Hopefully this is made it much more clear without using the oxymoroncle.

    Drew,
    Before I got started on work which will take me away from my computer, I checked my emails and found your most current response, are you the Drew that I spoke to about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit a while back?

    Man I’m sorry I came across colder than I needed to be. I’m a perfect example of God’s ability to save a terrible center is myself, I apologize for coming across rude.

    I’ve got a book that I need for you to read concerning how to know for certain that you are saved.

    It is a new book (new to me, it has been out for a few years = best $10 I have ever spent, it is on Amazon) that I am many of so I’m going to direct you to the YouTube teachings, there are three, You need to read his book it is excellent, It is the best book I’ve ever read on how to know that your saved. As you I have wrestled with this issue for many years.

    The name of the book is: “Stop asking Jesus into your heart – how to know for sure you are saved.”

    I know it’s a crazy name, but I am completely behind this book and what it states, It is the best I’ve ever seen I have purchased many of them to give away. BUT FIRST WATCH THESE VIDEOS. BB

    Part 1

    Part 2

    Part 3

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Faith Bible Ministries Blog ~ An Online Study of the Bible

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- This online Bible study series addresses primary New Testament words in their original language - Koinè Greek - as opposed to mainly using the English translations; which is like adding color to a black-and-white picture.

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"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"

Faith Bible Ministries

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God"

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