Eternal Security Series – Part 1 – Galatians 5 – “those that do such things…”

Introduction

Series Introduction
The subject which is referred to as “Eternal Security” has brought major division within Christianity as a whole, whereas some denominations support this doctrine and others deny it.

It is a religious doctrine (Meaning: “A teaching of the church”) that many point to and state it was not taught by the church fathers, which is not necessarily true due to the fact because there’s only  a dozen or so quotations of these early church teachers found over hundreds of years, and many of these teachers should not be quoted as authoritative due to their unbelief concerning the deity of Jesus Christ, the atonement, and many other major doctrines of the church which they disavow, Origen Adamantius of Alexandria Egypt (The main hub of Gnosticism during the first few centuries after the resurrection) being a prime example.  Though there has been a marked increase in this teaching over the last century within Protestant churches.

Having been raised in a denomination which was opposed to this doctrine, teaching it was a heresy (until I was 16), then accepting the Lord a few years later and going into full-time ministry five years after this in a denomination which taught the same, and continuing to believe this was a heresy for another decade, it was very difficult for me to consider that this doctrine could ever be true, though now for the last 20 years, I praise God for the correction of the Holy Spirit concerning this most precious assurance which I now believe and teach.    

Introduction
The term: “Eternal Security” is a term NOT found in the (The Greek Textus Receptus NT or the Hebrew OT Masoretic Text) Bible, though the teaching is, with examples such as John 10:28-30, wherein Jesus speaking states:

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.”

(Do you notice here that there is not one hand holding the believer, but two hands cuffed around him, this should make us feel secure, as it is Jesus and God the Father that keeps us, and not we keeping ourselves, but I digress)

eternal life

Eternal Life
This passage presents two doctrines, that of “Eternal Life,” and the Equality of Jesus with Father God, wherein “Jesus presents His deity (Which the Pharisees understood as in the next verse they pick up stones to stone Him.  How individuals make statements that Jesus never presented Himself as deity is ridiculous considering the massive volume of passages to the contrary, this being one.  Also, notice that every time the Pharisees or people pick up stones to stone Jesus, it is because He is claiming to be God; which is what that Torah demands for this type of blasphemy by mortal men).  

It is this former doctrine that we shall deal with, whereas if anyone has a problem with the latter doctrine, all believers would agree that they need to be saved.  

The following series contains over a dozen moderate articles (not exhausted as I sometimes do, anywhere from 40 to 80 pages), considering this doctrine that Jesus refers to as “eternal life“, though for the sake of clarity concerning its established name, and so that individuals will understand the subject matter, I will continue to refer to this doctrine as “Eternal Security(“eternal life“).

Jesus reference to this doctrine as eternal life will be considered at greater length in a future article, but the first thing before going any further in a discussion concerning eternal security which is the concept that Jesus presented which is concrete and solidified according to the Greek grammar.

The first problem that opponents to eternal life have is Jesus Himself regarding this statement, which is repeated in the Gospels. If an individual actually accepts Jesus Christ and becomes a born again child of God, AND they can lose that salvation, then Jesus comment was false, because in the Greek the grammar is insistent, which is also obvious as well in the English translation – Jesus states in the imperative that Jesus came to bring eternal life, meaning life that never stops, not temporary life – but eternal life.

The parsing of the Greek grammar for John: 10:28 is:

And IG2504 giveG1325 [G5719] unto themG846 eternalG166 lifeG2222; andG2532 they shallG622 neverG3364 G1519 G165 perishG622 [G5643], neitherG2532 G3756 shallG726 anyG5100 man pluckG726 [G5692] themG846 out ofG1537 myG3450 handG5495.

The word give is didōmi (G1325), which in this particular passage is presented in the following grammar:

Tense-Present          –    is a continuous action which never stops/

Voice-Active           –    the subject causes the action (the object receives the action)

Mood -Participle     –    the Greek participle corresponds to the English particle, reflecting “- ing” or “- ed” being the suffixed.

Which means that according to the present tense it is a continuous action that never stops, it is not a singular action wherein Jesus is only on one occasion extending eternal life.  The eternal life that he gives is continuous and never stops.  According to the active voice, Jesus is the subject that gives the action, and we are the object that receives the action. The the participle mood indicates this is a fact and unmovable as it is a never stopping action that even is referred to in some instances as a past action, because past actions can never be stopped; yet is always seen as an ongoing never-ending action

Eternal Death
I shouldn’t need to point out that we all are as human beings eternal souls, meaning we live forever, though in different forms. And that those that are destined to hell by their refusal to accept the atonement of Jesus Christ for their sins will be a live in hell in a different form for all of eternity, this is not the eternal life that Jesus is speaking about.

He is speaking about eternal life with Him and the Father, not eternal damnation.

So now let us go on to deal with a prominent issue that opponents utilize stating that their qualifications to salvation beyond faith, such as maintaining a sanctified life as they assert concerning the below passage as found in Galatians 5:19-21

Galatians

Introduction
On three occasions Paul cites sins of the flesh and concludes with the statement that those that “do such things” shall not inherit the kingdom of God, which we would agree is synonymous with salvation.

This is one of those occasions where understanding the Greek words that were originally penned, and then later translated into the English words, is a necessity in order to fully understand what the apostle was stating – it is the grammar that brings clarity.

Galatians 5:19-21 states: (in the 1769 King James Version):

Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.”

The parsing of the Greek grammar for Galatians 5:19-21 is:

“NowG1161 the worksG2041 of the fleshG4561 areG2076 [G5748] manifestG5318, whichG3748 areG2076 [G5748] these ; AdulteryG3430, fornicationG4202, uncleannessG167, lasciviousnessG766, IdolatryG1495, witchcraftG5331, hatredG2189, varianceG2054, emulationsG2205, wrathG2372, strifeG2052, seditionsG1370, heresiesG139, EnvyingsG5355, murdersG5408, drunkennessG3178, revellingsG2970, andG2532 suchG5125 likeG3664: of the whichG3739 I tellG4302 youG5213 beforeG4302 [G5719], asG2531 I haveG4277 alsoG2532 told you in time pastG4277 [G5627], thatG3754 they which doG4238 [G5723] such thingsG5108 shallG2816 notG3756 inheritG2816 [G5692] the kingdomG932 of GodG2316.”

Strong’s Dictionary – the root of the word:

do (G4238) pras’-so

A primary verb; to “practise”, that is, perform repeatedly or habitually (thus differing from G4160, which properly refers to a single act); by implication to execute, accomplish, etc.; specifically to collect (dues), fare (personally): – commit, deeds, do, exact, keep, require, use arts.

Part of the problem that we have as 21st-century Americans whose primary language is English is that we do not have an inspired word of God, given to us in our own language.

God chose to utilize koine Greek as the vehicle to communicate to man the New Testament, and it is this specific detailed exact language that is our reference point in handling the inspired, inerrant word of God, not the English.

(Please see Endnote #1 concerning the differences between the Hebrew, the Greek and the English languages, otherwise the following will seem foreign to you.)

The Koine Greek Language

Strong’s-Concordance_James-Strong

Many individuals mistakenly utilize Strong’s Dictionary (Mainly found in the back of the exhaustive concordance, or in a standalone volume) to look up specific words from a specific passage. The reason I state this is a mistake is that strong’s dictionary is a “root” dictionary, meaning it gives a generic understanding of the word which is many times is diverse according to the specific passage and the specific grammar utilized especially concerning the verbs, in this case the word translated into the English “do’, which is the Greek Romanized word pras-so.

Again, Strong’s Dictionary only gives a generic understanding of a word referred to as the “root,” and is not useful for word studies or specific Greek grammar studies which necessitates understanding what the exact grammar that is used in any specific text (please see LINK for documentation of this regarding Strong’s Dictionary).  It should be understood that James Strong received his letters after his name as honorary degrees, there is no indication he received any degree higher than a Masters in theology, and never had special studies in Greek, nor understood or taught Greek.  He was a professor which dealt with theology proper, not linguistics or Far East languages.

This explains why the above example of this Greek word, translated into the English word “do,” taken from Strong’s (root) Dictionary gives different types of examples within its explanation which are diverse from each other (Mainly: “perform repeatedly or habitually, or by implication execute, accomplish, etc.; specifically to collect (dues), fare (personally): – commit, deeds, do, exact, keep, require, use arts.;).  Yet, understanding of this Greek word pras-so as: “Repeatedly or habitually” still fall short of the specific use of the word’s true meaning.  There is more to the word than this explanation that Strong’s presents.

Vines

It is by using a Greek Grammar Dictionary, such as “Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words(Or the Hebrew concerning the Old Testament) that list individual meanings concerning specific passages.

Spiros Zodhiates

Or Even better, “The Complete Greek Word Study” by Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D. (A true doctor in the Classical and Koine Greek language, and a proven scholar whose native language is modern Greek as well), which address the grammar of the verbs; the tense, the voice, and the mood; wherein we can ascertain the exact meaning of any Greek verb, (As well as the noun and other aspects of the grammar) in this case which is listed below

Greek grammar for “pras-so” according to this specific passage (G5723):

Tense-Present          –    is a continuous action which never stops/

Voice-Active           –    the subject causes the action (the object receives the action)

Mood -Participle     –    the Greek participle corresponds to the English particle, reflecting “- ing” or “- ed” being the suffixed.

Therefore we understand that when Paul is saying not only those that habitually do these sins shall not inherit the kingdom of God, but those that never stop doing the sins.

Those that state that eternal life (eternal security) is wrong cannot use this Scripture as a basis or the other which use the same grammatical construct.

It is because opponents state that those who habitually do these sins cannot be saved, is an incorrect statement.

The truth according to this passage is those that live in this sin and never ever stop it, cannot be saved.

Matthew

Matthew 13
You see the issue is time, if a person lives like a sinner after stating that they accepted Jesus, and never shows the fruit this indicates they never were saved in the first place, as Jesus alluded to in Matthew 13:3-9 and explained in 19-23, which states:

“And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them: But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. “ (Matthew 13:3-9)

Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, 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; 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. 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.”   (Matthew 13:19-23)

parablesower_s

You see the only individual that is saved in this parable is he that heareth the word, understandeth it, “which also bear fruit”.

Those that received the seed, wherein he heareth the word, receives it with joy, yet does not produce fruit are not saved.

One of the keys to this passage has to do with the word “understand.”

Strong’s Dictionary – the root of the word:

understand(G4920) suniēmi soon-ee’-ay-mee

From G4862 and ἵημι hiēmi (to send); to put together, that is, (mentally) to comprehend; by implication to act piously: – consider, understand, be wise.

The Greek grammar for “suniemi” according to this specific passage (G5723):

(what a coincidence is the same grammatical parsing as the word “do”, and “give” above.)

Tense-Present          –    is a continuous action which never stops/

Voice-Active           –    the subject causes the action (the object receives the action)

Mood -Participle     –    the Greek participle corresponds to the English particle, reflecting “- ing” or “- ed” being the suffixed.

therefore

Therefore
Therefore, meaning that true believers understand to the extent that they never lose this understanding, and it changes their worldview and their thinking, this is synonymous with faith, repentance, and salvation; which are always ongoing and never stop according to the grammar, which will be seen in the life of the believer, even if they go through stages of being backslidden, if they yet repent – which true believers will, then the process of salvation never stops, and last throughout eternity because Jesus came to bring us “eternal life.”

What this passage is not saying, is that those that were not saved, that did not produce a plant had no understanding; because if this is what was meant Matthew would have used a different word and it would have different Greek grammar parsing.

It is saying that they understood the gospel, but they did not maintain their response to the gospel throughout their life.

There was an intellectual understanding, yet there was not a permanence in the acceptance.

There are many atheists and agnostics which can explain, in great detail; the atonement and the gospel of Jesus Christ, they intellectually understand it, yet they are not saved because they refused to believe it, wherein that belief would grow into a conviction, which produces actions, which are known as faith.

It is this understanding that is synonymous with belief wherein a cognitive response to that gospel first occurs.

To repeat, if belief never moves into conviction and produces actions, is not saved this belief will not save that person.

There is a vast difference between belief, and faith.

Belief will not save you as James attest to (James 2:19), concerning the Devils (actual demons), yet faith, which is best defined as:

Faith - the ABC's of faith

The ABCs of faith

Actions based on belief, sustained by confidence (conviction).

Concerning the difference between the Greek words “believe and faith,” please see the following LINK.  Half way down the article, see the heading the “ABC’s of Faith.”

Therefore, it is not enough to understand the gospel, it is the Holy Spirit opening our eyes and heart wherein the seed of the word of God can grow into a plant.

You see many people focus on the seed concerning this parable.

The object of this parable is the plant, not the seed; it is those that grow into being believers producing fruit that is the focus, NOT those that temporarily understand and receive with joy the seed, but don’t produce a plant.

Concerning spiritual growth, Christ is occupied with fruit production, though seed distribution is necessary in this process, this parable cannot be used to state that believers can lose their salvation – it does not say that plants go back to becoming seeds.  Once the seed of the word of God germinates in the heart of a person and produces a plant, this is salvation; where according to God’s word there will be fruit, some small some great.

But attempting to say because you do not Currently see fruit, that the plant is dead, is nowhere to be found in this parable – It takes time for plants to produce fruit, it took 25 years for Abraham, who are we to demand that individuals do it in less.

The issue is that there is no place in this parable concerning the plant going in reverse, dying, or even not producing fruit.

Once it becomes a plant.  A plant is a plant is a plant.  A sheep is a sheep, goats are goats, wheat are wheat, tare are tares; in all of Jesus’ parables and illustrations, none of these change from one to the other…

Brent

Endnote

1.  The Hebrew and Koine Greek Languages

Introduction
Both the Hebrew and the Greek languages have their own particular differences which are utilized by God, and which presents God’s message to man in a diversity of style and effectiveness that complement each other.

The Hebrew (Old Testament) language displays vividness, conciseness, simplicity and denseness, and is very poetic and therefore necessitates many more English words in its translation is due to its vaBible_Scroll_2_gueness; therefore it has the ability to utilize puns, and many other rhetorical devices; which add color and nuances to the language beautifully, and therefore takes more English words to translate.

Whereas in comparison, the Koiné Greek language (New Testament) is beautiful, rich, and harmonious, a very specific language, technical, efficient and effective; an excellent tool for vigorous thought and religious devotion.

These are characteristics which make Greek an excellent language for debate, philosophy, logic, and science, due to its strength and vigor; a language of argument with a vocabulary and style that penetrate and clarify phenomena rather than simply describe verbiage.

Greek takes many more English words to translate a single Greek word into English because of its specificity and exactness, yet for a different reason the Hebrew also needs  many more English words to translate a single Hebrew because it is vague.

Greek is perhaps the most precise form of expression found in any language, far beyond the English, Latin, or Oriental languages.Bible_Book_2_

This is one of the closest to perfect languages in man’s existence, making it more than appropriate as God’s tool of communication to man.

What we find in these 2 languages, is that the Hebrew language, which God used as mankind was coming of age, growing from a single man (Abraham), to a family (the 12 Tribes), to a nation (Israel); is vague, limited in its revelation in the same way that God limited his exposure to the human race in the time of the Old Testament by utilizing a single man, his family, and a nation that would carry his word to the rest of the world.

During this time it is as if God is seen as if from behind the veil.

Yet, when we see the Greek language, with its specificity and preciseness, a language that reveals in great precision in a way that would be synonymous with God’s revelation of Himself in the person of Jesus.

This is why many people think that there one God of the Old Testament that is a judge, mean and condemning; and another God of the New Testament, patient, loving, and sacrificial.

There is only one God, He simply chooses different ways to reveal Himself, He has chosen a progression in revealing Himself (The good side of this is that as God has patiently and slowly revealed Himself, He has been patient with man as well, even winking at his transgressions [“And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” ~ Acts 17:30] – giving man a temporary acceptance through faith in God, as seen in the yearly sacrifice, prior to Jesus, but once Jesus has come; God specifically demands faith be placed in Him.)  

In the Old Testament they knew the Messiah was coming, but didn’t know who he was.

In the New Testament God specifically revealed who the Messiah is, and that salvation can be found in no other  (See Gal. 3:22-26).

Concerning the precision and methodical nature of Koiné (Greek: “common”*Greek, it should be understood that Hebrew Old Testament Scriptures, were translated into the “common” Greek  three centuries before the time of Christ, known as the Septuagint translation and was what Christ and the disciples used as their Scripture in their day (except for within the Temple and the synagogues, where the Hebrew translations of the Torah were utilized).

(*The common dialect, as opposed to Attic dialect.  Koiné Greek is an ancestor of modern Greek, having come from the Classical Greek and mixed with local variances.  And is the first supra-regional dialect in Greece, becoming the lingua franca for the Eastern Mediterranean and ancient Near East throughout the Roman period due to the prior conquest of Alexander the Great – 336 BC to 323 BC, and therefore became the common language of the known world ~ 300 BC to AD 300.  Septuagint meaning: “seventy,” – the abbreviation LXX is found in your Bible margins when referring to it, and comes from the Roman alphabet symbolizing “70” – because seventy [72?] translators were used in its translation.  It took fifteen years to finish the Septuagint, from 285 to 270 B.C., and was commissioned and paid for by the Greek King of Ptolemaic Egypt, Ptolemy II Philadelphus [285-245 B.C.], his father was Ptolemy I.  Ptolemy I, was one of the four Greek generals of Alexander the Great, who after his death, slit up the kingdom of Alexander the Great; the Greek king of Macedon who became a world dictator. Ptolemy I and his son ruled the area of Egypt.)

This is why many times there is an inconsistency between our New Testament quotations of Old Testament passages, and the Old Testament passages themselves.

The reason that the two Testaments are not exactly the same is that our Protestant Old Testament is based upon the Hebrew Masoretic Text (The Hebrew Old Testament that was not codified until the 8th century A.D.), and Jesus and the disciples were quoting from the Greek Septuagint translation of the (Hebrew) Old Testament Scriptures, which explains the differences seen between the two (many Christian translators believe that the 8th century Hebrew Jewish translators used variant Hebrew words in the Masoretic translation to attempt to distance their translation from the Christian Bible which at the time used the Septuagint Old Testament; they believed Christianity was an evil cult), translations.

The supernatural outcome of having a (SeptuagintGreek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament is the ability to specifically understand the Hebrew words used in the Old Testament, as they could be laid next to the (specific) Greek, which would set up a parallel of translation effect.

So as to define the Hebrew according to the Greek; by thus setting aside the vagueness that was originally introduced, as well as gaining the ability to cross-reference each with each other, and have both of the Testaments comparable at the same time.

And in the process, acquiring greater insight into both translations; as seen in the New Testament quotes of the Old Testament which are made more precise and clear, and the Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in the New Testament with greater understanding.

It’s like God presented Himself in the Old Testament while still behind a veil to the Jews (“the Hebrews”), more mysterious and at arm’s length.

Yet, in the New Testament, Jesus revealed God in a more personal, detailed and intimate manner, in Himself (which is where we get the idea of: “having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour”).

We also have God presenting His written word in the specificity of the Greek language in the New Testament, and eventually (c. 280 BC) presenting a more precisely regarding the Old Testament as seen in the Septuagint.

Jesus Christ is the revelation of God the Father that was never seen before in such specificity (1 Timothy 3:16).

In the Old Testament we see the actions of God; in the New Testament we see this personality in the person of Jesus Christ.

Both of these languages are dead languages, meaning that they are permanently set – they do not change (which is important to us, in that consistency and uniformity are assured), and are therefore excellent tools for translation purposes with set meanings; even though our English is a living language, which is fluid – always changing; and therefore mandates a greater deliberation in translation.

Conclusion
How amazing is our God that He would specifically utilize two languages which are almost opposite of each other in order to fulfill His Will.

The one language He uses as He begins His journey with man from behind a veil, vague as He slowly, mercifully, but surely introduces Himself to mankind, utilizing a temporary year-by-year Levitical system to teach man that he is a sinner, awaiting the permanent substitute as seen in the person of Jesus Christ, the Messiah of Israel; the Savior of the world..

Jesus who was declared in a specific thorough language which gives great detail concerning the person of Christ who reflects the Father, wherein salvation is made specific concerning God’s demand that man placed his faith in God, wherein man accesses the grace of God for forgiveness through the atoning work of the cross.

Salvation comes only one way, God’s way.

Yet how miraculous it is to see how God even uses the languages He has chosen to symbolically display what He has literally written in His Word – our God is beyond awesome, there are no words to describe Him – all we could do is praise and glorify Him for His mercy and grace.  Aman

Please leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

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.

Faith Video Ministries Inc.

"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"

%d bloggers like this: