The following article is Part 2 of a series concerning what many refer to as “Eternal Security.”
The term “Eternal Security” is not found in the Bible. It is a man-made term to describe the teaching that “Once a Christian is saved, they are always saved” – which by its very definition is Eternal Life.
Eternal life is life that never ends. Therefore those that believe that a person can be saved and afterwards can lose their salvation are opposed to Jesus’ teaching of Eternal Life, Wherein they present that salvation can be temporary, that it can be lost after having been gained (This then begs the question, “how many times can a person be saved?” Is it as Jesus said to Peter concerning forgiving his brother, more than 490 times? Can you see the possible absurdity of this idea?).
Either the Bible is true and salvation is Eternal Life, wherein both the Greek grammar and the English cannot be disputed when it defines eternal life means never-ending – therefore not temporary, as the opponents would state; or the Bible is a lie?
Therefore, when it comes to the subject of Eternal Security (ES), as stated in Part 1 of this series, I believe the true issue is actually Eternal Life.
To reiterate, Jesus defined salvation as is recorded in John 10:28-30, as Him bringing eternal life (See Endnote 1 which list the New Testament passages demanding that salvation is defined as eternal life) to those that are His own, those that were saved.
“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.“
Some Believer”s Definition of Salvation
Those that oppose Eternal Security (Hence referred to as those that believe in “Conditional Salvation,” CS), many times state that the New Testament defines what salvation is as being:
1) Saved from sin (Especially as seen in the book of Romans), or
2) The necessity of repenting from one sin (which is true, but misunderstood; which I will deal with a little later).
Saved from Sin
While being saved from sin is a consequence of salvation – it is not salvation – salvation is eternal life – and being freed of sin’s power should not to be confused with the gracious gift of spending forever with God, which is salvation.
While it is a great joy NOT to have sin control our members, according to 1 John 1:8-10, which states”
“(8) If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. (9) If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (10) If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”
All men, including believers will sin throughout their life, Is not simply speaking of occasional sin, but sin which is normal part of life (though in the life of the believer, it should never be in total control, but it will occur daily):
We will sin throughout our earthly existence as noted in verse 8 of 1st John chapter 1, Wherein the Greek words translated into the English “we have” are in the perfect tense – meaning an action that will never ever end, Conveying the idea of permanence until death, and that it continues as a daily aspect of humanity and normal part of fallen man, saved or not.
The first issue that we must deal with concerning this passage is verse 9 of 1st John chapter 1, which talks about the confession of sins and Christ “cleansing us from all unrighteousness.” We must first understand that our salvation was paid for not because of confession, but by the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross.
The atonement (Greek: katallagḗ, it is a reconciliation Between God and man because of a ransom being paid, Jesus paid the ransom price for mankind) of Jesus Christ, is based upon his blood; not mere words are thoughts of confession.
“And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Romans 5:11 KJV)
For God to be Righteous, Punishment was Necessary for a Violation of the Law
Therefore, the mere confession of sin is not enough to pay the ransom. It is blood for blood, and mere words or even the contrition of the heart is not enough to pay for the sins of man, this is how evil sin is, and the intention of sinning does not nullify or weaken the evil of sin. Every sin committed is a choice each time it is committed, and therefore by its nature is habitual if you have ever done that sin before.
A Ransom Had to Be Paid
God did not simply forgive our sins is if they didn’t occur in the first place, this would not be just or righteous. The problem that God faced was the fact that a righteous judge or righteous God cannot forgive a violation of the law, or they would not be just. He could not be righteous and merciful at the same time, because they are antithetical one to the other. Since man was unable of saving himself and still is, and only a pure sinless sacrifice could become a substitute to pay the ransom of man’s sin in order that God may be merciful to man; the price of sin still had to be paid in the form of a ransom which is what Jesus did. He took our sins upon Himself and became sin, doing the opposite of what Adam did wherein he introduced sin into man’s DNA.
“Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Timothy 2:6 KJV)
“For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22 KJV)
The Blood of Bulls
This is why blood is so often spoken about in the Old Testament concerning the sacrificial system, which was only temporary in nature, And was never meant to claims man of his sins as stated in Hebrews 10:4, which states:
“For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.”
The Old Testament was Meant to Be an Object Lesson to Prepare Us for the New One
This is why we see the many New Testament references to Christ’s blood redeeming mankind. The feast of Israel and the Tabernacle itself was meant to be an object lesson to teach man not only about God’s justice and law, but of his plan for mankind as seen in the redemption given to us through Jesus Christ. We learn from these Old Testament symbols, as those who had read of them before Christ would recognize and understand what true atonement, redemption, and ransom were met to be fulfilled in the death of Jesus Christ on the cross.
Shadows of Things to Come
We are told that these things were shadows of things to come. When a man has the sun at his back, and walks towards you; you see the shadow before being in the presence of the man. The shadow is not an exact representation of that which follows. But it does make that which follows recognizable when it appears. All of the books of the Old Testament were meant to prepare mankind for the Messiah, to make him recognizable in the person of Jesus Christ.- this is prophetic concerning the Messiah and his mission. Hebrews 8:1-5 (KJV), states:
(1) “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such an high priest, who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; (2) A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man. (3) For every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer. (4) For if he were on earth, he should not be a priest, seeing that there are priests that offer gifts according to the law: (5) Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.”
Old Testament Examples
In the Old Testament on the Day of Atonement, the priest would enter the Tabernacle compound and the first thing he would approach after entering the entrance way, was the Brazen Altar where sacrifice for sins were made for the people.
Did you ever noticed that in Paul’s ending citations how we would often say “grace and peace under you.”
The reason that he said it always in this specific order, was that you will never have peace with God, until first you experience the grace of God, because He has forgiven your sins (Your sins been having paid by someone else – the Christ).
The same as the idea here, the Tabernacle was a place of meeting between man and God, where man was to understand the grace of God, which first demanded God’s grace, not that sins were simply forgiven and forgotten; but that punishment, the sacrifice for sins was paid.
Prior to Jesus Christ dying on the cross, God instituted the Seventh Feast of Israel, which revolved around the Tabernacle as a meeting place of God. But because of man’s sin he could NOT meet with God, as God cannot be in the presence of sin, He cannot even look upon evil.
“Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?” (Habakkuk 1:13 KJV)
So when the priest, on the Day of Atonement would enter the meeting place of God, the Tabernacle compound, which included the outer area surrounded by the outer walls, the first thing that the human priest had to do was deal with his sins or else he could not meet with God in the Holy of Holies.
Therefore the Brazen Altar was the first thing that was a necessity to address before going any further.
This is where sins were paid for, it was an example of Christ dying on the cross shedding his blood for us. As I said, salvation is not God simply waving His hand and forgetting sin, this is not biblical forgiveness.
God’s Justice & The Scapegoat
God’s justice demands that punishment must be rendered for violations of the law. In one of the ceremonies within the Seven Feast of the tabernacle, a priest would pick out to goats, one would be sacrificed in the other one would be let go into the wilderness, which is called the scapegoat. This symbolism was to teach the people that the punishment for sin must be paid, and that one goat would pay the penalty for another goat which would be set free. What a beautiful illustration of Christ paying the redemption for mankind.,
“And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. (9) And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. (10) But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, [For which the other goat, “the lot for the Lord”] to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.“ (Leviticus 16:8-10 KJV)
This is the only way man can be saved, Jesus voluntarily traded places with us taking the sins of the world as He died on the cross, being treated as we deserve to be treated, so that we could be treated as sons of God as he alone deserve to be treated.
Therefore, as it would be 1000 years before Jesus would die for the sins of the world God used the Seven Feast and the Tabernacle as an object lesson as it says in the book of Hebrews, a shadow of that which was to come.
And the Brazen Altar was an illustration of Jesus dying for the sins of the world, where sin was dealt with before anything else can be addressed.
After the priest sacrificed meat and blood for the sins of the people, which included himself, as he walked towards the Tabernacle, he would next approach the Brazen Laver, in which he had to wash his feet and his hands before entering the tabernacle, but why, if his sins had already been addressed at the Brazen Altar?
“Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all [Referring to Judas],“ (John 13:9-10 KJV)
Jesus is telling them that because of their faith they were saved, but they still send daily and needed to be aware of this and to confess it, as seen next.
The Brazen Laver was made out of brass from the looking glasses of the Egyptians that were given to the Israelites when they were leaving for the Promised Land. They did not have mirrors as we commonly have today to gain a reflection of themselves, they would beat brass, and hone it till it was very smooth, and would portray the reflection of an individual.
Hands Symbolize What Men Do
The Brazen Laver was made from this material so that as the priest, as they would bend over the Brazen Laver and wash their hands, they would be forced to look at themselves, symbolizing the self-reflection of understanding that their hands, which were still dirty.
The principle behind this was that even though their sins had been paid for at the Brazen Altar, their daily walk, even the short distance from the Brazen Altar to the Brazen Laver, their feet would become dusty and dirty.
Feet Symbolize Man’s Walk through Life
The idea here is that the feet symbolized a man’s walk through his life, and his hands symbolized what he did based upon his choices.
The fact that the priest feet and hands had to be washed illustrated that even though sin was paid for, there is still the concept that daily we sin as human beings, and that we first must acknowledge those by looking at our behavior, the same as a priest were forced to look at themselves in the reflection of the Brazen Laver, then wash their hands in the water of the word of God (?), while acknowledging that they are still sinners.
“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” (John 15:3 KJV)
“That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,” (Ephesians 5:26 KJV)
The believer is to humbly reflect upon all of his sins, especially the little ones, confess them unto the Lord, commit yourself to God’s word and its correction, knowing that 2000 years ago Christ died on the cross for all of your sins – period!
This is what John is referring to in 1st John 1:9.
In our daily walk through life, the choices we make in the things that we handle and do are marked by the sin of the fallen nature. We are NOT to merely take sin for granted, we are to be self inspecting, cognizant of our sin, and that in so doing we are to confess our sins before Him as an aspect of repentance, and as John says He will respond by forgiving those daily sins, Wherein we maintain fellowship with Him.
You see repentance means to change one’s mind, to go 180° from walking our own way in life, to completely turn around in following Jesus Christ. A mere mental assent is NOT what repentance is, it is the starting place. It is not the same as regret or remorse.
Repentance is what a believer does when they accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior, they change the way they think and stop going their own way, which is based only their sinful lust.
When they change their mind to follow Christ, this mental thought is combined with conviction which produces faith in God and His word and bears fruit, wherein the whole walk of the man changes, that his beliefs change and they change his behaviors, those things he does with his hands.
1st John 1:9, as well as Romans 10:9-10, are a couple of only a few examples the equates confession with salvation. Because forgiveness of sin as in salvation, is only achieved by the shed blood of Jesus Christ.
Romans 10:9-10, which states:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
Confession, by itself is not enough to save a man, they must have faith in their heart, meaning their inner man. And the idea here is not that the physical act of confession save you, in some kind of mystical way, such as the “Name it and claim it” false prophets give mystical power to spoken words.
Openly Admitting Christ As Your Savior – to the World
The idea here is that if a person has truly repented and change their mind and are following Christ, they will tell other people and claim Jesus as their Savior openly – proving that they really do believe and have changed their ways.
Two Types of Confession
The word confession used in the New Testament has two implications. It concerns confession of sins, as well as confession that Jesus Christ is our Savior as an evangelism.
Concerning the latter, if someone is ashamed of Christ, they display they truly don’t have faith in Him, and as they have denied Him, He will deny them.
Concerning the former, if salvation came by confession, and this type of mystical verbiage were true, then we would have to tell every person we ever meet that we are Christian, which is ridiculous.
The Correct Understanding
As Believers are dealing with people in the world, they should act in such a way that people see their hope based on faith, and ask why as Peter says. We should, as the opportunity of being instant in season or out, spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, teaching others the word of God; this is what confession can achieve in the Christian’s life
“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15 KJV)
“Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.” (2 Timothy 4:2 KJV)
The Sin of Taking Sin for Granted
What we are to learn From 1st John 1:8-10 is to NOT take our sin for granted, that we are to confess those sins and it can think upon the repentance that we have made, that when we send and momentarily turned to do our own thing, that we would realize this and self-reflection, and again repent mentally, turn around, stopping that sin that we were currently doing, verbally confess it; knowing that God would always forgive that sin.
This then begs the question of those that believe that we must always confess sins in order to receive forgiveness, and therefore salvation; “what happens to an individual when they die and they have sinned moments before and don’t have a chance to confess, is the blood of Jesus made of non-effect for that believer’s life? – NO.”
Unknown or Unintended Sins?
And what about the sins I am unaware of, or are unintended, such as when David asked for forgiveness of the sins he wasn’t aware of, David said:
“Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. ” (Psalms 19:12-14 KJV)
The “secret faults” spoken about in Psalms 19:12 is not talking about unintentional sin, as the Hebrew word (sawthar) here for “faults,” actually means hidden sins, sins that are concealed and not seen by everyone.
In fact, both these verses are talking about the same thing, it is not talking about two separate types of sins, the “them” is not found in the text, it is added by the translators to make the English sound correct.
When David speaks about being “innocent from the great transgression,” it means the great rebellion, and is speaking salvation, wherein the Hebrew word “rebellion” is always spoken about as being done by those who are against God, not believers
And yes David was a believer, he was saved by faith as states in Hebrews 11:32-33, states:
“And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: (33) Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,”
And Hebrews 11:39, which states:
“And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise”
What if I forget to pray that prayer about unaware of sins, does that stop me from entering heaven.
We must understand that John in this passage is not speaking about salvation, he’s speaking about our daily walk and fellowship with Jesus Christ, this is what David is also speaking about, sin which will interfere with Our relationship with God, as well as the problems that are created on earth.
When we sin, this creates a temporary barrier in our fellowship with God. Not a permanent barrier, but we still need to address the sin and again turned God’s way.
Sin Diminishes the Life of the Believer
Now for you that thought that I rationalize sin, I hope you understand I definitely do not.
But see the issue that were dealing with concerning eternal security is not the idea that we can lose our salvation based upon sin, but that Christ took our place and paid for that sin.
Later we will discuss Paul’s passage in Romans 7 which deals with the fact that we sin daily and it is the power of sin over our lives which we are to find comfort in understanding in how to stop sins control, when he states that we are a wretched man because of being pulled between our two natures. Our human sin nature versus are adopted spiritual nature.
Sin under Control
Many of the proponents of conditional grace claim they have sin under control by attempting to separate intentional sin (David referred to this as “presumptuous sin,” which I think is very fitting because this addresses the fact that we know very well that when we sin, we are taking for granted God’s grace, and that we are showing little respect for everything Christ went through to pay for those sins – These are rebellious sins, but then all sin that a person knowingly commits, rather big or small, is a rebellious sin) from unintentional sin, as if unintentional sin is less severe.
The Greek Word for Sin
The definition of the Greek word for “sin” used throughout the New Testament is: hamarthia [G266], which means“to miss the mark.”
It is an archery term, wherein the very size of the arrow itself, is the size of the bull’s-eye in the center of the target; and anything outside of a complete perfect bull’s-eye is sin, wherein variance of score has nothing to do with the thought.
Either you have it, or you don’t, there is no little sin or big sin.
This is where we get the concept for the teaching within the church, that all sin is the same with God.
Sin Is Technically, Anything That Goes against God’s Will
You see sin is more than a set of rules, a set of laws. Sin is having contempt for the God of this universe ,and His perfect will.
It’s not that we are sinners, under control of our body, and that we have the ability to sin less. It is the fact that as sinners we always sin, and there is no little or big sin; anything that we do which goes against God’s will, even those things taught with in our denominations or things within God’s word, this is sin.
I know this sounds heretical but hear me out
This is why Jesus often said “you have heard it said” referring to the verbal law that the Jews followed which the religious leaders interpreted concerning the 613 regulations and laws of Leviticus. Jesus was reinterpreting those.
Return Not Evil to Evil Doers
And what about the 10 Commandments. We are told not to murder, yet Jesus tells a believer to not seek justice but to turn the other cheek and forgiveness. We must understand that many times God has set up certain things, for certain times, for certain people, that are different for other times, and other people: such as the difference between the Old Testament requirements to follow the law, and the New Covenant of Grace given by the blood of Jesus Christ.
We don’t simply do good because it’s the opposite of sin, we are to do whatever God says even if it looks like sin.
Otherwise explain God’s commandment to Abraham to murder his son. Now yes God stopped in but the point was Abraham had so much faith in God that he was even willing to do what God had told him was wrong to do in the first place, commit murder.
The law does not tell us what sin is, it reflects the righteous nature of God, but God cannot be tied up or restrained by his own law. How else do we explain God’s command to the Israelites to kill, that is to murder every man woman and child in the promised land.
Man’s Attempt at Manipulation
Man always tries to create systems that he can figure out ways to get around, but we have to follow a sovereign being, a Divine God that is not as rigid, That we can make him do what we want according to twisting the law against him, like the “Name it and claim it” heretics attempt to do.
God set up the law of Primogeniture (prototokos) is a term meaning that the firstborn son shall have the inheritance of the family, because the first-born son belongs to God.
“Sanctify unto me all the firstborn, whatsoever openeth the womb among the children of Israel, both of man and of beast: it is mine.” (Exodus 13:2 KJV)
Yet over a dozen times God sidesteps this, and has the second born receive the blessing, either directly or indirectly.
What we must understand is that God is so far above us in His understanding and wisdom, and is perfect and pure in all His ways, that if He says kill every man woman and child, this is righteous.
A Simple Way of Looking at It
My simple mind looks at it this way.
For 400 years Satan had designed for the inhabitants of the Promised Land to prosper and prepare the God’s people, to where there were even giants in the land in order to stop God’s people from fulfilling God’s promises for them to return to the land he gave Abraham.
They all would attempt to kill God’s Promised People, which God would not allow my killing them before they had the chance.
This would be like my neighbor telling me he was coming to my house to kill my son, and the next day I saw him go to my front door with a shotgun. If I am in the front yard, and cannot get between him and my son, who is on the inside, I would put a bullet in his head to stop him.
This is not murder, this is self-defense of my son.
While this simple analogy makes me feel better about trying to understand God’s Commands concerning the Promised Land and His people, He is so much higher and greater than man, that the only conclusion is – anything that is God’s will is perfect pure and righteous, and anything that gets in its way, that does the opposite is sin.
All Sin Is Intentional
All sin is evil, and (almost – as in 99%) every sin is intentional. It is a choice, otherwise it is referred to as a trespass; which is a totally different subject, wherein Trespass Sins are usually never known to the individual because it was accidental and unknown, unless someone brings it to their attention.
John’s statement concerning sin concerns the constant state within humanity, indicating it is a daily occurrence because it a part our fallen nature, a condition which will be changed when we receive a resurrection body, a body not born of the sinful flesh, but of the Spirit.
This is seen in Romans (Paul’s gospel, as some referred to it), chapter 7:14-25, which states:
“(14) For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. (15) For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. (16) If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. (17) Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (18) For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. (19) For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. (20) Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. (21) I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. (22) For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: (23) But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. (24) O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (25) I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
Body of Death
You notice the conclusion of this dreadful text, “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” Notice what it doesn’t say? It doesn’t say who shall deliver me from this sinful state, but who shall deliver me from “the body of this death.” You see everything that Paul said from verse 14 is present tense, it is a continuous action, it is never in the past tense.
If we could master sin, the grammar would’ve used a different tense wherein the present tense indicates that this is something we will deal with all of our life. This tension between the desire to do only God’s will, that which is spiritual, the law Is at war with our carnal nature, this sinful body which will continually sin.
Paul promises no deliverance from sin, the deliverance is from death.
This is because salvation is life, and damnation is death.
The reference to the body of this death, does not isolate itself to meaning the sin of this body. The Greek grammar only allows this to be translated the body that brings death, hence the opposite of salvation which concerns life.
Sin Is Our Nature ~ But Sin Is Always a Choice
For those that would accuse me of rationalizing or teaching that sin is okay, it is ridiculous that I need to make the following statement, but I better.
For the believer; while sin is something that we will do on a daily basis, each sin that we give ourselves over too, is a choice. We may NOT have to pay the punishment for those sins, but many times we will pay the consequences for them on this side of deaths door – sin always creates damage and interferes with our fellowship with God and others.
This is the problem with those that attempt to say that we are delivered from sin in this life, it’s because it is sin is a choice. We choose how many sins we may or may not do, even how big the sins are within our own life – meaning certain sins are singular, though they are habitual.
You cannot say that today I lied, and I will choose NOT to do it again tomorrow, because you may lie tomorrow, because of your fallen nature. Remember that even concerning good things, we cannot take God for granted and presuppose we will do.
“Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.” (James 4:13-15 KJV)
Because tomorrow when if I lie, I’m habitually lying, even if tomorrow is a week away. Our first lie occurs only once.
Habitual Sin – Leads to Backsliding
The point is all sin is habitual, meaning it is repetitive and has been done before.
But not all sin is a lifestyle.
The sin of a lie is very different than the sin of living in fortification with a woman, that by its very nature is a daily choice to violate God’s commandment concerning sexual purity.
The alcoholic Christian, who starts drinking again after salvation, enters a lifestyle of violating God’s commands not to be filled with spirits, meaning alcohol; but being filled with the Spirit of God. Yet each drink is an individual choice, but there is a difference with these sins that are made up of a lifestyle.
If A person knows that smoking is destroying this temple that God has given them, which they are to nourish, each puff is a choice.
Yet the point is, a believer may not practice lying, and only lie every once in a while, but this sin is just as intentional as the choice to take a drink of alcohol, or a puff of a cigarette – every sin is an individual choice, it is the lifestyle of living in that sin that breaks down our spiritual life, takes us away from our fellowship with others and the Lord, and is commonly referred to as backsliding.
The Prodigal Son
While the prodigal son was backslidden, habitually living in a lifestyle opposed to God’s will, he was still a son of his father, just acting and living apart from his father. When he regained his Spiritual sense that sinful lifestyle was robbing him of the blessings of being a son of his father, he reasoned within himself how miserable he was in that state, and how much more comfortable he would be again living with his father, even if only a servant; we see that he stops backsliding, and returns to that which He always was in his essence, it is true nature; a son of his father.
The same as we are adopted sons into God’s family. And within the Hebrew, Greek, and Roman societies when a child was adopted it was a complete action that could never be reversed under any situation. Once the adoption took place, the child had all the Guarantees and promises that were given to a child born within that family.
And when the Prodigal father says to the older brother to rejoice because your brother who was dead, is now ones live, was not literal because the son was always alive, just living somewhere different, in a different lifestyle.
“… Is Dead”
It was an expression in Hebrew, not meaning that the son was physically dead, as by extension in an analogy indicating that the son was unsaved – anymore than the son was truly dead, and came back to life – it should be obvious that this was a metaphor, and not literal.
It was in an expression which was commonly used metaphorically to indicate that someone has come back to sanity and reason, that they had come back into the life of the father, where life away from the father, isolated away from the family was metaphorically death.
It is in understanding that the very definition of salvation is spending eternity with God.
Eternal life is what we are saved for, we are saved by the blood of Jesus,
We are not saved by anything we do, as far as behaviors.
We are saved by God’s unmerited favor, His grace; but we must exercise faith to receive that grace.
We are NOT saved by repentance, were NOT saved by confession, were NOT saved by a lack of sin, were NOT saved by sinning less; we ARE saved by the blood of Jesus Christ and our faith in the potency of that blood.
If you dare think that you must do anything to add to the blood of Jesus Christ, you display that you do not believe in its full power to save you – if you think that it is your sinning less that has anything to do with your salvation, then you truly are not saved.
“It Is Finished” ~ “Paid in Full”
One of the seven things that Christ said from the cross was translated in the King James Bible “it is finished.” In Greek it is: tetélestai – Which is literally translated “paid in full,” as found in John 19:30 which states:
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”
Tetélestai is in the:
Perfect Tense: Completed in the Past (Results in the Present)
The perfect tense in Greek describes an action which is viewed as having been completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated, while having ramifications in the present. Jesus’ last cry from the cross, tetélestai (“It is finished!”) is a good example of the perfect tense used in this sense, namely “It [the atonement] had been accomplished, completely, once and for all time.”
Indicative Mood: Mood of Certainty (A Reality)
The indicative mood is a simple statement of fact. If an action really occurs or has occurred or will occur, it will be rendered in the indicative mood.
Number: Singular [applies to a specific person]
Meaning that salvation applies to the person that meets the conditions of being a believer, having exercised faith.
While true, the Greek word tetélestai encapsulates the idea of “completion,” yet a fuller understanding of this word according to recent archaeological digs displays the full nuance that can be gleaned by a closer examination of this Greek word as follows.
The word tetelestai is unfamiliar to us, but it was used by various people in everyday life in those days. A servant would use this word when reporting to his or her master, “I have completed the work assigned to me” (See John 17:4). When a priest examined an animal sacrifice and found it faultless, he would this word.
Jesus, of course, is the perfect Lamb of God, without spot (Internal lack of pureness within its makeup and gene) or blemish (Exterior deformity).
Perhaps the most meaningful meaning of tetelestia was that used by the merchants, which meant: “The debt is paid in full!”
When Jesus gave Himself on the cross, Jesus fully met the righteous demands of a holy law; He paid our debt in full.
None of the Old Testament sacrifices could take away sins; their blood only covered sin. But the Lamb of God shed His blood, and that blood can take away the sins of the world (John 1:29; Heb. 9:24-28).
Perhaps one of the best examples in gaining greater understanding of a tetelestia can be seen as it has been found written corner to corner (catty-corner) on trust deeds concerning property ownership in the area of Judea when mortgages (leases) were paid off. We must understand that according to Gods direction land was never to be sold, it was to stay within the possession of the tribe that it was dedicated, but it could be leased, returning to the original owner during the year of Jubilee.
The word tetélestai was also found written on certain Roman documents concerning the confinement of prisoners in the area of Judea at the time of Christ, when they had completed their sentence; therefore at a later time if he was accused of being an escaped criminal he could prove he had “paid is debt to society” in full (when a prisoner was given a certain amount of time, whenever a year was completed it was noted in the document, therefore when five years was sentenced and then served, there were five separate entries, one for each year validating that he not only paid the price, but that he paid it in full, year by year).
The Romans were very strict in their accountability and their bookkeeping, and if a Roman soldier lost a prisoner that he was guarding, he would have to pay off the remainder of the sentence, so the guards were ambitious to always have an accurate total of the time the prisoner had paid in case there was an escape. This is the reason why the head jailer was going to commit suicide when God had opened up the gate doors, and shackles of the prisoners, when Paul and Silas were there.
The head jailer was aware that with all those prisoners escaping he would spend the rest of this life paying off their sentences.
Bill of Ordinances
Whereas, the Hebrews never had a form of incarceration, the Romans used it throughout the known world. When a defendant was found guilty of a crime, he was given a “Bill of Ordinances,” which contained not only the charges, but the amount of time that he would serve as punishment.
The Greek expression, cheirographon dogma, which is translated “handwriting of ordinances,” as noted by Paul in Colossians 2:14, is actually a technical term referring to this “bill of ordinances,” from which we have our American euphemism, “debt to society,” that we get from this expression.
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross” (Colossians 2:14 KJV)
In archaeological digs, it was noted that whenever a prisoner had paid his debt to society, Tetélestai would be written corner to corner, the same as on paid mortgages.
Jesus Pay It All
The relevance of the full meaning of this word is immense to the Christian.
It could be said that Jesus completed His mission (of bringing peace or love to the earth), it could be said that Jesus completed His teachings (of wisdom), it could be said that Jesus was referring to finishing His life or even the vinegar.
Yet, these superficial general explanations do not fit the grammar of this word, in context. Jesus did come and teach – Christ’s specific mission was to die for the sins of the world, and it was His death for the sins of mankind wherein He had “paid in full.”
What this passage means is that Christians cannot add anything to their salvation, not one dime; because Jesus paid every cent.
It was not the righteous man standing in the Temple with his hands stretched up to God that was right that day before God, it was the sinner, on his knees beating his chest, aware of his sinful state, that displayed that he was truly saved on that very same day.
1. Eternal Life Passages – Where Salvation is Identified as Receiving Eternal Life
And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? (Matthew 19:16 KJV)
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:46 KJV)
And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? (Mark 10:17 KJV)
But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life. (Mark 10:30 KJV)
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? (Luke 10:25 KJV)
And a certain ruler asked him, saying, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? (Luke 18:18 KJV)
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:15 KJV)
And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. (John 4:36 KJV)
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. (John 5:39 KJV)
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:54 KJV)
Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. (John 6:68 KJV)
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:28 KJV)
He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. (John 12:25 KJV)
As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. (John 17:2 KJV)
And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3 KJV)
And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. (Acts 13:48 KJV)
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: (Romans 2:7 KJV)
That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:21 KJV)
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23 KJV)
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12 KJV)
Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (1 Timothy 6:19 KJV)
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; (Titus 1:2 KJV)
That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (Titus 3:7 KJV)
(For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) (1 John 1:2 KJV)
And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. (1 John 2:25 KJV)
Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. (1 John 3:15 KJV)
And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (1 John 5:11 KJV)
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. (1 John 5:13 KJV)
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 KJV)
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Jude 1:21 KJV)
Do you notice how many times in the sentences eternal life is the last word, conveying the idea that eternal life is the conclusion and cannot be changed, a point not missed by many translators. Also notice that is always used with the same term “eternal life.” And notice that a word search for everlasting indicates that there are only two choices, everlasting fire or hell, or everlasting life with God in heaven, and the sentence structure and grammar pronounces that a person is in either one state or the other (though there are times where it talks about an individual becoming a believer has now entered into our salvation – yet the point is no one ever leaves everlasting life to go to everlasting damnation.
Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. (Matthew 18:8 KJV)
And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life. (Matthew 19:29 KJV)
And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. (Matthew 25:46 KJV)
Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting. (Luke 18:30 KJV)
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 KJV)
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him. (John 3:36 KJV)
But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:14 KJV)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24 KJV)
Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. (John 6:27 KJV)
And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:40 KJV)
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. (John 6:47 KJV)
And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. (John 12:50 KJV)
Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. (Acts 13:46 KJV)
But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. (Romans 6:22 KJV)
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. (Galatians 6:8 KJV)
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. (1 Timothy 1:16 KJV)