What Happens to Christians Who Stray?

lost-childrenWhat happens to Christians who stray, or follow another Jesus, another Spirit, or another gospel?

This is not a hard question to answer because it happened in the Bible. The consequences of going astray are well-documented.

Yet the question is worth asking because many don’t know the answer. Or, rather, they have the wrong answer, which is this:

What happens when Christians stray? Why, they fall from grace prompting a loving God to discipline them with punishment. If they don’t repent they’ll lose their salvation and be eternally condemned.

The bit about falling from grace is true but the rest is a big fat lie. Your heavenly Father’s discipline never takes the form of punishment – that’s old covenant thinking – and those who have been found by Jesus cannot be lost by Jesus (John 6:39).

Joseph Goebbels once said, “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”

The reason most Christians believe they can lose their salvation if they stray is because they have heard it over and over again. But it’s not actually in the Bible. It is an extra-Biblical fabrication parroted by those who would distract you from Christ and his perfect work of redemption. It is a lie that will cause you to trust yourself and your staying power instead of standing on Jesus and the eternally unshakeable foundation of his love and grace.

I’m sorry if this sounds harsh, but it’s not nearly as harsh as telling your brothers and sisters they are in danger of hellfire. And it’s not nearly as harsh as speaking guilt and condemnation over those whom Christ has justified.

As I said in my first post in this series on eternal security, reading scripture through hellfire-tinted lenses is a hallmark of the insecure believer. Such a person reveals their faith to be in themselves and their performance rather than in God and his unbreakable promises.

“So what will happen to me if I stray from the Lord?” Well, hopefully you won’t stray, but if you do, you won’t lose your salvation. It’s just not possible. But that doesn’t mean you won’t reap awful consequences.

The Bible identifies at least fourteen bad things that may happen to those who are distracted, seduced, deceived, or led astray. Each outcome is a tragedy. Each is something to avoid. I don’t want to rush through these tragic consequences so we’ll look at seven in today’s post and seven in the next.

Seven bad things that happen to Christians who stray

1. We lose sight of God’s love for us (Rev 2:4)

Jesus told the Ephesian Christians, “You have left your protos agape,” or your primary love. What is our protos agape? It is not our love for him; it is a revelation of his love for us:

  • Love comes from God. (1 John 4:7)
  • This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us… (1 John 4:10)
  • We love because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

Why would Paul pray that we would know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge (Eph 3:18-19)? Because there is a danger we might not know – that we might forget it or leave it. And that’s the thin edge of a bad wedge. God’s love is like air for us. We can’t live without it. When we fall from the high place of his love…

2. Things become complicated – our minds become corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ (2 Cor 11:3)

The gospel is simple but lose sight of God’s love and everything becomes murky. I know God loves me but…

Suddenly the good news is not so good. It needs qualifying. We feel an unholy need to balance his grace needs with our works. We start thinking there’s more than one side to every scripture, the Bible is full of paradoxes, and God is a mystery.

Next thing you know, you need a divinity degree to be saved and you’re trusting the guy who can recognize Greek words and aorist verbs more than you’re trusting the Holy Spirit. Not good.

3. We start striving to keep the rules (Gal 3:3, Col 2:20)

We never call it legalism, for that would alert us to the danger. Instead, we call it “Christian responsibility” or duty or “doing our part.” God has done his part, now it’s up to me to finish what he started. I have to work out my salvation and prove my repentance.

We worry about cheap grace (there’s no such thing) and invest in a little works-insurance (there’s no such thing). We tell ourselves, I gotta pray more, fast more, attend more. I gotta witness to two people this week. I gotta be a good Christian for Jesus. This sort of thinking appeals to our religious flesh but it’s not long before…

4. We feel unworthy and unqualified (Col 2:18, AMP)

The New International Version says, “Do not let anyone… disqualify you for the prize,” as if anyone could disqualify those whom God qualifies (Col 1:12)!

The point is not that we can disqualify ourselves, but when we get distracted from Christ and his perfect work – when we begin to trust in our own performance, our self-denial, our rule-keeping – we start to feel disqualified. Although Christ makes us worthy, we feel unworthy. And when that happens…

5. Our consciences condemn us and shipwreck our faith (1 Tim 1:18-19)

As I have explained elsewhere, “shipwrecked faith” does not equal “Christian burning in hell.” But it’s still a bad idea to thrust aside your good conscience.

Paul repeatedly warns about the need to hold “onto faith and a good conscience” (1 Tim 3:9, Acts 24:16). He’s not saying, “Avoid sin to keep your conscience clear.” He’s saying, “Treasure what Christ has done for you. He has cleansed you 100%” (Heb 10:22). If we don’t value what Christ has done, it won’t be long before…

6. We lose our freedom (Gal 5:1, Col 2:8)

The Galatian Christians famously lost their liberty by enslaving themselves to law. The Colossian Christians were in danger of enslaving themselves to worldly philosophy. We repeat their mistakes whenever we take on the yokes of performance-based Christianity and manmade expectations. When that happens…

7. We fall from grace and cut ourselves off from Christ (Gal 5:2-4)

Falling from grace does not mean falling out of the kingdom. We fall from the high place of grace and favor when we try to merit what God has freely given us. This can happen when we put ourselves under the old law that says, “do good, get good; do bad, get bad.” If you think you have to work before God will bless you, you have made Christ of no value.

Christ died to set you free. But if you enslave yourself to religious expectations, then what was the point? Christ won’t cut you off – he’s utterly faithful – but you can cut yourself off from his love and grace.

Lessons from church history

Most of the Christians who went astray in the Bible did so with pure motives but misguided zeal. The Ephesians were working hard for the Lord, the Galatians honored the law, and the Colossians were very religious, yet all three groups needed correction. All of them went astray to one degree or another.

Perhaps you have strayed from the faith. If so, how do you get back on track? The best remedy is the one Jesus gave to the Ephesians:

Remember the height from which you’ve fallen! Repent, and do what you did at first. (Rev 2:5).

Remember! What a simple yet powerful solution. What did you do when you first came to Christ? Can you remember? You probably didn’t do much at all other than receive the love and favor of heaven. Jesus is saying, “Repent. Stop what you are doing now and do that! Keep receiving from me. Stop trying to impress me. Let me impress you!”

You may ask, “But Lord, am I not supposed to work for you as well?” And Jesus replies…

If you need the assurance of dead works then you are operating in unbelief. It’s faith in me from first to last. I am the Alpha and Omega, the Author and Finisher. Fix your eyes on me alone and walk in the sunlight of my love! Rest in me and stop worrying about what you’re doing or not doing. The ‘works’ will take care of themselves. Trust me, when you’re walking in the unforced rhythms of my grace, it won’t even feel like work. It’ll feel like fun.

It’s so simple, yet we can miss it and go astray. In the next post I will look at 7 more things that happen to Christians who stray.

173 Comments on What Happens to Christians Who Stray?

  1. Thanks Paul for the simple illustration of God’s love through Jesus, hope I could share it on my page?

    • if you have shared in the holy spirit and tasted that the lord is good to fall away ,to be brought back to repentance is imposable cause you crucify Christ again ,Hebrews and 2nd peter says words regarding this,
      the scary one is revelations your name can be blotted out of the book of life
      I strayed after being born again filled with the spirit even spoke in tongues,
      im so scared at times because we can grieve the holy spirit and he can leave, this is all scriptural. I even hear God say in auto able voice live and obey ,are ?or is every one 100%
      sure this teacher is right in telling you all this ,I have read the word over and over and salvation is not just a fast prayer we must seek him with all our hearts please also pray for me im so worried and scared I try ed to walk that strait and narrow i did so good for a while then i messed up the holy spirit left me and i don’t hear god any more remember Saul old testament he also was saved or picked anointed as king what happened to him and what about Judas man at least he returned the money darn he felt bad but Jesus said he went to the place destined for him Judas had to betray Jesus if we did not have Judas Jesus would not have been given up for us as the lamb, I pray some one e-mails me and helps me
      please pray for me im so resentful of the way i lived after i was saved i hope we all make it it sucks living in this flesh

      • Hi Michael,
        You are scared because you are trusting in your own performance which has been, like it is for all of us, erratic and inconsistent. I encourage you to give up trusting in yourself or the prayers of others and put your whole trust in Jesus. Jesus said the Holy Spirit will never leave you (see John 14:16). Believe him! Hebrews 6 isn’t describing Christians and you are not Saul or Judas.

      • Please Remember that Judas was bad from the beginning it said that he often stole some of the money that was given for the poor for his own use.

      • CharisMike // March 13, 2014 at 4:35 pm //

        “im so scared” …that means you are ok. If you were “gone” you wouldn’t be scared..” I even hear God say”…..” i don’t hear god any more” sounds like you still hear. Do you believe Christ is the Son of God and that He came in the flesh, died on the cross to pay for your sins and rose again? Do you accept that gift? Then you are saved!

      • Hi Michael the only thing you have strayed from is a whole bunch of lies, and God is speaking to you, you would not have written the post if he was not, you are only seeking truth, Here you will find the truth about who you are . keep searching.

      • Hi Michael, about the story of Saul, Saul and his sons were definitely saved as Samuel confirms it in 1 Samuel 28:15-19. The consequences for Saul’s actions in this world were carried out in the battlefield the day after he went to talk with Samuel’s spirit, but however, God did not removed their eternal life with Him. So although Saul did stray away from God, disobeyed Him and payed the consequences, he still went to be with Samuel and with God’s side.

  2. 1 Corinthians 6: 9,10 really do seem to blow the whole idea of falling but still staying saved out of the water. Any thoughts on these passages?

    • Plenty. A whole chapter in fact – chapter 9 of The Gospel in Ten Words. I highly recommend it!

    • Vina- What verse follows the ones you mentioned? What does it say.- ” and such WERE some of you but you are…..” people with those sins on their record will not enter heaven but those who have been washed by Jesus are no longer identified by those sins, even if they still commit them. How? Because Jesus blood erased all of the sins of our entire life(Colossians 2:14) and that Jesus applied His blood one time to all our sins in the heavenly temple(Hebrews 9:24-26)

      • Mdm. Nalinimatilda // April 12, 2013 at 4:21 pm //

        Because what you say like this, christians are the ones who sin delebrately as Hebrew 10:26 onwards. I don’t deny the fact that there is no sin is greater than the work what our precious Lord has done on the cross. We cannot forget the simple scriptures in Chapt:6- verses 4-8 of Hebrew. It is plain and we don’t need any interpretations. I am sorry if i offend anyone.

      • Please check out the relevant posts on Hebrews 6:4-6 and Hebrews 10:26. Thanks.

    • Doesn’t 1 Corinthians 6:11 clear that up…”And such WERE some of YOU: but YE ARE WASHED, but ye ARE sanctified, but ye ARE justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”

    • You are taking verses 9 & 10 out of context. Try reading verse 11. That is the key to understanding it.

  3. Leslie Snell // April 10, 2013 at 9:45 pm // Reply

    Is this the same as backsliding

  4. Sharon gibson // April 10, 2013 at 11:44 pm // Reply

    I find your emails very encouraging and look forward to their arrival. I think I’m starting to get it but years of hearing about God punishing and people losing their salvation keeps niggling at my mind. What do think Jesus is talking about when he says he will spit out the Laodicean Christians because they are luke warn and that he rebukes and disciplines those he loves?

    • Sharon, I encourage you to check out the archives. You will find a whole series on the Laodicean church alone. Alternatively, you could enter “Laodicea” into the search box at the top of this site.

      • Dear Paul
        With much respect for your teaching and I support what you say when you say that when a person finds that they have trayed to run back to the Lord(1Jn1:8-9). That is true, however your teaching that there is no verse that teaches God does unchild His children the scripture says (Rom11:20-22). Hebrews 6 reads “and having fallen away, AGAIN to renew [them] to reformation, having crucified again to themselves the Son of God, and exposed to public shame.”

        The scripture says again. Now I am not saying that you have no right to interpret or to say that it means something different, I am just saying to let your readers to read for themselves and choose to believe either what is written or what we say. The Lord said in Luke 8:13 th which for a time believe, the Lord never said they never be lived, byt again my thing is that it is for the person to read what is written and then decide for themselves who to believ, what we as people have said or what the Lord has said.

  5. THANKYOU LORD! I AM SO GLAD YOU WROTE THIS PAUL! THIS HAPPENED TO ME AND YOU HIT HIT NAIL ON THE HEAD WITH WHAT HAPPENS VERSUS WHAT RELIGION PREACHES ABOUT LOSING SALVATION AND GOING TO HELLFIRE. I BELIEVED IT TOO, THAT IF I STRAYED I WOULD EVENTUALLY LOSE MY SALVATION (NOT RIGHT AWAY, BUT EVENTUALLY AFTER I STRAYED TOO FAR). THEN I BECAME MORE AFRAID AND TRIED HARDER TO PERFORM. IT WAS FOR ME A DOWNWARD SPIRAL OF FEAR, INSECURITY AND PERFORMANCE WHICH LED TO BECOMING A PEOPLE PLEASER WITH VERY HIGH ANXIETY, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, OBCESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER, ETC. I FEARED I WAS NEVER DOING ENOUGH! IT WAS ALL FEAR-BASED! I LITERALLY FELT TORMENTED IN MY SOUL AND THAT GOD WAS ALWAYS MAD AT ME, READY TO PUNISH ME AND THAT I WAS ALWAYS ON THE VERGE OF BEING “KICKED OUT.” WHAT IS SO SCARY IS A PERSON DOESN’T REALIZE ALL HOW FAR THEY ARE FALLING FROM GRACE UNTIL THEY FALL SO FAR THEY “BITE THE DUST.” AT LEAST FOR ME ANYWAYS! (THIS WAS A RELIGION THAT I WAS RAISED IN AND THIS BELIEF TOOK ROOT WHEN I WAS YOUNG AND SPANNED OVER THE COURSE OF ABOUT 20 YEARS). I AM SO THANKFUL FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU WHO I FEEL THE LORD USED TO HELP BREAK THE POWER OF DEAD RELIGION IN ME. THANKYOU, THANKYOU, THANKYOU!

  6. good post, Paul just in time,trying to answer some punishment questions and am going to post this address,it should answer some questions

  7. Paul I hope this isnt to long, this is what my catholic friend ask me,if you can help,Thank you. . George wrote: “Earl please bear with me as I try to understand the “paid in full” theory in light of the extreme punishment described in the scripture below. I know discipline can mean either training or punishment but I was not asking about training, I was asking about the punishment these Christians received for their sins, being handed over or delivered to Satan, for the destruction of their flesh, or being struck dead. This is not even close to discipline, it is extreme punishment. After all, there is no way one learns from being instantly struck dead. So please tell me why, if the debt for all sins is paid in full, why are these people being punished for their sins? Maybe we should talk about these verses one at a time. 1 Tim 1:18-19 19 Some have refused to let their faith guide their conscience and their faith has been destroyed like a wrecked ship.[a] 20 Among these people are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan in order to teach them not to dishonor God. Footnotes: a. 1 Timothy 1:19 Verses 18 and 19 have been rearranged to express the complex Greek sentence structure more clearly in English. 1 Cor. 5:4-5 4 When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus and my spirit is present, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.[a] Acts 5:4-5 Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it.”

    • chrisvanrooyen // April 11, 2013 at 8:01 am // Reply

      You can only understand Ananias end when the doctrine of eternal salvation is fixed not only in you belief system but also lived out. If Ananias is saved was his punishment of being put to sleep so bad. I know a lot of ” Christian,s ” that are alive but live life as if they are dead or going to die.They accept sickness , poverty, and all the worries of this world as if they belong to them. Their identity is dictated by their circumstances, victims of circumstance.

    • I find it interesting that in scripture this Ananias was referred to as “a certain man” and not “a certain disciple,” as the others who are known to be disciples, and I believe this means he was not in fact a believer, though involved with the real disciples. In the other scriptures you mention, Earl, the translations as worded seem to confuse the idea that we all have our own choices to make, and in both cases the church or Paul could not in fact restrain any of those people from exercising their own free will anyway, and the hope Paul expressed is that their behaviors might or would in fact bring about changes in them, due to the loss of the power of grace to produce fruit of the Spirit in their earthly lives, which hopefully would cause them to come back to the congregation and the true gospel of Jesus as taught by Paul. That’s my understanding.

      • Thanks brothers and sisters,I have learned a lot from Joesph prince,about this,he showed the fact that a CERTAIN MAN, is a clue as to were they stand with God,the fact that it refers to him as CERTAIN MAN, my indicate a no believer trying to buy the power,and if he was a believer Chris I can see your point,anyway I am repeating here , as I deal with the questions I get, I am beginning to see the depth of Gods love grace and mercy very hard for people to grasp because of its depth,I must admit some of the questions get challenging, I find if I combine grace with what I learn now from my early teachers,Bob Mumford, Derek Prince etc I understand it now. I could never grasp it because I had a mind set of insecurity in my early years.Derek is gone, but Bob is still around and still at lifechangers,many of his things I post,he has a way of helping me understand the maturity process and are easy when you come from a place of eternal security today’s was pretty good. ……………………………………………. Christ deposits His Agape in us as the incorruptible Seed in the new birth, and He then addresses the Seed in the person, asking us to follow Him.
        As we mature and the Seed grows in us, our capacity to hear His voice also grows. He imparted the capacity for Agape, knowing that it is Agape speaking to Agape which calls us to a journey that is essentially against ourselves.
        Because our love for Christ supersedes our love for ourselves, it allows us to surrender whatever hinders us in our journey. Bob Mumford

      • chrisvanrooyen // May 3, 2013 at 4:46 am //

        The implications of what is being said is that they had committed the unforgivable sin reason being that they had died in this sin. I would ask that you give careful thought to what you are saying and the full implications.

      • I have friends that say,all this is written to Christians, all right I will give you that,but it is not necessarily about Christians all the time.Just like now a days, people come and go,some except Christ some don’t, some are wolves, some try to scam, some are false prophets,etc you get my drift, i remember,one time we found out there were witches among us, planted in the congregation,I remember there was a word of knowledge from the Lord to us.No one moved but we began to see people slipping out [or should i say slithering out].

    • Earl, I think this is a great question. I’ve been studying out the church discipline thing in general for a little bit now.

      I’ve come to the conclusion that whenever the phrase “delivered him unto Satan” is used (1 Cor. 5, 1Tim. 1:19) It’s really talking about unbelievers who are among the Christians and have even been named “brothers” but are not actually brothers in Christ. The phrase in 1 Cor. 5:5 gives it away: “…that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord” . This person’s spirit would not be saved in his current condition, therefore he cannot be a believer. (see Romans 10:9,10)

      I’m trying to understand 2 Thessalonians 3. If anybody has any insights on it, I’d really appreciate it. I’m trying to understand why you would ever want to (from verse 14) “shame” a believer into obeying. Or am I misreading that?

      • understood jack,but I have to lean on eternal security,because the Greek implies destruction ólethros (from ollymi/”destroy”) – properly, ruination with its full, destructive results (LS). 3639 /ólethros (“ruination”) however does not imply “extinction” (annihilation). Rather it emphasizes the consequent loss that goes with the complete “undoing.” does not implie extinction,and since i believe in the INCORRUPTIBLE SEED that is in us,I believe the man was saved,just carnal for lack of a better definition, since I cant see, or completely comprehend the depth or height of agape or grace I can go no further. In essence since we are nothing without jesus, we dont know how completely saved we are.

      • this is andrew wammocks commentary on 1 Corinthians 5:5
        To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
        Note 6 at 1Co 5:5: Delivering this man to Satan for the destruction of his flesh was the last step in church discipline (see note 5 at Mt 18:17). There are two other men whom Paul delivered unto Satan for this purpose (1Ti 1:20). This is the negative side of Jesus’ statements in Mt 18:18 and Joh 20:23.
        Delivering people unto Satan does not mean we are damning them to hell, nor does it mean they are going to die physically. In this instance, we see by Paul’s instructions in 2Co 2:6-7 that this man didn’t die but repented and was restored back into the fellowship of the church.
        This is a withdrawal of our intercession on the behalf of others and a retaining of their sins to them. This means they start reaping what they’ve sown because we aren’t canceling Satan’s activities through our prayers. This is done in the hope that these “hard knocks” will bring them to their senses. (For a more detailed explanation, see note 5 at Mt 18:17).
        I like this explanation.

    • Hello Mr Vordenberg, In Acts 5, the term, “a certain man.” is significant. Are Saints called a certain man or woman? Are we not called, saints, little children, the bride, beloved, holy, sanctified, justified, Righteous? They were not saved.
      Concerning the early church in Jerusalem, they had all things common. Such unity must have been beautiful to behold. No body claimed what they owned was their own? They willingly and not by compulsion, gave to the church to even out the unequal balance of the haves and the haves not. That is what grace does, it moves you to give. Ananias and Sapphira didn’t have to lie, not only did they lie but they lied to the Holy Ghost. Peter discerned the lying lips of them both and with power announced that she was going to die before she did. This unfortunate has got Believers baffled ever since. Some think that the shock killed him or her or both. I may have to write twice, sorry.
      Christ laid the foundation that no one can dig up or lay on top of what’s been laid – period. The early disciples/apostles, carried out and had written what Christ had laid and it was not only for their benefit, but also for us and if Christ tarries, when we pass from this atmosphere for future generations.

  8. This reads like my biography. Paul, have you been reading my mail?😉 I’m so thankful to Jesus for getting me off of that hamster wheel. I get tired just thinking about it. Embracing Jesus and what He’s done for me, instead of embracing my futile efforts to be good enough; the unforced rhythms of His grace – Amen!

  9. Sounds like a quote from your book in that last paragraph where you respond to the question, “But Lord, am I not supposed to work for you as well?”

    Great article. Thanks!

  10. Wow, great post, and well put together; no one on this planet I beleive could have put it any better. Enjoyed reading it from start to finish. You Paul, really remind me of Pastor Joseph Prince and Andrew Wommack. 2 powerful grace teachers/preachers.

    My thoughts on these passages are: “Yes and Amen to all you wrote and I know from experience that when a person strays, they experience all the things you mentioned; even so, “where sin abound, grace did much more abound.” Christ persued me if thy will; like a hungry hot lover when I strayed. It was intense. I could not escape him yet I felt his overwhelming love, humbleness, meekness and lowliness through out; to ensure me that I have a choice, his not there to force, to judge or to condemn; (the church I use to attend, did enough of that). He was just there to love and listen. It was powerful and during that time, I was under religion and did not bother with the Lord for a season cuz I was taught, if I am not perfect in word, thoughts or deed, my prayer would not even reach the ceiling, so why bother pray hur. How could I have beleived that? I know better now but trust me – whoes been there, it is such a temporary loss of ur confidence in Christ and the sense of failure is overwhelming. It is not worth straying period!

  11. Well said Paul. I think the biggest hurdle I encounter is when people start citing all these verses that they think means we have to maintain our salvation by works. When you offer the objection that they are not interpreting correctly and explain the verse means something else, it’s hard for them to get past the wording that may “seem” like it’s saying what they think it says. That’s why it’s so important to filter things with context, the audience and cultural issues related to the topic, and in consideration of the big picture of the cross. There are no Biblical inconsistencies, but they seem to want things both ways rather than accept that there has to be an explanation that makes sense in light of all Scripture put together and what Jesus accomplished on the cross. Every explanation you’ve offered putting those verses into perspective makes sense to me in light of the Scripture and personal experience regarding relationships. Yet people so often want to complicate it and twist it. I think it’s possible for some people to have an mental assent to the Gospel and God’s existence (even the demons believe and tremble), but they never truly experience a conversion of the heart and surrender, meaning they never really put their faith and trust in God for salvation. This is a common reason for people “seeming” to fall away or turn their back on God. They never truly believed and trusted in the first place. However, I do believe there are those who have truly placed faith in God who then pursue a destructive lifestyle, and they’re still secure in their salvation, but they don’t enjoy peace in that lifestyle and are never truly at rest in it. They keep insisting on doing things their way not wanting to give up control, not realizing there is so much joy and peace in the letting go and letting God have His way. Sorry, didn’t mean to go on, feel free to edit.

    • I co-sign with ya Tricia and thank Paul and all grace movers and shakers for preaching truth. Just as God intended.

    • jeremypenwarden // April 15, 2013 at 8:31 pm // Reply

      I totally agree with your opening comment Brandon. That is exactly the issue that Paul was facing with the circumcision party aka the Judaisers. And it exactly the issue Paul addresses in Galatians 5, warning that, far from ensuring their salvation, these who do this are rejecting it.

      It is not so much about ‘losing’ your salvation. It’s not like a passport that one morning I wake up and suddenly it’s not where I left it – I lost it. Galatians 5 is about deliberately putting your salvation in the trash. Throwing it away. Of course the consequence is that it is lost to you. But it was an active choice not to keep it any longer. It was not taken from you.

  12. Great post Paul…This is a God given reminder for me today!”Left to our own devices we end up worried and confused”..Thank God He has not left us to our own devices …

  13. So what are you going to do with scpriture that tells us the some seed fell on thorny gorund and some fell on rocky ground and some by the wayside? They all thought they were saved. Then the scriture of judgement where some said we did all these works in your name and the reply is “depart from me, I never knew you. Acts 5 Was Annias and Sapphira saved? Yes you can lose your salvation according to scripture. I tell people once saved, stay saved.

    • The Bible is a big book. It’s difficult to cover every passage in a post of a thousand words. But if you are patient, we’ll get there. I encourage you to limit future comments to the post above. What above do you take issue with, if anything?

      • I believe FraEll is using these verses to refer to your subject that Christians cannot lose their salvation. I agree with him. If you turn your back on God, yes, all things you listed above can happen; but you CAN indeed wind up in eternal damnation if you do not return to Christ.

      • I appreciate it may be difficult to have a meaningful debate on such a big issue given there are so many scriptures that touch on eternal security. Yet ultimately I think it’s a simple issue.

        My reason for saying straying Christians are NOT lost for good, is because we are kept by Jesus (and not ourselves). Moreover, God has promised many times that our future with him is secure. So KaLo, here’s my question for you. If you say Christians can be eternally damned how is that not the same as calling God a liar? Alternatively, which of his assuring promises do you take issue with? Is it, God will forsake us, even though he said he wouldn’t? Is it, God would have to withdraw his Spirit, even though he said he wouldn’t? Or one of the other assurances he gives us? (If you decide to respond to this question, you may wish to comment under that post, rather than this.)

    • Because of Adam’s sin, we were all born with sin; before we had a chance to Do anything. Shall we say the finished work of Jesus is less powerful and there is something we can Do to lose the salvation He purchased? We didn’t do anything to earn it and we can’t do anything to lose it. Let’s not put limitations on the blood of Jesus. We’re not talking about the blood of bulls and goats, we’re talking about the perfect, eternal blood of the Most High God that has perfected us forever (Heb 10:14). Once God has joined us with Christ there is nothing man can do to separate what He has made one (Eph 2:13-16, Jn 10:28).

    • The reference to “Depart from me, I never knew you” is the whole point in the first place. Jesus is saying that it is not your works that you do in His name that get you into Heaven, and those who think it is are the ones who may be surprised when they’re told to depart. The whole issue of seed falling on different types of soil just illustrates some people have a “conversion of the mind” but not a conversion of the heart. They may make a mental assent along the lines of accepting a theory, but they never truly embrace Jesus and the finished work of the cross, which is why the seed does not come to full fruition. They didn’t lose salvation, they never had it in the first place. Scripture frequently talks about our need for salvation, but there isn’t a single verse that specifically says you can lose it once you have it. People frequently read a verse without the context and they see language that seems to suggest loss of salvation, but the reality is they either misunderstand the interpretation, or they don’t understand the wording in the first place. Another way to think about it is New Zealanders, Australians, British, and Americans all speak English, but they have different dialects and phrases and sometimes even sentence structure that can make it difficult to understand each other, and they’re speaking the SAME language. Now take it back 2,000 years to a different time and place culturally and historically, toss in a different language, and then jump forward 2,000 years and try to interpret what they’re saying way back when. You have to study context, culture, history, and language differences to get a full appreciation for what was really being said in a particular verse. When you do that and when you look at the very clear promises of the Bible in light of the Cross, not to mention adding in some common sense in how we relate to people in a healthy way, it’s easy to understand. That’s what I love about Paul’s writing. He understands all that and does the hard work for people and then presents it in a way we can relate to. Each time your spouse offends you, the marriage isn’t suspended or divorced. You don’t have to get remarried every time they apologize or make it right, and you may even extend to them grace or mercy just because you love them without them “fixing” the problem first. Almost all Scripture that deals with how God relates to us can be understood through the relationships of parent to child, spouse to spouse, or friendship. Take the best of those types of relationships and multiply them times infinity, and you get how God relates to those who have entered into relationship with Him.

  14. FraEll , Annias and Sapphira was not saved but pertended to decieve the whole church. Kinda felt sorry for the church that thought they were and how they thought, we could be next if we mess up. Furthermore those that have not the spirit will not make it. Rejecting Christ is terrible but those that recieved him, already made it. Have you noticed before Christ demonstrated the suffering he had to endure, his death and ressurrection inside time, but already acheived it outside time, (cuz God created time), did miracles, so did his disciples, but after Christ did his marvelous work, they recieved the Spirit. So that tells me that plenty of people who have not the Spirit, will do miracles. Once, God said, I never knew you and then another time he said, I know you not from whence you are, entirley different. I still yet to fully understand but Christ cannot be inconsistent because it means, we would be on shaky ground but what Christ done, he done it once and for all for us. We cannot be sin conscious, it defeats the purpose cuz its all of grace and not part grace and Believers has to make the monthly payment like we do on a morgage. Its all or nothing honey.

  15. Great comment FraEll: wonderful to read. This site is great, you learn sooooooo much. I remember one preacher stating that we have to look at the whole context, compare scripture with scripture, (instead of a Christian book), look at the period and who or what groups certain texts were addressed to. Sadly to say, even some of the tenses were changed from the Greek (NT) and Hebrew (OT) to English. The English language is not that expressive compared to the Greek and so although all scriptures are for us to read, not everything was addressed for the Believer. That causes confusion sometimes and many don’t beleive correctly, which can be serious because if we cannot believe right, we cannot live right. Thats why forums like this are great; no longer do we have to rely on some old fashioned religious leader to guide us. We have the Holy Ghost yes and grace preachers who rightly divide the word of truth. Religious, legalistic traditional preachers cannot do that if their life depends on it.

  16. John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.

  17. John Burgess // April 11, 2013 at 3:24 pm // Reply

    Paul, I am deeply saddened by a young mother who was on fire for God. She conducted a teen girls home group, delivered a series of excellent messages at youth camp, preached an outstanding sermon in church, was visited by me and my wife for church membership after which we brought a strong recommendation because of her deep love for Christ, yet who has in the space of barely a year totally rejected her Christian faith and publicly declared herself to be an atheist. She now posts with ‘religious’ fervour innumerable Facebook messages both personal and from ex Christians and aggressive atheistic sites. I had no doubt of the reality of her Christian faith as much as I have no doubt of her genuine and complete acceptance now of atheism.
    There seems throughout the NT enough tags to verses along the lines of ‘if we keep on to the end’ for me to still question your assertion about the impossibility of losing one’s salvation.
    I’d be interested in your response to Paul’s statement in 1 Cor. 9:24 – 27 which ends up with him saying that he was prepared to beat his body and make it his slave ‘… so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize’ (salvation?). Also, Hebrews 6:4-11 aptly describes the person I have written about. It says in verse 6 it is impossible ‘if they fall away to be brought back to repentance.’
    Perhaps you have already addressed this in a post I haven’t read.

    Johnnyboy

    • If you check out this page, you will find a list of scriptures pertaining to eternal security and relevant posts. 1 Cor 9:27 is on it (although I haven’t uploaded the post yet) as is Hebrews 6:4-6.

    • John Burgess, Ur comment reminded me of something I heard from Pastor Joseph Prince. Judas was a disciple like Christ other disciples and they rejoiced when demons were subject unto them through Christ name, but the Lord said don’t rejoice in that but that ur names are written down. So they healed the sick through Christ .They were not saved, they were not born again cuz Christ in time; did not die yet and paid the price for their new birth. Judas was never converted; he opted to kill himself before Christ died. That was his choice, not God’s. So the disciples were follower’s .When Jesus saw his disciples after his resurrection, he breathed on them and said receive the Holy Spirit then they were born again. At Pentecost, they were baptised in the Holy Ghost sometime after. In Hebrews 6:4-9, some there were those that were tasters instead of drinkers. We can read that about the woman by the well, “Who ever drink this (natural) water shall thirst again but whoever drinks the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.
      We are drinkers cuz we are saved. You get many that go to church to taste the preaching to check the message. Christ is responsible for drawing the people in, but he won’t force them to be converted. Many followed the disciples like Saul when he was near prophets, he then prophesied, but he was not saved. I’ll post you another example.

    • So Judas became partakers of the gifts of the Spirit cuz he too cast out devils. In Hebrews 6:4-9 Judas “tasted the good word of God” because he heard the best message, but he only tasted it. And he tasted, “the powers of the age to come.” That talks about the millennium age to come, all is healed, absent of demons in people when Christ returns again. So Judas and others tasted these gifts. “If they fall away to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put him to an open shame.” So mentally, they believed but they never accepted salvation. So the book of Hebrews is saying, especially to Jews, that Christ is better than the law, than the high priest, Aaron, than angels, than Moses so leave all that in the past and embrace Christ fully. So in verse 8 “whose end is to be burned does not apply to Believers who are drinkers. The tasters understand, but spiritually they are dead in spirit. And you can tell it’s not written for Believer cuz in verse 9 straight after verse 8, it starts with, But, beloved. So now, the message is addressed to us for us cuz Believers are often called Beloved when letters are written to Believers. Just like 1 John chapter 1dont have the word beloved but 1 John chapter 2 is used, Beloved. It seem like the bible contradicts, but there’s no contradiction really.

    • John, I’ve got a friend in a similar situation. Raised in church, on fire for God, but then a total 180, anti-God, screaming atheist. Here’s what I believe about him. He’s rejecting a bad definition of God, the God he was taught in traditional Sunday school. He’s rejecting this performance based, sin/repent/sin/repent-demanding God that has impossibly high expectations of him. I don’t think he knows grace and true finished work of Christ. I’m hoping to just continue to love him, not judge him and then look for opportunities to show him the truth about God’s love for him. The finished work, sin is gone, love of God.

      Just like this young mother, my friend has also taken a very aggressive stand against Christianity. Which, I find very odd. Why so aggressive? If you don’t believe in God, then don’t. But they can’t just leave it alone. They have to prove his not real because deep down, they know he his. They have this terrible inner struggle to resolve that conflict. So, they get even more aggressive to fight against that truth they know deep down. It’s the atheists who don’t care that I believe there’s no hope for. No conviction.

      • Amen Russ, my sentiments exactly. I really liked your last paragraph, so spot on. It is because of what they are hearing of Christ, a false gospel. I use to think Paul was harsh when he stated, “If any man preach another gospel, even an angel, let him be accursed.” I understand why now thou, it is so serious it literally pushes people away from Christ. Or, if they remain put, then they become so bitter and hateful and Christ becomes of no effect in their lives cuz they justify themselves by their laws. I use to wonder why I see many young people leave church. They are right to leave, cuz they are leaving religion; Christ never died for religion, he is not religious, he is spiritual and many who walk away, will return back cuz God is able to uphold them. All we can do is just pray and encourage them.

      • Like myself,the attitude was to give up,because ya cant live up to the standard.

    • I can help you with understanding the young woman. I too was on fire for God and had many outward signs of fire for God. I was “saved” at a young age, grew up in a Christian home, was homeschooled so I knew all the right things and was kept from Satan’s worldview yet in my early 30’s I was standing on the brink of being an agnostic. I was burned out and tired of all the contradictions of the “Christian life”. The bible was just some book that anyone could make say anything they wanted it to. I was desperate and wanting THE truth. So what went wrong? After discovering bits and pieces of the gospel message as taught by those who understand Grace I realized that I had not been saved after all. I mentally agreed with the fact that Jesus died for my past sins but that was about it but I had no understanding of the entirety of what Christ did for us and to us. Mental agreement and emotional fervor are not proof of salvation. I would have argued to death that I was saved until I learned the whole truth.

    • chrisvanrooyen // May 29, 2013 at 6:55 am // Reply

      Hi John
      When it says it is impossible to bring them back to repentance that is exactly what it means there is a great lesson for us here it is impossible to bring them back to repentance but we can remind them of their salvation if you do not believe that they are still ” saved ” you will unfortunately not be able to be this witness.

      • I agree with Chris, John, a situation I am dealing with now, has a person doubting one day that they believe anymore,and the next day asking me to pray for the meal,some days,i think God left the planet myself,but I never felt abandon, his presents was always there,it seems he was just being quiet,emotions can really throw us a curve, I believe only God can make a call on there salvation,the way some people act, it makes you wonder,the seed may still be there,but lying dormant..Colleen pretty much covered it, I believe we are spiritually bankrupt and without him we can do nothing.We all struggle for our identity, but our identity is in Christ, otherwise we have nothing left, if we think about it.

  18. jeremypenwarden // April 11, 2013 at 8:19 pm // Reply

    Gal 5:1-4 starts with the consequences of obedience to the law of circumcision after salvation. They are that you become obligated to obey ALL the law, and thus doomed to fail. That you are SEVERED from Christ (4) and have fallen from grace (5). From grace in context means to law. Then salvation is no longer by grace but law. Christ is of no value to you (2). I is not that you have ‘lost’ salvation by grace, but that you have chosen to reject it for salvation by law.
    You do not fall from one thing to the same thing but to something else. When you fall from something you are n longer in the place you fell from. Fall from grace means not in grace any more.
    But this person will not be saved because no one who relies on law will be saved.

    • What does it mean to be “estranged” (NKJV), “alienated” (NIV), “separated (severed)” (AMP), or “cut off” (MSG) from Christ? The YLT says, “ye were freed from the Christ” and the NSRV says “You who want to be justified by the law have cut yourselves off from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.” Who is doing the cutting? Who is doing the falling? Not Christ, but you who attempt to be justified by the law. Paul never says “You are losing your salvation.” Instead he says, “You are indulging the flesh (v.13).” The Galatians were becoming carnal Christians, biting and devouring one another. The danger is not that God will destroy them but “you will be destroyed by each other” (v.15).

      • Leslie Snell // April 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm //

        Well said…

      • Exactly! Well said.🙂

      • jeremypenwarden // April 15, 2013 at 7:58 pm //

        When Paul says Christ is of no value to you, you have fallen from grace, it is clear that WE do the falling and the cutting. I agree Paul does not explicitly say that they will ‘lose’ their free salvation. But he DOES clearly say that they become obligated to obey the whole of the law with no failing. Their means of salvation becomes law instead of grace and we all know that no one will be justifie by the law.

        So Paul does not need to use those words. It is clear in any unbiased straightforward reading of his words that those who revert to the law having once received salvation by grace are choosing to give up grace and rely again on law. They will not be saved, or at minimum can have no certainty of it.

        I have been pulled from here to there by people taking the two extreme positions on this debate. On says you can never lose your salvation because you are kept by Jesus and he won’t let you go. The other says that unless up repent of every sin as you go you’ll die unforgiving. From reading the bible I have concluded that both are wrong, as I believe I have clearly shown from this passage.

        To be clear, a bit of sin is not going to make God punish you. All the while you are trusting only on his grace, you can never lose your salvation.

      • I have two problems with this: (1) It says God believes in divorce, when he doesn’t. (2) It says God’s promises to us hinge on our faithfulness, when they hinge on his.

        You mention being pulled in different directions. The one who says the saints are kept by Jesus was Jesus (John 10:28) and he said it twice (John 10:29). Paul repeated this message many times (eg: 1 Cor 1:8-9; 2 Cor 1:21-22). Neither couched their claims in qualifiers, conditions, or modifiers. So the extreme position I lean to is the extreme position of grace.

        Grace is huge and I appreciate we don’t have it all figured out. The Galatians certainly didn’t. But the “penalty” for not having it all figured out is not ungrace but more grace – even if you are unable to receive it because of a legal mindset.

        Grace, not condemnation, is the cure for all forms of ungodliness. Grace, not threats of divorce, is what leads people to repent. If the Galatians had lost their salvation or were in danger of being on the receiving end of God’s boot, Paul would’ve said so. Instead he opens his letter by proclaiming, “grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” And then he finishes with more of the same: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit brothers. Amen.”

    • a saved person who puts himself under the law negates the grace of God that enables us to reign in this earth life and he grieves the Holy Spirit… but the fact is, the Holy Spirit still lives inside that person… or else Jesus was a lying when He said the Holy Spirit would never leave or forsake us. a believer is still in Christ (Who IS Grace) – even if he “falls from grace” by choosing (purposely or unknowingly) to live by the law… the law will still serve its purpose to bring that person to the place of needing the Savior he already believed in…

  19. Here’s my problem with Christians who stray (and this comes right out of my insecurities).
    I have been a Christian for 43 years. Until June 2012, my husband and I spent about 10 years basically ignoring God. Our kids were married and our time was our own. We stopped going to church, hardly ever read the Bible, rarely prayed. Then there was a cataclysmic event that happened and turned our life on its ear. We have cried out to God with pain and regret and begged for forgiveness.
    But I am hung up on having been a Christian for so long who then strayed mightily. Verses that speak of the righteous make me feel alienated because I wasn’t righteous for so long.
    I don’t know why I compare sins. There are not small sins and big sins, except in my mind. But my mind has been long conditioned to believe the big sins were more egregious than the little sins in God’s eyes.
    I need to stop now because I’m on the verge of babbling. I appreciate you, Paul.

    • Irene, God is doing something special in you. I believe he has one thing he wants to say to you now and it is this.

    • chrisvanrooyen // April 12, 2013 at 9:50 am // Reply

      Hi Irene
      You have been subjected to 43 years of a lie, you have been conditioned into this lie by all the rubbish that was preached to you from the pulpit.
      This preaching is a message that attempts to make you question your identity because of your actions or circumstances. It drives you into a place where you cannot sustain your relationship with Jesus because of the burden it puts on you.
      It is the mixing of grace with works.
      It is a counterfeit Gospel.

      The truth is that God loves you unconditional he always will and always has, his Son has revealed this love the only requirement from you is that you accept this revelation. God has committed to do the rest He will keep and protect you.
      You are no longer a servant any more and do not have to beg for forgiveness.
      You are clothed with Jesus,s Righteousness.
      Your sin no longer separates you from god but reminds God of his Son who you trust.
      You are continually walking in mercy and grace and this is all that God see,s.

      God has purposely bought you to where you are now to free you.

    • I can relate Irene. I was once in a similar position. What I can tell you is that it isn’t your acts of righteousness or unrighteousness that make you righteous or unrighteous. Just yesterday I received this email devotional from Joseph Prince talking about this very topic.

      “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” Romans 5:19

      Righteous Forever Through Christ’s Obedience

      Take some time today to meditate on how you have been made righteous forever through Christ’s obedience. Because your righteousness from the Lord is not based on what you’ve done, but what He has done at Calvary, you cannot lose this righteousness through what you do or don’t do. And because you are righteous, healing and provision—blessings that belong to the righteous—belong to you!

      When you realize that you cannot earn this righteousness, you’ll realize that your failures cannot cause you to lose this righteousness, and therefore your right to God’s healing and supply. Beloved, you are forever righteous because of Jesus’ obedience (not your obedience) and finished work. Through His perfect sacrifice, He has qualified you for healing, wholeness, good success and long life!

    • irene, if sinners cannot be made righteous or acceptable to God by their good behaviors, then believers cannot be made unrighteous or unacceptable to God by their bad behaviors!😉

  20. This discussion really goes right to the core of Christianity. If our salvation is on such shaky ground that we can lose it based on our behavior, then our righteousness is also based on our performance. I’m sure most here would agree that performance based righteousness in an Old Testament principle. Jesus is the end of righteousness based on our behavior (Rom 10:4). We have received His righteousness as a gift, so our behavior has nothing to do with it. If we’re still justified by the law, the cross of Christ is rendered meaningless (Gal 2:21). If we think we can lose our salvation because of something we do, we’re making our righteousness about something we do. Jesus became our sin, so we could become His righteousness (2 Cor 5:21). His righteousness is the ONLY righteousness that is good enough (more than enough). When Jesus is the foundation we’re on solid ground, anything else is shifting sand.

    • another thought to add to an excellent argument- Wouldn’t a performance based righteousness also be saying that Jesus blood sacrifice was no different or any more powerful than that of the animal ones? (Hebrews 9:12-14)

  21. As always, great teaching. Thanks. Hope you will expound on the parable of the talents at some point in time from Matthew 25.

  22. chrisvanrooyen // April 13, 2013 at 11:42 am // Reply

    There is only one thing that separates us or causes us to stray from God, that is our own efforts to come closer to him , in doing this we prostitute ourselves and deny the essence of his being. God has destroyed the divide and for us to put up barriers is an insult. The law was the first idol in the garden of Eden , it was the idol that Noah built, it was the idol carried through the desert. Real salvation and perfect communion is in Jesus .
    To say that God does not Love you is to deny his existence, to insinuate that there is a mechanism that would cause him to reject you is an insult to him.We do the rejecting.
    Love holds no records of wrong.
    It is only the prisons you build in your mind that can separate you from God, or it may be the prisons that you have allowed other people to build.

    RENEW YOUR MIND!!!

  23. Has anybody ever wondered why God has a Book of Life? Is He just taking notes to make sure He doesn’t forget anyone? We have such a tendency to make God into our own image. Are we seriously going to try and explain how once the blood of Jesus is applied to a person’s life that can be undone? The Book of Life doesn’t have pages worn through from erasers. He doesn’t change His mind about your salvation because something happened that He didn’t see coming. When God puts your name in the Book of Life, it’s permanent. He’s writing it down in Heaven so you can be sure, it’s quite permanent. Removing your name from that Book would be like removing a verse from the Bible. Our knowledge of Scripture will never be greater than God’s love. The religious crowd wouldn’t accept Jesus is the Christ because He didn’t match their understanding of the rules. Jesus the Person is always primary; a relationship with a Person. A Person who promised in the most definitive language, He would NEVER leave us (Heb 13:5 AMP).

    • chrisvanrooyen // April 16, 2013 at 1:32 pm // Reply

      Hi Jim
      Great post. I believe a lot of people think that God has a book of good and evil. They are back in the garden and still choose the wrong tree . They work as if they are in the desert, they do not tend as in the garden. Then they wonder why they reap thorns and thistles.

      • You have a really good point that we can get caught up in the principles of the Bible and miss the Person. If we don’t know or don’t focus on the grace and love of Jesus, we tend to misuse and misunderstand the principles. The focus should always be Jesus (Jn 5:39). As Paul points out in his next post, abide in His love.

    • Thaks for that Jim M, well put. God’s love language is simply this, Believe on me, my Son and have a continous relationship with me.

  24. Hi, but i still have some questions of doubts in mind. How about those that continuously sin? Those that simply take salvation for granted? Give an example, One is faced with a desire to murder someone. He in his heart knows that it is against the teaching of God and he must not do that if he is following the footstep of Christ. However knowing that all sins can be forgiven, at that instance he chose to put the desire of murdering the guy he want on top of Christ, After that he come forward and sincerely repent before Christ and for the rest of his years followed the footsteps of Christ strictly, how one see of these kind of people?

    One who already knows Christ, see Christ, and experience Christ in their live. However when faced with some temptation(‘an opportunity for money, women etc’), and chose to be lured to it for that one particular moment, and after all the enjoyment he get he ‘ come back ‘ again. Isn’t this treating the salvation given by us by God’s grace as a fool?

    • I would say that the desire to murder someone is a fairly solid sign that one does not know the love of God (1 John 2:11). And thinking “I must not do this because it’s against the rules,” then that’s a sign one does not know the grace of God. Christianity is not so much about heeding the teaching of Jesus; Christianity is Christ living his life through you. “Christ is your life” (Col 3:4).

      If I got so angry I wanted to murder someone (I can’t imagine it), my response would be to pray, “Help!” Do you see the difference? I would not try to keep the rules in my flesh – any success would only bring glory to my strength. I would instead ask for grace to say no to such an ungodly thought.

      • Hi Paul, Thank you for your reply. However there are still points which i don’t quite yet understand. It is true salvation comes from God’s grace and one does not earn salvation though following rules and commandment. The moment we are saved, the hold spirit lives in us and give us the power to fight against sins.

        Christians still sins every now and then, and the spiritual war is one that all Christians have to faced while using the full armor given to them by God and stand the ground against temptation and the devil.

        However, the doubts i had are none of the above. It is true, Christians seek the ultimate relationship with God, and i understand that thus when they abide the rules, they are not just following it because it is rules given to them, but instead is like since i love God, i want to live a life as how he will live, thus is all something that one will do subconsciously when one follows the footsteps of Christ and experience Christ living in him.

        However what i am trying to illustrate in my previous example is the fact that those who fully understood God’s grace till the point that abuse it. He knows that the grace is so big that all sins can be forgiven upon ”true’ repentant. A married man who had experience God’s love and tasted God’s love being tempted by a beautiful sexy woman and facing with the choice of should he commit adultery. Thus the very fact that he knows God’s grace is so big that he will surely be forgiven after he sinned because God is forever loving. Thus he considered it, and committed adultery. After he ‘enjoyed’ all he can, he after that come to god and seek repentance ‘truly’, What the bibles teaches about this group of ‘Christians’ who abuse God’s grace and love?

      • So you weren’t thinking of a murderer but an adulterer. Sadly, this comes up whenever grace is preached. It did for Paul (Rom 6:1) and it still does for us. It is the liberating nature of grace that causes some to think they have permission to sin. Such folk demonstrate their ignorance of the purpose of grace. For my thoughts, please see my post, Is grace a license to sin?

    • chrisvanrooyen // April 17, 2013 at 9:31 am // Reply

      Hi JJz.
      At the end of the day this fact remains no one will be judged on their deeds but on their relationship with Jesus. their deeds are a result of their good or bad relationship with him.
      If God were to judge us according to our deeds, he would be judging himself.
      Yes deeds will be accepted or rejected and it may be that two people have the same deed, one deed will be accepted, and one rejected.

      Rev 20;12 the dead will be judged according to their works,
      But remember !!
      God is not the God of the dead but of the living.
      Jesus promised us that if we believe in him we will never die.

      If you are dead, or going to die you could be judged for your works.

      ARE YOU !!

      • Hi Chrisvanrooyen,
        Yeah i got what you meant. Indeed as was stated in John 15, Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. Whether or not a branch will bear fruit is not about how much work the branch did and how well the branch itself is, is all because the branch remains and abide to the vine and thus it it able to bear fruit. It is by abiding and remains in him, not ‘working’ for him by keeping the commandments.

        However, Jesus’ promise is not just about believing in him but also abiding in him. As said in the bible, one do not get saved simply by shouting Lord Lord, if one does not obey, when the day come i will tell them turn away evil doers i do not know you.

        The very fact that One can have a very loving relationship with Christ yet not following his teaching is possible. One can love your father yet do not want to become someone like your father and do not follow the path of your father. Our father is a sinless person, and there are sons and daughters who because of their love for the father they want to learn and become a sinless person like him. However there are also people who love him yet do not want to follow him. Will they bear fruits? or will they be lift and burnt eventually by the vine dresser who is God the heavenly Father?

      • Colleen G. // April 17, 2013 at 3:24 pm //

        jjz- The fatal flaw of your train of thought is that “want” and “desire” trump God’s grace and mercy….aren’t they sins as well? That looking for a loophole because for once in this event/instance we just don’t want to be the good little kid? Saying I won’t get punished for this sin because of grace, is no less evil or damnation deserving than losing your temper and screaming out rage towards someone we are supposed to love. Jesus died for more than the accidental sins of our lives. Without this we have no hope because I am too well acquainted with my own flesh to think I can live my entire life only committing unintentional sins. In Romans 7 the apostle Paul wasn’t talking about sin committed by accident. He was battling and failing, wanting to do right but not always succeeding, and grateful for the “no condemnation in 8:1”

      • AMEN AMEN AMEN PAUL AND COLLEEN G. PERFECT, COULD NOT HAVE PUT IT ANY BETTER MYSELF. THANKS FOR EDUCATING

    • jjz, I believe every single Believer has done that at one point or another? Looking at sins such as adultery or fornication and murder are just two out of many sins to contend with. We sin in words thoughts and deeds daily. I understand what ur saying thou, I knew someone who was under the pure gospel of grace, I was under religion. I use to regret encountering him but even that was probably a sin cuz I use to loath this man who Christ died for and loves dearly. This man who was so handsome, he should have been arrested, so arrogant, and proud and sneaky, as far as I was concerned, he should have received a daily whopping, so selfish, I questioned his salvation. That was then, my thoughts. So we both sinned but many would look at him and say, he’s abusing grace, he sins, but so did I, more in thoughts. He never taught me grace but I kind a knew he was under it. He would mention this woman he was having sexual relations with and when I told him to stop cuz he would upset the Lord, He would say, I am under grace. Many years later, he has been tamed by the Lord, still a bit of everything but not as bad as before, this includes me, still imperfect in my performance and thoughts, but doing a lot better.
      We are transformed from glory to glory. Little by little I will drive out the enemies. We must give people time. I was a self righteous novice of the word. He knew the word like the back of his hand yet lived how he wants. Now, he is far more transformed and we all are forever being transformed as long as our eyes is on our King and Saviour; just by believing, we become.

      • I used to think I could get away with something [do something,not quit right,I can sneak it passed the Lord] well the Lord was always one step ahead and foiled my plans,kind of like the old Groucho Marx joke,[ she beat on my door all night, I finally got up and let her out.]

    • Hi jjz, you’ve written a good bit here trying to get peace on this issue so I hope this helps. The thing I see is your questions are regarding behavior. You’re trying to resolve how certain actions may indicate if a person is saved or not, but that’s not possible. Once a person has accepted the completed work of Jesus, they are saved permanently; perfected forever (Heb 10:14). There is no need to get a new cleansing. The sacrifice of Jesus is eternal (outside of time) so all of your sins are covered; past, present, and future. Salvation is all about the blood sacrifice of Jesus and nothing to do with behavior. In my own life, I was saved at the age of 16, but I had no right believing in my life. I didn’t even know where to go to get good teaching. As a result, I ended up living my life the way I did before, even ending up in worse sin. There was little or no evidence in my life of salvation until my mind was renewed by right believing (years later). Right, victorious living is evidence that a person’s mind has been renewed by right believing, but it does not determine if the person is saved or not. We are born again in the spirit, but our mind is not renewed until we believe our new identity that we are God’s perfect child, in Christ.

  25. chrisvanrooyen // April 17, 2013 at 3:41 pm // Reply

    JJz your confusion lies in believing that one can have a loving relationship with Jesus and disobey his teaching read john 14;23. This does not mean you will keep the law but will walk in his teaching of grace and mercy.
    It is not about becoming a sinless person, but believing that in him you are already sinless, this gives you the power to live a sinless life.

    • chrisvanrooyen // April 17, 2013 at 5:47 pm // Reply

      JJz Jesus took the law to its full extent in the sermon on the mount , This to teach us that we on our own will never be able to keep the law, but he still requires us to be holy, to keep the law perfectly.So when you on your own work to keep the law you go against Jesus,s teaching , but when you keep in him, you keep the law are free from the power of the law , free from sin, and holy.How do you keep in Jesus? YOU BELIEVE AND TRUST IN HIM FOR YOUR SALVATION NOT YOURSELF ONLY HIM.

      It can be explained like this Jesus is asking a person to hold their breath and die, if they do this they will live.

      You have to overcome your sin, your sin is your natural reaction to breath to save yourself.

      You inherited this natural reaction from your great grandparents Adam and Eve.

      • Chrisvanrooyen, That’s the very question i been asking. The issue regarding ‘believe’. As stated in John 14:23, If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. Of course, it does not means that one keep the word because of his own individual work but because the trust in Jesus and the power granted and given by Jesus.

        People always sin, as you said it is our natural reaction. However as stated in John 13 , we are ‘ bathe ‘ by Jesus and we are considered cleanse, however due to our sinning nature, we still need to ‘wash our feat’ every now and then to wash away the sin, i.e constantly remind ourselves to remain in Christ.

        The key question i been asking is not about non-followers who knows nothing about Christ, the confusion i had lied with some actions that one might had. As to your example, it is the very reason he had full trust in Christ that he won’t die even if he dun breathe, thus knowing this with ‘ full ‘ trust, he abused it and, let say use it as a way to earn money via performing this miracle granted by the Lord.

        One that constantly falls while battling with sins is different from one that choose to fall into sin knowing that Jesus is holding his back. Of course, one can relate to the issue of ‘ licence to sin ‘ issue, however circumstances and situations are not always that extreme in that one will certainly live as the devil. I.e, constantly falling. Thus wat about persons who willingly chose to abuse the Grace of Christ? How will he be judged by God our Father?

      • WELL PUT CHRISVANROOYEN, EXCELLENT. MAN I LOVE THIS BLOG. ITS NICE TO MEET A LOT OF GRACE TEACHING HERE.

  26. chrisvanrooyen // April 18, 2013 at 10:04 am // Reply

    Hi JJz.
    Grace in itself and its definition is a relationship of abuse, This abuse was displayed on a cross where a man claiming to be the creator of all things was willingly abused.
    God is not restrained by time so it is reasonable to assume that in the garden of Eden he saw the cross, during the flood he saw the cross , in the desert he saw the cross, and even now he see,s the cross.Man has always lived in grace.
    Unless you have come to the revelation that it was you that drove the nails through his hands and feet , it was you who whipped and beat him,and the words forgive them for they know not what they do apply to you even now.
    You will not be working out your salvation with fear and trembling, and you will not have a full revelation of the awesome Love of our King.
    When I recognize the sacrifice I must admit I can make no judgement on the depth of his Grace, I can only stand trembling and put all my trust in him.

    The short answer to your question I leave the Judgement for the Father, it was his son.

  27. Mdm. Nalinimatilda // May 4, 2013 at 6:14 pm // Reply

    The path of a “successful” Christian walk is one of daily commitment to Christ and submission to the leading of His Spirit. Jesus said, “If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). Paul understood this commitment when he said, “I die every day” (1 Corinthians 15:31). Our old nature died when our heart was transformed by the Spirit of God; yet, there remains an on-going death which occurs as we continue our walk and battle temptations from a world which seeks to pull us away from Christ.

    Our daily commitment, denial, and “self-death” can become a painful burden if we focus on our present circumstances. Anytime our walk is characterized by self-pity, and our trials become viewed as the heavy cross we must bear for Jesus, we have missed the true joy and peace – the true success – that God desires for our life.

    1 Corinthians 15:19

    • chrisvanrooyen // May 5, 2013 at 3:00 pm // Reply

      Hi Mdm
      Great message yes Paul understood that he needed to sacrifice his efforts and rely on the finished work of Jesus for his ministry. This being the only acceptable sacrifice left after the cross I think of Micah 6 our sacrifice is always evidence of our pride. that is why Jesus made the perfect and complete sacrifice for us.
      If we view tithing as a sacrifice we should stop.
      If we view righteousness as a sacrifice we should stop.
      If we feel we need to sacrifice to get closer to God we should stop.

      We have been given the perfect sacrifice for all our needs.

      Our cross is not heavy and its burden is light.
      As you have confirmed we live in complete victory and wallow in the peace and Joy in this.

      We are successful and invincible in Christ. We rest in him.

      • hi Chris,,the point about the tithe,and the additional things was big here in the states,I WAS NOT A CHEERFUL GIVER,and i thought there was something wrong with me it seems I have always had to spent the last dollar, when it becomes more of Jesus and less of me, im becoming a little more cheerful,I can let go a little more.

  28. Colleen G. // May 5, 2013 at 9:49 am // Reply

    Jesus came to bring us life. Abundant life. Following Christ is a LIFE-style not a DEATH-style. You cannot be focused on death and expect to have joy, peace and light. In Matthew 11:29& 30 Jesus says that His way is light and easy. There is nothing easy about thinking death daily. It is a miserable burden where the focus is on you and your shortcomings.
    A life full of grace & peace focuses your eyes upon Jesus and living for Him. When you are living in Christ and through Christ those same changes that the death-style burdens you with eventually happen. It is so hard to describe the shift from death’s “I must” to life’s “I can in His time. Until then I rest and wait for His leading”

    • Mdm. Nalinimatilda // May 7, 2013 at 7:38 pm // Reply

      When we say death why do we have to be negative. Jesus said that unless a kernel of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces much grain. I believe Math11:29,30. So the task behind us is never as great as the power behind us. Because of the power behind us any task become lighter. Paul Ellis says that it is not work anymore but fun doing it. If we know which is more important that the work of the Lord or the LORD of the work. The preeminance must be given to Christ Jesus becuase we know that we can do nothing apart from Christ Jesus.

  29. I am blessed by Paul’s message and Paul Ellis teachings..God Bless.

  30. Paul, I just stumbled upon one of your posts and that started a journey of going through the archives and systematically studying grace. I am so blessed and pray that the Lord may continue to richly bless you.
    On a side note,I think the reference of ‘the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge ‘ mentioned in this article is in Ephesians 3:18,19.
    God bless! You’re amazing!

  31. Mdm. Nalinimatilda // June 7, 2013 at 6:46 pm // Reply

    The statement makes sense to me and I hope that it does to everyone.”Faith is not only a commitment to the promises of Christ; faith is also a commitment to the demands of Christ.” — William Barclay

    • chrisvanrooyen // June 8, 2013 at 7:12 am // Reply

      Demands is not a good term to use and illustrates the old covenant. The law demands and judges. Jesus provides us with a new identity a new birth. this identity results in a new nature and behavior is not by demand but by nature.
      Many are under the belief that this nature is born from our love for him , but this is just going back to works, the nature is born out of a full revelation of his love for us we only reflect this love.

      • i dont like to think of it as reflecting… the moon reflects the light of the sun…
        but we arent dead moons reflecting light – we’ve been made into living little suns that are encased in earth… clay vessels with treasure (Christ Himself) inside. its more of an overflowing… and the more cracked we are, the more Jesus leaks out😉

      • Mdm. Nalinimatilda // June 10, 2013 at 4:14 am //

        Jesus said that we should obey His commandment if we claim we love Him. He loved us first by His demonstration. When one obeys it is not considered work. It is demonstration of one’s love for Christ Jesus. If I am not led by the Holy Spirit I will never be able to obey any of our Lord’s command. When Holy Spirit enables me to do everything, where is the boasting but give all the glory to the Lord who gave us the Holy Spirit. Romans 7th chapter tells us about our uselessness without Christ. In the same chapter we read that Paul is thanking God for Christ Jesus who could redeem us from our wretched sinful nature. What is the purpose of redeeming us? For we are God’s workmanship,created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Doing good works is not at all a bad thing according to Ephe2:10 11th chapter of(Faith) Hebrews mentions a list of names from Abel to Moses and what they did to be considered faithful. It is written for our learning. This is simple if we understand The Lord of work and work of the Lord.

      • and Mdm. Nalinimatilda, do you understand the work of the Lord in the NT? John 6:29, “Jesus answered and said unto them, this is the work of God, that ye believe on him whome he has sent.” Thats our work today cuz when we are believing right, the Holy Ghost enables us to live right. We cannot live right if our life depends on it but the Holy Spirit moves us to do so and it becomes easier, almost effortless. You will be surprised how many Believers are striving to obey his or the churches commandmants but their beleif is all wrong, they got it backwards.

        stay blessed

    • chrisvanrooyen // June 9, 2013 at 5:30 pm // Reply

      Like what you say Jennie especially the we have been made into part. But you should remember that God describes our old hearts as incurably wicked, hence the need for a new creation. When we come to the realization that we are beyond rescue he rescues us. He takes what is broken and makes it new. In any event that was my experience I now have to put no effort into overcoming the things that before the more I tried the more i failed. I understand the broken pot,s analogy and the sentiments but am concerned that it leads to a broken mentality . i feel so new i am sure i shine. But i did need to be broken to see his light.

      • not so much resulting in a broken mentality but a renewed mentality – the mind of Christ actually…
        nothing wrong with the flesh/clay mentality being broken… in my weakness, He is my strength
        when we truly love others, we are actually allowing Christ’s own love to flow out from within us – we are merely the vessels that His love flows through… 😉

  32. My Christmas desperation: I am so spiritually sick, I think that I committed the unforgivable sin. When I read Galatians 5 it seems to say you can be severed from Christ or fallen from Grace. Galatians is talking about not putting faith in the law and faith in Jesus to be saved, but that is what I did. And in fact I did it after knowing I shouldn’t. Specifically I knew that I should not put faith in my works, but I thought I needed to do something in addition to having faith in Jesus. I struggled with the decision, (I didn’t want to add to faith in Jesus alone, but on the other hand thought I had to do this thing to be saved. I knew that I shouldn’t add to faith in Jesus alone, but at the same time thought I needed to do something besides just believing in Jesus. So because I had knowledge of the truth and believed I shouldn’t add to Jesus, but did anyways, am I severed from Christ? I now want to trust in Jesus alone and not this extra thing I did, but is it too late? I am so upset that I did an extra work to be saved when I knew I should put faith in Jesus alone. I guess I was confused, part of me though I shouldn’t add to faith in Jesus alone, but another part of me thought I needed to do this extra thing to be saved. I did it “just in case”. I now feel like I knew better and still sinned. Did I “fall away”. Did I become severed from Christ? I really need help with this.

    • The Galatians used their freedom to enslave themselves to the old law of circumcision. When Paul heard about it, he said, “You’ve made Christ of no value. You’ve been alienated from Christ” (see Galatians 5:2, 4). It’s not that Christ had cut them off; they cut themselves off. This is what we do whenever we trust in self.

      So we can definitely cut ourselves off from Christ. But does that mean he cuts us off? Not at all! He remains faithful, even when we are unfaithful. Thank God your salvation depends on him and not you.

      • jeremypenwarden // December 26, 2013 at 11:11 am //

        Dean, Paul circumcised Timothy, yet clearly Timothy did not fall from grace, nor did Paul. Paul was speaking to saints in Galatia who were doing this. So I think that it is clear that you can repent (change your thinking) of going back under law, and return to living by faith in his grace.

        Frankly, if you were lost, you would not have the Spirit of God within you calling you to living by faith. So, no, you have not fallen away, at least not too far. Return to the truth and live by it and you will know the peace of God.

        We all make mistakes, often when we have good intentions. God is wonderful at overlooking our mistakes and seeing us in Jesus.

      • I guess it seems impossible to have 0% trust in our works, there is a constant struggle with thinking this or that will help my salvation. Even though I don’t want to put faith in my works I keep confessing my sins “just In case” I need to for salvation. Does this confession cut me off from grace. Can I still be saved?

    • Hi Dean,

      I think you are right about having to labor to enter God’s rest (Heb 4:10, 11). Our flesh loves to play a role in making self the hero. When Paul speaks about falling from grace, however, He is not referring to your salvation. Once you accept Jesus, your salvation is sealed by His blood (Heb 10:14). There is no sin or lapse of faith on your part that is greater than the blood sacrifice of Jesus. That makes people nervous because it sounds like a “license to sin”, but embracing the grace of God is the way to overcoming sin (Rom 6:14). Embracing grace or falling from grace has to do with how victorious your life on earth will be, but your salvation is safe and sound and sealed by His blood.

      Blessings

  33. If one is not truly saved once and for all, then one has not been saved at all.

    Jude 1:24
    Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

    Romans 8:37,38
    37But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    John 10:27,28
    27″My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29″My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.…

    The above scriptures are spoken about the truly saved.

    God does the saving and the keeping. Jesus is the Savior of the sheep and the Keeper of the Sheep …… p e r i o d .

  34. Hallelujah! This is one of the best — if not THE BEST — articles of yours that I have read!
    WONDERFUL! I think I’m going to print it out and put it in my bible where I can read it often. It is so freeing…and brings such joy in my heart that I’ve been missing and praying for, for a long, long time! Woohoo…thank you, Jesus! /

    So this is what it feels like to return to your first Love!!!🙂

  35. I trust this message and God bless for spreading the word. Every church needs to read this.Throughout scripture, God shows the importance of trusting/believing in him. His desire – believe in Christ finish work – alone. Our work – believe on him whom he has sent; (John 6:290. Think on Abraham, David, Mary, I think it’s hard to trust and believe in his finished work alone, unless we truly believe he loves us unconditionally. Our heart yearns for unconditional LOVE, but now Christ has brought us back before the fall to better than what Adam had. Think about it, there was no law for them to abide by; just one rule, and they broke it. That old dragon, attacked the likeness of God, making Eve believe that God was holding out on her, she is not like him ETC; It’s the same today, he attacks the likeness of God, more than the image of God to all Believers and for the world, it’s more the image. The method he uses is condemnation/guilt/shame and the rest. I have to go but I must say, please believe it. God has even demonstrated that in me when I backslidden a Few times, cuz religion, made me think God hated me.

  36. Christ practically saved my life a few times and demonstrated things in me, to prove to me that his word is true. That it is not by performance. How do we feel when or if our children constantly appease us for our love, attention and our needs. We would be like; whats wrong with you? Can we imagine how God feels? Look how he restored Peter whe he denied him? Many Believers act like Christ paid the mortgage down payment through his suffering, death and Resurrection and we have to pay the monthly payments. Or, He has a spiritual needle and red thread at Christ right hand side and every time we mess up, he looks and beholds his son forgetting that we are seated with him and says, oh dear, she/he messed up again, give me that needle,God sews up the rent that was torn, when we behave, God is all happy and says to Christ, yeaaa, give me that scissors my beloved Son, lets tear it again, he now has access — backwards and forwards lol. Don’t get me wrong, we have to fight the good fight of faith, it’s a fight saints. A FIGHT that we have won. So we can believe in his love and trust him.
    God bless

  37. Lawrence Seow // February 12, 2015 at 1:07 pm // Reply

    Hi there, I posted a recent comment that disagreed with your position that a believer can never lose his salvation. I don’t see it being posted yet…so I’m asking is it because it takes a contrary view? …

    • I’m sorry Lawrence, I don’t recall it. We get dozens of comments coming in every day, sometimes every hour. Some are filtered out automatically by the spam filter. Others are deleted for one of the 10 reasons listed in E2R’s Comment Policy. But I can assure you that first time comments on a thread are not deleted because they take contrary positions.

      • Lawrence,I can back paul up on his response,when I get NEW COMMENTS NOTIFICATIONS, in my emails, I have to fish a lot of them out of my deleted file,for some reason they get automatically deleted without being opened.

  38. Lawrence Seow // February 12, 2015 at 1:11 pm // Reply

    The unbelieving man or woman claims that a God of LOVE will never send anyone to hell. That would be harsh and cruel. That’s because they don’t see the RIGHTEOUSNESS of a Just and Holy God. Likewise, those who claim we will never lose our salvation ignore huge portions of Scripture that clearly state otherwise. We can argue until the cows come home but it will always be a most contentious issue.

  39. The notion that believers cannot lose their salvation because it’s “not actually in the Bible. It is an extra-Biblical fabrication….” is not accurate. There are many verses which support the loss of one’s salvation. One of the more clear and plain scripture passages is Rom 8:12-13: “So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

    • You are assuming “live by the Spirit” = something we must do to merit or maintain salvation, but there is nothing we can do. Jesus does it all. Moreover, Jesus promises to do it all. I encourage you to put your faith in Christ for your salvation.

      • We are saved by grace alone…that is indeed true; but is it true that one is saved by faith alone and do nothing as you claim? James makes this statement: “You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone” (Js 2:24). It is apparent that we as believers have a choice to make as Paul points out – whether to live out our lives according to the flesh or according to the Spirit. If a believer chooses to live his/her life according to the flesh and engage in disobedience and habitual sin then he/she will die. Our works of obedience done according to the leading of the Holy Spirit will either testify to the evidence that we are saved, or our works of disobedience resulting from sowing to the flesh will condemn us leading to spiritual death.

    • If you live by your works for salvation (I.e., live according to the FLESH) you won’t make it, but if you allow the HOLY SPIRIT to do His work in you and through you (by the Spirit put to death the deeds – works – of the flesh) you will live! This is a wonderful example of God doing the work in our life vs. our own efforts to maintain salvation! READ THE ENTIRE CHAPTER IN CONTEXT. Paul is not contradicting his own words!

      • Contrary to your assertion, one does not “live by your works for salvation.” Rather, one’s works are the evidence of one’s salvation. Works are the outward evidence of inner believing faith; after all we were created to do good works that we should walk in them (Eph 2:10).
        What does Paul really mean by works of the flesh? When we examine context as you say, we see that works of the flesh is to be carnally minded (Rom 8:5-6) – not working out our salvation as you appear to claim. Therefore a carnally minded believer who disobediently sows to the flesh is dead in his/her sins – “to be carnally minded is death” (v.6). That is why Paul warns the brothers and sisters in Rome that IF they live according to the flesh – they will die. But IF they live according to the Spirit = they will live. The little word “if” indicates a conditional; not an unconditional statement. Believers who lead carnal lives face the possibility of spiritual death and separation from God. Yes, context is indeed important.

      • Paulette // April 5, 2015 at 5:23 pm //

        Romans 8:7-8 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it CANNOT. Those who are in the FLESH cannot please God. (These are unsaved)

        Romans 8:9 You, however, are NOT in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. (These are the saved)
        Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Unsaved = in the flesh)

        And those who are saved can NEVER see spiritual death (become “unborn again”) and be separated from God…EVER. (If you keep reading…Romans 8:39)

  40. For the sake of argument, let’s assume that you are correct when you claim that in vss. 7-8 those who are in the flesh refers to the unsaved. If this be true then I assume you would also claim that in vss.12-13, Paul is referring to both the saved (those who live according to the Spirit) and the unsaved (those who live according to the flesh). Is that not correct?

    A closer look at vss 12-13 reveal that that cannot be the case. Paul directs his warning to believers, not unbelievers. First he addresses them as “brethren” in v.7. In the very next verse he uses the personal pronoun “you” to indicate that he is addressing the brethren as his object. Moreover, one must have spiritual life in order to be in danger of spiritual death. You cannot threaten a spiritually dead person with spiritual death. Such a person is already dead. Therefore, it must be concluded that these are regenerate brethren who are being warned of dying. Also note that this verse is conditional – not unconditional – as indicated by the word “if.” IF YOU (brethren) walk according to the flesh = YOU will die. IF YOU (brethren) walk according to the Spirit = YOU will live. If Paul was referring to unbelievers, grammar dictates that he would have employed the pronoun “them” to distinguish between the brethren and the unsaved but he did not do so. Additionally, v.13 cannot be said to apply to unbelievers because only believers have the choice as to whether to walk according to the Spirit or according to the flesh. Unregenerate persons have no such choice and can only walk according to the flesh. Thus, it stands to reason that Paul’s warning of spiritual death is directed at Christians who may choose to live in rebellion and knowingly engage in habitual sin.
    In Rom 8:38-39 Paul is referring to suffering – not sinning. He provides needed assurance that external circumstances, such as hardships, tribulation, persecution, famine, nakedness, sword, etc. – referenced in Rom 8:35 – cannot separate us from God’s love. How true that is! However, Paul does not claim that willful and habitual sin in the life of a believer cannot separate us from God. Otherwise, he would be contradicting what he just wrote in 8:13.

  41. Romans 8:13 says that if you live according to the sinful nature you will die, but if you live by the Spirit you will live. Does this mean that you will lose your salvation if you sin? The answer is found in the very next verse, which says, “those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” So, those who are living according to the sinful nature are not sons of God at all, but unbelievers. The verse does not refer to believers. Elsewhere, Paul makes it clear that there are “so-called brothers” who are really unbelievers, practicing evil within the church body. Paul says to kick them out of the congregation.

    A child of God is born of INCORRUPTIBLE seed (1 Peter 1:23) and can never become dead again. There are many Scriptures that guarantees this.

    The Bible indicates that the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin. This means that no sin a believer commits can result in condemnation or loss of salvation. What about “believers” who live in a continual state of sin? Such individuals are hypocrites and not believers at all.

    He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 1:8)

  42. In the NT, “brethren” is always and exclusively used to refer to believers; not “so-called brothers”. To interpret it the way you do is a strained interpretation unsupported by the plain meaning of the text.
    To claim that those who fell away were never believers in the first place contradicts Luke 8:12 which references those who the devil takes away the word from their hearts so that they “may not believe” and be saved. In the very next verse another group is described as those who receive the word with joy but having no firm root, “believe for a while,” only later to fall away due to testing. The same Greek verb “pisteuo” (believe) is used in vs. 12 & 13. So if the first group did not possess saving faith because they DID NOT believe, would it not stand to reason that the second group did possess saving faith because they DID believe – if only for a while? In order to remain faithful to the text, one cannot interpret pisteuo differently in these two verses. Belief and saving faith are equivalent in meaning. Therefore Jesus himself illustrated that it is possible for a Christian to believe, i.e. to have saving faith for a while. To claim that he/she was never a believer to begin with goes against Jesus’ own teaching.

    • You may believe in divorce but God does not. What has been born cannot be unborn. What has been remade by the Spirit cannot be unmade by man. What God has promised, he will do. End of story. There is nothing in Romans 8 (or anywhere for that matter), that suggests God unchilds his children. Jesus never says he will cast away those who come to him, in fact he promises never to do this (John 6:37). The only people Jesus sends away are those he never knew in the first place – the evildoers who trusted in themselves and their “saving faith” instead of Jesus.

      • Thank you for your reply Paul. However for my benefit you have not offered your own explanation of why the plain reading of Rom 8 and Luke 8 doesn’t support what I claim it means. I think I have offered reasonable counterpoints to Paulette’s objections by dealing with these two passages specifically, so if you also have objections please go ahead and respond accordingly.
        Since you bring up Jn 6:37, let us also examine its context more closely. What does the phrase “come to me” mean? The verb “erchomenon” is a Greek present tense verb more accurately translated as “coming.” It denotes the idea of ongoing, continuous action as in “coming.” Therefore Jesus only promises that he will not cast out those who continue to come to him. If one stops coming to him or believing in him such as in the Luke 8 passage, then there is no guarantee of eternal life. We must allow scripture to interpret scripture.
        A believer cannot claim to come to Jesus or claim to believe in him if he/she does not follow Jesus. Obedience is requisite to belief. “And being made perfect, he became the source of ETERNAL SALVATION to all who OBEY him” (Heb 5:9).

      • A plain reading of Rom 8:13 reveals nothing that touches believer’s security. You literally have to read that into Paul’s words and to do so would be to contradict what Paul says elsewhere. Same with Luke 8:12 which concerns those who don’t believe are not saved. “Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.” As for the one that has no root and falls away (v.13) – same deal. Jesus is the root that sustains us (Rom 15:12). If you don’t have him you will wither (Rom 11:18).

        In John 6 Jesus says no one comes to him except those his Father gives to him. To suggest that those folk are subsequently lost or cast out amounts to calling Jesus a liar. It is to imply that God makes mistakes, which he doesn’t. To obey Jesus is to heed him. Heb 5:9 is basically saying Jesus doesn’t save those who don’t heed him, those who trust in their own righteousness or their own believing-performance, for instance. For what it’s worth, I’ll finish with this: Jesus keeps his own.

      • Paulette // April 7, 2015 at 2:35 pm //

        Paul…AMEN TO THAT! That says it all! Thank God HE does it ALL and it doesn’t depend on my works to save me or keep me. “He who began a good work in you WILL COMLETE it!” (Phil. 1:6) All the glory to God alone.

        Why do some people look for so-called Scriptural proof to magnify their own good works to maintain their salvation (doing their part) and rob God of ALL THE GLORY of choosing, calling, and saving us to the utmost by His working of grace in our life? I just don’t understand that.

      • Me either Paul but Amen to that.

  43. hi, about a year ago, i had experienced a deep mystical experience with god, the bible after a lifetime full of difficulty. i lost everything in my life, my lover. and went through panic and anxiety, and then one day i found myself coming to reading the bible in a new light, one that opened me up through the darkness, i experienced revolation after revolation, and it was magical and freeing. in about a month i had experienced every pain just vanish within me, and i saw god all around me, felt god in me. it was as though love had become me and was all around me, and all i needed to fill me. i felt that god became my lover, my friend, my only resource of life. i was no longer fighting with life, but just letting life happen, everything was guided by spirit. i felt every part of my being consumed in light, and light radiate out of me, around me. life was around me, and life was me, in and out, all around. words can not describe what i was experiencing, it was uforic, it felt more natural than anything i have ever experienced and much more, fuller with life, energy, love for fellow man, that i have never experienced, i felt as though i had died and gone to heaven, but then one day it felt like all of a sudden it all fell apart, i fell back into depression i have been in a deep, dark spiritual depression, for about 9 to 10 months, not knowing how to live. i feel damned at times, wondering when i am going to feel god again. every moment i feel heavy, hot, tired, unsatisfied with anything, i try to fill my life with people, things, but non of it helps one bit. i feel ive lost my know how to live. i feel disconnected from god. i try to hold through for others, for god, i know i need to let go, but idk how to. i worry i have done something drasticly wrong. i cant sleep well, i just feel run down and wondering when this dark will end, i feel stuck in sin, im hoping for another sign from god to pull me out of this, and back on track spiritually. i feel like i am of very little use to god and others. i know god lives in us all, im just not feeling the heart like i was. i want to see god in full like i was a year ago, i saw, felt god in every aspect of life, in every moment, in every being, on this earth. i miss it. life without light feels like death. i feel myself suficating, not knowing how to snap out of this, not knowing if or how to come back to the light.

    • Thanks for sharing, Chris. The thing about feelings is they’re fickle. One day you’re up and the world is great; the next you’re down and it sucks. I don’t want to diminish your feelings, but I do want to encourage you to put them in their proper place at the back of the train behind truth and faith. The truth is God is still on the throne and he’s your heavenly Father who loves you like crazy. Fortify your mind with the truth of this good news. Remind yourself daily that you are your Father’s beloved son and that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. If your feelings stir up dark thoughts, take those thoughts captive. Make those suckers bow to King Jesus. Preach the good news to yourself. Remind yourself who you are in Christ. You’re in a battle but it’s a battle you can win! Exercise your chooser and choose every day to trust your Father and what he says about you despite your feelings. Do this and your feelings will line up with what you believe.

      • There goes Paul stealing my thunder haha, paul is right, the enemy comes to kill destroy and steal,and thats all he does, jesus said i came to give you life and give it to you more abundantly,I have a friend , a brother who has a deliverance and healing ministry, He has people coming back time after time for deliverance etc, He and I were talking and we both agreed if they just knew who they where in Christ it would help alot.. I feel like saying to people your saved whether you like it or not.once I accepted and understood how saved I was a peace and rest came over me that has not gone away,now to me that is a on going revelation,hang in brother,you are one of Jesus’s sheep and that settles it,

      • To anyone who can help,

        When Jesus said lust is adultery and hate is murder, what if a person agrees to reject God forever. They really meant it in the moment. Does God judge them as rejecting him forever? If you later repent, I know you are not truly rejecting God forever, however, will God judge it as such? I don’t think it “fully” happen in the heart as it didn’t remain but in the moment you agreed. If a person lusts but doesn’t commit adultery they were still judged as committing adultery. So does God judge you as rejecting him forever?

        I worry about this and need help

      • Hi Dean,I believe what your asking falls along the lines of what I call emotional uprising, one minute your up then your down,I have had those moments were one minute I dont want anything to do with God and a half hour later im fine with him.he’s a Father and I believe he expects that. we are no surprise to him. I think when we screw up it gives the enemy a way in to make us feel , guilt and such,but I believe we are still good with Father,our sins are NOT held against us

      • Dean, settle it in your heart that man can not separate what God has joined together as one. When Jesus said if you become angry you are guilty of murder, He was showing the Pharisees what is truly required to keep the law. We should see from this that we are not capable of keeping the law with that level of perfection. We need a Savior. Jesus is the tree of life, look to Him.

    • Dean- Jesus was trying to show people that while the Law said no murder or adultery God’s standards are much higher. Sins in the mind and of the heart are just as icky as those we can see outside of a person. The Pharisees were big on looking outwardly good but stank on the inside.
      Never fear Jesus died for all of your sins no matter what or when they are. The only sin that cannot be taken care of is persistent, on going rejection of Jesus because you have not and will not comer to Him and get under his blood offering. A one time rejection of God but then changing your mind is not counted as forever rejection because you have not forever rejected you just panicked or decided out of ignorance to run away.

    • Chris, when you first experienced the life of God as you described, what triggered that experience?

    • Hi Chris you are going through a growth stage with God, he is teaching you how to walk in the flesh. Some people are fleshly trying to be spiritual, some are spiritual and after great revelation and need to learn how a spiritual man accomodates the flesh, hang in there I can assure you what is coming will blow your socks off.

  44. Thank you for your reply.

    But aren’t these emotional uprisings sins as Jesus mentioned that what happens in the heart is a sin. So lust is adultery as far as the heart goes?

    Maybe the answer is that when I agreed, intended and desired to “reject God forever”, he sees that my heart sinned but didn’t truly finally and completely reject him. So he judges what truly happens in your heart which is rejection and sin but not final rejection?

    • Dean you seem to be missing a very vital part of the gospel. Yes you rejected God and it is sin. Here is what you seem to be missing. All your sins, no matter what they are/were are under the blood of Jesus. Hebrews 9:12-14 & 9:24-26. Your redemption and blood covering of sins is eternal once for all done deal. satan is trying to trick you into thinking you are lost because you might have rejected God. God does not cancel the blood of Christ for any reason

  45. “A plain reading of Rom 8:13 reveals nothing that touches believer’s security. You literally have to read that into Paul’s words and to do so would be to contradict what Paul says elsewhere.” I think the problem with your explanation Paul is that you offer no explanation based upon the text itself. You write that that has to be read into Paul’s words; yet, doesn’t Paul make it clear that he is addressing this warning to believers or the “brethren” in v.12? Does he not warn the brethren that if they live according to the flesh, they will die; but if they live according to the Spirit they will live. One has to deal with the plain meaning of the text itself and not cite other verses to try to circumvent its plain meaning as all scripture must be reconciled.

    Same thing with the Luke 8 passage where you cite v.12 but fail to explain v.13.where it states that they “believe for a while” and later “fall away” due to temptation. I think it is fairly obvious that the texts says someone can believe “for a while” and later “fall away. To claim otherwise, one would have to twist the text to extraordinary lengths.

    • If you assume Paul is threatening believers with second death in Romans 8:13, you must conclude that Jesus is lying in John 3:16, 11:26 and a bunch of other places. Those who fall away in Luke 8:13 “have no root.” Jesus says very plainly that they fall because they have no root (Matt 13:21). You are not the root. Your works are not the root. Your beliefs are not the root. Jesus is the root (Rom 15:12, Rev 5:5, 22:16). If you don’t have Jesus you will fall! If you do have Jesus then you can never fall because the Root supports you (Rom 11:18).

      • Regarding Lk 8 Paul, you are conflating two parallel but different passages. First, no where in Lk 8:13 does it say that they fell away because they had no root as you claim. Rather v.13 says they fell away because of “temptation.” I think you would agree that only believers can be tempted. It is impossible for the unsaved to fall away from temptation because the unregenerate cannot fall away from something (the faith) that they have no part in to begin with.
        Second, in the Matt. 13 passage if you read the passage carefully, you will notice that the passage does not say that “Jesus is the root” as you claim. Instead notice that v.21 states that the root refers to the believer as the text specifically says – “in himself” – not rooted “in Jesus” – big difference. Who does the “himself” refer to? It refers to believers who are only able to endure for a while (v.21). It is impossible for an unbeliever to be able to “endure” in the first place so this verse must be referring to believers. This refers to a weak believer, who having no firm root “in himself,” stumbles because of tribulation and persecution (v.21). Again, this can in no way refer to an unbeliever as the Bible never refers to unbelievers undergoing tribulation and persecution. So I think the Matt 13 passage undermines your view rather than supports it.
        Lastly, you reference Jn 3:16 to also support your view. The word for “believe” in this verse is “pisteuo.” In the Greek it is a present tense verb indicating continuous action. The word is better translated as “believing” meaning that eternal life is promise only as long as one continues to believe – not just a one-time moment of belief.
        Same thing with Jn 11:26 as pisteuon is a present tense verb meaning that whoever is believing in Me shall never die. Those who do not continue and cease to believe are not promised eternal life.

      • I am trying to help you but you seem hell bent on proving to yourself that you can lose your salvation. I shall try one last time. You are not saved by faithing your way into the kingdom; you are saved (and kept) by Jesus. This is good news. Believe it!

        You raise some bizarre points that I can’t help but question. If you cannot agree with scripture that Jesus is the root that supports you (Rom 11:18), what is the root of your salvation? Do you really think it is yourself, your faith, or your works? That’s idolatry.

        Do you really think the one who rejects Jesus never stumbles? Why do you think Jesus is called the stumbling block (Rom 14:13)? And do you really think unbelievers never experience trouble or persecution? I suggest you read a newspaper. You will learn much!

        Yes the believer has Jesus the Root in himself. Where else would he be?

      • and the funny thing about faith is its from god also……….Faith (4102/pistis) is always a gift from God, and never something that can be produced by people. In short, 4102/pistis (“faith”) for the believer is “God’s divine persuasion” – and therefore distinct from human belief (confidence), yet involving it. The Lord continuously births faith in the yielded believer so they can know what He prefers, i.e. the persuasion of His will (1 Jn 5:4).

  46. Thank you for your encouragement. Truth is so hard to believe when your emotional doubt is on you. I need to preach to myself (maybe forcefully) when I feel this way.

    Dean

    • Hi Dean our fears do not show our heart, they show deceptiom that we all have. Only God knows the heart or motivation of a man , fear masks motivation and drives all sin.In any event scripture tells us God has given you a new heart ezek 36:26 I would rather believe scripture before I believe your fear. Grace and peace to you.

  47. Of course this man completely ignores about 20% of the New testament teachings on sanctification, and how drifting from the plain gospel can cause people to fall away, as it clearly states in Hebrews 6, 10 and 13, as well as several other places. the idea that those who fell away were not truly saved is preposterous, it’s like saying “he is no longer a Boy Scout and can never be again” about a boy who never even wore a uniform, or went to a meeting. One of the problems is, eternal securitists deny or ignore the fact that the Bible plainly states that for one to be saved, one must have (present tense) faith in Jesus. I agree that an immature believer who knows the truth about apostasy can sometimes get drawn into a works based mindset, but people who know the Bible realize that A. we never cease to have a freewill as believers and B. God does not force people to love, obey or worship Him. So, eternal security is nothing more than Calvinism, masked to pretend it ratifies free will, when in fact, it does not. I trust in Jesus to save me, but there have been many times in the last 26 years that I have fallen so far, that I considered walking away from Jesus. I felt convicted, but ignored it, and then I began thinking about what life would be like, if I went back to my old sins and way of thinking, and I realized it would be hellish to do so, so I repented and came back. Some people choose not to come back, and then they force Jesus out of their lives and are apostate, never again being able to respond to the conviction of sins.I believe OSAS is responsible for more apostasy than any other theological standpoint, because it makes lazy, hapless and uninvolved believers who soften sin to the point of acceptance. You should read the Bible, trust in Jesus and realize that it is you who is trusting in Him, not Him who is forcing you to be His child.

  48. Hi paul ive recently heard creflo dollar comment on the hebrews 3: 14 where he mentions Hebrews 3:14 NLT

    For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. i seem to have a problem with the way he interepreted it he says that this is for christians who stray and let sin run their lives as a result , sin will make them hardened to God . And they will lose their salvation then he pointed hebrew 6 : 4_6 wch talks about falling away, but that verse also doesnt mention falling away meanibg losing salavtion its talking to the hebrews who havent received christ who are contemplating going back to moses. Joseph prince thoroughly explains this scripture to us and says this is written to hebrews who havent received christ. And yet you fibd peachers like creflo saying this is refering to christians.

    Theres nothing terribble like this great deception of losing salvation its unlike God. God Gave us his son to enjoy And know that we have eternal lifee. And its bad when grace preachers say, mature christians who are fully born again and tongue talking can stray and God will reject them.This is bad.
    I keep meditating on Gods promises of eternal security until its soaked in my heeeart. Thats the only way to avoid error and fear and anxiety, placing your trust on yourself instead of Jesus

  49. If we can lose our salvation then we necessarily would fear, which leads to focus on not committing the unforgivable sin which is focusing on works. Therefore a Christian cannot commit the unforgivable sin because this would be a focus on works not Jesus!

  50. How can you say once saved always saved ? There are so many scriptures in the bible that talk about being cut off I.e any branch that does not bear fruit will be cut off and thrown into the fire. Please if this is not talking about Christians bearing fruit then what is it talking about ? Hebrews 6 is the story of my life. Unfortunately I too fell away, I was about 11 or 12 when I became a Christian. I was even baptised in the Holy Spirit & baptised with water. When my brother who led me to Christ went away and u went to live with my secular father I decided to be a typical teenager and so typical ungodly teenager things. I fell away ever since. I am 23 now and have tried to repent ever since but I believe Hebrews 6 is evident in me that I simply cannot be reconciled through repentance as I do not ever feel right with God. I’m blessed because God does still do things in my life when I pray and other Christians have given me words they say is from God about my life but I don’t feel his spirit in me. How can I deceive myself in be believing I am still born again when I’ve spent more than ten years of my life continueing in sin and mocking the cross of Christ ?? Every word in the bible about being cut off speaks so loud to me I just don’t see how you can ignore these scriptures ? Instead of explaining with more verses about salvation please just explain how Hebrews 6 is not speaking directly to Christians and why the bible talks so many times about being cut off? When to me it’s so simple and clear that if you do not complete n run the race you deffinatley will be cut off. I really would appreciate your feedback x

    • I have written dozens of posts on scriptures that have been used to sow fear and doubt among the children of God. You can find a list pertaining to eternal security here and a much larger (and more up-to-date) list in the Scripture Index. (This covers about 800 scriptures.) You can be assured that there is not one word in scripture that says God unchild’s his children, not even in Hebrews 6.

      • i have really enjoyed reading all your blogs thank you and learnt so much. Even though I was 12 it doesn’t matter I was aware of sin and my conscience… I’m just wondering what to do now ? I just don’t understand how Hebrew 6 is not to Christians I just don’t see it I was hoping you could really explain it to me what it means… But i have to say your blogs are thoroughly enjoyed by me …🙂

      • Did you read the post on Hebrews 6? If so, would you mind putting comments on that scripture under that post? I encourage you to read the discussion thread under the post as well as several readers asked for or provided clarifications. Thanks.

    • Give yourself a break, you weren’t even 15 when you “fell away”. Do you think a loving Father would kick his child out of the family? Even earthly fathers show more love than that. The only thing keeping you from feeling His presence is your belief that He cut you off, but that is a lie. He never left and He loves you as much as ever and as much as any of His children. If you cannot accept that, please take the time to look at the explanations that Paul Ellis has shown you here. Thanks

    • You have a choice to base your Christian life on feeling or the facts of scripture. Is there any sin not covered by the blood of Christ? Hebrews 9:24-26 Are we saved by good deeds?(which would mean we could lose it by being bad) Titus 3:3-5 Steep you mind in the plain truths of scripture where eternal mean forever not the vague what if’s that some people enjoy worshipping.

Tell us what you think (<250 words)...

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