Justification by Faith and Galatians Chapter 3.

 

Are you having a difficult time with understanding justification?  Do you wonder if you have done enough to demonstrate that you are saved?  Do you question whether you are good enough, if there is enough evidence of your faith to be true?  Do you tend to be legalistic with yourself?  One of the dangers of, “navel gazing” (self-examination) is that we become self-absorbed, we lose proper perspective.  We begin to filter incoming information through a set of rules that constantly look at ourselves, and our performance, or lack thereof.

A filter is thing that removes particles from a stream, while allowing the rest of the particles to continue on to their destination.  This can be a data stream, electrical stream, light stream, basically anything that flows.  As we perceive information streaming in through our senses, we employ filters based on our cumulative view of the world (word view).  When that view is built on a solid foundation of objective truth, it will lead us to proper understandings of what has happened, is happening, and will happen.  We will filter out the untrue, and allow the truth to continue.  When our filtration system is built on a false worldview, we filter out some truth, and we look at the world and ourselves through a lie.

God has given us His word, and like Him it is truth.  We on the other hand, are fallible creatures, prone to accepting lies.  Even with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, and His illumination of the Word of God for us, and to us, we still get things wrong.  This is yet another example of God’s grace towards His elect, we don’t have to get it all right, all the time, from the word go.  None of us die with all the answers in perfect comprehension.  In a sense, even the most spiritually mature Christian you know, will die with notions about God and His word that aren’t perfect.

Our works are tainted, our thoughts are tainted with sin and imperfection.  If you are relying on either of those to get some kind of assurance that you are in, then you are going to find your faith shaken on a regular basis.  Let’s look at Galatians 3 for a moment together.

Galatians 3 :: New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Faith Brings Righteousness

1 You foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified? 2 This is the only thing I want to find out from you: did you receive the Spirit by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? 4 Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? 5 So then, does He who provides you with the Spirit and works miracles among you, do it by the works of the Law, or by hearing with faith?

6 Even so Abraham BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS RECKONED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “ALL THE NATIONS WILL BE BLESSED IN YOU.” 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.

10 For as many as are of the works of the Law are under a curse; for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO DOES NOT ABIDE BY ALL THINGS WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF THE LAW, TO PERFORM THEM.” 11 Now that no one is justified by the Law before God is evident; for, “THE RIGHTEOUS MAN SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” 12 However, the Law is not of faith; on the contrary, “HE WHO PRACTICES THEM SHALL LIVE BY THEM.” 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us—for it is written, “CURSED IS EVERYONE WHO HANGS ON A TREE”— 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we would receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Intent of the Law

15 Brethren, I speak in terms of human relations: even though it is only a man’s covenant, yet when it has been ratified, no one sets it aside or adds conditions to it. 16 Now the promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. He does not say, “And to seeds,” as referring to many, but rather to one, “And to your seed,” that is, Christ. 17 What I am saying is this: the Law, which came four hundred and thirty years later, does not invalidate a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to nullify the promise. 18 For if the inheritance is based on law, it is no longer based on a promise; but God has granted it to Abraham by means of a promise.

19 Why the Law then? It was added because of transgressions, having been ordained through angels by the agency of a mediator, until the seed would come to whom the promise had been made. 20 Now a mediator is not for one party only; whereas God is only one. 21 Is the Law then contrary to the promises of God? May it never be! For if a law had been given which was able to impart life, then righteousness would indeed have been based on law. 22 But the Scripture has shut up everyone under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

23 But before faith came, we were kept in custody under the law, being shut up to the faith which was later to be revealed. 24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith. 25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor. 26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.

Galatians 3 makes it clear that it is not our obedience to the law that makes us just, but rather our faith in Christ.  Do you want some assurance?  Believe in Christ and His work.  Trust Jesus alone, and don’t mix in your ability to know more than someone else, or do more.  Because neither of those things actually satisfy the law.  The law is intended to be impossible to satisfy so that you are driven humbly to your knees before Jesus with no defense left but Him crucified, resurrected, and ruling for eternity.  Repent of sin, and trust the Savior.

Is 1 Peter 1:16 Instructive or Informative? “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”


I have been thinking about sanctification as of late and its implications in regards to assurance and security.  This verse came to  mind and I wanted to see if it was an instruction to strive for personal holiness or if it was informing us that we are holy in Christ.  I always thought it was the first, because of many years in the Nazarene denomination.  It turns out the answer is, “Yes.”

(NASB) 1 Peter 1:1,2 1  Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

Let’s examine verse 2 a bit more closely.  (NASB) 2 according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

What is according to the foreknowledge of God the Father?  God’s election of the saved people living scattered among the cities listed in verse 1.  What work are we doing to be sanctified according to verse 2?  I’ll wait here while you look…  Back?  It was a trick question.  We aren’t doing the work.  The Holy Spirit sanctifies us.  The Greek word is, “ἁγιασμός”  (hagiasmos) g0038; from 37; properly, purification, i.e. (the state) purity; concretely (by Hebraism) a purifier: — holiness, sanctification.

To what end are we elected by the Father, and sanctified by the Holy Spirit according to this verse?  “…to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood…”  Spending most of my life in the Nazarene Church, I understood that sanctification was something I did.  I might be wrong here.  This might not be their official doctrine.  I’m just saying that this is what I thought.  The emphasis on the monergistic origination of sanctification never came across.  Still to this day, people insist that sanctification is synergistic.  I would only agree with that in a broad practical sense, because at the end of the day God isn’t sanctifying a dog or a cat.  He is sanctifying us, and part of that is our condition during the process.  So we are involved in sanctification, because it is happening to us.  We are actively participating in it, but it is not from us.  We were incapable of sanctification let alone desiring it, before the work of the Holy Spirit.

I know many of you are out there right now screaming, “What about all the verses that instruct you to behave!?!”  Well of course we should do what God wills, and refrain from what He has forbid.  That is a no brainer.  I am not saying we shouldn’t, but the fact that someone wants to and has the ability to, is proof that sanctification is supernaturally originated by God and not from within us.

So you’ve been regenerated by the Holy Spirit, in accord with the Father’s sovereign will in election, granted saving faith and repentance from God, and you have repented of your sins, and placed that faith in the atoning work of Christ on the cross, so that your sins were expiated, and His righteousness was imputed to you.  Now we would say that you have been saved, or justified.

Follow along here on the ordo salutis (order of salvation)  train. (concise version)  🙂  election, regeneration, justification, sanctification, glorification.  So as you can see all of those things find their origination in God and they are worked on/in us by Him.  If we think we are responsible for any of them, we are robbing God of His glory, being self-righteous, legalistic, and relying on our works in our man centered thinking.

This can lead to serious doubt.  It can wreck our assurance and cause us to question our security, because when we sin, we ask, “Why do I keep doing this?  Am I really saved?  If I’m saved how can I fall to this sin over and over? I must be a false convert.  I must be fooling myself.  I’ve taken the 2 Cor 13:5 test and failed!”  “…(NASB) 5  Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you  fail the test?..”  Notice that last part, “Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you  fail the test?”  Have you noticed that Jesus Christ is in you!? It is as if Paul is yelling, “Come on people! Don’t you see what has been done to you, for you, and for the glory of God?  Can’t you see the difference?  unless you truly can’t.”  When a Christian is doubting, and takes a look at his condition, it will be obvious that God has been at work renovating the sin wrecked ramshackle of a mess that they were.  Unless of course you can’t see His work anywhere in your life.

So we can rest in secure in the knowledge that if God has saved us, we are secure in Him.  When we fall because of our lack of strength, He keeps us with His infinite strength.  What He has done to us, nobody and nothing, can undo.

Romans 8:26-39 (NASB) 26 In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; 27 and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; 30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
31  What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was  raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 Just as it is written,
“For Your sake we are being put to death all day long;
WE were considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor 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.

Now that we understand what God has done to us in election, regeneration, and justification, we can see that He will sanctify us as well.  Philippians 1:6 (NASB) “6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Think about a newborn baby in a crib, looking up at his parents.  He doesn’t have to focus his attention on growing.  He doesn’t have to even try to grow.  Sure he grows, and is involved in the process, but his growth doesn’t come from him.  It is God’s plan, and design, that the child grows according to.  Imagine that baby saying to himself, “I need more milk to make me big and strong.  Grow legs! Grow grow grow!!!”  It is ridiculous, but that is the way many of us are as Christians.

We are focused too much on our own efforts and failures.  When we do see growth we might even attribute it to our efforts.  This robs God of His glory, and God will not be robbed.  So in our self-righteousness, we sin against God and don’t even realize it.  Then when we fail, we punish ourselves, as if that whipping we gave to ourselves could add to the perfect, gory, violent, painful, terrifying, work of our wonderful Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ…  …  Think about that.  Let it soak in…  How dare we?  How dare we!  You should be crying right now.  I know it makes me want to cry, to think of how I would defile the work of Jesus with my self-righteousness.

Just like that baby, we will grow according to God’s plan, in His time, exactly by the trials He has for us, and in precisely the areas He has determined.  Rest assured, if you are saved, you will be sanctified, because God wills it, and what He wills, He accomplishes, unless of course you think you can stop him…

1 Peter 1:12-21 (NASB) 12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.
13 Therefore,  prepare your minds for action,  keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As  obedient children, do not  be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but  like the Holy One who called you,  be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”
17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not  redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. 20 For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you 21 who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 (NASB) 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you know how to possess his own  vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in  lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 8 So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.

So we will be holy, because God is holy.  He is actively sanctifying us and we are living out that sanctifying work, in Christ, by the power of the Spirit, in the will of the Father.  The answer to the question, “Is 1 Peter 1:16 Instructive or Informative?” is, yes.  Go with God and peace be with you.

 

A prayer from the penitent heart.

its

A prayer from the penitent heart.

Dear Lord, I did, “it” again. I feel so pathetic and weak. I hate that I don’t even fight that hard against, “it.” I hate that I do, “it” over and over again. Each time I come to you in my failure, asking your forgiveness again. I don’t even think about your suffering on the cross when I do, “it.” If it does come to mind I push it out. I let the temptation take hold. Then it rushes into my mind to fill it. It becomes a compulsion. I can’t stop, “it” from being my only consuming thought. At the time, I know, “it” is not good, and I willfully choose to do, “it” anyway. I have a mortal idea of what, “it” cost you on the cross, but I disgustingly disregard it so the sinful compulsion can run its course. I know that after, I’ll come groveling to your feet again like some worm, some unreasoning beast, who has no self-control. Why don’t I have victory? Why can’t I stop, “it?” Is it because I am trying in my own power? Is there a lesson I’m supposed to be learning? Am I being humbled? Is this sin to keep me from being proud? Or am I truly saved? Am I a false convert? How can I have assurance? None of my Christian friends are dealing with, “it.” They all have it together. I never see them struggle. Lord! Help me! I’m so sick with, “it.” Sick of, “it.” I’ve prayed and prayed for you to take, “it” away from me, yet, “it” remains. I can’t take, “it” anymore. I just want to be completely obedient to you, but I can’t. “It” won’t let me. It keeps assaulting me over and over. I keep giving myself to, “it” when all I want is to be yours. Please forgive me again?

Have you ever felt like this? Replace, “it” with whatever sin it is that you are constantly being overcome by. We hear lots of things as Christians that can cause us doubt. Many different voices speak into our lives. Some of those are lying, some are accusers, some are genuine convictions. There is unhealthy shame and there is good shame. One shame leads to a legalistic self-flogging over and over again that is never good enough. One leads you to the feet of the one Who took the floggings and the wrath that you deserve. He can justify you once and for all time. He can make right every, “it” you’ve committed, and every, “it” you will commit. I it sounds weird to think about Jesus paying for sins you haven’t even thought of committing yet. He is God in the flesh. Like it says in John 1:1-14, He created everything there is and ever will be. Don’t you think that God would know everything that you would do?

Justification is a fancy theological word that means God has made your record clean for all time. He paid for all of your sins.  On judgment day, He will see His own perfect righteousness when He looks at you, instead of your, “it” that you are so ashamed of. That, “it” is gone! That is what you are free of. He has nailed it to the cross and by faith you have been crucified with Him. Your old self loved the, “it” all the time. You never gave God a single thought. You didn’t care what He thought. If you have come to a place where you do care, where you have been broken over how disgusting, “it” is, where you care about Jesus’ suffering for you on the cross, and it has caused you to hate the, “it” like the person praying that prayer above, if you have turned from your love of all the, “its” in your life, to love Jesus for His work to save you from the punishment that all the, “its” make you deserving of then through repentance and faith in the work of Jesus who loves you, you are justified! You are saved, once and for all, and Jesus will keep you saved, He will keep saving you like a cleansing rain pouring over you continuously, for the rest of your life. What He makes clean never gets dirty again. He is God and can’t loose what He has hold of. He has hold of you. Your grip might be weak, and your grip will fail, but His never will.

Sometimes we let our failures become His failures. This doubt and lack of faith usually comes from listening to the voice of the accuser and not listening to God’s word. Sanctification is another fancy theological word that just means, God is maturing you. He is separating you from your old love of the, “its” and is helping you to love Him more instead of all the sin. This process takes the rest of our lives. It is only finished when we go to Heaven. I’m not telling you to go on sinning and letting the, “its” run your life. If we love Jesus we won’t do that. We will fight against them. Some of them will fall easily and others will make us feel like an ant punching an elephant’s toe. Keep in mind when the giant, “it” squashes you, that Jesus has already won the war. Your little battle doesn’t determine who the victor is in the war. There is no power anywhere that could defeat our Savior. We fight because we love Him. Even if our efforts seem like they are pathetic and useless. We carry on, knowing that He has justified us and will keep sanctifying us. Just have faith and love Jesus more. Turn from the, “its” at all costs. Fight them with all the strength of Heaven at your disposal. When you fail, know that He has got the victory for you and cling to Him who saves you.

Lost, Saved, Baptized, Rinse and Repeat.

Have you ever heard anyone say, “I got saved and baptized when I was a kid, but then I walked away from my faith, and now that I’m an adult, I have come back?” Then, they get baptized again and share their testimony. After a few months of being, “back” they walk away again/backslide. A while later they decide they need to recommit their life to Christ, so they come back to Church and get baptized again. I don’t know how many times, in the Nazarene Church I attended, I heard someone say this, but it was a lot. I didn’t know how to understand this then. I didn’t have the Biblical knowledge to know this was wrong. I knew it was wrong intuitively, but couldn’t build a case Biblically.
I struggled with this myself. Was I really saved that time when I was 19? If so, why am I still fighting these temptations to sin in my life? The Nazarene Church taught, “Entire Sanctification” back then. It was a doctrine that said it was possible for a person to mature spiritually, in this life, to the point where they no longer sinned. I got so frustrated with my constant failings. I cried out to God and told Him, “I can’t do it! I can’t stop sinning! If You want me to stop you are going to have to stop me!” So then came about a 10 year period where I gave up fighting the sins that were too hard to stop on my own. Sure I gave the outward appearance of being a Christian when I was at Church, but at work I still acted like a child. I used profanity all of the time, I told dirty jokes, I engaged in low humor, I entertained hateful thoughts against others because of their political beliefs, and I liked what I saw on television, except I would still cringe when a show used blasphemy. I knew I was doing wrong. I knew from what the Bible said, I was doing these things because my heart desired to do them. I also knew in my head that I didn’t want to keep doing them.
The Church also taught that you could become apostate or lose your salvation if you continued to sin after being saved. This was the doctrine of, “Apostasy.” I remember asking the Pastor about what it said in Hebrews 6, about not being able to be saved after losing your salvation by continuing in willful sin. He explained that was correct. I asked him how anyone can stay saved if that was true. Another person quoted the passage about forgiving 70 times 7. They were trying to tell me if I repent, Christ will keep forgiving me, but if I didn’t repent, and then died, that I would go to hell. All of this didn’t jive with what I was reading in the Bible. It seemed as if people were just cherry-picking passages out of the Bible to justify the way they wanted to live.
The denomination had its own definition of sin. I couldn’t justify it with what I had been reading in the Bible. I knew I was a sinner. I knew I kept committing sins. I felt powerless to be holy like the Church said I must be. My best efforts kept failing. That is why I gave up. The Church said sin was a willful transgression of a known law of God. I asked, “What if I fell into traffic, looked up to see a truck coming, cussed, and then was killed before I could repent?” I was told that was just a mistake, not a sin. So I asked, “What if, I blasphemed instead of cussed, in the same scenario?” I was told I might go to Hell. I was having a difficult time understanding being saved if it was always precariously perched on the narrow ledge of my flawed capacity.
I went down the roads of, “Easy Believism” and “Cheap Grace.” I rejected the doctrines of, “Entire Sanctification and Apostasy.” While I was confused and erring I still knew and was strongly convicted that this was not right either. There is something I am missing. I was going through a very difficult time in my life.  I didn’t trust God with my money, I didn’t trust God with my marriage, and I proved I didn’t trust God by my actions.
A good friend suggested I read the book, “Crazy Love” written by this, Chinese American Pastor from California, with a shaved head. I was not at all anticipating the affect it would have on me or my life. Francis Chan’s book was a kick in my guts. It wasn’t a cruel kick, but rather one that was used by God. He got my attention and exposed how I was lukewarm. I was going to be told, “depart, I never knew you.” It was also about the same time this new radio program was playing on the local A.M. station. This funny, yet serious man named, “Todd Friel” with, “Wretched Radio” kept chipping away at what I had been told by the Church, with truth from the Bible. He was presenting a Reformed view of soteriology. (salvation) It was rocking my world. I was also listening to a local theologian on the same station. His name was Matt Slick. At first I was like, “What’s with this clown’s name? Is he a used car salesman or what?” So I was curious. I went to his website, “CARM.ORG” I read many of his articles and listened to his program and Todd Friel’s program intently and found myself nodding in agreement with them. I got on the internet and watched video after video from Matt Chandler, David Platt, Paul Washer, John Macarthur, R.C. Sproul, Leonard Ravenhill, Martyn Lloyd Jones, and so on. It was like I had this table with a billion puzzle pieces on it, and I only had a couple of corners figured out with some clouds, and these two men were helping me put the pieces together faster than I had ever done before. One day after most of the pieces were put together it was like someone nudged the table and the remaining ones fell into place. It was one of those epiphany moments you have in life.
I don’t want to forget to mention the affect that, “Witness Wednesday” on, “Wretched Radio” had on me. I heard Ray Comfort and Todd Friel presenting the real gospel message to people on the streets and on college campuses. I finally heard the gospel after 15 or so years of believing I was a real Christian. Instead of hearing, “You’ve got a Jesus shaped hole in your heart. Won’t you let Jesus in? God is a gentleman and won’t come in unless you ask Him. He is waiting at the door of your heart, won’t you let Him in?” I was in a state of shock. It was so simple. Why hadn’t anyone preached this to me before?!? Why? Why? Why?! I was so angry with the Church, my friends, and most of all me. How could I not get it? Faith and repentance! Du!
What I had known to be the Christian faith was off by just a scant amount, it seemed Christian, but it was out of phase. Through all of these influences in the middle of my suffering, I heard about real saving faith and repentance that are granted by God. Faith I couldn’t force myself to have in 15 years of trying. Repentance I couldn’t force myself to do, and the effects of these two things. I found myself running headlong into a study of Reformed Theology, the Reformers, the Puritans, and God’s sovereignty. My wife would ask me if we could talk about something other than religion. My co-workers were probably wondering what was going on with me. I would talk about my faith with everyone I met and share the gospel with them. I started evangelizing wherever I went. I actually read my Bible from cover to cover with a reading plan from R.C. Sproul’s Ligonier. I consumed scripture like I had never done before. The word of God became alive to me. Doctrine after doctrine fell into place in a harmony I had never before experienced in all of my piece-meal Bible reading.
I’d be remiss, if I didn’t tell you about the great help Dr. R. C. Sproul’s book, “The Holiness of God” was to me. He corrected the low view of God, the high view of man’s abilities, and the marginal view of sin that I had. It fixed in my head how holy God is, how helpless man is, and how offensive sin is. With this knowledge firmly ensconced in my mind, I could finally put the false teachings behind me.
You see, people don’t get saved and then lose their salvation. They don’t get resaved over and over again. You get saved ONCE! If your life isn’t characterized by growth in knowledge of personal sin and in holiness you aren’t saved. It never happened. Do you read your Bible regularly? Do you hate sin in your life, the sin you used to make room for? Do you love to go to Church and be with God’s people and worship Him together with them? Do you trust Jesus alone for your salvation and righteousness? Do you love to do good works, not out of a sense of duty or obligation, but rather do… YOU… LOVE… to do the good things God has prepared for you to do before creation?
A saved person is a new person. They are a different person. They have a different nature. They are born again. They died to themselves and were resurrected with Christ a new person. I never got this in all those years. I suspected there was more to this religion, but I couldn’t grasp it. I couldn’t comprehend it… yet! Then God worked a double miracle in my life of regeneration, and justification. I trust Him to complete the sanctification that He has started in me. I desire to be conformed to His word and will instead of shrinking from it. I love Jesus! I hope you will to.  Watch the video to get the gospel presented to you.

Hebrews 6:1-8, eternal security, perseverance of the saints, justification, and sanctification.

     Hebrews 6:1-8 has been incorrectly used to support works righteousness, and legalism for years. This misunderstanding of scripture comes from eisegesis and poor hermeneutics. It, in fact, is an agreement for perseverance of the saints. We will look at just the section of scripture to begin. Then we will give it context within Hebrews and then within the entirety of the new covenant. I think it will be helpful to those who have been struggling with their own justification and soteriology.  Hebrews 6:1-8;
Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. And this we will do, if God permits. For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame. For ground that drinks the rain which often falls on it and brings forth vegetation useful to those for whose sake it is also tilled, receives a blessing from God; but if it yields thorns and thistles, it is worthless and close to being cursed, and it ends up being burned.
     Here is a link to a book introduction from Dr. John Macarthur that will give us the context I was mentioning earlier; Book introduction for Hebrews

     Many have been confused by this section of scripture. It has been used to argue against perseverance of the saints. Perseverance has been misunderstood by some as to mean eternal security. They claim that eternal security is a false teaching, and if wrongly understood, I would agree. We don’t believe that one will be saved, and remain saved, while practicing all sorts of ungodliness in unrepentance. It is as God said through Paul in Romans 6:1-2;
“…1What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?2May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?…”
John 14:15; “…15“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments…” and James 2:14-17, “…14What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?15If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,16and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?17Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself. …”
     Here is a link from Matt Slick of CARM.org about perseverance of the saints; http://carm.org/can-believer-lose-his-salvation
     Here is a great article from CARM.org also dealing with this issue; http://carm.org/about-can-person-lose-salvation
     And here is another from GotQuestions.org that will also help us to see the context in the new covenant; http://www.gotquestions.org/license-sin.html

     A person, who is truly justified by God, granted faith and repentance, who has been regenerated by God, simply does not choose to fall away, or become apostate. They did not save themselves. God did the saving to them. How many of you pray for person to be saved, when you know they want nothing of God, and claim to hate Him? You don’t seem to care about their alleged free will at that time do you? No, you want God to change their heart. So for all who truly believe, it is an act of the Sovereign God miraculously regenerating them to justification and on through the ordo salutis. If Christ did the work to justify us, then what work could we do to negate the perfection of His? None! In keeping with the spirit of salvation, we are changed, born again, a new creature with new desires, and affections. This new creature, loves the things of God, and hates the sin of his past existence, and bondage to his fallen nature. In this state of God granted repentance, and regeneration the new creature, of his new will and volition, derives his joy from doing that which is of the Father’s will, as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did upon the cross of His crucifixion. For this creature there is no ability in him to apostatize. Only for the religious person, who has not been freed from the old nature can fall away in any real sense, alas they were never really in Christ, so their falling away is even a false apostasy, thus the hyperbole of this scripture. For the one made to be resurrected unto eternal life, there are no sins of his account, to be tallied against him on the day of judgment. They had all been expiated, through the propitiation of Christ Jesus. Thus, for them there would be no grounds to repent, and believe again, or to crucify Christ, who once and for all died once, and was resurrected to never be crucified or die again. The absurdity of this concept should propagate the ideology of perseverance not the antithesis.
We fall into this heresy when we don’t understand justification and sanctification rightly.      When we think we had something to do with our justification we tend to believe we need to keep ourselves saved. This view is held by all works righteousness religions. The practitioner maintains their state of pseudo-grace by doing deeds and sacraments. Well, we all know this is a heresy, so why do we fall for it? Idolatry and pride, that’s why. We still want to earn it. We want to be better than others. Then there is guilt and pride. You are so bad, look at you, of course there isn’t enough grace for you, you must add something. These are powerful adversaries to fight against because they are stealthy. They sneak in to rob you of your security and joy. They take from you the delight you have in the Lord of your salvation. When these appear we need to crop off their ugly heads with repentance and prayerfully remember who it is that did the saving. It is the Almighty God, Lord of Lords, and Eternal Creator, who justifies you! Justification is solely the work of Jesus. He did the work on the cross of atoning for our sins and imputing His righteousness to us. That is how we are justified.
     Sanctification on the other hand involves our efforts in obedience. We try our best out of the provisions of God to affirm His will and be conformed to it. Notice we aren’t doing it out of our own provisions because we have none of any efficacy. Our pitiful temporary repentance and faithless intellectual understanding don’t do a thing for our sanctification. It is also the Lord who sanctifies us to Him through His provisions of all that is necessary. We through the true repentance of sins and the true faith are in concurrence with God and desire His will be done to us and by us.
     So the difference between the two doctrines should be clear. In justification God does the saving and keeping. In Sanctification we do the agreeing and growing. We are like a baby in a crib. We can think about growth and desire it. We can focus all of our efforts towards it, but we will grow according to His will. It is His design for a baby to grow to maturity. The immature believer will grow by design. Of course here is where the synergism comes in, like a child we must be fed good things and given work and exercise. We must be nurtured and disciplined. God being our Good Father sees to it. We are part of our sanctification for sure, but it is not what keeps us saved. I hope this has helped.