AUTISTIC CHILDREN ARE A GIFT FROM GOD

The following was written by my wife as she shared what our 11 year old son wrote about autism:

My son David told me the other day that he was reading a book about a kid named David who was autistic. Then he asked me, “Am I autistic?” I paused for a bit, because I had never, for my own deeply considered reasons, told him he indeed was. He said, “Tell me the truth.” So I did, “Yes, you are.” He and I have had many conversations about this since then. They have revealed the amazing goodness and grandness of my child’s heart. As a result, he wrote the following in his writing class:

“Hi! My name is David and I have autism. I think I should have known this before. When I was in pre-K, I went to a baby class in church. I was singing a song in my head, but I got a little frustrated. My youth teacher noticed this. But that wasn’t what I am mad about. I’m mad about the thing that happened next. They made me sit in a chair until I told them what was wrong. IT DIDN’T MATTER! To this day, I wish that I could travel in time to pick myself out of that stupid chair and be free. But no, the youth teacher didn’t LISTEN! When you have autism, everyone thinks that you have mind issues. But really, your not much different from others. I’m in GTE [Gifted Talented Education], but people are sharing rumors on how I got there. They say stupid stuff like I’m in gifted because my mom wants me to. But that isn’t true. I remembered taking the test that I should be placed in gifted. It was my third grade teacher.

Some people look at autism as a bad thing. It’s not. People with autism can do a lot!

#2 Hi! David again. This is about autism. Everybody thinks your like an alien, but that’s not true. You can be like everyone else. But don’t. Be you. You’re a little boring if your someone else. Be you. Be the person who leads and other people follow. Be you. Even though you have autism, your capable of many things. Be you.”

THE WARNINGS IN HEBREWS

The book of Hebrews is a book of exhortation written to believers (13;22), yet within it there are repeated warnings concerning apostacy . To read about the exhortations in Hebrews follow this link:

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/hebrews-a-book-of-exhortation-to-believers/

THE WARNINGS TO BELIEVERS IN HEBREWS

The first warning (Hebrews 2:1-3) tells us that neglecting our great salvation will result in punishment just as disobedience to the words spoken by angels (under the Law) also resulted in punishment.

The second warning (Hebrews 3:7- 4:1) exhorts us not to harden our hearts to the voice of the Holy Spirit through unbelief. In this section we are reminded that God swore in His wrath that those who provoked Him in the wilderness also died in the wilderness and did not enter into His rest.

We are warned that we need to fear God so that we do not become like those in the wilderness who fell short of entering His rest (which according to the context is eternal rest). It is clear from the context that the same God who swore in His wrath, they shall not enter my rest and did not spare those who rebelled in the wilderness will not spare us either if we become hard hearted through unbelief and the deceitfulness of sin.

The third warning (Hebrews 5:11-6:20) is against slothfulness which results in apostasy. We are told in very clear and precise terms that if we become slothful in our faith we are in danger of being condemned and cursed.

The fourth warning (Hebrews 10:26-39) is against willfully sinning and drawing back. Here is what Hebrews 10:26-31 says:

Dear friends, if we deliberately continue sinning after we have received knowledge of the truth, there is no longer any sacrifice that will cover these sins. There is only the terrible expectation of God’s judgment and the raging fire that will consume his enemies. For anyone who refused to obey the Law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Just think how much worse the punishment will be for those who have trampled on the Son of God, and have treated the blood of the covenant, which made us holy, as if it were common and unholy, and have insulted and disdained the Holy Spirit who brings God’s mercy to us. For we know the one who said, “I will take revenge. I will pay them back.” He also said, “The LORD will judge his own people.” It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

The fifth warning (Hebrews 12:14-29) sums up all the other warnings – beware of sin and rejection of Jesus.

Many of you recognize the words “our God is a consuming fire” but do you know the context of these words? Many quote this in connection with God’s love, but the scripture do not use it that way. These words, in both the Old and New Testament, are used in connection with God’s holiness and righteous judgment against sin (i.e. His jealously expressed in anger which results in the punishment of our sins).

Here is how Moses used the words:

But the LORD was angry with me because of you. He vowed that I would not cross the Jordan River into the good land the LORD your God is giving you as your special possession. You will cross the Jordan to occupy the land, but I will not. Instead, I will die here on the east side of the river. So be careful not to break the covenant the LORD your God has made with you. Do not make idols of any shape or form, for the LORD your God has forbidden this. The LORD your God is a DEVORING FIRE; he is a jealous God. “In the future, when you have children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time, do not corrupt yourselves by making idols of any kind. This is evil in the sight of the LORD your God and will arouse his anger. (Deuteronomy 4:21-25 TNLT)

The King James Version says: consuming fire (v.24) instead of devoring fire – “For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.” This is exactly how the Book of Hebrews uses this description of God. Now notice the context from Hebrews 12:25-28:

Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.

The KJV says: “…let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.”

FAITH THAT SAVES

Many are familiar with Romans 6:23:

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

This verse is often extracted from its context and interpreted as salvation is a gift that comes through a – one time believing experience – and therefore we are saved from the punishment of sin, namely hell.

Here is the flow of thought that Romans 6:23 belongs to:

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:17-23)

Notice the progression:

(1) you obeyed the doctrine delivered to you: that’s the gospel

(2) you were made free from sin

(3) you became servants to God and righteousness

(4) you have fruit unto holiness

(5) the end of these is eternal life.

In much the same way that Romans 6;23 is often extracted from its context, 1 Peter 1:5 is also often extracted from its context:

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Those who would extract these words from the flow of thought in 1 Peter, use the phrase “kept by the power of God” to advocate that they are kept by the power of God based on a one time believing experience, and how they live has no bearing on their being kept. Hence a person who has believed at one point can turn away from Christ and live in egregious sin.

This is foreign to the context. Here is the context and flow of thought that 1 Peter 1:5 above belongs too:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:

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

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

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

It is not “a one time believing experience” that bares no fruit for Christ that will be rewarded with salvation at the coming of Christ. It is faith that has withstood testing and trials that will be found unto praise, honor, and glory.

It is the end of your faith, which has endured for Christ, which will be rewarded.

WERE PAUL AND JAMES ON THE SAME PAGE?

The apostle Paul believed that faith without works is dead just as James taught in his epistle, referring to works within the context of the faith we are called to live.

Paul’s teachings regarding justification by faith without works is often misinterpreted because there is a tendency to interpret Paul’s teachings based on a few random verses from Romans and Galatians, where Paul’s argument is that justification does not come through the works of Jewish Law but through faith in Jesus Christ.

Paul did not teach a different message about faith than James. Contrary to the belief of some, Paul did NOT view saving faith as a one time event which had nothing to do with how one lives afterwards.

Paul tells the Galatians “I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain” and “I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you.” (4:11, 20)

Paul says these things not because he was second guessing if they had actually believed the gospel at one time. Instead he says these things because they were not living according to the faith he had preached to them and taught them to live by.

In chapter 5 Paul says to them: “Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you. A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.” (v 7-9)

Paul affirms that they had been running well in their faith, but had since been hindered by the leaven of those teaching that they should obey Jewish law. The Galatians were having their faith undermined by the Judaizers who were attempting to make Jewish proselytes of them.

Paul did not teach the Galatians to just simply pray a prayer and believe one time and “wa-la” they’d be in like flynn. Paul had taught the Galatians “the just shall live by faith” (3:11).

In Paul’s theology justificaion by faith in Jesus Christ is not a reference to a one time believing experience. It is a reference to living your life by faith in Jesus Christ.

When James says faith without works is dead, he uses examples of showing love and kindness as the works he is referring too. Paul says basically the same thing in Galatians when he says, “faith works by love.

Paul also agreed with James’ statement – “faith without works is dead” – when he says to Titus that those who “profess to know God but deny him in their works are abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.”(Titus 1:16)

Also in 1 Thessalonians Paul speaks of “the work of faith.”

We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake. And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost. So that ye were EXAMPLES TO ALL that believe in Macedonia and Achaia. (1 Thessalonians 1:3-7)

Reading Paul’s letters to the Thessalonians, and to Timothy, and to Titus; we can see that Paul did not think of faith as something that was merely a one time gift bestowed which had nothing to do with how we live.

It is error to think that Paul taught that there is a chasm between saving faith and faith we are called to live by. Paul refutes such notions much throughout his epistles. Paul did not teach that saving faith stands alone as an independent entity from faith which produces godly living. Saving faith IS the faith you are to live by.

In Romans, Paul’s doctrine of faith is that we become servants to righteousness through belief in Jesus Christ.

16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:16-23)

Notice that verse 23 – For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord – is not written within the context of a one time believing experience, but rather within the context of becoming a servant to Jesus Christ.

In Romans, Paul never communicates a faith that isn’t lived out, otherwise he wouldn’t have written chapters 12-16 which deal with living out our faith in practicality.

FIFTY PROOFS THAT 1 CORINTHIANS WAS WRITTEN ONLY TO BELIEVERS

  1. In his opening greeting Paul mentions Sosthenes our brother (1 Corinthians 1:1)
  2. Paul calls them sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints (1:2).
  3. They call on the name of Jesus as do all others who are in Christ (1:2).
  4. The grace of God was given to them by Jesus Christ (1:4).
  5. They are enriched by Jesus Christ in all utterance and in all knowledge (1:5).
  6. The testimony of Christ was confirmed in them (1:6).
  7. They come behind no one in the gifts of God (1:7).
  8. God will confirm them until the end so that they may be blameless in the day of Christ because God is faithful by whom they were called into fellowship with Jesus Christ (1:8-9).
  9. Twenty two times Paul calls them brethren (1 Corinthians 1:10, 11, 26;  2:1; 31: 4:26; 7:24, 29; 10:1; 11:2, 33; 12:1; 14:6, 20, 26, 39: 15:1, 15:50, 58, 16:15;   2 Corinthians 1:8; 8:1; 13:11) .
  10. Paul tells them they have received the Spirit of God (1 Corinthians 1;12).
  11. Paul tells them they are babes in Christ (1 Co 3:1).
  12. Paul refers to himself and Apollos as ministers by whom the Corinthians had believed the gospel (1 Co 3:5).
  13. Paul tells them “ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building” (1 Co 3:9).
  14. Paul tells them that they are the temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in them (1 Co 3:16).
  15. Paul tells them that they belong to Christ (1 Co 3:21-23).
  16. In view of his apostleship to them Paul exhorts the Corinthians not to be puffed up because of the things they had received (1 Co 4:6-11).
  17. Paul calls them his beloved sons (1 Co 4:14)
  18. Paul says he had begotten them through the gospel – For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel (1 Co 4:15)
  19. Paul rebukes them for allow fornication in their midst that even those who aren’t saved don’t do (2 Co 5:1).
  20. Paul chastises them for not grieving over the fornication in their midst (1 Co 5).
  21. Paul tells them not to keep company with a person who is called a brother if he is a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or slanderous, or a drunkard, or a swindler, Paul says not to eat with such a person. Paul says he has turned the fornicator over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh so that his spirit would be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Co 5:4-13).
  22. Paul challenges them not to settle matters before worldly courts but among themselves as saints (1 Co 6:1-8).
  23. Paul reminds them of what manner of persons they were before Christ (fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners) and tells them that they were washed, sanctified, and justified in the name of the Lord and by the Spirit of God (1 Co 6:9-11).
  24. Paul tells them their bodies are members of Christ (1 Co 6:15 -17)
  25. Paul tells them again that their bodies is temple of the Holy Ghost which is in them, which they have of God, and they are not their own (1 Co 6:19).
  26. Paul tells them they are bought with a price, and they are to glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s (1 Co 6:20).
  27. Paul instructs them regarding marriage and divorce in view of Christian marriage (1 Co 7)
  28. Paul tells the married among them not to not to withhold themselves from their spouse unless it is with consent for a time of fasting and prayer (1 Co 7:4-5)
  29. Paul instructs both the men and women among the Corinthians believers concerning what they are to do if any of them have a spouse who isn’t a believer (1 Co 7:13-16).
  30. Paul tells them they are bought with a price (1 Co 7:23)
  31. Paul instructs the widows, telling them they are free to married whoever they want to as long as they marry “in the Lord,” i.e., marry a believer (1 Co 7: 39).
  32. Paul tells them that though there are many that the world refers to as god, TO THEM there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and WE IN HIM; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and WE BY HIM (1 Co 8:4-6).
  33. Paul tells them to be careful not to allow their liberty in Christ, regarding the eating of meats which may have been offered to idols, to become a stumbling block for others whose conscience is weak (1 Co 8:6-12)
  34. Paul tells them that when they sin against their weak brothers in Christ they sin against Christ (2 Co 8:12).
  35. Paul informs them that he is an apostle, and they are his work in the Lord (1 Co 9:1).
  36. Paul calls them the seal of his apostleship (1 Co 9:2).
  37. Paul speaks to them about the communion table saying; “the cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ? For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are ALL PARTAKERS OF THAT ONE BREAD (1 Co 10:16-17).
  38. Paul tells them to follow him as he follows Christ (1 Co 11:1)
  39. Paul tells them as brethren to keep the ordnances he had taught them, concerning the family at home (regarding husband and wife) and the coming together to break bread at the Lord’s table (1 Co 11:2-34).
  40. Paul instructs them as brethren concerning the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Co 12).
  41. Paul tells them that they are members of the body of Christ (1 Co 12:12-27).
  42. Paul explains how God has set each member in the body of Christ and given to each one gifts that please him (1 Co 12).
  43. Paul tells them to covet the best gift (1 Co 12:31).
  44. Paul explains to them the importance of love as the best way to minister the spiritual gifts God has given them (1 Co 13:1 – 14:1).
  45. Paul gives them instructions for the proper use of tongues and prophecy when they come together (1 Co 14) so that if someone who is unlearned or an unbeliever happens to come to their assembly, it will be convicting to the unbeliever and persuade them that God is in their midst (1 Co 14:23-24).
  46. Paul speaks to them concerning how to conduct their assemblies as brethren who are saints in the Lord (1 Co 14:25-33, 40).
  47. Paul tells them that he preached the gospel to them and by that gospel they are saved is that hold fast to it (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
  48. Paul tells them of the hope of resurrection which they have at the coming of the Lord (1 Co 15) and says to them “thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (v. 57-58).
  49. Paul gives them instruction concerning the collection for helping the saints (1 Co 16:1-2).
  50. Paul exhorts them as brethren concerning how they are to greet, host, and treat others who are their brethren in Christ and ministers in the Lord (1 Co 16).

WHAT SHOULD THE BAPTIST CHURCH DO ABOUT A TRANSGENDER MINISTER?

Recently the story of Baptist minister, who is transgender, was published in an article on Christian magazine’s website. According to the article, the transgender minister is ranked to as “the most radical preacher in America” by MSNBC.

While the article was basically a well written one, there was a comment made by the writer that I would differ with. The writer closed the article with the following statement:

I’m praying for one of the transgender movement’s poster children to get radically saved and expose the lies and darkness that drove them out of God’s perfect will. Will you pray with me?”

While I do not disagree that we should pray for those entrapped in such sins; I think we do miss the mark thinking that winning one of their poster children would expose the darkness. I say this because there is a Biblical way to deal with such egerious sins. In 1 Corinthians 5 the apostle Paul confronted the Corinthians concerning fornication in the church.

1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife.

2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. (1 Corinthians 5:1-2)

Paul goes on to tell the Corinthians the following in verses 9-11:

9 I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:

10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.

Paul also told both Timothy and Titus that ministers of the gospel are to be blameless (1 Timothy 3:2, 10; 5:7; Titus 1:6-7).

This transgender minister has not only chosen to walk disorderly, he is causing the doctrine of God to be blasphemed by challenging and undermining the authority of the Word of God.  The fact that such a person still holds the position of a minister in the Baptist church is a violation of the Word of God.

It isn’t winning a poster child from among the transgenders that’s needed during this hour. It’s the church embracing sound doctrine and being obedient to the Word of God that’s needed.

The Baptist church should put this transgender on his ear and send him down the road. He is a fraud and should be kicked out of the ministry.

Scripturally, this transvestite is a heretic, and a heretic is to be REJECTED after the first and second admonition (Titus 3:10-11).

While I am in favor of praying for the salvation of all who are lost regardless of their sin, the church does not need a celebrity conversion to expose darkness. The church needs to obey God and administer discipline, correction, and rebuke according to the instruction given in the New Testament. Without it, the church has very little influence.

26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29)

ANSWERING OSAS PART 6: DOES SIN AFFECT A BELIEVER OUTWARDLY ONLY AND NOT INWARDLY?

Here is a quote from someone commenting on 1 John 3:9 in defense of the OSAS position: “Outwardly one can sin, but their soul doesn’t sin. That’s why they cannot sin; their inner being does not sin.”

This is the kind of conclusion that a person comes to based on eisegesis (interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that the process introduces one’s own presuppositions) rather than exegesis (interpreting the text based on the context).

The explanation above “outwardly one can sin, but their soul doesn’t sin” is a mystical and nowhere in the flow of thought in 1 John.

The words commit sin actually means habitually practices sin. Other good translations of the Bible, such as the Amplified Bible bring this out as well as a thorough reading of 1 John.

In 1 John he that commits (habitually practices) sin is set in opposition to the one who does (hibitually practices) righteousness in how they live. Now, consider the immediate context:

7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS is righteous, even as he is righteous.

8 He that committeth (habitually practices) sin IS OF THE DEVIL; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL.

9 Whosoever is born of God DOETH NOT commit (habitually practice) sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and HE CANNOT (habitually practice) sin, because he is born of God.

10 In this the children of God are MANIFEST, and the children of the devil: WHOSOEVER DOETH NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GOD, neither he that loveth not his brother. (1 John 3:7-10)

As you can see, it has nothing to do with any sort of concept that your soul or spirit cannot sin. It actually is referring to your conduct and actions.

With regards to sin not being able to affect a person’s soul, Paul tells the believers at Corinth “Having therefore these promises, DEARLY BELOVED, let us cleanse ourselves from ALL FILTHINESS OF THE FLESH AND SPIRIT, PERFECTING HOLINESS IN THE FEAR OF GOD.” (2 Corinthians 7:1)

Notice that Paul tells them to cleanse themselves from all filthiness of the flesh AND spirit. The letters of first and second Corinthians were written to believers and not to a mix of believers and unbelievers. Notice that Paul inclused himself in the statement above, using the pronoun we; “let US cleanses OURSELVES…”

In 1 Corinthians Paul had rebuked the Corinthian believers for allowing fornication of go on in their midst. In 2 Corinthians, after they repented and dealt this sin, Paul writes the following:

For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that YE SORROWED TO REPENTANCE: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. FOR GODLY SORROW WORKS REPENTANCE TO SALVATION not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world works death. For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.  (2 Corinthians 7:8-11)

Notice that the repentance of the Corinthians had an effect on their spiritual disposition. Sin absolutely does have an effect on our soul, that is why we need cleansing with the precious blood of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit when we sin.

Consider also 1 Thessalonians 5:23, “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I PRAY GOD your whole SPIRIT and SOUL and BODY be PRESERVED BLAMELESS unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

Notice that Paul’s prayer for the Thessalonians was that their whole spirit, soul and bodies would be preserved blameless until the coming of the Lord.

In the book of the revelation, Jesus said the following to the church at Sardis:

2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found THY WORKS perfect before God.

3 Remember therefore how thou hast RECIEVED and HEARD, and HOLD FAST, and REPENT. If therefore thou shall not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shall not know what hour I will come upon thee.

4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis WHICH HAVE NOT DEFILED THEIR GARMENTS; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

5 He that overcometh, the same shall be CLOTHED IN WHITE RAIMENT; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels. (Revelayion 3:2-5)

Notice that some of these had defiled their spiritual garments and Jesus had not found their WORKS perfect in the sight of God. Now, going back to 1 John notice the reference to works:

VERSE 8: He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy THE WORKS of the works of the devil.

VERSES 9-12 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit (habitually practice) sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot (habitually practice) sin, because he is born of God.

10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever DOETH  not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

11 For this is the message that ye heard from the beginning, that we should love one another.

12 Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because HIS OWN WORKS were evil, and his brother’s righteous.

The works being referred to by John are our actions. John goes on to say the following:

13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.

14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.

15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.

Sin affects the whole man, not just his outwardly.

ANSWERING OSAS PART 5: IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS

One of the many errors of the modern day once saved always saved theology is the belief that the saving grace of God is a free gift with no obligation to live for Jesus.

This version of “the free gift of grace” is accompanied with the belief that the personal righteousness of Jesus is imputed at the time of a “one time believing experience” and all who receive this imputed righteousness have it regardless of what kind of life they live.

In this theology, it is possible for one who has been “once saved” to live as an adulterer, a child molester, a sex trafficker, an axe murderer, a blasphemer, a drunkard, a drug war Lord, etc.., and still have eternal life because the gift of saving grace and the imputed righteousness of Christ is irrevocable.

Consider what has just been said. In this theology, an adulterer, a child molester, a sex trafficker, an axe murderer, a blasphemer, a drunkard, and a drug war Lord, are exempt from condemnation for their sins because they have Christ’s righteousness imputed to them while they are doing such things.

In contrast to such perverse theology consider 1 John 3:7-10

7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS is righteous, even as he is righteous.

8 He that committeth (habitually practices) sin IS OF THE DEVIL; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL.

9 Whosoever is born of God DOETH NOT commit (habitually practice) sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and HE CANNOT (habitually practice) sin, because he is born of God.

10 In this the children of God are MANIFEST, and the children of the devil: WHOSOEVER DOETH NOT RIGHTEOUSNESS IS NOT OF GOD, neither he that loveth not his brother. (1 John 3:7-10)

Those who teach imputed righteousness apart from faithfulness to Jesus teach serious and egregious error. There is no freeloading on the righteousness of Jesus Christ for those who love their sin and refuse to give it up.

ANSWERING OSAS PART 4: SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 2)

In Part One we saw that the train of thought in Ephesians, regarding being sealed with the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with the promise of eternal security for those who forsake God and live ungodly. The train of thought is to live a life of  godliness, in righteousness and true holiness BECAUSE we are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

The scriptures do not say we are sealed with eternal security, but rather sealed with the Holy Spirit. It is a twisted way of thinking to claim that a person can live in adultery, or be a child molester, or a sex trafficker, or a murderer and have eternal life because they are sealed with the Holy Spirit.

Remember it is the Holy Spirit with whom we are sealed and our life should reflect His influence and not be lived according to the old person we were before we were saved.

In 1 Timothy 2:19, we read the following:

Nevertheless THE FOUNDATION OF GOD standeth sure, HAVING THIS SEAL, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let everyone that nameth the name of Christ DEPART FROM INIQUITY.

Consider also 1 Thessalonians 4:7-8:

For God hath not called us unto UNCLEANNESS, but unto HOLINESS.

HE THEREFORE THAT DESPISETH, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us His Holy Spirit.

Notice, according to 1 Thessalonians 4: 7-8, we are not to despise the call of God unto holiness. Paul says emphatically that God HAS NOT called us to uncleanness but to holiness instead, and if anyone despises this, they are despising God who has given us His Holy Spirit.

In view of such statements, and the context of Ephesians, wherein we read of being sealed with the Holy Spirit, we can conclude that nowhere is Paul, or any New Testament writer promoting that anyone will be saved if they live in a way that despises God’s call to live holy.

Now consider Hebrews 10:28-31:

28 He that DESPISED Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses:

29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, WHEREIN HE WAS SANCTIFIED, an unholy thing, and hath done DESPITE unto the Spirit of grace?

30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Notice that in Hebrews 10:28-31 (above) those referenced are Christians who turn away from the Lord, for they had been at one time sanctified by the blood of the covenant, but had despised the Spirit of grace.

This does not mean that all backslidden people are beyond the reach of God’s mercy and grace because James tells us; “BRETHREN, IF ANY OF YOU DO ERR FROM THE TRUTH, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins” (James 5:19-20).

The warnings in Hebrews reveal that a person can turn away from the faith completely if they so chose. Consider Hebrews 6:4-6:

For it is IMPOSSIBLE for those who were once ENLIGHTENED, and have TASTED of the heavenly gift, and were MADE PARTAKERS of the Holy Ghost, And have TASTED the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, IF THEY SHALL FALL AWAY, TO RENEW THEM AGAIN UNTO REPENTANCE; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:4:-6)

There are those who are backslidden, who come to repentance and there are some who knowingly turn away completely. Notice qualificaiotn concerning these as mentioned in Hebrews 6:

1. They were enlightened (they heard the gospel and were convicted).

2. They tasted the heavenly gift (this is salvation, for Jesus is the heavenly gift).

3. They were partakers of the Holy Spirit (they walked in the fullness of the Spirit).

4. They had tasted the good word of God (they were spiritually mature having gone beyond the milk of the word).

5. They had tasted the powers of the world to come (Hebrews 2:4-5 refers to “signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost” as that which has to do with the world to come. So God’s power was evident in their lives).

Nowhere in scripture is the ideology taught that a person who choses to live unholy and ungodly by despising God’s call to holiness, has eternal security simply because of a “one time believing experience.”

In closing, consider Romans 6:17- 23:

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but YE HAVE OBEYED FROM THE HEART that form of DOCTRINE which was delivered you.

18 Being then made FREE FROM SIN, ye became the SERVANTS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.

20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.

21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, YE HAVE YOUR FRUIT UNTO HOLINESS, AND THE END EVERLASTING LIFE

23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

To read Part 1 of this teaching follow the link below:

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/answering-osas-part-4-sealed-with-the-holy-spirit-part-1/

ANSWERING OSAS PART 4: SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT (Part 1)

A wonderful promise given to believers in Jesus Christ is the promise of being sealed with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30). In Ephesians 1:7-13 we read the following:

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;

Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:

10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:

12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation:  in whom also after that ye believed, YE WERE SEALED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT OF PROMISE.

Does being sealed with the Holy Spirit mean that after a person has a “one time believing experience,” eternal security is unequivocally promised, even if a person chooses to abandon his faith and live an egregiously sinful life?

Those who defend the OSAS viewpoint will sometimes take the phrase “sealed with the Holy Spirit “ and argue that the seal cannot be broken, even though the text itself does not make this argument.

The words in Ephesians 1:7-13 say absolutely nothing regarding eternal security as advocated by those who teach once saved always saved theology. How then should we interpret the meaning of being sealed with the Holy Spirit?

To begin, it would behoove us to read other scriptures which speak of being sealed with the Holy Spirit, especially any others that would appear in the same letter. Do we have any such verse? Yes we do.

Ephesians 4 warns us to “GRIEVE NOT the Holy Spirit whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30). The questions we must ask then are these: (1) What grieves the Holy Spirit? (2) What are the consequences of grieving the Holy Spirit?

Let’s begin with the question, “What grieves the Holy Spirit?”

Obviously forsaking Christ and living in sin would grieve Gods Spirit, and with this in view let’s consider the wider context of Ephesians 4:30 beginning with verse 17 through the end of the chapter:

17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, IN THE VANITY OF THEIR MIND,

18 Having THE UNDERSTANDING DARKENED, being ALIENATED from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto LASCIVIOUSNESS, TO WORK ALL UNCLEANNESS WITH GREEDINESS.

20 But YE HAVE NOT SO LEARNED CHRIST;

21 If so be that ye have HEARD HIM, and have been TAUGHT BY HIM, as THE TRUTH IS IN JESUS

22 That ye PUT OFF concerning the former conversation THE OLD MAN, which is CORRUPT ACCORDING TO DECEITFUL LUSTS;

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

24 And that ye PUT ON THE NEW MAN, which after God is CREATED IN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND TRUE HOLINESS.

25 Wherefore PUTTING AWAY lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another.

26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:

27 Neither give place to the devil.

28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.

29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.

30 And GRIEVE NOT THE HOLY SPIRIT OF GOD, whereby ye are SEALED unto the day of redemption.

31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:

32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.

At this point it would be profitable to recognize that the conduct of the old man grieves the Holy Spirit with whom we are sealed. Therefore we are told to put off the old man and put on the new which “after God, is crearted in righteousness and true holiness.”

At the very least we can conclude at this point that Paul is not relaying the message that a person can live in a way that grieves the Holy Spirit with no worries regarding his salvation. There is absolutely nothing in Ephesians which communicates this belief.

Now let’s go on an consider what Paul says on the other side of the Ephesians 4:30 as we read into chapter 5. Keep in mind that the instruction to “GRIEVE NOT the Holy Spirit whereby you are SEALED unto the day of redemption.”are within the context of what we just read and what we are about to read.  Consider verse 1-17:

Be ye therefore FOLLWERS OF GOD, as dear children;

And WALK IN LOVE, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, LET IT NOT BE ONCE NAMED AMONG YOU, AS BECOMETH SAINTS;

Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks.

For this ye know, that NO whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, HATH ANY INHERITANCE IN THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST AND OF GOD.

LET NO MAN DECIEVE YOU WITH VAIN WORDS: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience.

BE YE NOT PARTAKERS WITH THEM.

For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: WALK AS CHILDREN OF LIGHT:

(For THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

10 PROVING WHAT IS ACCEPTABLE TO THE LORD.

11 And have NO FELLOWSHIP with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather REPROVE THEM.

12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

15 SEE THAT YE WALK CIRCUMSPECTLY, NOT AS FOOLS, BUT AS WISE,

16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

17 Wherefore BE NOT UNWISE, BUT UNDERSTANDING WHAT THE WILL OF THE LORD IS.

If nothing else, the honest reader ought to be able to come to the conclusion that Paul is in NO WAY advocating that a person can live ungodly because the seal whereby they were sealed cannot be broken. There is absolutely nothing within the book of Ephesians which supports such a conclusion. The flow of thought is quite the opposite.

To read Part 2 of this teaching follow the link below:

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/15/answering-osas-part-4-sealed-with-the-holy-spirit-part-2/