HEBREWS, A BOOK OF EXHORTATION TO BELIEVERS

Many view the book of Hebrews as a doctrinal book and it does contain many very helpful doctrinal truths but in the mind of its author, it was a letter of exhortation to believers. In 13:22 he says, I beseech YOU, BRETHREN, suffer THE WORD OF EXHORTATION: for I have written a letter unto YOU in few words.”

Notice that the author of Hebrews addresses his exhortation to the brethren.

He does not say exhortations (plural) but exhortation (singular). Why is this important? It is important because some who chose to hold to the theology know as “once saved always saved” (OSAS) dismiss the warnings given in Hebrews, claiming that Hebrews was written to a mixture of saved and unsaved Hebrew people.

They claim that as a fellow Hebrew, the author refers to the saved and unsaved as brethren and therefore we must determine to whom the writer is speaking in a particular verse based on its content.  Therefore if it’s a warning, the conclusion is that verse pertains to unbelievers. If it is encouraging, that verse belongs to believers.

Quite honestly this is not only a strange way to interpret scripture, it is very telling of the how far those who embrace OSAS ideology will go to make the words of scripture  fit into their way of believing.

First, those who take such a position make the assumption that the book of Hebrews was absolutely written by a believing Hebrew Christian such as Paul. While I personally believe that Hebrews was most likely written by Paul, and if not by Paul, certainly a believing Hebrew, there is no definitive evidence because, historically, the author is unknown.

Those who claim that the writer of Hebrews uses the term brethren as a description of his fellow Hebrews (saved and unsaved) eliminate any possibility that Hebrews could have been written by a Gentile believer. There is no hard evidence which supports this.

Secondly, the belief that the author uses the term brethren to refer to saved and unsaved Hebrews alike simply does not work with the letter itself. No good communicator would ever craft a letter wherein the recipients had to break it apart to figure out who he is talking to based on what he’s saying in a particular sentence as he goes back and forth from one group to another. The entire reasoning is flawed.

When we consider the content of Hebrews we can conclude that it was written before the destruction of the temple in 70 A.D., because the writer of Hebrews makes reference to the temple service, the priests, and the sacrifices in the present tense. In the present tense, he makes a comparison between the superiority of Jesus’ ministry in the heavens (in the greater and more perfect tabernacle) to that which was on earth (which only served as a shadow and an example) to point men to Christ.

Many who continued in the old Jewish system rejected the Christian faith and persecuted the Jewish Christians. We see this play out in Paul’s ministry in the book of Acts. In Hebrews 10:32-34 the writer of Hebrews addresses it as well.

32 Think back on those early days WHEN YOU FIRST LEANRED ABOUT CHRIST. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering.

33 Sometimes you were exposed to PUBLIC RIDICULE and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things.

34 You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. (TNLT)

According to the author, his audience had suffered for their faith in Christ.

In chapter 2, he tells them that they are sanctified by Jesus as BRETHREN TO CHRIST and as  THE CHURCH. He goes on to say that Jesus is a faithful high priest FOR THEM: HIS BRETHREN.

In 3:1, the author of Hebrews addresses his audience as HOLY BRETHREN and PARTAKERS OF THE HEAVENLY CALLING. He tells them that Jesus is the apostle and high priest of THEIR PROFESSION OF FAITH. This would no doubt be believers and not unbelievers.

Nowhere in the entire letter is he talking to unbelievers. He calls them brethren throughout the letter (2:11, 12, 17; 3:1, 12; 7:5; 10:19; 13:22). He also includes himself by using the pronouns we (51 times) us (31 times) and our (16 times). He also refers to his audience as “beloved” in 6:9.

The author of Hebrews tells them they are partakers of Christ’s house if the hold fast to the faith (3:6,14). In chapter 5 and 6 he admonishes them to move on from the elementary stages of the Christian faith to maturity.

12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:12-14)

According to the author of Hebrews his audience was still living as babes in Christ in their spiritual growth and unable to teach others because they were not yet skillful in the word of righteousness. In chapter 6, he urges them to move on to perfection (i.e., spiritual maturity).

He admonished them regarding those who turn back (6:4-5) and declares that he is persuaded differently about them:

For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:

But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.

But, BELOEVED, WE ARE PERSUADED better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. (Hebrews 6:7-9)

Verse 9 (above) speaks volumes of the author’s view of those to whom he is writing. Though he gives them repeated warnings concerning the danger of apostasy, he constantly affirms them as believers and admonishes them to continue going forward. Notice verses 10-12 which follows the previous verses of Hebrews 6:7-9 above:

10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Again, notice how the author of Hebrews mixes admonition with encouragement; encouragement that God has not forgotten, and admonishment not to give up but to preserver until the end.

Exhortation mixed with admonition is weaved all throughout the letter to the Hebrews as he repeatedly explains and admonishes them concerning the importance of perseverance in the faith.

Later in his letter (in chapter 11) he speaks of many of the old testament saints who persevered in faith, referring to them as “a great cloud of witnesses” as he urges his audience to lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets them. He tells them run with patience the race set before them as they look to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.

He admonishes them concerning the chastisement of the Lord which comes through in the stern warnings given in his letter as he reminds them to whom they belong:

18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest,

19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:

20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart:

21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)

22 YE ARE COME UNTO MOUNT ZION, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,

23 To the GENERAL ASSEMBLY and CHURCH of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,

24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. (Hebrews 12:22-24)

He exhorts them to not refuse him who speaks from heaven but rather to have grace so that they will serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire. (12:25-29)

As he begins to close his letter (chapter 13) he tells them to do the following:

  • continue in brotherly love
  • entertain strangers
  • remember those who are in prison
  • remember those who are being mistreated
  • be faithful in marriage
  • do not love money
  • remember God’s promise to never fail or leave them
  • remember those who have taught them the word of God and follow their faith
  • do not be carried away by various and strange doctrines
  • establish your hearts in grace
  • bear the Lord’s reproach (i.e., suffer for his name)
  • offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually in the name of Jesus
  • don’t neglect doing good to the needy
  • submit to those who are their leaders in the Lord
  • continue praying for him (the writer) and those with him.

Finally, he closes his letter with the following words:

20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

22 And I beseech you, BRETHREN, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.

23 Know ye that OUR BROTHER TIMOTHY  is set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you.

24 Salute all them that have the rule over you, and all the saints. THEY OF ITALY SALUTE YOU

25 Grace be with you all. Amen.

One reading the book of Hebrews on its own merit would never come away with the notion that Hebrews was written to a mixture of saved and unsaved Hebrews. The letter speaks for itself.

To read about the warnings in Hebrews follow the link below:

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/the-warnings-in-hebrews/

 

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IS PAUL MAKING AN EXCUSE FOR SIN IN ROMANS 7?

In Romans 7 Paul is speaking from the vantage point of one who is under the Law. Paul’s statements are not about his lack of power to deal with sin now that he has come to Christ. Instead, these words are a part of his expounding on the Law and grace and the effects the Law has on a person in the flesh without the grace of Christ.

In Romans 8, Paul says “the law was weak through the flesh.” The Law can only bring the sinner under condemnation, but grace gives us victory over sin and condemnation.

Throughout the entirely of Romans 6 Paul shows how the one who has received saving grace is dead to sin through Jesus Christ, and therefore sin is not to reign over them.

In Titus 2:11-15 Paul says that saving grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts by living soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. Saving grace does not teach us that we cannot overcome sin. Saving grace teaches us how to overcome sin.

In 2 Timothy 2:19 Paul tells us 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. 

In 1 Thessalonians 4:2-7 Paul says:

2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.

3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:

4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;

5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:

6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.

7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.

In Romans 7 Paul, as a skillful teacher, speaks figuratively from the vantage point of one who is under the Law, to explain the influence that the Law has on the one who is under the bondage of sin. The Law had no power to give life to the one entrapped in his sins. Only Christ Jesus can set a person free from sin.

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

The law was weak through the flesh and therefore could not deliver man from his sins, and this is exactly what Paul in explaining in Romans 7:7-25, as he speaks from the vantage point of the effects of the law on those who are under it’s condemnation.

DOES A SAVED PERSON HAVE TO STOP LIVING IN SIN?

Here is  the opening comment of another persons’s teaching, addressing the question of whether or not a saved person has to give up their sin.

“The answer is no! You do NOT have to stop sinning to be saved. No one can stop sinning (Romans 3:23)! No one can live above sin-no one (Isaiah 64:6). Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. You do NOT have to give up anything to be saved except your UNBELIEF. However, you DO need to realize your sinful condition and “confess” (or admit) to God that you are a sinner, deserving to hell. This is Biblical repentance, i.e. “a change of mind.”

There is so much wrong in this one paragraph. The author of this article is actually perpetrating that Biblical salvation brings no real effective change into a person’s life. You would literally have to ignore thousands of scriptures throughout the Bible to believe such nonsense.

Allow me to begin with his opening comment; “you do not have to stop sinning to be saved”. Compare this comment with the following text of Romans 6:1-3:

1 What shall we say then? SHALL WE CONTINUE IN SIN, that grace may abound?

GOD FORBID. HOW SHALL WE, THAT ARE DEAD TO SIN, LIVE ANY LONGER THEREIN

Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Biblical salvation is a call to live a holy life (see Titus 2:11-15: 1 Peter 1:13-18).

Secondly, the author peddles an ideology which is very pervasive among some Christians and that is the concept that no one can stop sinning. He references Romans 3:23 to support this notion. Yet Romans 3:23 has nothing to do with whether or not a believer in Jesus Christ can stop sinning or not. Romans 3:23 is a reference regarding Jews and Gentiles alike – as sinners – in need of salvation. It is a reference to the unsaved, not those who have been born again.

We see from Paul’s comments (Romans 6:1-3 above) that we are not to continue in sin once we have experienced the grace of God.

The author of the aforementioned article continues by saying, “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. You do NOT have to give up anything to be saved except your UNBELIEF.”

He is, in essence, peddling the idea that Biblical salvation brings no real change into a person’s life. According to his doctrine, a person could go on living as an adulterer, an ax-murderer, or a blasphemer . There is no end to how far someone might take such unholy teachings.

In view of this author’s comments, notice what Paul continues to say throughout Romans 6:

4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Knowing this, that OUR OLD MAN IS CRUCIFIED WITH HIM, that the body of sin might be destroyed, THAT HENCEFORTH WE SHOULD NOT SERVE SIN.

For he that is dead is FREED FROM SIN.

Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also LIVE WITH HIM:

Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.

11 LIKEWISE RECKON YE YOURSELVES TO BE DEAD INDEED UNTO SIN, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

12 LET NOT SIN REIGN IN YOUR MORTAL BODY, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.

13 NEITHER YIELD YOUR MEMBERS as instruments of unrighteousness UNTO SIN: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.

14 FOR SIN SHALL NOT HAVE DOMINION OVER YOU: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.

15 What then? SHALL WE SIN, because we are not under the law, but under grace? GOD FORBID.

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.

Finally the concept that repentance means to “change your mind” is misleading within the context of the way it is used by the author whose teaching is being refuted. He is not teaching Biblical repentance, but mental assent which brings about no fruit unto holiness. True Biblical repentance brings a change of heart, resulting in a holy lifestyle.

Notice Romans 6:17 again:

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.

THE BLOOD OF HIS CROSS

And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled. In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight… (Colossians 1:20-22)

The cross of Christ was foreshadowed throughout the old testament by the altars upon which the sacrifices offered to God were presented. These sacrificial altars  give a progressive revelation of the cross of Christ.

Before the law was given by Moses and before there was ever a tabernacle or a temple, the altar of sacrifice served as the place where the Patriarchs worshipped God.

  • Noah built an altar (Genesis 8:20)
  • Abraham built an altar (Genesis 12:7, 8; 13:4, 22:9)
  • Isaac built an altar (Genesis 26:25)
  • Jacob built an altar (Genesis 33:20; 35:1,3,7)

When God instructed Moses to build the tabernacle so that he could dwell among his people, he commanded that an altar be made with acacia wood and overlaid brass. This altar was known as:

  • the Brazen altar
  • the altar for burnt offering
  • the altar of the Lord

The purpose for the brazen altar was for the sacrifices and offerings which were to be offered as a sweet savor to the Lord. These offerings were as follows:

  • the burnt offering
  • the meat offering
  • the peace offering
  • the sin offering
  • the trespass offering

Under the Law of Moses, the offering of these sacrifices foreshadowed Christ, and the brazen altar on which they were offered to God foreshadowed the cross. They were to be offered as a sweet fragrance to God and were accepted by him to make atonement.

Throughout the old testament, the offerings which foreshadowed Jesus were accepted and not rejected. Those offerings which were rejected did not make atonement.

And he shall put his hand upon the head of the burnt offering; and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him (Leviticus 1:4).

And if any of the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings be eaten at all on the third day, it shall NOT be accepted , neither shall it be imputed unto him that offereth it: it shall be an abomination, and the soul that eateth of it shall bear his iniquity (Leviticus 7:18).

Rejected sacrifices and offerings did not make atonement. Those which were accepted as a sweet savor did!

The Bible teaches that Jesus gave himself for us as a sweet savor, or sweet fragrance, to God.

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 sweet smelling savour. (Ephesians 5:2)

All the sacrifice which were offered on the brazen alter for atonement were to be a sweet savor to foreshadow Christ who God would accept for us as the offering for our sins.

The brazen altar was a type of the cross of Christ and had to be consecrated by the blood of the sin offering before it had any power for service. It had no power to sanctify without the blood. Therefore, it was consecrated to God by the blood of the sin offering before it placed into service.

At the consecration of the priests, Moses killed the sin offering and applied the blood to the horns of the altar to purify it (Exodus 29:12, 36-37; Leviticus 8:15). In scripture, horns are symbolic of power (Habakkuk 3:4). The blood of the sin offering applied to the horns at the time of it’s consecration, was a type of the blood of Christ as the power of the cross.

After the blood was applied to the horns, the remainder of the blood was then poured out at the bottom of the altar to sanctify it so that reconciliation could be made upon it. The blood sanctified the altar making it a a most holy altar. 

Seven days thou shalt make an atonement for the altar, and sanctify it; and it shall be an altar most holy: whatsoever toucheth the altar shall be holy. (Exodus 29:37)

Most holy is the same language used to describe the inner most part of the tabernacle where the glory of God rested on the mercy seat.

When Jesus died on the cross, the cross was set apart as most holy to God for every man, for it was there that Jesus died as a sacrifice to redeem us with his precious blood.

WE HAVE AN ALTAR, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. For the bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate. (Hebrews 13:10-12)

Because of his blood that was shed upon cross, the cross has the powere to make us holy, unblameable, and unreprovable in God’s sight.

 

DID JESUS SUFFER IN HELL?

Jesus came in the flesh and redeemed us with his precious blood through the offering of his body for our sins. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples and said the following:

Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.  ~ Luke 24:39

The book of Hebrews tells us that Jesus took on flesh and blood to redeem us.

14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.  ~ Hebrews 2:14-16

Notice in contrast to the nature of angels, Hebrews tells us that Jesus took on the seed of Abraham. What is the nature of Angels? The answer is found in chapter 1, where the writer of Hebrews says: And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire. ~ verse 7

Angels are spirits. In contrast, Jesus came in the flesh as the seed of Abraham.

And the word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  ~ John 1:14

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.  ~ 1 Timothy 3:16

The words, justified in the spirit, in 1 Timothy 3:16 (above) actually mean: “vindicated in the spirit,” or “declared righteous.”  Jesus was condemned unjustly in the flesh when he suffered at the hands of sinful men. Yet, he was vindicated in the spirit through his resurrection from the dead, and his exaltation at the right hand of God.

The vindication of Jesus through his resurrection and exaltation comes through strongly in Peter’s sermon in Acts 2:14-36. It is from the context of this sermon that the words “thou wilt not leave my soul in hell” and “his soul was not left in hell” is sometimes extracted and used to advocate that Jesus suffered in hell.

However, the context to which these words belong is the death, burial, resurrection, & exaltation of Jesus Christ. In Acts 2, the apostle Peter is quoting from Psalm 16:8-11 and proving to the Jews that Jesus is the Messiah.

I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope.

10 For Thou wilt not leave My soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

In Psalm 16:10, the Hebrew word sheol is translated as hell.  Throughout the old testament, sheol is translated in three ways: 1. the grave, 2. hell, and 3. pit. Both the wicked and the righteous go to sheol (the grave) when they die:

Jacob said, “For I will go down into sheol (the grave) unto my son in mourning.” ~ Genesis 37:35. Consider also Job 17:13: If I wait, the grave is mine house: I have made my bed in the darkness.

In the New Testament hell is translated from three Greek words.

  1. Tartaroo, (translated once) the place of the wicked dead, the place of outer darkness.
  1. Gehenna, (translated 12 times) the place of future torment, the lake of fire, i.e. hell fire.
  1. Hades (translated 10 times) the grave, or the abode of the dead, the place of departed souls.

The apostle Paul uses the word hades in reference to the grave, over which believers will have victory at the coming of the Lord.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:22

Paul’s word’s above also support the truth of a physical resurrection of the righteous at the coming of Jesus and not a spiritual (mystical) resurrection in 70 AD as taught in full preterism.

In Acts 2:27 & 31 the Greek word hades is used as a reference to the grave and not a reference to suffering torment in the regions of the damned.

Consider the following:

  1. There is no mention of suffering in hell (i.e., in the place of torment) in Psalm 16 or Acts 2.
  1. The sentence structure infers hope and victory:
  • Therefore did My heart rejoice ~ Acts 2:26 
  • My tongue was glad ~ Acts 2:26
  • Moreover also My flesh shall rest in hope ~ Acts 2:26
  • Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell,  ~ Acts 2:27
  • Neither wilt thou suffer thine holy one to see corruption  ~ Acts 2:27 
  • Thou hast made known to me The ways of life  ~ Acts 2:28 
  • Thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance ~ Acts 2:28

The sentence structure in Acts 2:26-27 and 2:30-31 infers victory over death by means of the resurrection. Jesus was dead and his soul was not left in the abode of the dead because God raised him up again. Literally, the scripture is saying:   My flesh shall rest in hope, because you will not leave (abandon) my soul in hell (to the power of the grave).

In Peter’s sermon, his emphasis is that the body of Jesus did not decay because God raised him from the dead. This is why Peter makes it clear that when David said these words he wasn’t referring to himself but to Jesus.

Men and brethren let me speak freely unto you of the patriarch David that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulcher is with us unto this day. Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption… For David is not ascended into the heavens, but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made this same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. ~ Acts 2:29-36

Notice that Peter interprets the words regarding the soul of Christ not being left in hell as victory over the grave, rather than torture in the regions of the damned.

Peter tells the people that these words were not referring to David but to Jesus. Now think about it. Do you think that those who were acquainted with this prophecy of scripture and thought it referred to David viewed David as suffering in the torments of Hell? Certainly not!

Why then, should we think this of Christ?

Peter interprets the phrase thou wilt not leave my soul in hell as the fulfillment of God’s promise to David that from among his descendants, according to the flesh, God would raise up Christ (the Messiah) to set on his throne forever.

In Paul’s sermon in Acts 13, we find similar language.

And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption . ~ Acts 13:34-36

The phrase “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell” belongs to the promise that the Messiah’s body would not decay in the grave. This is the sure mercies which God promised to David concerning Christ, whom he raised from the dead. It was not God’s promise that Jesus would need to suffer the torments of eternal damnation to redeem us.

Those who teach that Jesus suffered in hell will sometimes teach that Jesus died two deaths; a physical death and a spiritual death. Yet the Bible expounds only on the physical death of Jesus. The new testament gives no clear indisputable evidence that Christ suffered in hell or died twice, physically and spiritually.

If Jesus would have died in his spirit and suffered in hell, the New Testament writers would have laid it out in plain view for all to see, and there would be no need piece-mill a couple of random scriptures together to prove such a doctrine.

The new testament gives indisputable evidence of the physical sufferings of Christ on the cross and redemption by his blood. The physical sufferings of Christ on the Cross and the purpose for his shed blood are clearly stated throughout the New Testament.

His Body was broken for us:

1 Peter 2:24; John 6:51-57; Ephesians 2:13-18; Colossians 1:20-22; Luke 24:36-40; Romans 8:3; Hebrews 2:9-17; Hebrews 10:5-10, 18-22; 1 Peter 3:18; 1 Peter 4:1; Matthew 26:7-13; 14:8; Luke 22:19-20; John 2:19-22; 1 Corinthians 10:16, 11:23-27).

His Blood was shed for us:

Eph 1:7; Col 1:14; 1 Pet 1:19; Col 1:20; Hebrews 9:22; 10:18-22; Romans 5:9

Jesus died on the cross for our sins!

 

ANSWERING OSAS PART 3: THE NEW BIRTH AND SANCTIFICATION

The theology known a “once saved always saved” is founded on human logic rather than on Biblical truth, especially when addressing what it means to be born again. One such argument, based solely on human logic by the OSAS’ers, is that you cannot be “unborn” once you have been “reborn,” therefore you cannot lose out in your relationship with God.

The twin sister to this argument, is the argument that salvation is a gift freely given with no strings attach. Therefore, those who receive this gift are under no obligation to live a set apart life for God. Therefore the gift of salvation is offered entirely as a free gift apart from sanctification.

This is not so according to the apostle Peter.

22 Seeing ye have PURIFIED YOUR SOULS IN OBEYING THE TRUTH THROUGH THE SPIRIT unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

23 BEING BORN AGAIN, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

The purifying of your soul through obedience in verse 22 and being born again in verse 23 are two descriptions of the same thing. Thus salvation is not a separate issue from sanctification but the beginning of a life of sanctification.

Those who claim that a person can be saved without sanctification at work in a person’s life are teaching Biblical error and promoting false conversions.

The language “born again” and “born of God” is employed by the apostle John more than any other writer in the New Testament. In fact, the other New Testament writers use this language very little in reference to salvation. Therefore if we wish to get a handle of what it means to be born again we need to examine the writings John in the New Testament.

Consider the following from 1 John:

If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him. (1 John 2:29)

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. (1 John 3:9)

Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. (1 John 4:7)

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. (1 John 5:1)

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4)

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not (does not habitually practice sin); but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. (1 John 5:18)

As you can see, every one of these scriptures speak of being born again in view of sanctification. Notice the immediate context surrounding 1 John 3:9

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.

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.

The very thing that many OSAS’ers defend as having no bearing on a person’s salvation –habitually practicing sin- is the very thing that distinguishes the children of God from the children of the devil.

To read Part 2 of this teaching click on the link below:

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/answering-osas-part-2-john-1027-30/

 

 

 

 

ANSWERING OSAS PART 2: JOHN 10:27-30

Having been raised in a church denomination which often taught once saved always saved, I became familiar with John 10:27-29

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

These verses are often used by those who teach OSAS, and  I’d dare say that these verses are the “go –to” text more than any other when defending OSAS teachings. Those who cite these verses make their case by appealing primarily to verses 28 and 29. They claim that in these verses is the promise of unconditional eternal security. Let’s look again at verses 28-29:

28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

The problem with citing these verses as evidence of unconditional eternal security is that those who do so actually do so in view of a “one time believing experience.” Yet the context of Jesus’ words does not apply to those who have had a “one time believing experience.” Instead, they apply to those who follow Jesus. Consider verse 27:

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they FOLLOW ME

The eternal life promised by Jesus in John 10:27-29 is said  within the context of the Shepherd and the sheep. A sheep that follows the shepherd will be safe. A sheep who wanders away from the shepherd will not.

Those who FOLLOW Jesus have eternal life, and they are the ones who are securely held in his hand and in his Father’s hand. Jesus is the good Shepherd and he will keep us in his care if we follow him. If we do not follow him, there is no promise of eternal security.

Consider the following from John 8:30-32

30 As he spake these words, many BELIEVED ON HIM.

31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which BELIEVED ON HIM, IF YE CONTINUE IN MY WORD, then are ye my disciples indeed;

32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

One does not have the promise of eternal life through a “one time believing experience” if he refuses to become a disciple. The promise of eternal life applies ONLY to those who FOLLOW Jesus.

He that taketh not his cross, and FOLLOWETH  after me, is not worthy of me. 
(Matthew 10:38).

To read Part 1 of this teaching click on the link below:

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/answering-osas-part-1-kept-by-the-power-of-god/

 

ANSWERING OSAS PART 1: KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD

If “once saved always saved” were true, God would have provided a salvation through Christ which is in opposition to his holy and righteous character. Such salvation would prove to be unfaithful to the holiness and righteousness of God, for God would be obligated to permit into his eternal Kingdom, iniquity, which Jesus died to purify us from. The Kingdom of heaven would then be filled, not only with true believers in Jesus Christ, but also with those who chose to become blasphemers, murders, adulterers and the such like after their initial faith which they had since denied.

Those who advocate the “once saved always saved” doctrine will often cite 1 Peter 1:5 “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

From this verse, the OSAS’ers focus on the phrase “kept by the power of God.” Yet according to the context it is the obedient children of God who are kept by the power of God.

The apostle Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:2 saved people are “chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father by the sanctifying work of the Spirit to be obedient to Jesus Christ and to be sprinkled with His blood.” (Amplified Bible)

The gift of salvation and the call to obedience to Jesus Christ are inseparable in the New Testament. God calls his people to obey him through Jesus Christ. Those who submit to Jesus and follow him receive saving grace and their sins are washed away.

God does not save anyone who refuses to obey Jesus. In view of the saving grace which comes through Jesus Christ, Peter tells us the following:

13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and HOPE TO THE END for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

14 AS OBEDIENT CHILDREN, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:

15 But as he which hath called you is HOLY, SO BE YE HOLY in all manner of conversation;

16 Because it is written, BE YE HOLY; FOR I AM HOLY.

17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons JUDGETH ACCORDING TO EVERY MAN’S WORK, pass the time of your sojourning here IN FEAR (the fear of the Lord):

18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

21 Who BY HIM DO BELIEVE IN GOD, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

22 SEEING THAT YOU HAVE PURIFIED YOUR SOULS IN OBEYING THE TRUTH THROUGH THE SPIRIT unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:

23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

Obedience to Christ does not mean that we live in such a way that we are under condemnation when we fail, because we are all going to fail from time to time. Obedience to Jesus means that we chose to follow him and we live as followers of Jesus seeking to do God’s will and to please him.

For more teaching on the topic of eternal security click on the link below:

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/05/what-does-saving-grace-do/

 

WHAT DOES SAVING GRACE TEACH US?

Many of the older once saved always saved advocates believed, and some still do believe, that a person who has forsaken the Lord by living in egregious sin was never truly saved to begin with.

While I differ with this conclusion, it certainly is true in some cases (see 1 John 2:18-19). Those who hold to this particular view of OSAS theology know in their hearts that a saved person has a responsibly to live for Jesus or else that person’s faith is not valid, and that is a good thing to believe.

This view is not the case with some of the modern day proponents of OSAS theology, who have taken the teachings of eternal security to whole new level. By promoting a salvation which is completely free – freely given, and it is, and freely taken, with no responsibility to give anything back, not even obedience to the call to live godly; they have truly turned the grace of God into lasciviousness.

It’s truly amazing how some who hold to this extreme view of eternal security have turned living godly into some sort of repudiated works righteousness. Yet Paul tells us in his letter to Titus that a person can claim to know God and yet deny him in their works. According to Paul, those who do so are abominable, disobedient, and reprobate. ~ See Titus 1:16

It has become so bad with some OSAS advocates, that belief in Jesus is no longer necessary for salvation once a person has been saved, thus Heaven will receive saved people who no longer believe.

On the contrary, the Bible tells us that those who are saved are justified by faith, and according to scripture, the just (those who are justified by faith) shall live by faith. ~ Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11; Hebrews 10:38

In Hebrews 10:38 those who live by faith are set in opposition to those who turn back and depart from the faith, and concerning those who turn back, God’s word says, my soul will have no pleasure in them. Faith is not a one time decision, but a lifetime commitment.

According to the Bible, doctrine isn’t what you claim to believe or mentally assent to. Doctrine is what you live. If your life isn’t lived in a way, that promotes what you say you believe, you are in deception. 1 John 2:4 says: He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

If your life isn’t lived in a way that promotes godliness, you do not have sound doctrine. For this reason, Paul tells us that those who teach or minister God’s word must live godly and promote godly living in their teachings. Consider for example 1 Timothy 6:

1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honour, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings. 1 Timothy 6:1-4

At the outset of Paul’s letter to Titus, Paul says that faith and the acknowledgement of the truth is according to godliness in the hope of eternal life. ~ Titus 1:1-2

True faith in Christ leads a person into godliness, not as a requirement for works based salvation, but as the fruit of a genuine faith. James tells us that we are to prove our faith by our works because faith without works is dead. ~ See James 2

According to Paul, the salvation which comes through faith leads to godliness, and this is the faith which leads to eternal life. Real faith is to be followed with the spiritual fruit of godly living.

In Titus 2:1 we read that we are to promote the kind of living which reflects wholesome Biblical teaching. Titus 2 gives instructions about how older men, younger men, older women, and younger women are to live as believers in Jesus Christ.

In Titus 2:7-8 Paul tells Titus to be an example of good works so that everything he did would show integrity, giving him credibility as a minister of the gospel.

7 And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.

8 Teach the truth so that your teaching can’t be criticized. Then those who oppose us will be ashamed and have nothing bad to say about us.

In verses 9 and 10 Paul gives instructions for how servants should live so that the doctrine of God will be adorned in all things.

Those who teach eternal security with no emphasis on godliness as evidence of true faith, fail to adorn the doctrine of God with their version of grace. Yet the true grace of God teaches a person to live godly.

11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ;

14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. ~ Titus 2:11-15

Ironically, Paul’s words elsewhere are often taken and abused by those who promote a sloppy view of grace. Yet Paul tells Titus that the saving grace of God teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts by living soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.

Those who oppose the necessity of godly living as evidence of our faith are in opposition to the very thing Paul told Titus to speak, exhort, and rebuke with all authority.

In closing consider the words of Paul to Titus in chapter 3:1-11. I have selected the New Living Translation for clarity.

1 Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good. 

They must not slander anyone and must avoid quarreling. Instead, they should be gentle and show true humility to everyone.

Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other. 

But — When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 

He saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.  

He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 

Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

This is a trustworthy saying, and I want you to insist on these teachings SO THAT ALL WHO TRUST IN GOD WILL DEVOTE THEMSELVES TO DOING GOOD. These teachings are good and beneficial for everyone.

Do not get involved in foolish discussions about spiritual pedigrees or in quarrels and fights about obedience to Jewish laws. These things are useless and a waste of time. 

10 If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them.

11 For people like that have TURNED AWAY FROM THE TRUTH, and their own sins condemn them.

Verse 14 goes on to say, “Our people must learn TO DO GOOD by meeting the urgent needs of others; then they will not be UNPRODUCTIVE.” 

  • Faith in the true grace of God in not a decision, it is a commitment.
  • It is not a momentary highlight, it is a marriage instead.
  • It doesn’t make you a spiritual welfare recipient; it makes you a productive citizen in the Kingdom.
  • It isn’t a handout, it is a new life.
  • It is not a get out of Hell free card. It is a call to be a disciple.
  • It doesn’t see good works as legalism. It sees them as service.
  • It doesn’t take. It gives.
  • It doesn’t free load because of the cross, it lays down its life with the crucified Christ.
  • It doesn’t look for a way to justify sin. It walks with Jesus and gains victory over sin.
  • Heaven is not its ultimate prize. Jesus Christ, and conformity to him is its prize.

For more teaching on the topic of eternal security, follow the links below:

ANSWERING OSAS PART ONE: KEPT BY THE POWER OF GOD

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/answering-osas-part-1-kept-by-the-power-of-god/

ANSWERING OSAS PART TWO: JOHN 10:27-30

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/06/answering-osas-part-2-john-1027-30/

ANSWERING OSAS PART THREE: THE NEW BIRTH

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/07/answering-osas-part-3-the-new-birth-and-sanctification/

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

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 2)

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

ANSWERING OSAS PART 5: IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/16/answering-osas-part-5-imputed-righteousness/

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

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/17/answering-osas-part-6-does-sin-affect-a-believer-outwardly-only-and-not-inwardly/

SAVING FAITH IS SOMETHING WE LIVE

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/04/saving-faith-is-something-we-live/

DOES A SAVED PERSON HAVE TO STOP LIVING IN SIN?

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/does-a-saved-person-have-to-stop-living-in-sin/

DOES GOD CONVICT CHRISTIANS OF SIN?

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2015/04/07/does-god-convict-christians-of-sin/

THE BIBLE AND ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED THEOLOGY

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2014/10/28/the-bible-and-once-saved-always-saved-theology/

ONCE FOR ALL

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/once-and-for-all/

HEBREWS, A BOOK OF EXHORTATION TO BELIEVERS

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

IS PAUL MAKING AN EXCUSE FOR SIN IN ROMANS 7?

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/13/is-paul-making-an-excuse-for-sin-in-romans-7/

WERE PAUL AND JAMES ON THE SAME PAGE

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/24/were-paul-and-james-on-the-same-page/

FAITH THAT SAVES

https://michaelbattle65.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/faith-that-saves/

 

 

SAVING FAITH IS SOMETHING WE LIVE

It’s amazing how the Biblical truth of persevering in faith can be treated as some sort of repudiated “works righteousness” by some within the Once Saved Always Saved camp. Yet, there is not a single place in your Bible where any New Testament writer sets forth the doctrine that a once saved person will always be saved no matter what they do.

The gospel never calls us to a “one time belief. ” Instead, the gospel demands that we surrender our lives and follow Jesus. A faith that we are unwilling to walk out, is invalid and can not save, because God’s grace does not support those who live ungodly. Jesus told his disciples, “whoever does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.”

In Acts 8,Simon the Sorcer believed those things which Philip preached and was baptized, but he wanted to continue in his old life of sorcery, rather than coming out of it.

When Peter and John came from Jerusalem, Peter confronted him because he offered Peter and John money in exchange for empowerment to give people the Holy Ghost.

In response, Peter said: “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.” (v. 20-23)

OSAS ideology is a mystical doctrine formulated by the minds of men who single out verses that speak of eternal life as being forever. By casting their own mystical interpretation regarding what it means to be saved they lead many astray.

It is a mystical interpretation because salvation is viewed as something that occurs by a “one time experience” without any real commitment to truly follow Jesus.

However, you will not find a single reference in the New Testament which teaches that a person can go on being saved after they  have abandoned God, abandoned their faith, and are willfully living a life of ungodliness.

1 Peter 1 speaks of the godly virtues we are to desire as we grow in the new life we have received in Christ. In verse 9, the apostle says: “he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”

In contrast, we read the following in the next 2 verses: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” (v 10-11)

Salvation is not based on a momentary faith, which afterwards, you no longer need to be saved. Saving faith is that which comes through hearing the gospel and brings you into the grace of God, which teaches you to live godly.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. (Titus 2:11-14)

The grace of God does not teach you that you can continue in sin and have eternal life. The grace of God teaches you to live godly, for if your faith in Christ is genuine, you will want to forsake your old life of sin.

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (Romans 6:1-3).

Living in willful sin invalidates our faith.