Arkiv | april 2012

Once saved always saved = the devil’s lie

God told man:

But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely DIE (Gen. 2:17)

Satan said the opposite:

And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall NOT surely die (Ge. 3:4)

So God tells us that if we sin we will DIE, and Satan tells us that if we sin we will NOT DIE.  I fear that many people continue to spread the lies of  Satan even today without even realizing it. ”Once saved always saved”, is such a lie and it has deceived millions (but there are also other false doctrines which Satan is using to deceive people; like the doctrine of the sinful nature and the doctrine of the imputed righteousness of Jesus). It has been a great hindrance to holiness and it’s undermining the fear of God. The teaching goes that once a person is truly a born again believer, then he will remain saved and can never fall away no matter what he does. Proponents of OSAS might immediately protest and say:

1) But true christians wouldn’t WANT to sin any more! They are born again and have new hearts! Now they are led by the spirit. We are not teaching that people who live in sin are saved. If they live in sin, they show that they were not saved to begin with.

but the same people might ALSO say:

2) We can never stop sinning! Also true christians will sin until they die. It’s just that christians don’t sin habitually, but only OCCASIONALLY, and they don’t commit any severe sins. But they are still saved.

The dilemma is obvious. Also true born again christians might choose to sin, but will such a person automatically repent after his sin? Not necessarily. If not even King David repented until about a year after his sins (adultery and murder) in relation to Bathsheba, why would we believe WE are exempted from this peril? If we can avoid sinning for days and weeks, we can also stop sinning for months and years. Each time we sin, we could have chosen not to sin. King David was a person who cannot be filed under ”he wasn’t saved to begin with”  since he was a man of God’s own heart and a true child of God, and yet he fell away due to sin and died spiritually. The Bible is full of warnings to true believers that they might be cut off the vine tree (Jesus) and similar expressions.

We are still warned that sin causes spiritual DEATH

Ezekiel 18:20-24 The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he DIE.

Rom 6:21 What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in DEATH!

Romans 6:16: 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 obedience unto righteousness.

1 Pet 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which war against your SOUL.

Romans 8: 6For to be carnally minded is DEATH; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. —13For if ye live after the flesh, YE SHALL DIE: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, YE SHALL LIVE. 

James 5:19Brethren, if any OF YOU do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20Let 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.

John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son WILL NOT SEE LIFE, but the wrath of God abides on him.

Mark 9:47.And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into HELL

Matt. 7:21 Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who DOES the will of my Father who is in heaven.

1 Peter 4:18 And if it is with difficulty that the righteous is saved, what will become of the godless man and sinner?

The word of Jesus

Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Matthew 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended…which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

Luke 8: 13They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away. 

John 8:31 …IF ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed.—34-35 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

John 16:1These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

Mat 11:6And blessed is he, whosoever shall NOT be offended in me.

Matt. 24:10And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Matt 10:32Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. —37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

Matt 26:31Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad32But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. 33Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended. 34Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice.

Mat 18:33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? 34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. 35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Security comes through faith and obedience to God’s grace, not disobedience

John 151I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned7If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 

1. Jesus is speaking to 11 chosen apostles. Judas had already left, and the remaining 11 were chosen and IN Christ.
2. Jesus specifically says ”you are already clean” to the apostles.
3. Jesus commands them to ABIDE in Him, because they cannot bear fruit unless they do. It’s not certain they will abide.
4. Jesus warns the chosen apostles that if they do not abide in Him, the Father will cut them off, and the branches will be gathered and cast into the fire.
5. The branches will dry up/wither, indicating that they used to have LIFE
6. Jesus says ”IF” you keep my commandments, you ”WILL” ABIDE in my love (conditional)

Other verses

1 Cor. 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in VAIN

1 Cor 3:16Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.

2 Cor 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Heb 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

Hebr 10: 29 How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?

Gal. 1:6I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel

Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are FALLEN FROM GRACE

Philip. 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

1 Thes. 3:8 For now we live, IF ye stand fast in the Lord.

1 Tim. 1:5-6 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling

1 Tim. 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils

1 Tim. 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee

2 Tim. 2:18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and OVERTHROW THE FAITH OF SOME. There are many, many more scriptures just like these throughout the Bible, due to lack of space I will list them at the end of this study and you may look them up.

Romans 11:20-22 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

James 1:12Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

2Pe 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

2 Peter 3:16As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

1 John 3:7Little CHILDREN, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8He 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 devil.

2 John 1:9Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.

Jude 1:5I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. 6And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day

Rev 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou REPENT. 

Rev 3: 10Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown12Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name

Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

Rev 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 

Rev. 3:4Thou 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. 5He 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. 

Jeremiah 15:6-7 Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting. And I will fanthem with a fan in the gates of the land; I will bereave them of children, I will destroy my people, since they return not from their ways.

Psa. 125:5 Those who turn to crooked ways the LORD will banish with the evildoers.

Hosea 9: 15All their wickedness is in Gilgal: for there I hated them: for the wickedness of their doings I will drive them out of mine house, I will love them no more: all their princes are revolters.

Before their sin in Exodus many Israelites were born again (Dt 32:18, Gal 4:28-29), they were redeemed (Ex 15:13, Dt 21:8), they were sanctified (Ex 31:13, Dt 21:8), they were converted (Ps 19:7), they were in grace (Ex 33:12-17, Ps 19:7, Ps 84:11), had their names in the book of life (Ex 32:32-33, Ps 69:25-29), had the same gospel we have (Gal 3:6-14, Heb 4:2), yet when they sinned the were cut off from God and were lost (Ex 32:32-33, 1 Cor 10:1-18, Heb 4:1-7, Jude 1:5).  (Thanks to Britt Williams)

”It is astonishing how people talk about perseverance. As if the doctrine of perseverance were: ‘Once in grace, always in grace’; or , ‘Once converted, sure to go to heaven.’ This is not the idea of perseverance. The true idea is, that if a man is truly converted, he will, as a rule, continue to obey God; and, as a consequence, he will surely go to heaven. But if a person gets the idea that because he is ‘converted,’ therefore he will assuredly go to heaven, that man will almost assuredly go to hell.” //Charles G. Finney

Annonser

There is only ONE Book of Life, and names can be REMOVED from it

bible 4There is ONE book of life, and that is the book of the lamb

Book” is a translation from the Greek word βίβλῳ (bibliō, Strong’s 976).

Only those who overcome the sins of this world will be clothed in white raiment, and they will not risk getting their names blotted out of  the book of life. It’s in the end of the ages where the Christians will get their new white clothes, and at that point they will no longer risk to get their names removed from the book of life – because they enter the kingdom of God and remain there for ever.

Revelation 3:4 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.

Some people suggest that there are two books of life, and that the first book is a book into which everyone’s name is supposedly entered by default – the universal book of life. They suggest that the second book – ”The Lamb’s Book of Life”- is the book where only the true believers’ names are written and whose names will never be blotted out. The two-book proponents seem to reason that if a particular scripture passage speaks of names being added to the Book of Life, then this must be the Lamb’s Book of Life, but if a passage speaks of names being removed from the Book of Life, then surely it must be referring to the Universal Book of Life. Applying such selective reasoning is dishonest.

If people end up in the Universal Book of Life by default at birth (or at conception?), at which point will they be removed from this Universal Book of Life if they refuse to believe in Jesus Christ throughout their entire lives? Will they be removed as soon as they are adults (and remain unbelievers), and when exactly does this happen? And what if another person starts to believe in Jesus Christ when he is 50 years old. Does this mean he was in the Universal Book of Life the entire time before he turned 50, when he was also added in the Lamb’s Book of life? I suppose the two-book opponents couldn’t believe that a person can be removed from the Universal Book of Life at 15 (if he at this point refuses to accept Jesus as Savior) and then added again when he becomes a christian at age 50?

There is no Biblical evidence for two Books of life

The Bible does talk about books in plural that we will be judged by, but Daniel is referring to the books which record the deeds of every human being who has ever lived. Rev. 20:12 states that the dead are judged on the basis of the things written in the books which include their deeds, so these are not books of names but books of DEEDS, and these books of deeds are distinct from another book (singular) which in the same passage is called the Book of Life. If there are indeed two Books of Life, then it might have been helpful to know which one was being opened here – the book of the true believers, or the universal book of life? In reality, no such distinction needs to be made because there is only one book of life.  

Daniel 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. 

Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: AND ANOTHER BOOK was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15And whosoever was not found written in the BOOK OF LIFE was cast into the lake of fire. 

Also Moses seems to believe there is only one book of life, because he refers to it as ”thy book which thou hast written”, and God lets Moses know that each person is responsible for his own entry in that book. God refuses to accept Moses’ ”blotting out” as a substitutionary offering for the sin of the people.

Exodus 32:30 And it came to pass on the morrow, that Moses said unto the people, Ye have sinned a great sin: and now I will go up unto the Lord; peradventure I shall make an atonement for your sin.31 And Moses returned unto the Lord, and said, Oh, this people have sinned a great sin, and have made them gods of gold. 32 Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin — and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written. 33 And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book

If people are automatically included in the universal book of life, it wouldn’t be a big deal if also Clement and Paul’s other coworkers had their names there too along with every one else – so why even mention it?

Philippians 4:2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord. And I entreat thee also, true yoke-fellow, help those women which labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life. 

Below is the only place, apart from Rev. 21:27, where the term The Book of Life of the Lamb” appears. It’s rather natural that the book of life belongs to the lamb, so the extra detail ”of the lamb” (Jesus Christ) must not be taken as a sign of that it’s a completely different book than the already mentioned ”the book of life”.  Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior, and he will be judging all people according to their deeds. Compare the below passage with Rev. 17:8.

Revelation 13:And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.

Maybe Rev. 17:8 is the passage that is most commonly used as an attempt to support  a universal book of life, since we can read ”the book of life from the foundation of the world”, but it’s the BOOK that is from the foundation of the world and not necessarily the names in it (before man even started to spread on earth). Word for word from the Greek it’s ”the names in the book of life from foundation of world”. Furthermore, it seems like ”the book of life of the lamb” in Rev. 13:8 is the same book as the one below in Rev. 17:8, even if the term there is only ”the book of life”, because both places talk about people who are not included in this book, and who are amazed (wonder, marvel) over this beast and even worship it. We can read about  ”the foundation of the world” in both accounts, and even a clarification in Rev. 13:8, that it’s the lamb that is slaughtered from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 17:The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

If you don’t have your name in the book of life, you will ultimately be thrown in the lake of fire and that is true both when it comes to the book of life as well as the lamb’s book of life. Again, we are likely talking about the same book.

Revelation 20:1515 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.  

If a person could never lose his salvation, then he could absolutely afford to both add and delete things from the Book of Life and still get away with it, but clearly that would be a false assurance. A person can be disallowed from getting his promised PART of the Book of Life and OUT OF THE HOLY CITY, despite that he had an opportunity to receive such blessings to start with.

Revelation 22:18For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 

Why would God need two books with names, and why would a universal book of life be referred to as the book of life and confuse honest Bible readers? It doesn’t make sense for God to automatically include people in a universal book of life despite knowing that he would he removing some of these names at a later occasion. It makes a lot more sense to have an opportunity to be included in the book of life (through repentance, faith and obedience) and also to risk deletion if we choose to live in sin.

Prophets or blood did not exist from the foundation of the world, even though we can read about them below in relation to their blood shed from the foundation of the world. Most people have no problem accepting this to be true without maintaining that prophets have been around since the very day of creation:

Luke 11:50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD, may be required of this generation

What about Psalm 69:28?

Ps. 69:28 Let them be blotted out of the book of the living, and not be written with the righteous. 

This verse cannot be compared with the verses of the book of life in Revelations, partly because it is a translation from Hebrew, and partly because we have to take into account that the book of Psalms often contains truths expressed in poetry, songs, parables, hyperboles etc. Still, this psalm confirms the picture of losing previous rights. In psalm 69 we can see David urgently praying for his safety to God, with many ”Let them …” and ”Let me …”, and he is speaking about his present situation and the distant future. David is concerned about his enemies who are working against everything that is good. He might have the picture of the civil lists of registers of the Jews in mind, and his feeling that his unrighteous enemies should not have the same rights as the righteous (Ez. 13:9, Jer. 22:30). At one point Jewish individuals and families were written in, but they could also be removed which normally occurred when they died. This system was evidently not about eternal souls but concerned the rights among the Jews living on earth. Do read more about the the house of Israel in the Bible.

The tree of life

We can also read about the ”tree of life” of course, and that’s the tree that we found in Eden and which we will also find in God’s new Jerusalem.

Revelation 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

Revelation 22:2 In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.—14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

Sealed UNTO the day of redemption, but a seal can be broken Eph. 4:30

 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed UNTO the day of redemption (Eph. 4:30)

Based on the Greek text, the latter part of the above sentence can be translated ”by whom you were sealed FOR the day of redemption”. The preposition ”for” is a translation from the Greek word εἰς (eis, Strong’s 1519) and apart from ”for” it can mean into, in, among and till. The text does not say ”sealed and saved unconditionally all the way UNTIL the day of redemption no matter the conduct”. Were sealed” in the verseis a translation from ἐσφραγίσθητε (esphragisthēte, Strong’s 4972).

There is nothing that suggests that a seal can absolutely not be tampered with. When someone places a seal on something – like the one in the picture above to the left – he doesn’t do this with the idea that no one can remove the seal, but rather to show a unique mark and/or ownership of something. The aim might very well be to see the seal untouched until there is a proper time to remove it, but there is no guarantee that it will remain as it is until that day.

The Greek word sphragizó can mean seal, or set a seal upon, or mark with a seal. We are indeed uniquely ”marked” when we as christians have the Holy Spirit in our lives, and we are separate and different from those without this mark. The word is from sphragís (a seal) – to seal (affix) with a signet ring or other instrument to stamp (a roller or seal). ”Sealing” in the ancient world served as a ”legal signature”, and it was sometimes done by the use of religious tattoos – again signifying ”belonging to”. The same word is used for the stone which was blocking the grave of Jesus – and which  was later REMOVED.

2 Cor. 122Who hath also SEALED us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Matt. 27:66So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, SEALING the stone, and setting a watch.

Rev.  10:4And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

The book of Ephesians talks about a corporate election and about the promised future for the body of Christ. The CHURCH or the BODY OF CHRIST was predestined, before the creation of the world, to enter the Kingdom of God and inherit the promises. The question is if we as individuals choose to belong or not.

Eph. 1:22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the CHURCH23Which is his BODY, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Eph. 4:4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;—  16From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Eph. 1:13In 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 that holy Spirit of promise14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

or:

In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation – having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (Eph. 1:13, 14; 4:30).

Read the many warnings in the same chapter of Ephesians 4. The warnings are addressed to believers. The sealing of the Holy Spirit is conditional since we can ”grieve” and eventually ”insult” the Spirit of Grace which means total apostasy.

Hebr. 10 29Of 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, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?

Only believers can possess the Holy Spirit and no one can enter the Kingdom of God without the Spirit. He is therefore the guarantee of an inheritance for believers and not unbelievers. Through union with Christ we are ”predestined” to adoption and an inheritance as children of God, being ”joint heirs” with Christ (Eph. 1:5, 10-11, cf. Rom. 8:17; Gal. 3:29; 4:7). This is what is in view when Paul speaks of being sealed ”for the day of redemption”, but we must not assume that this sealing is unbreakable which the text does not claim.

What is a guarantee? Guarantee receipts normally have conditions which you can often read in the ”fine print”. If you get a guarantee receipt for a certain product and you would like to make a claim, the store might request that you bring both the product and the receipt before they are willing to look at your claim. They might also request that you do this within a certain time frame and that you state what’s wrong with the product. Another example might be if someone buys you a bus ticket which guarantees that you will get to a certain city PROVIDED that 1) you don’t throw away your ticket, 2) that you embark the right bus on the right time, and 3) that you STAY ON the bus until it arrives at the destination. The BUS will arrive at the destination as promised, but the question is if YOU will choose to be among the bus passengers.

1 Samuel 16:14 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him.

Psalm 5:11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me

A circumcision was also a ”seal” for those under the old covenant.

Rom. 4:11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a SEAL of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also

This seal WAS broken and guaranteed nothing when those who were circumcised broke the covenant and were cut off from the people of God.

Rom. 2:25For circumcision verily profiteth, IF thou keep the law:but IF thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. 26Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? 27And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?

As you can see, this seal was conditioned on continued faith and obedience. The Holy Spirit marks us as God’s children of the new covenant, but if we would totally abandon the faith and/or live in disobedience with no plan to repent, then the Holy Spirit might no longer have a reason to remain and then we are no longer sealed. Also circumcised (sealed) Jews were broken off through unbelief as Rom. 11 tells us.

Acts. 5:32And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

John 14:15If ye love me, keep my commandments.16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever

Rom. 8:9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, IF so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 10And IF Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Rom. 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

God speaks of the Israelites who ”grieved” His Holy Spirit in their rebellion. These Jews were cut off from the promise of entering God’s rest and they became God’s enemies.

Isaiah 6310But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: THEREFORE he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. — 14As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name.

In the NT the ”rest” is the eternal rest that all believers will attain. The book of Hebrews continually speak of the promise of eternal rest, in combination with WARNINGS to believers not to miss out on this promised rest through hardening their hearts in unbelief, just as the Israelites did who rebelled against God during the Exodus.

Hebr. 3:6But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end7Wherefore (as the Holy Ghost saith, To day if ye will hear his voice, 8Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) 12Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; 15While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? 18And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Hebr. 4:1Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. 2For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. 3For we which have believed do enter into rest, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my rest: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did rest the seventh day from all his works. 5And in this place again, If they shall enter into my rest. 6Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief: 7Again, he limiteth a certain day, saying in David, To day, after so long a time; as it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts. 8For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. 9There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. 10For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Hebr. 6: 11And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Jude 1:5I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not

The word ”called” below in Gal. 1:6 is the same word as in Rom. 8:30 – καλέω (kaleó Strong’s 2564). Paul marvels at the fact that some Galatians despite being called are deserting Christ and turning to another gospel. Paul noticed that these Galatians were true believers who were apostatizing from the faith. Despite being chosen, called elect they risked falling away. If kaleo refers to the elect in Rom 8:30 then it must also refer to the elect in Gal 1:6.

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that CALLED you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

If you’re trapped in Calvinism, do read about the contradictions within TULIP here.

Church Fathers

The Shepherd of Hermes 6(72):3 I say unto him, ”Sir, now then show me concerning those that have given up their rods, what manner of man each of them is, and their abode, that when they hear this, they that believed and have received the seal and have broken it and did not keep it sound may fully understand what they are doing, and repent, receiving from thee a seal, and may glorify the Lord, that He had compassion upon them and sent thee to renew their spirits.”

Clement 7:6 For as concerning them that have not kept the seal, He saith,`Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be for a spectacle unto all flesh’. 

Clement 8:6 So then He meaneth this, Keep the flesh pure and the seal unstained, to the end that we may receive life.

Var verkligen Jesus syndarnas VÄN?

En del säger att Jesus var syndarnas vän och baserar det framför allt på denna vers:

Matt. 11:18 Johannes kom, och han varken äter eller dricker,och man säger: Han är besatt. 19 Människosonen kom, och han äter och dricker, och då säger man: Se, vilken frossare och drinkare, en vän till publikaner och syndare! Men Visheten har fått rätt av sina barn.”

Notera dock att påståendena i versen inte är vad Jesus säger om sig själv utan vad andra säger om honom. Samma personer som säger att han är vän till publikaner och syndare säger också att Jesus är frossare och drinkare. Det sistnämnda är inte sant så då kanske det förstnämnda inte heller är sant.

Gud Fader älskar förstås hela världen på ett sätt, eftersom han sände sin enda son för att dö för oss och ge oss liv, och Jesus kom för att kalla SYNDARE till frälsning. Men han frälser förstås inte någon om de inte först OMVÄNDER sig.

Lukas 5:32 Jag har inte kommit för att kalla rättfärdiga till omvändelse utan syndare.”

Lukas 15:7 Jag säger er: På samma sätt blir det glädje i himlen över en enda syndare som omvänder sig – inte över nittionio rättfärdiga som ingen omvändelse behöver.

Marksu 2:17 Jesus hörde det och sade till dem: ”Det är inte de friska som behöver läkare utan de sjuka. Jag har inte kommit för att kalla rättfärdiga utan syndare.

I meningen precis efter påståendet att Jesus skulle vara vän med publikaner och syndare kan vi läsa:

Matt. 11:20 Sedan började Jesus gå till rätta med de städer där han hade utfört sina många kraftgärningar och förebrå dem att de inte hade omvänt sig.

Läs även:

Psalm 7:12 Gud är en rättfärdig domare, en Gud som dagligen visar sin vrede.13 Om någon inte vill omvända sig slipar han sitt svärd, sin båge spänner han och gör den redo.

3 Mosebok 19:17 Du skall inte hata din broder i ditt hjärta, men du skall tillrättavisa din nästa, så att du inte för hans skull kommer att bära påsynd.

Jesus var inte ute efter att få bra kontakt med människor genom att akta sig för att stöta sig med dem, och han umgicks inte med syndare för att vara vän med dem, utan med hopp att de skulle OMVÄNDA sig. (Inte heller bannade Jesus fariséer för att vara alltför rättfärdiga.) Syndare är ju fiender till Gud, så på det sättet kan inte Jesus vara vän med dem.

Hebr. 7:26 En sådan överstepräst var det vi också behövde, en som är helig, oskyldig, obefläckad, skild från syndare och upphöjd över himlarna.

Jakob 4:Ni trolösa, vet ni inte att vänskap med världen är fiendskap mot Gud? Den som vill vara världens vän blir Guds fiende. 

Johannes 7: Världen kan inte hata er, men mig hatar den, därför att jag vittnar om att dess gärningar är onda.

Jesus kanske kallas syndarnas vän för att han ÅT med dem, men Jesus åt även tillsammans med fariséer och dem var han ju inte ”vän” med.

Lukas 11:37 När Jesus hade talat, bjöd en farisé honom hem till sig, och han gick in och lade sig till bords.38 Farisén blev förvånad när han såg att Jesus inte tvättade sig före måltiden.

Syftet var inte att ha en trevlig och gemytlig samvaro där man endast diskuterar minsta gemensamma nämnare, utan syftet var att se människor gå från att vara syndare till rättfärdiga. Resten av middagen fortlöpte såhär:

Lukas 11:39 Men Herren sade till honom: ”Ni fariseer rengör utsidan av bägare och fat, men ert inre är fullt av girighet och ondska. 40 Ni dårar, har inte han som gjorde utsidan också gjort insidan? 41 Ge därför ert inre som gåva, så blir allting rent för er.42 Ve er, ni fariseer! Ni ger tionde av mynta, ruta och alla slags grönsaker men bryr er inte om rätten och kärleken till Gud. Det ena borde ni göra utan att försumma det andra.43 Ve er, fariseer! Ni älskar den främsta platsen i synagogorna och tycker om att bli hälsade på torgen. 44 Ve er, ni liknar gravar som man inte ser och som folk trampar på utan att veta om det.”45 En av de laglärda sade då till honom: ”Mästare, när du säger så, förolämpar du även oss.” 46 Han svarade: ”Ja, ve också över er, ni laglärda! Ni lägger på människorna bördor som är svåra att bära, men själva rör ni inte ett finger för att lätta dem.47 Ve er! Ni bygger gravvårdar över profeterna som era fäder mördade. 48 Ni är alltså vittnen till vad era fäder gjorde och samtycker till det. De dödade profeterna och ni bygger gravvårdar över dem. 49 Därför har också Guds vishet sagt: Jag skall sända till dem profeter och apostlar, och en del av dem skall de mörda och förfölja. 50 Så skall av detta släkte utkrävas alla profeters blod, som har utgjutits från världens begynnelse, 51 från Abels blod ända till Sakarjas blod, som utgöts mellan altaret och templet. Ja, jag säger er: Det skall utkrävas av detta släkte.52 Ve er, ni laglärda! Ni har tagit bort nyckeln till kunskapen. Själva har ni inte kommit in, och dem som är på väg in har ni hindrat.53 När han gick därifrån, började de skriftlärda och fariseerna angripa honom häftigt och ställa många frågor till honom. 54 De vaktade på honom för att fälla honom genom något som han sade.

Jesus var verkligen inte rädd för att ”stöta sig” med människor. Jesus visste förstås att hans direkta sätt skulle leda till gruff och osämja, men det hade varit värre för honom och hans rykte om han inte passade på att reagera på hyckleri och oegentligheter, och endast tillbringade tiden med att ”hänga omkring” med syndare med risken att andra skulle börja tro att Jesus var ”en i gänget” och precis likadan som de han umgicks med. Det behöver å andra sidan inte vara en synd i sig själv att ÄTA med människor även om de är syndare – beroende på sammanhanget. Vi äter mat i skolor och på arbeten med alla sorters människor, och privat har vi kanske familj, släktingar och grannar som vi umgås och äter med trots att alla inte är kristna. Om vi däremot privat skulle ses på en pub tillsammans med andra människor som dricker , röker och svär så skulle det ge en felaktig bild av oss. Andra skulle lätt kunna tolka det som att vi är en i det gäng där vi sitter, trots att vi själva inte deltar i deras synd. Sen finns det kristna som tillbringar tid i och utanför pubar och nattklubbar för att evangelisera, men då är detta mer tydligt och behöver inte missförstås.

Vid ett annat tillfälle så kritiserade Jesus sin värd ganska kraftigt:

Lukas 7:36 En av fariseerna bjöd hem Jesus på en måltid, och han gick till honom och lade sig till bords. 37 Nu fanns i staden en kvinna som var en synderska. När hon fick veta att han låg till bords i fariséns hus, kom hon dit med en alabasterflaska med olja 38 och ställde sig bakom honom vid hans fötter och grät. Med sina tårar började hon väta hans fötter och torkade dem med sitt hår. Och hon kysste hans fötter och smorde dem med oljan.39 Farisén som hade inbjudit honom såg det och tänkte: ”Om den mannen vore en profet skulle han känna till vad det är för slags kvinna som rör vid honom, att hon är en synderska.40 Då sade Jesus till honom: ”Simon, jag har något att säga dig.”Simon svarade: ”Mästare, säg det.” – 41 ”Två män stod i skuld hos en penningutlånare. Den ene var skyldig femhundra denarer, den andre femtio. 42 Eftersom de inte kunde betala, efterskänkte han skulden för dem båda. Vilken av dem kommer nu att älska honom mest?”43 Simon svarade: ”Den som fick mest efterskänkt, skulle jag tro.” Jesus sade: ”Du har rätt.” 44 Sedan vände han sig mot kvinnan och sade till Simon: ”Ser du den här kvinnan? När jag kom in i ditt hus, gav du mig inget vatten till mina fötter. Men hon har vätt mina fötter med sina tårar och torkat dem med sitt hår. 45 Du gav mig inte någon hälsningskyss, men sedan jag kom in har hon inte upphört att kyssa mina fötter. 46 Du smorde inte mitt huvud med olja, men hon har smort mina fötter med balsam. 47 Därför säger jag dig: Hon har fått förlåtelse för sina många synder. Det är därför hon visar så stor kärlek. Men den som har fått litet förlåtet älskar litet.” 48 Sedan sade han till henne: ”Dina synder är förlåtna.” 49 Då började de andra bordsgästerna fråga sig: ”Vem är den här mannen, som till och med förlåter synder?” 50 Men Jesus sade till kvinnan: ”Din tro har frälst dig. Gå i frid.

Paulus säger att vi inte ens ska äta tillsammans med syndare, men han förklarar också vad han menar med det. Om vi aldrig skulle kunna umgås med  syndare så skulle vi ha svårt att leva i den här världen som just är full av syndare. Det är inte Paulus syfte, utan poängen är att vi inte ska umgås med den som KALLAR SIG BRODER (eller syster förstås) OCH som lever i synd. Broder/syster är alltså en person som säger sig vara kristen. Sammanhanget i 1 Kor. 5 är för övrigt en situation där just en BRODER lever i grov synd och ändå befinner sig kvar mitt i ett sällskap med andra kristna. Detta ger helt fel signaler både vad gäller medkristna och utomstående. Andra kristna i församlingen kan få för sig att synd inte är så farligt eftersom ”den här brodern lever ju i en grov synd och är fortfarande en utav oss, så varför skulle mina små synder vara ett problem för mig eller andra?”. Utomstående riskerar att tro att synd är någonting helt normalt i en kristen församling och att kristna lever precis likadant som alla andra. Kristna kan också ses som en samling hycklare, och detta vore förstås ingen bra reklam för kristendomen.  Framför allt så hjälper en accepterande attityd inte syndaren själv! I stället för lugnande dunk i ryggen kanske han behöver mer spark i baken eftersom det handlar om hans SJÄL.

1 Kor. 5:I mitt brev till er skrev jag att ni inte skulle ha något att göra med otuktiga människor10 Jag menade inte alla otuktiga här i världen, inte alla giriga och utsugare och avgudadyrkare. Då måste ni ju lämna världen. 11 Jag skriver nu till er att ni inte skall umgås med någon som kallas broder, om han är otuktig, girig eller avgudadyrkare, förtalare, drinkare eller utsugare. Inte heller skall ni äta tillsammans med en sådan. 12 Hur kan det vara min sak att döma dem som står utanför?Är det inte dem som står innanför ni skall döma? 13 Dem som står utanför skall Gud döma. Driv ut ifrån er den som är ond!

Sen ska vi ju inte hamna i det andra diket och tro att det är fritt fram att sprida fördömande och hårda ord till olyckliga människor bara för att Jesus vid några tillfällen uttryckte sig med skärpa.  Jesus valde garanterat de rätta tillfällena för sina ve-rop. Vi andra kanske har svårare att göra de rätta bedömningarna när det är motiverat med starka ord, så vi ska tänka oss för innan vi använder ett hårt ordval som kan orsaka smärta. Det kan vara befogat eller totalt obefogat…

Ords. 15:1 Ett mjukt svar stillar vrede, ord som sårar väcker harm

FAITH is not the gift of God in Eph. 2:8-9, but SALVATION is

For by grace are ye saved through faith    

The whole passage is this:

Eph. 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that WE SHOULD WALK in them

The word ”it” is a translation from the Greek pronoun tοῦtο, and it is neuter in gender (not masculine or feminine). It refers back to something just mentioned, and pronouns agree with their antecedent in gender and number. This rule argues against the identification of ”faith” as being the antecedent because ”faith” is a feminine noun and therefore does not agree with the pronoun in gender. If Paul had used the feminine pronoun then it would logically be understood as ”faith” being the gift of God, but Paul did not use the feminine pronoun.

The logical understanding is therefore that Paul referred to the whole previous clause with ”it”, and that it is SALVATION that is the gift of God. It is a gift since we do not earn it, we do not deserve it, and we cannot arrange our own cleansing (from sins) and consequent justification and salvation. Only God has authority to do that. This does NOT mean that salvation is unconditional! The Bible makes it very clear that salvation is conditional upon repentance, and repentance requires a change of heart and that we must leave our old sinful life styles behind.

Moreover, if we insist on that it is ”faith” that is the gift of God in this verse (rather than salvation), the result might be horrendous. Then there would be a risk of ending up with a gospel where a tyrannical God chooses to give the ability to believe only to SOME (the lucky elect), while he withholds the same ability for the rest and even condemns people for their refusal to believe in him which he knows they could not do in the first place. The truth is that we are commanded to believe in him (1 John 3:23), and when we choose to come to him we must already believe in him (Hebr. 11:6). In fact, it is impossible to please God unless we have faith in him, so why would a loving God withhold this ability to most people and construct a scenario which he is not pleased about?

Salvation is by grace through faith, and it is the gift of God. Just like other gifts, the gift of God must be personally RECEIVED because God does not force his gifts on anyone (gifts are normally not forced on people). If we choose to accept the gift, we can decide to keep it for ever or throw it away after some time. The latter option would of course be extremely foolish, but it has happened that people have not taken care of God’s gift as they are supposed to. Gifts are normally free and nothing that you earn or pay for yourself. This does not mean that gifts could have no conditions tied to them.

For instance, you might decide that you will not give a gift to someone unless the receiver stretches out his/her hand to receive it and say thank you. If you send a gift to someone, he/she might not get the gift unless he goes to the post office to get it (no visit to the post office = no gift.) You might also decide to give a car – totally free of charge – to your teenage son when he turns 18, provided that he stretches out his hands to get the keys, that he promises to obey the traffic rules, etc. The teenage son did not do any work to get the car, and he did not pay a dime for it.

The reason why salvation is ”not of works” is because we can never cleanse ourselves from our past sins by starting to do good works later in life, and we have no authority to cleanse ourselves from our sins. We are totally dependent on God’s grace. We do not earn our salvation with either works or faith. It takes one sin to be a sinner and to be in need of cleansing. This means that no matter how much good works we do, we still need to be cleansed from our past sins. This is why salvation cannot ever be by works. The Bible does not say that people are not saved unless they put in a certain amount of labor (which for instance Muslims believe). The verse makes no claim that salvation is unconditional, but only that it is not of works. Most importantly, Paul is often referring to works of the law (the 613 Jewish laws) and warns against Judaism. He is not preaching lawlessness, nor that it is optional to obey God.

Note the often neglected v. 10 which says that WE should walk in the good works that God has put before us, and God will not do the walking for us. We must carry our own cross, and it is not light as a feather. The message in the Bible is that we must repent and be faithful to him.

Paul does not contradict James, and James makes it clear that we are justified BY WORKS and NOT faith alone:

James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21Was not Abraham our father justified BY WORKS, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?—24Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.

Paul agrees:

Rom. 6:16 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?

Rom. 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who WALK not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.— 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

We are created to seek God and believe in him

Since we are created precisely to seek God and to have faith in him, it is possible to say that we all are provided the gift of believing from the very start.

Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us

Rom. 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

No one will ever stand before God and claim that he is condemned because God never gave him/her the gift of faith, because all men are commanded to believe and to repent (1 John 3:23 and Acts 17:30). God says ”Look unto Me and be ye saved all the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 45:22). God desires all men to come unto him (1 Tim. 2:4), and men are condemned for their failure to do so because they could (John 8:24; 3:18; etc.).

The Bible says that faith comes through hearing by the word of God, and this would be inaccurate if we are to understand ”faith” as a gift of God in Eph. 2:8-9.

Rom. 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

”Eternal salvation” is indeed eternal, but we have not stepped into God’s eternal Kingdom yet. We could even say that the ”eternal gift” will still be eternal even if we throw it away, and then it will continue to be ”eternal” somewhere else but not in our possession. Who is eternal salvation given to? Apparently to those who obey God.

Hebr. 5:9And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that OBEY HIM

The Philippian jailer asked: ”What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30). The response was not ”Nothing! You can’t do anything! You are dead and totally unable to respond to God until you are regenerated. You have no part in salvation. God must do it all.” Paul and Silas told the jailer that there was something that he could do and that was to believe in Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31). Compare with how Peter answered a similar question in Acts 2:37-38). God must do the saving (man cannot save himself) but man must do the believing. God does not do the believing for man. We must also remember that if we truly believe in Jesus, which means that we love him, we also obey him – ”If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15).

Did the Israelites have no part in their deliverance from the deadly serpents as per Numbers 21? ”It shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live”. The brazen serpent that God placed on a pole is a picture of Jesus Christ, also raised up on a ”pole” to draw people to himself. So what was the Israelites supposed to DO in order to live? They were supposed to look at the serpent of brass and God’s part was to heal them. This means, that if someone did not look at it, he was not healed. The Israelites obviously had no reason to boast even though they were healed, because they had absolutely no way of healing themselves without the mercy of God.

If God is the one who provides faith to certain individuals, why would Jesus be surprised about people’s great faith or lack of faith?

Matt. 8:10When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.

Matt 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?

Matt. 8:26 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Luke 12:28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O ye of little faith?

Matt. 15:28Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

John Calvin did not believe that the pronoun touto referred to ”faith”, and the same goes for Calvinists today. A Calvinist might urge people to pray that they will be granted the gift of faith, but this would result in prayers being the condition for salvation, and not faith itself. If God predestined people to be elect and non-elect from the foundation of the world, naturally prayers would not make difference.

Kalvinism – en gnostisk och ologisk lära som skapar en tyrannisk gud

Vad skulle du kalla en brandman som kastar sig in i ett brinnande hus och räddar ett gäng människor innan huset till slut rasar? En hjälte, eller hur? Han räddade visserligen inte alla människor men hann med att rädda NÅGRA från lågorna. Fantastiskt!

Men vad skulle du säga om den här brandmannen var den som STARTADE BRANDEN innan han kastade sig in i huset för att rädda människor? Då skulle du förmodligen inte se upp till honom längre, utan AVSKY honom! Vad skulle du sedan säga om du får veta att den här brandmannen bestämde sig för VILKA han skulle rädda redan INNAN han kastade sig in i huset och började rädda folk? Om han stötte på människor i det brinnande huset som inte fanns med på hans redan ”räddningslista” så ratade han dem helt enkelt och sökte vidare tills han träffade på dem som han bestämt sig för skulle räddas.

Ingen vettig människa skulle vilja ha någonting att göra med en sådan elak och vedervärdig brandman utan hjärta och empati, men SÅ HÄR FUNGERAR KALVINISMEN!

Många kalvinister skulle förstås protestera och säga att jag ”missförstått” kalvinismen, men det är bara att läsa innantill vad Westminster Confession of Faith lär ut och/eller studera vad TULIP står för. Kalvinister tror inte att Jesus dött för ALLA människor utan bara vissa speciellt utvalda. Jag har träffat på en stor mängd kalvinister och 0% av dem är konsekventa med sin egen lära. Detta för att den är så fullständigt absurd och motstridig. Grunden är i princip att Gud förutbestämt ALLT.

Se denna video om du behärskar engelska och vänta framför allt tills du kommer till själva liknelsen med brandmannen.

Bjorkbloggen

SARKS betyder KÖTT och inte ”syndfullt kött”

Det grekiska ordet ”sarks” (Strong’s 4561) kan betyda kött, människokropp, kropp, mänsklighet, släkte, natur, mänskligt ursprung/inflytande, osv

Vårt kött är inte syndigt i sig självt, för det skulle innebära:

  • att vi blev syndiga direkt vid befruktelsen
  • att det på något sätt förolämpar och förargar Gud genom att bli  befruktade, eftersom synd alltid är emot Guds vilja och handlar om olydnad
  • att ofödda bebisar kan synda
  • att vi direkt/indirekt kan anklaga vår skapare för vårt syndiga tillstånd eftersom vi själva tvingats bli födda med syndigt kött- emot vår vilja
  • att Jesus var syndig (han kom i vårt kötts liknelse)
  • att Bibelns författare har fel som påstår att man är syndig om man bryter mot Guds bud, eftersom vi i stället är syndiga för att vi befruktats – INNAN vi känt till lagen
  • att Bibelns författare har fel som påstår att synd kan starta i…

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