This is a topic that is extremely hard for most to even try to accept and attempt to understand. This is due to the fact that most have never been taught this and have only heard of the edification of God’s love for them and that is it.
I will say this. On God’s part, He will never abandon us, see the book of Hosea. However, it is a two sided relationship, just like any marriage. Both must be willing participants. It is we humans that are the problem due to free-will. It is our actions that cause this issue. It is us that causes Salvation to be lost.
So how is it we can correct this? To get into this. I will once again start with the words of Jesus Himself, for we must come to an understanding of Christ role in this marriage.
Matthew 5:17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.”
The main thing that ended upon the cross was the requirement to sacrifice animals, and have burnt offerings upon the altar. Let’s see what else Jesus said:
John 14:15 “If you love me, obey my commandments.”
But what is it we are to follow that is from Him?
Matthew 19:17 “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.”
Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
All of the commandments were not just the Ten Commandments, or as they should have been taught from this moment Jesus spoke these two, thus making them Twelve Commandments. They were the entire book of Deuteronomy.
As I stated above, Jesus removed the need for sacrificing upon an altar to God. However Jesus is making it clear that the lifestyle taught within the latter part of Exodus, within Leviticus and the book of Deuteronomy are still to be practiced. However most at this time refuse to accept and live this way. Thinking that Jesus actually came to abolish the law and the teaching of the prophets. Yet as I pointed out that is the complete opposite, yet millions live their lives as if that were the case.
A prime and very visible example of this is tattoos, the painting of the skin. It is seen as defiling the gift of God, your body.
Leviticus 19: 28 “Do not cut your bodies for the dead, and do not mark your skin with tattoos. I am the Lord”
However within recent decades as the teachings within the Old Testament are ignored and forgotten. The very things that Christ said He came to fulfill and told us in His own words to follow. Mainly due to those in political power creating laws that force God out of the school, which has caused this “art form” to be on a dramatic climb. More and more paint their bodies in direct contradiction to the teachings of the Bible. Some even think this “art form” reflects their faith and belief in God. This is due to the denial of the truth within the Bible.
Not only do people deny the law and the commandments they also deny the teachings within the New Testament as well. Again another prime and very visible example:
Titus 3:1 Remind the believers to submit to the government and its officers. They should be obedient, always ready to do what is good.
Now this states we are to obey the laws of the nation, and state we live within. As long as they do not go counter to laws within the Bible. The prime and very visible example to which I was referring. Driving on the highways and byways that get us from one place to another every single day of our lives. When a speed limit states we are to go 55 mile per hour. As Christians we are to go 55. Yet you see extremely few that do this, and some of those that do not obey the laws ride up the rears of those attempt to follow the law tailgating them and flashing their lights at them as they attempt to go 55. All of which is against the laws of the land and thus against the teachings within the Bible.
This is why when people live their lives in this manner their salvation is not guaranteed, yet they think they are saved. However their very behavior and actions moves them further and further away from God. They bear no fruit for God, and so stand the chance of being removed from the Vine which is Jesus Christ and cast into the fire of damnation. (John 15)
The only way to correct this is to live our lives as they are taught within the New Testament and the Old Testament, and accept that it is by both faith and works that will help us be Christ like. The works being that we live our lives the way the Bible tells us to live them.
Salvation is not guaranteed continued
While I agree that the ‘once saved always saved’ theology does not take into account freewill, I also see John saying that he was writing so that believers could know that they are saved. That said, I get annoyed when I see Leviticus 19 quoted as a command to not have tattoos. Why is it we get to pick and choose which commands in that chapter apply to contemporary society? Do you wear clothing that is mixed? Do you know of anyone in Industrial nations who pay their workers daily instead of paying the wages earned out that day? How about the inference that concubines are okay? Or just scales for that matter? Where do we go to determine fair value of goods in relation to the dollar when the dollar itself no longer has backing other than what public opinion sees its value as? The tattoo reference was so that Israel did not mark their bodies as the pagans around them did to worship their pagan Gods. It is the only place in scripture where it is written. Outside of that Jesus will have tattoos on His thighs at His return, right?
And lastly, yes, there are tons of laws, rules, precepts and commands. Jesus addressed this with the Pharisees multiple times. Obey, but obey because you are in love with God in such a way that you desire to honor Him through doing His commamds. Paul encouraged believers not to be a stumbling block to one another as we work out pur own salvation with fear and trembling. Paul at meat that was sacrificed to idols, or at the least he thought it was okay. It was a direct violation of the laws you desire to be followed. But he goes on to say that he refrains from doing so when it would cause a weaker believer to stumble in their faith.
Love is the answer, not legalistic obedience. If you are convicted about driving the speed limit then drive the sleed limit. But give Grace to others as they work out their own salvation. Tell them about Paul’s rationale in obeying government authority but don’t try to be the Holy Spirit for them. Peter was faithful in preaching the message but he also fell back on the laws and Paul called Him out for it. But still, preach and give grace as we all are depraved and worthy of death, whether we obey the speed limit or not.
Reply will be tomorrow’s post