10-06-2001, 07:48 AM
Perserverance Of The Saints
All who were chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of Almighty God and thus persevere to the end.
1 Thess. 5:23-24
2 Tim. 4:18
1 Peter 1:23
10-21-2001, 09:29 AM
Many Christians misunderstand the full extent of God's forgiveness. This is partly due to the teaching approach used in many seminaries and Bible colleges, and consequently ends up being taught in many churches. And also because many Christians don't take the time to carefully look into the Scriptures, and discover the full extent of what Christ has done for them.
Many church leaders will tell believers that God has forgiven all the sins they have ever committed or will ever commit when they accepted Christ as their Savior. BUT, when they sin in the future, they must confess their sins and get forgiven again.
I used to believe all this.
The accepted, standard explanation for this is 1 John 1:9. That this continually getting God's forgiveness through confession is a sort of parenthetical appropriation of God's forgiveness. It is sometimes thought of a " parental or family of God forgiveness. "
So I would like to show you in Scripture what I have learned; what I believe God has revealed to me through searching the Scriptures.
2 Corinthians 5:21 tells us "God made him, who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might became the righteousness of God."
Romans 3:22 tells us, " all have sinned and all have fallen short of God's glory."
Romans 6:23 says, "For the wages of sin is death"...
No one has ever kept God's law perfectly, and no one ever will. Yet, God's law demands perfect obedience. Only Jesus Christ has done this, and only He could be perfect and righteous FOR us.
So God make a "swap". Christ took all of our sins and unrighteousness upon Himself on the cross in order to satisfy the just requirements of God for our lack of righteousness. In exchange, we received all of His righteousness and perfection. The believer is declaired righteousness-just, or justified. And I am sure many of you on this MB are well aware of all of this. But here is my point: If we as believers have been justified- made completely righteous, have been given all the perfection of Christ in the sight of God though the shed blood of Christ (Romans 5:9), and are completely reconcilled to God (Rom 5:10-11), and completely forgiven through the "once-for-all" sacrifice of God's Son, (Hebrews 10:1-18), then why is it that we have to go get forgiven again during our lives as Christian believers?
Hebrews 10:16-18 clearly says ALL of our sins have ALREADY been forgiven to be remembered no more through Christ's "once for all" sacrifice for ALL ours sins. Hebrews 10:26 says that if we sin as believers there remains no more sacrifice. Why? because all our sin were already taken away by Christ's once and for all time sacrifice at Calvary. You are either completely forgiven, reconcilled, made completely righteous by Christ's sacrifice or not at all.
Paul tells us "the death He died, he died once for all. (Rom 6:10)
Eph 1:7 and Col 1:14 both say the same thing, "we HAVE redemption through His blood, the forgivenes of sins." And so do these other passages: (Col 2: 13-14, 2 Cor 5:18-21, Acts 10:43, 13:38-39, 1 Cor 6:11, 1 John 2:12). Have we as believers forgotten the complete finality of what Christ has done for us; that He has wiped out ALL of our sins,as the apostle Peter says in 2 Peter 1:8-9? Have we forgotten that when Jesus said "IT IS FINISHED" in John 19:30, that is exactly what he meant?
God could never save us, come to live in us, and remain in us if ther was even a trace of sin in us. (1 Pet 3:18)
BUT, what about 1 John 1:9 you might say?
For many believers this is the only verse they have memorized that deals with forgiveness. The verse reads, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." Many believers read this and conclude that forgiveness is based on confession. If we confess, He forgives. If we don't confess, He won't forgive. From a human perspective this sounds good, but is there still more forgiveness to be received for the already-forgiven Christian? No, there isn't. However, many Christian teachers have read that verse and camped on it for support of their predetermined opinion as to what the Christian response to personal sin should be. So when a person hears all the other passages concerning the totality of our forgiveness, confusion arises upon reading 1 John 1:9. How can you say on one hand that you are totally forgiven , and then turn around and say you need to confess your sins to receive forgiveness? Instead of resting in the truth that all our sins have been dealt with at Calvary, we still keep riding the treadmilll of forgiveness, wearing ourselves out. We act no different that the Old Testiment Jew who went back to Jerusalem year after year to offer the blood of bulls and goats to cover the sins committed the previous year. Nowhere in the New Testiment after the crucifixion, is the concept of asking God's forgiveness even mentioned. The apostle Pail never deals with the subject- he didn't have to. He stood firm in the fact that he was a forgiven person and that those to whom he wrote were forgiven people.
The erroneous application of 1 John 1:9 is so widely taught in the majority of churches today; yet this reference in 1 John is the only time this concept is mentioned in the New Covenent.
Another problem connected to this erroneous teaching is the idea that a Christian can fall in and our of fellowship with God. The problem with this theory is that you can't find it in the NT. You are either in fellowship and saved, or out of fellowship and lost. Those who hold to this theology say that the result of sin is falling out of fellowship with God are totally watering down the truth the the wages of sin is DEATH. The Bible says the punishment for sin is death, not being out of fellowship.
So just who is 1 John 1:9 addressing?
You will hear that the Epistles were written only to believers. This is utter nonsense. When the apostles penned their letters, they were writing to a Christian pastor who was to read the letter to a congregation made up of both lost and saved people.
Reading 1 John 1:9 in context, we see that it is addressing the lost, not the believer. At the time John wrote this letter, about 90 AD, a heretical group known as the Gnostics had infiltrated the churches. The Gnostics believed that all matter is evil, that only spirit is good. Therefore, Jesus couldn't have come in the flesh, because flesh is matter. So, they concluded that Christ was an illusion.
John was thus addressing this issue in his first letter. "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched- this we proclaim concerning the Word of life." (1 John1:1) Why do you suppose John begins his letter this way? It was to dispel this Gnostic heresy.
One other teaching of the Gnostics was that man did not have a sin nature. John addresses this heresy in verses 8 and 10 of 1 John 1. "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us...... If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has not place in our lives."
To help to clarify that this is a passage to unbelievers let's look at John's second letter. "To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth-and not I only, but also all who know the truth- because of the truth which lives in us and will be with us forever."(2 John 1,2) Compare this with 1 John 1:8 which says, "If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." If the truth lives in us and will be with us forever, then can a believer ever say that the truth is not in him?
This would be double talk. In one verse he says that if we claim to be without sin, the truth is not in us. And yet later he says the truth lives in us and will be with us forever. How can these two verses both be refering to a Christian? The only conclusion we can make is that those refered to in 1 John 1:8-10 are the unsaved, not the believer.
So how should we react to the sins we commit in our daily lives?
How about thanking God for already having forgiven us through His Son. And the Apostle Paul gives these directions in Colossians 3:1-17 where he urges believers to turn from their sin and to live godly lives.