Summary
 

Summary

by David Lasseter


 

I pray this study has been of benefit to you in your desire to learn of God and His will for your life.  In this study we've considered His love for us, and how that love is not the warm emotion most religious people today claim it to be.  His love led Him to do what we could not do for ourselves, but what was absolutely essential for our salvation.  We've studied His grace, and learned that it is through faith that we gain access to His grace, which is essential for our salvation.  We've examined works and the role they play in our salvation.  We understand that we can never earn salvation, because the value of the work we do will never equal the value of the salvation we receive from God.  This nullifies the false teaching many proclaim today that works are not necessary for salvation, since they show our attempt to earn salvation.  Our understanding that we owe God, not that He owes us, leads us to work with fervent zeal in His kingdom.  Our study of law taught us that we are not under the law of Moses today, but are under the law of Christ.  As does every law, the law of Christ contains commandments we must obey.  When we obey every commandment Jesus gives us, we are His friend and gain the benefits of his death (remission of sins).  Every human being alive today has the option to choose to be obedient to Jesus' commandments, or to be disobedient.  His blood is available to wash away the sins of everyone who chooses obedience.  However, should one choose disobedience, their sins are not remitted and they will suffer eternal damnation as a consequence.

Throughout this study we have proven the fact that a child of God can fall from grace and be eternally lost.  We closed our study with a consideration of 3 verses from the New Testament, each of which proves the fallacy of the doctrine commonly referred to as "once saved, always saved."  We saw how the vine (Jesus) feeds branches (individual Christians) attached to Him.  These branches may either be fruitful, or unfruitful.  If they are the former, God cleanses them through His word so that they may be even more fruitful.  However, those unfruitful branches are cut off from the vine, gathered together, and burned!  One cannot be a part of the vine if they have not been obedient to Jesus' commandments!  Therefore, since those who are cut off from the vine for being unfruitful at one time were obedient to His commandments, a child of God absolutely may fall from grace should they return to their former life of sin!  Paul emphasizes this fact again when he tells the Galatian Christians that those who seek to be justified by the law of Moses have fallen from grace.  The fact these Christians could fall from grace for such behavior tells us that simply being a Christian does not guarantee salvation.  If it did, then it would have been impossible for the Galatian Christians to fall from grace no matter how they sought to be justified.  Finally, we considered the apostle Paul and his struggles with the flesh.  He writes of his concern for his own salvation, despite having preached the word to countless numbers of his fellow man.  He uses forceful language when he speaks of his struggles with the flesh, telling us that he treats his body as a slave, beating it black and blue with rigid discipline to bring it under subjection to his will.  We understand that he didn't literally beat his flesh with a rod or other weapon, but the force of his will resisting the lusts of his flesh was like the force applied by a slave master to a rebellious slave.  The concern he had for his eternal salvation should he lighten up on the discipline applied to his flesh was evident in his first epistle to the Corinthians.

As I close this study I urge each of you (myself included) to do as the apostle John admonished and "believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1)  None of us wants to be surprised at the day of judgment and learn that everything we believed and did while alive on earth was for nothing.  Unfortunately, many people will have this unhappy experience.  God has been so gracious to us in giving us the guidebook by which we will be judged.  We don't have to grope about in the dark, hoping to stumble across His will by mere chance!  All we have to do is to study His word for ourselves, determine to be obedient to its teachings until death, and we are promised an eternal home with Him in heaven.  Please do not let the many false prophets teaching Satan's doctrines today defraud you of your eternal reward.


 

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