What leg do they stand on?

In the spirit of defending The Gospel According to the Gospel, I have been trying to engage others about the gospel of our salvation. 

I was warned about the doctrinal road I was going down, which I find quite odd.  Why warn me about my doctrinal road, as if there is some consequence of it?

My acquaintance on line has almost made the exact same argument of once saved always saved that Tony Evens does in his book Totally Saved.  This is the argument from Tony’s book:

What is the spiritual position we were given at salvation?  We are seated with Christ “in heavenly places” (Ephesians 2:6).  Were already there spiritually, and someday we’ll be there in person.  This is an accomplished fact that occurred at salvation and is something we will never loose,  page 131

He continues:

This is why Paul could give this greeting to the Corinthians:  “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling”  (1 Corinthians 1:2).

Now these folks were carnal, cantankerous, and prideful believers who needed more rebuke and correction than any other collection of people in the early church.  And yet, they were sanctified people whose job description was being saints.  The Corinthians were not functioning in a sanctified way, but they were still sanctified by position and therefore saints.  Page 132

So again, I have to beg the question, why warn me of the doctrinal road I travel?  After all I have believed like Tony Evens and my online conversing friend for most of my Christian life.  After all the Spirit of God has moved in my life too. 

So following the doctrine of Calvin, how can any Calvinist warn a wayward believer?  What ground do they have to stand on to do it?  After all those in Corinth were all saints, even as carnal, lukewarm Christians.  So why should I have to worry if I am imperfect, as the Calvinist say?  There is nothing I can do to become unsaved?  After all I still love Jesus and want what I find in scripture and I want to be obedient to His commands.  Isn’t that at least a little more than the saints at Corinth?

Why should any immature Christian take heed to any warning in scripture, after all they are saved?  Yeah, you may not get the biggest mansion on the block, but you get a place in heaven, right?

So why listen to Jesus when He warns of blotting out names in the book of life?  Why should we listen to Jesus when he said, He will spew the lukewarm out of His mouth?  Why should care Jesus will turn away many who say on that day Lord Lord?  Why should we listen to Jesus when He says, every branch in Him that beareth not fruit is taken away?  Why should we concern ourselves when He says, such branches are gathered and throw into the fire?  Why should we listen to John the Baptist who warns those who have come forth to be baptized, to keep fruit in accordance with their repentance, because every tree that bears not good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire?

Let us the church, the sanctified, the saved ignore such warnings, because they are for those who “were not truly saved”.  Unlike those of the truly saved unruly, disobedient Corinthian church.

After all men have taught, we are sitting with Christ in the heavenly realms, we are good to go with the green light, we are eternally saved.

You have heard it said:

It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.[1]

But we say:

Don’t worry if you fall away, you have been seated with Christ in the heavenly realms and have tasted the heavenly gift and shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted of the goodness of the Word of God.  For you can never “truly” fall away, you have already repented, there is no loss.  You belong to Christ.

Really, once saved, what is there to fear?

[1] Hebrews 6:4-6

10 thoughts on “What leg do they stand on?

  1. and there you have it: the sole reason for the lie of human free will; to control people through false fear. As your own common sense speaks: “what is there to fear?” ..if you don’t have to fear for your own salvation? How will anyone be restrained if they are not weighed down by a fear?

    Isn’t that what you are saying? The fear of not being saved is what ought to control behavior?

    So we see yet again the arminian heresy is there to do nothing but control people and has said men have free will for the sole purpose of scaring people into compliance. ..and even that doesn’t work as is proven by the results of free will based society: crime ridden, corrupted, egregious evil everywhere…

    Arminians teach that there ought to be no fear of God ..only a fear of ‘losing salvation’. Then you try to cover it up by saying salvation is lost only if you don’t do ..what Arminians say God ‘means’ when God gives a law.

    Based on your post, you would seem to be in favor of law and order, peace and public safety and salvation of the soul. But what we actually see from those perfectly deceived they have free will is the opposite ..as a rule. You have carefully taught all you can that there ought to be no fear of God, only a fear of the rules ..and then you seek to make up the rules as you go by interpretational tricks when you think everyone is deceived they have to follow you ‘or else’.

    You are a witness against yourself: you are a cult that pretends there is no life outside the cult mindset, you pretend God is the same speech as Satan has and you cry foul when you are fully exposed.

    God is not mocked.

    Matthew 16:4 A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and a sign shall not be given to it save the sign of Jonas. And he left them and went away.


    In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen

  2. Dave,
    I have read over most of your blog material, so I can better understand what you are seeking to say and teach. And I am not sure I am your “acquaintance on line” you speak of? But I am certainly no ‘card-carrying’ Calvinist! I am, as I have tried to express an Anglican priest-presbyter. But, I seek to follow the biblical, revelation of God, in Holy Scripture and certain history. And this includes Judeo-Christian theology. Thus I seek to look to the whole Church Catholic, Church Fathers, both in the West and East (Orthodoxy). And in both the medieval Church, thru the Reformation, to our time (modern to postmodern). I would apply St. Paul’s verses here: Eph. 4: 11-13, which he speaks about “the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” (verse 12). But as in verse 11, this is “apostles..prophets..evangelists, and some pastor-teachers.” The last few given all thru the Church-age. In every place where the name of Christ is named! (1 Cor. 1:2)

    I can see in your writings that you either, don’t do theology? Or you don’t know it? Sadly, your biblical teachings on the doctrine of the Gospel and Salvation, are very incomplete. For salvation is given simply in the NT in three tenses: past, present and future! I can quote St. Paul here from Rom. 8: 30 – “And whom He predestined (past), these also He called (present), these also He justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified (future…but in justification, we also find all three!) And we can see the fulness of this in verses 8:31-39 of Romans 8.

    However, this “justification” can only been known in the life of the believer as he seeks santification, and in the perseverance of this full salvation in his life until the end. Thus a “justifying faith” sees “justification” now and unto the last day, and the day of the true believers end, at the “Bema-Seat” of Christ.

    “Now unto HIM that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of HIS glory with exceeding joy,
    To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.” (Jude 24-25)

    Fr. Robert

  3. To irishanglican

    Nawh, your not my online acquaintance. But always love to chat.
    Ok, your not a card carrying Calvinist, but isn’t the three tenses of salvation a Calvin doctrine?
    I have no argument with predestination. Scripture says God has foreknew and more than that. We have a lamb slain from the foundation of the world. We have our names written in the Book of Life before the world began. Paul was commanded to preach the hope of salvation that was promised before time. Ok, so you and I agree on predestination, right? Keep in mind it doesn’t reveal who those predestined are.

    I have no argument with our future tense of salvation. Meaning, when Christ comes He will bring salvation to those who are looking for Him. Now I don’t know any degenerate unbeliever who looks to Christ coming, so I believe we have salvation coming to us when He comes. I don’t think this is something that goes against the Calvinist doctrine. Am I right in assuming this? Again, keep in mind it doesn’t reveal who those predestine are.

    So now we have this gap between predestination and our being secure in Him with our crown of life, where there is disagreement. Many, and let me tell you many, believe they get salvation at conversion. And I am correct to understand this is the Calvinist view? Now I have believed this for years. So, if I would stop there, there would be no disagreement, Correct?

    So this is the rub. Many believe they are seated with Christ in heavenly places and I would say that believers are sitting there with Him. But what of the warning from scripture, that I put in my blog? How do we say, those who sit in heavenly realms and tasted the goodness of God, His word and His power are secure? This is where we live and where it is worked out in peoples lives who those people are who were actually predestined and those who will actually receive salvation when Christ comes.

    If the issue is resolved upon a confession of faith on who is predestined and who will receive salvation at His coming, then why the warnings in scripture. If believers are secure, then can someone tell me, why was that warning put in scripture? Surely, we are not going to say it is for the unbeliever. That kind of person doesn’t sound like an unbeliever to me.
    Please, I would love to hear what to do with that scripture. I ask this with all sincerity.

  4. To christianclarityreview
    Thank you for your comments.
    If I get the jest of what you are saying, you think I am saying we do not have to fear God because He is good. But fear loosing the salvation that our good God has given us. Is this correct?

    If that is what you are saying, then both assumptions are wrong. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. God told Moses He did what He did to Egypt so the people would fear Him, so they would not sin against Him.

    Mary said in her pray of praise-
    (Luke 1:50 NIV) His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.
    To that I would say, I want His mercy, so I need to fear Him too if I want to receive His mercy in my generation. Don’t you want that too?
    And when the promise is complete that He gave our father Abraham then, we will no longer have to serve Him in fear.
    (Luke 1:69 NIV) He has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David (as he said through his holy prophets of long ago), salvation from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us–to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
    Jesus Himself tells us to fear God. Shouldn’t I?
    (Luke 12:5 NIV) But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.
    The church was built on a fear of the Lord.
    (Acts 9:31 NIV) Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord.
    And why not build the church based on a scriptural fear of the Lord? Peter understood this.
    (Acts 10:34-35 NIV) Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.
    Why should we live in the mindset we were saved from, when we had no fear? Only those who refuse God live without fear of God.
    (Rom 3:11-18 NIV) there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
    So what is Biblical fear of the Lord?
    (2 Cor 5:10-11 NIV) For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men. What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience.
    On fearing the loss of our salvation, I never said that. I believe the doctrine of Paul. We have a hope of salvation.
    You think my purpose is to manipulate by using fear to conform people to me. Men will do what men well do. I just think the warning from Jesus that not everyone on the narrow path will make it is kind of important to keep in mind. Yes there are the predestined (past salvation) and those who will receive salvation (future salvation) but now this is where we live to find out who these people are. The narrow path is not following the way of the word, is it?
    (Luke 13:24 NIV) “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.

  5. Dave,

    Your question is actually a good one. As we can see in our Lord’s parable of the Weat and Tares, the Parable of the Sower, etc. That it is only the person or in your question, the professing Christian that truly produces “fruit” from the “seed sown on good soil” (Matt. 13:23), that is the real Christian, and thus the “elect” or chosen of God. But in the end, only God gets to make this decision. Now as Jesus says, we “know” them by their fruits. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control against such things there is no law.” (Gal. 5:22-23) But also note verse 24: “Now those who belong (or really, literally ‘are of’) to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires-lusts.” It is not perfection of the flesh certainly, but the place and power to overcome “In Christ.”

    The only way I can know if I am “Christ’s”, is thru ‘faith, hope and love’. All of it in God in Christ. It is all the gift of faith, (Eph. 2: 8).. but a faith too that is “created” itself to good works in Christ, (Eph. 2:10).

    Dave, I did not say I was not a Calvinist, but not a card-carrying one. I am Reformed, but I am also Anglican Reformed. As I have said this is both ‘Catholic & Reformed’. I too have some gripes with many in the modern Reformed movement. As I said in other posts I am just now coming back toward a more somewhat moderate Reformed position…Brunner, even some Barth, and G.C. Berkouwer, etc. But I do love the real Calvin! And for what its worth here, I do hold both the D. Phil., and Th.D. I am 60 years old mate!

  6. To irishanglican

    I suspected you had some learning behind you. At least a lot of reading. Well I have nothing to accredit myself to anyone like that. The most I could hope for is what the disciples had.
    (Acts 4:13 NIV) When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

    I still have some scripture that was in the blog that started all this debate, that I can’t put down yet. If believers (whoever they truly may be) are secure then why the warning:
    (Heb 6:4-6 NIV) It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
    In the context that true believers (whoever they may be) are seated now with Christ I the heavenly realms, is there security in be seated with Him in the heavenly realm? Someone, or type of people are warned that that tasting the heavenly gift, sharing in the Spirit (which comes to believers only as a deposit), and powers of the coming age (these would not come from anyone but Christ to the believer), is no guarantee of salvation.

    It seams to me you can participate in all this and still miss the mark. You know of the warnings about those who say Lord, Lord. Hey I don’t even heal the sick and cast out demons, so how much more should I take the warning above seriously?

    Again I would love to hear your thoughts on Heb 6:4-6

    This is why I adhere to the hope of salvation in scripture. This is why I believe we haven’t been saved. Scripture doesn’t say we can loose our salvation. This is what those who believe in Arminianism have gotten wrong.

    So please give me your thoughts on Heb 6:4-6.

    • Dave,

      First, before God our level of education matters not a wit! Save to perhaps make us more responsible, if God has given us more light, (John 1:4; 9). I truly know that God is not a respecter of persons! And only grace can make the man, certainly. But grace does change nature, at least in the degree of the new birth.

      AS to Hebrews 6: 4-6 (7-8-9, etc.), if we stay within the context I don’t think we will have a problem. For here is both warning and encouragment. But in Heb. 6: 1-3, lays this foundation within a Jewish context. Judaism had this beginning…repentance, faith, instruction about “washing”, laying on of hands, resurrection, and eternal judgment. But they (these Jewish believers) had began a real walk of faith, but they did not continue. The writer uses the parable (verse 7-8) to express this. And since some “they” again “crucify to themselves” (afresh) ‘the Son of God’. These Jews take the part (again) of those unbelieving Jews who rejected Christ and openly reviled Him (see and compare Heb. 19:29). The parable is a warning against the wilful misuse of those gifts of God referred to in verses 4,5 (compare Rom. 2: 4-9). But, we see in Heb. 6: 9-10 & 11, that the writer is not speaking of them. He calls them “beloved”, and “we are convinced of better things concerning you, and things that accompany salvation, though we are speaking in this way.” So in the context we see that the writer is both warning them and giving them encouragement, but he is “convinced” of their work of love and their ministry to the saints of God, (verse 9-10). And note verse 12 also, “who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” And then the example of Abraham is given, (verse 13). The father of faith!

      I know this is rather quick, and simple, and without the technical aspect. But here again we have the teaching that it is thru ‘faith and patience’ that the real regenerate persevere until the end. But certainly we can have a real beginning, and if we do not continue in faith, we can certainly fall back (away) and apostatize. But this does take great insult against the grace of God. And does not happen so quickly. It is more certain neglect, (Heb. 2: 1, etc.).

  7. Hi irishanglican,

    I do not understand why we are trying to parse Jew from Gentile here. Wasn’t the letter written to the Church? Have we forgotten what Paul taught? Those who are in Christ are those who are in Christ. It is a letter written to the church. I am baffled that we squeeze out the gnat and swallow the camel here.
    (Gal 3:28 KJV) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
    If it smells like the church, taste like the church, sounds like the church, feels like the church and looks like the church, it must be the church. Especially if there is only one new man in Christ, no Jew, no gentile.
    Additionally, how can we say verses 1-3 are Jewish in context? Isn’t the text plain enough for it says they are the principles of the doctrine of Christ.
    (Heb 6:1 KJV) Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
    So if the doctrine of Christ is exclusively Jewish, I guess we are all Jewish! Isn’t the truth of the matter we have all bought into the foundation that God has laid in the Jewish faith? He didn’t do it with us gentiles.
    So I still see the warning as to the church. How can this be escaped? It is the doctrine of Christ.
    Verses 7-8 is no different than the tree that doesn’t produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Which absolutely supports verses 4-6 which is written to the church which had the doctrine of Christ.
    How can we say “they” means the Jews who crucified Christ. Did all Jews crucify Christ? Did any Jew crucify Christ? It was unlawful for them. It was the gentiles who did it. We crucified Christ and the Jews egged us on. However the scripture teaches that Christ died for the sins of mankind. It is us believers who fall away who crucify Christ all over again when we abusively sin and make light of our own redemption. After all scripture teaches:
    (2 Pet 2:20-22 NIV) If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them. Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,” and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”
    Peter himself backs up Heb 6:4-6
    As far as Heb 19:29 I could find that chapter. Which one did you mean?
    As far as the writer saying he is convinced of better things concerning them, it is because he is kind toward those he loves in his encouragement. He warned them and now he encourages them. He does it lovingly don’t you think?
    Verses 11-12 speak of the hope of salvation. The writer desired they show diligence that matched their hope and this to the end. He uses those who had gone on before them to show they got their promised inheritance so just as they did so can we who through faith and patience inherit our promises.
    (Heb 6:11-12 KJV) And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
    To me this is all straight forward. It was to a group of people who had the foundation of the doctrine of Christ, of whom certain individuals of their nationality egged us gentiles into killing the Christ with our own barbaric means. By which means we gentiles are grafted into the vine of this same doctrine of Christ and are warned not to fall away from our hope, verses 4-6, so that we can with patience and diligence receiver our promised inheritance as those who had gone on before us.
    Heb 10:29 backs up what I said in my blog, don’t you think?
    Love the discussion. You make me have to seek out God’s counsel on these matters.

  8. Dave,
    First that one Text should have been Heb 10:29, the other was a typo.

    I am not seeking to “parse” out between Jew & Gentile. But as St. Paul wrote: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Rom. 1:16) And later in Roman’s 11, we can see that we Gentiles were only brought in by God’s grace, though we are “contrary to nature” (Rom. 11: 24). They are the “natural branches” to be “grafted (back) into their own olive tree.” I am not a supersessionist with the Nation and people of Israel! Though I am certainly not “dispensational” either. But “covenantal” to all God’s covenants and grace.

    As to the Book of Hebrews, it is written to Hebrew Christians.. but many in the Book, as Christians appear to be in name only! Note, Heb. 10: 26-29 (also note verses 32-34), this suffering, etc. This is from the Christian spiritual reality that Judaism has come to an end, “theologically”, or is really fulfilled in Christ. The word “better”! Here we do have the whole sphere of Christian profession. As the writer says, “bare” or “suffer the word of exhortation” (Heb. 13:22) St. Paul also “exhorts” the Roman or Gentile Christians in Rom. 11: 21-22. So exhortation is true for and toward the Body of Christ, though the true “elect” or chosen, are always known alone to God. We can only know this individually, in faith and perseverance. (Eph. 2:10 /Phil. 2:12-13 / See also Phil. 3:10-21).

    I am writing a bit on the fly, but will seek more later. Hope this helps from my end.

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