Consequences of salvation


In yesterdays post 1 Peter chapter one and the three tenses of salvation I talked about how Peter did not speak of three tenses of salvation as taught by the Calvinist.  That Peter saw election and God’s foreknowledge working with a gospel of hope unto one tense of salvation.  This salvation is a future event to come at Christ return.  It doesn’t even happen at the altar of conversion but becomes for us a living hope through the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

I felt the article was undone so I want to draw your attention to the new section entitled What does this mean for believers?  I encourage you to reread the whole article to grasp the whole consequence of the truth we see in the gospel of scripture compared to the gospel of men.  Then decide what gospel you will follow.  Also notice the link to my previous article, when rereading, called The three red flags on the three tenses of salvation in order to get an even wider range of scripture to consider when comparing the gospel of men to The Gospel According to the Gospel.

You decide, what will be your gospel?

1 Peter chapter one and the three tenses of salvation

I find 1 Peter chapter one a very interesting chapter.  It speaks of God’s foreknowledge, His election of the saints and our salvation.  But is Peter’s account of these three things in compliance with church doctrine? 

Peter calls the believers he was writing to as the elect and in doing this he adds according to the foreknowledge of God. 

Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.[1]

There is an understanding in large portion of the church that this election that was done by the foreknowledge of God puts the believer in a state of eternal security.  That once converted there really is no more hope of salvation.  Instead what is taught is believers have gone from a state of been saved (elected by God’s foreknowledge) to a state of being saved (being born again).  According to this teaching the believer only needs to be saved at His coming.  This is called the three tenses of salvation.  Are saved, being saved and will be saved.

I have written about this before in my post Three red flags on the three tenses of salvation.  Now I would like to consider the three tenses of salvation from 1 Peter where we see Peter affirming election by God’s foreknowledge.

Right after his pronunciation of our election by God’s foreknowledge we see in the very next three verses exactly what we have been elected to by God’s foreknowledge. 

Peter taught we have been born again (begotten) by the mercy of God into a hope of a very real and living nature.  And because of this living hope Peter appropriately gives praise to God who is the Father of Jesus.  He did not praise Him because he had received anything.  Instead he praises Him because he knows and lives according to this hope.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,[2]

There is for us believers who have this hope, an inheritance kept for us in heaven which is sure and reliable.  Our hope in our election is not on some changing event or uncertain ability of God to deliver to us who hope.  Rather it is sure in the one who has made the promise.

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,[3]

Peter after telling the believers in his letter of the hope they have kept for them in heaven through the resurrection of Christ from the dead, doesn’t let his readers know they are saved.  Instead he says they are kept by the power of God though their faith unto salvation. 

Scripture screams of this hope and this faith in what we do not possess, yet hope for.  Instead we believers what to preach salvation as an event that comes at the point of conversion, not the hope that it is.  We take Peter’s statements about election and God’s foreknowledge and twist it to mean something that is not taught by Peter or any other writers of either Testaments.

Peter clearly teaches that as believers we have the power of God that keeps us in the promises of God through our faith.  By a faith that is as lively as our hope is, we wait for our salvation to be revealed to us at His appearing.

Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.[4]

At His coming those who have been elected through the foreknowledge of God and remained in the faith of Christ will receive their salvation.  The promise will be fulfilled.  We will no longer hope for what we do not have, as Paul says.  We will no longer have to have a faith that hopes for what is not seen, as the writer of Hebrews says, for we will see Him on that day.  Our God who calls things that are not as if they were will no longer speak so concerning our salvation since our hope will be revealed and realized through Christ’s appearing. 

Because of this hope we can go through the trials of the next three verses because we know as we continue in our faith we are closer to our end of hope, even our salvation.  Peter says by living our faith in trails we can look forward to His praise and His glory and His honor.  Those of us who are elected and living for God, are living out in our lives the evidence of things not seen.  This is why Peter can so confidently say we are receiving not the beginning but the end of our faith, the very salvation of our souls.

Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.[5]

This salvation, this hope this election by the foreknowledge of God was spoken of by the prophets.  As I said already, no writer of either Testaments teaches what is taught in the doctrine of the three tenses of salvation.  You won’t find this teaching in the Law of Moses or the Prophets and it is not taught in the New Testament. 

Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you:[6]

Peter lets his readers know they are to live a sober in their lives and thinking as they hope to the end for the grace to be given unto them when Jesus comes as our King of Kings.  Since our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed as someone has once said and Peter speaks of this salvation as coming at the end of our faith.  Let us not do disservice his message and say we are waiting for the third tier of our salvation.  We are waiting for the one hope of grace unto salvation to be given to us when Christ returns.

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;[7]

What we do see in scripture is a hope in what is not seen.  Again, read my post The three red flags on the three tenses of salvation.

What does this mean for the believer?

Since scripture doesn’t teach there are three tenses of salvation and instead there is only one hope of salvation coming to us at Christ’s return, what does this mean for believers? 

What does it mean for believers that we were not saved simply because God knows and foreknows everything?  What does it mean that His foreknowledge of us receiving Christ as our savior is not the first tense of the three tenses of salvation?  Peter talked about election and God’s foreknowledge and still yet Peter talks about only one salvation, a future salvation coming to us who believe.  What does this mean if we bought into the three tenses of salvation?

What does it mean for believers who never heard of the three tenses of salvation but do believe they were saved at conversion?  What happens to the believer that realizes that scripture is not teaching the race was one at conversion, but rather at Christ’s return?  What happens to a believer’s confidence in what they been told by the church, when the Holy Spirit reveals to them the true teaching of our gospel?

What they should do is praise God!  They should rejoice that God so loves them that He does not leave them in their stupor of anti-gospel.  A gospel that tells them they are saved at conversion and no longer need to hope in what they do not see.  A gospel that teaches them they don’t have to remain steadfast to the end in order to make their hope sure.

And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:[1]

It is for no reason that the writer of Hebrews warns believers in Christ Jesus about falling away from the faith into which they were born again.  Don’t listen to the Calvinist who say the word “if” in Hebrews means “since it is impossible”.  If the word “if” means “since it is impossible” why can’t we find one translation that interpreted it that way?  Ask the Holy Spirit who to listen to, the Calvinist or the Word of God?

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.[2]

If this Word of God is witnessed to you by the Holy Spirit, rejoice in the God who loves you and is still speaking to you through His Word.  We get to be like Abraham who did not hope in something he possessed, rather his hope was in the promises of God that he did not see.

For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself, Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.  And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.[3]

We too need to patiently endure to the end to see the promises of God given to us in our hope of salvation.  It is not those who have what was promised who have faith like Abraham.  It is those who hope in what was promised and endure patiently for this promise who have faith like Abraham.

And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.[4]

If the light of the true Gospel According to the Gospel, not according to men, has shined its light on your hearts, then obey this gospel.  Know, live and run the race to the end.  Knowing that you have a hope of salvation, do not fall away from the gospel that could have saved you.  Do not shipwreck your faith.  And for Pete’s sake don’t let the gospel according to men cause you to shipwreck others faith by telling them salvation comes at the altar of conversion. 

Don’t put their mind at ease with the anti-gospel when it needs to be at its sharpest.  Let those who hear of your hope in Christ, love God with all their mind, heart and strength.  Give them what they need to live a life worthy of their calling unto salvation to the end. 

The anti-gospel of men is there to bring about death by causing men to assume they have salvation when they do not.  It is there to cause men to not live out their hope to the end, so they will with hardened hearts treat the gospel as finished instead of being manifested in their lives until their race is done.

Reject the gospel of men and embrace the gospel as God has given it to us in His word.  Let me know if the Holy Spirit bears witness with your spirit concerning our one true gospel of hope found in scripture.

[1] Hebrews 6:11

[2] Hebrews 6:4-6

[3] Hebrews 6:13-15

[4] Romans 4:12

[1] 1 Peter 1:2

[2] 1 Peter 1:3

[3] 1 Peter 1:4

[4] 1 Peter 1:5

[5] 1 Peter 1:9

[6] 1 Peter 1:10

[7] 1 Peter 1:13

Three red flags on the three tenses of salvation

There is a very interesting point about God that Paul brings up in our New Testament.  This is the fact that our God has a strange habit of calling things that are not as they were. 

As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed–the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.[1]

Because I believe this, it tends to bring me into conflict with other believers.  Just as much as many believers understand and confess that God gives life to the dead, I believe God calls things that are not as if they were. 

Believers say they are saved, have eternal life, are adopted as sons and so on.  They do this for good reasons because they see in scripture where it states these things.  But how many Christians confess they are waiting for their salvation, their adoption, their eternal life and so on?  Almost none, although scripture teaches this as well.

Calvinist though have a very interesting way of handling this apparent duality of having and not having found in our scripture.  They say there are three tenses of salvation, although there is no verse or text that teaches this.  But they say we have been saved, are being saved and will be saved.

Have been saved comes from scripture that teaches names have been written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world.  The lamb of God was slain from the foundation of the world, our reward has been prepared for us from the foundation of the world, the promise of our gospel is from before the foundation of the world and so on.  So hats off to them, they recognize that God did not decide to send His Son after giving it some thought when Adam sinned, as so many preachers seam to coin it.  So this is their first tense of salvation.  Have been saved.

They, like most believers, see the very present tense of are saved, bring saved, are children of God, have been adopted, have received eternal life as the second tense of salvation.  They say this is being saved.

The third tense of salvation deals with those scriptures that teach we wait for our salvation, our adoption as sons, eternal life and so on.  This they say is the last tense of salvation, that we will be saved.

At least some thought has been given to it, since most in the church do not even consider these supposed tenses of salvation.  They go on being Samericans worshiping what they do not know and could care less to study out God’s word. 

Are the Calvinist correct in their understanding of salvation?  Is there really three tenses of salvation?  Does this doctrine contradict scripture or does scripture teach it?

First of all, scripture does not teach there are three tenses of salvation.  Any honest dialogue would confess that this teaching is implied.  Implied by scripture would be the assumption.  It is assumed by us there is some reasonability of accuracy in this doctrine to deal with the duality of having and waiting found in our gospel.

In order to accept the three tenses of salvation though we have to ignore what I would consider to be foundational truths of our gospel.  Number one on my list is faith.  We all know and probably can quote Hebrews 11:1.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.[2]

The three tenses of salvation runs into problems at the fundamental understanding of what we hope for.  How can we hope for what we already have and are already getting? 

Continuing to read past Hebrews 11:1 shows the ancients were commended for hoping in what they did not have nor did they receive what they hoped for.  Yet with the three tenses of salvation we say we don’t hope in what we do not have, we hope in what we have and are continuing to have.  If the ancients were commended in their hoping, not in what they had or were receiving, only in what they did not have, what do we have to commend to us in for faith?  So this is my first red flag on the three tenses of salvation.

Paul speaking of hope ask a very interesting questions to the believers.  He ask, what man hopes for something he already has?  This is a rhetorical question based on simple common sense.  The answer is nobody would hope for what they already have.

For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.[3]

This scripture is so key to understanding what we brag about in Hebrews 11:1.  Who does hope for what they already have?  Do we not know, do we not understand hope that is seen is no hope at all?  If our hope is seen, how can our so called hope be faith?  But if we do not have it yet our hope is true hope and our faith is true faith based on a real hope, and we wait for it patiently.  In this way we follow our biblical example of those who had true faith and a real hope.  Not an implied assumption of already possessing, which deviates from our biblical model of faith.  So this is my second red flag on the three tenses of salvation.

What does scripture teach about the duality we see concerning our salvation, our adoption, our eternal life and so on?  If it is not biblical to hope for what you already have, if it is not biblical to call faith hoping in what you have, what is the answer to this conflict of possessing and not possessing in our gospel?  Do we posses what is clearly spoken of in our gospel as being posses by us here and now or not?

Interestingly Paul saw no problem with this situation.  He didn’t handle it by teaching the three tenses of salvation.  He simply let us know that our God is a God who calls things that are not as if they were.  So when He or another writer speaks of things in the here and now in our gospel, it is our hope in what God imparts to us by speaking what is not as if it were.  That is unless we are greater than the man of faith our father Abraham  This is the third red flag I have on the three tenses of salvation.

For example, the very idea of imputed righteousness that we have means credited righteousness.  We are credited because we do not have.  It is as if we do, when we really do not.  It is credited.  We are treated and in a relationship with God as if we do when we do not.  We are credited.  When we finally receive our crown of righteousness then we will no longer be credited we will posses.

So what is more biblical?  To say we have three tenses of salvation and we hope for what we have?  Our faith is hoping in what we see and posses? 

Or is it more biblical to say we like those before us hope in what we do not have?  Is it more biblical to say our faith is based on our hopes in the promises of God that we wait to be fulfilled, not in what we have?  Is it more biblical to say God calls things that are not in our gospel as if they were? 

So what do you let God call that which is not as if it were in your gospel?  Or is it more biblical to say, not in my gospel you don’t?

[1] Romans 4:17

[2] Hebrews 11:1

[3] Romans 8:24-25