Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – Acts 11:23

And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, Acts 11:21-23

Why exhort to remain faithful?

And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord. Then tidings of these things came unto the ears of the church which was in Jerusalem: and they sent forth Barnabas, that he should go as far as Antioch. Who, when he came, and had seen the grace of God, was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. Acts 11:21-23 NKJV

Why cleave to the Lord?

And the presence of the Lord was with them with power, so that a great number [learned] to believe (to adhere to and trust in and rely on the Lord) and turned and surrendered themselves to Him. The rumors of this came to the ears of the church (assembly) in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When he arrived and saw what grace (favor) God was bestowing upon them, he was full of joy; and he continuously exhorted (warned, urged, and encouraged) them all to cleave unto and remain faithful to and devoted to the Lord with [resolute and steady] purpose of heart. Acts 11:21-23 Amplified Version

If eternally secure,

  • Why the continuous exhortation?
  • Why the continuous warning?
  • Why the continuous urging?
  • Why the continuous encouragement?

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Conditional Security – Acts 5:32

And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” – Acts 5:32 ESV

Obey Him.

That is the issue in this verse.  Of course some could say the initial belief is the act of obedience that is being referred to in this verse, but I wonder.

Some questions arise in my mind though.

  1. Does God give the Holy Spirit to those who do not believe?
  2. Does God give the Holy Spirit to those who do not obey Him?
    1. Are these the same question? Is believing the same as obeying?
  1. Is this an unconditional gift of the Holy Spirit to anyone who at one point believes?
    1. If so, is one act of obedience/belief all that the Lord is looking for from us?

The Greek verb edoken (has given) is in the aorist tense. “Obey” is a translation of peitharchousin, which is a present participle. The literal translation is “obeying.” According to Robertson (Grammar, pp. 891-892) the “obeying” can come before, at the same time, or after the act of giving. It can even refer to past action still in progress. Obviously, much depends on the context.


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Conditional Security – 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge– even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you– so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. – 1 Corinthians 1:4-9 ESV

Security

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I would look at verses that seem to support the eternal security teaching and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these passages.

Today’s passage is found in 1 Corinthians 1:8, but I would like to consider the passage from verses 4 through 9.  Is Paul seeking to instruct the believers in Corinth about eternal security?  Or is he breaching upon their lack of stability?

Security and Confirmation

Verse 8 clearly states that Jesus Christ shall confirm them unto the end, which must surely mean that once a person becomes a true believer, Jesus Christ is responsible to independently supply the believers security and deliver that person to God at their death.  At least that is how I read it in the past and suppose it is the common understanding among those who lean toward the eternal security teaching.

But I do have a few concerns.

I would like to start with Paul’s description of the Corinthians confirmation in verse 6. The passage is telling me that the testimony of Christ was confirmed in the Corinthians. This is the very same word that Paul uses two verses later in verse 8.

So lets consider what is going on in these verses.

In verse 7, Paul states the purpose of the confirmation described in verse 6.  The testimony of Christ – that is the witness/proof of Christ, was confirmed in the Corinthians via the gifts they received, the knowledge and utterance they experienced.  The confirmation had a purpose.  The confirmation had two participants, that is, God supplied the gifts, but the Corinthians exercised these gifts of knowledge and utterance. This is important to consider.

In verse 8, Jesus Christ is confirming the believers for the purpose of presenting them as blameless in the day of Christ.

Lets think about this.

Security Synonym?

Is confirmation a synonym (a word that means the same) for security?

As I read this passage in my earlier belief of eternal security, I would have to say yes! But the question begs to be answered honestly.  Please remember that security has synonyms such as safety, defended, protected, sheltered, unharmed and shielded.  Confirmation does not relate to these concepts.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Additional Questions

Is this confirmation something that is performed only in heaven?  Or is this confirmation something that is being accomplished within the believer’s life?

Of course, if it is some type of mystical confirmation in heaven that is a completely independent activity of Jesus Christ alone without the participation of the believer, then adherents to the eternal security may have a valid argument with this verse.

But if the believer participates in this confirmation by obeying the direction (however imperfectly ) of the Master, following His teaching and seeking His direction, then somehow verse 8 includes a human component, a willingness and desire to conform to a blameless life, under the power and enabling of the Lord.

The greek word used in both verse six and eight is βεβαιόω, and the root meaning is “to be firm”.  When used of persons, it signifies someone who is trustworthy, someone who inspires confidence.  In verse eight, the verb is in the future tense and active voice. The active voice represents Jesus Christ (the subject) as the doer or performer of the action.   Let me ask this simple question – As Jesus is confirming these believers to be blameless, would it not be obvious to all about?  Remember that to confirm someone is to produce someone who is firm, trustworthy, and one in whom you can trust and depend on. Would not this fruit be evident in the believer’s life?  A life that is becoming more like Jesus.

He is certainly firm, trustworthy and One in whom we can place our confidence!

This is most interesting since many in the eternal security camp may speak of those who have no outward witness of Christ living in them as still being believers that are eternally secure and guaranteed entry into heaven, simply due to some statement of belief in the past.

Of course this is a very difficult statement to say in these days of sensitivity, where we must not offend any.  But I wonder what engenders God’s trust in some believers who break covenant without concern about His teachings and who claim a vital relationship with Him in the midst of obvious sin and rebellion.

Consider.


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Conditional Security – Romans 8:17

and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. – Rom 8:17

Paul is in the middle of one of the greatest chapters in the New Testament, speaking to the church in Rome about the gospel, the justification, sanctification and glorification of the church due to the faithfulness of God. Of course, God’s faithfulness becomes an issue in the very next chapter and Paul spends three chapters explaining the faithfulness of God to Israel. Speaking on those chapters is for another post (or 40 posts!)

This post is to deal with Paul’s description of the church’s / believer’s glorification, and the relationship we have in our suffering for Him. Paul, according to my understanding, is linking the glorification of the saint with the suffering we undergo.

We are “heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him..

Now this sticks in my craw since I have always believed it is the blood of Christ that has provided sonship for all that believe, that trust the message God has provided. How can the glorification of the child of God discussed above be dependent on the child of God’s suffering?

I suppose a viable reading would be that as children of God, based on our faith, we will inevitably suffer with Him. This may be the possible reading, but then I would imagine that the verse should be read as

 …..if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we since we definitely shall suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. Italics inserted by author

If suffering is inevitable for the believer (and I think it is – see Acts 14:22), what is Paul telling the church? Why does he introduce the “fellow heir” topic and link it, make it dependent on our suffering with Him. If suffering is inevitable, a simple admonition to endure may have been expected. (But then the Bible often does not provide what is expected!)

I think the logic for the short passage goes like this

  • Sons of God – led by the Spirit of God Romans 8:14
  • Not Sons of God – have spirit of slavery, live in fear Romans 8:15
  • Children of God – witness of Spirit of God Romans 8:16
  • Children of God = heirs of God, proven by suffering with Him Romans 8:17

As an aside, it is interesting that Romans 8:9 also introduces this “possibility” or “conditional” (if so be..) thought into a passage that for many years I saw as one of the strongest passages defending the OSAS (once saved always saved) position.

So can a person be a child of God and experience no suffering? In other words, if a child of God experiences no suffering, will they experience glorification?

This is a short post, primarily due to my lack of ability to understand this verse without my previous position influencing me.

I am very open to discussion on this (and any other post) that may cause you to question my thinking. Your challenges to my thoughts are warmly invited and I look forward to some giving my some clarity on this passage.


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Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – 1 Timothy 5:11-15

The security of the believer pops up often in the Word, under various topics.  The general topic in this post is the widows list.

Widows in the early church commanded a large part of the concerns of the apostles writing when discussing church issues with Timothy.  Not only did Paul direct Timothy about the support of deserving widows, but the danger the young widows fell into if included.

Paul actually commanded Timothy to refuse to “honor” (or assist) the young widows!

If I understand the situation, the churches would aid widows by supplying the widows needs. The list would contain the names of the widows being assisted and Paul is trying to define the character of a widow that is deserving of inclusion on the list.

Conditional Security

Lets read the passage before we dig in.

1 Timothy 5:11-15

But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not. So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander. For some have already strayed after Satan. – 1 Timothy 5:11-15

Security Problems

Some may imagine that the description above is simply Paul’s way of keeping young widows free from being on the “widow list”, locking into some benefit from the church, but not able to maintain their faithfulness to the Lord.  Since the young widows have not been tested (like deacons – see 1 Timothy 3:10 – “proved”) they may slip from a faithful lifestyle to that of being idle, tattlers and gossips.

What shocks me when I read a passage like this is that of these Christian widows, some have turned aside after Satan.  That can’t be good no matter how you slice it.  Unless, of course, the doctrine of eternal security is true, where a Christians security is based on a single act of saving faith, and lifestyle, character and conduct have no bearing on a relationship with Jesus.

As a matter of fact, when the Lord called His disciples, He did so using the same terminology Paul uses of the widows turning aside after Satan.  A very interesting passage reflecting this is found in Matthew 16.

But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:23-24

When Jesus states If any man will come after me…. it is the same term Paul uses of the widows actions toward Satan. Those who follow Jesus are commonly considered Christians.  If a Christian follows Satan, is that person still a Christian?

If I am thinking properly, and a Christian maintains their identity as a Christian while following Satan, it empties the power of the original call on the disciples.  When Jesus said to follow, He meant to follow HIM, not simply follow anything or anyone!

But what I find even more interesting is the previous verse, where Jesus tells Peter to get behind Him.  When Paul tells of the widows turning aside after (or behind) Satan, some word studies explain that the term is identical to Jesus telling Satan to get behind Him.

So let’s get this picture clear – widows who once followed Jesus are beginning to follow after (behind) Satan.

Jesus simply commands Satan behind Him.

You see – Jesus is in charge of all – He has all authority – He is the only One risen from the dead, never to die again.

Following anyone else is foolhardy, and in the end,  life threatening. He is the only One placed on King Davids throne, reigning  over the Church and all creation. Security is found in the person of Jesus, and following Him is the key.


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Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – Romans 11:29

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. – Rom 11:29 ESV

In the midst of a discussion on the security of the believer, it is important to find passages that deal directly with the topic.

Many believers who follow after the eternally secure (OSAS) teaching find support in the passage we are looking at.  God’s faithfulness is emphasized in the passage above, but the application of the truth to the security of the believer seems to be misapplied.

You see, a characteristic of God (His faithfulness) is revealed in this passage, but the object of God’s faithfulness is the nation of Israel, not the salvation of the individual believer.

Regarding the security of the believer, the passage is not particularly comforting.

Conditional Security

This verse is found near the end of Paul’s eschatological (end time) discussion (Romans 9 – 11) on the Jewish nation.  Paul is addressing the complex topic of God’s faithfulness to the nation of Israel, and how the church is relates to the promises given to the nation of Israel.

Throughout the Old Testament, the Lord made promises to the nation of Israel.  To be considered faithful, God must keep the promises to those who are of the nation of Israel.

But that is the point.

Security Question

How can the promises to the nation of Israel be taken away without reflecting adversely on the faithfulness of God?  Is God an “Indian giver”?  (I have actually heard this type of accusation in church about the character of God.)

Earlier in the passage, Paul defined Israel as the people of God, those faithful to His covenant, such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Such as Peter, James and John.  Such as Simeon and Anna in the Temple, Zechariah, Malachi, Hosea and the host of prophets and believers that were in the physical nation of Israel.

In other words the remnant.

The Israel of God.

Today we call this group of believers the Church.

By the time Paul gets to the last few verses of Romans 11, he is making his closing argument.  God’s gifts and calling are without repentance.  All those who follow the Messiah receive the gift and calling of being of the nation of Israel, with all of its promises and benefits.

But please notice that it is God’s gift and calling that are without repentance.  Since it is a covenant between two parties (God and the believer), we cannot assume the second party in the agreement has no bearing on the successful completion of the covenant.  Paul is defending God’s faithfulness to the covenant, not the believers responsibility in the covenant.

Earlier I mentioned that the passage gives little comfort to the eternally secure position. It is important to remember that this topic had to be addressed due to the loss of covenant that the physical nation of Israel was experiencing in the early days of the church.  As a matter of fact, the reason the physical nation of Israel lost the privileged status of the Sinaitic Covenant was their constant rebellion against the covenant the nation entered into with God.

The faithlessness of the physical nation of Israel resulted in the loss of covenant privilege.  Paul is reminding us that we cannot shift the blame to God, or assume God’s faithfulness will ignore rebellion.

The Babylonian and Roman seiges on Jerusalem seems to lay that false security to rest.

Consider.


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Conditional Security – Philippians 1:3-11

Philippians 1:3-11

3 I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,

4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy,

5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.

6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

7 It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.

8 For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus.

9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment,

10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ,

11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Recently I attended a Sunday School class that was decidedly of the “once saved always saved” persuasion and we were spending some time in the passage below.  Once we arrived at verse 6, the teacher mentioned how important this passage was and how he found comfort in it.  He was exulting in the good work of God, that is, to supply Christian security to believers based solely on initial faith at the moment of conversion.

But I had questions.

I don’t think Paul is addressing the eternal security of the believers in Philippi.

He is writing to one of his very favorite church groups.  The context is their fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.  Lets break this down a bit.

When Paul mentions fellowship, what is he talking about?  The word Paul uses for fellowship can also be translated as partnership, or participation.  The Philippians were partnering with Paul in the gospel.  Is it simply the fact that they were Christians like he was and therefore they had fellowship?

Possibly.

But why is he defining the time limits so precisely, why does he have the ending clause of “from the first day until now”.  I think when Paul uses “now”, he is referring to a very specific partnering, but is being incredibly delicate.

Out of all the churches planted by Paul, the Philippians had one (of many) qualities that made it stand out from the rest.

They loved Paul.

And he was reminded of this love on numerous occasions.

Consider what we know about the first day of Paul’s experience with this group of people.

Acts 16:15

And when she (Lydia) was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

Acts 16:33

And he (the Philippian jailer) took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, immediately. 34 And he brought them up into his house, and set meat before them, and rejoiced greatly, with all his house, having believed in God.

Also, the last time Paul visited with the fledgling church, after his release from the jail.

Acts 16:35-40

35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.
36 And the jailor reported the words to Paul, saying, The magistrates have sent to let you go: now therefore come forth, and go in peace.
37 But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men that are Romans, and have cast us into prison; and do they now cast us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and bring us out.
38 And the serjeants reported these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans;
39 and they came and besought them; and when they had brought them out, they asked them to go away from the city.
40 And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.

These three passages teach us a number of important characteristics of the Philippian church.

They were an inviting church.  Both of the main characters of the church (Lydia and the jailer) invited this trouble maker into their homes.  I did a quick review of the book of Acts and could not find another church that was as inviting to the apostle.  As a matter of fact, I didn’t find any church that expressly accepted Paul into their lives as the Philippians did.

Verse 35 to 40 need a bit more background to understand what possibly happened during Paul’s final moments with the church.  You see, the Philippian church was a Roman colony and as such had the Caesar’s eye on it more so than some of the other churches in the area.  A government town.  Paul, I think, used the injustice of the beating and imprisonment to broker a deal with the leaders of the City.  I think it may have went something like this.

Paul “You realize I am a Roman citizen and the beating and imprisonment you subjected us to was highly illegal”

City Official “Please leave our City without tattling on us”

Paul “The law of the Romans strictly forbids the beating and imprisonment of a Roman citizen without trial”

City Official “Please leave our City without tattling on us”

Paul  ” I have friends in the City that I care deeply for”

City Official “?”

Paul “Do we understand each other?”

In the final moments of Paul’s time with the Philippians, he may (or may not have) mentioned that he had discussed some issues with the city officials,  He definitely encouraged the new believers, sharing the love of Jesus with them and saying their goodbyes.

But wait – remember in chapter 1, verse three, where the apostle state they have shared in the gospel from the first day?  It is obvious that the Philippians shared with Paul and his companions their homes, their lives and their goods.

Wow – Carl – there is nothing in the previous passage that says the Philippians gave of their goods to Paul.

Granted, that may be a stretch, but they loved him and I think they gave him some moolah, you know – cash.  Also, if you look at the end of the book, specifically verse 15 of the fourth chapter, you will find that this church was the only church that supported Paul when he left them behind.

Consider

Philippians 4:10-19

10 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity.
11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
14 Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.
15 Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.
16 For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
17 Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account.
18 But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God.
19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

So lets get this straight.  The Philippians supported Paul at the following times
* When he left the Philippian church the first time
* Twice in Thessalonica
* At least one in Corinth
* At least once in prison (the reason for the writing of this epistle)

Wow – Carl – there is nothing in the previous passage that says the Philippians gave of their goods to Paul in Corinth.  (My my my –  nothing gets by you now, does it?)

Consider

2 Corinthians 11:9

and when I was present with you and was in want, I was not a burden on any man; for the brethren, when they came from Macedonia, supplied the measure of my want; and in everything I kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.

Paul could take gifts from the Philippians since they loved him.  (They were not questioning Paul’s motives or reluctant in supplying his needs as some others were.

So, lets get back to the original issue.

What is the good work that Paul is referring to in the beginning of the book?

I humbly submit that he is referring to the Philippian church actively partnering in the gospel through supplying the apostles physical needs.

The “once saved always saved” teaching simply isn’t there!

Guess we will have to look somewhere else for that teaching!

Maybe a commentary?


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Conditional Security – 1 John 2:19

Conditional Security - if-150x150 - Red with Splash

I was driving home from helping my son install some ceiling fans, and as I was listening to Free Bird, it occurred to me that some within the Christian faith claim the Bible teaches “perseverance of the saints”. I know – an errant thought, but stick with me for a minute.

But first, let’s look at the verse that stirred my thinking during the middle of Free Bird, and then we can delve into the dark crevices of my thoughts.

1 John 2:19

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

Perseverance of the saints is not a troubling teaching in my mind, but to be practical, we have to admit that it is a time dependent truth for each of us. Some believers will use this verse to claim that only true Christians remain faithful, and with that I have no argument. True believers continue to believe.

The time component is what sticks in my craw, when I hear that some believers that are living today, claim that they are in a contract with the God of the universe that is iron clad, and without conditions. That initial faith is their ticket to heaven. They will end up in heaven no matter what happens, no matter what they do, or no matter what occurs in their faith.

Let me try to explain it as I heard it in my head as I was conversing with myself on the way home – Don’t worry – I turned Free Bird off during my self conversation!! Carl – admit it – You were talking to yourself!

Carl – 1 John 2:19 teaches that true believers continue in the faith

Anti-Carl – Yes that is true, and those that left the faith were either never a believer, or that they abandoned the faith.

Carl – Oh I am sure the author intends the reader to see those who did not continue in the faith to have never been a believer

Anti-Carl – So you say, but lets get practical. Are you a believer?

Carl – Of course.

Anti-Carl – How do you know you will continue? Can you foresee the future?

Carl – Of course I cannot see into the future, but God will keep me. He has promised.

Anti-Carl – Many folks have claimed a promise from God and yet have walked away. What makes you better than them?

Carl – They were liars, even self deceived.

Anti-Carl – Again, the only assurance you have of eternal life is that you have faith at the point of death. Until that time, you cannot guarantee anyone of your continuance, since it is expressed in action (continuing with believers) as opposed to simply a feeling or a belief. It seems the security you boast in is highly time dependent and somewhat fragile until the end.

Carl – I refuse to hear you anymore!

Remember, dear reader, that the Lord’s promises are many times conditional on our heart response, our obedience, our listening and doing. Our faith is not to be based on head knowledge alone, but on a willing heart that seeks to follow Him.

Your thoughts?

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Christian Security

Conditional Security – Hebrews 4:13

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Hebrews 4:13

13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

While working in a book study a few months back, I found that Paul/Apollos/Barnabas – whoever wrote that book, was dead serious about the condition the Hebrews found themselves in.

Is it Desirable to be “Naked and Opened”?

I had been looking at the words in 4:13 and stumbled across the phrase “naked and opened…”. The word “naked” held no surprise, but “opened” revealed the authors seriousness.

You see, it seems that the word “opened” is the word trachēlizō (Strong’s 5136) (I think the medical term for throat is trachea).

Thayer’s definition is below

1) to seize and twist the neck or throat
1a) of combatants who handle thus their antagonist
2) to bend back the neck of a victim to be slain, to lay bare or expose by bending back
3) to lay bare, uncover, expose
4) laid bare, laid open, made manifest to one

Keep me from being “Opened”

I find it amazing that in the verse previous to this “exposing of the neck”, the author uses a picture of the Word of God as being a SWORD! Consider the 2nd definition under Thayer’s, and the possible implications. Since this book was written just before the Roman’s came to “visit” Jerusalem, the verse seems to hold a completely different meaning to me now.

Of course this understanding only intensifies the original impression of a threat, but now it also brings to mind a visual that is hard to forget.

Oh to be rescued from being a “stiff-necked people!”


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Conditional Security – 2 John 1:9

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This passage, in relation to conditional security is apparent when we realize the apostle is writing to believers, as is obvious in the opening verses, where he rejoices that some (vs 4) are walking according to truth, (implying some of the children are not walking in truth).  He goes on to speak of deceivers going out into the world, a separate group from the church it seems. (vs 7).

His warning to the believers are to watch, to hang on to the truth, do not lose what you have gained, but to win a full reward.

Then John writes vs 9, where he speaks of one who goes ahead of the true teaching, not abiding in the teaching that has both the Father and the Son. 

2 John 1:9

9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son.

The deceivers were against Christ, speaking of Him as only a man, or only as God, not the God-man.  (I understand two forms of Gnosticism were rising in the church at the time, either restricting the humanity of the Messiah, or the Deity of the Messiah.  

That bit of information was a freeby, since the issue in this post is the responsibility of the believer to maintain the true teaching of the Word, in relation to the Son of God.  

It seems John was giving the church a choice.  You can abandon the teaching of Christ, and not retain God, or you can abide in the truth and have both the Father and the Son.  

I can’t see how John would be addressing two different parties (lost and saved) in the same phrase, unless I was committed to a teaching that didn’t allow this consideration.

Your thoughts?

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Conditional Security – Joshua 1:9

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Joshua 1:9

9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Sunday school class was very good this weekend.  We started in the book of Joshua and reviewed the portion of Scripture above.  During our discussion, a lady made mention that verse 9 is a great promise that should give us courage.  I honestly tried to be quiet but I just couldn’t. So I broke my silence – something that happens too often I fear!

Is not the command “Be strong and of good courage” first in the passage?  Is not the last phrase – “for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” a result of obedience to the command to be strong and courageous?  Is not the context of the entire passage an exhortation to be courageous?  I suggested that if Joshua did not obey, God would not be with him.  That this verse actually contains a conditional promise.  I also reminded some that this is somewhat similar to Jeremiah’s situation in the first chapter of Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 1 :17

Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.

Jeremiah was being warned – obey or be confounded (confused) in front of the enemy.

We chatted for a few minutes and one believer noticed that there was no “if” in Joshua 1:9, therefore it could not be conditional.  I admitted that that was an argument for their position and was willing to consider it.  A bit more chatting, but I became distracted by the passage again.  I always assumed the verse said …. for the LORD thy God  “WILL BLESS” thee whithersoever thou goest, – but it doesn’t strictly say that.  Just that God would be with Joshua/Israel.  I think that is possibly a different scenario.

Consider Joshua being afraid instead of being strong and courageous. God would not be with him. Not a comfortable situation!

I’m thinking the conditional/unconditional issue isn’t the central issue.  God promised to be with Joshua, and the command was to be strong and courageous.

Live with it!

The choice is ours and He will be with us!


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Conditional Security – 2 Corinthians 1:24

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It has been months since I have touched this subject and have numerous verses to offer my dear readers to consider in relation to the topic at hand.

Of course, I am not putting forward that thought that we can loose our confidence by a single sin, or even a prolonged backsliding (to a point), but there seems to be a preponderance of verses in the Word that provides the possibility of the believer walking away from the faith, and that this action has eternal consequences.

The verse under consideration today is 2 Corinthians 1:24

2 Corinthians 1:24

24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.

Golly Carl, this very verse speak of our security in the Lord Jesus! Yes. That security is in the Lord Jesus, yet Paul does not say … “you stand firm in your Savior”, but you stand firm in your faith.

That faith which is yours.

My concern is for those who throw away their faith, their confidence in the Savior, the slow and imperceptible drifting away that is so common amongst the pulls and temptations of our modern life. (Consider Hebrews 2)

I will readily admit my fire is not burning hot as it was when I first believed, and with that I confess my weakness. Of course, I consider some of this diminishing of fire to be necessary in order for wisdom, understanding and patience to take hold of my life. That is an aspect of maturity and growth.

Yet I wonder…

The truth of the matter is that the lure of this materialistic life is a great danger and I fear that my faith may shrink at times.

My Savior is great and He is the One who rescues me, and yet I need to accept the responsibility of this relationship He has invited me into.

Consider your faith.

Are you standing, or drifting away?


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Conditional Security – 1 Thessalonians 3:1-8

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1 Thessalonians 3:1-8

1 Therefore when we could bear it no longer, we were willing to be left behind at Athens alone,

2 and we sent Timothy, our brother and God’s coworker in the gospel of Christ, to establish and exhort you in your faith,

3 that no one be moved by these afflictions. For you yourselves know that we are destined for this.

4 For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know.

5 For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain.

6 But now that Timothy has come to us from you, and has brought us the good news of your faith and love and reported that you always remember us kindly and long to see us, as we long to see you–

7 for this reason, brothers, in all our distress and affliction we have been comforted about you through your faith.

8 For now we live, if you are standing fast in the Lord.

Oh how he loved them Thessalonians!

Paul proves his love when he speaks of going without, of sacrificing his brother Timothy and to be left alone in Athens due to his concern over the Thessalonians.

But what was Paul’s concern?

Though he had warned the young believers of distress, pain and suffering to enter into their lives, he was concerned that these forewarned trials might still nullify his work in the believers.

You see, Paul’s concern was their faith. For these believers to be “moved” by afflictions is a threat that Paul could not endure. Would the believers maintain faith in the midst of trials?

It seems Paul’s faith in the Thessalonians faith was a bit weak – but fully understandable, since the Thessalonians faith was being tested, and their faith seemingly hadn’t been tested prior to this. Beyond all this, Jesus is the only One we really can trust to be fully faithful!

Wagging Tail

But what else was Paul trying to infer/imply? It is interesting that the term “moved” in the Greek, generally refers to a dog waggin his tail.

Strongs Concordance

Moved – σαίνω saínō, sah’-ee-no; akin to G4579; to wag (as a dog its tail fawningly), i.e. (generally) to shake (figuratively, disturb):—move.

Isn’t that interesting, that Paul uses such a word. Somewhere else in his writings he refers to troubles as being not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us.

Paul is referring to trials “moving” the believer. Is he implying the trials have the potential to control the believer? Like a dog controls his tail? Am I making too much of this?

Maybe.

But if trials have the potential to control a believers life, and if the believer being controlled by these trials would nullify the work of the apostle….

But alas, Paul had no reason to fear that his work in the believers would be in vain. They were standing strong in their faith, exhibiting love to each other and desire for the apostle.

Which implies that apostles work being in vain (empty) would be that they did not stand strong in their faith.

Strongs Concordance

Vain, κενός kenós, ken-os’; apparently a primary word; empty (literally or figuratively):—empty, (in) vain.

Hang on Carl – according to some great Bible teachers, if these Christians were not strong in their faith, they would still be Christians. The work of the apostle would still be evident, just a bit dimmed and blunt.

But not nullified Paul!

Come on – they gotta still be Christians!


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Conditional Security – Jude 5

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Jude 1:5

5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

Can Jude be any less blunt?

Wow – these Israelites, whom Jesus saved out of Israel, were destroyed by Jesus later, due to absence of faith.
Did I read that right?
OK, so Jude may be talking of the people, the family of Israel, the tribes, the entire gaggle of people that were delivered from Egypt. I get that.
But those that Jesus destroyed? No that is not what I think it means!
Jesus destroyed those who did not believe.
Those without individual faith are destroyed by Jesus.
Let that sink in. Can it get any more disturbing to the modern Christian to hear a statement such as this!
OK, lets get back to the point. Could the first deliverance refer to simply being delivered from the tyrants of Israel? I’m thinking the first deliverance was a type, a foreshadowing of a greater deliverance, of a greater salvation, of a greater redemption intended for all who saw the acts of God, heard the words from Moses and internally exercised faith in the God of Israel.
What was the difference between one who was destroyed and one who wasn’t, even though both had been delivered? The duration of their faith separated these two groups of folk – all believed once, some believed continuously.
Only one condition, and that condition is the individuals duration of faith in the Savior, and Jude is preaching this story to believers.
one condition
Seems kinda obvious as to the intent of the author. One condition to avoid destruction in the Christian experience.
And that condition is continuous faith. Dang the people above made the one decision to join the deliverance from Egypt. And were destroyed. By none other that the One who initially delivered them.
Remember Jesus did not say “You must become born again” (referring to a point in time!)
Nope – He didn’t say it that way, and that wasn’t His message.
You mustBe

born again (a state of being!)

Consider!

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Conditional Security – Hebrews 11:13-16

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Hebrews 11:13-16

13 These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth.

14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland.

15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return.

16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.

They desire a better country!

Because of this desire, that is the desire that the Old Testament saints had, that is their witness of being strangers and exiles on the earth.
Therefore…  Therefore 2
Because these saints did not think of their previous land, (because if they did they would have returned), God is not ashamed to be called their God.
What?
Something is missing here.  The Old Testament saints decided to think and speak of a better country, a better place to be, a better homeland.  This decision to think and speak this certain way impacted God’s attitude towards them. 
God’s attitude was determined by these Old Testament saints decision to think correctly.  And the result of God not being ashamed? He has prepared for them a City
Oh, to have right thoughts, to be aligned with His thoughts in the midst of a busy day, full of distractions,  concerns and problems.   Desire a better country, brother and sister! Desire the heavenly one, where the Heavenly One is.  May He not be ashamed to be called our God.

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Conditional Security – 1 Corinthians 1:4-9

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1 Corinthians 1:4-9

4 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus,

5 that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge–

6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you–

7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,

8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I would look at verses that seem to support the eternal security teaching and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these passages.

Today’s passage is found in 1 Corinthians 1:8, but I would like to consider the passage from verses 4 through 9.

Is Paul seeking to instruct the believers in Corinth about eternal security? Or is he breaching upon their lack of stability?

Security and Confirmation

Verse 8 clearly states that Jesus Christ shall confirm them unto the end, which must surely mean that once a person becomes a true believer, Jesus Christ is responsible to independently supply the believers security and deliver that person to God at their death. At least that is how I read it in the past and suppose it is the common understanding among those who lean toward the eternal security teaching.

But I do have a few concerns.

I would like to start with Paul’s description of the Corinthians confirmation in verse 6. The passage is telling me that the testimony of Christ was confirmed in the Corinthians. This is the very same word that Paul uses two verses later in verse 8.

So lets consider what is going on in these verses.

Testimony

In verse 7, Paul states the purpose of the confirmation described in verse 6. The testimony of Christ – that is the witness/proof of Christ, was confirmed in the Corinthians via the gifts they received, the knowledge and utterance they experienced. The confirmation had a purpose. The confirmation had two participants, that is, God supplied the gifts, but the Corinthians exercised these gifts of knowledge and utterance. This is important to consider.

In verse 8, Jesus Christ is confirming the believers for the purpose of presenting them as blameless in the day of Christ.

Lets think about this.

Security Synonym?

confirmation 1

Is confirmation a synonym (a word that means the same) for security?

As I read this passage in my earlier belief of eternal security, I would have to say yes! But the question begs to be answered honestly. Please remember that security has synonyms such as safety, defended, protected, sheltered, unharmed and shielded. Confirmation does not relate to these concepts.

But I am getting ahead of myself.

Additional Questions

confirmation

Is this confirmation something that is performed only in heaven? Or is this confirmation something that is being accomplished within the believer’s life?

Of course, if it is some type of mystical confirmation in heaven that is a completely independent activity of Jesus Christ alone without the participation of the believer, then adherents to the eternal security may have a valid argument with this verse.

But if the believer participates in this confirmation by obeying the direction (however imperfectly ) of the Master, following His teaching and seeking His direction, then somehow verse 8 includes a human component, a willingness and desire to conform to a blameless life, under the power and enabling of the Lord.

The greek word used in both verse six and eight has the the root meaning of “to be firm”.

When used of persons, it signifies someone who is trustworthy, someone who inspires confidence. In verse eight, the verb is in the future tense and active voice. The active voice represents Jesus Christ (the subject) as the doer or performer of the action.

Let me ask this simple question. As Jesus is confirming these believers to be blameless, would it not be obvious to all? Remember that to confirm someone is to produce someone who is firm, trustworthy, and one in whom you can trust and depend on.

Would not this fruit be evident in the believer’s life? A life that is becoming more like Jesus. He is certainly firm, trustworthy and One in whom we can place our confidence!

This is most interesting since many in the eternal security camp may speak of those who have no outward witness of Christ living in them as still being believers that are eternally secure and guaranteed entry into heaven, simply due to some statement of belief in the past.

break covenant

Of course this is a difficult statement to say in these days of sensitivity, where we must not offend any. But I wonder what engenders God’s trust in a believer who breaks covenant without concern and who claims a vital relationship with Him in the midst of obvious sin and rebellion.

Consider.

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Conditional Security – 1 Timothy 5:11-15

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Straying after Satan?

1 Timothy 5:11-15

11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry

12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith.

13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.

14 So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander.

15 For some have already strayed after Satan.

The security of the believer pops up often in the Word, under various topics. The general topic in this post is the widows list.

Widows in the early church commanded a large part of the concerns of the apostles writing when discussing church issues with Timothy. Not only did Paul direct Timothy about the support of deserving widows, but the danger the young widows fell into if included.

Paul actually commanded Timothy to refuse to “honor” (or assist) the young widows!

If I understand the situation, the churches would aid widows by supplying the widows needs. The list would contain the names of the widows being assisted and Paul is trying to define the character of a widow that is deserving of inclusion on the list.

Security Problems

widow

Some may imagine that the description above is simply Paul’s way of keeping young widows free from being on the “widow list”, locking into some benefit from the church, but not able to maintain their faithfulness to the Lord. Since the young widows have not been tested (like deacons – see 1 Timothy 3:10 – “proved”) they may slip from a faithful lifestyle to that of being idle, tattlers and gossips.

What shocks me when I read a passage like this is that of these Christian widows, some have turned aside after Satan. That can’t be good no matter how you slice it. (Verse 12 actually states the widows had “abandoned their former faith”.)

Unless, of course, the doctrine of eternal security is true, where a Christians security is based on a single act of saving faith, and lifestyle, character and conduct have no bearing on a relationship with Jesus.

As a matter of fact, when the Lord called His disciples, He did so using the same terminology Paul uses of the widows turning aside after Satan.

A very interesting pasZxsage reflectingzz this is found i2n Matthew 16.

Matthew 16:23 – 24 2 am is a w1q

23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me.b. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

When Jesus states “If any man will come after me….” it is the same term Paul uses of the widows actions toward Satan. Those who follow Jesus are commonly considered Christians.

If a Christian follows Satan, is that person still a Christian?

If I am thinking properly, and a Christian maintains their identity as a Christian while following Satan, it empties the power of the original call on the disciples. When Jesus said to follow, idHe meant to follow HIM, not simply follow anything or anyone!

But what I find even more interesting is the previous verse, where Jesus tells Peter to get behind Him. When Paul tells of the widows turning aside after (or behind) Satan, some word studies explain that the term is identical to Jesus telling Satan to get behind Him.

So let’s get this picture clear – widows who once followed Jesus are beginning to follow after (behind) Satan.

throne of david

Jesus commands Satan behind Him.

You see – Jesus is in charge of all – He has all authority – He is the only One risen from the dead, never to die again.

Following anyone else is foolhardy, and in the end, life threatening. He is the only One placed on King Davids throne, reigning over the Church and all creation. Security is found in the person of Jesus, and following Him is the key.


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Conditional Security – 2 Corinthians 11:2-4

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2 Corinthians 11:2-4

2 For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.

3 But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

4 For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.

Security

vacuum
Not this type of vacuum – Oh never mind….

You know it has been a few years now since it “clicked” that the New Testament didn’t arise out of a vacuum.

The New Testament is the flower that grew out of the Old Testament, and as such, is supported by the law and the prophets.

With this “revelation” I have finally took time to notice when the New Testament authors use the Old Testament writings.

Such is the case in 2 Corinthians 11:2-4, where Paul the apostle uses an Old Testament passage about Adam and Eve to warn the believers of the dangers inherent in listening to a false teacher.

What does this have to do with Security?

First off, lets consider the goal of Paul’s warning.  He is seeking to strengthen the believers thoughts of sincerity about the Christ. Could Paul have been worried (fearful) of the slippery slope of these believers falling away from the Master?

Singleness of mind towards the Lord is the topic here, and the context supports this. Within the very verses we are looking at, Paul introduces other spirit’s, other gospels, other Jesus’s and other teachers.

These teachers were introducing alternatives to the people of God, alternatives that competed with the truth. We must remember that security is based on truth, not on how we feel about something or what we want the truth to be.  True security is independent of our feelings.  But our feelings and fears sometimes desire to be placated, which makes us susceptible to those who are willing give us teaching simply to make us feel better.

Eve and the snake

This is exactly what happened in the Garden with Eve, which makes Paul’s reference to the deception so applicable. The alternatives that were being introduced to the Corinthians were such that they could not exist in harmony with the truth.

So where does a believer find security?

The people of God had to make decisions between two different types of messages, and the text is stating that they were “open-minded” enough to allow these teachers to guide them.

Accepting alternatives to the truth, as believers, was of great concern to Paul. Why did he use the Garden of Eden as a picture of what was going on?

Could he have implied the same results? You see – accepting the alternative message condemned Eve.  Although she continued to exist, her security vanished the moment she sinned.

jesus-christ-on-the-cross

For those who seek to defend the “Once Saved Always Saved” teaching, it may have been better if Paul used a different Old Testament example!

Security can only be found in a Person, and the faithfulness of that Person creates the security.  Will we listen to Him above all others, and in the process, find the security we so desperately want?


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Conditional Security – 2 Chronicles 15:1-2

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2 Chronicles 15:1-2

1 The Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded,

2 and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: The LORD is with you while you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.

Asa the king was a good king.

He understood where his security lay.

The history of the following passage is the battle between the children of Israel (specifically the tribes of Judah and Benjamin) and Zerah the Ethiopian.  Turns out that Asa had an army of 580,000 men, while Zerah had close to double the men, coming in at one thousand thousand men (1,000,000 men), with 300 chariots! In the midst of this threat, Asa sought out God and God gave a tremendous victory!

After the victory and the mop up operations, that brought in much booty for the children of Israel, the prophet Azariah comes out to meet the king and his troops.  His message to Asa is found in 2 Chronicles 15:1-2

Asa was informed of his conditional security in the following three phrases.

  • The Lord is with you while ye be with Him – Security!
  • If ye seek Him, He will be found of you – Security!
  • If ye forsake Him, He will forsake you. – Not so much!

Seems simple enough.  Not much to debate on this passage, or so it seems.

Of course, the direct application of security is for the king and the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, during their lives, but this promise given is instructive for us to consider.

The children of Israel could claim a status before the Lord that no other nation could lay hold of.  They had incredible promises and privileges.

Rom 9:4

4 They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises.

5 To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

And with all these privileges, the children of Israel, as the Old Testament Theocracy, is no more. Brought to extinction close to 2000 years ago, the children of Israel had the kingdom taken from them…

Matt 21:43

43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits.

I suppose the loss of the Kingdom itself speaks of the conditional security before the Lord and Master of the Covenant.  Continual rebellion (see an earlier post on Leviticus 26) brought about many, many efforts by the Lord to bring them back to the faith, with the final judgment falling upon the nation that showed their hatred of God by the crucifixion of His Son.

Conditional security of the believer is pictured often in the history of the nation of Israel. I think of Romans 15:4 and 1 Corinthians 10:11 when reading the Old Testament and the history of the nation as a warning for myself.  So often I can place myself in the shoes of the men in the stories I read.

Rom 15:4

4 For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

1 Corinthians 10:11

11 Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.

And yet I have hope.  In the midst of rebellion, I can choose to cling to the One who rescues, Who is the Deliverer.

But I digress…

A Good King, with Good Fruit, Reminded of his Conditional Security

king ASAAs a recap, let’s remember that Asa, as a good king, had called out to the Lord at a time of need, had experienced God’s security (a great deliverance), and, as the following passages teaches, was following God’s leading.

1 Kings 15:11,13-14

11 And Asa did what was right in the eyes of the LORD, as David his father had done. …

13 He also removed Maacah his mother from being queen mother because she had made an abominable image for Asherah. And Asa cut down her image and burned it at the brook Kidron.

14 But the high places were not taken away. Nevertheless, the heart of Asa was wholly true to the LORD all his days.

Even the book of Chronicles gives high marks to King Asa, and the author of the Chronicles seems to be reluctant to give praise in comparison to the author of the book of Kings.  (Check it out.)  It seems the book of Kings generally grades in the political arena, where Chronicles grades in the religious area of a king’s life.

2 Chronicles 14:2-7

2 And Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the LORD his God.

3 He took away the foreign altars and the high places and broke down the pillars and cut down the Asherim

4 and commanded Judah to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, and to keep the law and the commandment.

5 He also took out of all the cities of Judah the high places and the incense altars. And the kingdom had rest under him.

6 He built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest. He had no war in those years, for the LORD gave him peace.

7 And he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround them with walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours, because we have sought the LORD our God. We have sought him, and he has given us peace on every side.” So they built and prospered.

So Asa had a great victory after calling on the Lord, had a great track record up till this point in his life, and then, it seems out of the blue, comes along the prophet Azariah, to give the assurance of God’s presence. That is IF Asa sought Him and did not forsake Him.

Fruit of the Conditional Security Teaching

Is it not usually claimed that the conditional security teaching is a teaching of fear and threats? It seems the opposite is happening here, where a godly man is reminded that he is with the Lord and that he needs to continue to seek Him out.  And Asa’s track record bears witness that the message was fruitful.

It is important to understand that a teachings veracity is not to be based on its fruitfulness but on its truthfulness.  Nevertheless, a true message, delivered and understood correctly, will produce fruit (eventually).

A true message understood correctly by a soft heart that seeks to follow the Master will respond with an admission of weakness and a desire to follow.

A true message understood correctly by a hardened heart will respond with argument, denial, blameshifting, name calling and such.

But brothers, we have not so learned Christ.


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Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – Acts 14:21-23

Conditional Security - if-150x150 - Red with SplashContinue in the Faith

Acts 14:21-23

21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch,

22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

It was Paul’s first missionary trip so we can forgive him for not understanding all the missiology that modern Christians now know and practice.

He must have returned to the Lystrians, Iconiumians and Antiochians to help them understand their eternal security I suppose he hadn’t yet written the letters that clearly teach the eternal security doctrine.

ContinueYet his message was “Continue in the Faith”. But Paul, once saved, you automatically continue in the faith, right?

Something must be wrong – Paul is wasting time with believers since the entire world needed to hear the gospel.  Why didn’t he simply keep going into new territory to reach more and more of the lost?  If those who truly believe are eternally secure, Paul seemed to waste his time visiting and encouraging the saints to remain faithful.

It is great that as modern believers we have finally come to the knowledge and wisdom to efficiently evangelize! 

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