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"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible might not tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Romans by the Book (Lesson 47)

Home Bible Study
Established November 2008

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(2 Timothy 2:15)

This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1Timothy 2:3-4

Romans by the Book                                                                                      Lesson 47

Romans 8

1: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

I have parked on Romans 8:1 for the past two Bible lessons because of the blessed message this single verse conveys to all those who are in Christ Jesus and because  although the communication is clear often times the reader overlooks the obvious truth and fails to “take in” all that this single verse conveys to its owner.

I mentioned in the previous lesson, that some of the treasure in this chapter has to be “mined” and such is the case with this Bible verse.  You could pick up the “nugget” and move on but if you were a conscientious Bible student and chose to “dig a little deeper” right here, you’d discover the vein is richer beneath the surface. 

Let’s not forget the Apostle Paul and his writings up to this moment and remember it is the translator who put the verse numbers and division markers in Scripture and not Paul.  In the original letter, there are no breaks, chapter headings, etc.

This same man who wrote, “So, with my mind I myself serve the Law of God, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin,” now opens chapter 8, without any break, saying, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Truth is Believers are in a constant state of conflict, but not in a state of condemnation.  When the war within is raging at its hottest, the Believer is still “justified.” 

Even as the Believer struggles to hold their moral ground, when they reach the point that they must cry out to God because of the heaviness of the temptation, occasionally failing despite their best intentions, they may still lay their hand on the Word of God and say aloud, “And yet there is no condemnation to me, for I am in Christ Jesus.”

It is the person who never strives against the sin which dwells within, who is not conscious of any sin to strive against – that is the man or woman who should begin to question whether they know anything at all about the Spiritual life.
These folks may know of Jesus but they are not in Christ Jesus.  Even the demons know there is one true God.  The problem is they do not recognize Him as their Lord. 

Anyone who suffers no inward pain over outward expressions of sin may well consider themselves abiding under constant condemnation.  For these are enemies of God.

But the individual who is longing to be holy as God is Holy is justified.
The person to whom every misstep (sin) or thought of iniquity is painful, they may declare themselves to be in Christ Jesus and without condemnation.  These souls are not condemned and will not be cast out of the Body of Christ.  They are secure!
This is what the Scriptures say.

I take the time to address the topic of Eternal Salvation for these reasons:

A:  It has become obvious that a great number of professed Believers, even Bible-believing Believers, are concerned that they can lose their salvation.  These individuals often accept this view simply because they were subjected to it at some point in their lives and never took the time to carefully search the Scriptures themselves. 

Doubt has crept in… 

Be careful.  Here’s one more reason why I promote Bible study and you picking up your Bible and getting in tune with the Word of God, rightly divided.

When Jesus’ disciples asked Him what will be the sign of His coming, the first thing He told them was this, “See to it that no one misleads (deceives) you” (Matthew 24:4).

We are living in an age of confusion and deception.  Test the spirits (1 John 4:1).
Make certain what you are hearing lines up with the truth (John 18:17).

B:  Other people who have actually read their Bible have come to their conclusions by failing to see the clear teaching of God (not rightly dividing the Word of Truth) and have relied instead upon the more obscure passages of Scripture to promote their belief.

Dr. Harry A. Ironside, Bible teacher, pastor, theologian and author, addressed this issue well when he said, "If you have a clear, definite, positive Scripture, do not allow some passage that is perplexing, that is difficult of interpretation, that seems somewhat ambiguous, to keep you from believing the positive statement - He that believeth hath everlasting life.”

Dr. Harry Ironside goes on to say that salvation was like Noah inviting a pagan in his day to place his trust in God’s Word and come into the ark.  If you recall, Noah and his family members were saved in the ark.  Likewise, a Believer is saved in Christ Jesus.

Now the skeptics want you to view salvation like Noah offering to put a peg on the outside of the ark.  They are saying, “If you just hang on to the peg through the storm, you’ll be saved.”  This means salvation requires your effort and not God’s.

Your salvation is not dependent upon you holding onto God, but on you being securely held by God and in Christ Jesus. 

C:  It is necessary to address the topic of Eternal Security for the saved individual because it affects the Believer's walk with Jesus Christ and their witness to others.

Anyone who believes they can lose their salvation or lose it and regain it at a later time has removed themselves from a belief in grace through faith alone and has therefore concluded that their own works have become an essential part of the salvation process or lack thereof.  In short, they have deemed Christ’s work on the cross as being insufficient.  This is contrary to Scripture.

Titus 3

5: He saved us, not on the basis of deeds (works) which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit,

6: whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior.

7: so that being (what) justified by (our works?  No! But by) His grace we would be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

D:  Doubting our salvation is at the core of spiritual warfare and Believers have lived in fear and uncertainty for centuries questioning if heaven is really their home when this life on earth is over.  This subject has led more children of God to live defeated, depressed, and discouraged lives than any other issue in the faith. 

Doubt is a crippling force.  If Satan can plant a seed of doubt in our mind and get it to germinate, then it will breed other complex issues out of our lives such as:  discouragement, frustrations, anger, confusion, and so much more if we permit it to continue unabated.   
How powerful is the seed of doubt?  It brought about the fall of man...   

The father of lies will do everything possible, everything in his power, to get us to second-guess our security in Christ Jesus, and to doubt our salvation. 
Satan is the destroyer of everything that God loves.  This includes you if you’re a Believer.  If you’re not a Believer, Satan's not focused on you.  You already belong to him.

F:  The Anglican/Episcopal church, the Assembly of God, Lutheran, Roman Catholic, Charismatic/Pentecostals, Holiness Churches, Mormons, and the Church of Christ are assemblies that believe you can lose your salvation.  This is not an exhaustive list.  Many non-denominational churches believe salvation can be lost. 

But despite what these assemblies preach the true Believer’s salvation is solely dependent on the faithfulness of God and not on the faithfulness of the Believer. 

Lamentations 3

21: This I recall to mind my mind, Therefore I have hope.

22: The LORD’s lovingkindness indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail.

23: They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.

We are not capable of being faithful to ourselves or to each other.  How can we in turn be faithful to the Holy God?  This is where the skeptic’s argument truly falls apart. 

God is faithful to us because of propitiation.  Propitiation is the work of Christ on the cross which deals with the integrity of God the Father (Romans 4:21-26).  It’s a big word but simply means that Jesus Christ satisfied the justice and righteousness of God the Father at the cross. 

In propitiation, the justice of God judges our sins, and the integrity of God is satisfied with that judgment.  God knew all our sins in eternity past.  He imputed them to Jesus Christ on the cross and judged them there.  Jesus took our place.  He was our substitute.

Now God is justified to forgive all those who believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of His Son because He has been propitiated by the blood sacrifice of His perfect (sinless) Son. 

Therefore, there is no compromise to His integrity when He faithfully forgives each one of us.  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

Scripture says,

John 19

30: Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, It is finished!” 
And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

God the Father has provided the perfect (complete) salvation through His Son and the security of the believer rests in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, on the continual work of the indwelt Holy Spirit, and on the intercession for the Believer by the Lord Jesus Christ. 

It is finished!  Everything God wanted to accomplish through His Son’s sacrificial death on the cross was accomplished.  There are no “hanging threads.”  Therefore, man may not add anything to or take anything away from the wondrous work of the cross.  Amen.  

Since Scripture itself is the Believer's sole authority of faith and practice and since Scripture clearly teaches that once a believer is truly saved he is eternally saved, secure, and sealed until redemption; then it will be helpful to see some of those Scripture passages.   

Predestined for salvation

The Bible teaches that Believers have been predestined, even before the creation of the world.  Theologians and others have argued over the meaning and intent of this word in Scripture for centuries.  Sometimes people overlook the obvious.  This word means that God the Father, back in eternity past (before the creation event), foreknew every soul; man, woman, and child that would accept His offer of salvation.

Romans 8

29: For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

30: and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

(See also:  Romans 9:23; 1 Corinthians 2:7, 2:9; Ephesians 1:5, 1:11, 2:10, 4:11-12).

Nowhere in Scripture does God unpredestine a Believer!

Called by God

The Bible says that Believers are called by God.  To be “called” by God is to recognize that God has a “claim” on our lives.  Now about 80 percent of the church-going people today, unless they see a burning bush before them, bristle at the idea of this call by God. 
They don’t experience God when they pray, and they don’t hear Him when they read their Bible.  How are they supposed to know what God is “calling” them to do?

Believe me, God is tugging at your heart in such a way that you know you are being led, urged, invited, “called” to serve the Body in some form or fashion and you possess the God given talent to do so.  Who’s kidding who? 

Romans 1

7: …to all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

(See also:  Romans 8:28-30; 1 Corinthians 1:2, 1-24; 1 Thessalonians 2:11-12, 4:7;
2 Thessalonians 1:11; Ephesians 1:8).

Scripture says God’s call is irrevocable (Romans 11:29).

Nowhere in Scripture is this truth reversed!

Sealed by God

The Bible says Believers are sealed by God for redemption. 
One of God’s great desires for His children is that they know they are “secure” in His love and in His power.  Think about this.  Everything else in our lives is unstable –
our health, our family, our jobs, our education, our home life, our marriage, our bank accounts, wall street, our society, and the world in which we live.  In any one of these arenas, at any given time, you may feel like you’re out on the ledge of a 40-story building, losing your balance, getting ready to fall, and there’s nothing to hold onto.

But God has “guaranteed” the inheritance of every Believer with the “seal” of the Holy Spirit as a sign of authenticity, marking our eternal oneness with Him - once sealed, always protected from the powers of evil.  It doesn’t get any more stable than that.

2 Corinthians 1

21: Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God,

22: who also sealed us and gave us the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

(See also:  Ephesians 1:13, 4:30; 2 Timothy 2:19).

There isn’t a single verse in the Bible where God unseals a Believer.

(To be continued)

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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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