Monday, January 5, 2015

Is continuing in faith a conditions based salvation?

Therefore He is able also to save to the uttermost (completely, perfectly, finally, and for all time and eternity) those who come to God through Him, since He is always living to make petition to God and intercede with Him and intervene for them.  Hebrews 7:25 Amplified

Conditions. We encounter them in our daily lives on a frequent basis. For instance, you are free to drive on the roadways. You must not though go above a certain speed limit. This condition is so strict it has become law and is enforced as such. Some conditions are beneficial. Such as speed limits, and laws we have in place for business and consumer transactions. 

Conditions can be productive in a proper setting. In relationships however, they can stagnate growth. It feeds the what can I get out of this mindset too many have in our dealings with one another. We see it in marriages today. I will love you if you never gain this much weight. Or, I will care for you if you do this for me. If you don't meet the conditions then its goodbye, you're no longer welcome. 

Is this how God our Father relates to us? Is His love and salvation a conditional based relationship? We should know the word for love in the Greek language describing God's love is agape. It's His divine love. It is a love without conditions. His love is without conditions, yet so many attribute conditions to the salvation He purchased for us. If His love is unconditional what makes us believe His salvation is now conditional?

We have been in a series of articles studying our eternal security in Christ. Titled, "Loving it, Leaving it, Losing it". We've seen 7 proofs of a completely secure salvation. Now we are finalizing the "can we leave this salvation by our free will?" portion. There is one passage in Scripture that religion and tradition ruled minds have attributed with a conditions based salvation. Colossians 1:23:
if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

Is this indeed a conditional salvation statement? I submit to you that this interpretation is faulty. Hailing from a Word of Faith background this passage brings out a truth that many in the Body of Christ fail to grasp. That truth is feeding your faith, growing up spiritually. 

Paul is not instructing the Colossians about a conditional salvation. He is referencing a conditional growth principle. Look, if you never eat right, exercise to your ability, and get proper rest what will the end result be? You will not be in the best healthy condition that you could be. In the same manner Paul is teaching about growing up spiritually speaking.  

Let me say it this way. Paul was already informing the Colossians of their position in Christ. You're already righteous, forgiven and made holy. Now you must continue growing in faith to walk out the benefits of this position we have in Him. We have to walk out and mature into the benefits and blessings Christ already purchased for us. In other words become established in these truth of who you are. 

We must advance in faith in order to be settled and grounded in these truths. We must become established in the truth that we are righteous in Christ. We must become rooted and unmovable that we forgiven of all our sins. We feed our faith by feeding on the Word of God on an ongoing basis. It isn't works or performance based to feed your natural body. So it is the same with your spirit man. Feed your faith the Word of God on our righteousness in Christ. Feed on the Word that reminds us we are in a New Covenant and that the dictates of Law are no longer ruling over us. I believe a better translation to this passage is in the Passion translation.
23 Continue to advance in faith, assured of a firm foundation to grow upon. Never be shaken from the hope of the gospel you have believed in. I preach this glorious news all over the world.
Colossians 1:23 Passion translation

We advance in faith and growth because religion and tradition and the enemy wish to remove this hope of our everlasting salvation and relationship with God. We stand our ground and aren't moved by the accusations of the enemy and religion.
"This once saved always saved theology is creating a false hope!"
"This eternal security doctrine is allowing for just anyone to be saved!"
"This once saved always saved message produces license to sin!"
"Teaching once saved always saved means we have no free will and grace is now bondage!"

All lies and distortions from the enemy. Can we walk away and forfeit our salvation? Absolutely not! It is an impossibility. I've just dealt with all these passages that seem to indicate we can return the gift of salvation. We've seen beyond doubt with rightly dividing the Word the true understanding and meaning comes forth.

I would like to address all those who have been wounded by the "unfaithfulness" of some believers. Our eyes aren't on someone else but on Jesus and His faithfulness. Some have chosen a certain person as a role model and when they don't fulfill our expectations of perfection we adopt this view in our hearts that folk can walk away. The truth is not what we can always see but what He has promised. He who began the good work in you will be faithful to complete it.

6 I pray with great faith for you, because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious expression of grace in your lives will faithfully continue the process of maturing you through your union with Him and will complete it at the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Philippians 1:6 Passion translation

This is why we can't leave it or even lose it! He will continue that process of maturing us. It may not come on our timetable but it will happen because the Word cannot lie! 

This passage alone silences these grace critics. This grace is not bondage because you can't walk away. This grace is who you are now. It is like saying the skin on my body not being able to separate from my skeletal structure is bondage. It is who you are. You are born with muscle and bone and skin. It makes us who we are. When we are born again, this grace and salvation is now a part of who we actually are. We can't remove it. To remove it would make you not be you anymore. Remember the New Creation is a species that never before existed. A human possessing the righteous nature of God, no longer separated from God. A partaker of His divine nature abiding within. A person where God almighty dwells within. How can we "walk away" from our very existence? 

I will conclude this series in the next post or two dealing with 2 Peter 2:20 and Hebrews 10. I will be addressing the sin issue. Can we sin away this grace? Some believe we can. We will in detail address this.

I pray this article blessed you and strengthened your walk with the Lord. May His richest peace and blessing overtake you.



Theresa from Indiana said...

Thank you so much for addressing this! It has been very controversal but I am settled in my spirit and you've said it well! one scripture I'm looking forward for you addressing would be the one in Hebrews where that it states that if one is enlightened that he cannot return. I feel like this has to do with the soul realm but your spirit is eternally secured.
I am willing to be corrected,just preach the truth!
Theresa in Indiana

John W Reed said...

Theresa I've addressed this passage in a previous post. You can find this post by looking in archives. Or you can look in the eternal security tags. It's titled what about Hebrews 6?
Thanks for your kind words. Please consider sharing this with your friends