HOUSMAIL HM#084 - SALVATION IS A PROCESS 17 October 2001
All too often "Salvation" is seen as a "once only" event, which confers "eternal security" -- without any possibility of ever being lost again.
This of course, is a wresting of Scripture, which amounts to a FALSE
GOSPEL. There are quite a few Scriptures which explain that it is possible
for those who were once "saved", to become apostate -- and be lost. (e.g
Hebrews 6:4-8; 2 Pet 2:20-22)
"ONCE ONLY" EVENT.
IT IS A PROCESS OVER TIME.
The Bible uses the term "salvation" (or "saved") in different places, in three different ways.
It has three tenses.
1. There is a past salvation -- from the penalty of sin.
That takes place when we are "born again".(1 Pet 1:23)
"There is therefore NOW no condemnation ...."(Rom 8:1-3)
2. There is a present ongoing progressive salvation -- from the power and practice of sin.
"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Cor 1:18)
"Make Disciples.... Baptise them.... Teach them to obey."(Matt 28:19)
"The truth shall set you free...." (From slavery to sin - John 8:31-34)
" Add to your faith.... virtue.... knowledge.... temperance.... patience.... godliness.... brotherly kindness.... charity.... to make your calling and election sure."(2 Pet 2:5-11)
3. There is a future salvation - from the mortality by which God places a limit on the time for which these present lives can continue -- until we meet the conditions on which He is willing to redeem our bodies. (Rom 8:23) For the present, this future salvation is kept safe in heaven, to be revealed only in the "last time". (1 Pet 1:4-5)
This third aspect is called the doctrine of "Conditional Immortality".
It is the end (Goal) of Faith, which lies beyond the "trial of our faith". (1 Pet 1:7-9) It is for:
* "Overcomers". (Rev 3:21)
* "imitators of God". (Eph 5:1)
who have put off the "old nature", in order to:
* " Put on the new nature created after the likeness of God". (Eph 4:20-24)
THE PLACE OF GRACE
Where is GRACE in all this?
Grace is also a FAR bigger word than a "once only" event. It doesn't only SAVE us from the penalty of our sins. It also progressively trains us to forsake the practice of sin!
"For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training
us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright,
and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing
of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself
for us to redeem us from all iniquity and to purify for himself a people
of his own who are zealous for good deeds."
"Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from EVERY DEFILEMENT of body and spirit, and make HOLINESS PERFECT in the fear of God" (2 Cor 7:1) "STRIVE for ..... the holiness without which no one will see the Lord." (Heb 12:14)
"Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does right is righteous, as he is righteous." (1 John 3:7)