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 Works versus Faith (Part 7) — Carnal Christians (Part 2)

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PostSubject: Works versus Faith (Part 7) — Carnal Christians (Part 2)    Tue Sep 01, 2015 10:01 pm

Works versus Faith (Part 7) — Carnal Christians (Part 2)

We are continuing our discussion on carnal Christians.  The purpose of discussing carnal Christians is to prove that it is possible to be both a Christian and carnal at the same time, yet saved for Heaven.  This is true because sin is not what sends a person to Hell.  Rejecting Christ who covers sin is what sends a person to Hell.  The criteria for Heaven, therefore is whether or not we have faith in the finished work of Christ; not whether or not we are rebelling against God.  There are terrible consequences for rebelling against God.  But the consequences do not include losing salvation.  

We discussed 2 Peter 1:9 already, but it applies to carnal Christians so I am going to briefly cover it again.  Verse 8 reads, “For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Verse 9: “But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.”  Verse 9 says that if anyone is lacking any of the things mentioned from verses 5 through 7 then such a person is nearsighted and blind.  The things mentioned include faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.  Don’t get “faith” here confused with “faith in Christ Jesus for your salvation.”  This faith means that you believe that the one who freely gave you salvation will also get you through whatever situation you are going through.  Jesus said if you have the faith of the size of a mustard seed you can move mountains.  That statement has nothing to do with salvation faith, but rather, daily living faith.  So verse 9 is saying that it is possible to lack such things as godliness, love, self-control, and faith and still be saved for Heaven.  It says that the person has been cleansed from his past sins in spite of these shortcomings.

Ephesians 4:30 says, “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”  This verse says that as a Christian, you are sealed by God the Holy Spirit, and you are sealed until the day of redemption.  It also says that it is possible to grieve the Holy Spirit with whom you are sealed until the day of redemption.  Grieving the Holy Spirit is not something that you want to do, but if you do do it, you are still sealed because your seal lasts all the way up to through the day of redemption, which is the judgement day for all Christians.  Grieving the Holy Spirit does not unseal you.  All Christians have the Holy Spirit.  All Christians receive the Holy Spirit the moment they believe in Christ and they keep the Holy Spirit until a future date (after you pass away): the day of redemption.  The possession of the Holy Spirit is proof of your salvation.  Ephesians 1:14 says that the Holy Spirit is God’s deposit, guaranteeing our inheritance until the day of redemption of those who are God’s possession.  Even carnal Christians are sealed with the Holy Spirit.  

Another verse we should look at is 1 John 2:1, which reads, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ the Righteous One.”  This verse also raises the possibility of a Christian falling away from righteous living.  It says that we have a defense attorney who is righteous and perfect and who speaks to the Father on our behalf, that is, Jesus Christ.  Jesus is our advocate for when we do sin.  He is not cutting people off from salvation when we sin.  He advocates for us so that we can get back into fellowship with God.  Fellowship comes only when we repent.  Salvation comes when we just believe.  When we do sin and repent, we need to know that we have a Mediator who will never leave or forsake us even when we forsake Him.  When we are faithless He is still faithful to His Word (cf. 2 Timothy 2:13).  The book of Hebrews talks about our Mediator.  It raises the possibility of Christians who continue to sin with no interest of repenting.  We will cover those verses when we talk about the verses that seem to say we can lose our salvation.  I’ll just say beforehand that it is not saying that.  

Here is a quick verse from Hebrews: 3:12 reads, “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.”  We mentioned before that the word “brothers” in the New Testament often refers to Christians.  Why is it important to know that the author of Hebrews is talking to Christians?  Because if he is talking to Christians we already know that a Christian has the Holy Spirit and is sealed until the day of redemption.  We know from Ephesians that a Christian cannot lose his or her salvation.  So this verse says that it is possible for a Christian to have a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God; but granted, the author of Hebrews is warning us to watch out for it that we don’t have such hearts.  

I am just going to quote Psalm 89:30-34.  I don’t think it needs any commentary.  It reads, “If his sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes, if they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands, I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging; but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.”  It needs just a little commentary.  Whose sons?  Verses 20 through 29 before this passage speaks of David. It is talking about David’s sons and the Messiah who will come from David’s line, that is, Jesus.  Ultimately it is referring to Jesus’ sons.  Verses 35-37 reads, “Once for all, I have sworn by my holiness—and I will not lie to David—that his line will continue forever and his throne endure before me like the sun; it will be established forever like the moon the faithful witness in the sky.”  

We have been discussing the possibility of carnal Christians.  There are other verses that I won’t cover regarding carnal Christians.  But one verse sums up the fact that a Christian is saved without regards to their lifestyle.  Romans 8:1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”  So let me give you a quick quiz:  How much condemnation is there for those who are in Christ Jesus?  That’s correct!  There is absolutely no condemnation for those who are in Christ.  Why?  Because  through Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life set us free from the law of sin and death.  The Spirit gives life.  The law reveals sin and condemns to death.  You are saved because the Judge decided to drop all charges.  He will still reward and “punish” us for our sins because He is just, but He has given us impunity for the eternal punishment He set aside for Satan, his demons and all who choose to follow Satan to Hell by rejecting Christ to be their Savior.  Don’t mistake God’s discipline for God’s condemnation.  We are free from condemnation.  We are not free from God’s discipline.  Hebrews 12:6 says that God disciplines those He loves.  And verse 8 says, “If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons.”  In other words, if you find that you can sin with no repercussions then that could only mean one thing: you are not a Christian.  God delays His judgement on many non-Christians until the White Throne Judgement in the future.  So it seems like they are getting away with things.  But if you are a Christian, God will spank you immediately when you sin.  If you think about it, you will realize this is true.  It is a promise.  You will be disciplined when you sin.


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