Friday, July 29, 2011

More Definitions

    Just to recap: "born again" refers to a spiritual birth upon asking God's forgiveness for your sin and asking Him to make you more like Him. "Salvation" or "being saved" is what happens when we repent (tell God we're sorry and TURN AWAY from deliberate sin). When we accept Christ's sacrifice on the cross for our sins, we are saved from the penalty that is rightfully ours.
    The next thing I want to explain is eternal or everlasting life. There are people who believe that we are only saved (kept from hell) as long as we don't sin. They teach that if a Christian (follower of Jesus Christ--not any one church or denomination) dies without telling God they are sorry and asking to be saved again, that they will die and go to hell. That would make God a liar and would not be eternal life. It would be temporary, conditional salvation. Please understand, I bear no animosity or criticism of those who teach these things. They believe they are right; they are not intentionally teaching false doctrine.
    What does the Bible say about it? Isaiah 64:6 says, "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." We can never be good enough for God. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    These verses are taken from the Old Testament (the law) and show us that no matter how hard we try, we cannot win God's favor on our own. No one can be perfect.
    Romans 3:10 says, "There is none righteous, no not one."
    Romans 3:23 says, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." Romans 6:23 says, "The wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." It is a gift; it cannot be earned. If we can't earn it, we can't keep it. God never takes His gifts back.
    John 10:28 29 says, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." These are the words of Jesus. Some people teach that this means no one other than yourself can pluck you out of Jesus's hand. If we are in Jesus's hand and the Father has His hand covering Jesus's hand, how are we going to get out? We aren't. Ephesians 4:30 tells us that we are sealed unto the day of redemption. The day of redemption is when God takes us home to be with Him. Sealed refers to a huge book in heaven wherein are written all the names of believers in Christ. The only one who can break that seal is "the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world," the Lord Jesus himself. If we can't break the seal we can't take our names out of the book.
    We may get angry with God. We may backslide and go back to the world for a while. If we are truly God's children, we will not be happy in the world, doing the things we used to do. There will be a fierce internal battle between our flesh and the Holy Spirit of God who takes up residence in our hearts once we are saved. We may die in our sins and lose any peace and blessings. We may make God very angry with us and bring down His punishment, but we will not lose our salvation.
    Not all problems are due to sin in our lives. Sometimes God allows us to go through hardship in order to teach us something, to make us stronger, and so others can see how God helps us through stuff.
    More tomorrow. God bless.
    Aleta Kay

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