Saturday, November 28, 2009

God is Faithful

A Candid Look at OSAS "Support"

Another statement that is made in trying to support OSAS is that God is faithful. To this I say, "Amen!" God is faithful to do all and everything He says that He will. He is not a liar, nor does He break His promises. His word stands sure.

The issue with the Once Saved Always Saved doctrine is not the faithfulness of God, but the faithfulness of man. The word of God is clear that even after salvation, man can:
  • Draw back from the faith (Hebrews 10:38)
  • Have his faith overthrown (II Timothy 2:18)
  • Cast off his faith (I Timothy 5:12)
  • Have his faith made shipwreck (I Timothy 1:19)
  • Fall into unbelief (Romans 11:20-22, Hebrews 3:12; Hebrews 4:6-11)

People want to hold on to the pleasant promises of God, but they often like to graze over the more challenging ones.

In order to truly appreciate His faithfulness, we must consider all of His promises...not just the ones we like.

He is faithful to bless and to curse; faithful to save and condmen; faithful to reward and punish.

A Faithful Saying

"It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:

If we suffer, we shall also reign with him:

If we deny him, he also will deny us:

If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself." II Timothy 2:11-13

This is a conversation Paul is having with Timothy. In other words, this is a discourse between believers.

The WHOLE statement is a faithful saying. If we be dead with Him, we will live in Him. If we suffer, we will reign with Him.

If "we" deny Him, He will also deny us. The subject of this text has not changed. The "we" being discussed here is the same "we" referenced in the previous verses. If we [believers] fail to believe, yet He stays faithful. Again, the issue is never with God's faithfulness, but man's.

What is God faithful to do if we do not abide in the faith? Exactly what He just said He would do: deny us. Although He continues faithfully, if we do not then God equates this with us denying Him, and He cannot deny Himself.

Why does God say He cannot deny Himself? Because on that day, when we stand before God and are judged for every deed done in these bodies, we have an Advocate who stands with us. Another word for Advocate is lawyer, and that offers a great description of this scenario. When we are being judged, Jesus stands with us, presenting us to the Father to declare us innocent by His own blood and sacrifice.

"Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 10: 32-33

However, what if we have fallen into unbelief? Can Jesus possibly then stand with us before the Father? In doing so, He would have to deny Himself by defending our unbelief. He cannot deny who He is, even if we have.

Do we really believe that God is faithful to do all that He says? Do we believe that God will deny us if we fall into unbelief after having come to Him? That is a faithful saying, but how many can hear it?

No Longer Sons

"And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.

If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
" Hebrews 12:5-8

God is speaking here to His "children", to believers. One can only become a child of God by being born again by His Spirit (Romans 8:14-16). This excludes this text from applying to any unregenerated person.

If we are still unclear about that, God goes on to say that He scourges every son He receives. God is faithful to scourge every believer who turns in faith to Jesus Christ and is born again. God states that we are first "received" by Him, and then He scourges. The scourging does not begin until after one has been received by God as a son.

If we endure through this chastening, then God deals with us as sons. If not, then we are bastards and not sons. Some will say, "No. God is speaking of the unbeliever here." Yet that is not true according to the word.

This is a statement addressed to believers because:

  • God makes it very clear from the beginning that He is speaking about those who are His children (verse 5).
  • God defines those whom He scourges as His "sons" (verse 6). If these were unbelievers, they would not be eligible for the "scourging" that God gives to His "children".
  • He describes this chastening as a natural part of the father-child relationship (verse 7).
  • All of His children are expected to partake of the chastening (verse 8).
If YE endure, God deals with YOU as sons. If YE separate from His chastisement, YOU are not sons but fatherless children. The "ye" God says may be treated as sons is the same "ye" whom God calls bastards and no longer sons. What is the difference? How the children endure chastisement.

How we endure in the faith determines whether God treats us as sons or bastards. Such is also a faithful saying.

Behold the Goodness and Severity

"Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off." Romans 11:22

Again, God IS faithful! What is He faithful to do? To interact with us in His goodness if we continue in Him. However, if we do not continue in Him, He is just as faithful to cut us off! These are both faithful sayings. These are both the promises of God. Do we believe them?

When we enter into covenant with God via faith in Jesus Christ, He is faithful to do everything He has promised. This includes being faithful to how He will treat those who do not abide in Him. If we do not believe that God will do these things, then we are in essence saying that God is NOT faithful.

When you speak of God's faithfulness, be sure you understand ALL that He is faithful to do. The faithfulness of God is not an excuse for us to wander. Faith in God is expressed as faithfulness to God. Any doctrine which makes you think that God only requires faithfulness from Himself is a lie.

This article is part of a 6-part series evaluating a doctrine referred to as Once Saved Always Saved, Eternal Unconditional Security, or Preservation of the Saints.

  1. God Doesn't Mince Words

  2. "IF"

  3. Salvation is a Result of Covenant
  4. Sealed Until the Day of Redemption
  5. A Candid Look at OSAS "Support"
  6. The ONLY Reason Salvation Can Be "Lost"

No comments:

Post a Comment

In an effort to reduce the amount of spam received, Anonymous posts will no longer be accepted. Comments are still moderated and will appear once approved.

If you have a personal message to relay, please use the "Contact Us" form at the top of the blog. Thank you!