"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel... By which also ye are saved... unless ye have believed in vain.
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures"(1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
Things that Accompany Salvation
By Noel Chartier
But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak (Hebrews 6:9).
The Fruit of Holiness
It is apparent from the above text that when a man (or woman) is truly saved, when they are born again of the Spirit of God, there are better things that will accompany their salvation. Do you know the marks of a true believer? The writer of Hebrews likened it to the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God (Hebrews 6:7). When the earth is rained upon, it does not remain dry and desolate but springs forth with life as it blossoms and buds. Likewise the blessing of salvation brings forth life from that which was dead and barren and produces fruit.
These words are very similar to the words spoken by the prophet Isaiah written many centuries before. For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it (Isaiah 55:10-11).
Just as God has ordained the hydrological cycle to renew the earth and cause it to become fruitful, likewise the Word of the Lord shall prosper and accomplish precisely that for which it has been sent into the world. When a thirsty soul hears the gospel of salvation, and receives it with gladness, he receives showers of blessings from God, even the forgiveness of sins and the gift of everlasting life, and the Lord maketh it to bring forth and bud.
The psalmist would write, Blessed is the man [whose] delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper (Psalm 1:1-3).
Our Lord Jesus taught us in the Parable of the Sower that he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty (Matthew 13:23).
In this parable, The seed is the word of God (Luke 8:11), and they who receive the Word also beareth fruit. It is not a question whether they who have received the good seed will bear fruit or not. Jesus told his disciples, I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit (John 15:16).
From the day of their new birth God begins to work in and through them to bring forth the fruit of holiness. The apostle Paul told the church at Rome, that now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life (Romans 6:22).
Something truly spectacular has happened to those who have believed the gospel. They are, born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever (I Peter 1:23). They have become a new creation. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10). Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Just, as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin (Romans 6:4, 6). Old ways, old habits, old lifestyles and behavior begin to fade away as the believer begins his new life in Christ Jesus. And knowing that it was for his sins that Christ died and was raised from the dead, his heart is filled with gratitude and praise and he is now more determined than ever to live up to his high calling, For God hath not called us unto uncleaness, but unto holiness (1Thessalonians 4:7).
This the believer does, not by any innate power of his own, for before they were converted they were, children of disobedience and were by nature the children of wrath (Ephesians 2:2-3), but after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13) who now dwells with you, and in you (John 14:16-17). Paul says, your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God (1Corinthians 6:19). Now that the Spirit of God dwells in the believer, it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).
The Spirit of God now takes the Word of God and applies it to the believer's heart. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass [the Word] the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:18). For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe (1 Thessalonians 2:13).
The phrase effectually worketh comes from the Greek word energeo where we get the word energy. The Word of God becomes the food upon which the believer feeds, energizing him to do the work that God would have him to do, and the strength to resist the devil. To this end Christ, loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word (Ephesians 5:25-26).
The cleansing effect of the Word of God begins to transform the believer in Christ by the renewing of his mind, whereby he might prove what is that good, and perfect, and acceptable will of God. (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord (Ephesians 5:9-10).He now sets out to, Prove all things; [and] hold fast that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21).
For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them (Ephesians 5:8, 11). Their new Christian character not only refuses to compromise with the unfruitful works of darkness, but also openly reproves and rebukes them.
It is very easy to stay neutral, neither cold nor hot (Revelation 3:16), as characterized by the church today, but are in danger of being spit out of His mouth (v. 16), for it is the position where Christ is left outside knocking at the door (v. 20). be zealous therefore, and repent (Revelation 3:19).
The believer is given a new heart that now hates sin but loves the sinner, and being a servant of Christ he seeks to walk in the paths of righteousness, and shun the unfruitful works of darkness. Before they had come to Christ for cleansing and pardon of sin, they were slaves to sin and could bear no fruit that was genuinely of the Spirit.
They were as, trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit who in the end shall be plucked up by the roots (Jude 12). Jesus said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up (Matthew 15:13) and, If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned (John 15:6). Likewise, that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned (Hebrews 6:8).
Jesus said, Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them (Matthew 7:16-20).
Evil fruit is a product of the flesh. The apostle Paul told the church at Galatia, Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).
He told the church at Ephesus, But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive youwith vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience (Ephesians 5:3-6).
In fact, the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death (Revelation 21:8).
The apostle Paul told the Church at Corinth, Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God (1Corinthians 6:9-10).
The Scriptures are very clear. Those who think they can walk in darkness and inherit the kingdom of God are only deceiving themselves. However, many in the Corinthian church were truly saved and had repented of these unfruitful works of darkness for the apostle Paul said, And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God (1Corinthians 6:11).
The Bible tells us, Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God (1John 3:9). The very nature of God now dwells in the believer and he does not practice sin. He is born of God and begins to understand the amazing grace and mercy given to us in Christ Jesus for the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us (Romans 5:5).
It is His great love for us whereby we are compelled to walk in newness of life, free from sin and its dreadful effects. For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again (2Corinthians 5:14-15).
Only when the believer dies to self and begins living for Christ, can he produce fruit. Jesus said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit (John 12:24). The apostle Paul was such a one who bore much fruit. He would say, I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me (Galatians 2:20). For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain (Philippians 1:21).
Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience (Colossians 3:5-6). For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live (Romans 8:13).
It is not that the believer never sins again in his lifetime, for If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (1John 1:8), however, those who habitually practice such sins as Paul mentions in his epistles, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.
The believer may stumble, Peter denied Christ, David committed adultery, Moses murdered an Egyptian, however with deep contrition they confessed their sin and forsook it and their fellowship with their Lord was restored (Read Psalm 51).
The believer does not wallow in sin, for it is now a detestable thing unto him, and he hates every evil way. Nevertheless, if he does sin, he has an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1John 2:1), and If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1John 1:10).
It should be noted, that when a believer sins, he never loses His salvation as some have foolishly purported, however, he does fall out of fellowship with his heavenly Father and his prayers are not heard (Psalms 66:18, Proverbs 28:9) until his sin is confessed and forsaken.
We cannot walk in darkness and have fellowship with God, But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (1John 1:7).Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God (2Corinthians 7:1).
The apostle Paul now encourages all those who have received Christ as their Savior to follow after righteousness, for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death (Romans 6:19-21).
Therefore, Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
There are yet other things that accompany salvation and one privilege of every believer is chastisement by his heavenly Father.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 12:6-8). As we have previously discussed, the believer in Christ Jesus does not habitually practice sin, that is, not without chastisement by his heavenly Father. If they are truly a son or daughter of God, He will deal with us as children and correct us to turn us back to the paths of righteousness. The Lord has said, if they forsake my law, and walk not in my judgments; If they break my statutes, and keep not my commandments; Then will I visit their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless my lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail (Psalm 89:30-33). Correction by our heavenly Father is always an act of love. Jesus says, As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent (Revelation 3:19). In fact, He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (Proverbs 13:24). Correction is necessary to keep His children from the path of the wicked, and the way of evil men (Proverbs 4:14). The Psalmist would write, Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word. Thou art good, and doest good; teach me thy statutes (Psalm 119:67).The apostle Paul told the church at Corinth, But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world (1 Corinthians 11:32).
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby (Hebrews 12:11). The effect of our chastening is that we might yield the fruit of righteousness. Jesus said, every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me (John 15:2-4). Those who have believed the gospel have been cleansed and pardoned of sin, but now the Lord desires that we bear fruit and this can only be done when we abide in Him and keep His commandments (v. 7, 10).
A simple principal is involved, those branches that bare fruit (the saved), if they abide not in the vine, will be pruned (chastened) so that they may bring forth more fruit. The Lord may chasten the sinner in a sick bed (Job 33:19), He may bring their enemies upon them to get them to repent (Hosea 10:10), and where warranted, if they refuse to repent, the ultimate chastisement would be physical death.
If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear (Deuteronomy 21:18-21).
Those believers who insist in their sin and will not respond to chastening of the Lord are in grave danger of being taken out of the world. If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it (1John 5:16). If we see our brother sin it is our duty to pray for him, but if he sins unto death, there is no more warrant to pray for him after he is dead. Jesus said, Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away (John 15:2). When a believer is walking in sin he cannot bear fruit and is in danger of being cut off before his time, so it is important that we confess our sin as soon as we are aware of it. (See also 1Corinthians 11:27-33, 5:5, 3:17).
How many there are today who say they are a believer and yet they have never forsaken their adulteries, fornications, drunkenness, reveling, lying and thieving etc. The fact of the matter is that the word of the LORD is unto them a reproach; they have no delight in it (Jeremiah 6:10). They loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil(John 3:19).
John says, He that committeth sin is of the devil (1John 3:8). For those who habitually practice sin and appear never to be chastened at all to turn them from the path of destruction, the only logical conclusion that we may come to is that they are yet the children of darkness, thereby directing us in our prayers for the salvation of their souls.
However, whosoever will repent and believe the gospel can be forgiven of the most vile and heinous sins and given the gift of everlasting life, for Christ was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:5-6).
Good Works: the Fruit of Repentance
But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister (Hebrews 6:9-10).
True repentance, that is, a genuine change of mind and attitude towards God, brings forth fruit and the Scriptures affirm that without works (or fruit), faith is impossible to be validated. John the Baptist came to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe (John 1:7). He preached that men should repent and believe on Him who was to come after him, namely Christ Jesus.
When a group of unbelievers came to John for baptism, after a severe warning he told them, Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance (Matthew 3:8). This was John's condition for baptism (v. 11). Paul preached this same doctrine long after Pentecost teaching us that men, should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance (Acts 26:20).
Jesus told the Scribes and the Pharisees, John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, repented not afterward, that ye might believe him (Matthew 21:32). John was a burning and a shining light (John 5:35) and many who believed his preaching, including all the apostles (Acts 1:21-22), came forth confessing their sins (Mark 1:5), and were prepared to follow Christ when He called. However, many of the religious, after they saw such a move of God would not repent that they might believe. If one will not repent, how could they be considered true believers?
True repentance flows from a heart that is sorry for sin, compelling a man to change his ways. You will recall the man who told his son, Go work today in my vineyard, and the son said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went (Matthew 21:29). The fruit of repentance was found in his obedience to his fathers command. His repentance resulted in a change of heart, and frankly speaking, I cannot see your heart and you cannot see mine, that is God's territory. But what your neighbor does see is your works, and he sees mine.
James asked the question, What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? (James 2:14) James concluded that faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone (James 2:17). You see there is what may be called a dead faith that consists only of an empty profession without the appropriate works that flow from repentance.
Now when James says, Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only (v. 24), he is most certainly not contradicting the apostle Paul when he says, to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness (Romans 4:5). Neither is he opposing Paul when he says, Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law (Romans 3:28).
What appears to be a contradiction in the mind of many is cleared up when we understand that Paul is speaking vertically, that is to say, justification before God. According to the Scriptures, man is justified by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, in the sight of God. James on the other hand is speaking horizontally, that is, justification before men.
James says, Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works (James 2:18). James says, a man may say, shew me, I will shew thee. In other words, he says to the pretender, you say you are a believer, prove it! Man cannot see faith without the works to support it, however, the works will never justify a man before God, For by grace are ye saved through faith Not of works (Ephesians 2:8-9).
However, true saving faith will result in what the apostle Paul calls your work of faith (1 Thessalonians 1:3). It is the work that proceeds from faith whereby a man may be justified in his profession before his fellow believers. In other words, his works will justify his declaration of faith. If a man is walking in darkness, there is no justification for him to say he is a believer, and his hypocrisy will be manifest. So, Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
In the clearest words the apostle Paul would tell us that salvation is Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life (Titus 3:5-7).
But in the same stroke of the pen, on this faithful saying, he would have us to affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men (Titus 3:8). He would tell the Ephesians that we were created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:9-10).
This was in part the designed intention for our redemption, for Christ gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works (Titus 2:14). The blood of Christ has not only cleansed them from their sins, but also purged their conscience from, dead works to serve the living God (Hebrews 9:14). And this is the will of God, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him (Daniel 7:14), and their works do follow them (Revelation 14:13).
Love for the Brethren
Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers (Ephesians 1:15-16).
We could list many things that accompany salvation, but another peculiarity of the believer is his love for the brethren. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother (1John 3:10).
Love for the saints is therefore a marked peculiarity that distinguishes the children of God from the children of the devil. What crowd do you like to be around? Is our gathering together with the saints something that we desire and look forward to? If we love someone, we will certainly want to be with them. This agape love gives the believer the utmost assurance that eternal life is abiding in him. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. (1John 3:14-15).
Consider Cain and Abel. Cain was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous. Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you (1John 3:12-13).
Jesus said that His followers would be persecuted (Matthew 5:10-12), despised (2Timothy 3:3), and hated by the world (John 15:18-20). Hatred of believers is a character of the world. Jesus said they would separate you from their company (Luke 6:22)and put you out of (John 16:2) their fellowship, but outside the camp is where believers will find their Lord dwelling in the midst of His people, being knit together in love (Colossians 2:2).
They are instructed to do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith (Galatians 6:10). They are to Love the brotherhood (1 Peter 2:17), and, by love serve one another (Galatians 5:13). And ultimately, we are to follow Christ's great example of love for, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13). Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren (1John 3:16).
Our love for, and friendship with Christ is also manifest when we lay down our own ambitions in submission to His will for He said, Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you (John 15:14). And again, If ye love me, keep my commandments (John 14:15). And here is the commandment that He has given to us, that ye love one another (v.17). If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (1John 4:20)
Our love should also be without hypocrisy, not as some sort of disguise, for surely God can see right through even this. Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another (Romans 12:9-10).
Our love for the brethren is also manifest in our willingness to share our possessions with them. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (1John 4:17) And so, If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? (James 2:15-16) Therefore, let us work with our hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth (Ephesians 4:28), Distributing to the necessity of saints (Romans 12:13).
Now, we should not move on until we have addressed what love is not. One of the delusions that is plaguing the church today is the false notion as to how love is to be expressed in the local assembly. There is a prominent attitude that love and kindness is expressed in the degree that we tolerate, and turn a blind eye to overt sin in other believers.
However, in the eyes of the Lord, this lack of correction indicates a lack of love (Proverbs 13:24). This destructive approach is fostered in large by the psychology movement and its deadly doctrine of self-esteem, which is nothing less than a cloak for their hypocrisy. As Isaiah said, these are like dumb dogs [who] cannot bark (Isaiah 56:10) a warning when danger is near and sin enters the camp.
Instead, their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage (Jude 1:16), For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God (John 12:43). But Jesus said, Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets (Luke 6:26).
However God, who is love, never tolerates sin for He says, As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten (Revelation 3:19). If the body of Christ is to remain healthy and functioning according to His will, corrective action must be taken when sin is manifest in the local assembly.
When we break His commandments our fellowship with Christ is broken and dissension enters the ranks of the assembly. In the list of things that God hates is he that soweth discord among brethren (Proverbs 6:19). A little leaven leavens the whole lump so corrective action must be taken to purge out the leaven before the whole becomes infected, that we might remain of one mind and one accord.
But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person (1Corinthians 5:11-13).
We never seek to judge the heart or motives of a believer, however, Paul says we must judge the sinful actions of those in the church, as in the case above, and expel that member until he repents.
Paul wrote the above admonition upon hearing that there was fornication among one of the members in the Corinthian church, and in a second letter he wrote, For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you (2Corinthians 2:4). How could he love them more than by reproving them faithfully with true affection and concern for their souls, even at the risk of being rejected by them?
Paul was consistent in his doctrine, writing much the same to the church at Thessalonica. Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother (2Thessalonians 3:6, 14-15).
If correction is ignored and the dreadful disease of sin is not purged out of the body, it becomes weak and sickly (1Corinthians 11:30) and is consumed like a cancer. It is indeed heartbreaking to see many unhealthy assemblies today, and when any voice of correction is raised, it is often scorned and even rebuked as unloving in character. Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)
However, whatever the majority view today, we still have our high calling and command from the Lord. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ (Galatians 6:1-2).
Correction is absolutely necessary if we are to properly execute the law of Christ, and this is the law of Christ, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:34-35).
Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins (James 5:19-20). This is true love, expressed in deed and in truth.
Loving one another, whether it be by sharing our goods, serving one another, laying down our lives for them, correcting those who are on the path of destruction, or withdrawing ourselves from those who insist in walking disorderly, is to fulfill the law of Christ, and another of those things that accompany salvation.
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love (1John 4:7-8).
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently (1Peter 1:22).
They Follow Christ
Jesus said, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me (John 10:27). First of all, Jesus says they are My sheep and this we know because their ear is sensitive to His voice and they hearken unto His call. Let none deceive himself into thinking he is a sheep if he follows not the Good Shepherd for He also said, whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:27).
Following Christ, of course, necessitates first the hearing of His voice, which comes primarily through the diligent study, and ongoing obedience to His Word. If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32).
However, many are under the delusion that they can continue outside of the will of God and still enter into heaven. Jesus would challenge His audience by saying, why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46) and even answer them saying, Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 7:21). Many who call Christ their Lord but do not follow Him will one day hear from Christ the razing condemnation I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity (v. 23).
This is one of the tests whereby we know that our salvation is real. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked (1John 2:3-6). Faith and obedience can never be separated. By faith Abraham, when he was called . . . obeyed (Hebrews 11:8). Because Abraham believed God's promises he obeyed and willingly left his old life, customs and even his land. His obedience was the evidence that he was a true believer. True faith in Christ should result in daily obedience to Him for He is the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him (Hebrews 5:9).
If one is unwilling to relinquish their old lifestyle, they need to examine themselves whether they have truly exercised genuine saving faith in Christ Jesus, for the Scriptures tell us, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2Corinthians 5:17). May we unashamedly be able to say with the apostle Paul, Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do (Philippians 4:9).
Witness of the Indwelling Holy Spirit
As we have seen, true believers follow Christ and keep His commandments, for after they believed the truth God began to work in them transforming them into the same image of Christ even as by the Spirit of the Lord (2Corinthians 3:18). And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us (1 John 3:24). They now have God's very own nature implanted within them helping them to walk in the paths of righteousness and guide [us] into all truth (John 16:13).
When the believer repents and believes the gospel, they receive the promise of the Spirit through faith (Galatians 3:14). He is the Comforter whom Christ has sent into the hearts of all believers, assuring us that Christ bore our sins on the tree and rose from the dead securing our salvation, and our great inheritance that we have in Christ.
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together (Romans 8:16-17).
The Bible tells us if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his (Romans 8:9). If any have not the internal witness of Christ's Spirit we are again told to Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? (2Corinthians 13:5)
Let us not deceive ourselves, for Peter also encourages us to give diligence to make your calling and election sure (2Peter 1:10).
Unashamed of Christ
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed (Romans 10:11).
For those who are unwilling to profess Jesus Christ publicly, the likelihood is that they are ashamed of Him and His gospel. Jesus said, Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels (Mark 8:38). How many church attendees there are who the moment they step out of church act like they never knew Christ nor bring up His blessed name before the lost or other believers for that matter.
If we really love someone, would we be ashamed to be seen with them in public? When a man becomes engaged to the woman he loves, does he not make an announcement and introduce her to his friends and family? If he was ashamed of her we can be certain there would be no bride and there would be no wedding. Therefore, if we deny him, he also will deny us (2 Timothy 2:12).
However, Jesus loved the church, and gave himself for it (Ephesians 5:24)and because of his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins (Ephesians 2:4-5), our hearts are compelled to worship and adore Him. And so the saying goes, We love him, because he first loved us (1John 4:19) and are not ashamed of our great God and Savior to confess Him before men.
The Bible tells us, That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9-10). Jesus said, Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven (Matthew 10:32).
The Bible tells us There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love (1John 4:18).But the fearful, and unbelieving shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone (Revelation 21:8).
Boldness may not come easy, but it is something we can pray for in our daily witness, so that like the saints of Philippi, we might be much more bold to speak the word without fear (Philippians 1:14). For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord (Philippians 1:7-8).
Love of the World Grows Dim
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (1 John 2:15).
Can we give an honest answer to a simple question? Where primarily does our affection lie? If the answer is anything in the world it would be a good time to reevaluate our salvation and get right with God. Christ must have the preeminence in all things. He will not have second place to family, riches and possession, pleasures or positions. It is not that the believer cannot have any of these, but Jesus said, seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness (Matthew 6:33), and to this He would add all our needs.
However, much instruction is given in the Scriptures concerning this world. Paul tells us, be not conformed to this world (Romans 12:2) for it is this present evil world that Christ came to deliver us from (Galatians 1:4). James says, whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God (James 4:4).
We must understand that for the time being, Satan is the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), and the kingdoms thereof are his (Matthew 4:8-9), therefore, we must be careful we don't get caught up in the affairs of this world with its things and its schemes for they can ever so subtly draw us away from Christ and ruin our testimony for Him.
Let us not forget Christ's admonition to the Church at Ephesus that was at one time very zealous for the Lord, I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love (Revelation 2:4), or Paul's lament as He had to tell Timothy, Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world (2 Timothy 4:10).
If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory (Colossians 4:1-4). Appearing with Christ in glory, what higher calling, what greater pursuit, what zealous ambition, or lively hope could be greater for the believer in Christ?
These are some of the things that will accompany salvation that will either reassure us of our salvation or bring into question whether our faith in Christ is really genuine. Let us be sure our faith in Him is true.
The Lord does not want us to be doubtful of our salvation, and so has written many things in His Word to give us the blessed assurance of the reality that we are saved. The beloved apostle John said, These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God (1 John 5:13), and not be ashamed before him at his coming (1 John 2:28).
We pray these things are found accompanying you!
Your article shows insight and these things are revealed by Holy Spirit, so its a joy to find some one else in union with christ. Too many think its union with a group but it is with our Lord Jesus christ. We truly are his friends if we do what he commands us. And also those that fear God, he reveals his wonderful covenant to them which Jesus mediates between God and man. It really sets us free to love because we now have this heavenly helper and teacher with us always, to bring back to our minds Jesus words
December 27, 2009 - 20:46
How You May Know You Are Not Saved
If you do not believe in God - YOU ARE NOT SAVED.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6).
If you do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God - YOU ARE NOT SAVED.
"That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent Him" (John 5:23).
If you do not believe the Bible record God has given of His Son - YOU ARE NOT SAVED.
"If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which He hath testified of His Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of His son" (I John 5:9-10).
If you do not believe the Bible is God's Word - YOU ARE NOT SAVED.
"Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which liveth and abideth forever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away. But the Word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto" (I Peter 1:23-25).
If you do not believe that Christ Jesus the Son of God died for your sins and rose again - YOU ARE NOT SAVED.
"For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose the third day according to the Scriptures" (I Cor. 15: 3-4). "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" (I Cor. 15:17).
If you do not love the Lord Jesus Christ - YOU ARE NOT SAVED.
"If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha" (at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ) (I Cor. 16:22).
If you are trusting in your own works of righteousness - YOU ARE NOT SAVED.
"Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Titus 3:5).
If you are trusting in your wealth - YOU ARE NOT SAVED.
"They that trust their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; none of them can be any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him" (Psalm 49: 6-8).
If you do not love the people of God - YOU ARE NOT SAVED.
"We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death" (I John 3:14).
If you have not the witness of the Holy Spirit within you - YOU ARE NOT SAVED.
"For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Rom. 8:15-16).
If you say you believe on the Son of God but deny you have Eternal Life - YOU ARE NOT SAVED.
"He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the son of God hath not live. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God" (I John 5:12-13).
If you continually abide in a sinful life and enjoy practicing sin - YOU ARE NOT SAVED.
"We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not" (I John 5:18).
If you are not constrained to live for God after you say you believe on Christ as Saviour - YOU ARE NOT SAVED.