Ask Your Preacher

Ask Your Preacher

SALVATION

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Walking The Talk

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
According to the Gospels, the believers of Jesus would attain salvation through the words of Jesus.  Does this mean that salvation was not dependent on the shedding of His blood since it was stated before the crucifixion?

Sincerely,
Why Did He Die?

Dear Why Did He Die,

What Christ preached was that He would die for our sins (Matt 12:40, Matt 26:28).  Jesus said that it was His blood that would give people eternal life (Jhn 6:53-54).  Jesus said that all men would be saved through Him in anticipation of the sacrifice He was about to make.  Without the cross, Jesus’ words would have been empty promises.  Jesus even recognized the necessity of His death when He proclaimed “It is finished” with His last breath (Jhn 19:30).  Jesus did die on the cross, and His blood did pay for the sins of mankind (Heb 9:28)… thus finishing the saving work that He had been preaching about.

Blood In Both Directions Pt. 2

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

(This post is a follow-up to “Blood In Both Directions”)

Does this mean, according to Paul, the justification and reconciliation could be attained despite the fact that the matter of faith in the Christ remained a secret until the first century when it became revealed to Paul and his associates?  Was the conscious faith not necessary until then for some reason?

 

Sincerely,
Just Wondering Jew

Dear Just Wondering Jew,

People who lived before Christ were still saved by faith in God.  The whole point of faith is that it is a matter of trusting whatever God has told you (Rom 10:17).  Faith assumes that there are pieces of the puzzle that aren’t revealed to you yet... but that the person (or in this case Deity) that you are putting your faith in is trustworthy (Heb 11:1).  The Old Testament saints had faith in Christ because they trusted in the Messiah that was to come.  The New Testament saints have faith in Christ as they trust the words of the Messiah who walked this earth many years ago… both groups have faith in Christ.  Each group had different instructions and different information that God had given them to follow, but they both had faith in the same God (1 Cor 10:1-4).  Each group had a conscious faith in God – just different rules to follow.

Blood In Both Directions

Friday, September 22, 2017
Hello.  I am a religious Jew but am interested in understanding other religions.  My question is: how did Paul explain how Jews (or Gentiles) were able to be justified (righteous) with or without the Law if the salvation of the Christ was a secret until it was revealed to him and his colleagues in the first century?  How did David and Abraham acquire righteousness if they (or anyone else) did not know about the role of the Christ?  Thanks.

Sincerely,
Just Wondering Jew

Dear Just Wondering Jew,

The New Testament teaches that the sacrifices that cleansed the Jewish people from sin never truly removed the sin (Heb 10:1-4).  The Jewish nation (along with all faithful people) needed God’s blood to permanently remove sin and make them righteous.  When Jesus died on the cross, His blood paid the price for those who had gone before and those who were to come after… one sacrifice for all sins (Heb 10:12).

All mankind is saved by faith in God, including those found in the Old Testament.  Abraham lived by faith and is considered the father of the faithful (Rom 4:11-12).  Abraham didn’t understand the mystery of what God would do in Christ, but he did live knowing that God would send salvation (Jhn 8:56).  Moses placed his faith in God (which includes Jesus because Jesus is Deity – Jhn 1:1-3) and was rewarded for it (Heb 11:24-26).  All the faithful who lived before Christ did so in expectation of better things through God (Heb 11:13).  Though they didn’t understand the details, all the faithful of the Old Testament anxiously anticipated the coming of the Messiah (1 Pet 1:10-12).  Jesus’ blood covered the sins of those who looked forward to the coming of the Messiah… as well as the sins of those who rejoice that He already came.

Second Chances?

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
I am referring back to your question “Confident, But Not Careless”.  Are you saying that according to Hebrews you cannot repent and come back to God?

Sincerely,
Trying To Start Over

Dear Trying To Start Over,

Heb. 6:4-6 says that it is impossible for others to renew to repentance a brother who has fallen away.  It is always possible to come back to the Lord after falling away (1 Jn 1:9), but when someone has already been enlightened by the truth (Heb 6:4) and heard the word of God (Heb 6:4), there isn’t any teaching that can sway them from leading a wicked life.  If someone falls away from Christ, it means their heart has been hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb 3:13), and it is up to that individual to soften their own heart and return to the Lord.

Confident, But Not Careless

Friday, September 01, 2017
Where in the Bible does it talk about whether or not a saved person can or can't lose their salvation?

Sincerely,
Insurance Policy

Dear Insurance Policy,

Yes, you can lose your salvation – but not by accident.  There are two extremes when it comes to discussing salvation.

One extreme is the Calvinistic view that your salvation is never in jeopardy, regardless of what you do.  This view is called ‘Perseverance of the Saints’ – the belief that if you are saved, you will always persevere without ever needing to worry about your salvation.  This view is simply not biblical.  Consider several verses from the book of Hebrews.  Heb 6:4-6 talks about ‘enlightened partakers of the Holy Spirit’ (certainly this refers to saved christians) who then ‘fall away’ and ‘crucify afresh the Son of God’.  There can be no doubt that this is talking about people losing their salvation.  Heb. 10:26-27 talks about knowledgeable christians rejecting the gospel and the terrifying expectation of judgment to come upon them.  Paul said he feared that his preaching had been in vain to the Galatian brethren because they were turning away from the pure word of God (Gal 4:11, Gal 1:6).  Yes, we most certainly must watch how we live and act so as to not miss the prize of heaven (1 Cor 9:25-27).

The other extreme is to have zero confidence in your salvation.  This is the attitude of “unless I am living perfectly, I am going to be lost.”  This view is also wrong.  Christ died to save sinners (1 Tim 1:15), and it is His blood that pays the price for your entrance into heaven (1 Pet 1:18-19).  Your salvation is not dependent upon perfect living but FAITHFUL living (Eph. 2:8): hearing God’s word (Rom 10:17) and then living by that Word (Jas 2:14-18) to the best of your ability.  Perfection is not a requirement of salvation in Christ – commitment is.  A committed christian, though he often may fall short of who he wants to be, can be confident in his eternal reward.

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