Posts tagged ‘perseverance of the saints’

​His Saints Persevere with Holy Fear!

Phil 2
12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

We live in a world that requires us to take a righteous stand without having the masses back us because God makes it to be so that we don’t trust in people but trust in Him alone (Jer17:5, 7). Though we are saved by grace (2Tim1:9), works is the evidence of our change in heart (Ezek36:26-27/Jn3:3/Phil1:6), which turns from serving ourselves to serving God.

James 2
14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that? 17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

If you look at the definition of Israel from the perspective of Phil1:29, we get a glimpse of God’s might and sovereignty. The Church is the new Israel (Gen32:28), whose name signifies one who strives against God and men, and prevails. This is best explained from Dan 3:8-28; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the furnace for not paying homage to the golden statue of King Nebuchadnezzar. Now you see, to the world this may seem as the repercussions for being righteous. However, this is merely God sanctifying His people in the furnace of affliction (Ps119:71-75). Why, because God is worth it (Phil1:29). So, who sustains His Church in the furnace, it is God Himself. He is like a silver smith who fans the flame of the furnace while holding the silver in a crucible to purify the silver. So it is with the Sovereign Lord, who sanctifies us in this world into the likeness of His Son (Rom8:29).

Heb 12
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

In Jesus is life and in Him we turn from serving ourselves to serving God. In serving God we acquaint ourselves with holy fear, which drives us to live our lives according to the Moral Law, not because we otherwise don’t want to but because we realize the sheer weight of God’s good pleasure in our existence. The world lives by a counterfeit standard of religion, where wickedness is the very means of their survival and so they are given to act unrighteously under the sway of Satan (1Jn5:19). True religion on the other hand understands our life and its sustenance is practically in the hands of God and so just as the world is given to unrighteousness from unholy fear of wicked repercussions, so too the Godly are given to act righteously from the holy fear of God.

Mat 10:28
Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

This is what separates the world from God’s Church, the world is given to wear the mark of the beast on their right hand and forehead from their fallen desire for counterfeit religion (Rev13:16-17), while His Church is given to wear the Moral Law on their right hand and forehead (Deut6:8) owing to Jesus who has propitiated their sinful nature (1Jn4:10) unto the righteousness of God (Rom5:17). Please note that to wear something on the forehead and right hand symbolizes one who thinks (wear on the forehead) and acts (wear on the right hand) from that particular standpoint.

Isaiah 40:31
Yet those who wait for the Lord Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

If you were to go through the TULIP, you would come across the Perseverance of the Saints and this is precisely it, because to Persevere in His righteousness in the midst of Trial even with fear and trembling is to wait on the Lord, just like the parable of the ten virgins, where the righteous five are given to burn the oil in their lamps in waiting for the Lord (Mat25:3-4) because I guess burning the oil in their lamps is synonymous with exercising the righteousness of God while waiting on Him and trusting in Him to bring that breakthrough in His time.

Acts 16
29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.

To conclude, Salvation is in knowing Jesus Christ is Lord over your life, meaning your life is accountable to Him. With such a godly bearing on life, we are to persevere in the righteousness of God because though the godless masses may seem like Goliath before you, it is only to provoke that holy fear in you to God’s own glory because He is worth all your anxiety in following after Him. After all, He is God! In any case, knowing Jesus as Lord over your life empowers you by His Holy Spirit (Phil4:13), making you capable to do His good pleasure and who then can be against you when God is for you (Rom8:31) because you are learning to want what God wants (Ps37:4) and there is no stopping you then.

Rom 8:28
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

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The Lord’s Joy is the strength of the Godly!

Psalms 37
4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Everybody loves to have a good time. We all look forward to that office party or a Christmas or New Year’s party or even a wedding for that matter and there is nothing wrong with that. However, life’s events are like a bunch of things that fly past you and if you want to shoot down your game, you got to align your desires with what pleases God i.e. your will in line with God’s will, which is like the foresight and hindsight of a rifle. Unless these are aligned your life shall always experience those consistent moments of emptiness and lack of substance.

Jeremiah 9
23 Thus says the LORD, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;
24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the LORD who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the LORD.

I am so moved to write on the Joy of the Lord, which is something I have found immense strength in. For the Joy of the Lord is the strength of the Godly (Neh8:10) and to know the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil4:13) in this manner is to possess the unyielding perseverance of a living spirit, given us by the Holy Spirit from the merit of Christ who accomplished the salvation of His elect. This is Christian motivation, where at the apex of such joy is gratitude (Col3:15-16); unlike those who live to please themselves with monetary love, fornication, drugs and drunkenness, only to be left feeling squeamish at the height of their foolish pleasure.

Isaiah 40
31 Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

John 15 (Jesus says)
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

So for those who are interested in knowing what it takes to delight in God, you must know, it first requires you to desire God, and the Bible says that you will only have that, when God gives it to you, not otherwise (Jn3:3&6:44). If you do not know God, you will only be moved by the current trend of what people generally perceive about God, which is something Jesus is not quite interested in (Mk8:29) because unlike the apostate religions of this world, believing in Jesus means having personal and intimate relationship with God and that does not involve a one size fits all carpet policy (1Cor12:4-20).

John 14 (Jesus says)
15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.

James 2
14 What use is it, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him?
15 If a brother or sister is without clothing and in need of daily food,
16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and be filled,” and yet you do not give them what is necessary for their body, what use is that?
17 Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.

Some of you may know that love by definition is not merely a feeling but a verb, which is a state of action. Such is saving faith, it goes beyond mushy feelings concerning God to doing what pleases God and absolutely enjoying it because the Joy of the Lord is the strength of the Godly.

Rom 10
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

For those who are drawn to know God, you must realize that to know God is to love God. It is with any relationship that to know a person intimately… their likes/dislikes (am not talking about sexual immorality), is to explore love in all its substance and depth. Like a man and a woman who catch each other’s eye and go about getting to know each other, if they are serious. So too it is with the Godly, who are moved to know more about God from the Bible (Ps34:8), for so they have relished morsels of God’s goodness and begin to hunger for the company of Christ (Mt18:20) through the knowledge of Spirit inspired scripture (2Tim3:16-17).

Psalms 34
8 O taste and see that the LORD is good; How blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!

1Jn 4 (check this up with Jn15:5)
16 We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.

19 We love, because He first loved us.

Love makes any person feel supercharged and that is how it is to truly put your trust in the Triune God Almighty, who is Love. Just as one is given to do things and please whom they love, so it is with the Christian, who is given to live by Godly conduct, which is according to God’s good pleasure. This love is not merely a puff of vapour that disappears with the wind but a truth/fact that explains our very existence under the grace and mercy of God (Eph2:8-9), displayed absolutely in the redemptive works of the Lord Jesus Christ (1Jn2:2).

Gen 1
28 God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Col 1
19 For it was the Father’s good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him,
20 and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross; through Him, I say, whether things on earth or things in heaven.

Adam may have borne the misfortune of the fall but in Christ the stewardship of man is renewed, in being reconciled to God. For where Adam failed, Christ pleased God in being obedient even up to the point of death (Phil2:8). The earth thereby looks forward to these who believe in Jesus (Rom8:19), who are received as sons and daughters by God for Christ sake (Jn1:12). Such is the good pleasure Christ merited for all the elect unto God.

John 14
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.

To conclude, you ought to pray, asking Jesus to help you yield to God’s good pleasure and therein relish the course of your life through every trial because the Joy of the Lord is like a gyroscope that helps you in any given situation to maintain an orientation that is healthy and fulfilling in God who is Sovereign over all.

The TULIP of Calvinism

If a person refers to himself as a Calvinist, the first thing that comes to a lay person’s mind is that this so called Calvinist is follower of Calvin. This is a common misconception, the 5 points of Calvinism is elementary Christianity, this was not John Calvin’s concoction, a similar theological viewpoint was shared by Thomas Aquinas from the 12th century and the similar was shared by Augustine from the 4th century. It wasn’t as though Calvin was sitting idle that he chanced on this 5 point thought; the purpose of such theological viewpoints was to combat heretic doctrines prevalent at that time. Just as Augustine had to deal the Pelagianism, a heretic movement of his time following after Pelagius; similarly John Calvin was up against the Arminian movement around the 16th century, a heresy founded by Jacobus Arminius that was similar to Pelagianism. It seems heresies have trouble reinventing themselves; after all they cannot come up with anything original as they themselves as far less from the original.

The thing you will observe among most heresies is that they attempt to take what matters out of the hands of God and place them in the hands of man through working merit. Under the pretext of not giving God but man, the requisite glory they conveniently take the position of bringing religious institutions under their own authority, using the idea that the Bible teaches only what is most opportune to them. Such champions like John Wesley and Charles Wesley have used this carrot and stick system, which works under the idea that ‘glory’ is held like carrot strung from a stick before the so called believer, whose fruitless move towards this carrot-glory, only works to further the interest of the heresy that rides on his back holding the stick.

The five points of Calvinism can be remembered by the simple acronym: TULIP, which is as follows:

• Total Depravity
• Unconditional Election
• Limited Atonement
• Irresistible Grace
• Perseverance of the Saints

Total Depravity:
This is the very first point and is fundamental to anyone who refers to himself as Christian. Total depravity says that without God working in any or every person, that person does not have the capacity to do any good, let alone believe in God. To be more colloquial Total Depravity says that we are trash, yes add to that unrecyclable. All mankind for the exception of He who came as Man, are wretched and wicked. The importance of agreeing with total depravity is that this is the ultimate tool of repentance, a repentance that only God can give you and will lead you to worship Him in a way that pleases Him, where you exalt Him over yourself.

Matthew 5:3
“Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor; the Kingdom of heaven belongs to them!

2 Corinthians 7:10
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

James 4:9-10
Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Unconditional Election:
Among the five points of Remonstrant/Arminian, their belief system that goes against the Unconditional Election, attempts cleverly to pull some wool over the eyes of the believer. They say God looked into the future, saw who would believe in His Son and accordingly chose His people within this condition. The five points of the Remonstrant are truly hilarious; they seem to have no divine revelation of God but are just a product of theological schooling to those whom God has revealed nothing. The language in the five points of the Remonstrant attempts only to confuse the reader as to what clearly is their theological argument. The probable reason for this could be that it is better for them to be labeled as stupid by the wise few, rather than by the majority, to whom they may seem knowledgeable because of the high flying language they used.

If God chose His people based on Him looking into the future and seeing who believes in His Son then we are saying that God chooses people whom He sees choosing Him. Do we need to apply: what came first the chicken or the egg, here too? In such an area the Bible clearly states that nothing and no one can be His counselor. If there was ever such a thing as what the Arminian thinks is true then we are implicitly stating God can look into a future and take advice from the lives of those whom He asks not to lean on their own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), while He secretly must lean on their understanding to know who are His people.

The truth is God needs no counsel in the decisions He takes (Romans 11:34), people believe in Jesus because He chose them before the beginning of time and it is certainly not the other way around.

John 15:16
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

John 6:43-44
Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves.
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.

Ephesians 1:3-4
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love

Against the convenient Arminian argument of Romans 8:29, which says whom He foreknew He predestined, the “knew” there is actually implying intimacy rather than foreknowledge. The same ‘knew’ which in Genesis 4:1 says: And Adam knew Eve his wife; and she conceived,.. The same knew which is also in Jeremiah 1:5, referring to God’s intimacy with His people.

Limited Atonement:
The idea of limited atonement is not to say that the scope of atonement is limited but that the atonement is not a free for all going out to the whole world. How much value would you put to something that is labeled as a free for all? I’d say this is as good as a doormat, trampled on without any care. Oh! In most cases the person who preaches this to you will care less about his god being used as a doormat as long as you don’t step on that preachers toes.

The atonement of Christ’ sacrifice is limited in the sense that it only applies to the Church. Yes the Arminians have scripture to argue their viewpoint. They will quote John 3:16 and pretend to ignore that the “whosoever believes” mentioned in John 3:16 is none other than the Church. Then they will also quote

1 John 2:2
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.

But it is important to note from Galatians 2:9 that John was an apostle who served a largely Jewish audience and since there was great debate among the Jewish believers in regards to Jesus being a Savior only to the Jews, John used 1John 2:2 to make clear while writing to these Jews that just as God had chosen those from among the Jews a people who would believe in His Son, He also chose from the Gentiles from every tribe and nation (Rev 7:9) of the world a peculiar people to be His Church.

There are scriptures like 1 John4:14 and John 4:42 where Jesus is referred to as the Savior of the world but these scriptures ought to be seen in their own natural light not something recreated. 1 Timothy 4:10 makes clear in such a case that He is the Savior of the world concerning ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO BELIEVE.

Given below are a few scriptures that highlight the atonement of Jesus Christ specific to His Church.

John 10:11,14,16,25,26
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,
And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.
Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me,
but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.

Titus 2:13-14
waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,
who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

1Peter 2:9
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Irresistible Grace:
According to Arminian doctrine God’s calling can be resisted because they appear to have cited scripture in which people have resisted the Spirit’s calling unto Christ. They are probably citing Acts 7:51

Acts 7:51
“How stubborn you are!” Stephen went on to say. “How heathen your hearts, how deaf you are to God’s message! You are just like your ancestors: you too have always resisted the Holy Spirit!

It is pretty understandable of a people who think Christ died for the whole world, to feel the grace of God can be resisted because to such a mind they see people whom God has dammed as a people who have resisted God’s grace. This is pretty understandable because you can’t expect a colour blind person to tell the colour red from the colour green.

In fact if you go to a chapter ahead, this is what you will find. Note Acts 6:10.

Acts 6:9-11
Then there arose certain of the synagogue, which is called the synagogue of the Libertines, and Cyrenians, and Alexandrians, and of them of Cilicia and of Asia, disputing with Stephen.
And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake.
Then they suborned men, which said, We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses, and against God.

As per Philippians 1:29, it was counted to Stephen to suffer and die for the sake of Christ. Yes this is the commitment God asks of His people and so God made the murderers of Stephen stubborn as He did with Pharaoh (Exodus 9:12). It is plain and simple to see that God calling is to His Church and not to the world, once you get this it is easy to understand that His grace is irresistibly efficacious.

Acts 28:24
And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

Because

Acts 13:48
..as many as were ordained to eternal life believed

Perseverance of the Saints:
Many so called Christians are of the notion that their Salvation is something they require to work out and the scripture they hold in their favor is Philippians 2:12 and sometimes to oppose the doctrine of once saved always saved they cite the case of Judas Iscariot who was among the chosen.

Philippians 2:12
Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,

John 17:12
While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

In the case of Philippians 2:12, it is important to read that scripture in its context. So here is need to quote

Philippians 2:13
because God is always at work in you to make you willing and able to obey his own purpose.

Philippians 2:13 shows you that it is in God and not the believer, in whom the believers Salvation is secure i.e. even in showing saving faith through works (James 2:17).

As for John 17:12, it speaks more towards Calvinism than it does for Arminism because just like saying: the jug is half full or half empty is the same thing, in the same manner: speaking of predestined Salvation for some is the same as speaking of predestined damnation for the rest and that is what John 17:12 highlights.

Below are a few scripture that will show that Salvation is guaranteed to the Church i.e. the body Jesus’ believers, a promise that is secure not in the hands of man but in the hands of God Himself.

Eph 4:30
And do not make God’s Holy Spirit sad; for the Spirit is God’s mark of ownership on you, a guarantee that the Day will come when God will set you free.

Jeremiah 32:40
And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me.

1Peter 1:3-5
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you,
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

As for all the heresies that have stemmed out and turned apostate from the believing Church 1John 2:19 has this to say in regards to them:

1John 2:19
They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

So these are these are the 5 points of elementary Christianity colloquially known as the TULIP concept of Calvinism. As you may have noticed though this is purely elementary, it has great depth.

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