Salvation is by faith. If I get it by faith then it is kept by faith. But what happens when I develop a heart of faithlessness?
MADE VOID OR CANCELED OUT THE FAITH:
Romans 4:13-16 ESV For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. (14) For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. (15) For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. (16) That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.
In verse 14 the Greek “to make null or void” means to make empty, abase, neutralize, falsify, or cause faith to be in vain.
We will see that we are not boast that we were grafted in to the branch because we were grafted in by faith, and if we no longer walk in faith then we will be cut off.
Romans 11:17-22 ESV But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, (18) do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. (19) Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” (20) That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. (21) For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. (22) Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.
SALVATION HAS ALWAYS BEEN BY FAITH IN OUR SAVIOR:
Clearly, Old Testament saints were aware of the promised Redeemer, and they were saved by faith in that Savior, the same way people are saved today. The difference is that they looked forward to a promise, and we look back to an event.
There is no other way. Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. "Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”
There is a movement among the big name big church boys who have made themselves smarter than God by teaching the cross was not important. They proclaim that God would never demand a human blood sacrifice. They proclaim that we are saved from the perfect life and example of Jesus and not by His sacrificial blood atonement. The official named of this false doctrine is "Moral Government Theology."
These smart TV preachers speak a lot that sounds good to itching ears but you will never here them preach on the cross. Much learning has made them foolish in their doctrines of demons. Yet unaware believers are drawn to them by their great music program and their high lofty words. I say what the WORD of God says. There is no remission of sins without the shedding of blood.
Acts 4:11-12 ESV This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. (12) And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Psalms 118:22 ESV The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
What failed us for the removal of sin? The Old Testament sacrificial system did not take away sin, as Heb.10:1-10 clearly teaches. It did, however, point to the day when the Son of God would shed His blood for the sinful human race.
Hebrews 10:1-10 ESV For since the law has but a shadow of the good things to come instead of the true form of these realities, it can never, by the same sacrifices that are continually offered every year, make perfect those who draw near. (2) Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins? (3) But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. (4) For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
(5) Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; (6) in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. (7) Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’” (8) When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law), (9) then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second. (10) And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
I was born and raised in the small town of 250 people in Augusta Springs, Virginia. We were a poor family and I did not see indoor plumbing in a home until I was 13 years old. Since we had wood stoves my dad, my grandfather and I went to the mountains every Saturday to cut down trees for our wood. I was handling a chainsaw and axe by the age of 8 years old. This taught me to have a strong work ethic.
I have one older brother and 2 younger sisters. We grew up hard and under extreme circumstances. My dad was a hard worker as a carpenter, but he was also addicted to alcohol. Many times our home was like a war zone with fighting and cussing causing me to grow up with a lot of hatred and resentment towards my dad.
Starting at the age of six I started attending a small Methodist church down the road from our house. I was not seeking God, but I wanted a place of peace away from the fighting in our home. From age 6 to 18 I attended three different churches using them as my temporary safe places. I graduated from Buffalo Gap High School in Swoope, Va. in June 6th, 1972 and immediately went into the U.S. Air Force. I no longer attended any church.
I had already been drinking for a couple of years and through the influences of some military guys, I was introduced to a lifestyle of drugs. I found myself with the same excessive addictive behavior as my dad and became what I hated. I had a serious alcohol and drug problem. My life was headed downward quickly. I loved the Air Force and my job, but I could not shake the alcohol and drug addictions.
I was a leader, well liked, and sought after. I look back now and realize that most of my popularity was because I controlled a large portion of the drug market on base and on many occasions, I gave my “so-called” friends free drugs. I felt so empty and so aimless inside. I excelled in everything I did with the military, but nothing satisfied the longing in my heart. The more emotionally distraught I became the more I looked for ways to medicate my pain.
Then it happened. I wasn’t looking for it, but it happened. It was Sept.4th 1974 at 1:00am. I was lying in bed heavy on drugs with my mind going through my life and realizing how empty I felt and how much I needed to find a way to take control of my life. Then out of the blue I felt this overwhelming sense of conviction of the fact that I was a sinner, and if I died, I would go to hell. I suddenly knew that Jesus Christ was God and He was the Savior of mankind. These three things were all I could think about: My condition as a sinner, my judgment of hell and that my only help could be found in Jesus Christ.
Then I had a sensation that I was going to die. I never feared death before, but this time it was different. Before when I had faced death, I believed that once you die that was it, it was all over. Now I was facing death and I realized that I was going to spend eternity in hell. I remember getting out of my bed, falling to my knees, and starting to pray. I remember that prayer as though I just prayed it. I said, “God, I am not afraid to die but I don’t want to go to hell. Lord Jesus I believe that You are God and that You died on a cross for me and for my sins. Come into my life and save me and make me a new person. Thank you for forgiving me and for saving me.”
Immediately I knew something was different. I felt such peace and joy flooding my heart. I did not own a Bible, but I knew that I knew that God had just saved me and given me His life and eternal life in heaven. I immediately took my alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs and flushed them all down the commode. I sat on the edge of my bed from 1:00am to 7:00am praising God for saving a wicked man like myself. One of the greatest joys of salvation was the ability to forgive my dad for all the physical and emotional abuse that a violent alcoholic brings into a home.
Then came my first test. My best friend John came to my room at 7:00am to smoke dope. I told him that I no longer did drugs because I had given my life to Jesus Christ and was a changed man. He left the room laughing at me, mocking me and went through the barracks telling everyone not to come to my room to party anymore because I had become a Jesus freak. It was okay to be accepted as an alcohol freak. It was okay to be accepted as a drug freak. But now I was rejected because I was a lover of God or Jesus freak.
At 10:00am two more of my drug friends came to my room. This time it was not for the purpose of getting high. They were seeking truth. They looked at me earnestly and asked, “Charles, what has happened to you?” I told them my testimony of what happened that night. To my surprise they both started crying and said, “We want what you have, how can we be saved?” I was scared to death. I knew what I had done but I did not know how to share it with others.
Suddenly, the Bible verse John 3:16 came to my memory. I had to memorize it when I was 6 years old for a Christmas play in the Methodist church. I had not read it or heard it for 14 years and here it was on the tip of my tongue like I was the one who wrote it.
(John 3:16 ESV) "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
When I quoted that Bible verse, they both prayed and received the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior. We immediately went down town to the book store and all three of us purchased Bibles. We went back on base and went into the Mess Hall and started preaching about Jesus Christ and His love for us. I immediately knew that I was called to preach and Pastor and set out to read everything I could about the Christian life. I stayed in the Air Force for 14 years and had the joy of leading over 800 military GIs to the Lord Jesus Christ and the joy of leading so far over 8,000 souls to our Savior. To God be the glory and my I be found faithful to the end.
ANOTHER "MUCH MORE" SCRIPTURE: Will Israel come to the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and be saved? (Pt 9)
Will Israel be Saved?
Another "MUCH MORE" Scripture:
We are told in Scriptures from Romans chapter 11 that there are two trees, the olive branch and the wild olive branch. Israel was on the olive branch, but was cut off because of unbelief. The Gentiles were on the wild olive branch, and many were grafted into the olive branch because of belief, (faith in our Lord). The olive branch, which is the natural branch/tree will have Israel grafted back in because of belief (faith in our Lord Jesus Christ).
Romans 11:24-26 KJV For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how MUCH MORE shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? 25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
There are three deceptions the enemy, the world, and religion uses in the lives of people concerning the Gospel message.
The FIRST DECEPTION is having a Gospel that displays a form of godliness yet denies its power and life. The only victory is in the sky, by-in-by, when I fly away one day. This robs people of the hope and joy of all that God the Father has in store for us on this side of eternity.
The SECOND DECEPTION is having a Gospel which is a misleading gospel or an inadequate truth, therefore, it cannot set people free. It only satisfies the need to be religious.
This gospel only talks about having our sins forgiven but does not reveal the fact that God has defeated our old sin nature and given us a new nature and an incorruptible seed. We have the nature of Christ within us.
The THIRD DECEPTION is having a Gospel that brings a counterfeit salvation, which is "a costless way." It is a gospel message lacking self-denial and is a message filled with self-satisfaction. Freedom abused is bondage.
To be truly saved is free and an act of faith and grace. However, to walk daily with the Father costs us our lives. We are to die daily. It is not a costless salvation.
PASSOVER: The great feast of Passover representing the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ starts this year at sundown on Friday, April 19th and goes to sundown Saturday April 27th.
Salvation: What a sweet indescribable gift from God the Father through our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, by way of faith. However, I believe that the gift of salvation, as simple as it is, has been cheapened and watered down through the traditions of man.
The sweet, precious gift of salvation of our Lord has been belittled and corrupted by the church to an act of praying a simple prayer. Prayers to do save people. Our Lord Jesus Christ saves people. Millions of people pray many times a day from many different religions and to many different gods.
I remember being lost in the woods when I was younger. What a strange and frightful feeling. I remember almost drowning twice as a teenager. I almost drown in a river at the age of 15 and then again at the age of 17. Again I repeat it is a frightful experience when you see your life slipping away. Twice I lay on operating tables in hospitals when my heart stopped, once at the age of 25 and again at the age of 52.
In all of these situations there was awareness on my part that I was in need of life-saving assistance and in each situation someone came to my rescue. I could not have my life protected unless I realized that I was in danger of dying and someone outside of me was going to help me.
The same is with the gift of salvation from our Lord Jesus Christ. I must realize that I am lost and cannot save myself before I can truly exercise faith to receive God’s salvation. We need to move away from the “easy believe-ism doctrine” that has cheapened the gift of God and the work of the cross. We really need to have a thirst for God and His righteousness to be filled.
As an example we see this desperation in Ps.42:1-2. The Hebrew word for “panteth” means to “cry out” and to “long for”. The word “thirsteth” means to “suffer thirst”.
Ps.42:1-2 To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah. As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.  My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?
When we thirst for the Lord, we come to Him to get what we do not deserve, cannot earn, and cannot purchase. We should know that the things which are really important are not food, drink, and the clothes we have. The Kingdom of God is not made up of these things. This is important because there are those who try to come to the Lord to fix or improve their social, economic, or relational status and these things are not of the kingdom of God.
Salvation, a free gift from the Father, but it is not cheap!
Access to God’s salvation
Psalms 85:9-10 ESV Surely his salvation is near to those who fear him, that glory may dwell in our land. (10) Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other.
The complete list of rewards for walking "in the fear of God" which we have studied so far.
What is the Fear of the Lord (See Parts 1-2)
Reward #1 is "Riches, Honor, and Life" (See Part 3)
Reward #2 is "Turning from Evil" (See Part 4)
Reward #3 is "Wisdom and Knowledge" (See Part 5)
Reward #4 is "A Prolonged Life & A Fountain of Life" (See Part 6)
Reward #5 is " A Place of Contentment" (See Part 7)
Reward #6 is "True Healing and Refreshment to the Body" (See Part 8)
Reward #7 is "True Biblical Worship" (See Part 9)
Reward #8 is "Having God’s Provision" (See Part 10)
There are three processes of salvation, justification, sanctification and glorification. The first, justification, happened the moment you called upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.
The Holy Spirit entered your spirit-man and you became alive spiritually when is called being "born again." This process of justification is knowing that "I AM SAVED" but it is in the spirit. You are forgiven of all sins, given a new nature, and been adopted into the sonship of God.
Step 1: Justification: I Am Saved in my spirit man and I am saved from the PENALTY of sin.
Then started the second process which is called sanctification. Sanctification is both instant and progressive. It is instant in the fact that you were made holy in your spirit-man by the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ and therefore have been "Set Apart" by God to that holiness. It is progressive in the fact that your soulish man begin a process of becoming like Jesus and like the Father. The process of sanctification is knowing that "I AM BEING SAVED" but it is in the soul. The soul has three parts, the mind, the emotions, and the will.
Therefore those who are called by the name of Christ should willfully depart from sin and worldliness. Understanding that justification, salvation from the penalty of sin, only begins the process of redemption, we acknowledge that one of the works of the Holy Spirit is to create in us the character of Christ.
The Bible teaches that without holiness no man can see the Lord. We believe in the Doctrine of Sanctification as a definite, yet progressive work of grace, commencing at the time of regeneration and continuing until the completion of salvation at Christ’s return. In the process of sanctification our walk should match our talk. In the process of sanctification we experience a lifestyle change in every arena of life: mental, emotional, spiritual and physical. In the process of sanctification we have a life that reflects the nature and character of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Step 2: Sanctification: I am being saved in my soulish man and I am being saved from the POWER of sin.
Then we await for the third process of salvation which is called GLORIFICATION. Glorification is when we either die or our Lord returns to establish His rule on this planet with all of His children. It is when we put on our new bodies. Glorification says that we "WILL BE SAVED" in the body. This old body that is decaying and dying will one day put on a new glorified body that will shin through the ages of eternity. It will be my heavenly body.
Step 3: Glorification: I will be saved in my physical man and put on a new body and will be forever saved from the PRESENCE of sin.
We should not be struggling to walk as moral individuals, looking and sounding like what we think Christians should be like. The fruit of righteousness should be naturally hanging from our lives.
John 15:4-6 ESV Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. (5) I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (6) If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
Much of the current preaching today admonishes us to obtain and hold on to our "ticket to heaven" simply by "praying this prayer." However, is this the message of the cross and salvation? Belief in the Biblical teachings of the blood atonement and the resurrection from the dead must go beyond "pray this prayer" to be what God defines as "saving faith." But what is the fruit?
There has been way too much preaching and teaching that hell is only for the demons and that none of mankind will go there, because God's love is greater than His judgment. There has been too much preaching and teaching concerning the possibility of a "second chance" for salvation if we miss the first one. This means that if we miss it here it's okay because we will have another chance to be saved either right after the "rapture," if Jesus returns in our lifetime, or during the judgment time.
There are no Scriptural evidences that God's "saving grace" operates during the judgment period. There is also NO saving grace taking place after we die. The reason I felt a need to share this is because of some of our media inputs about how God operates. In most westerns or older movies when someone dies the preacher or someone speaking over the gravesite always prays that the Lord would kindly receive them into heaven. A lot of funerals today are like this. It is like a concerned uncle (the preacher) is sending his niece or nephew (the deceased) to Grandfather's (God), house (heaven) to enjoy a long extended vacation. But what is the fruit?
Remember, the gospel message is good news/bad news. The good news is the message of salvation to all who place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. The bad news is the judgment of God for all who reject and/or walk away from the good news. The penalty for not abiding in Christ is that we will be removed, cut off from the Vine about the Jn.15:4-6 passage we read earlier.
Many go through life with the hope of being allowed admission someway into Paradise when they die, but they are not abiding carefully and consistently in Christ with a heart of continual faith. We do not have to strain to bear fruit. The fruit of godliness is the natural result of abiding consistently and continually in Christ. God is not looking for us to strain to be moral people. He is looking for the fruit of righteousness that should be naturally hanging from our lives.
I AM saved...I AM BEING saved...I WILL BE saved.
John 15:1-2 ESV “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. (2) Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
The teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and His Apostles focused on three things: (1) Justification: How do we gain eternal life, which requires receiving Christ. I AM SAVED in my spirit-man; (2) Sanctification: Continually walking in righteous behavior with a life of faith and growing in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. I AM BEING SAVED in my soulish man, (how I think, how I feel, and how I choose). (3) Glorification: The final act of salvation and rewards in the Day of the Lord, in the day when our Lord Jesus returns to earth. I WILL BE SAVED in my physical man as I put off the mortal and put on the new immortal body. I put off that which is corrupted and put on that which is incorruptible.
Although there are some Scriptures giving limited revelation on the subject about what happens to us when we die, most Scriptures are about how we should live here now. There are ample Scriptures with the emphasis on what happens to us when the Lord Jesus returns and the world as we know it ends and the new heaven and earth is established.
However, the majority of both the Old and New Testaments cover the subject of us living a life of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God in this present world. This is learning to abide in God's Word and to abide in Christ. When the Apostles of the Lamb preached salvation they were speaking of not being destroyed in the Day of the Lord. The message of salvation was not meant to be a "feel-good" message. The reason that the gospel is "good-news" is because if we receive it we miss the "bad news" which is the judgment of God.
Acts 24:24-25 ESV After some days Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, and he sent for Paul and heard him speak about faith in Christ Jesus. (25) And as he reasoned about righteousness and self-control and the coming judgment, Felix was alarmed and said, “Go away for the present. When I get an opportunity I will summon you.”
The reason for Felix trembling was due to the conviction of the Holy Spirit about judgment. Felix would not have trembled at the salvation message preached in many places today which is only about the love of God. The salvation message must also include the judgment of God for those who reject God's grace.
Romans 2:4-5 ESV Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God's kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? (5) But because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God's righteous judgment will be revealed.
We would not stress this point except that it has a direct, practical bearing on how we live in the world. If we think of the Christian redemption as just being a plan for escaping Hell and having admission into Heaven when we die we do not understand the absolute necessity for abiding in Christ in our present life.
Charles Morris. Founder and Senior Pastor of RSIM USA.