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A "book" I'm trying to write

I would deeply appreciate any and ALL feedback anyone would be gracious enough to provide on this.
I do not write professionally and by no means perfectly....I'm sure there are many obvious rookie mistakes.
THESE are the things I crave your corrective criticism on, if you are willing....for I know this is long.
It is also unfinished Surprised

If you would be willing to bear with me through this and read along....providing some sincere feedback....I'd love to send you an mp3 disc of my favorite sermons and some Bible tracts. I also have some ministry bracelets.
I'm not trying to bribe....just a bit of incentive for the willing heart Happy

We must bear fruit.

There seems to be quite a lot of confusion in the area of grace, works, and how it pertains to our salvation. In this work we are going to break down, in the simplest of terms, the differences, the application and the balance we must obtain in our spiritual walk with Christ. With much thankfulness of heart, our gracious God has spelled out all of our needs and made very plain the major doctrines we are to live by within His Word. Full use of Scripture, with no nonsense interpretations and application will be made. There is an insurmountable conviction, coupled with complete acceptance, that every last word and doctrine within the Bible is in absolute harmony. Complete appreciation of this divinely inspired phenomenon will never be made fully known in this life, but as always, we will utilize this wonderfully balanced guideline when comparing and contrasting Scripture. We aim for absolutely zero contradictions using the irrefutably clear principals that only God’s holy Word can provide.

 We would also like to make a quick remark on legalism. Those who seem to be drowning in the deep end of grace are quick to label the authoritarian teaching of God’s Word as legalism. Within this work we do not promote or imply an excessive adherence to law or formula as a means of salvation. We cannot, nor do we try, to assume the place and unique role of Christ in our lives (by deed or law). He alone is holy. And only in and through His perfection can we be made holy as we rely upon His forgiveness. It is only by dying with Christ to our sin and old nature and being raised to new life in Jesus, the perfecter and finisher of our faith, that we will ever begin produce genuine fruit. It is only the new-self that can do good works. Any good works wrought through us is only the outcome and proof that the grace of God is working in our being as God moves us to righteousness and enables us to bear spiritual fruit. Ephesians 2:10 actually shows us that we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works.” John 15:5 says, “We can do nothing of ourselves”. We must absolutely rely upon God’s grace to save us from our sins by having faith in His finished work. If it were not for the Lord’s emancipating grace we would be powerless in becoming Christlike, before, during and after our salvation. 2 Corinthians 3:5 says,  “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God” Amen? How true and humbling that is! However, it is precisely that sufficiency that comes from God’s grace that empowers us to be successful in our works. As we see in Titus 2 we are most assuredly responsible for taking action: 
“11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;”
(Here we see it is God’s grace that brings salvation, but that same grace also teaches us our assignment of action)
And again 2 Timothy 2:21 says, 
“Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.”
Revelation 3:21
“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”
Revelation 2:26
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

1 Peter 1:16
“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.”
(see Leviticus 20:26)

 There is a pure and supernatural principal our dear Lord has embedded in His precious Word to creation: >>BALANCE<< The seamless parity and symmetry of doctrine, from Genesis to Revelation is far beyond human inspiration. Unfortunately, all to often, this perfection becomes an area given over to accusations that contradictory content and imputations of conflict exist. Yet with the most basic use of discernment one can easily and quite favorably conclude quite the opposite! God is the great equalizer! Through contrast and comparison this divine uniformity will be the instrument hereby used to fashion the conclusions within this text.

Part 1: Faith that works!

What is the significance of bearing fruit in our salvation? This can be a confusing area for many because of that seemingly fine line of working for our salvation, which absolutely cannot be done.  But then, we must also understand that works (or fruit) must accompany our confession of faith.  Aside from the rare instance of conversion upon one’s death-bed, evidence of the heart always has a genuine by-product.

A verbal expression of agreement or allegiance unsupported by real conviction and action is hypocritical by definition.

 This is a well known passage we find in James. Yet, as known as it may be, the practice many Christians make of it is beset with indifference and apathetical application. However distanced it has become, we are determined to bring this wonderful Scripture to light and use it as the foundational source with which the rest of the corresponding Scripture will be found in collective harmony.

James 2:14-26
14 What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, 16 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?
17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.
18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. 19 Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
This most certainly has profound and far-reaching implications. No doubt there is a significant lesson to be learned here. While ALL of Scripture is God breathed and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (2 Tim. 3:16), something about the very brother of Jesus Christ Himself making such emphatic claims we do well to listen close.
 As soberly an unambiguously as it can be asked, are we saved if we have faith but do not have works? The answer to this question is very easy to deduce:
 >>If we are saved by grace through faith, then most assuredly the primary point of having faith is salvation. James makes it ever-so clear that “faith without works is dead, being alone.” So clear in fact that he states this THREE times in this passage (verses 17, 20, 26) He unashamedly warns of any faith without authenticating actions is dead. He is not promoting deeds as an alternative to faith. For if we are not trying to be obedient to the commandments and we bear no fruit for the kingdom, then any prayer we said, any confession to Jesus, no matter how sincere, is simply paying lip service. Please take note that James is NOT putting a measurement upon how much work you do. He is not dictating what type of works qualify. He is not even commanding how long one needs to work. He is simply, yet assertively, stating that our grace-saving faith must be accompanied by works...fruit!
Wait, are we sure it is “saving faith” James speaks of here? That is certain for 3 reasons. First, he is speaking to the “brethren” about faith. There is but one faith spoken of and by the brethren in the Bible. Second, in verse 14 he asks, “can faith save him?” This is the same salvation that we are saved by grace through...FAITH with. And thirdly, in verse 19 he makes it a point to contrast the belief demons (devils) have in God, knowing they are eternally dammed they tremble.
But doesn't Romans 10 say confession and faith seals the deal of our salvation? Let's take a look:

Romans 10
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believeth in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."

While it is true that making confession and having faith in the finished work of Christ ENTERS us into the New Covenant of salvation,  we must first understand what a covenant is to comprehend the fullness of this relationship.  And what is a covenant?  Simply put, it is an agreement.  It defines a relationship somewhat like a contract or pledge defines an allegiance.  It can be likened to a pact or deal. That means there is a trade-off and alliance set within this contract.  So when we confess the Lord Jesus and believe God raised Him from the dead two things have happened; First, we are essentially agreeing to the contents of the contract (faith that Jesus rose from the grave supernaturally overcoming death for us all).
And second, we are signing on the dotted line, which is confessing the Lord Jesus. Faith (believing) is agreeing and confession is signing (accepting).

But is that the fullness of the covenant?  Are we in and all good to go from here on out? >>Just like any binding contract, both parties are responsible to uphold their end of the "bargain".  God has made us promises and God cannot lie. And the Lord’s gracious contribution is our sanctification, salvation and eternity in His presence! And on our end is continued faith in His Son.  A continual present tense belief that is evidenced by an obedience to His Word that bears fruit.  (faith without works is dead)

Does that mean we're not saved unless we keep perfect commandments and have a produce department full of fruit?  Absolutely not.  This is where God's grace abounds. Apart from Him we can do nothing!
He is fully aware of His perfection and our complete inability to attain it.  But He also knows the hearts of men, and so while we can't keep the commandments perfectly, and we won't all have storehouses full of fruit-bearing good works, we must always aim that high.  Jesus is our example, perfect in all His ways, and thus we should strive to be like Him.

Part 2: Clarity and Extremes

Alright! So we cannot earn our salvation.  It is the free gift produced by God's boundless grace outlined in the New Covenant of Jesus Christ.  And to enter into that contract with the Lord we simply believe Him about the finished work of how that covenant was established and why.  
 So then how and why? John 3:16!
>>”For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”<<
(please take note that the KJV here correctly renders the word "believeth" which is a present participle verb)
Also present in this verse:
John 6:47 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”
“Believeth” in Greek is “pisteuōn” = believing, one who believes. 
Those verses could both read: “whosoever goes on believing in Him”

It's not just believing in Him, it's continually believing in Him. The action of a present tense continuation of believing in Jesus can be lost and left to the reader's own application.  It may seem subtle and insignificant, but this is the literal difference between a one time gesture of acknowledgement and a continued act of faith.  And don't be fooled by subtleties, Genesis 3:1 "Now the serpent was more subtle than any beast of the field…."

 Many have argued that a continual belief in Jesus is not the point of the Greek, and ultimately not Holy Spirit’s intended use of pisteuōn.
That “our faith may falter and even fail” but we are still saved and all good.
But does that line up with the rest of Scripture? What point would there be for Jesus to say, “He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”? (John 15:5)

Works (or fruit) justifies that faith is faith! (Greek for justified is “vindication” in this passage) Not justification before God, but proof of your justification.

Alright, we have just entered into covenant with the Almighty, King of Kings and Lord of Lords!  Praise God, it was that easy (for us)
But now it's time to hold our end of the contract up! Because even though we've been inducted into the New Covenant of saving grace by Christ Jesus, we must meet the requirements of keeping "our end of the deal" so we can REMAIN in covenant.  (no, it's not working for’s maintaining it. [“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation....” Hebrews 2:3] It's continually remaining in the faith, which is evidenced by works.  [“ out your own salvation with fear and trembling." Phil 2:12] You can claim to have all the faith you want, but if there is not fruit then your empty words and confession of faith is hollow and dead) James 2:14-26

A verbal expression of agreement or allegiance unsupported by real conviction and action is hypocritical by definition.

2 Timothy 4
 I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; 
2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

This is where many people have become confused and gone to extremes. And it is hereby that two false doctrines have risen.
One extremity of those false doctrines is on the side of working for our salvation.  That ANYTHING we have done or will do contributes to our salvation.  Jehovah's witnesses, Mormons, majority of Catholics, and even many misguided evangelical churches teach and practice one degree or another of 'works salvation'. This false teaching is cleared up with one verse we all know, as listed above Eph. 2:8-9 "For by grace are you saved through faith, it is the gift of God, Not of works, lest any man should boast."
Yet even logic tells us nothing we could do or work for could ever restore us to a perfect Holy God.  That which is imperfect can never be made perfect under its own power. 

On the other side of misapplying God's Word we get yet another extreme, on the completely opposite end from ‘works salvation’ is what’s become known as "once saved always saved" (OSAS),  which is a misapplication of "eternal security". All stemming from the 5th Calvinistic point called "Perseverance of the saints"  These all basically state that once you put your faith in Christ Jesus and become a genuine Christian, nothing can cause you to fall away. And while we most definitely DO have eternal security, it is only eternally secure if we abide in Christ.  We have 100% assurance that as we remain in the Lord Jesus, by continued faith, we are in no danger from any outside source.

This basic yet powerful principal is illustrated in John 15:4:
"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."

Here is another beautiful passage that reveals our confidence in Christ, our salvation: John 10:
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.

OSAS advocates often use this verse as their evidence of permanent salvation, but they overlook the element of freewill that the individual soul retains.  So the verse is accurate, powerful and unambiguous.  But one thing we must not allow, is one verse to nullify numerous other verses such as John 15:4 (above) and more we will discuss. 
And all those promises are true IF WE are abiding in Him.  God will protect us from ALL things when we are in compliance, and He can and will remove His hedge of protection when we are disobedient.  Just as seen throughout the entire OT.
Even today, we see the decline of the western world, particularly the U.S.  Our financial strength and the dollar, our commercial and industrial power, our military might, even political and religious influence is in strong decline.  And it has carefully corresponded to our moral decay in nearly perfect synchronization.

Deuteronomy 28 is an excellent source proving what will happen if we are disobedient.  And Leviticus 26, if we are obedient.
Lev. 26:15 "But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and His statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:

These are written to the chosen people!  Obviously there are/where consequences for not abiding.  Then, under the law, it was judgement upon the success or failures of the nation.  Now, under grace, it's judgement upon those out of the faith….and freedom in Christ.

Romans 8:1 is a perfect explanation of this:  "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

It clearly says, "which ARE IN" and "who WALK" These are PRESENT TENSE continuations.  Not one time proclamations.

2 Corinthians 6:17 reveals the Lord's stance on defilement and how it effects His interaction with us:
"Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you."

The failures of this doctrine are many.  Namely, that we no longer retain our agency of freewill.  If true, our freewill would no longer exists, as we could not exercise the ability to not choose God.
God is very comfortable with His supremacy and our ability to choose or not choose to follow Him.  In fact, the very definition of love would not exist in our reality if we were not given the ability to choose.  Love cannot be programmed and we cannot be forced to love (or not love) because love begins with a choice.
One could argue that they did not choose to love, but it would only retain the attributes of love if it was by a force of attraction.  And forcing one to remain attracted without the option of leaving is not love at all.  We are by no means created as robots.  God wants us to choose to love Him of our own and He wants us to choose to remain in love with Him on our own.  THAT is where the true essence of love resides, and by God allowing that free agency in us to choose Him or not, reveals His might an awesome glory when we DO choose Him of our own accord.

Isaiah 1:11 and 2 Corinthians 9:7 reveal this aspect of God's character. Among many other places in Scripture like Joshua 24:15 "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.

Another major failure of this teaching is knowing when or if salvation has been obtained. 
Eternal security teachers believe if one was ever saved at any point in their life, they will always remain saved and that their salvation is never jeopardized under any circumstances! (but if that teacher perseveres or not is neither here nor there, but what about the "new believer" who doesn't know any better whom this is taught to?) And while the majority of converts may abide in Christ by choice, the Holy Spirit's providence, and/or knowledge of the Scripture,  there are vast numbers who just THINK they are saved and secure because they were taught that the "sinner's prayer" was their entrance into salvation.  And hey, if that prayer was all it took then they must be safe.  (this is where people argue that if they do not have a change in their life then they were not sincere.  Or that if they were sincere they would assuredly have had change.
First of all, that may be true from an outside standpoint, but what about THE PERSON?  If they were taught OSAS it's highly likely they do not see the full need of perposeful obedience….after all, if one is truly saved then they WILL persevere automatically. And second, there are those who have trouble getting going in their new found faith.  And there are still others who backslide for extended periods of time.  Are they insincere and unsaved as well?)
And what if the new convert WAS NOT truly sincere, but they had an extended period of higher morality (out of expectation/projected manifestation) and had pseudo-fruits by "behaving" like a Christian?  There are A LOT of people who come to church and "get born again" for all the WRONG reasons.  Teaching these people OSAS is terribly harmful to their eternal destination, and true conviction and repentance will have been greatly eroded.
Those teaching and pushing OSAS were known as "The Grace Changers" of Jude and 2 Peter 2 and 3.  The original teachings of the lie were most certainly inspired by the father of lies.  And according to Jude and Peter, it was satan's deceived false prophets and teachers who seeded the doctrine. 
Jude 1:4
"For certain men whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

How do we know this is talking about OSAS teachers? To start off, they "changed the grace of God". And the grace of God is the same "by grace are you saved" that we are adopted into His family by.
Next, how is it possible to change God's salvation into a license for immorality?  There is only ONE possibility....and that is to say that once you're saved it is permanent, and it doesn't matter what you do, you will always be saved!  
(Regardless of your personal conviction that one will "persevere" if genuine, the teaching of OSAS doesn't "personally convict" everyone the same….if at all)
And last, how does "denying Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord" come into play?  I've never heard a OSAS teacher do that!
Or maybe you're OSAS and you don't believe that either.
But let me ask you this, once you're saved...since you're now permanently saved....what need do you have for a Savior anymore?  Even if you love Jesus and live for Him every second of every day, technically you don't need Him anymore.  He did His job on the cross 2000 years ago. You're now permanently saved with or without Him in your life….after all, once your saved your always saved.

The last major problem with OSAS type doctrines that I will mention here, and obviously the most concrete evidence against it, is the Scripture.
There are many direct passages that outright refute OSAS, many that clearly show us we can fall away, and dozens more that allude to those facts.
Luke 8:11–15 is a famous parable of our Lord.  Often though we read such passages and really only focus on what we see in ourselves.  It's guaranteed every person's heart is represented in this parable. Please examine carefully this time as we read the explanation directly from the Savior Himself: 

"Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. 12 The ones along the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. 13 And the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe for a while, and in time of testing fall away. 14 And as for what fell among the thorns, they are those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. 15 As for that in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience.

Right off the bat we see salvation comes from believing the Word of God.  But these people never have the Word long enough to "believe and be saved"
Next group on the rock hears and believes for a while, but testing comes and they fall away.  Now if the first group would have had the Word left in their hearts it clearly says belief and salvation would have been the outcome.  Well the second group heard, received, AND BELIEVED BUT FELL AWAY.  

Now we could just quit here.  Pack up and go home with the matter settled.  This verse was designed for the very purpose of revealing the heart types of men, and the progression of salvation...failures and success!  

Here's an interesting progression:
1 John 3:2
"Beloved, now are we the sons of God,...."
"Beloved" is always referring to born again Christians.  And "we are NOW the sons of God"
So being born again makes us "sons of God"
This excerpt from “The Omega Conspiracy” by Dr. I.D.E Thomas explains just how the Scripture asserts the term:

 In the New Testament, born-again believers in Christ are called the children of God or the sons of God (Luke 3:38, John 1:12, Romans 8:14, 1 John 3:1). Dr. Bullinger in the Companion Bible states: "It is only by the divine specific act of creation that any created being can be called 'a son of God.'" This explains why every born-again believer is a son of God. It explains also why Adam was a son of God. Adam was specifically created by God, "in the likeness of God made He him" (Genesis 5:1). Adam's descendants, however, were different; they were not made in God's likeness but in Adam's. Adam "begat a son in his own likeness, after his image" (Genesis 5:3). Adam was a "son of God," but Adam's descendants were "sons of men." Lewis Sperry Chafer expresses this in an interesting way when he states: "In the Old Testament terminology angels are called sons of God while men are called servants of God. In the New Testament this is reversed. Angels are the servants and Christians are the sons of God." (3) It is thus clear that the term "sons of God" in the Bible is limited to three categories of beings: angels, Adam and believers. All three are special and specific creations of God.
-page 65 “Sons of God”

And now we must ask the question, since there are only three qualifiers to be “Sons of God” >>Adam, Angels, and Born again believers, can these sons of God fall away?
Let’s begin with the angels:
 Jude 1:6 says:
"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day."
Just to be certain of what happened let's see 2 Pet 2:4:
"For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them into gloomy dungeons to be held for judgment;"

Hell? Sons of God can apparently be sent to hell if they fall away.
Adam is the next “son of God” and we do not need much support to know he fell. The very story in Genesis is called “the fall” And each subsequent human born into this world is hell-bound because of this “son of God” falling.
We have all inherited the sin nature by this, and for this very reason the Savior came to redeem us. And the redeemed are called, “sons of God”

So Adam fell.
The angels fell.
Can born again believers fall?
If we cannot fall, then God changed the rules. However, my Bible says, “For I am the LORD, I change not...” Malachi 3:6
And Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever!
Nothing has changed, Sons of God can fall today just as they have fallen from the dawn of time.

Here is a nice reminder to that fact:
1 Corinthians 10:12 
“Therefore let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.”

OSAS is actually a pretentious concept when carefully considered. It sounds nice, it feels safe, but what it actually says is that we are beyond failure. Not that we won’t sin, but that we have reached a point beyond salvific reproach.
I wish I knew one Christian that doesn’t have a daily battle with sin.
The world, the flesh, and the devil are always knocking, and not one Christian can say it is not possible to succumb to those temptations if they give way to them. Only by God’s grace are we able, but we must access that power to overcome! It’s not automatic. It’s a battle. We are at war and there will be casualties.
OSAS is not an attribute of the Lord’s might, it’s a mockery of His sovereignty! The true might of God is shown when those who choose faith in Him KEEP the faith in Him because their attraction to His awesome might and perfection keep them grounded.

Romans 11
11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.
12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?
13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.
23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.
24 For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted 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:

Paul speaking to the New Testament Christians @Corinth:
2 Corinthians 11:3
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety  so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

So how did the serpent trick Eve?  The answer is quite revealing if we can read between the lines:

Genesis 3:4
"And the serpent said unto the woman, "Ye shall not surely die:"

That is very interesting >>"you shall not die"
Sound familiar? Eternal security...OSAS...the high-minded idea that you cannot suffer spiritual shipwreck.  
That we have somehow attained eternal security and cannot die.
So did Adam and Eve die physically?  No. Not then, but they were spiritually severed from God.  Dead to sin as we have all been since that time.  It's spiritual death. You see Adam and Eve had it made, they would live forever, continued in paradise, and spoke with God face to face!
But Eve bought into the lie that they couldn't fall. Adam followed suite.
Even more interesting is the fact that this is the first lie and the first sin recorded in the Bible! Satan has no new tricks up his sleeve.  The same old lies he's still tricking people with today.

Speaking of spiritual shipwreck...
"This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; 19 holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:" 1 Timothy 1:18-20
"Holding faith"? Paul didn't need to tell a OSAS believer that did he?
Because isn't it true according to OSAS that if you are truly saved you will automatically keep the faith…?
So either Timothy wasn't truly a believer yet or we are learning what God truly requires…"holding faith"
Logic leads us to an obvious an acceptable truth:  I cannot crash a ship that I have not yet begun to set sail in!

This is yet another irrefutable plain as day verse:
"By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain."
1 Corinthians 15:2
So it's NOT once saved always saved, it IS however "saved IF we hold firmly to the word"

Big doors hinge on "IF"
Here's another conditional "if" statement from Paul:

21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23 if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven;  (Colossians 1)

Verse 21 I was a lost sinner, but I was born again.
Verse 22 I died with Christ and am sanctified.
Verse 23 BUT ONLY IF I "continue in the faith AND be not moved away"

This next one is one of my favorites.  Every time I use this passage in a discussion online or a OSAS debate the room goes silent. I honestly do not believe I have had one direct response to this Scripture.  Always ignored or subject changed.
Let's see what the fuss is all about:

Hebrews 3
12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;

Quick breakdown>>verse 12 "take heed BRETHREN" Brethren is always speaking to brothers in Christ.  So we know this is written to Jewish Christians.  And that these Christians are being warned not to have and evil heart of unbelief!  AND that they can DEPART from God!!  First off, one would have to be WITH God in order to depart from Him.  In verse 13 we learn a VERY important concept>>sin will deceive us and harden our hearts.  Which means if we habitually sin it can literally steal our faith right out from under us!
Do you think that has ever happened before?
I can tell you first hand it did and it does happen.
That's what sin is my beloved brothers and sisters>>SEPARATION from a thrice Holy God.  The more you sin the further the separation.  Daily repentance is VITAL (hourly if needed)
Thank the Lord that if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness!
But confession needs to be made. (1 John 1:9)

The last verse in Heb. 3.  Verse 14 is very self explanatory>>"we are made partakers of Christ, IF we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end"
So what if we DO NOT hold steadfast TO THE END?  What is it like to NOT be a partaker of Christ?
What does "THE END" mean?  If once we are sincerely saved we will automatically hold to the end, why is this passage written to Hebrew Christians?  Something is seriously wrong here, and God wants the buck to stop at HIS Word.

Did you know Christian marriage is a pre-figuration of the New Covenant of Christ?
The order God has ordained for a family, Husband head of household, Christ head of church, is by design a picture to us revealing our relationship (as saved Christians) with Christ.
But once we're married are we always married?  Is it OMAM? (once married always married)
While it certainly SHOULD BE that way, even God has allowed seperation from the covenant of marriage.
Why did God allow this?
"…...because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so."
Matthew 19:8: 
And how did He allow this?
"And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away."  Mark 10:4

Obviously "hardness of heart" is a common human condition God is fully aware of as warned against in Hebrews 3.

You know, the Bible was written to the whole world!  Amen for that!  God is not willing that any should perish.  But it is also true that the majority of the Word is written to active believers.  The saving gospel message is only a small corner within the pages of Scripture.  And while it can ALL be used to win souls with it's inherent truth, it is mostly aimed at exhorting existing Christians.
When we read Paul's letters, they are written to "THE CHURCH at…."  Or written to 
the Brethren" or to specific "brothers" who were already servants of Christ.
So when we read 2 Corinthians 13:5:
"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?"
That was geared toward the church.  Falling away was a big deal then as it is now. Much of the Bible is warning and exhorting us to "remain in the faith."  "Test ourselves."   "Keep the faith."  etc, etc….you cannot miss this concept if you are reading your Bible.

1 Corinthians 9:27 Paul is speaking about being "disqualified" or a "castaway"
What could Paul possibly have been speaking of being disqualified from?
Here are the top 4 translations so we can get a clear understanding of the verse:

New Living Translation
>I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.
English Standard Version
>But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
New American Standard Bible 
>but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.
King James Bible
>But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

"Disqualify" |disˈkwäləˌfī| verb. "pronounce (someone) ineligible for an office or activity because of an offense or infringement"
"Castaway" |ˈkastəˌwā| noun. "a person who has been shipwrecked and stranded in an isolated place"
There is that term "shipwreck" again that Paul used concerning losing the faith.
The Greek for disqualified is "adokimos" which means to be rejected or worthless. 
not standing the test, not approved
that which does not prove itself such as it ought
unfit for, unproved, spurious, reprobate

I guess Paul was not OSAS either, amen?  
On a side note, one thing I hope we can discover here is not only proper fruit bearing and that OSAS is completely false, but that we do not even want OSAS to be true.  The ramifications and implications of such a doctrine are far more detrimental then any possible reassurance of salvation it could give.  God knows what He is doing and He makes it pretty clear to us as well.

“praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.”

Galatians 2:8 famously states: "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God"

So GRACE is what saved us (God's willingness to extend good that we did not deserve) But it is our faith IN that grace which gives us access to the power. Did I work for that salvation? NO, I just have to BELIEVE in it. (agreeing with the contract)
Belief and faith are synonymous:
"But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that He is..."
Hebrews 11:6

Alright, so my salvation literally hinges on whether or not I believe in God.
But to be more exact, to put my faith in Jesus Christ. For even the demons believe, and tremble! (James 2)
It's faith in that what He did upon the cross was for me and you.
Something I could never work for!

Ok, so I'm saved by grace through faith. Faith is the substance of things hoped for. That 'substance' is an invisible platform where God's grace sits.
If the faith is lost, we fall from grace.

but can we lose faith and fall from grace?
Let's see:

"Now the Spirit speaks expressly that in the latter times some shall DEPART FROM THE FAITH, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils,
1 Timothy 4:1

Did you hear that? The Spirit speaks EXPRESSLY (that means business!)
So it's plain as day, we can "depart from faith" It says it right there.
Remember, you have to HAVE FAITH in order to DEPART FROM IT.

Can we fall from grace?
Let's see:

"You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace."
Galatians 5:4

"Severed from Christ" Doesn't that mean I was once connected? In order to be "severed" I had to be connected! And of course "fallen from grace"

So now what about all this "For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:"???

Seems very clear that if I am saved by those 2 conjoining elements, and BOTH elements can be abandoned, as Scripture plainly states, then salvation is obtained by WALKING with Christ in faith and is NOT a one way ticket to paradise!

Maybe that is what Paul, under the inspiration of Holy Spirit, meant when he said:

"Wherefore, my beloved, as you 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."
Philippians 2:12

John 15
15 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that bears not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 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.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 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.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

Matthew 3:10
"Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."

Acts 28:28
"Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and that they will hear it"

Ezekiel 18:24
24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.

Ezekiel 33:13
13 When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; if he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die for it.

James 1:12-16
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.15 Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

This is addressed "To the churches in Galatia:" The brethren of Christ:

Galatians 1:6
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—”

“Saved by grace”? So what if it’s a “different gospel”? WHat does turning to another gospel and LEAVING the right one have to do with salvation?

Romans 1:16“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;”

I guess leaving the actual gospel of Christ does hold the power of God unto salvation.

Galatians 3:1
O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?"

We need the right gospel and we should obey the truth.

1 Cor 15:2
"By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain."

1 Thessalonians 5:21
"Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."

Galatians 4:9
But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?

Galatians 5:4
You have been severed from Christ, you who are seeking to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

Philippians 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."

1 Peter 4:17
For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

Hebrews 10:23
23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promisedWink

Titus 1:16 
They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.
Grace is not an excuse to sin but an enabling not to sin.

John 3:30
He must increase, but I must decrease.

Billy said...

A Christian WILL bear good fruit Because they ARE in Christ. There is no such person as a Christian who doesn't bear good fruit. What we need to understand is WE DON'T GROW THE FRUIT, NOR IS THE FRUIT OURS TO CLAIM BY EFFORT. We must also distinguish of what fruit is being spoken. Fruit of good works, which are expected in a Christian or Fruit of the Spirit which is also expected to be found in a Christian. Another thing to remember is fruit comes in various forms at various times and is produced in various circumstances. In other words, it dont all happen at once and judging ones salvation by fruit is a practice of the ignorant and immature since we DO NOT PRODUCE THE FRUIT, WE BEAR IT.

Wow! Do we agree on something? HOLY....!!!
lol, no....j/k

I do agree with what you are saying, but one major point I am trying to convey is that the fruit is not automatic.
There is work that needs to be done, effort that needs to be is only by the power and grace of God that we are able to, BUT it is our genuine faith which gives us access to that power.

That is why my core text is James 2:14-26.

Thanks for the feedback. Keep it coming....and also, shoot me an address if you'd like a disc of my favorite sermons.
I'd especially like to get a copy out to you, see what your thoughts are on some of my mentors.
Very well written, Thomas, and quite an excellent analysis. A couple typos and spelling errors which you can edit out (or call on me, if you wish).

God has revealed his truth to you in great measure...although we all see only through smoked glass, as it were. I commend your labors here which produced a good result!

God wants from us HOLINESS--which is simply the reflection of his divine nature. It is not ours, but rather the REFLECTION of HIS. He wants to make us to be LIKE HIM. We open ourselves to him, allowing him to do and have his will in us. We are "under construction," yes--but we continually pray God that his will be done in us, as it is done in heaven. And so we are his kingdom, his people, his children, his chosen, his church.
Newness said...

I have been used by God to edit a book in the past, and am available to help should you wish to use me.

That is especially awesome of you.
As I get closer to the close I will PM you and even just some insight would be appreciated
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