with Dire Consequences
“For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”
2 Timothy 4:3-4
“The devil is a liar and the father of lies.”
|1. Once Saved Always Saved||Click Here|
|2. God’s Love Is Unconditional||Click Here|
|3. Jesus Can Be Your Savior And Not Your Lord||Click Here|
|4. Do Christians Have Two Natures||Click Here|
Myth #1. Once Saved Always Saved.
Many Christians believe that once they receive Christ, they will go to heaven when they die no matter how they live here on earth. This myth is one of Satan’s greatest lies. As early as the first century, the devil tried to undermine the true gospel of Christ with this heresy. However, in the 16th century the church began to swallow this lie, which now seems to grow with popularity every year. As a result of believing this lie, the church has become compromised and corrupted by the world to the point where it has lost its saltiness and is being overrun by the enemy.
Even though there is no support in the Bible for the myth of “once saved always saved,” there are many root causes for its wide acceptance in the church. The primary reason why this lie of Satan has found open ground to grow and strangle the life out of the church is because most of the people who presently go to church are not submitted to Christ’s authority. Because Jesus Christ is not their Sovereign Lord, they do not know Him nor do they know His truth. As a result, most churchgoers lack spiritual discernment and do not know the difference between the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. In fact, many people who attend church are not even born again of the Spirit. The church is filled with these “tares” or false Christians (many of them also false shepherds) who distort the Scriptures for their own gain and to their own destruction (2 Peter 3:16). These hypocrites have leavened the whole church. Furthermore, those who are saved in the church do not know how to overcome sin because they do not know (believe and act on) the whole truth of the gospel of Christ. And because they do not know (believe and act) that they have died with Christ (Romans 6:3-11), they are beset, harassed and defeated by sin. They are like a sick person whose immune system has become so weak and compromised that any disease (or in this case, any lie of the enemy) can take hold of and destroy their body.
Many professing “Christians” are not submitted to Christ’s authority because they want to enjoy the pleasures of sin while they are here on earth, yet still believe they will go to heaven when they die. The “once saved always saved” myth provides a religious cover for them to sin and yet not have to worry about the eternal fire of hell. The apostle Peter addressed this evil motive when he wrote, “Act as free men and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil but use it as bondslaves for God (1 Peter 2:16).” In their case, the Scripture is true: “They are godless people who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and (by their behavior) deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord (Jude 4).” The “once saved always saved” teaching falsely gives many disobedient Christians a blank check to sin and a false sense of eternal security. This myth has also “inspired” many people, who are not really true believers in Christ, to falsely “confess” Christ as their Savior as a cheap way to buy “fire insurance” to protect themselves from hell. However, millions of these so-called Christians are going to be shocked and horrified when they find out they gambled away their soul to gain the world. They believed the devil’s lie and lost.
Another reason for the ready acceptance of this myth is because many Christians are plagued by a deep insecurity about their eternal salvation. There are many Christians who cannot stop practicing sin because they don’t know what Christ has accomplished for them on the cross. They don’t spiritually know that when Christ died, they also died with Him and their sinful nature was crucified and buried with Christ (Romans 6:1-11). As a result of their spiritual ignorance, they are harassed with besetting sins, which compromise their faith and create nagging doubts about their eternal security. It is very common for these defeated Christians to seek reassurance from their pastors that they will still go to heaven. But since many pastors also don’t truly know that they have died with Christ, the only comfort they can give discouraged Christians is that God loves and forgives them and they need not worry about their salvation. Concerning these struggling Christians’ failed sanctification, most pastors will counsel them to not give up but just try a little harder (read the Bible more, pray more, go to church more, and get involved in ministry more). They will also superficially comfort them by saying they are not alone in their struggle - everyone else is also in same process; nobody’s perfect, we are all just forgiven. In other words, we’re all in the same leaky boat together. Can this possibly be the triumphant Christian life we read about in the Bible? No!
This counsel of man is based on defeat and is the “lowest common denominator” standard of holiness, which falls far short of God’s standard of holiness as expressed by the Lord Jesus Christ: “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48)” and the apostle Peter: “Be holy as the Lord is holy (1 Peter 1:16).” Man’s wisdom of “once saved always saved” may be soulishly comforting but it is misleading, ungodly and not Biblical. Since it is not based on the truth of God, it does nothing to inspire true faith in immature Christians. Nor does it provide discouraged believers with practical Biblical teaching so that they might be know how to live a sanctified life in Christ and be sure of their eternal security. As the apostle Peter said, “Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:10-11).” This sanctified or holy life – “without which no one will see the Lord” - is possible to live because of Christ’s death on the cross. According to the gospel, Christ not only died for the forgiveness of our sins; God included us in Christ’s death. When Christ was crucified and buried, our sinful nature was also crucified and buried (removed) so that we would no longer be slaves to sin (Romans 6:6-7). Thus Christ’s death became our death so that His life might become our life.
The Father’s desire is that all His children who are weak and fainthearted and overcome by sin would see what His Son accomplished for us through His death so that we might walk in “the freedom of the glory of the children of God (Romans 8:21).” Jesus, the Lamb of God, died on the cross so that we might reign in life and overcome sin through Him (Romans 5:17; 8:37; 1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthians 2:14). Jesus, the Great Shepherd, has great compassion for all God’s sheep that are distressed, discouraged and ensnared by sin. There is a difference between how God regards someone who is humble in heart and poor in spirit compared to someone who is self-righteous and proud in spirit (Luke 18:9-14). Jesus said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are ill… for I did not come to call the righteous (those who think they need no Savior) but sinners (those who know they need a Savior) (Matthew 9:12-13; Mark 2:17).” God has mercy on those who are bruised by besetting sins and whose light is dim because of spiritual ignorance but who are repentant and want the truth of Christ to deliver them from sin. “A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish (Matthew 12:20).” But God opposes the proud who willfully and persistently practice lawlessness and who are unrepentant. Because they have rejected God’s grace and authority, God will reject them in the Day of Judgment. “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever and the righteous scepter is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness (Hebrews 1:8-9).” Jesus said, “I wish you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will vomit you out of My mouth (Revelation 3:15-16).” This reveals how much the Lord despises and rejects those who are lawless and practicing sin willfully and unrepentantly.
There are hundreds of Scriptures that refute the “once saved always saved” myth and we will look at just a few. The Bible has two overarching themes or principles that completely contradict this lie. Jesus declared the first principle when He said, “Every good tree bears good fruit… every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire (Matthew 7:17-19).” John the Baptist also preached this divine principle, “The axe is already laid at the root of the trees; therefore every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire (Matthew 3:10).” In other words, the proof or evidence of our faith is spiritual fruit. If there is no evidence of spiritual fruit in our life, our faith is worthless (James 2:17-26). Jesus expanded on this when He said, “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away… If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them and cast them into the fire and they are burned (John 15:2-6).” These are born again Christians (who were in Christ) but they did not abide (remain) in Christ. Consequently, they did not enter into sanctification (separation from sin and separation to God). Since they did not bear the fruit of sanctification, which confirms and seals their faith, they will be cut off at the end of this age and thrown into the fire of hell. The Biblical principle is this: anyone who does not bear spiritual fruit proves themselves unworthy of entering the kingdom of heaven. Someone may ask, “What about a person who dies before they can bear any spiritual fruit, such as the thief on the cross? (Luke 23:39-43).” In these situations, God knows the spiritual condition of every person’s heart and whether their saving faith was genuine, so that their heart would have remained true to Jesus Christ and produced His spiritual fruit.
This first Biblical principle (you must bear fruit) leads to the second principle, which also refutes the “once saved always saved” false doctrine. The second Biblical principle is this: only those who have persevering faith will be saved. Jesus addressed this second Biblical principle when He said, “He who endures to the end will be saved (see Matthew 10:22; 24:13; Mark 13:13; Luke 21:19).” Just as we are saved through our faith in Christ and His cross, we must also be sustained through our faith in Christ and His cross. “For in the gospel a righteousness of God is revealed, from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith (Romans 1:17).’” The Bible makes it clear that we need sustaining or enduring faith to be saved. These two Biblical principles are actually two sides to one divine truth: enduring faith produces spiritual fruit without which no one will inherit eternal life. In Jesus’ parable of the sower and the seed, two out of three people who received the gospel of the kingdom did not bear any spiritual fruit because they lacked persevering faith (see Luke 8:15). God said, “But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of our soul (Hebrew 10:38-39).” Our salvation, therefore, must be based on faith from the beginning to the end. Otherwise, we would end up being “an unbelieving believer,” or someone who actually is not a believer at all! This is the divine law: since your soul is saved only by your faith in Christ’s grace; your soul can also be lost by your unbelief in Christ’s grace. “Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end (Hebrews 3:12-1).”
The “once saved always saved” doctrine falsely claims it is not how you finish the Christian race that counts but only how you begin it. The Bible strongly refutes this myth. “By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you (1 Corinthians 15:2).” As the apostle Peter wrote, “If they have escaped the corruption of this world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them (2 Peter 2:20-21). The Bible indicates the spiritual condition of a person at the end of their life determines what their condition will be throughout eternity. In other words, if a person dies in faith abiding in Christ, they will always be with Christ and they will rise from dead when Jesus Christ returns (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). However, if a person did not die in faith because they had fallen away from the faith and did not hear and obey the voice of Christ, how will they hear and respond to the voice of Jesus Christ on the Day of Resurrection when He returns? Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live (John 5:25).”
It is a serious mistake to continually and willfully practice sin and be unrepentant. Many Christians are doing this and thinking that because they have “received Christ,” they will always be right before God and have eternal life despite the way they rebelliously live. Nothing could be further from the truth. The blood of Christ is only effective for those with a humble, repentant heart of faith; it is not effective for those who claim to have faith but do not prove it by their actions. John the Baptist warned, “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Matthew 3:8).” And the apostle James wrote, “What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has not deeds? Can that faith save him? ... Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead (James 2:14, 17).” The apostle Paul taught, “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice those things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21). God declares, “If I tell the righteous man that he will surely live, but then he trusts in his righteousness and does evil, none of the righteous things he has done will be remembered; he will die for the evil he has done (Ezekiel 33:13).” The Bible says those who endure to the end will be saved. Those who endure to the end are the overcoming bride whom God will join together with Jesus Christ in eternal companionship at the end of this age.
Jesus Christ knew the lie of “once saved always saved” would try to creep into His church; therefore, He directly confronted it before He ascended to heaven. Jesus told His disciples that, in the Day of Judgment, He would reject all those who pretended to profess faith in Him and called Him Lord but whom willfully and unrepentantly practiced sin. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness (Matthew 7:21-23).” Jesus intentionally used the example of Christians who ministered in the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit to illustrate this point. The disciples knew from their personal experience and observation that anyone who performed genuine miracles in the name of Jesus Christ was a professed follower of Christ (Mark 9:38-40). But Jesus told them that He would not allow anyone into heaven who willfully and persistently practiced sin, even if they did perform miracles and confess Him as Lord and Savior! “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord, and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46).” The Bible speaks with great clarity on this issue: to know Christ is to obey Him; if you do not obey Christ, you do not know Him. On another occasion, Jesus said, “The Son of Man will send forth His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all stumbling blocks and those who commit lawlessness, and will throw them into the furnace of fire; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matthew 13:41-42).” This is the case of lawless Christians who “have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame (Hebrews 6:4-6).” In the end, God warns they will be burned (Hebrews 6:8). What a warning this is to all of us!
The author of Hebrews continues, “For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving a knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and the fury of a fire which will consume the adversaries. Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he has been sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ and again, ‘The Lord will judge His people.’ It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Hebrews 10:26-31).” These are not sinners who have never been saved; these are born again Christians who lose their salvation because they keep willfully practicing lawlessness. The author of Hebrews states, “He (Jesus) became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him (Hebrews 5:9).” Once again, this is the spiritual lesson: to know Christ is to obey Him; if you do not obey Him, you do not know Him. And those who do not know Him will not inherit eternal life. The apostle Paul warned Christians they must live sanctified, obedient lives to the Lord: “If you live according to the flesh you must die, but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live (Romans 8:13).”
In the Book of Revelation, the Lord Jesus Christ warned Christians who have willfully and persistently practiced sin and “soiled their garments,” that unless they repent, He will erase their names from the Book of Life (Revelation 3:5). These are born again believers whose names were recorded in the Book of Life but who will lose their salvation if they don’t repent from practicing sin and begin to walk in Christ’s sanctification. “But among you there must not even be a hint of sexual immorality, or any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people… For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person – such a man is an idolater – has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes upon those who are disobedient (Ephesians 5:3-6).”
The Bible describes the actual case of a Christian who will lose his salvation if he does not repent from practicing immorality. This is the case of the Christian in the Corinthian church who was having sexual relations with his stepmother. The apostle Paul wrote, “I have decided to deliver this man over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh so that his spirit may be saved in the day of our Lord Jesus (1 Corinthians 5:5).” Paul’s hope was that without God’s protective hedge around him, this Christian would be buffeted by the devil in his soul and body until he repented of his immorality and turned back to following Christ in sanctification so that his spirit might be saved. Jesus Christ made it very clear in teaching His disciples that anyone who continued to practice sin would not enter the kingdom of heaven. Jesus said, “If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell (Mark 9:43-47).”
In this passage, we know Jesus was not instructing His disciples to mutilate their physical bodies to stop sinning. Jesus knew that cutting off your arm or plucking out your eye could not possibly stop you from sinning. By this parable, Jesus declared the only way to be saved and enter the kingdom of God was to radically deal with sin. Jesus had earlier told His disciples, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, and adulteries, deeds of coveting, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man (Mark 7:21-23).” Since the only way to stop us from practicing sin would be to remove our sinful heart, this is precisely what God the Father did. God used the death of His only Son to perform a divine heart transplant. When Christ died, God exchanged our terminally sinful heart with His Son’s divine holy heart. Now that we have Christ’s new heart within us, we don’t have to keep sinning because by His death, Jesus once and forever dealt with the “sin factory” that was within us, that “old man of sin.” When we “carry our own cross” daily as Christ’s disciples, we affirm by faith that by the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ we have been crucified to the world (Romans 6:3-11; Galatians 2:20; 6:14).” In this way, the members of our body are “cut off” from sin and we become conformed to Christ’s death (Philippines 3:10).
Some Christians naively think that once you are under the New Covenant, God would never break His covenant with you. The truth is that God will never break His covenant with you unless you first break covenant with Him. Jesus said a spouse who is unfaithful and practices adultery is guilty of breaking the marriage covenant and can be divorced according to God’s Law. In fact, when the nation of Israel practiced spiritual adultery and broke their covenant with Him, God gave them a certificate of divorce (Jeremiah 3:8; also 11:10). In the same way, when Christians prove themselves unfaithful and guilty of breaking their covenant with Jesus their Bridegroom, God will give them a certificate of divorce rather than have His Son marry a harlot. The Bible says, “God keeps His covenant with those who love Him and obey Him (Daniel 9:4).” Some Christians mistakenly think that once you become a child of God, you are guaranteed your spiritual inheritance, including the security of eternal life. However, even in the natural, if a child grossly dishonors and shames his father, he can be disinherited from his father’s will. In the same way, if a child of God repeatedly dishonors and shames His heavenly Father by willfully and persistently practicing sin, he proves himself unworthy of eternal life and can be disinherited from the New Covenant. The Bible says, “If we disown Him, He will also disown us (2 Timothy 2:12).”
Other Christians quote 1 Corinthians 3:15 to argue that we can be saved yet as through fire. However, this verse does not address God’s judgment of a Christian’s sanctification to Christ; it only addresses God’ judgment of a Christian’s service to Christ. Paul teaches here that any ministry work, which is not based on the sure foundation of Jesus Christ and is not a product of God’s initiative and power, will not stand the test of God’s approval. That Christian will still be saved but he will receive no reward for his self-inspired, self-accomplished ministry. This particular Scripture does not have anything to do with God’s judgment of a Christian who willfully practices lawlessness and who will lose his salvation if he does not repent. Some Christians also think that at the end of the parable of the ten virgins (Matthew 25:1-13); the bridegroom (Jesus Christ) should open the door for the five foolish virgins to also join the wedding feast. This is presumptuous and wrong! Jesus concludes the parable of the ten virgins by saying the bridegroom will not let the foolish virgins into the wedding feast! Instead, the bridegroom tells them, ”I do not know you.” This is the very same judgment Jesus pronounced in Matthew 7:23 when He said He would not allow Christians who practice lawlessness into the kingdom of heaven. The five foolish virgins are those Christians who received the Holy Spirit when they were saved but then persistently quenched the Holy Spirit from filling them by not obeying Him, even though Christ’s death on the cross made it possible for them to obey Him. Once again, we see God’s divine law: to know Christ is to obey Him! Because they did not obey Him, God will not allow them to wed His Son at the wedding feast of the Lamb!
Some Christians think the parable of the worthless slave who made no use of the one talent his master gave him is a picture of a Christian who will get no heavenly reward but will still get into heaven (Matthew 25:14-30). Once again, this is presumptuous and wrong. At the end of this parable, Jesus said the worthless slave not only had his one talent taken away from him but he was then thrown into outer darkness where there is “weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Jesus called this slave wicked and lazy. The worthless slave is a picture of a Christian who made no use of the seed (the word) of the kingdom that His Master, Jesus Christ, deposited in him. Therefore, this person bore no spiritual fruit. At the end of this age, this deposit of Christ’s seed will be taken away from him and he will then be cast into hell (see also Matthew 25:40 for a continuation of this theme in Jesus’ third parable in this series). Jesus’ parable of the worthless slave has the same lesson as His parable of the worthless salt. “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men (Matthew 5:13).” By this parable, we see the Lord’s judgment is that those Christians who have lost their saltiness or sanctification are no longer good for anything except to be thrown out of the kingdom of heaven.
Some Christians also foolishly argue that since Jesus said no one could take them out of His hand (John 10:28), they are guaranteed eternal life. However, God will never violate your free will. Although no one else can take you out of Jesus’ hand, you can take yourself out of His hand through your own unbelief and disobedience. Others mistakenly argue that “eternal” life means that you are ”eternally” guaranteed a ticket to heaven. However, this is not the correct interpretation of the word “eternal,” which is used to describe the nature of God’s divine zoe life given to every born again believer. Just as God gave us divine zoe life, He can also take zoe life away if we prove unfaithful and unworthy of His kingdom. And finally, some Christians ignorantly and foolishly say it is physically impossible for God to make you spiritually unborn once you have been born again of the Spirit. However, if God could do a miracle to make you born again and a member of His family, it is also possible for Him to also remove His Holy Spirit from you so that you no longer belong to His family. “You say then, ‘Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.’ Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited but fear; for if God did not spare the natural branches, He will not spare you, either. Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, ifyou continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off (Romans 11:19-22).” The apostle James wrote of these Christians who had fallen away from the faith, “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover a multitude of sins (James 5:19).”
In closing, we believe God sees a vast difference between a Christian with a repentant heart and one with a rebellious heart. God, who knows the secret motives and attitudes of men’s hearts, will judge each person justly and accordingly. “(God) is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart… all things are open and laid bare to His eyes (Hebrews 4:12-13) … on the day when, according to my gospel, God will judge the secrets of men through Christ Jesus (Acts 2:16).” The sins of some who profess to be Christians are obvious, whereas others’ sins are hidden and will be revealed in the Day of Judgment. Therefore, since only God can discern the hidden secrets of our hearts, the outcome of each person’s eternal destiny is not always evident while they are living here on earth. For example, if a Christian with a humble and repentant spirit dies while he is still struggling with besetting sins or he only bears a little fruit because of his spiritual ignorance and immaturity, we believe (based on the totality of the Scriptures) that God in His mercy will grant that person eternal life. On the other hand, if a Christian with a rebellious and unrepentant spirit dies while he is willfully and persistently practicing sin and he bears no spiritual fruit, we believe that person will not inherit eternal life because they have proven themselves lawless and disqualified themselves from inheriting the kingdom of God. Consequently, we believe the only way anyone can confidently know that their election and salvation is secure is if they walk by faith in Christ’s sanctification, which was made possible by Christ’s death on the cross on our behalf. Our sanctification (our obedience) to Christ is the proof and seal of our saving faith in Christ. Considering all that the Bible teaches on the need for persevering faith and sanctification, why would any Christian want to walk a tightrope of disobedience and be so dangerously close to falling into the abyss of eternal separation from God? The Bible warns us, “Without holiness no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).”
Once saved always saved is always wrong! Some ministers teach that disobedient and lawless Christians can look forward to being in heaven along side every obedient Christian who laid down their life for Christ. They teach that the only difference is those who are unbelieving and rebellious won’t receive the same heavenly reward as those righteous saints who obeyed Christ. Those who teach others to believe this gross lie will face an even stricter judgment from the Lord. The Bible rejects this heresy and declares the only thing rebellious and lawless Christians have to look forward to after they die is the terror of being judged by a wrathful God. Jesus said, “Do not fear those who can 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 (Matthew 10:28).”
Since we have died with Christ, we have been freed from sin and enslaved to God (Romans 6:6-7). The apostle Paul taught that if we submit to Christ’s authority and obey His commands, we will bear the fruit of sanctification and receive the reward of our obedience, which is our inheritance – eternal life (Romans 6:22). Jesus Himself told Paul that those who are sanctified by faith in Him would receive their eternal inheritance (Acts 26:18). Jesus also said, ”Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him… if anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him (John 14:21; 23).” The only way you can be sure of your salvation is if you believe you have died with Christ and trust and obey Him so He sovereignly lives in you. As the apostle Paul testified, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me; and the life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God (Galatians 2:20).” This is God’s sanctified life in Christ, the outcome of which is eternal life. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word, he will never see death (John 8:51).”
In the Garden of Eden, the devil’s original lie to man was, “You surely will not die” if you partake and eat of the forbidden fruit (Genesis 3:4). Adam and Eve both swallowed Satan’s lie and died for their sin. Millions of Christians today still believe the devil’s lie that they too will surely not die if they partake of the world. However, the Bible says, “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him… The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever (1 John 2:15-17).” Unless Christians who willfully and persistently practice sin repent from loving the world, many of them will face the just wrath of God and perish in their sins. “Now I desire to remind you… that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe (Jude 5).” In view of our grave concern and compassion for all Christians who are overcome by sin and whose souls could be forever lost, our prayer to God is that they would repent and turn back in faith to the true gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who died for us and included us in His death so He might sovereignly live in us. Repenting and believing in the true and eternal gospel of Christ is always the way of deliverance for anyone who is walking in unbelief and disobedience and sincerely wants to come under Christ’s Sovereignty!
Myth #2 - God’s Love Is Unconditional
This falsehood is closely related to the “once saved always saved” lie and has also done great harm to the church. Once again, this lie would have no foothold in the church if God’s people really knew Jesus Christ and the truth of His Word. Nowhere in the Bible does it say God’s love is unconditional. In fact, from Genesis to Revelation, both the Old and New Testaments clearly state that God’s love is conditional. The Bible emphatically says of God: “You love those who love You and obey You (Daniel 9:4).” In the Old Testament, God promised His people a long life and fruitfulness if they loved and obeyed Him; otherwise His wrath would burn against them and He would wipe them off the face of the earth (Deuteronomy 6:1-15). God also warned His people, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot out of My Book (Exodus 32:33).” In the New Testament, God also promised His people lovingkindness and eternal life if they continued to be faithful to Him; otherwise He would reject them, cut them off and erase their names from His Book of Life (Romans 11:22; Revelation 3:5, 16).
Above All God is Holy
In order to understand the conditional nature of God’s love, we must understand the very nature of God Himself and the reason for Christ’s Atonement. Above all, God is holy. God Himself says, “I the Lord your God am holy (Leviticus 19:2).” A study of the Bible confirms that “holy” is the primary word which the Scriptures use to describe the Person of God. The Bible says, “There is no one holy like the Lord (1 Samuel 2:2).” In fact, the Bible uses “holy” and its related words holiness and sanctification more than one thousand times to describe the nature of God. The Hebrew and Greek words for “holy” in the Old and New Testaments mean separate and pure. Our triune God is holy - completely pure and void of evil. “God is Light and in Him there is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5). God the Father is holy, God the Son is holy, and God the Spirit is holy.
God Hates Sin
Because God is holy, His love is a holy love; His justice is a holy justice; and His anger is a holy wrath. Because God is holy and pure, He hates the evil of sin (Psalm 5:5; 45:7; Proverbs 6:16-18; 8:13; Hebrews 1:9). The Bible says, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all godlessness and wickedness of men (Romans 1:18).” The Bible says everyone who does evil hates God and is separated from God (John 3:20; Isaiah 59:2). “The face of the Lord is against those who do evil (1 Peter 3:12).” The Bible defines sin as unbelief (Romans 14:23), unrighteousness (1 John 5:17), disobedience (Hebrews 3:18-19; 4:6) and lawlessness toward God (1 John 3:4). In essence, sin is rebellion against God’s righteousness and sovereignty. The Bible says everyone has sinned against God. “There is none righteous, not even one… for all of have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:10, 23).” Sin is the rejection of God’s love. Sin is the rejection of God’s Person. That is why sin is so evil and deserves eternal separation from God in hell.
The Soul that Sins Will Die
The Bible says we have all sinned against God because we were born sinners (Psalm 51:5). All of us inherited a sinful spiritual nature from the first man, Adam, who disobeyed God (Romans 5:19). Consequently, the Bible says men’s hearts are desperately sinful and beyond cure (Jeremiah 17:9) and that men are by nature children of wrath, which means they deserve the wrath of God for their sins (Ephesians 2:3). The Bible says that the outcome or the sentence for our sins is physical and spiritual death (Romans 6:23). “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men because all sinned (Romans 5:12).” The Bible declares this to be a universal spiritual law that no man can escape: “The soul who sins will die (Ezekiel 18:4)” and “man is destined to die once and after that to face the judgment (Hebrews 9:27).”
Therefore, all of us were separated from God because of our sinful nature and were destined to face God’s judgment and wrath and certain doom. But God in His great love sent His Son who offered to die in our place so that we might live through Him. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16; see also 1 John 4:9).” Only the death of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who was perfectly sinless (Hebrews 4:15; 7:26), could save us from God’s wrath. The Bible says, “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by His blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him (Romans 5:8-9)!” When Jesus Christ died on the cross for us, God in His mercy performed a divine heart transplant and replaced our sinful heart with His Son’s divine heart (Romans 6:6-8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Colossians 2:11; 3:3-4). Therefore, at Christ’s expense, the free gift of eternal life is now available to all who receive Him into their hearts as their Lord and Savior (John 1:12; Romans 6:23; 10:9).
The Whole Gospel Includes Both the Mercy and Wrath of God
But Christ’s blood cries out for our repentance. God gave His only Son so that we would have a chance to repent and be saved from eternal damnation. Jesus said, “If you do not repent, you will perish in your sins (Luke 13:3). If you do not repent from your sins and receive God’s mercy available to you through His Son’s death, you will face God’s wrath. The Bible says, “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient (Ephesians 5:6).” But God’s love is longsuffering and He desires that no one would perish (2 Peter 3:9). The Bible says that God’s lovingkindness is intended to lead us to repentance (Romans 2:4). But if we do not repent, God’s love is also a jealous love. “For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God (Deuteronomy 4:24; see also 1 Corinthians 10:22; James 4:5).” The Bible says if you reject God to serve other gods, He will not forgive you of your sins because He is a holy God and a jealous God (Joshua 24:16-19). Thus the whole gospel includes both the kindness and severity of God (Romans 11:22).
If We Reject God’s Mercy, We Will Face His Wrath
If we reject God’s mercy, we will face His wrath. Therefore, we cannot preach on the love of God to the exclusion of preaching on the wrath of God. If we do so, we are accountable to God for not preaching the whole gospel. The gospel has not changed God’s hatred of sin but the gospel has made it possible for the sinner to now be reconciled to God. The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ reveals both the mercy of God and the wrath of God – mercy to those who submit to Christ’s authority and wrath to those who rebel against Christ’s authority. Jesus said if we love Him, we must obey Him. “Whoever obeys My commands is the one who loves Me (John 14:21).” The Bible says if we do not obey Jesus, we will face God’s wrath. “He who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him (John 3:36).” The Bible also says, “If we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins but a terrifying expectation of judgment (Hebrews 10:26-27).” Jesus loves sinners and died for sinners but He is also going to judge sinners. Therefore, if you reject Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior now, you must face Him later as your Judge. “Because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when His righteous judgment will be revealed (Romans 2:5).”
The myth that God’s love is unconditional has become widely accepted in the church today. Once again, the primary reason this lie has gained such a foothold in the church is because most Christians do not experience the overcoming, sanctified Christian life, which is the fruit of believing and acting on the entirety of Christ’s completed work on the cross. Since most Christians’ normal experience is to be defeated by sin and then seek God’s forgiveness, they do not want to hear Biblical teaching on the judgment of God that specifically pertains to them as Christians. In other words, they only want to hear messages on the mercy of God instead of the severity of God. Consequently, “there is no fear of God before their eyes (Psalm 36:1).” Yet Jesus said, “I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that they have no more that they can do. But I will warn you who to fear: Fear the One who after He has killed, has authority to cast into hell; yes, I tell you, fear Him (Luke 12:4-5)!” Because many Christians do not fear God, they do not even try to stop sinning. The Bible says, “The fear of God is to hate evil (Proverbs 8:13).” If God’s people feared Him, God would bring them into His deliverance from sin and death. “The eye of the Lord is on those that fear Him, on those who hope for His lovingkindness, to deliver their soul from death (Psalm 33:18).”
If God’s people feared Him, He would divinely reveal the full meaning of the power of Christ’s Atonement to them: when Christ died, He included us in His death so that He might sovereignly live in us. This is both the promise and fulfillment of the New and Eternal Covenant (Hebrews 13:20). The Bible says, “The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him; and He will make His Covenant known to them (Psalm 25:14).” What Adam lost for us by his disobedience, Christ regained for us by His obedience to the point of death. “For if, through the death of the one man (Adam), death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ (Romans 5:17).”
Repentance and the Wrath of God Are No Longer Preached
Every Sunday, many pastors reassure their flocks that God loves them, forgives them and is pleased with them. But this is only true if God’s people repent from practicing sin. Yet God’s command for His people to repent from practicing sin and believe in Christ’s completed work on the cross is hardly ever heard from the pulpit. If God’s love were unconditional, then all those who are rebellious and unrepentant would go to heaven because God would have no requirement of repentance necessary for anyone to enter His kingdom. However, this is clearly not Biblical. John the Baptist preached, “Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matthew 3:2).” And Jesus preached, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15).” The lie that God’s love is unconditional has spawned a dozen other lies. Perhaps the most poisonous lie that has grown out of this one is the falsehood that all of mankind will be eventually saved. Another gross lie that stems from the lie that God’s love is unconditional is that sinners will face annihilation when they die and not eternal punishment.
Still another deadly lie that has sprung up from the false belief that God’s love is unconditional is that we must never offend others with the gospel because that would not be love. This Satanic lie has caused many of God’s people to stop witnessing to the lost with a clear and bold gospel. Instead, many Christians have adopted a passive form of witnessing in which they wait for sinners to approach them and ask what makes their life different. And if any sinners ever do eventually ask you about your life, you then invite them to attend church instead of offending them by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. This type of passive or lukewarm “witnessing” is no witnessing at all! It only cowardly tries to avoid the offense of the cross and gives the false impression to all that hear it that becoming a Christian means you merely start going to church. If everyone practiced this type of secular witnessing, at least 99% of those who are lost would never hear the gospel of Christ before they go to hell. Another devilish lie that has sprung up from the lie that God’s love is unconditional is that we should not confront people in church who practice sin, otherwise they might be offended. This deception has even led many churches to adopt the informal “fellowship” greeting that “we accept you into our church family just as you are.” The truth is God never accepts anyone in His family who does not truly sincerely repent from sin and turn to Him.
A Little Leaven Leavens the Whole Church
When Christians turn away from God and the truth of His Word, they become unrighteous. As a result of the lie that God’s love is unconditional and the refusal to deal with sin in the church, many Christians are now practicing sin and there is virtually no difference between churchgoers’ behavior and those of unbelievers outside the church. In fact, hypocrisy and lawlessness have become so common in the church that many ministers have now invented a variety of bizarre rationalizations to explain it away such as “All of us are hypocrites but only those of us in church will admit it“ and “None of us are perfect, we’re just all in process” and “We’re all sinners just like everyone else, only forgiven.” These are the thoughts of a church defeated by sin and Satan. The Bible clearly teaches us to lovingly but firmly confront fellow Christians who are practicing sin (Matthew 18:15-17; Galatians 6:1). The Bible also clearly states that because a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough, we should not fellowship with any Christian who does not repent and continues to practice sin (1 Corinthians 5:6-13). Tragically, the leaven has already leavened the church and the resulting apostasy is nearly ripe for God’s judgment.
Today is still the great day of God’s amnesty although the fading hours of His mercy are soon coming to an end. If you are a rebel, God offers to forgive you and restore you if you will submit to His Son’s authority. “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ (1 Thessalonians 5:9).” You can repent and choose His blood for the forgiveness of your sins today or you can face His fire in the coming Day of Judgment. It is your choice: we beg you on behalf of Christ and His cross – be reconciled to God!Back to top
Myth #3 - Jesus Can Be Your Savior But Not Your Lord
This is another one of Satan’s lies that has greatly compromised and weakened the church. Before we expose this lie, let’s see what Jesus said it means to follow Him. Jesus said if you want to follow Him, you must take up your cross, deny yourself, lay down your life, and give up everything for His sake (Matthew 10:38; Mark 8:34; Luke 14:33; John 12:25). In other words, if you want to be Jesus’ disciple, you must turn over complete ownership and control of your life to Him. It means you acknowledge Jesus Christ is your Lord and Master and you are His bondslave. It means you must give up your personal interests, attitudes and desires for Jesus’ interests, attitudes and desires. It means in every area of your life and in every decision you make - where you will live, your choice of friends, your pursuit of education and career, your money, your choice in marriage – you will seek and obey Jesus Christ’s will for your life. It means you want to know Jesus Christ and identify with His kingdom more than anything this world has to offer, even if it means your persecution and death.
Many people who consider themselves Christians think as long as they asked Jesus to be their Savior sometime during their life, they are guaranteed a ticket to heaven. They say that they believe Christ died to forgive them for their sins, but as far as Christ’s Lordship is concerned, they say they are “working” toward that goal. However, the Lordship of Jesus Christ is not an option for Christians. If you believe in the gospel of Christ, then Jesus Christ must be your Lord right now and not in the remote future. The Bible teaches that Jesus is your Lord and you are saved or He is not your Lord and you are not saved. Some Christians think that receiving Christ is like buying a car - you can get the basic model or the more expensive model. In other words, you can choose basic Christianity with Jesus as your Savior or you can choose the more costly, discipleship option with Jesus as your Lord. The Bible recognizes no such option. The Bible says Jesus Christ must be both your Lord and Savior. “God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ (Acts 2:36).” The first century church also did not practice any such option. The early disciples clearly proclaimed that Jesus Christ was Lord (Acts 10:36: Romans 14:9; 2 Corinthians 4:5). In fact, in the New Testament, the title “Lord” is used in conjunction with Jesus Christ nearly 600 times; whereas the title “Savior” is used only 15 times.
The Bible Declares Jesus is Lord and King
The Bible declares Jesus Christ is God (John 1:1, 14; 20:28; Romans 9:5; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 1:8; 2 Peter 1:1; 1 John 5:20; Isaiah 9:6). Since Jesus Christ is God, then He most certainly is Master, Lord and King (Luke 2:11; 19:38; 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:15; Revelation 17:14; 19:16). Therefore, we cannot know Jesus Christ unless we know Him as Lord and King. Jesus said, “You say correctly that I am a king… for this reason I have come into the world (John 18:37). The Bible says Jesus Christ is “far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in the one to come (Ephesians 1:20-21).” The Bible calls Jesus Christ “the Lord of lords and the King of kings (Revelation 17:14).” Jesus Himself said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth (Matthew 8:18).” The Bible proclaims that, at the end of this age, everyone will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Philippines 2:11). “For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and the living (Romans 14:9).”
Jesus Cannot Be Your Savior Unless He is Your Lord
The Bible clearly says you cannot be saved unless Jesus Christ becomes your Lord (Romans 10:9). You cannot ask Jesus to save you if you are unwilling to turn complete control of your life over to Him. Jesus must be your Lord for you to be saved and, once you are saved, Jesus must be your Lord for you to be sanctified. The Bible says, “Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts (1 Peter 3:15). Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom of God (Matthew 9:35; Mark 1:14). This is the message of the Sovereignty of God and the Kingship of Christ in our life. Once again, the Kingship of Christ is not an option for Christians. Jesus said, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I say (Luke 6:46)?” God wants to give His kingdom to you but you cannot receive it unless Christ is your King (Luke 12:32; Acts 4:12). You cannot receive Christ’s Spirit apart from also receiving Christ’s Sovereignty. The Bible is clear: if we say we believe in Jesus Christ and love Him, we must obey Him. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will obey what I command… Whoever has My commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves Me… if anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching… he who does not love Me will not obey My teaching (John 14:15-24). Our obedience to Christ’s commands is the proof that we really are His disciples.
The focus of the early disciples was on Christ their risen King and His Sovereign Kingdom. They knew when they were born again they had changed kingdoms; God had rescued them from Satan’s dominion and transplanted them into Christ’s Kingdom (Colossians 1:13). They didn’t merely have a cultural change. They didn’t just outwardly change their old worldly lifestyle for a new “Christian” lifestyle. They knew Christianity meant Christ reigned in their lives. They knew discipleship meant they were bondslaves of Jesus Christ because He had ransomed them with His own blood (Romans 6:22; 1 Peter 2:16; 1 Corinthians 6:20). Out of their love for Jesus Christ, they gave Him their entire being – their whole heart and soul and body. This is what it means to make Jesus your Lord.
Every Child of God Should Desire Christ To Be Their King
A deep, spiritual desire to submit to Christ’s Kingship should increasingly motivate every child of Christ’s kingdom. But here is the dilemma, which every citizenof His kingdom must face: the unrenewed mind or unconverted soul is an unsubmitted soul. Therefore, self-preservation, self-autonomy and self-fulfillment are deeply ingrained habits. They cannot be overcome by sheer willpower. They can only be overcome by trusting in the truth of God’s Word that we have already been delivered from our self-sovereignty by Christ’s death on the cross (Romans 6:3-11). Jesus Christ has gone before us and made our absolute surrender to God’s will possible. We not only have been delivered from sin so that we might go to heaven; we have been delivered from sin so that Christ might rule right now in our hearts by faith while we live here on earth. This is the wonderful and powerful deliverance, which Christ has purchased by His death for all those who truly believe in Him. Christ’s death on the cross has made possible this great and glorious deliverance of our whole being – spirit, soul and body. All that is needed for us to receive this deliverance is to believe that Christ has already procured this deliverance from sin for us. When Christ died on the cross, he made the way possible for us to become free of our own self-rule and enter fully into the kingdom of God, in which each citizen is joyfully and lovingly submitted to God’s perfect will.
Jesus told His disciples a parable of a king who was far away and whose servants didn’t want him to return and reign over them (Luke 19:11-27). As long as the king remained away, his sovereignty didn’t threaten them. In the same way, many professing Christians want Jesus to remain a far off King so they can honor Him with their lips from a safe distance but not be threatened by His Sovereign demands on their life. They want to enjoy the benefits of belonging to Christ’s kingdom without the cost of losing their soul-life to serve Christ the King (Matthew 10:38-39). At the end of the parable, Jesus said when the king finally returned, he ordered all those who rejected his reign over them to be slain. This is really a story about the end of the age. When Christ returns, He will gather out of His kingdom all those who practiced lawlessness and never allowed Him to become King in their lives and throw them into the eternal fires of hell (Matthew 7:21-23; 13:36-42; 47-50; 25:41). “He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of His power when He comes to be glorified in His holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed (2 Thessalonians 1:8-10).”
The Cross is the Secret to Coming Under Christ’s Kingship
The revelation of what happened on the cross of Christ is the secret to coming under the Lordship of Christ. When you see that God has included you in His Son’s death on the cross, you are freed to be Christ’s bondslave (Romans 6:6-22). When you know your old sinful nature has been crucified with Christ, then Christ your King can reign in you (Galatians 2:20). If you do not yet know that you have died with Christ and that you no longer have a sinful nature, you will never fully experience Christ’s Sovereignty. Jesus said His kingdom would be given to a people who produce its spiritual fruit (Matthew 21:43). Jesus warned that anyone who calls Him Lord but still willfully and persistently practices sin would receive no entrance or inheritance in the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 7:21-23). You cannot just say Jesus is your Lord and not mean it. This would be, in effect, taking Christ’s name in vain, or uselessly without sincere faith. “The Lord declares, ‘These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me (Isaiah 29:13).” Christ’s Sovereignty must permeate your entire being and Jesus must become your Lord in all your thoughts, words and deeds. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened (Matthew 13:33).” If you truly believe Jesus is your Lord, then the fruit of your faith will be sanctification that leads to eternal life with Jesus Christ, the King of Kings. The Bible says, “Now that you have been freed from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to sanctification, and the result is eternal life (Romans 6:22).” The only way you can be born again of the Spirit is if you receive Jesus Christ as both your Savior and your Lord. If you have not made a clear decision to ask Jesus Christ to be your Lord, the Bible clearly says you are not saved. This is the whole gospel of Christ. If this is not yet your experience, believe in God’s word of deliverance right now: make Jesus your Sovereign Lord and King by faith in His completed work on the cross, and fulfill the destiny which God has ordained for every true citizen of His eternal kingdom.
Myth #4 - Do Christians Have Two Natures?
Many born again Christians believe they have two natures within them, a new Christ-like nature and an old sinful nature, which war against each other. They believe that their new nature loves God and wants to practice righteousness, but that their old nature loves sin and wants to practice lawlessness. They think that their Christian life reflects whichever of these two conflicting natures they yield themselves to the most. However, this “tale of two natures” is not Biblically true. This falsehood is one of the greatest deceptions the devil has ever foisted on the church. Many Christians have become overcome by sin and hopelessly discouraged because they have swallowed this lie, while countless others have become deceived by this lie and their self-righteousness into thinking that, through willpower and self-discipline, they can stop practicing sin.
The Bible says that every person is born with a fallen spiritual nature, which we inherited from our spiritual ancestor Adam. This inner sinful nature, which the Bible also refers to as the old man or the old self, is hostile and rebellious to God. Since this is man’s inward nature before he is born again of the Spirit, it controls man’s attitudes and actions and compels man to sin. This sinful nature is like a “sin factory” inside unregenerate man that continuously produces sinful thoughts and behavior that are alien and hostile to God. Since we were born into sin and were, therefore, sinners by nature, God’s plan of redemption was to get rid of the “sinner” within us. Therefore, when we were born again, God spiritually immersed us into Christ’s death (Romans 6:3-4). The Scriptures are very clear on this fact: when Christ died, we died with Him (Romans 6:7-8; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 2:20; 3:3; 2 Timothy 2:11).
Our Sinful Nature Was Put to Death on the Cross with Christ
Contrary to the faulty theology currently taught in many churches today, born again believers do not have two natures. The Bible says, “For we know that our old man was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin (our sinful nature) might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin (Romans 6:6).” Our sinful nature died and was removed from us when we were born again. The apostle Paul taught that since our old sinful nature is dead and gone, we have been freed from the power of sin. “For he who has died has been freed from sin (Romans 6:7).” This Biblical fact is so fundamental to our Christian faith that God has ordained the practice of water baptism for new believers to always remind the church of this powerful truth of Christ’s Atonement. When we are buried (or immersed) under water during baptism, this act of faith outwardly demonstrates that our old sinful nature died and was removed from us. The Bible says, “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death (Romans 6:4).”
This is Basic Christianity
This truth is basic to our Christian faith. However, if we do not believe this Biblical truth of Christ’s Atonement to the point that we act on it, we will not experience the divine provision that Christ died to give us. For example, if we do not believe and act on the Biblical truth that Christ’s death on the cross has completely removed the penalty of our sins, we will not experience freedom from the condemnation of sin. In the same way, if we do not believe and act on the Biblical truth that Christ’s death on the cross has completely removed our sinful nature, we will not experience freedom from the power of sin. The Bible says, “For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the word they heard did not profit them, because it was not united by faith in those who heard (Hebrews 4:2).” We simply cannot walk in sanctification and grow into spiritual maturity in Christ if we do not believe and act on this fundamental truth of the gospel of Christ.
Two Other Devilish Variations to this Big Lie
Since Romans 6:6 plainly states that our old sinful nature was crucified and done away with through Christ’s death on the cross, the devil has fabricated two other deceptive variations to the lie that Christians have two natures in order to subvert the truth and power of the cross of Christ. The first variation of this lie alleges that even if a Christian’s sinful nature has died, it was never completely destroyed and removed from him when he was born again. In other words, this devilish fabrication promotes the false idea that a Christian’s sinful nature is not irrevocably dead and extinct, but instead resides in a Christian much like an idle and dormant volcano, which can spontaneously erupt into life and cause destruction and havoc in your life at any time. There is absolutely no Scriptural support for this falsehood, which is aimed at keeping Christians fearful and captive to sin, so that they cannot walk in the fullness of Christ’s life and power. There are a dozen Scripture verses that plainly state we have died with Christ. The New Testament Greek word used in many of these verses is apothnesko, which means expired or died and conveys a sense of finality – of being very dead. For example, in Romans 6:7-8, the apostle Paul declared, “Because anyone who has died has been freed from sin… we have died with Christ.” Based on the New Testament Greek, this is clearly not just conceptual or symbolic, nor is it merely a figurative or positional death. Our sinful Adam nature, which was at the very core of our inner being and the root of our self-identity and rebellion toward God, actually died when we received Christ into our heart; it was not merely rendered idle or inactive.
There is yet a second variation to the lie that born again Christians have two natures. This second fabrication alleges that even if a Christian no longer has a sinful nature, he still has the malignant presence and power of sin dwelling in his physical body. Once again, there is absolutely no Scriptural support for this falsehood, which is also aimed at keeping Christians fearful and captive to sin. Some Christians are confused when they read Romans Chapter Seven and think perhaps the person being described in this passage is a Christian who has two conflicting natures – a good and evil nature. However, Paul wrote this particular chapter to his fellow Jewish brethren (see Romans 7:1) to convince them that in Christ, they died not only to the ungodly yoke of sin, they also died to the unbearable yoke of the Old Covenant Mosaic Law. In this chapter, Paul describes the frustration and anguish of a person who wants to obey God but cannot do so because of his sinful nature. Finally, at the end of Chapter Seven, this miserable person cries out, “I am a wretched man! Who will set me free from this body of death (this sinful nature)? (Romans 7:24).” Based on his own personal experience, Paul then triumphantly reveals who has freed us from our sinful nature. Paul declares, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:25).” When reading Romans Chapter Seven, it is important to remember that Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans in the Greek language, a precise and expressive language which often strategically uses the present tense to dramatically describe a past action and experience. In Chapter Seven, Paul made effective use of this historical present tense, as it is called in the Greek language, to vividly describe the futility and misery of a person who wants to serve God but finds himself continually frustrated and sabotaged by his rebellious sinful nature because he is not born again. In writing this chapter, Paul drew from his own past personal experience as a devout Pharisee before he became a born again Christian. We should also point out that if a person is born again but mistakenly believes he still has a sinful nature, then he will also think that he is still under the all-consuming power of sin and inwardly think of himself as a hopelessly chronic sinner. For a more in-depth study on this subject, see our Bible Study for Christ’s Disciples: The Purpose and Meaning of Romans Seven.
Man’s Sinful Nature Was His Achilles Heel
God knew that man’s sinful nature was his Achilles heel, which Satan could use to continually snare him in sin. This is why the Old Covenant could not accomplish God’s eternal purpose since man’s sinful nature prevented him from truly obeying God’s commandments. Therefore, what the Mosaic Law was powerless to do because of our sinful nature, God did in the New Covenant by sending His Son who perfectly fulfilled the Law and became sin on our behalf when He was crucified, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ (Romans 8:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21). Not understanding the purpose and meaning of Romans Chapter Seven, some Christians cite Romans 7:17 (“sin… dwells in me”) to justify their mistaken belief that the evil presence and power of sin still resides in a Christian’s physical body. However as we said earlier, Paul was describing a person who is not born again, yet wants to obey God and cannot do so because of his sinful nature. Also we must ask: where does this spiritually cancerous sin dwell in our physical body after we are born again? Is it in our hands and feet? Jesus said, “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire (Matthew 18:8).” However, Jesus did not mean that sin resides in our physical body like a malignant tumor and we must now amputate our hands and feet to become free of sin. Jesus meant we must decisively stop (cut off) practicing sin if we want to be His disciples and enter the kingdom of heaven.
God’s Divine Heart Transplant
Jesus revealed where sin resides in unregenerate man when He said, “From within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting, and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man (Mark 7:21-23).” Once again, Jesus did not mean that sin resides in our physical heart; otherwise we would need a physical heart transplant to be freed from sin. Jesus meant that sin dwells in man’s unregenerate spiritual heart. Everyone was born with a heart of sin (a sinful nature); this was our spiritual condition before we were born again. Therefore, God’s solution was to perform a divine heart transplant to save man from the cancerous power of sin and certain death and doom. When His Son died on the cross, God exchanged our terminally sin-sick heart with His Son’s divine heart (Romans 6:6; Colossians 2:11). The Bible says, “God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts (Galatians 4:6).” By this divine exchange, God completely delivered us from all indwelling sin, so that Christ could now dwell in us by His Spirit. This is the miracle of our new birth, made possible by the divine operation of the cross of Christ. Although our physical body will age and die because of sin’s effect upon the human race, this does not mean that evil now indwells our physical body as a malignant power that can cause us to sin. The Bible clearly and emphatically declares that the presence of evil does not indwell the body of a born again believer. The Scriptures testify that, after you are saved, you are now a “new man, which has been created in the likeness of God in righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:24),” and “your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you (1 Corinthians 6:19).”
Then Why Do Christians Still Sin?
One of the main reasons why Christians mistakenly think they still have a sinful nature is because they continue to practice sin. Since our sinful Adam nature is dead and gone, then why do we continue to sin? The Bible says the reason why Christians continue to sin is because their minds have not yet been spiritually renewed by the truth of God’s Word. Although our Adam sinful nature is dead, our Adam way of thinking (our unrenewed mind) will still continue in the habit of worldly thinking and sinning until it is transformed by God’s Spirit of truth. More specifically, our mind needs to be transformed by God’s Word to the point that we act consistently on the truth that our sinful nature died with Christ and we have been freed from sin. Paul taught, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is (Romans 12:2).” He also exhorted believers to “be made new in the attitude of your mind… take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ… and put on the new man (your new mind) who is being renewed to a true knowledge in the image of God who created him (Ephesians 4:23; 2 Corinthians 10:5; Colossians 3:10).” In other words, our unbelieving, sinful attitudes need to be transformed and converted to Christ’s attitudes. The Bible calls this process of renewal, by which we “put off” or “put to death” our unconverted soulish attitudes and actions and “put on” the mind of Christ and His attitudes and actions, the practice of sanctification. Paul wrote, “Therefore, brethren, we have an obligation, not to the flesh (our unconverted soul-life), for if you are living according to the flesh (your unconverted soul-life), you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live… put to death, therefore, whatever is soulish: immorality, impurity, lust, evil desire and greed… those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death on the cross their flesh (their unconverted soul-life) with its passions and desires (Romans 8:12-13; Colossians 3:5; Galatians 5:24).” As we present ourselves each day to God as a living and holy sacrifice and believe and act on the truth of His Word that we are “dead to sin but alive to God,” we can count on the Holy Spirit to transform our soul-life into Christ’s likeness.
The Difference Between the Sinful Nature and Unrenewed Mind
We should always remember that there is a great difference between the sinful nature and the unrenewed mind. The unrenewed mind does not have the same spiritual power as the sinful nature. Our old sinful nature was like a continuously operating “sin factory” that had to be destroyed by Christ’s death on the cross before we could be freed from slavery to sin. The unrenewed mind or unconverted soul, on the other hand, is simply our soulish mindset, which the Holy Spirit within us can now transform, if we live by faith in the truth and power of the cross (Romans 1:17; 1 Corinthians 1:17-18). Since we have become united with Christ in His death and resurrection, we no longer have the presence and power of sin indwelling us; we now have the presence and power of Christ indwelling us. If we believe and act on this divine truth of Christ’s completed work on the cross, we no longer have to practice sin because we have been freed from sin and Christ now lives in us. The Bible says, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed abides in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God (1 John 3:9).”
The devilish lie that Christians still have the malignant presence of sin residing somewhere in their natural body is just another devious way of saying Christians still possess a sinful nature. Those who mistakenly think that a born again Christian still has a sinful nature sometimes justify their opinion by focusing on the interpretation of one Greek word, katargeo, as it appears in Romans 6:6: “For we know that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin (our sinful nature) might be done away with (katargeo), so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.” In this verse, the New American Standard Bible translates the Greek word katargeo by the phrase, “done away with.” This is an appropriate translation within this Scriptural context since our old sinful nature died and was buried (done away with) by our baptism (immersion) into Christ’s death. The King James Version translates katargeo in this verse as “destroyed,” which also fits this Scriptural context since our sinful nature (the sin factory) was destroyed by Christ’s death on the cross. However, those who mistakenly believe that the sinful nature still resides within a born again Christian think the word katargeo should be translated as “inactive” or “idle.” In other words, they think the sinful nature is just sitting “idle” in a Christian, and that a Christian can unwittingly “reactivate” their old sinful nature whenever they commit a sin.
Our Sinful Nature Was Removed and Buried with Christ
However, this is neither Scriptural nor logical. A careful review of the twenty-seven times that katargeo is used in New Testament reveals that “done away with” or “destroyed” is the proper translation of katargeo in Romans 6:6. In fact, katargeo might be accurately and more clearly translated as “removed.” This is exactly how katargeo is translated in 2 Corinthians 3:14 to describe how the Old Covenant veil that blinds Jews to seeing Jesus as their Messiah is removed (katargeo) whenever someone turns to Christ. This veil certainly is not rendered just inactive or idle; it is taken away! With this in view, the Old Covenant prophet Ezekiel foretold of the divine heart transplant that God would perform in the New Covenant: “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).” The Bible here does not need any subjective interpretation; it is very clear. God, through His prophet Ezekiel, declared that our old heart of stone (our sinful nature) would be removed in the New Covenant!
The Bible says we have died with Christ (Romans 6:8; 2 Corinthians 5:14; Colossians 2:20; 3:3); we were buried with Christ (Romans 6:4; Colossians 2:12); and we were raised with Christ (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12; 3:1). Consider this divine fact: resurrection means to be raised from the dead. Just as Christ was raised from the dead, we were raised from the dead with Him. Therefore, we had to die and be buried before we could be raised from the dead. Water baptism outwardly demonstrates this divine truth when we were buried in a watery “grave.” But when we died with Christ, who died and was then buried? Was it our physical body? Of course not! We know that our physical body did not die when we received Christ. Was it our soul? Certainly not! We know that our soul (our personality - our will, intellect and emotions) did not die when we received Christ. Yet, the Bible clearly states that we died with Christ when we were born again. Then who died? According to the Bible, our sinful nature died. The question we must ask ourselves is this: do we believe what the Bible says, that as born again believers, our sinful nature was put to death and removed from us? Do we believe this Biblical truth to the point that we act on it? When faced with the temptation to sin, do we believe this divine truth to the point that we resist sin by believing that we have been delivered from sin’s power because we have died to sin and no longer have sinful nature?
Both Circumcision and Baptism Portray the Old Nature is Gone
In his letter to the Colossians, Paul confirms the Biblical truth that our sinful nature was removed when we were born again. Here, Paul uses the picture of circumcision to describe what happened to our sinful nature when we were saved. “In Him you were also circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, in the removal of the sinful nature, by the circumcision of Christ (Colossians 2:11).” We can say with absolute certainty that when someone is circumcised, their foreskin is definitely removed! It is not left attached in just an idle or dormant manner to continually cause infection and disease. Therefore, in this passage of Scripture (Colossians 2:11), Paul declares our sinful nature has been removed in Christ. Paul then shifts in the very next verse (Colossians 2:12) from the Old Covenant seal of righteousness (circumcision) to the New Covenant seal of righteousness (baptism) to further demonstrate that our old sinful nature was removed. Paul logically states that since our old sinful nature died and was removed (verse 11), it was then disposed of by burial: “Having been buried with Him in baptism and raised with Him through your faith in the power of God, who raised Him from the dead (verse 12).” Thus, by linking Old Covenant circumcision with New Covenant baptism, Paul leaves no doubt that the death and removal of the sinful nature (as portrayed by circumcision) is also portrayed by the burial stage of water baptism. Again, we can say with absolute certainty, that when someone dies and is buried, their dead body is definitely removed and buried! In this way, water baptism confirms (just as circumcision also did) that our sinful nature not only died, but was definitely removed from us when we were born again. Thus both the Old Covenant and New Covenant clearly portray what happened to our sinful nature when we were born again of the Spirit.
We Now Have a New Spiritual Identity in Christ
The Bible says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7).” In other words, a man speaks and acts based on who he is – in his inner being. This is why Jesus said that a man’s sinful thoughts and deeds originated from out of his unregenerate, sinful heart (Matthew 15:18-19). This was our spiritual identity before we were saved: we were sinners by nature and no matter how hard we tried, we could not escape our identity problem. God’s divine solution to our identity crisis was to get rid of the “sinner” – the “sin factory” within us. This is the Biblical truth: when you were born again, God changed your inward identity. He removed your sinful nature and Christ now lives in you by His Spirit (Colossians 1:27). The Bible says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new person; his old being is gone, a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17).” If you believe this truth, your new Christ-like attitudes and actions will spring from out of your new identity - who you are in Christ! You are no longer a sinner by nature, you are now a new person in Christ. You can resist the temptation to sin by believing and acting on this Biblical truth. Remember that faith is not a feeling, it is a decision to believe God and take Him at His Word. Therefore, you can overcome your old sinful habits by simply making a decision to believe in this truth of the cross that God has given you a new spiritual identity in Christ. We are not hopelessly chronic sinners! We are saints - holy ones – who are dead to sin and alive to God because we no longer have a sinful nature, and we now have Christ’s holy nature dwelling in us. This Biblical truth is our God-given “Declaration of Independence” from the tyranny of sin, which Jesus Christ died on the cross for us to possess.
New Wine is Poured into New (Not Old) Wineskins
God does not mix what is holy with what is unholy. God would never pour His Holy Spirit into an unholy vessel containing a sinful nature. Jesus said, “And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins (Mark 2:22).” The reason God is able to pour His Holy Spirit (His new wine) into our hearts is because He made us a new creation - a new wineskin in Christ - and we no longer have an old sinful nature within us. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17). Once again, remember that before God could make us a new spiritual creation (born into Christ), He had to first deal with our old spiritual creation (that we inherited from Adam). Therefore, He not only dealt with its bad fruit (our sinful actions) by forgiving our sins; He also got rid of its bad root (by removing our sinful nature).
God’s People Are Destroyed for Lack of Knowledge
There are only two kinds of people who would insist that they have a sinful nature. The first person is an unbeliever who really does have a sinful nature because he has never been born again of the Holy Spirit. Even if that person falsely claims to be a Christian, he is still a prisoner to the power of sin because he still has a sinful nature (John 8:34-44). The second person is a born again Christian who does not believe that God ever removed his sinful nature from him when he was saved. Since he refuses to believe God’s Word, he still thinks he is a prisoner to sin even though Christ died to free him from sin (Romans 7:17-25). The word of the cross can only free a Christian from sin if they believe and act on it. Jesus said, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free (John 8:32). It is very evident in this particular Scriptural passage that Jesus was specifically referring here to being freed from slavery to sin (see John 8:34). Therefore, the unbeliever is a wretched and miserable person because he has a sinful nature and is in bondage to sin - even if he is outwardly religious; whereas the unbelieving believer is a wretched and miserable person because he erroneously thinks he still has a sinful nature and, therefore, continues to experience bondage to sin. As God said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6).” This mistaken thinking and resulting spiritual defeat stems from ignorance concerning the power of Christ’s crucifixion and resurrection. Jesus said, “Is this not the reason you are mistaken, that you do not understand the Scriptures or the power of God (Mark 12:24)?”
Unfortunately, the false belief that born again Christians still have a sinful nature also provides a religious excuse and cover for those Christians who want to keep sinning. As Paul warned, “You were called to be free, but do not use your freedom as an opportunity to indulge in sin (Galatians 5:13).” And Peter warned, “Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as servants of God (1 Peter 2:16).” Anyone who teaches that Christians have two conflicting inner natures of good and evil, or that God never actually removed our sinful nature through Christ’s death, is impeding the church from entering into Christ’s fullness and God’s eternal purpose. Once again, some teach this falsehood out of spiritual ignorance, but others deliberately teach it because they themselves knowingly and willfully practice sin. In their case, Jesus’ warning is appropriate, “Woe to you… for you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering (Luke 11:52).”
A House Divided Against Itself Cannot Stand
When God completed His divine heart transplant through Christ’s death on the cross, He did not leave us with two hearts or two natures. If God had left a sinful nature within us, we would be divided in heart and mind. We would be constantly conflicted with two opposing natures and never be able to stand up to Satan’s attacks and temptations. Jesus said, “If a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand (Mark 3:25).” If we still had a sinful nature, the devil would always have a spiritual foothold of sin within us to deceive and defeat us. This would have been an incomplete and pitiful salvation that would only be effective to overcome sin and the devil in heaven - not on earth where we need the victory most! But thank God that Christ’s death on the cross has given us complete victory over sin! By the cross, Jesus Christ triumphed over the devil and sin. The Bible says, “And having disarmed the (spiritual) powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross (Colossians 2:15).” Thus God, by His Son’s death on the cross, delivered us not only from the penalty of sin; He also delivered us from the power of sin and the dominion of Satan, by destroying and removing our sinful nature, so that Christ’s Spirit could dwell in us and empower us. The Biblical truth is that Jesus Christ has freed us from sin’s power by His death on the cross so that we do not need to practice sin. However, many Christians still believe they have a sinful nature and, therefore, continue to live in sin. Of this grievous situation, Paul declared, “Shall we continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized (immersed) into Christ Jesus have been baptized (immersed) into His death? (Romans 6:1-3).” In other words, “Do you not know that you have died to sin, and sin does not have to be master over you anymore?”
Jesus is the first born of God’s new creation, His church. Jesus did not have a sinful nature. He was born with a human body and He had a human soul (his personality, will and emotions). However, since Jesus was born of a virgin and God was His Father and indwelt Him, He did not inherit Adam’s sinful nature like we did. This is why He was able to obey God and live a sinless life. Now that we have been born of God, we no longer have a sinful nature and Christ now dwells in us. Therefore, as the body of Christ, we too are capable of obeying God and not practicing sin by faith in the Son of God who died for us and now lives in us (Galatians 2:20). This is true liberating theology – because this is the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Christ Does Not Share His Body With a Sinful Nature
To sum up, the Bible is clear that when we were born again, our sinful nature died. The Bible is equally clear that our sinful nature not only died, it was completely removed from us. Our unholy sinful nature is dead and gone! How can we possibly be betrothed as a pure holy virgin to our bridegroom, Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 11:2), if we still have an adulterous, evil, sinful nature lurking somewhere within our body, which lusts to commit spiritual adultery and rebellion toward God? Christ does not share His body, His church, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit, with the malignant presence and power of sin. If we preach and teach anything less than the complete removal of our sinful nature by the power of Christ’s crucifixion, we are guilty of not proclaiming the true gospel of Jesus Christ and treating as unclean the holy blood of Christ (Hebrews 10:26-31). The gospel truth is this: Christ’s Spirit alone lives within us, and our mind can now be spiritually renewed and our soul transformed if we believe and act on the power of the cross of Christ. Therefore, we preach and teach the gospel that we are now a holy, new creation in Christ, born of the Spirit and partakers of God’s divine nature (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 1:27; 1 Peter 1:4).
God’s Priceless Gift of Total Salvation in Christ’s Atonement
Many Christians do not realize the full significance and redemptive power of God’s gift of eternal salvation. The gift of salvation is priceless; it was paid for us by the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God. God has given us the gift of total salvation and complete freedom from sin – not only forgiveness for all our sinful deeds by His Son’s death, but also deliverance from all the power of sin by including us (our sinful nature) in His Son’s death. However, if we reject this precious gift of Christ’s life, which God has entrusted within us as a heavenly treasure, by holding onto the false belief that we still have a sinful nature in us and then use this falsehood as an excuse to practice sin, God will reject us. “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be required… so take care how you listen (hear and obey); for whoever has, to him more shall be given; and whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has shall be taken away from him (Luke 12:48; 8:18).” Only those Christians who receive this word of the cross by faith and wholeheartedly obey it will experience freedom from sin and be able to faithfully serve God as His bondservants (Romans 6:17-22). Therefore, we pray that God would open the eyes of every believer’s heart to see what Jesus Christ has fully accomplished for you on the cross. This is the gospel that Paul proclaimed and this was his personal testimony: “I (my old self) have been crucified with Christ and I (my sinful nature) no longer live but Christ lives in me; and the life that I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Galatians 2:20).”