Ministerial Meanderings

God centered theology in a man centered world.

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Location: Springfield, Missouri, United States

I was born in Washington D.C. and raised in Laurel, Maryland. I served in the United States Air Force for 20 years then retired. Then God led me to become a pastor. I was converted to Christ in the summer of 1966. I enjoy the company of my wife, children and grandchildren. I live with my three cats Hobbs, Taz, and Chloe.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

"If I am eternally secure in Christ ...

can I sin as much as I want to and still go to heaven?" What a question! At it's heart, it is a facetious and ad hominum attack on people who hold to the perseverance of the saints in Christ. Charles Spurgeon called the question beneath a Christian to answer ... then went on to preach a sermon against the premise of the question. In my mind, it is a stupid question and one that should not be asked by a child of God to another child of God. But ... it is still out there. People still ask it and still use to attack other Christians. So, today, I am going to put this one to rest.

"If I am eternally secure in Christ, can I sin as much as I want and still go to heaven?" The answer is "yes." Surprised? Think it through with me.

The whole premise of the question comes from a free will stand point. It only makes sense in the context that the immediate cause of our salvation is a good decision made by us. Since we gain salvation by our decision, we need to maintain it by our continued good decisions. We have to keep ourselves in the faith by choosing to keep on doing godly things. If we ever choose to do a sinful thing, we have forfeited the grace of God and become lost again. It is ... in essence ... a semi-pelagian question. By our good choices we brought ourselves into the faith and by our bad choices we can take ourselves out of the faith.

But whoever would ask such a question demonstrates by asking it that they do not understand the biblical nature of salvation at all. Salvation begins in time, with the Holy Spirit bringing the sinner to spiritual life. We call this regeneration or being born again. In the new birth, God takes out our heart of stone (which hardens us against the things of God) and puts into us a heart of flesh (which makes us tender to the things of God). Our carnal minds are changed into spiritual minds. Our blind eyes are open. Our deaf ears are unstopped. Our wills are freed from the bondage of sin. We are freed from our slavery to Satan. Things we used to hate, now we love. Things we used to love, now we hate. We are new creations. We are made into children of God, adopted sons of God. We are brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ and heirs to every heavenly blessing that is His. We are now Kings and Priests to the Lord our God. We have become something new. We are Christians. We our disciples of the Lord Jesus. We are now slaves (yes, I said slaves) to the Lord our God.

We were one thing but now, by the power of God, we have been miraculously changed into something else. This miracle of salvation is everything in considering how to answer the original question.

I said that what we used to love, now we hate and what we used to hate now we love. We used to love our sin and hate the things of God. Now we hate our sin and love the things of God. We used to hate the commandments of God but now we love them. It is a joy to us to be obedient to the Lord our God. Our nature is to love God, and the brethren. To be lights shining in the world with the light of the truth of the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ. And the Christian who has had a life changing encounter with the God-man Jesus Christ has been called out of the world into a life of holiness and good works. He is characterized by the aroma of the life of Christ living in him (or her). Love, mercy, charity, holiness, godliness, obedience, joy and truth are the bread and butter of the Christian disciple. Living in the Holy Spirit is our very air. It is life to us.

In all this post, it is taken as a given that we are eternally secure in Christ. I dealt with that topic not long ago in a post about the perseverance of the saints. You can read it there. But put all this together now.

If I am eternally secure in Christ, can I sin as much as I want? Sure you can. Go sin as much as you want. But ask yourself this one very important question ... As a child of God, a light in the world, filled with the Holy Spirit, a living testimony to the truth of the life changing gospel, a King and Priest to God, an heir to all the treasures of heaven, a slave of our Lord Jesus Christ, ask yourself ... how much do I want to sin? I believe with all my heart that one thing that every true born again has in them is a heart desire to be obedient to the commands of God. If that is true, how much do I want to sin? You, who might be reading these words, you call yourself a child of the Living God, salt and light in the world, how much do YOU want to sin?

Friends, if your faith in Jesus Christ is not a life changing thing, then it is no faith at all. And if your HAS been changed by meeting the Lord Jesus, then do this ... go out and do exactly as your spirit wants. Go out and BE His child. Go be what you are ... YOU are a Son of God. Act like it and sin as much as you want.

2 Comments:

Anonymous The banner 3 said...

This was a very well written and understandable article. I like how emphasized on although we can sin, we should not want to by being a child of God and wanting to follow his way. The following statement that you wrote on is very true " Friends, if your faith in Jesus Christ is not a life changing thing, then it is no faith at all."

Thank you for this and I look forward to more!

Mike

The banner 3

3:28 PM  
Blogger Wayne said...

John, I've been trying to find you guys for years. How have you been doing?

Wayne (Hessisch-Oldendorf)

6:41 PM  

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