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Hebrews 6:4-6

A little while back, I found a post on this blog that I decided to answer. He quoted this passage in Hebrews (as I have done below) and asked if anyone had thoughts on what it meant. Of course, I did, and I felt like they were pretty well reasoned. No one ever responded to my comment, so I thought I would repost it here, to see if any of you would like to.

4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away,[a] to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. – Hebrews 6:4-6

This is definitely a difficult passage. Hebrews 10:26-30 is a little clearer in my opinion.

But basically, does this passage sound like Christians can fall away from God? From salvation? And if they do, does it further mean that they can never get that relationship back??

Well, I do absolutely believe that Christians can fall away and lose their salvation. Again, the passage in Hebrews 10 teaches that plainly – it talks about one who “was sanctified” looking forward to a “fearful expectation of judgment.”

But I don’t think that means we can never be forgiven. Romans 11:19-24 talks about this subject by comparing Christians to the branches of an olive tree. Those who were Jews and had rejected Christ, were cut off from God. But Paul tells the Gentiles not to be haughty, because if the Jews could have been cut off, the Gentiles could be as well, if they turned away. And then, if they repented, they could be “grafted” back in.

So even if we can fall from God’s grace, he will accept us back with loving arms when we see the error of our way. The parable of the Prodigal Son shows us exactly that.

I think Hebrews 6 is making the same point, and when it says “it is impossible to renew them to repentance,” I think it’s saying that as long as those Christians continue in sin, there’s no sacrifice for them… in other words, they can’t be saved while hanging on to that sin. Like Paul says in Romans 6:1-2, if we’ve died to sin, how can we continue in it? That’s the life that we are to put off, when we become Christians.

So as long as we refuse to give up sinful things, we can’t be “renewed again to repentance” because we mock the sacrifice that Christ made for us. As Hebrews 10 says, we “trample the Son of God under foot and count the blood of the covenant by which we were sanctified a common thing.”


156 thoughts on “Hebrews 6:4-6”

  1. This is a hard, but true lesson. So many easily discount what the bible has to say on important matters. Thanks as always for sharing.


  2. Nate, good to see that you are presenting the fun topics 🙂

    One great rule of biblical interpretation is always interpret difficult passages by clear ones.

    With that said, an interpretation of Hebrews 6:4-6 (which is clearly a difficult passage to understand) must be taken in light of other passages. So are there clear passages which deal with our eternal security? Yes.

    In John 10:27-29 Jesus says:
    “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”

    In Romans 8:35,38-39 Paul declares:
    “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? … For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angles nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

    The reason John the Apostle wrote 1 John is clearly stated in verse 5:13, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” John is stating that his entire letter was written so believers would know that their salvation is secure and cannot be taken away.

    Ok, so if these verses are clearly claiming salvation can’t be lost, what is Hebrews 4 actually saying?
    Well once again the rule of interpretation comes into play, is there another passage of scripture which discusses a similar topic… yes, Matthew 12:31-32, contain the following words of Jesus:
    “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.”

    Wow, those are some pretty harsh words. I believe it is this unpardonable sin that Paul is getting at in Hebrews 4 and later in 10. In addition, Hebrews 4 and 10 actually help define what blasphemy of the Spirit entails. A person who is truly seeking repentance and forgiveness will never reach this state of blasphemy. It is only the person who has truly seen the work and power of the Holy Spirit and then chooses to reject said truth can ever reach this unpardonable state; the individual in question has erected blinders to anything that remotely resembles spiritual truth.

    Thankfully, I believe few people ever reach this stage of denying God. However, if you have ever met someone who is downright bitter toward God, you have met one who has chosen to blaspheme the Spirit. You can tell this person knows who God is and has instead chosen to reject His gracious gift simply because they cannot give up some worldly love.


  3. Oops, I forgot to explain how Hebrews fit in to what I just wrote.

    Notice how the author of Hebrews uses the words tasted and partook for describing the interaction with the Spirit. He is not saying he was saved… Hebrews 4 is describing a person who saw the work of God in their lives. If this person were to fall away(that is, deny the Spirit), they have reached a point of no return… a literal harding of the heart.

    The same is true of the willful sinner in Hebrews 10; this person has chosen to reject God.


  4. Stewart,

    Thanks for your comments; they’re very well thought out and reasoned.

    On the surface, the passages you mentioned from John, Romans, and 1 John do seem to say that once we have attained salvation, there’s nothing that can take it away from us. I completely believe that’s true, but with one exception: ourselves.

    The Bible certainly teaches that we should be confident of our salvation, and it’s a comfort to know that no external force has the power to separate us from God. However, I don’t think that means we can’t choose to separate ourselves from him.

    In Acts 8, we read the story of Simon the sorcerer, who had heard Phillip preach the gospel, believed, and was baptized. If his belief had not been genuine, I think the Bible would have told us that. But we see that once Peter and John came to that area to help impart the Holy Spirit, Simon offered to buy that power from the apostles. Peter’s response was quite severe, and he told Simon that he should pray to be forgiven of his wickedness. To me, this passage is indicative of one whose soul is in jeopardy, even though he had already been saved.

    Romans 11:19-24 is another passage that I believe deals with this subject; I’d encourage you to read it, since it’s a little to lengthy to post here. But in it, Paul tells the Gentiles not to be too haughty toward those Jews who had rejected Christ. Yes, they had been God’s chosen people once, but now they were not since they rejected his son. However, Paul tells them that if God didn’t spare the “natural branches” (the Jews), but broke them off, then he won’t spare the Gentiles either, if they depart from serving him. Perhaps the most powerful phrase in that passage is this one: “on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness,[a] if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.” He goes on to say that if the Jews repent, then God can graft them in again.

    I would also point out that in Hebrews 10 is talking about one who “has been sanctified,” and Hebrews 6 talks about those who “were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come.” Then it says “if they fall away,” which implies they had once been with God. I think those terms all clearly refer to one who has been saved.

    I agree with your previous statement, that we must define the more difficult passages by the simpler ones, but I think when you take all these together, it seems as though when Christ tells us no one can take us from his hand, we should understand that to mean no one, but ourselves.

    By the way, I wrote an earlier post on the “unforgivable sin” if you’d like to check it out. I look forward to more comments. Hopefully, we can come to a more complete understanding together.



  5. 1 Timothy 1:18-20 (English Standard Version)

    18 “This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.”

    Paul implies that Hymenaeus and Alexander had turned away from God. He states that they rejected the faith and a good conscience and shipwrecked their faith. So at some time they must have held the faith and accepted it.

    Our hope lies in that God is ever ready and willing to receive us again when we repent and return to following His Word.

    Good post and comments!


  6. Nate and Lauren, excellent thoughts.

    In the Bible there are two types of people who have “fallen away.” One are those who know God/Christ is their creator, yet choose to not give their lives over. The second are those who have professed faith in Christ and afterwards backslide and reject their savior. I believe this first group is described as blaspheming the Spirit simply because than is what they have done. They know, yet deny the truth; this attitude is what Paul describes in Hebrews 6.

    In support of the opinion that salvation cannot be lost once attained, The Bible Knowledge Commentary notes that holding to a view of loosing salvation is “rejected because of biblical assurances that salvation is a work of God which cannot be reversed”(John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck).

    As for Hebrews 10, you may be correct in asserting they were saved. Yet, this does not equal loss of salvation. This would be what Paul describes in 1 Timothy 1:18-20; shipwrecked faith or willful sinning. In Hebrews, this passage is a warning against falling into apostasy, there is no mention of loosing salvation. We must always keep in mind that God alone reserves the right to judge. Christians will be judged at the Bema Seat: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10). This is the judgment Paul refers to in Hebrews 10:30-31.

    The whole passage focuses as a reminder to keep our thoughts on God and his glory. Because God will remove us from furthering his kingdom, He will remove unrepentant Christians from doing His good work; God will not remove them from everlasting life.

    As for Acts and Simon the Sorcerer… the Bible is not clear either way. I personally lean toward Simon was not saved, but the text simply does not say.

    Romans 9-11 is a fantastic passage dealing specifically with Israel and the false notion that the Jews have been rejected by God. I agree with your statements concerning chapter 11. As for dealing with loss of salvation, I don’t see that at all. Paul is explaining that the Jews have only been set aside and that the initial promise was never intended to be for the entire nation as a whole (hence the not all Jews are really Jews comments). But it is due to their disobedience that the gentiles may now partake in God’s gracious gift of salvation. In the end we must always remember that in any dispensation the way individuals are saved is simply due to God’s grace… God always has, is, and will focus on the heart.

    I really need to stop responding with lengthy posts 🙂

    I also hope I am not coming across argumentative, I really am enjoying this topic. Iron sharpening iron is always beneficial even if in the end we disagree.


  7. Stewart–I am intrigued by your post. One question that comes to mind is what constitutes being saved? Also, what about Paul’s comments in Romans 9:27? What is he refering to there? I would be interested in your views on these passages.

    Also, can I be saved if I am in apostacy? How could I teach and practice error and still be pleasing to God? If God is not pleased with me, can I still expect eternal salvation without repentance?


  8. Again, I really appreciate your comments. And I don’t find you argumentative at all; I hope you don’t find me that way either. 🙂 I totally agree that it’s through discussions like this that we are supposed to help one another become better/stronger Christians.

    I wanted to ask how you can know that Hebrews 10 is not talking about a loss of salvation. When I read that passage, I see that all that remains to one in that condition is a “certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.” That’s very strong language, and makes me think of the “lake of fire,” as Hell is sometimes referred to. You and I both know that that punishment is the same one that meets those who have never been saved, and yet, this passage says it’s the same that one who has “backslid” will receive.

    I also still think that Romans 11 refers to losing salvation; let me see if I can explain myself a little better: Obviously, at the time Romans 11 was written, there were many Jews who had become Christians. Acts 2 documents that, as well as the fact that Paul, Peter, and the rest of the apostles were all Jews, and yet still Christians. So obviously, Paul is not saying that all Jews had refused Christ, and therefore, Christ was now accessible by the Gentiles. Instead, Paul is saying that many of the Jews had given up their “birthright,” so to speak, in that they had been God’s chosen people, and should have recognized Christ for who he was. However, since so many had rejected him, salvation was now being offered to the Gentiles as well (which was, of course, God’s plan all along). Then, Paul tells the Gentiles that if the Jews have a change of heart, and accept Christ and his teachings, then they can be “grafted back in.”

    At this point, I’ll admit, it may not really be talking about someone who has come to Christ, and then turned from him. But I think Paul covers that when he tells the Gentiles in vs 22, “Therefore, consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in his goodness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.

    Paul is addressing Christians in this letter, and he describes Gentiles who had already been “grafted” into Christ. He says that if they fall, or stop “continuing in God’s goodness,” they will be cut off. In other words, they will be in the same state as those Jews who had not yet accepted Christ as the Messiah, or as those Gentiles who were still involved in paganism. That state is “lost.”

    I think you would agree that we should be able to use the Old Testament as guide to understanding who God is. Over and over in the Old Testament, God made conditional promises to his people. If they did “blank,” they would receive “blank.” If they didn’t do it, then “blank” would happen. God always kept his promises. When Saul disobeyed the Lord, he had the kingdom taken from him and given to David. However, because David served God, the throne never departed from his line. The children of Israel were told they could enter the Promised Land, but when they listened to the 10 spies who said it was too hard, God made them wander in the wilderness for 40 years.

    The same thing applies to us today. If we serve God the rest of our lives, and put him first, he will save us, even though we’ll make mistakes (just like David did). However, if we turn from him, then all we have to look forward to is a “certain fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation.”

    And finally, if we can’t lose our salvation, then doesn’t that take away our free will? It’s like saying we have a free will until we decide to follow Christ; after that, we become automatons. I don’t believe the Bible teaches that. Sure, we can have confidence and security in our salvation, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t give it up ourselves. God saves us by grace, not compulsion.

    Again, I hope none of that sounded harsh; I think this is a great discussion, and I look forward to hearing back from you on it.



  9. Getting good and deep into our discussion 😀
    Nate, once again thanks for starting this discussion.

    Well, I guess I’ll begin by answering Jim O.
    Jim, salvation is by faith alone. Specifically trusting that Christ was crucified and on the 3rd day he rose again. On the works side of things, no work on man will never get you eternal life; however, all of us will be judged by our works at the Bema Seat (see 2 Cor 5:10). Also, remember in Matthew 5:19 Jesus stated, “Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” He is referring to our future position in heaven… now before I get ahead of myself I’ll turn to your other question: Romans 9:27. Here, Paul is discussing the fact that God always has a remnant reserved for him. This is a principal continued from the OT; Paul is explaining that God’s promise to Israel has not changed, only due to the Jew’s disobedience it’s been delayed, “until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in” (Rom 11:25).

    Nate, the reason I don’t believe Hebrews 10 is referring to loss of salvation, is because regardless as to who we are we will be judged at the Bema Seat. Those Christians who continuously backslide and shipwreck their faith will be the lowest in heaven. Furthermore, the warning caries an earthly consequence as well; God will remove a Christian from this world who wrecks his faith (see 1 Corinthians 5).

    As for free will, we still have it, and that is why we still sin. This is why Paul discusses the war that continuously rages within us in Romans 7.

    As for giving up our salvation ourselves, I would argue that those people were never truly saved. For if you truly profess faith in Christ, why would you ever willfully give it up? People who appear to live for Christ and then turn away were never Christians.

    Anyway, hope that clarifies my view.


  10. Stewart, my mistake. I meant to refer you to I Corinthians 9:27 instead of Romans. (I don’t have a Bible with me, and my memory is not as good as it once was). Where do you find the scriptures teaching “Faith Alone”? James 2 teaches that is not true. Also, in John 6:29 Jesus said Faith is a work. If you are right that work doesn’t enter into the equation, then faith isn’t necesary either.

    Look at Romans chapter 6. Actually, the first 6 chapters in Romans, where grace is explained, is a good place to start, but he says in chapter 6 that they had obeyed from the heart the doctrine that had been delivered to them and were then made free from sin. They had to do something in order to come in contact with the blood of Christ which cleanses us from sin. I believe we must have faith, but I do not see where the scripture teaches faith alone.

    As for once saved always saved, II Peter chapter 2 teaches that this idea is false. Even Angels are sent to hell when they disobey God. Why would God waste His time in warning us over and over in the New Testament if it wasn’t possible for us to fall away?

    I’ll try to be better prepared to respond in my next reply, but it is obvious we have some fundamental differences to discuss. I am enjoying the discussion, and look forward to more input from you.


  11. Great replies; this is definitely one of the most popular posts I’ve had in a while. 🙂

    Stewart, I’m not sure that Matthew 5:19 is talking about our position in Heaven. That passage is a little confusing, in my opinion, partly because of the heavy reference to the Old Law. I’ll have to study over that some more…

    Anyway, I think one of the differences you and I may be coming to is on what happens when we die. If I understand you correctly, you think that all of those who appear before Christ’s judgment seat are Christians and already saved. Therefore, Christ is merely judging them based on their “rank” or placement in Heaven.

    I disagree. Matthew 25:31-46 says that Christ will judge all nations and will separate them into “sheep” and “goats.” The sheep will inherit the kingdom, while the goats will enter into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. This judgment is something all of us will one day face; those who follow Christ and those who don’t. A reward awaits the faithful, and punishment awaits everyone else.

    Again, I look back to Hebrews 10, and the description of judgment from Matt 25 fits perfectly with “judgment and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.” Those two passages obviously refer to the same thing. But where Hebrews goes further is in telling us that not only will the “adversaries” go there, but so will those who “have been sanctified,” but turned from following after Christ. They were saved, but they cast away their salvation.

    The parable of the Prodigal Son shows us the same thing. The son lived in his father’s house (in other words, he was already in a “right relationship” with God), but he chose to leave the house and live sinfully. He was separated from his father (God) during that time. When he finally came to his senses, he headed for home, hoping to even live as a servant in his father’s house. Of course, when his father saw him coming, he ran out to meet him and accepted him back gladly.

    I think the message of that parable is clear: Even though we might turn from serving God, he is willing to forgive us of anything. While we are living sinfully, we can’t enjoy that same relationship with him, because God can’t abide with sin. But if we repent, he is always willing to welcome us back.

    When I read the Bible, that’s the only conclusion that makes sense to me. I don’t believe that one who is truly saved will never turn away from God. Look at Solomon. God allowed him to build the temple and blessed him with wisdom, riches, and honor because of his dedication to the Lord. But in his old age, his wives turned him after false gods. Can we say he was never truly in a saved relationship with God? If he wasn’t, God wouldn’t have blessed him so richly.

    Look at the example of Saul. God chose him to be king, but he let his power and station tempt him away from God. We can’t say that he was never really committed to God, just because he later turned away.

    I didn’t mean to go on so long, but I also believe that there is more to salvation than just faith. I think Jim was absolutely right (and you probably already knew that based on my baptism post). And his reference to 2 Pet 2, especially verses 20-22 is an excellent point.

    Anyway, I look forward to continuing our discussion, and I’m sorry I went so long on this reply.


  12. By the way, Jim, if you’re ever without your Bible, is a great resource. I think it has every translation of the Bible, and it has great search tools on it. You can search by phrases or important words from a passage, etc. I think the default setting is to the NIV, but you can set it to a different translation, if you prefer.


  13. Jim,
    Salvation by faith alone comes from the following passage:

    Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.”

    Paul directly shoots down any notion that a work of man gains us salvation. As I stated in an above comment, salvation in any age comes through God’s grace. Therefore, there is nothing we can do to acquire salvation. In fact, no man can boast of gaining salvation; it is an act of God alone.

    1 Corinthians 9:27, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” Ok, disqualified from what? Well who is Paul, an apostle of Christ… he is explaining his focus, his strive to do Christ’s will, and the reason why he disciplines himself.

    The key verse in James 2 is, “But someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” James is not saying that salvation comes through works, he is saying that good works are the manifestation of true faith.

    In Peter’s second epistle, the mentioning of angles going to hell has nothing to do with humans. We are a completely different creation, the gift of salvation was never given to angels…

    Jim, I hope that answers your questions.


  14. Nate,
    I just wanted to alleviate some confusion.
    Revelation 20:11-15 is the Judgment, or Bema, Seat of Christ. The whole focus of this judgment (according to 2 Corinthians 5:10 and Romans 14:10) is on human behavior. All of us stand guilty before God and fall short of heaven, it is here where all who don’t know Christ are put out into the lake of fire. It is also were Christians are given their rewards. Read through 1 Corinthians 3:8–14, here Paul teaches believer’s works will be examined and given proper rewards. While salvation does not rest upon good works; our deeds do matter and pertain to our eternal destiny (see Colossians 3:24; Revelation 14:13).

    Hope that clears things up… or maybe it opens another discussion trail. 😀


  15. It does seem to put the final nail in the coffin of once saved always saved. Welcome to the minority position 🙂

    As for claims that this undermines our assurance of salvation- I don’t buy it. We are discussing people here who deliberately reject Christ, not people who merely slip back into a sinful lifestyle (which are those whose works will disappear along with their rewards- but not their salvation).

    After all, isn’t free will big enough to include allowing an individual to change their mind regarding their eternal destination?


  16. Stewart:
    If salvation is by grace only, then faith is excluded also. Further, all mankind will be saved, because Titus 2:11-12 tells us Grace has appeared to all men. Since we both agree faith is a necessarry requirement, then we either misunderstand the passage, or the idea of grace includes something else. Notice in the passage in Titus that Grace teaches us. It teaches us what we are to do and what we are not to do. Does this sound like God doesn’t require anything of us? If you look carefully at the book of Romans, you see that the christians in Rome didn’t really understand grace either. They understood that salvation came by grace, but they thought since it was by grace, they didn’t have to worry about doing anything because God’s grace had them covered. Paul tells them thatthey are wrong, and that they must obey God if they hope to reach heaven.

    Romans 15 and I corinthians 10 tell us that the old testament was written for us to learn from. In dueteronomy, Moses tells the people that God had given them a land to inhabit, but if they didn’t obey Him, He would take it from them. In Hebrews 3 and 4, we are told how the Israelites couldn,t enter the promised land because their faith wasn’t strong enough to cause them to obey God. We are warned tof the same thing in this passage.

    While Epesians 2 does say we are saved by grace, not by works we have done, it is clear, when looking at the context of the whole letter, that God gives us salvation, but we have to obey Him to meet the requirements of the gift. We don’t earn salvation, nor do we deserve it, but as the Israelites of old, we must obey God to receive the promise. Just as faith is a requirement of compliance, so is repentance, Acts 2:38; Confession, Romans 10:9-10; baptism, I Peter 3:21; and living faithfully according to God’s commands. Notice the partial list of the following passages that stress obedience to God. Romans 2:8, Romans 6:16-17, Romans chapter 10, Galatians 3:1, Galations 5:7, Phillipians 2:12, II Thessalonians 1:18, Hebrews 5:9, I Peter 1:22, I Peter 4:17.

    Also, the point of the passage in II Peter where angels are mentioned is that if God didn’t spare them when they were disobedient, then He will not spare us either. If you read the whole passage it becomes clear that God expects us to obey Him, and if we choose not to, He will condemn us to hell.

    James 2 doesn’t say we earn salvation, but we do have to comply with God,s commands to reach heaven. He says in this passage that the devils also believe and tremble-How many devils will be in heaven? Obviously none, so works have some impact on our salvation. Not our own works, but the works God requires of us.


  17. I completely agree with what Jim has said here, and I think he’s said it so well, that I’m not going to try to comment further on it.

    I do think though that our major area of disagreement is in what it takes to be saved. If you don’t believe that actions affect it at all, then you can’t believe that one could fall away by his actions either. Until we can reconcile that difference, it probably will be difficult to come to any agreement on eternal security.

    Welcome to the discussion, TotalTransformation. I agree with your last statement, but I wanted to post some thoughts on a passage that you and Stewart both referred to: 1 Cor 3:5-15.

    Both of you said that this passage meant that one’s works will be judged, but won’t necessarily affect salvation, if they are believers. I don’t really think that’s what this passage is referring to.

    If you look back at verses 5-8, you see that Paul is explaining that the one who preaches the message is unimportant; God is the one who saves, God is the one who supplies growth.

    In verse 9, Paul says that they (the Corinthians) are “God’s field, God’s building.” Preachers, like Paul, are considered the workers. In the next verses, he takes that analogy further by talking about the builders and the kinds of “work” that they might do in “God’s building.” Some will build with gold and precious stones, which can withstand hardships; others will build with wood and hay, which can’t withstand them. What we must remember is that the “works” talked about here are the souls these builders bring to God. Some souls will become strong additions to “God’s building” and will be able to withstand the fire of persecution and trials, while others won’t withstand it and will fall away.

    Therefore, if a builder adds “gold and precious stones,” that’s great! Not only is he working for God by teaching the lost, but he’s winning souls to Christ. If another builder adds “wood and hay,” then the souls he brings to Christ may not last, but he will still be saved because he was still working.

    In other words, this section is very similar to the parable of the talents. The man with 2 talents didn’t have as much to show for his efforts as the man with 5 talents had, but both were considered good servants. Even the one talent man would have been considered a good servant if he had simply used what the master had given him.

    Anyway, I hope that observation has been clear and useful. I look forward to future comments…


  18. Since grace has been given to all men… which we agree on.
    Then grace cannot mean salvation, since we know not all are saved.
    Therefore, grace is specifically the gift of salvation itself… hence, by grace we are saved… grace through faith.
    Yes, I completely agree grace teaches us; specifically how to act. Confused? Think about it this way, grace is the gift of salvation, but it is more than that as well; due to God’s grace humans are brought into salvation through totaling trusting (i.e. faith) Christ. We are given the Holy Spirit as a seal of that salvation (see Ephesians 1:13-14). Are we therefore supposed to squander this gift!? By no means, God’s grace teaches us to live in accordance to His will.

    Christianity is not about a law, its not about strict obedience, and I would go as far as to say this is not taught in the OT either. God has always focused on the heart. Christ came and fulfilled the Law, the Law could never save. No works can save… only by grace are we saved, and grace has come through faith in Christ. It is not about rules, but the heart; always has, is, and will be.

    When Paul talks about obedience it is always coupled with faith… notice Romans 1:5, for obedience to the faith… this statement is Paul’s missionary focus. The idea is, faith begins with obedience, but doesn’t stop there. This obedience is specifically to believing in Christ, nothing more… for anything more would not be faith. Yet, faith is more than obedience and obedience is more than just faith. Thus, the whole idea behind the title to my blog, faith has a cascading effect upon our lives which teaches us not just how to act but foster within us the reasons why we act the way we do. Simply because He died for me, I give my life to him… not as a set of strict rules that I must follow or I will be removed, but as a willful individual who will do anything for his master whom is loved.


  19. Stewart:

    Iam confused. It souds like you are saying that Grace is not salvation, but grace is salvation. This doesn’t make sense to me. I agree that the heart is where it starts for us. In Romans 6 Paul tells the christians in Rome tha t they had “obeyed from the heart”, meaning thy had done what God required in the right way and for the right reasons. To obey means to comply with a directive or command, so the obviously did something God commanded. I agree we should serve God because of what He has done for us, and our love for Him should cause us to want to serve Him, but there are plenty of passages in the new testament that tell us to fear and warn us of the consequences of the failure to serve God acceptably. As far as there not being “rules and regulations” for us to follow, I have to disagree. I will try to make the logical argument based on what you have said. You have said (and I agree) that God requires Faith. If God requires one thing of us, why is it so hard for you to believe He requires other things of us? There are many passages that tell us what we are to do and if we can ignore them and not obey and still be saved, then why would you believe we need Faith? The same bible that tells me to believe also tells me to do other things (some of which i mentioned in earlier comments). How can I expect salvation if I don’t do all God has commanded of me? If I don’t have to do all of it, then I don’t have to do any of it.

    The term “law” typically refers to rules, regulations, commands, etc. The Old Testament is refered to as the Old Law in the New Testament, and we are told that the Old Law didn’t take away sin. However, the New Testament is refered to as the Law of Christ ( Romans 8:2, I Corinthians 9:21, Galations 6:2), which tells us there are rules, regulations, or commands we must follow. I know you really must believe this too, because you recognize that we are commanded to have faith. What you are ignoring are the other commands we have been given which are just as important as faith, and the failure to obey them will keep us out of heaven just as surely as a lack of faith will.


  20. If grace is all that is needed to be saved then do we really need belief or faith? Believing in God and faith in God are actions or works as well. I don’t see how baptism and living according to God’s Word are any more works than belief or faith. (In fact, when someone is baptized it is the one performing the baptism that is doing the actual work, the one being baptized only confesses Christ and allows themselves to be lowered into the water.) How then, are belief, faith, confessing Christ, repenting of sins or even reciting a certain prayer any less actions or works than baptism and then living faithfully unto God? They all require us to do something.

    In Hebrews 11 the great people of faith mentioned all did something else by their faith! They were moved to other actions because of their first action of faith. How then do we separate faith or belief and other actions or works, such as baptism and following God’s Word?


  21. I also want to mention, that I don’t think anyone here is claiming we have to live perfectly in order to be pleasing to God. Often, in a discussion of grace vs action, people seem to take polar positions. One person maintains that we do nothing for salvation, that it is completely by grace, while another person claims that we must live perfectly. Neither stance is correct.

    Look at Jesus’ ministry. He showed compassion toward many that the Pharisees and Jewish leaders of the day would have shunned: prostitutes, tax collectors, beggars, etc. But Jesus tended to be rather harsh with the Pharisees. If both groups were living incorrectly (or sinning), then why did he seem to use different approaches with them?

    I think it was because of the heart. Many of the prostitutes, tax collectors, etc that Jesus spoke to weren’t hypocrites. They knew that what they were doing was wrong, and they were looking for a cure. Nicodemus, who was a Pharisee, was treated kindly by Jesus because he seemed sincere in his search for the truth. The majority of the Pharisees and scribes, however, weren’t seeking after truth. They had chosen a path for themselves and refused to turn off of it, despite all the evidence they were shown. I believe God is willing to be patient with those who sincerely seek after him.

    However, we also need to remember that Jesus never approved of sin. Those same prostitutes and tax collectors were told to repent and sin no more. Sin is never acceptable to God. Where his grace comes in (aside from offering us salvation in the first place) is in bearing with our weaknesses. He knows we can’t serve him perfectly; that’s the very reason Christ came to earth – so he could do it for us. But we must strive to serve him perfectly. When we become aware that we’ve been doing something contrary to his will, then we must change. If we don’t, we become just like the Pharisees.

    Ultimately, God has given us requirements, rules, laws, whatever you want to call them, and he expects us to follow them. He saves us by grace because we don’t deserve salvation, and we certainly can’t earn it. And aside from that, he is longsuffering with us, because he desires “all men to come to repentance” (2 Pet 3:9). If we learn how we can better serve him, or if we learn that we’ve been practicing or believing something incorrectly, we absoultely must change to reflect that. If we don’t, we are worse than an unbeliever because we’ve seen the gift that awaits us, we’ve seen the sacrifice that’s been made for us, and we’ve seen how to serve our Lord and Master even more accurately… but we don’t do it. How can we, who understand the weight of what God offers us, be accepted into heaven, when we turn away from God? That’s exactly what Hebrews 6 and 10 are talking about.


  22. Jim, the only requirement for salvation mentioned in the NT is faith.
    Can you please point out a scripture verse that states we must also do X?

    As for grace, I am saying that salvation is God’s gift of grace… grace itself is not salvation.

    Yes we need faith, just because grace has been given to all men does not automatically mean all men have received grace. Grace has been given to us in the form of Jesus Christ, and it is faith in Him which allows man to receive the gracious gift of salvation.

    This is my whole point, nothing else is required, it truly is that simple. Baptism is not required for salvation and neither is doing good deeds. Romans 4 tells us that Abraham was justified solely by his faith (i.e. his trust in God); circumcision didn’t matter for salvation, Abraham’s willingness to obey God did.

    Clarification: I am not claiming we do nothing to gain salvation, quite the contrary. I am saying that we must accept Christ into our lives, it is faith in Christ that matters; this accepting him into our lives is a huge feat in itself, one that there is no turning back from. As far as works are concerned, I am saying that there is nothing we can do to keep us in His good graces… hence why salvation is called a gracious gift, fir we do not deserve it. Also, this is why I believe grace teaches us to life a life in accordance to His will. If a Christian continuously willfully sins God will often remove them from this earth (but not from salvation, there are just too many passages which teach otherwise). But if a Christian follows God’s Will and places His glory above self, then God will richly bless him in heaven (i.e. this is the storing up of heavenly treasures).

    Also, good thoughts, I see where you are heading. I’ll ask you the same question I posed to Jim though. What other requirements for salvation do you see in the Bible?


  23. Nate: Excellent comments, couldn’t agree more.

    Stewart: Romans 10:9-10 tells us we must confess to have salvation. I peter 3:21 tells us baptism saves us. Matthew 7:21 we must do His will. Jesus said in John 14:15 that if we love Him, we will keep his commands. How many passages will it take to convince you? Can you find a passage that says ‘Faith only” saves? Phillipians 2:12 tells us we are to obey God and work for our salvation. James 2 tells us faith without works is dead, being alone. Does this sound like faith alone saves? I hope you will look at ALL the New Testament has to say about grace, faith, and works. If you do, you will have to agree that while God does His part thru grace to us, He also demands that we do our part thru complying with His commands to the best of our ability.


  24. Stewart,

    I don’t think I can add much to what has already been said about the hebrews passage. However you asked for some NT scriptures that deal with salvation that mention something other that faith being required. I’d like to take some time and share some of those with you along with a breif commentary on the passages. Please take the time to study over the passages listed and get back with me. Sorry for this being so long, but there truely are a lot of scriptures that discuss God’s plan of salvation.

    We must believe the Jesus is the son of God, that He was sent to this earth to take our place, our punishment for our sins. We must believe that He lived a perfect life, was killed and on the third day arose from the grave. Verses that support this:

    John 3:16
    For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

    John 1:12 But to all who have received him–those who believe in his name–he has given the right to become God’s children

    Acts 16:31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved you and your household.”

    There are others, but these three spell it out very simply.

    Once we recognize that we have sin in our life we are told to repent of it. To repent is defined as to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one’s life for the better.

    Acts 3:19
    Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord

    Acts 17:30
    Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent

    2 Cor 7:10
    Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

    Matthew 4:17
    From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near

    Clearly these verse show that repentance is part of the process that leads to salvation.

    We are told rather plainly again that we are to confess our sins and to confess that Jesus is the Christ, that is God’s chosen messiah.

    Romans 10:9-10
    9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    2 Timothy 2:19
    Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.”

    1 John 1:9
    If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness

    Ok so far I’m sure you are with me. Most of us have probably heard these three things your whole lives I know I did. But there is something that has been left out from everything I was taught for some reason. Baptism is the final step in the salvation process; it is incomplete without it. Just as salvation would be incomplete without a confession of Christ or without you repenting of your sins. In fact the Bible says that baptism saves you. (I promise it does) Now I know are probably rolling your eyes right now, but please stop for a moment. Either the Bible supports this position or it doesn’t; it’s that simple and I want to show you how it does.

    Lets start at the beginning to get a bit of a back ground on where baptism gets its roots. In Judaism whenever a gentile person wanted to convert to Judaism there were a few things required of him. One if he was male he was to be circumcised, two they performed a process called t’vilah in which they would be immersed in and out of a mikveh (this was a ritual bath that was supposed to be roughly 200gals and the person was submerged and then lifted out of the water) and thirdly a understanding of Jewish laws and principles must be shown. This Mikveh was basically a Jewish baptistery. It was also used for ceremonial cleansing of things considered unclean. So even in early Judaism we see a form of baptism being used to one bring people into the faith and two cleanse unclean things. Not that the water had special power, but that is what God commanded the Israelites to do to become clean and enter into the Jewish faith.
    Fast-forward to John the Baptist. He is preaching before the start of Jesus’ ministry. John teaches a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins,

    Mark 1:4 John came baptizing in the wilderness and preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.
    Notice this baptism is for the forgiveness (that’s what remission means) of sins.

    Yet he recognizes that his baptism is incomplete, that there is one coming after him that will complete it. It is incomplete because Jesus hasn’t died and risen from the dead yet.

    Mark 1:7 And he preached, saying, “There comes One after me who is mightier than I, whose sandal strap I am not worthy to stoop down and loose. 8 I indeed baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit

    Jesus comes to John to be baptized. John tries to stop him pleading that it was himself that needed to be baptized by Jesus but Jesus rebuked him with this:

    Matthew 3:15 But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit it to be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.

    Did Jesus have any sins that needed to be forgiven, no none at all. He did it to fulfill all righteousness. Jesus is never going to ask us to do anything He didn’t do himself. That’s what makes Jesus such a personal Savoir; He went through everything we will on this earth, even baptism.

    Let us now look at Jesus’ conversation with Nichodemus. Nichodemus was a Pharisee one of the rulers/overseers/teachers of the Jewish faith. Nichodemus comes to Jesus at night with some very important questions and Jesus gets right to the point with the man.

    John 3:1-2 There was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You are a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”
    Nic points out that the Pharisees realize that Jesus has come from God, but he has come to Jesus in the cloak of darkness so the others won’t see him. Jesus doesn’t even give him a chance for small talk He tells Nic: vs 3“Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” This confuses Nic a little bit, and then Jesus clarifies Himself vs 5” Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Lets stop here and discuss a few things. This being born of the water and the Spirit is talking of baptism. Remember Nicodemus is a Pharisee, an expert in Jewish laws and customs; he most assuredly would be familiar with the t’vilah that we discussed earlier. Also at this time John the Baptist had been making a huge fuss with the Pharisees over the baptism he was teaching. This being born of water does not refer to natural child birth. First of all it makes no sense. Jesus gave Nicodemus a sentence with qualifer and a promise. It would make no sense for one of the qualifiers to be something that every person on earth has done, then it by deffinition is no longer a qualifer. If I told you that you could be a part of my club if you were born and if you could count to 100, would that first part make any sense to you. Also look at it this way: if you have to be born naturally as part of the requirements to enter the kingdom of God, what about babies that die in their mother’s womb. Do they go to hell becauce they didn’t get to be born? Of course not, those babies are sinless and go to heaven. This is another reason that makes the idea of Jesus making natural birth one of his prerequistes to enter His kingdom not hold water.

    Lets move one to
    Mark 16:16
    “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
    Ok lets take the emotion out of this and make it a simple logic sentence:

    If ‘A’ and ‘B’ then ‘C’. BUT If not ‘A’ then Not ‘C’.

    1.) This states their are two qualifiers (‘A’ & ‘B’) that must be met to achieve ‘C’.
    2.) This also states that if ‘A’ is not met, ‘C’ cannot be achieved.
    3.) The second sentence says nothing about what happens if ‘B’ isn’t met, yet this is irrelevant due to the fact that in the first sentence to acquire ‘C’ BOTH ‘A’ and ‘B’ must be met.

    So by using simple logic and Jesus’ own words, yes baptism is required for salvation

    How many of us have sat in a church service and heard the sinner’s prayer. This set of words we are supposed to say to become a Christian. Something along the lines of

    ‘Dear God, I realize that I have sinned and that my sin separates me from you. I believe that you sent Jesus to take my punishment for my sins and that he was crucified and raised from the dead on the third day. Lord I’m sorry for my sins and ask you to forgive me and make me a new creature. I claim the salvation that you offer in Christ and commit my life to you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.’

    And then bam you’re a Christian and saved from your sins. Do you realize nowhere in the bible is this example given? Nowhere do you find someone doing this and then being called a Christian? Let’s take a look at the first message that was preached to a group of people by the disciples. Lets take a look at what they told the masses that was required of them to do to be saved. Instead of quoting the whole first part of Acts Chapter 2 realize that Peter had just preached to a crowd who Jesus was, and what He did on the cross. Using some of the Old Testament to prove that Jesus was the Christ.

    Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?”

    The people were cut to the heart and Peter was very direct with what he told them to do.

    Acts 2:38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit

    Please lets take it straight from the word of God and not what we have been taught our whole lives. Whose name are we baptized into? Jesus Christ. What are we baptized for? The remission (forgiveness) of sins. And what shall you receive? The gift of the Holy Spirit. Stop and compare this to Jesus’ words in John 3.

    Lets skip forward a little in Acts to the story of Phillip and the Ethiopian Its is found in Acts 8 26-38 to keep things short I’m going to paraphrase the first part. Phillip is told to go into the desert by an angel of the Lord. He goes and finds an Ethiopian going down the road in a chariot reading from Isaiah. We will pick up in verse 30:
    So Philip ran to him, and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah, and said, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
    And he said, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he asked Philip to come up and sit with him. The place in the Scripture which he read was this:
    “ He was led as a sheep to the slaughter;
    And as a lamb before its shearer is silent,
    So He opened not His mouth.
    In His humiliation His justice was taken away,
    And who will declare His generation?
    For His life is taken from the earth.”[a]
    So the eunuch answered Philip and said, “I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?” Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?”
    Now at this point all we know is that Phillip preached Jesus to him. Whatever preaching Jesus entailed the Ethiopian felt a strong desire to be immediately baptized. What was Phillips response?

    Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”
    And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”[b]
    So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.

    Notice that the Ethiopian Eunuch needed someone to explain to him the scriptures and give him instruction. The Bible simply says Philip “preached to him Jesus”. It does not record his actual words. But the eunuch who understood nothing before Philip taught him, responded by asking to be baptized. This directly implies Philip taught him about baptism and baptism was a part of Philip’s message in “preaching Jesus.” Notice also that both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water. And they came up out of the water. Philip did not “sprinkle” him. Philip fully immersed the eunuch in physical water.

    How about Paul and his conversion? What can this teach us about baptism and what it does? Lets take a look at the story of his encounter with our Lord on the road to Damascus.

    Acts 22: 6-16
    Now it happened, as I journeyed and came near Damascus at about noon, suddenly a great light from heaven shone around me. 7 And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ 8 So I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’
    9 “And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid,[a] but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. 10 So I said, ‘What shall I do, Lord?’ And the Lord said to me, ‘Arise and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all things which are appointed for you to do.’ 11 And since I could not see for the glory of that light, being led by the hand of those who were with me, I came into Damascus.
    12 “Then a certain Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good testimony with all the Jews who dwelt there, 13 came to me; and he stood and said to me, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight.’ And at that same hour I looked up at him. 14 Then he said, ‘The God of our fathers has chosen you that you should know His will, and see the Just One, and hear the voice of His mouth. 15 For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard. 16 And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’

    There is a very subtle truth hidden in these verses that I had looked over in the past. Saul comes face to face with the Lord Jesus Christ. He realizes all that he has done has been so very wrong. He is told that he is to go into a city and wait to be told what he must do. For three days Paul fasts and prays (Acts 9). He meets Jesus face to face, obviously he believes that He is the Christ. For three days he fasts and prays blind. I’m sure he was begging for forgiveness for all the horrible things he had done as a persecutor of the Church. So here he is, he has faith, I’m sure he’s asked for forgiveness, yet what do Ananias tell him he must do? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.’ Don’t you see, he still had sin! And the only way to wash that sin away was to be baptized.

    Lets read a little more about what baptism does for us from Paul in the book of Romans

    Romans 6: 3-8
    Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
    5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. 7 For he who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

    Ok, another question and answer time.
    What are we baptized into? Christ Jesus and His death.
    Therefore how were we buried with Him? Through baptism into death and likewise we are raised into a newness of life by the Father through this baptism. Look at verse 5, ‘for if we have been united together in the likeness of His death (we just saw this is done through baptism) then certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection.” The body of sin is done away with through baptism (this death figure mentioned in verse 3 &4) that we should no longer be slaves of sin. Take a strong look at verse 8 Now if we died with Christ, (which in verses 3& 4 it says we do through baptism, not anything else), then we believe that we shall also live with Him.

    Titus 3:4-5
    But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

    How does God save us? Through the washing of regeneration, regeneration means new life. Doesn’t Romans 6 paint a picture of us dying to an old life and being buried through baptism to be raised into a new life? Doesn’t this washing insinuate baptism?

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11
    Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived, neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    Again here is another verse that talks of this washing away of sin. The same way Paul was told to “Arise, and be baptized and wash away your sins” Very similar to the way Peter instructed to the people to “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission (forgiveness)of sins”

    I know you are probably thinking that it would be great if the bible just said that baptism saves you. That would be a simple command that we could follow right? Well it does.

    1 Pet 3:20b-21
    in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. 21 There is also an antitype, which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ,

    That’s right baptism saves us. Not by some special washing of your body, not by some work we do, but by us doing what God has told us to, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Baptism isn’t a work we do, really someone else is baptizing you. You chose to believe in Christ, You chose to confess Him, You repent of your sin, which requires a turning around of your life, and You can chose to be baptized. All these things have to fit together or we might as well throw the bible out.


  25. Wow! We’ve had quite a bit of typing!

    I have to agree with what Matt and Jim have said on which things are also required of us to gain salvation. Faith, confession, repentance, baptism, and remaining faithful are all spoken of as having a direct relationship with our salvation, even though it’s God’s grace that actually saves us. I can give you some passages, if you like, but I think Jim and Matt have supplied quite a few for now.

    I wanted to comment on this statement that you made:
    If a Christian continuously willfully sins God will often remove them from this earth (but not from salvation, there are just too many passages which teach otherwise). But if a Christian follows God’s Will and places His glory above self, then God will richly bless him in heaven (i.e. this is the storing up of heavenly treasures).

    Your second sentence is one that I agree with strongly, although I think heaven itself is the blessing we’ll receive if we serve God and put his will above our own, not that we’ll necessarily have a better spot in heaven than someone else. The impression I have of heaven is that it’s a place that transcends “levels,” or “class,” or “station,” for lack of better terms.

    Anyway, I was hoping you could explain further your idea that God might remove one who has fallen away from the earth, but not from salvation. Could you point to some passages that might illuminate that further?



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