Hebrews 10:15-26, Life, Liberty and Pursuit

[15]But the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us; for after He had said before,
[16]This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the LORD:  I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,”   [17]Then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”  [18]Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
[19]Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, [20]by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,  [21]and having a High Priest over the house of God [22]let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  [23]Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.  [24]And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, [25]not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (NKJV)

In our last posts, we have seen that the First Covenant was a two-fold preparation for the New Covenant.

1. with reference to the people – to show them that sinful men and women cannot come into the presence of a holy God on the basis of their own merit or works.  The OT sacrifices were designed to teach the truth of salvation by substitution and sacrifice.  The animal substitute took the place of the Israelite sinner.  The animal was physically perfect, the Israelite spiritually blemished and imperfect.  The animal died, the Israelite lived.

2. with reference to God – the OT period was a time in which God prepared the effectual sacrifice to which all the OT sacrifices pointed – the physical body of the Lord Jesus.  His is the only sacrifice which could – and did – take away sins.
As we look at the text for this post, we see three things:

1.  the liberty we have to approach God, vs. 15-21.
2.  the life we are to lead before God, vs. 22-25.
3.  the lesson we must pay attention to about God, v. 26.

1. Liberty, 10:15-21.

Since we’ve already dealt with these at length, we’ll only mention a couple of things.
God’s covenant, vs. 15-18.  This is God’s promise to do a work in His people, v. 16, as well as for them, vs. 17, 18.
Jesus’ person and work, v. 19-21.  This with particular reference to His sacrifice for sin, vs. 19, 20, and His priesthood “over the house of God,” v. 21.  Only by the grace of God and never by human initiative, merit or effort do we ever have an audience with or blessing from God, vs. 19, 20.

2. Life, 10:22-25.

Let us draw near,” v. 22.  Let us use and enjoy that inestimable privilege of coming into God’s presence, a privilege not given to any other people under heaven.  There are, however, certain requirements which come with the exercise of this privilege:
1. “a true heart” – a heart in which God has worked, v. 16.  A heart God has cleansed.  A heart in which God’s word is preeminent.  A heart (and mind) in which God has written His word, according to the promises of the New Covenant.  A heart not taken with the things of this world, but living with eternity in view.
It’s often charged that the view espoused by this blog and those who agree with it, that we are guilty of “antinomianism,” that is, we teach that one can live like they want to, without regard for what God says.  Unfortunately, there are those who live like that as a result of what they call “salvation by grace.”  However, this isn’t what is meant at all.  As we’ve mentioned before, the OT Law was an external code, though it did deal with such things as envy and covetousness, and our relationships with others.  And if you want to include the entire code as expressed in Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, and not just a few verses in Exodus – may I just say that there is a great deal more “justice” – how we’re to deal with and treat others – in those pages that in most of what passes for it today in our legal system.  But that’s probably another series of posts.
The New Covenant deals with what we are.  The Old Covenant dealt mostly with what Israel did. As we’ve seen, the Old Covenant had no provision of “assistance” in obeying it, Deuteronomy 29:4.  The New Covenant says that believers are God’s workmanship, Ephesians 2:10, and we are given the Holy Spirit to make sure there’s some evidence of that.
2. “full assurance of faith.”  This is not the same thing as “assurance of salvation,” the current way of putting things.  The Puritans understood this, as well, that if a person has faith, he is saved.  They were concerned with the “assurance of faith.”  Faith is the means of salvation.  Too often, we think of “being saved” as something else.
For example, a couple from a local church visited us.  The lady in particular was interested in witnessing to us.  My side of the conversation echoed what I post on this blog, that the focus of our being saved isn’t about what we do, but about what the Lord Jesus did for sinners on the Cross.  I appreciate her concern and her effort, but I might as well have been talking to the chair she sat on.  Before they left, she was very concerned about whether or not I had “prayed the prayer.”  Her entire focus was on what I had done, not on the Lord Jesus.  But I suppose that’s to be expected in a culture in which it’s believed that “God’s done all He can do, and now it’s up to you.”

According to the writer, what exactly is “full assurance of faith”?  He lists a couple of things:
1.  our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience.  During various OT rituals, “the water of purification” was sprinkled over people and things.  This cleansed them ceremonially, but really did nothing about their sins or their sinfulness.  But the OT also prophesies of a time when God will cleanse Israel of her filthiness and her idols and put a new heart and spirit within her, Ezekiel 36:25, 26.  This will be as a result of the one sacrifice of the Lord Jesus.  Believers enter into this by grace, knowing that our sins were once and forever taken care of on the Cross, and that we ourselves have been “born again.”
2.  our bodies washed with pure water.  In other words, obedience in baptism.  And apparently more is required than just a drop or two of water on an unknowing infant’s forehead: bodies washed with pure water.  The Lord commanded believer’s baptism in Matthew 28:18-20.  The apostles and disciples baptized only believers.  Even in “household” baptisms, it’s evident that the word was first preached and then those who believed were baptized.  There’s a lot of assumption that in some of these households, there must have been infants – and the assumption is that these were baptized along with the rest of the household.  I’ve dealt with all this before in my series on infant baptism – if you’re interested, you can go there:  https://nightlightblogdotcom.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/infant-baptism-a-study-in-three-parts-the-great-commission-and-apostolic-practice/ (This will take you to the first of the three studies.)
We grant that historically, and even in many places today, to be baptized was and is an invitation to persecution and even death.  But our Lord has something to say about those who don’t love their life even to the extent of being willing to die, Mark 8:35; Revelation 12:11.  Hebrews was written to a people for whom the ordinance of baptism was a clear break with everything in their past.
Baptism was never meant simply to be the subject of debate.  It was meant to be the first step of obedience in a believer’s life.  It was the first step in a changed life.

Let us hold fast“, v. 23.  Wait a minute!  Doesn’t this verse contradict v. 22?  How can we have “full assurance” if we have to “hold fast”?  After all, aren’t we just supposed to “let go and let God”?
Not at all.  That heart and life in which God has worked, v. 16, will hold onto God, cf. John 6:66-68.  See also 1 Timothy 6:12.  V. 23 draws our attention to the faithfulness of God.  Our “assurance” is not that we’ll be saved if we’re “faithful to the end.”  Our assurance, based on vs. 16-18, is that if God has worked in our hearts and lives to bring us to Jesus Christ and has made His word real and precious to us – our assurance in such a case is that we will be saved because God is faithful.  We couldn’t keep ourselves saved for five minutes!  Hold fast our profession of faith in God, not in ourselves!

Let us consider one another“, vs. 24.  The problem with having to “hold on faithful to the end” is that we’re always thinking about ourselves.  Have we been “good enough”?  Have we “done” enough?  But this verse shows us that we’re not to be “self-centered,” but “saint-centered”.
Vs. 24, 25 give a good description of Christian love.  It’s not a “hands-off, pat-you-on-the back” regardless of how you live or what you believe.  True love cares enough to confront those things which are not in line with Scripture.  In the culture in which we live, this has become vitally important.  Today it’s all about “inter-faith” dialogue and cooperation.  This is simply the fruition of the “ecumenical movement” begun decades ago.  Paul addressed this situation in a church which prided itself on its “tolerance:” Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.  For what fellowship [interests-in-common] has righteousness with lawlessness?  And what communion has light with darkness?  And what accord has Christ with Belial?  Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:14, 15.  How can those who say they believe in the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus “cooperate” with those which deny Him or teach that the Cross is a “monstrous falsehood”?

3. Pursuit, v. 26.

 Without wishing to lapse into the heresy that salvation can be lost, let us at the same time strongly emphasize the Biblical teaching that grave responsibilities are entered into by those who profess the name of the Lord Jesus.  We are dealing with eternal issues in Christianity, issues which will save or damn men’s souls.  It is never just a matter of opinion: “That’s what you believe,” or “It doesn’t matter what you believe.”  Nor is it simply a matter of opportunity:  “Well, yes, I believe in Jesus, but there are too many other things I have to take care of.”  Christianity is a matter of “orthodoxy,” which is not what the church or scholars or theologians say it is, but what God says it is.  It’s not about this or that “church” or this or that denomination.

And “orthodoxy” contains serious warnings.  There is one in v. 26.

Verse 26 follows v. 25 and shows that “forsaking the assembly” isn’t about an occasional absence from church.  It refers to a habitual and deliberate turning away from the church.  However, this is more than just about church “attendance.”  The warnings in Hebrews are connected and cumulative.  The first warning deals with “drifting” with regard to the Word of God.  Hebrews warns against a casual and complacent attitude toward the truths of Scripture, something which even “churches” are capable of, and guilty of.  Too many are concerned more with personalities or programs than they are with the proclamation of the truths of God Word.  The danger of such “drifting” is that it leads to damnation, as we see here.  We’re not talking about the loss of salvation.  The person or church which develops a “take-it-or-leave-it ” attitude with reference to the teachings of God’s Word gives evidence that they were never His to begin with.

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Hebrews 6:1-8, “Falling Away”

[1]Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, [2]of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.  [3]And this we will do, if God permits.
[4]For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of 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, [6]if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. (NKJV)

Chapter 6 builds upon 5:12-14.  It doesn’t occur in a vacuum, irrespective of what has gone before, or what will come after.  As we’ve seen, the writer has turned aside for a moment to remind his readers, including us, that “the faith” isn’t merely an exercise in certain historic facts and doctrinal truths, but rather that these facts and truths are intended to have a radical and permanent effect in the hearts and lives of sinful men and women.  They’re intended to bring such folks from cursing to blessing – from slavery to sonship – from being foreigners to being “family”.

The writer has contrasted where they are with where they ought to be; that when they should be “teachers,” that is, reaching out and helping others to understand spiritual truth, they themselves are in need of “teaching.”  They are still “on the bottle,” as it were, still in spiritual infancy.

6:1, “therefore” continues his exhortation and admonition.

An Exhortation, 6:1-3.

These believers were to “go on,” to advance, to progress, not “start over.”  True, they weren’t where they were supposed to be, but the answer was not to go back to the beginning, not to “get saved” all over again, not to “rededicate” themselves, but to “go on” from where they were.
In vs. 1a-2, it’s necessary to remember the context of the book – a contrast between the Old and the New:  to show the inability of the Old compared with the efficacy of the New.  Cf. 8:7, 8.
1.  “dead works” – not “sins” – the OT sacrificial and ceremonial system, 4:10.
2.  “faith toward God,” that the Mosaic system is no longer operative, but that God has “provided for Himself a lamb,” (Genesis 22:8).
3.  “baptisms” – washings, Leviticus 15:13 with other OT references either to bathing or washing and being clean.
4.  “laying on of hands” – Leviticus 1:4: identification with OT sacrifices.  The OT Jew, in bringing a sacrifice to the altar, would lay his hand on the head of the animal.  This signified that he himself deserved to die because of his sin, but was able to live because of the death of an innocent substitute.  Thus was pictured salvation by substitution and sacrifice, which was ultimately, finally and completely fulfilled in the substitutionary death of the Lord Jesus.  In this Christmas season, we might remember that the cradle wasn’t the reason the Lord Jesus came into this world.  He came to die, in order that we through Him might live.

An Explanation, 6:4-6.

Much discussion of these verses centers on whether or not the writer is thinking of “true” Christians.  Without getting into all the various arguments pro and con, it seems to me that verse 6 establishes beyond doubt that the writer is thinking of “true” Christians.  He describes them as having been “renewed unto repentance.”  This is not a description of one who is still “dead in trespasses and sins.”  He also describes them as having been “partakers of the Holy Spirit.”
But what is the writer teaching in these verse?  This is a question of paramount importance.  Some folks never get beyond the first five words of v. 6, “…if they shall fall away,…” and conclude, sometimes quite vehemently, that Christians can indeed lose their salvation, and that “eternal security” is a doctrine from the pit.  I had a Boston Church of Christ elder once tell me that he believed that one could be child of God and still end up in hell.

“If they shall fall away.”  This isn’t to be taken as “when” or “since.”  There is no “if” in the original language.  We might translate the verse like this:

“For [it is] impossible, those once enlightened, who tasted of the heavenly gift and became partakers of the Holy Spirit, and tasted the good word of God and [the] works of power of [the] age to come and [who] fell away, again to renew [them] to repentance, crucifying for themselves [as they do] the Son of God, and exposing [Him] publicly.”

For these people, the “falling away” is as real as any of the other things said about them.  Is the writer thus teaching that it is possible to fall away and lose your salvation??  We don’t think so, primarily of what else is said of these people.  Those groups who believe that you can lose your salvation also believe that you can be “born again” or “saved” again.  I have heard of some who claim to have been saved several times.

However –

If verses 4-6 actually teach that you can lose your salvation, it also teaches something else:

IF YOU CAN LOSE YOUR SALVATION……

YOU CAN NEVER EVER GET IT BACK!!

I can’t put it any more plainly than the writer did; if those truly saved can lose their salvation, then, in the words of vs. 4, 6, it is impossible…to renew them again to repentance (emphasis added).

There are at least two results to the teaching that Hebrews 6:4-6 teaches the loss of salvation.
1.  a superficial view of sin and the innate sinfulness of human nature.  The logical result of this view is “sinless perfection,” for anything less than that opens us up to the danger of losing our salvation.  How much “sin” is “too much”?  After all, it was a minor sin, as we look at such things – the eating of a fruit – that caused Adam and Eve to lose their place in the Garden of Eden and brought into the world all the terrible things that have happened since then.
Even those who believe that they have been “entirely sanctified” recognize that they aren’t perfect, but this is just looked upon as “making mistakes,” hence, sin is minimized and so also in “holiness.”
2.  a superficial view of salvation.  There is no understanding of what salvation is, this being “saved,” then “lost,” then being “saved” again, only to repeat the cycle who knows how many times.
Salvation is a life-changing, nay, it is a life-giving work of the Holy Spirit.  “Being saved” isn’t just the result of some little ritual or ceremony in or of the church, with God passively standing around until we “do our part.”  It is ultimately the work of the Triune God, initiating and completing that work.  True, we must and do believe in order to be saved, but without the working of the Holy Spirit, we have neither the desire nor capability to do so.

One question remains:  why would it be impossible to be “saved” more than once?

It’s impossible to be saved more than once because such a thing would mean that we say, in effect, that the death of Christ was a failure, and that we turn our back on it.  It’s impossible to be saved more than once because God will not permit such an insult to His Son, as the following verses teach.

We have such a superficial view of God in our time.  We pretty much seem to have an idea to the effect that God has to wait on the sidelines of His own creation until we decide to send Him into the game.

There’s a meme I see on facebook every so often that boldly proclaims, “If it’s not in the word of God, it’s not the will of God.”  It gets a lot of “likes”.  Leaving aside the fact that almost nothing in our modern society is mentioned in the Bible: computers, the internet, cars, fancy church buildings with padded pews and air conditioning, etc, this is not how Scripture views things.  It says that God works all things after the counsel of His will, Ephesians 1:11.

Scripture teaches that He superintends and oversees every part of our existence.  That’s hard for some people to accept, but Daniel told a wicked, idolatrous king that even his very breath was in the hand of God, Daniel 5:23, and that God “owned” all his ways.  Then there’s what Joseph told his brothers when the evil of what they had done to him had become known and their father was dead, and the brothers had come to Joseph to beg him not to “get” them:  “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant if for good…,” Genesis 50:20.  These verses don’t mean that God approved or accepted what they did, but simply that they didn’t catch Him off-guard or cause Him to have to go to some imagined “Plan B.”

If I can use a hackneyed phrase:  God “sees the big picture” – which He Himself is painting.  We see only an occasional brush-stroke.  Even our growth in the faith is subject to the will of God, v. 3:  this we will do, if God permit.  But this does not release us from the obligation to be diligent, v. 11, in the things of God.  The writer has much more to say about all this as he goes along.

An Example, vs. 7, 8.

Even in farming, fertile and productive land receives blessing from God, but if it bears thorns, it is rejected…, v. 7.  To “bear” the thorns of unbelief and rejection of Christ means that we, in turn, would be rejected.

There is so much to the Christian life.  This is what the writer to the Hebrews wanted his readers to realize.  I think he would want that for us, too.

Hebrews 6:4-6: Putting Christ To An Open Shame

[This is the third of 3 projected posts]

In the first post, we saw that, in the phrase if they fall away, the writer wasn’t teaching that Christians could lose their salvation.

In the second post, we saw that the context of Hebrews 6:4-6 deals with the idea that the Christian life is just that: life, and, as such, has the expectation of growth and development into maturity.

There is much more that could be said about these verses.  For instance, even though Christians truly saved cannot lose their salvation, there are many, not truly saved, who do leave “the faith.”  This is evidence they were never saved to begin with, cf. 1 John 2:19.  The writer does have a little to say about them in Hebrews 6:7, 8.

That, however, isn’t the subject for this post.  It’s found in the last part of v. 6.

Thinking about it, I’m not sure that I even know how to write about this idea that the death of Christ on the Cross could somehow be turned into something that shames Him.

But that’s what the writer says – and why it is impossible to be saved a “second” time, …or a third, …or a fourth, because

they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” 

“Put Him to shame,” because one for whom He died, and whom, it is said, He saved through faith, is, nevertheless, lost.  In other words, He failed.

How could this even be considered as a possibility?

It seems to me that even the idea that one could lose his or her salvation, let alone any such thing actually happening – even the very idea that anyone could lose their salvation is highly dishonoring to our Lord and puts Him to an open shame.

Hebrews 6:4-6: A Different View

[Post 2 of three projected posts]

In our first post, we looked at the idea that these verses teach that one can lose his or her salvation.  This view is based on the words, “if they fall away,” which is taken to mean that one who is truly saved, can “fall away” and ultimately be lost.  I had a Boston Church of Christ elder tell me that he believed that one could be a child of God and be in hell at the same time.

We examined that view.  However, those verses clearly state that if one could lose salvation, he or she could not be saved again.  Such a thing is impossible.

Well, then, if the writer wasn’t teaching the loss of salvation truly had, what was he teaching?

In the study of any Scripture, there are three things to keep in mind:
1.  context.
2.  context.
3.  context.

Kind of like the old saying that the three important things in real estate are location, location, location.

However, this is much more serious than that somewhat light-hearted, though often true, statement.

There really are three things to consider in “context.”

1.  What does the verse actually say?
This probably has more to do with “content,” but still is in the context of what the verse actually says.  We saw that in the first post.

2.  What does the surrounding context say?
That is, what do the verses around a particular verse say.  What does the paragraph or chapter say?  On this, remember that verse, paragraph and chapter divisions are not “inspired” by the Holy Spirit.  While perhaps making the study of Scripture “easier,” they often obscure the meaning because they break up the writer’s thought in ways that it shouldn’t be broken up.

3.  What does the Bible itself say?
That is, what is the teaching of the entire Bible on a given subject?  One or two verses on any subject cannot and do not give us a complete understanding of that subject.  John 3:16 isn’t all the Bible says about the love of God.  Ephesians 1:4 isn’t all the Bible says about election.  Acts 2:38 isn’t all the Bible says about baptism.  Acts 2:4 isn’t all the Bible says about the ministry of the Holy Spirit and tongues.  Matthew 7:1 isn’t all the Bible says about “judging”.  Etc., etc.

So.

What is the “context” of Hebrews 6:4-6?

Though it’s recipients aren’t named, it’s apparent that the book was written to Jewish Christians, who would have understood all the Old Testament references in the book.  These Hebrew believers were apparently suffering persecution because of their faith.  The Temple was still standing in Jerusalem and the sacrificial system was still being followed.  These believers were being tempted to desert Christ and go back to their old religion, to the old way of doing things.

The Book of Hebrews warns them not to do that.

Further, in 5:11 (NKJV), the writer sort of scolds them for not having matured to the point where he could teach them some things hard to explain.  He told them that they really needed to be taught the first principles of the oracles of God, v. 12, though they had been saved long enough that, he wrote, by this time you ought to be teachers, v. 12.

“First principles” are those things which a person just saved or just coming to salvation begins to understand.

However, the writer doesn’t take them back to those things.  In 6:1, he begins …leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection [maturity], NOT LAYING AGAIN THE FOUNDATION OF REPENTANCE FROM DEAD WORKS AND OF FAITH TOWARD GOD [emphasis added].

In other words, he doesn’t take them back to the point of their first being saved.  He wants them to “go on,” not “start over.”

Then

in v. 3, he makes a startling statement: and this we will do if God permits.

A lot of people seem to treat salvation kind of like a hat.  You put it on and if the wind blows it off, you just retrieve it and put it back on.  So, they “get saved” and if they “lose” it, they’ll just “get saved again.”  However, the salvation of our souls is a lot more serious than that.  Our “advancement” in the things of God, even our very entrance into them, is in the hands of God.  It’s not something to be thought of lightly or taken for granted.

You see, salvation is indeed “of grace,” so that no one need despair.  However, It is of “sovereign grace,” so that no one dare presume.

Then,

v.4, For it is impossible….

The reason the writer didn’t “take them back” is because that’s impossible.  There is no “redo” in salvation.  There is only “forward”.

Our Lord spoke of the new birth.  Both testaments say that the just shall live by faith, Habakkuk 2:4; Romans 1:17.  But life is more than just about “birth,” though that’s obviously essential.  My wife and I are looking forward, next Tuesday, Lord willing, to flying to Montana to meet our new granddaughter, who has just been born.  We’ll also see her big brother, whom we have met.  But he won’t be just a new baby.  He’s about three years old.  He’s grown.

Our other grandchildren were once just babies.  But now two of the boys are teenagers and the others aren’t far behind.  I kid my daughter that in 10 years or so, she can look forward to being a grandmother. 🙂  I hope mom and I are still around to see that.

They’ve all grown.

Birth.

Life.

Growth.

The writer to the Hebrews tells his readers that they’re not still to be “newborns,” they’re supposed to grow, develop, mature.

In the context of Hebrews, “falling away” isn’t about denying the Lord, or of walking away from the things of God.  It’s about “standing still,” not progressing, not growing, not “living.”  We might paraphrase it as “falling by the wayside.”

The writer told his readers,

“It’s time to grow up.”

Hebrews 6:4-6, “…if they fall away….”

[Note: Because this is such a controversial portion of Scripture, this post is the first of three projected, Lord willing, posts on these verses and what they actually teach.]

Apparently, these four words out of the 67 which make up vs. 4-6 (NKJV) are the only ones many people read.  Having done so, they exclaim, “Aha, you can lose your salvation; the Bible says you can ‘fall away’.”  Then they go on to berate the “devil’s doctrine of eternal security”.

Some of these folks say that they’ve been saved…several times.

Without getting into the discussion about whether or not the author is referring to “real” Christians, let’s just simply say that if the writer is saying that Christians can lose their salvation, he also says something else.

If you can lose it, it is impossible to get it back.  The writer says of the people he describes in vs. 4-6, …it is impossible …, if they fall away, TO RENEW THEM AGAIN TO REPENTANCE,… (emphasis added).

In other words, THERE IS NO SAVED, THEN LOST, THEN SAVED AGAIN.  Such a thing is impossible.

Why is it impossible to be saved, lost, and saved again?

It is impossible because of what it took to get us saved in the first place!!

If we can lose our salvation, then that means that all the things it took to get us saved in the first place DIDN’T WORK!!

We have such loose and fuzzy ideas about what the Lord Jesus did on the Cross that it’s a wonder anybody is saved at all.  Current thinking seems to be that Jesus just made it possible for men and women to be saved; His death doesn’t actually accomplish anything until we ratify it by our “accepting” it.  We “let” God save us.  We’re the ones who actually make it happen.  

Isn’t that the gist of what is taught in the majority of pulpits – if it’s taught at all, and not just some “self-help”, feel-good-about-yourself drivel?

However, the death of Christ actually paid the penalty for our sins.  He satisfied God’s justice.  Before that, He lived a life of perfect holiness and righteousness, which is imputed to those who believe on Him, because they have no such holiness and righteousness of their own.  In order to be able to do that, He had to be born into this world.  In order to do that, He had to lay aside the glory and majesty and power that was His as the Word and be conceived in the womb of a virgin so that He could live a sinless and holy life.

God raised Him from the dead to show that He was who He claimed to be – that is, the Son of God, and that He had indeed accomplished redemption for those whom He came to save.

The Holy Spirit takes what the Bible says about the work of the Son and uses it to bring a dead sinner to life, to bring that sinner to a place of repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus.  In other words, He regenerates the sinner and we see the evidence of that in that person’s faith.

It takes the combined “effort” of the Trinity, if I can put it like that, for a sinner to be saved.  If that sinner can “lose” or just throw away that salvation, then all that is in vain.  It didn’t work.  God’s not going to go through all that again just so someone can be “saved again.”  He’s not going to put His Son through the agony of the Cross a second time.  It didn’t “work” the first time.  Why would it be any more effective a second time?

Do you REALLY want your salvation to depend on YOUR faithfulness?

‘Cause if you lose it – you can’t get it back.

Do you really want to go there?