The Weekend Word

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344 Responses

  1. Jean says:

    Good segment MLD.

  2. Em says:

    ” For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance,…”
    for me the key here is “tasted” (using my understanding of the English) as that could be O.T. experience, also, could it not?
    “since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”
    we apply this to the present day Believer and say, uh – oh… you can’t be a ‘backslider’ and return to the Faith… but somehow the whole idea of ‘born again’ falls by the wayside… can’t one taste without (ahem) swallowing?
    not teaching, just wondering – the process from spiritual birth/rebirth to eternal salvation

  3. em, again I would point you to the 2 voices of God. As I pointed out, does God speak to “them” in his law and to “us” in his gospel?

    “and then have fallen away,” – If this is truly an unbeliever, what has he fallen away from … his unbelief?

    Also, you wonder about the “believer backslider” not being able to return to faith – so if an unbeliever says “nah, I don’t buy it.” he doesn’t have any other opportunity to “hear it again”?

  4. Jean says:

    Em,

    The expression “tasted” does not in this letter mean “taste without swallowing”, although your question is well taken based on modern usage. The other place in the letter where the author used the word “taste” is 2:9:

    “But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels, namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”

    Everyone would agree that when Jesus tasted death, it was a full swallow. Therefore, I do not read “tasted” in chapter six as in some sense a sampling.

  5. My comment on 2:9 when we discussed it was;
    “What was in the cup? Death!! Jesus did not just sip at this cup – he gulped it down – he gulped down death for all.”

  6. Babylon's Dread says:

    I should have been weighing in on this stuff but life has swallowed me. 😉

    This is so well done. Thank you Michael.

    For me the text becomes easy when you let it speak instead of coming to the text with your dogmas. Some Hebrews were contemplating abandoning their faith. This is not a group of people who are falling into sins of the flesh. This is people who came to Christ and then the pressures and troubles and trials made them contemplate returning to their former Judaism.

    I agree that tasted means fully received it does not mean flavored their palate. The former use of ‘tasted death for everyone’ is definitive.

    Law was Moses and Gospel is Jesus… hearing the voice is hearing the good news.

    The hardest part of this text is the part that appears to say the ones who reject the heavenly gift cannot return. That is the piece that makes some think it to be hypothetical.

    I would like to see discussion on this.

  7. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    BD
    Thinking on your comment.
    I believe a person can spiral so far down into their sin and vain imaginations, becoming so blind and self absorbed that they become a reprobate. Even though they once walk the Path.I think about Romans 1 and 2, then how we are told to keep watch and for those who overcome along with all the warnings about falling into sin and not turning away from it

  8. Em says:

    the responses to my pondering “tasted” – what that means – is appreciated very much
    still it seems to me that the word conveys an experience that is not a permanent condition – whether swallowing is required or not – most likely is… i can see that

    one can have tasted that the Lord is good and yet may never come to desire to love Him with all the heart and mind and soul… i say “desire to” because i’m still way too double minded, too concerned with my precious self even after all these years

  9. Jean says:

    “The hardest part of this text is the part that appears to say the ones who reject the heavenly gift cannot return. That is the piece that makes some think it to be hypothetical.

    I would like to see discussion on this.”

    This passage deals with the person who has received the heavenly gift of the Holy Spirit and subsequently falls away. The consequence of falling away is that God will withdraw his Spirit from that person, placing that person outside of Christ.

    Manifest sin and the Holy Spirit cannot co-exist for long. “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.”

    This is what God did before the flood when He said: “Then the Lord said, ‘My Spirit shall not abide in man forever, for he is flesh: his days shall be 120 years.’” In this case, God gave his Church 120 years to repent, but only a remnant of 8 were saved. God withdrew his Spirit from the rest before the flood.

    David understood the magnitude of his sin, when he prayed: “Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me.” This is not hypothetical. Fortunately, the very fact David understood this and repented testifies to the fact that he had not fallen away. But, when if David would have said to Nathan: “Screw you and your God”?

  10. The funny part in this is that a Lutheran really does not approach this at all from point of view ‘who this applies to’ or ‘can you lose your salvation’ or ‘what does tasted mean’ – as if you can minimize any of it.

    It is strictly a Law / Gospel thing – God in his law voice putting you to death with his “impossible” terminology and bringing you back to life with “yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.” wording.”

    It’s like a Lutheran trying to discuss the TULIP controversy with a Calvinist and an Arminian – we have no contruct to even understand what they are discussing as the Lutheran plan was set in stone (The Book of Concord” some 75 yrs earlier.)

  11. em, if you have trouble with “tasted” try this one – “and have shared in the Holy Spirit,”

    Does a non believer “share in the Holy Spirit,”

  12. Jean says:

    As we discuss the Holy Spirit, this confession from the Nicene Creed reminds us of His role in the Trinity: “We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
    who proceeds from the Father [and the Son], “

  13. Em says:

    MLD, i don’t have trouble with ‘tasted,’ but i seem to be causing trouble with it 🙂
    and i really have appreciated having my attention drawn to that word – being made to think on it… there is no way that it can be described as a condition, but only as an experience and, further, it is used in the past tense… yes, our Lord tasted death, but He isn’t dead – none of us believe that
    He went thru the experience and came out the other side a conqueror – have to shout “glory, hallelujah” in my head on that thought
    when our children were small, some of them refused to taste asparagus and some of them tasted and rejected the vegetable (we didn’t care “more for us” 🙂 ) not quite the same as tasting what is offered by the work of the Holy Spirit, but…
    so, could one ‘taste’ the life offered in Christ and walk/run away from it? seems logical to me, but isn’t that way more egregious than simple rejecting the Faith without a taste of it? hmmm… somewhere along the way sanctification and sealing enter into this process…

  14. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Em, there is no indication that the writer is ever speaking to unbelievers or seekers. Just previous to this as he addressed these same people he said that by now these people should be mature teachers.

    There is no such talk of them and us.

  15. Em says:

    hmmm… with respect to keeping the class on track, i understand the “them and us” point, but i wasn’t focused on them and us… by that i take it to mean the two categories of saved and not-saved? to use the asparagus analogy, for my part, i tasted and it is a happy part of my diet… and, yes, i did first ‘taste’ what the Holy Spirit offers and the life in Christ and that is as far as my analogy can go on this…
    however, at this point, for me, it brings up “sanctified” and “sealed” … you like to drive home the fact that it is all of God … well, experientially, there is one thing i know at some point(s) in my life these two have occurred … i wear a collar and a leash, but God IS on the other end of that leash and He keeps bringing me back… kind of a John 6:63-65 thing, maybe?

  16. Rick Ritchie says:

    A good passage to have in mind while considering this is Mark 14:27, where Jesus tells his disciples, “You will all fall away, because it is written, ‘I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered.’” From that passage it is clear that there must be a kind of falling away where a person can return, for eleven of the disciples did return after “falling away.”

    The canonicity of this book was disputed in the early church, because of uncertainty of authorship, and I think also, because this teaching seemed to conflict with the undisputed books. I think the book of Hebrews is saturated in the Old Testament, and share the opinion that Apollos could have written it. But that said, even if I consider it part of Scripture, it is safest to harmonize it in the direction of the clear books rather than bending other books to fit it. (When there is uncertainty, we have to be strategic.) I do believe the book offers true and scary warnings, but I would never tell anyone who wished to come back that they could not.

  17. Steve Wright says:

    Once more this security discussion is a far latter discussion down doctrinal road to what must first be discussed as primary – namely if there was zero difference between and Old Testament saint and a New Testament saint. When David, the Jews in the wilderness, even the disciples before Pentecost are all used as examples for the Body of Christ, the division in doctrine begins.

    It’s old ground here…but bears repeating in light of the comments and study this week.

    No since arguing, but it helps to know where the starting division begins….

  18. Steve Wright says:

    The question to ponder is what on earth was Jesus talking about for several chapters in John if the Holy Spirit’s ministry throughout the years in working with God’s people under the old covenant is no different than His ministry to the Church after Pentecost.

    Jesus was wasting a lot of breath there….unless the difference is noted and the ramifications are considered. What does it mean to be sealed, baptized, indwelt by the Spirit when He “comes” after Pentecost (though of course omnipresent and always here)

    But I’ve heard a thousand times someone quote David asking that the Holy Spirit not be taken from him and then apply that to a Christian today and likewise apply the message that “If David was worried about losing the Holy Spirit than all of us should be too”

    Nope.

  19. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    The apostles were not born born again intil Jesus and breathe the JS upon them, then commission them, then told them to wait for to be powered by the HS Before this everyone of them ran away and failed to believe that He was or is who He claimed. Regardless of all that He said and did.
    David was annointed thus provided all that he needed to carry out what God had purpose or set before him. Just as Mary’s heart was willing vessel, so too was David.

  20. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Sorry–
    Breathe Holy Spirit

  21. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    The disciples/Apostles allhad to see His wounds beforr believing He was the t
    risen Messiah. Not just Thomas.

  22. Nonnie says:

    Agree with Steve’s 18.

  23. All Steve’s #18 does is confirm a false belief that the author is switching back in conversation to “them” and “us”.
    Law passages are meant for “them” (because they can’t happen to us) and the gospel passages are only for “us and do not apply to the “them”

    Totally not a way a Christian should read the scriptures.

    Also, ““If David was worried about losing the Holy Spirit than all of us should be too”” – I am not worried at all about losing my salvation – why? because I heed the warnings … which means nothing less than to believe the promises. What did it say in the last portion – to be anchored so as to not drift away?

  24. I posted 2 Rick Ritchie (#16) articles over on Open Blogging. I think he has important things to say.

  25. Jean says:

    “The question to ponder is what on earth was Jesus talking about for several chapters in John if the Holy Spirit’s ministry throughout the years in working with God’s people under the old covenant is no different than His ministry to the Church after Pentecost.”

    The NT confirms that Christ justified the OT saints by grace through faith just like in NT times. Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, etc. were sinners with bound wills (and important point) until they were enlightened by the Holy Spirit just like NT Christians. The Holy Spirit’s ministry has not changed. Have the means of grace changed under the NT? Yes. But, the Holy Spirit’s ministry has not.

    There is only one Church, one communion of saints, catholic and eternal. Every saint at every time entered and was/is preserved in the communion by the same grace.

  26. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, Absolutely salvation has always been by grace through faith. The object of that faith has NOT always been Christ crucified and resurrected. Paul tells us what Abraham believed when he was justified. And of course, common sense tells us this as well for the rest of the Old Testament era.

    I think you would find plenty of theologians who would argue with your statement that the Holy Spirit’s ministry has not changed.

    Nowhere (other than one verse in the KJV changed in every other translation) are OT saints EVER called the church in Scripture. Nowhere (even in the KJV) are they ever called members of the Body of Christ. Nowhere are they ever said to be sealed, indwelt or baptized by the Spirit.

    The Spirit would fall upon an OT saint for a season, or a task – then depart.

    If I am not mistaken, Lutherans and many others see baptism as the moment when the Holy Spirit comes into the life of the new believer, given the view that baptism saves this must be the case because nobody is saved who does not have the Spirit (Again, the NT is clear on that too)

    If I am not mistaken, the belief then is that baptism is seen as a replacement sign of the covenant which circumcision served under the old. I am pretty sure MLD has made this point often here (though I do not want to put words in his mouth)

    So if I am correctly summarizing the connection between circumcision and baptism between old and new testament saints….is there ANY indication that the Holy Spirit indwelt a baby boy at his circumcision? And by the way, when did He get around to indwelling all the women saints of the Old Covenant.

    Nope…very different ministries indeed. And THAT is what Jesus was making clear as He spoke for those many chapters of preparation the night of His betrayal, and as He told them even to wait in Jerusalem on the day of His ascension until Pentecost came.

    Peter called the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, if you read Acts 11, “the beginning” Acts 11:15 ff.

    And full disclosure. I am not Pentecostal in any way in the sense of believing in some second baptism of the Spirit or other such teachings. I equate the Spirit baptizing us into the Body of Christ, indwelling us, and sealing us until the day of redemption as all happening the instant we are born again. And all as unique ministries of the Spirit in the Christian in the Church that we see nowhere in Old Testament Scripture.

    Not much of a promise, that of the sealing (ownership, protection) if the seal can be broken…and at least if one is going to take the position MLD is taking, there can be no allowance for a resealing, rebaltizing, reindwelling – it is “impossible”

    I think evangelicals are accused of the nebulous “sincere belief” idea when in reality we are very clear that there is an objective issue of fact that takes place at salvation – and is the objective standard of whether one is saved or not. The Holy Spirit.

    Sorry but the idea of the SPirit coming and going and coming back on Christians is not there. It might have happened with Samson, which is my original point. The confusion of Old and New saints and the SPirit is what leads to the eternal security debate.

    Better not cut your hair! (Maybe that is what happened to CC from the 70s to the present. The power left because all the hippies cut their hair) 🙂 🙂

  27. Steve,
    “The Spirit would fall upon an OT saint for a season, or a task – then depart.”

    So you advocate that the people in the OT times were saved with no Holy Spirit presence? Perhaps I have been looking at the wrong end of the Bible when I say that dispensationalists teach that the Jews are saved by a different program.

    It’s odd that you would quote Peter in Acts 11 using the same language about the Holy Spirit as you claim makes a difference with the OT saints

    “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning”.- what is this “fell upon them”? – I thought you were arguing for indwelt them – or perhaps that same HS who fell upon the OT saints also indwelt them.

    The HS has always been there to point us to messiah.

  28. Josh the Baptist says:

    Yep. this is what every passage in Hebrews is all about.

  29. Josh the Baptist says:

    Nobody else noticing a pattern here? 🙂 Geez.

  30. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh that is a shotty comment that shows you didn’t read the article where I only presented the various views on this topic.

    And I brought up the law gospel angle. But you need to consider that this is within a parenthetical passage.

    Since I don’t think anyone loses their salvation and it impossible for God to take away salvation – what’s the need. I am only trying to identify the recipients of these words. Help us out and join the conversation.

  31. Josh the Baptist says:

    I just read to see how you squeeze you 3 or 4 pet doctrines into the text.

    Sorry to interrupt, Carry on!. Next week – Baptism (again), week after that, Real Presence (Again).

  32. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – I gave 4 views on this portion of the text and I did not advocate for any. Right of the bat people take issue.

  33. Steve Wright says:

    If you would read Acts 11, you would answer your own question as to the fell upon them.

    Look, you have your argument which is mostly assumption and inference and silence…I choose to stick to what I read or don’t read in the Bible.

    If you think that the OT saints like Abraham (despite the clear teaching of the text both in Genesis and as quoted by Paul in the New) was saved because the Spirit convicted him of sin and showed him prophetically that one day the Son of God would walk the earth and die for Abe’s sins and rise from the dead and to believe that future event was the way that Abe, Moses, David, Daniel and all the rest were saved, then fine. Teach that.

    Funny to me that the guys who actually walked with Jesus, were taught by Him for years somehow were not aware of this at all – given their reaction when the cross took place and their shock at the resurrection.

    But yeah, the multitude of OT saints all understood it perfectly and THAT is the faith that saved them…and that’s why they were saved. Sure. Good thing Peter, James and John and the others didn’t live a century earlier I guess….or maybe it was an advantage to NOT walk with Jesus when it came to salvation?

    Lots of problems fall out and again, there has not been even the slightest attempt to explain why Jesus gave His Holy SPirit message to the apostles in the upper room in those chapters in JOhn. Or why Pentecost was such a crucial event in so many ways

  34. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve,
    “But yeah, the multitude of OT saints all understood it perfectly and THAT is the faith that saved them…and that’s why they were saved. Sure.”

    Since when is understanding clearly a criteria for salvation? I didn’t understand clearly when I was saved as evidenced by what I know now and I am still confused as to the workings of salvation. 🙂

  35. Jean says:

    “If you think that the OT saints like Abraham (despite the clear teaching of the text both in Genesis and as quoted by Paul in the New) was saved because the Spirit convicted him of sin and showed him prophetically that one day the Son of God would walk the earth and die for Abe’s sins and rise from the dead and to believe that future event was the way that Abe, Moses, David, Daniel and all the rest were saved, then fine. Teach that.”

    The OT saints were aware of their sin.

    “Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.’”

    “Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!”

    Christ’s atonement for the sins of the world includes atoning for the sins of the OT saints.

    “Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”

    The pre-incarnate Christ preached the gospel in the OT, beginning with his sermon to Adam and Eve in the garden. Job had the hope of the resurrection through Christ:

    “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.”

    Christ has always redeemed for himself a people, which we call the church. The Spirit has always repented and regenerated the elect.

  36. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Great points brought out by Jean dealing with redemptive history to go along with his points;
    1.) God’s use of physical means to forgive sin – the burning coal
    2.) the fact of the first church service in the Garden of Eden
    3.) and the point of God’s people always being one – in the OT called Israel and in the NT called the Church

  37. Jean says:

    “If I am not mistaken, the belief then is that baptism is seen as a replacement sign of the covenant which circumcision served under the old. I am pretty sure MLD has made this point often here (though I do not want to put words in his mouth)”

    I hope MLD responds to this, however, I am pretty sure he would answer “no”.

    Baptism is a means of grace. It delivers the forgiveness of sins by means of water, Word and Spirit. Here’s an often overlooked gem from Paul’s defense before the people of Jerusalem concerning his conversion: “Ananias [told Saul] ‘Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.’”

    By contrast, physical circumcision was a “sign” of the covenant between God and Abraham. It did not deliver the forgiveness of sins.

    Paul explains this very clearly:

    “Then he who is physically uncircumcised but keeps the law will condemn you who have the written code and circumcision but break the law. For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.”

    It is very important for purposes of our discussion regarding the Holy Spirit’s work, what Paul wrote: “circumcision is a matter of the heart by the Spirit”. He is talking here about the old covenant Jews. Even they were renewed by the work of the Holy Spirit.

  38. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think Josh banned me in the 8 o’clock hour from discussing baptism … which I find odd from someone who identifies as a Baptist. 😉

  39. Josh the Baptist says:

    Nah, go for it. It’s one of your 4 topics.

  40. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, you only focus on a few of my topics of interest. I speak more on vocation than I do baptism … but your anti baptism antenna goes up when you see it and remain passive if I am speaking of vocation, charity or the mercy of God vs the sovereignty of God.

    But hey, I wish you would participate and interact.

  41. Josh the Baptist says:

    No anti-baptism antenna, as stated, I am The Baptist. You just force your pet doctrines into the text, and I find it disappointing. It seemed like this study was gonna go somewhere.

  42. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    as a favor to me, can you point out where I have forced a pet doctrine into this particular article?

  43. Michael says:

    Just a correction or addition here…
    The Reformed view of the security of the believer is actually a belief in the perseverance of the saints.
    Meaning, that if one is truly among the elect, they will persevere to the end and be saved.

    What MLD provided would be our explanation about those who appeared to be elect and fell away.

  44. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, as a favor to you. Look at the words you used to frame what you call “the eternal security view” and then look how you frame the “Lutheran view”

    The Hillary Clinton hearings have less bias…

    It is laughable to outsiders like Josh and myself

  45. Michael says:

    I firmly believe in the perseverance of the saints because I believe that all of salvation is of the Lord and He will lose none of those whom He has been given.

    Having said that…those of us who believe this must still wrestle with the text.

    My esteemed Reformed brethren have often done this text much damage by trying to negate it’s warnings and impact.

    Whether we like it to not, this is a very difficult passage.

    I don’t believe we can be faithful to the whole of Scripture if we water it down or try and explain it away.

    There is a real tension in here…between the passages that promise security in Christ and the dire warnings given here.

    I choose to hold that tension intact…

  46. Jean says:

    “It seemed like this study was gonna go somewhere.”

    It has gone somewhere. By the way, it’s an interactive study, not a lecture.

    What have you contributed?

  47. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, I think I have culled that from our past conversations.
    When I ask, can I a true believer walk away from Christ and give up my salvation – you always say no.
    So when I follow up with, then and ask
    “if I stop believing in Jesus Christ, then will I be an unbeliever will be in heaven?” You have never denied that.
    And yes you have stated in the past that the warnings are hypothetical.

    In the Lutheran view, I thought I was tougher and put everything on the one walking away – that should be considered a negative bias.

  48. Michael says:

    I truly don’t mind the Lutheran bias.
    When I asked a Lutheran to do the study for us, it’s what I expected.

    I appreciate the clarity in how he states his view.

    The invitation is for other traditions to state their positions as clearly so that the reader can compare them all against the texts.

  49. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    To Steve and Josh I wonder this out loud. So if some Baptist writer wrote a similar article and made the point why these warning could not be believers and had to be the fringe of the church as Steve has suggested in the past – would he be pushing his own agenda?

    Can you write an honest article void of your own thoughts?

  50. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, in the future you can summarize my view just like the first part of the Lutheran view.

    you are secure in Christ’s promises, you cannot lose your salvation, you cannot sin your way out of God’s love

    How’s that. Add everything I’ve said about the Holy Spirit and what is of course a Spiritual birth and you will have it down.

    I can’t even fathom the need to argue some defense of some outrageous claim I supposedly made that unbelievers would be in heaven….Bizarre

  51. Steve Wright says:

    MLD…your #49. The challenge as a pastor or any teacher of the word, and I take this challenge each Sunday, is do I only declare what I believe, coming from the tradition I hold….or do I declare that and also attempt to characterize the views I have rejected.

    Most of the time my focus is just the first. Sometimes, in it is relevant and necessary for the study to include the second aspect as well, but then integrity and faithfulness to the Lord necessitates doing so in as honest and accurate a manner possible.

    When you summarize the evangelical eternal security view as “coming to Christ and then Christ being stuck with you” – you fail in that regard miserably. And since that is of course the only choice of the four to pigeon hole me, Josh (Nonnie and likely a lot of others) it is tiresome.

    By all means – proclaim to the hilltops the Lutheran view. Allow maybe in the comments discussion the back and forth. But in the text of the article to so grossly mischaracterize the views of some of us is…well again, tiresome…and disappointing

  52. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am surprised in this conversation that no one has addressed the “impossible” statement.

  53. Steve Wright says:

    They did…very early as a matter of fact

  54. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I saw where Babs was puzzled and asked for discussion – that was about it.

    How impossible is impossible?

  55. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – to back up Josh here.

    You wrote in the article

    What does it mean “tasted the heavenly gift”? The Lord’s Supper
    What does it mean “shared in the Holy Spirit”? Baptism

    Now, I guess then it would be correct to say, per MIchael, that this is the expression of the Lutheran view? Then, maybe Josh and I should revise our remarks to say that rather than you having your hobby horse doctrines you try to squeeze into the text, it is the Lutherans as a whole who do so – and you are just walking in the footsteps?

    If we had a a survey of 100,000 Christians of all walks of denomination and asked them for what those two expressions in Hebrews mean, how many would see the Lord’s Supper and Baptism.

    Eisegesis to the core.

    But, if that is the Lutheran view, and important to the overall Lutheran understanding of the entire text, then so be it. Thanks for sharing it.

    Question for you. Forgetting babies…is there ANY allowance within Lutheranism that an unbeliever might swallow a communion or get wet in a baptism….maybe the wife guilted him into doing so or something. Participate and get no spiritual benefit whatsoever.

  56. Em says:

    “I appreciate the clarity in how he states his view.” thing is Michael that his view, while clearly stated by MLD and full of sincere, knowledge of the faith, isn’t as clear to the some of us when we look in Scripture or recall what we’ve been taught in our neck of the woods – we are definitely way into the forest here…
    but perhaps, we are all examining the same elephant from different angles? … dunno …
    Trump is trying to make Adventists suspect, wonder what he’d do with Lutherans? lol

  57. Steve Wright says:

    I have to run so rather than wait for the other shoe to drop I will finish my point.

    If we say that it is literally impossible for an unbeliever to step into line at a communion, partake of the bread and cup….or walk into the water and get baptized….that is something I think most would say makes no sense. Maybe the Lutherans think that even if you are an (adult) unbeliever going in, the water, bread and cup turn you into a believer…I don’t know. MLD can tell us.

    But for the rest of us, if we then define, (as MLD has done) that The Lord’s Supper and Baptism are the two things referenced here by the author of Hebrews, then the necessary conclusion is even if we allow for those definitions, we certainly have a situation where an unbeliever, who is playing Church among the newly born again Jews, can be the focus of the warning passage!

    Because it is certainly possible that if you have not had the Spiritual birth, and are deceived or maybe just rebellious about your true state before the Lord, that you likely are still going to have communion when it comes around, and likely the folks are going to make sure you’ve been baptized too.

    The Lutheran view and definition of these two partial verses not only allows, but maybe is even a better argument that this warning addresses unbelievers who have been playing Church through the ordinances (sacraments if you prefer) the Church was given by Jesus.

  58. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, I could be wrong, but I seem to remember you gave your own interpretation as to what those terms meant. Was your view slanted?

    Are you saying that someone like Charles Ryrie (or fill in the name of your favorite commentator) has no opinion on what those mean and does not present them as so? What kind of commentator just passes past passages in the Bible and says, these are difficult so I won’t comment?

    My classes have always been class participation, and I throw things out for discussion – that’s why I don’t edit for this forum – it should be the same toss it out and see what comes back.

    But you and Josh seem to be stating that I should not have a point of view.

  59. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, before you run – explain how the unbeliever shares the Holy Spirit? Do you believe that the Holy Spirit indwells (or however you explain share) the unbeliever?

    Perhaps this is the case of the Holy Spirit filled unbeliever. 🙂

  60. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    As to your reference of the unbeliever getting communion, I don’t know how you can say they are getting anything good – Paul addressed this and said something to the effect of they bring ruin on themselves. Even in the original English, that is not even close to “tasting the heavenly gift”

    For a believer, it is that and more.

  61. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve, you and Josh have never answered my basic question – when an unbeliever falls away, as is stated here, what does he fall away to… belief?

    Now the believer is the only one that I know of who can fall away.

  62. Em says:

    #58 – “My classes have always been class participation, and I throw things out for discussion – that’s why I don’t edit for this forum – it should be the same toss it out and see what comes back.”
    there’s not a better way to learn than this… perhaps the problem is that some of us want to learn what YOU believe/teach… and then perhaps some of us need to remember that we’re discussing, not dictating OUR conclusions… dunno
    i’m okay tho, i’m too unlearned to be taken with academic seriousness and too vague to be pinned down 🙂

  63. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    em,
    “perhaps the problem is that some of us want to learn what YOU believe/teach… ”

    I don’t think I leave any doubt as to what I believe or teach. The problem is, for all the bellyaching over what I present, I still have no idea what Steve or Josh think (other than I am wrong).

    Not once have thy come back and offered a counter thought.

  64. Josh the Baptist says:

    First, I apologize for being rude earlier today. You are doing a fine job, MLD. The Weekend Word is now a column that is read and commented on. Well done.

    Here’s my beef: I love the book of Hebrews and would love to discuss what the text actually says rather than the constant cycle of Eternal Security / Baptism / Lord’s Supper. Apparently in Lutheran churches that is all you guys talk about, and that’s cool, but I find some verses, or even passages, that don’t apply to one of those three things. It’s not so much that you squeezed your pet doctrines in this week (of course, you did), it’s that you’ve done it every week.

    You say not once have I offered a counter thought…go back to the first few weeks, I offered dozens, then when I felt like I was in the MLD debate cycle, I withdrew.

  65. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – thanks for your response.
    You should note that my articles usually do not include Eternal Security / Baptism / Lord’s Supper as I think is evidenced by the above article. If they are mentioned it is not in a confrontational way.
    However, other commenters pick up.
    em, brought up the eternal security and Steve initiated conversations on baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

    But I am interested – what to you think the3 things that are mentioned in the first couple of verses? I think I said early in these lessons, I do not mind if someone says “MLD you are full of crap – this is what this passage means.” I love hearing that — but all I seem to get is the “MLD, you are full of crap portion.”

    PS – I do take note that in the same list no one takes exception with my comment about the preached word of God.

    But I will conceded, that Lutherans unlike many others do believe that the means of grace, including baptism, the lord’s supper and absolution are not only called for, but efficacious..

  66. Josh the Baptist says:

    Honestly, even “hearing the preached Word” is reading into the text. I think that verse is clear enough without further interpretation.

    Like, by “enlightened”, the author probably means “enlightened”. It isn’t a confusing verse to me. Don’t have to run it through the Baptist translation machine.

  67. Jean says:

    “What does it mean “tasted the heavenly gift”? The Lord’s Supper
    What does it mean “shared in the Holy Spirit”? Baptism

    . . . .

    If we had a a survey of 100,000 Christians of all walks of denomination and asked them for what those two expressions in Hebrews mean, how many would see the Lord’s Supper and Baptism.

    Eisegesis to the core.”

    I disagree that this is eisegesis. Keep in mind that this is a letter to Hebrew Christians, presumably steeped in the OT Scriptures. Moreover, the author has compared their circumstances to the pilgrimage of the Israelites in the wilderness. It was in the wilderness that the Lord fed the Israelites with manna from Heaven. Look how Jesus himself described this gift from heaven:

    “‘Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Jesus then said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.'”

    Jesus is the true bread from heaven. Isn’t it likely that the Hebrew Christians would have heard “gift from heaven” as an allusion to Jesus, the true bread of life. According to Paul:

    “The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread.”

    So, when the author says “tasted the heavenly gift”, why wouldn’t the Hebrew Christians hear tasted Christ’s body and blood in the Supper?

    Regarding “shared in the Holy Spirit”, did not Peter say at Pentecost: “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Wasn’t the Holy Spirit promised in baptism?

    I don’t see the eisegesis.

  68. Steve Wright says:

    I do take note that in the same list no one takes exception with my comment about the preached word of God.
    —————————————–
    Like Josh, I do (did) too….just didn’t bother to add it to my complaint.

    Enlightened probably means enlightened (can I quote you on that Josh 🙂 )

    Impossible probably means impossible too….

    And Israel means Israel (whoops…sorry about that) 🙂

  69. Josh the Baptist says:

    AS long as you use Turabian.

  70. So what does enlightenment mean and can you receive it outside of God’s word?

  71. Em says:

    “em, brought up the eternal security” …?… a-hem
    MLD said:
    ” Eternal security – once you have come to Christ, he is stuck with you. This warning is purely hypothetical – there are no people like this.”

    to which i responded:
    ” just wondering – the process from spiritual birth/rebirth to eternal salvation”

    and then off we went on a tangent of sorts regarding the word/term “taste” 🙂 🙂

  72. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Curious about baptism. John the Baptist told those listening that he baptized with water; however, there would be another that would baptize those who would repent and believe with fire and the Holy Spirit. Jesus toaol told us to repent and believe as well as saying weust be born ahain of the spirit. Later I think, it was Peter , who asked those that had received the word if they had been baptized by the Holy Spirit and not just baptized by water or as he referred to it as baptism of John, it puzzles me when people teach that baptism saves when it does not it’s simply is an outward confession of an inward conviction. one must be born again meaning bow ties with the Holy Spirit which has nothing to do with water, but rather with a heart being changed

  73. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Curious about baptism. John the Baptist told those listening that he baptized with water; however, there would be another that would baptize those who would repent and believe with fire and the Holy Spirit. Jesus told us to repent and believe as well as saying weust be born ahain of the spirit. Later I think, it was Peter , who asked those that had received the word if they had been baptized by the Holy Spirit and not just baptized by water or as he referred to it as baptism of John, it puzzles me when people teach that baptism saves when it does not it’s simply is an outward confession of an inward conviction. one must be born again meaning bow ties with the Holy Spirit which has nothing to do with water, but rather with a heart being changed

  74. Steve Wright says:

    Jean…I’m yanking MLD’s chain a little here…he and I are friends (I would say good friends) and have had coffee and/or lunch together a handful of times. Privately email, text. Probably good to remind the blog here of that with new people coming and going. Most older timers know that already.

    Now, your teaching there brings it (for me) from eisegesis to exegesis. To me, exegesis is properly understood as what the original audience would understand as intended by the original author in the original language written. How that may or may not apply to Christians today (in America no less) is another step. To see eating and jump to Lords Supper is classic MLD and to me a little like the boy who cried wolf. See it in so many places it probably is not, and then it is hard to accept when you say it is where you it likely is.

    I hope that makes sense….and in fairness to MLD, maybe in his original presentation (given the reference to 1 Cor) he developed that in great detail – the Israel in the wilderness connection on eating the manna.

    And speaking of exegesis, it is very likely that the idea of baptism is actually found in the use of enlightenment (not the partaking of the Spirit)…Multiple Eastern translations actually have baptism in that reference…something I mentioned in my message on this passage back in the day (that maybe MLD overlooked in the message prep) 🙂

    Check out my #57 again. 😉

    Blessings

  75. Jean says:

    “So what does enlightenment mean and can you receive it outside of God’s word?”

    MLD, I am going to disagree with your original argument that “enlightened” means “hearing the preached word of God.” The author uses the same word later in the letter:

    “But recall the former days when, after you were enlightened, you endured a hard struggle with sufferings, sometimes being publicly exposed to reproach and affliction, and sometimes being partners with those so treated. For you had compassion on those in prison, and you joyfully accepted the plundering of your property, since you knew that you yourselves had a better possession and an abiding one. Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.”

    The author means more than hearing. When the author says “enlightened” he means being converted to Christ; becoming a Christian.

  76. Steve,
    “then the necessary conclusion is even if we allow for those definitions, we certainly have a situation where an unbeliever, who is playing Church among the newly born again Jews, can be the focus of the warning passage!”

    This is 100% false assumption. You need to review the context – he is talking to these people and telling them that they need to be mature and that some of them should be taking leadership positions. At your church do you ask the fringe of the church, the “seekers” to assume leadership positions? Do you assume anything of the unbelievers in your church?

    You need to look how the writer here, stops a very deep theological topic and realizes that these folks , although they should be are not ready for this conversation and need to be raised out of, not their unbelief, but out of the sluggishness.

    So this is not a necessary conclusion at all, but just the opposite.

    I will keep an eye on your web site – will you kindly identify the unbelieving leaders on your team? 😉

  77. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    sorry about the double posting, new phone and at the lower end of the warning curve in learning how to send by phone very frustrating from where I’m sitting but recognize it can be frustrating to you all as well.

  78. Em says:

    when one asks can one be “enlightened” outside of God’s word? sure, but not on things of the Eternal… and that said, the question becomes, IMV, well what constitutes God’s word?
    it is not the printed page, but the Bible is alive with it, with power and authority and is the final arbiter as best we can agree on what it says… sigh… but even when we can’t agree, i strongly suspect it is doing its work inside each of us as we search

    just sayin … cuz i can

  79. Em says:

    and to continue #78, no, i didn’t forget about the Holy Spirit, without whom we have no illumination at all

  80. Jean, but the enlightenment comes from the word of God. Just as sharing in the spirit comes from baptism and the heavenly gift is given to us in the supper.

    But I can accept what you say. I wonder how some others will react to those “who have once been enlightened.” – with your definition. 🙂

    Now on the other hand, if someone would like to suggest that this enlightenment comes from some other source than the word of God, I would like to suggest that Buddhism is a good example of enlightenment that comes from a source other than the word of God.

  81. Steve Wright says:

    You need to review the context – he is talking to these people and telling them that they need to be mature and that some of them should be taking leadership positions.
    —————————————————–
    Yes MLD, and you need to read a little more carefully the pronouns. AKA the inspired text.

    Indeed, a couple verses earlier (chapter divisions as we both know not in the original) he had a pretty strong PERSONAL rebuke to them…lots of use of the personal pronoun, you peppered throughout.

    Then our warning passage, personal pronouns disappear, demonstrative pronouns appear in connection to the warning..THOSE..THEMSELVES..

    And then, after the warning concludes, the personal pronoun returns…Better things of YOU…YOUR work…YOU have shown…

    Context is crucial in all study….the actual words of the text though are the starting point.

  82. Steve, you are using grammatical trickery here.
    The writer breaks his thought here to chastise thes people – and it it like he is pointing to them saying YOU!.

    Warning Against Apostasy

    11 About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. 12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, 13 for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. 14 But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.

    Then when we get to chapter six, the pronouns change as you say, and it is as if he is then narrowing the warning to saying the equivalent to those of you who do not heed this warning.

    I asked early on – are the law passages for the them and the gospel passages for the us?

  83. Steve Wright says:

    and then he changes back personal again, after the warning, and says beloved we are confident of better things concerning you.

    Sorry if quoting the text is trickery

    I’m still chuckling at seeing (or being open to seeing) baptism somewhere you don’t, while you see it elsewhere in the same verse 🙂

  84. Let’s bring this to a modern day version. I have my boy scout troop out on a hike. I give them a warning. You need to pay attention to what I say. You need to pay attention to where you walk. You need to walk with a buddy.

    But I will say this, those who do not heed my words, and those who walk to close to the edge, there may be no saving them should they fall.

    But you, troop 5876, I think better things of you and I know that this wil be a safe venture.

    See, no need for 2 different audiences.

  85. Steve, it’s easy to be on the outside throwing rocks in – so what is being spoken of. The writer mentions 3 things – how would you define them and how are they manifest.
    I want to hear so I can chuckle. 😉

  86. Steve Wright says:

    So you think the writer was blowing sunshine up their skirts to make them feel kid, because the immaturity is actually an emotional immaturity like the Hebrews were a bunch of kids?

    Because every Troop Leader, if the hike is truly dangerous, is going to be worried to death until it is over, no matter what yada yada he throws out there. And he is going to be on alert every second…

    Is that the Christian life. Be on alert every second or you may have a fall with no saving available. Be scared, just like you were walking along a cliff and one wrong step…boom..its over.

    Not the best illustration…at least not a better illustration than sticking to the text and see a distinction taking place by use of the switch.

  87. Steve Wright says:

    Steve, it’s easy to be on the outside throwing rocks in – so what is being spoken of.
    ————————————————–
    Are you only reading half my posts?

    I am open to (in order) baptism, communion, and laying on of hands…acts part of a typical Christian community in the 1st century All though cited due to their OT connection with Israel and a point that only makes sense in the much, much MUCH larger, total context of soteriology and the work of the Spirit

  88. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Manna in the desert was to keep the physical body alive. Jesus used this analogy to say two things: 1) He also ce from heaven, but to save our souls from perishing.

    There is one body, one Holy Spirit, and one God. This is the basics. To be reconciled, and to partake in fellowship “in the Spirit” one must be receive the Holy Spirit. Has nothing to do with how Jesus symbolized his death and resurrection by instructing those who not yet born again to remember Him and who He was and what was still to come or to be fulfilled. In this, for those truly born again, we can rest in Him, as we become more and more like Him, walking in the Spirit and in obedience, bearing evidence of a changed heart.

  89. Then just agree that this is your view. “In Hebrews , the law passages are for the them and the gospel passages are for the us?

    Look, no matter what you say you have not discussed (other than to say I am wrong) those 3 areas listed.
    Let’s see a positive statement from you as if you were teaching and someone raised their hand and said – Pastor Steve, what does Enlightenment mean and how was it manifest in these Hebrew Christians.
    The same Pastor Steve, what is tasted – and how was that manifes and while we are at it – Pastor Steve, what does it mean to share in the Holy Spirit – and how was that manifest so that you would know it was happening.

    See, I have 2 way communication in my class and I must answer these question when asked.

  90. Steve Wright says:

    Now, now. No need to be insulting MLD. And imply that when I preach the text I avoid saying what I think the verses mean.because nobody can ask questions..you know better than that. There may be some guys that skip the tough stuff and run off the stage but you know we don’t…because you listen to my messages as part of your own preparation.

    Is my #87 not on your computer?

    Now, I will say that I think the Bible is for us. I truly do not read the Bible as “law passages” and “gospel passages” nor think that way unless I am reading the book of Leviticus and then reading Luke. But the idea of going through the New Testament and asking myself “is this a law passage that applies to group X, is this a gospel passage that applies to group Y.

    If it is in the Bible, scripture, then it is profitable for doctrine, edification, instruction…you know the verse.

  91. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Why give warning to the the faithful if it is impossible to find oneself in such a state. Why did Jesus warn those who heard the Word, believed, but because of one of three scenarios, that person fell away from the faith. Why are we told that in the ” latter days,” many will fall away and their will grow cold???????

  92. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Hearts will grow cold . . .

  93. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Your lack of ability to properly distinguish between the law and the gospel was the topic of re latter half of my article.
    I hate to be the one to break it to you but there is a great amount of law in Luke. and even gospel in Leviticus.

    Look, I know I am dull of hearing so to speak and you seem reluctant to identify your view so I will listen to the recording.

  94. Steve Wright says:

    MLD…read my 87 !!!

    That is my view !!!

  95. Steve Wright says:

    hate to be the one to break it to you but there is a great amount of law in Luke.
    ——————————————-
    10-1 that I (and every other dispensationalist) sees more law in Luke than you do.

    Your off your game in reading tonight..seriously. We call Leviticus part of The Law..we call Luke one of the 4 Gospels. It was a joke.

    I am going to chalk it up to the World Series starting tomorrow and there being no joy in Mudville in the MLD home… 🙂

  96. Steve Wright says:

    MLD..I’m off for the night. If you truly did go to listen to my message I think you will hear something very similar to my post 87.

    But like I said, even that total message is in the setting of what was about 30 something messages in a row going through the whole book…

    Night

  97. Steve,
    I finally got to your #87. I was on my phone and there are no numbers. When I first read it, before I knew you were stating your position, I thought you were tossing me a bone saying that you recognize baptism, and communion

    So, you bust my chops on this all day and in the end you recognize the manifestation of these marks using 2 of my 3 examples. You are one playful dude.

  98. Em says:

    #84 – i like the scout master analogy, but i’m fighting this mental picture of a scout troop made up of young sheep … 🙂

  99. Steve Wright says:

    MLD, I can’t do this all day so I will compose an explanation of my view as related to this discussion – the view you have busted my chops for suggesting. As to now, we did not agree on 2 out of 3. We agreed on 1 of the three because you see baptism where I do not and with no real reason to see it there except for your eisegesis baptism view. Read what I wrote to Jean above #74. Elsewhere I joked (and maybe you missed it) at the irony of me seeing baptism (as at least a strong possibility) where you don’t (#83) – but that does not mean we agreed there either. As for the communion agreement, again, since you did not lay out a reasoning it looked like your typical if someone is eating in the Bible it is a reference to the Lords Supper. And I did grant (also to Jean) the allowance maybe you elaborated more to your study – like I did when I gave this message and taught it to our congregation. If you did not of course, then chalk it up to the broken clock idea – you yell Lord Supper and baptism at enough verses, eventually you are right on a couple.

    I’ll be back to show that what you have found laughable is actually a view greatly allowed for by everything you yourself have taught in this.

  100. Josh the Baptist says:

    Enlightened here means the same thing it does everywhere else. You don’t need a decoder ring, this is already English. I would assume a definition would be something like : To have one’s eyes opened to a new reality.
    The word itself means the same thing here that it does if I came out of a business meeting and said I found it enlightening. If we can’t just read the English as it is, we need a better translation.

    Second, the minutiae of trying to find the code for each word in this passage takes away from the full meaning. If verse 4 is separated from verse 9, it appears to say something very different. That’s context for you.

  101. Jean says:

    “Enlightened here means the same thing it does everywhere else. You don’t need a decoder ring, this is already English. I would assume a definition would be something like : To have one’s eyes opened to a new reality.”

    What’s the spiritual state of one who has his/her eyes opened to a new reality? Christian or non-Christian?

  102. Josh the Baptist says:

    All depends on the context.

  103. Jean says:

    #102, in the context of that letter and specifically that chapter.

  104. Josh the Baptist says:

    I that context, it means “enlightened”.

  105. Josh the Baptist says:

    Are you saying we have a bad English translation, or are you saying the author could not express himself clearly?

  106. Steve Wright says:

    In focusing so much on the 4 soils, too many forget the other teachings Jesus had about the Kingdom. He made clear about the wheat and chaff that grow together until judgement… about the great net and the dividing of fish into good and bad..that many will come to Him crying Lord, Lord did we not…and He will say I NEVER knew you. Christendom consists of local church fellowships all over the globe and these fellowships are where the chaff coexist in this life with the wheat. People never being born again, in relationship with Jesus, side by side with those who are saved (and secure) in Christ’s finished work – by grace alone, through faith alone. Some leaders may be under the delusion that all of THEIR members are saved, because of course they sit under their leadership…but I labor under no such delusion. So I warn my congregation, and I exhort those trusting in Christ as well – which is what we see in Hebrews here.

    If one is playing church, either knowingly or in self-deception, one no doubt is participating in the ordinances of baptism, communion, the gathering of laying on of hands, especially in the early church where these were emphasized so greatly. Communion was constant (as it is in some churches today), it WAS unheard of for someone to claim Christ and not get baptized. And we all admit there may be consequences in taking communion as an unbeliever (like Paul spoke of in Corinthians) but hopefully all would admit that there is nothing to literally stop someone on earth who as an unbeliever still insists on digesting some bread and wine, or insists on getting wet.

    Therefore, there is not only not a problem, but it is a likely explanation that the details of the warning in Hebrews 6 still refer to the unbelievers in the midst of the church, and this view is strengthened with the observation of change in pronouns between the warning, and the personal exhortation to those who ARE believers, “Beloved, we are confident of better things for you – things that accompany salvation” You can’t just dismiss when the text has such a radical change of address in the middle of such a passage and amidst two totally different things – namely, warn but assurance this is not you either. The pronoun switch is huge from a pastoral exhortative, don’t beat the sheep, mentality, still faithfully also proclaiming those warnings.

    One can easily imagine the Jew not born again who, facing the cultural static the pagan Gentiles did not typically face – some guy thinking “My unsaved mother-in-law is making my life miserable. Maybe I will just go back to Judaism, after all if this Jesus is the fulfillment stuff is all true, then God won’t be mad at me for going back to Moses. It’s not like I am turning pagan or something” – There is a reason these warnings are clustered in this one book to the Hebrews. And remind these Jews there is no salvation in Moses, and to turn from Christ allows no place for a change of mind (i.e. repentance) to return. It is impossible. And this is where my need if I had time to explain in detail the Spirit’s role in convicting of sin, righteousness, judgement to come – as nobody seeks God on their own, and we are not saved by simply waking up one morning and saying I believe, while then being lost when you wake up the next morning and saying I don’t believe, but I can always believe tomorrow. No, the Spirit’s convicting grace to draw sinners to the cross is beyond our finding out but certainly is not unlimited (again, a point made throughout the Bible) and one can most certainly sin away his day of grace and have no hope in returning because then God would not be calling back a backsliding child but God is being presumed upon to call back again and again the unrepentant sinner. It is impossible. You’ve been a part of all this, and you want to crucify Jesus afresh and put Him to an open shame? Go back to Moses that you KNOW has been fulfilled, just for earthly reasons and comfort?…it is impossible to come back.

    So when people simplisticly shout “Hebrews is written to believers!” – Of course it is. However, isn’t the entire Old Testament written to believers too – but I recognize that not all those verses are prescriptive for me to apply in my personal relationship with God. I am confident in the security in Christ I have (and those verses are cited in just about every book of the New Testament, not clustered all in one like these warnings). I receive the warnings for what they are (and while not 1st century Hebrews, the earthly hastles still have an application for today but I doubt too many Gentiles are looking to go to Judaism which is specifically what these warnings consider), and I share them with others, especially crowds (i.e. congregations) because they most definitely ARE prescriptive to a few in the midst no doubt.

  107. Jean says:

    I thought for a moment we were going to have a conversation. My bad.

  108. Josh the Baptist says:

    We are, but it doesn’t have to be about what 1 English word “really means”, does it? Shouldn’t that be kind of obvious?

  109. Josh the Baptist says:

    Steve got it right, and spoke pretty well, so I’ll only add a couple of thoughts:

    1. Every study of Hebrews gets bogged down and off-track due to the Warning Passages. Try studying through the pick, but omitting the warning passages all-together. You’ll see a totally different theme and meaning for the book. Then, you plug the warnings back into that correct context, and they make more sense.

    2. Imagine you are a Jew, pre-messiah. The prophets for generations have spoken of a coming Messiah. All of history, particularly Jewish history, has been in anticipation of this coming Messiah. You hear of Jesus, and feel that He may be The One. After some time in fellowship with others who believe the same, you begin to doubt and consider going back to the waiting life of Judaism. The author of Hebrews makes it clear that Jesus is the One. He is the one you’ve been waiting for. Another Messiah is not coming. This is it. Stick with it.
    That is what this particular warning passage is about.

  110. Steve Wright says:

    Now, MLD wrote in the article “There are 2 options – a believer can fall away OR a believer is secure.”

    Absolutely. Two mutually exclusive ideas that both can’t be true.

    So I have explained the warning verses clumped in this one unique book….and why they do not contradict the numerous security verses scattered throughout the entire New Testament.

    If MLD was a pastor teaching the whole counsel of God, he would then be challenged to explain how all those wonderful security verses can be understood if in fact there is this possibility that hangs over the head of every believer – because as MLD professed, the two options can’t both be true.

    So then we could see who really is twisting to fit their doctrine and who has at least a plausible explanation that brings all Scripture into a complimentary, unified whole.

    Because Jesus did not say I will never leave you nor forsake you…. unless of course you “ignore your faith, starve it to death and let it shrivel up and die”….then I am out of here.

    You are sealed until the day of redemption….unless of course you ignore your faith, starve it to death, and let it shrivel up and die…..then that seal is just going to crumble and break

    and on and on and on…

  111. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Nothing can pluck them from my hand…unless they ignore their faith…”

  112. Steve Wright says:

    Amen Josh. I would add to your thought imagine if in those years of being promised a Messiah you were expecting a conquering King to overthrow Rome and all your enemies.

    Instead you have these Christians explaining, No brother, don’t you see how his death actually is what the Bible is about? Yeah Jesus was killed by our leaders, the ones who know the BIble the best, as a common criminal and blasphemer…and yes none of US actually saw Him rise from the dead…but this is what it is all about. Messiah has come AND Rome still rules us.

    One can imagine a few doubts, and that is why salvation is not a mental exercise but a Spiritual birth. Where we KNOW Jesus rose, we KNOW it is all true, not in the intellect, but because God has brought us there.

  113. Josh the Baptist says:

    Amen.

  114. Steve Wright says:

    And at the end of the day, it comes back to baptism. Because there has to be a doctrine to counter the obvious reality that baptizing a baby does not equal that baby having saving faith. And history and experience shows that a lot of those baptized babies grow up and never have an interest in the faith, never show an evidence of salvation, and live their whole lives in that state of unrepentant rebellion against God and all He is.

    Nobody could argue these folks are saved…so the allowance must exist “well, they starved their faith and it died” – not Jesus fault

    Because one thing we absolutely can’t do. Is reconsider infant baptism like those wretched folks in reformation times – of whom Josh and I are descendents in the faith

  115. Steve, “If MLD was a pastor teaching the whole counsel of God, he would then be challenged to explain how all those wonderful security verses can be understood if in fact there is this possibility that hangs over the head of every believer – because as MLD professed, the two options can’t both be true.”

    First what makes you think I do not teach the whole counsel of God? Pejoratives don’t work with me here.

    I already explained in the article how God speaks in his 2 voices – but you admitted ignorance in this are – and your comments are showing that you are no liar in this area.. Go back and read my bullet points under v 10 and my closing statement.. Try to do so without circling the wagons around pet doctrines.

  116. Josh the Baptist says:

    Did anyone make a big deal about the Law/Gospel distinction before Luther?

  117. Josh the Baptist says:

    Chapter and verse?

  118. Josh the Baptist says:

    Seriously, just wondering if there are particular verses that the dogma is based on.

  119. Jean says:

    Steve,

    Thank you for laying out your case. If we assume your interpretation of the warning passage in Chapter 6, then could you complete your thoughts with an explanation of the following:

    “and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”

    What is the unbeliever falling away from? And what kind of repentance did the unbeliever have that now they can’t be restored to?

    Lastly, under your interpretation, would not the “impossibility” warning be even more severe? In other words, falling away from simply considering Jesus or “playing church” would be final.

  120. Who said it is a dogma? You won’t find it in a verse – you must read Paul in his entirety to understand that he knew how to preach in God’s 2 voices – that law and gosple are distinct – not as evangelicals preach Golawspel.

    Josh this is the issue – you guys think everything is wrapped up theologically because “hey, I found this verse!” One verse does not constitute good theology.

  121. Josh the Baptist says:

    Well, it is a dogma. Or is it something that you could do without? Dogma doesn’t necessarily mean a negative thing. We all have dogmas. The Law/Gospel distinction is not one of mine.

    I’ve read all of Paul’s letters, read books about him, studied his ideas from different perspectives, wrote papers about different aspects of his theology. I don’t remember any admonition from him to make sure to distinguish between law and gospel.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think Luther had a helpful idea with his thoughts on Law and Gospel. But it isn’t the end all be all. It isn’t the hermeneutic in which all scripture must be viewed.

    And I don’t so the proof-text “hey I found this verse” thing. I’m about CONTEXT. and context requires multiple verses…multiple chapters…multiple books…even some extra-biblical historical information at times.

    So I’ll assume you got me confused with someone else on that one.

  122. Jean says:

    “So I have explained the warning verses clumped in this one unique book….and why they do not contradict the numerous security verses scattered throughout the entire New Testament.”

    Steve, the warning passages in Hebrews are unique in so far as they talk explicitly about falling away and it being impossible to restore the fallen away one to repentance. But, almost all or all of the NT writings give warnings or conditions, using other concepts such as persevering in suffering, not engaging in manifest sin, or failure to do good works. Each one of those other passages would have to be interpreted in its own context, but they are all connected to unbelief.

  123. Jean says:

    MLD,
    Paul lays out the Law-Gospel distinction in Romans 7-8. If I had to reduce it to a couple sentences, it would be here:

    “What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin….For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

  124. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Okay, Jesus is faithful, He will not leave us. However, what if the believer leaves Him? Some would say that this person was never a believer in the first place, but that only plays into the eternal security doctrine, right?

    Whereas, scriptures speaks of those who endures to the end:

    Matthew 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.

    Matthew chapter 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

  125. Josh the Baptist says:

    So you goad me into talking about this, I finally do at # 109, but no one (except Steve) replies?

    Frustrating.

  126. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    This also brings me to remembrance of the 7 churches in Revelation 2 speaking of those who does or does not overcome.

  127. Em says:

    terms and definitions can sure bog down a study of the Word… enlighten – taste … these comments posted are still helpful to me and i’m grateful to all … you all might be surprised at the nuggets buried in the verbiage that i’ve picked up – too bad my short term memory is a problem 🙂

  128. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    OK, I have been in meetings all morning – back to Josh

    The law/gospel distinction is not a dogma it is a preaching / teaching paradigm. It is also helpful in your own reading but somewhat more difficult since you put preparation into preaching / teaching.

    So, when you are working with a passage, you need to be able to distinguish is God giving you a command or is God giving you a promise.
    When God gives a command, you need to realize you cannot keep it in the way it is commanded – and this should elicit a certain response. (probably, Lord have mercy.

    When God delivers a promise (gospel) in his word, you can take it to the bank.

  129. Josh the Baptist says:

    Yeah, it can be a helpful idea.

    What about my take on the passage at 109? Any thoughts?

  130. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – I agree with your #109 and have said from the very beginning this is the theme. I give these lessons to Michael a couple of weeks in advance so I don’t remember for sure but I think next week we touch on that again – anchoring ourselves so we don’t drift away – which was a big topic we discussed back in I think Ch 2 … who gets the warning about drifting away – can the believer drift away?

  131. Josh the Baptist says:

    Look back at my #109 – I talk specifically about whom the warning was issued to.

  132. Josh the Baptist says:

    Doesn’t matter?

  133. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – I did read it – you said of these folks “You hear of Jesus, and feel that He may be The One. After some time in fellowship with others who believe the same,”

    So they are believing what the others believe – what am I missing? If I hang at your church for a period of time and come to believe what you believe, wouldn’t that mean that I too am a Christian? If so, if I have doubts am I not just a Christian with doubts … perhaps even very serious doubts?

  134. Josh the Baptist says:

    You go it. I’m talking about a guy in a SBC church in 2015.
    That’s exactly who the warning was for.

  135. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Why do you get so defensive? I am just reading your words – I thought I was agreeing with you.

    Didn’t you say they came to believe what the others in that Hebrew congregation came to believe and then generated some doubt?

    I guess I have trouble reading in the original English

  136. Josh the Baptist says:

    I think you do.

    I started with “Imagine you are a Jew, pre-messiah”. That is the audience. It is not a question of saved or un-saved, but “Is this the one Messiah, or is another one coming?”. The answer is a resounding “THIS IS THE ONE. DON’T GO LOOKING FOR ANOTHER ONE!”

    Does that make more sense?

  137. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So sorry, but the book of Hebrews was not written to pre Jesus people.

    No, I think these were people who became Christians who were now looking to go back to temple Judaism for life conveniences. They were stricken and shunned for converting and now figure it would be easier to return to the Jewish life and gain back their friends and neighbors.

    At least that’s my take. And I do think this was serious as I think most of that church had either already left or was i the process of leaving and that the remaining faithful called in one of the big guys — I think Barnabas to win them back with the facts of who Jesus is.

  138. Josh the Baptist says:

    Geez, nevermind.

  139. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t mind.

  140. Josh the Baptist says:

    Obviously, this was not written before Christ, and if that is what you really thought I was aiming at…well, dang.

    I’m probably wasting my breath, because it seems you are just as willing to pick apart my words individually as you are the scriptures in order to prove your pets.

    Nevertheless.

    Hebrews was written to people who had been Jews. Grew up Jew. Knew the Law, the OT, the special days…all that. OT Jews knew that a Messiah was coming. These particular Jews happened top live in the time when Jesus actually came. So you have people coming to see if this is the Messiah. “Tasting” if you will. After a time, they start thinking – maybe not. I’ll go back to the Jewish religion and continue to wait.

    The author of Hebrews says no. Jesus is the Messiah, He’s the only one. He came and died and he’s not gonna be crucified again.

    That is what this warning is about. REPEAT: This warning is not about whether MLD can starve his faith and walk away from salvation.

  141. uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Yes, He does keep his promises, just as He gives us commandments. God simply does not command anyone to do anything, He has not given or equipped us to do. To take on and to buy into this idea we don’t have choice and that we are helpless and hopelessly locked into believing that we cannot follow His commandments while also perceiving them as a burden lnstead of that which evidence Him who dwells within us.

  142. Steve Wright says:

    could you complete your thoughts with an explanation of the following:
    “and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”
    What is the unbeliever falling away from? And what kind of repentance did the unbeliever have that now they can’t be restored to?
    Lastly, under your interpretation, would not the “impossibility” warning be even more severe? In other words, falling away from simply considering Jesus or “playing church” would be final.
    ———————————————————————-
    Hi Jean, I don’t mind giving you my explanation.

    First, “fall away” is not a definitive Greek word (we can only discuss deeper fine points of theology in the original text) – by not definitive I mean it only appears one time in the entire New Testament and so it is tough to say what it means or does not mean, specifically in this context. If we just read “fall away” and shout “Of course it means to reject Jesus after being born again” we are going way beyond what is allowable to be dogmatic on.

    The word is a compound of two common words, the verb, fall (pipto), and a common preposition that has a whole lot of nuances (para) – with, from, by side etc. Fall out of ekpipto is more common in the New Testament.

    So in such vague doctrinal discussion it is not a lot of use to find how the ancient Greeks used the word in everyday speech. But sometimes it can be helpful to check the Septuagint, which, while not inspired, still involves our Biblical ideas and themes. The word only appears a few times, almost all in Ezekiel and if you look it up I think you would be hardpressed to argue the people described were once faithful old covenant Jews who turned away and rather you would mostly see a people that are wicked and unrepentant, despite their association with God’s people

    The point is that neither side can be dogmatic just on the use of this one word in Hebrews. I can make a strong argument, and so can you, as to the word, so we must look elsewhere.

    Now, as to the extent of the verse. Note the outside influence “to renew them again” This is where I speak to the crucial understanding of the role of the Spirit in salvation (and once more, where I must part with the infant baptism crowd)

    The Spirit convicts me of sin, shows me the answer in Jesus crucified, risen and alive. Draws me to Him. And the saved person responds in faith (now, difference of opinion as to if the faith is given or if God is in effect giving the person that clarity to respond for this discussion is irrelevant). Now if the person hears the gospel and rejects, it will be harder and harder to respond over time. Not impossible, and the Spirit does not tell us when He has given up on someone – thought the Bible is clear that the Spirit DOES on occasion stop pursuing people and trying to convict. Just leave them to their destruction. There is a line that can be crossed and without God convicting, nobody is getting saved. We don’t know that line so we can witness, pray until the person dies that they might repent and believe.

    Which then speaks to repentance (again, still in that verse 6) That word means a change of mind – first and foremost. But about what? Not that my sin is sin, but a change of mind about me BEING a sinner who will face God’s righteous judgement one day. Convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgement to come is the verse. A change of mind about Who Jesus is, who I am in God’s sight. A change of mind about what the cross was all about. (I can relate to this so well because I did not get saved until I was 25). And then that response in faith…to believe. What good news it is to realize God loves me and died for me.

    So imagine someone who has heard the gospel, and rather than rejected, has continued to play along with the Christians. Gotten involved, gone through the motions of baptism and communion, but never had the Spiritual birth. If this person then says “I am going back to Judaism” – he “falls from” the truth about Jesus – and it is significant that the context specifically is going back to Judaism in this book of Hebrews. Not becoming an atheist or Buddhist or something like the application is always made in preaching today…

    Well, for such a Jew to that, they have no hope. Why. Because the Spirit is not going to convict them of Jesus unto repentance a second time. What is there for Him to “say” – There is no “faith moment” possible for such a Jew who claims to understand and play along with Jesus as Messiah but then goes back to the old Moses ways. God is not going to pursue him and without God, nobody is repenting unto salvation. Just like in the OT examples where God tells the prophets, stop speaking to them, I’m done with them. Leave them to their sin.

    That’s how I explain the rest of the verse. Yes, it is even more severe. But it is not something we know so we keep preaching, praying, witnessing…and it is not something that applies to the person who just does not believe over and over. This is a deliberate turn, a “fall” from the truth in Christ. “Away” from the truth.

  143. Josh the Baptist says:

    While I like most of what Steve is saying there, I don’t think there is much of an application for the modern guy sitting in the pew, other than to say “Jesus is the Messiah, and if you don’t follow Him, God’s got nothing else for you.”.

  144. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve,
    When I wanted to discuss words, I got
    Enlighten means enlighten
    Impossible means impossible
    Israel means Israel — ooops! 😉

    So the tide turns and you are asked to explain falling away, well,… that’s not so easy.

    How about falling away means falling away – a synonym for when the author spoke of drifting away or not staying anchored?

  145. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – if you are not open or willing to engage my point about Greek then why should I bother.

    Go ahead and argue complex doctrines in English and have fun. You stand in a very short list of non-scholars in doing so.

    Some words have a direct connection in English – there is zero room for confusion at least in the translation of the word from Greek to English. Some words like parapipto do not – and when they are a hapax-legomenon it is especially hard.

  146. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – Go get your English Bible and look up every use in English of the word found in the Septuagint. That’s what I did – looked at every verse and I don’t think there was one verse there where the English translated the Hebrew for which the Septuagint used parapipto in the same way twice.

    You have shown the exact point I referenced with Jean above, namely If we just read “fall away” and shout “Of course it means to reject Jesus after being born again” we are going way beyond what is allowable to be dogmatic on.

    But rest assured, I doubt your class that you said asks questions and goes back and forth is going to bring it up…God might later some day though…teachers do get held to a stricter judgement you know….I try to walk softly on words the greatest scholars are still a little divided over…

  147. Jean says:

    “So imagine someone who has heard the gospel, and rather than rejected, has continued to play along with the Christians. Gotten involved, gone through the motions of baptism and communion, but never had the Spiritual birth. If this person then says “I am going back to Judaism” – he “falls from” the truth about Jesus – and it is significant that the context specifically is going back to Judaism in this book of Hebrews. Not becoming an atheist or Buddhist or something like the application is always made in preaching today…”

    Steve,
    If someone falls away in this manner, then we would have to conclude under your teaching that they were only playing along, “either knowingly or in self-deception” to begin with.

    So between your doctrine and Lutheranism, I’m trying to understand the stakes. I can’t see how under either doctrine one has eternal security (and I’m not saying that God owes us that either). Both doctrines appear to require faith until the end, don’t they?

    The only difference seems to be the ability to know that you were saved at some point. For Lutherans, you can know it at the beginning. Under your doctrines, you can know it at the end. But both doctrines require faith at the end.

    Comments from you or MLD?

  148. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Jean – I will answer later this evening when I get home from work. Boy, this work stuff really cramps my blogging time 🙂

  149. Steve Wright says:

    Jean,

    Security is also built on the teachings of what happens at salvation. We are baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ. No longer identified with Adam, or seen as “in Adam” but rather now “in Christ” – There is zero indication or explanation how anyone ever gets unbaptized and tossed back into Adam and kicked out of Christ.

    We are sealed as I said earlier, by the Spirit. As I often state – that sealing in the 1st century spoke to ownership and security. No indication of any breaking of a seal, and just like nobody would break Caesar’s seal if they wanted to keep their head, who is going to break God’s seal?

    Also – adoption. A study of adoption in this time opens wide a new depth of why God used this description for us. Adopted children actually had greater benefits, not simply equal benefits, as your blood kids. The law reasoned that you were stuck with your blood kids and if they were scoundrels to the family name you could do something about that but you CHOSE your adopted child..nobody forced you to…so those kids were protected in a special way no matter how they turned out, or if you regretted or changed your mind. Again, no concept in those days of telling an adopted child that there was a possibility they could be “orphaned” again.

    The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are an adopted child of God. I don’t have to wait until I die! I know I am saved, now. I don’t need to allow for the possibility of the dying of faith to affirm my salvation in the here and now.

  150. Jean says:

    “The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are an adopted child of God. I don’t have to wait until I die! I know I am saved, now. I don’t need to allow for the possibility of the dying of faith to affirm my salvation in the here and now.”

    Steve, in my prior tradition, following John Wesley, we referred to that as the inner witness of the Holy Spirit. This sounds like what you mean, although you probably part company with Wesley at other points.

  151. Steve Wright says:

    I part company with everyone at some points….

    I love Wesley. A giant of the faith

  152. Steve Wright says:

    The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God

    Rom 8:16

  153. Jean says:

    Steve,

    You’ve presented your counterpoint teaching very well. It is never easy to conduct an ecumenical Bible study. I take my hat off to both you and MLD for providing a lot of food for thought.

  154. Steve hasn’t answered Jean’s question. He has stated why he has the knowledge of faith today but has not addressed how he knows he really is not a faker who will fall away.

    Everything stated about adoption and the witnessing of the spirit is fine and good. However, every person I know who has turned away from the church and Jesus will testify that they also had those same “inner” assurances. I am sure that if we were to interview Hymenaeus and Alexander they would give tremendous testimony to all of that … until they shipwrecked their faith and were handed over to satan.

    I too teach strongly for adoption into the family, but I also know that adopted children can and do legally separate by their own doing and have adoption nullified.

    So the question is for the OSAS’d crowd is how do you know that you are not Hymenaeus and Alexander at the stage that in their own hearts and minds were walking with the Lord – safe and secure?

  155. I am catching up a little now that I am home.
    Steve – at your 143 you said “This is where I speak to the crucial understanding of the role of the Spirit in salvation (and once more, where I must part with the infant baptism crowd)” and then your following paragraph – I will grant that you do not understand what is going on when a child is being baptized, but I must ask;
    How far are you willing to divide the spirit from the word? If the word is preached at the baptism, is not the spirit there doing his work?

    You seem to see the spirit through the word cajoling people into right thinking, where I see the word and the spirit actually converting people … regardless of age.

  156. Jean says:

    # 150: “The Holy Spirit bears witness with our spirit that we are an adopted child of God. I don’t have to wait until I die! I know I am saved, now. I don’t need to allow for the possibility of the dying of faith to affirm my salvation in the here and now.”

    Steve, this Pauline reference is a major theological fork in the road among traditions. I will summarize those traditions as follows:

    1) The Holy Spirit’s witness is experienced by the Christian and affirms his/her adoption as a child of God. Could you describe how you counsel new believers as to how, when and in what manner that witness is inwardly experienced? Wesley searched (and sometimes despaired) for years, perhaps decades, before he had that experience.

    2) There is another tradition, shared by Lutherans, which (and this may be clumsy – so feel free to correct me MLD) holds that the Holy Spirit’s work (and witness) is hidden. That is, this tradition holds that the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, witness, intercession and other works are believed by faith alone.

    There are two primary reasons for the Lutheran teaching:

    (a) A Christian cannot trust in inward experiences. Thus, we read Paul lamenting that “I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.” Even though the Christian is born again, his/her new life is hidden within his/her old Adam, which clings to all Christians until death. Therefore, the Christian cannot look inward for assurance, but must look externally to the Gospel’s promise by faith alone. All human experiences are tainted by the old Adam.

    (b) The other reason why a Christian does not look inwardly for a divine experiences is the belief that God only reveals himself to human beings in his Word. In other words, God can only be found outside ourselves in his Son alone. The Bible then tells us where we can find Christ: in the preached Word; bread, wine and water.

    What do people think of these traditions or any others?

  157. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, my trust is on the promises in God’s word. Not any inner feelings.

    I cite that verse because the common challenge I hear all the time is that somehow the assurance of salvation, that you are REALLY saved, can only be held by someone who does NOT hold to eternal security. Not necessarily you, but on these pages, constantly.

    It is very convenient charge…but it also is ludicrous to think I can’t know I am a child of God today who has been born again just because someone with a doctrinal difference is not capable of figuring out how that is possible or refuses to grant the allowance.

    I know I am saved. It is a Spiritual birth, and I know I am alive – the verse from Paul, God’s word, clinches what are ALL the promises of salvation found in the word. And I might add that my faith has shown itself in my works, also as the Scripture declares.

    When another comes along and say “Well, that makes you no different than a Mormon”….let’s just say I would not return the charge in kind and say “Well, you are no different than a JW who thinks if you don’t keep working God will abandon you”

    It kills reasonable discussion.

  158. Em says:

    said to myself that i’d read and keep my fingers off these keys today…
    but you’re making me think again, try to sort out details (this isn’t a good morning for doing that)
    i think that the flesh and the inner man/heart are separate and distinct from the spirit because it makes sense to me that our spirit isn’t part of our life until the new birth – the two part man with a dead and dying soul becomes a new man by a spiritual birth – this seems to be our biggest hang up as we try to resolve losing salvation – at just what point are we saved and is that salvation eternal?
    better to worry that one might get lost again than to presume upon the grace of God at any rate…

  159. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I am still looking for the answer to the Hymenaeus and Alexander issue. I do not deny any of what Steve says about how we can know we are saved. What I am looking for is how I know it won’t end under any circumstance.

    As I said before, Hymenaeus and Alexander I am sure could have stood before any church group and given testimony to their great salvation, the inner witness and their changed lives etc. However, Paul said that they shipwrecked their faith. Now, we know by common sense, Paul would not be talking about they shipwrecked their “false faith” – it had to be a real, true blue Christian faith that they shipwrecked.

    We can also tell by the text that Hymenaeus and Alexander were Christians because Paul handed them over to Satan — hey, if they were fake Christians, they already belonged to Satan.

    At least that’s my read. 😉

  160. How can anyone have the temerity to think they can hand over someone else’s property to someone who has only bad intent toward the property? Are Xtian leaders stewards of other believers exercising supposed power to hand any believer over to a prince of darkness? This is another instance where Jesus and Paul don’t line up. And how can anyone dare to dismiss the assurance that “all who The Father gave me shall not be lost except the one, Judas”?

    If someone has “shipwrecked their faith, is not that same Jesus of the Gospels ready, willing & able to endure with them and lead them back to full community?

    Jesus is ALWAYS the missing agent of empowerment and assurance in these theological wranglings.

    Water you turned into wine, opened the eyes of the blind there’s no one like you, none like You!
    Into the darkness you shine out of the ashes we rise there’s no one like you none like You!
    Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other.
    Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God! Our God!

    Into the darkness you shine out of the ashes we rise there’s no one like you, none like You!
    Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other.
    Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God! Our God!
    Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other.
    Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God! Our God!

    And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
    And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.
    And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
    And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.
    What could stand against.

    Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other.
    Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God! Our God!
    Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other.
    Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God! Our God!
    And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
    And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.
    And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
    And if our God is with us, then what could stand against.
    Then what could stand against.

    Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other.
    Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God! Our God!
    Our God is greater, our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other.
    Our God is Healer, Awesome in Power, Our God! Our God!

  161. Michael says:

    Being turned over to Satan was for the destruction of the flesh that would lead to repentance , thus saving the soul, not damning it.
    It was in reality, an act of grace.

  162. Steve Wright says:

    I agree with Michael at #162. The point of church excommunication is bring people BACK to God. It is almost impossible today when they just cruise down the street to the next church which likely will ignore any warning from the first church because “we believe in grace here, brother..like Jesus taught”

  163. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    and if they still don’t repent?

  164. Michael says:

    MLD,

    We only have the Corinthian example to go by…it worked.

  165. Em says:

    “It is almost impossible today when they just cruise down the street to the next church which likely will ignore any warning from the first church because “we believe in grace here, brother..like Jesus taught””
    another example of why churches shouldn’t have parking lots 🙂

  166. Josh the Baptist says:

    Treat them as unbelievers.

    But this facet of 1st century life is impossible in 2015 USA.

  167. But what about the questions raised?
    Does anyone have the power to turn another believer over to “satan for the destruction of the flesh”?

    Jesus argued strongly that we don’t even have that power of destruction. He argued strongly for our ability to have confidence in Him, no matter what, without condition. He argued firmly that He and His faithfulness, and the very act of His Father giving someone to Him was immutable, irrefutable, and the central confidence of any wayward son that The Father was generous, willing to accept and consider a “lesser place, yet the wayward son was stunned that his Father would drop everything and rush to embrace him and have none of his nonsense about being a mere servant.

    How does any of what I’m offering factor into this?
    Is it merely to be dismissed, or can I get a witness that Jesus is unfairly awesome and able to bring any and all of us sliding into home plate declaring “SAFE!”

  168. Churches don’t have parking lots, they have dinner tables

  169. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I don’t know how other churches handle excommunication, but the only real difference in the Lutheran Church is that we withhold communion from them.

    How else would a church treat someone as an unbeliever? Unless someone is disruptive I want them in my church just as I want unbelievers in my church, to hear God’s word and to reflect on what they are missing.

  170. Michael says:

    G,

    I have no doubt that Jesus will save all of those He has been given by the Father.

    No doubts at all.

    His methodology for that salvation may be a tad more harsh than we would like to consider.

    I also have no doubt that Paul was an Apostle of God and spoke and acted in an authoritative capacity.

  171. Michael says:

    The whole Jesus vs. Paul thing is a complete mystery to me.

    It was Paul that revealed salvation by grace through faith.
    Jesus said be perfect as Him and pull your eyes out or cut your hand off if need be to do so.

    You can’t understand one without the other…

  172. Steve Wright says:

    If someone in the church is living for the flesh, with no concern or clue as to the evil of their behavior, seeing no need to change anything, but also professing Jesus and having a great time whooping it up in church and going to the potlucks and getting serious at the appropriate times in the sermon with an occasional “Amen” – then they are not doing their own soul or the souls of others any good whatsoever. Thus the point of the Scriptural instruction.

    If such a person is removed from all their friends and fellowship, then hopefully God will bring conviction of their sin and they will repent. If by chance, this person was never saved and just enjoying this Christian experiment and will move on to Buddhism later, then let him. At least his leaven won’t affect the rest of the church.

    We had to do this for the very first time in my years at CCLE. Someone you would think is just this great on fire Christian engaged in some real vile stuff that was hurting and abusing another person and admitting the behavior but self-justifying and blame shifting in a manner that was jaw dropping to all the pastors and Board members in the meeting with him. It is not fun, and we pray God will bring him to repentance but he sure isn’t going to pollute the rest of the congregation (many of whom know of his actions to this person who also goes to the church). It is not fun, but we have clear Biblical guidelines to support such decisions.

    He now has dozens of churches to attend within a small radius from our place. That wasn’t the case unfortunately in Corinth

  173. Michael,
    I’m glad we share the confidence Jesus gives us.

    When did Jesus give Paul the power and ability to deliver His property to anyone?

    Moreover, when did any of us receive that power? It appears to be an invention by the early church, and flies in the face of “patiently enduring” with one another. We were given the ministry of reconciliation, that means we doggedly pursue, in a loving manner, those who are self selecting destruction. We are to patiently stay engaged with them, even when they declare themselves their own god (im thinking of a number of my athiest friends).

    The concept of “excommunication” implies that “communication” should be ended, removed, denied, that shunning is a good and healthy thing. It completely flies in the face of Jesus’ example, so how can we embrace something Jesus didn’t model. He hung in there with each of us when we were most unlovely. How can we not continue to do the same with others in the family?

  174. Steve Wright says:

    And before someone challenges excommunication…my guy was a wife abuser, emotional, verbal, and physical and after much time the wife finally fled the home for her safety (and possibly her life as these things do tend to escalate). In doing so she left our church, all her female Christian friends.

    So in rebuttal, rebuttal THAT not some hypothetical of your choosing.
    You guys going to let her lose everything and let the guy stay around and the rest of the church who knows what went down think the leadership does not care?

    Isn’t that what Paul’s real rebuke was all about – less to the guy and more towards those who tolerated that in the church?

  175. Michael says:

    G,

    It was Jesus who taught excommunication first.

    ““If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”
    (Matthew 18:15–17 ESV)

    The Jews were forbidden to eat or associate with tax collectors and Gentiles…they were outside the covenant family.

  176. “Jesus said be perfect as Him and pull your eyes out or cut your hand off if need be to do so.”

    Jesus was speaking in hyperbole, His Aramaic hearers knew that full well, just as “cut your arm off” (or other appendages as well) is hyperbole, just as “”twice as fit for hell” was understood as being fit for being pitched into the town garbage dump, known as Gehenna.

    Jesus was constantly telling us we were self selecting attitudes and adventures which were unhealthy, all the while reminding us over and over of The Father’s presence and Kingdom, and that we can embrace Him.

  177. Michael says:

    Steve,

    I would have beat his ass and then thrown him out.
    But that’s just me…

  178. Yet Jesus lived the example of Kingdom by eating and associating with tax collectors, so to cite a legal process is not enough. Jesus, by his actions, confounded those who took his earlier advice of shunning and had to deal with His outrageous example of embracing the shunned.

  179. Michael says:

    G,

    Those words weren’t just for Aramaic speakers….
    Here’s the point.
    Compare the Gospel of grace found in Romans and Galatians with any of Jesus’s sermons…I’ll take Paul every day.

    Jesus set the bar way too high…

  180. I think the point is being missed in that whatever we do it is with the heart toward reconciliation and protection of the weak

  181. Michael says:

    G,

    Your 181 is absolutely correct.
    The discipline of God towards His kids is always rehabilitative and never retributive.
    He still uses discipline…

  182. M,
    yet, Jesus is God, Paul is a fellow follower.
    Jesus empowers us to follow Him, the effect is His craftmanship

    As to Jesus & Aramaic listeners, he spoke Aramaic, and those idioms he spoke to those hearers, as he intended them, as the heard him are essential to us understanding Him

  183. Jean says:

    The visible church exists in Christ’s left hand kingdom, where he rules by the Law.

  184. …candidly, I would join you and want to beat that guy’s ass, but “the want” VS “the do” is where Jesus expects us to be creative in the problem solving, and Pastor Steve and you as a pastor are daily challenged to implement, which is why you guys remain in my thoughts and prayers.

  185. Michael says:

    My conclusion is thus…the warning passages in this text and church discipline including excommunication are all evidences of Gods love and are means by which He keeps all those that have been given Him from eternal destruction.

    We will read later in this very book that experiencing the discipline of God is proof of election…

  186. “The visible church exists in Christ’s left hand kingdom, where he rules by the Law”

    can’t agree, Jean. The visible church is a Whole Person, not a schizophrenic model as you suggest.

  187. Michael says:

    G,

    I have told the men in my church that if they strike their wives they will be struck by me.
    So far, we haven’t had a problem… 🙂

  188. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    G,
    How about when Jesus said this John 20 – ” Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

    In Matt 18 we have that binding and loosing stuff – that he says “Truly I tell you, whatever YOU bind …” note that he gives the authority to the church through the office of the ministry.

  189. Steve Wright says:

    MIchael, as basically the meeting was ending and it was clear he was not changing his lase piety parting word was “Well, I would like to lead us in prayer as we dismiss” to which I interrupted and said, No, you aren’t going to pray. We are done.

    This after well over an hour of butting heads.

    The narrative on the street is he is telling people he asked me to pray with him for strength and I refused to pray with him. In fact, a later edition has him starting to pray and me stopping him in mid sentence.

    Such is life.

  190. Stepping away from my break to do design, thanks for hearing and the discussion.

  191. Steve Wright says:

    We will read later in this very book that experiencing the discipline of God is proof of election…
    ——————————-
    An excellent point. One I try to make often in my messages as well. (Not just in Hebrews studies either)

  192. Steve Wright says:

    By the way, Michael. Though no longer in the area we are keeping contact with the sister and helping her financially and her women friends are still connecting with her etc. She knows this is and will always be her church.

  193. MLD,
    Sorry, I missed your comment.
    Jesus was pointing out the simplest truth of life, that if we don’t work through our broken relationships we all suffer.
    Simple, direct.
    Not setting up a legal system with a hirearchy of clerics, offices and titles.
    Just plain, gritty real, “git ‘er done” kinda stuff.

  194. Michael says:

    Steve,

    You know this already, but you can only do what the Scriptures say and then leave the rest to God.
    If you refuse to discipline people in those situations, that is the truly unloving act…both to the sinner and those sinned against.

  195. Steve,
    “Though no longer in the area we are keeping contact with the sister and helping her financially and her women friends are still connecting with her etc. She knows this is and will always be her church.”

    You all rock, most excellent!!!

  196. Michael says:

    G,

    That is not even close to what that passage says…not even in the area code.

  197. M,
    “I have told the men in my church that if they strike their wives they will be struck by me.
    So far, we haven’t had a problem… :-)”

    now that’s what I call “laying on of hands” 😉

  198. M,
    If that core truth of what Jesus is saying can’t be simply understood by the context and dialog then you’re gonna have to clarify with my how it’s not.

  199. gotta check back later, the timecard calls

  200. Josh the Baptist says:

    “When he gives comfort, speaking of eternal salvation, he is speaking in his gospel to HIS people.”

    What does eternal mean? Or did you accidentally use the wrong word?

  201. Michael says:

    The core truth being presented is that both the sinner and the people of God in danger from the sinner have to be dealt with.
    The sinner must come under discipline in hopes of repentance and the church must be protected from the actions of the sinner.
    The Head of the church instructs us on what that process looks like.

    Who is the “You” being addressed that can pronounce forgiveness of sin…or have that sin rest upon the sinner?

  202. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, funny you didn’t ask the same question when I spoke of destruction of his people when he speaks in his law voice in the sentence before.

    The key word in that phrase is comfort – when people are worried and in distress over their sin, Jesus gives comfort to them by telling them they are eternally secure.
    But at the same time, when a believer is thinking he is getting away with something in his salvation, (such as Steve’s example) God, in his law voice says “don’t be so sure.”

  203. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Jesus gives comfort to them by telling them they are eternally secure.”

    So, in your view, either eternal means something different than the rest of the world knows, or Jesus is liar.

  204. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael,
    “The core truth being presented is that both the sinner and the people of God in danger from the sinner have to be dealt with.”

    I thought the ‘sinner’ was a people of God. Now you are separating them?

  205. Josh the Baptist says:

    I’m guessing you are using the wrong word, right? You don’t really mean eternal, do you?

  206. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh – someone who has no training in understanding the proper distinction of law and gospel would ask that question.

    Look, being a Lutheran is tough business. We handle our theologies through the paradoxes we see in scripture. Perhaps you can ignore them
    Law and Gospel
    Sin and Grace
    The 2 kinds of righteousness
    The 2 kingdoms
    The Simul – being both 100% saint and at the same time !00% sinner.

    Being a Baptist is easy – perhaps I should return. 🙂

  207. Michael says:

    “I thought the ‘sinner’ was a people of God. Now you are separating them?”

    Don’t be ridiculous.
    It distracts from the discussion.

    The passage is dealing with an “unrepentant” sinner and that sinner is separated from the assembly of repentant sinners due to that lack of repentance.

    There are two distinct peoples in terms of actions taken and the motivation to take them.

  208. Jean says:

    “Look, being a Lutheran is tough business. We handle our theologies through the paradoxes we see in scripture.”

    Tough but enlighten-ing. 🙂

  209. Josh the Baptist says:

    See, you avoid answering the question by turning to insults. I won’t take that bait…this time.

    So is one of the Lutheran paradoxes that eternal can somehow mean temporary?

    That is all I’m asking. The other stuff you ramble on about, I already know. I want to know what you meant by eternal.

  210. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    yes, for the believer, the person in Christ it is eternal.
    For the person who no longer believes, well it’s one of 2 things – you have either removed yourself from that security or as I said before, and some were insulted — God id stuck with you.

    And I did not avoid answering – I answered your question in my #203. You have this thing that makes you refuse my answers.

  211. Josh the Baptist says:

    No, i asked a follow up in #204 based on your answer in #203.

    So, in the world of Lutherans eternal does in fact mean “possibly temporary”.

    Gotcha, and no thanks. I’ll stick with being a simpleton baptist.

  212. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    It’s not a matter of what I or ‘Lutherans’ think – it’s what the word of God says.
    As Michael would say, make your own application.

    I have no problem stating that we read scripture differently and come to different conclusions. It’s like me trying to figure out why folks who call themselves Baptists do not baptize all people brought to them. 😉

    Here is where we differ right now – you seem to think that Hebrews, or at least the warnings are written only to the outside fringe of unbelievers who hang out at church. I on the other hand think it is written, all of it to the believers in that church.(see 2:1)

    I just want to know whose mail I am reading? What can I say – there does not seem to be a bridge – hence denominations.

  213. Jean says:

    “yes, for the believer, the person in Christ it is eternal.”

    MLD’s comment is key at the point “in Christ.” The Christian’s righteousness is external/alien. It is Christ’s righteousness credited to us. There is no point in this earthly life when any human being could come out from under the covering of Christ and justify him/her-self before the father.

    We receive Christ’s righteousness by faith alone. If a Christian disavows his/her prior faith in Christ’s promise, then he/she no longer has faith. If salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, and the person has no faith, then the person does not have salvation.

  214. Steve Wright says:

    We receive Christ’s righteousness by faith alone. If a Christian disavows his/her prior faith in Christ’s promise, then he/she no longer has faith.
    —————————————————–
    This is why I always try to talk about the other Biblical teachings connected to the saved individual.

    If I just read this – it is textbook decision theology. I believe today I believe tomorrow, I don’t believe Friday and I am lost. It is up to me and my faith. How that is reconciled with the teaching that God gives us the faith to believe (which I think is the Lutheran view) is really puzzling.

    But there is never the interaction to the other facts of the sealing, the being rermoved from In Adam, placed in the Body of Christ.

    MLD likes to say “Christ is stuck with you” to imply you can be an unbeliever and still be in heaven because you believed at one point or you can remove yourself….and just refuses to even allow for what it is Josh and I (and Michael and others at least on this point agree with)…and that is the person never had the Spiritual birth, never was removed from “in Adam” never placed in the Body of Christ, never sealed with the Spirit.

    It is us who actually in our doctrine refute decision theology, because salvation is far far more than just a human’s opinion/belief/faith in Jesus in the moment, that can then alter down the road – it is a Spiritual birth. Something radical takes place beyond our mental knowledge and beyond our choosing to keep taking communion, going to church and so forth. Or in evangelical circles you could add altar calls, crusades and emotional experiences (which is how we explain those people who “seem” to believe but don’t endure. They never had the birth Jesus said we MUST have – you MUST be born again.

    And as I said earlier, each of us personally can know with certainty we have been born again. We may not know it about others (and that is why things like discipline exist and Jesus would say treat them like unbelievers – let God sort out their destiny but for our consideration I can doubt your salvation by your lifestyle with the Lord’s blessing – and all that matters is in church fellowship matters anyway

  215. Michael says:

    “If a Christian disavows his/her prior faith in Christ’s promise, then he/she no longer has faith. If salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, and the person has no faith, then the person does not have salvation.”

    This would make it incumbent upon the person to make sure to drum up some faith…having faith becomes the responsibility of the believer.
    This would make salvation utterly synergistic and dependent upon the one being saved.

    I believe that the faith to believe is a gift from God, not an act of mans will.
    Once given the faith is never removed…He will lose none of those given to Him.

  216. Josh the Baptist says:

    “It’s not a matter of what I or ‘Lutherans’ think – it’s what the word of God says.”

    So you are telling me the The Word of God says eternal can sometimes mean temporary? If you are going to point to the Bible, I will need chapter and verse, again.

    “It’s like me trying to figure out why folks who call themselves Baptists do not baptize all people brought to them. ”

    For all of your touting that you used to Baptist, you clearly never even began to understand what that was about. Baptist is from Anabaptist, which means roughly “to baptize again”. This name was given by persecutors, for they weren’t seeking to baptise again, but believe that baptism should come after a profession of faith. Any one who comes to us professing faith, and seeking to follow the Lord in Believer’s baptism, we gladly Baptize.

    “you seem to think that Hebrews, or at least the warnings are written only to the outside fringe of unbelievers who hang out at church. ”

    That is so weird, because I tried to make very clear who this warning was written to, but you didn’t use any of the same terms I used. Refer back to my #109.

  217. Michael says:

    I find all this puzzling.
    Once must be born again…suggesting a new life.
    Does one die spiritually if they don’t have the requisite faith?

    The Bible says we are sealed by the Holy Spirit.
    Are we to believe we can break that seal and free ourselves from Christ?

    We are placed in Christ…do we fall out if we lose faith?

    Was Jesus lying when He said He would lose none?

  218. Josh the Baptist says:

    “If a Christian disavows his/her prior faith in Christ’s promise, then he/she no longer has faith”

    Which, again, is the very definition of temporary. Which is fine, but the word used was “eternal”.

  219. Em says:

    well…. hmm…..
    reading the study of Hebrews here – and there is so much good stuff on the table – as of now i conclude that being a Lutheran would indeed be tough – for me, at least
    but then every denomination seems to hold a pet dogma that is a separation point for me
    kind of like berry picking while mountain climbing – enjoying what i find as i go
    hmmm… does that mean that i am gorp dependent? hope not

  220. Jean says:

    Steve, Michael and Josh,

    Regarding decision theology, that’s a slightly different issue, but we can take that up in a later comment. Here I would like to refer to Paul’s letter to the Galations, where the temptation was not apparently to totally abandon Christ, but to submit to Jewish works of the law. In other words, some Galation Christians had or work seriously thinking about substituting works righteousness for sola fide. Here is Paul’s stern warning:

    “Look: I, Paul, say to you that if you accept circumcision, Christ will be of no advantage to you. I testify again to every man who accepts circumcision that he is obligated to keep the whole law. You are severed from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have fallen away from grace.”

    This is about as clear as can be. Would you not agree that (1) to be severed from Christ, you must have at one time been united with him? and (2) if you are severed from Christ, you no longer have your sins forgiven by the blood of Christ?

  221. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael – as I said to Josh, we read the scriptures differently. Those who do not deal with paradox come to your conclusion.
    In Hebrews, and we should stick here, you have the writer / speaker dividing the church, like Jesus divides the sheep and the goats. So when he is saying the good stuff he is talking to one side of the church – we will call them believers.

    But when he addresses warnings, you have him turning and only addressing the fringe unbelievers who have chosen to hang out ‘at church’.

    I can’t read it that way – I have to deal with the fact that he is addressing one audience in his law and his gospel – speaking of destruction and eternal life all at the same time.

  222. Michael says:

    MLD,

    You are wrong about my view.
    I believe that the writer is addressing believers.
    I believe we should preach the warnings.

    The function of the warnings are like the signs on a dangerous road…they inform, not decree.
    I can’t separate this book or these passages from the ones that promise Gods keeping power.

    The tension must be embraced, not explained away to fit a system.

  223. Josh the Baptist says:

    MLD – Do you not understand who I think the warning was to, or do you just think that it has no merit? Reference my 109 if you don’t remember.

  224. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I remember who you said they were. There are only believers and unbelievers. You said they were the unbelievers.There are no seekers

    Well I take it back – you said it was not a saved or not issue.

  225. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael,
    “The tension must be embraced, not explained away to fit a system.”

    I am the one embracing the tension. I say God has said both … and I am willing to live with it and not pretend to understand it.

    But you seem to be saying, if the believer does not pay heed to the warning sign, he still has no chance of going over the cliff. I find that odd.

  226. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    But Jean is smarter than me – I would like one of you to address his point at #221.

    (and no fair coming up with greek that says ‘in this case sever means draw closer.) 😉

  227. Josh the Baptist says:

    I am saying this particular warning is not about the modern believer. It was written to a certain group of people at a certain time in history who were experiencing certain circumstances. It is still God’s Word, still true, but has very little application for the 2015 believer.

  228. Josh the Baptist says:

    That last one was in answer to MLD’s 226, not to Jean’s quote from Galatians.

  229. Josh the Baptist says:

    “(and no fair coming up with greek that says ‘in this case sever means draw closer.)”

    In fairness, there is a translation issue there. I’m fine with “sever”, but most translations say “alientated”, or “of no use” or something like that. Still, that doesn’t matter that much, because the intention is cleared up by context. Read another two verses:

    “You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace. For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love.”

    So the point, again, is not that Circumcision cuts you off from Salvation, but that circumcision does not save. Only Jesus saves, and in Him, circumcision or no circumcision makes no difference. You get that, right?

  230. Jean says:

    Josh,

    Paul is saying both:
    1) that circumcision does not save (as you correctly noted); AND
    2) that if you replace faith alone with faith plus circumcision, then by your alienation (severance) from Christ (who can only be obtained by faith), you have placed yourself outside of grace and back under the Law, where, as you know, no one is justified.

    His statement “fallen away from grace” means something.

  231. Josh the Baptist says:

    The passage means something. Removing it from context can make it mean anything we want.

  232. Michael says:

    I like the way N.T. Wright deals with the passage;

    Paul’s point is this: spring has come to the people of God. For over a thousand years their fellowship with God has been established through the law. This was always essentially a winter regime, a time of waiting. There are, so to speak, modes of travel which are appropriate during that winter season. But if you become so keen on them that you don’t want to abandon them in spring, you’re going to be stuck at the water’s edge—or maybe will even risk trying to get across when the ice will no longer hold your weight.
    Paul’s opponents, to use this illustration, were eager to insist that everyone should cross the lake by car. They had developed all kinds of rules of the road for getting across. The chief thing, for those starting the journey into the Jewish covenant community, was for the males to get circumcised. This was like starting the engine of the car; it was the sign that they had committed themselves to making the crossing by this route.
    But Paul’s whole point is that this route is no longer available. Spring has come, the ice has melted, and there is a new way over the lake. And this time spring is for good. God’s new age has broken in upon the world, and winter will never come again. The Messiah has established the fleet of boats that will take across anyone prepared to leave their old vehicles on the shore.
    So if the Galatians—Gentile Christians as they are—are persuaded to get themselves circumcised, they are like people being persuaded to start up their cars as though getting ready to drive across the ice when it is already melting through. There is no way across by that means. If you get circumcised, you are committing yourself to keeping the whole law, the entire Jewish Torah. It isn’t just a minor ritual requirement, which can then go comfortably alongside commitment to the Messiah. That is what the ‘agitators’ have implied, but Paul with his Pharisaic training can see that this is just the beginning. The only point of getting circumcised is if you are then intending to submit, in every other way as well, to the full discipline of the Jewish synagogue. The only point in starting the car is if you are going to drive it all the way.
    For Paul, then, the choice is absolute. You cannot have it both ways. If you want to come with the Messiah—which is now, in fact, the only way across the river—you cannot cling to the law. If you do cling to it, you are declaring that you don’t want to belong to the Messiah’s people.

    Wright, T. (2004). Paul for Everyone: Galatians and Thessalonians (pp. 61–62). London: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.

  233. Josh the Baptist says:

    Yep, NT Wright understood it.

  234. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Well not so fast – “For Paul, then, the choice is absolute. You cannot have it both ways. If you want to come with the Messiah—which is now, in fact, the only way across the river—you cannot cling to the law. If you do cling to it, you are declaring that you don’t want to belong to the Messiah’s people.”

    So let’s go with NTW. He is saying what I have been saying – as he is talking to believers (who were apparently already in a state of grace) he is now saying, if you don’t like what you signed up for and were accepted into, then you are “declaring that you don’t want to belong to the Messiah’s people.” – and I would add “any longer”

  235. Jean says:

    I have no problem with Wright’s statement…as far as it goes. However, Wright does not explicitly address with the texts of “fallen away from grace” and “severed from Christ.”

    He says you can’t cross the lake in the car with the circumcised engine. He says “If you do cling to it [i.e., circumcision)] you are declaring that you don’t want to belong to the Messiah’s people. So, by implication, Wright agrees with MLD and me that Christians who do this undue their adoption.

    What else could Wright mean?

  236. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    LOL – at the very same minute Jean and I spoke truth in unison 🙂

  237. Michael says:

    I think Paul is simply explaining the difference between the two ways and the implications of them.

    He doesn’t follow with an example…”don’t do what this guy did”.

    Both the “fallen from grace’ and “severed from Christ’ simply mean that if one chooses the law they have no access to the benefits of Christ.

    Interpretation will be dependent on where you begin…if salvation is of the believer and his drummed up faith, then he’s describing a loss of salvation.

    If salvation is of the Lord and His promises to keep are true, then you’ll be with me and Tom Wright…

  238. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    So, “you have fallen from grace” really doesn’t mean that you have actually fallen from grace – it’s just some type of hypothetical reaction to turning away from a salvation offer?

  239. Steve Wright says:

    So we have two examples now. Hebrews going back to Moses because they don’t understand the fulffillment that Jesus has accomplished….or new Gentile converts influenced by Judaizers to add a little dash of law with grace because they do not understand the fulfillment Jesus has accomplished.

    And somehow these passages are connected to an argument about a Christian losing faith in Jesus, becoming an atheist, agnostic, Buddhist or whatever.

    Bizarre.

    I’ll tell you what I tell abortion advocates who immediately bring up rape and incest. I’ll allow abortion for pregnancies relating to rape and abortion if you will not allow it for all others. You get crickets and backpeddling.

    So I’ll allow that if you can find me a Jew who supposedly turns Messianic and then departs back to the synagogue later, or can find me a Gentile somewhere who thinks he has to enter the covenant of God through the old means of circumcision, then I’ll grant you the loss of THEIR salvation…

    And you grant me eternal security for every single other example of a person having the Spiritual birth. And never apply to warning verses to anyone outside of the context of Moses and the law…..How’s that?

    Because otherwise it is not apples to oranges, it is apples to car batteries in comparison

  240. Steve Wright says:

    fallen from grace.

    Is grace now a synonym for Jesus? Or is this just more eisegesis rearing its head.

    Grace is an attribute of God and grace is a doctrine. Salvation by the Mosaic law or salvation by grace is the entire point in that very verse

    You who seek to be justified by the law have fallen from grace. THAT is what the text says. (in the context of thinking one point of the Law is needed to be added to Christ, namely circumcision. No, you are a debtor to it all if you want to go that route.)

    It really is not that hard and does not deserve even the slightest connection to what are difficult verses at least in the Hebrews epistle.

  241. Steve Wright says:

    Imagine if, in our day, someone came into our church and told my congregation that they have to tithe to get to heaven. And a bunch of people agreed and started to pressure others. I would come in fired up like Paul and rebuke the jerks teaching that crap and also tell the people who thought they were accurate something very similar. Namely, you planning on following ALL the Mosaic law of which tithing is just one part. You think that can coexist with the doctrine of grace?

  242. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “And somehow these passages are connected to an argument about a Christian losing faith in Jesus, becoming an atheist, agnostic, Buddhist or whatever.”

    Nope – never spoke once of losing salvation, having salvation taken away or any of those things. Speaking strictly to the warning being given, and as you like to say – I don’t think the writers are blowing smoke up their skirts.

    But I do like the idea that you and Josh both have made the case that biblical warnings don’t apply to us in 2015. Takes a load off my shoulders.

    I find it very difficult that you do not warn believers in your church to protect their faith. You should take Sundays off.

  243. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “Namely, you planning on following ALL the Mosaic law of which tithing is just one part. You think that can coexist with the doctrine of grace?”

    and what if the reply that they are just covering their bases – what’s the consequence? You don’t think at that point they have walked away from Christ?

  244. Michael says:

    “I find it very difficult that you do not warn believers in your church to protect their faith. You should take Sundays off.”

    Way, way, out of line.

  245. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Probably so. I just have trouble when people water it down to it doesn’t apply today. But I guess that is definition dispensationalism.

    I withdraw that comment.

  246. Steve Wright says:

    I see MLD chooses to ignore what I have said over and over again….

    But I’ll tell you this MLD. I can exhort people in the love of God and the finished work of Christ and their security as I know they are battling so many hardships and trials and the enemy would just love to place doubt in their minds (with the help of Christian TV) that if God really cared and loved them and they were faithful they would be walking in the blessings and all would be roses…so maybe something is wrong. Maybe they don’t really believe.

    Or I can warn them about going to hell each week, warn them that if they get out of line – of course without being able to be specific in anything, but just if they let things dry up and their faith drift away (again, these would be people actually at church that Sunday) they might wake up some day in a lost state and not even know or care. So better get to that communion table, better not miss a Sunday.

    With those options, I will take the first and be THAT kind of Sunday preacher. While of course preaching the gospel each and every week and the need for us to trust Christ for our salvation.

    Big difference when you move from the little bible study (which I had for years myself) even with questions and back and forth and pontificate about such things to actually exhort, encourage, love and edify broken, hurting people as a pastor.

    Please don’t ever presume to tell me I am doing Sundays wrong my friend. Not when you have not done it a day in your life.

  247. Steve Wright says:

    I see Michael beat me to it. Thank you Michael

  248. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “While of course preaching the gospel each and every week and the need for us to trust Christ for our salvation.”

    What is the consequence for the BELIEVER who does not continually trust Christ for his salvation? – for the one who has let Sunday soccer dry up his faith to the point by the time the little tyke is in high school, dad has not given a second thought to church or Jesus – where he has neglected the word and the sacraments for the past 12 yrs.

    What’s the big deal … if any?

  249. Michael says:

    Steve nails it at #247.

    I have a church full of people hanging on for dear life and I’m going to give them something else to worry about as well.

    Frankly, this Lutheranism is just a shiny kind of law in my eyes…do these works or die.

    I’ll stick with the Gospel and the promises of God to keep us when we can’t keep ourselves.

    That’s grace.

  250. Steve Wright says:

    when people water it down to it doesn’t apply today.
    —————————————-
    At the risk someone else reading came to that conclusion…(which would be wrong)

    All Scripture APPLIES today. Studying the Bible is always about observation, interpretation, application. All Scripture is profitable (and God breathed)

    That includes reading about ram sacrifices in Leviticus.

    Now, not all Scripture is PRESCRIPTIVE in that application. Not all Scripture is DO THIS JUST LIKE IT SAYS HERE. Go find your own ram and get a knife (wait, get a priest).

    That is where dispensationalism stands when it comes to hermeneutics and it is no different than any other church as they seek to understand the Bible. It is just bigotry and ignorance that throws “dispensationalism” into this discussion.

    Nowhere have I said Hebrews does not “apply” today, and to infer that from my earlier comment is foolish. My point is an exegetical one. FIRST, figure out the context of the immediate author, audience, situation for writing and to MLD’s chagrin, the language used for the words of the literature. THEN what degree of lesson of application can be there for us in America in 2015.

    We do it for every other verse of the Bible (head coverings anyone?) and we do have disagreements on occasion within denominations (foot washings, women pastors) – but since we DO do this for every other verse in the Bible it seems wise to do it for the warning verses as well.

  251. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I think this has gone way further than it should.
    My points and I will drop it.
    1.) people can walk away from their faith. Yes, ignore it long enough where the roots shrivel and die. We see it in the parables very clearly.
    2.) Hebrews and Galatians were written to the church in general and were valid warnings against apostasy.

    If people have different views, people have different views. You guys hold to your views just as strongly and narrowly as I do,

  252. Michael says:

    “What is the consequence for the BELIEVER who does not continually trust Christ for his salvation? – for the one who has let Sunday soccer dry up his faith to the point by the time the little tyke is in high school, dad has not given a second thought to church or Jesus – where he has neglected the word and the sacraments for the past 12 yrs.”

    Here’s the consequence.
    If that man is truly regenerate the Lord is going to bring him under discipline that brings him back through repentance.

    That’s how the Lord keeps those He was given and loses none.

  253. Steve Wright says:

    MLD…how much of an effort. I mean concentrated, consistent, day after day after day seeking effort is spent by YOUR pastor tracking down all the members of your church that no longer attend? For that matter, how many people have you contacted this month that you don’t see anymore to warn them they are risking hell if they stay away and haven’t plugged into another (Lutheran) church?

    You have all the addresses I am sure in the directory. THESE are the people that the doctrine you claim to believe are the most at risk. Why are they not at church, taking communion, with the saints? Their faith may be dying. It would be pastoral malpractice if this was not the fundamental pastoral ministry of your pastor and for that matter all the elders too given the doctrine you are professing here.

    Now, I grieve when people disappear too. I want to find them because I know that apart from fellowship their lives are going to be even more difficult I recognize the enemy wants to keep them from the word, from the saints, from prayer and the entire worship service. I also wonder if they are hurting and need something. Like a lost sheep. Still a sheep though.

    But if I thought that their absence was even a possible sign of their pending eternity in hell whenever that uncertain date of death arrives, it would seem incumbent on a pastor who thought that way, when the remedy was so simple (just come back, here’s communion, church is this week)…

    rubber..meet road.

    (I’m out now. Preaching tonight)

  254. Steve Wright says:

    Michael nails it at 253.

    I agree and I am not a Calvinist because this is not exclusive to Calvinism.

    And frankly, it is not hard to understand either – when you couple it with all we know about sealing, adoption, placed into the Body of Christ (which again, never are explained by the other side – never explained how we are unadopted – an idea unheard of in Rome)

  255. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    You no longer need to convince me – I now believe as you – warnings in the Bible do not apply to Christians in 2015.

    But I’m not going to let my pastor know that is my new belief system.

  256. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve – I will tell you this. 3 times in the 10 years that I have been at my church, we have gone and visited as many MIAs as we could track down locally. The 1st time we did it in 2008 a group of 40 of us visited over 200 families.

    So, how about you?

  257. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve,
    Your #254 does shows another a great division in the reason we think people should be in church. We think that great things are happening in church – that this is the place God actually meets with his people to deliver his good gifts that he won for us on the cross 2,000 yrs ago. These are delivered to us in the word, the absolution, baptism and the Lord’s Supper.

    You seem to think people should go to church so that their life is not so hard and they will feel better.

    Again, I am not saying right or wrong or whose is better – but it does point out a gulf.

  258. Josh the Baptist says:

    For anyone just reading bits and pieces, I did NOT make the case that biblical warnings do not apply in 2015.

    I made the the case that the particular warning in Hebrews had a particular audience and a particular context that make all the difference in the world. It absolutely still applies in 2015 to people who are waiting for a different Messiah than Jesus.

    Some people read the bible like a long list of fortune cookies. They just pull a verse out of the cookie and try to apply to whatever is going on in their life at the moment. Sort of like the old Magic 8-ball.

    I don’t think that is a good hermeneutic. All of the difficult verses in the Bible can be better understood when read in the proper context.

    You can’t just flip the Bible to any verse and expect God to tell you what color of shoes to wear today. While this warning passage DOES apply to 2015, the application is not that a Christian can lose his salvation. It is just not what the passage is about, which can be understood given context.

  259. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    But Josh, I am doing a verse by verse and I am not picking and choosing. In fact what I do and you refuse to do is compare scripture with scripture.
    My point is to identify the audience, and that is what has raised your eyre from the start. I think the writer is very clear – in fact I think he is absolutely clear in identifying his target audience … and giving warning – in 2:1-3 “We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away. 2 For since the message spoken through angels was binding, and every violation and disobedience received its just punishment, 3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? ”

    Now, I think the writer is some heavyweight in the church, probably a small “a” apostle and he includes himself. I doubt you can make the case that he is a confused guy about who Christ is. Yet he warns himself about falling away and facing the consequences.”

  260. Jean says:

    “You can’t just flip the Bible to any verse and expect God to tell you what color of shoes to wear today.”

    I wonder if that is out of line.

  261. Josh the Baptist says:

    Why would that be out of line? It wasn’t directed at you. The first thing I said was “For anyone just reading bits and pieces.”

    MLD had mis-characterized my stance, and I wanted to clear that up for people who were just popping in here and there.

  262. Jean says:

    Another warning from Paul about the danger of falling into disbelief, this time in Romans:

    “They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.”

    What does it mean to be “cut off”?

  263. Josh the Baptist says:

    It means if you do not believe in Christ you will go to Hell.

  264. Josh the Baptist says:

    Mld – Why do you say things about me that are untrue? I wish I could talk about the topic, rather than having to clear up your falsehoods.

    Let’s just stick to the topic(s), and leave out the personal jabs. It gets very frustrating.

  265. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jeans 263, though is a good example of pulling a verse from context. Is there anyone here who really thinks that if you read the entire book of Romans, you’ll come away with the idea that salvation is temporary? Romans is one of the strongest books for eternal security. You can’t just take a verse out of context and call that an argument.

  266. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    “MLD had mis-characterized my stance, and I wanted to clear that up for people who were just popping in here and there.”

    Here was your statement; – I am saying this particular warning is not about the modern believer. It was written to a certain group of people at a certain time in history who were experiencing certain circumstances. It is still God’s Word, still true, but has very little application for the 2015 believer.

    Now all of the NT was written to a certain people 2,000 yrs ago and most was addressing individual and particular circumstances. Per haps your statement should be placed in the preface of the Bible. 🙂

    I don’t expect that from you – it is the liberals of the faith who deny what id for us and what is not.

  267. Josh the Baptist says:

    I was talking about A PARTICULAR WARNING, and you know that, but your way of arguing is to deceive and insult.

    Again, there is a direct application for anyone that might go back to waiting for another Messiah. In my church, that is no one. So there is no DIRECT application. We have to learn the underlying spiritual truth, and then see how that applies.

    Or like Steve said, get your butcher knife ready.

  268. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Temporary is a slanted word meant to read meaning into itself.

    Let’s just say that the historic church has read Romans or any other book you can mention and have come away with the notion that salvation can be lost (not my position) or that a person can apostatize and walk away from the grace given them (my position)

    All coming out of the Reformation taught the same; the warning passages applying to believers until Calvin – and I don’t even know that he didn’t stand in that same position – but his followers got in that dust up with the followers of Jacob Arminius and then everything change.

    Now we talk of unbelievers falling away from a faith they never had – unbelievers being cut off from a faith they never had – unbelievers falling into apostasy … which is impossible.

    It’s a topsey turvey theological world out there.

    I’m going home and crack open my J Vernon McGee and see what he has to say.

  269. Josh the Baptist says:

    Temporary is a common word with a well-known definition.

    So is eternal.

    You have constantly argued that both are somehow true of salvation.

  270. Steve Wright says:

    Back a quick second because one point to respond to that had me reeling.

    The Sunday soccer game. The idea that the Lord can’t keep in His grace a Dad who wants to support his kid at his soccer game.

    Now, I know MLD went on to say this only started the slide and the guy (quote)

    by the time the little tyke is in high school, dad has not given a second thought to church or Jesus

    Now to the point of Michael and I (and no doubt Josh). The premise is that someone who misses church for a family reason and gets comfortable in not going can then let a decade or so go by “without giving a 2nd thought to church or Jesus”

    We say such a one very likely was never saved (or the elect). All the more if it continues without a 2nd thought unto death. Color me crazy for thinking that a man who could not give a 2nd thought to Jesus for multiple years probably never was born again of the Spirit.

    MLD, because of course his baptism views insist on it, says the guy was saved and let his faith die by his own choices to starve it.

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am so thankful my Lord is greater than pee wee sports. Such a tool of the devil that youth soccer is dont’cha know.

    Now I’m done. I appreciate MLD giving us a modern example of how his doctrine works itself out today. It is quite eye opening.

  271. Josh the Baptist says:

    No one who has met the Lord that I know could ever walk away.

  272. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve #1 we see Sunday soccer that keeps people away from church as a serious thing. As I stated above we think God is doing serious work in the divine service. Now for evangelicals it may just be a toss – socer or the weekly chuch lecture and mini concert.

  273. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Josh, because your default is “if the walk away is because they were never a believer. I think we have all known plenty.

  274. I think that the conversation over on the other thread may help to clarify my position.
    I think if K.P. Yohannan wants to remain a Christian he can do so regardless of his behavior and actions related to this issue. He is perfectly secure in Christ for eternity – although as others have said Jesus may kill him to save his soul.

    On the other hand, I think if K.P. Yohannan said “all of this regulation and working with Christians is a bunch of B.S., I’m outta here and I am going to become a Hindu priest and cater only to the Hindu world – Jesus is not messiah in my life any longer.” I think Jesus let’s him go.

    And K.P. Yohannan becomes an unbeliever and Jesus may begin work on him again through his Holy Spirit just as he works on all unbelievers.

  275. Em says:

    #275- i see only one flaw in your reasoning and that is the assumption that what comes out of his mouth is what he believes… what if it’s all a profitable scam?

  276. Jean says:

    #275, 276,

    I don’t want to put words in Em’s comment, and I haven’t been following K.P. Yohannan (and have no interest in him), but the only caveat I would place on MLD’s comment is the following:

    “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.”

  277. Josh the Baptist says:

    #274 – Nope. No caveat. If you know my Lord, you will not walk away. He is too good.

    # 275 – So, not only is salvation temporary, but could happen multiple times? REally? Think about that. That doesn’t even make sense.

  278. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, if you are at all interested, may I suggest this message. I was told it was one of the better ones I have given by a couple people who don’t usually say such things. Saves me replying to your comment too 🙂

    On 1 John 1:5-10

    http://www.calvaryle.org/1st%20John%201_5-10.Mp3

  279. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    “30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.”

    Romans Chapter 3

    28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

    29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:

    30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.

    31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

    Romans 6

    God simply does not give warnings, promises, commandments or make covenants unless He is dead serious that we are to take these seriously, and keep watch while leading a life of holiness in Him. Like Jesus told the disciples, He would send another to help us along the way and to equip, strengthen, and guide us, as we diligently seek to follow in His steps and alongside one another.

    I was waiting for someone to point out that grace is an attribute of God and in this it is by that attribute that He possesses, He provided a way for us to be reconciled to Him. At the same time, we are told that He will not be mocked.

  280. Jean, I am sure that KP is not saying that he has no sin – just that this situation is not one of them. But isn’t even the sin of lying covered by the blood of Jesus? I lie – especially to myself.

    Sounds too much like an RCC doctrine of what happens when you have unconfessed sin? Oh, I forgot – purgatory covers that. 😉

  281. Josh – you do theology different than I do. You seem to do yours by your own experience. Since you have not known a Christian to leave the faith – the doctrine becomes Chriastians cannot leave the faith.

    I take people at their word – if they confess Christ I take their confession to be true (otherwise I have no way to know that you are a Christian). By the same token, if someone denies Christ, I take them at their word and classify them as a non believer.

    This is not difficult.

  282. As to your #278 can you point me to the chapter and verse that states one cannot be born again, again?
    I just know that Christ saves unbelievers – if this person becomes an unbeliever, I see no reason that Jesus wouldn’t work on him again.

  283. Em says:

    #283 – believe does not equal birth, as i understand it… perhaps someone could become unsure or reject what they’d learned of God and had thought that they believed… but to twist the question a bit, can one enter again into one’s mother’s womb and be born a second time? just so; can one be born again, again? …

    the question might be, what belief IS the belief that results in salvation? were O.T. folk whose faith has saved them, born again? hmmm…

  284. Steve Wright says:

    I thought we had covered this but if one gives the allowance for the born again to be later lost, then one sure is hard pressed by the same passage to allow for someone to be renewed again unto repentance as they crucify the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame…

    At least when I used to hold more or less to what MLD is teaching THAT was pretty obvious. No hope for a 2nd, second-birth.

    Yep..seems pretty impossible to me too…

  285. Steve Wright says:

    were O.T. folk whose faith has saved them, born again?
    ————————————————-
    No Em, not just because you never see that stated but more importantly because of the unique work of the Holy Spirit after Pentecost. There was no being placed from Adam into Christ before Christ lived, died, rose and ascended.

    How can there be a Body of Christ when the head is in absentia? 🙂

  286. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Josh – you do theology different than I do. You seem to do yours by your own experience. Since you have not known a Christian to leave the faith – the doctrine becomes Chriastians cannot leave the faith.”

    Yes. I have spent 100 comments on this thread speaking of nothing but my own experience.

    Ignore all the posts I have made about the scripture at hand. Instead, take the one singular post I made about my experience and say that I only do theology by experience. Gotcha. Makes the argument easier to win, but you and I both know it is dishonest. That kind of thing is frustrating, and I wish you could rise above it.

    That being said, there is an element of experience to faith. Your faith is partially based inexperience as well. My experience is that a person could not walk away from the loving Lord that I have come to know. Your experience with the Lord has apparently been different.

    So, you want me to give proof texts that say you can’t be born again/ again? How many do you want?

  287. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Pertaining to those who held faith in O.T. times:

    Romans

    17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

    19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

  288. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Romans:

    20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

    21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

  289. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Steve,

    “At least when I used to hold more or less to what MLD is teaching THAT was pretty obvious. No hope for a 2nd, second-birth.”

    Could it be that those whose heart had become so hardened that they have become a reprobate, after having known Christ, but now unable to hear the Holy Spirit attempts to convict (not condemn) them of the direction they have chosen to go that they then fall into a point of no return? For instance, although they may be making an appearance among the congregation, they are leading a double life, while causing much harm to another, or others, but are so skillful in covering it up that no one believes the one being harmed, because what the erring person is leading others to believe while being successful in discrediting anyone who earnestly cares about this person’s soul to try to get those who could hold this person to an account, but is unable to due to the duplicity that is being practiced by this erring person, which is unknowingly being enabled by those who could hold them to account for the sake of the erring person’s soul, to protect the body, and to stop the harm being done and then perpetrated again and again upon others.

  290. Steve Wright says:

    Uriah, yes that is likely but I would add the likelihood of the Holy Spirit ceasing to convict too. The Old Testament is pretty clear that God often got to a point with those who continued to rebel against His clear revelation as revealed through the Scriptures (and the ministry of the prophets) that He just gave them over to the lives they had chosen – spoken of Israel specifically (His people). When God tells a prophet to stop wasting time praying for unrepentant sinners, that’s something.

    Nobody is coming to God apart from the Holy Spirit. And this ain’t Star Wars. The Spirit in His sovereignty is not obligated to keep convicting anyone.

    In other words, if these verses are truly warning believers, then WARN the believers – not much of a warning to imply that if the person gets around to “thinking about Jesus” someday he can always show up at church, into the old routine of communion etc. and get back into heaven whenever he feels like it.

    But the Holy Spirit’s ministry in salvation, both initiating, executing, and maintaining, is always and I do mean always absent on the other side of this debate. While He is always emphasized on my side. Just read the comments in this thread.

  291. Josh – I specified the theology of yours I was speaking of. You made an absolute statement based on your experience and I called you on it.

    Don’t be defensive all the time

    “So, you want me to give proof texts that say you can’t be born again/ again? How many do you want?” Since you don’t believe that the Bible teaches you can fall from grace / fall away from the faith – why do you think you will find verses that support the position that you CAN actually fall away and then it addresses how you cannot come back?

    So just remember, if you find any, then that will support my position about believer’s having the capacity to walk away. I will take 2 please

  292. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Steve,

    In your opinion, is there a different between being backslidden vs. reprobation? Is it possible for a person who once held the faith to become a reprobate?

  293. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Steve,

    ” Just read the comments in this thread.” I have been closely following the course of this thread, and in particular take interest in what you have put forth. This is why I specifically addressed my question and comment to you. I appreciate how you stay focused and then lay out your argument in response to topic posed as the thread evolves and progresses. Thanks for taking time to answer my inquiry.

  294. Steve Wright says:

    Josh, I know where you are coming from.

    I’ve had a Sunday teaching ministry for over 20 years straight. I never missed two Sundays in a row for any reason including vacations, mission work etc. That is well over 1000 weeks in a row.

    There was one short season when we closed the doors on the little church we planted as we all had moved away and God was taking us elsewhere (me to Iraq I thought at the time), when we needed to find a new church. I was neck-deep in seminary study so very active still in the things of God but it was nice to have a few Sundays in a row with no obligation, an I saw firsthand the temptation others experience of sort of dropping out of Sunday church. But then again, I am saved, and any sort of comfort or relaxation was short-lived and I began in earnest to find that next church home.

    I see it with people all the time at CCLE – new people who I always ask if they live in the area and on occasion they might say they just moved here but maybe about 6 months, 9 months, maybe even a year or so ago – and they had not really actively looked for a church as they were getting settled in their new place etc. But again, as Christians, born of the Spirit, they wanted to be with God’s people and worship and so they eventually got to it. Not because of fear of hell either and bad attendance in heaven causing their faith to “shrivel”

    (I also have people who miss Sundays on occasion for family events like youth sports and I have never once thought to warn them that they are putting their eternal destiny to temptation by rooting little Johnny or Janey on as proud parents in the stands…but that is just me) 🙂

  295. Steve Wright says:

    Uriah, Backsliding is definitely a possibility for any Christian.

    I don’t like the expression “once held the faith” because it can speak to both wheat and tares which Jesus said grow together in the kingdom. It is all outward, visible stuff that the rest of us with our limited knowledge see.

    Rather, if you frame the question “Is it possible to be sealed by the Spirit, placed out of Adam and into Christ, adopted by God as His child, and then orphaned, unsealed, and moved back into Adam – then I say a definite, No”

  296. Steve, I know that your 295 is a shot at me, so I will say that there is not a single word in that comment that represents anything I hold to.

    We have seen in this thread the differences held across what is loosely held as Christianity
    1.) we read scriptures differently
    2.) we come to different conclusions
    3.) we go to church for different reasons.

  297. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Steve,

    Not liking the expression, “once held the faith,” in my mind speaks of verses such as, “in the latter days, there will be a great falling away from the faith.” Not wheat and tares, as one speaks of one who believes and the others are pseudo Christians.

  298. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Steve,

    Considering the scripture having to do with Jesus saying that those that the Father has given to Him, not one will be lost, is it possible that given that God is omniscience, that another way of saying this would be that God knows long before we were born who would or would not be an overcomer in the faith and stand until they are called home. But in our finite knowledge, we cannot know this, so when we read or hear “none will be lost,” we think this automatically places a covering upon anyone who has been saved, although they now are walking in a manner that exemplify something entirely different?

  299. Steve Wright says:

    Uriah @298 – I’m sure you agree we have to interpret Scripture with Scripture and whereas the verses I have cited about the SPirit and His role are quite clear, a verse like that Timothy one you quote is somewhat vague – we see entire denominations in Christendom “departing from the faith” today – that alone might be the fulfillment of that prophecy.

    I do find it interesting that depart is the more common translation for that word and when speaking in a context of a specific person it is connected with someone who has “in (them) an evil heart of unbelief” in “departing from the living God” – that certainly allows for my view that such a person was never Spirit born, sealed, baptized into the Body and secured.”

  300. Steve Wright says:

    MLD – you used the soccer game example. Own it or forsake it and backpeddle with something new.

    I was speaking to Josh, since you challenged him on personal experience and not a legitimately possible view of Scripture. Just encouraging Josh that I at least totally got what he was trying to say. And I too see it all the time

  301. Steve Wright says:

    @299 – Uriah, I believe that is a round-about way of what Calvinists would teach as to how the perseverance of the saints, the elect, demonstrates itself (Michael can respond if I am wrong here)

    I can use that same idea and say that God is not going to do all those things I have been repeating concerning the SPirit and His work if in His foreknowledge He knows this person is rejecting down the road. I don’t like to frame it that way, because I think saving faith is an eternal, permanent act and has results from God that are fixed.

    God is not going to adopt a kid that He knows He plans on booting out of the family a few years down the road. And in Roman legal circles, such an idea would be totally unheard of and frankly, illegal.

  302. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Steve,

    Truly appreciate the exchange you have chosen to have with me.

    ” when speaking in a context of a specific person it is connected with someone who has “in (them) an evil heart of unbelief” in “departing from the living God” – that certainly allows for my view that such a person was never Spirit born, sealed, baptized into the Body and secured.”

    Understanding that your view is such, then would it be reasonable to conclude that this does not allow for a person who once held the faith, get caught up in sin, then spiral into a full on reprobate. Not because their heart was wicked or that they did not believe, but because they gave in to temptation (s), then as it evolved, began to cover it up, justifying, rationalizing, and using all the defense mechanisms to then cause them to go into denial, thinking that because they are saved and that they do believe, they are home free, so to speak. In truth, their heart which once was walking with the Lord, have now become darkened due to unrepentance and self deception?

  303. Jean says:

    One of the arguments made above was that the warning passages in Hebrews are not speaking to Christians because they are all clustered in one book, whereas so-called “eternal security” passages are present in just about every other book of the NT. Therefore, they are so out of step that they must mean something different than what they actually say.

    In the course of the last couple of days, additional warnings in from Gal., Rom., and 1 Jo. have also been cited in this thread. But in every case, to some of the people holding to OSAS, these passages along with Hebrews don’t actually say or mean what they plainly say.

    Here’s my concern with this type of exegetical jiu jitsu: If you play that game, how do you have a conversation with our liberal Christian brothers and sisters who similarly say that the passages about women’s ordination, same sex marriage, no fault divorce and remarriage, homosexual sex, and other NT ethics and morality either don’t actually mean what the plainly say or don’t apply to Christians today? Because there are plenty of liberal Christian exegetical jiu jitsu black belts.

  304. Jean says:

    Steve,
    Thank you for posting a link to your sermon on 1 John 1:5-10. It was convenient as well as beneficial to have your entire teaching, rather than what can be summarized in a blog comments.

    As you can probably imagine, I disagree with your interpretation, but I respect the effort you put in and for sharing it here. My disagreement is two-fold: (1) You don’t have faith in the Messiah if you don’t believe you have sin in need of forgiveness, and (2) I disagree with the bifurcation of Christians into two (or more?) tiers: (i) Christian in fellowship with God; and (ii) Christian out of fellowship with God.

    Point (ii) reminds me of the pastor who wrote the book Not of Fan, in which he taught that there are two types of Christians: fans and followers. There is also the author of Alpha who teaches that there are two types of Christians: those with the baptism of the Holy Spirit; and those without the baptism of the Holy Spirit (which he called pilot-light Christians).

  305. Josh the Baptist says:

    Jean, for each of those issues we must be willing to do the same hard work that we do for the issue of eternal security. We must study the bible in context. As you have seen with the liberals if you pick a verse here and there, the bible can say anything you want. However, if you do the exegetical work of reading the context and not just single verses, then you can have an actual conversation about the issue. Just going proof-text for proof-text rarely accomplishes anything.

    The other side of the question is that those people approach the scriptures trying to prove a pet doctrine. Honest exegesis comes to the Scriptures searching for truth. If we read the bible, study the context, and come to the conclusion that the bible affirms gay marriage, then honest exegesis demands that we change our course and support gay marriage. (Don’t worry. Just an example. The Bible does not support gay marriage.) The same is true for these warning verses. They mean what they say. However, reading them in context (both historical and textual) has led me to see a different application for modern Christians.

  306. Steve Wright says:

    don’t actually say or mean what they plainly say.
    —————————-
    I would take issue with “plainly”

    Where I fully agree, Jean, with MLD and have stated as much earlier – is two competing, mutually exclusive truths can’t both BE true. There is no doubt that one looks at the totality of Scripture and “picks a side” and does then go to the other verses and seek to understand them in light of what they think the Bible is saying as a whole. However, that in and of itself is NOT necessarily eisegesis (though it can be too)

    I have done exegesis when these other non-Hebrews passages have been brought up in discussion to explain my take on those verses. However, the passages I reference are ignored (adoption, sealing, placed out of Adam into Christ etc). That’s why debates don’t take place in writing on blogs. They happen live, where a question is asked, pointed and directed, the questioner shuts up and the opponent is forced to give a response, an answer that deals with the question and does not ignore it to ask three more.

    Teaching the Bible is hard. Very hard. We have to study to rightly divide the word of truth, and yet when one refers to the original words used by the Spirit in the text one is mocked in some circles. Now, in a debate where the audience is all like-minded, that might get a laugh but imagine a serious give and take before an audience of seminary professors and theological scholars and how far dismissing the actual words of Scripture would get. It is one thing to admit, Hey, I am out of my depth talking about such things, but it is another to play the seminary = cemetery card and make jokes.

    And because studying the Bible is hard on the other issues you raise at the end, Christians who have been born again have still come to different conclusions in some areas and what matters to me is that I teach in a way I can support from a constant hermeneutic using the entire counsel of God. It is never a simple “that does not apply today” – but often cultural issues of the time ARE quite crucial in exegesis.

    I typically have 3-4 Greek exegetical commentaries I read as part of my study prep in teaching through a NT book. I’m not talking Wiersbe, MacArthur types, I mean guys nobody has heard of, including usually me (with a few exceptions like Fee, Moo, Morris, Bruce) – I mention this because when you have 3-4 of them you realize THESE guys come to different conclusions on occasion, but they are irenic and thorough and lay out not only their view but all the competing views (the more recent works quote the older works often which is always a kick to read) and give pros and cons and explain why they came to the conclusion they did.

    When I preach, I try to model that in miniature – given the audience and the purpose of the message (i.e. not a seminary class). Explain there are some competing views and explain why I hold to what I hold to. I never say in those instances “the plain reading of the text” – though I do use that expression when in fact the text is plain, such as it is with the gospel message.

    In the latter days some will depart from the faith is hardly conclusive proof that ends all debate that Paul was telling Timothy about adopted children of God, sealed with the SPirit who would be unbaptized out of Christ, unsealed and orphaned. Some may take their position and think such a verse is a shut the mouth end all discussion verse…but it simply is not.

  307. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, I think there is a clear (dare I say, plain 🙂 ) distinction between our fellowship with God and our relationship. All the times we sin, all the references to backsliding and the like all speak to fellowship and our need to confess, repent, make amends etc.

    My relationship is as a child. There is a reason the Bible communicates with terms we related to in our earthly lives. My child is my child, forever and always, even if God forbid we were estranged because of the sins of one of us and had no fellowship with each other.

    Anyway, as you saw me do in that message, if one does not see it that way, then one needs to see the ramifications of the alternative, namely no forgiveness of sin until the act of confession takes place – which would scare me to death and of course goes counter to the earlier verse where I explain (drats having to use that pesky Greek) the verb tense that tells us in Scripture the blood is continuously cleansing the child of God from sin even in the instant he commits it. 24/7

    Just like this Hebrews warning. The necessary conclusion is that it is impossible to be renewed again to repentance and crucify Jesus again if you forsake – so if you warn, then WARN – don’t leave open any door for multiple rebirths and coming and going.

  308. Jean says:

    “Just going proof-text for proof-text rarely accomplishes anything.”

    Josh,
    You mention proof-texting a lot. I don’t know anyone here who is proof-texting their arguments. Everyone here has read the entire Bible multiple times and has studied theology books as well as commentaries. There is only so much one can say in a reasonable length on a blog. That’s one reason I complemented Steve on linking a sermon on a specific passage.

    So, I would ask you to stop insinuating that anyone in this conversation is proof-texting.

  309. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, in fairness to Josh, he was explaining how to deal with all the other culturally divisive issues that we face today…and saying proof texting does not good for those. We study them like we study security or any other doctrine. That’s how I read him.

    He spoke of liberals and “those people” (liberals) and contrasted with with the hard work put into the study of security – he was not personalizing against anyone in this thread that I saw

  310. Josh the Baptist says:

    Steve go it right. Jean, I wasn’t saying that is what you were doing.

  311. Jean says:

    Steve,
    Here’s how I read it:

    “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” Jesus is the Truth; I want him in me. I admit I am a sinner, that I was born in sin.

    “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Jesus taught me to pray “forgive us our trespasses….” I will and I do confess my sins daily. It doesn’t say that we are not forgiven for sins we have not confessed because either we died before confessing or were not conscious of them. It simply promises us forgiveness if we confess.

    If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. Jesus is the Word; I want him in me. I will not deny that I have sinned in thought, word or deed.

  312. Jean says:

    Josh,
    Thank you for clarifying. I was obviously wrong and apologize for misinterpreting you.

  313. Josh the Baptist says:

    No problem, Jean. I see how it could be interpreted that way.

  314. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, I don’t think I am saying anything different from you in your #312 in my message. In fact, I have pointed comments towards anyone who thinks they ever arrive and conquer over sin in this life completely

  315. Jean says:

    Steve,
    To bring a bit of levity to the conversation, if he walked into your church and said the following, what would be your advice:

    “Donald Trump says he’s not sure if he’s asked God for forgiveness, at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa on Saturday, which led some to question the sincerity of his alleged Christian faith.

    Moderator Frank Luntz asked Trump on Saturday if he had ever sought God’s forgiveness and Trump replied, “I’m not sure I have ever asked God’s forgiveness. I don’t bring God into that picture.”

    Trump clarified further about forgiveness in the church setting saying, “When I go to church and when I drink my little wine and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of forgiveness. I do that as often as I can because I feel cleansed. I say let’s go on and let’s make it right,” declared Trump.”

    Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/donald-trump-im-not-sure-if-i-ever-asked-gods-forgiveness-141706/#IoKdV5U8i5Z3Qr3L.99

  316. Josh the Baptist says:

    Trump with this new Presbyterian thing he’s doing is hilarious. Gotta be an SNL skit.

  317. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Steve,

    Realizing the day is come and things are revving up for most, you may have not notice my last inquiry at #303. Please respond if you have the time. Thank you.

  318. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    I agree with Steve ; “Teaching the Bible is hard. Very hard. We have to study to rightly divide the word of truth, and yet when one refers to the original words used by the Spirit in the text one is mocked in some circles”

    Imagine my chagrin when I find these same folks not taking the words the Spirit uses seriously – like
    Baptism saves – baptism delivers the holy spirit – you are clothed with Chrtist in your baptism – this IS my body – this IS my blood.

    And then people come behind you and say “well what the words really mean is this or that – or, well we all know that it really can’t mean that.

    Steve – we are on the same page. 🙂

  319. Steve Wright says:

    Jean, again for levity sake, you should also ask MLD. He has repeatedly said that anyone who says he is a Christian he takes at their word – the direct context a few years ago was President Obama. Who are we to “judge” 😉

    Trump is a Presbyterian like Hillary is a Methodist (if memory serves that was her loud claim many years ago). SNL skit indeed.

    The jaw dropping quotes for me have come from Kasich. That guy has said some bizarre things about the faith for a guy trying to win the Iowa caucus

  320. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Steve,
    “MLD – you used the soccer game example. Own it or forsake it and backpeddle with something new”

    Again you are not honest with your claim. I used Sunday soccer as the example as it is a big issue today. However, my example was the dad not going to church, not giving church or Jesus a thought for a dozen years and you trivialized it down to going to Sparky’s game on a particular Sunday and fretting over his soul.

    But as I said, in the evangelical world it is a toss up – encouraging your kids that soccer is as important or more so than going to church to some is no big deal. But if nothing is really happening at church – at least soccer has a snack bar.

  321. Steve Wright says:

    Got to run. Uriah @303 – My answer would be pretty much what I have already stated. I agree that sin hardens us, blinds us, and there are guys out there in such a blinded, hardened state that for us it is hard to imagine this guy is even saved…and maybe he is not – only God knows.

    However, I think that is why God gave us the instruction as to how to treat such unrepentant people in the context of church fellowship and it ends with “let them be to you as an unbeliever” – whether they are or not is not something I can fully know, but as far as church relationships and the many different areas where being a believer is prerequisite #1, we can treat such people as unbelievers and then the results of that discipline will take place as they do…and we can respond accordingly if there is repentance and the person does not go all the way to the place you describe in your question

  322. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Re Donald Trump
    Yes I take people at their word. If Donald Trump, Hillary or Obama tell me they have confesses Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior – yest I do.

    So Steve, in your church, what is the litmus test AFTER someone confesses Jesus as their Lord and Savior? And do you check up on them each month to make sure they are checking off the boxes consistently?

    Can you email me a copy of the checklist?

  323. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Steve,

    Thanks——precisely, by the way is how I look at it as well, given what I know and understand as a Christian and as a person who sees much in the treatment community, among those do harm or have been harmed.

  324. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    This is funny in this mindset – someone says “I am a Christian and the reply is ‘no you aren’t’!

    Then someone says “I was a believer but now I am not a believer” and the reply is ‘no, you are still a believer’ … but God may have to kill you to make you believe you are a believer.’

  325. Xenia says:

    Soccer on Sundays…

    There is some truth to this. We have five children. Three of them took jobs that required them to work Sunday mornings. They fell out of the habit of attending church and ultimately fell out of the habit of being a Christian. All three are now agnostics/ functional atheists. The other two were church musicians and were more motivated to say No to Sunday morning jobs. Those two stayed connected to church and are still strong Christians to this day. So yes, you certainly should warn people who are falling out of the habit of attending church because people DO fall away from the faith and can become unbelievers and unbelievers don’t go to heaven.

  326. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Some here would say that the saved unbelievers go to heaven

  327. Michael says:

    I’m just thrilled to see Xenia’s name pop up again.

  328. Josh the Baptist says:

    “Some here would say that the saved unbelievers go to heaven”

    Nope. Nobody here would say that.

    I am thrilled to Xenia, too.

    My hypothetical response would be that her kids never had a faith of their own, only what they were raised with.
    My actual response is just to pray for her kids. That they will return to the faith they were raised in. I know it’s not too late.

  329. Steve Wright says:

    Some here would say that the saved unbelievers go to heaven
    ———————————-
    Name them. I have specifically and repeatedly in this very thread denounced that conclusion as ludicrous and inane. Josh does not think this. Michael certainly does not think this.

    You are just bearing false witness and the sad thing is you are just repeating and repeating the same nonsense since apparently you have little further to engage with.

  330. Steve Wright says:

    Xenia, without getting personal with your family, I affirm the very serious concern of God’s children falling out of fellowship with God’s people. I say it repeatedly in messages and it is just as serious as when God’s people begin to neglect prayer, Bible reading and so forth.

    Otherwise, I amen Josh at #329

  331. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Nope, when we spoke of the 2 guys who had shipwrecked their faith (became unbelievers) – the response was that the turning them over to Satan was not casting them out, but more of a rehabilitation program.

    In fact in their state of unbelief, I think it was Michael who said that God would perhaps killed them earlier than they were suppose to die and they would go to heaven – and you all patted each other on the back.

  332. Michael says:

    MLD,

    I said no such thing.
    I said that the example we have in the Corinthian epistles is that Paul turned an unrepentant sinner over to Satan as an act of discipline and the sinner was eventually restored to the assembly because the discipline worked.

    In your model it’s every man for himself.
    In mine the Father raises His kids and makes sure they get home before dark.

  333. passin throgh says:

    I’m reminded of the depth and breadth of dispensational theological exegsis every time I go to the grocery store and scan the AntiChrist/oneWorld system Mark of the Beast on each grocery item.

  334. Josh the Baptist says:

    That’s helpful.

  335. Steve Wright says:

    Passin throgh,

    Cite us 3 dispensationalists who have written about bar codes. You don’t even have to offer their works – just name the names of the guys you think are scholars.

    If you think the eternal security discussion is solely or definitively a dispensationalist doctrine, you might want to check again. Both the non-dispensationalists who hold to it, and the dispensationalists who argue against it.

    (Sorry board – some things are so foolish I really should refrain myself)

  336. Xenia says:

    Josh, thank you; you may be right. Please remember my three apostates in your prayers.

  337. Martin Luther's Disciple says:

    Michael,
    “In your model it’s every man for himself.
    In mine the Father raises His kids and makes sure they get home before dark.”

    I have no model, my statements from the very beginning that those who call themselves Christians (words have meanings), those in Christ are perfectly 100% secure. I have never said one thing to the contrary.

    My question to the readers of this thread, from the very beginning has only been to the question of the identity of those being spoken to by the writer / speaker of Hebrews. That sets the whole context for at least this chapter. We must remember that the writer / speaker purposely interrupted what he was speaking about to address this issue – I doubt that he was calling the fringe unbelievers of the church dull of hearing and I doubt that he was giving hypothetical warnings to the believers (watch out for the cliff — even though it is impossible to fall off the cliff.)

    My #252 & #297 are summaries of why I think we differ and for some reason, folks won’t let it sit. We will need to live with the difference

  338. Jean says:

    I saw some of this in our conversation, so I thought I would pass it on.

    http://thejaggedword.com/2015/10/29/9-5-theses-on-virtue-and-understanding/

  339. I was reading back through the body of my article, and thought it was too bad that folks detoured into the debate of OSAS and I think missed a great deal. From my v 6 commentary.

    Crucifying once again – similar language to those who approach the Lord’s Table in an improper manner.
    Going back to the old Jewish ways. There is no redemption once you have stepped outside the covering of Jesus Christ – it is impossible for you to come to repentance from within Judaism, from the temple system.
    What would you say or how would you answer…
    Does the church lock the doors on these people?
    Is this putting yourself in a position where you stop yourself from wanting to come back?
    Here is the important thing to remember – regardless of the position you take, if you are in this situation you are in a place you do not want to be.

    Especially that last point

  340. From the LCMS FAQ page we explain it this way – short and simple

    “Q: One of your FAQ answers states that it is possible for one to lose his salvation. However, in your Theses on Justification (1983) on this website it says plainly that believers have eternal assurance (paragraph 58). Which is it?

    A: Lutherans believe both are true and Scriptural: It is possible for a believer to fall from faith and lose salvation, and it is possible for a believer to have complete assurance of eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. If this seems paradoxical to human reason, then (Lutherans say) this is only because the teaching of Scripture itself on this issue (as on many other issues) appears paradoxical to human reason.

    For Lutherans, this is essentially a matter of properly distinguishing between Law and Gospel: Warnings against falling from faith are the strongest form of God’s Law, intended to warn against “carnal security” based on “good works” or against the attitude that “since I’m saved, I can do anything I want to do.” Assurances of God’s constant and eternal love in Christ are the sweetest and purest form of Gospel, intended to comfort those who are plagued by their sins and by their failures to keep God’s Law perfectly.

  341. One more FAQ from the same section

    Q: Can you lose your salvation, and, if you can, what do you need to do to regain it again?

    A: The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod believes and teaches that it is possible for a true believer to fall from faith, as Scripture itself soberly and repeatedly warns us (1 Cor. 10:12; 1 Peter 5:8; 2 Peter 3:17; Heb. 2:1-3, 3:12-19, 6:4-8, etc.). Such warnings are intended for Christians who appear to be lacking a right understanding of the seriousness of their sin and of God’s judgment against sin, and who, therefore, are in danger of developing a false and proud “security” based not on God’s grace, but on their own works, self-righteousness, or freedom to “do as they please.”

    By the same token, the LCMS affirms and treasures all of the wonderful passages in Scripture in which God promises He will never forsake those who trust in Christ Jesus alone for salvation (John 10:27-29; Rom. 8; Heb. 13:5-6, etc.). To those who are truly repentant and recognize their need for God’s grace and forgiveness, such passages are powerful reminders of the true security that is ours through sincere and humble faith in Christ alone for our salvation.

    A person may be restored to faith in the same way he or she came to faith in the first place — by repenting of his or her sin and unbelief and trusting completely in the life, death and resurrection of Christ alone for forgiveness and salvation.

    Whenever a person does repent and believe, this always takes place by the grace of God alone and by the power of the Holy Spirit working through God’s Word in a person’s heart.

  342. One stuck in moderation for too many links – it will pop up later.

    I think most people have trouble with the law / gospel aspect and can think in only either / or. But you are not alone – I found 2 web sites who hold opposing positions to each other questioning this – Calvinists on one side and Catholics on the other.

    http://www.puritanboard.com/showthread.php/36485-Did-Luther-teach-one-can-lose-their-salvation

    http://forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=151887

  343. Uriahisaliveandwell says:

    Agree whole heartedly with answers to questions posted by MLD @ 341 and 342.

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