FOR IT IS IMPOSSIBLE
"Heal me O Lord, and I shall be healed;
save me, and I shall be saved: for Thou
art my Praise."
What could be more clearer than this proclamation from the prophet Jeremiah?
"Save me, and I shall be saved."
Or what about this plea from the Philippian jailor?
"Masters, what must I be doing that I may be saved?" (Acts 16:30)
Paul's answer is the simplest thing anyone can do, and its effects are permanent:
"Believe on the Lord Jesus , and you shall be saved, you and your household." (Acts 16:31)
And, again, there are many who will tell you belief is not enough, there is a maintenance clause attached, and unless "YOU" maintain it the warrantee becomes null and void. You are returned to your original state, a hopeless sinner, without God.
IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE?
The last portion of scripture that was sent to me that is believed by many who teach we can lose our salvation by our own hand, comes from the letter to the Hebrews:
"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, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned."
(Hebrews 6:4-8) ESV
To better understand this portion of scripture lets back up a little further to chapter five verse twelve, and read to chapter six verse three. Paul writes:
"For when also, because of the time, you ought to be teachers, you have need again of one to teach you what are the rudimentary elements of the oracles of God, and you have come to have need of milk, and not of solid nourishment. For everyone who is partaking of milk is untried in the word of righteousness, for he is a minor. Now solid nourishment is for the mature, who, because of habit, have faculties exercised for discriminating between the ideal and the evil. Wherefore, leaving the word dealing with the rudiments of Christ, we should be brought on to maturity, (not again disrupting the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith on God, of the teaching of baptizings, besides the imposition of hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and of judgment eonian). And this will we be doing, that is, if God may be permitting." (Hebrews 5:12-6:3)
Read that a couple of times before you go on to read verses four to eight from Hebrews chapter six (the verses that are said to prove we can fall away).
First lets look at Hebrews 5:12-14:
"For when also, because of the time, you ought to be teachers, you have need again of one to teach you what are the rudimentary elements of the oracles of God, and you have come to have need of milk, and not of solid nourishment. For everyone who is partaking of milk is untried in the word of righteousness, for he is a minor. Now solid nourishment is for the mature, who, because of habit, have faculties exercised for discriminating between the ideal and the evil."
Paul tells these believers that by this time, on their journey in Christ, they ought to be teaching some of these truths he mentions in the next few verses, yet because of their lack of knowledge in the scriptures, or possibly their lack of desire to know Him, they need to come into a realization, or, in this case, an understanding of the basic principles of their salvation in Christ.
Paul uses the word "untried." The meaning of the word untried is: not yet tested to discover quality or reliability, inexperienced. In the Greek it is: a'peir on the English elements are un-probed.
Those, today, who believe they can fall away have not spent time in the scriptures (probing into them), and they more than likely have listened and believed what others told them they should believe, who either out of tradition (religious), or ignorance, or agenda, teach salvation can be lost by their own hand (flesh).
They have yet to come into a realization of their place in the Body, their position in the Body, which would then reveal to them their security in Christ, the Head of the body (Colossians 1:18, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27).
It should be understood that the only way anyone can lose their salvation, and be cast out of the Body of Christ, The Body (Christ) would have to cease to exist. That is how false this teaching is. (read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 for an example)
Those who believe they can fall away and lose their salvation are those who are untried in the word of God, and unaware of the Power and Person these words convey:
"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."
(Hebrew 4:12) KJV
The rendering here; soul and spirit, is another way of saying carnal and spiritual. To understand scripture we have to have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16). The soulish (Adamic) mind will give you head knowledge, which will always bring scriptural truth downward (1 Corinthians 2:14). The spiritual mind will elevate the truth to where it places you in the celestial mind of Christ, as if you are sitting in celestial places with Him (Ephesians 2:6).
Now Paul goes on to tell them what they need to do in order to move onto higher knowledge:
"Therefore let us get past the elementary stage in the teachings about the Christ, advancing on to maturity and perfection and spiritual completeness, [doing this] without laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, of teaching about washings (ritual purifications), the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal (age lasting) judgment. [These are all important matters in which you should have been proficient long ago.] And we will do this [that is, proceed to maturity], if God permits."
(Hebrews 6:1-3, Amplified Bible)
I believe, many who believe, they, by their own flesh, can lose their salvation, have contracted an inferior contractor. A (soulish mind) contractor that has used inferior products to build upon "The Foundation." That contractor has failed to build (teach and establish) the simplest truths upon The Foundation. Christ is our Foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11), and many have allowed that foundation to be developed with unstable teachings (religious traditions). Other contractors (teachers) have failed to teach them truth concerning Christ, they have tried to undermine the Foundation, and Paul, here in these verses, as much as tells them to tear what they believe down to the Foundation, and start over again with the elementary truths, built on the Sure Foundation (which cannot be destroyed), and then they will be able to move onto maturity, if God permits. And of course He will, and with these basic truths God will supply the material necessary: silver, gold, and precious gems, and not wood hay and stubble. And even if there is wood, hay, and stubble that "we" mix in with the other elements as we move toward uncovering truth, the one who adds these inferior products has not cast themselves out, and will not be cast out (lose their salvation), they will be saved, yet as through fire, as the fire will reveal the error, and refine the truth:
"For God's fellow workers are we. God's farm, God's building, are you.
According to the grace of God which is being granted to me, as a wise foreman I lay a foundation, yet another is building on it. Yet let each one beware how he is building on it. For other foundation can no one lay beside that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone is building on this foundation gold and silver, precious stones, wood, grass, straw, each one's work will become apparent, for the day will make it evident, for it is being revealed by fire. And the fire, it will be testing each one's work -- what kind it is. If anyone's work will be remaining which he builds on it, he will get wages. If anyone's work shall be burned up, he will forfeit it, yet he shall be saved, yet thus, as through fire."
(1 Corinthians 3:10-15)
They won't be cast out, or burned alive, or burnt up, they will be saved, as through fire, by the purging (cleansing) of God's righteous corrective fire, that will refine us all (Mark 9:49, Hebrews 12:29). We all should welcome this fire in our lives now, not fear it, as this fire will purge away all false teachings we my harbor, and labour under. This fire will bring us closer to knowing God, and His love for us, and reveal His will for us (Philippians 2:13).
Now, with that bit of knowledge we can move onto the verses sent to me.
IT IS IMPOSSIBLE
"For it is impossible for those once enlightened, besides tasting the celestial gratuity and becoming partakers of holy spirit, and tasting the ideal declaration of God, besides the powerful deeds of the impending eon,
and falling aside, to be renewing them again to repentance while crucifying for themselves the Son of God again and holding Him up to infamy."
The only one who could come to the erroneous conclusion, that these verses teach that it is possible to fall away, therefore causing God to abandon you, making you lost (again), would be someone who has little to no
understanding of scripture, or, someone who has been placed under bondage by a religion. That someone would be a person who does not realize it is impossible for a believer, who has been enlightened (no darkness; 1 John 1:5), and has tasted the heavenly gifts (salvation being one of them; John 6:37), shared in the Holy Spirit (another heavenly gift, the seal of the spirit; Ephesians 1:13), tasted the goodness of the word of God (the truth; John 14:6), as well as the powers of the age to come (promise of life immortal; John 5:24), and then, by some sin, fell away to some point that they are without God.
By believing they can fall away, by their own weak flesh, they put what Christ has finished for them (saved them) to open shame. They are claiming Christ was not powerful enough to keep them secure. They have made His passion inferior, of poor quality. And by that understanding they are told what they have to do to try to bring themselves back into God's favour (renew their salvation in Christ),is by crucifying Christ afresh (once again), and in doing this they make His one time passion of no value.
Paul says it is impossible because that means: it is not able to occur, exist, or be done.
Here are a few more things that Paul does say are impossible from Hebrews:
"For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins."
So, if one believes that it is impossible for Christ's sacrifice to eliminate their sins, and keep them secure in His Body, they have reduced His passion to that of a bull or goat.
"It is impossible for God to lie"
So when Paul tells us in Hebrews 6:4-6, it is impossible for those who have been enlightened to lose their salvation, he really means "it is impossible." If that is not so, then God lied, and so did Jesus, and Paul, and all others who have made the claim, that He will never leave you, nor forsake you.
But, what Paul does not say is; it is not impossible for a false teacher to teach and convince those who are untried in the word, and have not been enlightened by the truth's revealed in them, that they can lose their salvation.(Read Galatians for an example of false (religious) teachers coming in a disrupting those believers). Religion can make their followers believe almost anything, especially when they are untried in the scriptures. This is why when some leave their camp of religion, and spend time in the scriptures (on their own), very soon they come into a realization of the deception that has been used to cover the truth from the scriptures, concerning many teachings they have been led to believe, that are just not in the scriptures.
DON'T BE DULL
Now Paul, in Hebrews 6:9-12, reminds us of God's memory and assurance:
"Yet we are persuaded of better things concerning you, beloved, and those which have to do with salvation, even if we are speaking thus. For God is not unjust, to be forgetting your work and the love which you display for His name when you serve the saints, and are serving. Now we are yearning for each one of you to be displaying the same diligence toward the assurance of the expectation until the consummation, that you may not be becoming dull. Now be imitators of those who through faith and patience are enjoying the allotment of the promises."
How could Paul be persuaded of better things from these believers, and tell them of the assurance of their expectation until the consummation; (their salvation completed), if they could fall away, and lose their salvation. We are to display the expectation we are to have in Him until the consummation, and not become dull. Not to become dull in doing, as well as understanding that we are secure until the consummation, when God will be All in all. It is by faith that we believe, not by works of the flesh (Ephesians 2:8-9), so we are to be imitators of those who through faith and patience will be enjoying the allotment of the promises (read Hebrews 11 for some examples).
TO SUM UP
Salvation through Christ hallows us (sets us apart), and you will be kept blameless, not because of your flesh, but because of Him:
"Now may the God of peace Himself be hallowing you wholly; and may your unimpaired spirit and soul and body be kept blameless in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ! Faithful is He Who is calling you, Who will be doing it also."
(1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)
"For you must realize all the time that you have been "ransomed" from the futile way of living passed on to you by your fathers' traditions, not with some money payment of transient value, but by the costly shedding of blood. The price was in fact the life-blood of Christ, the unblemished and unstained lamb of sacrifice. It is true that God chose Him to fulfill this part before the world was founded, but it was for your benefit that He was revealed in these last days—for you who found your faith in God through Christ. And God raised Him from the dead and gave Him unimaginable splendor, so that all your faith and hope might be centered in God."
(1 Peter 1:18-21) Phillips Translation.
So to sum up, there is not one verse that teaches we can lose our salvation. That is a false teaching that is taught by teachers who have either forgotten their commission, or were never taught to:
"Take care and be on guard for yourselves and the whole flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to shepherd (tend and feed and guide) the church of the Lord God which He obtained for Himself [buying it and saving it for Himself] with the blood of His Own."
(Acts 20:28) Amplified Bible
So now that we can see that this teaching of losing your salvation is false, when someone comes to you with this teaching, we are to:
"Beware that no one shall be despoiling you through philosophy and empty seduction, in accord with human tradition, in accord with the elements of the world, and not in accord with Christ"
When our focus is on Christ and His word, we will be prepared to know what is philosophy, empty seduction, and human tradition, and what is truth. And the truth is God is able to keep you:
"Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."
To Be Continued.