According To The Scriptures

Kept By Grace


Kept By Grace

1 John 1:4-6 says:

And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

Our perseverance is evidence of our salvation. We persevere (continue faithful) because we are preserved by God. It is a part of our salvation. Salvation is of the LORD. God finishes what He starts. Romans 8:28-30 says:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

Perseverance and Preservation

Those who, having been taught, refuse to follow Christ, whether in scriptural baptism, faithful assembling, or good works, give poor evidence of a new birth. In John 10:27, Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me . . . ." In John 14:23, Jesus said, "If a man love me, he will keep my words. . . ." The Bible is rich with assurance for the believer who heareth and doeth the things God has commanded. 1 John 1:4 says, "And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full." It is sad that many will live their life with a false hope with assurance received from man’s words and an ignorance of God’s words. 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?" While it is true that if we say that we have fellowship with God, "and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth," (1 John 1:6) it is equally true that "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves." 1 John 1:8-10 says:

If we say that 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 that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

As long as we live in this present body, there will be sin, but it will not be the prevalent characteristic of a true believer. It is inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible to think that a true believer will walk in the ways of darkness. In John 8:12 Jesus said, "he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness." Romans 8:1-16 says:

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

1 John 2:3-6 says:

And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

1 John 3:6-10 says:

Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

As long as our natural body of flesh lives, we will be haunted with the sinful nature inherited from Adam. If we have been born of God by a new birth, then shouldn’t there also be the influence and evidence of a new nature present? 1 John 5:13 says:

These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

In Luke 6:43-49 Jesus said:

For a good tree bringeth not forth corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh. And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will show you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

In Matthew 7:21-24 Jesus said:

Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

A road or a river may change direction temporarily, yet it will return to its overall direction, which we persist in saying is its course. A true child of God may turn aside at times, but it will not be the noted direction of travel. The truly regenerate will be brought to repentance and reclaimed. It will be as with David when he had sinned with Bathsheba and as with Peter when he denied the Lord.

Ephesians 5:1-17 says:

Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Faith Is the Victory

1 John 5:3-4 says:

For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.

The just shall live by faith. Hebrews 10:38-11:1 says:

Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

James 2:14-26, teaching that "faith without works is dead," says:

What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Faith "Not of Yourselves" (Ephesians 2:8)

"It Is God Which Worketh In You" (Philippians 2:13)

It is assuring to know that Jesus is "the author and finisher of our faith" (Hebrews 12:2), that "Salvation is of the LORD" (Jonah 2:9) from beginning to end, and that in the working out of our salvation, "it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13). It is because of these things that God can so boldly promise that eternal life is eternal life. Philippians 1:6 says:

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

God does not leave such an important matter to chance nor to man’s will. Hebrews 12:6-11 says:

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

We are to examine ourselves and judge ourselves, but even if we fail, God will be faithful. It may require the destruction of one’s physical body, but God is faithful to preserve. 1 Corinthians 11:28-32 says:

But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.

To "sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth" (Hebrews 10:26) is to count the blood of Christ as "an unholy thing" (verse 29). There is no other sacrifice for sins but the blood of Christ. "The Lord shall judge his people" (verse 30). Hebrews 10:28-31 says:

He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

1 Peter 1:13-17 says:

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

Philippians 3:15 says:

Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Philippians 3:18-19 says that they are "the enemies of the cross of Christ . . . who mind earthly things."

To disobey one commandment is to be guilty of all. Although the unbeliever is hopelessly incapable of obeying God’s commands because he is spiritually dead and without Christ, it is evident that he is obligated to obey the commands of his Creator. At the "great white throne" judgement, spoken of in Revelation 20:11-13, when the spiritually "dead, small and great, stand before God," they will be "judged . . . according to their works." More than 1,000 years earlier, at the "judgement seat of Christ," when the blood bought believers "shall all stand before the judgement seat of Christ," each one "shall give account of himself to God" (Romans 14:10-12). There will be no question regarding the salvation of those present at that judgement. That matter was settled when Christ died on the cross. "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" (Romans 8:1). Rewards and loss of rewards will be received by the saved at that time when "we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10). Not only will the works of believers be judged, but the motive and source will also be made manifest. Works performed for the purpose of boasting or for the praise of men will be counted as loss. In Matthew 6:1 Jesus said, "Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven." It is the works that are done because "it is God which worketh in you" (Philippians 2:13) that will be rewarded.

Just as there will be no boasting of one’s own works for the obtaining or keeping of eternal life, there will also be no boasting of rewards received. We will then stand in awe of God’s amazing grace that not only saves, but keeps. We will recognize, as never before, the depth of the truth of the total depravity and inability of man, and the absolute sovereignty of God. We will give God ALL the praise and ALL the glory as we look back and realize how often and how terribly we would have failed, were it not for the grace of God. Everyone present will give God ALL the credit for being the one "who maketh thee to differ from another" (1 Corinthians 4:7). We will all know that if we had not been born of God and given a new nature through a new birth, our "knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 2:20) would be only a head-knowledge and we would be as those spoken of in 2 Peter 2:22, which says:

But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

"The just shall live by faith," and "are not of them that draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul" (Hebrews 10:38-39).

Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. (Hebrews 13:20-21)

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