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Meditations on Being Saved
Every brother and sister who genuinely believes in the Lord thinks they have been saved through their belief in the, because records, “For with the heart man believes to righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation” (Romans 10:10). So, many brothers and sisters in the Lord believe that “saved by faith” means they are saved forever. Then, does this view agree with God’s words and with the truth? Next, let’s fellowship about what exactly the real meaning of being saved is.
We all know, in the Age of Law, before God asked Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, all Israelites were slaves to the Pharaoh of Egypt and suffered great torture, living a life without freedom, to the extent that their painful cries reached Jehovah God’s ears. Jehovah God didn’t have the heart to let them be mistreated by the Pharaoh. Thereupon He called Moses to lead them out of Egypt and to enter Canaan. As for the Israelites, when they were saved by God from the Pharaoh and broke free from the tyranny of the Pharaoh, they were saved. But it cannot be said that they no longer need the salvation of Jehovah God. Hence before they entered Canaan, Jehovah God issued the law through Moses, making them know how to fear Him, how to serve Him and know how to practice righteousness, how to gain His blessings, what the evil deeds were, and what behavior would be cursed by Him, as well as how to get along with others and how to live and so on. God’s work in the Age of Law put the life of the Israelites onto the right path gradually. Their life was not chaotic any more. Especially with the law, the Israelites knew what sins were and how to offer sacrifices to God to be free of their own sins. As for the Israelites, they were saved again.
Does “Once Saved” Really Mean “Always Saved”?
However, at the end of the Age of Law, people failed to keep the law and lost their reverence for God, to the extent that they sacrificed the blind or lame animals on Jehovah God’s altar. If that continued, they would face the danger of being condemned and executed by the law. In order to free us from the threat of death, God was incarnated on earth to do the work of redemption and was crucified as a sin offering for man. As long as we prayed to the Lord Jesus to confess and repent, we would be forgiven of our sins. As such, the sinners under the law were redeemed from Satan’s hand and would not be condemned and executed by the law, living in the grace bestowed by the Lord Jesus. For people under the law, this meant that they were saved again. Just as the Bible says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1). “That if you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart that God has raised him from the dead, you shall be saved” (Romans 10:9). Here, “no condemnation” refers to not being condemned by the law; “you shall confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and shall believe in your heart, you shall be saved” here means that when we believe in the Lord Jesus and accept His salvation of the cross, we won’t be executed by the law anymore for being unable to keep the law.
Because of our belief in the Lord Jesus, God doesn’t remember our transgressions. This is what it means to be saved. However, we should know that although our sins have been forgiven, yet it does not prove that we have no sins. Our deep-seated root of sin within our nature has not been resolved. Satan’s poisons such as arrogance, self-righteousness, greed, jealousness, hate, evil and selfishness make us live in sin in spite of ourselves. Even though we often confess our sins to the Lord, our sins have not been reduced but constantly increased. And most brothers and sisters cannot live out the glory of the Lord even at home and they make a fuss with relatives owing to some trivial matter. Furthermore, in the church, the co-workers always raise jealousy and strife among themselves. Meanwhile, many people are often lured by the world and then pursue the evil worldly trends and hanker after fleshly enjoyment, living in sin. These phenomena suffice to show that we have not been saved completely. We’re only forgiven of our sins by the Lord Jesus, but He never did the work of thorough rooting out man’s sinful nature, therefore, we have not achieved true sanctity.
Thus, “Once saved, always saved” is our notion and imagination and does not conform with the truth at all. What’s more, never did the Lord Jesus say that. His work of redemption is only to teach us how to be patient and humble and how to confess and repent, which only involves some changes in our outward behavior but not the transformation of our nature. So we have not been truly saved according to our current condition.
How Can We Be Truly Saved?
With regard to this issue, I’ve studied many verses. Thank the Lord. I finally found out the answer in the Bible. The verses record, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation” (Hebrews 9:28). “He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). The Book of Revelation prophesied, “And I looked, and, see, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:1-5).
From these verses above, we can see God will do a new work in the last days. Moreover, this work probably refers to the work of judgment mentioned in the Bible. Through the judgment, our sins will be cleansed and eventually we will break free from the bondage of sins. Just as the prophecy says, “And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.” Is it not the symbol of man’s being purified? We can possibly get rid of sinful nature thoroughly at that time. It seems that whether our sinful nature can be purified is related to the work God does.
The work Jehovah God and the Lord Jesus did is not the work of removing our sins completely, but is only the work of knowing our sins and confessing sins. Only by accepting God’s judgment and cleansing work can we have the opportunity of fully being saved. Just like the Bible prophesy, “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city” (Revelation 22:14). Thank the Lord for His enlightenment. I understand what the real being saved is and the way to be ultimately purified.
Brothers and sisters, that’s all for today’s fellowship. If you have any different understanding or suggestion, please contact us at any time. May all the glory and praise be to God! Amen!
Rapture in the air is not in accordance with Jesus’ words. What is the meaning of rapture? Through fellowship, she understood that the true meaning of rapture is to follow God’s footsteps.
By Zhang Yan Now is the end of the last days when the prophecies of the Lord Jesus’ return have all come true, and we expect to be taken into God’s kingdom and obtain eternal life more eagerly, because the Lord Jesus once said, “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him” (John 3:36). All these years we have been repenting our sins, preaching the gospel, and bearing fruits, just as the Lord Jesus asked. Thus, we all feel ourselves most approved by God, and that as long as we hold on to the Lord Jesus’ way, we will surely obtain eternal life. Then, is the opinion, after all, in accordance with God’s will? Regarding this question, let’s think back on what the Lord Jesus did in the Age of Grace.At that time, the Lord Jesus incarnate came among us mankind and brought forth the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, saying, “Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17). From the Lord’s word, we clearly know that what He brought man was the way of confession and repentance. And, in addition to these teachings, He also gave all his mercy and love to His followers, bestowed sufficient grace upon man, healed the sick, cast out demons, raised the dead…, until eventually He was nailed to the cross for redeeming mankind, thus completing the work of redemption. However, in spite of having received forgiveness of sins from the Lord, we man still live in the vicious cycle of committing and confessing sins. We can still express these corrupt dispositions anywhere and anytime, such as greed, selfishness, arrogance, deceit, and so on, so that we commit sins at any time and any place. For instance, when we labor hard for the Lord for years, we feel we have the capital to flaunt ourselves. Meanwhile, we all enjoy being in a lofty position to have others worship us, and always exalt and testify ourselves. Isn’t this the behavior of our arrogant nature? Such substance is exactly the substance of the Pharisees, with which we always talk big, try every means to be exalted and admired by others in sermons. Not only this, we also have treacherous nature. So, in order to secure our fame and status, we usually act one way in public and another in private, and unwittingly tell lies to deceive and blind man on sundry occasions so as to satisfy our personal desires. This proves that our sinful nature is still deeply rooted within us and thus we can still sin and resist God, that is, we have yet to achieve eternal life, since those who have eternal life are someone whose sins have been cleansed. God’s kingdom is holy, and only those who have been purified are worthy to enter His kingdom. How can we, who often sin, be qualified to enter it? The Lord Jesus never said that man could enter the kingdom of heaven with his sinful nature; while we often absurdly think that as long as we labor, sacrifice for the Lord, and keep the Lord’s name at all times, we will enter it and gain eternal life. However, never have we realized that only pursuing to be purified by the Lord and thereby being thoroughly cleansed is the precondition of being approved by the Lord and raptured into the kingdom of heaven. The Lord Jesus said clearly, “Truly, truly, I say to you, Whoever commits sin is the servant of sin. And the servant stays not in the house for ever: but the Son stays ever” (John 8:34-35). He also demanded, “And said, Truly I say to you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). The Lord Jesus told us plainly that if we man don’t become as simple and honest as children, and don’t break away from sin to be purified, we won’t be able to enter the kingdom of heaven or obtain eternal life. Then, how will the Lord Jesus’ promise that we will have eternal life be accomplished since we still often commit sins now and have yet to obtain eternal life? When studying the Bible carefully, I read the words of the Lord Jesus, “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47-48). “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come” (John 16:12-13). Also, I saw some man’s words of enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and to them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin to salvation” (Hebrews 9:28). “Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). From the above verses, we know that when the Lord Jesus was first incarnated to do the work of redemption, He took on all the sins of man as the sin offering and thereby redeemed man from the law, so that man would be no longer condemned or cursed by the law and had the qualification and opportunity to come before God to get close, pray, confess, and repent to Him. Nevertheless, we man haven’t gotten free from our sinful nature and can’t enter God’s kingdom yet. Therefore, in the last days the Lord Jesus will come again, express more truths, and do a stage of work of thoroughly judging, purifying, and saving man, in order to solve our sinful nature and have our corrupt disposition completely cleansed and transformed, through which we can obtain eternal life. The Lord Jesus once said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:27-28). “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him” (John 3:36). We all know that what the Lord Jesus did during the Age of Grace was the redemptive work, and what He preached was the way of repentance. The Lord Jesus is Christ, God Himself, and eternal life. It’s just that only when He comes again, which is to say, the Spirit of truth comes, can the way of eternal life be given to man. Those wise virgins who can recognize the Lord’s voice will obtain it, just as the Lord Jesus said, “And I give to them eternal life; and they shall never perish.” Obviously, when He comes again, He will, still in the image of the incarnate Son of man, bestow life upon man through expressing the truth. God says, “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life.” Provided that we merely hold on to the Lord Jesus’ way of repentance yet don’t accept all the truths brought by the returned Lord, then we can’t be called believers in the Son, much less can we obtain eternal life. Instead, only when we believe in the incarnate Son of man in the last days, moreover, accept all the truths expressed by Him, and receive the judgment and purification of these truths to gain life, can our faith accord with the Lord Jesus’ word, and can the meaning of our belief in the Son be complete. Also, this is the only way for us to obtain eternal life and to be raptured into the kingdom of heaven in the last days. All the enlightenment, illumination, and glory be to God! Recommended: To Gain Eternal Life, You Must Know the Source of It Can We Gain the Way of Eternal Life by Believing in Almighty God? Christ of the Last Days Brings the Way of Eternal Life
By Kally Pastors and elders always tell us that all the words in the Bible are God’s words and that the Bible is given by inspiration of God. As the Bible says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). So, we have been holding the belief that everything in the Bible is the word of God. But today, when studying the Bible together with Sister Qi, I gained a new knowledge of this notion. When we read several passages of the scriptures, Sister Qi said that there are not only the words of God but also the words of man, of the serpent, of Satan, and of an ass in the Bible. And then she showed the following verses to me. Genesis 3:1: “And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” This is what the serpent said to Eve. Job 2:2: “And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” This is what Satan said to God. Numbers 22:30: “And the ass said to Balaam, Am not I your ass, on which you have ridden ever since I was your to this day? was I ever wont to do so to you?” This is what an ass said to his master. After reading these verses, I couldn’t help but feel confused in my heart: Right, these are not the words of God but are the words of Satan, of the serpent, and of an ass. Then why did Paul say that all scripture is given by God? Why do the pastors and elders say that everything in the Bible is God’s word? Sister Qi seemed to have read my mind and then shared some knowledge with me. She said, “In fact, in the Bible, we find that God never said that everything in the Bible is His word, nor did the Holy Spirit testify it. The saying ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God’ only represents Paul’s personal knowledge instead of God’s will. And the belief pastors and elders hold is just based on the words of Paul, not God. We believers in God should view everything according to God’s words.” Hearing this, I nodded my agreement. She then said, “Now we understand that not all the words in the Bible are God’s words. Then, what parts of the Bible are God’s words? I think it’s necessary for us to clarify this issue.” Thereupon, we continued the discussion. Sister Qi went on, “In the Bible, only the words spoken by Jehovah God, the words Jehovah God instructed Moses to say, the words God asked the prophets to convey, the words said by the Lord Jesus, and the prophecies God revealed to John in Revelation are God’s words; apart from these, the biographies of man and letters of apostles are all man’s words. They only represent their personal experiences and knowledge, not God’s words, and moreover cannot be said to be the word of God. “Let’s take a look at all the words that God enlightened the prophets. To differentiate God’s words from prophets’ words, the words of God conveyed by the prophets are always first marked ‘the LORD has spoken’ or ‘thus said the LORD’ according to God’s will. For example, Exodus 16:23: ‘And he said to them, This is that which the LORD has said …’; Ezekiel 5:8: ‘Therefore thus said the Lord GOD …’; and Jeremiah 7:20: ‘Therefore thus said the Lord GOD …’ etc. Aren’t these all facts? Are you able to accept this?” I nodded and answered, “Yes, I can.” Thank the Lord! Today, I have obtained these gains from studying the Bible together with Sister Qi. Well, brothers and sisters in the Lord, have you also understood these? If you want to know more about the mysteries of the Bible, read more on our God and the Bible page, or in the following articles. Does Believing in the Lord Means to Believe in the Bible What Kind of Book Is the Bible? Who Wrote the Bible?
The Lord Jesus did forgive our sins, but we are still living in a circle of sinning and confessing. Then how can we enter the kingdom of heaven without being purified?