Make sure you read the last part of this post: THE DOCTRINE OF GOD OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST. IF THIS DOCTRINE IS NOT BEING TAUGHT, THE DOCTRINE IS FALSE.
Many believe what the Bible says about what Jesus has done for us. But, many others do not understand, and thereby have little opportunity to believe, what the cross must be doing in us. One of the things (and it is only one of the list) that the cross must be doing in us is removing us from the world and the world systems (sanctification).
The world (cosmos in Greek) is the sociological order established by humans. In Noah’s ark, the flood destroyed the world (sociological order established by humans that do not recognize God as sovereign). The world has an evil ruler who is Satan. John 4:30.
Sanctification is the process of being removed from the world so that we can be made holy. Sanctification and being made holy are both processes, not events.
Galatians 6:14 states: “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified [is being crucified in Greek] to me, and I to the world.” Notice that the world must be crucified in us, which is our responsibility. The cross has done certain things for us but the cross must also be doing certain things in us.
Galatians 5:24 states: “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified [are crucifying in Greek] the flesh with its passions and desires.” The crucifixion of our flesh (the Adamic or fleshly nature that we inherited from Adam) with its passions and desires is our responsibility. The cross must be working through us by this crucifixion of our fleshly desires otherwise, how can we be putting Christ first in our lives?
Once a person understands this concept of crucifixion in his own life, that is, that he must be permitting the cross to work crucifixion (his responsibility) in his own life, he can now understand Romans, especially Romans chapter 6. Let’s look at a few verses in Romans chapter 6: “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection…” Note that we are also “…predestined to become conformed to the likeness of His Son…” Romans 8:29. We are not predestined to an event, condition, location or outcome. We are predestined to become like Christ. And one of the conditions meeting our predestination to be conformed to the likeness of Christ is to crucify our fleshly nature with its passions and desires, and to say no to the world (the standards and desires of the world). The world (sanctification sets us apart from the world and makes us holy) tells our five senses what is important and sanctification (holiness) requires us to replace what the world says to our five senses with God’s Word, God’s will and God’s standards. We are chosen for sanctification (a process of becoming more holy) in order to obey and to be saved. 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:13. Only those who obey (a process) receive eternal salvation. Hebrews 5:19. This is confirmed by Hebrews 12:14 that states that without sanctification no one will see God. “Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14.
Romans 6:6-11: “…knowing this, that our old self [soul] was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. Even so consider yourselves [reckon in Greek] to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.” Notice, it is our responsibility to reckon ourselves dead to sin, not Christ’s. The cross must be working in us the desire to die to sin (verse 10) and reckon ourselves dead to sin.
“Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” Romans 6:16. “But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.” Romans 6:22. What does the foregoing verse refer to when using the word “benefit?” The answer is at Romans 7:4: “Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another [the benefit], to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.”
Now turn to I Peter 1:1b-2: to see who the chosen ones are and what we are chosen for. (Remember, that many are called but few are chosen, according to Jesus Christ.) “…who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood…” We choose to go through the sanctifying work of the spirit (to be removing ourselves from the world and becoming more holy like Christ, our example and guide).
I John 1:7 states: “…but if we walk in the Light [Light of the scriptures] as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.” Walking in the Light of the scriptures is how we are sanctified. Through the scriptures, the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, righteousness and judgment and we change our character according to the revelation of the Holy Spirit, through the scriptures, in our own lives. This walking in the Light causes us to mature. Notice the words of Hebrews 5:13-14: “For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice, have their senses trained to discern good and evil.” [NOTICE THAT THE IMMATURE CANNOT DISCERN THE DIFFERENCE IN GOOD AND EVIL; AND THIS MAKES ONE EASILY ATTACKED BY SATAN’S MINIONS] Solid food from the scriptures causes us to practice (by walking in the Light and through the revelation of the Holy Spirit we are convicted of sin, righteousness and judgment so that we can change our character, remove ourselves from the desires of the world and become more like Christ). Through doing the will of God and acting upon the scriptures we become trained and can discern good and evil. Infants in Christ refuse to mature and refuse to practice in order to have their senses trained to discern good and evil. Such people are hung on an event, condition or location which is “I was once saved therefore I am always saved.”
We allow the cross to work in our lives for numerous reasons, one of which is to be removed from the world and to kill our fleshly nature with its passions and desires. Why? So that we can be obedient to Christ. Why should we be obedient to Christ? The answer is 2 John 6: “And this is love, to walk in obedience to My commands.” And why is it important to be obedient? So that we receive eternal salvation: “and having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation.” Hebrews 5:9.
People who only understand what the cross has done for us are destroyed for lack of knowledge (Hosea 4:6) due to their not knowing that the cross must be doing certain things in us, “knowledge” is a key to spiritual life (and the gospel of the kingdom of God). “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord [notice that we receive grace and peace through knowledge–our responsibility]; seeing that His divine power has granted to us [notice that it was done in the past by Christ] everything pertaining to life [spiritual life] and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these [His own glory and excellence] He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust [ESCAPING THE WORLD IS SANCTIFICATION–WHAT WE ARE CHOSEN FOR]. 2 Peter 1-4. Notice, that everything pertaining to life and godliness comes to us through our true knowledge of Him and we can only become partakers of the promises of God through our knowledge of what those promises are. The knowledge of God includes all of the foregoing scriptures that are cited. Those scriptures relate solely toward what Christ’s cross is supposed to be doing in us (not what the cross did for us). The doctrine of “once saved always saved” is a doctrine that dismisses our responsibilities recognizing only one side of the cross. This doctrine recognizes what the cross has done for us but does not recognize what the cross must be doing in us. As a result of not recognizing that it is our responsibility to be taking up our crosses and following Christ, the doctrine teaches listeners to be “enemies of the cross.”
Who are the enemies of the cross? Many will answer that the enemies of the cross are persons who are atheistic, agnostic, or spend little (if any) time concerning themselves with Christ. But this is incorrect. Someone who is apathetic is not an enemy. Such a person is neutral. An enemy is someone who is actively engaged in something that is contrary to or against what another is doing or believing. So who are the enemies of the cross? Paul provides the answer: “For many walk, for whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things.” Philippians 3:18-19. Notice in the foregoing verses that these people are walking for Christ, but they are enemies of the cross of Christ. Why? He is describing people who walk but are enemies of the cross as those who are living for this age (their god is their appetite and their glory is in their shame). These people have set their “minds” on earthly things instead of their hearts on spiritual things. The mind is related to the soul and the soul includes the will, the intellect and the emotions.
God wants us to be killing the desires of our souls and replacing soulish desires with His desires: His will, His standards and His word. Are those people who go to church but treat God with cavalier attitudes enemies of the cross? If a person spends Sunday morning in Sunday school and church with God and forgets God until the next Sunday, does he have a cavalier attitude?
How would your spouse feel if you met with him or her for two hours on Sunday morning of each week? Would your spouse believe that he or she had a strong marriage with you? Would you be a supporter or enemy of this marriage if you spent only two hours per week with your spouse? If your spend two hours a week in church, are you one who is gaining the true knowledge of Christ so that you can receive life and godliness from God (2 Peter 1:3)? If you spend two hours per week in the church, are you one who is being removed from the world through sanctification (Galatians 6:14; Galatians 5:24)? And, are you one who is taking up your cross daily, denying self [desires of your soul] and following Jesus? Or, are you one who will receive the following words from Jesus: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many [how many does it say here?] will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophecy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, I never knew you, depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'” Matthew 7:21-23. Are you one who builds your house on a rock or on sand: “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock [Jesus Christ]. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock [Jesus Christ]. Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who builds his house on the sand. The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house and it fell–and great was its fall.” Matthew 7:24-27.
If a person does not read and study the word of God and receive revelation through the Holy Spirit, he cannot know what the word of God says. And, if he does not know what God says, he certainly cannot act on something that he has not heard. Notice the hearing and doing of these words (Matthew 7:24-27) follows the previous verses where Jesus said not everyone who says Lord, Lord will enter, but He will say depart from me you who practice lawlessness or iniquity (Matthew 7:21-23).
We are chosen for sanctification–a process of being made more and more holy. See the following verses regarding sanctification:
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Hebrews 12:14.
These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful. Revelation 17:14.
THE DOCTRINE OF GOD OUR SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST MUST BE TAUGHT; OTHERWISE FALSE DOCTRINE IS BEING TAUGHT:
10 Not purloining (stealing), but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present age [time outside the realm of eternity]; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority [THIS IS A COMMAND]. Let no man despise thee.