Paul's Passing Thoughts

Eternal Salvation: What is It?

Posted in Uncategorized by Paul M. Dohse Sr. on March 2, 2020

Faith

According to the Bible, eternal salvation comes by hearing the word of God and believing it. This is not a mere intellectual assent, but what the Bible calls “faith.” Faith puts its hope in God, God’s wisdom, and God’s way of life. Faith and hope are closely related. Actually, faith is what the Bible is referring to when it speaks of belief. “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). Faith results in a different mindset and behavior. Romans 10:17, Hebrews 11, Psalm 1:1-6, Psalm 119.

Faith, Seed, and New Birth

Faith comes by hearing and believing resulting in the new birth. The new birth is a supernatural act of the Holy Spirit that transforms a person into God’s literal child, or what the Bible refers to as God’s “offspring.” It is the hearing of God’s word and believing it that results in the word of God being implanted within the individual by the Holy Spirit. God’s word and God’s life are synonymous (Matthew 4:4). In fact, God’s word, faith, God’s seed (offspring) are for all practical purposes of salvation the same thing. Matthew 17:20, Matthew 13, Luke 17:6, Romans 4:13, Romans 4:16, and Hebrews 11:11. Belief, faith, and miraculous new birth are a common theme throughout the Bible. And…

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God (1Peter 123).

So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls (James 1:21).

Along with this word of God residing within the believer, the Spirit, Christ, and God the Father live within the believer as well (1Corintians 3:16, Ephesians 1:13-14, John 17:23).

What the New Birth is NOT

The new birth is not a mere “experience” or perception, or a subjective sanctification. It is not the result of a mere “legal declaration.” The new birth makes a person truly righteous as a state of being. In the biblical new birth, true righteousness and the holiness of God are NOT outside of the believer. The believer is not merely declared righteous; the believer IS righteous as the true and literal offspring of God.

The righteousness of God is transferable to the being of those born from above. This does not mean that righteousness originated with us, and therefore, making a substitution necessary that is not truly part of the believer. This denies the reality that God can join holiness with mortality. The reality of God becoming one with those born again is demonstrated by Mary and the virgin birth of Christ. This was hardly a righteousness outside of Mary; God used her body to bring the Savior into the world. “Christ IN you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

Therefore, Martin Luther’s “alien righteousness” should be rejected with disdain.

The New Birth and the New Covenant

Hence, under the New Covenant, the Spirit not only implants the word within us, but He baptizes us. This does three additional things: it puts the old person to death and resurrects him/her to new life, changes that person’s relationship to the law, and makes the believer ONE with Jews and Gentiles. The baptism of the Spirit makes one part of the “commonwealth of Israel.”

Therefore remember that formerly you who are Gentiles in the flesh and called uncircumcised by the so-called circumcision (that done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has torn down the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing in His flesh the law of commandments and decrees. He did this to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace and reconciling both of them to God in one body through the cross, by which He extinguished their hostility.

He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit (Ephesians 2:11-18).

The old us is put to death with Christ, and the new us is resurrected with Christ.

What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may increase? Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? Or aren’t you aware that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We therefore were buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with Him like this in His death, we will certainly also be united with Him in His resurrection. We know that our old self was crucified with Him so that the body of sin might be rendered powerless, that we should no longer be slaves to sin. For anyone who has died has been freed from sin.

Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, He cannot die again; death no longer has dominion over Him. The death He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life He lives, He lives to God. So you too must count yourselves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its desires. Do not present the parts of your body to sin as instruments of wickedness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and present the parts of your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace (Romans 6:1-14).

The baptism of the Spirit changes our relationship to the law.

Do you not know, brothers (for I am speaking to those who know the law), that the law has authority over a man only as long as he lives?  For instance, a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is released from the law of marriage. So then, if she is joined to another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law and is not an adulteress, even if she marries another man.

Therefore, my brothers, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God. For when we lived according to the flesh, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, bearing fruit for death. But now, having died to what bound us, we have been released from the law, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code (Romans 7:1-6).

Because the new us is no longer under the law and its condemnation, no substitution for the penalty of sin or a perfect law-keeping righteousness is needed. We have been set free to serve another Master once and for all. That freedom means that there is NOW…NO condemnation for those in Christ (Romans 8:1). Christ came to end the law Romans 10:4), not to continually fulfill it as a substitution in return for participating in “the ordinary means of grace.”

That doesn’t mean we are not under any law while under grace. The law, or Bible, is now our manual for loving God and others. “If you love me, keep my commandments.” The Bible is now useful for our “faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6).

The born again Christian now finds purpose in loving God and others aggressively with no fear of condemnation. “Sin” regarding a believer is really a failure to love and can bring Fatherly chastisement as well as practical consequences, but has no need of reacquiring Christ’s finished salvific works.

Note: any gospel that does not emphasize the TWO laws (both “nomos,” not two “realms”) of Romans 8:2 are necessarily a fulfilling of the law through a ritulistic substitution rather than fullfilling the law through love.

The Order of Salvation

All individuals born into the world are born with the abilty to ask God for eternal life because the works of the law are written on their hearts and their consciences either accuse them or excuse them. (Romans 2:12-16). Those under law are convicted of sin and the coming judgment by the Holy Spirit (John 16:8). And, as mentioned earlier, faith comes by hearing the word of God and believing it.

Hence, God seeks to save man through an internal conviction, an external conviction by the Spirit, and the preaching of the word by God’s children in the world. And, “God’s kindness leads to repentance” (Romans 2:4). Furthermore, creation testifies to God’s goodness and His wrath to come (Romans 1:18-20). The efforts of God to reach mankind is astounding to think about. The internal testimony, the testimony of the Spirit, the testimony of God’s people, the testimony of creation, and God’s personal testimony of kindness. Therefore, the Bible states that “man is without excuse.”

Salvation begins with an individual being persuaded by these messengers, believing it, and wanting this truth of God to be the reality of their own lives. In response to that, the Holy Spirit baptizes them. That is the order of salvation. To make this clear, the book of Acts describes a visual illustration that demonstrates it (Acts 10:24-48).

The Old Covenant

The Old Covenant was a will to which all sin was imputed. The New Covenant ends the Old Covenant (for believers) and all of the sin imputed to it. Galatians chapter 3, Hebrews chapter 9, Romans 10:4.

Saints under the Old Covenant had their sin imputed to the law, or “imprisoned” under the law. The New Covenant puts an end to sin altogether and baptizes Jew and Gentile into one body.

Justification

Justification is by the new birth apart from the law. Justification is by “the promise” of a seed apart from the law. Galatians chapter 3 states that there is only one seed. If the standard for justification is perfect law-keeping, the law is a second seed, but there is only one seed according to Galatians chapter 3. The law cannot give life.

Justification is the result of God’s seed being implanted within us. One who has the seed of God in them “CANNOT SIN.” This is just another way of saying a believer is justified and is the cardinal point of 1John chapter 3. Again, born again believers are righteous as a state of being.

Sanctification

Sanctification is the growing of the Christian life and not the progression of salvation in any way, shape, or form. Like any new birth, the birth event is a onetime finished event followed by the progression of life. The new infant grows by the “pure milk of the word” or in other words, the Spirit’s second use of the law to sanctify (John 17:17). The Spirit’s first use of the law is to convict the world of sin and the judgement to come.

Redemption

Redemption is the salvation of the body and is future; it is different from the salvation of the soul (Romans 7:24).

Fellowship

The church, inherently, is an institution, and therefore has no validity for fellowship among Christ’s called out assembly (ekklesia). All authority is vested in Christ alone, and the fellowship of God’s people is a cooperative body with Christ as the head. The body of Christ is a cooperative effort of collective gifts granted by the Spirit, not an authoritative hierarchy. True Christian fellowship functions like any other family would function.

However, we should also remember that we are ambassodors representing God’s kingdom and also a royal priesthood. A concerted effort to glorify God’s kingdom while we are here should be taken seriously and aggressively pursued through fellowship. Unity will be determined by agreement in the one mind of Christ. Fellowship is determined by who is fellowshipping together and not church membership.

What Justification by New Birth is NOT

It is not Catholicism versus Protestantism, which is an absurd notion. Both hold to a progressive salvation through church ritual. Catholicism refers to that as “the sacraments.” Protestantism refers to it as “the ordinary means of grace.”

3 Responses

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  1. Wayne Valadez said, on March 2, 2020 at 3:03 PM

    Good word!

    Like

    • Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on March 3, 2020 at 5:03 AM

      I revised it.

      Like

  2. Paul M. Dohse Sr. said, on March 3, 2020 at 5:04 AM

    Any recommendations should be posted here as well.

    Like


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