"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


Bookmark and Share

Sunday, October 18, 2020

SHOW CASE SALVATION – Examination of JAMES 2 and 1 JOHN 2 PART TWO of TWO: 1st JOHN Chapter 2

~ By James Fire

Webster’s dictionary definition of a “show case” is as follows:
“1: a glazed case, box, or cabinet for displaying and protecting wares in a store or articles in a museum 2: a setting, occasion, or medium for exhibiting something or someone especially in an attractive or favorable aspect

Think of your typical Harvest festival, where farmers gather from miles around and display the best of their crops; pumpkins, squash, apples and pears – what have you. They put them on display for the admiration of those gathered as well as for a demonstration of their skills as husbandmen.

The LORD likewise intends for the fruit of the Holy Spirit to be displayed in our lives in ‘Show Case’ fashion, to demonstrate the work of salvation – for the admiration of those who have no such fruit and create in them a hunger for such (MATT 5:6).
The LORD intends such growth in us to display the handiwork of His holiness; to reveal we who are saints, who have the favor of the LORD, and in whom He has instilled such spiritual traits of the truly saved. He displays us intentionally before the world so that they can see what He has to offer, and to see His virtues and thus the LORD is glorified (or hated – by the world).

Any fruit grown will reveal what sort of tree it’s grown from; we know an apple tree by the apples it bears; likewise a pear tree or orange tree. How can we tell a tree of righteousness (ISA 61:3) apart from a tree that is not of the same kind? 

By the fruit of righteousness it bears (PHIL 1:11; HEB 12:11; JAMES 3:18).
No fruiting tree bears immediately of course; and until that time, the casual observer typically can’t tell these trees apart or even from those that don’t bear fruit at all. However, the time does eventually come when fruit is born. The tree is then known by its fruit.
Spiritually speaking, what happens to those trees that don’t bear good fruit? Scripture speaks plainly of this; John the Baptist said:
10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire

And the LORD Jesus confirmed this:

MATTHEW 7:18-20
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down and cast into the fire. 20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them
There is the fruit of repentance (LUKE 3:8); the fruit that evidences salvation (MATT 13:23); fruit that justifies giving the Kingdom of GOD to those who shall inherit it (MATT 21:43). This fruit brings the characteristic of holiness into one’s life with everlasting life, as a promise to such that bear it (ROM 6:22). The very fruit of the Spirit of GOD is something we will be looking into later (GAL 5:22-23; EPH 5:9). 

Fruit is something to be expected in the life of a true believer (PHIL 4:17); fruit that is readily observable: COL 1:6,10). This spiritual fruit is ‘fertilized’ as it were, through the very wisdom of GOD that sows this seed through the Word (JAMES 3:17). All of this good fruit is in contrast with those who are certainly not partakers of the salvation of GOD through the LORD Jesus Christ:
JUDE 1:11-13
11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward and perished in the gainsaying of Core. 12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots
So with this introduction, let’s begin:
In Part One of this article, we found out what the elder James had to say about all of this and now in Part Two, we’ll examine what the apostle John has to say about what it means to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ.

Vs. 1-2 1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

John couldn’t advise the unregenerate in such a way, “that you sin not” – because they have the sin nature and are incapable of living holy lives. Certainly, they can refrain from certain sins, perhaps even over the course of their life-time.
There are many that kicked drug and alcohol addictions (most definitely sinful because these destroy that which GOD gave life to – our bodies and minds); others have learned not to inflict physical/verbal/emotional abuse on family members, etc.

These have stopped committing specific acts of sin (yet without repentance towards GOD, an essential aspect of what the LORD requires); but they are powerless to overcome the sin nature that will simply manifest itself in some other way.
Like the little Dutch boy who tries to stop up all the holes in the dam and soon runs out of fingers, and succumbs to the inevitable, likewise the sinner who tries to stop his sin nature in his own strength.

Yet such an advisement is entirely suitable for the saint: that we are not to sin: that we are not to continue in the practice of sin; this excludes the stumbling into sin on occasion that we all experience. We are afforded the grace of GOD (HEB 4:16) and the power of the sanctifying Spirit (2 COR 7:1; 1 THESS 5:23) to resist temptation and avoid sin, and thus honor GOD by such a life of holiness and godliness (1 PET 1:16). This is the same grace granted to us for the forgiveness of all sin. “All” means ALL! That is the liberty we have in Christ (ROM 8:21; 2 COR 3:17; GAL 5:13)!

The provision is made however, in the event that if we do sin, that the LORD Who is our propitiation (a satisfactory sacrifice that makes amends for an offense) and our Advocate, Jesus Christ the Righteous will blot out our sins (COL 2:13-14) and has granted to us His own righteousness. We can appeal to Him Who has acted on our behalf for the forgiveness of sins (1 JOHN 1:9), and the provision of access to the Father for the blessing of fellowship with Him (JOHN 14:6)!

This He has done, not only for the church, but for all who place their faith in the risen LORD of Glory Who died “for the sins of the whole world” who then are baptized into Christ (ROM 6:3) and become members of the body of Christ, the church!

Vs. 3-4 3 And hereby we do know that we know him if we keep his commandments. 4 He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

What does apostle John tell us about how we can be certain that we know GOD? If we “keep His commandments” (likewise we can know we have eternal life by believing “on the Son of GOD” 1 JOHN 5:13). He doesn’t pull any punches at all in saying to those who claim to know GOD but fail to keep His commandments – that they are liars! The truth is not in them!
And here I thought Paul was really tough in his admonitions!!

What sort of knowledge of GOD are we talking about here? Is this experimental knowledge or experiential? Intellectual or spiritual?
The Greek word for “know” is ginosko, meaning, “properly, to know, especially through personal experience (first-hand acquaintance). 1097 (to "experientially know") is used for example in LUKE 1:34, "And Mary [a virgin] said to the angel, 'How will this be since I do not know (1097 / ginṓskō = [sexual] intimacy) a man?' 
In these earlier verses of 1 JOHN 2, ginosko is used exclusively; in passages later in this chapter, the Greek word employed is oida – meaning perception and understanding of something, by observation.
Where GOD is the Observer, this perception and understanding is entire and complete (of course, since GOD is all-knowing), but where humans are concerned, this is a limited knowledge based upon what our senses and rational minds can tell us.

Ginosko knowledge goes beyond the rational mind and our physical senses and enjoys an intimacy with GOD Whose Spirit bears witness with our own spirit, that we are the children of GOD (ROM 8:16).
To learn more about how these two Greek words differ, see the following information from VINE’s Expository Dictionary (consider the brief quote here):
The same idea of appreciation as well as "knowledge" underlies several statements concerning the "knowledge" of God and His truth on the part of believers, e.g., John 8:32; John 14:20, John 14:31; John 17:3; Galatians 4:9 (1st part); 1 John 2:3, 1 John 2:13-14; 1 John 4:6, 1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16; 1 John 5:20; such "knowledge" is obtained, not by mere intellectual activity, but by operation of the Holy Spirit consequent upon acceptance of Christ. Nor is such "knowledge" marked by finality; See e.g., 2 Peter 3:18; Hosea 6:3
Therefore, if any claims to have an intimate, experiential and personal knowledge of GOD but doesn’t live out the commandments of GOD, the Word tells us that such a one is a liar!

We must be careful always to underscore that we’re not saved by our works, but solely by the work of Christ on the cross, and our faith in and believing upon the LORD Jesus (JOHN 6:29; ACTS 11:17; 16:31). Salvation by grace in Christ will result in “good works” (EPH 2:8-10). Yet genuine justification in Christ will bring forth fruit; this is not a maybe or a possibility, but a certainty:
JOHN 15:2,4-5
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing
And the LORD speaks Himself concerning His commandments as evidence of one’s love for Him (JOHN 15:9-10).

Vs. 5-6 5 But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6 He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

The “keeping” here involves a Greek word that describes a sentry guarding a prisoner, not allowing him to escape because they are kept under constant watch. This sort of vigilance is possible only by the inexhaustible power of GOD’s Spirit. As we rely on the LORD to keep His Word, this demonstrates that the LORD is the one doing the keeping – through us: as we yield and surrender to His Lordship. And the same LORD inspires us with His love, “the love of GOD” made completed – because we keep His Word. 
PSALM 119:10-12
10 With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. 11 Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 12 Blessed art thou, O Lord: teach me thy statutes
A glove is just an empty shell of leather; it looks just like a hand but has no power as the hand does. Yet if we place our hand in that glove, now the glove can do anything that the hand does, because it’s not the power of the glove, but the hand in the glove.

If you’re able to keep the holy Word of GOD, obey His commands, this itself is a demonstration of GOD indwelling you! His hand is in the ‘glove’ that is your heart! John the apostle states clearly that If we abide in Christ, we will walk (“to live”) as Christ lived. Granted, Christ walked perfectly without any hint of stumbling; not so with us. We sometimes fumble and stumble and even fall; but there should be a remarkable resemblance between our lives and the life of Christ as being kindred, not foreign.

What sort of commandments are we talking about? Let’s read:

Vs. 7-8 7 Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. 8 Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth.

We are to love one another as the saints of GOD; this was a commandment from the beginning (DEUT 6:4-5; LEV 19:18; MATT 22:36-40); but then came this “new commandment” from the very lips of the LORD Jesus Christ; by obeying this commandment, the world would be able to rightly identify the saint as opposed to those who don’t belong to Christ:
JOHN 13:34-35
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another
Note: We are not merely to love one another but love one another as CHRIST HAS LOVED US! His love for us was such that He willingly took our sin and the wrathful judgment that was our due, upon Himself (ROM 3:24-26; 2 COR 5:21). No other love can compare to this (JOHN 15:13)! And that is the quality of love we are to have for one another – an impossibility to mere human volition.

Also note: the LORD refers to His disciples as all those who believe in Him and obey Him. Some want to place the disciple on a higher tier than the mere born again believer, but there is no biblical justification for this. The Bible classifies disciples as members of the church, as Christians (ACTS 11:26).

The same goes for “loving our enemies” (MATT 5:44) which is to mirror how GOD loves those who were enemies to Him (ROM 5:8-10)! It’s the same quality of love, grown in us as a result of the Spirit working in the hearts of those who are born again, redeemed, indwelt by GOD! This is true of Christ and also in us, His saint! This shows that we have passed from darkness to GOD Who is light! 

Vs. 9-11 9 He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. 10 He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is no occasion of stumbling in him. 11 But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.

Again, one can claim that they are “in the light” but is there a caring and compassion and a love for those others who are in the light? Or is there an indifference and a preference for themselves and their own priorities? There is no middle ground here; no spiritual twilight is seen in these verses. 
These Scriptures speak like “night and day”. If any claims to be in the light that is GOD, and hates their brother – they are in darkness, they are blind, they don’t realize where they are going – they are in a spiritually deplorable condition – not at all the state of a true child of GOD who will not stumble in their walk so long as they are in the light.

Vs. 12-15 12 I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. 13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. 14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. 15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

Look at the characteristics and conditions of the saints in vs. 12-15; they are forgiven of their sins because of Christ, there is an intimate knowledge of GOD (as addressed earlier); there is the experience of overcoming the wicked one – spiritual victory; there is evidence that the Word of GOD abides in these saints. 

While these saints have an obvious love for GOD, they have no love for the things of the (wicked) world or the wicked one that rules over it. John contrasts love for the world vs. the love of the Father: if one has a love for the world, then the Father’s love does not dwell in them. Such clarity is hard to ignore! The apostle continues in this vein of thought:

Vs. 16-17 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.

The nature of the child of GOD is contrary to lustful desires for the things of the flesh, and the covetousness that is afforded with our eyes, and the pride of life: polar opposites in fact. These are the things that make enemies out of those that GOD created to worship and fellowship with Him! No true child of GOD could be considered an enemy of His. Again, there is a difference between a stumbling into sin (which, so long as we are in this sinful, unredeemed flesh, will happen) and living a death-style of sin. In 1 JOHN 3 it states the following:
1 JOHN 3:9
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
“Sin” in this verse is a verb in the perfect present tense; that is, he who continues to practice sin; this describes the continual, habitual practice of sin, not an incident of a particular sin. This person who is born of GOD is “the new man” created in Christ which cannot sin, whereas “the old man” certainly can (See EPH 4:22-24)!

Vs. 18-19 18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

There is a separation between the saints and those who are “not of us” – and this division will polarize the entire globe until there is no more middle ground, no gray area, no intermediate stage. See the FROM the MIND of FIRE article, Polarization via Different Unities - JOHN 17 
This division is cleft by the very Word of Truth, the Word of GOD, the Sword of the Spirit that issues forth from the LORD Jesus Christ (REV 1:6; 2:16; 19:15):
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

MATTHEW 10:32-36
32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. 34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household
(See also: MATT 13:24-30,36-43
These are the good trees and the corrupt trees and their resulting fruit. The bad trees are not neutral, but grow in the dark, belonging to this world and the god of this world (2 COR 4:4) and there is no evidence of good fruit in their lives; they are of the spirit of anti-Christ and deny the power of godliness Who is the Spirit Himself (2 TIM 3:1-5).

Vs. 20-21 20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. 21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

Just as there is an apparent distinction between sinner and saint, there is the distinction which is just as apparent between the truth and the lie. This distinction between sinner and saint is not always apparent because fruit in a general sense may not be forthcoming; but at least, the fruit of repentance should be evident: a turning away of the lifestyle of sin – a turnabout from the way they used to live for self to a new way of living in Christ. Only time will reveal if such repentance is genuine or not.

Vs. 22-25 22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. 24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. 26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.

The definitive article “the” shows that the office of Christ (“Messiah, anointed one”) belongs to just one Person. It is not a “consciousness” or a “spirit” that anoints others as Christs in any fashion. Yet the spirit of anti-Christ not only denies Jesus as the Christ, but further, insists that we are all “Christ” in as much as any can attain to the conscious level of ‘Christ-hood’ as it were.

“If that which abides in us” – referring to the truth of GOD’s Word Incarnate Who dwells within us (i.e., “the anointing” see vs. 27 below), “and remains in [us]” and for the child of GOD, this indwelling is certain and interminable (See: MATT 28:20; HEB 13:5; PHIL 1:6; 2 COR 1:21-22); note in verse 24 again: “you also shall continue in the Son and in the Father” – that is a promise that excludes human frailty, because we don’t (because we can’t!) keep ourselves in salvation; it is the LORD Himself that keeps us (JUDE 1:24), and by His Spirit causes us to endure and remain faithful. 

Consider the fruit of the Spirit which is “love” and the qualities of this love, one of which is “faith” which can also be interpreted as “faithful”.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law
Bear in mind that when GOD created all things, He created them after their own kind (GEN 1:21,25; 6:20). So the fruit of the Spirit that results from the “seed. . . of the word” will produce after His own kind as well. 

So the same love that the Spirit expresses to us, we express back “after His own kind”. The same goes for the joy, peace, [patience], gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, etc. GOD produces in us His fruit that is after His own nature.

So the child of GOD will remain faithful to the LORD in the same manner that the LORD is faithful to us? Due to the sin nature, this isn’t exemplified perfectly, but it is there. 

If then there are those who fall away, that aren’t exhibiting this fruit of faithfulness – it may be that they have had a lapse in their faith (and the LORD will eventually draw them back to Himself (remember PHIL 1:6; consider the case of Mark, who left Paul and Barnabas in the work of the ministry; whom Paul refused to bring along on a 2nd missions and resulted in a split between the apostle and Barnabas: ACTS 15:36-40; but later Paul sought for Mark in the work of the ministry, showing that he was restored: 2 TIM 4:11; even Peter who denied the LORD at His Passion, but remained faithful to the LORD afterwards post-Pentecost), or it could be evidence of a false conversion and “believing in vain” (1 COR 15:2).

Vs. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

This is the promise of GOD to all of His children: “you shall abide in Him.”

Vs. 28-29 28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that everyone that doeth righteousness is born of him.

Again, the fruit of righteousness that we as saints bear (PHIL 1:11; HEB 12:11; JAMES 3:18) reveals in showcase fashion, those of us who are truly justified, because this fruit is born of that justification and is grown as the saint increases in sanctification. This is why we must scrutinize, through Scripture and prayerful seeking of the Spirit our spiritual condition and determine if our faith and therefore salvation, is genuine:
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?
Check out this video from the Youtube channel: The Greenlawn Church that elaborates on 1 JOHN 2

There are those who insist that there may be Christians who can live out the duration of their lives, not exhibit any sort of fruit, but because they claim to “believe by faith” in the LORD Jesus that they are assured of salvation. Scripture speaks of “false brethren” (2 COR 11:27; GAL 2:4) “tares” (MATT 13:25-30,36-40) and “believe[ing] in vain” (1 COR 15:2).

Certain portions of Scripture are cited to support this view: the Corinthian church for one, which Paul classified as “carnal, even babes in Christ” as well as Lot, the nephew of Abraham, whose conduct appears less than exemplary.

The carnality of the Corinthian church however is not in the midst of any absence of evidential fruit in their congregation. They desired the sincere milk of the Word (comp. 1 COR 3:1 with 1 PET 2:2). 
The apostle confesses that there was spiritual growth in the Corinthian saints (1 COR 3:6-7) and that they are GOD’s husbandry (vs. 9); the saints there belonged to Christ (1 COR 3:23); they exhibited the gifts of the Spirit like no other church. He relates to them in his letter that they are sanctified in Christ Jesus, that they are enriched by the LORD in knowledge, and that the testimony of Christ was confirmed in them (1 COR 1:2-8). 
How could such a confirmation happen unless Paul was persuaded that these were saved? 

Paul admonishes the saints there to follow him as he follows Christ – if they had failed to do so, no doubt the apostle would have brought this up in his second epistle. Still, he does hold out the possibility that there may have been some in their midst who “have believed in vain” (1 COR 15:2).

Anyone who knew Paul would testify that he followed Christ with observable fruit and good works evidenced in his life! 

Certainly, this church had a lot of problems; as one examines these two epistles to the Corinthians, one doesn’t get too far into them before there is a lot of correction and admonitions is seen. Ultimately, Paul endorses this church as being legitimate and recognized by other saints and declared to be so (2 COR 3:1-3) and that there is spiritual progress made in their lives (Paul includes them as being changed from glory to glory, just as he himself is being so transformed when he addresses the saints there with “But we all . . .” see 2 COR 3:17-18. See also 2 COR 4:6-7,13,16).

As for Lot, let’s take a look at this compromised man, that the Scripture nevertheless calls a righteous man with a righteous soul (2 PET 2:7-8):
Lot chose to accompany Abram his uncle on this journey of faith; when it came time to part ways, he had an eye for fertile, well irrigated plains of Jordan. He was a man very much given to the sensual and the natural rather than the spiritual (as opposed to Abram). He is considered by the revelation of Christ to the apostle Peter as a righteous man, having a righteous soul.

When encountering the two angels who came to Sodom and Gomora to destroy it, he was found at the gate of the city – a position of authority, evidently esteemed to some degree by the inhabitants of being worthy of such a position: not at all complimentary, considering the nature of the populace.

However, he greeted the angels with solemnity and great respect; he compelled these two to dwell with him in his house, rather than stay in the street, knowing what would befall them if they stayed outdoors.

When the men of Sodom came and demanded these two men to be brought out to them for the purpose of sexual perversion, Lot offered his daughters instead, rather than see these men violated (a sacred obligation that was well known in those days, that the host was duty-bound to protect guests, by any and all means).

When at last it was made known to him that these angels intended on destroying these cities, Lot implored his sons-in-law to depart with him, displaying compassion and an earnestness in his desire to save their lives. He ultimately obeyed the angels and left, and never looked back (unlike his wife). So while Lot wasn’t the model saint, there was evidence of genuine faith and salvation in his life. For the complete story, check out the exposition of GENESIS 13 in our TTUF Study

Now before we conclude this article, let’s have a final, closer look at “the fruit of the Spirit” as described in:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)

We must remember that fruit isn’t grown overnight, and when it does grow, it’s a gradual process that typically starts with a flower, a budding of some sort that brings forth the fruit and then it isn’t ripe for quite a while yet (See MARK 4:26-29).

However in the life of a genuine believer, there should always be some evidence of “the fruit of repentance” (MATT 3:8; LUKE 3:8), an observable change in direction. Personally speaking, I knew when on the very day I received the LORD as my Lord and Savior, that there was observable change – a change in my attitude and emotional and mental state; I got rid of all the occult stuff that I had, record albums that I thought were great, but then recognized as displeasing the LORD. I no longer was plagued with fear and paranoia about death, and I had a peace and joy, a rest and contentment that until that point was completely foreign to my experience!

Again, these things aren’t what saved me, there is no change that comes over us that brings salvation, salvation is the work of GOD, and these things mentioned are a result of that salvation, but any absence of these, especially in the long term, may mean, or certainly means that the person in question is not saved. That’s what the elder James has stated in Chapter 2; that’s what the apostle John declared in his Chapter 2 as well!

These things shouldn’t even be in dispute, but in the last twenty to thirty years, there are proponents that want to promote the idea that salvation by faith alone, simply by declaring such faith as being a reality in their lives means that they are saved, regardless of any lack of observable evidence.

There is a time of germination, when the seed of the Gospel is planted and there is a time of waiting. Such a person is genuinely saved if they have expressed genuine faith, but that genuine faith will have an effect on that person’s life and there are some things, particularly their attitudes and thinking on matters of the LORD, His Word, on the issue of sin and transgression, the philosophies of the world vs. the truth of the Scriptures.
The believer will know experientially, the love of GOD and will express a love for the LORD, for His Word and for His people. 

Experiencing the love of GOD brings all of the following descriptives as listed in this passage from GALATIANS: a joy and peace independent of circumstances and based solely on the saint’s relationship with the LORD. The LORD instills a determination (“patience”) in the saint to persevere to the end (of this life), and while they may fumble and stumble at times, GOD completes the work that He begins (PHIL 1:6), bringing assurance to the believer that they are a child of GOD, who recognize Him as ‘Father’ (ROM 8:15-16).

As a child of GOD we begin to display the nature of our Father, Who is supremely known by His gentleness and goodness to us as our cherished Abba. The LORD GOD doesn’t need “faith” as we do, but this word can also be interpreted as “faithfulness” and this certainly, absolutely is a descriptive of the LORD. Just as He exercises faithfulness to us, with promises throughout the Scriptures, we also express a faithfulness to Him (remember: this fruit isn’t automatically grown in a ripe condition; our faithfulness to Him requires time to mature, but as we grow, so does our faithfulness). See HEBREWS 10:23.

Meekness and temperance – these things are expressed perfectly in GOD made flesh, the LORD Jesus Christ Who could have vaporized the religious leadership who sought to kill Him, as well as Satan who tempted Him to bow before him in worship, offering Him the rule of the world if He did so! Yet He remained meek and lowly (MATT 11:29).

In the passage in EPHESIANS we note that the fruit of the Spirit is based upon goodness, righteousness, and truth. That which is sown into our lives and bears this fruit is based upon the goodness of GOD, for He so loved us that He gave us His Son! His righteousness is satisfied in Christ’s sacrifice who offered up Himself for our sin and ending the wrath and judgment of GOD against our sin – thus enabling Him to have fellowship with us redeemed sinners, transformed into saints! 

The truth of the Gospel and the Word of GOD is established so that there is no removing them! Despite all of Satan’s efforts, the truth of the Word shall endure forever! (PSALM 100:5; 117:2). It’s just as certain that the fruit of the Spirit that is based on these three things will be born in our lives – given time and growing in the grace and knowledge of the LORD (2 PET 3:18).

It is the express hope and prayer that this article will encourage the saints in their understanding of the work of the LORD, that just as He is the Savior, He is also the Sanctifier Who has established ROCK-solid justification that is unshakeable, never-ending, steadfast and secure for the believer, and also has promised to do the work of sanctification in and through us.

As mentioned in Part One, here is an excellent article that relates to much of what’s presented in this two part article by A.M. Kisly’s treatment: LORDSHIP Salvation: What Is True Faith? 

No comments: