Thursday, January 8, 2009

human spirit

Faith comes from the spirit, and the spirit of a man is normally dead, unless God raises it up to new life.
And with birth comes growth. The born again believer will be sanctified by the Spirit who justified him, which means a life that bears fruit- good works.
The man is not saved BY good works, or BECAUSE of good works, or WITH good works. Indeed mankind is dreadfully lost, and the gift of faith preceeds repentence, so works cannot be a factor in salvtion. We are not saved or lost by what we do, we are saved by grace, a pronouncement, unmerited favor, sovereign kindness. If it were by works then grace would not be grace.

But we know a man has been regenerated when we see good works. As james says faith without works is dead. This does not mean that unless a christian be working in the soup kitchen they dont believe in Christ, what it does mean is that if there are no good fruit then there is no good tree. Either make the tree good and the fruit will be good, or make the tree bad and get bad fruit out of it. A spirit not pleasing the Lord and hating sin is obviously still unregenerated, not born again, and therefore a dead spirit. An unsanctified man is obviously unregenerated, and anyone unregenerated is spiritually dead. Therefore no sanctification means no live spirit. You might well say that faith apart from works is dead.

A more clear defense of once saved always saved

Once Saved Always Saved (or perhaps more popularly called Perseverance of the Saints, but I like the baptist terminology, even though it's perhaps more misleading) falls out naturally from the concept of radical corruption (or total depravity) and predestination.  If both can be shown to be Biblical and true then the conclusion is a given. 
Since man is incapable of saving himself it must be God alone who saves us. 1 Cor2:14, Romans 3:10-11.
God never changes, not His mind, not His person, not ever.  Numbers 23:19, 1 Sam 15:29
Therefore, if we didn't have the power to say no to Him in the first place, we cannot at a later time say no.
It's that straightforward. 
If God is immutable, and man is weak, then once saved always saved is the only option.
Or, if it can be shown that God is in sovereign control over every aspect of our lives, including our coming to Him in faith, then He has obviously determined to save us, and will certainly save us, and once saved always saved must be true.  If God gives us the Spirit who regenerates us, justifies us, and sanctifies us, 1 Cor 6:11 if He has adopted us as His very own Rom 8:15, if He has made it all possible and sealed us up with the Holy Spirit Eph 4:30 then salvation belongs to God alone Jonah 2:9, Psalms 3:8.