WHY GO ARMINIANISTIC SOTERIOLOGY (4TH PART)

One thing I really like to ask is this. Is the new birth by grace or by works? If it is by grace then it is solely of the Holy Spirit. If it is by works then carnal fleshliness and its erroneous propensities are involved, Genesis 6:5. The flesh, harangued by traditions, philosophies, religions and personal experiences will definitely work against the will of God. If it is by grace then I congratulate you. Why? Grace is an unmerited favour. It means that you agree with the word of God that it is not by your good doing that you have been regenerated. If you agree, “It is by grace,” then you are behaving true to type of a one who did homologeo (confession) of Romans 10:9-10. Grace was first used in Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” ‘Grace’ in the Hebrew is chen (khane): ‘favour, grace, charm, graciousness, that is, subjectively (kindness, favour) or objectively (beauty).’ This word comes from: chanan (khaw-nan): ‘to be gracious, show favour, pity, to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to favour, bestow ; causatively to implore (that is, move to favour by petition).’ If it is by the grace of God then none, who is born again, has nothing, and cannot have anything to contribute to tereo (keep) this precious zoe (life).
Noah, an antediluvian saint of the Most High, was the first in scriptural documentation to be a recipient of grace. The importance of this is seen in the light of the fact that he led humanity from the second dispensation of conscience through the Deluge with eight (new beginning) souls. Noah’s name means ‘rest’ (a type of Sabbath); the grace of God brought rest from eternal death. In the book of Luke 2:40, Jesus is the first in the New Testament to receive grace. Jesus Christ, as the Lord of Sabbath, Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:28 & Luke 6:5, is our rest. ‘Grace’ in Greek is charis (khar’-ece): ‘graciousness (as gratifying), of manner or act (abstract or concrete; literal, figurative or spiritual; especially the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life; including gratitude).’ Charis comes from chairō (khah’-ee-ro): ‘to be full of “cheer”, that is, calmly happy or well off; impersonal especially as a salutation (on meeting or parting), be well.’ Now let us look at grace at work. Romans 4:16, “Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace …” Romans 11:6, “And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.” 2Corinthians 1:12, “For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward.” 2Cor 12:9 “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” It is wholly God’s work!
The prelude to Galatians 3:1 is the next one; Gal 1:6, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:” (which teaches another, which does not support that which he had earlier taught). Gal 2:21, “I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.” Ephesians 2:5 “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved);” Eph 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:” The same faith must continue to lubricate it. 1Peter 5:5 “Likewise, ye …… for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” Whether you like it or not a doer of good deeds tends to see himself as a big shot, leading to an attitude of puffing up. Of boasting read Romans 3:26-28; v.26, “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” v.27 “Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.” v.28 “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
Substitutionally, the great historian and prophet of God, Isaiah penned a most accurate prophecy of Him in, “…and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors;” Isaiah 53:12. The Hebraic word for ‘numbered’ is manah (maw-naw): ‘to weigh out; by implication to allot or constitute officially; also to enumerate or enroll;’ and implying also, according to this definition, that He who never knew sin was counted to be a sinner like us for the sole reason of becoming our gladiatorial champion in the fight out of the curse of the sinful nature. ‘Bare’ is naśa’ or nasah (naw-saw): ‘to lift, bear up, carry, take, to lift up, to bear, carry, support, sustain, endure.’ Why do we have sin in its singular as what He bore? It is the sin of mankind in aggregation, generically. He took all the iniquitous activities of man to the cross and entered the holy of holies, this time, not in the old priestly fashion (of using the blood of animal as the medium of salvific transaction), He went in with His own sin proof blood, the blood of the Eternal One. Now how do I know this? Simple. Revelation 1:13 reads, “And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.” The word ‘paps’ in Greek is mastos (mas-tos): ‘the breasts (nipples) of a man; breasts of a woman.’ This revelation of Jesus is of His priesthood. Traditionally, when the Jewish high priest concludes his annual sacrificial atonement he pulls his girdle to his chest to inform Israelites that it is a success and Israel is assured that all her sins up till then have been forgiven. The golden girdle or sash which Jesus has to His paps is a proof of the fact that His gory experience on the cross had been accepted (making Him our heavenly High Priest), and that this salvation is for the entire people of the world. Intercession is paga (paw-gah): ‘to encounter, meet, reach, entreat, and make intercession.’ Do you now see the correlation between the ‘bare’ and the ‘intercession’ in the scriptural light of the revelatory ‘girdle girt about the paps’? Praise the Lord! He intercedes, seated on the right hand of the Majesty, a place of eternal stance. His role, in this wise, gives the substitutional death of Jesus an absolute eternal consequence. With this scriptural understanding of Christ’s substitution-role you will find it very rewarding going through 2Corinthians 5:21, Galatians 3:13 and 1Peter 2:24.
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him;” 2Corinthians 5:21. A divine switch of righteousness was deftly executed for the enablement of our acceptance before the thrice holy God. Our righteousness is of Him, Jesus, who has His dwelling in God, so that we will be, definitely, safe! O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! Galatians 3:13 says, “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:” Do you want to know what the law says? Read from Exodus chapter twenty to Deuteronomy. As long as Jesus cannot be placed under any judgment here and in heaven we, the Christians, are well secured (here and in heaven); which reminds one of 2Corinthians 5:17, where we have the word ‘new’ which in Greek is kainos (kahee-nos): ‘recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn.’ This is why it is the best thing to be born again! Then we have, in 1Peter 2:24, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” Who are the ‘his’ and the ‘our’ in this verse? It is lucid clear that the pronoun ‘his’ is Jesus. The ones ‘our’ represents are found in the opening verses of 1Peter; they are the strangers, looking forward to a celestial abode, of verse one; who are also the elect of verse two; blessed in verse three; these are with the hope of an eternal inheritance in verse four, and they are the ones verse five declares to be, “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” From these opening verses God is the One at the work of ‘our’ salvation. Our only contribution is the exhibition of faith in the finished work of our Saviour. His stripes, not our good works, healed us. The word heal is iaomai (ee-ah’-om-ahee): ‘to cure, heal; to make whole; to free from errors and sins, to bring about (one’s) salvation.’
Logically, you cannot announce a gift of an eternal consequence to a person and as soon as this person runs into an error he just loses the eternity of it. If the gift is truly eternal and it happens to be given by a One as faithful as Jehovah, then I can categorically tell you to rest in perfect assurance that you have that zoe so intact, eternally. More importantly the scriptures, God’s express, infallible utterance seals the validity of it. James Arminius (1560-1609), the champion of, and whose teaching has become today’s Arminianism, was influenced by Erasmus and Melanchthon, both of whom were humanists, and herein lies the most probable piece that fits the missing chip of the jigsaw puzzle of Arminianism!

Desiderius Erasmus

Desiderius Erasmus

James Arminius

James Arminius

Philipp Melanchthon

Philipp Melanchthon

Read the fifth & concluding part here

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WHY GO ARMINIANISTIC SOTERIOLOGY (3RD PART)

Is God security conscious? Yes, and 2Corinthians 1:21-22 sums up God’s security alertness, which reads, “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; [22] Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” Stablisheth comes from bebaioō (beb-ah-yo’-o): ‘to make firm, establish, confirm, make sure; to stabilize (figuratively).’ God took the initiative to bebaioo Paul and all believers in the faith (the only prerequisite) of Christ (the sole ground)! The same God went further (for HE does not rest on HIS oars, look back or stop working unto the perfection of the saints) to anoint us; anoint is chriō (khree’-o): consecrating Jesus to the Messianic office, and furnishing him with the necessary powers for its administration; enduing Christians with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Probably akin to [chraomai: to furnish what is needed] through the idea of contact; to smear or rub with oil, that is, (by implication) to consecrate to an office or religious service.’ God did not stop at the anointing (merely breaking the yoke) but HE took a further step when HE sealed: sphragizo, the same as in John 6:27. Then HE completed the business by doing the unbelievable, something to make Satan go uncomfortably greenest with envy eternally, He did a fourth thing (four is the scriptural number for creation), by giving us the Holy Spirit Himself as earnest. Earnest is arrhabōn (ar-hrab-ohn): ‘money which in purchases is given as a pledge or down payment that the full amount will subsequently be paid; a pledge, that is, part of the purchase money or property given in advance as security for the rest.’ This word is, in Greek grammar, a masculine noun, implying a wholeness of completion, needing no other element to maintain its existence. If God (a spirit Being) should make a part payment, to actualize a spiritual phenomenon, please do tell me, from what resource, riches or wealth of this terra firma can one draw from to make a complementary payment? Is it a scriptural possibility? How can God the Holy Spirit ever be insufficient as or for any payment whatsoever and wherever? The Spirit is more than enough, God had concluded already; can you not see that all God wants you to do is to continue, on your own part, to keep on believing with a yea and never an iota of a nay, for with God it is always ‘yea and amen’ (in a deeper sense – ‘Jesus and Jesus’); and also note that there is no conditionality for an effectual and conclusive establishment of salvation reality. The reality of security has credence lent to it in Luke 10:35 and Matthew 17:27. Does arrhabon tell us in the scripture that HE has paid the price of salvation in full? Tell me, if you run into a huge, life threatening debt and someone magnanimously paid your debt, in full, and got the IOU torn into an inoperativeness, are you still owing? This is what is meant by justification!
Paul, the erudite New Testament teacher, of truth, is the quintessential revelator of Divine protocol as touching His Church. In a classic Pauline of Ephesians 1:13-23, verse thirteen expounds the methodology of salvation to be the acceptance of the Lordship of Jesus, and the eventual culmination in the sphragizo. This seal is explained in verse 14, “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” The Holy Spirit is the guarantee, God’s guarantee; and what this is, in other words, is that God gives Himself as the guarantee! Paul is not seen praying against their apostasy, rather he is ‘thanking God’ for them. I am wondering why HE would do all these ‘going beyond the extra mile’ of preceding verses just to save a disinclined soul. “….that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me;” Acts 26:18. Jesus is quoted verbatim by Paul in his unforgettable encounter with the Lord of glory through whom, by faith, we are ‘sanctified’: hagiazō (hag-ee-ad’-zo) ‘to purify by expiation: free from the guilt of sin; to make holy, that is, (ceremonially) purify or consecrate; to separate from profane things and dedicate to God; (mentally) to venerate.’ Jesus did not give a single condition outside faith. In the book of Romans 15:16, “….the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost;” in this verse, sanctified is the same hagiazo. The same Greek word is utilized in Hebrews 10:14, “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” ‘Perfected’, here is: teleioō (tel-i-o’-o): ‘to complete, that is, (literally) accomplish, or (figuratively) consummate (in character);’ and ‘for,’ which comes just after ‘perfected’ is eis (ice) ‘to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place or time;’ while ‘ever’ is: diēnekes (dee-ay-nek-es) ‘continuously, continuous; carried through, that is, perpetually.’ By the language of the verse above it is clear that the ‘foreverness’ of the ‘perfection’ is more highlighted than the ‘sanctification;’ other verse of hagios are: 1Corinthians1:2, 6:11; 1Timothy 4:5; 2Timothy 2:21; Hebrews 2:11, 9:13-14, 10:10, 29 and Jude 1:1.
The Remonstrant quote Old Testament verses like, Deuteronomy 29:18-20, 2Chronicles 15:1-2 & Ezekiel 18:20-24 to support their conditional security didacticism. Come on, ‘conditionalists’, you cannot use the old order of salvation to explain the soteriology based on the blood the Lamb of God. New Testament scriptures they used include Galatians 5:2-4 (excluding the 5th verse!), 19-21 (excluding 25-26), 6:7-10; Hebrews 3:7-14, 10:36-39; 1Timothy 4:13-16 & James 1:12. Galatians chapter 5 is intended to teach the Churches at Galatia that righteousness of works and justification by faith cannot co-exist; that they cannot by-pass the liberty brought by the finished work of Christ and embrace the circumcision law of Judaism (which will cause the ‘fall’ from grace) for ‘the letter of the law killeth’; but they leave out the fifth verse where Paul includes himself, “For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.” They, who lack the faith as against we, who are of the faith. The eighteenth verse is directed at ‘ye’ the faithless ones up to the twenty-first; but at the 25th & 26th Paul turns to himself and others of the faith, who are expected to behave like those working for the heavenly reward. Chapter 6:7-10 is an encouragement to sow aright. The Book of Hebrews is to a large extent intended to rouse Judaism to the new providential salvific order which makes the blood of the animals a divinely closed chapter. From the seventh to the fourteenth verses (where he includes himself – being a Jew) of the third chapter he was reminding his fellow Israelites of God’s word. Chapter 10 verses 36-39 where we have ‘draw back’ is in reference to the fact that they were privileged to have the Saviour come from their stock. He made a distinction between the unbelieving Jews and Christians like him in verse 39, “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” The idiomatic ‘draw back’ is the Greek hupostolē (hoop-os-tol-ay): ‘the timidity of one stealthily retreating; shrinkage (timidity), that is, (by implication) apostasy.’ Of course the Jews who have never truly believed in the finished work of Christian salvation can apostatize. In 1Timothy 4:13-16, the word ‘continue’ {epimenō (ep-ee-men’-o): ‘to stay over, that is, remain (figuratively persevere)}’ of the 16th verse does not imply a likelihood of losing it, but to serve as the lubricant to promote the salvation he wields as a pastor. A pastor must be born again before holding the office. The ‘crown’ {stephanos (stef’-an-os): ‘From an apparently primary “stepho” (to twine or wreathe); a chaplet (as a badge of royalty, a prize in the public games or a symbol of honor generally; but more conspicuous and elaborate than the simple fillet, (diadēma)}’ is a prize given for an industrious Christian life which determines one’s heavenly hierarchal stand, by which same hierarchy our eternal life on earth will be based.
Does John 3:16 say, “I will give you what may determine an eternal life?” No, it says, “…that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The verb ‘have’ is: echo (ekh’-o), meaning, ‘to hold (such as possession, ability, continuity, relation, or condition).’ If what was given to me is called, “everlasting (or eternal) life” then that makes me an undying inheritor of God’s very life, called zoe. Now, if, after sometime, I did a bad thing and the punishment calls for going to hell, it will then follow that what I actually got was not truly zoe, and, that will be disappointing; a disappointing fraud. Is God fraudulently deceitful? God forbid! Why would the Bible say, “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand;” quoting Jesus in John 10:28? It also reads in Acts 13:48, “And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” The word ‘ordained’ is ‘tasso (tas’-so): ‘to arrange in an orderly manner; (generally) to assign or dispose (to a certain position or lot).’ God had foreknown those who would believe and He was ready for what had been ‘tasso.’ “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” This is from Romans 5:21; and if grace reigns through righteousness, do you know that Christ Himself is our righteousness, Jeremiah 23:6; 1Corinthians 1:30: Romans 4:25; 2Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9; Colossians 3:3? This is what we have in 1John 5:10 “He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.” Verse eleven, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” This new life is too good to be believed, it is the spiritual revolution that has brought man and God in a union never envisaged by the philosophies of man, Colossians 2:8. This union forms Christ’s mystical body, the Church! It goes beyond the wildest imagination even of the celestial beings: for the angelic intelligentsia are still looking into the unprecedented matter, 1Peter 1:10 & 12. This is the greatest miracle (that God becoming a man, turns man into God, Psalm 82:6, John 10:34) hence God’s most treasured possession of inestimable price! It is found in Matthew 13:45, 46. Amen!
“O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you…” Paul began to rail on the Galatian Church (Gal. 3:1). Why? The answer is in Galatians 3:2, “This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” They, definitely, allowed their ears to itch them and thereby were channeling what was diametrically opposed to the doctrine of grace into their hearts. They needed to have been bewitched to jettison Paul’s toil! Paul’s anger, not yet assuaged, burst forth in Galatians 3:3, “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” Remonstrant fifth soteriological point teaches that, “Believers are capable to resist sin through grace and Christ will keep them from falling, but whether they are beyond the possibility of ultimately forsaking God or becoming devoid of grace must be more particularly determined.” This means that a born again child of God, HIS inestimable property, which none can pluck from the hand of Christ whom HE also has HIS everlasting and divine grip on, and whose (the believer) personal righteousness, for the kingdom’s sake, is no longer tenable but that of Christ Himself, and whose will (hence) is now constantly Christ’s, will lose that of which its eternal stance is a legality! Preposterous!

To read the 4th part click here

WHY GO ARMINIANISTIC SOTERIOLOGY (2nd Part)

Once I saw the well renowned, global evangelist, Benny Hinn on television telling his audience, “If you do not remember anything at all about the loss of salvation, do not forget Matthew 24:13, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Do I care which great pastor is teaching what? As long as it is unscriptural I am against you, standing on the truth of the Word! You just cannot pull out a verse and treat it in isolation of the pictorial context. This verse is always used by Arminians to support their soteriological disposition. This verse, which forms part of Jesus’ teaching beginning from verse three to twenty-four is eschatologically dimensioned (verse 3); its Antichrist involvement (verse 15) is an attestation, because he will rule only after the rapture. The ones who must endure will be those who rejected the simple gospel of John 3:3 so, were left behind to pay with their own blood (2Thessalonians 2:3-11). Verse 22 speaks of ‘shortened’ and ‘elects’ meaning that the wicked antichrist, son of perdition will be allowed only 3 and a half years (Daniel 7:25 & 12:7; Revelation 11:2-3 & 12:14) out of his one week (i.e. seven years) in order to save the remnant elect from being tortured to, an eternal adokimos, submission; what a gracious God! This is about the last days hence eschatological, unless you will want to argue blindly that the rapture, which I am expecting, has already and erroneously, taken place! And for such scriptures as Matthew 5:27-30, our Lord is seriously warning against an inability to cast, with promptitude, a member of your very person that the Devil is always using against you, out. Many, for wanting to enjoy certain vices till a particular period, will resort to procrastination. Such are yet to enter the kingdom, in which when a soul gains an entrance becomes eternally a citizen therein; and so many scriptures support this scriptural reality.

The only criterion that qualifies a man to receive the gift of eternal life in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life;” is ‘believeth’ and the Greek word is, pisteuō (pist-yoo’-o) meaning: ‘to think to be true, to be persuaded of, to credit, place confidence in; to trust in Jesus or God as able to aid either in obtaining or in doing something: saving faith; entrust (especially one’s spiritual well being to Christ).’ The three ‘believe’ words in verse 18 have the same pisteuo. I hear our people say, “But you cannot …., without being righteous,” implying the impossibility of this life without outward perseverance of doing ‘good’ as well. There are scriptures to settle this (Colossians 3:3-4; 1John 5:11; Romans 4:6-7, 10:4; 2Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9 & Titus 3:5) which prove that our righteousness is just not ours but is of Christ and hid in Him so that we will not by any omission or commission of the fallible flesh lose it again! Praise the LORD! It, our salvation, is well kept in the Eternal One. This is not to say that we should not be doing the good deeds expected of saved ones.

John 10:27-30 says that born again souls are doubly secured: in Jesus’ hand and the Father’s. They have eternal life because they hear His voice, how? The Holy Spirit is in them, and ‘no one can pluck them from His hand’ the word ‘pluck’ is harpazō (har-pad’-zo): ‘to seize, carry off by force; to seize on, claim for one’s self eagerly; to snatch out or away.’ Do note that these scriptures do not present any strings attached to salvation. Eternal life is what is always promised and it is by the One whose seat and pronouncements emanate from eternity. In John 17:9-12, Jesus is praying for the saved souls asking the Father to ‘keep’ them even as He had ‘kept’ them. Avowed Arminians will point out that Jesus was praying for His eleven disciples only, verse twenty says, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;” therefore I, the author, am well kept! The word ‘keep’ is the Greek, tēreō (tay-reh’-o), meaning: ‘to attend to carefully, take care of; to guard; metaphorically to keep one in the state in which he is; a watch; to guard (from loss or injury, properly by keeping the eye upon).’ Read the famous Pauline Romans 8:35-39 and let us see someone sum up courage to tell us what can possibly separate sanctified ones from Christ. In 1Peter 1:3-5, the word ‘kept’ in verse 5 is: phroureō (froo-reh’-o): ‘to guard, protect by a military guard, either to prevent hostile invasion, or to keep the inhabitants of a besieged city from flight; metaphorically under the control of the Mosaic law, that he might not escape from its power; to protect by guarding, to keep by watching and guarding to preserve one for the attainment of something.’ If God be the Keeper, the kept have no hand in the safety of the kept object. You certainly cannot be another keeper so, God, in His infinite wisdom makes it His sole preserve to keep you safe. Amen!

“According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love;” Ephesians 1:4 is an intimation of God having chosen us in Christ. ‘Before the foundation of the world,’ points to Christ’s eternal nature (i.e. not being a product of creationism). The verb ‘be’ is: einai (i’-nahee) ‘to be, to exist, to happen, to be present.’ [Einai is a present infinitive from (eime – to exist – it is the same as ‘am’ in ‘I AM THAT I AM’)]. The existence of a born again Christian is a holy presence before God, in love, agape, in Greek, which one saint defined as “a love called out of the heart of a lover on account of the value the lover has placed on the object of his love.” Once you become God’s child, you are constantly holy, blameless and loved! HE ensures our state of being, by making it: (a) ‘holy’ [hagios (hag’-ee-os) ‘most holy thing, a saint; sacred (physically pure, morally blameless or religious, ceremonially consecrated),’ (b) ‘without blame’ [amōmos (am’-o-mos): ‘without blemish; as a sacrifice without spot or blemish; morally: without blemish, faultless, unblameable; unblemished (literally or figuratively): – without blame (blemish, fault, spot)]’. This is what we are in Christ, the phenomenal Person of the expression of His agape. And this is what the great Paul is telling the Church at Ephesus.

Why go the way of Arminian Remonstrant soteriologically and not of the pure scripture as it is written in Romans 5:8-11? Verse 8, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” The adverb, ‘yet,’ is: eti (et’-ee): ‘yet, still: of time; of a thing which went on formerly, whereas now a different state of things exists or has begun to exist; of a thing which continues at present: even, now’. It was not because of the goodness of my deeds that made Jesus to come down and die for me, not at all! I was busily and systematically (and probably enjoying) living in my sins when He chose to do it! Rom. 5:9, “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” Justified is dikaioō (dik-ah-yo’-o) ‘to show, exhibit, evince, one to be righteous, such as he is and wishes himself to be considered; to declare, pronounce, one to be just, righteous, or such as he ought to be; to render (that is, show or regard as) just or innocent.’ Dikaioo says our justification in Christ presents us before God, just as if we never sinned. The next word is ‘saved,’ sozo (sode’-zo): ‘to save, i.e. deliver or protect {literally or figuratively}, rescue from danger.’ Every sinner should be expecting a certain anger from God. A saved soul, this verse tells us is saved from wrath: ‘orge (or-gay’) ‘desire; (by analogy) violent passion (ire or (justifiable) abhorrence); (by implication) punishment.’

Verse ten, “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” Paul has painted a most graphic and magnificent picture, in this tenth verse, concerning preservation of the saints. If you have ‘read’, truly, ‘out of’ the scripture and not the wrong way of reading ‘into it’ then you want to study some words: enemies and reconciled. Enemies, in the Greek is echthros (ech-thros): ‘hostile, hating, and opposing another; used of men as at enmity with God by their sin; opposing (God) in the mind; the devil who is the most bitter enemy of the divine government; (to hate); hateful (passively odious, or actively hostile) usually as a noun, an adversary (especially Satan).’ This is the spiritual position man was found before Jesus chose to die for mankind. ‘Reconciled’ is katallassō (kat-al-las’-so): ‘to change, exchange, as coins for others of equivalent value; to reconcile (those who are at variance); return to favour with, be reconciled to one; to receive one into favour; to change mutually, that is, (figuratively) to compound a difference’. This katallaso (mutual exchange) which was effected as a result of His death, Paul teaches, gives a better assurance of being saved (sozo) from the White Throne Judgment. What is sozo? It means: ‘to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction; to save that is, deliver or protect (literally or figuratively).’ In verse eleven we have ‘atonement’, (which is taken from katallaso,) is katallagē (kat-al-lag-ay): ‘(in the NT), of the restoration of the favour of God to sinners that repent and put their trust in the expiatory death of Christ; exchange (figuratively, adjustment), that is, restoration to (the divine) favour.’ Looking at the meaning of ‘atonement,’ what is deciphered is, ‘at one ment’ (i.e. with God); this is what spiritual regeneration does for us.

         For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” Romans 11:29. Gift, in this verse is: charisma (khar’-is-mah) ‘a (divine) gratuity, i.e. deliverance (from danger or passion); (specially), a (spiritual) endowment; (subjectively) religious qualification; (objectively) miraculous faculty; (free) gift.’ What about ‘calling’? It is klesis (klay`-sis) ‘a calling; (specially) a divine calling; (figuratively) an invitation (by extension) a name.’ Two words, ‘without repentance’ (made up of ‘a’a negation, and metamellomai –to care afterwards, i.e. regret) is the Greek word ametameletos (am-et-am-el’-ay-tos): ‘irrevocable; not to be repented of. ‘ You see, God will not call you His child, a born again whose birth was midwifed my the Holy Spirit and then by a commission or an unforeseen omission say, afterwards, that you are no longer His bona fide son; the transaction of the gory cross is sacrosanct, irrefutable. Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” Paul is ‘confident’ [peitho (̄pi’-tho): ‘to persuade, i.e. to induce one by words to believe; to convince (by argument, true or false); by analogy to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); reflexively or passively to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty’)] of this very thing i.e. ‘object of prayer’, that He that has begun [enarchomai (en-ar’-khom-ahee): ‘to begin, to commence on]’ a good work (i.e. fellowship of the saved) in you will perform [epiteleō (ep-ee-tel-eh’-o) ‘to bring to an end, accomplish, perfect, execute, complete] it up to the day of Jesus Christ (which ought to be every believer’s focus rather than everyone’s own death),’ read verse ten; 1Corinthians 1:8; Luke 1:74, 75; 1Thessalonians3:13, 5:23, 24; Colossians 1:21, 22 and for those entertainers of the fear of losing it, check 1John 3:20, 21. Paul wrote in 2Timothy 1:12, “…. for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” ‘Keep’, in this verse is, phulasso: ‘to keep from being snatched away, preserve safe and unimpaired, to guard from being lost or perishing; it is probably from [phule (foo-lay): nation, tribe or people] through the idea of isolation; to watch, that is, be on guard (literally or figuratively); by implication to preserve.’ When we got born again we committed [parathēkē (par-ath-ay’-kay): ‘a deposit, a trust or thing consigned to one’s faithful keeping, a deposit, that is, (figuratively) trust]’ our spirit, soul and body into the hand of God unto the last day (of Christ’s coming). A very interesting one is in 1Peter 1:2-5, we read in verse 2, “Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit…,” in the 3rd verse, “….hath he begotten us again unto a lively hope…”, the 4th promises, “…reserved in heaven for you,” and the ‘kept’ of the fifth is phroureo, which I have explained earlier. John 6:27, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” They asked Jesus how they could work for God in the next verse and He told them in verse 29, “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” Faith in Him is the only prerequisite for the entrance into heaven. The word ‘work’ is ergon ‘(a primary but obsolete word; to work); toil (as an effort or occupation); by implication an act.’ So, our Christian toil is not a physical one, it is wholly spiritual. This is why I am always insisting that when a person is truly saved, a one who had said the sinners’ prayer, sincerely, from his heart and not doubting, he is definitely going to heaven. The ‘sealed’ in the 27th verse is sphragizō (sfrag-id’-zo): ‘to set a seal upon, mark with a seal; to stamp (with a signet or private mark) for security or preservation (literally or figuratively); by implication to keep secret, to attest.’

To read the 3rd part click here

WHY GO ARMINIANISTIC SOTERIOLOGY (1ST PART)

Any Bible scholar seeing this title will probably want to ask, “You are definitely a Calvinist, right?” “No, I’m not,” will prompt him to do a second asking, “So, to what theological school do you belong?” and concluding with, “for we know you are either of Arminianism or Calvinism when it comes to preservation of salvation.” Curiosity will goad him to ask to know of the third school of thought lurking there in my heart. It is true that even if there is a middle point view of thought it lies between the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries theories of John Calvin and James Arminius. The truth is that I am not a Calvinist and I am definitely not in support of Arminius’ ‘fall from grace’ theory. “Are you in support of ‘preservation of salvation’?” My answer of, “Yes” will see the guy retorting, “Aha, you are a Calvinist, didn’t I say that?” “I am a man of the Bible, from where Calvin got his theory. Agreeing with Calvin does not necessarily make me one of his students and or followers.”

The Church is so polarized when it comes the ultimate end of the saint of Jesus Christ who from his heart did perform the ritual of John 3:3. Too bad my own people cannot see the express scripting of the holy writ as pertaining to the eventual culmination of a one who is truly born again. Calvin tends to be too strict with the presentation of his theories but so, in some way, is the express word of God: strict to the point. Only this one (preservation of the saints) of the five points of Calvinism I agree with, all because, the Bible says he is correct. Arminianistic ‘conditional preservation’ which leads to apostasy needs to be looked into, scripturally. The Remonstrant of 1610 cited verses of the Bible to buttress their stand on the possibility to fail to make it to heaven even after having been truly born again! Let me start with Luke 13:24, which has ‘strive’ and ‘enter’ as the key words. ‘Strive’ is the Greek word  agonizomai (ag-o-nid’-zom-ai), which means: ‘1. to struggle 2. (literally) to compete for a prize i.e. in a gymnastic games 3. (figuratively) to contend with an adversary 4. (genitive case) to endeavor to accomplish something or entrance into any condition.’ The word ‘enter’ is eiserchomai (eis-er’-khom-ai) ‘to enter {literally or figuratively}, arise, come (in, into), enter in(-to), go in (through).’ These two words tell the Lord’s hearers to be ready to struggle to take the first difficult step into the kingdom. ‘Enter’, in this context, implies a condition of not having been in the kingdom. So, how does it fit into apostasy of the believer? If you will confer with Matthew 7:13-14, the key words will be ‘enter’, in verse 13 and ‘find’ in verse 14. The word ‘enter’ is the same ‘eiserchomai as above. The word ‘find’ is heurisko (hyoo-ris’-ko): ‘to find {literally or figuratively}, find, get, obtain, perceive, see.’ The next words are found in Colossians 1:29.

As a Christian you are expected to be working for the furtherance of the gospel. This work is not what guarantees heaven but it enables you to stand as an awardee of gold, silver or other prize(s). 1Corrinthians 3:9, “For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.” Verse 12, “Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;” verse 14, “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.” Verse 15, “If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” This verse establishes the fact of security of soteriological stance. The expression ‘suffer loss’ is zemioo (dzay-mee-oh’-o): ‘to injure (reflexively or passively) to experience detriment’ [which comes from zemia (dzay-mee’-ah): ‘detriment;’ and, [probably akin to the base of damazo (dam-ad’-zo): ‘to tame, curb, restrain (through the idea of violence)].’ Zemioo in this context is about the loss of a higher hierarchy in heaven and not about the loss of salvation as verse 15 attests to with ‘but he himself shall be saved.’ Salvation is a free gift, but this reward comes on account of what you did with the gospel. It debunks Catholic purgatory stand, which teaches that the priest must pray constantly for your heavenly prosperity (at a pecuniary price!). Now, let us go back to Colossians 1:29, “Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.” The, ‘I also labour’ should be, ‘I labour also’ simply because, ‘also’ is not in relation to ‘him’ i.e. the lubrication of his salvation to enable him to go to heaven. The ‘also’ relates to what he (Paul) goes through on account of his converts. The Greek rendition should be, ‘I not only proclaim Christ, but I labour in agony of conflict that I go through for you (converts).’ This is attested to by, ‘For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh;’ of chapter 2:1. The word striving, agonizomai: ‘to enter into a contest, to struggle, to accomplish something’ is the same as ‘labouring fervently’ in Col.4:12, meaning ‘agonizing, strivings as in the agony of contest,’ just as we have of Christ in Luke 22:44, ‘an agony’ which is agonia (a struggle for victory, anguish); or was Christ also striving to make it to heaven seeing that the habiliment of man He found Himself in was about to take Him to hell, for good? 1Thessalonians 2:2 has ‘contention’ as: agon {ag-one (an assembly met to see games, any struggle or contest, battle)}, which is the same word used in Colossians 2:1. In Genesis 32:24, the word wrestled, abaq (aw-bak), means ‘wrestle, grapple, bedust.’ Was Jacob striving for heaven’s gate? Why would the scripture teach, “Christ in you, the hope of glory,’ in Col.1:27? His death opened the way to a glorious heaven, Mark 15:37-38. The appropriation of the rite contained in Romans 10:9, 10, which places Christ, the hope of glory, in your spirit person, which guarantees heaven, is what the creed of the Remonstrant does not see.

The word, ‘continue,’ meno, as found in 1Timothy 2:15, meaning: (to remain in a given place or a state of expectancy) is another bone of insecurity contention. Contextually (for Bible readers rarely focus on the context), the Christian woman is seen appositionally to Eve of Genesis 3 by whom the woman received the childbirth curse. ‘Notwithstanding’ is from the Greek word de -deh- meaning: {(adversative or continuative) ‘but, moreover, and}. ‘Notwithstanding that childbirth’, (judgmentally, should kill and destroy her), ‘if’ {ean (eh-an) a conditional particle: ‘in case that, provided’} ‘they’ (whole female sex) ‘continue’ (be found at the judgment to have continued) ‘in faith and charity’ (the essential way to salvation), ‘they shall be saved’. Faith is in relation to God, charity to the fellow human and sobriety to one’s self. What saves the cursed man is the faith in the finished work of Christ. After the rebirth man is expected to be found doing stuffs to prove his spiritual rebirth. As the woman, notwithstanding, so in 1Corinthians 3:15, ‘He……shall be saved,’ yet so as by (through, in, i.e. amid) fire (in spite of the fiery ordeal which he has, necessarily, to pass through, – he shall be saved). When you are led by John 3:3 to perform Romans 10:9-10 you get instantly and eternally saved (a gift). If after salvation you keep doing good things required of a Christian you will receive a reward, and this is what the Bible teaches!

Arminianists employ ‘fall away’ to drive their point on perseverance home. In Luke 8:13, the key words are: rock {petra (which is not a pebble or many of them) it means a boulder or a hilly stone}, root (rhiza: a sprout, a downward shoot of a plant) and of course, ‘fall away’ {aphistemi is from apo (separate) and histemi (to stand) so, aphistemi means ‘to desert, withdraw, to remove, instigate to revolt.’ A boulder is an impervious mass so, how can a one with such a heart which cannot grow a channel-root (another serious impediment) of taking soil nutrient, for plant growth, not ‘fall away’? Without root it can neither stand for long nor get food to enhance proper nutritious life. God’s word is the food. This one (in Jesus’ parable) on the rock has no proper understanding of what he had heard. He was not established in the word, in fact, he had not made up his mind to follow Jesus. He is simply not born again. Another ‘falling away’ is in 2Thessalonians 2:3. The ‘falling away’ here, apostasia (ap-os-tas-ee-ah) (from which the English get ‘apostasy’) means: ‘apostasy, the state of defection from the truth.’ This human state of absolute decadence will manifest, eschatologically, only after the rapture, when the Antichrist will become the undisputed lord of the earth and his religion of Satanism will be the order of the day. A preview of coming attraction of which you see projected by Hollywood and the global music industry and of course, fashion, as directed by the zeitgeist. By that time Christians, God’s people, will be in heaven. Raptured! The man of Luke 9:62 is an irresolute disciple ‘looking’ (i.e. having his gaze) ‘back’ (comes from two Greek words: eis – ice – meaning: ‘into, unto, towards)’ and opiso ‘(behind, to the back)’. In ploughing you must be focused. His focus is on his home, which is always the aboriginal seat of idolatry, governed by a familiar spirit. This is one of the reasons God told Abram to get out of his aboriginal land of Ur. The guy of Luke was still tied to the influence of the familiar spirits and their dictates. He had not striven or entered even if he had found.

Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” is in Galatians 5:4 where ‘fallen’ is ekpipto (ek-pip’-to): ‘to drop away; (specially) be driven out of one’s course; (figuratively) to lose, become inefficient.’ By clinging to the law, you lose the kingdom brought to mankind by ‘the grace of God that appeared to all men,’ Titus 2:11. When He appeared He brought salvation, which the law could not offer. When you use the law in an augmentation attempt to see you through grace you insult the finished work of the cross, behaving like the proverbial putting a new cloth on an old one (Matthew 9:16), which is an oddity. Every dispensation has its rules. That of the law required a human participatory effort while the extant grace dispensation is fully paid for; there is nowhere you can get the very blood of divine Jesus to apply on your sinful nature; your ignorant attempt will only end up polluting God’s work! Verses 5 & 6 explain further. In Hebrews 6:4-6, we have ‘fall away’, which has been grossly misinterpreted. In verse four is the word ‘enlightened’ which is: photizo (fo-tid’-zo) ‘to shed rays, i.e. to shine; (transitively) to brighten up {literally or figuratively}; enlighten, illuminate, (bring to, give) light, make to see.’ Many people (Paul is teaching) have received the illumination of the Word, which is true, and who have ‘tasted’ the Word (food, from heaven). The word ‘tasted’ is geuomai (ghyoo’-om-ai) ‘to taste; (by implication) to eat; (figuratively) to experience (good or ill).’ What they had was a taste (preview of coming kingdom attraction). They experienced miraculous events. The problem is that they did not do the needful (John 3:3). If they had done what Romans 10:8-10 required, they would not parapipto. The words ‘fall away’ of the sixth verse is the Greek word, parapipto (par-ap-ip’-to) ‘to fall aside; (figuratively) to apostatize.’ Apostasy takes place because they were not born again. A born again person is absolutely owned by God, who paid fully for his soul. There was also a case of being ‘reconciled’ (katallasso – to change mutually) in Romans 5:10, which says that the life of the sinner who got born again went through a mutual exchange with that of Jesus. This verse goes on to intimate us with another thing Jesus did, there was ‘atonement’ which the Greek calls: katallage (kat-al-lag-ay’) ‘an exchange; (figuratively) an adjustment, reconciliation; (specially) restoration to the divine favor.’ They did not, after being photizo and having geuomai, get katallasso and enter into the spiritual katallage. Yes, they were ‘partakers’ (metochos (met’-okh-os) adj. participant; (as noun) a sharer; (by implication) an associate; fellow, partaker, partner),’ and like Judas Iscariot, they did not believe in Him with whom we all have to do. There is ‘renew’ in verse six which is anakainizo (renovate, restore, renew), which becomes impossible for dying without being regenerated.

I will advise that you begin to read from verse 26 of 1Corinthians 9:27, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” The idiom ‘keep under’, hupopiazo (hoop-o-pee-ad’-zo) ‘to hit under the eye (buffet or disable an antagonist as a pugilist); (figuratively) to tease or annoy (into compliance), subdue (one’s passions).’ Next is ‘bring into subjection,’ doulagogeo (dou-lag-ogue-eh’-o) ‘to be a slave-driver; claim as one’s slave i.e. with severity subject to stern and rigid discipline; to bring into subjection; (figuratively) to subdue.’ Paul is seen in this verse telling his Corinthian converts that he always flogged and punched himself black and blue to subdue his carnal person to comply with the required moral rules that will enable him to remain in the race –for the coveted prize. Then we have ‘castaway’, adokimos (ad-ok’-ee-mos) adj. ‘unapproved, i.e. rejected; (by implication) worthless {literally or morally}.’ Adokimos comes from ‘a’ (a negative ‘not’) and ‘dokimos (dok’-ee-mos) adj. ‘(properly) acceptable (current after assayal), i.e. approved, (it is used of coins).’ Paul, as the Apostle, is also the umpire in this spiritual race, unlike the Olympic race where the umpire stands away to raise either a white or red flag. The red flag says ‘adokimos,’ signifying an unapproved assay for that event: adokimos means no crown but it does not disqualify your participation in the overall contest. ‘Castaway’, as you can see in this context, is not an exclusion from the tournament hence (in scriptural context) heaven.

To read the 2nd part click here