Friday, May 9, 2008

We All Fall Short (continued)

Below are some key points we should remember when it comes to sin and struggles that the believer faces in this life. I hope these are helpful.

Don’t Lose Our Salvation

One last point about sin in the believer’s life. When a true believer in Christ sins, he or she does not lose his or her salvation. When we put our faith in Christ, all sins – past, present, and future – are forgiven. Once we are on board, we are expected to live according to biblical principles – that is the outworking of our faith. Sometimes we’ll fail, but we haven’t lost our salvation – we’ve just grown distant from God and need to get back into right relationship.

I might add that different denominations have different beliefs concerning losing your salvation. For example, the Roman Catholic Church teaches that when you commit a “mortal sin” you have lost your salvation until you confess it to a priest and receive absolution as part of the sacrament of Penance. Some Protestants believe that people can become “apostate” and lost their salvation.

My personal view is that people don’t become apostate (although churches can), but that an “apostate” person was never saved to begin with. For example, if a person makes no effort to improve, is not open to the work of the Holy Spirit in his life, and doesn’t care that he is disobeying God’s laws, then I question whether that person had ever really been committed to Christ. We see no fruit of the Spirit in the life of a person who isn’t really saved, only the desires of the sinful nature.

But if you are committed to Christ, you will willingly receive the amazing grace God has to offer, and will have the victory over your sinful inclinations. After discussing the grace lavished on those who have the victory, Paul said in Romans 6:1-4, NRSV:

What then are we to say? Should we continue in sin in order that grace may abound? By no means! How can we, who died to sin, go on living in it? Do you not know that all of us, who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into his death? Therefore, we have been buried with him by baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

I encourage you to be truly committed to Christ, and thereby glorify God in everything you do.

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