The call of God is upon the soul of man from birth. The omnipresence of God’s mercy and love continually reaches toward man. Through the Gospel message and the goodness of God’s conviction the Holy Spirit speaks to the human soul and leads fallen man to repentance. Following repentance when man believes in Christ, God grants that soul the forgiveness of sins. After man believes a faithful life in the Spirit begins. A child of God does not walk in the flesh but in the Spirit. Faith thus demands more from a man after he believes than at the initial act of believing.
Belief which becomes faith goes beyond the initial act. Faith, which is increased by knowledge, requires more from the believer than receiving the forgiveness of sins at the new birth. Faith is grown and added to, through the believer’s knowledge and life of obedience in Christ. Faith through understanding the truth of Salvation and a rectified will becomes trust in Christ through the experience of an obedient life. A believer with 15 years of obedience to God has more knowledge than a new convert. A believer that experiences victory over sin has more confidence than a believer who has never experienced that victory. A believer that experiences victory knows that Christ provides him with the power of God to live a godly life.
· 1 Peter 1:4-5…for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith
A believer without experience of victory lacks that knowledge. This lack of knowledge has caused many to fall.
· 2 Peter 1:4-10…Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
· 2 Peter 3:17-18…beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness. But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Many times I’ve been asked the question if man could lose his salvation. My answer to that question is, “Men don’t lose salvation, but they can lose faith”. Salvation is available only to the faithful. A faithful man is an obedient man in the presence of God. Man cannot be faithful and unfaithful to God at the same time. Nor can he be obedient and disobedient to God at the same time. Belief in Calvary provides the penitent with the forgiveness of sins. Obedience thus becomes the outflow of Calvary from within that soul. To Biblically prove that statement I’ll use the Greek text.
· In the Greek text of the Bible Romans 1:5 confirms that obedience springs from faith. Rom 1:5…By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations. Obedience of faith eis (NT:1519) hupakoeen (NT:5218) pisteoos (NT:4102). Subjective genitive as in Rom 16:26...the obedience which springs from faith (the act of assent or surrender).
In the Col.1:23 note the conditional clause, “If” we continue in the faith. To continue in the faith means to be obedient to God. If we don’t continue in the faith shows an unfaithfulness and disobedience to God. Unfaithfulness moves men away from the hope of the Gospel.
· Col 1:23… If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven;
In 1 Cor. 15:2 the Apostle conditionally says men are saved “If” they keep Christ in memory unless they have believed in vain. Salvation and believing requires keeping Christ in memory. Man can also believe in vain.
· 1 Cor 15:2…By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
Many things can move man away from Salvation. Doubt is a great hindrance. Temptations can pull man away. Sin and disobedience are harmful products of unbelief. When man gets away from faith in Christ he also gets away from salvation of the soul. Faith and salvation are both present tense actions. Yesterday’s faith doesn’t save a man. Tomorrow’s faith doesn’t save a man. The law of faith has a present tense moral requirement …Obedience to God!