Normally we do not hear
preachers speak on the subject of the maintenance of salvation. It is an almost
unheard of subject, yet without it we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Therefore, it becomes a very important part of Christian living. Perhaps if I
illustrate the word it may become at once more understandable. Do you have a
car? If so, do you not continue to have the oil changed? Do you not have to put
air in the tires occasionally? Do you not wash your car occasionally? Do you
not have to change the battery once and awhile? Do you change the brake light
bulbs? Do you wash your windshield occasionally?
of salvation is now understood as far more important than the maintenance of
our car. Failure to maintain salvation results in faith becoming weak, when
faith begins to weaken; one begins to slide away from the Church. In this
document I hope to bring forth those things in our Christian life that will
cause our light to shine in such way as would influence someone else by seeing
Christ in us, Matt. 5:16.
my scriptural opinion the following should be accomplished first, it should
become our number one priority. The Holy Spirit led the Apostle Paul to say in
Eph. 5:1, “
be imitators of God.” In 1 Cor. “ Be ye imitators of me as I also am of
The act of
imitating God, Christ, and Paul is a Godly attribute. Then we have a pressing
need to know something about the attributes of God, Christ, and that of Paul. First,
lets look at some of the attributes of God, for sure we cannot know all the
attributes of God, however, we can look at those which are revealed; they in
themselves will give us a good lead as to what to expect. God is a God of Love.
God is long suffering. God is a forgiving God. God cannot lie. God is a God
that has no variation, or shifting of shadow.
is a God that is not willing that any should perish. God is a God that sends
rain on the just and unjust alike. God is a God who will turn His back on sin.
God is a God who will not hear the prayer of a sinner, John. 9:31.
have listed several of the attributes of God, there remains many more, and
however, if we can learn to use these we will have no problem in the addition
of others. I have not given you the scripture for each one of the attributes
listed, but I will give you scripture, which lists most of the above in one
book. Notice how beautiful that Paul puts these attributes together, not only
for God, but also for Christ, and those who are Christ’s. Gal. 5:22-26, God is
long suffering, in the course of His long suffering, we might be looking at
hundreds of years, it has been so in the past, and probably will be so in the
future, as the world continues to exist. The same goes for Jesus Christ and the
Holy Spirit. However, for us as Christians, who are rooted in the body of
Christ, the word “ Patience” is the word we must practice for indeed we will
not be around for hundreds of years.
I have given the attributes for God, the same also applies for Jesus Christ.
will be redundant here for a very important purpose. Although I mentioned the
fact that God was a God of forgiveness, I chose to discuss this attribute here,
and at this time in the document. Remember—that Christians today are not under
the Law of Moses in any sense. Christians are under the law of peace and love,
the law of liberty.
we must know for a fact that the spiritual covenant that was drawn up in
Heaven, the same covenant that Adam and Eve rejected, has now been restored for
the use of Christians, Jer. 31:30 ff. No longer does our children suffer for
the sins of parents. This covenant does delete children suffering from the care
and love, perhaps the lack of proper medical attention, or lack of proper food,
and clothing, and attention.
covenant provides that when a Christian sins, and with a contrite heart
repents, and asks God for his forgiveness, GOD FORGIVES, AND GOD FORGETS. He
erases the sin from the book of life. Indeed this is the one attribute that
Christians MUST PRACTICE. IT IS A MUST. Christians cannot second-guess this
attribute of God.
had this to say about the matter at hand. Matt. 7:13-14, “ Enter by the narrow
gate; for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and
many are those who enter by it. For the gate is small, and the way is narrow
that leads to life, and few are those who find it.”
I agree that when someone has done a terrible thing to you, and then asks
forgive them, you can forgive them, BUT THE HARD PART IS TO FORGET. Yet we
must, for that is the attribute of God, and of Christ.
we cannot forget, then that could be the stumbling block that could cause God
to say, Not every one who says to me, Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of
Heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven. Matt. 7:21,
Again, Matt. 7:23,” And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; DEPART
FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.” That one act of forgiving and not
forgetting could keep you out of Heaven.
is not worth taking that chance. Forgive and forget. Practice that, it may be
the hardest of all to accomplish; but it has to be done.
this one thing; you can do any thing in the world, if you want to do it bad enough.
You are the one who controls your destiny. Only you can make it happen.
we must I think, enter into a discussion of what the Christian must do in order
to maintain his, or her salvation. I say your salvation, in using the term your
salvation, I assume that you have heard the Gospel of Christ taught, that you
have cultivated an interest in that Gospel, you have discussed certain issues
with teachers, or Elders in regards to your interest, and that you have
received truthful answers to all your questions which results in you hearing
the truth, upon hearing the whole truth, you believe. However, you should not
believe simply because you may have been pressured into believing. Your belief
should be based upon your investigation of the Word alone. The results of this
is that you have Godly sorrow, and seek means by which that Sorrow may be
removed. This results in baptism for the forgiveness of sins. You must
understand that baptism is essential to the forgiveness of sins.
above is necessary that you believe that baptism is the only act that God,
Christ, or the Holy Spirit has authorized for the forgiveness of sins. Although
there is religion that teaches that baptism is not essential for the
forgiveness of sins they call it a “ dogma”
religions of this day simply calls upon you to pray the sinners prayer, and by
doing so, you are saved! I am not talking about religions. Religions are man
made, and man authorized. I am talking about God’s plan for salvation. Only God
has created a Heaven for the righteous. If we go there, it must be on His
it would be best understood if we began our investigation of maintenance of our
salvation with Timothy, since Timothy was a young convert of the Apostle Paul,
and was taught by Paul how to become a Christian, and how to maintain his
status as a Christian. Perhaps 1 Tim. 1:3, will give us some idea of what every
Christian should possess. “ As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia,
remain on at Ephesus, in order that you may instruct certain men not to teach
strange doctrines.” From this information we may learn that Timothy had been
taught by Paul, or someone else in order that he as a young man could be able
to correct doctrines that was not authorized by the Holy Spirit. TIMOTHY HAD TO
STUDY. Well we find in 2 Tim. 2:15, the very attribute that we also must
possess. “Study to show thyself approved by God a workman that needs not to be
ashamed.” If we do not study, how can we teach someone else? If we do not study
how can we know when someone else is teaching us strange doctrines? If we do
not study to know what God’s will is, how can we PROVE WHAT HIS WILL IS? Rom.
12:2. Our salvation is predicated upon the study of God’s Word, and to
recognize that each and every Scripture is inspired by God, 2 Tim. 3:16.
now, back to 2 Tim. 2:15, in addition to the command to study, we are to
RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD OF GOD. In first grades of school we learned how to
divide numbers, such as 10 divided into 100 goes 10 times. This is not the kind
of dividing the scriptures that the Holy Spirit has in mind. An illustration
follows: suppose that you are studying the subject of fulfilled prophecy and
you have read Hosea 6:1-3, this passage speaks of the second day that He would
heal us. He will raise us up on the third day also that we may live before Him.
This to some degree leaves you confused, so you read 1 Cor. 15:1-50, in
connection to Hosea 6:1-3, now you are really confused. But just in daily
reading and study you come across Matt. 27:51-53 and you read about Christ
being raised up on the third day, and after His resurrection the departed
spirits also came out of their graves and went into the city.
what you have done is to find certain scriptures, which will prove Biblically
the subject you desire to, know more about. In the case cited you have found
evidence to prove that Hosea was foretelling the resurrection of Saints coming
out of their graves after the resurrection of Christ on the third day, the
results was the fulfillment of prophecy.
RIGHTLY DIVIDING. Read Luke 21:22, this verse speaks of vengeance and the fact
that all things written would be, or may be fulfilled. So, again I am puzzled,
I am confused, so you talk to a friend in the Church, one whom you have
confidence in, you relate your problem to him, or her, in most cases they have
not applied the attribute of study to their life, they don’t know, but rather
than for you to find out that they do not know, this is for the most part what
you will hear. “ Well that’s talking about prophecy being fulfilled at the end
of the world. So, you have heard this all your life about the end of the world.
This information satisfies you. But later you are reading the same verse and
you decide to start reading in verse 1 of Luke 21 you get to Luke 21:22 and
suddenly you realize that verse 20 gives you the Biblical answer you wanted
from the start.
hope you see what I have done. RIGHTLY DIVIDING simply means using the proper
scripture to insure the proper answer. And again to show you that you cannot
prove anything by taking scripture out of its proper setting, or context.
following may be a crude illustration; nevertheless I pray that it will work.
go to an art show, where actual paintings are in progress, this one man has
started a painting which catches your eye, so you stand around and watch him
paint the legs of a person, soon he paints in the toes, the upper top of the
body he has not started on, you wonder who is he painting? I would like to see
the painting completed, but I am getting tired, so you leave, yet for the rest
of the day you think about that painting, you wonder what it would look like
when it was finished, weeks go by, and you are still reminded that you saw only
a part of the beautiful painting he had started.
try to find out who the man was, no one knew. Actually the man was painting the
image of his wife. But you did not stay long enough to see it completed. You
missed the unveiling. Now relate this to the Bible, when you begin to study a
subject you do not read a part of the paragraph that contains the answers to
what you were seeking, you read all the paragraph, and the reference
paragraphs, by doing this you see the whole picture. This is what is meant by
the phrase, “ Study to show thyself approved by God.”
says in 1 Tim. 1:5, our goal of instruction is Love and a good conscience.
These are all Attributes of God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit, these are
attributes we must possess. We as Christians must show mercy to those who are
trying to find their way to God. We cannot show mercy, and at the same time
reveal judgment by our conversations. We are not judges.
Tim. 2:8 “I want therefore the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy
hands, without wrath and dissension. Likewise I want women to adorn themselves
with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold
or pearls or costly garments. These instructions for the young man Timothy, was
given to him in order that he teach the same to others. Christians must possess
the attribute presented here. This is one more of the areas where we must
maintain good Christian standards.
important attribute that the Apostle stresses to Timothy is found in 1 Tim.
4:11-12, “ Prescribe and teach these things. Let no one look down on your
youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show
yourself an example of those who believe. In this context we are given the
examples that any Christian who is worthy to be called Christian should
embrace. They are attributes given to Paul by the Holy Spirit.
When I speak of the Holy
Spirit, I speak of the Holy Spirit
as being given authority as author of all that Christ did not finish John
16:13, therefore, the Holy Spirit led, and guided the Apostles in what Christ
would have normally done, and therefore, this makes the Holy Spirit the author
of the New Testament letters.
In Col. 4:5-6, we are given instructions into proper
as a Christian, this will also fall into the arena of attributes.” Conduct
yourself with wisdom toward outsiders, and make the most of the opportunity.”
When you have the opportunity to speak of Christ to outsiders, do as Paul
says,” I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ.” Teach.
In addition to Gal. 5:22-26,
I would suggest that you
consider what the Apostle says to the Church, and its members, Eph. 4: 1-5,
Consider these matters as such as should be included into a Christians
attributes. Walk in a manner worthy of your calling with all humility, and
gentleness and with patience. Showing forbearance to one another in love. Being
diligent to preserve the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.
the maintenance of your salvation, you will come upon things which will cause
disappointments, even heart ache, grief, and sometimes things which will almost
cause you to walk away from Christianity. But think before you do, that Jesus
went through these same things while He was upon earth. He suffered because
people rejected Him. He suffered because people accused Him of crimes against
the Law of Moses. He hurt when people accused Him of being a false teacher. He
hurt when people would not prepare a place for Him to lay His head in sleep.
Many other things we could call your attention to, however, enough has been
stated that will help the Young Christian to realize that others before you
have also suffered.
now, we want to see what Jesus done about all this, even to His death.
once in the Scriptures do we find Christ out of control, as we would think of
some one being out of control. Matt. 21:12-13,” And Jesus entered the temple
and cast out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and
overturned the tables of the moneychangers and the seats of those who were
selling doves. And He said to them, "It is written, My House shall be
called a House of prayer; but you are making it a robbers den.” On the subject
of the Lord’s House, and the Lord’s temple, we have a need here to make
comment. 1 Cor. 6:19-20, “ Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the
Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your
own. For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your
this event we can see clearly that God considered the temple a holy place.
Therefore to carry on ungodly events within the temple was a blasphemy to Him.
So, knowing that now under the spiritual covenant, that our body has become the
spiritual temple of the spirit of God; how much more then should we keep our
temple clean and free from contamination. For God will not dwell in an unclean
look now at the attitude of Christ throughout His ministry, as has been stated
before, the people accused Him of many crimes against the law of Moses, and of
being a false prophet, teaching strange things, of committing crimes against
God Himself. What was His reaction? Christ took the blame and opened not His
mouth in anger. There was those occasion when He was asked a question, that He
Himself also asked a question in return, which in most cases closed their
mouth, and sent them running.
then could we describe the spiritual attitude of Christ, especially since we,
as Christians are to imitate Him?
Simply put Christ took the blame
for whatever He was accused of, rather
than to provoke an argument, which would have led to a deeper resentment of
Him. So what are we to do today when accused of something we are not guilty of?
Rather than to start an argument which in most cases will result in friends
becoming enemies. Would it not be in the best interest of Christianity to just
look the person in the eyes and ask him a simple question, expecting an answer?
I am sorry, will you forgive me? Is that not imitating Christ? Can we not say
that Christ for the greater part also asked this question? Luke 23:34, “ But
Jesus was saying, Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”
subject matter deserves much more time. However, two objects stands in the way;
they are. Number one, to a new convert who needs teaching in the direction of
how to maintain salvation, this document is not so large that it becomes boring
to a new convert, or to an old. And number two, a large volume of information
is seldom read in its entirety, and so, it was my decision to write that, which
would best satisfies the needs at hand.
Jessie E. Mills