Maintenance of Salvation
I am Jessie Mills, Ph.D.
Child & Adult Clinical Psychology - Mills


            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?

            Maintenance 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.

            In 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, “ Therefore be imitators of God.” In 1 Cor. “ Be ye imitators of me as I also am of Christ.”

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.

            God 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.       

            I 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.

            As I have given the attributes for God, the same also applies for Jesus Christ.

However, I 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.

Therefore, 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.

BUT, this 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.

            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.”

            Yes, I agree that when someone has done a terrible thing to you, and then asks

You to 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.

            If 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.

            It 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.

            Remember 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.

            Now 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.

            The 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”

            Further, 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 terms.

            Perhaps 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.

            But 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.

            So, 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.

            Again, 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.

            I 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.

            The following may be a crude illustration; nevertheless I pray that it will work.

Suppose you 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.

            You 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.”

            Paul 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.

            1 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.      

          Another 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 conduct 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.

            In 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.

            But now, we want to see what Jesus done about all this, even to His death.

            Only 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 body.”

            From 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 temple.

            We 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.

            How 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.”

            The 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                                                                                                                                                                                                                    


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© Copyright 2015 by Jessie Mills. All Rights Reserved by the author, Jessie E. Mills, Jr. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without the prior express written permission of the publisher, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or other publications. Such quotations must be used with proper reference to their context and give appropriate credit to their authorship.