Some More Songs For a Friday

Again, today, I am recapping some precious posts built around some of my favorite songs and Hymns. Again, all I have on here today is the video and lyrics. For thoughts and exposition of the song, click the link for the original post. Enjoy and be blessed!


 

Yes I know

Come, ye sinners, lost and hopeless,
Jesus’ blood can make you free;
For He saved the worst among you,
When He saved a wretch like me.

To the faint He giveth power,
Through the mountains makes a way;
Findeth water in the desert,
Turns the night to golden day.

In temptation He is near thee,
Holds the pow’rs of hell at bay;
Guides you to the path of safety,
Gives you grace for every day.

And I know, yes, I know
Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean,
And I know, yes, I know
Jesus’ blood can make the vilest sinner clean.

Read the entire post here


My House is Full but My Field Is Empty

There is peace and contentment in my Father’s house today,
Lots of food on His table and no one turned away.
There is singing and laughter as the hours pass by,
But a hush calms the singing as the Father sadly cries,

My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for Me today.
It seems my children want to stay around my table,
But no one wants to work my fields,
No one wants to work my fields.

Push away from the table.
Look out through the windowpane,
Just beyond the house of plenty
Lies a field of golden grain.
And it’s ripe unto harvest,
But the reapers, where are they?
In the house,
Oh, can’t the children hear
the Father sadly say,

My house is full, but my field is empty,
Who will go and work for Me today.
It seems my children want to stay around my table,
But no one wants to work my fields,
No one wants to work my fields….

Who will go and work in my fields

Read the original post here


The Love of God

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell.
It goes beyond the highest star
And reaches to the lowest hell.
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled
And pardoned from his sin.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Read the original post here


In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—

Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand

Read the original post here


Follow Me

I traveled down a lonely road and no one seemed to care.

The burden on my weary back had bowed me to despair;
I oft complained to Jesus how folks were treating me,
And then I heard Him say so tenderly,
“My feet were also weary, upon the Calvary road;
The cross became so heavy, I fell beneath the load,
Be faithful weary pilgrim the morning I can see,
Just lift your cross and follow close to me.”

“I work so hard for Jesus” I often boast and say
“I’ve sacrificed a lot of things to walk the narrow way,
I gave up fame and fortune, I’m worth a lot to Thee”
And then I hear Him gently say to me,
“I left the throne of glory and counted it but loss,
My hands were nailed in anger upon a cruel cross,
But now we’ll make the journey with your hand safe in mine,
So lift your cross and follow close to me.

Oh Jesus if I die upon a foreign field someday,
‘Twould be no more than love demands, no less could I repay,
“No greater love hath mortal man than for a friend to die”
These are the words He gently spoke to me,
“If just a cup of water I place within your hand
Then just a cup of water is all that I demand.
But if by death to living they can Thy glory see,
I’ll take my cross and follow close to Thee.

Read the original post here

Thanks for reading, and see you all next week with something original!

 

 

Some Songs For a Friday

It’s Friday, and the day I normally post a post over here on the Church Set Free Blog. The only problem is; I was so busy this week with work and our youth Revival I simply didn’t get around to it. So, we are having leftovers! One of the things I really enjoy is taking one of my favorite worship songs or hymns and doing and exposition of sorts of the lyrics. So, this week my post is going to be a recap of some of my personal favorites of that category. Enjoy!


Because He Lives

God sent His son, They called Him Jesus. He came to love, heal and forgive. He lived and died, to buy my pardon. An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

How sweet to hold a new born baby, and feel the pride and joy he gives. But greater still is that assurance the child can face uncertain days because He lives.

And then one day, I’ll cross that river. I’ll fight life’s final war with pain. And then as death gives way to victory. I’ll see the light of glory and I’ll know that He lives.

Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know,  He holds the future.
And life is worth the living just because He lives.

Read the full post here


 

He Touched Me

Shackled by a heavy burden ‘Neath a load of guilt and shame Then the hand of Jesus touched me And now I am no longer the same

He touched me, Oh, He touched me And Oh the joy that floods my soul Something happened and now I know He touched me and made me whole

Since I met this blessed Savior And since he cleaned and made me whole I never cease to praise Him I’ll shout it while eternity rolls

Oh He touched me, oh He touched me And oh the joy that floods my soul Something happened and now I know He touched me and made me whole.

Read the full post here


 

I Am Redeemed

I was a slave in a foreign land
So very far from the Father’s loving hand
He rescued me, one glorious day
He brought me out, paid a debt I could not pay

I am redeemed, I am redeemed
Jesus loosed the chains of sin and set me free
I am redeemed, I am redeemed
Jesus loosed the chains of sin and set me free

Still I live, in a foreign land
Now I’m free according to redemptions plan
Soon I’ll join the robed in white, the redeemed
We’ll sing a song the holy angels, cannot sing

I am redeemed, I am redeemed
Jesus loosed the chains of sin and set me free
I am redeemed, I am redeemed
Jesus loosed the chains of sin and set me free

“Some glorious morning they will come from all nations,
from every generation. Side by side they will march into the
celestial city of Jehova and in perfect harmony they will begin
humming a brand new song. A song composed by God
Himself, arranged for His children. And as the saved by grace
approach the land of their dreams, the host of Heaven will
step aside. Even the angels will be silent. For they cannot
sing this new song. For this song is reserved for voices that
once cried out for a redeemer. Those washed in the blood
of the Lamb.”

I am redeemed, by love divine
Glory, glory Christ is mine, He’s mine
All to him, I now resign
Jesus loosed the chains of sin and set me free.
My Jesus loosed the chains of sin and set me free.

Read the full post here


 

Forever Changed

Now there were those who said I’d surely fall
When I told them I’d given Jesus my all
And I guess I really can’t blame them for having their doubts
For they only knew what I used to be
But oh! What a difference the Lord made in me
What I got was real!
And praise God I’m still serving Him now.

Forever changed! I’m forever changed!
All things are brand new!
I tell you it’s true, I’m not the same!
For He changed the heart of me
He changed my eternal destiny.
Old things passed away
Thank God for the day
My forever changed!

Now if this life was all that He promised to me
Friend, I’d still choose to serve the Lord faithfully.
Once I was lost, I was headed for Hell
But then I got saved and now all is well
My forever began when I took the precious hands of Jesus, my Lord!

Forever changed! I’m forever changed!
All things are brand new!
I tell you it’s true, I’m not the same!
For He changed the heart of me
He changed my eternal destiny.
Old things passed away
Thank God for the day
My forever changed!

When He changed the heart of me
He changed my eternal destiny.
Old things passed away,
Thank God for the day
My forever changed!

Read the full post here


 

It Is Well With My Soul

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Read the full post here

The Master Builder

By Wally Fry from Truth in Palmyra

The Master Builder

Psalm 127:1

A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.

Mathew 7:24-27

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it

Jesus was a carpenter a long time ago.Joseph taught Him all thingsHe needed to know. He grew up straight and strong, working on the shores of Galilee. He learned to use a hammer, and He learned to drive a nail. We read, in our Bibles, primarily about the ministry of Jesus on this Earth. So, naturally that is what we talk about most, because very little is revealed about His life before the beginning of His ministry. Let’s ponder that some quickly. Although there is debate about exact numbers and such, we know the length of His ministry was around 3 years, and that He lived on this earth for around 33 years. Jesus had much more time on this planet as just a regular guy than he did engaged in His ministry.

We know Jesus was a carpenter, or builder, or whatever term seems right. How do we know this? Well, first and foremost, his adopted earthly father Joseph was. That’s how things worked, you became what your father was. (That’s a point to ponder, for sure). When He preached in the Synagogue in his home town of Nazareth, we hear the people saying the following: Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon? And are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.

Jesus was a baby, a young boy, a teenager, and ultimately a man just like any other man. He was fully human, just like any man. He had to be one of us. Why? Let’s recap quickly:

Only a man born under law could redeem those under law. Man had sinned, therefore man had to pay. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law,to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

Only a living man could shed the blood needed for the forgiveness of sins. Under the Old Testament sacrificial system we learn that the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life. We can read that even under the New Covenant, blood had to be shed for the remission of our sin and that nothing had changed:  Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves. He was one of us: tempted in the same ways, enduring the same hardships as us, being sad and happy as us.

And when He finished building, it served Him mighty well. Cause He started on a building that stretched from sky to sky and sea to sea. Even though Jesus was just as normal, and fully human as you or I, He was also God incarnate in the flesh. He was 100 percent man, and 100 percent God. Not only that, but He was likely living His life knowing His mission was not of this earth.When Mary and Joseph lost track of Jesus when he was 12 years old coming back from feast time in Jerusalem and returned to find the boy teaching with great wisdom in the Temple and inquired about what was going on, Jesus answered as follows:  Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house? In Cana, at the famous wedding Jesus showed an understanding of the special nature of his mission on our Earth when His mother asked him for help with the situation at the wedding, responding Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.

Now He’s back in Heaven and He’s building once again. He’s working on a city called the New Jerusalem. It sits on a firm foundation according to the Master Builder’s plan. The streets are lined with mansions for the saints to move right in. It was customary in the day of Jesus that once a man and woman were betrothed to on another, committed to be married in other words, for the Groom to return to his father’s house to begin to prepare a place for he and his bride to live together as husband and wife. It’s no different here. Jesus is the groom and we are the Bride; we are the Bride of Christ. Who is the Bride? Well, we aren’t told any list of requirements believers must meet to be part of the Bride, but we do read that our groom’s expectations of us are similar to what any groom of the day might have had for his betrothed,   For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.

And when He’s finished building, He’ll come back again. To take us to that city fashioned by the Master Builder’s hand. Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

Jesus is the Master Builder.He built His church upon a rock.He built it upon a firm foundation. When Jesus said to Peter And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Who is the rock? We won’t debate that here, but note some things: Jesus is the foundation and the cornerstone, as we are told This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone, and that no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the Master Builder. He takes the old and  makes it new.He can take a life of sin, make it clean and pure within. And He can make a brand new you. Jesus rebuilds us. We all come from a life of sin; we all live lives of sin, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Yet  while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. There is nothing we can do to make ourselves any better in the eyes of a perfect and Holy God, as all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment.

We don’t,however, have to stay in the condition. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Jesus is the one who had no sin, made sin by God the Father to pay the price we owed. All we have to do is call, for whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Once we do that,  if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Are you a brand new you?

Jesus was a carpenter a long time ago
Joseph taught Him all things He needed to know
He grew up straight and strong, working on the shores of Galilee
He learned to use a hammer, and He learned to drive a nail
And when He finished building, it served Him mighty well
Cause He started on a building that stretched from sky to sky and sea to sea

Jesus is the Master Builder
He built His church upon a rock
He built it upon a firm foundation
And the work is never gonna stop (no, it never gonna stop)
Jesus is the Master Builder
He takes the old and makes it new
He can take a life of sin, make it clean and pure within
And He can make a brand new you

Now He’s back in Heaven and He’s building once again
He’s working on a city called the New Jerusalem
It sits on a firm foundation according to the Master Builder’s plan
The streets are lined with mansions for the saints to move right in
And when He’s finished building, He’ll come back again
To take us to that city fashioned by the Master Builder’s hand

Written by Dianne Wilkinson

Performed by The Cathedrals

Read more posts by Wally Fry at Truth in Palmyra

Follow Me

By Wally Fry from Truth in Palmyra

We often have a tendency to think we have things really bad. This is true in both the non believing life, as well as the life of the believer. The fact of the matter is, nobody bears the burden that we bear; ours is always the heaviest, right? If you don’t believe me, ask, I will gladly tell you! Complaining seems to be the natural state of man.

Sadly, complaining also seems to be the natural state of many believers, and to compound this issue we often complain and moan about our Christian Service! All we need to do when we find ourselves trapped in a spiral of complaint and self pity, however, is remain focused on what Jesus did for us without a single complaint.

Matthew 16:24-27

Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his lifeg will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.

Luke 19:23-26

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Mark 8:34-38

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

I traveled down a lonely road and no one seemed to care. All of us travel down lonely roads when it seems that no one cares. Yet, if we are saved believers, we are never alone as Jesus is always with us. We often think our burdens are more than we can bear. Yet our heavenly Father has told us The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit and the I will never leave you or forsake you. The burden on my weary back had bowed me to despair.  We all do have burdens to bear, that is just life. But, really why do we even think we have to bear them? How much peace and joy do we forfeit simply because we do try to bear our own burdens? What, then, are we to do? Jesus told us this: Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. We are also told to Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

I oft complained to Jesus how folks were treating me,  We will be treated differently if, in fact, we are living differently. Jesus warned of this during His earthly ministry when he taught His disciples that If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. Even though He warned we would be hated and mistreated, He also promised us a blessing if we are mistreated for His sake: Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Just remember, dear readers, that nothing we bear compares to the burden our Lord bore as he faced His impending death on the Cross. His burden was a literal one as he carried His own crucifixion cross down the Calvary road. My feet were also weary, upon the Calvary road; The cross became so heavy, I fell beneath the load. and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha.

I work so hard for Jesus” I often boast and say. I’ve sacrificed a lot of things to walk the narrow way, I gave up fame and fortune, I’m worth a lot to Thee. That’s us isn’t it? Are we valuable to God? Or course we are! For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. God loved us in spite our ourselves; so much so that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. On the other hand nothing we do for God does anything to restore the separation that exists between Him and us due to our sin.

Why are we valuable to God? Look at how we were made, compared to all of the other living creatures who were made. Only for human kind did the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

So, yes we have value to God, and He loves us. Yet, due to our sinful conditions we are separated from a just and holy God, for  your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear. Yet, nothing we DO restores us to Him or restores that relationship. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. We are not restored to God because of our works for him, but we are certainly restored so that we can work for him: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Oh Jesus if I die upon a foreign field someday,‘Twould be no more than love demands, no less could I repay, “No greater love hath mortal man than for a friend to die” That is exactly what our  Lord did for us. God, come to earth in the form of a man, for no other reason than to sacrifice Himself, literally, as the payment for our sins. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and the wages of sin is death. Payment was made in full, and no other payment is accepted, for without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins.

It is finished. Our Lord said this as He hung there dying on the Cross of Calvary. It is done, full payment has been made. The debt we owe for our sin is erased, if we have accepted the terms of that payment, which are faith and belief.

‘Twould be no more than love demands, no less could I repay Love makes demands of us, not our feeble efforts to redeem ourselves. And really, love doesn’t demand it, as love doesn’t demand. Love produces it. We pick up our cross, and follow Him, not because He demands it, or because we have to in order to be saved. We do it because He first loved us, and we love him.

“If just a cup of water I place within your hand then just a cup of water is all that I demand.He told us, my yoke is light and my burden is easy. He will never ask of us more than He has given. In fact, we could never do more for Him than He has already done for us. Our song tells us that; if He gives us a cup of water, He will only ask for a cup of water in return.

But if by death to living they can Thy glory see, I‘ll take my cross and follow close to Thee. In the end, that is what it’s all about. God’s glory, and  His honor. We work because we love Him and are grateful to Him, but it the end it is to showcase His glory and power that He was even able to do these great things.

Where do you stand? Are you like a hamster on wheel, spinning in place trying to work your way to God’s Heaven? Stop it, because you can’t. Only the full payment made by Jesus Christ on the lonely Cross can do that for you. By grace you are saved, through faith. Do you have faith? Do you believe? If not, you can today. If so, then pick up your cross and follow Him.

I traveled down a lonely road and no one seemed to care.

The burden on my weary back had bowed me to despair;
I oft complained to Jesus how folks were treating me,
And then I heard Him say so tenderly,
“My feet were also weary, upon the Calvary road;
The cross became so heavy, I fell beneath the load,
Be faithful weary pilgrim the morning I can see,
Just lift your cross and follow close to me.”

“I work so hard for Jesus” I often boast and say
“I’ve sacrificed a lot of things to walk the narrow way,
I gave up fame and fortune, I’m worth a lot to Thee”
And then I hear Him gently say to me,
“I left the throne of glory and counted it but loss,
My hands were nailed in anger upon a cruel cross,
But now we’ll make the journey with your hand safe in mine,
So lift your cross and follow close to me.

Oh Jesus if I die upon a foreign field someday,
‘Twould be no more than love demands, no less could I repay,
“No greater love hath mortal man than for a friend to die”
These are the words He gently spoke to me,
“If just a cup of water I place within your hand
Then just a cup of water is all that I demand.
But if by death to living they can Thy glory see,
I’ll take my cross and follow close to Thee.

Lyrics by Ira Stanphill sung by Larry Ford with the Gaithers

Read more posts by Wally Fry on the Truth in Palmyra Blog

Once Saved Always Saved?

This is a rerun of a rerun of a rerun. I have run it on my own blog and others, and now am posting it here on Church Set Free. I will probably run it more in the future. It’s a longish post, but this subject deserves a thorough treatment in order to be fully understood.

The question is often asked: Can a person, once saved, ever lose their salvation? The short answer is: NO. The Bible clearly and unequivocally teaches that a person who was truly saved and converted is eternally secure in that salvation and will never lose it. This is referred to as the Eternal Security of the Believer, Perseverance of the Saints or “Once saved always saved.”

We are going to discuss a lot of material here, so this will be a longish post. We will look at the key passages that support this doctrine; we will look at how Security of the Believer flows naturally from other things we know about Salvation; we will look at at some arguments made against the doctrine and finally we will look at why proper understanding of our security in Jesus Christ matters so much.

First, let’s look at some Scriptures which teach us about the Eternal Security of the Believer.

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.

Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Hebrews 10:39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

1 Peter 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Simply tossing around Bible verses does not necessarily prove anything; out of the proper context, any verse can be used for most any proof. We always have to make sure we quote verses in the full context in which they appear. That would include the context of their chapter as well as the overall story of the Bible. They must be placed in the proper linguistic, historical and cultural context to be fully understood. Simply placing the above verses in the context of things we learn elsewhere in the Bible, it is clear that they teach that one’s salvation can never be lost.

If we look at the security of the believer in terms of why we needed to be saved in the first place, it simply makes no sense to propose we could lose our salvation once it is ours. Remember, we do not need to just be saved from our big sins, or our really heinous sins; we need salvation for all of them big or small. God is perfect and Holy, we are imperfect and sinful. Because God is perfect, any imperfection separates us from Him. We owe a penalty for our sin, big or small, which we can only pay by our death. Read the post on that subject here.  If we could lose our salvation for some sin, then the question immediately comes up: for exactly WHAT sin or sins could we lose it? The obvious answer is easy to come up with. Any sin separated us from God in the first place. If we could lose our salvation for some sin, then likewise any sin would take it from us.

Remember Romans 6:23? “The wages of sin is death .” That statement is not graded on a curve. It is all inclusive for all sin. The payment is due from each of us. And it’s not paid on the installment plan. This penalty is either paid, or it’s not. If one has not accepted Jesus’ payment for it, then it is not paid. However, of one has accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, then it is paid.

We also understand that our salvation is by Grace and not by works. We know that we do not make even the smallest contribution to the obtaining of our salvation. We discussed that quite fully in this post.

If our salvation is 100 percent obtained by grace, then it is also 100 percent maintained by grace. If no works of any sort help us attain salvation, then conversely and obviously, “bad” works, lack of works or substandard works could not possibly cost us that salvation, right? If we don’t work to get it, then why would we have to work to keep it? There are substantial numbers of people who would agree that initially, salvation is by grace but that we must then maintain it by our works.

If Salvation did have to be maintained by works, then the immediate question is:  Exactly WHAT are the works requirements that must be met  in order to keep it? It is the same problem as determining exactly what sin could cost us our salvation. There is simply no list of rules given anywhere is Scripture. Actually, there is a list and it is quite simple. Any sin separates us from God, and no works restore us. Anything else is just what we, humans, have added. We are going to dive into that topic later in this post.

The Apostle Paul addressed that very mindset in Galatians 3:3 “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”  Paul informed us in that verse, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, that it is simply foolishness to think that we were saved by Grace but needed to maintain it by works.

Perhaps the biggest argument against the Doctrine of Eternal Security is that it somehow becomes “a license to sin.” In other words, one can become saved and then go out in the world and do whatever one chooses with no consequence. After all, one’s sins past, present and future are all forgiven.  Technically, that is a true statement. Technically a truly saved person, no matter how far they might backslide, is still forgiven and heaven bound.

Sadly and to the discredit of churches today, we do much to foster this skepticism about the Doctrine of Eternal Security. We have pews full of people who only darken the doors of a church for an hour on Sunday morning, then barrel back to the outside world and conduct themselves just like, or worse than, the rest of the world.  This same group of people justifies their behavior by resting on some claim that they are saved, so..”I’m all good, I’m saved and heaven bound. Jesus has forgiven me so it’s cool.” This is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog.  Salvation is not about getting a ticket to heaven punched. God truly, deeply loves us and offers us the gift of salvation, but salvation is not about us!  Read my post on just who worship is for and why we are saved here.

A quick summary is in order here. God was not sitting around in Heaven lonely one day and decided to create humanity to alleviate His loneliness. God is self existent and self sufficient and has no need for us whatsoever. God does not save us so that He can fill some empty void in His existence. We were only created for His honor and glory in the first place. In fact, the entire plan of redemption formed before the beginning of time was simply to declare God’s glory to the universe.

The point of this is God does not save us “for” us. He saves us for a purpose and a reason, and the reason is not us.  The most notable Bible passage on salvation based on grace not works is of course Ephesians 2:8,9. Where people go wrong, however, is they stop there.  Because right after God makes it clear through the Apostle Paul that works don’t save us, He goes on to tell they whys of our salvation.

Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

That’s just a start. There are numerous passages that teach us the a true saving faith will produce fruit(works). These are merely a few.

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Galatians 5:19-21 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,  Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,  Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.

Galatians 5:22.23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

1 John 3:6-9 Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.

The Apostle Paul answered the question about Eternal Security being a permit to sin very directly in Romans 6:15-23. This question is far from a new one.

Romans 6:15-23 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Clearly, salvation is not a permit to sin at will. God said that in His Word. Also, clearly, God has expectations of us once we are saved.

Not only does The Bible teach that grace and security are not a permit to sin, but Christians should keep in mind that we all face a judgment one day.  Understand clearly that a truly saved person will never face judgment for their sins; the issue of Heaven and Hell is decided only in this life. Believers will, however, be judged at some point in time for how they lived their lives for Jesus Christ while they were alive. The ultimate goal of every believer at the Judgment should be to hear the same words the  good steward heard in the Parable of the Talents which Jesus told, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Let’s take a look at this judgement believers face. We learn in Romans 14:10-12 as Paul wrote to the Roman believers, that we will all stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ and account for how we lived our lives for him. Since we aren’t going to be judged for our sins what then is the purpose of this judgment? The judgment believers face is to determine our rewards we will receive for the things we have done for Jesus while living. One of the best descriptions of what will happen can be found in 1 Corinthians 3:10-17

What we receive are crowns for various services we have rendered on behalf of Jesus Christ during our lives. Descriptions of these can be found in several places in Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:5, 2 Timothy 4:8, James 1:12, 1 Peter 5:4, and Revelation 2:10.

Not only do saved believers face a judgment later for their works, but we also need to understand that we do not necessarily escaped unscathed in this life for the things we do wrong. We escape the eternal punishment for our sins due to our salvation, but not the earthly consequences for them. The things we do on this Earth affect our lives on this Earth.

God Himself may discipline us. Notice the difference between punishment and discipline. We are free from the eternal punishment for our sins: past, present and future. Like a good parent, however, God will chastise and discipline us in order to bring us back in line with His desire for our lives.

Hebrews 12:6-8 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.   If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

God disciplines us as His children; if fact, if He does not discipline us then we are not actually His!

Sin has earthly consequences which are not necessarily handed out by God, but just the natural outflow of our actions. King David is one of the finest examples of actions and consequences we can find anywhere in the Bible. Only a very few people would even try to make a case for David being unsaved; there is almost universal agreement that as we speak, David is in Heaven with The Lord. Yet, we all also know the truly terrible sins David committed at one point in his life. We all know the story of his adultery with Bathsheeba and his murder of her husband Uriah. David certainly was forgiven by God for those sins, but if one reads the full story of his Kingdom it is easy to see that the consequences of what David did set the stage for many things.

  • The rape of his daughter Tamar by her half brother Amnon and Amnons subsequent murder by Absalom. 2 Samuel 13
  • Absalom’s banishment from the house of David and partial restoration. 2 Samuel 14
  • Absalom’s later rebellion against David. 2 Samuel 15-19

Just a casual reading of this story and it is easy to draw the conclusion that David’s failure as both a father and husband led ultimately to some very serious consequences. One might even say that his other son Solomon behaved in some of the ways he did due to the example set by his father David.

To sum up the above, eternal security in our salvation is not a license to run out and sin all we want to. I heard a preacher say once, “Since I got saved I sin all I want to;” the audience grew silent and he then stated, “but I don’t want to.” Let’s recap quickly.

  • True saving faith and salvation will produce works, or fruit
  • We will all be judged for the quality of our works.
  • God will discipline and chastise us for our actions
  • We still face earthly consequences for the things we do

The whole idea that the Doctrine of Eternal Security is no more than a license to sin in probably the single biggest argument that is used to counter the doctrine. As we can see, the argument is simply not a valid one. Other than that, there are numerous Scripture verses used as “proof texts” to support the idea that we can lose our salvation. Several years ago, a family member had an interesting conversation with a person who believed one could lose their salvation. When challenged by the family member for some proof, the person in question quoted Job 1:21, saying “The Lord giveth and The Lord taketh away!”  That may be the single most absurd argument for being able to lose salvation that has ever been spoken. Not all of these arguments are that absurd, however; some seem to make sense on the surface. Let’s look at a few. It will only be a few, as there are many.

Some scriptures that speak of earthly chastening are used to teach believers can lose their salvation.

1 Corinthians 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

Romans 13:2  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 

The word damnation in those verses is not referring to “anathema”, or death in Hell, but “krima”, referring to earthly judgment

There are those passages that refer to a believer being called home by God because of committing the sin unto death. This, in context, refers to physical and not spiritual death.  1 John 5:16 and 1 Corinthians 3:17 both refer to this.  The fornicator in 1 Corinthians 5 was in danger of committing it and the believers in Corinth participating in the Lord’s Supper unworthily and Annanais and Sapphira all committed it. Nothing in context suggest these were unsaved people, but people being called home by physical death so as not to ruin their testimonies.

Some verses dealing with evidence or proof of salvation are used to illustrate a person losing their salvation.

1 Corinthians 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

Colossians 1:22,23 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 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; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

1 John 2:3-5 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him.

James, in particular, is used to support this idea. But in the context of the overall concept of salvation not being by works, it is made clear that the above verses are referring only to the evidence of salvation.

Some verses used to show the possible loss of salvation simply refer to someone who never had it in the first place.

Matthew 7:21-23 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Some say that not those who say “Lord, Lord” enter heaven but only those who “doeth the will of my Father” enter heaven. In other words, works are needed to stay saved. Just note, however, what Jesus said. He said, “I never knew you.” To understand the full context of the above passage, it is necessary to read the entire passage in question. Read Matthew 7:15-23.  The overall context in the passage is referring to false prophets and teachers who ran around claiming to belong to Jesus, but in fact never had.

The above passages are but a few that seem, on the surface, to support the idea that a person can lose their salvation. Like all of our Bible interpretation efforts, we have to perform this one correctly. Context, language, history and culture all have to be considered when assuming a position or interpretati0n.  All of these things taken together, along with Scriptures supporting Eternal Security, clearly show that the Doctrine of Eternal Security of the Believer is, in fact, completely Biblical. Now, the only question remains is: Why is it so important?

The Doctrine of conditional salvation, or that one can lose their salvation, is a product of Satan himself. I am not saying that those who believe it are of Satan; I am saying the thought is from him. Why would I say such a thing? Allow me to briefly explain. First, let’s take a look at the following passage:

Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

In that passage, Paul was speaking to saved believers. What he was passing along from God was that we are to put on our helmet, and that helmet is the helmet of Salvation. He simply meant that Satan desperately wants us to be in a constant state of doubting our salvation. Paul was teaching us not to be distracted by those doubts, but to live secure in the assurance of our status as reconciled children of God.

Why does Satan care? The basic reason is that if we rest assured that our salvation is secure, then we can move along to the work God really wants us to do.  If we spend our entire lives in a mad scramble to stay saved, then that is all we can do. I hate to sound repetitive, but it’s not about us! It is about our works done to honor and glorify God and not our efforts either to get saved or to stay saved.

As with works based salvation, works maintained salvation becomes about men rather than God. God has laid out the conditions that must be met for salvation: repentance toward God and faith in His Son Jesus Christ. Any other rules are not God’s rules, they are man’s rules. Who makes any such list of rules and conditions necessary to maintain salvation? Some person, of course. When we follow rules set by man, we begin to abandon God’s guidelines as revealed in His Word. When we do that, we begin to follow men rather than God; worse, we begin to follow ourselves. And that is what got us into trouble in the first place way back in Genesis Chapter 3

Are you saved? If you are, rest assured that your salvation is secure for all eternity. Quit worrying about what you have to do to keep it, and get busy doing the works God has actually called you to do.

Are you lost? Understand that this security can belong to you as well. Admit you are a sinner. Agree with God that He is right and you are wrong. Turn from your sin. Believe that Jesus paid your due penalty on the cross, and accept Him as your Savior and Lord today. Then, pick up your cross and follow Him.

 

In Christ Alone

This post is previously published

Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

We all have a hope in  Jesus; if fact Jesus is our only hope. For any who respond to God’s drawing and honestly seek Him, Jesus provides the only hope and the only way. There is no other hope, no other way. Jesus Himself told us I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

Jesus told Peter at one point that the rock upon which He would build His church, was in fact Himself as he told Peter the following: And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Later as Peter and John were brought before the Council at Jerusalem, Peter preached this, Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

What are the heights of God’s love for us? Even though all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, He loved us while we were yet sinners. Even though our sins had separated us from a perfect and holy God, and we are sinners by birth and by choice, God loved us so much that He that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

Jesus Christ was 100 percent man and 100 percent God; Not part of each, but fully each. As the song says: the fullness of God in helpless babe. Why fully man? It was man who sinned, and man who had to pay. Of course, we could each pay our own debt for our own sin, as the wages of sin is death. But, that is the problem; we can only each pay for our own sin; I can’t pay for you and you can’t pay for me. We each are accountable and can only pay for our own transgressions. Who, then, could pay for us all? Well, God can of course! As God, Jesus could pay the infinite price presented by mankind’s infinite sin, and He did just that.

Yet, our Lord was scorned by the ones He came to save: That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 

Till on that cross as Jesus died,The wrath of God was satisfied;For ev’ry sin on Him was laid— Of all of the things Jesus said on the Cross of Calvary, none are more important than this: It is finished. Our debt, the debt of sin owed by every man, woman, and child was “paid in full, tetelestai.” As an accounting term, this simply means exactly what it says. Our debt was paid in full, and nothing more is owed. All accounts have been settled. Because Jesus paid the debt owed, we who were dead can be make alive again. as  you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins. And we can be made alive, because as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

There in the ground His body lay, Light of the world by darkness slain; All of the “founders” of various “religions” have died, every single one of them. But our Lord’s death is far, far different than any of those. First, they all died normal, regular deaths; old age, sickness, being murdered; the list goes on and on. The death of Jesus, however, was God’s plan from eternity past for the redemption of mankind. We know from reading that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and that the wages of sin is death. Jesus death was no unexpected event, to afterthought God came up with when our sin surprised HIm. God planned this event before the very foundation of the world to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

Then bursting forth in glorious day,Up from the grave He rose again!And as He stands in victory,Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me; Remember those “founders” of those other “religions?” They are still dead. Not our Lord, however, as we know he rose from that tomb on the third day and again walked among us for 40 days. We know what happened when the women went to prepare Jesus’ body for burial, found the tomb empty, and were told by the angel He is not here: for he is risen, Why did Jesus rise? Without a bodily resurrection, our entire faith simply melts away. Without the Resurrection, Jesus was not God; he was just a martyred prophet. Without the Resurrection, every single prophecy about it is false; that renders the Bible false. Without the Resurrection, even Jesus’ own prophecies about His death and Resurrection were false, making Him not even a real prophet, but a false one. Without the Resurrection, we cannot be justified and cleared of our sin; If Jesus is still dead then we are still dead in our sin. Without the Resurrection, there is no hope. If Jesus died and stayed dead, then we also will die and stay dead. For that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—

Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand

No guilt in life, no fear in death— We have all sinned, and one of the results of sin is guilt. We need never feel guilty for the things our our past as they are forgiven, as God has told us the following, For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. Our pasts? Gone, with the wind.  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. That is a pretty impressive list of the forgiven ones!

Sometimes Satan, accuser of our brethren still attacks, both our past and our now. The past is gone, but even our sins of today are forgiven and washed away by the blood of jesus Christ. Our guilt over our current sin my be in order, and may simply be telling us of our need for confession to our Father. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man, Can ever pluck me from His hand; Once we belong to Jesus, we belong to Jesus. Just as we never need to feel guilty about our pasts, we never need to worry about the security of our future. Grace saved us, and grace keeps us. Nothing we have done worked us to heaven, and nothing we can do will ever take that away from us either: For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. We were given to Jesus by the Father and nothing can ever take us away; Jesus assured us that My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.


Are you in Christ alone? Or are you still burdened by the guilt of your past? Has the Holy Spirit reached out and convicted you of your need for forgiveness? If he has, listen to what He is telling you. Repent and believe today.

In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found;
He is my light, my strength, my song;
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all—
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied;
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid—
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain;
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me;
For I am His and He is mine—
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death—
This is the pow’r of Christ in me;
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand;
Till He returns or calls me home—

Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand

Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

Sung by Kristyn Townsend

 

 Read more posts by Wally Fry at Truth In Palmyra

 

In the Image of God?

This post has appeared in a couple of other places, but it seemed time to revive it another time.

What does it mean to be created in the image of God? We learn in Genesis 1:26 that God made the decision to create man “in our image, after our likeness.” So, it is important to discuss what it means, really, for us to be in the image and likeness of God. Theologians and scholars have spent years trying to discern precisely what it means to be in the image of God, and use many words and complex explanations to explain it. This explanation will hopefully be far from complex, and will be a description we can all follow and understand.

First of all, to be created in the image and likeness of God does not mean that we are formed in His physical image. God Himself does not have a physical body, as John 4:24 teaches us. There, we learn that “God is a spirit…..“, not a physical body. We also see in Luke 24:39 that “…… a spirit hath not flesh and bones….” Of course, God did become incarnate as a man in the form of Jesus Christ, but God the Father is not flesh and bones.

The idea of mankind being created in the image and likeness of God begins with the very way God created man. God, when He created all other living creatures, simply created them from nothingness. They were not there; God spoke, and they existed. Genesis 2:7  tells us something very important about the creation of man.

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

When God created man, He formed us with His hands, so to speak, from the dust of the ground. God then personally breathed life into the nostrils of the first man, Adam. Adam then became a living soul, eternal in existence. When God created animals, they were just spoken into existence; when God created man, He breathed life directly into His first human creation. David recognized this difference between humanity and the animal world when he wrote Psalm 8: 4-6.

“What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:”

Being created in the image and likeness of God does not mean that we possess God-like attributes. We are not omniscient, omnipresent or omnipotent. We do not possess other attributes normally associated with a Divine nature. We already covered that we are not in God’s image physically, because God is spirit and not flesh. We understand that we are not gods, and do not possess Divine natures. How, then are we in the likeness of God?

Our creation in the image and likeness of God, then, refers to the immaterial, not physical, parts of our nature. In many of these immaterial attributes we have things in common with God’s nature. In a nutshell, we are in the likeness of God mentally, morally and socially. We also share God’s image in the sense that we are eternal beings. Below, we will break those ideas down some.

We bear the image of God mentally. This is critical in understanding the one of the key differences between mankind and the animal world. Although many animals appear quite intelligent, they are not in the image of God mentally. Man possesses the ability to engage in reason and highly complex thought. Man possesses the ability to come up with ideas independent of instinctive compulsions, and then the ability to put those ideas into action through creation of things, inventions and so on. Art, language and literature are all manifestations of some of the ways we were created in the image of God mentally.

Mentally, we are in the image of God in the sense that we make volitional decisions. The animal world certainly makes decisions, but they are primarily driven by biological imperatives, not true volition.
Mentally, God clearly made man to be superior to and rule over the world and all other life in it. Genesis 1:28 teaches us God created us in His image, to then have dominion over all the earth.

“And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

We see both this dominion and man’s superior mental nature when Adam named all the animals in Genesis 2:19.20.

“And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof. And Adam gave names to all cattle, and to the fowl of the air, and to every beast of the field; but for Adam there was not found an help meet for him.”

God created man in His image mentally in the sense that we have free will and the ability to go in whatever direction we choose, just like Him. We are not simply bound to go in whatever direction our biology and instincts drive us; we can choose to do whatever we choose to do, even if it is contrary to our biological natures. The best example of this is the fact that we were created without sin and in innocency. Adam then made the choice to disobey and rebel against God. Even though God created us sinless and perfect, the free will He had given us enabled us to make that choice.

We bear the image of God morally. Despite what many would claim, animals do not possess a moral compass of any sort. While they certainly appear to love us and even desire to please us, this not due to a moral nature of any sort. Animals will always simply act in accordance with what supplies their biologically driven need to live and propagate themselves. Man, on the other hand was created as a moral being; we all have within ourselves the moral nature that God both possesses and that He instilled in us when He created us.
God is Holy and perfect. God has certain standards which we call the Law of God. Not the law, in the sense of the Old Testament Law, but the Law of God. These are things that God clearly sees as wrong and sinful. God Himself always lives by His own standards, as He is perfect and holy. Additionally, God created us in the beginning in a state of holiness and perfection.

Adam chose to exercise the free will God had given him and disobey and rebel against God. As a result, all of us are sinners and no longer measure up to God’s standard. Romans 3:23 teaches us this; “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. “However, our free choice to rebel and reject God does not mean that our basic God instilled morality has gone away. It may be deadened by sin almost to the point that it seems as if it is gone, but it still remains. In every society and culture that has ever existed, there are seemingly universal moral standards people adhere to. Murder, stealing, and other things are considered wrong no matter where one wanders in the world. People may not adhere to these standards, but they know they are there.

We all are born with a conscience and knowledge of morality. Romans 2:14-16 shows us the concept that we all know morality, even if we do not have the specifics.

“For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.”

Here Paul was making the point that while the Gentiles did not have the law, they still knew the law, because it is written on their consciences and hearts from birth. That passage clearly shows that we all understand moral standards. Our understanding of universal moral standards also leads to the conclusion that we each also know that there is a moral law giver, which is God. Romans 1:18-20 shows us clearly that we all know God exists, because He created us that way, to have an understanding of His existence.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”

We bear the image of God socially. God Himself in His triune form, has existed since eternity past as a social being. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit have always existed in fellowship with one another. The decision to create humanity was made as a community effort by the persons of the Trinity. We can see this in Genesis 1:26 when the Triune God said He would create man in “our image, according to our likeness.”

God created us for His joy and His glory. He also created us to love and fellowship with Him. One thing to clearly understand is that God did not create us because He was somehow lonely just sitting around in eternity past with nothing to do. God is self contained and self sufficient and has no needs whatsoever. He does, however, enjoy being loved, worshipped and fellowshipped with.

A reading of Genesis 3:8 shows that in all likelihood God had a habit of walking in the Garden and fellowshipping with Adam and Eve.

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.”

Genesis 2:18 shows us that God understood that He had created man to be a social creature as well; He created Eve for Adam because He could see it was “not good” for Adam to be alone.
We bear the image of God socially in terms of the emotions we feel towards each other. God loves, God hates, and God gets angry. The most obvious reference to how God loves is, of course, found in John 3:16 where we learn just how God loved us. God hates sin; the Biblical references to God being angry, jealous or hurt are too numerous to even mention.

We are in God’s image spiritually. God is Spirit, and in an eternal sense, so are we. Obviously we are not eternal from eternity past, only God has existed forever. On the other hand, God created us to exist eternally after our creation. This was true from the very beginning when God formed us from the dust of the earth. We became a “living soul.” Some might debate the difference between soul and spirit, but for the intent of that particular verse, the implication is that we are a soul which lives forever. Scripture clearly teaches that we will all exist somewhere for eternity.

Many words have been written about how man is in the image and likeness of God, and they are well worth more study. The above few words, however, capture the essence of how we were created in the image of God.

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