I've been saved for almost 6 yrs now and am always trying to be diligent in study and discipline in God's Word and what He teaches. And as much as I desire to live a godly life, I do fail. Sometimes often it seems. I always try to immediately confess my sins because I believe that the Holy Spirit convicts and compels me to do so. I have been taught the OSAS doctrine. but my hope is not in this doctrine, rather in Christ Himself. I believe that we are to guard ourselves from sin because we are saved. My question is one that I am certain that you have heard a thousand times, but one that I have never asked. Given the view of salvation that you adhere to, what would happen if I happened to die immediately after giving in to some temptation and sin? This is one of the thoughts that bother me on occasion because of the fact that I DO NOT want to presume upon God's Word or His Grace.
So, God has abundantly provided for us and demonstrated Himself to be a God of hope, mercy, love, and patience. As long as I am willing to challenge everything in the light of God's Word, showing no favorites, because He will show no favorites (Acts 10:34-35; I Timothy 2:3-4), and as long as I am willing to follow that truth no matter what, then I trust Him to take care of me. Now, if I plan on obeying most of what He said, then I'm headed for trouble. Or, if I start making exceptions or back away from examining myself in light of Scripture (II Thessalonians 2:9-12), then I am headed for a rude awakening:
Obedience on some points does not license disobedience in others."Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' (Matthew 7:21-23)
I would encourage you to read the following articles, which touch on these points in better detail:
- http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles ... hopes.html
- http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles ... saved.html
If you have previously been convinced of "once saved, always saved", then may I presume that you also believe that baptism is not commanded for salvation? (They usually go together.) If you have not been "baptized for the remission of sins" (Acts 2:37-38; Romans 6:1-6; Galatians 3:26-27; I Peter 3:21), then I would encourage you to study it and be so baptized. Even in the New Testament, believers who were previously baptized for the wrong reason were baptized again, but for the correct reason (Acts 19:3-5). We have a few articles on that point here:
- http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles ... ptism.html
If you have any follow-up thoughts or questions, I would love to hear them.
You mentioned a topic that leads me to a couple of questions. The Holy Spirit is an interesting topic, and I believe that much of the division we see in "Christendom" is a result of misunderstanding about the Holy Spirit. Although many people believe in the power of God's Word, they believe the Holy Spirit overrules or helps them to understand it more perfectly. In short, many people allow their feelings on a subject, which they interpret as Holy Spirit leading, to outweigh what the Bible says. As a result, people are going every which direction, all claiming that the Holy Spirit is guiding them, which elevates their decisions beyond all questioning and scrutiny. God doesn't lie (Titus 1:2), so if people are going in different directions, then it is not the Holy Spirit leading most of them, if not all of them. Something is obviously not right with this picture. So, please allow me to offer a few questions for your meditation.
Can you think of any verse that suggests that Christians generally had access to a direct Holy Spirit leading apart from the revealed Word of God? Whatever passages you accumulate, can you decide from the context if that promise was offered to all men or was it given to the inspired apostles and prophets of the first century?
While you are thinking on it, please take a look at Ephesians 3:3-5 and II Timothy 3:16-17?
I look forward to hearing from you.
What you have asked is actually something that I have thought about. I just looked up a few quick references that came to mind (Acts 5:42-1Cor.4:17-1 Tim 6:3) Where the apostles taught and were warned that men ought not teach other doctrines. It's scriptures such as these that have led me to believe that we should NOT react to scriptures with our feelings or preconceived notions, but rather allow scripture to teach what God's will for us is. When I speak of the Holy Spirit leading me into all Truth, my meaning is that the Lord would soften my heart to heed His Words so that pride would not cause me to resist. Because I know that there is a way that seems right (Prov. 14:12-Prov16:25) but the end is death.
Hope that I don't seem to hardheaded! There is much that the denomination that I'm a member of believes, but I don't necessarily agree with. Not that I think that they are emphatically wrong, but that I choose to study scripture FIRST before blindly following. Not better than anyone only trying to humble myself to God's Hand.
Whenever you have time, I have collected a few lectures on the Holy Spirit, which you may find insightful:
- Turner, Robert, The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, http://www.wordsfitlyspoken.org/audio/turner/Robert Turner - Indwelling of the Holy Spirit.mp3, 1972.
- Waldron, Bob, Holy Spirit – 5 Lectures, http://www.wordsfitlyspoken.org/audio/misc, 2007. (scroll down on web-site to look for them)
- Earnhart, Paul, The Holy Spirit and His Work, http://www.wordsfitlyspoken.org/audio/earnhart/886B - The Holy Spirit and His Work.mp3, 1992.
- Earnhart, Paul, The Nature and Work of the Holy Spirit, http://www.wordsfitlyspoken.org/audio/earnhart/943A - The Nature and Work of the Holy Spirit.mp3, 1993.
- Earnhart, Paul, Nature and Character of the Holy Spirit, http://www.wordsfitlyspoken.org/audio/earnhart/1595B - Nature and Character of the Holy Spirit.mp3, 2003.
If you ever want to discuss anything else, or if I can help in some way, please let me know.