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IS LIKE A
JIGSAW PUZZLE !
Have you ever put together a JIGSAW PUZZLE? You know, one of those interlocking puzzles? I am quite sure that most of you have. Now have you ever tried putting together a jigsaw puzzle where several pieces of the puzzle were missing? Again most of have done this as well. How about putting together a jigsaw puzzle where the pieces were placed in a box that did NOT have the right or correct PICTURE on the box?
Think about how CONFUSING that would be trying to look at the PICTURE on the box while trying to put pieces together that do NOT match or correspond to that PICTURE on the box. You see, your frame of mind to which you are focusing upon is that PICTURE on the box that you THINK is the correct picture so you are trying to make the individual pieces of the puzzle fit that picture painted on the box.
Now consider this. You have in your possession an unopened sealed box containing ALL the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. And on this box is a BEAUTIFULLY PAINTED PICTURE. You are so excited that you open the box and start to put the puzzle together.
Then as you are sorting through the individual pieces of the puzzle you happen to notice these INDIVIDUAL pieces that you have just taken of the box to spread them out to get a better look at them did not seem to fit the PICTURE that is painted on the outside of the box. So you begin to fit more and more individual pieces of the puzzle together to form a larger section of this puzzle. And then, as you take a CLOSER look it becomes very clear to you that these pieces of the puzzle are NOT going to FIT the picture that is painted on the box.
So my dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we all have a puzzle to piece together that paints a BEAUTIFUL picture of our Lord Jesus Christ placed in a breath taking landscape of God's PLAN for mankind.
The INDIVIDUAL PIECES of this puzzle are EVERY word of God. And NO one word or verse of scripture paints an ACCURATE and COMPLETE picture that God desires us to see.
You see my dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus, we ALL have been given the word of God, the Bible, to read for OURSELVES. But many of us just want to look at the PICTURES on the box that OTHERS have painted.
The problem is that all these many different pictures CONFLICT with each other. We all have the VERY SAME pieces of the PUZZLE, but the pictures that have been painted FOR us do not SHOW or REVEAL the SAME picture that some other believer shows us. So which picture is the TRUE picture that these pieces of the puzzle is supposed to paint?
Now we all want to SAY that the picture on OUR box is the TRUE picture. But how do we KNOW for SURE, until we OPEN our Bibles and read God's word for OURSELVES in order to see if in fact these pictures that have been painted FOR us is the TRUE and COMPLETE picture that Almighty God desires us to see?
We can NOT know for certain that what we have been taught is in fact the TRUTH, UNTIL we search the word of God daily to see if what we have been or are being taught is in fact the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God.
Sometimes we get ahead of ourselves and try to say what the picture of the puzzle is BEFORE we get ALL the pieces put together. This is why we have so many different VIEWPOINTS concerning what the “Bible says”. We all try and support or prove what we believe by saying “The Bible says”....and then quote a few INDIVIDUAL verses from the word of God that we have COME to BELIEVE is the TRUTH, simply because that is what we have been TAUGHT by others. But in reality many of us are just repeating or showing a picture that has been HANDED down to us generation after generation. And this picture is a FALSE representation of what the pieces in the box actually paints for us when they are ACCURATELY pieced together. This is what is meant by RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of God.
It is high time my dear brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus that we all OPEN our Bibles and begin to piece ALL the verses together for OURSELVES and quit focusing on these many PARTIALLY pieced together pictures that bring CONFUSION to the body of Christ.
So when ever you come across a CONTRADICTION or a point of view that OPPOSES what you have been TAUGHT, get into the word of God and see which one, if either, is the TRUTH. It may be that NEITHER, what you have been taught to believe, OR what this other viewpoint that opposes what you have COME to believe is the TRUTH. Perhaps BOTH are incorrect. You will not know what is the TRUTH, until YOU yourself search God's word for YOURSELF to see if you are indeed being taught the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God.
I have found in some instances that there is a LITTLE truth on both sides but the neither point of view, being ALONE and apart from the WHOLE word of God, is the TRUTH. This is how the enemy DECEIVES us, by dangling a PIECE of the word of God in front of us and, then misleading us to believe something that the WHOLE word of God does NOT teach. In other words, let us search the word of God together and keep what is the TRUTH, but lay aside that which does not fit the bigger picture that the whole word of God only can accurately paint.
So then, I want to ask you the question, What is it that we can conclude from this analogy of the JIGSAW PUZZLE?
First of all quit listening to the doctrines of MEN without going to the word of God for YOURSELF in order to see if what you are being TAUGHT is in fact the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God. You need to QUIT FOCUSING on the PICTURE that is on the box that someone ELSE has painted FOR you when you are piecing together the word of God. In other words, you need to LAY ASIDE these pictures or viewpoints of others, because it may very well be that some of the pictures that someone else has painted for you are FALSE doctrines and those INCORRECT teaching will only confuse you. Say to yourself and to God, 'Now I do not know for sure if this teaching is true or not. I have always trusted it to be the truth, but NOW I see in your word another piece of the puzzle that seems to contradict what I have previously been taught. Help me Lord to know the TRUTH, the WHOLE truth and nothing but the TRUTH.'
Next you need to OPEN the Bible for YOURSELF and read it. Take the time to put all of these LOOSE pieces of the puzzle TOGETHER to see if they in fact MATCH the picture that has been painted for you by others.
Now as you begin to seek the TRUTH for yourself continue to pray and ask God for wisdom, and THEN LISTEN to the Holy Spirit as you read and study the word of God. You do not need that any man teach you the word of God for he has given us the his Holy Spirit to lead and guide us into ALL TRUTH.
Question: Has anyone here heard this before that the Holy Spirit will lead us and guide us into all truth? Do you know where this verse is found in the Bible? Do any other verses come to your mind that relate to this verse or teach us the same thing but in different words?
Also I want you to KNOW, if you do not know already, that the Bible does NOT contradict itself! Therefore if there SEEMS to be a contradiction, then it is because of how we have INTERPRETED what the word of God is INTENDING to say, but in TRUTH the WHOLE word of God truly means something different that what some have INTERPRETED it to mean. This is WHY we need ALL the pieces of the puzzle put together, before the true picture of what Almighty God intends say in his word.
How many times have we ourselves said something and have been MISUNDERSTOOD by others? The ONLY way for you to clear up all the confusion is by getting those who misunderstood what you were saying to sit down long enough to LISTEN to you as you explain what you really meant to say. Now if they are NOT WILLING to LISTEN to you as you are trying to EXPLAIN what you truly meant to say, then they will remain in their state of confusion and MISGUIDED belief of what what you TRULY meant to say and HOW you INTENDED to be UNDERSTOOD by others.
The word of Almighty God is the same way. It has been MISUNDERSTOOD by some and has caused even some to reject it totally because of all the controversy and seemingly contradictory verses.
God says in the book of Hosea chapter 4:6 that his people are destroyed for LACK of knowledge, and that if we REJECT knowledge then he will also reject us. But the truth of the matter is that God does not want to reject any of us and this is why he gave his Son Jesus to die for us so that we would be CLEANSED from all our sin in order that God could place his Holy Spirit IN us to lead and guide us into all TRUTH.
Don't be DECEIVED my dear brothers and sisters in the Lord, OPEN that box, OPEN God's word and LAY ASIDE that picture on the box, that picture of what someone else has painted for you and start putting ALL the pieces of God's word together for yourself, until you are ROOTED and GROUNDED in the TRUTH of the WHOLE word of God.
And the best place to START putting together the JIGSAW PUZZLE of God's word is FIRST with PRAYER asking God to give you wisdom and understanding. You can use this practice of sorting out all the pieces of the puzzle or more precisely sorting through all the many verses of scripture that speak about the same topic and arrange them in an order that paints a clear picture for you about that particular subject.
We will do just that with the many verses in the Bible that teach us "WHAT MUST I DO TO BE SAVED?" right here in this Bible study as an example for you to carry with you as you study God's word in other areas such as the last days and the second coming of Jesus, which we will be studying together right after we finish this study.
With that being said, I have before you scattered around the room envelopes with a puzzle piece inside with a number on the back of it and with this puzzle piece there is a slip of paper with a scripture reference on it. Once all 24 envelopes are found you may begin opening them. Take out the puzzle piece and look to see which number or numbers that you have on your particular puzzle piece or pieces since some of you may find more than one envelope. It does not really matter how many you find, but I would like for everyone to have at least one, so please share with others around you.
Please do not read the scripture as yet, because I want to take them in the order by which I have numbered them. If you have your Bible with you, then you may look the scripture reference that you have in your envelope up in your Bible, but please do not read it yet. I have numbered them in a specific order, because to ME, two DIFFERENT pictures are being painted and I want you to see the picture that has most likely been displayed on most of your boxes first. And then we will gradually paint this other picture that the WHOLE word of God paints for us as well. Once the puzzle is completed, then it is up to you to decide, which picture best fits ALL the pieces of the WHOLE word of God.
I will lead off by reading the passage of scripture that lays the foundation of this whole idea of God's word being filled with multiple pieces of a puzzle the paints a BIG picture of God's PLAN for the salvation of mankind and WHAT MUST WE DO IN ORDER TO BE SAVED and in order to receive eternal life in the world to come.
Pieces of the Puzzle
What must I do to be SAVED?
"Whom shall he (Almighty God) teach knowledge? And whom shall he make to understand doctrine? THEM that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts.(Why or How are we weaned from milk and ready for stronger meat of God's word?)
13. But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; HERE a LITTLE, and THERE a LITTLE; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken , and snared, and taken."
In other words, Almighty God HIDES a little HERE and a little THERE, so that we will have to SEARCH for all the little pieces of the puzzle that form the BIG PICTURE of God's PLAN. So then, we cannot build a doctrine on just one verse of scripture. We need to compare scripture with scripture to see what the whole word of God is teaching us.
Question: Does anyone have any questions, thoughts, or comments about this passage of scripture in Isaiah 28:9-18?
A question that has been asked before is, What is meant by the word "PRECEPT"? The definition of the word "precept" from the American Heritage Dictionary means a rule or principle imposing a particular standard or action of conduct. It is a law or ordinance warning beforehand. Now in this particular passage of scripture this word "precept" actually means an utterance which is perhaps described as a syllable that makes no sense, a sound that is even mocked at.
So then, when left in the context of where it is found the word "PRECEPT" is actually God speaking to believers in what the Bible calls other tongues or an unknown tongue, which is unknown to the one speaking. You see, whenever the Holy Spirit gives a believer the UTTERANCE to speak in other tongues, then it is not ONLY us speaking to God, but ALSO Almighty God speaking to us in our inner man.
I know that for myself, when I was first filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke in other tongues I only spoke a few words or syllables that quite frankly seemed to me to be nonsense. The thoughts kept coming to me to stop, because to my mind it made no sense, but I had a good teacher who told me this would happen and to just continue praying by faith. So then, as I prayed more and more every day sentences or lines began to from, but yet they seemed to repeat, like I was saying the same thing over again. The more I prayed then more lines came and developed sentence after sentence or line upon line, until this prayer language became more and more fluent and just flowed out of me.
Now at the time I did not know about this verse here in Isaiah and therefore I did not know that God was speaking to me as I was speaking to him. I only knew the scriptures in the New Testament that assured me that I was speaking directly to God in mysteries that even if I myself did not know what was being prayed I knew that God did know, because he was the one who gave me the words to speak to him. But one thing that I did notice that the more I prayed in the Spirit the more revelation of God's word came to me. So LITTLE by LITTLE, HERE a LITTLE and THERE a LITTLE I saw things in the word that no one taught me, but rather I saw them because God opened my eyes of understanding. If you want we can put this subject of the baptism of the Holy Spirit and speaking in other tongues on the list of things to study in the near future. And for those who want to learn more about the Holy Spirit and do not want to wait, you can read the studies called "THE POWER AND AUTHORITY OF THE BELIEVER", "STIR UP THE GIFT THAT IS WITHIN YOU" and "HAVE THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT CEASED?"
But for now if there are no more questions or comments, let us see what puzzle piece #1 has to say about being saved.
#1.) Luke 23:32-43
Thanks for reading that passage of scripture for us. Go ahead and place your puzzle piece on the table and see if it connects to the one that I placed down.
Question: Do you think this thief on the cross was SAVED?
or why not do you believe what you believe? Then I want you to think about HOW you arrived at your answer based upon something else that you have already learned and how your answer was built or put together like a puzzle using other pieces of information whether or not all the information is correct or incorrect.
Now I would adventure to say that most Christians do in fact believe that this thief on the cross was saved, due to the fact that he realized his guilt for the crime or sin that he himself committed by confessing his wrong doing. And not only confessing his wrong doing, but also realizing his worthiness of receiving death for what he himself had done. We also see another great attribute in this thief on the cross, which is that he recognizes Jesus as being an innocent man who was not worthy of death. We then see this man that was guilty of his crime or sin asking Jesus to remember him when Jesus came into his kingdom. Jesus responded by saying verily or TRULY you shall be WITH me in PARADISE this day, which to ME definitely shows that Jesus accepted this thief crying out to him for forgiveness.
However, there are some Christians who do not believe that this thief was saved because Jesus had not actually died on the cross for his sins as yet. In other words, they maintain that Jesus never said the words, It is FINISHED, nor was he risen from the dead as yet, so then the sacrifice for sins of this thief was not yet paid.
And I agree that there is SOME truth in what they are putting forth as their line of reasoning, but again this is only one piece of the puzzle. You see, we ALSO KNOW that Jesus said that he would be IN PARADISE with Jesus that very day. Now if you truly want to know if this thief was granted the opportunity to hear the GOSPEL in this place Jesus called PARADISE, then you will want to read the study "WHAT and WHERE is PARADISE?", but for now I want us to focus upon the thought as we continue this study in God's word that ever time you read a verse or passage of scripture that it is NOT the ONLY piece of the puzzle.
Question: Is this one verse ALL that the Bible has to say about WHAT one must do in order to be SAVED?
Most of you would say, Why NO, absolutely not, there are many other verses that speak about being saved. Some of you can even quote many of them by memory. But rather than just quoting these verses randomly I would like to take them in a specific order, which I will explain why a little later. So then, who ever has puzzle piece #2 if you do not mind would you please read the verse that is in your envelope with your puzzle piece, then after you are finished go ahead and place your puzzle piece on the table as see if it fits with the other two pieces that are already on the table.
#2.) Acts 2:21
without having ANY previous knowledge of the thief on the cross
realizing his worthiness of death for the sins that he committed and
then calling out to Jesus to remember him in his kingdom, would
anyone of us TRULY KNOW what God means by this ONE verse in Acts
2:21? What does it mean to CALL upon the NAME of the Lord? What does the word "SAVED" mean?
Some may wonder and ask WHAT NAME or what Lord?
Some may even wonder why do I need to be saved?
Or does the "WHOSOEVER" include me?
So you can see what I mean by just pulling out one verse to answer the question "WHAT must I do to be SAVED?" is not what the WHOLE word of God TRULY teaches us about what a person must do in order to be saved and obtain eternal life in the world to come.
Now we do learn something new from this particular
verse in Acts 2:21.
Question: Would anyone care to comment on what you have learned from this ONE verse that was just read in Acts 2:21 keeping in mind that you know absolutely NOTHING else about the Bible?
What I am trying to do is to get you to SEE is that we often draw CONCLUSIONS of what we believe a particular verse means, BECAUSE of the knowledge that we have ALREADY been TAUGHT. So then, WHAT IF we were TAUGHT WRONG? Then obviously this added conclusion would most likely be wrong as well. This is why it is important to lay aside as much as possible what we have previously been taught when we as trying to discern the TRUTH between two of more different points of view and even highly controversial subjects, and look at the passage of scripture with a fresh unobstructed unbiased look.
So then, for ME, I learned that WHOSOEVER of any person whatsoever may call upon the name of the Lord and they shall be SAVED.Before this verse we only knew about the THIEF that was convicted of his crime. So some may have conclude from that ONE verse that ONLY thieves could be saved, or ONLY those who were actually caught stealing needed to be saved. Who knows what runs though the minds of different people. My point is this, we must have MORE pieces of the puzzle in order to put together the picture that Almighty God wants us to see.
I also want to take a moment and point out that we also need to consider the CONTEXT and in the context we see the phase "And it shall come to PASS", which to ME, speaks of a FUTURE period of time. So then, after reading further in the CONTEXT of this verse I began to see in the previous verse that in the future there would be SIGNS in the SUN and in the MOON. And after comparing other verses in the Bible that spoke of this time in the future when these SIGNS shall appear I came to the conclusion that when or at this time in the future that the SUN shall be turn to darkness and the MOON shall be as blood, then those who are still alive and who CALL upon the NAME of the Lord shall be SAVED. Please read Acts 2:19,20, which is the context of verse 21 we just read.
20. The SUN shall be turned into darkness, and the MOON into blood, BEFORE that great and notable day of the Lord come (which is speaking of the WRATH of Almighty God being poured out in the last days):"
So to ME, I am seeing that when these signs shall appear, then at the TIME of mankind seeing these signs that WHOSOEVER will CALL upon the NAME of the Lord, then they shall be SAVED. I also see from comparing other verses of scripture with scripture that the word "SAVED" here in this particular verse does not mean the obtaining of eternal life at this point in time, but rather means being saved ALIVE from the wrath of Almighty God in order to go into the 1000 year reign of Jesus in their mortal bodies to be taught of the Lord.
You see, the word that is translated as "SAVED"
here is the Greek word "SOZO" and means saved, healed,
rescued, protected, safety, and being brought back into right
relationship with God. Again those who want to go deeper in the word
of God on this subject of the end of this present age when these signs shall
appear and men shall CALL upon the name of the Lord please read the
studies "The Great Tribulation verses the Wrath of God" and
the "Second Coming of Jesus", but for now let us continue
by considering some questions that some of you may be having,
particularly if you have never heard that this verse is referring to
a time in the FUTURE. Also those of you who may not know already the Bible study that will follow this study we are doing presently will be on the last days, the book of Revelation, and the second coming of Jesus. It is planned to be a six week study so again bring your Bibles and be prepared to take notes.
Now since I said this particular verse in Acts 2:21 is speaking of a FUTURE time, then some of you may be thinking does this mean that WHOSOEVER in other places of the Bible also means only in the future? That is to say, does this mean that NOT everyone is eligible to
call upon the Lord and be saved? HOW did you arrive at your conclusion?
Some of you may be thinking that since I said Acts 2:21 is speaking about the FUTURE that this means that ONLY at this particular time in the FUTURE that WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be SAVED and therefore may be wondering if WHOSOEVER calls upon the name of the Lord today will be saved?
Now to be perfectly honest and Biblical in order to answer these questions with SOUND Biblical TRUTH then we need to find more verses of scripture in order to compare these verses that we already have with what ever else we find in the word of God on this subject of WHAT must I do to be SAVED? We also as well need to consider all these questions that have been raised while we search and compare more scriptures with scripture.
So then, who has puzzle piece #3? Would you please read the verse you have with your puzzle piece, then after reading the verse place you puzzle piece on the table and see where it fits.
#3.) Acts 4:10-12
"Be it KNOWN unto you ALL, and to all the people of Israel, that BY the NAME of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even BY him does this man stand here before you whole.
Question: What did you learn from this particular passage of scripture in Acts 4:10-12?
Now to ME, this passage of scripture leaves absolute NO doubt that the NAME of Jesus of Nazareth is the ONLY name given among mankind whereby or the MEANS by which we MUST be SAVED. In other words, there is NO OTHER WAY to be saved and obtain eternal life in the world to come other than through Jesus Christ the Son of Almighty God.
Question: What other verses do you know of in the Bible that teach us this SAME TRUTH which we learned in Acts 4:10-12 about the name of Jesus being the ONLY name under heaven whereby we must be saved?
How about John 14:6, which CLEARLY teaches us that the ONLY WAY to have access to Almighty God the Father is through his Son Jesus. Those of you that have your Bible with you please turn to the gospel of John chapter 14 and anyone who wants may go ahead and read verse 6 please.
So to ME, it is absolute CLEAR that Jesus is the NAME and as well from other verses in the Bible we know that Jesus is the Lord that WHOSOEVER shall CALL upon and be SAVED.
But some may be wondering does the WHOSOEVER really mean whatever person in all the world whoever calls on the NAME of Jesus as their Lord and savior shall be SAVED?
And WHEN does this WHOSOEVER shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved go into effect? NOW, in the FUTURE, or BOTH?
Who has puzzle piece #4? Would you read the verse that is with your puzzle piece, and then see if it fits together with any of the other puzzle pieces when you are done reading the passage of scripture that you have?
#4.) John 3:15-18
did you learn from this particular passage of scripture in John 3:15-18?
So then, from this verse it is made clear that Jesus was sent by Almighty God the Father as the atonement for the sins of the WHOLE WORLD. In other words, WHOSOEVER of whatever person in the whole world who BELIEVES in the NAME of Jesus, the Son of Almighty God, shall be SAVED and obtain ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come.
Question: So then, is this what we just read these 4 passages of scripture ALL that the Bible has to say on what we must do to be saved?
Again many of you will immediately agree that the Bible does indeed have much more to say about what we must do in order to be saved and obtain eternal life in the world to come. So then, who has puzzle piece #5? Would you mind reading the passage of scripture that you have in your envelope please?
#5.) Romans 10:8-14
So then, the answer to our earlier question is that WHOSOEVER means what ever person in all the world no matter WHO they are or WHEN they call upon the name of the Lord they shall be SAVED. In other words, the WHOSOEVER is NOT limited to just the FUTURE when these signs in the sun and the moon shall be seen, but rather means BOTH now and in the future.
However, we must keep in mind or in our memory the DEFINITION of the Greek word "SOZO" which in both places in the Bible, the verse in Acts 2:21, which speaks of a time in the FUTURE and the passage of scripture in Romans 10:8-14, which speaks of NOW, when we consider what the Greek word "SOZO" actually means in the context of where it is found.
For example in BOTH of these cases the Greek word "SOZO" mean being brought back into right relationship with Almighty God or RECONCILED to God. But as I said before, in Acts 2:21 the Greek word "SOZO" does not include the meaning of ETERNAL LIFE at that particular time, because those of the nations who call upon the name of the Lord when they see these signs in the sun and in the moon will go into the 1000 year reign of Jesus in their MORTAL bodies and this would not be possible if the Greek word "SOZO" actually means in this verse that they are saved in that they receive eternal life right at that moment in time. To truly understand what I am saying those of you who have never heard this before you need to read the in-depth study that I have called "The Great Tribulation Verses the Wrath of God".
But again, with these verses that we have already read most of you will agree that this is NOT ALL that the word of God has to say on WHAT we must DO in order to be SAVED. So then, who ever has puzzle piece #7 would you please read the verse that is with your puzzle piece and then when you are finished go ahead and see where you puzzle piece might fit?
# 6.) Mark 16:15,16
you learn from this particular verse if scripture in Mark 16:15,16? Have you ever heard preachers dogmatically teach that BAPTISM does NOT SAVE a person? If so, then HOW does this verse fit in to God's PLAN as to what HE says in his WHOLE word as to WHAT we MUST DO in order to be SAVED?
to ME, here in this passage of scripture I see an ADDITIONAL
that I myself see as being required in order for us to be SAVED, because to ME, I personally cannot TAKE AWAY from God's word by simple ignoring this verse of scripture. To ME, if must fit in the big picture of God's PLAN of salvation. In other words, we cannot just throw it out and pretend it does not exist. For
a deeper understanding on this subject of baptism being a requirement
or a CONDITION that must be met in order to be saved please read the
study entitled "HOW BAPTISM SAVES!" This in-depth study may
surprise many of you. Proverbs 18:12,13 teaches us that only a fool judges a matter BEFORE he hears the WHOLE matter. And the reason he is a fool to judge a matter BEFORE he hears the WHOLE matter is because of his PRIDE. He or she THINKS that they already KNOW the matter, but in truth they have not HEARD the WHOLE matter.
"Before destruction the heart of man is haughty (or full of pride thinking they know that which they truly do not know), and before honor is humility.
So then, take the time and read the WHOLE matter that is laid out in-depth for you in the study called "How baptism SAVES", but for now let us move on to the next piece of the puzzle and we will see that being BAPTIZED is actually PART of the GOSPEL that is being PREACHED by the apostles. Who has piece #7? Would you please read the passage of scripture that is with your puzzle piece and again when you are finished reading please go ahead and see where you piece of the puzzle fits?
#7.) Acts 2:21-41
Question: What have we learned so far from ALL of these verses of scripture that we have read when we put them all TOGETHER?
Let me see if I can summarize what we have learned by comparing scripture with scripture. From the thief on the cross I myself have learned that in order to be ACCEPTED by God or RECONCILED as in "SOZO" or placed back into right relationship with Almighty God on must first recognize that he or she has sinned and is worthy of the punishment of death.
The next thing that I have learned is that we must CALL upon the name of the Lord Jesus in order to be saved, as in, forgiven of all our sins.
I also learned that just saying that we are sorry for our sins is not all that is required of us, but we must also REPENT or turn away from sinning. So then, in this verse we see that not only are we to realize that we are guilty and worthy of death for the sins that we have committed, but we are called to REPENT of our sins and ALSO follow up in OBEDIENCE and be BAPTIZED in the name of Jesus. Please read the study "TRUE BIBLICAL REPENTANCE" for a deeper understanding of what it truly means to REPENT of your sins, and the study "HOW BAPTISM SAVES US!" to understand the MEANING of what baptism truly is and why we are baptized in water. But for now let us move on the puzzle piece #8. Who ever has piece #8 please read the scripture that you have and then fit your puzzle piece into place.
#8.) Romans 8:24,25
Question: Does HOPE save us? If so HOW does HOPE save us? Is this verse in Romans 8:24,25 the ONLY verse in the Bible that teaches us about HOW we are SAVED?
Now if someone where to take this passage of scripture out of it's context and try to teach that this is ALL a person must do in order to be SAVED is to simply HOPE that they are SAVED, because this passage of scripture CLEARLY states that we are SAVED BY HOPE, then many of you would probably get up and leave the room and not consider anything this person has to say, BECAUSE you yourself KNOW that the word of TRUTH, the Holy Bible has MORE to say about what we must do in order to be SAVED.
My point is this, EXACTLY! There is MORE than just the few verses that we here over and over which in TRUTH do teach us that we are saved by FAITH ALONE or we are saved by GRACE ALONE. So which is it? I have heard both sides argued dogmatically with no willingness to LISTEN to what the OTHER side has to say.
So then, is it GRACE ALONE, or is it FAITH ALONE that saves us. perhaps it is BOTH. Well if it is BOTH, hen there can be no ALONE when it comes to what we must do to be saved. You can search the scriptures all the way from beginning to the end and you will not find the term ALONE used with either GRACE nor FAITH.
With that being said who ever has puzzle piece #9 go ahead and read the passage of scripture that you have in your envelope.
#9.) Ephesians 2:8,9
Question: Is this passage of scripture in Ephesians 2:8,9 the ONLY passage in the entire Bible that teaches us what we must do in order to be SAVED?
Clearly to ME, it is NOT all the word of TRUTH has to
say about what we must do in order to be saved. So why then, do so
many Christians dogmatically teach that this one verse says it all? When clearly this one passage of scripture is not ALL that the word of truth has to teach us about what we must do to be saved.
we just IGNORE these OTHER verses of scripture, which teach us that there are CONDITIONS that we must DO in order to be SAVED? HOW do we FIT them into the BIG picture of God's PLAN of salvation, because we just cannot IGNORE them, reason them away or throw them OUT like they are NOT part of God PLAN of salvation?
What do we do with these other verses then, since this verse in Ephesians 2:8,9 clearly states we are not saved by WORKS? Does not being obedient to the word of God seem to you as a WORK? What IF you refused to be baptized, because you do NOT want to have ANY WORKS as a part or a CONDITION for you to be SAVED?
My point is this, NONE of these verses of passages of
scripture ALONE teach us ALL of what we must do in order to be SAVED
and obtain eternal life in the world to come. We must have ALL the
pieces of the puzzle BEFORE we can truly understand the BIG PICTURE of what Almighty God wants us to see as HIS plan of salvation for us.
You see, if we just throw pieces of the puzzle or verses of scripture to the side that do NOT fit our THEOLOGY, then we are TAKING AWAY from what the WHOLE word of God is teaching us. With that being said let us take a look at the next piece of the puzzle. Whoever has puzzle piece # 10 go ahead and please read the passage of scripture that you have and then fit the piece into position.
# 10.) Romans 5:5-10
Question: Does anyone have any questions or comments on this passage of scripture in Romans 5:5-10?
Now to ME, I am seeing from this passage of scripture that the TRUE BIBLICAL meaning of what it means to be SAVED is broken down into TWO parts.
Question: Does any one want to expound upon what the FIRST part of being SAVED means according to this particular passage of scripture?
to ME, I see that the sinner is FIRST RECONCILED
back to God BY the DEATH of his Son Jesus as being the FIRST PART or
the first STEP of being SAVED. The word "RECONCILE" means
to re-establish a relationship or friendship between. So then, when
one is reconciled to God they are "SOZO" or SAVED, in that,
they are brought back into right relationship with Almighty God. To ME, this is what the word "SAVED" means when pertaining to the FIRST part or step of BEING SAVED. You see, the words "BELIEVE" and "SAVED" are both CONTINUOUS verbs as in, we must continue to believe in order to be saved, and we are continually BEING saved. In other words, salvation is a process that conforms us to the image of Jesus. I will explain this more fully as we continue this study in God's word.
Now it is TRUE that if, like the thief on the cross, one would die shortly after being reconciled or SAVED, as in, being brought back into right relationship with Almighty God, BEFORE they were to commit any further sin, then they would no doubt receive ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come. But the truth of the matter is that at the moment a person call upon the name of Jesus and is saved they do not ACTUALLY receive eternal life at that point in time. In truth, what we as believers are given when we accept Jesus as our savior is the PROMISE of eternal life that is based upon certain CONDITIONS that must be met in order for the promise to be fulfilled.In other words, IF we do this, then we will inherit eternal life in the world to come, but if we do NOT DO that which God plainly spells out for us to do in his word, then we will NOT inherit eternal life in the world to come.
Now I believe we would all agree that WHOSOEVER BELIEVES
the gospel of Jesus Christ and REPENTS of their sins and calls upon
the name of Jesus on their deathbed will without fail be forgiven of
all their sins and would in fact receive eternal life in the world to
come WITHOUT having done anything other than BELIEVING upon the name of Jesus and the sacrifice he made for them.
However, there seems to be a DIVISION in the body of Christ in that some Christians believe that once a person accepts Jesus as their personal savior, then they are ETERNALLY SAVED! Case closed! They say, the Bible says that we are SAVED by GRACE and NOT of WORKS and that we HAVE ETERNAL LIFE NOW! Therefore when a person believes the gospel and accepts Jesus as their savior, then they are SAVED at the MOMENT they confessed their sins and they are ETERNALLY SAVED and therefore they can NEVER ever lose their salvation no matter what! End of discussion! God does NOT give you a GIFT and then take it away from you!
But what does the WHOLE word of God teach us on what we
must do in order to be saved and obtain eternal life in the world to
comes? I do not want to get real hot and heavy in this particular
Bible study by covering all the verses that those who teach the once
saved always saved doctrine or the doctrine of eternal security. So then, for
those of you who desire to get a deeper understanding on this subject
of OSAS or Once Saved Always Saved, and the doctrine of eternal security please read the study entitled "IS ONCE SAVED ALWAYS SAVED BIBLICAL?" Perhaps we can do a group Bible study on this topic at a later time.
I will say now that I myself do believe in a form of eternal security, in that, ANY believer can BECOME fully PERSUADED in his or her OWN heart and mind that they themselves will never lose their salvation, but I do NOT believe that this assurance is AUTOMATICALLY imparted to every believer as a GUARANTEE that they shall never lose their salvation the moment they accepted Jesus as the savior. In other words, each individual person needs to take the responsibility to PERSEVERE in their faith unto the end and be found faithful in order to obtain their reward of ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come. I am quite confident that this TRUTH will be clearly seen if so be you continue in this study with an open heart and mind to seek the truth of the whole word of God.
With that being said let us continue in this Bible study to see what must do in order to be saved. So then, who ever has puzzle piece #11 would you please read the passage of scripture that is with your piece of the puzzle.
#11.) Romans 3:19-28
25. Whom God has set forth to be a propitiation (or an atonement for sins) through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the REMISSION of sins that are PAST, through the forbearance of God;
Question: What did you learn from this passage of scripture in Romans 3:19-28?
In verse 21 we learned that ALL the world is GUILTY before God.
Question: Do any other verses come to mind which teach us that we are all guilty before Almighty God and that we all are in need of a savior?
How about Romans 3:23, which says,
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;"
Galatians 3:22 also teaches us that God has CONCLUDED us ALL to be under sin and therefore the whole human race is guilty before him. But God did this so that he could shed forth his love and grace upon us to bring us back into right relationship with him.
"But the scripture has CONCLUDED ALL under sin,(but WHY? Why did God conclude the whole human race to be under sin and therefore fallen short of his glory?)THAT (or so that) the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe."
We read something very similar to this in Romans 11:32 when speaking of Israel once again being brought back to God.
In others words, God's plan that he kept secret from the foundation of the world is that the REDEMPTION of mankind and the salvation of those who believe come THROUGH his Son Jesus of Nazareth, the LAMB that was slain in the mind of Almighty God before he ever created mankind.
We also see from this passage of scripture that those of us who believe in Jesus Christ as our sacrificial lamb are FREELY JUSTIFIED by having ALL of our PAST sins forgiven. So then from Romans 3:25 we begin seeing that our salvation is divided into stages. The first stages is that we are FREELY reconciled, justified, redeemed and "SOZO", as in, we are brought back into right relationship with Almighty God by his GRACE through FAITH and NOT of any WORKS which we have done.
Now if we go on and continue to read in Ephesians
chapter 2 we will clearly see the reason of why Almighty God saved
us, OR MORE precisely WHY God RECONCILED us back to himself. Remember and keep in mind the the meaning of the Greek word "SOZO" that is TRANSLATED as SAVED also mean being placed back into RIGHT RELATIONSHIP with Almighty God.
Please read Ephesians 2:8-10, which teaches us that we are saved and made NEW creatures in Christ Jesus to DO GOOD WORKS of righteousness.
"For by grace are you saved through faith; and THAT (speaking of the GRACE of God, the SALVATION that was given to us from God, which we received THROUGH the FAITH that God has given to EVERY person. In other words, ALL three are a GIFT from God so that being placed back into right relationship with God is) NOT of yourselves: it (GRACE, SALVATION, and FAITH) is the GIFT of God:
Question: So then, what if we fail to walk in righteousness and do good works? What if we SIN? We know that all our PAST sins are forgiven, but what about FUTURE sins that we may commit?
We know from 1 John 1:9 that if we CONFESS our sins that
God is FAITHFUL and JUST to FORGIVE us of our sins. But John goes on
to write further in the next chapter that we are NOT to sin, but IF
we do and NOT WHEN we sin as many of us are taught today that you WILL sin so get used to it because it is a part of life. But the word of truth says IF we sin, then we have and ADVOCATE with Almighty God the Father, which
is Jesus Christ our Lord. So then, all our PAST sins are forgiven us as well as any sin both now and in the future that we MAY or may not commit are forgiven us IF we REPENT and CONFESS of sin.
Who ever has puzzle piece #12 would you please read the passage of scripture that is in your envelope and then when you are finished go ahead and fit your piece in the puzzle.
#12.) 1 John 2:1-6
Now for some of you this may be the first time that you
have ever heard that we are to WALK EVEN AS Jesus walked, which was WITHOUT SIN. If so, then do not get to deep in fear and worry that you will never be able to live your life without sin, because God does NOT expect you to OBEY his commandments in your OWN strength. We will talk about this more later on in this study.
But for now I want you to read verse 4 again. Does this verse teach us that if we SAY that we are SAVED and do NOT keep the commandments of God, then we LIE and the TRUTH is NOT IN us?
To ME, it definitely does teach me that if we willingly DISOBEY the commandments of God, then we SIN and the wages of sin is DEATH.
Question: So then, how do we reconcile these seemingly contradictory statements in God's word?
Are we FREELY SAVED?
Is our salvation CONDITIONAL?
The only way that I myself have found to harmonize these APPARENT contradictions in God's word is to teach that our salvation comes in STAGES. The first stage is that we are FREELY justified, reconciled, redeemed, or "SAVED", as in, brought back into right relationship with God.
And then the second stage of our salvation, which is the
RECEIVING of our reward of ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come is
CONDITIONAL upon our WALK with God after we have been reconciled back
to him. Again I will explain this further as we continue this study.
Who ever has puzzle piece #13 go ahead and read the passage of scripture that you have with your puzzle piece.
#13.) Mark 10:17-30
21.Then Jesus beholding him LOVED him, and said unto him, One thing you lack: go your way, sell whatsoever you have, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
29. And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that has left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,
I want you to notice that the question that this young rich man asked Jesus was WHAT must I DO in order to inherit ETERNAL LIFE? You see, when we see the DIFFERENCE between being SAVED, as in, being brought back into right relationship with Almighty God from the believer OBTAINING his of her reward of ETERNAL LIFE in the world to COME, then it is easy to see the TRUTH about the later stage of our salvation being CONDITIONAL upon our WALK with God.
Now some Christians believe and teach that we may lose our REWARDS, but we shall never lose our salvation. We will take a look at one of the verses that they use to come to this line of reasoning later on in this study, but for now I want to give you the scriptures or the pieces of the puzzle that will complete the bigger picture of what we must do in order to be saved and to receive eternal life in the world to come.
Questions: Are there any questions on this passage of scripture we just read in Mark chapter 10, verses 17-30 before we move deeper into the word of God?
Who ever has puzzle piece #14 would you please read the passage of scripture that you have in your envelope and then fit your piece into the puzzle.
#14.) Galatians 6:1-9
All through the word of God we find these CONDITIONAL statements that IF we DO or do NOT do this or that, then we shall be BLESSED, or shall RECEIVE some blessing or reward for our OBEDIENCE and trust in Almighty God. And even though it is not always spelled out for us as it is in this particular passage of scripture it should be obvious that IF we do NOT DO the things God requires of us, then we will NOT REAP or obtain that INTENDED BLESSING of Almighty God has PROMISED to his faithful and OBEDIENT followers.
Questions: Does anyone have any questions on Galatians 6:1-9 before we take a look at the next piece of the puzzle?
Who ever has puzzle piece #15 would you please read the passages of scripture that you have?
#15. Matthew 10:16-22 / Matthew 24:8-13
13. But he (or YOU) that shall ENDURE UNTO the END, the SAME shall be SAVED."
Question: What does the term unto the END mean to you? What is Jesus talking about here in these passages of scripture in Matthew 10:16-22 and in Matthew 24:8-14?
Now to ME, the END speaks of the END of our natural mortal life. In that we must be found FAITHFUL UNTO the END in order to be SAVED and be accounted worthy to receive our inheritance or promise of ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come. I also see the END as speaking of when Jesus returns. In other words, which ever one comes first for each individual will be the END of the FINISHING of their good FIGHT of FAITH.
Questions: Does anyone see a difference in these two passages of scripture in Matthew chapters 10:16-22 and 24:8-14?
For ME, I see the focus in the first passage of scripture is on PERSECUTION and holding fast to the confession of our faith by NOT denying our Lord Jesus Christ. And in the second passage of scripture I see the added focus upon how SIN shall ABOUND and how sin will creep into the church and DECEIVE many believers into following the lust of the flesh over obeying the Holy Spirit, which takes us back to Galatians 6:1-9 that teaches us that WE shall REAP what we sow.
In other words, we shall RECEIVE the reward of our WORKS meaning if our works are having SIN in our lives when Jesus comes again or when we die we shall REAP everlasting contempt, and if we remain FAITHFUL unto the END by having our WORKS being found RIGHTEOUS in that we are found without sin, without spot or blemish we shall REAP the reward of ETERNAL LIFE.
But before we go deeper into the word of God taking a closer look at the verse that teaches us about the wages of sin I would like to take a look at a few more verses that have the focus on not denying our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.
Question: Does any one have any questions or comments before we take a look at puzzle piece #16?
Who ever has puzzle piece #16 please read the passage of scripture that you have in your envelope, and then when you are finish go ahead and fit your piece of puzzle into the picture.
#16.) Mark 8:31-38 / Luke 17:33
38. Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."
Question: Does anyone have any thoughts as to what Jesus means by those seeking to save their lives shall lose their lives, and those who lose their lives shall save their lives?
Me personally, I like the choice of the translators who chose to use the word "PRESERVE" as opposed to SAVE here in the gospel of Luke. To ME it gives us a CLEARER picture of the whole word of God, because we ourselves do not SAVE ourselves in our OWN strength. To ME, the word "PRESERVE" shows simple OBEDIENCE, rather than choosing our own way in which we ourselves think will please God.
any one have any questions or comments? Is Jesus just talking about our physical lives that we shall lose? Or is Jesus teaching us that if we seek to save our physical lives by denying him that we shall LOSE the promise of ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come?
Now while these passages of scripture speak about both the giving up of our own fleshly desire including that of material things, and the loving NOT our lives even unto death, I want to focus on the laying down of our lives for the sake of Jesus and the gospel as in, being persecuted and even martyred. Who ever has puzzle piece # 17 would you please read the passage of scripture that you have?
#17.) Luke 13:23-28
25. When once the master of the house is risen up, and has shut to the door, and you begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you NOT whence you are:
Question: What does this word "STRAIT" mean to you here in Luke 13:24?
When I looked up this word "STRAIT" in the Strong's exhaustive concordance found here in Luke 13:24 I found the Strong's number (4728) and also found that this same Greek word "STENOS" is used in Matthew 7:13,14 as well and means narrow, strait. This is most likely what many of us have been taught that this word means.
But I remember from a study I did a long time ago that I found something that I had NOT ever been taught about the strait gate that I feel should be taught, so I looked the word "STRAIT" up in the American Heritage Dictionary to see if my memory would be refreshed.
This dictionary defines the word "STRAIT" as a narrow passage connecting two wide bodies of water, a position of DIFFICULTY, perplexity, distress or NEED. This word also means STRICT, rigid, or righteous, narrow, restricted, and to draw tight.
Question: What do you think a captain of a ship does when he is going through a "STRAIT" or a very narrow space?
Well to ME, I believe he would pay very CLOSE ATTENTION as he navigates his ship through this strait with very little room to make a mistake.
Let us read Matthew 7:12-27, that teaches us that there will be FALSE teachers among us that are really WOLVES dressed in sheep clothing. In other words, they may SAY that they are Christians, but there WORKS, or the FRUIT that they bear show us that the TRUTH does not ABIDE in them, because they are workers of INIQUITY or SIN.
"Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, DO you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.(this is the golden rule that every believer should live there life by, DO unto others as you would have them do unto you)
13. Enter ye in at the STRAIT gate: (WHY? Why does Jesus WARN us to STRIVE to enter in at the difficult and narrow passage?) FOR (or because) wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leads to destruction, and many there be which go in there at:
22. MANY will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? And in your NAME have cast out devils (if your not a true born again believer then you have NO authority to use the NAME of Jesus to cast out devils and the devils will attack you)? And in your name done many wonderful works?
23. And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that WORK INIQUITY. (there are some that want to argue that these people were never really saved to begin with because Jesus use the phrase I NEVER knew you. However, in Luke we have this same account repeated to us and the word "NEVER" does NOT appear in the text. Jesus simply says DEPART from me you WORKERS of INIQUITY for I know you NOT)
These are some SERIOUS pieces of the puzzle to just
LEAVE out, because they do not fit the PICTURE that we have been
TAUGHT as what must I do to be saved, which is for many of us,
simply BELIEVE on the name of Jesus and you shall be SAVED. In other words, WORKS play no part in our salvation. That is to say many of us have been TAUGHT that, we do good works because we ARE saved and we do them out of LOVE and thanksgiving to God for saving us, but we are NOT REQUIRED to do good works to KEEP us saved. How many of you have been TAUGHT this way or something very similar? I know that I myself have heard many times that we are NOT saved BY WORKS and therefore we in NO WAY KEEP ourselves SAVED by DOING GOOD WORKS.
However, the word of TRUTH is literally filled with these kinds of verses of scripture that clearly teach us that we MUST CONTINUE steadfastly in our faith in order to be found worthy to obtain ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come. There are WARNINGS in nearly every book of the New Testament for the church to be a DOER of the word, for the believer to OBEY the gospel, for the believer to RESIST the devil, for the believer to FLEE all types of SIN, and for the believer to WALK EVEN as Jesus walked. But yet many of us are taught that SIN is a PART of our lives, as in, we are EXPECTED to SIN.
Now I personally do NOT believe that SIN has any more DOMINION over us. For a deeper understand as to HOW you can live FREE form SIN please read the study "HOW TO LIVE FREE FROM SIN!", but for now I want us to check out the Strong's concordance to see what the word "NARROW" means in the Greek language.
The word that is translated as narrow is the Greek word "THLIBO" which means to press upon, to crowd up to, to PERSECUTE, to cause trouble, to be narrow, to be troubled, to be afflicted and to suffer tribulation.
So then, the STRAIT gate and the NARROW way is a way that is needs our FULL ATTENTION in order to get THROUGH it. The mere use of the words STRIVE to enter and that there are those who SEEK to enter but are not able and only a FEW find their way through shows to ME, that we can NOT do this ALONE in our OWN strength. Even in one of the definitions we see the word NEED. In other words, with man it is IMPOSSIBLE, but WITH God it is CLEARLY not just merely possible, but rather it is EXPECTED of us to be a DOER of the word of God and NOT just a hearer only whereby we DECEIVE our own self.
Questions: Does any one have any questions or comments?
Who ever has puzzle piece #18 would you be so kind as to read the passage of scripture that you have and then fit your piece of the puzzle int the picture.
#18.) 1 Peter 4:12-19
Question: Have you COMMITTED the keeping of you soul to your faithful creator?
The Bible teaches us that we can become FULLY PERSUADED that God is able to KEEP ALL that we have COMMITTED unto him against that day of our Lord's return. Please read 2 Timothy 1:11-13, which teaches us to HOLD fast and KNOW that God is FOR us and NOT against us.
12. For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I KNOW whom I have believed, and am PERSUADED that he is able to KEEP that which I have COMMITTED unto him against that day.
Question: Does reading this passage of scripture in 2 Timothy 1:11-13 bring any other passages of scripture to your remembrance?
One comes to my mind, so who ever has puzzle piece #19 would you please read the passage of scripture that you have in your envelope.
#19.) Romans 8:35-39
Question: What does this passage of scripture in Romans 8:35-39 mean to you?
Now for ME personally I have read from teachings on Once Saved Always Saved that use this passage of scripture to try and support their reasons that once a person accepts Jesus as their savior, then they are ETERNALLY SAVED from that point on and therefore can NEVER lose their salvation no matter what.
Question: Does you see how one can draw this conclusion of being ETERNALLY SAVED from this ONE piece of the puzzle?
Now I myself am really big on believing the promises found in God's word, and no matter how much that I would love to believe in this doctrine of eternal security, I simply cannot, because to ME, there are far too many pieces of the puzzle that clearly show that from the time we accept Jesus as our savior till the time we receive the END of our salvation there are CONDITIONS that we must without fail be meet in order to receive ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come and IF we do NOT meet these CONDITIONS, then those believers who do NOT overcome shall NOT receive their crown of eternal life. For a deeper understanding on this subject of O.S.A.S., or once saved always saved and the teaching of eternal security please read the study "DOES the BIBLE Teach that Once a Person is Saved Then They are ALWAYS SAVED?".
But for now I want you to know and understand that I do believe that ANY believer came BECOME FULLY PERSUADED in his of her OWN mind and heart that THEY THEMSELVES will never ever lose their salvation, and that this FAITH that they have developed from reading and meditating on God's word will produce in THEM that DILIGENCE to PERSEVERE unto the END to the receiving of ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come. However, I do NOT believe that this FAITH in having the ASSURANCE that you shall never cast away your faith is automatically transferred to every believer, but must be pursued by each individual and kept strong. But again this is another study in and of itself, which we will do if the majority of the group wants to study this subject more in-depth.
Who ever has puzzle piece #20 go ahead and please read the passage of scripture that you have in the envelope and then fit your piece into the puzzle.
#20.) Hebrews 10:23-39
29. Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who has trodden under foot the Son of God, and has counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and has done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
38. Now the JUST (those who are JUSTIFIED, RECONCILED or brought back into right relationship with Almighty God by faith) shall LIVE BY FAITH (in other words, we as believers should LIVE RIGHTEOUSLY and godly in this present world before God BY FAITH): but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
Question: What does the phrase the just shall live by faith mean to you?
Who ever has puzzle piece #21 would you please read the passage of scripture that you have and then fit you piece in with the puzzle.
#21.) Revelation 2:1-22
10. Fear none of those things which you shall suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that you may be tried; and you shall have tribulation ten days: be you FAITHFUL UNTO DEATH, and I will give you a crown of LIFE.
13. I know your WORKS, and where you dwell, even where Satan's seat is: and you hold fast my name, and have not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwells.
14. BUT I have a FEW things AGAINST you, because you have there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
17. He that has an ear, let him HEAR what the Spirit says unto the CHURCHES; To him that OVERCOMES will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it.
20. Notwithstanding I have a FEW things AGAINST you, because you suffer that woman Jezebel, which calls herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
23. And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searches the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of YOU (speaking to the CHURCHES) according to your WORKS.
Question: So what about those believes who draw back and do NOT overcome, will these UNFAITHFUL believers still receive their PROMISE of ETERNAL LIFE in the world to come?
How many times do you see the words "WORKS" and "OVERCOME"?
Now to ME, this warning that Jesus gives to the WHOLE CHURCH definitely teaches ME that if I do NOT overcome the enemy that tempts me, then I will give into temptation and sin and the wages of sin is DEATH. But if I am overcome by the enemy and do sin, then I must REPENT in order to be restored to a right relationship with Almighty God. It is when a believer does NOT overcome and does NOT REPENT that if they die in this state of sin that they will LOSE their reward of ETERNAL LIFE and will be cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death.
Who ever has puzzle piece #22 would you please read the passage of scripture that you have?
#22.) Revelation 3:1-22
3. Remember therefore how you have received and heard, and HOLD FAST, and REPENT. If therefore you shall NOT watch, I will come on you as a THIEF, and you shall not know what hour I will come upon you.
5. He that OVERCOMES, the SAME shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will NOT blot out his name out of the book of LIFE, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.
7. And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things says he that is holy, he that is true, he that has the key of David, he that opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens;
9. Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.
12. Him that OVERCOMES will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
18. I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
Question: Do you see the repeated pattern of Jesus seeing our WORKS and even though some of our works are good Jesus warns us that he has a few things against us that we need to REPENT of in order to be found perfect before Almighty God.
Whoever has puzzle piece #23 please go ahead and read the passage of scripture that you have in your envelope.
#23.) Revelation 22:10-15
12. And, behold, I come quickly; and my REWARD (singular, as in one reward for each faithful believer and one reward to mete out to the workers of iniquity) is with me, to give every man ACCORDING as his WORK shall be.
14. BLESSED are THEY that DO his COMMANDMENTS, that THEY (speaking of ONLY those who DO or KEEP the COMMANDMENTS of Almighty God) may have RIGHT to the tree of LIFE, and may ENTER IN through the gates into the city.
Question: Now that you have seen these OTHER pieces of the puzzle have they helped you see how vitally important it is to be faithful to DO good works and to OBEY the leading of the Holy Spirit of Almighty God?
Whoever has the puzzle piece #24 would you please read the final scripture that I want to point out to you in this study of what must I DO to be SAVED?
#24.) Romans 1:16,17
"For I am not ashamed of the GOSPEL of Christ: for IT (the gospel) is the POWER of God UNTO salvation to every one that BELIEVES (speaking of CONTINUALLY believing unto the END); to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
17. For therein (or within the GOSPEL) is the righteousness of God revealed from FAITH to FAITH: as it is written, The JUST (those who have already been freely justified or brought back into right relationship with God) shall LIVE BY FAITH."
Now for ME the word of God says that we must work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. And I believe that the Holy Spirit has shown me that it IS possible for us to LIVE without sin.
The Holy Spirit has shown me how to OVERCOME one temptation at a time BY FAITH. So them from temptation to temptation I overcome from FAITH to FAITH.
You see, one must FIRST BELIEVE that they CAN live without sin, before they will be EMPOWERED by the GOSPEL and the Holy Spirit to OVERCOME.
Job 5:24 teaches us that there is coming a time that we
shall NOT SIN and I personally believe that we are fast approaching
that time. The context of this verse of scripture leads me to believe that it is speaking of the time of great tribulation. I will explain more on this in the next Bible study series,which will be on the last days and the return of Jesus.
I know that there are some here who wrestle with the same sins over and over and deep inside you hate that you can not seem to get victory over this area of your life. If you are truly tired of fighting and seemingly always losing these battles with them enemy, then I implore you to read the study "HOW TO LIVE FREE FROM SIN!"
Remember the JUST shall LIVE BY FAITH. Are you BELIEVING The PROMISES that are in God's word? We began our walk with God THROUGH FAITH and seeing it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God without faith, then for certain we will use our FAITH to DO the WORKS of God.
Next week we will begin a six week series on the end times and the second coming of Jesus.
Are there any questions or comments?
Thanks for being such attentive students of God's word.
Your brother in our Lord Jesus Christ,
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