Do all christians grow spiritually in life?

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by BrotherJoseph, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. BrotherJoseph

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    Brethren,

    For this thread, I would like to discuss the following related topics/questions- As a result of being born again is it an inevitable cause that all Christians will grow or will there be some who remain "babes in Christ" there entire life? Also, as we know from some of the believers in the church of Corinth it is conceivable for a Christian to be "carnal" during times in there life (all Christians will experience this from time to time due to their inherited sin nature), but can we then also conclude it is a possibility that a true Christian can live a constant state of carnality their entire life or does the new birth and God's grace prevent that? Another question, Is it upon God or the child of God to cause one to live out the Christian life in a Godly matter?

    Furthermore, scripture teaches us that a believer can be given over in time to their flesh's wicked desires and as a result even commit horrendous vile sins such as is the case of David murdering Uriah, having an affair with Bathsheba, and Peter denying Christ three times, however can we then conclude it is possible for a born again child of God to for example live in a continual state of being a drunkard, adulterer, etc, yet still be a true child of God.? Finally, is the flesh nature we all inherit from Adam somehow changed, improved, or transformed upon a child of God becoming born from above? I would appreciate only responses from posters who desire to back up their replies with support from scripture.

    God Bless,

    Brother Joe
     
  2. SovereignGrace

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    Brother Joseph, I think the bible is explicitly clear that sanctification is an ongoing process throughout the life of the believer. I consider sanctification as spiritual growth, growing more mature and more and more into the image of Christ. Jesus stated thusly in John 15 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.[vss 5-8] Now, I do not think anyone who is truly in Christ, has been engrafted into the True Vine, will ever be cut off. I think what Jesus was saying here is that those who think they were in Christ and wondered off, never to return, where never engrafted to begin with. If that were a possibility, then us forfeiting our salvation would be a possibility. We, once we have been grafted into Christ, we take upon ourselves His nature. Though in our flesh, it hinders our walk with Him, yet He is there leading the way. In Romans 11 Paul stated If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,(Olive Root is Christ) do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.[vss 17-21]


    Then David wrote this in Psalms 80 Why have you broken down its walls so that all who pass by pick its grapes?
    Boars from the forest ravage it, and insects from the fields feed on it. Return to us, God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see! Watch over this vine, the root your right hand has planted the son you have raised up for yourself. Your vine is cut down, it is burned with fire; at your rebuke your people perish. Let your hand rest on the man at your right hand, the son of man you have raised up for yourself. Then we will not turn away from you; revive us, and we will call on your name. Restore us, Lord God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.
    [vss 12-19] Even in this passage in Psalms, you can see how those who looked to God(they looked to Christ too, because you can not truly serve God without serving Christ{and I think Christ is Jehovah of the OT}) had a different talk, a different walk. Those who truly called out to God from a contrite spirit and a broken heart had already had the birth from above. They had already been engrafted into that True Vine.

    So, if you are truly in Christ, you will spiritually grow.
     
  3. BrotherJoseph

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    Brother Sovereign,

    I agree if one is truly in Christ they will grow. The reason is because it is, "God that giveth the increase" (1 Corinthians 3:7)

    Just as a little child grows in this time world, so will the Spirit in manifesting Himself more and more as a believer grows older.

    Do you believe the flesh is changed during regeneration? Also how do you define sanctification in the sense you used it in your post above, to make holy, to set apart, or some other way?

    I ran across a writing comparing spiritual growth to lilies and found it quite interesting. It addresses how I think many of todays professors of religion error in thinking they can grow themselves through various religious exercises. I posted a portion of the article below. It appeared
    in The Signs of The Times by Fred W. Keene. It blessed me so I thought I would share a few quotes from the article below. If any desire to read the entire article it can be found here http://www.asweetsavor.info/efk/correspondence37.php

    "“Consider the lilies how they grow.” How do the lilies grow? “They toil not, they spin not.” “Israel show grow as the lily.” – Hosea xiv. 5. How utterly opposed to this is the teaching of the religious world. Their notion of growing in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is that we must be up and doing, must be constant readers of the scriptures, must fill our place every time at preaching, must help according to our means to support the preacher, must give of our substance to the poor and needy, and in all things show a good example to those that are without, and the man that continues in these things shall grow. But our God has said, “Israel shall grow as the lily.” Does not the child of God continually prove that though he does all these things, to grow is beyond all his toiling and spinning, and he cannot by taking thought add to his stature one cubit? I can look back to the time when I foolishly thought that by taking thought I should most certainly grow; so I thought, I will learn the scriptures by heart, they shall be my study day and night, and then in a few years I shall have grown to a considerable height in the knowledge of the Lord and Savior. But I found, though I toiled to accomplish all this, that these things did not produce growth. My head was filled with the scriptures, and with my tongue I might speak about doctrine; but to my abasement I found that real growth in divine things cannot be attained by the efforts of the flesh, that it is not by taking thought. I read in the scriptures of the many endearing relations, and the manifold offices that Jesus Emanuel sustains to his people; and though all this was very sweet, and I trusted he was and would be all in all to me, yet have I tested many times since then that there is a vast difference between these things being crammed into one’s head, and the revelation and experience of them in the heart. And by all the toiling and spinning and taking thought, yea, though a man could memorize the entire scriptures, and was privileged to hear all the sound preaching that is preached, and had rad all the religious publications of godly men, by all these he could not add in the least to his stature in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. “Israel shall grow as the lily,” by the power and goodness of our God. Just now, while writing, there is brought to my remembrance a very dark scene in my life, but one in which the grace of God shone forth with infinite glory. I had sinned against my God, I had dishonored him before men; but when he showed me what I had done, so great was the anguish of my soul, and so exceedingly vile did I feel, that I wept most bitterly for hours, and in my confusion of soul I cried unto God to send me to hell. O how the enemy assaulted me, and my own conscience bitterly reproached me. I dared not look up to the God of mercy, for I felt there was no mercy for me. I felt indeed that God himself renewed his witnesses against me, and I was utterly condemned, and cast out from God’s sight. I spent a sleepless, bitter night, but O the wonders of redeeming love. At length my God appeared, and never shall I forget the power and preciousness of the word he spoke to my soul: “Satan hath desired to have thee, that he may sift thee as wheat; but I have prayed for thee.” Then did I grow up into him, and knew Christ Jesus as my intercessor and advocate with God. And so, dear sister, it is in all true growth in the kingdom of Christ. There is a downward growth in our esteem of ourselves, and by the wondrous teaching of our God do we grow in the felt knowledge of our need of Christ; and when he causeth his doctrine to drop as the rain, and his speech to distil as the dew, when he causeth his countenance to shine upon us, then do we revive as the corn, and grow as the lily, and all this is the fruit of the unassisted power and grace of our God. O how much there is in these lilies to consider."

    "
     
  4. heisrisen

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    Well the bible says God continuously works in us and that he will finish the work started in us. So yes, if you're a true born again Christian, you will grow. If not, I worry for that person's salvation.
     
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  5. kyredneck

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    5 ....adding on your part all diligence, in your faith supply virtue; and in your virtue knowledge;
    6 and in your knowledge self-control; and in your self-control patience; and in your patience godliness;
    7 and in your godliness brotherly kindness; and in your brotherly kindness love.
    8 For if these things are yours and abound, they make you to be not idle nor unfruitful unto the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    9 For he that lacketh these things is blind, seeing only what is near, having forgotten the cleansing from his old sins.
    10 Wherefore, brethren, give the more diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never stumble:
    11 for thus shall be richly supplied unto you the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Pe 1

    Are all Christians exemplars of 'adding on their part' the above?
     
    #5 kyredneck, Nov 14, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2015
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  6. Internet Theologian

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    Is sanctification/holiness growth? For instance Hebrews 12:14; 'Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord'.

    It appears without this no one will see the LORD.
     
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  7. JamesL

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    scripture also states that no one has ever, nor can, see God.
    scripture also plainly states that every eye shall see Christ.

    so are you picking one and ignoring the other two?

    what do you think it means to "see the Lord" ?? And why do you think that?
     
  8. BrotherJoseph

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    Hi Brother KY,

    All Christians will experience growth as Jesus said, "
    “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matthew 13:30) Also, "The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. (Psalm 92:12). Notice it says they "shall flourish" and "grow", not that they "might" grow. However, the flesh is not effected in regeneration as Paul said after he was born again, "For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not." (Romans 7:18). Thankfully it does not require our will to do the works as Paul promised us, "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure" (Philippians 2:12-13).

    Each believer is different and some grow and a slower rate than others as God will's, "But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:23) Some mature slower than others as Paul could only talk to some as "babes in Christ".
     
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  9. BrotherJoseph

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    Brother Internet Theologian,

    Sanctfication can mean "set apart" in scripture" or it can be mean to be made or become "holy" depending on the context. Our flesh nature was made Holy (or sanctified) in God's site if we are a child of God based solely upon Christ's sacrifice, "10 By the which will we are sanctified (past tense) through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." (Hebrews 10:10) and "14 For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. (Hebrews 10:14)

    However, it is important to note the flesh never improves in it's depraved state while we are alive, this is why Jesus says, "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing" (John 6:63).

    Scripture also uses the word "sanctify" to mean set apart. Sanctification, as the work of the Spirit, is also taught in the gospel as an important and indispensable work, in bringing the chosen people of God experimentally from the power of darkness into the light and liberty of the sons of God, separating them from the world, and setting them apart as a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a peculiar people. "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ," &c.- 1 Peter i. 2. Indeed all the work of the Spirit has the effect to sanctify, or set apart, as a consecrated people, devoted to God. All the instructions given, all the exercises and emotions produced in the people of God by the Holy Spirit, distinguishes them from the children of this world, and makes them manifest as members of a spiritual family. This is an ongoing lifelong process for every believer.
     
  10. BrotherJoseph

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    I agree, what that brother bought up to you has nothing to do with this OP.
     
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  11. BrotherJoseph

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    Brother Heisrisen,

    I would agree, just like any person born into this world will grow, so it is with any true child of God, however of course it is not our place to judge if one is saved. Also, there are instances of children of God who commit heinous sin such as the brother in Corinthians who was sleeping with his mother in law, whom before he repented Paul instructs the church at Corinth "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" (1 Corinthians 5:5). This is the chastisement of God and is always for our own good and God uses it to afterward yield fruit in the believer, "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby." (Hebrews 12:11).

    While a true child of God can and commit just about any sin (e.g. David adultery and murder, the brother mentioned in the church at Corinth, Peter denying Christ), if they are truly born again they will not persist a whole life time in habitual gross sin as John tells us, "He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him" (1 John 2:4) and "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments" (1 John 2:3). Indeed it is worth noting there is not a single person in the New Testament that we can point to that was saved that lived a life of continual sin there entire life.
     
  12. JamesL

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    how do you figure that? That's been quoted numerous times in the same context. The one who does so is almost always of the persuasion that there is no such thing as a carnal Christian, and quickly throws out this "holiness...see the Lord" as supposed proof that sanctification to maturity is inevitable for every believer.

    if his twisted view of that verse is ok foe the discussion, why should it not be ok to ask him to explain it?
     
  13. JamesL

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    look.
    why don't you grow up? You jump into a debate and don't want to explain how you come to a conclusion? I simply asked a few questions, and you want to start acting like a victim because of it?

    theologian....my foot
     
  14. BrotherJoseph

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    Hi Brother James. The key thing to understand is that while a Christian can be, for a time, carnal, a true Christian will not remain carnal for a lifetime. Some have abused the idea of a “carnal Christian” by saying that it is possible for people to come to faith in Christ and then proceed to live the rest of their lives in a completely carnal manner, with no evidence of being born again. Such a concept is completely unbiblical. James 2 makes it abundantly clear that genuine faith will always result in good works. "17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone." (James 2:17) Ephesians 2:8-10 also declares that while we are saved by grace alone through faith, that salvation will result in works. "10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." (Ephesians 2:10) If God "ordained" or "appointed" that we should walk in good works we will. Interestingly the Greek the word used there for "ordained" is proetoimazó and means predestined according to Strongs Greek Concordance http://biblehub.com/greek/4282.htm Notice also the verse says we are "His workmanship", do you think God will fail to complete His project he started? What does scripture tell us, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" (Philippians 1:6) and Hebrews 12:2, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith". God will (not might) perform the good work He started in us and as he is the "author" of our faith, rest assured he will finish it. If it were dependent upon us to grow we would all be midgets._ Can a Christian, in a time of failure and/or rebellion, appear to be carnal? Yes the Corinthians brothers prove this and I believe all Christians are carnal from time to time. Will a true Christian remain carnal? No. "Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit" (Matthew 7:17)

    God bless,

    Brother Joe

    PS-Notice Jesus is said to be the vine, thus he, not us, is the one who causes the fruit to be grown.
     
  15. BrotherJoseph

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    Hi Brother Reformed,

    Would you agree if the individual does not acknowledge they are a sinner, they are not born again? I think that is what you are saying at the end of your post. If so, I am in agreement with your post above, especially about people growing at different rates and to different levels just like in the physical world. We do all grow, but we don't all grow at the same speed or to the same height and with the same abilities, but as Paul tells us all the members weak and strong alike are needed for the body, "And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
    22 Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:

    23 And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

    24 For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked.

    25 That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another
    " (1 Corinthians 12:21-26)
     
  16. JamesL

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    My

    First, you didn't answer my question, which was very specific. Why do you think it's ok for "Internet Fraudologian" to correlate sanctification/holiness with growth in this discussion, but you think it's out of bounds to ask him to explain what he thinks it means to see God?

    Are you only looking to discuss with people who agree with you? Are you not open to having people explain how they've come to their conclusions?

    Second, James says not one thing about "genuine" faith, never mentions anything about inevitability of works, or anything like that. I'm sick of people claiming that without any sort of real exegesis.

    Dead faith...what's dead? the man or the man's faith? What do you think "dead" means? spurious, fake, nonexistent...?

    Now put your definition of dead into James' comparison with spirit and body and see of "dead" has the same meaning.

    Without the spirit the body is fake? But the spirit makes the body genuine?

    On what grounds do you make your absurd claim that James is talking about "genuine" versus fake, spurious, etc?
     
  17. BrotherJoseph

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    Hi Brother James. I do not have much time today, but tomorrow Lord willing I will answer the questions you posed to me in the last post about the book of James and spurious faith. First I apologize, I reread what you and that brother InternetTheologian posted on this thread and I do think it is fair game for you at ask him what he means by his post.
     
  18. DHK

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    Do you know who believes exactly as you stated? I don't. I believe it is called mis-characterization or misrepresentation of one's beliefs.
    Here is an example of a carnal Christian. The individual in 1Cor.5:1-5 was a carnal Christian, a person referred to as a "brother" by Paul, had lived in a "lifestyle" of immorality now for sometime (and the Corinthians were proud "puffed up" about it). Even the Gentiles would not do such a thing. It was scandalous, not just a one time affair. Disciplinary action was taken. He was excommunicated from the church (delivered unto satan for the destruction of the "flesh"--not spirit).
    2Corinthians indicates that the same believer repented of this sin and that they took him back into fellowship. He lived a carnal lifestyle--not all of his life, but for some of his life--now much of it we are not told. Many of the Corinthians lived carnal lifestyles. That is why Paul wrote the epistle--to correct and rebuke their carnal living.
     
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  19. BrotherJoseph

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    Hi Brother James,

    James says, "Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone". The subject of the verse is the noun faith, man is not mentioned in the verse, but faith is, thus faith in this verse is very clearly that which is said to be "dead".


    The Greek word for dead in this verse is "nekros" which means quite simply "a corpse". See http://biblehub.com/greek/3498.htm

    Now, let's use a comparison, if someone such as Abraham Lincoln is said to be dead, can it be said he currently exists? No. Dead here means nonexistent, no life. What is life? Is it not the Holy Spirit in someone?

    The Bible tells us those with faith are saved, "For by grace are ye saved through faith" (Ephesians 2:8), but James asks "Can faith save him"? (James 2:14), thus either the Bible contradicts itself when it says those with faith are saved, then implying faith cannot save someone, or you can accept my conclusion that there are two types of faith under consideration, one that is a "gift of God" (see Ephesians 2:8) and will prove itself genuine by producing works and the other that is generated from man that does not produce works.

    Now, as to if a true believer will have good works, Paul says clearly, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them" (Ephesians 2:10). If you look up the Greek of the word "ordained" in that verse it means predestinated, thus if God predestinated that we should walk in good works, is there any doubt one will if they have saving faith?

    Simon Magus 'believed' and was baptized but his heart was 'not right in the sight of God' per the Bible (see Acts 8:12-22). In other words, it was 'belief' without a changed heart and because this was Simon's condition Peter says he would perish unless he came to true repentance: he was 'in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity' (vs. 23). And the evidence that Simon Magus was indeed unsaved can be seen in his prayer. He, like all unregenerate people, was only concerned with the consequence of sin and made no request to be pardoned and cleansed from the impurity of sin. 'Pray ye,' he says to Peter, 'to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me'. Like the so-called 'carnal Christian' he wanted Jesus as a kind of hell-insurance policy but he was not interested in deliverance from sin!

    If one could be saved and not have works, than that means you believe the flesh is stronger than the Spirit of God itself in a believer! God forbid we reach such a conclusion.

    God bless,

    Brother Joe
     
  20. BrotherJoseph

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    Brother DHK,

    I did not say any poster here maintains such a belief, go back and reread the thread. Now as for someone who maintains that extreme belief of a carnal Christian who can stay in that state there whole life, have no works, etc., I would point to Zane Hodges who wrote several books on the subject. Have you ever heard of him or are you familiar with his teachings?

    The following regarding his teachings is from the website source http://www.middletownbiblechurch.org/doctrine/hodgesho.htm

    4. Hodges teaches that true Christians (those who are really saved) can be described as "children of the devil." Hodges says, "The question might be raised whether a truly regenerate person could ever be called a 'child of the devil.' In the light of 2 John 9, the answer must be Yes" (The Epistles of John, p. 145). Note: Read 2 John 9 for yourself and see if you think this passage proves that true Christians can be called children of the devil!

    5. Hodges teaches that the antichrists mentioned in 1 John 2:18-19, 22-23 could very well be saved people! The Epistles of John, pages 111-112.

    6. "They profess that they know God; but in works they deny Him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate" (Titus 1:16). Hodges says that this is a description of "redeemed and justified people" (Grace in Eclipse, pages 68-69). Keep in mind that professing to know God is not necessarily the same as knowing God (see Matthew 7:21-23)..

    7. Hodges has no problem saying that a person who totally abandons the Christian faith can be saved. He gives the following illustration:

    I have a friend, and more than a friend, a man who labored with me side by side in the ministry of God’s Word in the little group that has become __________ Bible chapel and this friend has fallen away from the Christian faith. He graduated from Bob Jones University and from Dallas Theological Seminary. And about the time when he and his wife left Dallas his wife contracted a very serious illness which over the years got progressively worse until she was reduced to being a complete invalid, and after the death of his wife I visited my friend (who now lives in the Midwest and who teaches Ancient History in a secular university). And as we sat in the living room together, face to face, he told me very frankly but graciously THAT HE NO LONGER CLAIMED TO BE A CHRISTIAN AT ALL, THAT HE NO LONGER BELIEVED THE THINGS THAT HE ONCE PREACHED AND TAUGHT, and the situation was even worse than he described because I heard through others that in the classroom on the university campus he often mocked and ridiculed the Christian faith. As I sat in that living room I was very painfully aware that it was impossible for me to talk that man into changing his mind. Hodges’ illustration was given in a tape series which he delivered while speaking at the Church of the Open Door which at the time was pastored by G. Michael Cocoris. The series of tapes is entitled, "Great Themes in the Book of Hebrews" (available through Redencion Viva Publishers).

    Hodges insists that this man is truly saved, and that although he lost his faith, Christ did not lose him. However, it's quite obvious that this man believed only for a while, had no root, and when trials came (the illness and death of his wife), he fell away (Luke 8:13). Hodges explanation for this is that the stony ground, the thorny ground and the good ground (in Christ's parable of the sower) all represent saved individuals! [This is explained by Hodges in his book, The Hungry Inherit]. The fact that Hodges' friend attended a fundamental college and Dallas Seminary, and seemed to be a believer, does not prove anything. Judas fooled everyone except the Lord, and even on the night of the betrayal his fellow disciples did not know that he was the traitor. Did not the Lord Jesus teach us that the tares would be difficult to distinguish from the wheat? Does not Satan have his "ministers of righteousness" who can easily appear to be genuine ministers of God (2 Cor. 11:15)? Since Hodges' friend did not hold fast ("keep in memory"--KJV) to the gospel, does not this indicate that his faith was in vain (1 Cor. 15:1-2)?

    8. "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God" (2 John 9). Hodges teaches that this is a description of a saved person! [Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 908] Hodges seems to teach that if anyone professes Christ, then they must possess Christ. But here is a case where a person doesn't even possess God ("hath not God") and yet Hodges still insists that the person is saved!

    9. "Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church. Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God" (3 John 10-11). Verse 10 is a description of wicked Diotrephes whom Hodges says was a saved man! Hodges insists that a true believer may do evil continually and may be described as one who "hath not God" (Bible Knowledge Commentary, p. 914). Apparently, all you need to do to convince Hodges that you are saved is to be in a church and claim to be a believer, regardless how you act and regardless how you live! But Jesus said, "Not everyone that saith unto Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 7:21).
     
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