Churches Of Christ/Salvation

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Hello, Its me Josh and as always its great to talk with you.  I have changed my position. I attend the churches of Christ but I have changed my belief on a subject. I used to believe that after a person was saved they had to be so obedient and live in complete holiness in order to maintain their salvation.
 Also I believed that since Christians had fee will, they could back slide or fall away or sin to such an extent that God cut them off. I got wrapped up in the early church fathers and what they believed and the hardcore teaches of some preachers. It came to the point to where I had highlighted over 400 NT commandments in my bible that I felt I had to keep to maintain my salvation.
 The early church fathers believed Christ died for our past sins and at baptism they were washed away but we had to live almost sinless lives to keep our eternal salvation. Aso some friends I have who are preachers up north believe that after salvation one was on a probation and had to persevere in holiness to keep salvation.

I now see I was caught up in works salvation to the max.  Now I am not a Calvinist but I see that its right down the middle. I changed my way of thinking and realized that is not grace. Grace is God saving you and giving you eternal life and giving you the ability and power and desire to live holy and obedient. Its not me and my righteouness and will but God who gives me the will and power to live holy. Because God has saved me I love him and want to obey him. Now God gives me the power to do so. I believe the true Christians who are truly born again, regenerated, dead to sin, crucified with Christ, made a new creation, and love God will live holy and obedient. Its not a matter that they have to obey but that they will obey because they love God. The true sheep of God will not fall away or continue to practice sin. One may say well what about free will? The true sheep of God use their free will to serve God because they love him. For someone to say they are saved but yet use their free will to serve satan, doesn't make since.  They are born again and made a new creation, how can they be carnal or lukewarm and just fall away?

What is your thoughts on eternal security vs Conditional Secruity? Thank you so much!

Answer
Josh, we are very similar in our outlooks.

It all comes down to who we serve when we become His children. If we are doing what we are doing to maintain our salvation and "get" something then the person we are serving and working for has ceased to be God. Salvation is not a "quid pro quo." We do not give to get. That isn't love, that is seeking to be paid and reimbursed.

Ephesians 5:8-10 says that the fruit of walking as children of light is in seeking to learn what is pleasing to the Lord for purposes of pleasing Him in love.

James 2:10 says that if we are seeking to be justified by law that breaking just one will make us as guilty as if we had broken them all.

Galatians 5:4 says that those seeking to be justified (saved) by keeping law have fallen from grace and been severed from Jesus Christ.

Jesus tells us in Luke 17:10 that at our best we are to consider ourselves unworthy. When we have done all there is to do we should not expect even thanks, but rather should still consider ourselves unworthy. At our BEST we are not worthy of saving! That tells us that we should ALWAYS have our trust in Jesus for salvation and have ZERO regard for our contributions.

If we TRULY have zero regard for our works securing us relative to our salvation it frees us up to practice those works in the way they should be in the first place, as a living sacrifice of love, praise and devotion to our loving and merciful God.

It is like a man who has been injured and had a friend come over with his family to take up the slack.

This person, with his family, came over and mowed the lawn, trimmed the trees, fed the animals, worked the garden, cleaned the house and even brought food.

As the one "helped" welled up with tears and emotion he reached out to take the hand of his friend to tell him thanks. But before he could do so the "friend" gave him a slip of paper. Bewildered, he saw that what was in his hand was a bill for services rendered. They had done it for pay! Did that change the nature of the story? You BET it did! So it is with us when we expect salvation, reward, heaven or any such thing as pay for what we do.

Those things said, we CAN lose our salvation. It comes when any who should be following and living their sacrifices in love start depending upon their own efforts for salvation rather than God Himself. In Revelation it speaks of those in the church having their names erased from the book of life. Only saved people have their names within the Book of Life. Yet we are told that these names can be erased. Such a thing would not be possible if we could not lose our salvation.

That said, if we are truly Christ focused and seeking to do His will we will never have to worry about such a thing. His sheep who seek to follow His voice will ALWAYS have a Shepherd to protect and look over their welfare.  

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John Fields

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I strive to intelligently and respectfully discuss thoughtful questions pertaining to doctrinal issues within the Churches of Christ and feel I can contribute thoughtful answers in most cases. I feel myself to be especially adept when answering questions regarding the Gospel of Christ and baptism. I always strive to be humble, realizing that there are some issues that are respectfully and honorably debatable. I realize that the Bible is perfect and able to provide any truth that the seeker of truth is after. At the same time I realize that though I am very conscientious about pointing people in the right direction, I am still a fallible human being and certainly capable of making mistakes. I will always give my opinion AS my opinion and strive not to state as fact something which cannot be supported by good logic or a good thorough study through the scriptures.

Experience

I am a minister within the Churches of Christ. I have been preaching for 14 years and have been on five separate mission trips to the Volta Region of Ghana, West Africa. I have preached the Gospel to literally thousands of people and it is my passion to do so.

Education/Credentials
I graduated with honors from Atkins High School in Atkins, AR in 1984. I went on to get my Bible degree at Harding University in Searcy, AR where I graduated Cum Laude.

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