Thursday, August 9, 2012

Apostasy Part 3

How far can a truly saved person go off into apostasy?  

The flesh has both extremes; it can go either way (carnal or religious).  Satan tries to get you through the carnal flesh like the Corinthian who had his father’s wife (but he was still saved); or through the other extreme of Galatianism – mixing law and grace—leaving Paul’s gospel (Romans through Philemon).  But we are still in the grace of God.

2 Timothy 2:13

 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.

Who is the issue?  Christ is!  I tell people that when it comes to once saved always saved, we are not the issue.  Notice who the issue is according to Paul.

If we believe not, yet he abideth [‘eth’ on the end of the word – continual] faithful:  [why?] he cannot deny himself.

We are members of the church the body of Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.

We are in Christ; he is the issue.  We are accepted in the beloved.

Ephesians 1:6
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

That is God’s grace.  When God dealt with Israel (the prophetic saints) outside of this dispensation of grace, it was a short-accounts system.  They had to abide in him or they would be lost.

John 15:4
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

But not today!  Thank God for his grace!  The dispensation of grace is appreciated when you understand the short-accounts, law-keeping performance-based acceptance system God had the prophetic saints under.

The grace of God doesn’t just keep believers today, but it can restore and reclaim them when they fall from grace, if they are willing.

Galatians 5:1-2, 4
Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.  Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.

If they were a true believer they did not lose their salvation, but the life of Christ given to them by God did not profit them.  The Corinthians went so far into apostasy that Christ did not profit them anything.  Paul told them to excommunicate the man who had his father’s wife.  He told them to get him out of their assembly.

1 Corinthians 5:5
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.

Paul wanted his restoration.  We see in Second Corinthians 2 that the man did learn his lesson; Satan got him and taught him a lesson. He wanted to return, but they wouldn’t let him.  Paul had to write to them to tell them to allow it.

2 Corinthians 2:6-11
Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.  So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.

Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.  To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;   Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Galatians 6:1
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.

Believers can’t go so far into apostasy that God can’t recover them by his grace if they are willing.  They might experience some hardship like this man in 1 Corinthians 5 and 2 Corinthians 2, but it was good for him. 2 Corinthians 7 shows us how to repent as a believer.

2 Corinthians 7:9-11
Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.  For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.   For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

‘Clear yourselves!’ Right the wrong! Go beyond the call of duty to fix things and make them right! Particularly if you harmed another saint (i.e., you didn’t love them).

So yes, you can go very far into apostasy. 

Philippians 3:17-19
Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.  (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:  Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Romans 16:18
For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

To be continued…

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