OUTLINE OF DOCUMENT

INTRODUCTION

I. SIN RESULTS IN DEATH FOR ALL PEOPLE (vss. 20)
II. GOD’S JUDGMENT IS PERSON SPECIFIC (vs. 20)
III. GOD SAVES WHOEVER TURNS FROM SIN, AND TURNS TO GOD AND RIGHTEOUSNESS (vss. 21, 27, 28, 30, 32)
IV. PERSONAL RIGHTEOUSNESS IS REQUIRED FOR PERSONAL SALVATION (vs. 22)
V. GOD DESIRES SALVATION, NOT JUDGMENT, FOR SINNERS (vs. 23, 32)
VI. THE RIGHTEOUS (REDEEMED) ARE ABLE TO TURN FROM GOD (vss. 24, 26)
VII. GOD IS JUST WHEN HE CONDEMNS THE BACKSLIDER AND REDEEMS THE SINNER (vss. 25, 29)
VIII. THE BACKSLIDER NEEDS SALVATION
IX. SINNERS ARE TOLD TO CAST AWAY THEIR TRANSGRESSIONS AND MAKE THEMSELVES A NEW HEART AND A NEW SPIRIT (vs. 31)
X. SALVATION IS CONDITIONAL
INDEX OF VERSES
EZEKIEL 18:20-32 AND THE NEW TESTAMENT

INTRODUCTION
While Romans 6:23, “The wages of sin is death,” may be the most succinct statement in the Bible concerning the impact sin has on man’s relationship with God, Ezekiel 18:20-32 is the clearest presentation in the Bible.

In this document I will show that the teaching of Ezekiel 18:20-32 is consistent with the Christian faith, as revealed in the New Testament.

This document contains over 23,000 words with 310 Biblical references from 37 different Bible books, totaling more than 500 verses. There are 43 Old Testament references from 11 different books with 81 verses. There are more than 266 New Testament references from 26 different books with over 400 separate verses. Though I do repeat some verses, these stats only reflect separate verses. There is a list of verses at the end of this document.

I realize that voluminous references do not always prove a point, however, I am demonstrating that either “sin separates us from God or God separates us from sin” is found in the entire Bible and is totally consistent with New Testament Christianity. The position I am presenting is neither obscure nor strange to Biblical or historic Christianity.

I have included the Ezekiel 18:20-32 passage in this document for your convenience. Since the Ezekiel passage repeats itself several times, I do not address the passage verse by verse but rather idea by idea, giving some of the New Testament verses that reiterate the truths found in Ezekiel 18:20-32.

BEYOND REFORMED THEOLOGY
Much of modern and western Christianity has been influenced by Reformed and Calvinistic theology. As a result, this passage has been disregarded by some Christians because they erroneously believe the doctrines presented in this passage are not consistent with New Testament Christianity. The problem with Reformed theology is that it reflects the limited understanding of some of the reformers. We should see Reformation theology as a step in recovering Biblical truth, which had been repressed by the Roman religion. Those who came out of Roman Catholicism in the fifteen hundreds came as far as their understanding would take them. However, the Roman religion had led people away from the truth of salvation for hundreds of years, on a path of deceit and corruption. Just as the Israelites needed to come out of Egypt and pass through the wilderness, leading to their re-entering the Promised Land (from which they had been far removed), so too, the people of God needed to come out of Romanism and continue to pursue the Biblical path all the way back into New Testament Christianity. Unhappily, some have been willing to live in the wilderness of Reformation theology rather than come all the way back to the New Testament message.

This document addresses some of the errors that the Reformation bequeathed to modern Christianity. It is an attempt to come back to our Biblical foundations. It is an attempt to understand God’s word in the light of the Bible rather than in the light of human wisdom. It is ironic that those who subscribe to the teachings of the Reformation criticize those who have pursued Biblical teachings beyond the limited understandings of Luther, Zwingli, Calvin and others.

We must decide that we are more concerned with what the Bible says, than what men say the Bible says. When we return to Biblical Christianity we will see spiritual power manifested in Christians who are living godly, joyful and victorious lives, while coming under persecution for Christ.

THE FORMAT
In this document, the few times I repeat verses is because they addresses more than one subject.
I limit the Bible quotations to the essential portions and then I emphasize the most relevant phrases by putting them into
bold face print. This allows the reader to get the main thrust of the passage easily. However, I encourage you to take the time to look at the entire Bible quote. And please remember, I am only scratching the surface with the few quotes I present.

I designate my personal notes by inserting “DLG notes…

I have kept my own commentary to a minimum, allowing the passages to speak for themselves. However, on some of the more disputed and less understood concepts I have given more background.

THE PASSAGE IN QUESTION
Ezekiel 18:20-32
20 The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
22 All his transgressions that he has committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live.
23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? says the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
24 But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does shall he live? All his righteousness that he has done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he has trespassed, and in his sin that he has sinned, in them shall he die.
25 Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and dies in them; for his iniquity that he has done shall he die.
27 Again, when the wicked man turns away from his wickedness that he has committed, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
28 Because he considers, and turns away from all his transgressions that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
29 Yet says the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?
30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby you have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, O house of Israel?
32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, says the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live you.

DLG notes… The main point of this passage is to show that turning from one path to another changes our relationship with God. If we turn from sin to righteousness, we will be in a right relationship with God. If we turn from righteousness to sin, we will be in a broken relationship with God. Everyone is in a relationship with God, but only the righteous are in a saving relationship with God. The only “righteousness” that God recognizes is the “righteousness of faith.” As Paul said,

Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

Romans 4:13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

The righteousness of Ezekiel 18 is not a “works righteousness” or a “self righteousness” but the same “righteousness by faith” exhibited in Noah,

Hebrews 11:7 By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.

As with all of Scripture, “Turn” is the main point of this passage. To “turn” means to change direction. The Bible makes it clear that we can turn from sin (by God’s grace). The Bible also makes it clear that we can turn from God, to sin. In this document I will show that the Old and the New Testaments agree on this point.

In Acts 3:26 we are told that God sent Jesus for the purpose of “turning away everyone from his iniquities.” This was the main purpose for Jesus coming to earth. As the angel said to Mary, “He shall save His people from their sins(Mt. 1:21). Any account of Jesus that does not include deliverance from sin in this life is a false account. To deny that Jesus saves His people from their sins, in this present world, is to deny Jesus.

Acts 7:38-40 38 This is he, that was in the church in the wilderness with the angel which spake to him in the mount Sinai, and with our fathers: who received the lively oracles to give unto us: 39 To whom our fathers would not obey, but thrust him from them, and in their hearts turned back again into Egypt, 40 Saying unto Aaron, Make us gods to go before us: for as for this Moses, which brought us out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.

DLG notes… Acts 3:26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities…

Acts 11:21 And the hand of the Lord was with them: and a great number believed, and turned unto the Lord.

DLG notes… Acts 11:21 tells us that “believing in the Lord” is part of “turning to the Lord.”

Acts 13:8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.

DLG notes… Acts 13:8 tells us that the servants of Satan seek to “turn” people away from the faith.

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

DLG notes… In Acts 26:18 Jesus tells Paul that He is sending him to the Gentiles to “turn” them from darkness to light, from the power of Satan to God.

Galatians 4:8-9 8 Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?
In 1 Timothy1:6 we are told that some people, during the early church, had turned from a pure heart, a good conscience and true, saving faith to empty testimony. Though these people had possessed these Christian traits, they swerved from the truth and turned to empty chatter.

DLG notes… In Galatians 4:9 Paul tells us that it is possible for those who know God’s salvation “to turn again to” bondage.

1 Timothy 1:5-6 5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: 6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

DLG notes… Hebrews 12:25 tells us that believers can refuse, reject God. A person faces sure and certain judgment if he rejects the witness of the truth, whether proclaimed by Moses, or God, Who speaks from heaven.

Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:

2 Peter 2:20-21 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

DLG notes… In 2 Peter we are told that it is possible to “escape the pollutions of the world” through the saving knowledge of Christ and then become “again entangled” in them, and it is worse to be entangled again than it was for the sinner “to have not known the way of righteousness.” These people had known the way of righteousness (according to the Bible, only the saved can know the way of righteousness), yet they turned from that which they had known.

Though “turn” is the word we encounter in the Ezekiel passage (vss. 21, 26, 27, 28, 30 and 3), we find the concept of “turning from God” throughout the Bible. There are a variety of words used in the place of “turn,” such as “deny,” “offend” “refuse” and “reject.” We find several words that tell us “not to turn” from God, such as “abide,” “continue,” “remain” and “hold fast,” just to mention a few.

In this document I show that God calls us to turn from sin, to turn to God, and not to turn back to sin. I point out that there are eternal consequences (positive) attached to turning from sin and eternal consequences (negative) attached to turning from God. I point out that there are warnings and promises attached to turning from God. I point out that there are examples in the Bible of those who have turned from God. I do this by looking at the various words in the Bible that tell us to turn to God and tell us not to turn from God

I. SIN RESULTS IN DEATH FOR ALL PEOPLE
Ezekiel 18:20, 24, 26
20 The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.
24 But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does shall he live? All his righteousness that he has done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he has trespassed, and in his sin that he has sinned, in them shall he die.
26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and dies in them; for his iniquity that he has done shall he die.

DLG notes… The entire Bible declares that sin separates from God or God separates from sin. There is no exception, including the angels and the first man. Adam was created in the image of God, yet his righteousness did not make him immune to death when he sinned. While some of these verses were spoken directly to those who had never been saved, some of the verses were spoken directly to those who were saved, but had chosen to return to sin. Sin separates everyone from God, including Adam, who was created perfect and sinless. If Jesus does not save us from sin, He does not save us at all. A salvation that does not save from sin in this life is no salvation at all. God’s great salvation includes deliverance from the penalty, pollution and power of sin.

Genesis 2:16-17 16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die.

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that you shall die in your sins: for if you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sins.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

Romans 6:16 Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

Romans 6:10-21 20 For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.

Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death.

Ephesians 2:1 And you has he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.

Hebrews 10:26-30 26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. 28 He that despised Moses’ law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: 29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose you, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongs unto me, I will recompense, says the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.

James 1:15 Then when lust has conceived, it brings forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death.

Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

II. GOD’S JUDGMENT IS “PERSON SPECIFIC”
Ezekiel 18:20 The soul that sins, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

DLG notes… The verses in this section make at least two things clear.

1. MAN HAS THE POWER OF FREE WILL.
Free will is not un-derived and it is not unlimited. Free will is the gift of God, yet God has set boundaries in which free will can be exercised. There is nothing in the entire Bible that indicates that God removed man’s free will after Adam sinned in the garden. Nor is there any Biblical reason to believe that man’s free will is incapable of actually choosing between faith and sight or obedience and disobedience to God. Since the Bible does not say that man has no choice and since God holds man responsible for his choices, then it is logical that man has a free will with which he makes actual choices. While it is true that man is unable to do the right thing without the grace of God, the fact is that God provides His grace. For a person to do the wrong thing is not only a choice for evil, it is a rejection of God’s grace.

Man cannot choose to sin and be in a right relationship with God at the same time. Man cannot choose to be in a right relationship with God, aside from God’s designated plan of salvation. With God’s call to faith and obedience comes God’s enabling to believe and obey. Man’s possibility to be saved originates with God, since Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), as well as the Way of our salvation (John 14:6).

God did not arbitrarily decide to save some and damn others. Salvation is not a unilateral predestination decided by God. God unilaterally decided to provide salvation, but He decreed that humans have the power of self-determination, free will. With this great power comes great responsibility.

2. GOD JUDGES EVERYONE ON A PERSONAL BASIS.
No one is condemned because of Adam’s sin. Adam brought sin into the human family, and a sinful disposition has passed to all of Adam’s offspring, but as we saw in the previous group of verses, everyone has sinned and it is personal sin that separates us from God. Though we inherit a propensity to sin, God’s judgment is based upon our personal choices.
Matthew 12:36-37 36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.37 For by your words you shall be justified, and by your words you shall be condemned.

Matthew 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Matthew 25:29-30 29 For unto everyone that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has. 30 And cast you the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Acts 17:31 Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance unto all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.

Romans 2:2, 5-13 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things… 5 But after your hardness and impenitent heart treasure up unto yourself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that does evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 10 But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 11 For there is no respect of persons with God. 12 For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law; 13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

1 Corinthians 3:8 Now he that plants and he that waters are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he has done, whether it be good or bad.

Colossians 3:24-25 24 Knowing that of the Lord you shall receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. 25 But he that does wrong shall receive for the wrong which he has done; and there is no respect of persons.

2 Thessalonians 1:5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer:

Revelation 20:12-13 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.

Revelation 21:7 He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.

Revelation 22:18-19 18 For I testify unto every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

III. GOD SAVES PEOPLE WHO TURN FROM SIN, AND TURN TO GOD AND RIGHTEOUSNESS
Ezekiel 18:21, 27, 28, 30, 32
21 But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he has committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
27 Again, when the wicked man turns away from his wickedness that he has committed, and does that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
28 Because he considers, and turns away from all his transgressions that he has committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
30 Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, says the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin.
32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, says the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live you.

TWO SIDES TO REPENTANCE.
There are two sides to repentance, the Divine and the human. God initiates repentance and He enables people to repent. He also implements personal salvation, in response to a person’s repentance. However, our focus in this document is on the human side of repentance, which includes godly sorrow, change of mind concerning sin, and turning from sin to God and righteousness. Repentance is a change of direction and a change of mind.

OLD TESTAMENT MEANING OF “REPENTANCE.”
Several Old Testament passages help us understand the meaning of “repentance” or “turning from sin.” When men repent, and change their attitude and relationship with God, God changes the way in which He deals with men.

Deuteronomy 4:30-31 30 When you are in tribulation, and all these things are come upon you, even in the latter days, if you turn to the LORD your God, and shall be obedient unto his voice; 31 (For the LORD your God is a merciful God;) he will not forsake you, neither destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which he swore unto them.

Nehemiah 1:8-9 8 Remember, I beseech you, the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, If you transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations: 9 But if you turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

Psalm 7:11-12 11 God judges the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day. 12 If he turn not, he will whet his sword; he has bent his bow, and made it ready.

Psalm 85:4 Turn us, O God of our salvation, and cause your anger toward us to cease.

Isaiah 55:6-7 6 Seek you the LORD while he may be found, call you upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

DLG notes… Only Two Choices.
To turn from Satan is to turn to God. God and Satan are the only two options. To turn from sin is to turn to righteousness. Sin and righteousness are the only two choices. There is no righteousness where sin exists and there is no sin where righteousness exists. There is no middle road. Either we are going to commit sin or we are going to do righteousness. Those that are of Satan are going to sin and those who are of God are going to do righteousness. As the Bible says,
1 John 3:8 He that commits sin is of the devil
and
3 John 1:11 He that does good is of God.

DLG notes… There is no Calvinistic middle ground. Calvinists say that we can sin and be still be Christian, but that “ain’t hap’nin.” As the Bible says,
1 John 3:9 He that is born of God does not commit sin
and,
1 John 3:7 He that does righteousness is righteous, just as He (God) is righteous.

DLG notes… According to Calvinists, these verses do no mean what they say, or these verses are not translated correctly. However, the whole Bible says this and the whole Bible is translated to say this. Without fancy footwork the Calvinists are left with the clear meaning of Scripture; sinners sin and Christians do not remain in sin, not even one sin. If a Christian sins, he must repent or he will cease being a Christian. That is why the Bible says,
1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

DLG notes… New Testament Verses Concerning Personal Righteousness.
There are a great many passages that address the issue of Christians and Righteousness, in fact the entire Bible is a record of God saving those who turn from sin to righteousness, but I will limit myself to just a few. Remember, repentance is a change of mind and direction. Many passages address the issue of repentance, even when the words, “turn” and “repent” are not used. Repentance requires a person to change the way they live.

Matthew 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Luke 1:16-17 16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

Luke 3:7-14 7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which brings not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?
11 He answers and says unto them, He that has two coats, let him impart to him that has none; and he that has meat, let him do likewise. 12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do? 13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you. 14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

John 15:2 Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Acts 14:15 And saying, Sirs, why do you these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that you should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:

Act 17:30-31 30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commands all men every where to repent: 31 Because he has appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he has ordained; whereof he has given assurance unto all men, in that he has raised him from the dead.

Acts 26:18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Act 26:20 But showed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance.

2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1 17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be you separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18 And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Galatians 5:16-25 16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that you cannot do the things that you would. 18 But if you be led of the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

Ephesians 2:2-6, 8-10 2 Wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation [conduct] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, by (grace you are saved;) 6 And has raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus… 8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 4:1, 17, 22-32 1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are called, 17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 22 That you put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; 24 And that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. 26 Be you angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: 27 Neither give place to the devil. 28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labor, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needs. 29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. 30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed unto the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: 32 And be you kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake has forgiven you.

Colossians 1:13 Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

1 Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves show of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 7 For God has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8 He therefore that despises, despised not man, but God, who has also given unto us his Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 2:12 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abides faithful: he cannot deny himself.

2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Titus 2:11-12 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,

1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes you were healed.

DLG… These passages also address this subject; Ephesians 5:1-6:16; Philippians 2:1-16; Colossians 3:1-4,6; 1 Thessalonians 4:1-6; 1 Thessalonians 5:4-10; 1 Timothy 3:1-14.

IV. PERSONAL RIGHTEOUSNESS IS INHERENT TO PERSONAL SALVATION
Ezekiel 18:22 All his transgressions that he has committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he has done he shall live.

DLG notes… Before I give the Bible verses concerning personal salvation and personal righteousness, I will give a short list of basic Biblical truths concerning a believer’s righteousness and an explanation of some terms associated with sin and righteousness.
Salvation Presupposes Personal Righteousness.
The Presence of Righteousness Precludes Sin.
No One Who Sins Goes to Heaven.
Only the Righteous Go to Heaven.
The Saved Are Actually Righteous.
The Saved Live Righteously.
The Saved Do Righteousness.
God Rejects Self-Righteousness a.k.a. Works of the Flesh.
God Imparts Christ’s Righteousness to Believers in Christ.
Righteousness Comes By Faith. Faith is Counted as Righteousness.

At least some of the truths in this short list are often denied by modern, western Christianity and Reformed and Calvinistic religion. In this document, the word “righteousness” is used in the sense of true righteousness, not “self” or “works” righteousness. There is no such thing as God “seeing” a person as righteous, when that person is, in fact, unrighteous. The idea that God sees His children as righteous, while  they are supposedly unrighteous, is a fairy tale told by Satan. Such a teaching denies the clear revelation of the Bible and it belittles the saving power of God. The Bible says that Jesus “saves His people from their sins.” Sinning religion says that God only saves us from the guilt of sin. Bible revelation says that God saves us from all sin, including the penalty, pollution and power of sin

Sin and Righteousness; Inherited, Inherent, Imputed and Imparted.
Sinfulness and righteousness are arrived at in various ways. Sin or righteousness can be inherited, inherent, imputed and/or imparted.

Inherited Sin.
Inherited sin is the sinful nature we have all received from our father, Adam. Sin is inherited in the sense that we, as “heirs” of our racial predecessor, Adam, have received a predisposition to commit sins. We are, as the Scriptures says, “
in the image of (our) father Adam.”

Inherent Sin.Sin is inherent in the sense that this “sinful nature” “adheres” to us, it is part of us personally. It belongs to us personally. The sin nature is part of us. It is not only the fallen nature of Adam, it is “my fallen nature,” “my flesh,” or “my carnal mind.” Inherent sin is the sin that we all possess because of our sinful nature. We are all born with inherent sin, which is our inherited sin.

Imputed Sin.
The primary word in the New Testament, which is translated “
impute” comes from two words which means “to join words together.” Impute means to put together with one’s mind, as in counting or calculating. Likewise, the word in the Old Testament means to think or to make a judgment, as well as to make an account.

Sin is “imputed” in the sense that it is “accounted to someone.” To impute is to “attribute” or “charge something to someone.” To impute is to “reckon” or “calculate something” to be so, because it is so. “Impute” does not mean “imagine.” Imputed sins are not imagined sins.
It is possible for a person to falsely impute (charge) another person of sin, but God never errs by falsely imputing (charging) sin to someone. Satan falsely “accuses” believers of sin. God’s judgments are just and true.Likewise, when God judges or imputes or charges a person with righteousness, His judgment is just and true. Though God is creative and God keeps the books, God is not a “creative bookkeeper” as Calvinism and sinning religion would have us believe.

Imputed Righteousness.
Imputed righteousness is not imagined righteousness. In the same way that God imputes sin to the person who is actually sinning, God imputes righteousness to the person who is actually delivered from sin.

Righteousness is not inherited or inherent in the natural man, the unsaved man. Since the children of Adam have not inherited righteousness, and since the children of Adam are not inherently righteous, then people must obtain or attain to righteousness from another source.

To imputecarries with it the idea of “holding someone accountable for somethingor “to settle an account.” To “not imputeconveys “not holding someone accountable for something.” There are various reasons for not holding someone accountable.

One, the person is not responsible or guilty.
Two, the person is guilty, but their guilt has not been discovered.
Three, they were guilty, but they have settled the account.
Four, someone else settled their account for them.
Five, the account was forgiven and therefore there is nothing for which to account.
Six, simply lie by saying the person has no sin, when, in fact, they have sin.

When a person has sinned, God can either “impute” that person with his sins or He can “not impute” that person with his sins. Because God is just and righteous, He must have a legitimate way to “not impute” sin to that person.

One, since all have sinned, all of mankind stands guilty before God.
Two, since God knows everything, He knows about everyone’s guilt.
Three, no one can satisfy their debt of sin with God.
Four, Jesus gave Himself as a sacrifice (not as a payment), to satisfy our account.
Five, God has offered forgiveness to anyone who will trust Christ for their salvation.
Six, God does not pretend that we are free from sin, if, in fact, we are still in sin.
God does not look at us and see Jesus. God looks at us and sees us. Either He sees us still in our sins or He sees us transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and cleansed by the blood of Jesus. Either He sees us in our sins or He sees us in Christ. When we are in Christ, we are no longer in sin. Our forgiveness, cleansing and deliverance from sin is not a Divine optical illusion. Those who are in Christ are actually free from sin, not simply free from the guilt of sin. As Paul said,
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

DLG notes… Those who are in Christ are not still sinners (people living in sin), they are new creatures. When Paul said that he was “chief of sinners,” he was referring to fact that Christ died to save all sinners, of whom he was chief. Remember, the Scriptures refer to believers as “saints” or “holy ones.” Christians are not old creatures in new clothes. They are people who are living without sin, because “old things are passed away and behold, all things become new.” As human beings, they are still able to sin, but as redeemed human beings, they are enabled by the grace of God to not sin.

Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

DLG notes… Those who are in Christ are those who do not walk after the flesh.  A person lives with “no condemnation” when they “walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” “No condemnation” is the empty claim of presumption, while still living in sin. “No condemnation” is the rightful claim of faith, when a person is not living in sin.Romans 8:1, 4 1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

DLG notes… The Scriptures refer to living godly in Christ and having good conduct in Christ, but the Bible never says, “God does not see sin in believers, though they continue to sin.” The Bible tells us that IF we sin, as believers, we have an advocate with God. The Bible also makes it clear that an act of sin requires “repentance.”1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

DLG notes… The Bible makes it clear that the Christian life is filled with victory over sin, not victimization to sin. God’s way of dealing with actual sins is to provide actual deliverance. Where there is forgiveness, there is no imputation of sins. Forgiven sins are sins that have been done away with. David addresses this in the Psalms.

Psalm 32:1-2 1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. 2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputes not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

Romans 4:6-8 6 Even as David also describes the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputes righteousness without works, 7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

DLG notes… The man actually had committed sins and therefore he had sins in his life. However, after God forgave him of his sins, the man no longer had any sins in his life, because his sins were gone.

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Romans 6:20 For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness.

DLG notes… The same man was originally “free from righteousness,” that is, he possessed no righteousness. He was inherently evil and he was actively sinning. He was not inherently righteous.

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

DLG notes… God saves His people from their sins, truly cleanses them from defilement and saves them to the uttermost, at all times.

Acts 10:15 And the voice spoke unto him again the second time, What God has cleansed, that call not you common.

Hebrews 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.

DLG notes… Salvation is not only FORGIVENESS, it is also REGENERATION (imparting of spiritual life through being born of God) and ADOPTION (being made a legal heir of God) and JUSTIFICATION (being declared and made righteous) and SANCTIFICATION (being separated from sin and separated to God, purified and made holy). GLORIFICATION (when our bodies are changed from mortality to immortality and from corruption into incorruption).

Not only does God “account” us delivered from sin, He directs us to “account” ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to God, based on the accomplished work of Jesus Christ. When God “reckons” or “accounts” something to be true, it is because it is true.

Romans 6:11 Likewise reckon you also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 6:18 Being then made free from sin, you became the servants of righteousness.

DLG notes… Saved from serving sin, we now serve righteousness.

When God imputes righteousness to someone, the person is counted as righteous, because he is righteous. People are not inherently righteous, that is, their righteousness is not self-originating. People are righteous because God has counted and made them righteous. If God counts someone righteous, that person is actually righteous.

Righteousness is either underived, as with God only, or it is derived through creation, as with the angels and Adam or it is derived through salvation. Righteousness is derived from God, and is given to believers as a gift. God gives a new nature that is righteous and the new nature, by the enabling grace of God, produces righteous behavior. Whether directly or indirectly, the righteousness experienced by believers is given from God. Imparted Righteousness.As mentioned earlier, righteousness and sin are mutually exclusive, therefore a person must turn from all sin in order to experience and enjoy the blessings of righteousness. Although abandoning sin is a very important subject and is a major theme in the Scriptures, which includes “putting off the old man” and coming out from the world and the ways of the world, I will not take the time to address that at this time. Instead, I will focus primarily on the positive side of salvation, that of pursuing righteousness.

Along with being told to “take off the old man,” believers are told to “put on the new man.” This is a deliberate act of entering into a new life, where old things give way to new things and the person begins to walk in newness of life. This new mind-set or world-view produces a new life-style.
Although God requires us to respond positively to His directives in our lives, our responses are grace enabled and the end results come because of the goodness of God. This is why it is called “free grace.” We do not earn it, yet it is available to all.

Ephesians 4:24 And that you, put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Romans 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Romans 6:4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Colossians 3:1-9, 12-17 1 If you then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory. 5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: 6 For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: 7 In the which you also walked some time, when you lived in them. 8 But now you also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. 9 Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds… 12 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; 13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do you. 14 And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also you are called in one body; and be you thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatsoever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

2 Peter 1:3-4 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

DLG notes… God imparts or gives everything necessary for life and godliness and He gives His Holy Spirit to those He saves. Being a partaker of God’s righteousness makes us free from the corruption that is in the world.

1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. 8 He therefore that despises, despises not man, but God, who has also given unto us his Holy Spirit.

DLG notes… Since God has imparted (given) His Holy Spirit to believers, they are called to be holy (righteous).

Romans 5:17-21 17 For if by one man’s offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. 18 Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Hebrews 2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
DLG notes… Inherent Righteousness. Since God has given His Holy Spirit to believers and since believers have “become partakers of Divine nature,” and since believers are “born of God” and “adopted” into His family, we have a righteousness that is inherent to the new nature, but this righteousness is not self-derived. “Every good and perfect gift comes to us from God.”Righteousness, life, love, joy, power, peace and all other communicable traits of God are inherent to the “new man” or “Divine nature” that God gives to believers at their conversion. However, all of these traits are dependent on a current and faithful relationship with God.

Colossians 1:12-21 12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now has he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight: 23 If you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

1 John 1:7 If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.

DLG notes… Salvation is therefore personal, provided we are in a personal relationship with the Savior. He is MY Savior. I AM SAVED. I HAVE eternal life. It is MY Joy. It is MY Peace. As long as I am in a right relationship with God, I am a recipient of every good and perfect gift. God cannot change, but I can. God does not change, as the Source of my salvation, but if I choose to live outside of a faithful relationship with God, I relinquish all of His gifts. An example would be the returning of an engagement ring to the prospective groom, when and if the prospective bride breaks the engagement.

Hebrews 10:26-27 26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remains no more sacrifice for sins, 27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

DLG notes… God promises to judge, not to cleanse, the willfully disobedient.

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

DLG notes… Contrary to popular opinion, salvation is a two way street. Both God and man have a part in salvation. God is the “Author and Finisher of our faith;”

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is he that calls you, who also will do it.

DLG notes… God is also the One Who calls us to be righteous and then enables us to be righteous;

Philippians 2:13 For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

DLG notes… God is the One Who wills and works His good pleasure in us.

KEEP”

Believers are constantly told to “keep” themselves, and “lay hold” or “hold fast” and “abide” and “remain” faithful along with a host of other phrases reminding believers of their responsibilities.

Matthew 19:17 And he said unto him, Why (do you) call me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments.

Luke 8:15 But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.

Luke 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.John 8:51 Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

John 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments.

John 14:21 He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

John 14:23-24 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loves me not keeps not my sayings: and the word which you hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

John 15:10 If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

1 Timothy 6:14 That you keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 Timothy 1:14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwells in us.

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

1 John 3:24 And he that keeps his commandments dwells in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.

1 John 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sins not; but he that is begotten of God keeps himself, and that wicked one touches him not.

Revelation 2:26 And he that overcomes, and keeps my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that reads, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

LAY HOLD” and “HOLD FAST”
Laying hold” and “holding fast” is the responsibility of the believer, it is the human side of continuing in the faith. This is not the same as saying that that a person saves himself by his good works or that a person saves himself. God tells us to “lay hold” and “hold fast.”

Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

2 Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which you have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto you art also called, and have professed a good profession before many witnesses.

1 Timothy 6:19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

2 Timothy 1:13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

Hebrews 3:6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Hebrews 3:14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end;

Hebrews 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

Hebrews 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Revelation 2:25 But that which you have already hold fast till I come.

Revelation 3:3 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 thee.

Revelation 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown.

ABIDE” “REMAIN” “CONTINUE”
God commands His children to “abide,” “remain” and “continue.” If our salvation is not dependent on our determined effort to do these things, then the commands are not actually commands. We are able to do these things by the grace of God.

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on me should not abide in darkness.

John 15:4, 6 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 you, except you abide in me… 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

John 15:9-10 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto yourself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this you shall both save yourself, and them that hear you.

2 Timothy 3:14 But continue (you) in the things which you have learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom you have learned them;

James 1:25 But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

1 John 2:4 He that says, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.

1 John 2:6 He that says he abides in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

1 John 2:17 And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God abides forever.

1 John 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which you have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

1 John 3:6 Whosoever abides in him sins not: whosoever sins has not seen him, neither known him.

1 John 3:24 And he that keeps his commandments dwells in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit which he has given us.

2 John 1:9 Whosoever transgresses, and abides not in the doctrine of Christ, has not God. He that abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son.

SAVED FOR GOOD WORKS”
We are not saved by self-righteousness or works-righteousness, but we are saved by “
the righteousness of faith.” We are called to walk in righteousness. While we are not saved “by” good works, we are saved “for” good works. This is what the Scripture means when it says;
Matthew 5:6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 5:20 For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 6:33 But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 13:23 with 2 Corinthians 9:10 23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that hears the word, and understands it; which also bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold some sixty, some thirty. 10 Now he that ministers seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;

Romans 3:25-26 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believes in Jesus.

Romans 5:18-19 18 Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

Romans 6:19, 22 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as you have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness… 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.

Romans 10:3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 5:8-11 8 For you were sometimes darkness, but now are you light in the Lord: walk as children of light: 9 (For the fruit of the Spirit [light] is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.

Philippians 1:11 Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

James 2:17-26 17 Even so faith, if it has not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, You have faith, and I have works: show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God; you do well: the devils also believe, and tremble. 20 But will you know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? 22 See you how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. 25 Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? 26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

2 Peter 1:1-11 1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Savior Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power has given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that has called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. 5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that you shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But he that lacks these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and has forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. 10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if you do these things, you shall never fall: 11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

1 John 2:29 If you know that He [God] is righteous, you know that every one that does righteousness is born of Him [God].

1 John 3:7 He that does righteousness is righteous, even as He (God) is righteous.

Revelation 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness [righteous deeds] of saints.

V. GOD DESIRES SALVATION, NOT JUDGMENT, FOR SINNERS
Ezekiel 18:23, 32
23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? says the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live?
32 For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dies, says the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live you.

Matthew 18:11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

Mark 9:12-13 12 But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. 13 But go you and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming unto him, and said, Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world.

John 3:15-17 15 That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

John 1:46-47 46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on me should not abide in darkness. 47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.

John 4:42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of your saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world.

Romans 5:18-21 18 Therefore as by the offense of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. 20 Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: 21 That as sin has reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

1 Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

1 John 2:2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

1 John 4:14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

VI. THE RIGHTEOUS (THE REDEEMED) ARE ABLE TO TURN FROM GOD.
Ezekiel 18:24, 26 24 But when the righteous turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does shall he live? All his righteousness that he has done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he has trespassed, and in his sin that he has sinned, in them shall he die. 26 When a righteous man turns away from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, and dies in them; for his iniquity that he has done shall he die.

Luke 8:13 They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

John 15:1-6 1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 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 you, except you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches: He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Galatians 4:6-11, 5:1-4 6 And because you are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. 7 Wherefore you are no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. 8 Howbeit then, when you knew not God, you did service unto them which by nature are no gods. 9 But now, after that you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto you desire again to be in bondage? 10 You observe days, and months, and times, and years. 11 I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labor in vain… 5:1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. 2 Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if you be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. 3 For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. 4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; you are fallen from grace.

1Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaks expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

1 Timothy 5:15 For some are already turned aside after Satan.

1 Timothy 6:14 That you keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 Timothy 1:15 This you know, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

2 Timothy 2:12-13 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abides faithful: he cannot deny himself.

2 Timothy 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Titus 1:14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

Titus 3:14 And let ours also learn to maintain good works for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

Revelation 3:4-5 4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 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.

CLEAN ESCAPED AND ENTANGLED AGAIN
2 Peter 2:20-22 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

DLG notes… A clear reading of 2 Peter tells us that a person can escape sin through Christ and then become entangled again in sin. Another way to say this is, “A person who has clean escaped sin, through Christ, can become entangled again in sin.” This passage says it would have been better to have not known the way of righteousness than to know it and then turn from the holy commandments. The only people who have ever known the way of righteousness are the saved, yet there are those who have been saved and then turned from the holy commandments, or the holy way of life. Remember, “without holiness no man shall see the Lord.” Turning back to sin is the same as a dog returning to his own vomit and a pig returning to the filth of the wallow. In the Jewish economy, pigs and dogs were considered as ceremonially “unclean” animals. Therefore, the terms were used in reference to people who were spiritually unclean. In the New Testament it was also applied to those who had been delivered from their sins and then turned back to their sinful ways. Remember, when God washes us, we are not simply cleaned up sinners, we are new creations. When a person turns back to sin, the dog has returned to his vomit and the pig to his mire.

This meaning of this passage is not couched in mystery and it is not hidden behind secret words and terminology. It agrees with the entire Bible and it means exactly what it says. Those who have escaped sin are able to become entangled again in the pollutions of sin, from which God had saved them. If they do, it will be worse for them than if they had never known the way of righteousness.

THOUGHTS FROM HEBREWS
There are several warnings in the book of Hebrews concerning the danger of turning back to sin.

Hebrews 2:1-3 1 Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2 For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

Hebrews 3:8-19 8 Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: 9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. 10 Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, They do always err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. 11 So I swore in my wrath, They shall not enter into my rest.) 12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; 15 While it is said, Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. 16 For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. 17 But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? 18 And to whom swore he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? 19 So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

Hebrews 4:9-11 9 There remains therefore a rest to the people of God. 10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his. 11 Let us labor therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.

Hebrews 6:4-6 4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, 6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Hebrews 6:11-12, 15 11 And we desire that every one of you do show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12 That you be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises… 15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Hebrews 10:35-38 35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. 36 For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise. 37 For yet, a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. 38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;

Hebrews 12:25 See that you refuse not him that speaks. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven:

VII. GOD IS JUSTIFIED WHEN HE CONDEMNS THE BACKSLIDER AND REDEEMS THE SINNER
Ezekiel 18:25, 29
25 Yet you say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal?
29 Yet says the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal?
DLG notes… GOD’S JUDGMENTS ARE TRUE AND RIGHTEOUS.
Not only is God justified in doing what He does, He does that which is just.

Exodus 34:6-7 6 And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, 7 Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Psalms 9:7-8 7 The Lord reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. 8 He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice.

Psalms 31:5 Into Your hand I commit my spirit: you have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.

Psalms 96:13 For He is coming, for He is coming to judge the earth. He shall judge the world with righteousness, And the peoples with His truth.

Psalms 98:9 For He is coming to judge the earth. With righteousness He shall judge the world, And the peoples with equity.

Acts 17:31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.

Romans 2:2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.

Romans 2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasure up unto yourself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

Romans 9:14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.”

2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

2 Timothy 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

VIII. THE BACKSLIDER NEEDS SALVATION.

Proverbs 14:14 The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man shall be satisfied from himself.

DLG notes… Backslider Defined.
“Backslider” is the term, which refers to a person who faithfully trusted and followed God, but then turned away from Him; he slid back into sin. The word, “backslider” is found only in Psalms 14:14 but there are other Old Testament words with the same origin. In fact, the concept of backsliding, or turning from faithfully following God, is a main issue throughout the Bible.

Strong’s (Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionary):
H5472 soog A primitive root; properly to flinch, that is, (by implication) to go back, literally (to retreat) or figuratively (to apostatize): – backslider, drive, go back, turn (away, back).
BDB Definition (Brown-Driver-Diggs Hebrew Definitions):
H5472 sug 1) to move, go, turn back, move away, backslide
1a) (Qal) to backslide, prove recreant to
1b) (Niphal)
1b1) to turn oneself away, turn back
1b2) to be turned or driven back, be repulsed
God called backsliding Israel to return to Him. A person cannot “return” to God if they have not “departed” from God.

Jeremiah 3:1 …yet return again to me, saith the LORD

Jeremiah 3:7 Turn thou unto me. But she returned not

Jeremiah 3:12-14 12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger forever. 13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. 14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion:

Jeremiah 3:20-22 20 Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD. 21 A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God. 22 Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God

Jeremiah 4:1 If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove

DLG… Those Who Do Not Backslide.
We learn something about backsliding from a passage that gives witness to those who do not backslide. Notice that the following passage connects the intent of the heart with the deeds of the body.
Psalms 44:18 Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way;

Different Words And Phrases For Backsliding.
The Bible uses many different ways to refer to those who have moved away from God.

SALT LOSES SALTINESS
Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

DLG notes… Jesus was speaking to believers. The salt had actually been salty, but had become un-salty. A change in the nature of the salt made it good for nothing but to be trodden under foot. Likewise, those who are “the salt of the earth,” believers, can lose their saving relationship with God and their saving influence on the world, resulting in their being cast out.

DENYING CHRIST.
To deny Christ or to deny God is not simply to speak contradictory words. Denying Christ is to disassociate one’s self from Jesus. “Denying” Jesus is the refusal to submit to His Lordship. The person who claims that Jesus is Lord with his words, yet does not obey His commands is rendering “
lip servicewhile the heart is far from Him (Mt. 15:8). Denying Christ in our walk cancels out all Christian talk.

Understanding the clear and simple truth of the Bible is not complicated. It only becomes complicated when it is being forced into a false interpretation.

It is easy to understand the meaning of the verses which address the problem of “denying” Christ. It only becomes difficult when we deny the natural meaning of the passages.
There are two primary ways to determine the meaning of a word. First, what is the definition of the word, including its etymology? Second, how is the word used in a document?

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
“DENY”
dē̇-nī´: This word is characteristic of the New Testament rather than the Old Testament, although it translates three different Hebrew originals, namely,
כּחשׁ, kaḥash, “to lie,” “disown” (Gen_18:15; Jos_24:27; Job_8:18; Job_31:28; Pro_30:9); מנע, māna‛, “to withhold,” “keep back(1Ki_20:7; Pro_30:7); שׁוּב, shūbh, “to turn back,” “say no(1Ki_2:16).

In the New Testament, ἀντιλέγω, antilégō, is once translated “deny,” in the case of the Sadducees who denied the resurrection (Luk_20:27 the King James Version), and where it carries the sense of speaking against the doctrine.

But the word commonly is ἀρνέομαι, arnéomai,

with or without the prefix ap-̌. In the absence of the prefix the sense is “to disown,” but when it is added it means “to disown totally” or to the fullest extent. In the milder sense it is found in Mat_10:33; Mat_26:70, Mat_26:72; of Simon Peter, Mar_14:68, Mar_14:70 (Act_3:13, Act_3:14; 2Ti_2:12, 2Ti_2:13; 2Pe_2:1; 1Jo_2:22, 1Jo_2:23; Jud_1:4; Rev_2:13; Rev_3:8). But it is significant that the sterner meaning is associated with Mat_16:24 and its parallels, where Christ calls upon him who would be His disciple to deny himself and take up his cross and follow Him.
Strong and Thayer define the following three Greek words used when the New Testament.
Strong G720
Perhaps from G1 (as a negative particle) and the middle of G4483;
to contradict, that is, disavow, reject, abnegate: – deny, refuse.
Thayer G720
Thayer Definition:
1) to deny 2) to deny someone
2a) to deny one’s self
2a1) to disregard his own interests or to prove false to
himself
2a2) act entirely unlike himself
3) to deny, abnegate, abjure
4) not to accept, to reject, to refuse something offered
Part of Speech: verb
Strong G533
From G575 and G720;
to deny utterly, that is, disown, abstain: – deny.
Thayer G483
1) to speak against, gainsay, contradict
2) to oppose one’s self to one, decline to obey him, declare one’s self against him, refuse to have anything to do with him.
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G473 and G3004
STRONG G483
From G473 and G3004;
to dispute, refuse: – answer again, contradict, deny, gainsay (-er), speak against.

DLG notes… KEEP IN MIND, DENIAL INCLUDES “REJECTING” OR “REFUSING” ANOTHER PERSON’S POSITION OR AUTHORITY.

DENIAL IS REJECTION

Acts 3:13-14 13 The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified his Son Jesus; whom you delivered up, and denied [rejected or refused] him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. 14 But you denied [rejected or refused] the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you;

DLG notes… Just as the people had “rejected” Jesus, before Pilate, they had also rejected the Christ and chose a murderer instead.

Acts 7:35 This Moses whom they refused [denied], saying, Who made thee a ruler and a judge…

DLG notes… Stephen said that Israel, in the days of the Exodus, had rejected (denied) Moses,

1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he has denied [rejected] the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

DLG notes… Paul said that refusal to fulfill a God-given responsibility is an act of denying the faith and such denial makes a person worse than a non-believer.

2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying [rejecting] the power thereof: from such turn away.

DLG notes… We are able to deny, refuse, reject, turn from the power of God. If we turn from we suffer the consequences.

Titus 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny (reject) him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Titus 2:11-12 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying [refusing, rejecting] ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

DLG notes… Paul said that saving grace causes believers to reject (refuse, deny) wickedness and espouse holiness in this life.

Hebrews 11:24-25 24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused [denied] to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; 25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;

Hebrews 12:25 See that ye refuse [deny] not him that speaks. For if they escaped not who refused him that spoke on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaks from heaven:

2 Peter 2:21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.

1 John 2:22-23 22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

Jude 1:4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

THOSE WHO DENY (REJECT) CHRIST ARE DENIED (REJECTED) BY CHRIST.

For Christ to deny a person indicates that the person is not saved. Denying Christ is not an insignificant action. Denial of Christ results in being denied by Christ.

Matthew 10:32-33 32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. 33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Luke 9:26 For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels.

Luke 12:8-9 8 Also I say unto you, Whosoever shall confess me before men, him shall the Son of man also confess before the angels of God: 9 But he that denieth me before men shall be denied before the angels of God.

2 Timothy 2:10-13 10 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abides faithful: he cannot deny himself.

PETER’S DENIAL
Matthew 26:34-35 34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto you, That this night, before the cock crow, you shall deny me three times. 35 Peter said unto him, Though I should die with you, yet will I not deny you. Likewise also said all the disciples.

Matthew 26:74-75 74 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, you shall deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

Luke 22:31-33 31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not: and when you are converted, strengthen your brethren. 33 And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with you, both into prison, and to death.

SELF DENIAL

Self denial and subservience to Christ is essential to salvation, Christian faith, discipleship and eternal life. Self denial is minimal requirement for salvation.

Matthew 16:24-26 24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. 26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Mark 8:34-38 34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. 36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? 37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? 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 cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

REFUSE”

DLG notes… Often, the Old Testament uses the word “refusewhen the New Testament uses the word “deny.” We learn something about “denial” when we understand “refusal.”
Israel chose not to obey God’s prophet.

1 Samuel 8:19 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us;
Pharaoh refused to obey God’s directive.

Exodus 4:23 And I say unto thee, Let my son go, that he may serve me: and if thou refuse to let him go, behold, I will slay thy son, even thy firstborn.

Exodus 7:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened, he refuseth to let the people go.

Exodus 8:2 And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs:

Exodus 9:1-2 1 Then the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me. 2 For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still,

Exodus 10:3-4 3 And Moses and Aaron came in unto Pharaoh, and said unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, How long wilt thou refuse to humble thyself before me? let my people go, that they may serve me. 4 Else, if thou refuse to let my people go, behold, tomorrow will I bring the locusts into thy coast:

God confronts Moses about Israel’s refusal to obey.
Exodus 16:28 And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?

Joshua tells Israel that they can deny their God.
Joshua 24:27 And Joshua said unto all the people, Behold, this stone shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of the LORD which he spoke unto us: it shall be therefore a witness unto you, lest ye deny your God.

The Ephraimites broke their covenant with God.
Psalm 78:10 They kept not the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law;

God was denied, refused, rejected by Jewish leaders.
Psalm 118:22 The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

Wisdom from Proverbs.
Proverbs 1:23-25 23 Turn you at my reproof: behold, I will pour out my spirit unto you, I will make known my words unto you. 24 Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25 But ye have set at naught all my counsel, and would none of my reproof:

Proverbs 8:32-36 32 Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed are they that keep my ways. 33 Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not. 34 Blessed is the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. 35 For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the LORD. 36 But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death.

Proverbs 10:16-17 16 The labor of the righteous tendeth to life: the fruit of the wicked to sin. 17 He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.

Refusal is rebellion.
Isaiah 1:19-20 19 If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20 But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

Refusal is resistance to God’s will.
Jeremiah 5:3 O LORD, are not thine eyes upon the truth? thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return.

Refusal to return to God is “backsliding.”
Jeremiah 8:5 Why then is this people of Jerusalem slid back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return.
Turning back to sin is breaking covenant with God.

Jeremiah 11:10 They are turned back to the iniquities of their forefathers, which refused to hear my words; and they went after other gods to serve them: the house of Israel and the house of Judah have broken my covenant which I made with their fathers.

Denying Christ is a damnable heresy.
2 Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

Those who “deny” Christ, are liars and antichrists.
1 John 2:22-29 22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. 23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: but he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also. 24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life, 26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. 27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. 29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

DLG notes… DENY” AND “OFFEND” OFTEN ACCOMPANY ONE ANOTHER. A PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF ONE CONCEPT IS ASSOCIATED WITH A PROPER UNDERSTANDING OF THE OTHER ONE AS WELL.

OFFEND
One of the Greek words translated in the New Testament as “
offendedis used in reference to believers who turn from their faith in Christ. “TO OFFEND” SOMEONE IS TO CAUSE THEM TO STUMBLE, FALL AND ENTER INTO SIN.

INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BIBLE ENCYCLOPEDIA

Offence; Offend
o-fens´, o-fend´ (
מכשׁול, mikhshōl, אשׁם, ‘āsham, חטא, ḥāṭā’; σκάνδαλον, skándalon, σκανδαλίζω, skandalízō): “Offend” is either transitive or intransitive As transitive it is primarily “to strike against,” hence, “to displease” “to make angry,” “to do harm to,” “to affront,” in Scripture, “to cause to sin; intransitive it is “to sin,” “to cause anger,” in Scripture, “to be caused to sin.”Offence” is either the cause of anger, displeasure, etc., or a sin. In Scripture we have the special significance of a stumbling-block, or cause of falling, sin, etc.
STRONG G4624
skandalizō
skan-dal-id’-zo
To “scandalize”; from G4625;
to entrap, that is, trip up (figuratively stumble [transitively] or entice to sin, apostasy or displeasure): – (make to) offend.
THAYERG4624
Skandalizo
Thayer Definition:
1) to put a stumbling block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall, metaphorically to offend
1a) to entice to sin
1b) to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and
obey
1b1) to cause to fall away
1b2) to be offended in one, i.e. to see in another what I disapprove of and what
Hinders me from acknowledging his authority
1b3) to cause one to judge unfavourably or unjustly of another
1c) since one who stumbles or whose foot gets entangled feels annoyed
1c1) to cause one displeasure at a thing
1c2) to make indignant
1c3) to be displeased, indignant
Part of Speech: verb
A Related Word by Thayer’s/Strong’s Number: from G4625

Matthew 5:29-30 29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

Matthew 13:20-21 20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that hears the word, and anon with joy receives it; 21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but endures for a while: for when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, by and by he is offended.

Matthew 13:39-43 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. 40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world. 41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Matthew 26:31 Then said Jesus unto them, All you shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

CONCERNING THOSE WHO TURN BACK.

DLG notes… Those who start with God, and then turn back are not acceptable to God.

Luke 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

Galatians 4:9 But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?

1 Timothy 1:19-20 19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 20  Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

1 Timothy 6:20-21 20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called: 21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

God is sorrowful when we “turn back from following” Him.
1 Samuel 15:10-11 10 Then came the word of the LORD unto Samuel, saying, 11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

It is easy to understand the meaning of the verses which address the problem of “turning” from Christ. It only becomes difficult when we deny the natural meaning of the passages.
Essential to understanding any concept is a comprehension of basic terms. The following are the English words used when the Bible addresses the subject of turning from Christ.
If you can understand the meaning of the word “deny” when it is used in the natural sense, you can understand the meaning of the word, “deny” when it is used in the spiritual sense.
If you can understand the meaning of the word “return” when it is used in the natural sense, you can understand the meaning of the word, “return” when it is used in the spiritual sense.
If you can understand the meaning of the word “depart” when it is used in the natural sense, you can understand the meaning of the word, “depart” when it is used in the spiritual sense.
If you can understand the meaning of the word “turn” when it is used in the natural sense, you can understand the meaning of the word, “turn” when it is used in the spiritual sense.
If you can understand the meaning of the word “refuse” when it is used in the natural sense, you can understand the meaning of the word, “refuse” when it is used in the spiritual sense.
If you can understand the meaning of the word “reject” when it is used in the natural sense, you can understand the meaning of the word, “reject” when it is used in the spiritual sense.

IX. SINNERS ARE TOLD TO CAST AWAY THEIR TRANSGRESSIONS AND MAKE THEMSELVES A NEW HEART AND A NEW SPIRIT
Ezekiel 18:31 Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby you have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will you die, O house of Israel?

It is God in Us, Willing and Doing His Good Pleasure.
When Ezekiel told his readers to make themselves a “new heart” and a “new spirit,” he was not saying that people save themselves. He was pointing out that the human side of salvation requires us to co-operate with the Divine side of salvation. Ezekiel had already addressed the issue of God giving a new heart and a new spirit. God gives a new heart to the person who turns from his old ways (Ezekiel 18:32). In the New Testament we are given several directives that connect the human side of salvation with the Divine side of salvation.

Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh:

Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 12:33-35 33 Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. 34 O generation of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart brings forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.

Matthew 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean.
also

John 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love.

1 Corinthians 5:7-8 7 Purge out therefore the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: 8 Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

2 Corinthians 6:17-7:1 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be you separate, says the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. 18 And will be a Father unto you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. 7:1 Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

1 Timothy 5:22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep yourself pure.

James 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.

1 John 5:21 Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

Jude 1:20-21 20 But you, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

X. SALVATION IS CONDITIONAL.
All of Ezekiel 18:20-32 (See Above)

Our salvation is conditional upon our repentance, faith and confession. Our salvation is always conditional upon walking in the light (being obedient to the leading of God).
John 3:36 He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abides on him.

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

Acts 13:43 Now when the congregation was broken up, many of the Jews and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas: who, speaking to them, persuaded them to continue in the grace of God.

Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.

Romans 11:22-23 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if you continue in his goodness: otherwise you also shall be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again.

Colossians 1:21-23 21 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblamable and unreprovable in his sight: 23 If you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which you have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

1 Timothy 2:15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto yourself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this you shall both save yourself, and them that hear you.

James 1:25 But whoso looks into the perfect law of liberty, and continues therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin.

1 John 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which you have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, you also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

It is Possible for a Weak “Brother, for Whom Christ Died,” to Perish (be Destroyed), Because of Our Sin. Such a Sin is a Sin against Christ.

Romans 14 addresses the problem of Jewish believers feeling obligated to keep the ceremonial laws. In reference to eating and drinking forbidden foods, Paul said,

Romans 14:10-17 10 But why do you judge your brother? or why do you set at naught your brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way. 14 I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteems any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15 But if your brother be grieved with your meat, now do you walk not charitably. Destroy not him with your meat, for whom Christ died. 16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of: 17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

DLG notes on Romans 14:13-17… Romans 14:13 says that Christians can put a snare, a trap before their brothers in the Lord, in other words, other Christians. We can say or do things that will cause weaker Christians to stumble, to trip, to fall in their walk with God. This stumbling refers to stumbling in sin and landing in hell, because it is a rejection of “righteousness by faith.”
The stumbling block is the same as that spoken of in

Romans 9:31-33. 31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone; 33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumblingstone and rock of offense: and whosoever believes on him shall not be ashamed.

In Romans 14:14 Paul is obviously not speaking about questions of morality, but rather ceremonial sins. Moral issues are right or wrongs by nature, whereas ceremonial sins are sins because God has forbidden or required specific observances at specific times, by specific people. That is why he said, “there is nothing unclean of itself.”

According to Romans 14:15, Christians who do things for their own pleasure, may cause a weaker believer, brother in the Lord, to stumble, fall from their walk with God and be destroyed.
The word, “
destroyed” is the same word that is used in Matthew 10:28, when Jesus spoke about being destroyed in hell.

Matthew 10:28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

DLG notes… It is the same word used in reference to Jesus destroying the demons.
Luke 4:34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.

DLG notes… It is the same word, which refers to those who “perish” because they do not repent.
Luke 13:3 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.

DLG notes… Notice also, Christ died for this person who was being destroyed, this person who would perish eternally.
Romans 14:15 But if your brother be grieved with your meat, now do you walk not charitably. Destroy not him with your meat, for whom Christ died.
DLG notes… Those for whom Christ died and those who have had faith in Christ can be ensnared, tripped, and caused to fall in their walk with God, thus resulting in being destroyed, lost, perishing forever.

We find a similar truth taught in 1 Corinthians.
1 Corinthians 8:9-13 9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10 For if any man see you which has knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 And through your knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ. 13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world stands, lest I make my brother to offend.

DLG notes… Later, in Romans 14:20 Paul warned the believer not to destroy the work of God.

DLG notes on 1 CORINTHIANS 8:9-13… Paul warns the believers not to allow their liberty to become a stumbling block to other Christians, who are weak. Not all Christians are strong. Strong Christians ought to help weak Christians.
1 Corinthians 8:9-13
9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. 10 For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; 11 And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? 12 But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. 13 Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
DLG notes… Notice too, it is a single act that can destroy a person. It only took one sin to condemn Lucifer. It only took one sin to condemn Adam and separate the entire human family from God. It only takes one sin to make a pure heart into an impure heart. There will not be any sin in heave.
We know that the weaker person was a Christian because he is weak or weaker. Lost people are not weak, they are dead. Also, the weaker one is called a brother. Also, the passage says that he was a brother for whom Christ died.

How many times does a wife or husband have to commit adultery before it is adultery? How many times does a person have to murder someone before he is a murderer? This is why John said, 1 John 2:1 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

2 Peter 2:18-22 18 For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage. 20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.

INDEX OF VERSES

Genesis 2:16-17

Exodus 4:23; 7:14; 8:2; 9:1-2; 10:3-4; 16:28; 4:6-7

Deuteronomy 4:30-31; 32:4

Joshua 24:27

1 Samuel 8:19; 15:10-11

Nehemiah 1:8-9

Psalms 7:11-12; 9:7-8; 31:5; 32:1-2; 44:18; 78:10; 85:4; 96:13; 98:9; 103:12; 118:22

Proverbs 1:23-25; 8:32-36; 10:16-18; 14:14; 30:7-9

Isaiah 1:19-20; 55:6-7; 3:1, 3:7; 3:12-14; 3:20-22; 4:1; 5:3; 8:5; 11:10; 13:10

Ezekiel 11:19; 18:20-32

Matthew 1:21; 3:8; 5:6 x; 5:10; 5:13; 5:20, 5:29-30; 5:48; 6:24; 6:33 x; 10:28; 10:32-33; 12:33-35; 12:36-37; 13:20-21; 13:23; 13:39-43; 15:8; 16:24-26; 16:27; 18:11; 19:17; 23:26; 25:29-30; 26:31; 26:74-75

Mark 8:34-38; 9:12-13

Luke 1:16-17; 3:7-14; 4:34; Luke 8:13; 8:15; 9:62; 9:26; 11:28; 13:3; 12:8-9; 22:31-33

John 1:29; 1:46-47; 3:15-17; 3:36; 4:42; 8:24; 8:31 x; 12:46; 14:6; 14:15; 14:21; 14:23-24 ; 15:1-6; 15:2; 15:4, 6; 15:6; 15:9; 15:9-10; 15:10

Acts 3:13-14; 3:26; 7:35; 7:38-40; 10:15; 11:21; 13:8; 13:43; 14:15; 14:22; 17:30-31; 17:31 x; 26:18 x; 26:20

Romans 2:2; 2:5; 2:2, 5-13; 3:22; 3:25-26; 4:13; 4:6-8; 5:12; 5:17-21; 5:18-19; 5:18-21; 6:4; 6:10-21; 6:11; 6:16; 6:18; 6:19, 22; 6:20; 6:23 x; 8:1 x; 8:4; 8:29; 9:14; 9:31-33; 10:3; 10:13; 11:22-23; 14:10-17; 14:20

1 Corinthians 3:8; 5:7-8; 8:9; 8:9-13; 8:11; 8:12

2 Corinthians 5:10 x; 5:17 x ; 6:17-7:1 x; 9:10

Galatians 4:6-11; 4:8-9; 4:9; 5:1-4; 5:16; 5:16-25; 6:1

Ephesians 2:1; 2:2-6, 8-10; 2:10; 4:1, 17, 22-32; 4:24; 5:1-6:16; 5:9

Philippians 1:11; 2:1-16; 2:12; 2:13; 3:9 x

Colossians 1:13; 1:12-21; 1:21-23; 3:1-4,6; 3:1-9, 12-17; 3:24-25

1 Thessalonians 1:9; 4:1-6; 4:7-8 x; 5:4-10; 5:21; 5:23-24

2 Thessalonians 1:5; 2:15

1 Timothy 1:5-6; 1:15 x; 1:19-20; 2:4; 2:15; 3:1-14; 4:1; 4:16 x; 5:8; 5:15; 5:22; 6:10; 6:12; 6:14 x; 6:19 x; 6:20-21

2 Timothy 1:13; 1:14; 2:10-13; 2:12; 2:12-13; 3:5 x; 3:14; 4:4; 4:8

Titus 1:14; Titus 1:16 x; Titus 2:11-12; Titus 3:14

Hebrews 2:1-3; 2:3; 3:6; 3:8-19; 3:14; 4:9-11; 4:14; 6:1; 6:4-6; 6:11-12, 15; 6:18; 7:25; 10:23 x; 10:26-27; 10:26-30; 10:35-38; 11:7; 11:24-25; 12:2 x; 12:14; 12:15; 12:25  x

James 1:15; 1:17; 1:25 x; 1:27; 2:17-26; 4:8

1 Peter 2:24

2 Peter 1:1-11; 1:3-4; 2:1; 2:18-22; 2:20-21; 2:20-22; 2:21; 3:9

1 John 1:7 x; 1:9; 2:1 x; 2:4; 2:6; 2:17; 2:22-23; 2:22-29; 2:24 x; 2:28; 2:29; 3:6; 3:7 x; 3:8; 3:9 x; 3:24 x; 4:14; 5:3; 5:18 x; 5:21

2 John 1:9

3 John 1:11

Jude 1:4; 1:20-21

Revelation 1:3; 2:25; 2:26; 3:3; 3:4-5; 3:11; 16:15; 19:8; 20:12-13; 21:7; 21:8; 22:11; 22:18-19