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Young at Heart
In General Discussion
Sep 14, 2023
Thank you, Mark, for your comments. I appreciate you taking the time to read my article and provide your insights and scripture references. I have taken your comments to heart for future reference.      My article was written, in part, to express my personal view on salvation, which I believe to be simple child-like faith, that is, believing in the gospel of Jesus Christ and his finished work on the cross. I derive this from many scripture references, a few of which are Jn 5:24, Jn 6:47, Jn 3:16, Jn 3:36, Eph 2:8-9, Acts 8:37-38, Acts 16:30-31. Is there repentance involved in salvation? Yes, there is. There’s a change of heart and mind from unbelief to belief, from being the lord of my own life to recognizing the need for the true and living God to be the Lord of my life. Is there repentance after salvation? Yes, there is. The Lord wants to continually change my mind, change my desires, conform me into His image, and help keep me from coming under the power of sin.    The 1Co 6:9-10 passage you mentioned says, know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. If we go one verse further (v. 11), the passage says, and such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. The emphasis being on the phrase – “and such were some of you”. You were this in the past, but at the moment of salvation (the moment you received God’s Spirit) you have been washed, sanctified, and justified. Scripture also makes it clear that we have also been given the gift of righteousness…    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 (Php 3:9). Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe. (Ro 3:22). For if by one man's offence 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.(Ro 5:17). For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. (2Co 5:21).    We see that righteousness is not earned; it is a gift at the moment of salvation. God’s righteousness is imputed to us through our faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore, in my view, the term in this passage translated unrighteous (an unrighteous person) is synonymous with unbeliever. Paul makes this distinction at the beginning of the chapter - 1Co 6:1, dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? (NKJV). An unbeliever is not and cannot be righteous in God’s eyes. A believer, on the other hand, is righteous in God’s eyes because it is only obtained through the faith of Christ.    Paul then gives examples of what the unrighteous (unbelievers) practice in their daily lives; how they are “identified”. Can a believer fall back into sin and practice some of these same things? Yes, he certainly can. See 1Co 3:1-3; 5:1 as examples of Paul addressing “carnal Christians”. If Christians cannot fall back into carnality, then why would Paul include v. 12, all things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. Why would Paul have written Romans 7? Are there consequences for falling back into these sinful activities? Yes, a person who does these things will pay a price for his actions, there will be consequences during this life on Earth.   In my view, this passage is teaching about the “transforming” or maturing process in a Christian’s life. Perhaps best described within the term “sanctification”. Paul is making the point that since a believer has received God’s gift of righteousness, then it’s only logical to live and act that way, to live according to his new identity. This is the process of change that (should) come about through the inner working of the Holy Spirit, from the inside out, to transform us into His image. This process begins with salvation - the act of faith, the act of believing in the name of Jesus, believing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Salvation, becoming a child of God, is instantaneous at the very moment of belief. Transformation, or sanctification, is a life-long process.      From the moment of salvation throughout the rest of our earthly lives comes the process of being transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Ro 12:2). Our minds are renewed by studying and applying the word of God, and through the illuminating power of the indwelling Holy Spirit who is at work saving us from coming under the power of sin. Salvation from eternal separation from God has already taken place. We now need the power of the Holy Spirit to help us from coming under the grip of sin, which is a lifelong process.    I trust this adds some clarification to my article. Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts. Many blessings to you, my brother, Dean


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