Remaining

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

 

5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

 

John 15:1-7

 

Continuing with the subject of “enduring to the end” ….

 

In this text, a synonym for “abide” is “remain”.

 

And this carries the same meaning as when He said, “he that endures to the end will be saved”.

 

The one who doesn’t endure to the end, or does not remain/abide in Christ is not saved.

 

Jesus explicitly says here that such a one, though they were formally abiding in the Vine, did not continue to abide in the Vine, they did not remain in faith, they did not endure, and He cast them out like a dead branch into the fire.

3 Responses to “Remaining”

  1. ian vincent Says:

    It seems the fuss about “once saved always saved” is over the nature of faith.

    Scripture says BOTH that God gives faith as a gift, and man is held responsible to believe and keep believing.

    Both are true.

    Now, it seems they don’t have a problem that a man must keep believing to go to heaven.

    I don’t think they are suggesting that if a man no longer believes that he will be going to heaven.

    The issue seems to rest on them thinking man has no responsibility to keep believing, because if faith is exclusively a gift, and has nothing to do with man, then he can just ignore all the warnings in scripture, because his faith is totally God’s responsibility and not his.

    And that’s a caricature of Biblical faith.

    It even makes God’s judgment a joke.

  2. ian vincent Says:

    WERE THE APOSTATES OF HEBREWS 6 TRUE BELIEVERS? by Lynette Hughes: The Book of Hebrews was written to a fearful, struggling group of Jewish believers who had accepted Jesus as their Messiah and Savior, but who were tempted under the threat of terrible persecution to reject Christ and return to Judaism. The author is anonymous, although it is traditionally believed to be Paul, who is encouraging them to hold fast to their profession of faith and not go back to Judaism with its animal sacrifices, Levitical priesthood and the law of Moses [the mere shadows of what they had in Christ] just to avoid persecution. They were tempted to believe that the persecutions would cease if they would abandon Christianity and revert back to their former way of life. The author of the book of Hebrews is encouraging them to remain strong in faith and warns them what could happen if they reject Christ, fall away from the faith and return to their old way of living as Jews.

    In Hebrews 6:4-6 the author writes “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” This passage refers to apostates who willfully reject the gospel and betray Christ after having been truly converted and received the Holy Spirit. How can the unsaved fall away? They are already separated from God.

    Let’s look at some reasons to believe the entire book of Hebrews was written to genuine believers:

    1) The author calls those he is writing to “holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling…” (Heb. 3:1). The word translated “brethren” is defined as brothers by blood or fellow believers united by the bond of affection. He tells them to look to Jesus as the apostle and high priest of THEIR PROFESSION OF FAITH. He is urging believers not to withdraw or shrink back from their profession of faith in Christ Jesus. He would not be writing to unbelievers that Jesus was the high priest of their nonexistent profession of faith.

    2) The author includes himself by using the pronouns ‘we’ (51 times) ‘us’ (31 times) and ‘our’ (16 times). In Heb. 10:39 he includes himself as well as those he is writing to as those who “have faith.” This would be true only of genuinely born-again believers. Had the warnings been for “professing” believers or unbelievers, he would not have included himself. For example, Hebrews 10:26 says, “For if WE go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” The writer sees “sinning willfully”— a return to Judaism with its animal sacrifices – as something which not only could the believers he is writing to commit, but he could do so himself.

    3) The author refers to them as “sons” who have a relationship with God the Father (Heb. 12:5,7, 8). Unbelievers, professing to believe or otherwise, do not have a “son” relationship with God the Father. Romans 9:8 says that “It is not the natural children who are God’s children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.”

    4) The author does not encourage them to “believe in Jesus for eternal life” anywhere in Hebrews. Had those reading the letter been unbelievers, the author failed dismally in encouraging them to place their faith in Jesus Christ for the gift of eternal life (John 3:16; Rom 6:23).

    5) The author calls for them (Heb. 13:22) to “press on to maturity” in the faith they already possessed (Heb. 6:1, 4-5). He warns them not to “drift away” by neglecting “so great a salvation” (2:1-4). He rebukes them for their lack of faith, and warns against having an “evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God” (3:1-4:16). He says they had become “dull of hearing” and goes on to tell them in Heb. 5:12 that by now ‘you ought to be teachers.’ This would make no sense if they were unbelievers without faith in Christ Jesus.

    6) Those the author is writing to have suffered public humiliation, mockery, insults and hostility for their faith (Heb. 10:32-33). They even “accepted joyfully the seizure of their property” (10:34 NASB). Their possessions were taken from them and they lost all they owned. It is most unlikely that unbelievers would be willing to suffer this kind of persecution for a nonexistent faith.

    The argument given by proponents of the Once Saved, Always Saved doctrine has no support for their theological position that the book of Hebrews is addressed to both believers and the unsaved. This epistle is addressed to Jewish believers in Hebrews 13:22, the author says, “I urge you, dear brothers and sisters, to pay attention to what I have written in this brief exhortation.”

    In the same way that Christ is the only means of salvation, the Holy Spirit is the only means of repentance. The Holy Spirit convicts both the lost and the believer of sin, righteousness and judgment: He illuminates God’s Word and enables us to repent and turn from our sins. He’s the only one who can transform us. If we resist, insult, despise and quench the Holy Spirit and refuse to listen and obey, there is no road to recovery and restoration; we will die in our sins. Only believers can be said (1) to have been enlightened, (2) to have tasted the heavenly gift, (3) to have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, (4) to have tasted the good word of God, and (5) to have tasted the powers of the age to come.

    1) The phrase “once been enlightened” can be translated “once and for all” from the Greek. The word ‘once’ is the same word used to describe the sacrifice of Christ that was offered only ‘once’ (Heb 9:28). That sounds rather final.

    2) The phrase ”…who have tasted the heavenly gift” refers to the gift of salvation [John 5:24; Eph.2:8; Rom. 6:23] and means they fully experienced regeneration or the new birth that results in being made alive spiritually. They didn’t just nibble at it; they fully ‘tasted’ it. This is the same word the author of Hebrews used earlier in the book when he said Jesus “tasted death for every man” (Heb. 2:9]). This means Jesus didn’t just nibble on death, He ‘tasted’ death once by fully experiencing it.

    3) The phrase “ who have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit” is to have received the Holy Spirit and had fellowship with Him. Those who are unsaved or pretending to have a relationship with the Lord have never been a partaker [a sharer] of the Holy Spirit. When a person partakes of the Holy Spirit, they undergo a radical spiritual transformation. Only New Creations in Christ partake of the Holy Spirit. How can someone partake of the Holy Spirit and yet remain an unbeliever?

    4) The phrase to have “tasted the good word of God” means to have personally tasted the excellence of His word, experienced the sweetness of His commands, and the riches of His blessings. Psalm 119:103 “How sweet are Your words to the taste of my mouth! Sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

    5) The phrase to have ‘tasted…the powers of the age to come” is speaking of the authority we have been given as born-again Christians filled with the same Holy Spirit in us that Jesus had to make disciples, heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out demons, bind up the broken hearted, and set at liberty those who are bound. That authority and power has been given to us in this present age as a down payment for the full inheritance that is promised to us in the age to come.

    Grouped together, to become enlightened, to have tasted of salvation, to have partaken of the Spirit, to have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come is clearly speaking of those who have been truly saved. It is one thing for an unbeliever to reject Christ, but it is another thing for a person who has been enlightened, tasted the gift of salvation, partaken of the Spirit and personally experienced the blessings of God to say, “I think the world offers me more than Christ does.” That is a re-crucifying of Jesus and a putting him to public shame worse than any unregenerated outsider could, who never tasted the truth.

    Hebrews 6 is not given to us to cause us to doubt our standing with God or cast us into a state of hopelessness, wondering whether or not our profession of faith is genuine. Hebrews 6 is given to true Christians as a severe warning that to apostatize – deliberately disown Christ and reject the Christian faith – after receiving spiritual enlightenment and become partakers of the Holy Spirit will have to suffer the consequences – God’s judgment and eternal condemnation. [Jude 4]

    Since apostates have hardened their heart against Christ and rejected Him, verse 6 NKJV says ‘it is impossible to renew them AGAIN to repentance since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” Take notice of the word ‘AGAIN.’ It means they have previously repented. Concerning the eternal destiny of apostates, the fact is Scripture says it is impossible to bring them back to repentance; they are eternally condemned as they have arrived at a spiritual state where they can no longer repent. It doesn’t say it would be merely difficult, or that it would take long hours of prayer and fasting; it doesn’t say you could take him aside and coax him back to the faith. It says, “It is IMPOSSIBLE to renew them again to repentance.”

    An apostate is not a backslider. The backslider returns back into the sinful world of the flesh, and though it has proven difficult, when they are convicted through the work of the Holy Spirit, they most often experience godly sorrow, repent and receive forgiveness. However, the apostate continues in his sins, and has no desire to repent and get back into God’s grace. Backsliding is a dangerous place to venture, because sin hardens the heart and it can easily lead to a person drifting into a state of unbelief and deliberately and knowingly rejecting their salvation.

    This warning in Hebrews the 6th chapter was intended to shock Jewish Christians into persevering in their faith, and to encourage them to resist the temptation of returning to their old way of life – Judaism – in order to escape persecution. This serious warning is given for the good of all God’s people; a warning against walking away from the Lord; a reminder that we must persevere in faith until the very end of our lives as a condition of salvation.

  3. ian vincent Says:

    For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, 5 and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, 6 if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

    Hebrews 6:4-6

    This could only apply to someone who’s been born again.

    Because it’s not too late for any person, who’s not been born again, to repent and be saved.

    Just say there’s a guy who was raised in a Christian family, went to church all his life, but he was never truly converted in his heart, he just held to the external church culture and tried to be good.

    This guy can repent. This guy can still be saved.

    Hebrews is not telling him there’s no hope for him to be saved.

    What Hebrews IS telling the saved Christian, who’s been born again, is that he needs to keep His eyes on Jesus and abide or remain in Christ, lest his heart become hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

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