Can One Fall From God’s Grace?
In many of our articles, we have talked about what one must do to be saved. Inevitably, someone will ask, “Can a Christian sin and fall from God’s grace?” This is a good question. What is the answer?
Some say that one can never fall from grace once they are saved. Wayne Camp, Samuel Morris, and other famous preachers have said this. However, our focus is to be, “What does the Scripture say?” (Rom. 4:3).
Paul, speaking to the Roman brethren (saved people), said that if they were to live after the flesh they would die (Rom. 8:12-13). In other words, they could pass from life to death as a result of their sin. Paul warned that some Galatian Christians had “fallen from grace” when they tried to keep the law of Moses (Gal. 5:1-4). The Hebrew writer said, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Heb. 3:12). James, when he wrote to the Christians, said that it is possible for one to “fall under condemnation” (Jas. 5:12). The Bible warns us in other places that a child of God can sin and be lost. Friends, why are these warnings given to Christians if it is not possible for a Christian to sin and be lost?
A believer in Christ can become an unbeliever. People that are converted can be lost (I Tim. 4:1, 5:8) It is possible for a child of God to fall from grace. Therefore, let us heed God’s warnings and live faithfully for God while we live upon this earth (I Cor. 15:58; Rev. 2:10).
A few weeks ago, I published a work by brother Bill Crews. Here is another article he wrote some years ago. Let us read it and benefit from it.
“What Man Says Vs. What God Says”
- Man says: “The important thing is whether or not one loves God, not the keeping of commandments.”
- God says: “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous” (I Jn. 5:3).
- Man says: “Thank God for the many churches so that man may find the one that is best suited for Him.”
- God says: “There is one body” (Eph. 4:4). “He is the head of the body, the church” (Col. 1:18).
- Man says: “Join the church of your choice, but join a church.”
- God says: “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:47). “Every plant, (religious) which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up” (Matt. 15:13). “...and that there be no divisions among you” (I Cor. 1:10).
- Man says: “Each person should follow the way that seems right to them and that honesty and conscience direct.”
- God says: “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death” (Prov. 14:12). “O LORD, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23).
- Man says: “Faith only is a most wholesome doctrine and very full of comfort.” “Ye see that by faith only a man is justified.”
- God says: “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only” (Jas. 2:24). “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love” (Gal. 5:6).
- Man says: “Baptism is not necessary to one’s salvation.”
- God says: “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved” (Mk. 16:16). “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins” (Acts 2:38).
- Man says: “Baptism is an ordinance that can be administered by sprinkling or pouring on of water as well as by immersion in water.”
- God says: “We are buried with him by baptism into death” (Rom. 6:4). “They came unto a certain water: .... and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. And when they were come up out of the water …” (Acts 8:36-39).
Predestination is a popular doctrine. This doctrine basically states that God has predetermined who will be saved and lost eternally before the world was created. Therefore, one cannot change his eternal destiny. “What saith the Scripture?” The Bible teaches that Christ died for all people, not a select, predestined few. Jesus came, “to give his life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28). In Hebrews, we read that Christ, “should taste death for every man” (Heb. 2:9). Peter told Cornelius, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him” (Acts 10:34-35). God’s predestination is not something forced upon certain people without their knowledge or consent!
The word “predestinate” means to set boundaries or limits beforehand. God’s predestination is seen in that He has already established the way by which people can come to Him in order to be saved and remain His children. Paul said the predestinated people are the called people (Rom. 8:30). How are men called? They are called through the gospel (II Thess. 2:14)! Hearing the gospel produces faith (Rom. 10:17). This leads to repentance and baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38).
Yes, the Bible teaches predestination, but not what the denominations teach! God has predetermined the way by which man can be saved. He has not predestined certain ones to be saved or lost eternally without their knowledge or choice! (Matt. 11:28-30; Rev. 22:17)
Learning Lessons From Naaman The Leper (#7)
For the past few days, we have studied II Kings 5:1-14 in connection with the healing of the leper, Naaman. What applications can we make from this account?
From the young maid (II Kings 5:2-3), let us learn that God’s word is understandable, and can be obeyed by the young as well as the old. God’s word is just as understandable today as it was in the days of Naaman (Eph. 3:4, 5:17).
Let us learn that only God can save us, and His salvation is not for sale (II Kings 5:5, 15-16; I Pet. 1:18-19). Just as Naaman was cleansed on God’s terms (II Kings 5:10, 14), we will be saved on God’s terms, or not at all (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:38).
We need to realize that we are known by what we do (II Kings 5:8). Our words only go so far. If we are a Christian, or are wicked, our actions will show it (Matt. 7:12, 21; I Jn. 3:18).
Instead of fighting against the Lord (II Kings 5:11-12), let us willingly obey God. Naaman was the first on record to suggest that cleansing power was in the water. It was not true then, nor is it true today when someone cries “water salvation” when we teach baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 22:16; I Pet. 3:21).
Finally, let us learn that we will be blessed by God only when we submit completely to the will of the Lord, just as Naaman did (II Kings 5:14; Rev. 22:14)! Are we obedient to the Lord? (Jas. 2:24, 26)
Learning Lessons From Naaman The Leper (#6)
The account of the leper Naaman is found in II Kings 5:1-14. We have learned that a young Israelite slave girl was the key to Naaman’s cleansing. We learned that it was neither his money nor his going to the king for help that cleansed Naaman; it was Elisha giving him the divine prescription (v. 10). Naaman’s response was one of anger, of assumption, and substitution of God’s will for his. However, none of these things healed him. Only when Naaman had a change of heart and obeyed was he cleansed.
We read of Naaman’s change in II Kings 5:13-14. Naaman’s servants told him “if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith unto thee, Wash, and be clean” (v. 13). At this, Naaman submitted to God’s command and “dipped himself seven times in Jordan ... and he was clean” (v. 14). Based on the Scriptures, we know it took complete submission (dip seven times in Jordan, v. 10) for Naaman to be clean. As Paul said in Romans 15:4, let us learn a lesson from Naaman and offer nothing but our complete submission to the God of Heaven! It is not a matter of doing what we want to do, but let us “serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear” (Heb. 12:28).
It was after his healing that Naaman understood, “There is no God in all the earth, but in Israel” (II Kings 5:15). What started with a slave-girl concerned for her master’s health (v. 3), ended with a man recognizing the one true God (v. 15)!