Assurance (3)!

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

There are passages of Scripture that, according to the Arminian interpretation suggest a person can lose their salvation, fall away from grace. They are both in Hebrews (Hebrews 6:4-8; 10:26-31). Those spoken of here lived very close to the kingdom, doubtless. They tasted of the heavenly gift, that is, of the riches of salvation in Christ; they were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, that is, they were the recipients of some of the gifts which the Spirit of Christ bestowed and still bestows upon the church of Christ, whether we understand by these special gifts with which they the early church  was endowed, such as the gift of tongues, of healing, of prophecy, or the general gifts of teaching, comforting, the ministry of the word, and the like. Moreover, they tasted of the good word of God, that is, they knew and understood it, and realised its blessedness to an extent; and they tasted the powers of the world to come: they had some experience of the beauty and blessedness of the promises of God in their final  realisation, and understood their power unto a life of sanctification in the midst of the world. They not only apprehended all these spiritual realities of the kingdom of heaven, but somehow tasted them, and recognised their goodness, their beauty and blessedness. Yet, in all this, there is not one word that speaks of, or even suggests the grace of #god unto salvation. The text does not ascribe unto these men the new birth, or faith in Christ, or the love of God and of the brethren, nor the grace of sanctification. Whatever is said of them, may be found in natural men, devoid of the grace of regeneration and of true faith in Jesus Christ. The natural man is able to understand the gospel intellectually, can partake of the gifts of the Holy Ghost, is able even to instruct others in the word of God. Judas Iscariot, for three years did all of these things. Yet he was a devil, and never tasted the true grace of God. According to the figure at the end of this passage from Hebrews, these people are the thorns and thistles, that sprout and grow up under the influence of the abundant and frequent rain, the same rain that brings forth the good grain. There is no falling away of the saints. Once a believer always a believer.

(© James R Hamilton)
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