"Mark 16:15 preach the gospel to every creature. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe (do) all things whatsoever I (Jesus Christ) have commanded: Revelation 22:13 I am Alpha and Omega .. 14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, .. they .. have right to the tree of life, and .. enter .. the city."
I am a retired pastor of
the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.
They say that salvation is a free gift from God. If we had to work to keep it, then it would not be a free gift. So, we don't have to do anything to keep it. They think that if we are once saved we are always saved. They have a very good logic. Then they quote the two following verses to support their logic. "Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence 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." But, this is a deceptive way of quoting the scripture to prove what they want to prove. The verses should be presented to bring the truth of God to light. However, justification of life means just life or righteous life. Then the righteous life leads to eternal life according toverse 22. Let us look at the verses in their context for further details.
The gift of God, the eternal life, is not given to a person who is keep on sinning. But it was given to a person, who was a sinner but obeyed God and was made free from committing sin. This person is made righteous and holy and now he is ashamed of the sins that he had committed. As this person continues as such, and at the end Jesus Christ gives him/her the gift of eternal life. "Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 ... now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." It all summarizes in the last verse saying, sinning people will get eternal death, and those who were made free from sinning, has become servants of God, they live holy life and they are the only people who will receive the gift of God, which is the eternal life. Verse 23 is not an island by itself, but it is the summary of verses 16 to 22. But, they hide verses 16 to 22 from people, and interpret verse 23 to mean that God gives them eternal life instead of eternal death to sinning people as a gift. This is ridiculous and it is the deception of the devil.
We all begin to sin from our youth (Jeremiah 3:25 we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.), so we were servants of sin. That means we were all sinners. Verse 17 says "but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you", that is, (1) they obeyed the commandments of Jesus Christ. Verse 18 says "made free from sin", that is, (2) they do not sin any more. They "became the servants of righteousness", that is, (3) now they are righteous and serve God. Verse 19 says, they became "servants to righteousness unto holiness", that is, (4) they are living a holy life. Verse 21 says that "those things whereof ye are now ashamed", that is, (5) they are ashamed of the past life of sin, which could have taken them to eternal death. Verse 22 says, (6) they have "being made free from sin, and become servants to God", (7) they have "your fruit unto holiness" produced evidence of holiness in their life, and "the end everlasting life." These things are the cause of eternal life. The summary of the verses 17 to 22 is in verse 23. It says, (A) whoever is sinning will face eternal death and (B) the gift of God is eternal life. That is, (B) the eternal life given to the person by the above seven steps that is explained from verse 17 to 22. However, the sinning person will face eternal damnation. The saints, who were once sinners and do not sinn anymore, will receive eternal life as free gift from God. But false preachers say; a sinning person gets this free gift, which is the twist of the truth. The wages of sinning is eternal death (damnation).
The word of God does not have any contradiction. Yet, most preachers choose a few verses to prove their own doctrine and pretend that the rest of the scriptures are void. However, it seems that God has given them enough rope so that they may hang themselves. "1 Peter 2:8 even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed." So, it seems that these verses are structured so that the disobedient people, who have no intention to obey God, or the doctrines of Jesus Christ, may fall. Let us look at this verse. "Romans 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous." It is preached as, the sin of Adam is laid upon many and thus they are made sinners, and the righteousness of Jesus Christ is laid upon many others and thus they are made righteous. They also say that the people has 'no say' in this matter and God decide who all will be sinners and who all will be righteous. But, it is wrong interpretation. It contradicts all other verses in the scripture and it contradicts the very character of God. The truth is: Adam did disobey God and did set up a model. Jesus Christ did obey God and did set up another model. Many follow Adam's model, and this made them sinners. And, many others follow the model set by Jesus Christ and this made them righteous.
Let us see what it says inRomans 5:12-21 in general. "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: 17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one;" It tells about physical death that came upon all people because of the sin of Adam as well as by the sin of all of us. "Acts 4:2 ...through Jesus the resurrection from the dead. Acts 24:15...there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust." It is about our death and resurrection; death because of Adam and resurrection because of Jesus Christ. The next passage does not talk about the normal death and resurrection, but about the eternal death and eternal life. Adam has nothing to do about our eternal death. But if Jesus Christ will reign our life on earth through righteousness, by his grace and gift, we will receive eternal life. So, there are two things here. One is about physical death and resurrection and the second is about eternal death and eternal life. If we are not careful in our study, we may get mixed up. "Romans 5:17 ... 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 offence 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." Here, the physical death came to us by Adam and the reign of righteous life came to us because of the gift by Jesus Christ. Be very careful, verse 12 is about the physical death because of Adam, but verse 21 is about the sin that may rule us and the eternal death that has come because of our sin, but not because of the sin of Adam. Now, Jesus Christ may reign us through grace to make us righteous and holy. "Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." So, one is about physical death and resurrection, the other is about eternal death and eternal life. So, we have eternal life, if grace reign through righteousness by Jesus Christ our Lord. But, if sinning reigns our life, our sin hath reigned unto death that is eternal.
I will reply promptly.Thanks.