Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. Jude 1:3
Seems to me the real issue should be salvation. Biblical standards should be stood strong on but first people need to be saved! A lot of division going on has nothing to do with spirituality but Pharisees straining at gnats and judging Gods servants. God's agenda is more important than ours and our ways should not hinder Gods work. Why are we wasting so much in ministries that are not even proclaiming the gospel where it is not proclaimed and in so many other ministries that do not even contend for the faith or are just building upon another (mans) work then we wonder why the people will never get doctrine strait and stand firm.
Paul said he kept the faith, he did not waiver from preaching the gospel.
If someone is adding or taking away from the complete work of Jesus Christ let them be accursed! But I know many who work with false doctrines of salvation thinking you are going to fix that group of wishy washy professors whose real motives are money or power, what ever happened to hating the deeds of the Nicolaitans?
God says mark them, avoid them, come out from among them, and yet we do this over so many other issues but the gospel. The brethren confuse me while they try to dissect the gospel to put it in their little acceptance and ignore so much scripture, this is why I write this because I see Satan has lead many astray and are not even preaching the gospel they were saved by. Maybe they never got it.
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 2Timothy 3:16 Gods word is the only authority in any rules we should have, after all He is the creator of all and gave us His book to know the truth and follow and obey Him. So you got to take it all.
Hyper-Calvinism, OK, I spent several months talking with many Pastors over this because if I am wrong I want to be corrected. They say we teach God as a failure because we say His will is to save all men (it's in the bible) and all men do not get saved, (They say God chooses only to save the elect and God chose to send everyone else to hell.) and many other things that I wrote out and have all the emails still, looked at it all and just cannot throw out so much bible to believe this doctrine. It creates too many contradictions especially with the heart of God Jesus showed though the gospels. You have to ignore the commands to obey the gospel, believe, receive, accept, repent, trust, ask, call that God put in His word. Yes, I know God does it and I cannot explain much (glory) but God wept over Jerusalem and rebuked many for resisting the Holy Ghost through Stephen. It's a long debate but I know my Father and I do not need an explanation for His love for the world and His desire for all men to repent. Paul was not a Calvinist and he wrote what God wanted him to.
Armenians, free will of man. Spurgeon said that Calvinism and this need not to be reconciled because they were never separated. Or as I have heard it's a little of both, or can I say neither are right but just man trying to understand our Gods ways and thoughts which will always be higher than ours.
I do know once you are saved you are bought with the blood of Christ and do not belong to yourself no more. Sealed with the Spirit till the day of redemption and kept by the power of God. Never to perish and nothing can separate you from the love of God which we have in Christ Jesus. Now this is all bible and God says now He judges us as children and after this life we will be judged as servants according to our works. He can never judge us as a sinner after the imputation of the blood of the cross has been applied to our account at salvation. Romans 4:24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; There is no 3rd birth and a backslider is miserable but chastened.
If you are keeping yourself saved you are your savior, not Christ. Many people who have a testimony of following Christ to get to heaven are still no different than any other works religion that will never save you. You could be martyred and die with you name not in the book of life. 1 Corinthians 13:3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. (Keeping yourself saved breeds self righteousness and you do not walk in the truth of who you are and what we have in Christ if you have Him.)
Baptismal regeneration, does baptism save you? Many teach this and it is a common belief throughout the world. But God teaches only by faith in Jesus Christ. The verses are so numerous. Everywhere you find eternal life or everlasting life you will find you need to believe in Jesus Christ. He is the Way. Faith in the bible is singular and God only accepts the faith He gives in the finished work of Jesus Christ, if you study the blood you know only His blood washes our sins. Saved people get baptized but baptism never saved anyone. Jesus saves.
Lordship salvation, Heard a man say unless you die at the cross you don't get saved. Sounds good but how dead are you? Jesus should be Lord but if you take this teaching literal you throw away grace and we are all damned. Yes I know if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, but we cannot deny we still have the old nature and people grow in grace. God is clear that salvation comes from repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. It is repeated many times about being freely given, it is Gods gift and it is by grace.
You get saved because the Spirit shows you have sinned and cannot save yourself. You hear the gospel how Jesus died for your sins, was buried and is risen sitting at the right hand of the Father. Only He is our intercessor, mediator, and advocate. There is power in the gospel, in Gods word and believing in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Calling on His name does work. It is His promise. You cannot mix discipleship with salvation. It just goes that a real believer would be a disciple!
If I could see you and know your heart, your thoughts like God does now most likely you would not met the requirements to be a disciple. I have forsaken everything (almost:) but find things I hold or take back, then there is sin that dwells in me, like Paul all I can say is O wretched man that I am. Thank God for Jesus Christ!
Easy believe, a man in Romania went and asked how to be saved. Another asked if he believed and he replied yes so he was told then you're saved, that is as much easy believism as just say a prayer and you are saved. Now I do not think we should throw the prayer away but many have been talked into a prayer (including me) with no knowledge even why I needed to be saved. In Gods words He says we must be born again. That is very clear and it is clearly a work done with the Spirit of God, His word and the gospel and in most cases a witness.
Just because you grew up in church, are members, do sacraments, and even in service to God does not prove you have the Spirit. Many people talk but only you truly know if Christ lives in you. If He does you cannot deny Him or His desires without lying. 2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
What about a prayer? This is causing much confusion and what is amazing most of the men who are teaching against it said one when they got saved.
Once after discussing this with a Pastor I asked a man in his church how he got saved and he gladly told me how his pastor lead him in a prayer and he has been faithful many years:) So what does God say?
Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? (Have you asked Him?)
John 4:10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (Seems to me Jesus was going around teaching a prayer)
John 7:36-39 What manner of saying is this that he said, Ye shall seek me, and shall not find me: and where I am, thither ye cannot come? In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Acts 22:16 And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord. (Ananias told Paul this because this is what the early churches taught, and if read right you can see it was the call that applied the blood, not the baptism.)
Romans 10:9-14 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (God says call three times, why do men teach against God?)
2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) He who hears a prayer is none other but God!
I am not going to throw the prayer away, Jesus taught it and the early churches practiced it. I prayed and God saved my soul. If someone truely wants forgiven and believes Gods promise of it and eternal life by Jesus Christ then let them pray.
I believe in preaching the gospel, the power of preaching, the power of the word, of the power of the name of Jesus Christ (have you ever done a study on just the name of Jesus Christ and salvation?), the only saviour of any man and every man needs to be saved or he will spend eternity in a lake of fire. God gave His Son and Christ gave His life to save you and His Spirit testifies to this in your heart and His word. There is no other way. You need mercy and you can only be forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ. Always a invitation with God, will you come to Him right now and receive Christ as you saviour? If you have stick to the gospel and don't follow men who are not following Christ. Contend.