The Power of Grace Ministries

May 1, 2014

The only way we can truly walk in love is to first grasp the depth of love our God has for us. Once we begin to walk in that love our flesh will be less tempted to follow the wrong path.

Ephesians 5: 1- 6
, 1, Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. 3 But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as is fitting for saints; 4 neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

                As I pointed out in the past, love is what we must purpose to walk in. We have the ultimate example of love in the life of Jesus and what God did for us even while we were in our sins. What I want to address in verse 3 – 6 is a misunderstanding that many people fall into regarding inheritance versus salvation. I have heard it preached, and many pastors and fellow saints use these verses to condemn fellow saints that stumble in one of these areas, as scripture of proof that they will not enter heaven because of their sin, even though they have accepted Jesus as their Savior.

                Inheritance is just what it says, inheritance. When a parent or relative passes away the family members left behind will receive the inheritance; the stuff. If a son or daughter has fallen out of favor from a parent, they may not be in the Will and therefore cannot receive anything from the estate. This does not mean the son or daughter is no longer a son or daughter, just that they will not receive any blessings from the estate of the deceased parent. Salvation is not just the forgiveness of sins, but the complete removal from all sin, past, present, and future. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”, In case someone did not catch this; everlasting is without end. Our salvation is eternal unless we reject it once we realize we have it. The actual verse people stumble over that appears to justify Ephesians 5:3-6 as loosing ones salvation, from backsliding is: Hebrews 6:4-6. “4 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”. The key to fully understand these verses is to look at some of the actual words used. It is impossible for those who “were once enlightened”, “tasted the heavenly gift”, filled with the Holy Spirit, and “tasted the good word of God”. To be enlightened is to have full and complete understanding of something; to the point that the knowledge itself actually controls your very actions in life. A person that is enlightened on the knowledge of gravity will not step off a tall building without any type of support to prevent eminent death at the bottom. A person that has tasted the heavenly gift, and has felt the presence of God in their life, or the Spirit filled saint that has tasted the good word of God is one that has become intimate, or at one with God to the point they are guided with his eyes. (Psalms 32:8) A person that truly fits these criteria will not allow themselves to fall into sin, but may stumble in sin while growing up to this state of understanding. If a person does fit this criteria and makes a conscience decision to reject their salvation with complete knowledge of the consequences, than there is no other way of salvation. Bottom line is you cannot easily lose your salvation, but you do risk hardening your conscience that helps you stay away from sin. If you live in sin long enough you risk making that statement of denunciation.

                Where we miss it regarding sin is that the wrath of God is for the sons of disobedience not the saints that stumble into sin. If you are sleeping with the enemy when the wrath comes you may get caught in the cross fire. If you are holding hands with someone that is about to jump off the roof of a building, they may take to with them even though you would never consciously jump yourself. If you are holding on to your sin, there are natural consequences to sin that will affect your walk here on earth. The saint walking in sin cannot receive the blessings from God while here on earth as God is not mocked. Those that have accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior have been adopted by God as sons and daughters, Galatians 4:6. In Romans 8:17 the word says we are children of God and joint heirs. We need to come to a better understand of being a son of God. Making stupid decisions I life or walking away briefly, only to return does not take away your adoption as God’s child. To better understand our position as child of God we need to understand the story of the prodigal son in Luke 15. The son took his inheritance and left the presence of his father. Never does it say the father disowned him, but when the son was out from under his father’s covering he was left alone to the deception of the world. He eventually lost every possession that had been given to him by his father and ended up feeding pigs. The most significant thing to realize regarding where the son ended up is for a Jewish person, pigs are considered unclean and they are not to eat pork or even touch them. This mean the son had ended up in the lowest place of disgrace a Jewish person could ever reach. While away he could no longer partake of the wealth and blessings associated with his father. When the son came to himself, realizing how he had sinned against himself, his father, and his God, he decided to return home, ask forgiveness. He also intended to ask for a position as a servant in his own father’s house. The prodigal son new that even the servants that lived in his father’s house, lived better then he ended up. In Luke 15:20 we read that the father saw him when he was still far off, but returning. God is forever looking for our return when we slip into sin. We are still God’s children, just as the prodigal son was still his father’s son. Not only did he see his son returning because he was looking for him, but ran to him and restored him to his rightful place of inheritance. True the son lost all that was given to him when he first left, but his father started the process of restoration by placing a ring on his finger, giving him the best robe and even had a celebration. (20 And he arose and came to his father. But when he was still a great way off, his father saw him and had compassion, and ran and fell on his neck and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son.' 22 But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. 23 And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; 24 for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry)

             God will restore His children. You may have natural consequences to walk out as a result of your sin, but you are still His child. I mentioned earlier, you risk getting caught up in the cross fire if you are sleeping with the enemy. While you are away from God you cannot partake of God’s blessings even though you are still a son. There is also a strong risk of getting so far from God that you make the choice to never return. I encourage you to make a decision if you are reading this and see yourself as the prodigal son in Luke 15. Look at where you have ended up and return to God, you’re Father, and let Him restore you. If you see yourself as the angry son that never left the father and wanting to condemn the prodigal brother, check your heart. God is love and when you are not walking in love, especially to your fellow saints, “children of God”, than you are really no better off than the son that physically left. In fact you could be worse off since you may not recognize the fact that you to have fallen in to the sin of the accuser of the brethren. (Revelations 12:10)

             These diffuse two opposing schools of religious doctrine; “Once saved, always saved”, and “if you have sinned and die without repentance”, or are “still in sin when you die, you will not go to heaven”. A person can stay in sin long enough that, with full understanding of what they are doing, denounce their salvation. It is not the sin that keeps you out of heaven, as all sins have been paid for by the blood of Jesus. It is your knowingly rejecting your salvation after you had a solid understanding of the truth. Other people get born again without any real understanding of salvation, either when a small child because they were encouraged to do so by a parent, or as an adult having heard a stirring sermon and making a quick decision. These people may have never had a full understanding of what they had. There is room in God’s grace for them to come to back to Jesus with true repentance and salvation without fitting into the category of a person that had knowingly rejected Jesus. Hebrews 6:6 does not apply to this person as they never truly accepted Jesus’ death for their sin in the first place. As I mentioned in the previous paragraph, if you are reading this and realize you are that prodigal son, there is grace for your return. Only you and God know how far you have gone, and without full understanding, Satan can deceive you that you have gone too far to come back. If this is you, contact this ministry and ask for council and prayer, and let God determine your outcome not man’s doctrine. If you are in the North Houston area, get involved with our bible study. If you live elsewhere find a full gospel church that has a solid understanding and teaching of God’s grace and go there. God is watching and waiting for your return so that He can restore you.