1 Timothy 4 - NIV

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sweetandsour
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1 Timothy 4 - NIV

Post by sweetandsour »

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... ersion=NIV

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron. 3 They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. 4 For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.

6 If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters,[a] you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. 8 For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. 9 This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. 10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God,who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.

Verse 1: It is possible for someone to abandon their faith. If/when they do, do they also lose their salvation?

Verse 10: Does the last phrase support verse 1?
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1 Timothy 4 - NIV

Post by MrPiper »

This is a very fair question. This is MY opinion based on decades of Bible study. Many here disagree and that is Ok. Whether one can "lose their salvation" is not a point of salvation in and of itself. To believe one way or the other does not mitigate or substantiate your salvation. One day, the answer will be complete in His presence. For now though, I have arrived at this place:

When the Bible seems to contradict or is unclear in a specific verse or section, it must be studied in light of the scripture in total. Either God is sovereign or He is not. Either salvation is completely His work, or it is NONE of His work. The cross was adequate to pay the price for my sin, or it is not. It's not a matter of WHEN the sin occurred. I am a SINNER BY BIRTH. The cross paid the price for me BEING a sinner to enter into the presence of a Holy God. He paid the price for my sin before I was ever born! That means ALL sin because I am ALL sinner! Past present and future. That is not license to sin though. A saved sinner is led by the Holy Spirit indwelling, and is DEEPLY convicted when we stray. This seems to be the consistent over arching message of the entire scripture.

God does the saving. His ways are so far above ours as to leave us a little more than an earthworm by comparison. I see them sometimes on my driveway after a rain. If I leave them there they become "worm jerky" for my dog to eat. If I choose to pick them up and toss them into the moisture of the damp landscaping, they survive. Terrible analogy of course, but it helps me think of how much we totally depend on Him. Even if we WANT to get off the driveway, we really can not get there unless He picks us up and moves us.

As far as losing your salvation, I am of the camp that believes that verse: "We are saved by grace, through faith, and that not of ourselves lest any man should boast." To my study, and from many theologians, if we have ANY part in salvation, except to receive the gift of God willingly, then He is not glorified, and Christ did not have to die. I am one step beyond that and believe that I could not even accept the gift except that He GIVES me the faith to do so. I know my heart, and HE prepared it for salvation. I did not. I know that by my own heart, history and actions.

Many point to the book of James for loss of salvation. Again, I think it PROVES that real salvation can not be lost. One who has no works was never saved. It is a way to tell who is the "real" believer versus the imposter. Real faith produces real fruit and works. False faith does not.

All that to say this, I do not believe that a true believer can lose their salvation EVER. I believe we can stray, because we are only a "saved sinner" but we are absolutely miserable in that state. Freedom in Christ is freedom from the penalty of our sinful state to serve Him.

If my precious daughter became an axe murdering social reprobate, criminal, and bank robber, we would lose fellowship. She would likely go to prison, but she would still be my daughter. I would still love her. I would still claim her. I would still be waiting if she came back home in repentance. I would welcome her back into the fellowship.

In short, I believe that in this life we can lose our fellowship, but not our salvation. This is not a place where that debate will ever be settled of course. That takes much time and personal bible study to come to the conclusion of the individual. I just know where I have landed. If there were ANY WAY POSSIBLE to lose my salvation, I would find it. Without Jesus, I have NO HOPE.

Please PM if you wish. I would love to discuss this via phone or even get together a "zoom Sunday School class" or bible study for our group here! These types of studies are strong and useful in "working out your own salvation." (Which I take to mean that after you are saved, God, and you, work out your path together in service to Him.)

Ultimately, salvation is the result of TOTAL UNCONDITIONAL SURRENDER to the LORD Jesus Christ. ONLY then is He our LORD, Master and God.
ANY condition to our surrender, and He is nothing to us.
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1 Timothy 4 - NIV

Post by Hugo Drax »

Once you've accepted something as a bedrock truth around which youve built your whole worldview, can you then reject that fact as untrue? Is such a scenario possible?
That seems to be the crux of the issue.

I don't like to limit Christ with my earthly brain. Every single time I've ever gotten myself in trouble that trouble was a result of my brain taking the lead. "OK, Jesus, thank you so much, I get it now and will take it from here." Like I could. I lose my keys twice a day, you know.

I think the Piper hit the nail on the head with "surrender." We're given free will which we as Christians, in an act of faith, choose to surrender to the one will of God and then it is no longer we who live, but Christ who lives within us.

So both sides of the argument are really saying the same thing, in my mind. To lose one's salvation, one must turn one's back on a faith one never really surrendered to in the first place. I think both possible responses to the question you posed recognize this fundamental fact.

I pray that it is the Father's will to allow us all to come to the Son and that the Son then leads us to the Father. Once that happens, all other questions are answered!
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1 Timothy 4 - NIV

Post by tuttle »

I think of Jesus' parable of the sower. The seed falls on certain soils and is initially accepted and yet of the four soils, three of them in varying degrees wind up 'falling away' or producing nothing. The plants did not endure.

Throughout the New Testament we're constantly encouraged to continue in the faith. Jesus tells the churches in Revelation, "To the one who is victorious" or who "overcomes". Paul says at the end of his life that he has kept the faith. This idea of enduring in the faith to the end is all over the place, and I think we can rightly connect 1 Tim 4:1 to that concept. The some who will abandon the faith for the teachings of demons are the same who do not keep the faith, the ones who get their seed stolen by the devil, or other circumstances pushed them to reject the faith and embrace other teachings. They did not endure to the end.

In other places (like John 10) we read that the sheep know Christ's voice and no one can snatch them from his hand. So we might conclude that anyone who has abandoned the faith for demonic teaching, anyone who does not endure to the end, were never in Christ's saving hands to begin with.
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1 Timothy 4 - NIV

Post by mcommini »

There is a trite cliché we Orthodox use when discussing salvation: "I have been saved, I am being saved, and, by the Grace of God, I will be saved." We, especially those who were raised in the Western Christian tradition, like to be able to zero in on that "one thing" that provides Salvation, by which we mean that one act that over rides all others. But, of course, and as St Paul shows here, that "one thing" is Jesus Christ Himself, the living God.

The New Testament points to a lot of different acts that are a vehicle for this salvation- "believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved, (Acts 16:31)", "baptism, which now saves you" (I Peter 3:21), and straight from the mouth of the Lord "unless you eat My flesh and drink My blood, you have no life in you" (John 6:53). Our tendency to atomize the particulars and neglect the whole is more responsible for the schisms of the Church than anything else- in fact, all the best heresies come, not from neglecting Scripture, but elevating one verse above all others- thus the Arian latches onto Christ as "the firstborn of creation" over "the Word was God" while the Donatist is perfectly happy to use this first verse in Timothy 4 (along with all the others regarding apostasy) and ignore all the verses about confession and reconciliation.

Donatism, the belief that falling away is unforgivable (or at least that it means one needs to start the whole salvation process from ground zero, with rebaptism), is the parallel heresy to Once Saved, Always Saved- for every good heresy has a parallel (the Arian was a reaction to the Gnostic- the gnostic asserted the divinity at the expense of the material). OSAS came about in reaction to what was seen as excessive "works righteousness" of the Roman Catholic and magisterial Reformation churches and was supposed to provide believers with the "Blessed Assurance" of the old Baptist Hymnal as opposed to an over-scrupulous moralism that obsessed over every sin.

In practice (and here I speak from the experience of having grown up OSAS) OSAS tends to lead to even more doubt. You either have Grace so insanely cheap that the conduct of life means nothing or people expecting their lives to be so changed that the slightest sin has them doubting whether or not they really believed to begin with (or, far more often, wondering if Deacon Jones ever really believed to begin with, because you happened to see him walking out of the liquor store with bottles in hand).

But "Blessed Assurance" is countered both here and elsewhere by St Paul- "work out your salvation with fear and trembling" (and woe to the Corinthians eating and drinking their own damnation!). The Grace of God, like the divine being itself, is ineffable, awesome, and far beyond our comprehension. It is a free gift, but it is a gift we must not only accept, but maintain. And this maintenance is paradoxical- it is, as Piper says, total, unconditional surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ, but this surrender means nothing if nothing is done with it: we must allow ourselves to be carried, but we must not flop to the ground when set down and told "take up your cross and follow me".

So, what then? Can those which He has been given fall out of His hand? But we are looking the wrong way around- and we think we know who those are He has been given. We won't know until the end who are the sheep and who are the goats- even those saying "Lord, Lord..." can be cast into eternal darkness at that time.

When the Apostles imply or outright make statements that suggest a loss of salvation it is to two purposes- the first is a warning not to follow false teachers (oh, Galatians, who has bewitched you? Cutting the foreskin of the penis is to cut oneself from Christ, and I would that those who taught you to do so would themselves be castrated, to paraphrase an entire epistle ). The second is so that we examine ourselves and not be so assured that we make a mockery of the Gospel (and that we, supposedly believers, do not eat and drink our own damnation).

But we aren't to be constantly frightened. God loves us and does not will that any should die, but all should have eternal life. More than belief which saves, faith saves. Faith these days has been equated with belief, but it is a different creature altogether. When the Apostle speaks of faith and faithfulness, he is speaking of being faithful to God the same way a man is faithful to his wife. The man might believe in his wife, believe her to be a good woman above reproach, but he may have this belief and still be a serial philanderer. Abraham, the example of the faith which saves, does not just believe the LORD- he follows through and goes to a foreign land. And Abraham is a great example- one may say he lost faith in the promise of Isaac through Sarah by going to Hagar to conceive Ishmael, but his faith is displayed by the act of repentance and a return to the Covenant between him and the LORD.

Faith which saves acknowledges when we fall, repents, and then continues on the road to the Promised Land. And the faith which truly saves is not our own but His who "when we confess our sins is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanses us from all unrighteousness".

All this is to say, can we lose our salvation? We better behave as if we believe we can. But in those moments of doubt and despair when God seems far off and it seems we have no faith left, take comfort in the true blessed assurance- that He who pursued Israel through her many infidelities until He won her, that He who would leave the 99 sheep to search for the one lost, that He who welcomes the Prodigal, the Adulteress, the Canaanite, the thrice-damned tax collector, and the Thief is in pursuit of you.
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1 Timothy 4 - NIV

Post by Del »

sweetandsour wrote: 24 Jul 2022, 15:54 https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?s ... ersion=NIV

The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.

10 That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God,who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.

Verse 1: It is possible for someone to abandon their faith. If/when they do, do they also lose their salvation?
Verse 10: Does the last phrase support verse 1?
The Apostolic Christians have piled on to this thread (including Tuttle, who has studied enough of the Early Church that he is almost one of us).
I hope you are still following this discussion, sweet & sour Tim.

Scripture always supports itself, of course. However, Scripture doesn't always support the American Evangelical fundamentalist Bible Christian interpretation of Scripture.

Verse 10 reminds us that God desires every human soul to be united with Him, even those who do not believe. Scripture does not tell us how God judges this, as this is not our business. Our business is to spread the Gospel of Jesus, so that we can all participate in the Church He established and know the teachings of His Apostles.

Meanwhile.... yes, salvation is fragile and easily lost. "Satan goes about like a lion, seeking souls to devour." "Work out your salvation in fear and trembling." Etc., etc.

First, we need some basic definitions -- so we aren't talking past each other.

Salvation isn't "Heaven." We don't get to "Heaven" until we have died and faced judgment. We have a lot of work to do and holiness to live before we merit Heaven. Probably even some purification

At any given moment, we are either turned toward God and walking with Christ, or turned away from God and lost in sin.

Salvation is 1) forgiveness of our sins and 2) relationship with God. We cannot demand that God do anything for us. The great mystery of salvation is this: In Christ Jesus, God invites us into relationship with Him.

Sin is anything that turns us away from God. Sin is choosing a path away from God. Sin is losing our salvation.

God does not desire any sin, but He allows it. He allows us to turn from Him, because it is all the more to His Glory when we REPENT and TURN back to Him. The parable of the Prodigal Son applies here.... the son was in his father's home (saved), took dad's money and blew it all (sinned), returned home as a beggar (repented), and was forgiven by the Father (salvation restored).

It was Luther and Calvin who invented the idea of "assurance of [permanent] salvation," leading to the notion of "once saved, always saved." This theology ignores the scriptural reality that temptation and sin are always present. Jesus was tempted (in the Desert and in the Garden). Judas and Peter sinned, betraying and denying Christ. But Peter repented -- and was restored.

Apostolic Christians stumble and fail, and get up and repent, as often as it takes to build the spiritual strength to reject sin entirely. Like an alcoholic striving to live sober, we keep working to grow in holiness until we are holy. Scripture tell us to confess our sins and receive forgiveness from the Church.

I don't known what the Bible Christians teach about forgiveness (as that tradition does not admit to priests) -- but whatever your tradition says, DO IT. Do whatever discipline is the equivalent of "frequent Confession," which is the holy habit of every hopeful Catholic and Orthodox Christian. Once a month, whether you need it or not (and don't think that you don't need it).

John the Baptist preached, "REPENT, for the Kingdom of God is near!"
Jesus preached, "REPENT, for the Kingdom of God is here!"

As long as we are doing the work of repenting, we can be assured that our faith is active and our salvation is assured. "Go now, and sin no more."
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1 Timothy 4 - NIV

Post by mcommini »

Truth be told, when I read the first post and saw the last bolded verse was: "who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe" I was hoping for a rousing discussion on universalism. The salvation assurance question came as a left hook :D
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1 Timothy 4 - NIV

Post by MrPiper »

As usual, this becomes an "Agree to disagree" thread.
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1 Timothy 4 - NIV

Post by FredS »

sweetandsour wrote: 24 Jul 2022, 15:54 The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.
I saw Joel Osteen in a shop in a Houston airport yesterday. I didn't follow that deceiving spirit.
If we ever get to heaven boys, it ain't because we ain't done nothin' wrong. - Kris Kristofferson
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1 Timothy 4 - NIV

Post by FredS »

MrPiper wrote: 10 Aug 2022, 04:21 As usual, this becomes an "Agree to disagree" thread.
Yep. Heaven help us (OK, heaven help Del) if we/he should meet his end on earth when he's not directly facing God. You know, in one of those dozens of moments every day when we wander a little or a lot and "lose" our salvation before we can confess ourselves and return to a right and perfect relationship with our Lord.
If we ever get to heaven boys, it ain't because we ain't done nothin' wrong. - Kris Kristofferson
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