Summary: We believe that continuance in a state of salvation depends upon continued obedient faith in Christ.
Continued Obedient Faith? – Captain Moy Hernandez,Jr
TSA Doctrine 9
Believe it or not, back in January of this year we began a monthly sermon series covering the doctrines or statements of belief of The Salvation Army Church. Today we continue with statement number 9 out of 11.
In case you have forgotten the other doctrines we have covered, they may be found on our church website. I encourage you to go there and share that address with others as you will be able to find not just the transcripts of these teaching but videos of the same as well.
Now because I know you all don’t have it memorized here is what doctrine 9 says. It reads: We believe that continuance in a state of Salvation depends upon continued obedience faith in Christ.
Wow! Did I just hear what I thought I heard? Does this statement of belief actually talk about the matter of our salvation and how it could possibly be lost if we falter in our obedience to God?
The short answer according to what we believe as a universal part of the Christian Church is yes. But let us spend some time this morning examining its history in context with the Old and New Testament, The important of this doctrine to our Christian faith, and the essentials of the doctrine as it pertains to the issues surrounding our membership in this branch of the Church that Christ died to establish, known as The Salvation Army.
We must recognize that this doctrine speaks about our state of salvation or our condition in being made whole by God and not the very work of salvation from God. Allow me to explain.
You see God’s work of salvation in our lives is a work of grace and it is for all eternity, otherwise how could you and I be saved from a sacrifice that took place 2000 years ago. Our state of salvation is where we find ourselves in relation to this gift from God.
Just because you know about salvation does not mean you are saved. Just because you have accepted his free gift does not mean you cannot fall away from your faith and loose you place in relationship to his plan for you.
It’s a walk, a process really, sometimes you fail and don’t necessarily have to start over, but you do need to recognize you have failed and you need to return.
But how does this relate to those who lived before Christ came to earth to offer himself as a lamb to the slaughter?
As Christians we know that our salvation depends upon our faith in Jesus Christ who is revealed to us through the witness of the new Covenant or the New Testament who brings us a new relationship and new titled, no longer sinner or separated from God, but now saved and restored to the family of God.
In the case of the old covenant or what we call the Old Testament we do not see Jesus in the same manner we see him today, but nonetheless the entire Old Testament is full of examples after example of God constantly working to bring his people into a new relationship with him and with one another.
God’s saving character is revealed through Hebrew History, through what he did as well as to what he was. The central moment representing God’s desire to save His people is in the Exodus account. And after that time God’s saving nature is revealed clearly!
The exodus experience convinced the Hebrew Nation that God was on their side. Just like the redeeming sacrifice of Christ on the cross has convinced us mere gentiles that Christ and by definition God is on our side as well!
In the Old Testament instance God restored the people to a full fellowship with Him; he gave then the law and provided a sacrificial system to atone for their sins to aid them in their continual walk with Him. In short giving the people a way to approach a Holy God.
In fact the psalms are full of instances where the writer pleads with God to rescue him or save him or deliver him from a certain situation.
Later on in the books of the prophets, God’s spokesmen (the prophets) death with the continued disobedience and rebellion of the people of God. Although the people constantly refused to live by God’s appointed covenant God continued to send his prophets to preach hope to the people, he tried as it was to keep His law present in the mind of the people (Jeremiah 31:31-32)
In fact as part of our walk in salvation is the eventual acquiring of a deeper understanding and sense of what it means to be a true faithful follower of God.