Summary: A sermon against once saved always saved (Material adapted from Dr. Jack Cottrell's boo, Set Free)
A fellow got up one morning and decided he no longer was going to shave himself, he was instead going to the barber for his morning shave. The town barber also happened to be the local preacher in town. When the guy walked into the barber shop the barber/preacher was not there, he was out visiting for the church but his wife Grace was in the shop. The man said to Grace, "I want a shave." Grace told him to climb up in the chair and she gave him a shave. When Grace was finished he asked her how much for the shave and Grace said, "Twenty dollars.""Twenty dollars, that seems a little steep," the guy replied. Grace said: "That's my charge." So the guy gave her $20 bill and went on his way. The next morning when he got up he went to the mirror and looked and his face was as smooth as when he was shaved the day before. He checked the following the day, same thing, a week went by, two weeks and his face stayed as smooth as a baby's face. Finally after the third week he stopped back in the barber shop and Grace happened to be there. The guy said to her: "Grace, I can't believe I still don't need another shave. You did some kind of magnificent job." And Grace replied, "Well, you have been shaved by Grace and once shaved always shaved!"
We keep talking about justification, but I want to know if I am forgiven.
Basically justification is the same as forgiveness of sins, remission of sins, and the washing away of sin, in the sense that God removes them from the books and does not hold them against us. This is clear from Paul’s line of thought from Romans 3:27- 4:8.
After talking about justification through faith throughout these passages, Paul proves his point by citing Psalm 32:1-2, a psalm of David, in Romans 4:7-8. Paul makes much of the faith of Abraham Romans 4 but we are not going to talk about that much. Talked about it in Hebrews.
This passage shows that justification and forgiveness are one and the same. God justifies sinners by forgiving them, by not holding their sins against them.
Justification and forgiveness applies not just to sins, but to whole persons. It is not just my individual sins that are forgiven; I am a forgiven person.
It is important to see that this is not a gradual process. Justification is an act of God that results in an immediate and complete change in our status before God. Pass out Double Cure graph. (I wish I could put this in these notes. If you need an idea of how this graph looks, you'll have to e-mail or call me) Focus on conversion and then solid black line.
Changed from being 0% forgiven to being 100% forgiven. Justification is also an abiding state, one that begins in the act of conversion and continues in its fullness until the end of time(100%) as long as we remain in union with Christ.
We should not think that only some of our sins are forgiven, that we are 65% or 92% or 98% forgiven. That would not be enough. Thanks be to God, all of our sins are forgiven through Jesus Christ. This is the essence of justification.
Are we saying that we believe in once saved, always saved? Graph seems to indicate this. No, turn over to Hebrews 6:4-8. This is talking to Jews who had become Christians, but who are now thinking about abandoning their Christian faith and going back to Judaism. The theme of the entire letter is the danger and foolishness of such a decision. If this decision is not possible, then the whole book of Hebrews is a sham.
The fact that those to whom this passage speaks are true Christians is shown in the statement that, if they fall away, vs. 6. To speak of renewing them again to repentance indicates that they were once in a state of repentance, indicative of salvation.
It is also clear that this passage warns against the reality of becoming truly lost, as opposed to simply losing one’s rewards in heaven. Vs. 6 warns against becoming fallen away. Vs. 8
Leads to a question, what constitutes “falling from grace” or “falling away”?
Must remember the doctrine of grace, Romans 3:28. We not only initially become justified by faith; we also remain justified by faith in the atoning death of Jesus Christ.
Falling from grace occurs when faith in the blood of Jesus dies.
Thesis: What are the ways in which faith may die? 3 ways
Slow starvation of faith
Faith does not come into existence fully grown but begins with a stage of infancy, in need of maturing and strengthening. Like a baby faith must constantly be nurtured and nourished.