JOHN CHAPTER 3 VERSE 16 [four]
(…continues from part three…)
4) Hebrews 10:38-39, 38 “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. 39 But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” Staunch believers of the Remonstrants’ (5th point) stance of Arminianistic ‘Perseverance of the saints’, evidently first taught in Augustinianism, will love to pull out the 38th verse to inform the unwary Christian of apostatical contingency. But, thank God for the immutability of the Scripture; the 39th verse teaches: “But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” Now, who are the ‘we’, the Apostles or the Hebraic Christians? The answer is in Hebrews 3:1 “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;” where we have ‘holy brethren, and ‘partakers of heavenly calling’ whose Apostle and High Priest is none other than Christ Jesus. Jesus is the first to call His followers ‘brethren’ in Matthew 28:10 meaning ‘one born of the same parents or sharing a parent’ from the Greek adelphos (ad-el-phos’) thus constituting the sacredness of our lives before the Most High. The word ‘partakers’ is the Greek metochos (met’-okh-os): ‘sharing in, partaking; a partner (in a work, office, dignity).’
Only born again Christians wield the empyreal qualifications of brotherhood and partakers of celestial citizenry with the Lord Jesus Christ. The Pauline ‘we’ is, most definitely, in reference to Christians. ‘Draw back’ of Hebrews 10:38 is a perditionable hupostellō (hoop-os-tel’-lo): ‘to withdraw one’s self, i.e. to be timid, to cover, shrink; to shrink from declaring, to conceal, dissemble.’ The ‘draw back’ of Hebrews 10:39 is hupostolē (hoop-os-tol-ay’): ‘the timidity of one stealthily retreating; shrinkage (timidity), that is, (by implication) apostasy.’ To the peddlers of perseverance of the saints true Christians can never be found in the web of the apostatical slant leading to being hurled into bottomless perdition, turning the Christian into an inmate of eternal hell fire.
The strength of the Christian belief which is of Scriptural facticity is that “the saving of the soul” is based on the substitutionary death of the Golgotha cross which purchased the redeemed. The cost of this redemption is too expensive to make an availability of a repurchase of the redeemed soul of the Christian – it is absolutely God’s property –; also because God will not change His mind concerning the intent of His divine pronouncement. In this purchase, the good thing about it is its eternality – “that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. The reason why we, the true Christians, cannot ‘draw back’ is the eternality of the purchase. The cost of this redemption is too high to allow the object of this salvation to be lost. Love without measure. What is the cost? God Himself! Acts 20:28 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” The active word ‘purchase’ is peripoieomai (pe-riy-poi-ye’-o-mai): ‘to make around oneself, i.e. acquire (buy).’
Ephesians 1:14 “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” The words ‘purchased possession’ are one Greek peripoiesis (pe-riy-poi’-yee-sis): ‘1. acquisition (the act or the thing). 2. (by extension) preservation.’ The seriousness of this ‘purchase’ is in the word ‘earnest’ in this empyrean transaction. ‘Earnest’ is the Greek word arrhabon (ar-rha-ɓōn’): ‘a pledge, i.e. part of the purchase-money or property given in advance as security for the rest.’ The ‘Earnest’ from Pauline exegesis, is the Holy Spirit, found in the preceding verse. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Almighty is, most definitely, an uncreated Being. An uncreated One is eternal. How much will God cost, and what is the measure of global cash or wealth which equals the Holy Spirit? If the Holy Spirit will serve as a down payment, where are the resources of repurchase? Non-existent!
It must be understood that if the Purchaser were not God His blood could not be divine enough for this acquisition. The purchase is both a sole ownership and the preservation by the Divine Owner – the Church having been wrapped around the divine Purchaser. A transiency of the acquisition will definitely portray a wrong notion of the LORD’s parochialism, ergo, the purchased Church is of eternality; no one, not even God Himself will get it lost: and this is one of the objectives of John 3:16. Amen!
This birth is wholly a perfection of grace transaction. Romans 4:22-25 22 “And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; 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; 25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” ‘Imputed’ of verse 22 is logizomai (lo-ǰiy’-zo-mai): ‘to take an inventory, i.e. estimate.’ Spiritual regeneration comes with righteousness. Righteousness becomes an irremovable essence of the born again believer in the finished work of the gory cross.
The righteousness that the Adamic race lost in the Garden of Eden received only a fugacious right standing before the Lord God which must be constantly renewed with the sacrificial butchery of another lamb. The seemingly inconsequential act of the belief in the word of God is all one needs to have ones account credited with righteousness. How can a seemingly ineffective act of faith make one a righteous person in the sight of God? The grace (an unmerited favour) of God is the response of divine beneficence to those who choose to expend the faith engendered by believing God’s word. The rebirth is not by works of morality; it is strictly by grace lest anyone should boast.
Get born again. Say this simple prayer, believing it with all your heart. Say:
“Dear heavenly Father, I come to You now in the name of Jesus Christ. I believe in my heart that Jesus is the Son of God. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sin. I believe that You raised Him from the dead. I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and I receive Him now as my Lord and my Saviour. I give God all the glory. Amen!”
Read part three here