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Saint Augustine of Hippo

(…continues from part 10…)

11)          Let us look at one of the verses of soteriology in John 5:24, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” Akouo (a-kou’-ō) is the Greek for ‘heareth’ which means: ‘1. to hear. 2. (by implication) to listen. 3. (thus) to engage the mind to comprehend what is being heard (i.e. hearken).’ The next act of soteriological expectation is ‘believeth’ that is pisteuo (piy-stev’-ō): ‘1. to trust (in, upon, or with respect to, a person or thing), i.e. credit. 2. (passively) to be convinced. 3. (also) to entrust (especially with one’s spiritual well-being to Christ).’ Once a man, born of sin, hears the gospel of redemption and believes in the finished work of Jesus, and culminating in the acceptance of Jesus as LORD and Saviour, Jesus Christ made the Divine assured asseveration of “hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

                The word ‘shall’ and ‘come’ is the same erchomai (er’-cho-mai): ‘to come or go.’ The judgmental ‘condemnation’ is krisis (kriy’-sis): ‘1. decision (subjectively or objectively, for or against). 2. (by extension) a tribunal. 3. (by implication) justice (especially, divine law); ‘everlasting’ is aionios (ai-ō’-niy-os) meaning: ‘perpetual (also used of past time, or past and future as well).’ Zoe (zō-ee’) is the Greek for ‘life’: ‘1. life†. (more than merely the present physical or natural life). 2. life-above. (above or elevated in relation to the mere physical condition. There may be strong connotations and direct inferences to Spiritual, Kingdom, or Eternal life in certain contexts, but not always. This word deserves special demarcation and attention). 3. epithet of Jesus (John 14:6), the source of life (Col 1:16-17), both of the natural existence and above this mere bodily existence.’

Believe in Jesus, accept Him as Lord and Saviour: and He does the eternal rest.

                The expected act of deliverance from sinful nature is to ‘believe’ sincerely from the heart. The LORD God takes over from that point with the bestowal of everlasting life of Divinity. It comes with the guarantee of emphasis of ‘shall not come’ – in coming, you will never come into hellish condemnation –, and that is the essence of the use of erchomai twice of John 5:24. One thing I know of God is that He is not verbose, hence, ‘in coming he shall not come’ into condemnation lays emphasis on Divine earnest. What does it say in John 10:28? “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” ‘Pluck’ is vicious a harpazo (har-pa’-zō): ‘to seize.’ The assured reason why we Christians shall never perish is because Divine insurance ensures eternal assurance so that no one can pluck us from the state of divine soteriology.

                With all these given Scriptures, my fellow Christians will stubbornly point out that, “Without righteousness no one will go to heaven,” believing that we must keep doing righteous deeds in order not to lose the salvation. Getting born again is a total soteriological package. Does it not teach that Jesus is Jehovah our Tsidqenuw (Righteousness) in Jeremiah 23:6? Divine righteousness is our eternal assurance of blamelessness. Romans 6:23 reads, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Salvation is a gift and Jesus is the eternality of the Gift. Colossians 3:3-4 “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4) When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Does it say that Christ is our life? Will Christ lose His divine life? For as long as Jesus Christ continues to live in glorious Majesty, the born again Christian lives, never to lose his salvation: for his life is hidden in Jesus, Who is our life. Amen!

W.F. Kumuyi, founder of Deeper Life Bible Church, believes in “loss of salvation”.

                When they tell you that salvation of Christianity can suffer loss, they hardly know the source of this eisegesis. The Apostolic Fathers never taught it. A hint of this unbiblical spread came from Saint Augustine of Hippo (354–430) who believed “in a specific gift of perseverance given to some baptized Christians.[123] Augustine did not believe that someone can in this life know with infallible certitude that he is in fact among the elect, and that he will finally persevere. Thus, those who didn’t receive the gift of perseverance can reject justification and lose baptismal regeneration. [124][125] (Apostasy in Christianity: Wikipedia).” An extensive didacticism of this belief was carried out by Jacobo Arminius, after whose death his friends came up with their famous soteriological Five Points of the Remonstrance, which included “perseverance”, meaning that “if a born again child of God does not continue to bear good spiritual fruits, he may lose the salvation.”

                One indubitable fact I have found out is that there is not one single verse on salvation that comes with a string of “if not, you lose it”. What many Christians do not realize is that what St. Augustine taught forms what serves as the bulwark of Catholicism, which includes baby baptism and the latria that Mariology receives in Roman Catholic Church. What influences Jacobo Arminius cannot be trusted. Loss of the soteriology is disturbingly eisegetic. E.O. Adeboye and W.F. Kumuyi (Deeper Life Bible Church) believe and teach loss of salvation.

                These are some of the verses of eternality of salvation: Genesis 3:21; Romans 8:1; John 3:36, 6:40 & 14:23; Romans 5:8; Romans 6:2-11; Romans 10:9-13; Ephesians 2:5; Colossians 2:13; 1Peter 1:3-5 and 1John 5:11-13.

                Getting born again is a conscious effort on the part of an individual. Get born again. Say this sinner’s prayer.

“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!” 

(…to be continued…)

Read part 10 here

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My name is H.O. Ojewale. I was born in 17th March, 1955, in the then Gold Coast, now Ghana, Greater Accra. My parents are Nigerians. I am married with three wonderful children.


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