[typed on the laptop in the back of Booth 5]
I hope you are having great fun on your trip!
Wanted to let you know that I said something incorrectly at the Bible Study last night.
We went through the four aspects of Salvation: Regeneration, Justification, Sanctification, and Glorification
Roque asked if Justification were a one time event or a process like Sanctification.
The text as written had not prepared me for that question, and I had not done extraneous research, and so, drawing from Paul's Romans 5:1 "we have PEACE with God" and then contrasting that with his confession that he still wars with his fleshly nature, I said that Justification is like a blend of the immediacy of Regeneration and the process of Sanctification.
Cristina told me after the study that I should have been better prepared, so I did more research and found that while the Catholic Church believes that Justification is a process like Sanctification, many Protestant churches, and the Baptist Church in particular, believes that Justification is a one time event, en punto. End of story. So, I send the group an article regarding the difference between Justification and Sanctification from The Gospel Coalition and I asked their forgiveness for my giving an incorrect answer in the class.
I do that because I do take this very seriously. We as followers of Christ must be prepared at all times to offer our best "apologetics"
That said, Rochi brought up a question that, while, I stated my belief, I cannot state if this is what the Church's doctrine is.
Her question: A person says they follow Christ, but they fall into Apostasy. Do they then lose their salvation?
There was much discussion, some of which I couldn't follow well, but at then end, I offered this: Paul wrote that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and that He will never leave us. Never means Never. So we are "once saved, always saved."
That said, we are in the process of sanctification to be a Holy Priesthood, fit for service to promote His holy name.
That means our only real job on this planet is to proclaim Christ.
The devil wants to stop us from doing that.
Ergo, the devil will work on our weaknesses. Sometimes, that may lead us into apostasy, which weakens or prevents our ability to proclaim Christ.
That does not mean they lose their salvation, just that they are not fulfilling their purpose.
Also, it is possible that a person was never saved to begin with.
However, we cannot know. That is only between the person and God.
I also warned that it is VERRRRY dangerous for us ever to question the salvation of another, because that is a tool that the devil will use to sow doubt in our minds for our brothers.
I referred to the verse of "iron sharpens iron" and the verses that state that followers of Christ must always hold each other accountable and help each other and lift each other up in the faith.
So, if we ever see a brother or sister sliding into apostasy, it would be best to take a pastor and/or extremely learned mature people of the Faith to speak with that person.
That was quite a lot.
All said, I am glad that everyone was asking questions and really digging into the points, even though everyone was virtual, it does seem that they were all engaged.
However, I just wanted you and Pastor Mike to know that I take this seriously, and when I falter I will always try to rectify my doctrinal mistakes, and please keep praying that in these studies, that the LORD will impart what He needs to impart and that I will never be a stumbling block to the brethren.
Sorry for the long email... please let me know your thoughts when you get a moment.
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