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Bethany Baptist Church is having Vacation Bible School this week. Paul Burbidge is teaching the Adult VBS, his wife, Sandy and two of their children, Adam and Natalie are also involved with the teaching and activities this week. Paul and Sandy Burbidge are missionaries to Nova Scotia, Canada.
The Burbidges will be with us in all the services Sunday with lunch in the fellowship hall at noon, and there will be a Bible School program Sunday evening at 6 PM.
Norma Stillings sang a special song in the morning service. Pastor Bob Sorensen brought a message on the security of the believer.
One of the Bible doctrines that sets Bethany Baptist apart from many other church organizations is the firm belief in the eternal security of the believer. Some people who do not hold that belief have asked, “Is it not a dangerous doctrine?” as if this were a license to sin. When you are saved there is no loophole or provision for sin. If fear is the only motivation keeping you from sin, you have a problem. Jesus did not say in John 14:15 “If you fear me keep my commandments, he said, “If you love me keep my commandments. In 1 John 5:3 we see that one of the evidences of salvation is that we love God and keep his commandments. The true believer does not find obeying the commandments to be grievous.
Another question is asked, “Can a Christian sin?” The answer is, yes, they do. 1 John 1:8 says that if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves. However, Christians are no longer under the dominion or rule of the sin nature. There is the possibility of sin, not the necessity of sin. To say that you can not sin is a snare. But if we do sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ.
Then what happens to a Christian if he does sin? Can he be unborn? Jesus had said that we must be “born again.” In 1 Peter 1:3-5, Peter said that we (believers) have been begotten again by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and that we have an inheritance that is incorruptible that will not fade away, because we are kept by the power of God through faith. We do keep ourselves. The Lord is our keeper.
We do lose the fragile chain of fellowship when we sin but you do not lose your “eternal life.” To say that you can lose your “eternal life” contradicts what Jesus said in John 3:16. God did not say that he gave you temporary life until you messed it up.
Do you lose the Holy Spirit? In John 14:16 Jesus said that he would pray and the Father would send “another Comforter that he may abide with you for ever.” He did not say, “until you blow it” You are sealed by the Holy Spirit, but don’t grieve the Holy Spirit that sealed you.
When you were sealed, that did three things. It meant that the transaction was complete. If you are not sealed, you are not saved. The seal shows ownership. Cattle are marked to show ownership. God knows his sheep and has promised that his sheep will not perish. The seal also indicates an intention to make a safe delivery. A seal is put in place to prevent goods from being stolen. We are kept by the power of God.
What does happen when a Christian sins? There is a broken fellowship. To think that you can sin and not have that fellowship broken, is delusional. Because we sin in our daily walk, there needs to be a daily cleansing.
If there is repeated sin and you do not repent quickly, there is a loss to the cause of Christ. If you will not repent there will be a loss of the joy you have had as a Christian. There is no one more miserable than a Christian with unconfessed sin. David suffered greatly for his sin, until he confessed his transgression. God will deal with the Christian who sins. He will be chastised and there is a sin unto death.
Be glad that he deals with us. It is a cause for rejoicing when the shepherd has returned with the sheep that has strayed. It is good to remember that if we confess our sins, God, who said that he would never forsake us, is faithful to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Confession of sins with a sincere, contrite heart will result in the restoration of sweet communion with our Father in heaven.