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Thanks for the reply. I see you are heavily influenced by Christadelphian doctrine. The originator of this doctrine was John Thomas (1805-1871). He hated all churches of his day and rejected their doctrines and formulated his own calling it 'the long lost gospel'. His followers were first called 'Thomasites'. Thomas (a medical doctor) had no training in biblical interpretation, wasn't a clear thinker or even a real Christian. Your belief today is identical to that of John Thomas.
It would be wrong for me not to warn you that Thomas' doctrines are contrary to the bible. As one who has studied these in depth I can tell you there is no hope or certainty of salvation in the Christadelphian system of 'hope'. One can waste their whole life in this empty man-made religion of Thomas. Follow him, and he will blind you to the truth. There have been dozens like him, and multitudes follow their false doctrines. All claim you must follow their belief to be saved, only they are right. I would like to bounce a few ideas on you and offer some reflection. I'm impressed by your humble nature and openness.
>>hello mark, when i read hebrews 6 it seemed to me that it was saying if you lose your faith its all over. however I will read it again. my idea would be that if you repented and accepted christ, then rejected him and went off and became a murderer, then your kind of sunk. like ananias and saphira (was that their names) who lied about the price they sold their land for, when giving it to charity. they were of the faith, but paul struck them down. are they still saved?<<
Thankfully salvation is not based on human 'faith' but God's grace. Human faith is faulty; it can be weak, misdirected, unfounded, or unsure. Salvation however, is a free gift via Christ's work on the cross. That's enough to save the worse sinner. And God's children are kept safe by God's power. So for me my sin can break fellowship with my Father but doesn't remove my birthright in His family. Knowing this encourages me to love and serve Him more.
With Ananias and Saphira, the Holy Spirit (called "God" Ac.5:3-4) struck them down. It doesn't say they lost their salvation but its similar to 1 Cor.5:5 - "To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." It's possible for God to punish but also save. God disciplines His children (Heb.12:5-11) but if salvation depends on our faith or works then all would be sunk and none saved.
>>my parents are christadelphian, but i stopped going at 18. however the other day i had a strange experience and started reading the bible to find out what he wanted from me. as to doctrine, i am undecided at the moment, although reading through the new testament i find the trinity a bit of a stretch, there are more sections where jesus says he isnt equal with the father than those where he says i and my father are one, going to heaven unproven (evidence for and against), devil unnecessary as we are evil enough already.<<
You will find the bible has the answers to the important questions. But without the work of the Holy Spirit most bible doctrines are confusing. The Holy Spirit opens our minds to what the bible says. He reveals, teachers, guides, and aids our understanding. Spiritual truth is best understood with the Holy Spirit. But without the new birth one doesn't have the indwelling Spirit of God, they remain in a lost sinful state and are 'none of His' (Rom.8:9). So the Holy Spirit is the Greater Teacher and Counselor who reveals the 'truth' of God's Word (Jn.14:16-17, 26). "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned" (1 Cor.2:14).
Until 'born of the Spirit' one won't grasp the deep 'things of God' (1 Cor.2:10) and spiritual truth. Eg supernatural beings, the devil, the trinity, the Holy Spirit, God manifest in the flesh, soul, death, salvation, God, man's spirit or soul etc.
John Thomas was never born again, never had the Holy Spirit and lived in a state of disobedience to Christ's command (Jn.1:13 3:8).
If the doctrine of the Trinity is untrue the bible has problems. For eg., When we sin, we sin against God because it is His law we are breaking. He is the one who must forgive us because we have offended Him. The one offended is the one who forgives. Someone or something else doesn't forgive us for our sins against God, only God can do that. So how is it that Jesus is the one who forgives sins (Lk.5:20) if Jesus is not God, the one who is offended? If you say that it is because Jesus was given authority by God to forgive sins (Mt.28:19), then have you gone to Jesus and asked Him to forgive you of your sins? Remember, to do that, you must pray to Jesus. Is it right to pray to a creature?
Thomas said to Jesus, "My Lord and my God," (Jn 20:28). He was not sinning by using God's name in vain. Can you, like Thomas, say to Jesus, "My Lord and my God."? If you do call Jesus your Lord and your God, since you believe Jesus is a creation, isn't that idolatry? If you do call Jesus your Lord and your God, is Jesus the true God or not? If you do not call Jesus your Lord and your God, why not? It is biblical.
When Jesus said the "Father is greater than I" this related to His position, not His Person. He was not admitting inferiority to the Father (after claiming equality repeatedly, see Jn.5:18 14:711 see also Phil.2:6), but was saying that if the disciples loved Him, they would not be reluctant to let Him go to the Father because He was returning to the realm where He belonged and to the full glory He gave up (Jn.17:5). He was going back to share equal glory with the Father which would be greater than what He had experienced in His incarnation. He will in no way be inferior in that glory, because His humiliation was over.
>>however i'm not too focused on those points, more interested in getting the saved by grace stuff clear in my head. also not sure how much doctrinal purity is essential for salvation. as it says, believe and be baptised and you shall be saved. whether that is by water or spirit i'm not sure. it certainly doesnt say " you must believe there is a devil, that you go to heaven, that the trinity is correct teaching," nor does it say you must believe the opposite as christadelphians think. all he says is believe in me and you shall be saved. anyway at the moment i am just reading through it and trying to see what it does say for myself<<
Correct salvation is the important issue. Did you know Christ died as our substitution? 1 Pet 2:24 "He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree. 1 Pet 3:18 God send - sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1 Cor.15:3 Christ died for our sins. 2 Cor.5:21 He was made sin for [instead of] us.
When we realize we are sinful creatures and helpless to save ourselves, and realize Christ died for us, we should respond in a prayer of thanks. We should invite Him into our heart. Sure we can't be expected to know everything about everything, that's like 'pulling the cart before the horse'. We need to pray that prayer first.
Dear God, I know Im a sinner in need of your forgiveness. I know Christ died on the cross for my sin. Thank you that He died for me. Please come into my heart and life and make me one of your children. I want to live to please you and I ask that you help me to. Make me new and give the courage to tell others that I know you as my Lord and Saviour. Amen
Each must make their decision. Since we cant save our self God has provided the only way - through His Son - all should be humble before God and pray. This prayer results in the new birth, the difference between a saved or lost eternity.
How about it? I'm sure the Holy Spirit is speaking to your heart. Why not respond to Him today. And make sure you are saved. You can have the assurance I have. Don't delay, it gets harder the longer you delay. Don't get trapped into effort/works/conditions/religion thinking that will save. All other ground is sinking sand. Trust Christ and Him alone. Pray today don't leave it too late. Only those born of God access God's forgiving power (Jn.1:12-13). Your relationship with God must start as a little child, at the new birth. No one way comes to God any other way. Then He will open His Word to you as never before. You will have peace with God as never before.