Once saved, NOT always saved . . .

Yeshua (Jesus) is teaching his talmidim (disciples) when he says something several times that is striking:

 John 15:4 (CJB)

4  Stay united with me,

as I will with you —

for just as the branch can’t put forth fruit by itself apart from the vine,

so you can’t bear fruit apart from me.

John 15:5 (CJB)

5  “I am the vine and you are the branches.

Those who stay united with me,

and I with them,

are the ones who bear much fruit;

because apart from me you can’t do a thing.

John 15:6 (CJB)

6  Unless a person remains united with me,

he is thrown away like a branch and dries up.

Such branches are gathered and thrown into the fire,

where they are burned up.

John 15:7 (CJB)

7  “If you remain united with me,

and my words with you,

then ask whatever you want,

and it will happen for you.

What does it mean to stay “united,” or as some translations of the text say, “abide” in Him? The word that the text is using here is μένω menō.   Phonetically, like minnow but with “men” instead of “min” – mennow.  This is an important word in the text – an important word to understand in the text.

If we look μένω menō up in the Classical Greek (Secular, non-biblical Greek), we find the following:

 In classical Greek the verb menō means “to remain” in a place, “to stay,” or “to tarry.” It also frequently carries the metaphoric meaning of being in a “sphere” or quality of life.

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “3176. μένω,” in The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary – Lambda-Omicron, (Springfield, MO: Complete Biblical Library, 1991), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “3176. μένω”.

 It is important to understand how the word was used in the Greek outside of the text.  To remain means to have already been thereTo stay means to have already been thereTo tarry means to have already been there.  To remain, to stay, to tarry means you are continuing to be where you already are . . .

There is a well know Jewish principle of faith from RamBam’s (Maimonides) 13 Principles of Faith concerning tarry as it relates to the Messiah (Christ as you may know it):

 Principle 12:

 “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the mashiach (Messiah),

and though he may tarry, still I await him every day.”

The Septuagint (70 or LXX: The translation of the TaNaKh {Old Testament} into Greek by 70 Jewish Torah experts at the direction of Ptolemy II) also has something to say about μένω menō:

 In the Septuagint menō has basically the same meaning as in classical Greek.

It is often used to translate two Hebrew verbs, qūm and ‛āmadh, both having as their primary meaning “to stand.”

 קוּם qûm (7251), Stand (Nm 30:5, Prov 19:21, Isa 32:8).

עָמַדāmadh (6198), Endure, stand (Ps 111:3 [110:3], Isa 46:7); be unchanged (Lv 13:5).

In the Septuagint menō is also significant in reference to God and to people and things relating to God. God is the abiding one. He is distinct from our changing world because of His characteristic of immutability. To say that God is immutable does not mean, as in Greek philosophy, that God cannot be moved (e.g., by prayer) or is static; instead, immutability denotes God’s steadfastness to His people.

The eternalness of God’s Word and His love expresses the never-ending quality of our relationship with Him.

He is the God who endures forever (Daniel 6:26);

His counsel remains (Isaiah 14:24);

His Word stands forever (Isaiah 40:8);

and the new heavens and new earth He is going to create will endure before Him (Isaiah 66:22).

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “3176. μένω,” in The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary – Lambda-Omicron, (Springfield, MO: Complete Biblical Library, 1991), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “3176. μένω”.

In the B’rit Chadashah (New Covenant/New Testament), we see no change in the word.  We see a confirmation of the word and its meaning – a meaning that is informed by Hebrew text before it – by the immutability of our wonderful and glorious God that is forever faithful – the steadfast God that keeps His promises even if no one else does:

 In the New Testament, besides the common meaning of staying or abiding in a place (see Matthew 10:11; Luke 1:56; etc.,),

menō refers to the same concept of the immutability of God, the things of God, and the sphere of God.

The Word of God stands forever (1 Peter 1:23,25); Jesus abides forever (John 12:34); and so does the new covenant (2 Corinthians 3:11). Unbelievers abide in darkness and death (John 12:46; 1 John 3:14), but Christians abide in Christ (John 6:56; 15:4-7). As a result the anointing, eternal life, love, and truth remain in the believer (1 John 2:27; 3:15,17; 2 John 2). The use of menō to describe the believer’s relationship with Christ is particularly Johannine and parallels Paul’s phrase en christō, “in Christ.”

Thoralf Gilbrant, ed., “3176. μένω,” in The Complete Biblical Library Greek-English Dictionary – Lambda-Omicron, (Springfield, MO: Complete Biblical Library, 1991), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: “3176. μένω”.

 The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament and the Louw & Nida NT Greek-English Lexicon both say essentially the same things concerning μένω menō and its cognates:  stay, persevere, remain, endure, stay on, stand fast, wait.

If we consider the meaning of μένω menō as it is used in following: the Classical Greek, the Hebrew meanings of the words that are translated into Greek in the Septuagint, and the New Testament usage of the word by Yeshua (Jesus) himself in relation to the disciples He chose:

 “I chose you . . .”

 only one conclusion can be drawn:  they are already united with him.

However, there is one caveat.  They (the disciples) are “united” and will remain “united” provided that they continue to meet the criteria. . . The following verses use if/then logic –  in other words, this is dynamic – NOT STATIC!

 John 15:9-10 (CJB)

9  “Just as my Father has loved me, I too have loved you;

so stay in my love.

10  If you keep my commands,

you will stay in my love

— just as I have kept my Father’s commands and stay in his love.

I love you and you will stay in my love IF:

John 15:14 (CJB)

14  You are my friends,

if you do what I command you.

You are my friends IF . . .

IF is a big word.

I know this is hard to accept if you come at the text from with the theological supposition (theory, dogma, doctrine) of  Perseverance of the Saints (Eternal Security or as it is affectionately known to some: Once Saved Always Saved) point of view.

I want to make something perfectly clear:

 This is a defining moment in your understanding of the text . . .

Whether you like it or not, you have a choice to make:

  1. Accept John Calvin’s teaching
  2. Accept Yeshua’s (Jesus) teaching

abide

There is no middle ground here.

Make no mistake, your acceptance of one or the other, regardless of which one you chose, negates the other. You are accepting one or the other in contradistinction to the other because the two teachings are NOT compatible.  One is static (Calvin) and one is dynamic (Yeshua).  One is a lie and one is the truth.

As harsh as that may sound, you must realize that this all parallels the fall.

  • God told Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit, and that if they did, they would die.
  • The serpent told Eve that she would NOT die if she ate the fruit – that God was a liar.
  • Eve wanted to believe the serpents lie over God’s truth so she rationalized (attempt to make the unreasonable sound reasonable) 3 things to help her do so:  that the fruit was good for food, had a pleasing appearance, desirable for making one wise
  • Eve believed the lie over the truth
  • Eve ate
  • Adam believed the lie over the truth
  • Adam ate
  • Man fell

When we pick the lie over the truth, when we rationalize that the lie is better than the TRUTH or preferable to it, death is imminent.

Yeshua is the TRUTH:

John 14:6 (CJB)

6  Yeshua said, “I AM the Way — and the Truth and the Life;

no one comes to the Father except through me.

We are warned in the text that this has happened, is happening, and will happen.  Nothing new under the sun . . .

2 Timothy 4:3-4 (CJB)

3  For the time is coming

when people will not have patience for sound teaching,

but will cater to their passions

and gather around themselves teachers

who say whatever their ears itch to hear.

4  Yes, they will stop listening to the truth,

but will turn aside to follow myths.

So here is the $1,000,000 question:

 Passions or Truth?  Calvin or Yeshua?

I know for many of you, this is a hard teaching.  It flies in the face of what you believe to be true.  To pick one is to deny the other.  It is my prayer and hope that you are able to take off your theological glasses for a moment and consider: Consider the words of our Creator and the implications of those words in earnest prayer and submission to that Creator.

Shalom!

If you want to read more in depth about Adam and Eve believing the lie over the truth, you can do so here: The ORIGINAL Sin?!? Part 1 in a series . . .

If you want to read more in depth about Theological Supposition, you can read the first half of this post: Judaizer!?!

About Even If Ministries

Dani'el 3:17-18 (CJB) 17 Your majesty, if our God, whom we serve, is able to save us, he will save us from the blazing hot furnace and from your power. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want you to know, your majesty, that we will neither serve your gods nor worship the gold statue which you have set up.”
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4 Responses to Once saved, NOT always saved . . .

  1. Nice word study on abide/remain. Stern’s CJB translation brings clarity that others do not.

  2. mimisuze says:

    He is distinct from our changing world because of His characteristic of immutability……one of the things in this writing that smacked me in the face. ■Eve believed the lie over the truth…■Adam believed the lie over the truth..■Man fell………..says it all pretty much, but the “lie” is why it’s so difficult or maybe uncomfortable to accept the truth.
    Good teaching, as always.

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