I've just completed transcribing Ryan Rufus's sermon on the 8th February 2009 in Hong Kong called; "Hebrews 6 - Can You Lose Your Salvation?". He very boldly and fearlessly took on one of the famous "problem" passages that have confused theologians for centuries. He preached so clearly and so eloquently without confusing the matter and the result was truth and freedom! I felt another dark stronghold of fear that has been lurking at the back of my mind get demolished!
Ryan picked on something amazing that really intrigued me. He was working through many of the verse in Hebrews building up to a context on Hebrews 6. He quoted Hebrews 6:18 and said this - it is quite a lengthy commentary but WELL worth reading. After the quote is done - I've got a conclusion - something very interesting that happened to me today;
"What are those two things he is talking about? These two things are the New Covenant code that we need to crack and until we crack it our minds will still be dark. Until we crack this code we still see things through a legalistic mindset. Once you crack that code you will be able to interpret any Scriptures that are difficult and see them through New Covenant lenses.
1. The first one is the once for all sacrifice that completely deals with all of our sins and makes us perfect.
(Hebrews 10:12); "But this Man Jesus after He had offered one sacrifice for sins" - that's for all sins - "forever, sat down at the right hand of God until His enemies be made His footstool". (v14); "For by one offering He had perfected forever them that are sanctified". By one sacrifice He has made us perfect ... for how long? As long as we hold onto the hope? Forever! If God has made you perfect then nothing and noone can make you unperfect! (v15);
" ... wherefore the Holy Ghost is a witness".
He is a witness in a court of law! The Holy Spirit is our counsellor and our defence and when the devil comes and accuses us of this sin or that sin then He stands up and says; "Father remember You swore an oath to never, ever relate to them through their sins and their performance but through Christ's performance on their behalf".
2. The second is that Jesus Christ is in the order of Melchizadek.
The book of Hebrews reveals Jesus as the superior Mediator of a better covenant. (Hebrews 7); "God swore an oath that Jesus is a high priest forever under the order of Melchizadek". That means "forever" He has an indestructable life. And He mediates for us EVERY sin! We have an eternal Mediator - one who goes to the Father in our defence! We never even have to fear again! What a hope we have!
God will open your eyes and you will see something and will no longer be fearful about this message. If you tell people that by one sacrifice then God got rid of your sins and there is no more punishment then what's to stop them going out and sinning? That will produce Christians who want to commit crazy sins surely! That's taking restraints off them Ryan! What about the warning Scriptures?!
There is not ONE warning Scripture about losing your salvation to New Covenant believers.It is rubbish to couple the grace of God with the warning passages!
Why are people so scared of this message of grace? I will tell you why - because they haven't seen their salvation. They haven't seen the supernatural miracle that took place in the Spirit of a person when they got born again. So many Christians still believe that the heart of a Christian is evil beyond cure and quote Jeremiah 17:9. Our hearts were evil beyond cure and God didn't cure it! He replaced it! He removed our hearts of stone and gave us hearts of flesh!
They think that Christians have got this evil in them and a sinful nature and that sinful nature will drive them into sin! Colossians 2:11 says He circumcised us of the sinful nature through Christ - that means He REMOVED it! That means He took it out! It is gone! Circumcision doesn't come back or reattach! It's dead! Romans 6:6; "For we know that our old self was crucified with Christ so that the body of sin might be done away with". I hear people saying; "That's the body that wanted to sin". No it's not! The body of sin is the entity that was living inside of us! Indwelling sin - the personality of sin - the driving force of sin that Adamic nature and the fallen nature produces that wants to sin.
That was an evil nature but then God circumcised us of that nature and cut it out of us! Sin was not the effect. It was the cause. God removed the cause - the sinful nature. Temptation is external and God has regenerated your spirit and made your spirit perfect. 2 Corinthians 5:17; "A New Creation". Our body is still a part of the old creation order that was subject to frustration so it will still decay. Your mind will still be embedded in the corrupt wisdom of this world. But our spirit is a NEW creation! It has been alive with Christ!".
I want to close by saying something rather profound that Scott said to me. I just got back from visiting my parents and was in a bit of a "John Piper" frame of mind as I had been listening to him to and fro from Bristol. And I was just idly listening to some speaker interviews from the "Conference" section of the "Desiring God website". Scott was playing the Wii in the background and unknown to me was listening in. Don Carson and John Piper were asked a particular question and Don Carson frankly "fudged" it and gave a typical "evangelical" answer that "God is God and really we don't know".
I then finished typing up Ryan's sermon and we discussed the fact that it's interesting that the top evangelicals in the world today seem to hesitate and stop short of some issues that just seem to hard. Rob and Ryan Rufus (among other preachers of course) don't do that. Rob has stated again and again that there is no verse in the Bible that they won't approach. This sermon proves this. And proves again that there is NO verse in the Bible that works against the gospel of grace! What is ironic is that critics of Rob and others usually pride themselves on being "Word" people!
I can say again honestly that I have learned more about the Bible since I encountered Rob Rufus and City Church than ever before.