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More on the Upper Room Discourse - Jesus' Love is Unconditional - Salvation the Guarantee

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in response to reader comment: Jesus also taught: Salvation is Conditional.

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), Jun 9, 2011 at 13:30

To the contrary, Jesus did not teach conditional salvation, but the condition of mankind needing salvation. To make the further point, salvation is not to be acquired, but is received, eliminating the idea that acquisition may be the result of some work on the part of the recipient. Jesus Christ took the work of redeeming mankind upon Himself on the cross, thus making a perfect guarantee that when the confession of faith is expressed by the individual, the promise of eternity for that new creature is perfected. One of the hazards of taking some part of a verse string and setting it out to make a special point is that out of context, the full understanding is lost for the micro examination of a macro Biblical truth. Pulling John 15:14 out of the entire upper room discourse is like catching a minnow in a sea of albacore and saying, 'look how big a fish I caught.' Recognizing that the upper room contained embryonic faith of who Jesus Christ is and what He would become to the world, His words were careful in bringing heretofore unknown understanding of what the Hebrew Holy Bible had written about Him. Yet, to know Him, one needed to allow Him into the inner reaches of the mind and more especially, the heart.

Thus, He started earlier in the discourse by making the invitation to abide in Him (John 15:4). The Iscariot, a follower, but not a faith believer, did not get that message. The conditional aspect can be attributed to the inherent sinful condition of man, which in these temporal bodies of sin is manifest in the only part of humanity that Almighty God initially interfaces, the conscience. In the conscience, men, women and children have that access to Almighty God, in 'free choice.' Choose to act in faith in Jesus Christ, and the condition is met to allow the Holy Spirit to act in response. The response of the Holy Spirit is guaranteed, not conditional. Salvation, when entered into between a believer and the Holy Spirit, can never be revoked. So when Jesus is making the statement using 'if,' He is recognizing the frailty of the human spirit that strays from abiding and cannot make it spiritually alone, and gives the other part of the equation that when we seek Him out, He responds unconditionally. (John 15:5-8) I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. If a man abides not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is My Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be My disciples.

This necessity of the true disciple in abiding in Jesus Christ through His Holy Spirit is essential Christianity, something that is lost in the mainstream denominational Christianesque world. This is because of many reasons, but there is a proximal cause. After the immediate time of Christ and the last of the writings to the churches were written, it is found in the subsequent dissentions of the denominations (a splitting process started in the early church-such as the divergence of Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy-seeds of which were planted even earlier by dissentions of variant dogmas). Since it is written that only in the spirit is there unity in faith in the inerrant WORD of the LORD, it remains to this day that denominational factionalism does not leave room for the Spirit to function, and so there is the resultant loss of true guidance in modern mainstream Christianity. Therein lays the necessity of the disciple of Jesus Christ to abide in Him. Therein the assurance is perfected and the ability to discern what is and is not direction of the Holy Spirit is provided by the Holy Spirit Himself, by the promise of Jesus Christ. The letter to the Romans points to this very thing: Romans 8:1) There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. But finish the context of the John 15 quote (verses 10-17): "As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another." Jesus concludes: (John 15:26,27): "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, He shall testify of Me: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with Me from the beginning."

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