“but according to His mercy He saved us”Titus 3:5
Five months ago I made a drastic transition of changing churches. This decision was not made lightly, but with a lot of prayer and counsel. I didn’t just leave a local church or a denomination, but a theological circle of Wesleyan thought.
Last summer I struggled with many of the doctrines within the Church of the Nazarene that led me to question my salvation and how I believed. In previous blog posts I wrote about sanctification as though it was a crisis experience or a moment in time. Sanctification is a process while we are in these earthly vessels, purging out unrighteousness through yielding to His will in our lives.
In November I resigned all credentials and positions with the COTN, after I removed the Wesleyan lens I viewed Scripture. I came to the conclusion that I am not a Wesleyan, nor am I a Calvinist.
” For while one saith, I am of Wesley; and another, I am of Calvin; are ye not carnal?” –
Paraphrased 1 Corinthians 3:4
The points I disagreed with in the COTN Articles of Faith
•Article IV: Holy Scriptures – Nazarenes, in general, only believe verses pertaining to salvation are with out error. They do not view Scripture as literal, meaning there is a wide spectrum of interpretations from liberal to mildly fundamental. This allows lots of non-biblical ideas and teaching within the denomination.
•Article X: Sanctification – Nazarenes believe that there is a second work of grace subsequent to justification called entire sanctification. This is also referred to as the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Entire sanctification is said to be the act of having a heart made pure and cured of sin tendency. Post-justification Baptism of the Spirit is a Wesleyan thought. This idea later gave birth to the heretical Pentecostal Movement.
Scripture clearly says that regeneration is being born of the Spirit, not a second work (which cannot be found in Scripture).
One truth I had come to understand is that there’s nothing I can do to maintain salvation. I could not do righteous works, or even stand on my own. The deeper I grow in grace, the greater my dependency is on our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus. I am kept by grace.
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.Titus 3:3-7
v. 3: For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
• We all have sinned and at one time self-serving.
• We cannot look at unsaved people as lesser.
v. 4: But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared
• While we were sinners Christ died for us
• God’s kindness and love has been made known to men.
v. 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done
• We cannot cause God to love us, nor do we deserve His love.
but according to His mercy He saved us
• Nothing we can do will save us.
(with man it is impossible Matt.19:26)
• God being rich in mercy made us alive.
by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost
• We are washed by the blood of Christ.
• Regeneration: rebirth, renovation, restoration
• Being born of the Spirit changes us
v. 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour
• Christ died for all, and is available to all
• For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God – 1 Peter 3:18
v. 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
• God’s grace justifies us, for the wages of sin is death, but God gives us undeserved favor.
• We are given hope of eternal life by His grace.
My testimony about being Kept by Grace.
One thing that has really been a driving force in my life is standing for truth…Testimony of Truth – Rob Swedenhjelm