By Larry Ray Hafley
“7. The Temple of the Holy Spirit”
“Every Christian is the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 6:19). He is sealed by the Spirit until the day, of redemption (Eph. 4:30). He is not sealed until he backslides, but ‘unto the day of redemption.’ The Holy Spirit abides in the Christian forever (John 14:16). If a Christian can be lost again, the Holy Spirit is lost also for He abides in the Christian forever. John 14:16 clearly teaches us that the Holy Spirit will never leave the Christian. It is in. place to ask, ‘Could the temple of the Holy Spirit go to hell.=@
Reply: One trusts that Dr. Schroeder is not always so careless in his handling of the word of God. Observe how unobstrusively he changes “unto” into “until.” Eph. 4:30 does not say “until the day of redemption” as the “Dr.” avers and errs. It says “unto” meaning, as some translators say, “for the day of redemption.”
The Spirit does not come into or remain in our bodies unconditionally. In the very passage, Paul says, “Grieve not the holy Spirit of God.” What if we do so continually? One may lie to and tempt the Holy Spirit (Acts 5:3, 4, 9). One may resist the Holy Spirit (Acts 7:51). One may quench the Spirit (I Thess. 5:19). One may do despite unto the Spirit of grace (Heb. 10:29). Will one be saved who does these things unto the Spirit? God will remove His Spirit from such persons (Cf. I Sam. 16:14; Psa. 51:11).
Christians must be “filled with the Spirit” and “walk in the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18; Gal. 5:16); that is, they are to be led and directed by the word of the Spirit. John 14:16 does not teach that the Holy Spirit dwells unconditionally in the Christian. The promise of the Spirit in this passage was made to the apostles Qn. 13: 1; Matt. 26:20), but even if that were not so, the Spirit’s presence would not be unconditional. “If ye love me, keep my commandments …. If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him (Jn. 14:15-24).
The temple of the Holy Spirit is our body. Does Dr. Schroeder believe our physical bodies will be in heaven? “It is in place to ask, ‘Could the temple of the Holy Spirit go to heaven?’ ” Finally, 1 Cor. 6:20 says, “Glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” “It is in place to ask,” Could the temple of the Holy Spirit go to heaven if it failed to glorify God? “It is in place” for Mr. Schroeder to answer.
“8. In God’s Sight Every Christian Is Now In Heaven”
“God has raised us ‘with Christ,’ that is, when Christ was raised from the grave we were also raised. Our position as Christians is seated together with Him in the heavenlies (Eph. 2:5, 6). We are now, as far as God is concerned, in heaven. If a Christian can be lost again, then he must be put out of heaven since he now occupies that place (Col.,3:3).”
Reply: Our citizenship is indeed in heaven (Phil. 3,20), but Christians are not now in heaven “in God’s sight” – In Mr. Schroeder’s sight, perhaps, but not in God’s. The phrase “in heavenly places” is found in Eph. 1:3, 20; 2:6; 6:12. Its meaning in Eph. 1:3 and 2:6 is that spiritual blessings emanate from heaven and are brought from there to us, We sit together in Christ “in heavenly places” by reason of the fact that we are “fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19). Our “inheritance” is “reserved in heaven” 0 Pet. 1:4). Our hope is laid up for us “in heaven” (Col. 1:5), but we are not yet there. However, if we are now in heaven, what did Paul mean when he said, “Set your affections on things above” (Col. 3:2)? “Above” where? “Above” heaven? “When Christ, who is our life shall appear, then (not before) shall ye also appear with him in glory” (Col. 3:4). If we were in heaven, we would be already “with him in glory.”
Think it not strange, Dr. Schroeder, that one should be “put out of” an exalted position. We could grant your contention and feel no pangs to admit that Christians may be “put out of heaven.” Dr., “Have ye never read” that “God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to’ be reserved unto judgment” (2 Pet. 2:4; Jude 6)? If God “spared not” angels but “cast them down to hell,” why should it be so amazing that He would not spare an erring Christian? Finally, the wrath of God now “abideth” on unbelievers (Jn. 3:36). “They are now, as far as God is concerned, in hell. If an unbeliever can become a believer and be saved, then he must be put out of hell since he now occupies that place.” That is according to Schroeder’s argument. Can he answer himself?
“9. Part of Christ’s Body”
“We, as Christian, are members of Christ’s body–flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone (Eph. 5:30). If a Christian can be lost again, then Christ is lost with him since He made the Christian part of His own body. If he can be lost again, the body will not be complete, and if this is true, the plan and work of Christ is lost and useless-the Word of God speaks of Christ’s body being ‘without spot or wrinkle’ (Eph. 5:25-27).
Reply: Again, Dr. Schroeder carries a figure of speech too far and creates an absurdity. What Mr. Schroeder says is true with respect to a fleshly body, but Paul was discussing a spiritual body, the church. In another figure, we learn that if one falls away, Christ is not lost with him. “If a man abide 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” (Jn. 15:6). If our friend Schroeder had been there, he, could have told the Lord, “No, if a Christian can be lost again, then you, Lord, will be lost with him since You made the Christian a branch in the vine. If he can be lost again, the vine will not be complete, and if this is true, Your plan and work is lost and useless.”
The church will be presented “not having spot, or wrinkle,” for all who do not continue in the faith will be “spued out,” and “cast forth” (Col. 1: 18-22 .3; Rev. 3:16).
“10. Complete In Christ”
“Every Christian is now complete in Him (Col. 2:10). Can the complete work of Christ be lost again? If it can be lost, was it complete? How can a Christian be complete and lost again? Would not then the complete work of Christ go to hell?”
Reply: Christian are “complete in Him.” Where? “In Christ,” but a man may choose not to abide in Christ-“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth” (Jn. 15:6). A man is “complete” in Christ, but one may not continue in Christ”If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the father” (I Jn. 2:24). “If” it does not remain in you, you shall not 66 continue in the Son.” Outside of Christ we are not complete and, thus, cannot be saved. Baptist doctrine says we are complete and saved whether we abide in Christ or not.
“11. Saved By Grace”
“‘For by grace are ye saved’ (Eph. 2:8, 9; Acts 15:11). If a man is saved by grace, and grace is unmerited favor and wholly undeserved, how can he be lost? If he can be lost through some sin, or by not holding out, can it be said of him, ‘by grace are ye saved’? If our reaching heaven depends upon our good work, then our salvation would have no element of grace in it.”
Reply: One cannot earn or merit his salvation by perfect keeping of law. God’s system of grace teaches us works of God to perform in order to be saved by his grace (Rom. 4-6; Jas. 2). By mixing works of man and works of God, Mr. Schroeder reaches his position. Works of men are excluded, yet in judgment Jesus shall “reward every man according to his works” (Matt. 16:27). Is there discord here? No, on one hand, there is reference to keeping of law for justification and, on the other, there is reference to “faith which worketh by love. “
Faith is a “work” (Jn. 6:28, 29). I suppose Mr. Schroeder would call believing Christ a “good work.” Further, it can be agreed that salvation “depends” upon faith in Christ. So, faith is a work, a good work, upon which salvation “depends.” With respect to the possibility of apostasy, Mr. Schroeder has said, “If our reaching heaven depends upon our good work, then our salvation would have no element of grace in it.” Does salvation by faith have any “element of grace” in it? When one explains how that it does, though he knows faith is a “work,” then he should be able to understand how conditions do not eliminate grace.
“12. He Will Not Be Cast Out Again”
“John 6:37 teaches very clearly that it is the Christian who will never be cast out. The Christian is the Father’s love gift to the Son, and Christ dare not discard those whom the Father gives Him.”
Reply: John 6:37 is conditional. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out.” No one who comes to God will be cast out, but Baptist doctrine says a man is not cast out even if he ceases to come to Christ! Christ will not “discard” those whom the Father gives him, but “if we deny him, he also will deny us” (2 Tim. 2:12). Christ will not “cast out” the faithful, but He will “cast forth” and “spue out” those who do not continue coming to Him (Jn. 15:6; Rev. 3:16). It is the one who comes to Christ “who will never be cast out,” “but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you” (2 Chron. 15:2).
“13. No Condemnation”
“The child of God, according to Rom. 8:1, will never come into condemnation or judgment. Since His sins were judged at the cross of Calvary, we are assured in John 3:18 and John 5:24 that the believer is freed from condemnation. Christ bore the punishment for our sins. God cannot pour His Judgment upon the believer if Christ bore the penalty of ,@all our sins.”
Reply: The “children of God, according to Rom. 8:1 (who) will never come into condemnation or judgment” are those “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit (Rom. 8:4,12,13). We are “assured in John 3:18 and … 5:24 that the believer is freed from condemnation,” but a believer may become an unbeliever; a believer may develop “an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Heb. 3:1, 12; Psa. 106:12, 24).
Eleven verses down from Romans 8:1, we find this, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after th6 flesh. For if ye live after the flesh ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall five” (Rom. 8:12, 13). The “ye” in verse 13 are the “brethren” (Christians) of verse 12. “Die,” or death, in verse 13 is spiritual death, for all will die physically whether they live after the flesh or not. This death is conditional, hence, physical. Living “after the Spirit” will result in life, eternal fife through the Spirit.
Finally, James tells his “brethren” to “sware not … lest ye fall into condemnation” (Jas. 5:12). But Dr. Schroeder says children of God “will never come into condemnation.” James said his brethren would “fall into condemnation” if they swore. That proves Schroeder’s brethren are not James brethren!
“14. Incorruptible Seed”
“Since the Christian has been born incorruptible seed 0 Pet. 1:23), can it corrupt? It is impossible. How can that which is incorruptible ever corrupt?
Reply: The tract leaves out the word “of” in the phrase “born of incorruptible seed.” The saints are not the seed. “The seed is the word of God” (Lk. 8:11). It-the seed, not the saints, is incorruptible.
That which is incorruptible can never corrupt or spoil. The word of God will never corrode nor corrupt, but the mind of the Christian may “be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3). In the Old Testament, children of God “corrupted themselves” (Deut. 9:12). Baptist doctrine says Christians cannot be corrupted. The Bible says they can. But Baptist doctrine says, “No matter if they are corrupted, they will be saved, for it is impossible to be lost.” That is a “corrupt” doctrine.
(To Be Concluded Next Week)
Truth Magazine, XVIII:40, p. 5-7
August 15, 1974