C. It leads to indolence. Answer: This is a perversion of the doctrine, continuously possible only to the unregenerate since, to the regenerate, certainty of success is the strongest incentive to activity in the conflict with sin.
<620504> 1 John 5:4 ? ?For whatsoever is begotten of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith.? It is notoriously untrue that confidence of success inspires timidity or indolence. Thomas Fuller: ?Your salvation is his business; his service your business.? The only prayers God will answer are those we ourselves cannot answer. For the very reason that ?it is God who worketh in you both to will and to work, for his good pleasure,? the apostle exhorts: ?work out your own salvation with fear and trembling? ( <503512>Philippians 2:12, 13).
D. The Scripture commands to persevere and warnings against apostasy show that certain, even of the regenerate, will fall away. Answer:
(a) They show that some are apparently regenerate and will fall away.
<401807> Matthew 18:7 ? ?Woe unto the world because of occasions of stumbling! for it must needs be that the occasions come but woe to that man through whom the occasion cometh?; <461119>1 Corinthians 11:19 ? ?For there must be also factions [lit. ?heresies?] among you, that they that are approved may be made manifest among you?; <620219>1 John 2:19 ? ?They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they all are not of us.? Judas probably experienced strong emotions and received strong impulses toward good under the influence of Christ. The only falling from grace, which is recognized in Scripture, is not the falling of the regenerate but the falling of the unregenerate from influences tending to lead them to Christ. The Rabbins said that a drop of water will suffice to purify a man who has accidentally touched a creeping thing but an ocean will not suffice for his cleansing so long as he purposely keeps the creeping thing in his hand.
(b) They show that the truly regenerate, and those who are only apparently so, are not certainly distinguishable in this life.
<480318> Galatians 3:18 ? ?men shall ye return and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not?; <401325>Matthew 13:25, 47 ? ?while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares also among the wheat, and went away...Again, the
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