Salvation is a gift from God that cannot be taken away. When a person is saved, he is always saved. Nothing can separate him from eternal life in Christ and he can live with full assurance of Heaven as his future home.
Multitudes claim they obey God but they have separated themselves from His word. They are like politicians who claim to obey Jesus but pass laws against His word. What politician will get elected if he just overtly said, “I will not obey Jesus. We don’t need Jesus today?” They won’t say it. They will just claim to obey God and then do the opposite of what He says. How is this possible? They separate God from His word and there is no obedience to God without His word. Believe me this is a problem all the way from the Pope in Rome to the pastors of independent Baptist churches. Believe it or not both have a problem following the written word.
Thomas Watson one of the greatest Puritans wrote: “What is the rule of obedience? The written word. That is proper obedience which the word requires; our obedience must correspond with the word, as the copy of the original. To seem to be zealous, if it be not according to the word, is not obedience, but will worship. Popish traditions which have no footing in the word are abominable.” He also wrote: “The papist, who as if God’s law were imperfect, and when he spake all these words, he did not speak enough, add to it their canons and traditions. This is to tax God’s wisdom as if he did not know how to make his own law.”
To this the Baptists will shout a hearty, “AMEN! Absolutely, popish additions to the word are abominable.” And then they proceed to do exactly the same by adding legalistic traditions intended to make people appear outwardly righteous. They add to God’s laws like popes and Pharisees as if God did not know how to make His own law.
Do you understand? Obedience to God is to obey the words He spoke. It cannot be to substitute something He did not say and then say we obey God because we do those things. Why do Baptists have the same problem as Catholics? Because we say we are following God’s commands when God has not spoken. There are no commands in scripture for the preferences of independent Baptists any more than there are commands in scripture for the traditions of Catholicism. Following neither is obedience to God. We must learn that conformity to God is not outward but inward. It must start with the grace of God just as it does in Exodus 19. (Excerpted from the sermon Laying Down the Law by Pastor V. Mark Smith)