Salvation is secured once and for all of eternity whenever an individual believes on the Person (who He is) and the Works (what He did on the cross) of the Lord Jesus Christ. A person can never be any more or less “saved” than he is at the moment of salvation.
Sanctification, on the other hand, is not only the result of the one-time decision to be saved, but involves a process that begins at the moment of salvation and continues until the moment of our earthly departure.
When God looks upon the born-again believer, He does so in light of the “finished product”. Every born-again believer is in union with Christ and will stand before God in a state of spiritual perfection (Romans 14:4).
When (not if, 1John1: 10) a born-again believer commits post-salvation sin(s), salvation is NOT lost, but fellowship with God is. The indwelling Holy Spirit (1Cor. 6:19) does not leave us, but is grieved (Eph.4: 30). Fellowship is restored when the post-salvation sin(s) is confessed resulting in forgiveness and cleansing of all unrighteousness (1John 1:9).
This raises the question as to the purpose & significance of the post-salvation spiritual life since this position declares that we are ALL going to end up completely sanctified when we meet our Make face to face.
We do not learn and apply Biblical principles of the post-salvation spiritual life in order to retain salvation as we are NOT saved or remain saved by works, but by the grace of God (Eph.2:8/Rom.11: 6). We learn and apply the Biblical principles of the post-salvation life because THIS is what brings glory to God. This (the glory of God) is primary purpose of the post-salvation life. Our obedience to God is an expression of our love of God (John 14:15), not the fear of Hell (Rom.8: 1).
In addition to the promise of complete sanctification when we stand before God in judgment (Romans 14:4), there is the process of experiential sanctification while here on Earth in the post-salvation spiritual life.
Experiential sanctification is the DAILY process in which we are cleansed from the misinformation that we have taken into our minds & replaced with what the Bible calls the “...mind of Christ” (1Cor.2: 16).
This is the “learning for life” process that the born-again believer is called to.
The reason that it is called a DAILY process is that, like physical exercise of the body, Bible doctrine can lose its effectiveness in our lives if it is not received & applied on a regular basis.
There are 10,080 minutes in each week. Assuming that we sleep for 8 hrs. a day, that leaves us with 6,720 minutes a week of conscious life in which our minds take in all kinds of information from our environment, most of which is influenced by the “…god of this age” (2 Cor. 4:4 NIV), Satan.
The term “unbelievers” in this passage (2 Cor. 4:4) refers to those who have rejected God’s one and only plan of salvation OR to born again Christians who reject Biblical principles as they apply to the post-salvation spiritual life.
We all have the same 24 hrs every day. How we choose to spend it reflects our personal values and priorities.
If a person devotes one hour a day to the intake and meditation of the Word of God, he will spend 420 minutes a week or a little less than 7% of his available time preparing himself to spiritually discern & deal with what will take place for the remaining 93% of his conscious life.
Satanic influence is expressed in human viewpoint that is void of Bible Doctrine. It is found in all of our educational, economic, “religious”, political, and social organizations. It is expressed in art, music & entertainment. It controls what we hear (or don’t hear) in the news media. The majority of those we interact with in our business and social lives express it.
Learning for life in the lives of born-again believers is going to take place. One way results in the glory of God and blessings, both now and in Eternity, while the other results in Godly discipline in this life and loss of rewards (not salvation), both now & in Eternity.
All scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION (R) Copyright (C) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All Rights reserved.