The Security of The Believer–Not the Unbeliever # 2

QUESTION: A good/sincere student of the Bible writes: “My question of the day is something I’ve been studying on and I wanted to know your thoughts on it. I’ve believed all my life that once I get sincerely born again and know it for sure, that I could never lose my salvation by disqualifying myself by slipping up and sinning. Everyone sins every day right? What if I was born again and sinned for whatever reason and had no time to repent of it or ask forgiveness, and a truck hit me and I died. Would I go to hell because I didn’t have enough time to ask forgiveness? Is once saved always saved true?”

ANSWER: I, too, believe in the security of the BELIEVER. A BELIEVER is one who trusts in, and relies on, the sacrifice of Jesus to save him and his faith shows itself in seeking to follow the Lord and do His will (Jam. 2:17-18). I believe that all BELIEVERS do sin (I Jn. 1:8), but the blood of Jesus keeps us clean from our sins ( I Jn 1:7). I do not believe that God counts the sins of a BELIEVER against him, because they are continually forgiven by the sacrifice of Jesus (II Cor. 5:18 -19). Therefore, if a BELIEVER “sinned and had no time to repent of it and ask for forgiveness and a truck hit him and he died”, I do not believe that he will be lost. God does not impute or reckon sin to a BELIEVER (Rom. 4:8).
I believe that once a sinner becomes a BELIEVER (born again of water and the Spirit, Jn. 3:3-5) that he is always in a saved state as long as he continues to believe. In I John 5:13 the Bible says:
These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. (NKJV)
In Revelation 2:10, Jesus said “Be faithful (i.e. continue to trust in Me) until death and I will give you the crown of life.” Why tell them to “be faithful” if being faithful is not necessary? If they were going to get the “crown of life” anyway, why did He say “be faithful”?
Therefore, the question we need to consider is: “Can a BELIEVER (one who trusts in Jesus) become an “UNBELIEVER” (one who quits trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus)? Can a person who is “faithful” become “unfaithful”?
There are plenty of verses in the Bible that clearly say that a BELIEVER can become an unbeliever. A person who is a BELIEVER AND KNOWS IT FOR SURE can quit trusting (believing) in Jesus, turn his back on Jesus, go back into the world of rebellion and sin, fall from grace, and be lost eternally.
Note the following verses from the letter to the Hebrew BELIEVERS:
Hebrews 3:1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
Observe that these were H0LY brethren and partakers of the heavenly calling.
Then observe also what the writer said to these saved people:
Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.
Observe carefully, that these “holy brethren” who were “partakers of the heavenly calling” were warned that “any” of them could have “an evil heart of UNBELIEF” and depart from God.
Note also, in the book of Galatians, what is said about how some had “become estranged” or “alienated” from Christ. Some had quit trusting in His sacrifice and started trusting in their law keeping to save them. Therefore Paul wrote in Galatians 5:4: You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen away from grace. (NKJV). The NIV has: You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace.
Observe that he did not say, imply, or insinuate that they could not fall from grace, but rather he said, “you have fallen away from grace”. It is also interesting that the only time the Bible specifically uses the phrase “falling away from grace” it was because some had fallen from grace.
Therefore, it seems to me that the Bible clearly teaches that it is possible for a Christian to turn away from Christ and be lost eternally because of it.
However, I do not believe that one can, or will, “lose his salvation by slipping up and sinning” as long as he does not lose his faith in Jesus. But it is possible (and it has happened) that Christians have lost their faith and have quit trusting in Him at all. They now have no faith in Him as is evidenced by the fact that they have quit the church altogether and live lives just like those in the world (who do not and never have trusted in Him).
I am well aware of the numerous passages that teach that the BELIEVER is secure in Christ. (Such as: Ps. 37:23-24; Jn 5:24 & 10:27-30; Rom. 8:38-39; Heb. 13:5; Jude 1:1, etc.). I believe these verses are true and that the BELIEVER (one who continually trusts in and seeks to follow Christ) is secure. However, I do not believe in the security of the unbeliever (one who has never trusted in Christ, or one who ceases to trust in Christ).
Almost every book of the New Testament teaches that a BELIEVER must continue to believe in, and follow Christ, or else, he will be lost. For example, read the following verses:
Matthew 25:14-30 One of His servants was lost.
Mark 13:13 He who endures to end will be saved.
Luke 8:13 Some believe for a while, then fall away.
Luke 15:11-31 A son was lost and is found.
John 15:1-5 One who does not abide (continue/remain) in Him is cast into fire.
Acts 1:25 Judas by transgression fell.
Acts 8:13-24 Simon (a believer) could perish if he did not repent.
Romans 8:13 Christians who live after flesh die spiritually.
I Corinthians 8:11 A brother can perish for whom Christ died.
I Corinthians 10:12 Saints must take heed lest they fall.
II Corinthians 6:1 Saints can receive grace in vain.
Galatians 5:4 Some had fallen from grace.
Ephesians 5:3-7 Wrath will come on sons of disobedience.
Philippians 3:12-14 Christians must keep reaching & pressing.
Colossians 1:22-23 Saved only if we continue in the faith.
I Thessalonians 3:1-8 We live if we stand fast in the Lord.
II Thessalonians 2:15 Christians must stand fast.
I Timothy 1:19-20 Some had their faith to shipwreck.
II Timothy 4:10 Demas forsook Paul having loved this present world.
Titus 3:8 Believers must be careful to maintain good works.
Philemon 1:5 Why mention faith if he did not have to keep it.
Hebrews 6:4-6 & 10:26-29 Some fall away and forsake.
James 5:19-20 A Brother who errs from truth must be saved from death.
I Peter 4:19 Christians must commit souls to Him by doing good.
II Peter 1:10 Christians must take heed lest we fall.
II Peter 2:20-22 Saints can go back into world and be overcome by it.
I John 5:16 Christians can commit a sin unto death.
II John 1:9-11 We must abide in the teaching of Christ.
III John 1:4 Christians must walk in truth.
Jude 1:5 He saved them, then destroyed those who did not believe.
Revelation 3:5 Our name can be blotted out of the book of life.                                                   THESE ARE JUST SOME OF THE MANY VERSES THAT STATE (OR IMPLY) THAT BELIEVERS MUST CONTINUE TO BELIEVE IN ORDER TO CONTINUE TO BE BELIEVERS.
I know some who say, “If you got it, you can’t lose it, and if you lose it, you never had it”. I personally see no comfort, or security, in this statement. If this statement is true, then it seems to me that one would have to wait and make sure he did not lose it to know whether or not he ever had it!
However, the Hebrew Christians had it (Heb. 3:1), and were warned time and again that they could lose it if the forsook Christ, crucified Him afresh, counted His blood (that had sanctified them) an unholy thing and had an evil heart of unbelief. (See Heb. 2:1-3; 3:12-13; 6:1-6; 10:25-29; & 12:25).
Also, I have heard something like: “If one’s faith fizzles before the finish, then it was flawed from the first.” Neither do I see any comfort, or security, in this statement. If this statement is true, then, it would seem to me, that one would have to wait until the finish to know if his faith was flawed or not. If it fizzles then it is flawed, and if it does not fizzle then it is not flawed. But we will have to wait until the finish to see if we really have fizzling faith or finishing faith.

And to answer your last question: “Is once saved always saved true?”
Yes! A BELIEVER is always saved as long as he is a BELIEVER. But when one ceases to believe, then he ceases to be a BELIEVER and he will be lost. I believe that God is “able to keep you from stumbling” (Jude v. 24) and I believe that He will. However, He only keeps those who want to be kept. Therefore Believers have the responsibility to “keep yourselves in the love of God” (Jude v. 21) by continuing to trust in Him for salvation. I hope this helps.

Wayne Dunaway
G & P Ministries

The Holy Spirit Indwells Personally



1. I believe that the Holy Spirit Himself really, literally, actually, personally,or just about any other way you want to say it, dwells, lives, and resides in heart of the Christian.
2. I cannot explain the mechanics of how that happens, but I believe that the Bible clearly teaches it and I accept it simply because that is what the Bible says as well as what I have experienced in my own life.
3. I believe that the Spirit dwells in us in harmony with the word and in conjunction with the word, but never in conflict or contrary to the word.
4. The Bible clearly teaches that both the Spirit and the word dwell in the Christian:
a. Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.”
b. Romans 8:9 “But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you…”
5. I do not believe that there is any such thing as a “measure” of the Spirit. In fact, the Bible clearly says, “for God does not give the Spirit by measure” (Jn. 3:34, NKJV, ESV, ASV, NASB, NIV).
6. There are various “gifts” or “manifestations” that the Spirit distributes “to each one individually as He wills (1 Cor. 12:11), and “according to His own will” (Heb. 2:4), but those gifts are not different amounts of the Spirit Himself (Jn. 3:34).
7. The idea that Jesus had the Spirit without measure, and the apostles had a gallon, and the prophets had a quart, and the miracle workers had a pint, and the tongue speakers had a cup full, and you and I get a teaspoonful, or thimbleful, is not taught in the Bible.
8. Remember that the Holy Spirit is a person and you have Him dwelling in you or you do not have Him at all (Jn. 3:34).
9. And the Bible clearly teaches that the Spirit of God dwells in the child of God.
a. Acts 5:32 “…the Holy Spirit whom God has given to them that obey Him.”
b. I Cor. 6:19 “…your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God…”
c. Gal. 4:6 “…God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts…”
d. Eph. 3:16 “…strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man.”
e. I Thess. 4:8″…God, who has given us His Holy Spirit.”
f. See also Jn. 7:37-39; 14:16-18; Acts 2:38-39; Rom.5:5; 8:9-11; 1 Cor. 3:16; 12:13; II Cor. 5:5; Gal. 3:2; Eph. 1:13-14; 2:22; 4:30; 2 Tim. 1:14; Titus 3:5-6; Heb. 6:4; James 4:5; 1 Jn. 3:24; and 4:13.
10. But there are some (a very small minority in my judgment) who believe that the Spirit dwells in us only through the very words in the Bible.
11. Those who believe in the “word only” indwelling cannot produce one passage that says the Spirit dwells in us “through the word.”
12. The Bible does say that the church is a “habitation of God through the Spirit,” but it never says that the church is the “habitation of the Spirit through the word.”
13. In this study, we will notice reasons why I believe the “word only” concept of the Spirit’s indwelling cannot be true.



A. Peter promised the “gift of the Holy Spirit” to those who would “repent and be baptized.” He said to those who believed his message: “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38).
B. “Then those who gladly received his word were baptized…” (Acts 2:41).
C. If the Spirit indwells one through the words of the Spirit then, since the word was received before baptism, the Holy Spirit indwelled those people before baptism.
D. These people received the word (Acts 2:41) before they were baptized, but according to Peter’s promise on this occasion they were to “repent and be baptized” in order to “receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”


1. The Bible clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit was not given to those “believing” in Jesus until “after” He was glorified (Jn. 7:39).
a. Jesus “suffered” and then entered “into His glory” (Lk. 24:26).
b. He was “glorified” after His death, burial, and resurrection when He ascended into heaven (Acts 2:29-33).
c. It was after He went “away” that He sent the Holy Spirit to the disciples (Jn. 14:7; Acts 1:4-8; 2:1-4, 33).
2. But the apostles had “received” His word during His earthly ministry. Note:
a. Jn. 15:3 “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.”
b. Jn. 17:6 “They have kept your word.”
c. Jn. 15:7 “If you abide in me and my words abide in you…”
d. Jn. 17:8 “For I have given to them the words which you have given me and they have received them…”
3. Note carefully that Jesus said, “I have given to them the words” and “they have received them…” (Jn. 17:6). The apostles had the word in them, but they did not have the indwelling Spirit because the Spirit was not given to them until after the resurrection of Jesus.
4. If the Spirit dwelt in them as the words of Christ dwells in them, they already had the Spirit before the Spirit was given (Jn. 7:37-39).


1. “For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit.” (I Thess. 1:5). Note: Our gospel came not in word only, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit.
2. The gospel came also to the Thessalonians “in the Holy Spirit.”
a. What did that mean?
b. Notice in the next verse how they “received the word” with “joy of the Holy Spirit” (1:6).
c. I take that to mean they received the word as well as the joy of the Holy Spirit (i.e. the joy of having the Holy Spirit.)
d. In chapter 4:8 he later affirmed the fact God has also “given us his Holy Spirit.”
3. Therefore, the gospel did not come to them in “word only,” but also “in the Holy Spirit” (I Thess. 1:5) whom God has “given us” (1 Thess. 4:8).


1. The Book of Hebrews was written to “holy brethren” (Heb. 3:1).
2. In Chapter 6, the writer encourages them to “go on to perfection” (Heb. 6:1).
3. He reminded them of what had already been taught, and what had already occurred in their lives (Heb. 6:1-5).
4. Notice carefully, in verses 4 and 5, two of the things that are said:
a. They had become “partakers of the Holy Spirit” (v. 4).
b. They had “tasted the good word of God” (v.5).
5. Please observe they had become partakers of the “Holy Spirit” AND have tasted the good “word” of God.
6. It was not “Spirit only” or “word only,” but the Spirit and the word.

A. One of the most encouraging and powerful motivations there is in living the Christian life is the knowledge and assurance of God’s presence in the heart of the Christian through the indwelling Spirit.
B. Just knowing that God Himself is personally in us is an encouragement not to sin and to “glorify God in our body and our Spirit which are God’s” (See 1 Cor. 6:18-20).
C. There is absolutely no reason to allow anyone to take our faith in this fact and this force out of our hearts.
D. The Bible clearly teaches it in numerous passages that can be understood by anyone who reads them. Read the verses yourself, trust and rely on His help, and you can easily see for yourself.

Wayne Dunaway


Our outline is:

I. Her Great Faith (Ch. 1)

1. Ruth 1:16 – She said your God shall be MY God.
2. Ruth 2:12 – To the God of Israel she came for refuge.

II. Her Good Fortune (Chs. 2-3)

1. Ruth 2:3 – She “happened” to come to the right field. She “happened” to come at the right time. She “happened” to meet the right man. Why? Because God made it happen.
2. Ruth 2:12 – The Lord repaid her work and she was rewarded.

III. Her Godly Family (Ch. 4)

1. Ruth 4:13 – She bore a son.
2. Ruth 4:18-22 – She helped provide a Savior. (Matt. 1:1-5).

Conclusion: Her great faith led to a good fortune which led to a godly family. The book begins with her tragedy but ends in her triumph. It begins with a burial but ends with a birth. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. (Ps. 30:5)

Thank for Jesus who encourages us with truth from Ruth.

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An Imaginary Lectureship

I went to an imaginary lectureship,
Way back up in the hills,
And listening to the speakers,
Was like taking sleeping pills.

At first, I thought it might be me,
But I had to think again,
When I heard one of the speakers say,
Women cannot say “Amen!”

“A woman must be silent,”
And silence means “not a word!”
But then he said that she must sing,
Which must be totally absurd!

We should not applaud at a baptism
You can nod if you approve.
(I guess the thing that makes it wrong,
Is the body part you move!)

It is wrong to build gymnasiums,
A kitchen is a sin.
And should you have “Youth Ministers,”
The Lord won’t let you in.

A chorus or a praise team,
Is clearly out of place.
And if someone sings a solo
It’s really a big disgrace.

It is wrong to eat in the building,
But water we can drink.
(We can even have a bathroom,
With a commode as well as a sink.)

The “Church” can’t help non-Christians,
And that’s really kind of sad,
To teach that helping the needy,
Makes the good Lord say, “You’re bad!”

We can’t have Bible classes,
If some could have their way,
And VBS is surely wrong,
If you let the children “play.”

One cup for the communion,
Use more, and you’re under a curse.
(I would think that during the “flu” season
It’d be good if you drank first.)

We must use the King James Version,
Or maybe, the ASV.
Those other “perverted” Bibles,
Are as sinful as can be!

If you’re in a second marriage
You’ll likely have to divorce.
Being faithful to these vows you made,
Is something we do not indorse.

There is no Second Coming–
Jesus came back in the past
He came back in A.D. 70–
And that will be His last!

We have no indwelling Spirit,
He dwells only through the word.
There is no Personal presence,
Beats all I’ve ever heard.

We cannot observe Thanksgiving
As a National Holiday.
And if we observe Christmas.
It is really “hell” to pay.

While listening to this non-sense,
I really wanted to leave.
But then, I decided to stay awhile,
Just to see if it was wrong to “breathe!”

As I thought about the sermons,
I knew why some folks quit,
Because binding these human opinions,
Will not help the church one bit.

The folks who had this lectureship,
Were really in some “ruts,”
And those of us who listened,
Had to be a bunch of “nuts!”

When the lectures were finally over,
I shook some hands and left,
And I thought as I was leaving,
I’ve preached some of this stuff myself!!

When I think about how bad this is,
It’s as disturbing as can be,
When I point a finger at others,
There are three pointing back at me!

But Jesus came to save us all,
On this, there can be no doubt.
And all of us have said some stuff,
Not knowing what we were talking about!!

This was only an imaginary lectureship,
The real ones may not be so grim.
But our faith should not be in preachers,
Our faith should be only in HIM!!!

Wayne Dunaway



A. The Holy Spirit dwells (lives) in the faithful Christian.
We have:
The PROMISE – Promised to all (Jn. 7:37-39; Acts 2:38-39).
The PLEDGE – Given to all (Acts 5:32).
The PLACE – In the heart/inner man (Gal. 4:6; Eph. 3:16; 1 Cor. 6:19).
The PROOF – God cannot lie. (Titus 1:2; Heb. 6:18).
The PREDICAMENT – We are not His without the Spirit (Rom. 8:8-9).
The PURPOSE – This is the basis of this study
B. What does the indwelling Spirit do for the Christian today?
C. (S-P-I-R-I-T) Each letter reminds us of something the Spirit does for the Christian.

I. Seals & Strengthens.

A. The “S” could stand for “Sealed.”
1. The Spirit seals us as God’s own (2 Tim. 2:19).
2. “You were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (Eph. 1:13).
3. “The Holy Spirit…by whom you were sealed for the
day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30). God “has sealed us and given us the Spirit in
our hearts as a guarantee” (2 Cor. 1:22).
B. The “S” also stands for strengthens.”
1. Paul prayed that the Ephesians would be “strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man” (Eph. 3:16b).
Note: Strengthened how? Through His Spirit.
Note: Strengthened where? In the inner man.

II. Produces (Gal. 5:22-23).

A. The “P” stands for produces fruit.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23).
B. The fruit is produced in us as we co-operate with the Spirit’s leading (Rom. 8:14; 1 Tim. 4:14; 2 Tim. 1:6).
C. We can put out the Spirit’s fire (1 Thess. 5:19). He is a “helper” not an “enforcer.”

III. Intercedes (Rom. 8:26).

A. The first “I” stands for intercedes.
1. The Spirit “makes intercession for us” (Rom.8:26)
2. We do not know “how” or even “what” to pray for as we should (Rom. 8:26).
B. The indwelling Spirit helps us in these “weaknesses”.
1. In those times when our hearts are burdened or troubled to the point where we cannot even express are deepest needs, desires, and wants; God has provided His Spirit to take the “groanings which cannot be uttered” and make “intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom. 8:26-27).
2. The indwelling Spirit helps us in all our other “weaknesses.”

IV. Renews.

A. The letter “R” stands for renews.
1. There is clearly a “renewing” that the Holy Spirit accomplishes in us. a. “He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior” (Titus 3:4-6).
2. This “renewing” is a work that the indwelling Spirit continues to do “day by day”.
3. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day” (2 Cor. 4:16).
4. It seems to me that the “the gift of the Holy Spirit” promised to believers produces the “times of refreshing” that comes “from the presence of the Lord” (Compare Acts 2:38 & 3:19).
5. Furthermore, Jesus promised “that the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into eternal life” (Jn. 4:14). He later identified this “living water” as “the Spirit whom those believing in Him would receive” (Jn. 7:37-39).
6. I probably need to remind you that it is not my purpose or plan to explain how the Spirit accomplishes this “renewing.” I simply believe that He does it. (Note: I can’t explain how God can “renew the face of the earth,” but I believe He can and does. (See Psalm 104:30).

V. Imparts (Rom. 12:6-8).

A. The second “i” stands for Imparts.
1. I believe that every Christian is gifted by the Spirit to do something in the kingdom.
2. I believe that God produces and develops various gifts or abilities in us by His indwelling Spirit.
3. I am not talking about the “miraculous gifts” that were generally given instantly by the laying on of the apostles’ hands (1 Cor. 12:8-10; Acts 8:18; 19:5; Rom. 1:11), but I am talking about gifts or abilities given by God to the Christian.
B. Not all spiritual “gifts” given by God in the New Testament were “miraculous” in nature.
1. Paul lists such abilities or gifts as “ministering,” “teaching,” “exhorting,” “giving,” and “showing mercy” as “gifts” that are “given to us” (Rom. 12:6-8).
2. God has given to “each one” a measure of faith (Rom. 12:3).
a. All members do not have the same function (Rom. 12:4).
b. The Spirit distributes to “each one” as He wills (1 Cor. 12:11).
c. He sets the members in the body “just as He pleased” (1 Cor. 12:18).
d. And “every joint (member) supplies” something for the “edifying” of the body or church (Eph. 4:16).
e. Notice carefully 1 Peter 4:10-11:
i. “As each one has received a gift” (verse 10a).
ii. “Minister it” (i.e. the gift) to one another (verse 10b).
iii. If anyone ministers let him do it as with the ability which God supplies (verse 11).

VI. Transforms (2 Cor. 3:17-18).

A. The “T” stands for transforms.
1. Paul told the saints in Rome to “be transformed by
the renewing of your mind” (Rom. 12:2).
2. The Holy Spirit has a part in this transformation.
3. Christians are continually “being transformed into the same image” of Christ “by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:17-18).
4. God is at work in us helping us “both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 4:13).
5. He is “working” in us “what is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ” (Heb. 13:21).


A. We cannot allow Satan or anyone else to take the Holy Spirit out of the heart and life of the Christian.

1. If we do:
a. They take away our Helper (Jn. 14:17) and leave us all orphans (Jn. 14:18).
b. They leave us in the flesh (Rom. 8:9a).
c. They make us none of His (Rom. 8:9b).
d. They take away our spiritual life (Rom. 8:11, 2 Cor. 3:6).
e. They take away our being a temple of God (1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Cor. 6:16).
f. They leave us thirsty (1 Cor. 12:13, Jn. 7:37).
g. They take away our sonship (Gal. 4:6).
h. They take away the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).
i. They take away what God promised (Eph. 1:13).
j. They take away our seal (Eph. 1:13, 4:30; 2 Tim. 2:19).
k. They take away our guarantee (Eph. 1:14).
l. They take away our being a habitation of God (Eph. 2:22).
m. They take away a source of strength (Eph. 3:16).
n. They take away Him whom Jesus poured out on us abundantly (Titus 3:5-6).
o. They take away our proof that God abides in us (1 Jn. 3:24, 4:13).
p. They take away the “water of life” (Rev. 22:17, Jn. 4:14, 7:37-39).
q. They take away the “Spirit Himself” (Rom. 8:26); “Who is in you” (1 Cor. 6:19); “Whom God has given to them that obey Him” (Acts 5:32); and who is given to “even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:38-39).

Wayne Dunaway December 14, 2005



A Marriage Question: Brother Wayne, my husband who is not a Christian has walked out of our marriage. There does not seem to be anyone else. He just decided he doesn’t want to be married any longer. He refused to go to counseling and walked out on me and the children. He had been pulling away for years and finally decided to leave for good. I have heard about your book on divorce and remarriage, but do not have it, and do not know what to do now. I am in complete turmoil and fear of having to live alone for the rest of my life. I was brought up in a very conservative Church of Christ, so you most likely know what I have been taught. What am I to do? Can I ever get married again?

My response: I believe that the Bible is very clear about what must be done in some of these cases. LET. HIM. WALK!!! And while I certainly would not make the decision for you, because that is between you and God, I do believe that you need to know what the Bible says, then make up your own mind. But some things are obvious. We cannot keep people in our lives that refuse to be kept in our lives. One cannot stay married to someone who has deserted the marriage. In those cases where it cannot be saved after reasonable efforts to save it have failed, then the deserted party must recognize that the “marriage is over” and seek God’s help in getting “over the marriage.” When a “relationship is over,”, all we can do is seek God’s help in getting “over the relationship.” Paul is very clear about what some should do when in this very situation. Read it yourself.

But if the UNBELIEVER DEPARTS, LET HIM DEPART; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has CALLED US TO PEACE. (1 Corinthians 7:15; NKJV).

God has called us to “peace.” He has not called us to persistent punishment, self-condemnation, and self-abuse. He has not called us to a life of celibacy simply because a former marriage partner decided to walk out of the relationship. If a mate has “walked out” then in most cases all we can do is “LET’EM WALK!”

Is it a sin for you to marry if you are divorced? You decide! You do not need any help from me or from anyone else to understand what God has said. All you really need to know is what He said and where He said it. The main ones who need “help” in understanding this are those who have been taught by those who have misunderstood this. Read what God said about those “loosed from” (which must include those divorced) a mate.

Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be loosed. are you LOOSED FROM A WIFE? Do not seek a wife. But even IF YOU DO MARRY, you have NOT SINNED; and if a virgin marries, she has not sinned. (1 Corinthians 7:27-28; NKJV).

It is not a sin for a deserted partner to marry because a believer is “not under bondage” to a mate or marriage that no longer exists because one party chooses to walk out (1 Cor. 7:15). If some of your friends or Church members need help “understanding” this, then it is obviously a situation where more help is needed than we are qualified to give them. We can “explain it” to them…but we cannot “understand it” for them. Paul clearly says that those “loosed from” a mate has “not sinned” if they “marry.” That must include those who have been deserted by an unbelieving mate because Paul had just dealt with that very situation earlier in this very chapter (7:15). Sometimes the best way to “get over” an unfaithful mate is to find a faithful one. But again, your decision about what you should do is between you and Jesus. Reading my book, reading this response, or listening to others may help, but your decision needs to be based on what you understand the Bible to teach. Pray, ponder, and then practice what Jesus teaches and leads you to do. I would believe that if it is God’s will that “you marry,” then He will bring someone into your life who will “marry you.”

I deal with this in chapter 10 and chapter 24 of my book on MDR. Also, in Appendix # 6, I quote from some of the best minds, and at one time some of the most respected men in the Church of Christ, who also understood 1 Corinthians 7:15 exactly as it is written. If you want a copy of my book, send me your address and I will send you a copy free. I wrote it to help people like you. I will also be praying for you and your family. Blessings!

Wayne Dunaway

How Do We Know We Are Going To Go?


We know that we will go to Heaven because of:


1. The Promise Jesus Made

First, I know that those in Christ will go to Heaven because of the promise Jesus made. Some of the most familiar verses in the Bible are about the mansions in Heaven that He is preparing for us and the promise that He will come again and take us to be with Him (John 14:1-2). He “promises” and He even “swears” that He will take us there (Heb. 6:16-20, NASV). Since God cannot lie (Titus 1:2)—indeed, it is impossible for God to lie (Heb. 6:18)—then we can have “strong encouragement” because our hope is both “sure and steadfast.”

I know that we live in a world where our leaders lie and speak with “forked tongue.” One man asked another, “How do you know when a politician is lying?” The other answered, “When his mouth is moving.” I am not sure that I would go that far, but I do know that, in our world, it is hard to trust in their “promises” no matter who they are. Of course, I also know that convicts lie, lawyers lie, car salesmen lie, church members lie, elders lie, preachers lie, those who write books lie (I guess I need to move on!). What I am saying is that Jesus is not like us! When He makes a promise, He keeps it and we know that we are going to go because of the promise Jesus made.


2. The Prayer Jesus Prayed

Second, I know that those in Christ will go to Heaven because of the prayer Jesus prayed. In John 17, Jesus prayed a prayer for His disciples and for us (v. 20). In that prayer, He prayed that His Father would “keep” us (v. 11). He prayed that His Father would “protect” us (v. 15). Then in verse 24, He prayed: “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am.” Notice carefully that He prayed that we would be with Him in Heaven.

There are many praying men in the Bible. Daniel was a man who believed in praying (Dan. 6, 9). Elijah was known as a man of prayer (James 5:17-18). Prayer is powerful. Prayer put hungry lions on a diet and stopped rain for over three years. God listens when His people pray even though we don’t always do what is right. But Jesus could say, “I always do those things that please Him” (John 8:29). Therefore, He could say to His Father, “And I know that You always hear Me” (John 11:42). Since the Father always hears Him, and He prayed that we would be in Heaven, then I know we are going because of the prayer that Jesus prayed.


3. The Price Jesus Paid

Finally, I know that those in Christ, who continually trust in Him and seek to do His will for their lives, will go to Heaven because of the price Jesus paid. Jesus died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring us to God (1 Pet. 3:18). He was obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (Phil. 2:8). Isaiah said: “He was wounded for the wrong we did. He was crushed for the evil we did. The punishment, which made us well, was given to him, and we are healed because of his wounds. We all have wandered away like sheep; each of us has gone his own way. But the LORD has put on him the punishment for all the evil we have done” (Isa. 53:5-6, NCV). Therefore, “It is finished” (John 19:30). He has “offered one sacrifice for sins forever” and has “sat down” (Heb. 10:12).

Why has He sat down? Because nothing else needs to be done as far as the sacrifice for sins is concerned. Furthermore, since God “did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” (Rom. 8:32, NLT). In other words, if God let Jesus die for us, then surely, surely, surely, He will give us all the things that we need to get us to Heaven! The promise Jesus made, the prayer Jesus prayed, and the price Jesus paid should help His people be unafraid.

This is from my book, “Heaven: Where Few Are Many.” It can be ordered from me or from Amazon.



God does not extend grace to believers because we are so good, He extends grace to us because we don’t live as good as we should. Lost sinners who learn of His grace and come to Jesus for salvation, do not suddenly turn into sinless saints who somehow earn His grace by their dedication. If we dismiss grace at any point in our Christian lives, because we think we are being good, it is not only a disgrace, but it will also cause us to miss grace. If we believe we are being “good enough” to be saved, we must also believe that we are saved by being good enough…and not one of us even “know enough” about being good to do that. As a matter of fact, we do not even consistently practice what little good we do know. If we ever attempt to be justified by keeping laws, then we have ceased to be kept justified by grace. Why, you asked? Because not one of us can keep God’s holy law good enough at any point in our Christian lives to be saved by law keeping. And if we could, we would not need grace. Therefore, it is totally by His grace that He saves us, and it is totally by His grace that He keeps us saved. By the grace of God, I am not what I was (lost sinner), and by the grace of God I am what I am (saved sinner)!

You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be JUSTIFIED BY LAW; you have fallen from grace. (Galatians 5:4).

But BY THE GRACE OF GOD I AM WHAT I AM, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 Corinthians 15:10).

Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope FULLY ON THE GRACE that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 1:13; ESV).


A blog: GMC: Grace Motivated Christians



Since my heart attack on February 3, 2018 I have even greater appreciation for  members of the Church of Christ. The prayers, cards, calls and concern from members of the CoC were simply great! (This is not to say that members of other Churches did not pray, send cards, and show concern, because there were many, many, many of those as well. I have many Bible believing family members and friends in other Churches and I really appreciate their prayers and I hope they continue to pray for me throughout my recovery.)

Of course, the Ohatchee CoC was best of all for obvious reasons. But there were also many other members of the CoC, some of whom I have never met personally, who sent cards and offered up prayers on my behalf from numerous places–especially the Westwood CoC in McMinnville, TN. And I am so thankful for all the prayers prayed by all members of the Church on my behalf and I hope you continue praying.

I was baptized on June 14th, 1970 and have been associated with the Ohatchee Church of Christ—serving as minister and/or elder–for most of that time. We baptize believers into Christ, partake of the Lord’s supper every Sunday, sing acapella, etc. as many other Churches in our brotherhood/fellowship do. We still do basically the same things in our assemblies today at Ohatchee as we did back in 1970 even though God has changed our emphasis and attitudes tremendously– especially concerning His grace and mercy toward us and other sinful believers who still do things we shouldn’t do and leave undone things we should do. But I like our commitment in the CoC of seeking to go back to the Bible for our faith and practice without others telling us what to believe– even though I know we don’t always conform to all we know, nor do we think we understand everything. In my judgment most of those in CoC are some of the very best, most loving, and most dedicated people on the planet and I am thankful to be associated with them and always have since 1970.

But one thing that most people outside the Church (and some in our group) should know about the CoC is that we are all autonomous or self-governing. In other words, each individual congregation follows the Bible as we understand it at any given time regardless of what other Churches of Christ do or think. This, we believe, was/is the Lord’s idea and the result is freedom and independence from the opinions and dominance of a religious hierarchy or group of individuals and/or Churches. As a matter of fact, there are all kinds of differing views and opinions on any number of important issues taught in the CoC. There are many views taught by some Churches of Christ that neither I, nor the leaders at Ohatchee CoC, share at all. For example, I will mention only five of the most serious ones that are, in my judgment, most important for others to understand that I do not hold or teach in the CoC where I am, nor are they taught by any number of other Churches of Christ in our brotherhood/fellowship, nationwide.

1. Some believe that our group is the only one going to heaven. They believe that only those associated/identified as members of the group known as “Churches of Christ” or “churches of Christ” (Non-instrumental) are going to heaven. All others, including other divisions of the Church of Christ (no Bible classes, One cup, etc.), Christian Church, and all others in other Bible believing groups are all lost. This is a judgment that I do not make and a view that I certainly do not believe.

My View: I believe that we should be Christians only, but I do not believe that we are the only Christians. I believe that all of those born again (Jn. 3:3-5) who are seeking to follow Jesus as they understand His will for their lives at any given time are among the saved and are members of the universal church that belongs to Christ. It is my conviction that the same blood of Jesus that keeps me clean from my sins, honest misunderstandings, and ignorance will do the same for all true believers (1 Jn. 1:7-9). I want to receive other Christians who truly believe despite what I consider to be their errors, ignorance, and misunderstanding, as I expect God to accept me despite my errors, ignorance, and misunderstandings. As Paul wrote, “Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.” (Romans 15:7). You can count me out when it comes to condemning/judging other believers as lost who obviously love the Lord Jesus, but who, in my opinion, may be honestly mistaken about any number of things. I wrote a book about what I believe about who is going to heaven called, “Heaven, Where Few are Many! It is available on Amazon.

2. Some in the CoC deny that Christians have a personal relationship with Jesus and that the very idea is a “hoax.” This too is a very serious error, evidently taught by some sincere folks, that I do not believe and certainly do not share. Personally, I would be afraid of making such a statement and I have never doubted that believers have a personal relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ.

My View: I believe that a “personal relationship” with Jesus is basically all that really matters. Since Christ lives in us and we live in Him, I don’t know how much more personal it can get than that (Gal. 2:20). In my judgment, if we do not have a personal relationship with Jesus then we likely have no relationship with Him at all in the Christian age.

3. Some say Jesus came back in A.D. 70 for the final time. Some in the CoC believe and teach that the second coming of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, and the final judgment all occurred in A. D. 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans. I believe that this is a very serious error and one that I do not share at all and never have. This, in my judgment, basically destroys the Christian’s hope as I understand it (Acts 24:15; Rom. 8:19-24). I know there are some very sincere members who hold this view, but I am not one of them.

My View: I believe in the personal visible coming of Jesus at which time there will be a resurrection of our physical bodies from the grave (1 Cor. 15:35ff), the eternal judgment of all men (Acts 17:31), and the entrance into the “new heavens and new earth” for those who are saved (2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1ff). I believe that it is a very serious matter to deny the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that “the Lord, Himself shall descend from heaven” at some point in the future (1 Thessalonians 4:16ff).

4. Some say there is no personal indwelling Holy Spirit. Some in CoC do not believe that the Holy Spirit dwells in us at all. They believe that the “gift of the Holy Spirit” was a miraculous gift given by the laying on of the apostles’ hands and when the word was revealed and/or the last apostle died, then the Holy Spirit ceased dwelling in believers. Others believe He dwells in us only through the words of the Bible. This last view is known as the “word only” view. I know and have known some serious Bible students among us who believe this. But denying the Holy Spirit’s personal presence in our hearts is a serious matter indeed to me and one that I do not share in any way, shape or form.

My View: I believe in the personal indwelling of the Holy Spirit who leads us (Rom. 8:14), strengthens us (Eph. 3:16), makes intercession for us (Rom. 8:26), and produces fruit in us (Gal. 5:22-23). I believe that the Spirit personally dwells in the body of the believer (1 Cor. 6:19-20) and that He is our Helper (Jn. 14:26-27). I believe that it is a very dangerous doctrine to deny the Spirit’s presence and work in the life of the Christian. Paul’s statement to the Romans has always made this very clear to me when he wrote, “Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His…But if the Spirit of Him, who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you…” (Romans 8:9-11). I have always believed in the presence and work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer (Gal. 4:6). The gospel comes not in “word only” but also in power and “in the Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 1:5) whom God has given us (1 Thess. 4:8).

5. Some say that divorced people who have remarried must divorce again in most cases. Some members in Churches of Christ believe that there is absolutely no reason for divorce and remarriage. They believe that all of those who have divorced and remarried for any reason are in adulterous sinful relationships and must divorce again and live single or go back to their former mate. Others believe and teach that those who have divorced and remarried– unless the reason for the divorce was “fornication” on the part of the mate–must divorce again and remain single to be saved. In other words, those who have divorced their mates because of abuse, physical violence, harming their children, desertion, or were unjustly divorced by a mate, etc. and have since remarried, must divorce again and live single in order to go to heaven. Some even refuse to baptize most of those who are divorced and remarried unless they divorce (or agree to divorce) first. This, in my judgment, is among the most damaging, hurtful and seemingly heartless things taught by some Churches of Christ–both for our society and the Church. We already have enough divorces and broken homes in our country without some demanding more. Teaching a loving married couple, who have been married for years and in some cases have children, that they must divorce is serious, serious business indeed. Others can do as they wish as far as seeking to break up loving families, but not me. Furthermore, there are many other Churches of Christ who refuse to have a part in breaking up loving established families and these numbers seem to be steadily increasing as various Churches study for themselves.

My View: I do not believe in refusing to baptize MDR couples or breaking up established families by demanding that divorced and remarried people must divorce again and live single to be saved. I believe that the Bible clearly teaches that those married need to stay married whether first, second, or subsequent marriage (1 Cor. 7:17, 20, 24, 27-28). I believe that those who demand divorce of married couples are totally wrong. I believe that it is a very serious matter to demand something of others that God says He hates—which is putting away faithful mates (See Malachi 2:16). I have written a book on this very issue titled, “Just As I Am: Married, Divorced and Remarried”. You can find it on Amazon.

Special Note: There are numerous other ongoing disagreements and discussions among us in the CoC on such things as worship, music, role of women, etc. But the five that are listed are the most serious to me and things I want others to know that I, personally, do not believe and they are not taught where I am.

Also, believe it or not, we even have some in Churches of Christ who teach that it is wrong to eat food in a Church building, applaud at a baptism as a means of approval, have Bible classes, use more than one container (cup) for communion, have youth ministers, have praise teams, help non-Christians (including orphans) from the Church treasury, have a regular (located) preacher, support such organizations as Churches of Christ Disaster Relief, Inc, and a host of other things that many of us might find silly and/or senseless. But this is what makes the Church of Christ unique! We are all autonomous and are governed only by the Bible as we understand it at any given point in our spiritual journey, regardless of what other Churches of Christ believe, teach or practice. We have people-who obviously believe they are right–all over the spectrum of beliefs from the radical conservative right to the extreme liberal left (whatever those terms may mean) and all in between. Most seem to be good people who love the Lord and want to do and teach the right thing. (Of course, the Baptists have their “Westboro Baptist” and, quite obviously, we have our extremists, but most members I know in the CoC are simply teaching and practicing what they believe the Bible to teach just as I am.) I am thankful to be part of the group known as Churches of Christ and believe that it is the best way for me (and those who believe like me) to practice Christianity as God intended for His people. Obviously, those in other groups or Churches do not agree with this assessment and I can appreciate and understand that. We all need to rest our hope fully (not mostly, partly, or somewhat, but fully) on the grace of Jesus (1 Peter 1:13). Hopefully, He saves all who are born again and have committed our lives to Him in seeking to do His will.

Finally, after having the heart attack, I just wanted to clear the air, so to speak, because there are many misunderstandings concerning Churches of Christ and especially about our autonomy and what I personally believe. I have many Christian friends and brethren who do not understand the nature or the real way the Churches of Christ operate. Sometimes a very vocal minority want to tell us all what to believe on almost every issue. This, of course, will never happen. People can only know us at the Ohatchee CoC by what we believe and teach–not by what they have heard from other Churches of Christ or it’s ministers. We study the Bible for ourselves and seek to base our lives on what God says and not on what others believe, say, or do. This is just one of the many things I like about the CoC and most of our members who recognize and respect local autonomy. Thanks again to all in the Churches of Christ for the prayers and please continue to pray for me as I recover. Blessings!

Thank God for Jesus who saves us all…if we are saved at all.


Check out my Amazon author page here:


The Sacred Secret # 3



The Secret Saves


1. The mystery that had been concealed, and is now revealed, is the plan that makes salvation real.

2. The scheme of redemption is now in place. The price of pardon has now been paid. The purpose of God has now been “accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord” (v. 11).

3. The mystery that makes salvation a reality, and no longer just a promise or a prediction, is now an “accomplished” fact (v. 11).

4. The “unsearchable riches of Christ” (v. 8) are now to be preached to all men.

5. It is a perfect plan. It exemplifies the “manifold wisdom of God” (vs. 10a). It displays the “wisdom of God…the hidden wisdom” (1 Cor. 2:7).

6. In preaching the mystery, observe how Paul emphasizes:


1. He preached among the Gentiles that we are “fellow heirs” in Christ. The word “fellow” means “equal.” We all share equally in the “fellowship of the mystery” (vs.9). We all share equally in the blessings of salvation. This means: You may have more money than me, but you don’t have more mercy, than me (Eph. 2:4). You may have greater gifts than me, but you don’t have more grace than me (Eph. 2:5 & 8). You may have more power than me, but you don’t have more pardon than me (Eph. 1:7). You may have more faith than me, but you don’t have more forgiveness than me (Eph. 1:7). You may be smarter than me, but you are not more saved than me (Eph. 2:8). You may be more helpful than me, but you are not more holy than me (Eph. 1:4). You might behave better than me, but you are not more blameless than me (Eph. 1:4). You may have more ability than me, but you don’t have greater access than me (Eph. 2:18). You may be better than me, but you are not better off than me (Eph. 1:6). You might be a better servant than me, but you don’t have a better Savior than me (Eph. 1:13; 5:23). You may have greater status than me, but you don’t have greater salvation than me (Eph. 1:13). You may keep more rules than me, but you are not more righteous than me (Eph. 4:24). You might have more intelligence than me, but you don’t have a greater inheritance than me (Eph. 1:11). You might have a better attitude than me, but you don’t have a greater adoption than me (Eph. 1:5). You may have more strength than me, but you don’t have more of the Spirit than me (Eph. 1:13,14). You may have more accomplishments than me, but you don’t have more assurance than me (Eph. 1:14).

3. All of God’s children “are one in Christ Jesus” whether Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female, and “if you are Christ’s,” then you are “Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Gal. 3:26-29; Eph. 3:6).

B. The Exalted Privilege (v. 9-10).

1. Although in his own mind Paul was “less than the least of all saints,” he had the exalted privilege of making all men see this “fellowship” (or equal sharing) brought about by the revelation of salvation in Christ.

2. He considered it an exalted privilege to help men see the equal position of all who are in Christ (v. 8).

3. Now all men can understand what God was doing from the “beginning of the ages” (v.9).

4. The angels who “desired to look into these things” regarding the salvation of man (1 Peter 1:10-12) and the powers that can be now see “in the church” the manifold wisdom of God in it all (Eph. 3:10).

5. Who could have known that God was planning to die Himself in order to purify man so He could dwell in them on earth-in spite of their weaknesses and sins, ignorance and errors?

6. This salvation is real to all who trust in Christ and they are equally saved (Eph. 2:1-10), equally reconciled (Eph. 2:11-18), and are equally “being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Eph. 2:19-22).7. Notice also that, in the latter part of this section, the mystery was “accomplished in Christ” (v. 11b) and made real in us because in Him “we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him” (v. 12).

C. The Eternal Purpose (vs. 11-13).

1. Salvation through the death of Jesus was not an accident or an afterthought.

2. It was according to the “eternal purpose of God” (vs. 11).

3. In other words, there never was a time when God did not intend to save all in Christ.

4. As God is eternal, His purpose in Christ is eternal.5. Jesus was “indeed foreordained before the foundation of the world” to redeem those “who through Him believe in God…so that your faith and hope are in God” (1 Pet. 1:18-21).

Conclusion: The mystery is summed up by Paul in 1 Timothy 3:16 “God was manifest in the flesh. Justified in the Spirit. Seen of angels. Preached among the Gentiles. Believed on in the world. Received up in glory.” Truly the “history” of the mystery is “His story” from beginning to the end. This was concealed in types and shadows in the Old Testament revealed in words too plain to be misunderstood in the New Testament and made real in the hearts of all who trust Him as Lord (Rom. 10:9-10).

Illustration: When I think about the mystery I sometimes think about the first time I saw house plans. There were lines on sheets of paper with sketches, arrows, numbers, etc…but, since I’m not into house building, I did not really understand exactly what I was seeing. But later, when I walked through the house, I could look back at the plans and see what all those lines and sketches meant. In the Old Testament God was “drawing the plans” out for us. In the New Testament He has “built the house.” The “SECRET IS OUT!” Thank God for Jesus! (2 Cor. 9:15).

Wayne Dunaway