Question 34: Once saved, are we always saved?

Answer:  We should keep in mind that salvation is strictly by grace alone through faith alone in the Messiah alone. Just as you cannot be saved by works, you cannot lose your salvation by works either. If it is possible to lose salvation on the basis of works, then salvation was on the basis of works to begin with, which contradicts all Scripture.

Upon salvation, one is regenerated. This means the believer receives eternal life at the moment he comes to faith. The Bible does not teach that we receive eternal life once we die as believers, but we already have eternal life the moment we believe. If it is possible to lose salvation, it was not eternal to begin with. The fact is there is nothing a person can do that would cause him to lose his salvation any more than there is nothing he can do that will cause him to earn salvation.

For details on this, see MBS 102 Eternal Security, available from Ariel Ministries.

Click here to learn more about Ariel Ministries and to enjoy our many online resources. If you’d like to donate to Ariel Ministries, just  click

Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.

Jews and Gentiles …Distinctions or no Distinctions in Messiah?

‘There Is No Difference Between Jews and Gentiles’:

There are some teachings out there that try to make all believing Jews into non-Jews, usually by employing out of context one or more of three passages having a phrase to the effect that there is neither Jew nor Greek. But a careful study of the very same passages in their context will show that the distinction between Jews and Gentiles is erased only in certain areas and not in all. Furthermore, a study of the text in the light of related passages clearly indicates that in other areas the distinction is still very much in effect, even within the body of believers.

The Passages Used.

The first of the three passages used is I Corinthians 12:12-13.

For as the body is one, and has many members; and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Messiah. For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether bond or free; and were all made to drink of one Spirit.

The clear teaching of this passage is that entrance into the Body is by Spirit baptism. This is the only way and it is true for all, Jew and Gentile. There is no difference. This is all that can be deduced from this passage and no more.

The second passage is Galatians 3:28:

There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, there can be no male and female; for ye all are one man in MessiahYeshua/Jesus.

The context of this passage deals with the matter of justification by faith. This is the only way anyone can be justified, whether Jew or Gentile. So in justification there is no distinction between the two. That alone can be deduced from this passage and no more.

The third passage is Colossians 3:11:

Where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman; but Messiah is all, and in all.

Again the context is the key to understanding this passage. Verses 5-11 are concerned with putting off the old nature and putting on the new nature. This is the true and only way toward maturity and spirituality for any believer, Jew or Gentile. Again, no more than that can be deduced from this passage.
The conclusion we are drawing is obvious. In the areas of justification, membership in the Body, and growth toward maturity, the procedure is the same for Jew and Gentile without distinction. However, this does not mean that in every area the distinctions are forever erased between the two.

The Evidence for Distinctions.

As stated earlier, the study of these very same passages in the light of related passages will show that instead of teaching against all distinctions, the reverse is true. When critics of the Messianic Jewish distinction refer to these three passages, often only the “Jew and Greek” statement is cited and the rest is ignored. My homiletics teacher used this technique. But these verses not only state that there is no difference between Jews and Greeks, but they further state that there is no difference between bond and free, male and female. Yet the custom is often to avoid quoting the latter portion for reasons which will become apparent as we proceed. Now let us consider what the Bible has to say about the two latter groups and see if indeed the three passages teach that all distinctions are erased.

Bond and Free: 

There are five passages dealing with the bond and the free – Ephesians 6:5-9; Colossians 3:22 – 4:1; I Timothy 6:1-2; Titus 2:9-10; I Peter 2:18.

In all these passages, the believing slave is to be in subjection to his master, even when the master is himself a believer. The believing master is never commanded to release his believing slaves, which would be the practical outcome if all distinctions have indeed been erased. But the believing freeman is still a freeman and the believing slave is still a slave. How then are these passages consistent with the three verses cited earlier? Consistency is no problem. As far as membership in the Body, justification, and spirituality are concerned, the way is the same for the freeman and the slave. But once in the Body, these distinctions still exist.

Male and Female:

Seven passages of Scripture clearly show that all distinctions between male and female certainly have not been erased. Subjection is the keynote to them all, as seen in position and function.

I Corinthians 11:3-10 points out that the woman should keep her head covered in the assembly:

In I Corinthians 14:34-35, women are forbidden to speak in the church. This is to the extent that if a woman has any questions at all, she is to seek answers from her husband at home.

Ephesians 5:22-25 points out the key idea of subjection:

In Colossians 3:18-19 we again have the idea of subjection. The husband is admonished to love his wife as the means of subjecting her.

In I Timothy 2:11-12, women are forbidden to teach men, for in so doing they are exercising authority and overstepping their place of subjection.

In Titus 2:1, 3-5, the teaching of younger women to be in subjection to their own husbands is part of sound doctrine, and violation results in the word of God being blasphemed:

First Peter 3:1 and 7 again point to subjection.

Now if all distinctions between male and female are erased, there would be no need for all these separate rules and injunctions. Do these passages then contradict the others which indicate no distinction between the male and female? Obviously not. Again, in the areas of membership in the Body of Messiah, justification, and spiritual maturity, the formula is the same for both. There is not one way of salvation for the man and another for the woman. Spiritual maturity does not have separate systems, one for the male and another for the female. Both have entered the Body in the same way. But once in the Body, the man is still a man, and the woman is still a woman, and they differ in position and function. Even if one believes that some of these laws do not apply today, it does not change the fact that the author clearly shows that distinctions between males and females still exist.


The Bible does not say that all distinctions between Jew and Gentile are erased when they believe. While it is very true that the way of salvation is the same for both, this does not mean that all other distinctions have been eradicated as well, anymore than all distinctions between bond and free and male and female have ceased to exist. The way of salvation, Body membership, and spiritual maturity are the same for both Jews and Gentiles. But in other areas distinctions remain.

Excerpt from: Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum The Remnant of Israel – Also in iBooks (iPad) and Kindle

Missions – To the Jew First

Evangelizing the Jewish People:

The first aspect of the Church’s responsibility is in the realm of evangelism: the Church is responsible to proclaim the gospel to the Jew first.

1. The Principle of Evangelism – Romans 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

This verse gives the principle of evangelism: whenever the gospel goes out, in whatever means it goes out, it is to go out to the Jew first. There is only one verb that controls the last two clauses, the verb is. It is in the Greek present tense, which emphasizes continuous action. This means that the gospel is continuously God’s power to save, and so it is continuously to the Jew first. If one tries to reinterpret this verse, like so many have, as simply to mean that “the gospel was to the Jew first, but it is no longer,” the verse would then have to mean that “the gospel used to be God’s power to save, but it is no longer.” If the gospel is always God’s power to save, then it is always to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

2. The Principle Applies to All

This principle applies regardless of the method of evangelism, whether it is person to person, door to door, radio, TV, mass evangelism, whatever. This principle applies regardless of specific individual calling. It applies to both active evangelism, when one is doing the work of an evangelist, and to passive evangelism, when one is supporting those who are doing the work of evangelism. Either way, the gospel is to the Jew first.

Some have said, “It is one thing for missionaries of Ariel Ministries to follow this principle, because they are doing the work of full time Jewish evangelism, but does this principle really apply to someone who was called to go elsewhere; such as China, Japan, the American Indian, Taiwan, Africa, Australia, New Zealand? Does it really apply in these cases?”

Paul answers this very issue in Romans 11:13-14:

But I speak to you that are Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle of Gentiles, I glorify my ministry; if by any means I may provoke to jealousy them that are my flesh, and may save some of them.

Here, Paul points to himself as one who was not called to go to Jews. His calling was to be the apostle of the Gentiles, while Peter was the apostle of the Jews. And yet, while Paul’s calling was to be to the Gentiles, he never forgot the principle of Romans 1:16. Everywhere he went, he went to the Jew first.

3. The Principle at Work

Paul’s actions in the Book of Acts shows this very principle at work, beginning in Acts 13:2-3:

And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

It was in Acts 9 that Paul received his commission to be the apostle of the Gentiles, but only as of chapter 13 is he sent out by the Chuch of Antioch to do just that. Now the apostle of the Gentiles goes out to the Gentiles, but his procedure is always to the Jew first.

Act 13:5 states: And when they were at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews.

Verse 14 states: But they, passing through from Perga, came to Antioch of Pisidia; and they went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and sat down.

Acts 14:1: And it came to pass in Iconium that they entered together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spoke that a great multitude both of Jews and of Greeks believed.

Acts 16:12-13a: and from thence to Philippi, which is a city of Macedonia, the first of the district, a Roman colony: and we were in this city tarrying certain days. And on the sabbath day we went forth without the gate by a river side, where we supposed there was a place of prayer.

Because this was a Sabbath prayer meeting, it means that it was a Jewish prayer meeting. Paul came to Philippi, but the Jewish community in Philippi was too small to have a synagogue, and he could not go immediately to the synagogue to proclaim the gospel. When there were not enough Jews in a community to finance a synagogue, the Jewish rule was that they were to have their prayer meeting on the Sabbath by a body of water. Paul waited until the Sabbath day, went to a place where he knew the Jews would gather, and fulfilled the commission to proclaim the gospel to the Jew first.

Another instance of showing the principle of Romans 1:16 at work is found in Acts 17:1-2: Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews: and Paul, as his custom was, went in unto them, and for three sabbath days reasoned with them from the Scriptures.

Again in Acts 17:10: And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Beroea: who when they were come thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.

And in Acts 17:16-17a: Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he beheld the city full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with Jews and the devout persons.

When Paul came into Athens and saw the city given over to idolatry, his spirit was provoked to preach to those who worshipped the idols. However, it was not the Jews who worshipped these idols, because, by then, idolatry had ceased to be a Jewish problem. It was the Gentiles of Athens who worshipped these idols, and he was provoked to preach to these Gentiles. But the principle of Romans 1:16 had to stand, so he went to the synagogue first in verse 17, and then he went on to the Gentile Greeks in verse 18.

Acts 18:1, 4 states: After these things he departed from Athens, and came to Corinth …  And he reasoned in the synagogue every sabbath, and persuaded Jews and Greeks.

Verse 19 states: And they came to Ephesus, and he left them there: but he himself entered into the synagogue, and reasoned with the Jews.

Acts 19:1, 8 states: And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper country came to Ephesus … And he entered into the synagogue, and spoke boldly for the space of three months, reasoning and persuading as to the things concerning the kingdom of God.

Finally, in Acts 28:17: And it came to pass, that after three days he called together those that were the chief of the Jews.

Because Paul was a prisoner when he came to Rome, he could not go to the synagogue. So to fulfill Romans 1:16, he called the Jewish people to himself in order to proclaim the gospel to the Jew first.


Romans 1:16 is the principle; Romans 11:13-14 teaches that the principle applies to all; and the Book of Acts shows the principle and action at work. The gospel is always to go to the Jew first, both in active evangelism, when one is doing the work of an evangelist as these Acts passages show, but also in passive evangelism, when one is supporting those who are doing the work of evangelism.

Excerpt from The Church and the Jews – PDF and MP3

For a fuller exposition see The Remnant of Israel – Also in iBooks (iPad) and Kindle

Question 33: Does James 5:16 teach that we are to confess our sins to each other?

James 5:16 says:

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.  (NASB)


Answer:  Concerning the meaning of James 5:16, this verse is not teaching, by way of a blanket instruction, that we should be confessing all our sins to one another. Rather, the verse should be kept in context, which begins with verse 14. Here, James is talking about a specific type of illness—an illness that was the result of divine discipline for a specific sin. When a believer realizes he is being physically disciplined with sickness because of a specific sin, he is then to call for the elders of his church and confess the sin to them, as confession also shows repentance. The elders, in turn, are to anoint him with oil and pray for him. In those specific situations, the healing is guaranteed.

The confessing of sins in verse 16, within this context, is the confessing of the sin that brought on the divine discipline and it is to the elders of the church. So, kept within the context, we are not encouraged to confess our sins to everybody. The general principle is I John 1:9, which teaches that we are to confess our sins to God alone. James 5:16 speaks about a special case, applicable only in the context of sin that led to divine discipline.

Click here to learn more about Ariel Ministries and to enjoy our many online resources. If you’d like to donate to Ariel Ministries, just  click

Arnold Answers is a bi-weekly Q & A with founder and director of Ariel Ministries, Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum.

Discovering Your Spiritual Gift

Spiritual Gifts:

Spiritual gifts are ‘God-given abilities for service’, they are to be used in love for the edification of the Body of Messiah.

They are sovereignly bestowed and given to EVERY believer at the moment of salvation.

Every believer has at least one spiritual gift, if not more. But all believers do not have the same gift and the one same gift is not given to every believer.

A spiritual gift is not an office, or a talent, it is not a specific age-group ministry and it is not an indication of one’s spirituality. It is a specific ability given to a believer by God.

We are accountable to use our gifts wisely among the Body of Messiah.

How do I discover my spiritual gift or gifts?

There are three principles in discovering one’s spiritual gift.

1. Knowing What the Gifts Are:

The first principle is to know what the spiritual gifts are. Altogether, there are nineteen gifts of the Holy Spirit. It is important to know what the gifts are, so that one does not seek gifts, which do not exist. A good thing to do is to make a list of the nineteen gifts of the Holy Spirit.

2. Being Actively Involved in a Local Body:

A second principle in discovering a spiritual gift is based on the purpose of the gifts: for the building up of the body. The second principle is to be actively involved in a local body. One of the reasons why believers are responsible to become part of a local body and to be in subjection to the spiritual authorities of that body is because it is by means of the local body that believers can discover what their spiritual gifts are. By being involved in a local body, other believers will discern which gift or gifts the individual has and ask him to function in it. In this way, one can discover his spiritual gift.

3. Discovering Other Gifts:

The third principle is discovering other gifts in addition to ones, which a believer already knows he has. Frequently, believers have more than one gift. No believer has all the gifts but a believer will often have more than one. The way someone can discover other gifts is by being faithful in using the gifts he knows he has. For example, in Acts 6, Philip was recognized to have the gift of serving and was asked to take the office of a deacon. Because he was faithful in performing the office of a deacon and using his gift of serving, God showed him another gift, the gift of evangelism and he went to Samaria to evangelize the Samaritans (Acts 8).

For more see Gifts of the Holy Spirit, also in MP3.