The Security Of Our Salvation In Christ
So far we have been able to establish that it is only through faith in the redemptive work of Christ that we are made right in God’s sight, and not by any effort or struggle of our own. God has already satisfied Himself completely through what Christ Jesus did on the Cross of Calvary (Romans 3:25, 1 John 2:1-2, NLT). Now God can therefore accept anyone, who comes to Him through faith in Jesus regardless of who the person is or what he/she might have done (Romans 3:26, John 3:16, John 14:6). All this is possible because Jesus has already paid all the price we would ever have had to pay. “Yet now God in His gracious kindness declares us not guilty. He has done this through Christ Jesus, who has freed us by taking away our sins”. “For God made Christ who never sinned to be the offering for our sin, so that we would be made right with God through what Christ did”. (Romans 3:24, 2 Cor 5:21, NLT).
“But for how long will this last?”, you may ask. “What if I mess up and I am unable to make it to heaven?” “What if I backslide?”
Candidly speaking, we believe that these and many other related questions are borne more out of fear and an improper understanding of the ‘how’ and ‘why’ we are saved.
They do not seem to stem out of faith and trust in the truth that “God who began the good work…. will continue His work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.” (Philippians 1:6, NLT)
God will not start what He cannot finish. By entertaining such fears as mentioned above, we seem to doubt if He can actually finish the work that He has begun in us. We also seem to be relying on ourselves rather than on Him. We need to believe that the same hand that saved us will also keep us to the “uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25, KJV). God saved us, we did not save ourselves. He chose us, we did not choose Him. He loved us even when we didn’t love Him. Hence it is His work to keep us, as we continue to depend on Him and all that Christ has done.
Let us consider the basis of the security of our salvation under the following sub – headings:-
GOD’S CHOICE AND UNCHANGING PLANS
Even though this concept may sound unpalatable to many ears, the Bible is clear that the plan of our salvation originated from God and is a product of His own choice. You and I did not just become saved by our own will, but rather as a result of God’s long-term plan for us, even before the creation of the world.
“Long ago, even before he made the world, God chose us to be his very own through what Christ would do for us; he decided to make us holy in his eyes, without a single fault – we who stand before him covered with his love. His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Jesus Christ to die for us. And he did these because he wanted to! ..... Moreover, because of what Christ has done, we have become gifts to God that He delights in, for as part of God’s sovereign plan we were chosen from the beginning to be His, and all things happened just as He decided long ago… And because of what Christ did, all you others too, who heard the Good News about how to be saved, and trusted Christ, were marked as belonging to Christ by the Holy Spirit, who long ago had been promised to all of us Christians.
His presence within us is God’s guarantee that he really will give us what he has promised; and the Spirit’s seal upon us means that God has already purchased us and that he guarantees to bring us to himself. This is just one more reason to the praise of our glorious God (Eph 1:4-5, 11, 13-14, LB)
Our Lord Jesus declared: “You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last…” (John 15:16, NLT)
Our salvation was not a mistake or a happening of chance. It came to be as part of God’s unchanging plans. And if He chose us before the creation of the world, when will this plan expire?
In the book of Romans, we see a little more on this: ‘For God knew His people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn, with many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to him. And he gave them right standing with himself, and promised them his glory.
What can we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since God did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t God who gave us Christ, also give us everything else?
Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? Will God? No! He is the one who has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? Will Christ Jesus? No, for he is the one who died for us and was raised to life for us and is sitting at the place of highest honor next to God, pleading for us
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?....No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is our through Christ who loved us.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from his love. Death can’t, and life can’t.The angels can’t and the demons can’t. Our fears fro today, our worries about tomorrow, and even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are high above the sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:29-39, NLT Emphasis ours)
GOD’S UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FOR US
In 1 John 4:9-10, the apostle John writes “God showed how much he loved us by sending his only son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. This is real love. It is not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as a sacrifice, to take away our sins” (NLT). And in the 19th verse, we read, “We love because he first loved us” (NIV).
What did we do to make God love us? Nothing! So what can we do to make Him stop loving us? Your guess is as good as mine.
The type of love that God has towards us is what the Greek manuscripts of the scriptures refer to as ‘Agape’. It is the highest and purest from of love which is not based on emotion, but on “will”. God loves us because He has decided to love us. It is the love that wants the very best for us even when we do not respond or respond negatively. God’s love to us is both a persistent and consistent love that does not depend on us but on Him.
This is the kind of love that Jesus teaches us to have when He said “But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful “(Luke 6:35-36, NIV). God would not ask us to do what He cannot do. He loved us while we were unlovable. We are expected to love others, just as God loved us through Christ Jesus. This type of love may not always be easy but it sure is possible. Our love is meant to be a reflection of His for we cannot love more than how God has loved.
In Jeremiah 31:3, God Himself said; “I have loved you with an everlasting love, I have drawn you with loving kindness “(NIV).
“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this would we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:16-18, NIV)
God loves us and has revealed this to us in His Son Jesus Christ. If He could demonstrate His love to us while we were still sinners, how much more now? (Romans 5:8 – 10, NIV)
THE DEPENDABILITY OF JESUS’ WORDS:
Aside the truth that God has loved us unconditionally, another reason for our confidence of security in Christ are the very words which Christ Himself spoke. Let us examine a few:
“I assure you, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death to life” (John 5:24, NLT: Emphasis ours)
“But some will come to me - those the Father has given me – and I will never, never reject them. For I have come here from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to have my own way. And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them to eternal life at the Last Day. For it is my father’s will that every one who sees his Son and believes on him should have eternal life – that I should raise him on at Last Day” (John 6:37-40, LB: Emphasis ours)
“My sheep recognize my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me and he is more powerful than anyone else. So no one can take from me. The Father and I are one” (John 10:27-30, NLT: Emphasis ours).
I sure do believe that you and I can rely on the very words of our Lord Jesus Christ, for He Himself said. ”Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away” (Mathew 24:35, NIV: Emphasis ours)
THE DEPENDABILITY OF CHRIST’S WORK:
We have already emphasized that it is Christ’s death that makes us right with God. But Let us look at how His death and present-day ministry for us ensures our ‘eternal’ security in Him.
In Hebrews 7:24 & 25 we read: “But Jesus lives forever and continues to be a Priest so that no one else is needed. He is able to save completely all who come to God through him. Since he will live forever, he will always be there to remind God that he has paid for their sins with his blood” (LB).
How wonderful a truth this is: Not only did Jesus die to pay for our sins, but He also lives forever to intercede for us. The apostle John speaks of something similar in 1John 2:1. This is sure important because the devil, who is known as the ‘accuser of the saints’ presents charges of our shortcomings to God; but praise be to God that we have an advocate “who speaks to the Father in our defense, Jesus Christ, the Righteous One” (1John 2:1, NIV). So even though our hearts may at times condemn us, Christ lives to intercede for us and ‘God is greater than our hearts…’ (1 John 3:20)
So if Jesus died to save us and lives to keep us, what fear do we have? Paul, the apostle says in Romans 5:8 “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us “(NIV). He then presents some logical arguments: “Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we are saved from God’s wrath through him! For if when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” (Rom 5:9 – 11, NIV).
The salvation that Christ offers us is eternal not temporary. He died for us ‘once for all’ (Hebrew 10:10, NLT)” in order that He might be the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him” (Heb 5:9, NIV). (See also Hebrew 9:12 – 15 & Heb 10:10 – 18)
We sincerely hope that this piece has proved useful to you in your walk with God and possibly helped to allay whatever fear or anxiety you might have previously had. It is comforting to know that God has chosen to accomplish in Christ what our own efforts could never have achieved; He has chosen to give us what we neither deserved nor could have ever earned. It is also reassuring that this plan did not depend upon us but Him and that He will certainly complete that which He has started (Phil 1:6)
It is our belief that “He will keep you strong right up to the end, and he will keep you free from all blame on the great day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will surely do this for you, for he always does just what he says, and he is the one who invited you unto this wonderful friendship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord (1 Cor 1:8-9, NLT: Emphasis ours).
Nevertheless, we cannot but encourage you to remain steadfast in your faith. “…..you must continue to believe this truth and stand in it firmly. Don’t drift away from the assurance you received when you heard the Good News… just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to him. Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so that you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your life overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done” (Col 1:23a; Col 2:6-7, NLT Emphasis ours).
We have not written this piece to make you complacent in your walk with God. On the contrary we say with the apostle Paul that “He (Christ) died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live to please themselves instead, they will live to please Christ, who died and was raised for them”(2 Cor 5: 15, NLT: Emphasis ours) . You should continue to live your life not for yourself, but for Him who loved you and gave His life for you (Gal 2:20). Considering all that God has done for us (i.e. in view of God’s mercy) we urge you “to offer your body as living sacrifice holy and pleasing to God…” (Rom 12:1, NIV)
We have written rather to let you know that God is more than able to keep you till the very end. This should put your heart to peace as you rest on His unchanging love. With this assurance in mind, continue to “grow in grace and knowledge of our lord saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now forever. Amen” (2 Pet3:18).
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and will do it” (1 Thess 5:23-24, NIV: Emphasis ours)
“And now, all glory to God, who is able to keep you from stumbling and who will bring you into his glorious presence innocent of sin and with great joy. All glory to him, who alone is God our saviour, through Jesus Christ our lord. Yes, glory, majesty, power and authority belong to him in the beginning, now and forevermore. Amen” (Jude 24 – 25, NLT). Till we hear from you next, stay blessed and rooted in His love.
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