The Law of Eternal Security
A paper submitted to Dr. Larry McDonald
In partial fulfillment of the requirements for
The course NBST 522 - B04
Liberty Theological Seminary
October 7, 2007
INTRODUCTION ........................................................................ 1
PART I. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ROMANS 5 & 6
Chapter 1. The Knowledge of the Gospel
Who is Jesus? ............................................................ 2
The Cross of Christ ..................................................... 3
The Resurrection ........................................................ 5
Chapter 2. Repentance of Sin
The Penalty of Death ................................................... 6
The Joy of Forgiveness
What is Forgiveness? .......................................... 7
The Power of Forgetting ....................................... 9
Forgiveness in Action .......................................... 9
Chapter 3. Faith in the Lord Jesus ....................................................... 11
PART II. THE LAW AND LOVING GOD
Chapter 4. The Greatest Commandment
Defined ................................................................... 12
Who is God? ............................................................. 12
What is Love? ............................................................. 13
Chapter 5. The 2nd Commandment.
Defined ..................................................................... 14
Who is our brother? .................................................... 15
The Example of the Lord .............................................. 15
PART III. THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF SALVATION
Chapter 6. The Security of God
What is Eternal Security? ................................................ 16
The Power of the Hands of God ....................................... 17
Chapter 7. Evidences of Security
The Spirit within us ......................................................... 17
We will Judge the Angels
Removed from His presence ................................ 18
The Fear of God ................................................. 19
The Mercy of God ............................................... 20
Clothed in the Righteousness of Christ ............................. 20
No place for sin .................................................. 21
Separate from the world and pleasing to God ......... 22
The Church ....................................................... 22
Chapter 8. The Sovereignty of God in Security.
Although Saved, Beware of the Judgment! ............................. 23
The Gospel Challenge ................................................... 24
Chapter 9. The Glory of Heaven
Heaven Defined .......................................................... 24
Heaven begins now!
The Power and Comfort of the Spirit ........................ 25
The Law of Security in Christ ................................. 26
CONCLUSION .............................................................................................. 26
BIBLIOGRAPHY .......................................................................................... 27
Before the world ever existed there was God. The Lord in His wisdom created all in the Heavens and Earth. (Genesis 1:1 and Isaiah 45:18) The Lord found pleasure in creating mankind in His image, loving him and giving him all that he could ever need. Then when the pride of Satan became the pride of man, our love of self in disobedience to God, became sin. We followed the path of man's wisdom and became disobedient to the wisdom of God. No more were we walking in the love of the Lord, but we chose the pride of life whose end is death. The Father of righteousness punished all mankind with the sentence of death and only those who would repent of their sin and follow him may be forgiven one day. Throughout the generations man has continued to follow a life of selfishness and disobedience to God and finally God said, "Enough!" I will destroy the world! (Genesis 7:4 - 22) Only Noah with his humble obedience and love for God saved the human race from extinction many thousand of years ago. One would think that the waters over all the Earth would have put pride and disobedience in its place once and for all, but NO! Sin lives on, resulting one day in a total destruction of the Heavens and Earth by fire and hell! (2 Peter 3:10 and Proverbs 15:24) We have this prophetic message that should cause us to fear the wrath of God because of our sin, but we have hope! Our hope is in the Spirit of God whose presence fills those who call upon His Name. No longer do we have to live in fear, but we can live victoriously. Jesus our Lord paid it all on the cross. No longer do we stand in the pride of our righteousness, but we stand in His glorious righteousness. His blood covers our sin and His power controls our life, as the apostle Paul so humbly testified from city to city with no fear of his own life, but for the message of the Gospel of love. Paul now understood that to obey the Law of God and to be fully obedient to Him was to trust in the power of His Spirit and resurrection from sin and death. We don't have to fear death anymore, because the love of God now resides in us. Paul's message of the Gospel is that to love God is to love Jesus and this is what the greatest commandment of the law is all about. Paul's view of the law includes that one must be eternally secure in their salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.
PART I. THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ROMANS 5 & 6
Chapter 1. The Knowledge of the Gospel: Who is Jesus?
From the beginning of time there is only one Lord of all creation, one Lord of Heaven and Earth and that is God. He is the Father of all things and through Him we exist, without Him we can do nothing. The greatest commandment of the Law is to love God. He alone is worthy of our praise, because He alone gives us life. This gives us reason to ask, who is Jesus? If there is only one Lord and God then why is Jesus Lord? "God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8) So then, God loves us through Christ. It is only through His power on the cross in His infinite wisdom do we know love. "... we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son ... we shall be saved by His life." (Romans 5:10) The Almighty God whose presence covers all the Heavens chose to "create" Himself into a human being, called His Son. He became flesh and dwelt among us. (John 1:14) The Jewish law says that you must have a "perfect" sacrifice for sin, and this was God in the flesh, our Savior. (Leviticus 4:23) Our great Savior is Jesus, He is Lord and He is the one that bridges that gap of sin for us. Through His life we now come face to face with God. We can be forgiven and reconciled to our Holy God. There is no one else who can do this, because there is only one God, there is only one Son of God in the flesh, only one perfect Lamb of God. "...God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation." (Romans 5:11) We no longer have to "hope" for reconciliation, we have it! We have it in the work of Jesus, not in our works, not in our continued works in the pursuit of pleasing God. Once we are reconciled we will remain reconciled, because we are not standing on our works, but on the works of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. "... the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus ..." (Romans 5:15). We have the grace of God in Jesus, and this grace is a gift. Once we receive the gift it gives us assurance, because we now have the gift of the Spirit of God within us to seal our soul in His care. What kind of gift would it be if it required work? And what kind of gift would it be if it could be taken back? Is that grace? No! Grace gives, grace is mercy, grace is getting what we don't deserve, grace is the perfect love of God living within us to bring us home one day. This grace is only given by God through His work on the cross and by the power of His resurrection. We can now have confidence in God, "...eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 5:21)
The Cross of Christ.
The pride of life tells us we are worthy of receiving the glory of Heaven. We are worthy to have a home made by the hands of God, because of our obedience to Him. One must understand that man has no hope in himself. We are all unworthy and unholy before the presence of Almighty God. When we try to bring our "works" before Him he sees fault, because it is not possible for us to obey Him with a perfect heart. We are too often led astray by our own desires. The only way to overcome this is to let Jesus be the "Tree of Life" within us. He is the vine that grows from our heart once we receive Him as our Savior and Lord. When we live for Him the fruit of His glory is seen in the actions of our life. His life is within the believer, giving us the strength to do His will, for without Him we can do nothing. (John 15:5) Our works of pride and disobedience will be burned away, but for those forgiven by the Blood of the Lamb we will not be condemned, because as He lives, so will we! His Spirit will help us to repent from sin and be a testimony to the world of His forgiveness and love. He will never leave or forsake us, despite our failings in the flesh. We are too often led astray by our own desires, by our own needs. It is only by an act of God that we can truly love one another. Even when we have the guidance of Scripture we can get caught up looking at the speck in our brother's eye and miss the plank in our own! (Matthew 7:3) It is human nature to sin. As long as we are living in this world it will be a daily struggle. Man has no hope in himself. When we humble ourselves through the wisdom of God to see that He is our all sufficient strength and hope, then we find Christ Jesus our Lord. This is the message that Paul had, to love the Lord with all your heart is to love the power of the resurrection and the hope of his grace to seal our souls in Heaven. "...having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him." (Romans 5:9)
The cross of Christ is so powerful, because God shed His blood, His Holy and sacred blood, the perfect blood of the Lamb of God. The cross yields security through Christ, which may be viewed as complete foolishness, but His death and resurrection was done through the wisdom of God. He knew what it would take to be the perfect example of love. Only in love would one's blood be shed for another. Some might say, "I love you", but only so much. Don't ask me to suffer for you. Don't ask me to give of myself for you. To endure for you, to be humiliated for you! Is there a greater example of what love is, then Christ on the cross? No! This is what love is. Love is giving; love seeks the benefit of others. Love can endure all things, and love is faithful to the bitter end! (1 Corinthians 13:7) When we wonder how much we need to love one another, we have the example of the cross. What a beautiful world this would be if we could love one another as Christ loved us. No more pride, no more self seeking, but giving, enduring, faithfulness, hope and reconciliation. "For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection," (Romans 6:5) The cross not only gives us the hope in the victory over sin, but it also gives us hope in this life to carry on. We now stand in the power of God. With His Holy Spirit within us we can do all things. (Philippians 4:13) No longer are we bound to the limitations of this world, but we have the power of God living within us. We can overcome anything this world can bring, because we have the future in sight. We know that the gift of eternal life has been given to us and through the power of the resurrection we will be like Him one day in a new body with no more pain. (Revelation 21:4)
If Jesus had remained in the tomb he would be like any other man. The Jews knew the power of the resurrection and this is why they denied it. To believe in the resurrection is to believe in the impossible. How could someone possibly raise himself from the dead? Not since the creation of the world has anyone raised himself from the dead. On top of this Jesus prophesized that He would raise Himself from the dead! (Mark 9:31) The resurrection gives us hope because it is the power of the resurrection that encourages us for the promises of the future. "Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him." (Romans 6:8) The key here is that we must die with him. We must die to ourselves and become a new creation in Christ. Born again, in the Spirit of God to a new life that no longer focuses on self, but on pleasing Jesus our Lord. We believe that we shall live with Him, because His Spirit within us testifies that we are in Him. (Romans 8:16) We are saved from the wrath of hell, because of Him. Jesus died for us, He rose again, and by His power we will live with Him. It is a promise that we can count on through any difficulty we face in life. When our sin brings us down, the power of the resurrection can lift us up! Jesus forgave us not for just the sins of the present, but for ALL our sins, those in the past, present, and future! "Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!" (Romans 6:15) The power of the resurrection does not give us a free pass to sin, but it opens our eyes to serve our Savior. It encourages us to know that we have overcome our sin in Him and we can live apart from sin through His Spirit within us. The fruit of our salvation is obedience to our Lord. When we have the gift of His Spirit within us, we are slaves to Him in appreciation of His love. "... now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life." (Romans 6:22) The power of the resurrection in our lives is that we have been set free from sin. There is no sin that we can not overcome by calling upon His Name. When sin comes our way, we bow our knees and pray, "In the Name of the Lord Jesus, help me!" and He will! In His time, in His way, but we have the promise that we are free!
Chapter 2. Repentance of Sin: The Penalty of Death
Today sin is glorified. We live in a world where it is popular to sin. Pride abounds with people who think they should receive glory and honor for their goodness. We see beautiful people and powerful people, people with wealth and fame. People who outwardly seem to have everything in place, but do they? Many lives are falling apart. Many people can not be trusted. Many think they have love, but then it is gone, and what they thought was love was sin. God has given us a guideline to live by and if we do not follow it, we sin. There are penalties for sin and it can be more than broken homes and broken hearts, it can be deadly, more than an Earthly death! We may face the death of hell that is an eternal place of torment and pain. May God have mercy on us to keep His commandments and obey His will! "...the wages of sin is death." (Romans 6:23) How many would give up there gold rings and life of vanity to avoid this penalty? It is a gift from God to have vision to see all that is coming. The Word of God is our hope and light to see how to avoid this pain. Jesus is the only way. To be obedient to the Law of God is to love Him, to love the Lord Jesus for dying on the cross for us. To be obedient to the Law is to trust Jesus with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. He is the only way, the all powerful God that has paid the penalty for our sin in full! The balance of our debt is ZERO. The will of God is to trust Jesus as Savior. We can not begin to follow and obey Him until we obey the first commandment, Love God! His will begins with our salvation in Jesus and to not obey this commandment is eternal punishment. (Luke 12:47) We should rejoice and praise His Name, because He is the great deliverer and Savior from hell. To receive His gift we must repent! (Luke 13:5) We can not come to him as Lord to receive our gift if we are running away from Him to sin. We must turn from our sin and call upon the Name of Jesus to save us! We must not worry about the future and how God can work in us on a daily basis to please Him. He will do that by His Holy Spirit within us. We must trust Him to take care of us, and He promises He will. (1 Peter 5:7) We don't have to understand how or why, we just come to Him as a little child, with the faith of a little child and say, "Father, save Me". What a glorious Savior we have that NONE who call upon Him will be turned away, now that is love!
The Joy of Forgiveness: What is Forgiveness?
Sometimes in life we do not fully understand something until we personally have an experience that we can apply. Forgiveness can best be understood when we are in need of it, not when we have to give it. Each one of us has someone that we have offended at some point in our life. How did we feel when we realized that we simply needed their forgiveness for our wrong, yet they were reluctant or even worse refused to give it? Forgiveness can lead one into a state of helplessness because it takes an act by the one hurt to apply. "I must learn to acknowledge my fears, respect my own dreams, and measure them only against the simple standard of how they help make this a better world for the people around me and the generations that come after me. If I am able to do this, I will not try to be what I am not, but I will try to make the most of what I am. And, in doing this, I will forgive myself for all the possibilities that didn't take flower in me, and will honor them whenever I see them present in others. This is the first and most necessary step upon the path of forgiveness." 1 We can do nothing other than offer our desire to be forgiven, but the power of forgiveness is in the one who was wronged. How good we feel when we have this power within us. When a friend or loved one comes to us and says, "Will you forgive me, I did you wrong?" and we in love say, "Yes", I forgive you. How much greater the power when someone who doesn't even ask for the forgiveness, but yet in love you forgive them as if they never did you wrong! This results in joy that only God can give, because this is the type of forgiveness that He offers all of us. When God forgives He wipes our slate clean and casts our sin into the depths of the sea to be remembered no more. (Micah 7:19) We are reconciled to Him as if we never did any wrong. He does not throw our sin back in our face, but he says, "What sin?" I don't know what you're talking about, because I have removed it from my mind forever. Is there greater joy? Can there be a happier moment than when you're standing in front of the Judge of all creation and you are forgiven. We are not forgiven because of our good deeds, not because of our obedience to all of His commandments. We are forgiven because of our obedience to the greatest commandment of the Law, we love Jesus who is our Holy God, and it's by His blood that we are forgiven. His work on the cross and power of the resurrection is why we can stand pure and holy in His sight. We stand in the righteousness of Christ. This forgiveness may not make sense without faith, but it is real and it makes the difference between life and death.
The Power of Forgetting.
How could we possible forget the sins committed against us? How could we act as if nothing had happened? How could we forgive? These are all valid questions that only have one answer, Jesus! The great God of Heaven and Earth has forgiven us and He commands us to forgive others. We can not do this in our own strength. It is impossible to forget, but God is the God of doing the impossible. All things are possible with God. "Behold I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for Me?" (Jeremiah 32:27) We can not even begin to imagine the blessings in our life if we would call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus to help us forgive, to give us the power to forget. "There is not one among us who does not, in the dark of some private night, wish to have at least one moment back, one step to make again. But time moves forward, and takes us in its tide."2 Each and every time we are reminded of the sin we need to call upon the Name of the Lord for deliverance and by His power we will. We need the help of His Holy Spirit to be reminded that our sin is forgiven, because of His forgiveness we are saved from an eternal hell. Think of it, from an eternal hell! When we "feel" that we could not possibly forgive, let us be reminded of His amazing reward given to us simply because we called upon Him as Savior and Lord. He forgets our sin and with His power we can forget the sins of others against us, and show the world what forgiveness really is. This is power, the power to forgive like God. When we show this type of forgiveness to others we are showing the love of God.
Forgiveness in Action
Reconciliation is the fruit of forgiveness. When our damaged relationships are restored in love, this is forgiveness in action. We are commanded by God that before we come to Him we go to our hurting neighbor. The one who needs our love and forgiveness is the one who we go to. This is when we take the focus off of ourselves and ask the hard questions. Does anyone need my forgiveness? Does anyone need to physically see my love for them? If we do not accept Christ, He will not give us His Spirit of love and forgiveness. Before we can begin to forgive others we must accept that God's forgiveness will change our lives. When we realize we have a merciful God who casts our sin into the depths of the sea to be remembered no more, then we are able to forgive others in His strength. If we do not receive this cleansing of the heart from God, we will never be forgiven or have the power of God within us to forgive others! We will not have the heart of God, but a heart of sin that will be punished by God, "... if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses." (Matthew 18:35) Our lack of forgiveness for others is an outward sign that we do not have the Spirit of God living within us. The Lord Jesus wants us to be a light to the world and to love Him with a pure heart. What Jesus did on the cross was the perfect example of forgiveness in action. We did not deserve for Him to be there. He did it because of His love for us. "What more do I need to know about forgiveness? It is an embrace, across all barriers, against all odds, in defiance of all that is mean and petty and vindictive and cruel in this life. It is a wind blowing warm through the cold regions of our heart, embracing us all, and lifting us in hope and promise toward a vision of what we might yet become. We live in a time that values the harder virtues - self reliance, the ability to stand up for oneself, the capacity to speak one's mind with honesty and clarity. We equate power with the ability to dominate, and success with the capacity to win. The gentler virtues, like forgiveness, that speak in a quiet voice, are barely heard. But it is in the gentler virtues that true strength lies." 3 Jesus left the sanctity and peace of Heaven to love us on Earth. He was not thinking about Himself and what should be done for Him, He thought of our need. His act of forgiveness was perfect in that He did it once; it no longer has to be done again. The blood that was shed for our sins was so powerful that it seals our soul in Heaven the moment we say, "Lord Jesus, Forgive Me I am a sinner that needs your grace." And with outstretched arms of love He reconciles us immediately to Himself. This is the Law and love of God that His salvation and the power of His forgiveness is sure. We stand as white as snow, because we stand with Jesus, our friend, our God. This is what gives us strength to forgive others with the humble attitude that forgiving and forgetting is the duty of a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Chapter 3. Faith in the Lord Jesus
Our faith in the power of God on the cross is how we love God. He is our hope and through His life we live as victors in the midst of many battles. "Christians have found that an experience of healing enables new unity, forgiveness, and reconciliation."4 Life can challenge us, causing us to cry out to God for help, and He may seem distant, but He is there. We have the promise of His Word to give us strength. We must come to Jesus with a, "noble and good heart", (Luke 8:15) believing that eternal security is in the power of the Gospel. Our heart is exceedingly wicked desiring the pride of life, but when we humbly yield to Him as Savior He gives us the gift of life. We must believe that our heart is made righteous only in Him. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God." (Romans 10:17) We can not make our heart noble and good in our works! One day He will come again to bring all those who love Him into the glorious joy of His presence. We are also encouraged to know that if we die before He comes back to Earth we will be joined with Him immediately with a new angelic body that will never die. We have eternal life in Him and this life is a gift that we can count on! When we understand that loving God is loving Jesus, then we fulfill the first commandment of the Law and we love Him, because He is the Savior of the world. His Word assures us that we are not working our way into Heaven, we do not have a balance sheet that must be paid by good works, but the payment has been paid in full. This is what we cling to that gives us hope in a world full of sorrow and pain, "...the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23)
PART II. THE LAW AND LOVING GOD.
Chapter 4. The Greatest Commandment: Defined
Since the beginning of the world God has wanted us to obey His greatest commandment. "You shall have no other gods before Me." (Exodus 20:3) It is not about loving ourselves or even loving others, but it is in loving our Creator. Loving the One, who made us from the dust of the Earth. Loving Him is our first duty in life. We love others and we love ourselves as children of God, but His love comes first. No other love should come between the great and awesome God of the universe and us. We must love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, because this is what He desires from us and this is what we were created to do.
Who is God?
When we love God we love Jesus, because He is the one who came as the perfect Son of God, Emanuel, God with us. Jesus was called the Son of God, not because He wasn't God, but because the power of God was made into flesh. God placed Himself into the womb of Mary and lived the life of man. He was worshipped throughout His life, because He was God. "Jesus, as revealer of the divine glory, performs the roles of Wisdom: He speaks in long discourses, some of them beginning with ‘I am'. Wisdom of Solomon has shaped the Christology of the Fourth Gospel: Just as Wisdom is a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty, a reflection of the everlasting light of God, and a light for humans to see the right path, so Jesus as the manifestation of the Father's glory reveals God to humans and brings them out of darkness."5 In the very beginning the angels of Heaven and the wise men of Earth worshipped Him as God. This is a great mystery to some, but it is the power of Salvation to those who believe. We must believe that Jesus is God to be saved, because who Jesus is reveals the power of the Cross. To love God is to know the true God and worship Him for His amazing love and mercy to us. It takes faith to believe in God, to believe Jesus is God, but our faith comes in the knowledge and application of His Word. "Thomas Aquinas provides us with a classical example of the view that faith involves belief in propositions whose truth cannot be determined by reason alone."6 When Jesus was on Earth he did works that could only be done by God. He walked on water. He made wine from water. He commanded the sea to be still and it listened. He called the dead to rise from the grave. He foretold His future. He raised Himself from the tomb. Then He raised Himself off the face of the Earth into the clouds of Heaven! (Luke 24:51) Praise God that He said one day He would return in like manner and ALL people on Earth would see it. This is hard for many to believe that Jesus is Almighty God, but it is the truth, and it is the truth that saves. To love God, to obey the Law we must know who God is to love Him, and this is to know Jesus. Jesus is the One we worship; He is our God and Lord of all!
What is Love?
The cross of Christ is the example of what love is all about. Love does not seek its own, but sees others needs. Love endures pain for the good of the one loved. Love comforts in time of pain and suffering. Love never runs away, but stands firm. Love does not see time as a measuring stick to the end, because love never ends. (1 Corinthians 13:7) Love accomplishes what it is set out to do, because love is the greatest power there is and through love anything can happen. Love is worth dying for. Jesus loved us. He gave His life for us. He did not live on this Earth to see how much fame He could get, to see how much joy He could find, He lived in love for us. He came to save lives from death at the cost of His own life. His love fulfilled all the promises of Scripture of the coming Savior. If there's only one thing we have to count on, its love. The world may not know what love is, because love is more than a feeling, love is action. Love is a command that we must obey. Love is not an option. To show true love is to be filled with the Spirit of God, because God is love. (1 John 4:8) When we love others we are acting as ambassadors for God, letting our lives reflect His presence in us. When we don't feel like loving we must pray for His strength and His Spirit to flow through us to others. We must be reminded of His great love for us and His command to love others. When we reflect on His promise of Salvation to those who call on His Name, then this love can strengthen us under any circumstance. If God could love us while we are in sin, how could we not love our neighbor? Love is the hope of the world and our promise of a future with Christ to those who freely receive His gift of love. We can not keep God's greatest commandment if we do not love. To love is the fundamental of our faith and it is the simplest test to see who has received the salvation of God, because if God is in us His love will shine through us as a testimony to the world.
Chapter 5. The 2nd Commandment: Defined
The Lord Jesus told us that we should love one another as He loved us. (John 13:34) Is this possible? We can love like Jesus only when we let His Spirit live through us. We must be submissive to His will in our lives and not our own. When we see someone in need we must love them. If we know of someone needing encouragement from us, then we must give it. If we have a neighbor in need of our help, then we must go. Doing these things is what Jesus meant when He said to be a light to the world. (John 8:12) Our family, friends, and neighbors should know that they can count on us in time of need. Jesus said when we love the least of these we love Him. One day we will be held accountable for our actions, but praise His Name we stand in the Law of His love. We are assured Heaven despite our failings in loving others, because His love conquered our sin.
Who is our brother?
Sometimes we think that we don't need to love everyone, God couldn't possibly want me to love my enemy, love the one that has hurt me, the one I fear. Jesus said, we must love our enemy and do good to those who hurt us. When we show our enemies and those who hurt us love then that is when the world takes notice. What are they doing? How could you possibly love that person when they did that to you! This is when we have the testimony of the never ending love of Jesus for us. We are running a race of love with certainty that we will receive an, "imperishable crown", (1 Corinthians 9:25). Although we are sure of a victory in this race, because of Jesus' love in our hearts lifting us like flying eagles to the finish line, we must remember to show His love to our neighbor. He didn't just die for us, He died for the entire world. (John 3:16) If we think we are saved and are not loving our brother, then we deceive ourselves and the Spirit of God is not in us. If God's Spirit of salvation is not in us then we have no hope, but we do have hope, because Jesus said we are not alone once we receive Him as Savior, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." (Hebrews 13:5) We can share that Jesus loved us, He gave His life for our sins, saved us from Hell, and this is why we can love others. This is not an option for the Christian; it is a command from God.
The Example of the Lord.
When we say in our heart and mind, I can't love this person; we then must call upon the Lord for help and remember His love for us. Jesus left a Heavenly thrown to come down to Earth and live in the body of a man. He suffered great pain for our sin. He suffered in great humility and shame for us. He gave us the example of patient love, quiet love, and love with hope. He endured the pain of the cross when at any moment He could have come down. He shared the truth of His person and when He was rejected He suffered quietly without uttering another word. He rested on the promises to us that He would fulfill. He said, I am the resurrection and I will live again in three days! He knew in time that all would come to know He is God, and His Word never fails. We can also draw strength from the life of Christ. We can be patient when difficult challenges come our way. We can be comforted in knowing that in His time all our pain will be gone, never to be felt again! This is the joy of the Lord. We rejoice in His salvation for us, because His love is perfect and once we trust in Him he will never leave us or forsake us!
PART III. THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF SALVATION
Chapter 6. The Security of God: What is Eternal Security?
We have peace knowing that our hope is in Jesus, not in ourselves. If our hope is in ourselves, then we must ponder if that is really where we want our hope to be. If we think that our lives will keep us from hell then what was the purpose for Christ's life? He did not come to just give us an example, but He came to give us life. (John 10:10) This is eternal security, that our life is not sealed in Heaven because of us, but because of Him! Because He lives, we will live. His Spirit is alive within us testifying to us that we have life. When we grieve the Spirit by our disobedience to Him, He corrects us. He is our Father and He will discipline His children. When we are adopted into the family of God, it is not possible to come out. We are His and if He has to leave the other ninety nine to come after the one, He will. (Luke 15:4) He is a loving Father. What father on Earth would not travel the globe for his lost child to help him if he was in need? Our Heavenly Father cares infinitely more! He left the Heavens for us, how much more will He be with us on Earth to the very end and beyond. We are no longer alone, we have Jesus. Those we love in the world may come and go, but we have a faithful God who will not let our unfaithfulness to Him stop His love. This is the love of our Father and God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Power of the Hands of God.
The love of God puts His arms around us and says, "You are my child and I will NEVER let anyone take you away!" This is what Paul lived and preached that our future is in Jesus. When we trust in Jesus by faith we are secure, because then He takes over our life. We do not need to fear this, because He is our Creator and He knows what's best. This is critical to believe, because if our future is not solidified in Jesus then we have no peace in this world. Satan could come at any moment and snatch us away in His lies to destroy us. Thank God this is not possible, because we are now in Christ. We now live with God. He is within us and guides us all the way home. He is the light that shines, He is the One that we give all the glory to, because we rest in His power, not our own. We can not stand against the powers of the wicked one, but God can! We stand under the helmet of His salvation. We have His righteousness in our body that is a breastplate to protect us from all sin thrown our way. When we fail to raise the shield of faith the sword of His Spirit rises to strike down Satan with a mighty blow. You can not stand against God! Those who have put their lives in the Hand of Christ, He will never let go and the battle is His to be won. "All that is relevant is trust that God can sustain a righteous person's integrity and faith throughout the most severe crises."7 The Lord Jesus will receive all the glory; we have nothing with which to boast.
Chapter 7. Evidences of Security: The Spirit within us.
When we have the Spirit of God within us, our lives will reflect it! We can not say that we love God if we are living in sin. This is not to say one may not be saved, but it raises a serious question mark over their lives. God is the Judge, He knows who are His, but we on this Earth can judge by what we see. The fruit of a believer is love. Above all things love should be seen in our lives. Do we love our family? Do we love our friends? Do we love our neighbors? Do we even love our enemies? This is the real test of our faith and all the world will be judged by love. The good news for the believer is that when we put our faith in Christ, His love now lives within us! This is the Spirit of security that prompts us to love others to be a testimony to the world. "Christians, controlled by the Spirit of God can experience life and strength in the struggle against sin. Furthermore, the indwelling presence of the Spirit provides the hope that the body of the believer will one day experience resurrection even as Christ did."8 Our heart should ache within us when we do not follow the Spirit, but live in our pride. If we have no aching of the heart, then where is the Spirit? God has promised the believer that He will never leave of forsake us, so when we stray from His will He is there to guide us back. His Spirit within us will help us and comfort us during the challenges of life. We feel His Spirit most, when after failing Him; His love permeates our being to give us confidence that we have hope in Him. "The present gift of the Spirit is an anticipatory guarantee."9 He is the most forgiving and merciful God to those who are dressed in the righteousness of the blood of the Lamb. Paul knew that to live the perfect Law of God was to be at peace with our standing in the Law of God's eternal love to those who trust Jesus as Lord. We are a new eternal creation in Christ.
We will Judge the Angels: Removed from His presence
When we became clothed in the righteousness of Christ we also became secure in the peace of His strength in our lives. Jesus now has us and will deliver us from all evil. We now have the wisdom of the Spirit of God living within us. The Spirit will direct us in loving God and loving our neighbor. This same Spirit within us will give us the wisdom to judge even the angels of Heaven. (1 Corinthians 6:3) Like God Himself who judged Satan and cast Him from Heaven, this same God now lives within us to give us the wisdom against the evil in this world. We can stand confident in Him, because it is He who helps us through all the trials and struggles of life. Jesus is our peace and one day without doubt we will be with Him!
The Fear of God
There is no fear in love because perfect love casts out fear. When we receive the salvation message the love of God Himself comes to live in us. This love is our security to fear no evil. Jesus is with us, He comforts us, so that we need not fear anything this world may bring our way. Even death is swallowed up in victory by the resurrection of Jesus applied to our life. Like He rose from the dead, we will rise when we die to a new Heavenly angelic body waiting for us. We need not fear man, but God. "What is the object of fear? It is obvious that one's self is the focus of concern in fear, ... It is not problematic to say that emotions such as shame, regret, and pride are directed at oneself;"10 The believer should know that our Heavenly Father will correct us when we sin. While we are on Earth we will be tempted to be prideful and walk our own way, but even the believer must know God will judge our actions. Those things that we do for ourselves will be burned up, but our good and obedient things will be like crowns of beauty that we can lie at our Lord's feet to honor Him. Like a son who has nothing but a hug for his father He will love us and welcome us home, but how great our reward when we can offer the sacrifice of obedience to Him as an eternal offering of praise. The fear of man may lead one to suffer and die on Earth for a short time, but the fear of God leads one to worship the God who puts the unsaved in a tormented hell forever! The Gospel of God is the Spirit of God and when His message of the gift of eternal life is given one must receive it by faith. If we have partaken of God and of the Holy Spirit by hearing and rejecting this eternally secure salvation message of Jesus as Lord, then it is impossible to be saved. We can now only be saved by the power of the Gospel message and if we reject the gift from Jesus we are doomed to a burning hell. The only sin we can never be forgiven for is the sin of denying the Spirit of Jesus to live in us. The Spirit must not just fill our ears by hearing the message or even our mouth, by tasting the gift of the Gospel, but we must receive Him as Lord and let Him come to live within our heart. We serve a Holy God, and the only Holiness that measures up is the Holiness of Jesus and His blood covering our sin, anything less is fuel for the fire! We must not let our pride lead us to hell, but let our humility lead us along side the cross of Christ. "By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life." (Proverbs 22:4)
The Mercy of God.
Why God has mercy on some and not on others we may never know, but one thing is certain, we all have the opportunity to repent and follow Him. The stars in Heaven and all nature itself scream that there is a God in Heaven that created all things. (Romans 1:20) This power manifested itself in Jesus and the life of Jesus shows us the greatest reach of His mercy. This is the mercy that should motivate us to be merciful to others. The Lord suffered so much and gave us His all, we should do the same. Showing mercy is a sign that you are a child of God and it is a great testimony to a world in need of love. When we are merciful it shows the love of God and may tip the scales in causing someone to repent from their sin and follow Christ. Being eternally secure through Christ can give us the strength to reach out and touch the world in a powerful and merciful way, because His Spirit within gives us strength.
Clothed in the Righteousness of Christ
The law of God says that we must love Him and Paul taught to love Him we must be saved. "Although the relation between faith and reason may be dominated by reason's suspicion of faith, if not their mutual suspicion, once the test of reasonableness is passed - if it is passed - then reason may befriend and support the propositions of faith."11 We are saved only when we stand in the righteousness of Christ. We must be clothed in Him. There will be a great wedding one day and all are invited, but only those clothed in the righteousness of Christ will be allowed to stay! We can not stay if all we have on is our own filthy rags of righteousness. How could we come to a wedding dressed so poorly? There is no excuse, we have the gospel and know that Jesus is the only way, by His blood we are forgiven, and by His mercy we live. His righteousness is the most pure clothing one will ever wear, because it is a symbol of who we are in Christ. We have been adopted into the family of God. We are his children and we have a place reserved for us in the glorious wedding to come. (Matthew 22: 9, 10) We can boldly enter the church doors of Heaven and know that we're coming in because of Jesus, because of His sacrifice for our sins. We are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
The Fruit: No place for sin.
Now that we have the righteousness and security of Christ we do not have the freedom to sin. On the contrary we now are an ambassador for God and we must live accordingly. "...a willingness to obey and submit to Christ must be part of the initial act of saving faith."12 There is no place for sin in a believer's life. Sin is what God hates, and if we sin the Spirit within is grieved. We are blessed with His Spirit of love that gently and sometimes not so gently directs us in the right way. We should not let the high responsibility of representing Christ discourage us. When we walk in His paths of righteousness in obedience to His Ten Commandments we not only please Him, but we protect ourselves from harm and pain. The Law of God was not given to us as a burden, but it was given to relieve us from the burdens and pain of life. How much less pain do we have when we show love, when we speak the truth, when we honor our parents and worship God. The commandments are for our good and in obeying them we yield the fruit of righteousness that brings great joy and happiness, not only in this life, but in the one to come!
Separate from the world and pleasing to God.
When we trust the Lord as our Savior we recognize that He is Lord. We no longer should desire to please our flesh, but we should aim to please the Spirit within us. This is a constant battle that we will face all of our lives, but God will give us the strength. He promises that we will endure all the temptations to destroy us because He will not allow Satan to go, but so far. Jesus is on our side and He will deliver us. As a child of God we should act as such and when we don't our Heavenly Father will correct us. We are to live separate from the world, yet in the world. We do not walk in the ways of evil and darkness, we walk in the light. We do not lie, but we speak the truth, we do not hate, but love. These are commandments from God's Word and when we obey God's word and love one another we are living separate from the pride of the world. The world says to seek your own desires, fulfill your own needs, look out for yourself and if others get hurt along the way that's their loss for not being strong enough to keep up. God says, to not only look out for yourself, but to look out for other's needs. We are to help all those on the Earth that have life and breath, even the little animals. We are to do unto others as we would want them to do to us! When we are not sure what to do all we have to do is say, "If I were in their shoes, how would I want me to act?" This is one of our guiding lights to keep God pleased.
When we worship Jesus for His gift of eternal salvation we fulfill the Law of loving God. We can not possibly love God if we do not praise Him for this gift. If someone were to give us a home on a beautiful hilltop with lovely trees, clear grasslands and a wonderful view, wouldn't it be the least we could do to give thanks and praise. If we were to go to their home and not mention their amazing gift to us, what kind of person would we be? Do you think they would be happy with that? Is not God's gift to us far greater than that? God desires us to love Him by praising Him for His gift of eternal salvation. To love Him is to thank Him, and what greater task of His love could we thank Him for than giving His life for us as an eternal sacrifice for our sins! The church's duty is to share this truth and preach it to the congregation. We must not loose our first love. We must not become cold and barren. We should glorify His great Name in all the Earth, a Savior mighty indeed to keep us until the very end of our journey in this world, preparing us for the next. He is worthy of our time and praise, for He has turned our hearts of stone into hearts of eternal joy! What a merciful and awesome Savior!
Chapter 8. The Sovereignty of God in Security.
Although Saved, Beware of the Judgment!
The Lord God is all powerful; He is sovereign above all creation. The power behind the Gospel is in the sovereignty of God. The Lord chooses to do as He pleases and no one can stand in the way of His will. The love of the lord is the guiding light of His sovereignty. God could in His all powerful nature destroy every living thing on the face of the Earth in a moment, but each day He let's the sun rise and set in love. The Lord could punish all of us for a disobedient heart to Him, for our heart of pride. He has chosen that He will be a loving God, for He is love. He has chosen to forgive by the power of His might our sin. It took the power of almighty God to withstand the cross, the shame and the pain for us. He Has chosen to use His power to crush the forces of Satan and deliver us to an eternal home with Him. The truth of the Lord is the mercy of His sovereignty. He has spoken that those who call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus will be saved! Through His power He has chosen to save us. He has chosen to show His power by the simplicity of the cross. The faithfulness of God is in the certainty of His truth. When He speaks, we can count on it, and He said our gift is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord! "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand." (John 10:28) We must obey this law of love and accept this gift with the belief of the power of God. We must come to Him, confess our sin, and take God at His Word. When He saves, He saves, there is no doubt, there is no question, there is no fear of future loss, He saves! By the power of His might He saves! This is eternal security and this is love.
The Gospel Challenge
For those of us who have received this love, we have a great challenge. We must share this eternal security in Christ with others. It is not an option. The glory and love of our risen Lord must be shared to all the Earth. Jesus is the only answer for the sins of the world. He has commanded us to go forth to the ends of the Earth and share the powerful message of His life changing love. To share not to fear, His Spirit will rule, guide, and comfort us through the struggles and challenges of life. The great joy of the Gospel of His love is the security we have in Him. Because He lives, we know that one day we will live with Him. We must share that through the shed blood of Jesus we are forgiven so that one day we will receive a body that will never grow old, never hurt again, one that will allow us to glorify our Savior forever. This is a challenge that is fulfilled when we draw strength from loving God and understanding His love for us.
Chapter 9. The Glory of Heaven: Heaven Defined
One day those who are saved will be in Heaven. We do not know the time of our going, but we do know that Heaven will be a place of joy and peace with no more sin or pain, love will abound. The glory of the Lord will shine and the music of praise will be heard. All people will be in harmony with one heart in perfect obedience to God. It is hard to image a place like this, but we can be sure there will be no more sorrow or tears, a place of eternal happiness! We have a mansion in Heaven waiting for us, because Jesus has paid the cost, praise His Name. The carpenter on Earth has a crew working for Him in Heaven that has prepared a home for those who call Him Savior and Lord. The key is that we must be saved. We must know that Jesus has a home for us, because we have trusted in Him. This is the joy of our secure salvation, we have a future with Him and He deserves all the praise for it.
Heaven begins now! The Power and Comfort of the Spirit
The Lord taught us to pray as it is in Heaven, so let it be on Earth. This is where the joy of His Spirit plays a key role in our life. When we trust the Lord Jesus as our savior from sin He immediately gives us His Spirit. We immediately have pass from death to life in Him. We are a new creation! "Through the agency of God's Spirit, the Christian is assured of final victory over death and the power of the flesh. That same Spirit making us God's children, provides additional assurance that the work God has begun in us will be brought to a triumphant conclusion, justification will assuredly lead to glorification."13 The joy and praise of Heaven now lives within us. The contentment and peace that is in Heaven is now in our heart. No waiting for death, the beginning of our eternal life is now within us. Heaven begins now, because the joy and peace of the Lord comes from His Spirit living in us. When the pain and trials in life bring us down, the joy of the Lord lifts us up. His Spirit within gives us strength to overcome. His Spirit encourages us to know that we are only suffering in the flesh but our joy will come in the morning. He is our Light and song and we will praise His Name for the great things He has done for us and for the great things He promises to do. He is faithful and His promises give us strength and comfort. He is our loving Father who has adopted us and called us His own. We must believe this and we must share this with a world full of sorrow and pain, because as long as there is breath, there is hope for the lost.
The Law of Security in Christ
We do not know the time of Christ coming again to this Earth, but we do know that He has promised eternal life to all who call upon His Name. The law of loving God is a law of security in Christ, because to come to Christ we must believe that He is a Savior. We can not love Him if we do not believe Him. Jesus speaks the truth, His Word is truth. He said I am God, I am the creator of all things, I am the Savior of the world and no one can come to Heaven except by Me! (John 14:6) To obey the Law of loving God, we must believe Him! "...grace makes the law lovable to us, so there is then no sin any more, and the law is no longer against us but one with us."14 He has promised us eternal life and we do not have to wait for it, we instantly receive it when we look up to Him to be rescued from the sting of death. Like Moses holding up the serpent in the wilderness to save those who were being bitten by poisoness snakes, so we lift up Jesus. (John 3:14 and Numbers 21:8, 9) All those who simply looked up to Moses' stick were immediately saved from an Earthly death. When we look up to Jesus we are immediately saved from an eternal death of the spirit! We are secure in Jesus, securer than anything this life could promise. We have a hope that never fails, that endures everything. Our security is in Christ.
The logical conclusion to living a life of security in Christ is a life full of joy. Never can Satan take us out of the family of God, but he can try to discourage us. The devil wants to take away this testimony of grace, because he lives in pride, and is the father of all pride. We love Jesus because we know the humility of our salvation through Him is riches, and honor, and life! The gift of salvation does not give us the freedom to sin, but it binds us to obedience to God. He now expects us to be a witness for Him, a testimony in a world of darkness. We do not have to worry that this burden is too great, because His Spirit within is our eternal help. How the Spirit works within us and through us is a topic of further study, but the result is a Spirit of comfort and peace. We are not alone, no matter how difficult life may become. We have a Savior that is faithful and powerful to give us the strength to make it home to Him. He will lift us up when we fall down, He will hold us by the hand when we stray into the streets of sin and lead us back to where we need to be. This is the grace of the Lord, that He is the mighty shepherd who loves His little sheep no matter how far we may stray, He promises to bring us back, because we are His! Jesus will love us and do "whatever it takes" to get His children living as they should, even if He has to shine His glory from Heaven and bring us to our knees! (Acts 9:3, 4) This is why, Paul's view of the law includes that one must be eternally secure in their salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ.
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