|Our European rental|
In a similar fashion, many of us "white-knuckle" our Christian walk wondering how secure we are in our salvation. I had a friend many years ago who did not believe in security in Christ. She truly believed that if she sinned she lost her salvation and had to start all over. Therefore, she lived in constant fear that she might do something wrong and be cut off from God. From a biblical perspective, this is an unfounded fear for several reasons.
|The Church of the Holy Rood Stirling, Scotland|
|The Angel's window - The Church of the Holy Rood|
Quite simply, if He called us to Himself and awakened us spiritually out of our soul death, He is able to keep that which He has brought to redemption. Jesus speaks to this in John's Gospel account: "All that the Father gives me will come to me and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of Him who sent me. And this is the will of Him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that He has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day" (John 6:36-40). Jesus goes on in this discourse to say this: "No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day" (John 6:44). Again, in verse 65 of this chapter, the Lord said: "...This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father."
Two things are clear in the passages. First, Jesus will never lose hold of those who come to Him in faith. He, being God in the flesh, is able to keep that which we have committed to Him until the time He comes again. He paid the price in His blood for our redemption, and as Paul says in Romans 8:38-39, nothing shall ever be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Secondly, Jesus makes it clear that it is God who calls us to come through faith to Christ. It is not of ourselves. Therefore, if it doesn't depend upon us and depends wholly upon God, we should feel secure in our calling and election. Nothing...absolutely nothing can tear us out of the hands of Christ.
With all this said, we have to add that this does not mean that we will not fall into sin for we are not yet perfected. However, once we come to Christ in saving faith, we have a choice to sin or walk in righteousness. When we were dead in sin, we had no choice. We followed that which we desired in the flesh only. We did not seek God nor did we love Him. However, once we were made new in Christ, our hearts were changed and the chains of sin were broken. If we do sin, we confess it to our Lord and seek His forgiveness by the blood of Christ. (I John 1:9) Our relationship is renewed through repentance. We do not lose our salvation, but we do lose relationship until we repent.
|The statue and burial place of Ebenezer Erskine the founder of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church|
When I look back on our trip, after that first nail biting day in the vehicle, we learned how to use the navigational system. Each day of driving got easier and better for us. We felt more secure. This is how it should be in our Christian walk as well. When we are new believers, we may have some doubts or feel uncertain. Yet, as we get into God's Word (our navigation system in this world), we will find greater confidence each day to walk by the Spirit's direction. We need to understand what the author of Hebrews wrote and make it our own: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God" (Hebrews 12:1-2). Remember...Jesus is the author of our faith and the perfecter of our faith. With Him, we will never lose our direction. He will guide us home. Selah!