Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Security of a Believer

While there exists a real danger of falling away as a Christian, God has given us promises in scripture, gifts of the Holy Spirit, empowerment of the Holy Spirit and the wonderful blessing of being able to confess our sins, repent and be forgiven when we fall. To benefit and appropriate these, they all require an act of our will - we need to do something - they are not automatically conferred. Furthermore, God is watching over us and He promises that no temptation too strong will come upon us, without there being a way of escape. The wonderful thing that we need to be aware of constantly is that God intensely loves everyone of us. He does not want to lose a single soul. Jesus is at the right hand of God continually interceding for us. The saints in heaven, the great cloud of witnesses, are cheering us on. We should imagine in our minds that we are running a race and that the grandstands are full of the saints who have passed on. They are cheering  us on. The Holy Spirit is along side us and giving us a helping hand. In fact, He is inside us, giving us strength to keep running. If we get side tracked and take our attention off the goal, we will stumble and fall. The Holy Spirit, Jesus and the Father will be there waiting for us to confess our sins, repent, get up and start running again. This is how the grace of God works. There is enough grace and forgiveness, the blood of Jesus is sufficient to cover all our sins, it will not run out, provided we keep confessing our sins when we fall. Then the blood of Jesus can cleanse us from all unrighteousness and put us back into the position of having the righteousness of Christ. The longer we stay in the race and keep running, the more we will have the mind of Christ. The more we think in the way God wants us to think, the more victory we will have. It will become easier and easier to overcome sin. But we need to understand the principle of sowing and reaping. If we sow to the flesh, we will reap corruption and spiritual death. If we sow to the spirit, we will reap eternal life. We must be transformed by the renewing of our minds. We need to stay connected to Christ, we are the branches and when we draw off the Holy Spirit's power, we will bear beautiful fruit. God the Father is wooing us, He is romantic, He wants us to spend intimate time with Him on a daily basis and then stay connected throughout the day. We can see in the book of the Song of Solomon, how God desires us to be His bride. He intensely loves us and does not want the enemy to pull us away from Him. However, true love has to be a choice. A robot can never show true love. That is why God had to take the risk of giving us a free will. He wants us to choose Him continually. It is when we start substituting our desire for God with other things (idols) that we start to fall away and if we don't be careful, we can eventually fall so far as to lose the salvation that was freely given. The warning of falling away is clearly cited in several places in the scripture. Paul encourages us to run the race, to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, to have a reverential fear of God, recognising that He could send us to hell if we do not obey, we must hate sin, keep repenting when we fall, cling to God, don't become over confident, lest we fall. If we keep a contrite heart, humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, resist the devil, he will flee from us. The devil is prowling around seeking whom he may devour. We must not be ignorant, we must be on our guard, we must take up the whole armour of God and recognise that we are fighting a battle. This is not a dress rehearsal or a computer game, this is a matter of life and death. We have to take our walk seriously, we must be aware that there are wolves in sheeps clothing seeking to deceive us. We have to become so familiar with the truth of scripture that we will immediately detect error creeping in. If we remain close to God, if we choose to abide under the shadow of His wings, He will protect us, His angels will watch over us and no weapon formed against us will prosper. But if we choose not to abide under His wings, we will not have His protection and will become a target and we will fall. So again, we must realise that the most powerful thing we have as humans at our disposal, is our freewill. We must choose to allow the Holy Spirit to empower us, we must choose to repent when we sin, we must keep fellowshipping with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as well as other believers. We need to stay in the word of God and absorb it as food for our souls and spirits. We need a healthy meal of the Word of God each day to have the strength to deal with what we will face that day. If we ask Him for enough grace for today, He will supply what we need. If we don't ask, we won't receive. God wants us to ask HIm for His grace every day. He wants us to ask Him for His wisdom, for His understanding, for His insight, for His love to fill our hearts, to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit each day, each moment. We need the Holy Spirit to empower us to enable us to overcome. He desires to give us all we need, we must just cooperate with Him. Then if we keep running this race, everyday, never giving up, but persevering to the end, we will enter His Kingdom and He will say "Well done, my good and faithful servant".

So in conclusion, we can have assurance of salvation if we choose to stay close to Him after we have been born again, we can know that we are born-again and destined for heaven if we have truly repented and put our faith in the saving work of Jesus on the cross. We can have that peace that passes all understanding. We can have the confidence that nothing shall by any means be able to separate us from God's love. Neither death, nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow - not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above, or in the earth below - indeed nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39).

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