Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Eternal Security - April 17th, 2009

Rom.8:38-39 - “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The reason we are more than conquerers (v.37) is that nothing and no one can separate us from God and His love. I have full security in Him - there’s no way to blow this thing. This verse is written to Christians specifically (it is not stating God’s general love for all people, but instead the security for believers). All of chapter 8 addresses believers, adopted children, and this passage concludes affirming that security and the reality that we can’t be separated from His love. Non-Christians are loved by God - nothing could stop God from loving them, but they are separated from Him and His love (Eph.4:18), their sin resulting in spiritual death (Rom.6:23, Eph.2:1-5) - if anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1 Jn.2:15). God loves those who do not yet know Him but they are actively disengaged and separated from Him and His love for them. The believer, however, having been adopted into His family (Rom.8:15), is secure in that relationship and can never be separated from Him nor His love (Rom.8:1). I often use the analogy of a rescue (which our salvation is, in a spiritual sense). Imagine you are stranded in a rising river. You are about to drown when all of a sudden, a helicopter appears above and lowers you a rope (on a side note, an imminent rescue is always good news). That helicopter represents your Savior and the rope being thrown to you His grace. You take hold of the rope, by faith (all the faith in the world would have left you drowning in the river had there not been grace provided to you to put your faith in). The moment you lay hold of the rope you are rescued - it is by grace and through faith (Eph.2:8-9). Once you are flying away on the helicopter - in the competent hands of your rescuers - your salvation is completely their responsibility, as ours is God’s (Phil.1:6, Heb.12:1-2). No doubt you could ever have about the helicopter, it’s crew or your now past and already accomplished rescue and salvation would cause them to toss you overboard - similarly, even when we are faithless, He is faithful (2 Tim.2:13). Having trusted Him I now have an inalienable right to sonship (Jn.1:12). Paul describes this eternal security in Rom.8:38-39, with a litany of things unable to separate us from God’s love. Two of these stick out to me. First, the present and the future are powerless to separate me from Him. The present and future include all that I am doing now and all I will or might do in the future. My relationship with God is secure regardless of these variables. Second, nothing in all creation can separate me from Him. That pretty much covers everything - including me, a created thing, and as such, I along with the rest of creation, am unable to end the relationship He started with me - neither I, nor anything else, can remove myself from His firm grasp (Jn.10:27-29). The result of this security is an intrinsically motivated love for Him (1 Jn.4:19) and a surpassing peace in that unity (Rom.5:1). Christians must stop doubting and debating their position as His children and instead revel and bask in the heritage we’ve been assured, enjoying Him daily (Ps.37:4) and living to serve and obey Him out of that love (Jn.14:15).

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