Sunday, March 18, 2018

Your Salvation is Assured

"For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9

I've been on an incredible journey of discovery with God.  But climbing the mountain of faith isn't an easy bike ride on a paved surface - as we climb up the mountain, we slip on some of the rocks and fall back down, only to struggle back up the path again.  After growing in faith and relationship with Him, I began to get frustrated with how things were going in my work life, and not seeing the fruit I had been anticipating in obedience to His direction.  I stopped spending daily quiet time with God as I had started doing two years before, and generally made the decision to "check out" of the intensity and passion I had been experiencing to that point.

As you would expect, this opened the door of opportunity, and the devil swooped in with attacks on my thought life.  I started wondering if falling away like this put my salvation at risk.  What if I died right now and had to face God? Would I still go to heaven?  Or would I be angrily cast out for my weak faith and lack of obedience?

A month went by, and I gathered up the courage to go back to my journal and seek God's voice yet again.  The first thing He said was, "Your salvation is assured.  You need to quit worrying about that."

Wow!  He knew and addressed my biggest concern and tackled it head on.  And it brought such peace and relief, not only in the moment, but in knowing and being assured of eternity with the Father, regardless of how I may temporarily behave during the ups and downs of life.  

Shortly after that, I was serving with the team I volunteer with at church, when the team gathered for some prayer time.  The leader started by telling us she felt God wanted to share an important message - our salvation is assured! As she walked through Scripture to support this truth, I sat shaking my head as I was once again amazed at the confirmation God gave me of his earlier message.  

Why is our salvation assured? Because it's not about us, and the actions we take, that give us salvation in the first place.  Jesus Christ is the key to our salvation - he bought us at a price when He died for us on the cross, and His blood washes us clean in God's eyes.  To think anything we do can either save us, or condemn us, after being sealed by Christ's salvation, is an insult to Jesus and the cross He bore for us.  God looks past our sins and views us as righteous because He sees Jesus in us.  The devil doesn't want us living in this Truth, because it gives us freedom and allows us to be empowered as children of God.  If we are in constant fear that our continual sin puts our salvation at risk, it leaves us as prisoners of our sin and negates the power of Christ.

This doesn't mean we can continue to go on willfully sinning either.  As Paul tells us in Hebrews 10:26-27, "For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgement, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries."  Accepting Jesus as Lord of our lives means dying to self, and the natural desire to sin.  We will continue to slip as human beings, but our standing as sons and daughters gives us a new desire to please God, by allowing Him to work through the Holy Spirit to remove our desire to sin.  "For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit" (Romans 8:5).

Have you done something that you feel separates you from the love of God?  Do you doubt your salvation?  Are you living in bondage out of fear that you have to be perfect to achieve salvation and the reward of eternity with Jesus?  Be released from this burden today by placing your trust and faith in Jesus - and rest knowing your salvation is assured!

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.  I and the Father are one." - John 10:27-30

- Adam Gellert