Standing Secure on God’s Promises

anchor_blueEver broken a promise, not kept your word, or been late for an engagement? Of course you have. Now you know why many Christians are worried sick that they may fail God. After all, isn’t the Bible full of exhortations to hold fast, continue, and endure to the end? It is – but not so that we might get something we don’t already possess in Christ.

As you may know, I spent the summer studying some 300 scriptures pertaining to this issue of eternal security. I have to be honest and tell you my motives were mixed. The pure motive was that I simply enjoy studying scripture and I wanted to settle this issue once and for all in my heart. The “impure” motive was that I am fed up with those fear-mongers who try to unsettle the secure, condemn the guiltless, and otherwise spread a message of anxiety that contradicts the Lord’s own message of, “Fear not little flock” (Lk 12:32).

Uncertainty is a faith-killer. If you are uncertain about your eternal position how can you trust God? You won’t. If this issue isn’t settled in your heart you’ll lie awake at night wondering whether you are good enough or have done enough to impress him. And then you’ll set aside grace by taking out a little works insurance just to be safe.

Insecurity about the future is just one example of the prevailing winds of unbelief that assail the church. If you are insecure and in doubt, know that I write so that you might repent (change your doubting and unbelieving mind) and believe the good news. I write so that you might trust Jesus to finish what he started.

But first, you may need to change your glasses…

What you look through determines what you see

If you wear cracked glasses, everything you look at will appear cracked. If you are insecure, every scripture in the Bible will appear to support your prior notions of insecurity.

In my last post I identified four cracks in the lens of insecure theology. To save time I could have just pasted this little gem from Andrew Farley:

Every Christian I’ve met who believes they can lose their salvation has always given a reason that involves them. What if I commit suicide? What if I get a divorce? What if I stop believing? What if I…? You fill in the blank there, but it’s all the same. Every hypothetical scenario puts ourselves at the center of the equation. But our faithfulness to God is an old-covenant problem that is solved by the new. ~God Without Religion, pp:30-31

Bingo. Drew has nailed it. The reason we are even having this discussion is because so many Christians don’t know what makes the new covenant new. They read the Bible through the old covenant mindset that says “Do to be.” If this is you, let me tell you about Jesus! That old covenant is obsolete. We no longer stand on our promises to him but on his promises to us.

Bet your life on his word, not yours

If I could show you just one promise from the Lord that guaranteed your eternal security, would you quit fretting? Would you stop listening to the lies of the confused and trust instead in the truth of God’s word? Would one promise from the Faithful One be good enough for you? Well, here’s one:

He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. (1 Cor 1:8-9)

Wow! This scripture is the atom bomb that obliterates the doubts of the insecure. If you struggle with doubt and anxiety, you should frame this verse. It will remind you that salvation is not about your faithfulness but his and God is faithful.

And don’t forget who Paul was writing to either. This scripture was addressed to Christians many today would write off as reprobates. The Corinthians weren’t what you call “good Christians.” Yet Paul looks at these clowns, sees God’s fingerprints all over them, and speaks confidently of their future. “Our hope for you is firm” (2 Cor 1:7).

Who called you into fellowship with Christ? God! Who will keep you strong to the end so that you will be blameless on that Day? God! Who is faithful? God! It’s not about you but him. Do you see it yet? If not, here’s another promise you can stand on:

Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. (2 Cor 1:21-22)

The word “guarantee” means a down-payment or pledge, “i.e. part of the purchase-money or property given in advance as security for the rest.” So either God has nothing but more good stuff planned for you – guaranteed! – or he is a liar.

Are you getting this yet?

I said one promise from the Lord should be enough and I’ve given you two. Just to settle matters once and for all, here are seven more promises from your heavenly Father that speak directly to your eternal security. Write them on your heart and take them to the bank because they are gold! If you are a Christian, the chances of you losing your salvation are exactly the same as the likelihood God will violate his promises. Since God is utterly faithful, you can be utterly secure.

golden

Seven golden promises about your future

For a Christian to lose their salvation and be expelled from the kingdom…

1. God would have to forsake us, when he said he wouldn’t (Heb 13:5)

2. God would have to cast us out, when he said he wouldn’t (John 6:37)

3. God would have to condemn us, when he said he wouldn’t (Rom 8:1,34)

4. God would have to withdraw his Spirit, when he said he wouldn’t (John 14:16-17)

5. God would have to remember our sins, when he said he wouldn’t (Jer 31:34, Heb 10:17)

6. God would have to forget that we are his children, when he said he wouldn’t (Is 49:15)

7. God would have to blot our names out of the book of life, when he said he wouldn’t (Rev 3:5)

Good news, no?

“But Paul, what about all those scriptures that say we have to hold fast, continue, and endure to the end?”

I’ll to get to some of those scriptures in the coming weeks but let me put your mind at rest right now. Do you have a need to hold fast? Do you have a need to continue and endure? Do you have a need to overcome, obey, avoid sin, be holy, and persevere? Yes, we all have these needs. But look at this…

My God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Php 4:19)

How many of your needs will God meet? All of them! How many of your needs must you supply to stay qualified for the kingdom? None of them! The only thing to do is receive what God has already provided in Christ Jesus. The only thing to do is say, “Thank you Jesus!” and abide in that place of restful trust.

Anything and everything that needs to be done to see you safe to the end, will be done by him. Trust him! The one who “began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Php 1:6). (See what I did there? I just slipped in another promise.) Salvation is not from yourself it is the gift of God (Eph 2:8), and his gifts are irrevocable (Rom 11:29). (Two more promises!)

No doubt there will be some who will write to tell me I am presenting an unbalanced view, that I have left out important bits of the Bible. What they really mean, though, is God is a mealy-mouthed mincer of words who doesn’t say what he means or mean what he says. I disagree. Through the death and resurrection of his Son, God shouts to the human race, I am for you and I will do whatever it takes to win you back to myself! I believe him. I choose to stand on his promises to us. I encourage you to do likewise.

Saint, you are one with the Lord. His future is your future. Since Jesus isn’t going to lose his salvation and go to hell, it can’t happen to you. You may fall asleep on the job, but the one who watches over you never slumbers (Ps 121:3-4). Be confident. Be secure. Be at peace.

enjoy_signup

Comments

  1. I wonder how many of the insecurity types realize their view depends on me, myself and I while the grace view depends on God who never lies or fails?

  2. Funny you should write this now, Paul. I’ve been thinking a lot about faith, belief and security lately. I don’t think any scripture has the power to imbue a person with faith… or rest in God’s love. It is something a person has to do inwardly, yet it is not done, rather it is “un’done… like relaxing a muscle.

    On the other hand, real faith comes from God, so it isn’t our faith that we’re talking about, but God’s faith in us allowing us to experience God. God can imbue faith however He wants. :-)

  3. Sometimes, I think the best way to convey faith upon a person is to tell them how utterly impossible it is to please God. Make the impossibility so damned clear… that the hearer gives up trying… only to find… they’ve landed in God’s Hands.

    That’s sort-of what happened to me.

  4. thank you!

  5. Great post! I stand amazed by our God!!!!

  6. I think a lot of the insecurity types like that the responsibility falls on them rather than God. Then they can ‘control’ God in a sense based on their behavior. Based on my limited experience, I believe this topic has a lot to do with control issues. People who rely on Jesus-based acceptance instead of performance-based acceptance have to completely give up control. And even though this is liberating and absolutely amazing, it’s scary for some people who have never experienced unconditional love.

    • Wow Laura, this explains so much. I have never heard that. My best friend and I both were delivered out of heavy religion last May and we’ve had to FIGHT the old thoughts and immerse in Grace teachings. Yes,we had not known unconditional love-ever and yes, we are both “former/or almost former” control freaks….lol. Thanks for the insight.

  7. Thank you for this refreshing article. Blessings from the Philippines.

  8. Uwaaaaah, Paul! Once again well put! GtG!

  9. thaks, good stuff. as believers we also have to remember, that our father cannot lie. and if he say we are sealed, believe you me, we are sealed for ever.

  10. Christine Wilcock says:

    Thank you Paul for this great post!
    For Tom NeSmith……faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God.
    I find that I need to meditate on the Word, to hear it over and over to get truth from the Word from my thick skull to my heart! Then, bingo, light, joy, assurance!!

  11. Wonderful…I love the way you broke it down. When I cried out to God for help..at the end of my tether thinking it was impossible to please him. He filled me with his love and grace and pointed me to what He had done for me, not what I could do for him. What a relief!!

  12. I will be interested to read your next post on this theme. Once saved always saved is an area I still am unsure about. Partly due to a lifetime of teaching imparted to me, partly due to those scripts which infer you are the one who has to stand till the end and partly because there is a script which mentions about a a believer trampling underfoot the sacrifice of Jesus. Yet I don’t get concerned about this topic because I have peace about my salvation and I guess I don’t see myself reaching a point where I completely disregard god..much thought..lol btw Paul, I have found your site and book, pure quality. Blessings.

  13. keep up the GOOD WORK. thel Lord put my mind at rest, when he said to me, earl jump up here to me, and I said jump? I can hardly walk,and he said,well I guess ill have to come down to you, and I said OK no problem.

  14. Thanks Paul for another great article on God’s amazing grace!

  15. Thanks Paul!….Another Nugget!…..I really appreciate your very special, Annointed,calling to Break down Strongholds ( Religious Cows) that have paralized the Body of Christ for years! Most preachers/ Teachers don’t or wont deal with these kind of issues……Its like pulling a Skunk out of a Bag in a crowd!……..Cant wait for your next post!!! You are Blessed!!

  16. Thank you! Your comment on “uncertainty is a faith killer” struck a cord with me.How can you continue to walk your faith out when you are in then you are out.What kind of mental abuse is that when you really think about it.

  17. Belonging comes out of security and identity in Christ, I am His and He is mine. Father completes His heart response by saying of the Son, “in You I am well pleased.”
    It is God’s pleasure that we belong to Him alone. Our belonging is motivation to become a Father pleaser.
    Abiding reinforces these realities until they become foundation stones upon which we can build our lives and endure the storms so that our house doesn’t get washed away.
    Each of us can say: I am secure in God’s love. My identity is that I’m a child of God and no one can take that from me. My belonging is in the family of God; therefore I can abide and rest.
    Bob mumford

    Bob is a old friend, and I told him, that for me He has a way putting it,that helps me understand well.

  18. Wow, that first promise, boom! Really was like taking a scripture bomb to the heart… and thanks for the way you broke down the seven promises. Will be keeping this page bookmarked.
    Cheers Paul

  19. Paul I am thoroughly enjoying this series. In the last couple of years the Lord has been setting me free from my old religious mindset. The truth of the Gospel has broken sickness off of me and released my mind from bondage. I’m done with Egypt and Sinai, and am day by day learning to stand in the promised land of Christ in me. Despite constant reminders of the old (wine) I am learning to stand on and walk in His promises. Jer 32:38-41 contains an amazing promise of security with no mention of what “I must do”. It’s all Him. In Christ, that promise has been fulfilled. He’s given us a new heart and the new Way (v38). In Him he has placed in us a perfect fear of the Lord (v40). And since the day we were planted (v41) together with Christ in his death (Rom 6:5) we have dwelt safely in the land of promise(v37). It’s all because of His goodness, perfectly demonstrated in Christ. Indeed, every promise is a “resounding yes” in him (2 Cor 1:20 NLT). Keep it coming :-)

  20. Paul,
    I liken the insecurity issue to the “do,do,do” teaching of the IC. The other day I read your article on Hell and the part where you said if you don’t share the gospel with anyone you
    still would not be denied access to heaven jumped out at me. God then brought up Hebrews 8:10-11 to me and said very clearly “just be!” It was so drilled in my head by the ic to “do,do,do” that I struggle with knowing how “to be!” Like tracts, I’m not saying there bad but I know they turn some people off. They just remind me of the mormons. Then something dawned on me if we just act the part of a believer, (consistency) our fruit will give us away
    and in time they’ll seek us out. How do you reach out to others?

  21. Don’t always have time to post a comment, but want you to know I appreciate your words Thanks Paul.

  22. salvation that can be lost or forfeited is no salvation at all.The very idea that we could lose salvation when scripture clearly teaches that we were chosen in him(Christ),before the foundation of the world is ludicrous!While we may not be able to grasp this,it is so.If we could be saved for a time then somehow become unsaved,we would be making the unfortunate determination that God made a mistake and that where grace abounded sin abounded more.

  23. I just have a question for those that believe that we can lose our salvation. When we were born again our old man died, all things are made new. So if we lose our salvation what happens? Does the old man come back to life? Do we get a new unsaved man? To deny the fact that we are eternally saved and not have an answer to these questions is to deny that anything actually happened at the new birth, that it is all just philosophy or a mental exercise is it not?

  24. Kingsley Adjei says:

    Thank you Paul, am really blessed by this message. I believe knowing how God loves you and how he has forgive us will help you live right.

  25. Joe Miller says:

    AYFREAKINGMEN.

  26. Great work brother. Keep it up….we are together in this. Many religious folks will revolt but alas….we will save many more and help them gain stability of faith. AM PROUD OF YOU. KUDOS!

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