Leaving a church organization can be a stressful and often confusing transition. Each one who does it usually has some significant experience to relate. Hopefully, we are now making progress in our spiritual lives.
For me personally, it has been 25 years since my departure from an institutional organization, and the mindset that was included. Looking back on that experience now, I’m very grateful for the many, many positive experiences as well as the correct spiritual teaching which I received. I was called into this experience by God, and I was also called out of it when the time was right for me. Since God works with His children based on their needs, it must have been what I needed. I hope you can also see God’s hand in your personal experience. If you cannot right at this point, be patient in your well-doing and God will reveal it to you.
As time has progressed, I have been unlearning some of the misinformation I had previously accepted, as well as learning to see the Scriptures more clearly. It’s so refreshing when the fog of confusion is cleared away by the light of God.
Along this road I have come to one specific conclusion regarding the adversary; wherever God has a point of truth, Satan will often place many counterfeits around it, and he doesn’t care which counterfeit we accept, they all result in confusion. The Law/ Grace controversy is an example. I found it more than interesting—it was very revealing to see how one organization so steeped in the Law, misapplying it to control the people, and then within a relatively few short years managed to subtly misapply the concept of Grace. The result was great confusion for many people. Again, the adversary did not care which counterfeit of truth the believers bought into, it allowed both truths to be obscured in the fog of the many counterfeits.
But make no mistake about it, Law and Grace are truth.
Of course this controversy of Law and/or Grace has been around for centuries, some of us have just been exposed to a more current and personal episode.
With all this being said, perhaps we can now take a fresh look at one portion of Grace, specifically the aspect of our security in Christ.
The believer who does not realize that he is eternally secure in Christ (a birth truth for babes) is certainly not going to be able to trust Him for emancipation from sin and maturity of growth. Those who begin weakly, and are not instructed concerning their real position in Christ are apt to remain weaklings. They may be very active, but the movement is back and forth and sideways, with rarely any upward spiritual progress and abiding growth. For the most part, they subsist on experiences and so-called blessings. They seem to go from one crisis to another, never really settling down to consider Christ risen as the only source of their life here and now (Gal 2:20; Heb 5:9).
Most of us have probably noticed the if/then proposition being used in Scripture: if you believe, then you may have eternal life; if you obey, then you will be blessed, etc. Grace is conditional upon our believing, according to John 3:16. Faith and believing are two words very closely tied. Faith can be defined as understanding and trusting, whilst believing is a verb, an action word, and has to do with the application of what we understand and trust.
Seeing and acknowledging our complete and eternal security in Jesus Christ is one of the building blocks of true spiritual growth. This is a “Faith” work into which we have been called, and our security is based on two conditional aspects of faith. As both aspects begin to be comprehended and personally appropriated by the believer, it is then that these proofs of eternal security can be imparted within us.
If you recognize in the Word of Truth that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Savior because He is God the Son who became the Son of Man, and as such bore in His body the sins of the world; and
If you rest in Him, in self-surrender for fellowship, relying with complete confidence on Him alone for deliverance from the guilt and penalty of our sins and from the power of indwelling sin;
Then there are some twelve proofs that you can never be lost:
1. You can never be lost because in the sure purpose of God you are a container of His mercy and will finally be conformed to the image of His Son:
“that He might make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory” (Rom 9:23).
“For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom 8:29).
2. You can never be lost because God’s love for you, supremely expressed at Calvary, can now be revealed much more, and so accomplish His every desire for you:
“But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him, for while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Rom 5:8–10).
3. You can never be lost because God’s infinite power is no longer hindered by your sins, but can wholly keep you safe, for the blood of Christ still removes your guilt:
“and if anyone sins we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1Jn 2:1).
4. You can never be lost because of His delight in His Son; God can never reject the prayer of the Son asking the Father to keep those whom He has given Him:
“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours… Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are” (John 17:9, 11).
5. You can never be lost because the death of the Son, having a value equivalent to the punishment demanded for all our sins, has also paid for sins we now commit.
“There is now therefore no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus… Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us” (Rom 8:1, 34).
6. You can never be lost because, by the resurrection of Christ, God has broken our connection with Adam and joined us to Christ for acceptance and life:
“And when you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions… present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead” (Col 2:13; Rom 6:13).
7. You can never be lost because, although our sins could condemn us to death, Christ as our advocate continually defends us:
“For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us… but now once at the consummation of the ages, He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself” (Heb 9:24, 26).
8. You can never be lost because Christ ever lives to make intercession for you, Satan has no power to unsave you:
“He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb 7:25).
9. You can never be lost because the Holy Spirit has taken over your body as His personal permanent home:
“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16).
10. You can never be lost because the Holy Spirit has planted in you the very life of God, making God your real Father, born of God:
“But as many as receive Him to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His Name, who were born not of blood, nor the will of the flesh, nor the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12–13).
11. You can never be lost because the Holy Spirit has now united you with Christ and you are a very part of Himself:
“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1Cor 12:13).
12. You can never be lost because the Holy Spirit in you is the seal that your salvation is a finished transaction:
“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph 4:30).
Some people who casually read over this information may form the idea that it is teaching a “once saved, always saved” doctrine (perhaps a symptom of previous indoctrination) and may feel such a belief of security in Christ results in lawlessness. But what these people fail to grasp is that the believer who truly stands in the grace position of eternal security in Christ, is the one who most fully fears God and hates sin. And hates sin for what it is, not just for its consequences. Moreover, his is not a fear of losing God’s love, but of offending and grieving it.
“But there is forgiveness with You, that You may be feared” (Ps 130:4). The fear of the secured believer is a reverential trust coupled with a hatred of evil: “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil” (Prov 8:13). “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly in this present age” (Tit 2:11–12). Grace banishes all guesswork and gives one assurance, the law keeps one guessing. “Are we doing it right enough to obtain eternal security?”
The truth of security holds the believer firm in the midst of the process of growth. It is the insecure believer who is naturally unstable and flounders from one “experience” to another, never learning and therefore never arriving at the truth.
Meditate on these 12 points and behold the security that is freely given to us in Christ Jesus, our Lord.