Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Sustained maintenance (Our eternal redemption 2)

Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.  Hebrews 9:12

We've started a new study on our eternal redemption purchased for us by Christ Jesus. This Biblical truth is not without much controversy. Many well meaning and concerned Christian brothers and sisters debate and resist the idea of an eternally secure salvation in Christ. We've seen numerous debates about this view. Many have heard the objections raised concerning this topic. I believe though we can sum up all these concerns into two main objections.

The first one is the legitimate concern some have. Notice I stated legitimate concern. If we can't stand a thorough examination and scrutiny of our beliefs from those with genuine questions then I'd have to question the validity and surety of those beliefs. The Word of God is the more sure source for any view or belief. When I see those who pass over concerns or questions from legitimate sources  I note a tinge of arrogance and critical attitude within them towards others. 

Look, the point of following the truth is to understand it enough to have it working in our everyday life and to be able to clearly share it with others. Having this understanding let me articulate the concern some have. If folk will know they can never lose their salvation then what witness will they be to the World? My response is what witness do Christians who believe you must maintain it display to the lost? Look, knowing we are free from performance and completely forgiven produces a living vital relationship with God. I will further address this concern in an upcoming post.

The second objection raised I believe is rooted in control and condemnation. The objection is stated in various formats but the motive is always apparent from the speaker. The objection just merely states we can lose our salvation. This objection rarely has much Scriptural backing. The speaker merely shouts louder, and strongly proclaims you better watch it, you can lose it! They just scream louder "you can sin away His grace!" "If you keep committing the same sin over and over, God won't forgive you any longer!" These folk cringe at the idea of a secure salvation. If a believer's walk is forever secured then no fear can be implemented to control the sheep into submission, and the giving of donations. This is the true motive, I believe, for this objection.

In this article I want to further address the faulty view of conditional salvation. This is why I've titled this article "sustained maintenance". The idea perpetuated by many is that once this salvation is received it is now our responsibility to uphold our own salvation.

9He gave us resurrection life and drew us to Himself by His holy calling on our lives. And it wasn’t because of any good we have done, but by His divine pleasure and marvelous grace that confirmed our union with the Anointed Jesus, even before time began! 10This truth is now being unveiled by the revelation of the Anointed Jesus, our Life-Giver, who has dismantled death, obliterating all its effects on our lives , and has manifested His immortal life in us by the gospel of grace. 2 Timothy 1:9-10 Passion translation

 You see how gloriously good the glad news is? Not by any good we have done, but only His divine pleasure and marvelous grace brought us this salvation! It is an amazing redemption we have in Christ Jesus our Lord. So if it's not by any good we have done that brings this salvation, then how is it one bad thing we do causes us to forfeit it?

Look at what this new life produces within us.

13 And if under the old system the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of young cows could cleanse men’s bodies from sin, 14 just think how much more surely the blood of Christ will transform our lives and hearts. His sacrifice frees us from the worry of having to obey the old rules and makes us want to serve the living God. For by the help of the eternal Holy Spirit, Christ willingly gave himself to God to die for our sins—he being perfect, without a single sin or fault Hebrews 9:13-14

You see, the complete message of grace is we are free from Law and performance and completely forgiven and made an entirely new being. We are new creations in Christ. This new identity He made us is who we identify as. Knowing we are new and clean and pure before Him produces such liberty and true love from deep within. 

Knowing who we are in Him takes this burden to be accepted and perform well enough to maintain our relationship away from us. If I rest assured in my true identity I won't be trusting in my good deeds in my own strength to maintain my relationship. With new life, new identity understanding my trust is in Him alone.

being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; Philippians 1:6

The way salvation is taught in some circles this verse seems to be interpreted this way;
He who began a good work in you expects you to complete it until He returns. 
Praise the Lord though this verse doesn't teach this. It says He who started the work will be responsible to complete it. So this idea that those who haven't perfectly resisted sin and addictions must have forfeited their place in the Family of God, is just religious tradition. This view that if one doubts and fears and in the midst of turmoil makes a soulish cry of renouncement of God is lost forever is not the good news of a forever faithful Father. Good God in Heaven under the Old Covenant which is rooted in performance stated He was forever married to the "backslider". How much more are we now close to Him in this New Covenant established on better promises. 

So let go of sustained maintenance of your relationship with God. This is pressure to get it just right everyday. I've heard some use math principles to describe our relationship with God. If one single digit is off or in the wrong column then the whole equation fails. Wow. So glad God my Father isn't a math professor! 

Look, if not one single righteous act could have made us right with God before we received Him why do we believe one unrighteous act removes us from salvation? What part of Eternal Redemption do we not comprehend? If it isn't eternal then it's not eternal, its temporal redemption. These ideas of maintaining, sustaining, perpetuating our own walk is completely illogical. How could we possibly maintain or sustain something which we could never earn, achieve or work to receive in the first place?

Be free today to love God because He first loved you with an everlasting, unquenchable love!I trust this message has renewed and refreshed your heart. I pray blessings on you this week. Remember you can sign up via email to receive these articles and not miss any. Bless you, sustained and maintained by Christ finished work not my own!


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