Why the picture of an ambulance on this post? It represents where we are going with this one. What a lesson on first aid? No, although I've had my fair share of those. What do we generally call the EMS or paramedics? We saw this especially during the 9/11 attacks. We refer to them as first responders. Under grace and eternal salvation we are also first responders.
What do I mean by this?
Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. 1 John 4:18 NLT
I trust you can see the play on words but receive the simple truth I am conveying. When we have His unconditional love poured out upon us and are resting in the security of that love, we will have a genuine response of love in return. When we have a genuine response of love what does that translate into in our daily lives? A life filled with genuine fruit.
Responding to the love and nurture of our loving Father is what produces a life that is a witness to others that we are in Christ. To many want to put the Church back under the rigors of Old Covenant Law. They feel the hard taskmaster image of God that many had under the Mosaic Law is what the Church really needs to produce holiness and purity in daily living.
I am pointing to the real source of fruitful living. A place where we as believers aren't reveling in sinful habits but in genuine response to the Love of a Holy and caring good Father. We are the first responders to the love, the righteousness, the holiness, the compassion He poured into us.
Remember grace supplies where Law demands. He made us righteous and holy by the blood. He declared us right and made us right. He washed us in the blood and made us clean and pure. We are now holy and upright and righteous. That is who we really are inwardly. We then respond by being who we already are. As Paul Ellis said it's not do holy it's be holy.
So rest in Him and what He has accomplished. Be who you already are. Be the first responder, the first to respond to who you have already been made. Responding isn't a worked up performance or striving to be something. Response is simply defined as to answer. So what is your answer to who you already are.
If you know you have been made holy and righteous within what is your answer? We answer yes, I agree with what you made me Lord, when we identify with the new nature. We answer no, not because we sin or miss it, but when we say things like "I'm so unworthy" or "we need to be more holy or get righteous". These negative words are what actually produce the missing it or blowing it or falling into a sinful habit.
Focus on the finished work of Jesus. Look to the cross and live. That is where we were made holy and righteous and had His love poured out to us. He paid the complete price. Instead of focusing on people's faults and "rubbing their nose" in their mess ups and sins we should point them to the cross. If they aren't saved, point them to Jesus and He will make them a new creation. That junk will soon fall away. To those who are born again and made new point them to the finished work. Reveal to them, their sins, their bad habit, their poor attitude is not who they are. Show them how to say yes to their true nature.
I just laid out a foundation for fruitful, victorious living. Saying yes to who He already made us. Now as genuine responders to His love how does this apply to our eternal redemption? Glad you asked. Over the last three posts we saw that salvation is not something we can earn. We learned it is by grace alone through faith alone. We saw that we can't maintain something we could never achieve or earn in the first place. We saw that we weren't just declared righteous but made righteous. That we actually are a new creation. That we have a new identity. In this post we see saying yes to who we actually are produces fruitful living. So putting all this together what do we have?
We have a working understanding of what it means to be in Christ. That unearned, undeserved eternal life was offered to us and we received it by the faith He gave us by hearing the Word. That we can't maintain this salvation by our actions or belief. That we are truly a new person and we agree with what God says about us. This answers the objection some may raise, that eternal security produces license to live in licentious living and an unfruitful walk. To the contrary, resting in the finished work and completely secure salvation and identifying with who He made us produces right living and lasting fruit that makes the lost want to come to Christ.
I trust this lesson has encouraged you and revealed the goodness of God to you. I pray His peace and security blesses you throughout the upcoming week.