Throughout the world, we celebrated "Easter" or Resurrection Sunday a couple of days ago. It was truly an exciting celebration. Believers gathered around the truth that Jesus bled and died for all. The innocent died for the guilty.
A sense of unity is felt as the Church universal gathered. On that Cross, Jesus shed His perfect blood. It serves as a reminder it's only the Blood of Christ that purchased our Redemption. It's only the Blood that justifies. It's not about man's work or performance.
Because of the Blood of Jesus, we have peace with God. Peace from a guilty conscience. Peace from the broken Law. Guilt and shame have no right or claim to our lives. All because of Jesus.
On that Cross, we see that Christ did something else. His precious Blood procured our Redemption forever. He purchased a sustained and secure salvation.
When we speak of eternal security, many objections arise. What about when believers sin some object? What about those who claim Christ but live in sin? We still play a part. These are just a few of the objections from tradition.
If our Redemption could only be purchased by His shed Blood, then why do we think our work or efforts could maintain this Redemption? If it's only by the Blood, then how could our efforts, our performance, add to or take away from Redemption? If our behavior before we received this Redemption didn't merit it, to begin with, how could our behavior undo it once we received it?
So is our salvation permanent once received? Some would argue, that it is secure so long as you're in Christ. This argument, though meant to sound balanced, opens up more questions and produces fear and anxiety in God's people.
How do I know if I am in Christ? How do I know if I still am in Christ? Can I get out of Christ? These are genuine questions that tradition can't or won't answer.
For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3 NLT
“I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. John 17:22-23 NLT
We are clearly in Christ when we believed. Looking at all the in Christ Scriptures, you can't find a way out of Christ. Religious tradition has concluded though that our sin, that is too much sin, can cause Christ to depart from us and leave us "out of Christ."
They look at the sins and failures of believers and judge they are now lost. They see their shortcomings and unfaithfulness and declare they must have never been saved, to begin with. They conclude too much sinning means believers are shown the exit door "out of Christ."
What are we doing when we look at the sins and shortcomings of professing Christians and presuppose they must have never been saved, to begin with? What are we doing when see believers at their absolute worst and conclude that they are no longer saved? We are ignoring and overlooking the perfect, once for all time, sacrificial, substitutionary work of Jesus on the Cross. We are declaring the blood is insufficient to cleanse all sin, and presuming the Finished Work has its limits and another's sin is far greater than His Grace and forgiveness.
Sin is destructive. Sin hurts others and those in bondage and captivity to it. Yes, there are believers who have pursued adultery, sexual sins, lying, and defrauding others. Does that mean they are out of Christ? Does that mean that they were never saved?
Emphatically no! What it means is that some believers have not renewed their minds to the Word and are still conformed to the world in some areas of their thinking. It means that they fell for the enemy's lie when he brought temptation. It means there still exists unrenewed desires.
That doesn't mean they are no longer saved or out of Christ. In light of the Cross, our sins are like throwing pebbles at a massive dam hoping to put a crack in it. Stand in awe of the Cross.
When I survey the Cross, I see sinful man unable to save and redeem himself. I see a God who so loved us all that He sent His only Son to take our place. I stand in awe of the Cross and I am truly humbled, knowing I can never do enough to merit this Love and Grace. I see and understand that this and only this is what saves, forgives, heals, secures, and makes whole.
In summation, is our salvation permanent or temporal? Thanks be to God it is forever and eternal. It is unwavering and unchanging. Once received it cannot be undone and cannot be lost. Stand in awe of the Cross. It's only by the Blood, nothing we can do to earn it or merit it, nothing we can do to undo it or forfeit it. Salvation is forever.