Friday, July 10, 2009

The security of the believer’s salvation. part 4

The one who recognizes his sinfulness and utter depravity, who thrusts himself at the mercy and grace of God for forgiveness, and proves his genuineness by a radical life-change is, in the language of the New Testament, a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17). This defines what it means to be a Christian—a Christ-follower.

The question Paul raises in Romans 5, which logically follows after the lengthy discourse of Romans 3:21 continuing through the end of chapter 4 is this: “If a person receives such a glorious salvation, can it ever be lost?” And to his question, Paul now turns to answer. He upholds the thematic thread which winds all the soteriological (“salvation”) Scriptures together by affirming that the believer in Jesus Christ will never (yea—he can never) lose his salvation!

In Romans 5 Paul states that the believer cannot lose his salvation because the new, regenerate person has peace with God (v.1), stands within the sphere of God’s grace (v.2a), and the believer holds and possesses the sure hope of glory (v.2b-4). Here, Paul continues in v.5 by affirming that the believer’s hope does not disappoint because the “love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who is given to us.”

In verse 5, Paul regards the love of God as the secure guarantee of the believer’s salvation. He notes that this love is from God and sourced in God and this all-powerful and self-giving love from God has been poured out into the hearts of true believers. Interestingly, the verb referring to God’s love being “poured out” is in an emphatic tense bringing the idea to the foreground with all the spotlights shining upon it! In other words, God’s salvation is so certain and so sure to finally and fully happen in the future because God loves His own children eternally. This love from God has been poured out full into the hearts of believers.

Amazingly, v.6 says that while we were weak, at the very right time, Christ died for the ungodly! If we were the ungodly sinners , hating God, and fleeing from Him and He loved us enough to die for the ungodly, how much more can God love and keep those who are His very own sons and daughters! Again in v.8 the same thought is reiterated: God demonstrates His love towards us, that while we were still sinning, Christ died for the ungodly. The point is unmistakable, if while we were God’s enemies, sinning and spitting upon God and His glory, if He loved us enough to send Christ to die for wretched sinners, how much more can God’s love save, guard, keep, and perfect those who are in His family!

This verse guarantees that for the true and genuine child of God, he cannot do anything bad enough to “fall out” of God’s love. If God loved us when we were His enemies, He can certainly love us when we are His sons! If God loved you like this when you were ungodly, He can certainly love you now that you are His cherished possession. We were once enemies and God loved us; we recognize that we will never be there again as God’s enemies, so certainly God can love us the same now as His saints just as He did before when we were His enemies! This is Paul’s logical argument in Romans 5.

Take encouragement and believe that your salvation is secure and safe because it is anchored in the unchanging and sovereign character of God! However, it behooves you to examine yourself and see whether you are even in the faith (2 Cor 13:5)!


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