Monday, March 11, 2013

Eternal Security: Our Relationship is Permanent; Our Behavior is Variable

Every child of God should be well acquainted with these two distinct truths, for they are of the utmost importance for our spiritual understanding and happiness. 

Our love is ofttimes low, Our Joy still ebbs and flow; But peace with Him remains the same, No change Jehovah knows. We change, He changes not. Our Christ can never die, His love, not ours, the resting place, we on His truth rely. 

As to my relationship, having been born again and indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13), I am a child of God, I have eternal life, I am "in Christ" and a member of His body (1 Cor. 12:13). I am no longer in Adam, but a new creature in Christ (2 Cor. 5:17). 

Yea in the fullness of His grace God out me in the children's place. Safe in Christ the weakest child stands in all God's favor.Yet Lord alas! What weakness within myself I find, No infant's changing pleasures is like my wandering mind. 

As to my behavior, I should no longer live unto myself (2 Cor. 5:15) and in fleshly lusts (1 Pet. 4:2). Since I have become a child of light, I should walk as a child of light (Eph. 5:8). "This is a faithful saying, and these things I want you to affirm constantly, that those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable to men" (Titus 3:8). "The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace," and everything that magnifies Christ (Gal. 5:22, Is. 26:12, Eph. 2:10, Phil. 2:13, Heb. 13:21). Good behavior is never the means of keeping saved; it is the evidence that one has been saved. 

Our relationship to God as His children is unchangeable. Natural birth constitutes you a child of your parents. The relationship is an eternal one. Good conduct cannot strengthen it, nor failure weaken it. That which is born of God abides forever (1 Jn. 3:9). Once you are God's child, you can not cease to be His child: "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name" (Jn. 1:12, Gal. 3:26, 1 Jn. 3:2)

Behavior unbecoming to such a blessed relationship as child of God, will certainly mar the feelings proper to the relationship, and one will forfeit for the time being the joy of salvation. But neither the relationship of the child or the salvation can be lost. The advocacy of Christ with the Father (1 Jn. 2:1), and the prayer of Christ for the self confident disciple Peter, were not to restore a relationship, which was not broken, but to restore the state of the soul from waywardness and loss of joy (Lk. 22:31-32). David, after his sin, did not pray for the restoration of salvation, but for the "joy" of it (Ps. 51:12). Your child may require correction because of his misbehavior, but he is still your child. 

Satan is ever on the alert with his subtle temptations, entangling wiles, compromises, and snares. So if we are not alert to judge ourselves and to depend on the Lord, we may have to learn some very bitter lessons (Ezra 4:2-6, Lk. 22:31, 1 Cor. 5:5, 1 Tim. 1:20, 2 Tim. 2:26). Never the less, "all things work together for good to them that love God" and in the end none of them will be lost (Jn. 6:39). 

The sins a child of God commits must come under God's governmental chastening in this life, but he cannot come into God's penal judgement when the world is condemned. The distinction between God's chastening and God's eternal judgment is clearly made in 1 Corinthians 11:32 "But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world." See also Ps. 89:31-33 and Hebrews 12:5-11 which describes His governmental chastening in disciplining His redeemed children. But John 5:24, Romans 2:5 and Revelation 20:11-15 refer to God's eternal judgment of wicked unbelievers. 

Fear not, dear fellow believer. Remember the Lord's own hand shut Noah and his family in the ark (Gen. 7:16), which was made judgment proof, without and within (Gen. 6:14). God Himself secured the door. None could enter, and none could get out. "The Lord shut him in." God took charge of the door, safety, while Noah looked out of the window above, communion. 

Noah and his family were just as safe as God could make them. The ark had three stories, and Noah had his place in the third, the one nearest the heavens. Instead of Noah's going down to the "lower" level and grumbling and fumbling at the door to get out, or to see that it was properly secure, he occupied himself at the window which was at the top and through which he could gaze up into heaven (Gen. 6:16, 8:6). His safety was founded on God who "shut him in." Is not the application to us simple? Have we not entered the Door (Jn. 10:9). Are we not quickened, raised and seated in the heavenlies? The hand of God has set us there (Eph. 1:4, 6, 13, 2:4-6, 18, 4:30, 5:30, Col. 1:12-14).

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