Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

10/03/2018

Randall Caselman

 

Salvational Security

 

  Where is our faith, confidence, and hope today? It’s easy to anchor our hope in this world, take refuge in the material, in things that are seen. But the Apostle Paul wrote: Fix your eyes,not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, what is unseen is eternal.

 

  We must be careful about placing our confidence, seeking spiritual security, in the things of this world. Indeed, they are temporary.

 

Well, where do we find this security? Peter gives us the answer: “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness. He has given us His very great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this reason, make every effort to add to your Faith... Goodness... Knowledge...Self-control... Perseverance... Godliness... Brotherly kindness... Love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But, if anyone does not have them, he is short-sighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. Therefore, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2. Peter 1.3-11.)

 

How do we make our calling and election sure?

 

  First and foremost, through a faith in God. Faith is a trust and confidence in God, in His Word, in His promises. Jesus said: “Heaven and earth will pass away, but My Words will never pass.” Do we believe this? Really? Do we believe we are saved by grace through faith? Ephesians 2.8. Do we believe that without faith it's impossible to please God? Hebrews 11.6. Do we believe sins are forgiven and that God comes to dwell in the baptized believer? Acts 2.38. The Hebrews Writer reiterates our promise: “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”

 

  Security comes as we walk in moral excellence. Virtue, moral excellence, goodness, speaks of our living above the world, above our giving in to the desires of the flesh. Moral excellence is living like Jesus, shunning evil, while “going about doing good!” Jesus had time for children, He fed the hungry, cared for the sick, comforted the grieving, helped the poor, encouraged the downtrodden and the disenfranchised, taught and exemplified truth, expended himself in service to others. Are we like Him, doing what He did? Are we producing the fruit of Jesus living in us: Joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?” We can never be sure of our salvation while we are being flesh-led rather than Spirit-led. Amen?

 

  Add to your virtue, knowledge. The Old Testament Prophet speaks of this truth when he has God saying: “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you” (Hosea 4.6). Indeed, Spiritual Security is our staying in the Word.

 

  By abounding in temperance. Most modern speech translations render this self-control. The Greek carries with it the idea of living under trials and testing in such a manner that will honor and glorify God. Temperance encompasses discipline, self-control, a willingness to say no to sin in all its forms, while saying yes to righteousness. Paul tells us how: “I must buffet, discipline, control mybody daily bring it under subjection, lest after preaching to others, I be found a castaway.” Confidence, security, being sure of our salvation, is only possible when we’re willing to live a disciplined life. Are we? Really?

 

  Add patience, perseverance. “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised” (Hebrews 10.35-36). The whole Book of Revelation was written to tell us that God will reward us with the promise of Heaven if we will not give up, but persevere until and unto death. Listen, the Christian life is not a one-time giving ourselves to Jesus, but walking the walk, living the life, daily!!

 

  Add Godliness. Webster says: “Godliness is conforming one’s life and character, to the character and purpose of God.” You see, the focus of our world is on doing, on performance.We have robbed ourselves of salvational security by trying to merit, earn, our salvation. We're hoping we’re doing enough. No! The New Testament focus is not on doing, but on being, becoming. Becoming like Jesus. Conforming to His image. Having His heart, mind, disposition and behavior. Listen to me – Performance without conviction is a farce. Works without faith is hypocrisy. Paul put it in these words: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do it all in the name, in the will, of the Lord.

 

  Brotherly kindness. Blood is thicker than water, His blood! We are brothers! Blood kin! Read them--there are over one-hundred "one another passages" in the New Testament: Love one another. Be kind to one another. Care for one another. Bear one another’s burdens. Prefer one another. Be patient with one another. Submit to one another. Be hospitable to one another. Forgive one another. Jesus taught that on the Judgment Day, we’ll be reminded that how we treated one another is how we treated Him.

 

  Abound in love. The word is agape, a love of the mind more than of the heart. Agape is loving others regardless of their thought and disposition toward us, love that is unconditional. Agape chooses to love because the recipient needs our love. Agape is a love that loves regardless of the behavior of the recipient. Agape is the love that God has for us, that we’re to pass on to others.

 

  Well, I believe Peter is telling us that we can know if we are saved, heaven bound. Amen? How is our Salvational Security? Are there some changes we need to initiate in order to make our calling and election sure? God bless our efforts. Amen!

 

—Randall Caselman