Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Heirs of the Promise

Hebrews 5: 17-19 In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast

As a new believer, I was consumed with the decision I had made. I had previously set a goal to read 52 books during 1980 and on October 20, while on this quest, I had learned about the saving grace of Jesus Christ and my life was forever changed. During the year that followed, God placed a burden on my heart to know the truth. In a Bible study I attended, we were studying the book of James which had become a personal favorite of mine. A friend I met there told me that he didn’t like James because there were too many do’s and don’ts. He said that the person who led him to Christ told him that eternal life was about receiving Christ’s free gift and not memorizing a list of things you could not do as listed in the book of James. His views were hard for me to believe so I began to study the issue, and it became clear to me that my friend was partially correct in his understanding. Many teachings in the Bible are evangelical in nature, dealing with how to receive eternal life through faith in Christ; and many others were more pastoral with a purpose of explaining the important issues regarding living a Christ-centered Christian life for the remainder of our life here on earth. To ignore these daily living truths would surely lead to a hypocritical and disappointing life ... a life that would not be honoring to Jesus Christ, the Lord and Savior. My friend was telling me for the first time the concept that I have brought up on this blog, over and over. In his own way, he was telling me that he wanted to have the salvation Christ promised and the resulting eternal life, but that he still wanted to do what he wanted to do. Basically, he wanted to be the god over his remaining days on earth. He wanted to have his cake and eat it too. He did not come out and say all of this, but he may as well have.

Is my friend a Christian by simply praying to receive Christ as his savior and then choosing to live his life on his own terms with minimal and measured changes in his daily life? I have friends that I respect deeply that would say, no way … that we must make Jesus the Lord of our life to receive eternal life. I respectfully disagree. Jesus is the Lord and Savior of our lives, but living a sinless life or practicing lordship is not a condition of salvation. This is a topic that many books have been written about and it will be a topic of much discussion here over the next year. We will consider both biblical points of view and why Godly Christians are divided on this issue.

I have previously covered reckoning (to regard as being, to count as true) and the importance of this principle in knowing God’s truth and believing God’s truth and the principle of reckonings role in transforming our mind. Once we reckon something to be true … it replaces our old way of thinking with God’s truth. For me to think otherwise is no longer possible. For example: Romans 3:28 calls upon us to reckon or “count as true” the fact that we are justified by faith apart from works of the law. To be justified means: “to be free of the guilt and penalty attached to grievous sin.” I am either justified with Christ on Calvary or I am not. Which is it? Once I have reckoned this to be God’s truth, I cannot see how my deeds or lack thereof can somehow nullify this justification. It is now and forever a guiding principle in my transformed mind. The fact is that when Christ died on the cross for our sins, none of our sins had yet been committed. Our heavenly father knows all things past, present and future. Therefore, He took all of our sins into consideration before he died on the cross at Calvary, on our behalf. As a result, we can be assured that all of our sins, past, present and future have been forever forgiven. Paul explains this clearly; “Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through Him forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you, and through Him everyone who believes is freed from all things, from which you could not be freed through the Law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-39. And also: “In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast”

A key point here is that our assurance of justification and salvation are not based upon anything that we have done. They are based solely on the finished work of Christ on the cross at Calvary and upon His righteousness. Our assurance is based upon our position in Christ. Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:1-3. Have you reckoned your position in Christ to be true? Has your mind been transformed through the renewing of this truth into your deepest levels of your belief? If not, what are you waiting for? You are a son of the Most High, the Creator, and the Savior of mankind. You have an eternal position, established for you, by Christ, in heaven. Start believing these truths, start living these truths … moment by moment, day by day.

Our problem is that we are still here on earth, our body is still subject to our problems and challenges of the world. We are still tempted by our lust and pride. Sometimes, we do not feel like we are sons of God. Our daily experiences continually try to convince us that we are no different than everyone else. But this is about our position in Christ … not our feelings, our conditions, or our failures, our experiences or our sins. Our position is eternally established in Christ. And in our flesh, we have victory standing with Christ. Just as Jesus walked in human form but had victory over the world, we can also rise above our daily problems and challenges and rest in Him. Abide Above and trust Christ. He is our victory. He is our solution. He is our shelter in the storm. And when we fall back into our old habits and old ways, it is very easy to understand the Apostle Paul’s discouragement when he said: ”I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do ... So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7: 15-16, 21-25

We are the heirs of this promise. God’s purpose is for us to spend eternal life with him and His purpose is unchangeable and He has secured His promise with an oath. And by these two unchangeable things, it is impossible for God to lie. We who have by faith stood on these promises have strong encouragement. This hope God has given us is an anchor of our soul … a hope both sure and steadfast.

God bless you my friends, Bob

Pray to receive Christ as Savior
Reference: The Complete Green Letters by Miles J. Stanford


  1. Looking forward to eternity,

  2. Bob,
    You know that I love you. You also know that I am one of those friends your refered to in the 3rd paragraph. Two observations: 1. Lordship salvation does not contend that one must live in constant submission or risk losing their salvation. Once a person is born again - there are no conditions to remaining "born again." Once saved always saved. 2. Lordship is not a condition for salvation it is a result. Your own personal testimony bears this out.
    Again, you know I love you. Trish and I miss you guys.

  3. John is a great mentor, one of my closest friend and I love him like a brother. I agree with what he says here. Lordship is a result of salvation. Once saved, always saved. Unfortunately some believe we can lose our salvation or maybe we never truly believed but only mouthed a prayer. What is at stake here are those 93% of professing believers who are living as self-centered or carnal Christians. Some Lordship believers would say that these followers never truly received Christ as savior and will to their surprise find themselves in hell. There is little or no assurance for those who believe their salvation is a daily process.

    What do you say about this???
    God Bless, Bob

  4. Thank you Bob for such a well written and inspiring message. I also want to thank you for dropping by my blog. I truly believe when people become more "Christ-centered" and leave behind their self-centerness, then the strife and indifferences over doctrines and traditions will disappear. God's blessings to you. Lloyd

  5. Thanks for stopping at my blog. I appreciate your message here. I agree with you - once saved, always saved! What a blessing!

  6. Isn't His word the most awesome picture of our Lord? He has given us so much that every time we study a single portion, He opens new sights to us with each study. We are created for good works (For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. [Ephesians 2:10 KJV]) and He has plenty of work for us to do.

  7. Hi, thanks for joining me at Heavenly Humor. I returned the favor.

    You made some excellent points here, and it's all very well written too!


  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Aren't blogs a great way to spread the Good News? May the Lord give you wisdom and strength to keep sharing.


  9. Hi Bob...thank you for stopping by and following my blog as I am now following you...You have made some great is amazing how when we start to seek the Face of God, by His Grace with boldness we can rise above the temptations of sin...not because of who we are...but because of Who He is...not using His grace as a crutch to sin...but as a victorious bridge to rise above! Great blog!

  10. Hi Bob, I am so glad that you stopped by my blog and introduced yours to me. I enjoyed reading several of your posts today and plan to return as regularly as I can to continue being encouraged by them. I think you have a wonderful blog that speaks Truth.


  11. Thanks for stopping by my blog, keep spreading the WORD!! Nice to meet you:)

  12. Thanks Bob, firstly, for visiting my blog and secondly, for this inspiring message. How true that we are justified (pronounced 'not guilty') through the blood of Christ once and for all. I pray you'll have many followers in this blog because it is a Bible study in itself. Be blessed always.

  13. It takes more power of God to raise one dead sinner to life than all the power in creation. The same God that saves "will" clean that same person up.

    I want to emphasize the personal pronoun "I". Ezekiel 36:25-27....."Then "I" will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; "I" will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, "I" will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and "I" will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh, (one that will respond to spiritual stimili). "I" will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statues, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.

    Do you see any doubt in these words?