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