An ancient German Crucifix.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” – John 5:24
“…. since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;” – I Peter 1:23
“Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out..” – Acts 3:19
The great chasm or divide between God and man has been bridged by Jesus. As children of God we are forever secure in Jesus Christ. We have no need to strive, work, or in any way seek to earn acceptance with God. Every human being is born with a sin nature which has caused us to be alienated from God. We have a debt that could only be paid by Jesus, the sinless Son of God, and he gladly paid it. The only thing left for us to do is repent and believe. It sounds too good to be true but it isn’t, because we are born again by the word of God. In our spiritual DNA is the desire to live a godly life and that seed (the word of God) produces good fruit in our lives. Even thought the process of spiritual growth is slow – the desire to live a godly life is in our hearts.
Sadly, some no longer preach repentance from sin. But real faith and repentance go together – they can’t be separated. Some Biblical scholars that I admire teach that a genuine believer can apostasize (renounce and fall away from the faith eternally). And that may be so, but what I see in the Scripture is both the incredible keeping power of God, as well as the warnings not to fall away. (Read Hebrews chapter 6).
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that a the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” – John 6:35 – 40
We find true satisfaction in the Son of God, as we taste and see the Lord is good (Psalm 43:8). Tasting and seeing are experiential in nature. His promise and power to keep us eternally secure is one of the most amazing things about God. When I hear well-meaning Christians talk about losing the free gift of eternal life offered to them, it puzzles me. Even those Arminian scholars that I admire don’t believe you can lose your salvation like a coin, and then find it again. The apostasy they’re refereeing to is the slow process of falling away that results in a complete rejection of the faith.
This gift of eternal life in the presence of God is free to us, but it cost Jesus his life. If you have turn from your old way of life and are looking to Jesus and believing Him for eternal life, you are secure. But, if you claim to know God and reject the clear teaching of Scripture about sin – you can have no real assurance of salvation.
Many have a head knowledge about Jesus but those who have a heart knowledge of him, seek to live a life of repentance. They hate what He hates (unrighteousness) and they love what he loves (righteousness). Eternal security is not just a doctrine: it’s found in knowing and trusting in the person of Jesus, not some impersonal force or theory. Knowing and treasuring Jesus above all else comes through regeneration, which is a gift from God. If you’re not in God’s family yet, ask him to help you to turn from your sin, and to follow Jesus. If you don’t have faith, ask Him for it. This gift of salvation is available to all who will trust in and obey the call to follow Him.
“What is it to believe in Him? It is not merely to say, “He is God and Savior,” but to trust Him wholly and entirely and take Him for all your salvation from this time forth and forever as your Lord, your Master, your all. If you will have Jesus, He has you already. If you believe in Him, I tell you that you cannot go to hell, for then Christ’s death would be in vain. A sacrifice cannot be made and then withheld from the one for whom it was given. If the believing soul could be condemned, then why a sacrifice? If Jesus died in my stead, why should I die, also?” ( Charles Spurgen, All of Grace, page 41)