January 15, 2017

God’s Awesome Redemptive Power

A skeptic challenged a child who believes in Jesus. The little girl told him that Jesus said no one could snatch a Christian out of His Father’s hand. The skeptic retorted, “But what if you jump out?” She replied, “But I cannot; I am one of His fingers!”

For me, assurance of salvation sometimes wavered when I took my eyes off Jesus and evaluated my status with God by my performance, but that little girl is correct; our salvation is secure. Who we are is not about our performance or anything else but the solid promises of God. It is as Jesus said . . .

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” (John 10:27–29)

Today’s devotional reading offers seven reasons why the sheep who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ will never perish. I must add one more to that list: eternal life is eternal. If it only lasted as long as I behaved myself, then I didn’t have eternal life in the first place!

Besides that, another obvious reality is this: if God says I will never perish, this is God talking. He will keep this promise; otherwise none of His promises could be believed.
This leads to the second reason; keeping His promises is vital to who He is. He made a covenant, declared His purposes in saving souls for Himself, and declared that Jesus Christ would do it. If that did not happen, His plans would be frustrated. If that could happen, then evil and human folly would be stronger that Almighty God.

Third, what Christ purchased with His blood belongs to Him. Otherwise His redemptive work would be worthless. Why bear our iniquities in a crushing grief if it would not accomplish what He wanted it to do? 

“Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand. Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.” (Isaiah 53:10–11)

On the same line, the grace that justifies believers is irreversible — or it makes no sense at all. How can God say “You are forgiven because of my Son” and then turn around and say, ‘sorry, it didn’t work out’? Grace is either based on the character of God, or it is nonsense that has no foundation.

That grace is never defeated. As Paul wrote, “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

God is not God if He cannot finish what He started. And by the way, the starting was not based on my performance so how can the finish depend on what I do, or fail to do? My life is in His hands. What He wants from me, His grace will produce!

The next reason is that Jesus Christ lives forever to intercede for me. If I fall away, it would mean that God the Father stopped answering the prayers of God the Son. That is unthinkable. My eternal salvation is secured because Jesus is my eternal intercessor . . .

“Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)

The last reason listed (although there are more) is that God has sealed me and every believer until the day of redemption. Can any human activity break that seal? Not even the power of Satan is strong enough to separate me from the love of God! I am secure in Jesus Christ.

“In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:13–14)

Jesus, You died to set me free; You live to keep me that way. The Holy Spirit is Your ‘down-payment’ to insure I will possess an eternal inheritance, one given to me now and that cannot be taken away, given back, changed, or ruined. All of this is true because You are the Savior. I cannot and never have been able to save myself. Because of the awful power of sin, even the desire to be saved is from You. This means that from beginning until the glory of eternity where there is no end, I am Yours — now and forevermore. I praise Your holy name and rejoice in the security of Your awesome redemptive power.

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