25. SALVATION IN CHRIST AND THE ISSUE OF THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER (Chapter 25).

Filed under BALTATZIS - ENGLISH

Chapter 25, Continued from Chapter 24

“Words taught by the Spirit” (1Cor.2:13)

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A series of Bible studies on

SALVATION IN CHRIST

AND

THE ISSUE OF THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER

ΜΠΑΛΤΑΤΖΗΣ-Σειρά Βιβλικών μελετών (16).

PART C’: Which believer does not risk losing his salvation… (#9)

 

We will examine in this chapter some characteristics, which complete the picture of the true believer that we have examined in previous chapters.

 

1. “This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth”

It is absolutely clear that those who are attached to the Bible and its application in their life will be blessed and will have a prosperous life (Jos.1:7-8; Ps.1:2-3, Rev.1:3, etc.). Our Lord Jesus Christ declared in a completely clear way that, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you” (John 15:7). And vice versa!

            Let us examine this principle in a more detailed way: God had enjoined Joshua: This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth; but you shall meditate therein day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall have good success. Have not I commanded you? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be you dismayed: for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go” (Josh.1:8-9). I put the question: Were these verses valid only for Joshua or are they also valid for us? Of course for us also (1Pet.2:2, Col.3:16, etc.)! If the man of God complies with these instructions, he will be prosperous; he will make his way prosperous! When I speak about prosperity I am not referring to the erroneous theory of “The prosperity gospel”!

            It is written: All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth to such as keep his covenant and his testimonies (Ps.25:10). All kinds of protection and prosperity are promised to those who keep His covenant and His testimonies, to all those, whose heart is given to repentance and faith in God. The believer’s diligent obedience will be blessed: “For to every one that has shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that has not shall be taken away even that which he has…” (Mat.25:29). What a terrible word, but also what a source of blessing! This word goes against our human mentality about the principle of “equality”!

            The believer loves His word, it is his food, it is the source of his consolation, and the weapons of the left and the right against the enemy of his soul. He rejoices in His word, as one that finds great spoil (Ps.119:162). He considers it as given by inspiration of God, and profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works (2Tim.3:16-17). He does not contest it! He trembles at His word! He meditates it day and night! He cannot live without it!

 

2. “… Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, this will I do!

When a man really belongs to God, all his requests that are according to God’s will will be heard! Some of them immediately and some of them much later, in God’s proper time…

  • And this is the boldness which we have towards him, that if we ask him anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions which we have asked of him” (1John 5:14-15).
  • And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, this will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13)

The joy of the Lord is to bless us and to make us joyful. The only condition required is that the believer keeps a clear conscience. Here is the proof: God, in His grace, condescends to respond favorably to our requests not according to the knowledge HE has about ourselves, but on the basis of the light we have about ourselves and particularly about the purity of our heart (of our will) and the preservation of a clear conscience:

  •  “For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (1John 3:20-22).
  • Thou hast proved my heart, thou hast visited me by night; thou hast tried me, thou hast found nothing: my thought goeth not beyond my word” (Ps.17:3 – DarbyFR). In other words, I mean what I say and say what I mean!

 

3. He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he is that loves me

“If you love me, keep my commandments […] He that has my commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves me: and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him………Jesus answered and said to him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our stay with him………(John 14:15-24). Incredible but true! The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit come and make their stay (!) in the true believer’s heart and life!

Are we worthy of such an honor? By no means! Thus, we can understand the mercy and grace of our God and Savior in our life! When I first understood this great truth I was in awe for days and weeks! HOWEVER, such honors and privileges are not for people who do not love Him and walk disorderly!

 

4. Chastening

Many years ago, the Holy Spirit focused my attention on the following verse: “But judgment shall return to righteousness: and all the upright in heart shall follow it” (Ps.94:15). Here is how I understood it: God’s love makes us pass through difficulties and temptations or, better said, through testings. Why? In order to see where we are wrong and change the position of our heart and of our walk according to His will; to be purified and live in righteousness (truth, repentance, correction, reparation…)! God’s chastisement helps us to examine ourselves, repent and do the right thing! Our response is positive only if we love the truth, if our heart is upright before Him. On the contrary, those who do not love and obey God’s truth, instead of accepting God’s correction, they resist and become rebellious: “Why should you be stricken any more? you will revolt more and more: the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint” (Isa.1:5). Do you remember the case of king Ahaz? “And in the time of his trouble he transgressed yet more against Jehovah, this king Ahaz” (2Chr.28:22). Do you remember also how Jeremiah accused his people? “In vain have I smitten your children: they received no correction […]” (Jér.2:30).

God’s love and patience make us go through the same experiences again and again until we understand that we are wrong and comply to His will: “Thus said the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD your God which teaches you to profit, which leads you by the way that you should go (you should have gone – GR). O that you had listened to my commandments! then had your peace been as a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea”(Isa.48:17-18). We see, therefore, that the main characteristic of those whose heart is upright is that they love and obey God’s corrections, God’s reproofs! HE makes them able to understand His words (Prov.1:23). There is no spiritual progress and improvement without love for God’s truth and will, without a full surrender! On the contrary, recession and finally backsliding!

            There are so many things to be said on this point of God’s chastening, but we limit ourselves to these few lines! May the Lord open our mind and help us understand how precious God’s chastening is! How beautiful is the chapter 12 of the epistle to the Hebrews on the subject of chastening!

Before I go on to the next point, I would like to say in conclusion the following sad truth: How sad is to see believers ignoring the Word of God, not understanding it, not applying it, distorting it, not having a pure conscience, and when chastened, adding rebellion!

 

5. A new creation; old things are passed away

The believer in Jesus is something new. He is a brand new creation! His whole spiritual being is re-created in Christ. He may not feel it. The truth, however, remains! Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2Cor.5:17). This is his official status! The real “new creations”, meditate His Word day and night, they assimilate it, apply it, transmit and add disciples to Jesus Christ’s flock!

Please, pay attention to the following Bible verses:

  • “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” (John 1:12); and “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” (Rev.17:14). This is their official status, their new title!
  • “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives to the death(Rev.12:11). This is how they win and progress!
  • “But rejoice, inasmuch as you are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, you may be glad also with exceeding joy (1Pet.4:13). And “… God has both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power” (1Cor.6:14). This is our glorious destiny if we are real new creations!

 

6. True believers have peace in their heart

One of the main characteristics of the children of God is that they have peace in their heart! They have the Prince of peace in their heart; they have the shield of faith in their hands! They are careful for nothing because they make known by prayer and supplication all their needs and problems to God. They commit them to Him with thanksgiving, in advance. That is why the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keeps their hearts and minds through Christ Jesus (Phil.4:6-7). That peace in his heart protects his thoughts. So: THEY ARE CAREFUL FOR NOTHING! How reassuring are also the following verses: “Delight yourself also in the LORD: and he shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your judgment as the noonday(Ps.37:4-6). Nothing, absolutely nothing (money, work, sickness, death, etc.) can remove the peace from their hearts, except a heart without repentance!             Yes, they have peace and rest in the heart because they are confident that He cares for every detail of their lives and that He Who has begun a good work in them shall perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Php.1:6).

 

7. True believers have the witness of God in their heart

In addition, “He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself: he that believes not God has made him a liar; because he believes not the record that God gave of his Son” (1John 5:10). Nothing, absolutely nothing can remove the witness in himself that he belongs to the Great King and that he is protected by His love, mercy and grace. He has been redeemed from the law and has received the adoption of sons. And because he is a son of God, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into his heart, crying, Abba, Father. He is no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ (Gal.4:5-7). Incredible but true! God in my heart! Who am I? Heir of God through Jesus Christ! Only a heart without repentance (known unconfessed and not rejected sin) can remove this wonderful inner witness of my adoption and of my safety!

            The true man of God knows with certainty, as it has already been mentioned:

  • “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life: and he that believes not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God stays on him” (John 3:36).
  •  “[…]And this is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life (1John 2:24-25).

 

8. “The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide” (Ps.37:31)

If this Bible verse is true, and it is true, we can conclude that the law of God in His heart makes the believer love his God, obey His commandments out of pure love for the truth and for His Savior and can be persuaded that NOTHING can separate him from Him… The whole thing depends on the choice of his heart towards Him: Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life(Prov.4:23). And should we forget that “… the Lord looks on the heart (1Sam.16:7)? And what about the verse which says: Who are kept by the power of God through faith to salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1Pet.1:5)? His God protects him and none of his steps slides! Alleluia!

All of us who belong to God, we fear God in our heart, we hate sin, we deny ourselves and our interests whenever they go against the will of God. The Lord and His will have become our treasure; our repentance, our trust in Him and in His Word are continuous, profound and sincere, this is the reason we do not risk to fall sick and die spiritually on account of it. We love God the LORD our God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our strength, and with our entire mind and our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27). This is the reason we have no spiritual problems. That is why we have no more need of a spiritual revival! The Lord promises to those who keep the word of perseverance in Him (Rev.3: 8,10) that He will give Favor and Power: He will open to them doors that no one will be able to shut… power against the enemy and power to do their duty. He will eliminate obstacles and will give authority, assurance and boldness and above all great faith! He will protect them against temptations; He will give them victory and will make them pillars in His Church. Their spiritual progress will be manifest to all. He will give them more light and blessings. He will not permit that any one removes their crown whether it is an “incorruptible” one, or one of “righteousness”, or one of “life”, or of “glory”, etc. (1Cor.9:25; 2Tim.4:8; Jas.1:12; 1Pet.5:4; Rev.2:10; 3:11). Alleluia!

 

9. Repentance – humility – brokenness

We have already discussed this basic Christian principle of repentance. We come again once more on this point simply to emphasize that when the men of God happen to fall into a sin they repent immediately, humble themselves and become broken! They accept without murmuring the consequences of their sins (Neh.9:33, Lev.26:40-42, etc.)! Peter, despite of his terrible sin, was of the truth! Judas, was he also of the truth?

Let your word be yes or no. So you are or you are not. Either, or! We conclude therefore that the main characteristic of a true believer is that he has in him a source of repentance, which leads him to humility and brokenness, which consist the guarantee of being accepted by God!

  • “For thus said the high and lofty One that inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones” (Isa.57:15).
  • […] “To this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembles at my word” (Isa.66:2).

            During the days of Moses and even of Christ and Paul, there were believers who resisted the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith (2Tim.3:1-8). They did not want to repent…! In our days, are there such people???

 

10. True believers are overcomers

It is very useful to take seriously into consideration what the Spirit of God said to some of the seven churches of Asia Minor in the Book of revelation. To the Churches of:

Ephesus:

“Remember therefore from where you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come to you quickly, and will remove your candlestick out of his place, except you repent……… To him that overcomes… (Rev.2:5-7);

Smyrna:

“……… you shall have tribulation ten days: be you faithful to death, and I will give you a crown of life………. He that overcomes shall not be hurt of the second death” (Rev.2:8-11);

Pergamos:

“……… Repent; or else I will come to you quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth……… To him that overcomes… (Rev.2:12-17);

Sardis:

“……… I know your works, that you have a name that you live, and are dead. Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works perfect before God……. If therefore you shall not watch, I will come on you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I will come on you. …… He that overcomes, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels” (Rev.3:1-5);

Laodicea:

“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot. So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth. ………. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcomes…” (Rev.3:15-21).

            Towards the end of the book of Revelation it is written: “He that overcomes shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son” (Rev.21:7).

Notice, however, that in six out of seven churches of Revelation the warnings: “repent” and “to him that overcomes” come again and again! The only church, which has not received any warnings, was the Church of Philadelphia! Why? Because she had kept His word, and had not denied His Name!

 

John BALTATZIS

baltatzis@skynet.be

To be continued…

ΔΙΑΔΩΣΤΕ ΤΟ ΑΡΘΡΟ ΣΕ ΦΙΛΟΥΣ ΣΑΣ