The Christian at Work

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Titus 2:9, 10, “Exhort servants to be obedient to their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; not stealing, but showing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.”

These verses show in capsule form the principles which are to govern the everyday life of a Christian who is an employee and who wants to be a witness for Christ on the job.

A Christian operates on grace principles. He is gracious. He gives evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. He uses Bible techniques such as faith rest, walking in fellowship, occupation with Christ, to make it through each day producing divine good.

A Christian does his job as though Christ himself were boss as unto the Lord. He does a more than a day’s work for a day’s pay. He is the first to arrive and the last to leave. He takes sick leave only when sick. He does not cheat on break time, lunch, etc. He works diligently, cheerfully, enthusiastically and without complaining.

Using faith rest principles, a Christian trusts the Lord for salary and promotion, status. He is aware that only God knows how much prosperity he should have and when he should be promoted. He rejoices when others get ahead as evidence of the grace of God in their lives even when they do not deserve it.

A Christian is modest, self-effacing, supportive of others, cooperative. He realizes that he is there to be used by the Lord, not only as an employee, but also as a witness for Christ.

The believer’s personal life, social life, family life are happy and stable so that they enhance his work life rather than hinder him on the job.

He exercises grace principles, recognizes fellow workers as objects of God’s grace, does not bear grudges and forgives readily. Every day is a new day. He does not contribute to office gossip or politics, because he has no need to build his success on someone else’s failure.

He waits patiently for the opportunity for verbal witness, which is almost certain to present itself. The stage has been set for a vital witness by his life witness which others have been able to observe.

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Bitterness

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Bitterness is one of the most crushing mental problems in a person’s life. When a Christian is bitter, there is a loss of close fellowship with the Lord and a hindrance in one’s relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Bitterness causes a loss of many of the blessings of the normal Christian life, including emotional stability, peace and joy. Bitterness results in the loss of production of good works like gold, silver and precious stones which are a major source of blessing and reward in the plan of God.

Bitterness is a devastating mental attitude sin, and it triggers a wide range of other sins, such as:

  • Hatred Cruelty Antagonism Self-pity Unteachableness or implacability
  • Vindictiveness and desires for revenge Prideful ambition or arrogance

Bitterness is neither consistent nor rational. A bitter person is his own worst enemy. It is very difficult to maintain any kind of relationship with a chronically bitter person; and bitterness is a major contributing cause of marital and family problems.

The objective in this short article is to provide Christians with a thorough look at what the Bible says about bitterness, including many scripture examples, then to offer some direction about how to have victory over bitterness.

There are quite a few companion studies in the Grace Notes library which can help identify the mental attitude sin of bitterness and help deal with it from divine viewpoint.

Definition

In English, the concept of mental bitterness comes from the idea of something that has a sharp or unpleasant taste. We speak of something being bitter if it causes grief or is hard to bear; a bitter defeat, bitter failure. We also speak of a bitter loss when someone’s death has caused great grief.

Then, bitterness has come to be used of those things that cause pain or grief, such as bitter remarks or the actions of bitter enemies. We say “he fought to the bitter end”, meaning a struggle in the last extremity.

The biblical Greek words for bitterness are PIKROS = “bitter” and PIKRIA = “bitterness”, and other derivatives. PIKROS originally meant “sharp”, or “pointed”. Then it was used more generally for anything that was penetrating to the senses, something that had a pervasive smell or a shrill noise. PIKRIA was used for the bitterness of the taste of some plants, and finally found use in speaking of personal experience when something was unpleasant, undesirable, or when something bad was unexpected.

The words PIKROS or PIKRIA are used about 40 times in the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament), only rarely to refer to literal bitterness, such as the reference to bitter water in Exo. 15:23. Usually it is a reference to men who are (pikroi) the bitter ones when they are soured or cruel (Ruth 1:20; Hab. 1:6).

There are seven instances of these words in the New Testament: Matt. 26:75; Luke 22:62; Acts 8:23; Rom. 3:14; Eph. 4:31; James 3:11, 14.

So, in the Bible, except when it is obvious that the actual taste of something in meant, PIKRIA refers to intensity of suffering of mind and body, something that is difficult to bear, something that causes animosity and reaction, something that is brought about by hatred or antagonism.

Bible Examples of Bitterness
  • Women are bitter because they cannot have children, 1 Sam 1:10.
  • A foolish son is bitterness to his mother, Prov. 17:25.
  • Divine discipline or chastisement of the Jewish people caused bitterness. This demonstrates the weakness and failure of the people. Bitterness destroyed the people’s spiritual lives. The Jews brought on self-destruction by their bitterness.
  • Lam. 1:4; Amos 8:10; Ezek. 27:30; Isa. 33:7; 2 Kings 14:26.
  • Slavery causes bitterness, Exo. 1:14.
  • Suffering causes bitterness to people who do not understand the Bible’s problem solving devices and principles, and who do not give number one priority to their relationship with God. Deut. 32:24.
  • Ridicule is a source of bitterness, Lam 3:14. The people ridiculed Jeremiah because of their bitterness toward him. When truth is taught, people sometimes react in bitterness.
  • Consummate human pride is a cause of bitterness, Acts 8:23.
  • Degeneracy is a source of bitterness, Rom. 3:14.
  • Personal choice is a source of bitterness, Eph. 4:31.
  • Husbands and wives are a source of bitterness toward each other, Col 3:19.
The Results of Bitterness
  • Bitterness is antisocial. A bitter person is selfish, inconsiderate of others, withdrawn from society, indifferent or adverse to conformity with conventional standards of social behavior. Even strangers avoid bitter people, Prov. 14:10. No one is happy around bitter people.
  • Bitterness is a sign of the spiritual life gone wrong, Jer. 2:19.
  • A bitter person rejects Bible teaching. James 3:14, “But if you have bitter jealousy and strife, stop being arrogant and lying against the truth.
  • Bitterness shows total lack of grace orientation. A bitter person does not understand the plan of God, let alone how it affects individuals.
  • In Job 9:17-18, Job’s complaint against God, “Why does God let this happen to me?,” is a statement of bitterness.
  • Bitterness accompanies the sin unto death, Job 21:25.
  • Bitterness motivates complaining, Job 7:11, 10:1. People who habitually complain are bitter people; they have no self esteem.
  • Bitterness motivates gossip, Psalm 64:3.
  • Bitterness fragments other peoples lives. Heb 12:15, “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by it many be defiled;
  • Bitterness is self induced misery, and it produces chain sinning.
  • Bitterness is misery to others in the periphery. But two wrongs never make a right. You cannot build your happiness on someone else’s unhappiness.
Recovery from Bitterness

Isa. 38:17, “Behold, bitterness became deliverance to me. In Your love You have delivered my soul out of the pit of destruction; for You have cast all my sins behind my back.”

Ephesians 1:8 tells us that we have available to us wisdom and prudence which are part of God’s grace provision for us. Wisdom comes with a thorough understanding of Bible doctrine and the principles of Christian living. Prudence is the practical use of applied Bible truth in making decisions and solving problems in this life.

You can use the following practical methods to deal with bitterness in your life, regardless of the cause.

Many of these topics are discussed in considerably more detail in other Grace Notes articles, but this outline will give you ideas on how you can make specific application of doctrine to help with real world problems.

Confession of Sin

Personal sin leads to bitterness. You must deal with sin on a daily basis by confessing and moving on. If you do not do this, sin becomes a burden which clouds your joy, drains your spiritual energy and destroys your productivity and vitality. In short, sin is always depressing.

1 John 1:9 states that when you confess your sins, God “is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

In privacy, make a list of your mental attitude sins, verbal sins, and behavior sins. Ask the Lord to make you aware of the habits of your own life. Respond immediately to the Holy Spirit when He uses the word to spotlight your sin. Name the sin to God; then rejoice in forgiveness and cleansing and your renewed fellowship with God. All the promises and provisions of God the Father are now available to you. Make it a spiritual habit to confess sins whenever they show up in your life.

The Filling of the Holy Spirit

When you have unconfessed sin in your life, the Holy Spirit is grieved or quenched. But the Holy Spirit fills you and controls your life when you have no unconfessed sin in your life. This is why confession of sins is so important.

You can trust the Holy Spirit to reveal sin to you when you commit it, or even before. When the Holy Spirit is in control, He produces His fruit (Gal. 5:22). The fruit of the Spirit does not include heaviness, bitterness, discouragement, disillusion, anguish, sadness, dejection or loss of productivity. Consider these points:

  • Love is free from bitterness.
  • Joy pushes bitterness out.
  • Bitterness can not coexist with peace in the soul of the believer filled with the Holy spirit.
  • Long suffering gives the ability to deal with bitterness and other troubles.
  • Gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance are fruits of
  • righteousness, which is divine good. Divine good takes the place of bitterness.
Living in the Word

By constant study and meditation in the Bible you are constantly reminded of God’s viewpoint, of His plan, of His provision, or His awareness of our spirit of bitterness and what He want to accomplish in us. Living in the sphere of human viewpoint is a source of bitterness. Living in the word gradually transplants you to a new sphere, a new environment for your life, in which there is victory over bitterness.

Furthermore, there is a continuous cleansing taking placed. See especially Ephesians 5 for how the Lord Jesus uses the word to cleanse believers.

Orientation to Grace

Bitterness is often caused by people, most of the time by people we cannot escape, or people we love, or people we cannot confront, or people we trust. Grace orientation includes the ability to look at people and see them as God sees them. It includes the ability to let them live their lives as unto the Lord, and trusting God to make His way clear to them. This technique lets people make mistakes without your judging them. It enables you to accept criticism without hurt or bitterness. It enables you to esteem others better than yourself, to do nothing through strife or vainglory.

Occupation with Christ

The technique of occupation with Christ helps to cure bitterness because it gets your eyes off your spouse, your children, your neighbors, your friends and yourself. Instead, as you move through the day, you are thinking about the Lord Jesus Christ, His plan for your life, the Father’s provision for each incident in your life, and His provision of wisdom for each decision you must make. Occupation with Christ is a by-product of the Faith rest Life. Bitterness is a by product of occupation with self, with life, with problems.

The Faith-Rest Life or Trusting God and Enjoying the Peace which Results

Faith rest is believing the promises of God and then entering into the rest phase of Christian living by claiming and enjoying those promises. Therefore, you must search the scriptures daily to remind yourself of promises, and to learn new ones. You must know who and what God is so that you will not hesitate to believe that He can do what He has promised to do. Study the attributes of God using verses about the essence of God. Know Him as He reveals Himself in the Bible. Believe Him when He tells you what He will do for you. Count on it. Let your faith rest on it. Cast your burden on the Lord.

Relaxed Mental Attitude

A relaxed mental attitude is based on knowing God and on having the divine production in the soul that comes with the fruit of the Holy Spirit. A relaxed mental attitude is one of the results of living in the word, Walking in fellowship, practicing the faith rest life, and being occupied with Christ.

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The Characteristics of Weaker Brethren

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[Please read Romans chapter 14 before going through the discussion in this article].

Romans 14 has a splendid description of the characteristics of a legalistic person who is called the weaker brother. This is a great passage about how to think grace toward someone who does something obnoxious or unspiritual.

Remember, we all have areas of weakness.

You may be the stronger believer in some of your areas of strength and a weaker brother in areas of weakness.

The idea in both cases is to avoid legalism and judgmentalism.

The strong believer in Romans 14 is mature, oriented to grace, the plan of God, occupied with Christ and operates in fellowship most of the time under the power of the Holy Spirit.

The weaker brother has one or more of the following characteristics

  • The weaker brother is disoriented to grace, especially in the area of spirituality and practices one or more forms of legalism.
  • He is not comfortable unless he is judging the stronger believer in some gray area of behavior.
  • The weaker brother is strong on scruples, but not well informed about doctrine or divine viewpoint.
  • The weaker brother operations on criteria of feelings, emotions, traditions, experiences, background, instead of Bible truth.
  • The weaker brother operates in the energy of the flesh, producing human good like wood, hay stubble which he thinks is divine good like gold, silver and precious stones.
  • The weaker brother is proud and critical of the strong believer, always judging him.
  • The weaker brother sticks his nose into the affairs of others by gossiping, maligning and judging.
  • The weaker brother likes to set up a mold and try to squeeze everyone into it, so he is a bully.
  • The weaker brother has a guilt complex, so he is emotionally unstable; he is sensitive and demands attention; he is full of self pity and lusts for approbation in his sin nature.
  • The weaker brother is jealous of others and tries to discredit them; he nit picks and condemns the activities and projects of others.
  • The weaker brother is weak because he resists grace doctrines. He can recover quickly by confessing sin, being controlled by the Holy Spirit and pursuing a program of intake of Bible truth which will make him spiritually strong.

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Eternity

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We don’t know much in detail about eternity, what it’s like, or what we will be doing there. However, the Bible does have some information from which we can draw some inferences.

The Eternal State of Believers and Unbelievers

Man’s relationship to God is one of creature to Creator. God is sovereign over the whole human race by virtue of creation, whether this is acknowledged by people or not.
<blockquoteJer. 32:27.Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me?

However, God is not the Father of the human race, only of those who believe.

Gal. 3:26. For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Man is a living soul; and all souls belong to God.

Gen. 2:7.Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

Ezek. 18:4.Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine.

A person’s eternal relationship to God is based on that person’s response to God’s offer of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ.

John 3:36. He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

Therefore, there are two types of people in the human race: believers and unbelievers; saved souls and unsaved souls. And there are two destinations for people in eternity.

A place of bliss:

John 14:1-3.Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.

In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, thereyou may be also.

Rev. 21:1-22

A place of torment:

Rev. 20:15.And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Luke 16:19-31

The saved soul anticipates

A resurrection to life.

John 5:28,29.Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice,and will come forth; those who did the good deedsto a resurrection of life, those who committed the evildeedsto a resurrection of judgment.

A “far better place”.

Phil. 1:23.But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for thatis very much better;

Eternity in the presence of God.

2 Cor. 5:8. we are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

An inheritance reserved in heaven.

1 Peter 1:3,4. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrectioto obtainan inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

Reunion with loved ones in the Lord.

1 Thess. 4:16,17.For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of thearchangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

The lost soul must look forward to …

An eternity without Christ (separation from God).

The “resurrection of damnation”.

John 5:28,29.Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice,and will come forth; those who did the good deedsto a resurrection of life, those who committed the evildeedsto a resurrection of judgment.

The Lake of Fire

Matt. 25:41. Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;

Rev. 20:15.And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

Rev. 21:8

Characteristics of the Eternal State

  • Jesus Christ will be present and accessible to all
  • Perfect happiness
  • Perpetual newness

There will be nations in eternity as a memorial to the Grace of God in preserving the human race so hey could be born-again. Nationalism is the basic principle of survival for the human race.

The New Jerusalem (which comes from God) arrives as a complete package. Apparently it is suspended above Earth. The New Jerusalem is headquarters for the universe of eternity, and it is the personal residence of the Lord Jesus Christ. The New Jerusalem fulfills a promise to Abraham that is still outstanding. Abraham lived in a tent, died in a tent, and was promised a city in the future.

Heb. 11:9,10. By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise;

for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.

The Holy City of eternity illustrates something of the glory of eternity. The description of the New Jerusalem is in Rev. 21:9 to 22:5.

The Believer’s Hope in Eternity

The believer’s hope is based on the fact that we know facts concerning eternity. For example, we will be absent from the body and face-to-face with the Lord.

2 Cor. 5:7,8. for we walk by faith, not by sightwe are of good courage, I say, and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.

There is no judgment for the sins of believers.

Rom. 8:1.Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

The appointment of the 2ndDeath is cancelled.

Heb. 9:27,28.And inasmuch as it is appointed for men to die once and after this comesjudgment,so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference tosin, to those who eagerly await Him.

We have a new home; a new dwelling place.

John 14:1-3. Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.

In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, thereyou may be also.

We have an eternal inheritance.

1 Peter 1:3-5. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,to obtainan inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,

who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

We will have no more sorrow, no more tears.

Rev. 21:4.and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be anydeath; there will no longer be anymourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”

We will have a resurrection body in which we will live with Jesus Christ forever.

1 Thess. 4:16-18. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of thearchangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.

Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Phil. 3:21.who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

1 John 3:1,2

1 Cor. 15:51-57

Phil. 1:21. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

This article is based on transcriptions of Bible lessons taught by R. B. Thieme and Chester McCalley.

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Eternal Life

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Definition of Eternal Life

John 3:36, “He that believes on the Son has eternal life, but he who does not believe on the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

Our attitude toward Christ belief or unbelief determines whether we have eternal life.

The Greek word PISTEUO in the present tense means you have eternal life the moment you believe and you continue to have it.

A person has eternal life the moment he believes in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. This person is also called a believer.

Eternal life is imputed to the human spirit, which is created for you by God the Holy Spirit at regeneration.

Three Categories of Eternal Life

For the believer in Jesus Christ who dies prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ also known as the resurrection of the believers in Christ, there are three categories of eternal life.

  1. The believer has eternal life while living on the earth, having both earthly and eternal life.
  2. The believer has eternal life after death while living in heaven and waiting for his resurrection body. This can be classified as having both interim life and eternal life.
  3. The believer has eternal life forever in a resurrection body, which is resurrection life and eternal life.

Those believers of the rapture generation who do not die physically have two categories of eternal life

  1. Temporal life plus eternal life.
  2. Resurrection life plus eternal life.

Each category of eternal life reveals a new aspect of God’s perfect integrity and plan.

There is a body for each stage of eternal life.

Temporal life plus eternal life has the body of corruption with the old sin nature.

The interim life plus eternal life has the interim body, which experiences no more pain, tears, sorrow, old sin nature or sickness. In this interim body, you are recognizable. This is the body you occupy while awaiting your resurrection body,

2 Cor. 5:8; Rev. 21:4.

The interim life and eternal life stage makes no distinction between winners and losers in the Christian life. It provides supreme happiness for every believer.

This gives the greatest comfort to loved ones at a funeral. Losers and winners have it just as good in heaven in an interim body.

Resurrection life plus eternal life has the resurrection body.

Therefore, eternal life exists in two or more categories of life. The person who does not die experiences two categories of eternal life; the person who does die experiences three categories of eternal life.

A person can obtain eternal life only while he is alive on earth..

A person cannot get eternal life once he dies as an unbeliever in Jesus Christ.

Eternal life begins during a believer’s lifetime, 2 Cor. 6:2.

You cannot get eternal life in eternity; you have to get it now on earth.

Eternal life belongs only to the believer in Jesus Christ.

The three categories of eternal life do not apply to the unbeliever, who is described by John 3:18.

Eternal life belongs only to the believer who is never without a body. You always have a body with your eternal life.

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Eternal Security

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Introduction [^1]

There are two biblical concepts which contribute to a Christian’s having a sure grasp of salvation.

  1. Assurance: “I know I am saved now.”
  2. Security: “I know I am saved now and forever.”

An understanding of these concepts is required before there can be stability in our Christian lives.

Think, for example, how a child’s knowledge of his place in his family contributes to a sense of safety and well-being. Furthermore, a good parent would never discipline a child by threatening the family relationship. Much more does God the Father assure us of our permanent relationship in His family; even the chastisement He metes out assures us that we are His true children, not illegitimate.

Three reasons genuine believers sometimes doubt their salvation:

  1. Some Christians look inward to feelings. But feelings are never a criterion for truth. Basing assurance on how we feel is no more secure than the human emotions we have at the moment.
  2. Some Christians are confused about life after salvation, about what the Lord provides for believers who commit sins and become carnal, out of fellowship. They do not know that one can be a genuine Christians and yet carnal, as in 1 Cor. 3:1.
  3. Some Christians have never really understood what God the Father has provided at the time of Salvation. They do not grasp the problem involved in God’s providing salvation, therefore how impossible it is for any human being to make any contribution to the solution for the problem of sin. These Christians do not see that the solution to the sin problem liestotally with God. Man cannot contribute anything to the solution; man can do nothing at all to accomplish any aspect of his own salvation.

Topic: Salvation Doctrines

The problem in providing mankind with salvation is:

  • God is righteous; therefore He demands 100% perfection. (Rom. 3:23).
  • God is just, so He must release His full wrath on sin (Rom. 6:23).
  • Yet, God is love and wants to save us (John 3:16).

It is sometimes difficult to see how these three ideas can be brought into harmony.

Every person who lacks assurance harbors the thought, somewhere in the back of his mind, that he must make some contribution towards solving the problems of sin and alienation from God. He thinks that salvation is 90% God’s and 10% his part. He can never rest because he can never be sure he has accomplished his part.

Any program that man devises can never be depended upon. Assurance of salvation is only possible when a person is confident that God is the provider of salvation – 100%.

Approaches to Understanding Security

Our salvation is based on the divine purpose of God. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit all contribute to our salvation.

It is the Father’s purpose to save us.

Rom. 8:28-30. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to becomeconformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.

God’s purpose is introduced in Rom. 8:28, then explained in verses 29 and 30. Notice that the same people who are justifiedare the ones who are glorified. Notice further that the word glorified is in the past tense. In the plan of God we are already glorified! Therefore, if anyone who was genuinely saved, losing that salvation would mean a failure of the specific purpose of God.

It is the Father’s power that saves us.

John 10:27-29. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

My Father, who has given themto Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

A believer is held by (1) God the Son’s hand, and (2) God the Father’s hand; we can never be let go.

This passage refers to people who have accepted Christ, the Lord says “My sheep…”. In verse 29 we wee that security rests in God’s ability to “hold on” to believers, not in a person’s ability to “hold on” to God. To question that security is to question this promise, and to question God’s ability.

God promises to save all who believe.

John 5:24.Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

What is possessed in salvation? Eternal life!

When does possession of this life take place? It takes place now. The one who believes in Christ has eternal life.

Salvation is linked to the Son’s prayer.

John 17:11-15.I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.

I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them the evil one.

The Son petitions the Father to keep believers. Believers are seen as having been given by the Father to the Son. No “given one” is ever lost; otherwise the Father would have to “take back” the gift He made to Christ.

Salvation is linked to the Son’s work, both in terms of His death (1 John 2:1) and also in terms of His continuous advocacy for us (1 John 2:2). Our security rests in the prayer and work of God the Son.

1 John 2:1,2.My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those ofthe whole world.

The presence of the Holy Spirit brings security.

John 14:16.I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;The Holy Spirit will be with us permanently; since it is eternal, it cannot be terminated.

The Holy Spirit’s work if a guarantee of security. We are sealed “until the day of redemption”. The seal of the Holy Spirit is a sign of possession and protection. The seal is described as an “earnest” or “down payment” on a future guarantee of eternal life.

Eph. 1:13,14.In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s ownpossession, to the praise of His glory.

Eph. 4:30.Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

2 Cor. 1:21,22.Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and anointed us is God,

who also sealed us and gave usthe Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.

Believers are in Union with Christ

Rom. 8:1.Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.Eph. 1:3-6.Blessed bethe God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly placesin Christ,

just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love

He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will,

to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

Union with Christ (positional truth) is irreversible. It is ludicrous to think that believers can somehow pop in and out of our position in Christ.

Topic: Union with Christ

The Much More Care of God

God did the most for us when we were His enemies, how “much more” will He do for us now that we are in His family?

Rom. 5:9,10.Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of Godthrough Him.

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

Rom. 5:17.For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.Rom. 8:32. He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

Believers are Permanent Members of the Family of God.

In the Bible, there are “family” terms used for our relationships to one another and to Christ, such as “born again”, “children”, “brothers”.

Heb. 2:11-13.For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,saying, “I will proclaim Your name to My brethren, In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.”

And again, “I will put My trust in Him.” And again, “Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.”

As you placed your confidence in Christ for salvation, so place your confidence in God the Father for your eternal preservation in Christ.

[^1]: This article is compiled from notes taken from the teaching ministries of Chester McCalley, R. B. Thieme, Jr., and others.

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