Salvation From The Penalty Of Sin

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.
–John 10:27-28

The mind is command central for the body. It is where Satan enters our lives. In order to protect our head from Satan’s blows, Paul said we need to “take the helmet of salvation” (Ephesians 6:17). What does that mean? First of all, Paul was talking about our salvation from the penalty of sin. When Satan tempts us to doubt our salvation, we can have assurance that our eternal salvation is secure.

Now, this concept of “once saved, always saved” is confusing to some people. They say, “What is to keep somebody from trusting in Christ, getting their free ticket to heaven, and going out and living like the devil?” But that question fails to take into account the radical change that takes place in a life of a genuine Christian. Yes, Christians still mess up from time to time, but 1 John 3:9 says, “No one who is born of God practices sin.” In other words, for a true believer sin is not a habitual way of life. Sin is the exception rather than the rule. The Bible also says, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). You do not want to go out and sin, if you are truly saved.

The question “If my salvation is really secure, what is to stop me from sinning as much as I want?” is built on another false premise: the presupposition that we need to fear for our security in Christ in order to live an obedient life. But fear of losing our salvation does not promote intimacy with God. If anything, fear of losing our salvation inhibits our intimacy with God. Let’s say you are married to somebody who is always threatening to divorce you. In the back of your mind, you know if you leave one dirty sock on the floor, if you gain five extra pounds, if you accidently say an angry word, your spouse is out of there. Would that promote intimacy with your mate? Would you feel like you could sit down with your spouse and share the deepest thoughts of your heart? No, because fear does not promote intimacy; it inhibits intimacy.

Fortunately, as Christians we never need to fear our relationship with God. We are secured in Christ Jesus, not because of what we do but because of what God has already done for us. In John 10:27-28 Jesus said, “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.” If you are a believer, no one, including Satan himself, can pry you loose from Jesus’s hands. Romans 11:29 says, “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” God’s gift of salvation cannot be taken away. Somebody has said, “If after trusting in Christ I end up going to hell, I will lose my soul, but God will lose His reputation.” Your salvation from the penalty of sin rests on the character of God Himself. You can be assured that your salvation is secure.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Helmet And The Sword” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2011.

Scripture quotations taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved. www.lockman.org

 

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