God Makes You New (Part I)

-You Need To Know This Stuff!

If you’re a believer, in Jesus Christ, you’re no longer the OLD you! You’ve become—and, you are becoming— a NEW you; a work that God promises to finish once our lives end here! I love how the Amplified Bible renders 2 Corinthians 5:17—“Therefore if anyone is in Christ [that is, grafted in, joined to Him by faith in Him as Savior], he is a new creature [reborn and renewed by the Holy Spirit]; the old things [the previous moral and spiritual condition] have passed away. Behold, all things have become new [because spiritual awakening brings a new life].” Throughout his writings, the Apostle Paul breaks down our salvation into 3 parts; and, understanding this is VITAL to your spiritual growth & to your spiritual sanity!

-3 Big Theological Words!

He uses 3 big theological words—our “JUSTIFICATION”; our “SANCTIFICATION”; and, our “GLORIFICATION.” Now, don’t start snoring on me! Give me a chance to help you understand. You need this; because, it’s all about your “identity” as a disciple of Jesus Christ. If you ever struggle in your faith, it’s because you don’t understand how your faith works—your “JUSTIFICATION” is all about the “WAS” of your salvation; your “SANCTIFICATION” is all about the “IS” of your faith right now; and, your “GLORIFICATION” is all about the “IS TO COME” part of your salvation! Paul explains it like this in 2 Thessalonians 2:13-14— “But we must always thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God has chosen you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth. He called you to this through our gospel, so that you might obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

-Write This Down In Your Bible!

In your Bible, write down “JUSTIFICATION” next to “…belief in the truth…”  At the moment you believed, in Christ, you were JUSTIFIED by God; and, set free from the “PENALTY” of sin—ALL of it! As far as God is concerned, it’s just as if you’d never sinned because Jesus already paid the price for ALL the sin of ALL humanity for ALL time when He died, as a substitutionary atonement, on the cross! I’ve known believers who struggle with that truth—they believe all their sin, up to their salvation, was forgiven; but, they think they have to keep asking for forgiveness of future sins!

-How Far Is The East From The West?

But, that’s faulty thinking; because, ALL of our sin was “FUTURE” sin when Jesus died on the cross 2000 years ago! When God saves us, He tells us that He’s removed our sin “…as far as the east is from the west…” (Psalm 103:12). He says He “…buries them in the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19); and, my favorite is that He “…chooses to remember our sins no more” (Heb 10:17). ALL our sins—past, present & future—are GONE! That’s what it means to be JUSTIFIED! Satan doesn’t want you to know that! He wants you to grovel in your sin & your inadequacies! Every time you stumble & fall he wants to accuse you; but, don’t listen to his lies! God no longer condemns you—Romans 8:1. (Next Week: Part II)

 

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Can We Lose Our Salvation?

Can I Lose My Salvation?

As a 13-year old, new follower of Jesus, that was a question that haunted me! Was I strong enough to keep it? Or, was I capable of doing something to lose it? It’s a question that just won’t go away.

But, They Said The “Sinners Prayer”

Usually, someone is asking because they know a person who professed faith in Jesus Christ, only to leave it and go back to a life of sin. Surely they must have “lost” their salvation because they said the “Sinners Prayer”—a “prayer”, by the way, that I’ve never found in Scripture.

Jesus: “I Know Them!”

What I have read in Scripture, that addresses this concern, are the words of Jesus in John 10:27-29: “My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish—ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all. No one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” Notice the intimacy? “I KNOW them!” Jesus says. There is a “personal” relationship!

Jesus: “I Never Knew Them”

By contrast, look at what Jesus said about another group of people: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven. On that day many will say to Me, “Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’ Then I will announce to them, I never knew you! Depart from Me” Matthew 7:21-23. To this group Jesus will say, “I NEVER knew you!” It’s possible, according to Jesus, to do all kinds of “churchy” things & to have never been saved! (See also 1 John 2:19; 2 Peter 2:22)

Where Is Our Security?

Look again at the John passage. Jesus describes a genuine believer—they hear His voice; they follow Him; He gives them eternal life; and, they’ll never perish! No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand! Do you hear what Jesus is saying? He’s saying that for someone to lose eternal life, they’d have to be more powerful than God to wrestle a soul away from Him! Bottom Line:  “The security of our salvation rests not in our power to stay saved; but, in God’s power to keep us saved

Speaking Of A Pseudo-Faith

Peter said: “It has happened to them according to the true proverb: A dog returns to its own vomit, and, a sow, after washing itself, wallows in the mud” 1 Peter 2:22 You can dress them up & show them at the county fair; but, bring them back to the farm & where do they go? The hog goes back to the slop & the dog eats his own vomit! Because that’s who they are! That’s their nature! Place an unbeliever in an environment of believers for a time & they may appear to be a believer! But, given the opportunity, they return to the slop & vomit of the world! Why? Because that’s who they are! That’s their nature!