“The Lord liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.” (Ps. 18:46)
From The Second Half of the Cross
The second half of the cross, in the narrative stories of faith recorded in the Bible, is as orthodox as orthodoxy can get for the highest reasons. Immanuel…”God with us”…cannot get any more orthodox than as portrayed in the biblical stories of God personally and intimately enlisting people into their callings of destiny. The biblical narrative stories of faith point out the right road of eternal life in harmony with God, with ourselves, and with others, which repeatedly and consistently begins each journey of faith at the foot of the cross.
Again, if our salvation is a probation conditionally based upon our performance, then we could not confidently surrender all to Jesus and follow Him up into the highest mountaintops or down into the darkest valleys. Without knowing beforehand I am saved for all eternity, I cannot confidently take the risk to follow Jesus to places I do not necessarily want to go, or in directions I do not initially fully understand. Without being eternally secure in my salvation, I cannot in confidence hand over the control of my life to Jesus to lead me into the sometimes challenging, difficult, and character-stretching life-lessons that inform the writing of this book.
Without being confident in my eternal salvation, how can I honestly and openly share my natural doubts and frustrations with God in prayer? When I am figuratively in Pharaoh’s prison like Joseph, or have a King Saul chasing after my life like David, or am in the process of getting up to carry on after being nearly stoned to death like Paul, how can I take my honest, questioning complaint to God if my salvation is unsecure and constantly in doubt? How can I cry out to God in desperate need of help if by doing so I am acknowledging my shortcoming in keeping up my end of the “bargain” in a merit-based salvation program dependent upon self-generated works, at the edge of “losing” my salvation?
One critical aspect of a walk of faith elevated above worldly conventional thinking is the absolute certainty that along the narrow way, God’s life-script calling for me will produce profound questions regarding truth, self-sacrifice, and the need to pay my dues in purchasing some measure of divine character, at the outer boundary of my capacity to be Christ-like (Luke 22:42; 23:34).
Jesus purchased us with His own blood on the cross. The seal of the Holy Spirit through being born-again is the legal evidence…the proof of purchase of ownership. We start out as “fixer-uppers” with a lot of repair and renovation work needed in our characters. But the security of eternal salvation liberates us from falling back under the law and into condemnation once again (Hebrews 9:12).
The substitute of no less than the life of Jesus the Son of God on the cross as payment for the penalty of our sin removes the believer from under the curse of the law and places us under grace. We are therefore dead to the law. For the saved person to become lost would require him to come once again under the law. But we cannot undo or reverse the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. No human has the capacity to nullify the salvation that comes from being redeemed, regardless of past, present, or even future shortcomings and failures (John 10:28). Once we are in the palm of God’s hand, we are saved for evermore. We do not possess the power to independently jump out of the palm of God’s hand. This doctrine and teaching is essential to a journey of faith, and is one of the most important biblical truths of our times.
It is irrelevant and inconsequential in terms of evaluating another person’s salvation, if in our limited judgment some saved Christians appear to become “back-slidden” in unbelief. Discerning whether or not a person is living a Christian life is entirely different from judging whether that person is saved or not. Scripture says that man looks at the outer appearance but God looks at the heart (1 Samuel 1:7). Man’s judgment regarding another person’s salvation is inadequate and unqualified, and should never be the basis for the teaching of a doctrine that says saved people can become lost.
The high value of a voluntary journey of faith according to a God-composed life-script is so important to us that not only did Jesus die on the cross to procure this perfect redemption for us, but encompasses also the forbearance and patience of God in crafting the bare minimum life-lessons for those saved people who, for whatever reason, do not appear to us to enter into the fullness of a biblical walk of faith.