Friday, February 1, 2008

Romans 8:1-2 (New International Version)

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death

"There is no condemnation—none whatsoever—for the believer in Christ Jesus...

Do you know what that means? We may stumble, we may fall, we may trip, we may make a thousand mistakes, we may sin and we do, we may get off the path, we may go astray, we may have a thousand problems, but for the believer in Jesus Christ, there is, therefore now, no condemnation because God has said it is so. You can struggle, but you're not condemned. You can fall, but you're not condemned. You can trip, but you're not condemned. You can stray off the path, but you are not condemned because God has said He will not condemn those who are in Christ Jesus.

When Jesus saved you, he didn't say he would take away all your problems. No, but he did say this. In your problems, there is no condemnation. In your struggles, there is no condemnation, in your failure, there is no condemnation. In your going astray, there is no condemnation.

What does it mean, then? It means, number one, there is no rejection for the believer. God is not going to reject you just because you struggle. You're not a bad person just because you're having a hard time."

This is from a commentary by Ray Pritchard.

I find this verse very comforting. But, there was a time, when I would be at a church and a preacher would say, "those of you who know that you are going to heaven, raise your hand." Now, I would raise my hand, because I knew if I did not, I'd be in a world of trouble. But, I was not sure because of this verse.

Luke 13:24 (New International Version)

He said to them, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to

I figured if the door was narrow, then I was surely to fat, with sin, to get in. That the door was hard to get into. But, that was not going to stop me from trying, I just was not sure that I would be able to get through it.

Now, I can raise my hand with assurance. "Make every effort". Well, I sure make the effort. And with no condemnation, I take comfort in my place in eternity.

This, I suppose, is where many get "once saved, always saved." This, I truly have a problem with. The verse sounds this way, that no matter what I do, I am saved because I have found salvation. But, I know someone who was saved and then turned away. Some would say that he was not truly saved then. But, I know this to not be so.

He walked in the Spirit, spoke in tongues, was over joyed with God. A man that had a spirit that glowed. Then, because of the behaviors of others, he decided that "Christianity did not work." And if you ask him now, some 30 years later, he will tell you that God does not exist.

Is this once saved always saved? Is this a man who will spend eternity with God? I would like to think he would, but my every being says "NO". He has turned his back on God. I believe that God will reject him if he dies in this state.

"Once saved always saved" seems, to me, to be an excuse for sin. It says, no matter what I do, I'm going to heaven. SURPRISE!!! WRONG!!!! "Make every effort,...the door is narrow."


lance said...

Your words renew my faith.

Given55 said...

Renewed mine as well, Lance. Thanks for readings. May God bless you as well.