A few weeks ago, I addressed the theme of the assurance of our salvation in one of the sermons in the book of Colossians. In chapter 1 verse 23 the apostle admonishes the church to persevere in the faith:
“if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.”
As I mentioned in the message, this exhortation in no way teaches that we are responsible to earn, keep or maintain our saved status by our good works or holy behavior. We are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) and this salvation and even the faith we have comes from God.
It was the same apostle who taught us that our salvation and indeed, our very faith depend on God, because it comes from Him. Jesus is not only the Object of our faith, but He is also the originator and the cause of our salvation.
“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2)
“…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6)
The Bible also declares that, “Salvation is of the Lord” (Jonah 2:9) or to put it in other words, salvation and faith comes from the Lord and there is nothing you or I can do to earn it or keep it. The Bible also declares that we are kept by God’s power (1 Peter 1:5) and that we are safe in his powerful hands (John 10:28-30).
This is what is known as the Preservation of our faith and salvation in Christ.
On the other hand, we are encouraged in the Bible to continue in the ways of the Lord. We are commanded to walk with Him, to preach the Bible, to live in holiness, to serve our Savior, to love God and each other and to read, study and obey all that we learn from God’s Word.
We are also commanded to grow and mature as Christians. The faith that we have received in Christ must be nurtured, developed and activated. We must live what we believe. We must never work to attain or maintain our salvation, but we must submit to God and see his salvation working in and through us, or as the apostle says:
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12)
This is what is known as Perseverance of the saints
Let us then persevere, but not in fear but because we are preserved by the mighty hands of God until the day when we will see Christ face to face.
Right now I’m waiting outside the store where my wife and mother in law are shopping. I have been waiting for a while now and by the looks of it, it seems that I’ll be waiting for a long time.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t enjoy waiting for anyone. Everywhere we go there is waiting involved. We must wait at a doctor’s office, at the store or super market, at restaurants and even in our jobs, as we patiently wait for the hour in which we get to go home.
What are you waiting for?
Perhaps you are waiting for a new job, a new home, a new car or for a new love in your life (if you are single). On the other hand, you might be waiting for a new baby to arrive or for the results of your latest test (medical or academic).
“Good things come to those who wait”, so the saying goes. Waiting is a lost art in our instant gratification society. We don’t want to wait. We don’t want things today or tomorrow…we want everything and we want it yesterday!
As Christians, we are admonished to wait on the Lord
“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14)
“Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him” (Psalm 37:7)
“Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain. You also be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” (James 5:7-8)
“Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” (Romans 8:23)
The children of this world wait for nobody. They do not save for the future and are slaves of credit (loans and credit cards) in order to live the “American Dream” today.
The children of God are saved by grace and they give all credit (glory and honor) to Jesus. We might never achieve riches and fame in this world, but we are confident in Christ that heaven will be our eternal home and that is worth “All” the wait!