The eternal security of the believer is a much debated topic these days. Some say that believing in such gives one a license to sin. I can understand why they say that – there are many who profess salvation but live like the world. That is not the case, however, for one who is truly born again.

If salvation were based upon what man had to do to earn it, then it would have to also be based upon what man had to do to keep it. The Bible is clear as to what salvation is based upon, and none of them mention man’s works or lack of them as the foundation. So let’s take a look at what the Word says salvation is all about.

It is all about God’s grace, and not at all involving works:

Ephesians 2:8-9  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Titus 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

 

One sacrifice for sins for all and for eternity:

Hebrews 6:4-6  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,  And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,   If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.

Hebrews 9:22-28  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.  It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.    For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:    Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:    So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Hebrews 10:12-14  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;  From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

 

A promise from God:

John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.

Romans 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 

Not based on our ability to keep it:

2 Timothy 1:12  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Philippians 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

2 Timothy 4:18  And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

2 Corinthians 1:10  Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us.

Never spoken as earthly or temporal in God’s Word:

John 4:14  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

John 6:40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

John 6:47  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

Hebrews 5:9  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

God’s Word is truth and He cannot lie.  God gave man the promise of eternal salvation based on His grace and based on His Word, which He keeps for all eternity.  Critics of eternal salvation base their beliefs on man’s ability.  But the one thing we are certain of with man is his ability to  continue in sin no matter how many laws there are to keep man moral.  Our Country and State laws ought to be full proof of that statement! The more laws that are made, the more that are broken.

But what critics don’t “get” is that Christ died while we were yet sinners – He knew it was hopeless for us to keep the law.  It is hopeless for us to be “good enough” or to do so many good things that in the end they will outweigh the sins!  That is why salvation is all about what Christ did and nothing about what we have done or need to do.  It is a gift from God.  We cannot give ourselves this gift.

Only God can give us the gift – all we have to do is sincerely accept it and repent from our wicked ways!  That is why there are so many critics of eternal security today.  Too many have said they are born again but their lives do not show it.  Their lives don’t show it because they have not repented of their sins.  The Gospel has landed on rocky ground and thorns instead of a fruitful heart.

“Once in Christ and ever in Christ. A star may sooner fall out of its orb than a true believer be plucked away from God (Watson, Religion Our True Interest, 96).”
Thomas Watson

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:39) Nothing – absolutely nothing – can separate us from the love of God! Amen and amen! I look at pictures of the Grand Canyon and see its depth and height and width – this is how I can bury this verse deep in the soil of my heart! Looking at this picture gives a whole new meaning to the vastness of God’s love and the emphasis His Word has on this love and how He never leaves us! Praise the Lord! If this does not bless you today, your blesser is broken!

Today’s hymn is about the love of God and its intensity. What a wonderful topic to cover, isn’t it? How can one be depressed or discouraged when there is a God that loves us like this and to this extreme? This type of hymn helps us to encourage ourselves – it encourages us to dig into the Word and be blessed beyond measure! Frederick M. Lehman is the author of these beautiful words! He was born on August 7, 1868 in Mecklenburg, Germany and died February 20, 1953 in Pasadena, California.

His family came to the U.S. when he was four. He grew up in Iowa and was saved at the young age of 11. It was the beauty of nature that brought him to Christ while he was out walking one morning. When I read this, it reminded me of Paul’s words in Romans 1:20: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: God can reveal Himself even to a child through His beautiful creation! Their tender hearts are so open to receive Christ.

Although Lehman pastored at Audubon, Iowa; New London, Indiana; and Kansas City, Missouri, he spent most of his life writing hymns. His first one was written in 1898 when he was a pastor in Kingsley, Iowa. He moved to Kansas City and assisted in founding the Nazarene Publishing House.

Today’s hymn was written in 1917 and published in 1919 in Volume 2 of “Songs That Are Different.” I’ll say his song is different! Cyberhymnal had this tidbit that simply amazed me:

The lyrics are based on the Jewish poem Haddamut, written in Aramaic in 1050 by Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai, a cantor in Worms, Germany; they have been translated into at least 18 languages. One day, during short intervals of inattention to our work, we picked up a scrap of paper and, seated upon an empty lemon box pushed against the wall, with a stub pencil, added the (first) two stanzas and chorus of the song… Since the lines (3rd stanza from the Jewish poem) had been found penciled on the wall of a patient’s room in an insane asylum after he had been carried to his grave, the general opinion was that this inmate had written the epic in moments of sanity. Frederick M. Lehman, “History of the Song, The Love of God,” 1948

The music to this beautiful hymn was arranged by Lehman’s daughter, Claudia L. Mays.

The Love of God
Frederick M. Lehman

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Refrain

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Refrain

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Refrain

My friend, if you are feeling alone in the midst of total chaos today, please know that there is nothing that can separate you from your Heavenly Father! He is right there – going through your trials along with you. Rom. 8:38-39, For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (38 ) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (39) This got me to thinking about the preciseness of this verse – Paul left nothing to chance – he included everything that a human being could think up in his quest to find the limit God’s love. There is nothing!

  • Death – The saved child of God will die but he cannot go to hell. It only serves to emphasize that We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Co 5:8 )
  • Life – The saved child of God cannot be separated from God no matter how he lives his life – it is not a license to sin but it proves to us that our sin is not what separates us from Him! Our sin hinders fellowship with God but does not remove our position in His family.
  • Angels – the devil is a fallen angel – he cannot separate us from God!
  • Principalities – No supreme power on earth can separate us from God!
  • Powers – No power whatsoever can separate us, including ole slew foot himself!
  • Things Present – No circumstances in the present can separate us.
  • Things to Come – No circumstances in the future can separate us!
  • Height – It just goes to show us (like in the picture above) that no amount of height can separate us! Visualize it in your mind’s eye.
  • Depth – Again, it just goes to show us (like in the picture above) that no amount of depth can separate us!
  • Any other creature – No creature can separate us! This puts to rest those who believe that you can choose to give up your salvation. God says that no other creature can separate us from His love. If your child divorced himself from you and your family, would that make you any less of a parent? Of course not.

Praise the Lord that our salvation is not dependent on anything that we do! Our salvation is totally dependent on God’s love and what He did for us!

~1 Chronicles 16:11-12 Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually. Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;

On those difficult days where the trials of life seem never ending, turn your pain to the One whose compassion never ends.  (Lamentations 3:22) Our pains may be physical, spiritual, or they may be emotional. Either way, we are able to turn to the Father and pull from His strength. Relying on our own strength will not yield any good! (Job 9:4) Once we rely on the strength of the Lord, we can be certain that He will direct us. (Psalm 18:32)

Nothing separates us from God’s love!

~Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

God has a remedy to life’s discouragements. Seek Him (Deuteronomy 4:29), His strength (Psalm 105:4) and remember His marvelous works and wonders (Revelation 15:3). When combined with knowing that nothing separates us from His love, we encourage ourselves in Him! (Romans 8:39)

~Isaiah 41:10 Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.

I see several things from today’s text that should cause a born-again Christian to shout for joy and encouragement! Our God gave us encouragement in just one simple verse! Picking it apart allows us to see the meat of it and it no longer is just a verse that we have read as part of our daily reading.

First off, the Lord tells us not to fear. Why? Because He is with us. The born-again believer has been given the Holy Spirit at salvation and He resides within us until we faith is made sight, either at death or the Rapture (Eph. 1:13 and Eph. 4:30). God goes on to tell us not to be discouraged or disheartened. Why? Because He is our God! Our God, our Creator, and our Deliverer is overseeing every aspect of our lives!

This brings up the next point of encouragement. His Word says that He will strengthen us and help us through our trials and tribulations. Let’s face it, Christian, no matter what trial we are experiencing today, we are not going through anything as severe as what the early Christians went through – facing torturous death! There are Christians around the world that are being martyred for the name of Christ today – we don’t even come close to that type of persecution! But yet, the Lord has promised that He is help us and strengthen us during our time of need. Yes, each trial that we experience may feel as though it is unique to us but we are not alone! Hallelujah!!!

And lastly, the Lord tells us that He will uphold us with the right hand of His righteousness. Praise the Lord! Isaiah 64:6 tells us that our own righteousness is as filthy rags! Thank God that it is by HIS righteousness that we are saved and not our own as we would be doomed! I love the word “uphold” in today’s verse. Noah Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines it as:

UPHOLD, v.t. pret. and pp. upheld. [Upholden is obsolete.]

1. To lift on high; to elevate.

2. To support; to sustain; to keep from falling or slipping.

Honor shall uphold the humble in spirit. Prov 29.

3. To keep from declension.

4. To support in any state.

5. To continue; to maintain.

6. To keep from being lost.

Faulconbridge, in spite of spite, along upholds the day.

7. To continue without failing.

8. To continue in being.

God’s righteousness is complete and nothing can separate us from Him once we have accepted that Christ’s blood IS sufficient for our salvation. Nothing else can secure our place in eternity. Not our own religious behavior, not our own good works, nothing!

So be encouraged, dear Christian. Our God is there – every step of the way – during our trials and tribulations. Do not be discouraged! Look up for our redemption draweth nigh!

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If salvation were based upon what man had to do to earn it, then it would have to also be based upon what man had to do to keep it. The Bible is clear as to what salvation is based upon, and none of them mention man’s works or lack of them as the foundation. So let’s take a look at what the Word says salvation is all about:

  1. God’s grace, not works~Ephesians 2:8-9  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:  Not of works, lest any man should boast. Also, ~Titus 3:5  Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
  2. One sacrifice for sins for all and for eternity~Hebrews 6:4-6  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,  And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,   If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame. Also, ~Hebrews 9:22-28  And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.  It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.    For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:    Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:    So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Also, ~Hebrews 10:12-14  But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;  From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.  For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
  3. A promise from God~John 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Also, ~Joh 6:37  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Also, ~Romans 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
  4. No based on our ability to keep it~2 Timothy 1:12  For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. Also, ~Philippians 1:6  Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: Also, ~2 Timothy 4:18  And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. As well as, ~2 Corinthians 1:10  Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver us;
  5. Never spoken as earthly or temporal in God’s Word~John 4:14  But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. Also ~John 6:40  And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. As well as,   ~John 6:47  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. And, ~Hebrews 5:9  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;

God’s Word is Truth and He cannot lie.  God gave man the promise of eternal salvation based on His grace and based on His Word, which He keeps for all eternity.  Critics of eternal salvation base their beliefs on man’s ability.  But the one thing we are certain of with man is his ability to  continue in sin no matter how many laws there are to keep man moral.  But what critics don’t “get” is that Christ died while we were yet sinners – He knew it was hopeless for us to keep the law.  It is hopeless for us to be “good enough” or to do so many good things that in the end they will outweigh the sins!  That is why salvation is all about what Christ did and nothing about what we have done or need to do.  It is a gift from God.  We cannot give ourselves this gift.

Only God can give us the gift – all we have to do is sincerely accept it and repent !  That is why there are so many critics of eternal salvation today.  Too many have said they are born again but their lives do not show it.  Their lives don’t show it because they have not repented.  The Gospel has landed on rocky ground and in thorns instead of a fruitful heart.

“Once in Christ and ever in Christ. A star may sooner fall out of its orb than a true believer be plucked away from God (Watson, Religion Our True Interest, 96).”
Thomas Watson

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How I love today’s name for Jesus Christ. Our Captain leads the way for us. Not only is He perfect in every way, but His sacrifice on the cross is perfect as well. Nothing more is needed to obtain salvation than the blood of our Captain and Leader.

~Joshua 5:13-15 And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand: and Joshua went unto him, and said unto him, Art thou for us, or for our adversaries? (13) And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? (14) And the captain of the LORD’S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so. (15)

~Hebrews 2:9-11 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man. (9) For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (10) For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren, (11)

~Hebrews 7:27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people’s: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.

Our Captain is perfect in every way. Not only can He lead His army but He can safely keep any member (born-again Christian) safe in His care.

~Jude 1:24-25 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, (24) To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. (25)

Our Captain keeps us from losing our salvation and will present us faultless before the presence of His glory, my friend! There’s no purgatory after death – if there were, how can Jude 1:24 be fulfilled? That means that Jesus Christ is able to keep us from falling because it is His blood (Hebrews 7:27) that is perfect and was offered up once for all. We cannot lose our salvation because our Captain is the one who holds our salvation securely – it is eternal.

~John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Not only is our Captain in charge of our souls, but He is also known as the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls.

~1 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (24) For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls. (25)

He alone possesses our souls because He purchased us at a great price with His own blood. After I accept Christ as the only way to Heaven, I become His property, if you will. I am now a child of the King of kings!

~Colossians 2:10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

~Ephesians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

How can one have spiritual blessings in Christ if we are not saved? We have a position in God’s family once we are born again in newness of life (2 Corinthians 5:17).

~Romans 6:7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

~Colossians 3:3-4 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. (3) When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. (4)

There is nothing I could possibly do to get me on inch closer to the gates of Heaven. I’m already a part of Christ (in Him) and there’s nothing else I can do to earn it or keep it.

~Titus 3:4-7 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, (4) Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (5) Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; (6) That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. (7)

Everything dealing with my salvation revolves around the work of the cross. I cannot keep the sacraments, I cannot work my way to Heaven by doing good deeds, I cannot perform penance enough to make up for my filthy rotten sin. I will always have this sin nature because I was born with it. But praise the Lord it’s not up to me but it’s all up to Christ. If it were up to us, Cain’s offering would have been sufficient, but it was not. It needed to be God’s way!

I am thankful that Christ saw fit to put in His Word:

~1John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.

We can know NOW that we have eternal life when we believe that Christ came of a virgin, lived a sinless life, died for our sins on the cross, rose from the dead and now sits at the right hand of the Father awaiting to return for His own. We do not need to live a life wondering if our salvation is secure. If our salvation depended on our faithfulness to God, we would be miserable because we fail Him every single day. But our salvation is not dependent on us but it is totally dependent on the precious work of Jesus Christ and, therefore, our Captain holds it securely in the palm of His hand!!!

Do you want your children to constantly doubt whether or not they are a member of your family? Our Heavenly Father is no different! He wants us to know right here and now if we are going to heaven or not. There is no purgatory. Judgment comes swiftly after death if one isn’t saved. But God calls everyone to salvation right now! After you die, it’s too late!

~2 Corinthians 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

The Captain wants you to get saved today. He wants to be your Guide and your Leader. Everything He does is perfect. Therefore, He can securely keep your salvation!

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