One of the many theological debates that bears its head from time to time has to do with our security in Christ. Many millions of words have been penned in the last two thousand years on the subject, so a couple hundred more will not hurt anything. If anything, I hope to bring some Gospel clarity to this important issue.
When we talk about security we have to determine two elements of the issue. First, we have to ask ourselves who is doing the securing? And second, we have to ask ourselves, how capable is this individual in accomplishing the job? If we can answer this question then we have gain significant ground in the conversation. This idea and topic is important because how we answer it will determine how we view and approach God. Our perception of God should be of utmost importance because we draw our identity from what we believe about God.
So, let’s look at the first question: Who is doing the securing? There are essentially two positions here. Either I am doing the securing or God is. If I am doing the securing, then there will always be the risk that I may falter in my task. Maybe I get distracted or am attached and weakened. Personally, this idea does not sit well with me because I know my failures are not a possibility, but an eventuality. Therefore, this option is wrought with peril. The testimony of the scripture provides us with a reason for hope. Peter, in his first letter, writes the following words.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. [1 Peter 1:3-5, emphasis added]
The beauty of our faith is that God has taken full responsibility and ownership of our redemption. He has not left anything up to chance. This is a wonderful promise. The fact that we will fail and falter does not negate God’s ability in keep what he has purchased through the costly sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. We are secure not because of any virtue in us, but because of the power and virtue of the Creator of all things.
But, what about the second question? How capable is God in keeping us secure? Jesus answers this question for us when he tells the Jews who had gathered around him.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” [John 10:27-30, emphasis added]
Now, I don’t know about you, but there is a confidence in Jesus’ words that speak volumes to his capability to keep that which he see as his. The question that we must ask ourselves is this: Whose voice are we listening to? The answer to this question will determine the confidence we can have in Jesus’ power to save us and keep us secure.