Secured in Christ

“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” (John 6:37)

I believe that God’s will, His desire is that none should perish. “The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9) Man unlike the rest of God’s Creation has been given free will, man is able to choose that which he desires. This is just, as man is responsible for the outcome of his choices. This excuse that the Devil made me do it or I am a victim of society is fruitless rhetoric. What is evil that comes into our lives is because we have opened the door, we have fallen to the temptation, and we have submitted to the wiles of the Devil. What is good that comes into our life comes from our obedience to God’s Word, these good gift are not earned but are given to us from a loving Heavenly Father. “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.” (James 1:17)

The problem is that too many reject the truths of God. Man refuses to humble himself before an Almighty God. This can be seen at the fall in the Garden of Eden. Man fell to the temptation that he could be as God. Man’s rejection of God’s truths give the Devil a stronghold on man that he can exploit. He is able through our weakness of truth to blind man to the truth of God, thus, allowing us to fall to the lie. “In whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

Men search for salvation in many ways, some get close by searching the Scriptures but fail to see that all Scripture testifies of Jesus. Therefore, they reject the truth of the Son of God and believe they can earn or please God enough to receive His mercy. “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life.” (John 5:39-40)

All men are sinners, all have failed to reach the mark. It is not how good I am compared to you or how good you are compared to me. We are both sinners even if we had only sinned once in our life. “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point, he has become guilty of all.” (James 2:10) The Law of God then cannot save us, it can only convict us. It only makes us realize just how guilty we are. No one likes to feel guilty. No one likes to see how evil they are in their heart. No one wants to accept the fact that we are impoverished in the spirit and humble themselves before the throne of God’s grace. Yet this is what each one of us must do or we will be eternally lost. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3) The mark that every man has failed to reach is the mark of a righteous life lived by Jesus, everything else falls short of the glory of God. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

There are some who do believe in the truth of Jesus and accept Him for who He is and what He has done. They see that God so loved His creation that while it was still in rebellion He sent His Son to pay the debt of our sin on the cross of Calvary. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) If the sinner can see this and believe in this then God will draw them through His Word to Jesus. God overcomes the god of this world and opens the heart so that the Scriptures can be understood by the believer. We see in the Scripture in Acts that God opened the heart of Lydia. “A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.” (Acts 16:14)

When we see, so to speak, the error of our way, when we see the truth of Jesus that He is, “the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John14:6) God will grant to us a heart for repentance that we may come to know the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. “With gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 2:25)

All those then “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9) are Christians, followers of Jesus. It then can be said that they have been given to as the reward of His sufferings. Therefore the joy of the Lord is complete in that “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.” (Ephesians 1:4-6)

Jesus is the Good Shepherd and He tends the sheep of His Father in heaven, He knows their need of Him and the gift of life they can have through the suffering and sacrifice that He has made. But we must come to know it as well, we must realize that Jesus is the way to restore our personal relationship with our Heavenly Father the Creator of our life. Imagine you as a parent that prays and longs for your child to come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Even now Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father praying for our salvation. We were born His and then drawn away by the allurement of this fallen world. We were born with a free will and along the way choose to follow the worldly way, a way that leads to our own destruction. If we chose to live in rebellion, then we must also chose to repent. The sinner must acknowledge the hopelessness of his sinful state and call upon the name of Jesus and believe in Him for their salvation. “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (Acts 16:31)

When the Father sees that the sinner knows his need for salvation, knows that he is spiritually impoverished, and accepts Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for the propitiation of their sin, the Father will draw that sinner to the call of Jesus. “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:44) It is the work of God’s Spirit that guides men into faith and repentance and for those who chose to follow the promptings of the Spirit now is the day of salvation. “For He says, “At the acceptable time I listened to you, And on the day of salvation I helped you.” Behold, now is “the acceptable time,” behold, now is “the day of salvation.” (2 Corinthians 2:6) It is then that the repentant soul will seek Jesus.

We must come to Christ, we must go to every measure to find Him. We must surrender our self and open the door to our heart and invite Him in. Jesus is not far and He is desiring us but we must desire Him. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.” (Revelation 3:20) If we allow Him in and commit our will to His then He will lay the footprints before that we are to follow. Jesus never pushes us, He leads us in the way we should go. This is our choice to accept His plan and purpose for our life.

Rejection is a painful experience to most. I once was a Fuller Brush salesman and failed in that endeavor. Not because I wouldn’t knock on doors or carry my case for miles each day. I failed because I could not accept the constant rejection. The formula was a thousand no’s to receive one yes. That was unacceptable to me. Matthew of Edberg in his Bible renders this illustration. “Our blessed Lord alludes to the case of a person in deep distress and poverty, who comes to a nobleman’s house, in order to get relief: the person appears; and the owner, far from treating the poor man with asperity, welcomes, receives him kindly, and supplies his wants.” When we come to Jesus in the deep distress of our spiritual poverty, burdened with the sins of our life, weighted down by the weight of the chains that affix us to this world and life, guilty of transgression to the Word of God, Jesus takes us in, heals us of our spiritual faults, empowers us to live an abundant life, leads us to our eternal home which He has prepared for us, and gives us rest. “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

Durant Bible College, June 25, 2015

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