Summary: This is the fifth sermon in the series and examines the "Perserverance of the Saints."
We have been talking about our salvation–trying to better understand the process that transforms our lives. The Bible uses such vivid images: we’ve moved from death to life, darkness to light, being lost to be found, born again. We’ve focused on the fact that God is the author and perfecter of our faith. We looked at the order of salvation last week, the way that God calls us, breathes new life into us to take us to the point of conversion (of repenting and embracing him by faith), then how God justifies us (looks us in the soul and declares us “INNOCENT”), and then how we are being sanctified until the day we are changed and glorified. Let’s start today where we left off last week, with this profound question: after considering the immense gift of our salvation . . .
31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Introduction: Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Nothing. That is the most complete list of “anything that could” that exists. We are going to focus on that today because it is a fundamental truth of our salvation that should revolutionize our faith life if we understand it properly.
Imagine I really want to go hang gliding. It’s one of the things I want to do before I die. I heard once that the best place to hang glide in the world is a ridge in the country of Turkey. So I go to this great place in Turkey and I ask to ride with some hang glider that offers rides to tourists. I imagine people who hang glide are very thin. Bird-like. And I imagine they wear real slick clothes so that they have minimal wind resistance.
So this twig of a man says, “Sure I take you for a ride, climb on.” I climb on, he runs and we plummet off a cliff while he yells, “Hold on.” And I am clinging for dear life to this thin man with slick clothes. If I let go I die. This will be the last thing I do before I die.
What’s worse is that he underestimated my weight–and he is now plummeting down far too fast. He has to decide if he is going to crash with me on his back, or just give me a little shoulder roll and let me go. This is not a good scenario.
Here’s reality–if you go to this place in Turkey they harness you in.
They embrace you with safety straps, a helmet, and an instructor that is large enough to handle your tremendous girth. So you have a sense of security, and you can enjoy the ride! I don’t want to say that you are totally secure, but you aren’t just holding on for dear life. They aren’t going to drop you.
When talking about our salvation, too many Christians have the first scenario view of God saving us. God offers us the ride of salvation–it’s a free ride. Jesus paid the price. All you have to do is hold on, and it ain’t easy. You can lose your grip on Jesus and plummet into eternal death at any time during the ride. So hold on tight–your life depends on your ability to keep the faith and hold on.
The problem is that just isn’t biblical. What is biblical is that we are . . .
I. Eternally Embraced By God
A. Salvation is based entirely on grace. It is all God. God is the primary actor, the one who holds our salvation.