The final message in our short series of sermons under the general heading of – “The Security of the Saints”
The genuine believer will persevere to the end, but out there are a number of enemies that would seek to thwart such a purpose by putting believers back under condemnation and seeking to rob them of the “blessed assurance” of their full and final salvation. They are itemised in the form of an anticipated question followed by a detailed answer:-
1 – Evil Authorities (v 31.)
Question – Can powerful evil forces rob us of our final salvation?
Answer – This is a direct challenge to the keeping power of God, the idea being that an evil authority may rise up against the believer to rob them of their final salvation. While the Christian life is a spiritual battle against a powerful enemy (Ephesians 6 v 12) that enemy is nowhere near as powerful as Almighty God and will not be able to stand against him to thwart his saving purpose.
2 – Eternal Apathy (v 32.)
Question – Might God’s love for us grow cold and leave the process of salvation incomplete?
Answer – This is a direct challenge to the everlasting love of God, saying that his love might grow cold causing him to become apathetic to his children, resulting in an incomplete salvation. But if God gave the precious and costly gift of his Son on the cross, it is inconceivable that his love should then fail further down the line (Jeremiah 31 v 3.) God will never lose interest in us; instead he will provide us with all that we need to persevere to the end until we see him face to face.
3 – Enemy Accusation (v 33 – 34.)
Question – What about those occasions when I sin and the devil undermines my sense of “blessed assurance” by whispering in my ear that I have lost my salvation?
Answer – This is a direct challenge to God’s ability to choose as the devil reminds us that if God had truly chosen us then we would not have behaved liked that. The picture is that of a court room with the devil acting as chief prosecutor and accusing (Revelation 12 v 10.) But God has pronounced us righteous in Christ, who even now intercedes for us before the throne (Hebrews 7 v 25) securing for his children the benefits of his death and silencing the malicious lies (John 8 v 44) of the accuser.
4 – Enduring Ability (v 35 – 39.)
Question – What about when the going gets tough, and because of what is happening in my life I no longer feel as if God loves me?
Answer – Here there is a change of emphasis, the thinking no longer being that God might fail, but that we might fail. This is a direct challenge to our ability to persevere to the end in the light of a long list of things that could come between us and Christ’s love, most of which had been Paul’s personal experience (2 Corinthians 11 v 23 – 29.) 17 possibilities are mentioned, but none of them will ever be able separate us from the love of Christ, because our confidence is not in our frail and feeble love for him, but in his steadfast and faithful love for us. This will enable us to conquer, to experience victory upon victory and to persevere in our salvation to the end.
Challenge – How secure are you in the assurance of your salvation?
Theme: “The stairway to security”
Reading: Romans 8 v 31 – 39
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Richard Sills