Eternal Security

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.

 Psalm 55:22 ESV

Sometimes those of us of a Wesleyan-Arminian persuasion give a wrong impression. In our attempts to combat the “sinning religion” that results from an unthinking adoption of the concept of “eternal security,” we too easily seem to be promoting “eternal insecurity.” That is, we seem to imply that a person’s relationship with God depends on the care with which they live their life. Unless a person keeps themselves from any sin whatsoever, he or she is lost.

That is not the case. Yes, as John says, we must “abide in Christ” (John 15). Yes, we must, empowered by the Holy Spirit, live lives that constantly display the qualities of Christ. But our ongoing, saving relationship with him is not a matter of our holding on to a greased rope while he shakes it from above.

It is Jesus who holds us (John 10:28); as Ps 55:22 says, Yahweh will not allow us to be shaken loose from him and our commitment to him. Marriage is a wonderful illustration of this truth. I am absolutely secure in Karen’s love. Because of that, I try to be the best husband I can. But if I fall short of that ideal sometimes (and I do), I have no fear whatever that she is going to kick me out.

But is it impossible for me to get out of this relationship? Oh, no, it is possible. If I am stupid enough to trample on Karen’s love, doing things she hates, carousing with other women, and finally saying, “I don’t want you anymore,she may continue to love me, but precisely because of that love, she will open her hand and let me go.

It is the same with Jesus: we are held securely in his love, regardless of occasional shortcomings, just so long as our loving behavior shows we want him (and not just what he can do for us – like eternal bliss).  So, brother, sister, be secure! You are his, and just as long as you want to be his, you are his.

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