“I’m not a Christian, because I wouldn’t be able to live it. I don’t want to be a hypocrite.”
“I tried Jesus, but it didn’t work for me.”
“I’ve asked Jesus to save me many times.”
“Can anyone really be certain of eternal life? Isn’t it arrogant to say so?”
A performance driven, fallen world warps our view of God. We think He will only take us if first we clean ourselves up, and then we think He will keep us only if we keep ourselves clean. Nothing could be farther from an accurate picture of God’s character. Nothing could be more mistaken about his design for reconciling us to Himself and keeping us for Himself.
So, first, let’s understand God’s purpose for having sent Jesus to the Cross. Why did Christ go to the Cross? The Lord Jesus went to the Cross in order to do the will of God the Father– Hebrews 10; Ps. 40; Is. 53; Luke 22:42; Matthew 26:39.
What was the Father’s will in the Cross? God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ–-2 Cor. 5:18-21. The need for reconciliation reveals there has been an offense. We offend God by our corrupt natures and by our sinful actions/inactions. Now you might be saying to yourself, “I thought God was not performance driven.” Well, He is not, but this is about relationship. Every sin is a failure to love God and fellow man as God loves. When it comes to loving God and loving others as God loves, we fall far short, because—again—our human nature is terribly flawed. Where there is relational offense, there is separation (Eph. 2:1; Rom. 4:25; Rom. 6). But, through the Cross of Jesus, the Offended (God) reaches out to the offenders (us) and provides a means for full reconciliation (1 Peter 1:18, 19; Revelation 5:9).
Jesus provides the payment for the ransom of our souls in FULL– John 19:30; Hebrews 9 & 10. Don’t you know that you (all that you have been, and are, and will be) are purchased by the blood of God’s own Son? Think about this: all of your sins were future when Jesus Christ died on the Cross over 2000 years ago. What is more, God has all-knowledge. He knew all of the sin of your lifetime when He sent Jesus to the Cross to pay for it. He is not surprised by anything, especially your sin.
Now, if the offense is taken away because of Christ, then there is reconciliation. When the cause for separation is taken away, there is union. “He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit” (1 Cor. 6:17). If God says no offenses remain on the judgment books, then there is no just cause for punishment (Hell) and also no cause for any condemning displeasure at all (Rom. 8:1). God has only affirmation, joy, and pleasure in us who believe, because Jesus paid our ransom price from sin. Jesus provides a full satisfaction for the wrath of God against our sinfulness (Col. 1:20; 2:14). How could the sacrifice of God’s life do anything less? This was the plan of God from the beginning (1 Pet. 1:19-23).
Secondly, please recognize how God defines Eternal Life. Eternal Life is Jesus Himself; if you have (receive, believe on) Jesus, you have Eternal Life (1 John 5:12, 20; John 3:36). Eternal Life is to know (intimately) God – John 17:3. Knowing God is not the same as knowing facts. Knowing God is relationship…a reconciled relationship, based on repentance toward God (about our sinful state) and trust placed in Jesus as the Rescuer from sin. It is not arrogant for one to say he is sure of having eternal life, since knowing a Person is not a matter of pride. If one doesn’t have Jesus, he cannot possibly have eternal life.
At other places within Scripture (Romans 8:16, 17, 32), God writes He has given the believer an adoption, a Joint-heir relationship (or union) with the Son of God. Literally, He grants them the legal authority/permission to become His a child – John 1:12, 13. And, in laws that God wrote before Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection, it is written that no adopted child can be disowned.
Third of all, please realize what Jesus promises, as a result of His cross and resurrection. If He paid for it, He can offer it. Right? And if he offers it in promise, will you call Jesus a liar?
- Eternal Life to those who believe on Him – John 10:28
- Forgiveness of Sins, or pardon – Acts 10:43
- Rescue from Hell, or damnation – John 3:36
- His own righteousness (perfection) credited to you – 2 Cor. 5:21
- To be made a new creature with a new nature (heart) – John 1:12, 13; 2 Cor. 5:17 – MIRACLE
- To have the Holy Spirit dwelling in you and being with you forever – John 14:16, 17; 2 Cor. 1:22; Eph. 1:13; 4:30 … by the way, the Holy Spirit does not go to Hell.
- Those that come to Him, Jesus will never cast out (John 6:37 and following).
Next, please understand how God has dealt with your sins. Jesus’ blood made provision for the forgiveness of all sins (past, present, and future, Is. 53:6; Titus 2:14). Sins of the Past are remitted (forgiven) – Rom. 3:25. Sins of the Future are not imputed (accounted) to you – Rom.4:8. Sins of the Present are cleansed away – 1 John 1:7.
Also, Jesus’ blood and intercession makes continual fellowship with God possible – 1 John 1-2:2. Fellowship with God is the deep down desire of every believer, because it is a matter of identity. A believer is remade to walk with and know God as a human being. He or she is a child of God – a new creature with an entirely new inner make-up, though the mind needs renewing (Romans 12:2 & Eph. 4:23) in order to believe what God has told you about Himself and about your new self, amid a world and bodily desires and an enemy that tells you otherwise. Nevertheless, the believer is already righteous and holy in Jesus. Do away with the things that do not match who you really are. This kind of view of yourself produces an attitudes such as:
- “He that has the Hope of Jesus within him purifies himself, even as He is pure.” 1 John 3:3
- “What, shall we sin so that grace may abound? May it never be! How shall we who are dead to sin continue any longer in sin?” Romans 6
- “He that is forgiven little, the same loves little… [those know how much they have been forgiven will love God and not want to offend Him any more.] Luke 7:47
- “Be ye holy, for I am holy” – the reason for one’s holiness is not to keep salvation but to be a reflection of the one who has saved him… The goal is God’s pleasure in seeing His likeness in me.
Final Questions to Consider:
If you have not accepted the promises of Christ for you, then what is stopping you?
If you are a believer, how did Salvation come to you? Did you earn it? You did not earn it. It was given (Ephesians 2:8,9; Romans 11:6). Galatians 3:3 questions, “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” If you did not earn it by works, then you cannot keep eternal life by deeds either. If all types of sin alienate us from God, then we must not decide which ones can “take away our salvation.”
It is fellowship with the Father that is maintained by obedience and by walking in the light, but eternal life is forever.
Verses to Ponder:
Romans 4:25 (NIV) — “He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.”
1 John 3:19-21 (ESV) — “By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God;
John 6:37-40 (ESV) “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
John 10:27-30 (ESV) — “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 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. I and the Father are one.”