The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Great Assurance, Grave Awareness"
In testimonies regarding his salvation and walk with the Lord, the Apostle Paul revealed that a difference exists between our relationship with God, and the subsequent life to which He calls us after we have received His grace in the Lord Jesus Christ.
"I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against the day" (II Timothy 1:12).
"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself might be a castaway" (I Corinthians 9:27).
Note Paul's complete confidence regarding the preservation of his saving relationship with God through Christ. "He is able to keep that." Indeed, the atoning and intercessory work of the Lord Jesus so justifies born again believers that we forevermore "have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ" (Romans 5:1). Conversely, regarding the life of service to which God called Paul (the context of I Corinthians 9), Paul was not sure he would finish his course. He could be a "castaway" in the sense of continued ministry for his Lord. The Apostle knew that a "law of sin" remains in the flesh of believers during our present earthly lives (Romans 7:23). Through Christ, we are more than enabled to overcome the impulses and inclinations of this law. "The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2). However, as Paul indicates, it is not inevitable that we will do so. While the Lord Jesus keeps our salvation, we are called to keep our body under submission. We do this by His leading and enabling. But we do it. "If ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live" (Romans 8:13).
Like Paul, we should magnify the grace of God regarding a salvation freely received and freely secured by the saving grace of the Lord Jesus. However, we must also join our brother in the realization that availing ourselves of grace regarding the life to which God calls us is not inevitable. This should elicit in us the dual sense of of great assurance and grave awareness. The New Testament record is replete with the chronicle of both faithful believers and believers who failed to avail, as it were. No less than Paul recognized the possibility of becoming a castaway in the sense of usefulness to God and people. Thankfully, we know this did not happen, and we close with the Apostle's joyous testimony of Christ-enabled faith and faithfulness expressed just before his martyrdom…
"I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith."
(II Timothy 4:7)
"Him that cometh unto Me, I will in no wise cast out."
"Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware let ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness."
(II Peter 3:17)
Weekly Memory Verse
"But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His" (Romans 8:9).