Wednesday, July 22, 2009

eternal security

After reading and commenting on a couple of Alex's posts, I've attempted to explain a tough idea with a word picture.

I'll start out with telling you that this idea has been bumping around in my head frequently as I prepare to lead my Senior Highers through the book of Hebrews over the next year. Hebrews is full of all these "warning passages" which seem, at times, to say that our faith to persevere is based on obedience and/or our growth in Christ.

I don't believe this to be the case and here is how I explain it.

I think the warning passage in Hebrews are meant to continually remind us that our faith is not based on us, our obedience or our growth in Christ. Those warning passages are there to let us know that it's all about Jesus.

Think of it like this:
Eternal security is like this giant mountain that you are climbing throughout your Christian life and all along the way we get this sense that we are perfectly safe.

We grab a climbing harness, like the defeat of a certain sin, and strap ourselves in. We cling to this evidence of faith and depend on it to continue to bring us to the top.

And then, higher up we run into a good friend and they become our climbing partner for awhile. They are great. They bear a lot of burdens for us because we are tired and lonely. They grab our 50-lb pack with ease (for a time) and we chalk this up as evidence that we are on track.

Later on we get to a large ravine and we cross it with a ladder, like consistent prayer, and we are confident of the strength of that ladder. We see it as a strong piece of wood that is virtually indestructible.

The problem that Hebrews makes clear is none of those things are what secures us. Hebrews shouts out: "Wake up!! You're near the edge! Cling to the rock! Let Christ's hand reach down to sustain you! Look out!! That ravine is deep and your ladder is full of holes!!"

And the point? The point of those warning passages is summed up in Hebrews 2:1, "Therefore, we must pay much closer to the things we have heard, lest we drift away from it."

What is the it? It's Jesus. It's the Gospel. He's the harness, the friend and the ladder.

The warning passage are meant to take our eyes from ourselves and the things around us and put them onto Christ. They are not meant to scare us with doubts and fear of falling, but to redirect our gaze to the One who holds and sustains us.

And so, I warn you, don't neglect this "great salvation" and keep your eyes on Christ. He will make sure that you are eternally secure in His arms.


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