The Bible says in John 10:27-28: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”
Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from M.R. Dehaan. He said: “Why God should choose the meanest, basest, most unworthy individuals with absolutely nothing to commend them at all to God, except their miserable, lost condition, and then exalt them to become the sons of God, members of the divine family, and use them for His glory, is beyond all reason and human understanding. Yet that is grace.”
Our topic today is titled Secure and Sure of It (Part 1) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.
Can a person lose his salvation, or is that salvation secure, able to endure until Christ returns? In answering this question, those who promote commitment or lordship salvation and those who do not, find agreement: a truly saved person cannot lose his or her salvation.
The Bible says in Romans 6:7: “For he that is dead is freed from sin.”
Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from Curtis Hutson. He said: “If turning from your sins means to stop sinning, then people can only be saved if they stop sinning. And it is unlikely that anyone has ever been saved, since we don’t know anyone who has ever stopped sinning.”
Our topic today is titled The Verdict: Not Guilty (Part 3) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.
To be sure, justification is proved by personal purity. It does not come because of any reformation or commitment to change; but, once justified, we show this by changes in our lives. “He who has died is freed [literally, justified] from sin”. We stand acquitted from sin so that it no longer has dominion over us. Justification before the bar of God is demonstrated by changes in our lives here on earth before the bar of men.
THE VIEWPOINT OF JAMES
This was the perspective of the apostle James when he wrote that we are justified by works. Unproductive faith is a spurious faith; therefore, what we are in Christ will be seen in what we are before men. Men cannot peer into the courtroom of heaven to observe the Judge rendering a verdict of “not guilty” in respect to the sinner who believes. But men are spectators in the courtroom of life here on earth. When they see changed lives, they can know that there has been a heavenly verdict; that is, justification. When they do not see changes, then they may question and doubt. Justification by faith is necessary in the court of heaven. Justification by works is the only thing people can observe in the court on earth.
James gives an example of nonworking faith in the case of someone who sees a fellow believer in need of food and does not help meet that need. Faith that is not moved to relieve the hungry man’s need is nonworking faith.
The Bible says in Romans 3:21-23: “But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
Today’s God’s Great Salvation quote is from A.C. Dixon. He said: “We need a quickening of faith; faith in the power of the God of Pentecost to convict and convert three thousand in a day. Faith, not in a process of culture by which we hope to train children into a state of salvation, but faith in the mighty God who can quicken a dead soul into life in a moment; faith in moral and spiritual revolution rather than evolution.”
Our topic today is titled The Verdict: Not Guilty (Part 2) from the book, “So Great Salvation: What it Means to Believe in Jesus Christ” by Dr. Charles Ryrie.
HOW CAN SINNERS BE RIGHTEOUS?
If justification does not make us righteous, what does? Also, if we cannot make ourselves righteous enough to satisfy a holy God, what hope is there that anyone can ever be justified? Will God have to condemn all people? Can He lower His standards enough to let some into heaven? Or is there some way He can change the sinner into a truly righteous person so that He can truly announce it so? As mentioned earlier, it is the latter course of action that He takes.
And how does God do that? By joining us to Jesus Christ when we believe. And because, then, we are in Christ, we have His perfect righteousness imputed to us; that is, placed on our account, so that we are in reality righteous in God’s sight.
Impute is the key word. It means “to place to the account of.” Perhaps the best illustration of imputation is the story told in the book of Philemon. Onesimus, the slave who ran away from his master Philemon in Colosse, found Paul and received Christ in Rome. At that point, Paul asked Onesimus to return to his master, assuring Philemon in a letter he sent along with the former slave that “if he [Onesimus] has wronged you in any way or owes you anything, charge that to my account.” Likely this indicates that Onesimus had stolen property or money from Philemon when he ran away. In other words, Paul assured Philemon that he would pay whatever was necessary so that Onesimus need not be charged for anything he may have owed. Similarly, God imputes or puts on the believer’s account the righteousness of Christ, so that in His sight we are completely righteous and He can announce it as so.