Even before the creation of the world (1 Peter 1:17–21), God appointed Christ and His perfect sacrifice as the basis for showing mercy to the Gentiles. Through Christ they could experience hope in spite of being strangers to Israel and not being recipients of God’s covenants with Israel (Ephesians 2:11–13). The apostle Paul understood this point very clearly and the Spirit of God led him to repeatedly write of its profound significance. One such occasion appears in Paul’s epistle to the Romans:
8 For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, 9 and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.
It is said regarding the young Calvinist, “The first few years in a Calvinists life, he should be caged and only let out of the cage when he learns to love.” This is a most unfortunate observation (let’s admit though, not 100% true all of the time, but enough to justify the stereotype). Understanding God’s sovereign love and grace should actually compel us to be gracious and kind. I know a person truly understands God’s sovereign grace, not by his or her ability to articulate the doctrine, but through his or her actions. I think James would resonate and support this assertion, “Show me your faith without works and I will show you my faith by my works” (2:18).… Continue reading
“Once saved, always saved.” This phrase commonly describes our security in salvation. When God saves a person, the person is born again, and can never lose his or her salvation. Amen, no problem, and hallelujah!
However, I wonder if this phrase also encourages a limited, restricted, or one-dimensional view of salvation? Let me ask it this way, when does salvation occur? Think about your salvation. Once saved, always saved starting in 2001 for me. In rehab ministry, I consistently heard drunks and druggies tell me they were saved when, “I was 5 years old and prayed a prayer. ‘Once saved always saved, right pastor!'”… Continue reading