Kept By the Power of God
1 Peter 1:3-5
The life of a Christian is not meant to be one of anxiety and uncertainty. We ought not to feel that we are having to walk through life on eggshells. On the other hand, the Christian must have a deep and profound respect for God's will in His life. There is no excuse for treating God's will in a casual way, disregarding it whenever the mood strikes us. Some folks evidently think that it is an either/or proposition; either God expects you to live an extremely uncomfortable life with little peace and always wondering if you have slipped off the narrow way or He doesn't really care one way or the other which of His commands you violate because, after all, your only human.
Both of these extremes are wrong. Peace of mind is extremely
important to a persons well-being. And this is precisely what Jesus offers to
His faithful disciples. He has not scattered eggshells in front of you waiting
to see if you step on one and break it, but neither has He suggested that
ignoring His commandments is the way to go to heaven. We are going to discuss
how to remain in a saved state as a child of God.
Hope In the Son of God
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time" (I PETER 1:3-5). God, in His mercy, has caused His children to be born again unto "a living hope." The confidence of the faithful Christian in his future ought to be strong and sure. It ought to motivate and equip each disciple unto love and good works. It ought to sweep away doubt even during perilous times. And it has done all those things in other Christians in other times. Is your hope a "living" hope?
Also, the passage reminds us that we are protected by "God's
power through faith." Notice that there are two things that work together to
protect us: God's power and our faith. We are protected by the same awesome
power that spoke our universe into existence if we have faith. If we do not live
by faith, then there is no power to save us or to keep us saved. If we leave the
Lord, then we leave the security He provides.
And They Shall Never Perish
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand" (JOHN 10:27,28). Jesus illustrates at least one aspect of His relationship with His disciples by using the figure of a shepherd and his sheep. No one and nothing is able to harm the sheep over which He is watching. The promise is that as long as a disciple is under the Shepherd's care, he cannot perish. It is impossible!
Peace of mind is extremely important...and this is precisely what Jesus offers to His faithful disciple.
But notice something very important here; this very important and comforting promise is not made to any and all sheep. It is made only to those sheep that are under the shepherd's care. They are identified as the ones who "hear" His voice and "follow" Him. There are no such promises given to sheep who disregard the voice of Jesus or who do not follow Him!
Loyalty and Security
"If we endure, we shall also reign with Him; if we deny Him, He will also deny us; if we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself" (HEBREWS 2:12,13). Jesus requires our loyalty. There is no good reason to deny the Lord; not the loss of wealth, friends, freedom, family or even life itself. If, when conflict arises, we deny Jesus, then we will one day hear Him deny us. While we may be faithless, He shall never be. He will always be truthful and righteous in His promises and actions, whether we find ourselves reigning with him or being denied by Him. Thus the need for endurance.
If, when conflict arises, we deny Jesus, we will one day hear Him deny us
Jesus told His disciples that even if ones own brother should rise up against him, that he must be willing to "endure to the end" (MATTHEW 10:21,22). The Christians at Corinth were urged to "hold fast to the word" (I CORINTHIANS 15:1,2). After what Jesus has done for us, how
could any of us ever entertain the thought of turning our backs on Him?
Listen To the Warning!
"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall" (I CORINTHIANS 10:12). God considers these matters so important that He repeatedly warns us throughout the Scriptures that it is possible to fall away and be lost. He does not place this kind of advice in His word to make us miserable or unhappy. In fact, He wants nothing more than our success. We need to be aware of the potential so that we may take proper action to insure that we remain faithful. So the Bible speaks of some who had been "severed from Christ" and had "fallen from grace" (GALATIANS 5:4).
Peace and Security For the Faithful Child of God
He, Himself has said, 'I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,' so that we may confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid" (HEBREWS 13:5,6). The pages of the Scriptures include the message that God is always on our side. He will not leave us abandoned to eternal night. He will provide whatever is necessary so that no trial is beyond our ability to withstand. The disciple who has swept away his doubts and fears becomes a happier, more contented individual. His life is more enjoyable and meaningful. The old children's hymn put it this way, "He's got the whole world in His hands."
The disciple who has swept away his doubts and fears becomes a happier, more content individual.
The faithful Christian knows that nothing will defeat him as long as He lives by His faith. He will face good times and bad, but always remains assured of eternal victory In Christ Jesus. "There is now no condemnation in Christ Jesus...If God be for us who can be against us?...Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?...But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus the Lord." (ROMANS 8:1,31,35,37-39).
If your confidence isn't just as strong as Paul's, then why not? With God's help you can make it so; believe the promises, obey the commands, live your life with purpose and boldness because as a child of God living by faith, you know where you are heading.
By Jon W. Quinn
From Expository Files 10.1; January 2003