Thursday, October 15, 2009

Guaranteed Long Life – 1 Peter 1:5

Who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (NASB)

Ok so I’m done with the inheritance but this next verse is really cool. I am protected by the power of God. I know that many people believe that they can lose their salvation if they turn away from God. I think this is one of the verses that support the fact that I will be kept safe until that salvation is completed. There seems to be a caveat in the verse as it states that the power of God is available by faith. Does that mean I have the ability to lose my faith and then I will no longer be protected and could lose my salvation? Well if my faith were in my own ability to remain faithful then I could certainly lose my salvation. However, my faith is not in myself, but it is in God and His ability to protect me.

A very familiar verse is Phil 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (NIV) I don’t think God is someone who will not finish what He has started. Unbelievers may argue that, but I believe that the book of Revelation is God’s plan for the end of this world and the beginning of a new world to come. I know the end of the story because I’ve read it. In the same way, I believe that He isn’t going to dump me if I don’t progress at a perfect rate or if I fall on the way. He will keep on working in me and won’t give up.

Jude 24-25 Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever. Amen. (RSV) This is one of my favorite memory verses because it affirms that when the end comes I will stand before my God without any blemishes. I know that I will stand there with great joy because He isn’t going to bring up all my sins and ugly things I’ve done in my life. It will be to His glory and not mine because everyone who sees me standing there will know that I don’t deserve it. It is only because of Jesus and His sacrifice that I can stand there.

So I’ve looked at what others have said in Scripture about what they think God will do. Another set of my favorite verses is in John 10:27-30 "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one." (RSV) These are Jesus’ own words. First Jesus says He has given me eternal life and that life is so firm and solid in His mind that He can say that I will never perish. Wow! His promise is something I can hold on to and it is apparent that He is holding me in His hand. So the question is whether or not someone can pull me out of His hand.

I must diverge. I remember seeing the Kung Fu TV series where Grasshopper finally is able to snatch a pebble from his master’s hand and then it was time to leave. My Master isn’t some aging martial arts expert. My Master is eternal, all-powerful, and all knowing. If someone were to try to snatch me out of God’s hand, He would know it way before hand. He would be able to prevent it even if He didn’t know it. He is eternal so He doesn’t get weak or senile so that He can’t hold on to me.

Some have argued with me and said that they could chose to reject God and therefore lose their salvation. My answer is that since I’m saved and in His hand I don’t want to leave. If I did want to leave then I wasn’t really in His hand to start with – I didn’t really believe and have faith. Even if it crossed my mind to do something like that (and that happens), He is protects me. Otherwise I would be able to say that I’m greater than God and am able to snatch myself out of His hand.

I also like these verses in John because Jesus reiterates that He is God by claiming to be one with God. “Ah!” you say, “He didn’t claim to be God but only one in purpose with God.” When I look at John 10:31-33, I see that the Jews who were listening to Him clearly understood that Jesus claimed to be God and said they would stone Him for making the claim. In the following verses Jesus didn’t deny the charge.

So Jesus is the one I have faith in and He gives me eternal life and guarantees that it will always be that way.

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