Beginning With No End

I don’t have a lot of hope of one day collecting on social security. In about 4 years when I’m 62 and able to start drawing on my benefits, it wouldn’t surprise me if there was nothing left in the pot that I’ve been paying into since I was 16. That less than princely sum will probably have to be applied toward paying off the interest on the interest on the USA’s economically suicidal loan from China. But in one sense it’s all good, hakuna matata, no worries, because I have no plans to retire; at least not in the relatively recent traditional Western sense. I just plan to keep doing what I’m doing as long as I’m physically able. It’s kind of like Bob Dylan’s, “never ending tour.” In fact I figure I’ll just check out in the pulpit one of these days, which isn’t a bad way to go.

So, as far as having confidence in the solvency of America’s social security program, not so much. But in a full frontal 180, I have complete total unqualified confidence in Yahweh’s doctrine of security program. What’s that you say? This is the work of God in which He unconditionally guarantees that once a person has been genuinely born again, he or she will never lose their relation with God and will be kept in a state of full possession of eternal life. It differs from assurance in that assurance is the absolute conviction that one is in the present possession of spiritual salvation and will be eternally kept in that state. So whereas assurance is a state of mind, security is true whether or not one realizes it or is assured of it because it’s based on the works of the triune God.

The specific works of the triune God which form the bases for this truth are these: A) The unconditional promises (John 3:16, 5:24), and keeping power (John 10:29; Rom. 8:38-39; 1 Pet. 1:5) of God the Father; B) The substitutionary death for sin (Rom. 8:1; 1 John 2:2), and present intercessory prayer (John 17:15; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25) of God the Son; C) The permanent indwelling as a guarantee of future fully realized redemption (cf. John 14:16; Eph. 1:14), and the sealing until the day of future fully realized redemption (cf. Eph. 1:13; 4:30) by God the Holy Spirit.

Now in light of these works or ministries of the triune God here are some conclusions that can be drawn about the doctrine of security: 1) In order to counteract or undo these works, a person must have power greater than God’s. 2) Security is true whether a believer realizes it or not, because it is the teaching of Scripture; and at the beginning, middle, and end of the day, it is totally a work of God. 3) There is no way to determine what sin or sins severs union with God. 4) Fellowship may be broken but never union (cf. 1 Cor. 3). 5) If properly understood, the doctrine of security doesn’t lead to disobedience but obedience; because instead of trying to toe the line driven by fear over possibly losing salvation, one’s obedience is actually an expression of gratitude for what cannot possibly be lost; namely a quality and duration of life that has a beginning with no end.

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