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How can I feel secure in my salvation?
Question: I constant worry about whether I’m saved or not. Do I lose my salvation every time I sin? How can I feel secure that I’m saved?
Answer: It seems to me you’re framing your “salvation” within a legal paradigm rather than a relational paradigm. It’s like God is an angry judge and your a guilty defendant in a court of law. If you meet requirements x,y,z you’re “saved, ” but if you fail requirements x,y,z you’re “damned.” No wonder you worry about whether you loose your salvation whenever you sin.
This legal paradigm of salvation is a very common, but very unfortunate, way of thinking about the matter.
When you read the New Testament, don’t think court of law: think marriage. God doesn’t want to be your prosecuting attorney or probation officer; he wants to be your passionate, heavenly lover! You are the “bride” of Christ, the Bible says. When we pledge our life to Christ, we enter into a marriage covenant.
Now, in a marriage the spouses don’t go around asking, “What are the legal requirements I must to do stay married?” Or, “What are the does and don’ts that will keep my spouse from divorcing me?” If a couple lives in these kind of questions, they’re in a pretty sick marriage!
The right question in marriage is; “How can I grow in my capacity to love and please my spouse?”
A marriage isn’t a legal contract, it’s a relational covenant. See the difference?
I don’t worry about my wife divorcing me every time I’m an imperfect husband (which, of course, I hardly ever am). But neither do I take advantage of my wife’s love by trying to see how imperfect I can get away being without her divorcing me. In response to her love for me, I rather want to grow in my capacity to be a good husband. The same is true of her. And the same should be true of our relationship with God. He loves you more than you can imagine, Calvary is all the proof of this you need. To be married to him, you simply need to trust that this is true and pledge to pursue growing in your capacity to live faithful to him and in your capacity to be “a good wife.” Of course you’re not going to be perfect, and when you fall you need to just go back and remind himself of his unconditional love, expressed on Calvary. Learn from your mistakes, and move on.
But always remember: He’s your lover, not your probation officer.
The Cross and Cosmic Warfare
Since the time of Anselm in the 11th century, Western theology has focused almost all of its attention on the anthropological dimension of the atonement. In the most popular understanding, the chief thing that God was accomplishing on the cross was satisfying God’s perfect justice and thereby atoning for our sins. The work of the…
How do you respond to Matthew 24:1–44?
This is Jesus’ Mount of Olives discourse in which, according to many scholars, he prophesies concerning the conditions at the end of the age. “And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place (vs. 6)…nation shall rise against nation…there will be famines and…
How do you respond to John 13:18–19; 17:12?
“I am not speaking of you all; I know whom I have chosen. But it is to fulfill the scripture, ‘The one who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I tell you this now, before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am he.’” Jesus prays…
What is the significance of 1 Samuel 13:13–14?
Because of Saul’s rebellion, Samuel tells him, “The Lord would have established your kingdom over Israel forever but now your kingdom will not continue.” The biblical narrative depicting God’s dealings with Saul up to this point is predicated on the assumption that God intended to establish Saul’s descendants as the permanent heir to the throne…
Is the Bible against body piercing and tattoos?
Some Christians argue against body piercing and tattoos on the basis of a couple of Old Testament verses that prohibit them (Lev. 19:28). Several years back an aggravated lady tried to get me to preach against these things in my church (she’d observed that a number of people in the congregation had body piercings and…
What is your perspective on the classical view that God is above time?
In a major strand of hellenistic (Greek) philosophy, change was seen as being an imperfection. This idea was adopted by many early Church fathers and eventually became almost an assumed dogma of the Church. It was thus assumed that, since God is perfect, he must be above all change. Not only does his character and…