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Let’s look together at the Word of God in the fifth chapter of Romans as we continue looking at the heart of the book of Romans. We started in chapter 3 and we’re going to get at least into the middle of chapter 5, which really grips the soul of the gospel, and we’ll get as far anyway as chapter 5, verse 11, in the next week, tonight, and next Sunday.

The subject that is addressed in the opening eleven verses of Romans 5 can be summed up in the notion of the security of our salvation. There are many gospel themes in this section. In fact, you can just about take any verse and expand it almost infinitely. “Being justified by faith,” that statement in verse 1, there could be an almost endless series of discussions and instructions on that. The idea of peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, the idea of a faith that enters us into grace in which we stand, the idea of hope, tribulation, perseverance, proven character.

Verse 5, the love of God, the work of the Holy Spirit, and then in verse 6, the marvelous realization that while we were helpless, at the right time, Christ died for the ungodly, brings to us the whole essence of in the purposes of God at the right place at the right time, Christ came to be a sacrifice for sin, and it goes on, the demonstration of love at the cross in verse 8, and on and on. This section of Scripture, verses 1 through 11, is loaded with gospel truths, gospel realities.

And in one sense, you might even conclude that you could sort of build this text around a whole lot of different themes. But it seems to me that the core of all of this is, in fact, as we noted for you, the security of our salvation. All the truths that are here connect back to the fact that we have a secure salvation. Peter said in 1 Peter 1:5, “We are kept by the power of God.” We are kept by the power of God, that really says it all. By what means does God wield that power in our behalf? Well, that is what is delineated in these eleven verses.

And I think without question, this is the most comforting doctrine in the panoply of salvation doctrines. It is most comforting to me and to you to know that our salvation is forever, that our salvation is a secure salvation. This takes away the fear and brings joy. The believer’s joy, the believer’s comfort, the believer’s sense of wellbeing, certainly the believer’s hope is anchored to this great security of salvation.

And the security of our salvation is not dependent on us, it is basically dependent on the unchanging character of God and the absolutely limitless power of God to overcome all things for the accomplishment of His own purpose. So this most hopeful, helpful, encouraging of all doctrines, that we are secure in our salvation, is the theme of these eleven verses.

Now, as we noted last time, as Paul moves into this, it is in the flow of the argument of the book of Romans. He has been telling us that all men are under the wrath of God for their sin, that all men are sinners. The only way to be delivered from the wrath of God is by faith in Jesus Christ. You can’t earn it, can’t gain it by merit or ceremony, it comes by grace through faith in Christ alone. The whole message of salvation by grace and faith is illustrated in chapter 4 in the life of Abraham. He is the model that shows us that throughout all redemptive history, salvation has always been by grace by faith.

The question now that would come into the mind of someone hearing this message would be the question, “Is faith enough? Is faith alone enough? What if we sin? Does faith waver? Does faith secure for us at some point in time a relationship with God that is unchanging? These are very normal questions.

As I told you in our last message, the debate about whether salvation is eternal has raged through all of the history of the church, and there are still people on both sides of that issue today. And so it’s not without reason that we assume that Paul recognizes this question will arise immediately. “All right, I’ve put my trust in Jesus Christ, I have been delivered from my sin, I have been forgiven by the provision of Christ on the cross. Is that enough? What if I sin? Is my faith enough to secure permanently this relationship with God until the final day, the final judgment, and will it hold me all the way to the end and lead me into heaven?” Paul’s answer here is absolutely yes - absolutely yes.

And it is not because of something we do. While it is true that we persevere in faith, while it is true that we persevere in obedience, while it is true that we persevere in love for God and love for one another, our faith is not perfect, our obedience is not perfect, our love is not perfect. And those imperfections could raise the question about whether or not we are actually able to hang onto our salvation.

And so it’s wonderful for us to know that even though we do not have a perfect faith or a perfect obedience or a perfect love, we are kept by the perfect power of God. And in this chapter, Paul lays out six elements of the keeping power of God - you might say six great links in the spiritual chain that secures us forever to God.

Now, we looked last time at the beginning in verse 1 and verse 2, and we saw the first two secure links, the first two realities that anchor us, the first two that are promised truths that chain us everlastingly to Christ. Number one, peace with God. “Therefore having been justified by faith,” that drags all of chapter 3 and 4 into chapter 5, that’s what he’s been talking about. We have already been justified by faith; here’s what secures us. We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Now, you remember last time we said that prior to coming to Christ, prior to salvation, every human being is an enemy of God and God is an enemy of every human being. God is at war with sinners and sinners are at war with God. Psalm 7:11 says, “God is angry with the wicked every day.” Whether people are conscious of it or not, whether they think they have respect for God, admiration for God, worship God, believe in God, apart from believing the gospel of Jesus Christ, they are at war with God, and according to Ephesians 2:3, “All men are children of wrath, sons of wrath, headed for eternal judgment.”

However, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that relationship has changed. Peace has been made. God’s anger over our sin has been satisfied because Christ paid the penalty for our sin. Justice being satisfied, anger is satisfied. Christ, according to Ephesians 2:14, is our peace. He is the one who has made peace for us with God. Now we have a new relationship with God. We are no longer at war with God, we are no longer enemies of God. We have a permanent peace because what angered God was our sin, and His anger has been satisfied in the perfect suffering of Christ on our behalf. We are secure, then, because of this relationship of peace with God.

Secondly, Paul introduces us to another very important concept that secures us: standing in grace. Verse 2, “Through whom” - that is, the Lord Jesus Christ - “we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand.” Again, through Christ, through His work on the cross, through His atonement, and through His ever constant intercessory work on our behalf, we have obtained our introduction - or better, our access into grace. We have entered the realm of grace, we live in the sphere where grace operates. We do not live in the sphere law dominates, we are no longer under the law.

We are in a place where grace operates fully, and even though sin exists in our lives, where sin abounds, grace much more abounds. Access, by the way - or introduction, as the NAS has it - is the regular word for ushering someone into the presence of royalty. That is exactly what has happened to us, we have been ushered into the presence of a gracious God. We now have peace with that gracious God, and His grace is abundant, His grace is constant, His grace is limitless on our behalf.

Whenever we fail, whenever we fall short, whenever we sin, grace operates in our behalf. We never step out of the realm of grace back into the realm of law and under another judgment or another punishment or another threat. Our Lord Jesus opened the door to God, ushered us into His presence, and in His presence, grace dominates. We stand in grace.

Now, the third link is the hope of glory, and we see that at the end of verse 2, down through verse 4. Let me read it to you. “And we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulations brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint.” Three times the word “hope” is mentioned here and this is the third in the chain or the links of the chain that tie us everlastingly to our God.

Hope, we live in hope. We have a relationship with God that is permanent peace. We live in a realm of grace which operates immediately whenever we sin and, therefore, we have hope. Hope looks to the future. The believer has a secure salvation going forward because we have been promised glory. We have a pledge from God. And that is exactly what verse 2 at the end is saying. We rejoice in hope of the glory of God. We have been given a promise upon which we can hope and that is for eternal glory. We have present peace with God. We have present grace and we have present hope in a glorious future.

Now, you notice the word “exult” in the NAS, it’s the word kauchaomai, it means to rejoice, but it’s more than that. It’s more than rejoicing, it’s kind of a confident boasting. It’s kind of an exultant boasting. It refers to joy at its highest level, a kind of a confident joy, not a superficial one, not an emotional one. Knowing that we’re at peace with God, knowing that we stand in grace, both of those things being true because of the work of Christ, we have no fear for our future. What could go wrong?

Our relationship with God is permanent peace, the realm in which we now exist is permanent grace, what could go wrong? We can confidently boast in the security of our eternal glory. We live, then, with hope in the confidence of heavenly glory. First Timothy 1:1 says, “Our savior and Lord Jesus Christ, who is our hope.” He is our peace, He is the source of our grace, and He is our hope. Our hope in future glory is based on Him, as is everything else.

If you go to 1 Peter 1:18 it says, “You are not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ, for He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory so that your faith and hope are in God.” You cannot have a salvation without hope. You cannot have a salvation without grace. You cannot have a salvation without peace.

You remember in Jesus’ high priestly prayer in John 17:22, He prayed to the Father that the Father would give to His own the glory which He gave Him. He said, “Give them the glory which you gave me. I have passed it on to them. Father, fulfill it by bringing them to glory.” He prayed that we would all be with Him where He is, that we would see His glory and the glory of the Father. Whatever the Lord Jesus prays, He receives. Whatever He prays, He prays as does the Holy Spirit, according to the will of God. Whatever He prays will be answered.

And so later on in Romans, in the eighth chapter - familiar words - and verse 18, a good place to start, “I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Paul says no matter what goes wrong in this life, no matter how much you suffer, you can’t compare it with the glory that is to be revealed to us. This again is that confident assertion, confident assertion.

Down in verse 24, “In hope we have been saved. Hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he has already seen? But if we hope for what we do not see with perseverance, we wait eagerly for it.” We have this hope. It is not a groundless hope. It is not an unreasonable hope. It is a hope anchored in the promises of God and anchored in the power of God and anchored in the nature of our salvation.

So the confident affirmation of all believers is that we will enter into heavenly glory. And borrowing again the familiar words of John 6, “All that the Father gives to me will come to me, all who come to me I will not turn away, I will keep and I will raise on the last day.” The great fulfillment of our salvation, then, will be brought to manifestation in the glory that is to come, the consummation of our redemption. This is the hope of glory.

Look at Romans 8 again and verse 29, just to tighten down anything that might be loose at this point. Verse 28, you heard quoted by someone in the baptism. We know that God causes all things to work together for good - all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose, to those who are effectually called, savingly called, according to the eternal elective purpose of God. To those who consequently love Him, all things work together for good.

If you could lose your salvation, then that couldn’t be said, could it? It could be said that most things work together for good or some things work together for good, but it would have to be a caveat if it was possible for something to work for bad, but nothing does. Consistent with the purpose of God, the calling of God, the transforming of the heart of the believer to love God, all things work together for good.

Then he spells out what that means. Verse 29, “For those whom He foreknew, He predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son.” This is the heart and soul of predestination. Before time began, God predestines the elect to be conformed to the image of Christ. Not to start, not to go part of the way, but to go all the way to conformity to Christ. The doctrine of election is not election to salvation, it is election to glorification. If you understand that, then you understand the security of salvation. Those who were chosen before the foundation of the world were not chosen to believe the gospel only, they were chosen to be eternally glorified.

The doctrine of election speaks to the end, not the process. Yes, He foreknew them - that is, He predetermined to know them in an intimate way. He therefore predestined them to become conformed to the image of His Son. And then the process is broken down in verse 30, “Whom He predestined, He called.” That’s the saving call. “Whom He called, He justified and whom He justified, He glorified.” That is unalterable, verse 31. “What shall we then say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? No one can thwart the purposes of God,” that takes you back to verse 28 again, that’s why all things work together for good.

So we live in a secure and confident hope. And having that hope, we can basically endure anything that happens in this life because we know we are kept not by our own ability but by the power of God. Listen to Jude, the benediction at the end of Jude, verses 24 and 25. “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless with great joy.” Wow. God is able - again, it goes back to His power, not ours - to make you stand in the presence of His glory, blameless.

How is it possible that you will one day stand in the presence of God blameless? Because you live in the sphere of grace and in the sphere of grace, sin is constantly being forgiven, constantly being covered. It never accumulates. That is why the relationship can never be breeched or violated or altered or ended. “To the only God, our Savior, He is the One who can do this. To Him be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

Now, that doxology, that benediction, comes at the end of an epistle on the devastating impact of false teaching, corrupt teachers teaching damning lies. And the language of the book of Jude is very, very strong against these evil teachers. “They are,” verse 12, “like hidden reefs in your love feast; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted; wild waves of the sea casting up their own shame-like foam; wandering stars for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever.” Very graphic language describing these false teachers.

But even though false teachers pose a massive threat to the church, even though they come into the church - driven by lasciviousness, lust, evil desire - they cannot overthrow the hope of true believers. They will confuse the unconverted and divert the church away from its full blessing, but they cannot overturn the salvation that God has provided.

Now, back to 1 Peter chapter 1, I commented on 1 Peter to begin with, kept by the power of God, or protected by the power of God. I want to go back to that for a minute because somebody is going to raise the question at this point, “Well, look, when we go through our Christian life and we fail and we have trouble and we struggle and all of that, is it any wonder that we have doubts?” Well, certainly we have doubts because doubt is a temptation and a sin. You could be tempted to doubt and consequently doubt and, therefore, it becomes a sin.

You start avoiding the sin of doubt by getting your theology right, correct? I mean if you believe that you could lose your salvation, then doubting that you lose it is consistent with your beliefs. That’s not going to feel like a sin. But if you know what the Bible teaches, that you can never lose it, then you understand the doubt becomes a temptation and succumbing to the temptation becomes a sin. So you have to start with a sound theology. Let’s go back to 1 Peter 1:3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who according to His great mercy” - listen to this - “has caused us to be born again to a living hope.”

Part of what God gives you in your salvation is hope, a living hope, an undying hope, and it comes through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. This hope is that we will obtain an inheritance - an inheritance. An inheritance and what is the nature of that inheritance? It is imperishable. That is, it is impossible to eliminate this inheritance. It is undefiled, it will not fade away, it is reserved in heaven for you who are - verse 5 - protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

Now, the language is explicit, isn’t it? It’s unmistakably clear that we have been born again at the moment of salvation into a hope that cannot die, that hope secured by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, which was the stamp of approval on His work on the cross. We have an inheritance, it cannot perish, it cannot be defiled, it cannot fade away, it is reserved for us, and we are protected by the power of God through faith until the final revelation of salvation at the last time, and the final revelation is glorification.

No, you say, “What about all the trials in life?” Follow, verse 6, “In this you greatly rejoice. Do you not rejoice in that? Do you not rejoice in your living hope? Do you not rejoice in the security of your eternal salvation? Yes, in this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while if necessary you have been distressed by various trials.” The Scripture recognizes that you’re going to have various trials. And in the midst of those trials, you may be tempted to doubt the kindness of God, the goodness of God, the protection of God.

But on the other hand, for a little while if necessary, you’ve been distressed by various trials, not for the purpose of destroying your faith, not for the purpose of ending your faith, weakening your faith, breaking your faith, but just the opposite, verse 7, so that the proof of your faith or so that your faith can be proven.

Now, this brings up an issue that is so important. The greatest gift that a Christian can have is confidence in the permanence of salvation. I’ve said this before, I don’t know how people live in those systems that say you can lose your salvation. As I’ve said to you many times, that would be the most debilitating, discouraging, distressing of all possible notions, to think that I had to keep myself saved. Well, I couldn’t do it, I know that. But to live in the fear of that, in the fear of losing it or having Satan steal it or demons do something to me that would cause it to diminish and that I would go below the line and lose my salvation - talk about depression.

I mean people get depressed for a lot of things far less significant than that. I could understand depression. I could understand heart palpitations, panic attacks on the part of those people who believe you can lose your salvation and live in that kind of mortal fear, that kind of eternal possibility.

But on the other hand, trials come not to break our faith, trials come to prove our faith. And the greatest gift on the other side that a true believer can have is to know that nothing can break faith, nothing can destroy true saving faith because that faith is a gift from God. It is a supernatural thing as Ephesians 2:8 and 9 indicates. So what happens is the opposite, verse 7, “The proof of your faith comes through trials.” What do you mean? You have a severe trial, maybe a physical trial, maybe a family trial, who knows? There are many that come in all kinds of shapes and sizes.

What happens in the midst of those trials is going to test your faith. If you come through the trial, no matter how severe the trial is, with your faith intact, still believing, still trusting, still hoping, still rejoicing, still praising God, then your faith is the real thing. If you go through a trial and you get angry at God, you get mad at God, you abandon the church, you go off in another direction, your faith was never the real thing to start with.

The gift that God gives you in your trial is the proof of your faith. That’s why you thank God for the trial because out the other side, you can say this is the real thing. I looked cancer in the eye, I looked death in the eye, I looked massive disappointment in the face, I looked fear in the face, and I came out with a faith that was unwavering. And so you have the gift that Peter talks about, the proof of your faith, verse 7. Then he says this, “Being more precious than gold, which is perishable, even though tested by fire.” Pure gold, the purest gold refined in the fire isn’t as valuable to a person as the confidence that their faith is the real thing. That’s how you can live your life.

There wouldn’t be any way to compensate for that. If I thought I could lose my salvation, there would be no amount of money, no amount of earthly goods, no amount of earthly experiences, no amount of adventures, no amount of anything this world has to offer that could compensate for the fear that I could lose my salvation. You can take all the rest of that, just give me a living, undying hope and the assurance through trial after trial after trial after trial, seeing my faith strong and stronger, and I will tell you then I know it’s not me, it’s a faith that comes as a gift from God. It’s a supernatural faith that endures, more precious than anything.

And it will be that same faith - end of verse 7 - that will result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you haven’t seen Him, you love Him. Though you don’t see Him now, you believe in Him. You greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of that kind of faith the final salvation of your soul’s eternal glory. We live in hope.

Now, what I showed you in Peter is essentially what Paul says. Let’s go back to Romans chapter 5 for a minute. We’ll build on what Peter says. The end of verse 2, where we are, Paul says we exult or we confidently rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. This is the glory that will be given to us from God, His glory which we will share in heaven. And verse 3, he follows the same line that Peter did. And not only this but we also rejoice in our what? Tribulations. We also rejoice in our tribulations, thlipsis, our pressing together, pressure - very often applied in the New Testament to human suffering, crushing.

We rejoice in this. Why? Because tribulation brings about perseverance. Perseverance brings about proven character, and proven character then produces hope. It’s the same exact pattern. Tribulation comes into our lives. In the midst of tribulation, we respond with endurance, hupomonē, we stay under it. We endure, we remain under the tribulation, we persevere, and out of that experience of perseverance comes proven character, dokimēn, something put to the test and proven. This is exactly what Peter said, and it is our proven character that sustains our hope.

You know, one of the benefits of getting older is that you have accumulated these experiences through life. I don’t know that there’s any trial that I haven’t experienced personally or if not in a personal sense, first-person sense, vicariously through many, many others that you minister to through the years. We’ve been at every conceivable kind of tragedy in the years of ministry, gone through every disappointment that one could go through in one’s own life and then all the lives of the people that surround us. And faith gets stronger and stronger and stronger, and as it does, so does hope - hope burns ever brighter.

Now, those of you who are young, and there are many of you, our church is full of young people, it’s going to take you a while to enjoy the living kind of hope, the kind of shining hope, the kind of expanding hope, the kind of all-encompassing hope that somebody who has been around a long time gets to enjoy. But you’ll get there. Just look for those trials, be thankful through the midst of those trials for the faith that endures, perseveres, demonstrates proven character, and leads to increased hope.

Now, there’s another thing to say about this kind of hope, verse 5. This hope makes not ashamed or, literally, does not disappoint, as the NAS puts it. You never have to be ashamed of it. It’ll never disappoint you. The idea is of someone ashamed because something they trusted failed them. You’re not going to have that. If your faith is real and you’re a genuine believer, at peace with God, standing in grace, the hope that you have will never be disappointed, never.

There are people in the world without hope, Ephesians 2:12, the whole world lives without hope. There are people, according to Proverbs 11:7 that have a deceptive hope. We have a hope that’ll never disappoint. Oh, there are lots of people who have hope in the wrong things, right? Put their hope in another person, put their hope in the money, put their hope in their career, put their hope in their popularity. We have our hope anchored securely in Christ, double anchored, according to Hebrews. We are at peace with God, we stand in grace, we hope for promised glory, and we have a hope that will never disappoint.

There’s one other that I might mention to you, the fourth in these links that chain us everlastingly to our Lord. Let’s just call it the reality of love or the possession of love. Verse 5 says, “Because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” One hymn writer said, “Ever since by faith I saw the stream thy flowing wounds supply, redeeming love has been my theme and shall be until I die.” This verse really escapes words to describe its grandeur. I certainly can’t find them, even Paul couldn’t find them. The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

What this verse is saying is this: Your salvation is secure because God loves you eternally, and He proved it by giving you the Holy Spirit to take up residence in your heart. This is Ephesians 1, isn’t it? In Ephesians chapter 1, there is the confidence of our hope. Verse 14, “The Holy Spirit of promise,” the end of verse 13, “who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession to the praise of His glory.”

The Holy Spirit is the down payment, the Holy Spirit is the arrabon, the engagement ring, the first installment, the promise, the guarantee. This isn’t talking about our love for God, this is talking about God’s love for us. The reason our hope doesn’t disappoint is because God’s love is eternal. The love of God has been poured out within our hearts. How has God poured out love in our hearts? By giving us the Holy Spirit - simply stating another way, by God Himself in His Spirit taking up residence in us.

What love is this? What love is this. Shed abroad in our hearts or poured out within our hearts speaks of lavish, profuse, copious love, literally filling us is this love that is described in chapter 8, again in verse 35. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword? Is that going to separate us?

Verse 37. In all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. I’m 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 will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord. We have this love of God literally, profusely, lavishly, copiously poured into us by the presence of the Holy Spirit, and we are the temple of the Spirit of God. He lives within us, and there is nothing that can ever reverse that - nothing - nothing.

In the eighth chapter, which we just read earlier in the chapter, verse 9, we’re reminded that having the Spirit of Christ means belonging to Him. “If anyone doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ, he doesn’t belong to Him.” Conversely, if you belong to Him, you have the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit living in you.

In Ephesians 3, again emphasizing this same wonderful point, verse - well, you could start in verse 13, but go down to verse 19. He says that we can know the love of Christ - Ephesians 3:19 - which surpasses knowledge. How do we know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge? Because earlier he says we have literally been strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, verse 16. We have received the very third person of the Trinity take up residence in us. This is the expression of God’s love for us. And this, you say, would perhaps be possible to forfeit if we did something wrong.

Well, in answer to that, you have verses 6 to 8. Look what it says. “While we were still helpless” - verse 6 - or literally without strength, powerless, impotent - “at the right time, Christ died for the” - what? - “ungodly. For one would hardly die for a righteous man, though perhaps for the good man, someone would dare even to die.” People don’t die for evil people. They might die for good people. “But God” - verse 8 - “demonstrates His love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Here’s the point: He loved us enough to die for us when we were His enemies.

That answers the dilemma of “Well, you know, maybe He loves us now, but maybe we could do something and He would decide not to love us.” Look, He loved us when we were unlovable. He died for us when we were ungodly, when we were His enemies. Christ died for the ungodly. This love is so staggering. He demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us. If He loved us when we were sinners, believe me, He can love us when we are sons. If He could love us when we were enemies, He can love us when we are friends. This is the security of our salvation.

It is, as I said, the most marvelous of all biblical doctrines to the believer. He has given us the greatest of gifts: peace, grace, hope, love. All of these are things that are anchored in His person, His power, His promise, not dependent on us and thus does He secure us everlastingly to Himself.

Father, we thank you tonight for the time we’ve had, it seemed to go so rapidly as we were thinking about these great spiritual realities. We rejoice in all the things that are part of our salvation. We never get enough, we never learn enough, we’re never tired or weary of hearing of these glories. May we always wear the helmet of salvation to deflect any attempted blows against the security of that wondrous salvation you have given to us.

We thank you that we’re secure. We live in hope. We live in love. We live in grace. We live in peace. We will ever be at peace with you, we will ever receive your grace, we will ever be hopeful. For we have an inheritance that cannot change and all of this because you love us, and you’ve loved us before we ever loved you, and now that we love you, that love is forever secure. Thank you for this promise, we rest in it, we rejoice in it. We thank you for this great gift. Amen.

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