True believers may know that they are securely in God’s care and keeping, and that no person, circumstance or unforeseen set of events can ever snatch them away to destruction (John 10:27-30; 1 Pet. 1:3-5). According to Jesus, those who believe in him have been given to him by the Father, and he will not lose one of them (John 6:37-40). This certainty is grounded in God’s faithfulness (1 Cor. 1:8-9; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Thes. 3:3-5), power (Jude 24-25) and love (Rom. 8:35-39). He will finish what he has started (Phil. 1:6). Our source of this knowledge is not Calvin, Luther or Augustine, but Peter, John, Paul, Jude and, ultimately, Jesus himself.
We learn from Romans 8:28ff that those whom God foreknew, he predestined to become like Jesus. And those he predestined, he called. Those he called, he justified. And those he justified, he glorified. We were not there when God foreknew and predestined. We are not yet glorified, though it is so certain that Paul speaks in the past tense. But we do know if we have been called by the gospel. We do know if we responded in faith and were justified. We do know whether we are being changed into Christ’s likeness. Since the same people occupy all these scenes of divine grace, if we see ourselves in some of the scenes we may know that we are in the other scenes as well (1 Thes. 1:4,5, 9-10).
The basis of our confidence is not anything that we learn, experience or do. We do not trust in our baptism, in our good works, or in our praying a ‘sinner’s prayer.’ Our confidence rests, always and only, in God’s faithfulness, power and love. We are secure because of the accomplishments of Jesus our representative, and because of God’s estimation of what Jesus has done (Rom. 4:25-5:1). Each new day we need to ask: “Do I acknowledge that apart from Christ, I am a sinner? Do I trust his atonement for peace and right standing with God? Am I sorry for my sins and determined to turn from them? Do I cling to the cross of Jesus as my only hope of forgiveness? If I sincerely answer “Yes” to these questions, I belong to Christ, and God will keep me to the end. Nothing can thwart God’s purpose. Nothing can defeat God’s power. Nothing can separate me from God’s love.
(more can be found on this subject and more at EdwardFudge.com)
Saved by Christ alone,