Weekly Devotional 2-8-20
How can I have assurance of my Salvation?
Many over the years have asked how do I know that I have been saved and how can I remain assured that I am saved? They all seemed to be on an emotional roller coaster. Each one explaining that at times they felt secure in their salvation, but at other times felt otherwise. Such uncertainty is not uncommon. But, behind these thoughts is Satan. He is constantly on the prowl seeking whom he may devour (1st Peter 5:8). He hast lost us to God and the only thing he has left is to discourage us in our walk, weaking our faith and our testimony.
To escape his discouragement we should always remind ourselves of our salvation, that it was a work of God, and that we are kept by His power. Ephesians 2:1-10 and Romans 8:28-30 are great reminders of our salvation and Romans 8:31-39 is a great reminder that it is God who keeps us secure not ourselves. Consider these passages.
Ephesians 2:1-10 “1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
In this passage Paul informs the Ephesians that at the time of their salvation they were alienated toward God having no under-standing of Him, nor a desire for Him. Jesus speaking of this separation said to Nicodemus; “19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:19-2. Considering then that is the state of all persons before God brings them to salvation, we turn back to the above Ephesian passage and revisit verse 10: “For we are His (God’s) workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” We are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus. Why? Verse 7 gives the answer: “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” The Christian is God’s trophy and He never loses what or who is His.
As proof of this we now turn to Romans to the second and third passages mentioned above.
Romans 8:28-30 “28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” This passage tells us emphatically that God called us to salvation, He justified us (made us right with Himself) and He glorified us (made us children of God).
Then in verses 31-31-39 Paul writing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit writes of our (The Christians) security. “31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: "For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter." 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Nothing can separate us from God, not even our sometimes doubt. Because salvation is the work of God for the purpose of His glory we can be assured of our salvation.
This devotional is written to Christians assuring them of their salvation. However, there may be some who have read this that are not Christians. For some reason you are holding back, why? There is nothing more comforting than knowing that you have been made right with God. All persons will stand before their creator and will have to give an account for their lives. Those who have trusted in and committed their lives to honoring Jesus for His sacrifice will be rewarded by being in the presence of God for eternity. However, those who have rejected His call, His justify-cation and His glorification will be eternally separated from Him with the realization of what could have been. Why trade the so- called satisfactions of this short life (Averaged between 60 to 100 years) for an eternity with God and all that that entails?
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Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
Weekly Devotional 2-1-21
The Natural Man Contrasted by the “Born Again” Man
“12 I, the Preacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13 And I set my heart to seek and search out by wisdom concerning all that is done under heaven; this burdensome task God has given to the sons of man, by which they may be exercised. 14 I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind. 15 What is crooked cannot be made straight, And what is lacking cannot be numbered. 16 I communed with my heart, saying, ‘Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge.’ 17 And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind. 18 For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow” (Ecclesiastes 1:12-18).
This is an odd way to begin a devotional you might say. This would be true if it were to end here, but there is more, much more.
The above passage is from the writings of Solomon, a man gifted of God with great wisdom. In this passage Solomon is addressing the plight of the man who can only see with the natural eye, who can understand life only by that which he perceives from such a view. Another man, the apostle Paul of many centuries later, inspired by the Holy Spirit of God wrote: “9 But as it is written: "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him."
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one” (1st Cor. 2:9-15).
In writing this first of two letters to the Christians of Corinth, Paul reminds them that he and his fellow laborers had not come to them in human wisdom, but in the wisdom of God, which had been revealed to them through the Spirit of God. His address concerned spiritual matters but what temporal matters can rightfully be judged apart from having the influence of the Holy Spirit. “There is a way that seems right unto man, but the end thereof is death (destruction)” (Provers 14:12).
Jesus, before his arrest promised His disciples that upon His departure (physically out of their presence) He would send the Holy Spirit, and He would lead them into all truth, note: 12“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. 14He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:12-14).
In another letter, his letter to the Ephesians, Paul wrote that God had made known to them (he and those who accompanied him- “born again” Jews) “the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself” (Ephesians 1:9). Paul went on in that letter to write, “In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” (1:13). It was not therefore to just a selected few that the Holy Spirit has been given, but to all those who come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. As those first disciples of Jesus, the Holy Spirit also leads every disciple (every believer) into spiritual truth.
Knowing God (God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit) ends the frustration of Solomon’s vanity of life. There is purpose to life after all. Those of us who have come into a personal relationship with Him (God the Son—Jesus Christ) see and understand things differently than the natural man. The chief end of man is to glorify God and Solomon was right about the natural man, without God, all is vanity; there is no real meaning to life, but Paul was equally right when he wrote, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.’’
I close with this question, where are you in all of this?
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
The purpose of Transforming Power is to glorify God, encourage believers, and point others to our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.