Remaining Qualified To Remain In His Love

September 12, 2013

Friends,
Rom. 8:35 says, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” and the rest of the chapter confirms that nothing can do so. However, what we need to understand is that we must be “in Christ” to have this security be ours. And that being “in Christ” means “in Christ’s sphere of love.” If a person is not “in Christ”, then he remains under God’s condemnation with all others who are outside of Christ. (John 3:36 / Rom. 3:23) This means he remains outside of the Pardon, and so remains under God’s wrath.

Though the English translation often misses the fact, the original language in which the New Testament was written (Greek) often uses present-tense in its wording. For example, Scripture teaches that we are to be continually believing in Christ, continually obeying, continually abiding, and continually walking free of sin. It teaches that we not only have been saved, but are being saved, and will be finally saved. Therefore, when God’s Word speaks about those whom He has chosen, this too should be understood as a continuous choosing. Just as an owner and employer chooses from among those who apply to join his company, and then continues to choose them based upon their diligence to keep doing as they’re told, so God chooses us based on our genuine faith in the Gospel, our request to join His Kingdom, and our continued obedience to Him as citizens of that Kingdom.

Just as a job is opened up to all who are qualified, without prejudice or partiality, so God has, through Christ, opened up the invitation to all mankind to come to Him. (John 3:16 & 12:32) But differently than a human company (or kingdom), God’s Kingdom has no membership limit. Everyone is chosen to be invited and everyone is drawn. (same verses w/ 6:44) However, the qualification for being continually chosen is that a person must repent and believe and abide in that state of repentance and belief, producing fruit in accordance with this position. Thus God “continually chooses” those who are being genuine –those who are listening and learning from Him (v. 45)– choosing them to come to Christ. (v. 37) Whoever does come (which means asking to be pardoned of sin, saved, and enveloped in God’s realm of love), will never be driven away (same verse), but they must also continue to come so that God will continue to choose them for assignments, for fellowship with Him, and for eternal salvation.

Consequently, this “coming to Christ” must be continuous, daily, constant. This is why Jesus says that we must “remain” and “abide” in Him, for otherwise we will be cut off, thrown away to wither, cast into the fire, and burned. (John 15:6) Jesus explains that abiding / remaining in Him is done through obeying His commands. (v. 10) This passage (John 15:1-10) shows that abiding / remaining in Christ is synonymous to abiding / remaining in His love. In other words, to be in the Lord’s love, His sphere of love, His Kingdom of Love, is to be “in Christ” –a necessity for salvation.

When we are obedient to Christ, we remain in His love. But we must remain. If we do, nothing can separate us from Him. But this “nothing”, as we know from the rest of Scripture, does not mean our own disobedience. For God’s Word repeatedly warns us that our own disobedience does separate us from Him. And that it can do so eternally.

Jesus says, “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commands and remain in His love.” (John 15:9,10) This obedience which Jesus gave to the Father was perfect obedience, and that IS what Jesus is stating in this verse as His requirement for us as well. (See also Mt. 5:48 and 1 John 2:3-6) If we continue in this qualification, then nothing and no one will be able to separate us from the love of Christ.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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