We Must Hold Firmly To Our Hope
June 2, 2016
“The sinful mind is hostile to God.” (Rom. 8:7) It causes a person to rebel against God’s holy Moral Law. (Same verse) Such a person cannot please God and thus walks in Death (v. 6-8), meaning on the Eternal Death Path. (v. 13) Having entangled oneself in a vicious cycle –where one’s mind feeds on one’s sinful behavior, and one’s sinful behavior is fueled by one’s wicked mind– the sinner remains alienated from God. (Isa. 59:1,2 // Col. 1:21) Definitely he needs a Savior who is able to reconcile him to God. The Savior is Jesus. (Acts 4:12 // 2 Cor. 5:18-21) But how is the Savior accessed?
Rom. 5:2 tells us that the Lord Jesus Christ is accessed by faith. We place our complete trust in Him, and in so doing, we gain access into God’s grace (same verse) where we are pardoned (v. 1), cleansed of our past sins (2 Pe. 1:9), and reconciled to God. (Rom. 5:10,11) Being on the Life Path (Jesus –John 14:6), we walk in the Light, have fellowship with God, and are kept separated from the darkness / sin (1 John 1:7) through our possession of God’s own divine nature (3:5-10) which we keep by our submission to His Holy Spirit. (Rom. 8:9 // Gal. 5:16)
God’s Word repeatedly tells us to stand firm. Where? In Christ –inside His own life (Gal. 2:20); and the position is maintained through our faith. (Same verse) But let us understand that remaining in this position is what saves us (Col. 1:23), for only there are we “holy in God’s sight, without blemish and free from accusation.” (v. 22) Only there are we shielded from severance from God’s grace. (Rom. 11:22 // 1 Cor. 15:2 // 2 Cor. 6:1 // Gal. 5:4 // Heb. 6:4-12 & 10:26-31)
This Solid Position is “the Hope offered to us” (Heb. 6:18) which we “have fled to take hold of.” (Same verse) Remaining steadfast in Christ is our secure anchor (v. 19) which enables our Hope (that hope of the salvation which comes through submitting to Christ living His own life out through us –Mt. 5:16 // Rom. 5:10 // 1 Cor. 6:19,20 // 2 Cor. 13:5 // Gal. 4:19) to reach fulfillment –if (if…if…if…) we remain there diligently to the very end. (Heb. 6:11) For “he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Jesus in Mt. 10:22 and 24:13) Yes, only he who does the will of God till the end will inherit what has been promised. (Heb. 10:35-39 // 1 John 2:17 // see also Mt. 7:21-23) Indeed, we must remain faithful / firm / unmoved, for we are still in the testing process (1 Pe. 1:7) of “being saved.” (1 Cor. 1:18)
Remaining in this position (in Christ’s life and submitted to His Spirit) is what enables us to produce fruit (John 15:4,10), but if we do not produce fruit (good fruit), we will be cut off and thrown into the fire. (v. 2,6 // Mt. 3:10 & 7:19) Let us, therefore, not “become lazy” (Heb. 6:12), creating a life that “produces thorns and thistles” (v. 8 ) that ends us in Hell (same verse), but rather let us “imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.” (v. 12) For we have been given “new birth into a living hope” (1 Pe. 1:3) and into a lasting inheritance (v. 4), knowing that, through our perseverance, God’s power is shielding us “until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (v. 5) Thus it is said to those faithful who remain firm in The Hope, “You are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (v. 9)
So, we are reconciled to God through stepping into Christ (His death, resurrection, and life –Rom. 6:3,4), which we do by faith in His atonement for us. (5:9,10) We stand firm in God’s grace (in His pardon / in the justified position) by remaining in Christ –which we do by imitating Christ. (1 John 2:6) This secure place with its promise is “the hope” we rejoice in (Rom. 5:2), “the hope” we do not move from. (Col. 1:23) It is “the mystery… now disclosed to the saints… which is, Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (v. 26,27) Yes, Christ in us, we in Him –unification with His Spirit through our submission to Him. (Rom. 8:9 // 1 Cor. 6:17 // 1 John 3:24) This is the hope of Eternal Life in which the faithful stand, unmoved.