No One Can Separate Us (Romans 8:31-34)

No One Can Separate Us (Romans 8:31-34)


All right, let’s turn to Romans chapter 8
again this morning. Romans chapter 8. We have been considering in some depth the
ministry of the Holy Spirit in this chapter, and we are profoundly enriched by what Paul
gives us here of divine insight into the Spirit’s work. What prompted the series emphasizing the Holy
Spirit is a feeling in my own heart and the sense – and I think it’s an accurate one – that
there’s a member of the Trinity who gets left out in Christian worship and Christian discussion
and Christian teaching and in Christian living, and He is the very member of the Trinity to
whom we are most indebted for our Christian experience, and that is none other than the
Holy Spirit. Just in general, Christian worship today is
more about style than it is about substance. It’s more about feeling than it is about fact. It’s more about self than it is about the
Savior. It’s more about therapy than theology. It’s more about the secular than the sacred. It’s more about good feelings than the glory
of God. And as we have endeavored to look at the woeful
state of Christian worship today, it strikes us that while we do give some attention to
God the Father and sing songs about His attributes, and we give much attention to Christ and sing
songs about His person and work, very little is said about the Holy Spirit. If we are to worship God fully and totally,
we must worship Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Many Christians know very little about the
ministry of the Holy Spirit. There is so much error floating around about
the Holy Spirit that people avoid saying much about the Spirit for fear they might contradict
the popular thinking of the time. But we must worship God the Father, God the
Son, and God the Holy Spirit in the full sense and full knowledge of the revelation of each
member of the Trinity, and so we’ve been endeavoring to understand the wonderful, blessed ministry
of the Spirit of God. We sort of laid it out that the Father planned
redemption, the Son provided the means of redemption in His death and resurrection,
and the Spirit produces the work of redemption in us. He is the agent that brings about the actuality
of the plan that God initiated and that the Son validated; He is the one who activates
it. We must understand the biblical ministry of
the Holy Spirit. We’re warned in Scripture about not grieving
the Spirit, not quenching the Spirit, not insulting the Spirit, not blaspheming the
Spirit. Little wonder that we’re warned about those
things because that seems to be a very common thing. So we’ve been trying to reconnect with things
that are clearly revealed in Scripture that maybe we have let lay dormant for a long time
with regard to the Holy Spirit, and we have been learning that it is the Holy Spirit who
regenerates us. John 3: “We are born of the Spirit.” It is the Holy Spirit who convicts us of sin
and righteousness and judgment, John 16. The Holy Spirit even participates in our justification. First Corinthians 6:11 says: “The Spirit,
it participates in our justification.” Second Corinthians 3 tells us that it is the
Spirit who sanctifies us, moving us from one level of glory to the next in conforming us
to the image of Christ. We’ve learned in Romans 8 that it is the Spirit
who confirms our adoption as sons of God. The Spirit takes up residence in us. The Spirit gives us assurance by witnessing
with our spirits that we are the children of God. First Corinthians 12 says the Spirit baptizes
us into the body of Christ by which we become one with every other believer. In that same chapter, it says that the Spirit
gives to us spiritual gifts by which we serve Christ and minister to the body. It is the Spirit who assists our prayers. In Jude 1:20, it talks about praying in the
Spirit. It is the Spirit who strengthens us in the
inner man, Ephesians 3:16. It is the Spirit who guides us, as many as
possessed the Holy Spirit are led by the Spirit, we saw in Romans 8. It is the Spirit who produces fruit through
us, attitude fruit, love, joy, peace, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control, and
all kinds of righteous activity as well. It is the Spirit who delivers us from sin,
enabling us to be obedient to God. It is the Spirit who illuminates the Word
and is our internal resident truth teacher. And on top of that, the capstone of those
things, it is the Spirit who secures our eternal glory. It is the Spirit who secures our eternal glory,
and that great ministry of the Holy Spirit is the theme that I pointed you to when I
read the Scripture, Romans 8:18 to 39. That entire section is focused on that one
glorious reality, that salvation is forever. That salvation is forever. That we are protected by the power of God
unto that final glorification and that inheritance laid up for us that does not fade away, undefiled,
reserved in heaven. The Spirit secures our eternal glory. In Scripture, He seals us to the day of redemption. He is the guarantee, the first installment,
the down payment, the engagement ring, the first fruits. He is the power of God. He is the protector of every believer until
one day He is the one who raises us to eternal glory, even as He raised Christ from the dead. All of this, of course, cause to worship the
Holy Spirit. This is the true doctrine of the Holy Spirit
as over against all the false misrepresentations and blasphemies against the Holy Spirit that
are so common and popular today. So Paul has been going through these verses,
starting – actually, he mentions glorification in verse 17, then starting in 18, running
all the way down to verse 30, he has given us this great, glorious argument for the eternality
of our salvation. That if you are saved, it is forever. It is forever. And the culmination of his argument comes
in verse 30, that whoever God predestines to be conformed to His Son, He calls in time
with an effectual call to salvation. Whomever He calls, He justifies, and whomever
He justifies, He glorifies so that the people who are glorified are the people who were
predestined. No one is lost in the middle. This is what Paul presents to us. This is the purpose of God. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. So Paul has been telling us that all things
in our lives, whatever they are, God causes to work together for our eternal good and
glory because we are the called according to that purpose and we have come into a love
relationship with Him. I’ve taught this doctrine all my life. I teach it with passion because it’s so clear
in Scripture, and yet through all of my life and ministry, I have had to debate people
who reject the idea that salvation is forever. I was in a former military base in Belarus
outside the city of Minsk where the Communist soldiers were stationed during the great Russian
Empire. It was turned into a kind of a camp and I
went there with some pastors, and I was giving a message and I made reference to the fact
that eternal – that salvation is eternal, that once you are regenerated, it is forever,
and you can anchor your soul in the confidence of the hope of eternal glory. And afterwards – it was all pastors who were
there, Belorussian and Russian pastors, and they came to me and they said, “We think that’s
wrong.” And I said, “Well, you need to give me some
time in the morning to answer all your objections.” So I got up in the morning, went and had a
little bowl of something, I don’t know what it was, for breakfast, and I went into the
meeting. And they were rubbing their eyes – they’d
been there all night. They stayed up all night collecting all the
reasons why I was wrong. And so I started in with one after another,
after another, after another, after another. I understand that. I don’t want to argue with them, I want them
to enjoy their salvation. I want to get them out of the fear of losing
it. I want them to rejoice in the hope that it’s
secure. It was a gift I was trying to give them, and
they kept pushing it back, and I had to give it again and again and again and go through
every objection and every argument through a long day. I understand that. Paul understands that. So when you come to the end of verse 30, Paul
now anticipates objections. He knows somewhere, someplace there’s a group
of people who have stayed up all night and they’ve figured out some objections. And he knows what they’re going to be because
there are only certain things you can argue about. Paul knows this: that there are only two possibilities,
that some person can cause you to lose your salvation or some circumstance. That’s all you’ve got. That’s complete. That’s all the categories there are. And so the question is: Can some person cause
you to lose your salvation in spite of the work of the Holy Spirit, in spite of the provision
of Christ, and in spite of the purpose of God? Or if not some person, can some circumstances
cause it to happen? So overwhelming, so powerful that you forfeit
your salvation? That becomes the subject of verses 31 to 39. The first part, verses 31 to 34, answers the
question: Is there a person who can cause you to lose your salvation? Verses 35 to 37, Is there a circumstance that
can cause you to lose your salvation?” And then a glorious wrap-up at the end of
the chapter. Now, Paul introduces this, and we’re just
going to take point one about persons. He introduces this in verse 31: “What then
shall we say to these things?” What then shall we say to these things? What things? The things concerning eternal salvation. The subject since verse 18 has been on the
eternality of salvation, that God has secured us in His purpose, the Holy Spirit intercedes
for us, God works all things together for our eternal good, that if we have been foreknown
and predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, we will get there and none
of us will be lost, that all who are called are justified and glorified – all those things
that relate to an eternal salvation that cannot be lost. What shall we say to these things? What’s your response? That’s the question. What is the conclusion you want to draw? Well, Paul knows that there are going to be
people who will protest this. They’re going to say salvation can be lost. It’s a wonderful thing, but it can be lost
because there are certain persons and there are certain circumstances that can cause us
to abandon it or to have it taken away from us, to forfeit it. So Paul says, “Okay, let’s consider the persons.” Is there a human being or human beings who
can take away our salvation? Can have such power over us? Such influence over us that they can remove
what God has given for us? That’s embodied in the question at the end
of verse 31: “If God is for us, who’s against us?” The who here is looking at persons, people. Is there a person who can take away your salvation? You say, “Well, who would ever want to do
that?” Lots of people that are offended by your Christianity. Maybe your spouse. Maybe your children wish you weren’t saved
and would do anything they could to get you off this kick. Unsaved family members. Matthew 10, Jesus said He came to bring a
sword and set people against their family, be hated by father, mother, sister, brother. How about secular educators? You send your child off to the university
– do you think the agenda there is to confirm the faith of those that are professing Christ? I don’t think so. I think they would do everything they could
to destroy that. What about the collective immoral indoctrination
of our society? You think it’s the goal of the culture and
the society in which we live to stabilize your convictions in Jesus Christ? Or to destroy them? Do you think they want to confirm your faith
in the Bible? Your view of creation? Your view of the end of the age? Your view of eternity, heaven, hell? Or do they want to destroy that? Do they want to separate you from that? Do they want to cast doubt into your mind? The whole culture is set against you. There are all kinds of people, because they
all operate in the kingdom of darkness, who would do anything they could to separate you
from your faith and your salvation. False religionists would do it. Cult leaders would do it. False teachers would do it. There are plenty of people who would do it
and plenty of them have influence and power and impact and sophistication. And Paul says, “If God is for us, who’s against
us?” What does he mean by that? Well, it’s a conditional sentence in the Greek
that starts with a particle, ei , which is pronounced ā but it’s E-I. And that’s a conditional clause that should
be translated “since” because it’s not about probability, it’s about actuality. It’s an actual reality put in a conditional
clause, so it would be read this way: “Since God is for us, who successfully can be against
us?” It’s a pretty simple argument, isn’t it? Is anybody more powerful than God? God has predetermined our eternal destiny
to be conformed to the image of His Son, that His Son might be the preeminent one among
many brethren. God has predetermined the end at the beginning. God called us, justified us, and He promises
to glorify us, that’s His purpose. His Son intercedes for us on that behalf and
so does the Holy Spirit. those two intercessors we talked about. We know what God wants, right? We know God’s plan and God’s purpose is to
bring us all to glory and lose none of us and to give us everlasting life. And we will never perish. And Jesus said, “No one will take them out
of My Father’s hand.” That’s God’s promise, that’s God’s pledge. And since God is for us, what person would
be more powerful? In the church, Paul warned, you can be in
a church, you can be in a religious organization that claims to be Christian and he says this:
“It can be a dangerous place. After My departure, savage wolves will come
in among you, not sparing the flock, and from among your own selves, men will arise – men
will arise speaking perverse things.” For what? “To draw away the disciples after them.” There are people in churches that wear religious
garb that stand in pulpits that teach in seminaries that want to take you away from your convictions,
your faith. They want to steal your salvation. But if God is for you, are they more powerful
than God? You know, when you think about that, you go
back – at least I do – to the Old Testament. The believers in the Old Testament knew God
was their security. I love the words of Psalm 27. This is David: “The Lord is my light and my
salvation. Whom shall I fear?” Right? If the Lord is my salvation, who would I fear? “The Lord is the defense of my life. Who will I dread? When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh,
my adversaries, my enemies, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, my heart
will not fear. Though war arise against me, in spite of this,
I’ll be confident.” What are you so confident about? “One thing I asked from the Lord, that I may
dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord
and to meditate in His temple.” I just ask to be with Him forever. “And in the day of trouble, He will conceal
me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me, He will lift
me up on a rock and my head will be lifted up above my enemies and I will offer sacrifices
with shouts of joy. I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the
Lord.” Doesn’t matter who comes against us. God is for us. God is for us. “Don’t fear” – Genesis 15:1 – “I’m a shield
to you,” God says. “The Lord is near” – Numbers 14:9. “Don’t fear.” It’s really the flipside of verse 28. God positively causing all things to work
together for our eternal good, that’s the positive. The negative is no one can undo that. If God causes everything to work to our good,
then no one can make anything work to our evil. No one can remove our no-condemnation status
indicated in chapter 8 verse 1. There is therefore now no condemnation to
those who are in Christ Jesus. No one, no person, no human – we’re talking
about human persons, that’s our first point – no human person can do that because God
is greater than any and all humans. So the objection about humans falls away in
the simple statement at the end of verse 31: “If God is for us” – or since He’s for us
– “who could successfully be against us?” Ah, but a second possibility. God Himself. Can God Himself take away our salvation? Hey, the Lord gives, the Lord takes, blessed
be the name of the Lord. Can He take our salvation away? Can He change His mind about us? Can He be so disappointed in us? Can we follow a pattern of sin to the degree
that He takes back what He gave us? Can He see us sinning and see us being disobedient
and remove from us the life that He gave us? Does He kill us? Because He made us alive. He regenerated us. We were born again, we were given new life. Does He kill us and now we’re dead again? Is keeping us saved just too much trouble? Paul answers that in verse 32. “He who did not spare His own Son but delivered
Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Let me tell you, that’s a simple verse. I know you read it, it sounds a little bit
troubling cause you can’t quite sort it out, but it’s a very simple verse. It is the classic Jewish argument from the
greater to the lesser. It’s a simple argument. He didn’t spare His own Son but delivered
Him over for us all. Don’t you think if He gave us His Son to save
us He’ll give us lesser things to keep us? That’s the argument. The argument from the greater to the lesser. God’s love is so strong for those He chooses
to redeem that He gives His own Son. The best, the most, the purest, the divine
one, the highest price, the greatest cost, His own beloved Son to save us. Don’t you think He would do less than that
to keep us? And think about it this way – turn to Romans
5. When you were saved, you were saved strictly
by grace. You didn’t do anything to earn it. Romans 5:6: You were helpless and you were
ungodly. So God gave His Son, Christ, to die for the
helpless and the ungodly, and we can say the spiritually dead and the blind and the ignorant
and the wicked. And, you know, people don’t do that. Verse 7: “One hardly would die for a righteous
man, though perhaps for the good man someone would even dare to die.” I mean now and then you see somebody give
his life for somebody who’s a good person but that’s pretty rare. But if somebody is willing to give his life,
that rare reality, the person he’s going to give his life for is going to be a good person,
right? Somebody that he has great admiration for,
respect for, love for. They’re not going to give his life for a bad
person, for a criminal, for an enemy. But God, in verse 7, demonstrates His love
toward us, His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for
us. We were sinners. Wretched, lost, blind, dead, godless, helpless,
and He gave His Son to die for us. Much more than having now been justified by
His blood, the sacrifice, we will be saved, or we will be being saved, kept saved from
the wrath of God through Him. Look, if God gave His Son in death to make
our justification possible, don’t you think the life of the Son of God will secure our
glorification? That’s the whole point. Verse 10: “If while we were enemies we were
reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more beyond that, having been reconciled
will be being saved by His life.” We were literally redeemed at the most infinite
cost, the death of Christ, and we will be kept by the living interceding Christ. Even Christ gave the greater gift to save
us and the lesser gift to keep us. He died to save us; He lives to keep us. If the Father gave His Son to save us when
we were ungodly, gave His Son in death to save us, will He not give His Son and His
Spirit in life to secure us? I mean, it’s that simple a concept, that God
has done the greater in justifying us when we were unworthy, ungodly, wretched. Will He not now that we belong to Him and
have been transformed and made new creatures and have righteous longing and holy affection,
will He not do what He needs to do to keep us, which is far less than the giving of His
Son in the sacrifice of the horrors of the cross? Several elements in that verse, back in Romans
8. Several elements are just so wonderfully profound. Verse 32: “He who did not spare His own Son,”
He didn’t hold Him back. In fact, Isaiah 53:10 says, “It pleased the
Lord to bruise Him. He has put Him to grief.” He didn’t spare His Son. And I love this: “His own Son,” idios in the
Greek, one’s own particular, private possession, the Son that belonged to Him, the Son of His
own love, God was willing to do this for us. If He was willing to give the greatest gift
of all to save us, He will do everything less than that to keep us. The language, “He delivered Him over for us
all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” Since He delivered Him over, that’s a very
graphic term. Delivering over was handing somebody over
to the executioner – technical term. Since the Father delivered the Son to the
destruction and damnation and punishment that sin required, the rest of the verse then,
“will He not also with Him freely give us all that flows out of that?” All we need to be secure? Who delivered Jesus to death? It wasn’t Judas for money. It wasn’t Pilate for fear. It wasn’t the Jews for envy. It was the Father for love for us all. For us all. The “us all” – verse 32 – the “us all” is
the “us” of verse 31. “If God is for us, who is against us?” Those “us’s” are the “these” of verse 30. “These whom He predestined, called, justified,
these He also glorified.” Whoever is in the plan, the provision for
them has been made, and God will add to that provision in the gift of His Son anything
else that is necessary to get them to glory. I love the fact that it says “freely give
us all things.” It continues to be grace, doesn’t it? Continues to be grace, we don’t earn it, we
don’t deserve it, but we receive it. Somebody says, “Okay, if persons can’t take
away our salvation, if God Himself can’t take away our salvation because He’s already committed
Himself to give the greatest gift and lesser gifts come easily after that, maybe there’s
another person. How about Satan? Maybe Satan can do it.” Satan would like to do it. He wanted to destroy Job’s faith, right? He wanted to destroy the faith of Peter. Jesus said, “Peter, you better be careful
because Satan desires to sift you like wheat.” He went before God in the book of Job and
he said the only reason – to God, he said, “The only reason Job is faithful to You is
because You bless him. Take away his blessing and he’ll curse You. I’ll shatter his faith.” God turned Satan loose, said, “Go do it all,
anything but take his life.” And Satan moved, and all his animals were
killed, all his children were killed, and then Job was sick, then he had a bunch of
stupid counselors telling him all kinds of things that weren’t true, and he was isolated
in the agonies of confusion because the conversation between God and Satan wasn’t known to him. He had no idea while this was going on what
the cause was, what the motive was, what the reason was. But in the middle of it all, could Satan take
his faith away even when Satan had killed his family and left him only with a wife who
said things she shouldn’t have said and was no help? When Satan had removed everything that he
owned and possessed, when he left him so sick and so covered with boils and sores he was
scraping them off with a piece of broken pottery? That would probably be the kind of extremity
that would make you say, “If you’re going to lose this thing, I’m going to lose it here.” And Satan was essentially the tormentor through
all of that. And in the middle of it all, what does Job
say? “Though He slay me, yet will I” – what? – “trust
Him.” You can’t kill that faith because God sustains
it in the midst of everything. Satan can’t do that. Satan is the accuser of the brethren, right? Revelation 12. He’s the accuser of the brethren day and night
before the throne of God, accusing the brethren. Did it with Job. He did it with the high priest in Zechariah
chapter 3. He’s coming to Jesus about Peter. He’s going after Paul in 2 Corinthians 12
with a messenger from Satan being like a thorn in the flesh. Satan is the accuser of the brethren. He is the tormentor. So with that background, you come to verse
33: “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect?” Well, the one who is always trying to do that
is Satan. Or the beginning of verse 34. “Who is the one who condemns?” The one who does that is Satan. Both those questions, really, are the same
question. One, wanting to bring a charge that would
result in condemnation. Going to God and saying, “You don’t let go
of this person, let me torment this person and I’ll destroy his faith. He’s not a worthy person. He’s only serving You because things are going
well. And if we make life tough enough for him,
he’ll curse You. I’ll show you what he’s really like.” This is what Satan does, I think, all the
time. He’s night and day before the throne of God,
bringing accusations against the saints. Can he succeed? The answer comes in verse 33: “God is the
one who justifies.” Literally, “God is the one justifying.” God alone condemns and God alone declares
righteous. And if God declares that we are righteous
in Christ, He can’t at the same time declare we are guilty, right? And there is no higher judge. Believers are always being accused. I think that goes on in heaven all the time. Satan is always trying to make a case against
our salvation, against God loving us, against God declaring us righteous and just. But God has already rendered His final verdict,
and the final verdict, based upon his own sovereign purpose, the regenerating work of
the Holy Spirit, the provision of Christ in His death and resurrection, activated by our
faith, is that we have been declared righteous, we have been declared just, and that settles
it. There’s no higher court, that’s the whole
point. There’s no court of appeals above God. God is the only court. God is the only court in the universe when
it comes to sin and judgment and justification. There is no other court. And it is God who is justifying His people,
and no accusation from Satan against them can stand. And no effort on the part of Satan to bring
destruction into their lives can stand. God doesn’t always prevent that. I know you hear the prosperity preachers say
that Jesus wants you healthy, happy, and whole in every sense, but that wasn’t Job. That wasn’t Peter. Peter got sifted like wheat that night, didn’t
he, around the fires of the trial of Jesus, denied Jesus over and over again. Paul had his thorn in the flesh and his immense
amount of suffering. Satan, with all that he could bring about
in the lives of these men and in the lives of other believers that God allows him to
go after for his own purposes, all that they can do can never change our standing before
God and God has rendered us righteous. That’s why Charles Wesley said, “Bold shall
I stand in that great day, for who ought to my charge shall lay, fully through Thee absolved
I am from sin and fear, from guilt and shame.” Please notice, back in verse 33, this is because
we are God’s elect. Who will bring a charge against God’s elect,
those that were foreknown, predestined? God already has determined their justification. So when Satan tries to bring us before the
bar of God, we don’t arrive as outlaws and we don’t arrive as criminals; we arrive as
God’s elect, already declared righteous. Well, there’s only one possible person left
outside of us who might decide to let us go, turn us loose, and that would be Christ. What about Christ? Could He give up on us? He brought us in, could He throw us out? Verse 34. Christ Jesus, is He going to condemn us? He died, He was raised, He’s at the right
hand of God, and He’s interceding for us. He’s not going to be the one because there
are fourfold realities there, fourfold protection, shall Christ that died? He’s the one who died, the obvious point. When He died, He received in full the punishment
for all our sins. That’s why He died. He was sinless. There was no guilt in Him. He died in our place, bearing our punishment. He’s not going to condemn us when He took
our condemnation. Secondly, not only did He die, but He was
raised. In other words, His atonement was propitious,
it satisfied God and God validated His work on the cross by raising Him from the dead. His resurrection is the affirmation of the
accomplishment of His atoning work on the cross. Christ’s death paid in full the penalty for
all the sins of all the people who will ever believe through human history and to indicate
that, God raised Him from the dead. And that’s not all, there’s a third element. So you have Christ paying in full for our
sins, you have the Father validating that His payment was in full for our sins by raising
Him from the dead, and then thirdly, who is even at the right hand of God, like Psalm
110:1, “The Lord said to My Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand.'” God highly exalted Him because of His work
on the cross, gave Him a name above every name, seated Him at His right hand, and every
knee bows to Him. He ascended to the right hand of the throne
of God because He had fully accomplished our eternal salvation. So you pull those together, the complete work
of Christ on the cross, through the resurrection, and in His exaltation and His ascension all
indicates that our salvation has been paid for in full and God is totally satisfied. And as if that’s not enough, end of verse
34, “He also intercedes for us.” He also intercedes for us. That’s the high point. He keeps on interceding, keeps on, keeps on
interceding. Hebrews tells us that He’s our great high
priest, right? That He ever lives to make intercession for
us. He ever lives to make intercession for us. He stands at the very throne of God at God’s
right hand and He intercedes for us. Any accusation that comes against us, He becomes
the lawyer for our defense who says, “Paid for in full by Me personally.” He is our high priest forever, Hebrews 6 says,
our high priest forever, who anchors our hope, which is sure and steadfast within the veil. So persons that could take away our salvation? Not any humans, not God, not Satan, not Christ. Only one possibility. What about ourselves? You say, “I know people like that. I wouldn’t blame God. I wouldn’t even blame Satan. They were in the church, they believed, they
sang the songs, they came to Bible study, they said they believed and then they left
and they denied Christ and they went away. They lost their salvation.” Did they? Is that what happened? They seemed saved to me, some of them are
in your family, some of them are close, maybe your children. Are you asking yourself what happened? What about those who believed or seemed to
believe and then they left? First John 2:19 gives us the answer to that. First John 2:19. Oh, we all know people like this. I’ve known them all my life. Many of them in this church. Did they lose their salvation? Did they just give it up themselves? Listen to 1 John 2:19. “They went out from us” – and we all know
people who’ve done that – “but they were not really of us, for if they had been of us,
they would have remained with us, but they went out so that it would be shown that they
all are not of us.” Never real. Tares among the wheat. Rocky soil. A little life starts to appear to show, no
fruit, and they wither and die. Weedy soil, choked out by the love of the
world and riches and the cares of this life. We all have people like that. But they went out from us because they never
were really of us. But for those of us who are real and genuine
believers and we have the witness of the Spirit in our hearts in that regard, we’ve seen His
fruit evidenced in our lives, our love for the Lord, our love for the truth, our love
for the Word, our love for other believers, all these things, our love for things that
are holy and pure and good, our salvation is forever secure. And this is the pinnacle capstone ministry
of the blessed Holy Spirit. If you don’t believe in that, then that is
an insult to the Spirit. That is an insult to the Spirit who is doing
in the life of a true believer something that that true believer denies that he’s doing
and rejects. The Father planned our eternal salvation,
the Son provided and purchased our eternal salvation, and the Holy Spirit produces and
perfects our eternal salvation. So much for persons. There is no person who could take away your
salvation. Jeremiah 31:3 sums it up. God says this: “I have loved you with an everlasting
love,” and I rest my weary soul in this confidence. Let’s bow together in prayer. And we’re going to just have a word of prayer
and then meditate against quietly at the end as Steve plays the organ for us. That little time of meditation is good for
us to think about what we’ve heard and let it settle in our hearts, and then the prayer
room will be open to my right, the members center is open, the visitors center is open,
and those of you who need spiritual help, you need to be sure about your eternal destiny,
the prayer room in the front to my right, come, there’ll be folks who would love to
speak with you and do so kindly and wisely. Father, we thank You for the continual feast
that we enjoy from Your Word that feeds our souls, gives strength to us, produces joy,
hope even in the face of difficulty in life. Thank You for the mighty work of the Holy
Spirit in securing our eternal glory. And we know that if we are truly Yours, we’ll
never lose that salvation, as if we could lose it and the Holy Spirit would have to
start the work all over again and do it again and maybe again and again and again. There’s nothing in the Scripture that even
intimates anything like that exists, but rather this is a work that You deemed to do and set
out to do and will do. And we honor You, Father, and we honor You,
blessed Son. We honor You, Holy Spirit, for all that You
have done for us who are unworthy, all by grace. Fill us with joy and hope and eagerness for
what You have for us as long as we’re here and then for what You have prepared for us
when we enter into Your presence. Bring those to You who do not know You and
have not yet received this gift of salvation. May they awaken in faith to embrace Christ
as Savior and Lord, we pray in His name.

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