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The Security of Salvation #2


The Security of Salvation--Part 2
Romans 5:2-5
Open your Bible, if you will now, to Romans chapter 5. The message of the first eleven verses of Romans 5 is very simple. And I'm not going to pull any punches or keep any secrets, the message is you can't lose your salvation. Your salvation is forever. It is eternal. It is everlasting. It is unchanging.
I would submit to you that without question, the most comforting, the most assuring. the most confidence-building, the most joy-producing of all Christian truth is that our salvation is forever. That is a tremendously exciting reality. The believer's joy and the believer's comfort really depend upon the sense of security of salvation. And so Paul is affirming that in this great text of Romans 5. It is the heart of the passage that our salvation, our justification by faith is the power of God.
Now. as we noted last time, and I don't want to take a long time in introduction, because there's so much here, but last time we noted that this subject fits into the flow of Paul's thought in Romans. You remember that he begins in the epistle of the Romans by dealing with the wrath of God against sinful men.
And then he offers an escape from the wrath of God in chapter 1, 2, and the first half of chapter 3, and then that plan of escape is detailed in the second half of chapter 3 and chapter 4. And he says if you believe in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, simply believing that is by true, genuine saving faith, you are justified or made right with God.
There's no works involved. there's no self-effort involved, there's no human enterprise involved, it's a matter of believing what God has done in Christ. Justification by faith, being made right with God by believing in Jesus Christ.
Now, that seems so incredibly simple to the Jew that it would be very difficult for him to handle that. Because he was basically reared in a works system. It even would seem incredible to a Gentile who was raised with a religion of human achievement, which all false religion is. And to hear that all you need to do is believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you can be made right with God forever is more than they could have hoped for.
And so the natural question that follows that is that you're going to say to yourself -Well, boy, this seems too simple, too easy, there's got to be more than just believing. And so you ask yourself -Is this enough? If all I do is believe, can that really save me? Can that keep me? Will that be enough in the day of judgment when I stand before a holy God and it's time to hand out the real issue of eternity, is my faith alone in Jesus Christ going to hold me there? Am I going to survive the judgment?
And that is why in chapter 5 Paul speaks to this issue. Because anyone who is newly converted and comes to Christ through faith is going to naturally ask the question -How long will this last? How do I keep it? Is there anything I do to lose it? Now that I've got it is it mine forever? And that is the reason he approaches the subject in the way that he does.
Now to answer those questions, the Apostle gives us six great links in the chain that ties us to the Savior.
Now, the first two we looked at last time. The first one is in verse 1, "Therefore being justified by faith," that is through the act of believing in Jesus Christ, we have, first of all, peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Some people say - Well, I don't know how I can make peace with God, I've never been mad at Him...I've never been angry with Him...I've never been at war with Him. Well, that's not the issue. The issue is He's at war with you, because you're a sinner and you're an object of His wrath. In fact, he calls us children of wrath in Ephesians 2:3.
And at that point, Christ gets involved. He bears the wrath of God on the cross. Christ is the substitute who receives the punishment that we should receive. And so we have peace with God. And it's going to be that way forever because God has poured out all His wrath already on the Lord Jesus Christ.
Secondly, we saw that we are standing in grace, verse 2: "By whom also," that is by Jesus Christ, "we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand."
We talked about the word access. Christ has given us access to God. And as we open the door that is the access and step into the Kingdom we find ourselves standing in grace. And grace is a place where all sin is forgiven. Grace is a place where all sin is forgotten, because of what Christ has done on the cross and because He ever lives to make intercession for us.
So, Jesus opens the door to God. And there we enter, we find no condemnation, no judgment, no vengeance, but only and unceasingly do we find grace.
Now I want to show you the third link and I don't know if we'll get past this, I intended to do two each time, but this is so rich.
The third link, verse 2 again, ''We have access by faith into the grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
The third link in our security is hope of glory. We are secure because we have peace with God. We are secure because we stand in grace. And we are secure because we have been given the hope of glory. In other words, to put it another way, God has promised us future glory. He promised. Does God keep His promises? He is the God who cannot lie. And we will enter into that glory in the future.
Now when we finish here in Romans 5, we’re going to move over to Romans 8, but let me give you a little preview. Look at Romans chapter 8, verse 28: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose."
Now watch this: "For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son."
Now follow the thinking of these verses: God pre-established a love relationship with those who believe that ultimately results in them being in the image of Jesus Christ Himself. Now watch this so you don’t misunderstand the teaching: He isn't predestining the initiation, He is predestining the completion. Do you understand that? We are predestined not to start, but we are predestined to  finish. We are not predestined to be incomplete but predestined to be complete.
And so, in verse 30: "Whom He did predestinate, them He also called. And whom He called, them He also justified. And whom He justified them He also glorified."
There's no loss, because if you're predestined to begin, you're predestined to end. If you're predestined to start, you're predestined to finish. If you're predestined to be in Christ, you're predestined to be like Christ. Isn't that a marvelous truth? You see, that's the securing reality of the hope of the believer. And the doctrine of security is based, in part, on the hope of glory.
Now, at this point I would just stop and draw these first three together because they need to be drawn together. Watch how this works: 
The security of the believer is first of all anchored in the past. Christ made peace with God. And then the security of the believer is maintained in the present, because we are, present tense, standing in grace, and Christ ever lives to intercede on our behalf. And then the security of the believer is settled in the future, for our future glory is guaranteed for we have been redeemed to rejoice in hope of ultimate glory. And so, past. present, future all comes together to secure the believer.
Now. look with me for a moment at the very phrase itself, rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
The word rejoice is a word that basically is a confident boast or an exultant jubilation. It's a very strong word that refers primarily to rejoicing at the highest level.
Think about it this way: Ultimately, what we cause us the most to rejoice? I would suggest a secure future. That is the reason for our great rejoicing. We are at peace with God because of Christ's finished work in the past, we stand in grace because of His intercessory work in the present, and we have no fear of the future because of His ultimate statement that He said "All that the Father gives to Me shall come to Me and I have lost none, but will raise him up at the last day."
So, the Christian has a secure future. We boast in a secure future. And that is what our hope speaks about in this passage. We have the hope of glory. The hope of ultimate glorification. So, our rejoicing in future glory is not based on our own worthiness, that is not based upon our ability to stay saved, it is based upon the promise and the power of God.
Now, look at the end of verse 2. "We rejoice in hope of the glory of God."
Zero in on that phrase “the glory of God”.
I think ultimately what Paul is addressing here is the expression of God's person, the glory is God's intrinsic revelation of Himself. God has revealed His glory, that is the expression of His person. And what it's saying in this verse is that someday God in the fullest, truest, purest way is going to reflect His eternal character through us. That's really what it's saying.
In Romans 8, I think Paul is dealing with this, in verse l8, he says: "Anything that we suffer in this present time shouldn't even be worthy to be compared with the glory," now listen, "which shall be revealed...where? us." In other words. there is going to be a time when God without any hindrance, without any veiling, is going to be able to pour through us in eternal, infinite manifestation His glory.
Now that can't happen now. We wait for that, verse 19, Romans 8, "The earnest expectation of the creation waits for the manifestation of the sons of God." We can't do that now. We have this treasure, says Paul to the Corinthians, in earthen vessels, right now. There's limitation here. But we're waiting and one of these days it will be reality.
And Paul says we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 
Now if we hope in the glory of God, what, then, is our hope? That we're going to lose our humanness, we're going to lose the incapacitation of the flesh, we're going to lose the body, the earthiness and we're going to become clear, crystal, eternal persons through whom God can reveal His glory. And the point being if He called you and if He justified you. He'll glorify you. That is our hope.
The ultimate fulfillment of our salvation is connected with the manifestation of the glory of God in and through us.
You know, when you read about heaven you read about the fact that there's no lamp in heaven, you know, and there's no light there because the Lord is the lamp of it, the Lord is the light, and as you read about heaven you find out that everything is transparent in heaven. The streets of gold are transparent. The layers and foundations and so forth are made out of jewels through which the very glory of God will radiate.
I mean, heaven must be like some utterly incomprehensible flashing crown of jewels with the glistening of the glory of God from the inside radiating out of every refracted element of it and you and I are going to be little different than that. 
We're going to be caught up in that whole, incredible display of glory and become reflectors eternally of the full majesty and glory of the infinite God Himself.
And you know, it's hard to do that in these human bodies, isn't it? In fact, it's impossible and that's why we groan waiting for the redemption of the body because our bodies get in the way of that reflection of the glory of God.
In Romans 8:29, it says that glory is defined this way: "We will be conformed to the image of His Son." Now, I'm not sure all of that means, but whatever it is we're going to be just exactly like Jesus. 
I think we get a little glimpse of what that means when Jesus was on the mount of transfiguration and pulled back His flesh and revealed the fullness of the glory of God and they were literally shaken to the very core with the profound wonder of what they saw and He showed them His glory. I think that is the essential reality of the glorified Christ and we're going to be like that.
In fact, that is a marvelous theme throughout Scripture. 
II Corinthians 3: 18, "We all with an unveiled face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord are changed into the same image from one level of glory to the next." You see, as we gaze on the glory of the Lord even now we are being changed. T
The illustration was Moses. He went up into the mountain, God was there, He revealed Himself to Moses and when Moses saw the glory of God. you remember what happened? He got glory all over his face. He came down the mountain and he didn't know, it says, that his face shone, it was like a light bulb. And the people were "ahhhhh."
And it says he veiled his face because the glory would fade, and he didn't want the people to see the glory fade. You see, in these bodies, the glory fades very fast even when seeing the revelation of the afterglow of God on the mount, it didn't last in Moses' case. But there will come a time when we will be lifted from one level of glory to another level of glory, to another level and finally that ultimate level of glory when we become in the image of Jesus Christ, able to manifest the full blazing glory of God Himself.
In Philippians chapter 3, verse 20, "Our citizenship is in heaven from which also we look for the Savior." We're looking for the Savior from heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ. Now, listen, "Who shall change our lowly body." Now what's He going to do with it? "He's going to make it fashioned like His glorious body." We're going to be like Christ. We're going to radiate the divine glory of God. Just marvelous to think of.
How about Colossians 3:4? It says: "When Christ who is our life shall appear then shall ye also appear with Him...what are the next two words? glory." I mean, we're not going to be these crummy little creatures like we are now, running around this heaven of glory. We're not going to be what we are now. We're going to be reflectors of the glory, we're going to be like Jesus Christ transfigured. Oh, what a marvelous incomprehensible reality.
Hebrews 2:10 will sum up our little quick-trip through the glory road for the believer. Hebrews 2:9 says. Jesus came, He was crowned with glory and honor and by the grace of God He tasted death for every man. He died for everyone. "For it was His purpose," it became Him, it says, "for whom are all things and by whom are all things," listen now, "in bringing many sons unto glory."
What was the purpose in saving you? To bring you to glory. It is ludicrous to assume that God saves people and then crosses His finger and hopes they'll get to glory. Listen: You were redeemed to be glorified.
And on of the reasons I am secure is because God has given me the hope that is built into my salvation that I was saved unto glory. And that He doesn't lose the people He redeems to glory.
Want proof? Think about Romans 9:23.  
I think it was especially written for those who believe they earn the right to go to glory.  
Just break it down phrase by phrase: 
"That He might make known the riches of His glory." Now, the Lord wants to show the riches of His glory. 
Who's He going to show it to? Watch this. "The vessels of...what?...mercy which He hath before...before what?... before anything, just before, before anything...prepared unto...what?... glory."
Now remember this, those of us who get to glory here are called vessels of...what?...mercy. Now what does mercy assume about us? That we deserve it? That we don't deserve it? Right. The point is those who are ordained to glory are ordained to glory through mercy, not through deserving it. You see that?
So, we're prepared to glory. Before the world began,  I was prepared to glory.
And any other thought misconstrues the reality of our redemption.
Paul in I Corinthians 2 verse 7 says: "We're speaking in the wisdom of God in a mystery," that is the new covenant, and he says; "Even the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages unto our glory."
You're saved to be glorified. That's why Paul says, as I read earlier, Our citizenship is not it? It's up there. We're just waiting to get rid of this thing so we can get there and enter into glory.
And even when we have struggles in this world, II Corinthians 4:17 says. "For our light affliction which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
Oh, I love that. The whole New Testament is just loaded with glory, I'm just sort of wandering around in here and I keep coming across them.
Colossians 1:27, "Christ in you," what does it mean to have Christ in you? "The hope of...what?...glory." When Christ entered into you it was to put there the hope of glory. Oh, what a marvelous security.
How about I Thessalonians 2:l2? "That you would walk worthy of God who hath called you unto His Kingdom and glory." See, He didn't just get you in, He's going to bring you all the way.
Oh, we might as well look at I Peter 5:1
"The elders among you I exhort, whom am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ," and look how Peter identifies himself, "A partaker of the glory that shall be revealed." Isn't that great? We're partakers of the glory that shall be revealed.
So, that's our hope and that is a secure hope, never will it waver. Now, I want to add a footnote. Hebrews 3:6, we've seen it from God's side, I want you to see it from our side.
You say “Well that's great, I'm just going to go do what I want...and I'll get glorified in the end”
Well here's a word for you Hebrews 3:6 "But Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are," listen now, "if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end."
Now listen to me, the hope is secured by God. You say - Do we have anything to do with it? We prove ourselves to belong to God genuinely if we hold fast our confidence and the rejoicing of that hope firm to the end.
Somebody who just wanders off into sin and just wanders off and says - Well, I guess I'm going to be glorified in the end, I'll live any way I just proved that you never were in to begin with. Yes, God secures us, but from our side we are truly the household of God if we hold fast the confidence and keep the rejoicing firm to the end.
So that,not only does God secure His own sovereignty, but He implants within His own the power of the Spirit of God that keeps alive the hope and the rejoicing and the obedience. God will keep His promise for those who are genuine.
Verse 14 says the same thing. "For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end."
Now listen, it isn't saying that you stay saved by hanging on. It is saying that you reveal that you really are if you do. You understand the difference? You prove yourself. From the divine viewpoint God holds onto His own, but from the human point He gives them the power to hold that confidence hold that hope firm, to rejoice in that hope. So we're secure. We're secure if we're the real Christians. We're secure if we're the ones who hang on to our hope and rejoice in our hope.
The hymn writer had it right: "My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus' name. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is...what?...sinking sand. When darkness fails His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace. In every high and stormy gale, my anchor holds within the veil. His oath, His covenant, His blood support me in the whelming flood. when all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay. On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand."
Our hope is secure in the work of Christ in the power of God and it is proven to be secure when we walk in obedience to His holy will.
Now, with that in mind go back to Romans 5 and watch this next verse, most thrilling. Verse 3 and 4,
"And not only so," what do you mean by that, Paul?
Not only do we rejoice in hope of the glory of God, but watch this, "We also," and the word should be rejoice there, not glory, if you have the King James, it's the word exult again, it's the word for exultant jubilation, for rejoicing and boasting, "But we rejoice in tribulation because we know that tribulation works patience and patience character and character hope."
What is this saying? The believer not only rejoices in the glory to come but he even rejoices in the tribulation now because the tribulation now produces the kind of character that has a greater capacity to rejoice about the future.
So, Paul says we rejoice even in our tribulation.
Why? Because we know no matter what comes, no matter how severe it is, no matter how devastating it is, it can never take away our promised glory. It can never steal our hope. Therefore it can never touch our joy, and so when the tribulation comes we don't curse God, like the rest of the world, we don't question God, like other people do, we rejoice in our tribulation because we see in the tribulation a product.
By the way, the word tribulation it means pressure, and it was used for squeezing olives to get the oil. squeezing grapes to get the wine. When we get in the real pressure, when we really have the stuff applied to us, what oozes out of us is the oil of rejoicing, the wine of rejoicing.
Why? Because tribulation works patience or patient endurance. You go through trouble, you learn to endure.
You go through trouble, you learn more to endure. The more trouble, the more you learn to endure. And what happens?
Endurance produces experience. Let me tell you what that means: It comes from a word which means to be approved, to put to the test for the purpose of approving someone, like you test gold to get the impurities out, you test silver to make sure it's pure, you test somebody.
And what it's saying, and this is so beautiful. is when you have trouble it produces endurance and when you go through trouble and you learn endurance it produces proven character. The term is used, by the way, of metal, it would be much like we use the term sterling, sterling silver, or when we say about someone's character, they're sterling character, we mean there's no flaws, there's no impurities.
You see, the pressure takes all that out of us. Why? Because we learn to trust God in the trials, we learn to trust God in the stress, we learn to trust God in the pain. And tribulation is not a problem for us. For one thing it's an honor to suffer for Christ. But for another thing it is a joy to learn to experience His sustaining power in the middle of suffering.
It increases our faith. It purges us. It sanctifies us. It washes us. It strengthens us. It's like spiritual weight lifting. It builds our muscles. It raises our level of holiness.
And so, we look at tribulation and we rejoice in that also. We're not just saying - Hey, pie in the sky, by and by, folks, we're just hanging on for dear life till we can get to the glory land, we're not moaning and groaning here with all of the struggle and hoping for that heaven. 
We're rejoicing right here because the process of trouble is building proven character...purging out the flaws...purging out the dross.
And the stronger we grow spiritually, the richer our hope becomes. We know this is not all there is. Glory is awaiting us out there some day. 
Listen, salvation doesn't refine your character. You take a bitter, angry, cantankerous person and get him saved and you've got a bitter, angry, cantankerous Christian.
What salvation does do is plant in you the capacity to be perfected. And after you get saved, a purging process begins and the Lord uses trials and tribulations and all of that and when they come into your life you rejoice. Why?
Because they're making you sterling, they're improving your character and not only that, but no matter what those trials bring, no matter what those trials do, one thing they'll never do is take away your future hope, cause that's secure. 
So, come what may, you can hit me with all the guns you want, you can fire all the darts you want, Satan, you can come at me with all the troubles you want, the Lord can bring those things into my life, but they do nothing but strengthen me. 
They develop my spiritual character and the greater my spiritual character the greater my hope...and the greater my rejoicing for what God has for me in the future.
So, we are secure. We're secured by peace. We're secured by grace. We're secured by hope, forever.
Verse 5, and we'll stop at this point. And here's the wrap-up on hope. "Hope makes not ashamed."
What it really means is hope is never disappointed. You don't have to be ashamed of God.
You’ll never be able to say - I put all my faith in that God, I put all my faith in that Jesus Christ and He deceived me, He never came through, and I lost everything and what a deceiver. I'm ashamed that I ever mentioned that name.
No, you'll never come to that point. Hope is not going to be ashamed, not when it's put in Jesus Christ. Hope never disappointed. It will never be ashamed.
Why? Because it will receive the promised,  anticipated glory. That's what it is saying. Because we are at peace with God through Christ's death on the cross, because we stand in grace we have a promised future glory. I don't have to blush when I say that's my hope.
I'm not ashamed to say to anybody on the face of the earth, I'm going to be in glory with Jesus Christ someday, radiating the eternal glory of God throughout the eternal Jerusalem. That's my destiny.
Well, there’s three of the links in the chain that secure you to Christ for all eternity. Peace with God, standing in grace and rejoicing in the hope of the glory of God. 
Now, are you getting the feeling you're secure? I hope, I hope it's more than a feeling. I hope you understand it. Now that's the introduction to the main part of this section. Come back next week...let's pray.
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