EPH 2:7-10 - Saved with an end in mind.
EPH 2:7 in order that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
EPH 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
EPH 2:9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast.
EPH 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
We are no longer slaves to sin and death. The Son of God has set us free and made us sons. We are in the house of the Lord forever and are free to work our Father’s land, the earth, for His harvest, which as heirs, is also ours.
The world, especially in the age of information and the world-wide web, is credulous, meaning that they are willing to believe anything. This stifles any critical faculties as they are overrun with a plethora of public persuasion and information, so that literally, you can find a group of people somewhere to believe anything. It is on this basis that our great newspapers, television and radio networks, universities and schools, churches and, above all, our great advertising agencies are conducted.
There are good skeptics and bad ones. (Actually, there are good and bad everything.) In one of President Reagan’s biographies, one of his advisers said that the President would form an opinion about an issue based on the last thing he read about it. So, in other words, the last opinion he contemplated would form his own opinion. The problem with that is obvious. Was that last piece you read based on the truth? The issue is that we don’t know much about an issue. Certainly, being president in our modern world requires knowledge of more things than can possibly be known well by any one man. So, he gets advisers, but he has to trust them, and so often, the advisers have their own agenda and carriers in mind, and so do not advise reliably.
Therefore, we need to be skeptical about everything besides the truth, and that can only work if we can recognize the truth. Fortunately, we can. Jesus is the truth. “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
And, from the truth of the scripture, you can figure out the truth about most everything that is important. When it comes to the truth of the scripture, we must be unremitting and tireless, while at the same time being careful to only take account of what the scripture reveals without any human conjecture or reason.
Students of the word of God might be tireless in using human reason or allegory to interpret the scripture, which is misplaced effort that leads to dangerous errors.
Believers must be incredulous. They must be Indiana Jones when it comes to the truths in the Bible. And for this we need assurance. Our sonship, our position in Christ is assured, and also, the truth of the scripture is assured. God tells us that the truth from proper interpretation of the Bible is knowable and that we will know it, yet we cannot know it without Christ, nor without the ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
This may sound a bit off at first, but the scripture bears witness of it.
Assurance is not found in the church or even in the Bible itself, since the unbeliever can read it cover to cover and find none. Assurance is only found in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is those with assurance who glean wonderful truth from the Bible, which they cannot live without. It is those with assurance who contribute to the church and receive great blessings from the church.
Jesus told us that when we loved like He loved and, in that love, that we would be unified, that then the world would know that the Father sent Jesus into the world, and that we are His disciples. He didn’t tell us to prove to the world through argument that He was the only Savior. The gospel therefore should not be unaccompanied by love and unity. A cold and indifferent gospel is a weak one. Good news of this caliber should never be weak.
PHI 1:27 Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ; so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
PHI 1:28 in no way alarmed by your opponents — which is a sign [Greek: endeixis = to show something as a fact] of destruction for them, but of salvation for you, and that too, from God.
Our courage and unity is a sign to them, but we all know that not everyone notices the important sign which saves us from being lost.
Our standing firm in one spirit and striving together or fighting together for the promulgation of the gospel is what will show the fact of the destruction for all who reject the gospel.
Some will override these guidelines that Christ has given us, not understanding how love and unity is actually going to reveal Christ and the gospel, and in their place design their own ways of revealing Christ that make more logical sense to them. Should we go with human logic or divine revelation?
Blessed assurance only comes to a person through faith in the person of Christ, not arguments or ideologies.
“You are saved!” cries the apostle; not forgetting that his readers have their battle to fight, and many hazards yet to run.
The objective truth Paul presents is that we are saved, raised, and seated with Christ in the heavenlies. This is also unfolded in the sister epistle to this one.
COL 3:1 If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
COL 3:2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
COL 3:3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
COL 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.
In Col 3 we are invited to seek the life we have been raised to.
It is significant that this is written. If we have to seek it then the function of it is not automatic. Our life hidden with Christ in God, which doesn’t mean it’s hidden from us but that it is hidden from the world being in Him, will not be fully discovered without making the self-determinate choice to pursue it. And, it is not as if God is making us work for it or is hiding it, but rather it is clear that if we didn’t pursue it then it is not dear to us. And if the life of Christ isn’t dear to us then we know nothing about it.