“I am warning you ahead of time, dear friends. Be on guard so that you will not be carried away by the errors of these wicked people and lose your own secure footing.” (2 Peter 3:17 NLT)
Even in the early days of the Christian Faith there were those who twisted the truth of Scripture to seek to prove Jesus wasn’t who He claimed to be or wasn’t going to keep the promises He made to His followers. Foundationally, Jesus is the “Rock of our salvation!” His life, His love, His sacrifice, His victory over death and the grave, His ascension and promise to one day return so we’ll never be separated from Him in all eternity.
Clearly, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news of liberation from sin, guilt, and shame, not because we earned or deserve it, but by faith in His completed work on the Cross. Anytime we put faith plus anything else, it ceases to be a grace gift of love and seeks to become something for which we’ve worked or in some distorted way, what we think we are owed or deserve.
There are days I struggle to comprehend why anyone, especially God, would love and do anything for me. How could my sins be cancelled and treated by God as if they never happened? It doesn’t make sense, at least not to a mortal mind. But isn’t that the beauty of forgiveness? Jesus paid a debt He didn’t owe, to free sinners like me and you from a debt we could never pay, even if we had all eternity.
Because foundationally our trust is in a love-based Gospel, we’re sometimes tempted to believe we can help our cause by trying to be good enough to earn or deserve God’s love. Matt Smethurst reminds us: “There is no security in a love that’s been earned.” So, does that negate in any way God’s desire for us to live holy and acceptable lives for Him?
No, of course not. Holiness is how we give visibility to His life being lived in and through us. We have no worth, no merit, no goodness apart from Him. To take credit for what He is doing in and on our behalf is blasphemous. To find in our own goodness or in the “good” life that we’re living any sense of security is to shift to us what rightfully belongs only to the Lord.
There is no security, in this life or the next, apart from Jesus. He is the center and must be the focal point of our hope for the future. Had He not paid the penalty for our sin and opened an entryway to the Father, we would remain hopelessly lost and spiritually undone.
The Bible doesn’t warn us of things that have no bearing on our lives as believers. There will always be those whom the enemy will use to distract us or seek to redirect our efforts to live faithfully and fruitfully for our Savior. That’s why we need to be rooted in Scripture and grounded in godly relationships with others who love Jesus and His Word.
It’s amazing to me how quickly we can be led to believe or at least consider, something that is contrary to Scripture, yet that can be so destructive to our walk with Jesus. There are things that Jesus taught that don’t make sense to a carnal mind and heart but are a lifeline for those of us who love and serve Him.
Erroneous teachings abound in our day and wolves in sheep’s clothing are hungry to feed you lies from the depths of hell. Be on your guard and find strength in the security of your life in Christ rooted deeply in the truths of Scripture, which bears all the evidence we’ll ever need of who Truth really is.
Blessings, Ed 😊