Key Text: Ephesians 1:13
One of the most difficult things for all of us humans to admit, is that we need help and direction. Our self (human spirit) is innately selfish and self-destructive, and without help, we lose strength to do what is right, and ultimately our own spiritual health & life. All humans, no matter how intellectually advanced, have a tendency to be our own worst enemy, and this is made worse by the existence and work of the Devil. This help we need, God calls salvation and it is good news, Romans 1:1.
Deliverance from our spiritual peril and weaknesses, is very real. Biblically the word is used in a graphic physical way and of course in a spiritual sense. An example of how the word “salvation” is used in both a physical and spiritual sense, is Acts 27:31-44. It is good news that God would want to rescue us from our own foolish rebellion against Him.
Romans 5:8. Preservation is another word used to describe what God is doing for us, see 2Timothy 4:18.
What has God the Father done to deliver or save us? The obvious answer is John 3:16. But before the cross, He promised to make Gentiles holy. Read Isaiah 66:18-21 and Obadiah 15-17, compare them with Romans 15:14-16. Holiness is what God gives us in our hearts, this holiness replaces and cures the sin-sickness of our heart, helping us fulfil the requirement for entrance into Heaven, Hebrews 12:14. The Spirit of Holiness fills the desire of every human heart to know God and worship Him. In 1656, mathematician & philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote of “a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person”, which can’t be filled with more ‘things’, but only by God. When will humanity ever accept and apply this truth? We must put more effort in using our spiritual gifts instead of our physical gifts, 2Timothy 1:13-14. In giving us His Holy Spirit, he has sealed our salvation for eternity. See 1John 2:20 & Ephesians 1:13. But if we do not grow the fruit of the Spirit, will we be cut off, like a useless branch? Jn. 15:6
Perhaps the most important question regarding how good God is, in saving us, is this:
Would God ever quit saving us? Can we lose our deliverance? Since our deliverance is secured by the gift of the Spirit, would His Spirit ever leave us before our entrance into Heaven? This certainly happened to King Saul. Consider the following series of events:
Foolish Burnt Offering at Michmash – 1Sam. 13:11-14
Weak-willed Sacrifice at Gilgal – 1Sam 15:17-26, 16:14
Consulting a witch at Endor – 1Chron. 10:13-14
If such loss can happen to an anointed King, why not us? God was very good to Saul, but more than 3 times Saul neglected God’s goodness and ended up losing His Spirit. God patiently tried to get Saul’s genuine repentance, but eventually, Saul kept turning away. We can drift away from God’s grace and lose the rescue attempt God has ensued upon us. Galatians 1:6, “turning away” is a direction in our life, we do not ever want to take.
Ananias & Sapphira (Ac. 5:1-10), Hymanaeus & Alexander (1Tim. 1:19-20) & Demas (2Tim. 4:10) and Diotrephes (3Jn. 9-10) are all personal examples of how Christians can turn away from God’s good & gracious Spirit and forsake the rescue operation of God. Proving we must each prayerfully keep feeding on His word and grow His fruit.