“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.”
I love Chonda Pierce. Some of the stuff she says in her stand-up comedy routines makes me laugh so hard my stomach hurts. Recently I was watching her and she said something that not only made me laugh, but made me think:
“I got saved 342 times growing up. If there was lightning outside, I got saved. If there was a cute boy at the altar, I got saved again. I ain’t stupid.”
Ha! That’s good stuff! It’s funny because it’s true in how Christians think when we are taught wrong about our salvation. I understand Chonda’s background because I’ve seen the documentary about her life, Laughing In The Dark. She grew up in a very scary home–her dad was a preacher, a very legalistic one–and legalism creates fear. Legalism is demonic.
The enemy wants nothing more than for us to believe we are not who we really are as God’s children. He wants us fearful, confused, and afraid. He doesn’t want us to know that we are saved. Christians are saved people! Saved from what? From hell.
If he can cause us to be unsure about our true supernatural identity, he can then wreak havoc in our lives. We will stress out and strain harder–trying to earn or even sustain our salvation–based on what we do or don’t do.
The devil knows we will live out who we believe we are. If he can get you to think you are going to hell, he knows you will live that way. The Holy Spirit, on the other hand, is always attempting to teach us that we are secure forever! He too knows we will live out who we believe we are! But until we allow Him to latch onto our thought life with His grace, we will say, “But what about–” all day long.
As the Spirit of Christ Himself, He gently chips away at our “But what abouts.” Our incorrect theology of “I gotta do!” “I gotta stop!” “I gotta this and that so God will stay pleased with me!” To those things He says, “Stop worrying. I’m enough. I’m in you.” Jesus wants us to remove the I’s from our “But what abouts” and replace them with Him.
For some, even reading about this subject will muddy up the waters in their mind. Why? Bad teaching. Fearful teaching. Conditional grace theology. Behavior centered presentations rather than identity focused lessons. And I get it, I’ve been there. The way I got there was by trying so hard to keep my salvation I just about killed myself. When a Type A personality gets a hold of legalism, bad bad stuff happens. Debilitating burn-out happens.
Really, that’s all it takes. Spiritual burn-out. Trying so hard to keep what you already have until you realize you aren’t even the one keeping it–and you never have been–this wakes a person up!
We are saved once! Jesus saved us! Jesus keeps us saved! What He did was more than good enough to accomplish this feat, and to maintain this feat! When we got saved most of us didn’t even realize what He had truly done! But He did it anyway!
So for the people who push the idea of us being able to lose our salvation, they are wrong. We have it, or we don’t. These same confused folk will say, “Yeah, we might get saved once, but we have to be forgiven daily!” They don’t understand that our one-time saving is the same event as our one-time forgiveness. Being saved is being forgiven. We don’t get saved multiple times nor do we get forgiven multiple times.
Because they are focused on themselves and not Jesus, they have many more rebuttals to everything I just wrote. Here’s a few of them, and my own replies:
There are many more excuses the grace-confused people will use, it’s very sad. And you can tell if they are really confused about God’s grace because they will get mad about His grace. Crazy, right? They are upset about the very thing keeping themselves eternally secure.
“You better be careful with that grace!” they’ll say. Yet that grace is the branch they are sitting on, high above hell and from their own demise.
Friend, the gospel is this: “He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them” (Hebrews 7:25). The reason why we will stay saved–once and for all time (see Hebrews 10:10)–is one main reason.
JESUS WILL NEVER DIE AGAIN!
If He dies, yes. If He doesn’t die again, no. Your life is His life! So be confident in His ability to stay alive! He is God! You are saved! That is, if you believe He has forgiven you. Do you?
A prayer for you: Good morning, Dad. I want to thank you for teaching me the truth of my identity, I am your son! I’m no longer a slave to the fear of hell, but instead, I’m confident in what Jesus did for me–and is still doing for me–staying alive! Nothing can change this, not even me! Right now, I lift up all who are reading this, directly to you. So many of them have been manipulated with religious fear. Let them know your Spirit does not bring fear to them, especially about their salvation. Instead, you bring peace, comfort, confidence, and a sound mind! You let us know we are your kids! Teach them the truth of the New Covenant! Teach them that no behavior–good, bad, or indifferent–can change who you’ve made us to be! SAINTS! We are secure forever! Thank you so much! We love you. Amen.
This devotional is from 60 Days for Jesus, Volume 3. Get your copy here!