The Security in the Gospel
By Dr. Tom Walker
1 Corinthians 15:1-4 says: “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.”
We live in a day of wide-spread insecurity. So many people are insecure in so many ways. Dr. Vance Havner wrote, “What sort of redemption is it which provides security against the past and future, but leaves us stranded in the here and now.”
Security is definitely found in these verses which point us to the Gospel of Christ. It says in v.3 that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. That little word “for” is a word of substitution. To be a substitute is to do something in the place of someone else.
So many people live in uncertainty and anxiety concerning their salvation. There is no need for that because in 1 John 5:13, “These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.” I John 5:13 makes it very clear that it is the will of God for people to know they have eternal life. God made provision for us to know presently that we have eternal life because of the result of believing on the name of the Son of God. If a person does not know for sure that he or she is saved, they are out of the will of God for their lives. Make no mistake about it, it is God’s will that we know we have been born again due to our personal faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. A person does not have to wait until death to know they are saved, because this verse in I John 5:13 is speaking in the present tense.
Forget Trusting Your Own Works
The gospel message makes it clear that we are saved by what Jesus did for us upon the cross of Calvary and not by what we are doing for Him.
Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” The Bible states salvation is not of ourselves, because salvation is a gift. A gift is something given by someone to a person who may not have earned the gift, but it is granted out of a heart of love from the giver of the gift to the object of their love.
The word “grace” itself means “unmerited or undeserved favor.” Why can we not have a sense of security when we realize salvation depends upon Christ and not upon us?
How much clearer can the Bible be when it gives us the words about salvation saying: “Not of works lest any man should boast.” Salvation is designed so that man cannot earn it by hanging on and holding out, because if man were saved by his works, then it would be he who would get the glory for salvation and not God. An old song I heard when I was a boy says in regard to salvation and Heaven, “If anyone makes it Lord, surely I will.” That sounds a great deal sanctimonious. Looking at my works I would have to change the words to say, “If anyone comes short, Lord surely I do.” Thank God for His grace and mercy that gets us into the family of God and keeps us in as a member of that grand and glorious family.
Take God’s Word and Not the Word of Another
Romans 8:35-39 says: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Paul the Apostle begins this passage by it being unbelievable to him that anyone or anything could ever separate the believer from the love of God. It is in a sense saying that man can be more powerful than the God of Creation Himself. That is a ridiculous assumption. No force in the universe is greater than the all-powerful God of Glory!
After his opening in this passage, Paul makes a list of things that some might think could separate them from the love of Christ. The love of Jesus is a love that will not let us go. It is noteworthy that Paul faced the possibility of death from his enemies after he had given his heart to Christ because he said, “For thy sake we are killed all the day long.”
Why should you hold your head down and live a life of uncertainty? It makes no sense at all in light of the fact Paul the Apostle said, “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” We will not just be conquerors in the life to come but in the here and now.
Look at the list Paul gives in this passage in Romans 8. He mentions death, life, angels, principalities, power, things present and things to come, height, depth; none of these things can sever the Christian from his or her place in the body of Christ. To make sure we cannot sever ourselves from Christ once we are saved, Paul adds, “Nor any other creature.” I have heard people say, “Well, no one else can separate you from the love of Christ but you can separate yourself.” The trouble is that does ring true with Scripture. You are secure for sure if you are in Christ Jesus by faith.
Take Some Extra Time Considering the Gospel
Remember again the verse from our text verses, “Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures.” If salvation were something a person could only have for a while, depending upon whether they obey God all the time or not, it would not be good news. It would produce a sense of bondage and fear.
It would do us well to remember what Jesus said upon the cross. There were actually seven sayings of our Lord but one of the things He said was, “It is finished.” In other words, Jesus in His death upon the cross and through His shed blood provided eternal salvation to all who believe in Christ. One songwriter in his lyrics put it this way, “In my hand no price I bring, simply to the cross I cling. Another songwriter wrote, “Jesus paid it all, all to Him I owe, sin hath left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow.” The reason I will not have to go to Hell is because Jesus died for me, in my place, as my substitute, that eternal salvation might be mine and yours. You can be secure and have peace about your salvation through what you see in the Gospel of our Lord, as revealed by the Apostle Paul. Rest in the Lord, not in your good works.
Dr. Tom Walker is the president and founder of Foothills Baptist Bible College located in Marion, NC.