Spoken World

singer-songwriter / sojourner

Perseverance

Let’s start this with someone who said it quite well already back in 2004:

“When it comes to putting your faith in Jesus Christ you literally have to deny yourself, completely abandon yourself to someone you’ve never seen and never experienced, and can’t know or experience until you come to that complete abandonment. That requires a faith that is beyond the normal human faith—that requires a faith that is a gift from God, a supernatural faith, and the only kind of faith that God gives is a faith that endures. You could not muster up your own faith to be saved, nor could you muster up enough of your own faith to stay saved, and were you to depend upon your own faith it would fail you.” —John MacArthur, The Perseverance of the Saints, Part 1

The language surrounding how I have spoken about the night I was converted has slowly, but surely, turned away from the focus of my acceptance of Christ Jesus to the work of His hand in my life previously, and the supernatural faith which He instilled in me to believe at all. I know for a fact I never would have accepted Him were it not for His grace, and to say anything contrary to salvation being other than His doing is wrong. I didn’t have it in me. None of us do.

This is where the wonder and awe and glory of Christ truly shines brightest. The mystery of salvation in the perfectly expressed character and life lived, sinlessly, by Him, to our benefit. His blessing, to turn his own Son into a curse. By His stripes we are healed.

Really, consider this:

Galatians‬ ‭3:2-29‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh? Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith— just as Abraham "believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness"? Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, "In you shall all the nations be blessed." So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith. For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them." Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for "The righteous shall live by faith." But the law is not of faith, rather "The one who does them shall live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"— so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith. To give a human example, brothers: even with a man-made covenant, no one annuls it or adds to it once it has been ratified. Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ. This is what I mean: the law, which came 430 years afterward, does not annul a covenant previously ratified by God, so as to make the promise void. For if the inheritance comes by the law, it no longer comes by promise; but God gave it to Abraham by a promise. Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary. Now an intermediary implies more than one, but God is one. Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now before faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed. So then, the law was our guardian until Christ came, in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:3-9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”

Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.“

Really our biggest encouragement and assurance should be that the Lord himself has saved, and is backing us. Christ is not one to be shaken, but built upon, the cornerstone. Glory be to God alone. May we never seek to take away from Him, and may His will be done in our lives rather than our own.