God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
A right relationship with God gives us assurance of eternal salvation.
Romans 5:6-11 is one of the greatest sections in the Bible about the assurance of our salvation. Some people say, “I believe it is through faith in Christ’s death on the cross for me that I have eternal life, but what if I quit believing? What if I fall into sin? Does my status change from friend of God back to enemy of God? Do I lose my salvation?” Such a question fails to take into account not only what Christ did for us but also when He did it for us.
Paul said, “For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly” (5:6). When did Christ die for you and me? It was while we were helpless. We were completely incapable of doing anything to earn God’s approval. Not only that, but Paul said we were ungodly. That word “ungodly” does not just mean “unlike God.” The prefix “un-” means “against.” Apart from Christ, you and I are against God. That is when Christ died for us–when we were helpless and ungodly. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (5:8).
Paul pointed out, “One will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die” (5:7). It is one thing to be willing to die for somebody who loves you. But Christ did not die for us when we loved Him. No. Verse 8 says He died for us while we were sinners. When we hated God, He was still willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
What does that have to do with the assurance of our salvation? Everything. Look at verses 9 and 10: “Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” If God was willing to reach down and save you when you hated Him, when you were against Him, then how much more do you think, now that you are His friend, He is going to keep you saved? If God alone has the power to save you, then God alone has the power to keep you saved.
The reason we have assurance of our eternal salvation is because we are in a right relationship with God. Look at what God did for you when you were His enemy. How much more is He going to do for you now that you are His friend? The problem we have with this is that we tend to think God is like us. We love only people who are lovable. And we only keep loving people who keep loving us. If somebody stops loving us, we move away from them. Aren’t you grateful God is not like us? God loves us with an everlasting love.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Without a Doubt” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2014.
Scripture quotations are taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.