Note: This post contains my personal belief about salvation, foreknowledge, predestination, perseverance of the saints, as I interpret Scripture. My view has changed a bit over the years. I have friends who see things slightly differently, and certainly there are other perspectives in the body of Christ. We should all search the Scriptures and be gracious to one another on these matters. Feel free to share your own view in the comments, but please be kind and open. Otherwise your comment will be deleted.
God, who is our Creator and Father, loves all men and women, and desires all to be saved (John 3:16, 1 Tim. 2:4). Accordingly, He has made provision for mankind’s salvation and duly draws all by His grace to be saved (Isa. 49:6, John 12:32). All people are dead in sin and unable to initiate a relationship with God apart from this grace that brings salvation and has appeared to everyone so that they can call on Him (Rom. 3:23, Titus 2:11). This saving grace can be, and often is rejected (Luke 7:30). Those who do respond to His heavenly call and come are foreknown by Him before the foundation of the world and thus are appointed and elected by Him to receive every spiritual blessing in Christ (1 Pet. 1:2, Eph. 1:5-8).
As an individual responds to God’s grace through faith and repents of their sin they will be converted and saved from God’s wrath (Rom. 6:23). Faith is both and intellectual assent of belief in the work and person of Christ and an act of entrustment resulting in allegiance to God (Heb. 11). It is a response to the generous grace of God, and is followed by repentance, which is a change of mind about who God is and what is important in life (Acts 3:19, Acts 9). Repentance is agreeing with God about who I am and what I need.
When conversion takes place, the individual’s standing before God changes and their desires change. Their standing before God becomes one of justification (Rom. 5:8). The individual is now right in God’s eyes and accepted by Him apart from anything they have done (Tit. 3:3-7). They have been completely forgiven and have acquired the righteousness of Christ not by any deeds or merit but by faith (Rom. 10:10, 2 Cor. 5:21). They are now eternally adopted as His son or daughter being made one with Christ (Rom. 8:15).
Conversion results in regeneration. God gives the individual a new heart and sends the Holy Spirit to dwell within them, which changes that persons deepest desires (Gal. 6:15). Being one with Christ means that Christ now lives in them through His Spirit and they exist “in Him”. They are a new creation with a new heart and new desires (2 Cor. 5:17). Because Christ lives in the believer, they are able have a close relationship with God and are to pursue sanctification (1 Pet. 1:15-16). They now have the capacity in Christ to put off old sinful practices and live a life of growing in holiness, humility, grace, peace, love and other aspects of godly character (2 Pet. 3:18). The believer will also desire and be motivated to do good works out of their love for God and others (James 2:14-26).
All true believers are eternally secure in their relationship with God and will spend eternity in heaven (John 10:26-30). However, it is possible to look and act like a Christian without being a true follower of Christ (Matt. 7:21-23). Ultimately, God only knows those who are His, and therefore, we can only speak to our own eternal security. Those who appear to be genuine followers of Christ and yet choose to abandon the faith show themselves that they in fact are not true believers.
All who are genuinely saved are destined to glorification after their life on earth is complete (Php 3:20-21). They will receive a new body and enjoy eternal reward and responsibility in God’s eternal kingdom (1 Cor. 15:35-49).
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