- Dennis Klassen
Eternal Salvation, Eternal Unity
“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6)
Believers in Christ hold to the truth that, although we by no means have any moral strength to cleanse ourselves from our sinful passions, the blood of Christ sets us free and gives us peace with God. This is the new covenant we have with God through Jesus Christ; it is a covenant that God entered into with us, not only binding us to Himself but binding Himself to us. This binding agreement, initiated by God, should give us unconditional peace because of the eternal security it provides. It should also make us realize that, by God’s sovereignty, He has given us life, both here on earth and eternally, and nothing can take that away.
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
Believers in Christ around the globe share common ground through their faith. If it’s genuine faith, it should cause unity and make us strive together to further God’s kingdom. It is only by God’s grace we are saved, not by following the Law. This is a gospel truth that Paul proclaims in Romans 8:9, “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact, the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him.” Paul’s statement is straightforward; you do not belong to God if the Spirit of Christ does not dwell in you. We have salvation dependent on the work of Christ, not ourselves, and we cannot pick or choose who will enter eternity with us. That is up to God. Therefore, we can only find peace with others if we belong to the same Spirit, and that is the first step to finding unity within the church.
Romans 11:36 is an excellent summary of this gospel, and understanding it helps us to walk in unity with our brothers and sisters.
“For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be the glory forever. Amen.”
Paul answers the question from the previous verse: Who has given God something valuable enough for God to owe us something back? No one. Genesis 1:1 states, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” God is the creator of the universe, and therefore He has made all that is good. We live on His planet called earth, hanging in space entirely at the mercy of its creator. So, who are we to question our God who has the whole world in His hands. As it says in Romans 9, “who are we to answer God if he chooses to make one vessel for honourable use and another for dishonourable use?” God has a purpose for all things, including salvation, and if the Spirit of Christ dwells in us, we are so blessed to have that unbreakable bond with God given to us by Him. We have the assurance and freedom to serve a God who gives us life eternally.
God is the source of all things. He also holds everything together, sustaining everything that exists. He is continuously active in keeping the universe running, and He is dependent on no one. By this, we know our God is steadfast, as Philippians 4:7 says, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” Sometimes we do not know or have all the answers to the tough questions Scripture has to offer, but we should have the same attitude as Romans 5:2, “Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace, in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” We all should have the same hope, “a hope that does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:5). Salvation is the work of our heavenly Father—there is no denying that—it is a gift that cannot be returned.
Everything that exists is made for God’s purposes, everything will reflect glory back to God, and nothing exists that does not serve God’s purpose or plan for all things. God gave us His Son, and to Him, we belong. Paul explained this concept to his brothers in Romans 7:4 “Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.”
Our purpose as the church is to bear fruit for God. We belong to him through the covenant of Jesus Christ, of his death and resurrection. We have a God that saved us, not through our works, but ultimately His work. God is the potter, we are the clay, and He is making and moulding His church for His purpose in eternity.