Dr. C. S. Lovett’s
MARANATHA FAMILY NEWSLETTER
THE SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER
The believer is secured by Christ. A man must have the “Spirit of Christ” in order to be saved. “But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ,” says the Scripture, “he does not belong to Him” (Rom. 8:9b). The words of the beloved Apostle John reinforce this truth, “We know by this that He (Christ) abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us” (1 John 3:24b). With the decision for Christ, one receives the Spirit of God. Having Him, one has eternal life. The life is described as eternal, not because God hands believers a “chunk” of life labeled “Eternal Life,” but because they receive the person of Christ Himself. Christians have God dwelling within them. Eternal life is not the adding of some life substance to one’s soul, but union with God.
The Christian possesses the Holy Spirit completely in the instant of salvation. One either has Him or he doesn’t. He is a Person. It is not possible to have only a part of a person. However, the Spirit’s complete possession of the believer is another matter. This comes about through total surrender and is accompanied by dramatic changes.
Before Jesus went to the cross, He counseled His disciples regarding the Spirit’s coming. He referred to Him as the “Comforter.” He said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16). This Person was to abide with them forever and comfort them. While it is true that He does come and brings the greatest comfort, His very presence within us guarantees more than comfort. It guarantees something else.
In chapter five of Second Corinthians Paul unfolds a startling consequence of the Spirit’s indwelling. First, he notes that upon the moment of physical death, the Christian appears immediately in the presence of Christ clothed with an eternal form. Then, he supports his statement with a wonderful observation, “He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee” (2 Cor. 5:5 RSV). Notice the guarantee is to the Christian. God has given us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that we will stand before Him when physical death comes. Having the Holy Spirit, we are personally guaranteed to “be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8). The Third Person of the Godhead is Himself, the guarantee of our presence in heaven.
Let’s suppose, by way of illustration, that you are the fourth member of a yachting party. You are invited to travel aboard the yacht with a man and his wife and small son. As the boat travels near the open waters, suddenly there’s an explosion. The craft begins to sink. The power dingy, which holds but three people, is broken out and the man, his wife, and son all get in. He calls to you and promises to return and take you off the sinking yacht. Wouldn’t there be some misgiving in your heart? All manner of thoughts would go through your mind, “Maybe he won’t even try to come back for me.”
But suppose you hear the man say, “Here son, you hop out and I’ll come back for you and our friend.” Then the man says to you, “I’ll leave my son here with you and when I have left my wife safe on the shore, I’ll come back for you both.” A sign of relief would no doubt come to your lips. You can breathe easier now for you know the man will return. No need to worry. He has left his son as a guarantee that he will return. Yes, he’ll come back; he’ll keep his promise.
Our salvation is much like that. We are left in a sinking world that is headed toward terrible destruction with every tick of the clock. But there are those Christians on board whom God has promised that they should not perish. He guarantees that the fate of the world shall not be theirs; that they will be with Him forever. His statement to the point is that they “should not perish but have everlasting life.” He guarantees it.
For the believer to go to hell, the Father and the Son would have to repudiate and abandon the Holy Spirit. They would have to turn their back upon Him. If the Christian were ever to become lost, the Holy Spirit would have to be lost also, for He has come to “abide forever.” But praise God such a thing is impossible! The believer is as secure as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are ONE.
In coming to abide with us forever, the person of the Holy Spirit is sometimes placed in a very uncomfortable position. It is not something we care much to think about; the Comforter can be made very uncomfortable by having to put up with the things that Christians do and think. Paul knows this and is begging us not to hurt Him when he says, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption” (Eph. 4:30). He cannot leave, for His ministry is to seal—sealing us for God and keeping us secure until the day of our delivery.
The Christian is a possession of the Lord. He is bought and paid for in full by Christ’s work on his behalf. The fact that the believer is left in the world after he has received Christ does not mean that he is any less the Lord’s property. He still belongs to God even though he remains in the world and has two contrasting natures. Having bought this possession (the believer), at the “price of his own blood,” God seals it for Himself until He is ready to take delivery. The sealing guarantees the delivery. Thus, the Christian is signed (purchased), sealed, and ready to be delivered; God’s purchased possession in the world.
Paul seemingly exhausts himself in attempting to describe the security of God’s own. He lists one thing after another which cannot “separate us from the Love of God” including life and death (Rom. 8:38,39). He further certifies the absolute character of our security when he observes that God will bring to completion all the work that He has begun in us “in the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). God will see to it that the salvation process, which begins with our “yes” decision, ends with the successful completion. Even as a rail boxcar is sealed for delivery to the customer, the Christian’s salvation cannot be disturbed.
Paul has a wonderful verse in Ephesians that sums up very nicely all we’ve just said:
“In Him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in Him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of His glory” (Eph. 1:13,14 ESV).
“In Him you also were sealed,” says Paul, sealed by the Holy Spirit who is the personal guarantee of our inheritance until Christ comes to take His purchased possession. We are already purchased by Christ’s blood, sealed by the third member of the Godhead with our future delivery unto God guaranteed. How wonderful it is to have this guarantee. We are in the world, but we belong to God. There’s not one thing that Satan can do to thwart our future delivery. We even have the witness within ourselves that “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Rom. 8:16). How glorious to be saved . . .
AND KNOW IT!
C. S. Lovett
This excerpt is taken from the book Dynamic Truths for the Spirit-Filled Life by C. S. Lovett,
Copyright © 1973. Currently out of print.
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FOUND VICTORY: “As a new Christian Satan was having a great time destroying my life. It was to the point where I was considering suicide. I kept asking other Christians, ‘Why is this happening?’ I got no real answer. Then I bought DEALING WITH THE DEVIL. What a victory you have helped me find. All my confusion and despair had to flee in the light of knowledge that I received. This book should be next to every Bible.” (B.W—California)
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SINCE YOU ASKED!!
Question: “I’m struggling with a big question. I’ve had lost people reject Christ because of natural disasters, earthquakes killing innocent people, and babies born deformed or blind. How do I explain these to the lost? They always say, ‘God could have prevented it.’”
Answer: If this question can keep people from turning to Jesus, they have no heart for Him to begin with, and they use it as an excuse. This world is a hostile place from the fang of the rattlesnake to floods taking lives and blights ruing crops, plus earthquakes. These are symptomatic of a world in rebellion against God. So is crime, war, and corruption. Not only is man a sinful mess, so is the natural world. It all needs to be healed and will be one day when Jesus returns.
The Lord allows us to live in a sin-cursed world that we might learn to look to Him. Seeing the dangerous and transitory state of this world, it should drive men to seek the Lord and cry out, “Lord save me,” but they don’t. Instead, they cry and complain that God isn’t fair. They blame Him!
For those who are secure in Christ, it doesn’t matter what happens in this world. The believer can handle it, knowing the best is yet to come. The Christian can say, “I’m not surprised at anything that happens in a world of rebellion against God, for I know I’m safe in Jesus no matter what comes.”
THE GOSPEL IN A NUTSHELL
GOD: the greatest love
SO LOVED: the greatest degree
THE WORLD: the greatest company
THAT HE GAVE: the greatest act
HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON: the greatest gift
THAT WHOSOEVER: the greatest opportunity
BELIEVES: the greatest simplicity
IN HIM: the greatest attraction
SHOULD NOT PERISH: the greatest promise
BUT: the greatest difference
HAVE: the greatest certainty
EVERLASTING LIFE: the greatest possession
Dr. Lovett’s best-selling book DEALING WITH THE DEVIL has been updated and revised for today’s readers. It is our desire that every Christian home has a copy of this vital and informative book regarding Satan and his evil doing. It is available on Amazon.com and sells for $14.99. If you are interested, you can click HERE to order. Dr. Lovett's most recent book THE PREPARED LIFE is also available by ordering through Amazon.com. Click HERE to order and get more information.
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