Fulfilled in Jesus

Our pilgrimage with our Beloved in Japan -- Yoko & Ramone on the journey with Jesus!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

In Daddy's Arms



By Ramone - November 25, 2007

This is how I felt (and how I saw it) as I relaxed with my son in the afternoon. He was falling asleep in my arms, and I was sleepy too, and we were listening to worship music. It was sweet. God is sweet. He is wonderful, He is lovely. He is love. And we are in His arms. Rest in His arms today.

January 24, 2008 -

Recently a sister in Christ shared a discussion that she was having with a family member who is Seventh-day Adventist, like I used to be. The family member reacted strongly against Christians saying "I am saved". I wrote this in response:

Did God make a mistake when He had His apostles say that "we are saved"? Surely if the words would cause our spiritual growth to stagnate, God would have not allowed such words to be written! But no, He had them written. If you do not feel you have the right to make that claim, then you must understand that you are saying that neither did the apostles have the right to make that claim, either. Yet they did. It is one thing to say this for yourself, but to criticize other Christians (and the apostles included) for saying these words is unbibilical. Neither God nor the apostles saw stating that we are "saved" as an impediment to our spiritual growth.

The reason we are sometimes uncomfortable with these statements is likely not because we investigated them from scratch, but because we inherited this uncomfortableness from our spiritual family (Adventists) who in turn inherited it from their spiritual fathers, all the way back to Adventism's founders who did not accept the Bible's words.

In contrast, the truth is that our greatest motivation comes because we have been saved. When we know we are saved, when we see how great and complete Jesus's salvation is for us, we are energized. We are in love. We want to know Him more. We want to know the depths & heights of His love. We become hungry for more of Him.

We don't "grow" in order to attain salvation. We grow because we have been saved. Because we have been saved, adopted, we now are children of God, and the most natural thing for us is to grow, just like the most natural thing for my 10-month-old son to do is to grow. In fact, most of his critical growth happens now without him knowing it! But even later when he will have to study, he will still continue to grow. There is actually nothing he can do to stop it short of dying. And above all, from birth and infancy all the way through high school and to adulthood, he is still my son and will always be. God-forbid, even if he should pass away before he comes of age, he will still be my son.

Is this not how our Father sees us now? We will grow, but we have been born again. We are born into His kingdom and He lives inside of us. We are new creations, born of the Spirit who is our seal and deposit, no, our guarantee of our inheritance. The fact that the Spirit is called our "guarantee" reinforces the apostles' claims that we are indeed "saved". In Him it is guaranteed. That is how good His salvation is!

No matter where our growth "ends" while we are on earth, the fact is that we are saved when we believe on Jesus Christ. Our growth happens after being saved, after being born. We don't grow in order to become born! No, our growth begins after we are born.

My son will of course get interested in different things, school clubs, activities, sports, etc. He will reach. He will strive, He will try. He may not try hard at times, and I will have to motivate him. I'll even have to discipline him. But you know the one thing I am not going to say to him? I am never going to tell him that he will cease to be my son if he doesn't try harder. And this is the problem with the Adventist position against the Bible's teaching that we are indeed "saved". Adventism suggests that our Father will disown us if we don't "make advancement in our Christian growth, be watchful, earnestly endeavor to press on to higher attainments", etc.

The truth of the Bible is that we are indeed saved by believing on Christ, just as it says. No "but's". Furthermore, knowing His salvation is our source of strength, our motivation, and our joy in our growth with Him. Our old self is sinful, but we do not ignore the Bible's statements about our salvation just because of our old propensity to sin. On the contrary, we choose not to believe our old sinful feelings, but we choose to believe His word -- that He is greater in us than he who is in the world! Yes, He is greater than our old sinful propensities. We can take the Word at its word!

Be blessed and know that if you believe as the Bible has said, that you are God's child and you rest in His arms, safe and secure, and no one can snatch you out of His hand. Don't be afraid of believing what He says about you, that He has saved you. Rest in Him, rest in His hold of you instead of your hold of Him. Bless you today in Father's love!

"Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him,
for He shields him all day long,
and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders."

- Deuteronomy 33:12

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