Essentials for Salvation, Part III

A Christian has no fear of tomorrow, for he knows that God has conquered all fear, and the one who makes fear. (Matthew 10:26, 28, 31). The Christian knows that, at the cross, God “disarmed the [power of the spirit realm],” and “made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through [Jesus]” (Colossians 2:15). The Christian knows that he has been given “authority to tread upon [the power of the spirit realm]” within the unique boundaries set between him and God. (Mark 16:17-18, John 14:12). He does not go beyond these boundaries and so think that he himself is God and can exercise any authority he likes. (Proverbs 30:5-6). Yet, he does not exercise his authority beneath these boundaries, either, and so do injustice to the unique God-given responsibilities that he has been entrusted with. (Joshua 1:6-9).

The Christian understands that he is battling in a war. (Ephesians 6:10-18). This war is “spiritual,” and he knows that he has been entrusted “weapons” which are “divinely powerful for the destruction of [spiritual] fortresses.” (2 Corinthians 10:4). The real Christian knows how to use these weapons, not laying them down as a slothful servant, but taking them up as a good soldier! At the same time, the real Christian is not easily fooled by deception. He knows it is all around him — yes, even in his own heart. (Jeremiah 17:9). He recognizes this, and is continually asking God to “search him, and try him” that he be found pure, spotless, and blameless, so he can truly win the spiritual battles that have been placed before him. (Psalm 139:23-24). The Christian recognizes that there are many battles to be fought: family battles, work battles, employment battles, and especially battles to be a good and proper witness for the Lord Jesus Christ, and to exercise authority in His Name. In order to win any and all of these battles, he knows that he must be pure, spotless, and blameless before a loving, yet holy God. In other words, he must submit to God. (James 4:6-7; Joshua 7:10-13).

The Christian knows that God does not trifle with sin. The real Christian knows that it would be a mockery of God’s character to think that he could “win the war” and yet “abide in sin” at the same time. (Galatians 6:7-8). What a contradiction! The real Christian knows that true battles are fought by God’s power working through him, and not in any way by his own power. Therefore, he has done away with worldly philosophies that teach that “the power is within you” apart from yielding his life to God. The real Christian understands perfectly well that it is God, and God alone who “wins the war” for the Christian. (2 Chronicles 20:15). Therefore, the Christian knows that he must be “clean and spotless and blameless” before God, and put away all his idols that may lead him astray in his thinking and in his devotion to God, which would only serve to cause God to “turn away from him.” (Genesis 35:2-5). All the same, the Christian recognizes that he has been given authority, and that he must use it, not thinking that “God will do it all for him,” but rather, that the authority he exercises, he exercises on “God’s behalf,” and “in Jesus’s Name.” This, he understands, to one of the true applications of doing things “in Jesus’s Name.” The real Christian is not fooled by the words “in Jesus’s Name.” He knows that the devotion of his entire life to Jesus and serving Him alone will do a lot more for him than simply using the words without the devotion being present. (John 14:13-14; 16:23-24).

The real Christian knows what it means to be unconditionally surrendered to God. He knows that this means that his life belongs to God — it does not belong to himself (1 Corinthians 7:23). The real Christian understands that death may await him through his service to the king. However, he would rather die in the service of his King, than die by some other means, outside of the service of his King. The real Christian does not have a fear of death. Either way he goes, he knows he will one day go, anyway. He knows where is going, and is confident of that. (1 John 5:10-13). So he is not afraid. He understands, in fact, that if he serves his King well, that his death will be pleasing in God’s sight. (Psalm 116:15; Luke 14:26-17, Revelation 2:10). The real Christian has therefore “laid down his life” for service to his King and Master, Jesus. “Jesus!” The real Christian loves Him, and His name is always on his lips, with a sense of joy and excitement.