Anchored in Grace: In Conclusion

Anchored in Grace: In Conclusionby Jeremy Walker /

Read all the posts in this 16-part series on the essential truths of the Christian faith. 

HOW DO WE REMAIN IN CHRIST TO THE END? Part 4

We come now to the final installment in this series. When all is said and done, how ought we believers in Christ to think and feel and act? Having once been fallen, we have by grace been chosen, redeemed, and called, and we will each endure to the end by God’s unwavering mercy and protection. This is a great and glorious arc, with eternal ramifications. Here, then, the conclusion of Jeremy Walker’s Anchored in Grace.

Thankfulness. How these things should stir us to thankfulness for divine grace and faithfulness! The God who planned this work from before the foundation of the world, and who has begun this good work in us, will complete it. He himself has said that he will never leave us or forsake us. If God is for us, who can be against us? All these sweet truths ought to stir the heart to thankful joy.

Encouragement. But how much encouragement is also found here? Perhaps some readers have never come to Christ because they are afraid they cannot keep with Christ. That is like a drowning man refusing to trust the lifeguard because the drowning man cannot swim. But that is the whole point! Finding nothing in ourselves, no strength or wisdom by means of which to obtain or maintain our salvation, we come to Christ to save us and to keep us, providing all required by every one of his people. He will save us, and he will keep us saved to the end by all necessary means and giving all needful grace.

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The Perseverance of the Saints

The Perseverance of the Saintsby Jeremy Walker /

Read all the posts published to date in this 16-part series on the essential truths of the Christian faith. 

HOW DO WE REMAIN IN CHRIST TO THE END? Part 3

In the present sub-series, this is our third post on persevering—remaining in Christ to the end. Two weeks ago we asked: Having been born fallen and lost in Adam, then redeemed and saved in Christ, can a Christian be lost again? Last week we briefly explored God’s providences, provisions, and precepts. Today we wrap up this discussion of enduring, positioning ourselves for next week and the final post in this series.

The Perseverance of the Saints

The apostle Peter’s words in 1 Peter 1:5 (NKJV) carry us to a final truth that we must consider, for we are kept by the power of God through faith. The certainty and security of God’s people should never breed passivity or carelessness in true saints. Again, listen to William O’Neill’s sweet but searching words: “that doctrine [of the security of the saints] was never designed to comfort any man who is not living a life of faith in the Son of God, intensely anxious to please God in all things—to be the holy and happy subject of that mind which was in Christ Jesus.”i

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God’s Providences, Provisions, and Precepts

God's Providences, Provisions, and Preceptsby Jeremy Walker /

Read all the posts published to date in this 16-part series on the essential truths of the Christian faith. 

HOW DO WE REMAIN IN CHRIST TO THE END? Part 2

Last week we began to explore the Bible’s answer to the question of how anyone manages to remain in Christ to the end. Having been born fallen and lost in Adam, then redeemed and saved in Christ, can a Christian then be lost again? Introducing that all-important topic, we focused on the need for believers to embrace God’s purposes and rest on his promises. 

Accept God’s Providences

Move on with me to the providences of God. The divine government of the entire world is conducted with the end in view of the final salvation of the people of God. So Joseph can assure his brothers, giving us a window into the wise and sure designs of the Lord, that even the things that they meant for evil, God intended for good (Genesis 50:20 NKJV). The same kind of assurance is offered on the broadest scale by the apostle Paul when writing to the church in Rome: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren” (Romans 8:28–29 NKJV).

When God calls for the purpose of conforming to the image of his Son, Jesus Christ—not just a gradual increase in likeness, but working toward a final and complete transformation—then he orders all things to work together for that good and holy and sure purpose.

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Endure: The Fifth Anchor Point of Faith

Endure: The Fifth Anchor Point of Faithby Jeremy Walker/

Read all the posts published to date in this 16-part series on the essential truths of the Christian faith. 

HOW DO WE REMAIN IN CHRIST TO THE END? Part 1

Enduring

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3–5 NKJV).

Neither Christ nor any of his faithful followers ever described the Christian life as a stroll in the park. It always was and always will be a battle to the end. When Paul and Barnabas strengthened the souls of the disciples in various places, they urged them to continue in the faith, saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22 NKJV). This is the experience of true saints.

There are struggles within and storms without. There may be times when we wonder, “Shall I stand? Will I at last enter the heavenly kingdom?” In terms of the brief studies in these posts, we have been tracing some of the prominent anchor points of the Christian faith. From the pages of God’s book we have seen that Christians are fallen, chosen, redeemed, and called. But, having fallen once in Adam and having been lost, can we fall again and be lost again? Having stumbled so often ourselves, might we so stumble as to fall away entirely and be damned at last? One old preacher called William O’Neill put the question in this way: “Is it possible for sincere Christians, truly regenerated persons, to be finally separated from Jesus, to lose the favor of God their Father, and be eternally shut out from his smile and home?”i That is a massive question. Its answer is of enormous weight and eternal significance.

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The Fruit of God’s Call

The Fruit of God's Callby Jeremy Walker/

Read all the posts published to date in this 16-part series on the essential truths of the Christian faith. 

HOW DO WE COME TO POSSESS THE BLESSINGS OF SALVATION? Part 3

Recently in this series we have been exploring the gospel call. Two weeks ago, we learned of the necessity and nature of the call, which is both universal and effectual. Last week, we read about the power, effect, and experience of God’s call. Today we take a moment to extol these truths and dwell briefly on their appropriate application: what fruit ought they to bear in our lives?

Because of the Call

Certainty. For believers all of this should give rise, first of all, to certainty—the certainty that all of God’s chosen people shall be brought into his kingdom. The Holy Spirit never fails to bring to salvation those sinners whom he personally calls to Jesus. The redemption that has been accomplished through the atoning blood of our Savior, the Lord Jesus, shall be definitely and effectively applied to all for whom it was accomplished.

Prayer. Furthermore, and on that basis, it should give rise to prayer for the Holy Spirit to work in the hearts of those who hear the gospel. The fact that God will save does not for one moment preclude earnest and believing prayer for the Lord to save. We must pray that the Spirit would convince sinners of their sin and misery, enlighten their minds in the knowledge of Christ, and renew their wills, thereby persuading and enabling them to embrace Christ Jesus, freely offered to all men in the gospel. Do we sufficiently believe in the power and the grace of God to make this a more constant and more earnest plea?

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The Power, Effect, and Experience of God’s Call

The Power, Effect, and Experience of God's Callby Jeremy Walker/

Read all the posts published to date in this 16-part series on the essential truths of the Christian faith. 

HOW DO WE COME TO POSSESS THE BLESSINGS OF SALVATION? Part 2

Last week we began to examine the question, “if there are those in utter lostness and misery who are appointed for mercy, and if this blessing of life has been secured for them, their ransom paid by Christ, how does anyone enter into possession of those blessings?” We saw that the answer is that we must be called by God, and we reviewed the necessity and nature of that call. We continue now to learn more about this all-important summons. 

The Power of the Call

The reason for the power of the call lies in its author and its agent. As the Word of God is preached or read or discussed, the call comes from God the Father by God the Holy Spirit. In the declaration of the good news, the Holy Spirit comes into personal and purposeful contact with the dead soul of a sinner and he—who previously could neither know nor discern spiritual things—begins to see things accurately, feel things truly, and respond accordingly.

This is a divine act, a sovereign act: “Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures” (James 1:18 NKJV). It does not in any way depend for success on the man who is being called, anything he is, or anything that is in him. The one being effectually called is a dead man being made alive. He is not operating at this point but being operated upon. The Word of God comes, but it comes now in power, and in the Holy Spirit, and in much assurance (1 Thessalonians 1:5 NKJV). It accomplishes God’s purpose.

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Called: The Fourth Anchor Point of Faith

Called: The Fourth Anchor Point of Faithby Jeremy Walker/

Read all the posts published to date in this 16-part series on the essential truths of the Christian faith. 

HOW DO WE COME TO POSSESS THE BLESSINGS OF SALVATION? Part 1

Called

We have so far considered three anchor points of the Bible’s teaching about the grace of God, truths to which we must hold fast in the present generation and pass on to coming generations. In the preceding pages we have seen that we are by nature fallen, facing our rebellion and our utter spiritual deadness and hopelessness in ourselves as lost sinners. Then we saw that Christians are chosen, the Lord God—in the face of our hell-deserving sinfulness—freely and sovereignly setting his love upon us, saving whom he will. Next, we traced how we are redeemed, the Lord Christ Jesus laying down his life to save all those whom the Father had given him.

All this carries us on to another question: if there are those in utter lostness and misery who are appointed for mercy, and if this blessing of life has been secured for them, their ransom paid by Christ, how does anyone enter into possession of those blessings?

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The Redeemer Gives His Life for the Sheep

The Redeemer Gives His Life for the Sheepby Jeremy Walker/

Read all the posts published to date in this 16-part series on the essential truths of the Christian faith. 

HOW IS SALVATION ACCOMPLISHED? — PART 2

The Redeemed

The Lord tells us that, as the good Shepherd, he lays down his life “for the sheep.” There is particularity in this redemption. There is something definite in its intent and accomplishment. We are back to the question of God’s purpose, design, and result.

If Christ died for all the sins of all men, then all must be saved. Clearly that is neither taught in the Scriptures nor seen in the world. If Christ died for some sins of all men then all are damned, and once again both revelation and experience forbid such a conclusion. We are left with only one other possibility: that Christ Jesus died for all the sins of some people. But who are they? He tells us: his sheep.

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The Third Anchor Point of Faith

The Third Anchor Point of Faithby Jeremy Walker/

Read all the posts published to date in this 16-part series on the essential truths of the Christian faith. 

HOW IS SALVATION ACCOMPLISHED? — PART 1

The Redeemer

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.
But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep,
sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees;
and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.
The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.
I am the good shepherd;
and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.
As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father;
and I lay down My life for the sheep.
And other sheep I have which are not of this fold;
them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice;
and there will be one flock and one shepherd.
Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.
No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself.
I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.
This command I have received from My Father.
(John 10:11–18, NKJV)

We now consider our third anchor point of faith, the third truth we must face and embrace if we are to be faithful to God in our doctrine and, consequently, in our practice. We began by asking, in effect, “Who needs to be saved?” Our answer was, every person. The answer takes account of the fallen condition of all mankind, and the answer is vital, because a false diagnosis will draw forth a false remedy, if one is considered necessary at all. Our next question was, “On what basis are sinners saved?” Our answer was, by virtue of being chosen by a sovereignly gracious God.

But those who are currently lost and chosen for salvation still need to be saved. And so we must now ask, “How is this salvation accomplished?” We need to consider by what means elect sinners are saved. How can we reconcile the three indisputable facts of a holy God, a lost world, and a saved church? Where do justice and mercy meet?

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Six Proper Responses to Salvation

Six Proper Responses to Salvation: On What Basis Are We Saved? - Part 3by Jeremy Walker/

Read all the posts published to date in this 16-part series on the essential truths of the Christian faith. 

ON WHAT BASIS ARE WE SAVED? – PART 3

Chosen

In the previous post in this series, we asked the questions, “On what basis are we chosen?,” and “To what end are we chosen?” We learned form Scripture that we are chosen, not out of merit, but out of mercy, for holiness, and for God’s glory. Today we discuss four appropriate biblical responses to those truths.

God Behind Everything

What hangs behind all these gracious actions and transactions? It is the very being of God and his worthiness to be praised.

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” “Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him?” For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33–36 NKJV)

If we resent or deny these teachings, must ask whether or not we have truly grasped something of the revealed glory of the unimaginably glorious God. Are we truly prepared to offer to the Lord of heaven and earth that which is his by virtue of who he is and by right of all that he does? We must let God be God!

Here we have, by all scriptural accounts and testimonies, an act of free, sovereign, gracious, merciful love. Given the heinous disposition and horrible condition of man as a sinful and sinning creature, all the initiative in salvation must come from God. All the saving good that man enjoys must arise from the Lord’s deliberate and determinative love: “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion” (Exodus 33:19 NKJV).

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