God's Faithfulness Outweighs Our Failure
This may have been an early hymn or baptismal liturgy. Whatever it was, Paul affirms the statements as being true for the true believer, while allowing for the possibility that some who once claimed to be trusting in Christ could walk away from the Saviour of the world. Apart from those (and those who continue to disown Christ have no eternal confidence), Christ’s identification with people who follow Him is complete. Even martyrdom carries the assurance of eternity in His presence; and hardship endured will bring its reward.
However, what happens if we are not faithful to Jesus? Are we treated as apostates? No! Nobody can be 100% faithful to the Lord, and our sin does not disqualify us from His kingdom. However the test of those who genuinely love Him is that they will want to return to Him in confession and repentance – longing to receive mercy and grace. Our membership of His kingdom does not depend on our goodness but in God’s faithfulness to His own promises. If our salvation depended on us, nobody would be saved. But the wonderful truth remains, that Christ died for sinners, and all those who look to Him will be saved (John 3:14-15).
This is important. So often, Satan tempts God’s people into despair over their sin. His evil lies try to convince us that there is no way back to God’s grace and that our failure is unforgivable. Not true. All those who dare to look for mercy and grace will find it flowing continuously from Christ’s cross. Yes, it is good to be faithful to Jesus Christ and endurance (commitment under pressure) is rewarded; but God’s faithfulness to His commitment to redeem His people is far stronger than the weakness of our failure. So, be encouraged to turn back to Jesus today, and encourage others who have strayed to return to their Shepherd (1 Peter 2:24-25).
© Dr Paul Adams