Paul concludes his greeting in our reading today. He makes certain that his readers know that he loves them. He also commends them on their start with Jesus and assures them of God’s faithfulness to see them through to the end.
The first thing that we notice is that Paul bears witness to the fact that his readers are believers. They are part of the body of Christ. They have given their lives to Jesus and it is evident in their speech, knowledge and even Spiritual gifts.
Paul also makes certain to tell his readers that God is not giving up on them just because they have issues that need correction. “…as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (verses 7b-9). Their salvation is not at stake because of their sin. God is faithful to work with them and see them through to the end. Hallelujah!!! Thank You Lord for that.
Notice too that Paul didn’t threaten them either with the loss of any of their Spiritual giftings. When God gives a gift He does not take it back away. When we are not in His will those gifts don’t operate as they could but they are not removed from us either. They are not “plugged in” and therefore not working. Repent and return to His will and watch the life return too.
I’m wondering about something. I have already told you that I am no bible scholar so if you think I’m off base, please feel free to tell me and show me in the word where you formed your conclusions.
I don’t believe it is possible to “lose” one’s salvation. The concept of losing one’s salvation based on our sin flies in the face of what we just read today. This group in Corinth was in sin but Paul confirmed to them that God was faithful to see them through it. Also if one could lose your salvation we would need to be saved again every time we asked for forgiveness.
As to the “once saved always saved” concept, I think it holds true for those who love God. But for someone who purposefully throws God’s salvation in His face and says they want no part of it, what happens to them? We made a decision to give Jesus our lives. Can we make a decision to take it back from Him? What about the prodigal son? He made the decision to take his life out of his father’s hands but his father never cut him out of his life. He simply waited and watched for his son to return home. And, YES, he was still his son when he finally did return. He never stopped being his father. What would have happened to the prodigal son if he had died while he was out in the world and his body was sent home? Would the father give him the burial of a son? What happens to us if we die in between?
Father God, thank You for Your patience with me. I know I miss the mark more often than I can count. Probably more times than I even want to admit. But You don’t abandon me on the wayside and go seeking someone who would do a better job of following You. You also don’t strip me of all the good things You gave me. Instead, You prick my heart and get my attention, by whatever means necessary, and get me back in line with Your will. Sometimes it is as simple as apologizing to someone for being grouchy and other times it involves digging out a deep seeded problem. You stick with it no matter how much work is involved in my “spiritual overhaul.” Thank You that You never take my salvation away. I pray that I remain in Your hands for life!