As with yesterday, I want today to look at our motivations. To, more explicitly, look at what motivates us to serve the Lord.
There are many out there who will say that we are to serve the Lord because if we are not then we are not really saved. Others will say that we are to serve because if we do not then we may lose our salvation. Then some say we are to serve so we can persevere and they hope that they have done enough to merit salvation. Sadly, all of these fall under the name of Christianity.
I say each of these is false views of Christianity. These are each works-based, or works kept salvation, and one is straight-up works salvation. The problem, besides the obvious that these are false gospels and to be accursed (Gal. 1:8-9), is that the motivation is all wrong. In these views, one is working and serving out of obligation or in hopes of being found as pleasing to the Lord and therefore having so-called final salvation.
The sad thing is that when one has genuinely believed—I say genuine because some may say they have believed just because it seemed the thing to do when they actually did not, they are eternally secured at that moment. This is seen in many verses in the gospel of John. We see this in the famous 3:16 where it says, “have eternal life.” This is present possession. It is the Greek word echō which literally means that you possess own, contain, the whole in relation to its parts, to have at hand, at one’s disposal, to have within oneself, to stand in a close relationship to someone, have, have as (BDAG 3rd ed. 420). One other verse is 5:24 it says that the one who believes has everlasting life and does not come into judgment but has passed from death to life.
So, to serve the Lord in hopes of keeping salvation is just foolish. Also, to say we do them in hopes of meriting salvation is foolish. If salvation is eternally yours when you believe, then these views fall. What has been shown is that salvation is eternally yours when you believe, so these views have fallen and they can’t get up. Since this is true, we have one more to look at and dismantle. Those who say we work to prove salvation, if you are not doing good works then you must not be saved. This one is also false because the Bible does not teach this. That will be studied tomorrow, but for now, know that if you have believed you are secure in Christ. You have passed from death to life. You will not come into judgment. You are secure and you can be sure of this.
That is love and genuine compassion exhibited by our great God and savior. That is our reason to serve and work, and nothing else. I do not want to jump too far ahead and take away my plan of writing this week, but I do want you to know that we serve out of love and not out of obligation. One other point I want to leave you with today. Eternal security does not give a license to sin. I believe it gives the complete opposite. I believe that eternal security gives confidence and assurance to the one who has it and that will cause one to serve with joy and happiness. That is quite the motivation to serve the Lord, don’t you think?