Kept to the end

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Our salvation was entirely God’s work, which he did over our heads and before our time: “God ... saved us and called us to a holy life – not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time” (2 Timothy 1:8-9).

After saving us, God did not put us back in charge of our lives. He takes risks, but he isn’t into a guaranteed failure! When we ran our lives, they never worked. Now he has decided to take charge of our them for us.

This whole thing is God’s project from beginning to end, and he will finish what he started: “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).

God is not naive about our weaknesses and shortcomings. In saying he will complete what he started, he takes those things into account. No matter where you are starting from, he says the same thing: you’re going to make it! He is not depending on us and our ability to be “kept,” but himself and his ability to keep us.

So when we make a mess of things, we can just come to him and he presses the reset button and says, “Cancelled! Let’s try this thing again.”

Most Christians have no issue with the concept of God wiping out the sins from before they believed in him, and being given a fresh start in life. But sometimes it feels like sins committed after becoming a Christian are somehow different. The truth is, we continuously have a fresh start. Our sins are not remembered any more (Jeremiah 31:34). Our failures do not define us, they are just a bump in the road along the way.

Not only does he pick us up when we fall, he strengthens us to help us avoid stumbling in the first place:

“He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8)

“To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy ...” (Jude 24-25)

“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24)

God is faithful beyond all imagination. Paul wrote, “If we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). His faithfulness is the deciding factor.

He is faithful to help us in temptation (1 Corinthians 10:13), to forgive and purify us (1 John 1:9) and to strengthen and protect us from the evil one (2 Thessalonians 3:3). He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Faithfulness is one of God’s defining attributes. It surrounds him (Psalm 89:8), reaches to the skies (Psalm 36:5, 57:10, 108:4) and endures forever (Psalm 117:2). God cannot help being faithful to you! It is his very nature.

For reflection:

“Salvation” is more than just being forgiven for our sins and having a final home in heaven. It covers every aspect of our lives: healing, freedom, deliverance from the work of the enemy and the “life to the full” that Jesus came to give us (John 10:10). God saves us completely.

“He is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” (Hebrews 7:25)

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