Securing Our Salvation

By John Thiel

2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

The reason for our worship from one Sabbath to another is that He is our creator and redeemer. We are overwhelmed as we contemplate his creative power and when He created the human race in Adam and Eve we had no part in it. He did what He chose to do. He wanted to create a people who would be akin to Him created in his own image but we know that through the rebellion in heaven this planet joined ranks with the enemy and here we exist as sinners. The plight of humanity is the offence of one.

Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

We are here now all of us and death has passed upon all of us and we are all sinners. However:

Romans 5:19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

We live in hope. Here we are and there are many a young person today who has taken their life as they see no hope but for those that see the dilemma of the human race and the plight of their own condition there is hope because by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. We can live in hope.

Romans 8:24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth He yet hope for? 25 But if we hope for that we see not, [then] do we with patience wait for [it].

Our salvation is something that we hope for and we are saved by hope. Obviously our salvation is not yet completed. Our creator is our redeemer. Our re-creator and He is at work recreating us. He is not finished yet and we must patiently wait. A person who cuts his life short is impatient. We must be patient and continually wait in hope. God is still at work to produce a perfect character in us. Fitting us to be fit citizens in the heavenly world and He is going to change this mortal body so it will live eternal.

Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

When God created us He had ordained that all the human race should walk within the good works that He had planned but they had failed. Now we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto those good works now. He is recreating in Jesus Christ. In this work of his recreating, this time we have a part. Before when He created us and we were born to sinful parents we were born with a sinful propensity of disobedience. We had no choice, we were born that way. But now in God’s recreation activity we have a part to play.

Romans 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

Can you see that God will render eternal life to those who by patient continuance in well doing will seek for glory, honour and immortality? We are saved by hope but hope that is not seen is not hope. We must patiently continue to be part of this work. In this work of God creating in us his perfect character and ultimately a recreation of our mortal body we are according to those words patient to continue well doing. Therefore in our recreation we are participating with our recreator.

Philippians 2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. 13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of [his] good pleasure.

Can you see this cooperation? God is working in recreating us and while God is working in us what is our participation? We are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.

The work of gaining salvation is one of co-partnership, a joint operation. There is to be co-operation between God and the repentant sinner. This is necessary for the formation of right principles in the character. Man is to make earnest efforts to overcome that which hinders Him from attaining to perfection. But He is wholly dependent upon God for success. Human effort of itself is not sufficient. Without the aid of divine power it avails nothing. God works and man works. Resistance of temptation must come from man, who must draw his power from God. On the one side there is infinite wisdom, compassion, and power; on the other, weakness, sinfulness, absolute helplessness. {AA 482.2}

God wishes us to have the mastery over ourselves. But He cannot help us without our consent and co-operation. {AA 482.3}

People have said to me I wouldn’t ask to be born. I have said alright but now you have an opportunity to ask to be born again and to ask to be born in a better situation. Now you have a choice of something much better. God can recreate us but He can’t without my co-operation. We are here to worship such a God. A delight. Think about this. We are here to worship a God who says, alright, you want to make a decision. I want to recreate you. Will you cooperate with me and shall we come and work together? What a delight to unite together with God the majesty of the universe to link up together with his almighty power and capability and interact with Him as He forms within us the similitude of the divine. Are you picking up the true sense of worship?

The Lord is doing a great work in the earth. With intense interest He is examining every man’s fitness to associate with the sinless angels and with the redeemed family in heaven. {ST, June 24, 1903 par. 5}

What is Gods mode of interest? With intense interest He is looking upon you and me on developing in you this beautiful character.

Not one of the ransomed host will be disposed to begin a rebellion similar to the one that Satan began before the creation of our race. The Lord gives men and women probationary time in which to acquaint themselves with His terms of salvation. They are given opportunity to unite with Him, as “laborers together with God,” to mould their characters after the similitude of the divine character. {ST, June 24, 1903 par. 5}

Apprentices in recreation under the recreators expertise, isn’t that something to worship Him for? Our worship this hour is going to be occupied with this in reality and application to worship Him intelligently in spirit and in truth to grasp the part I and He is playing in this cooperation in recreation.

2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Observe the actual information that is provided for our participation as we participate with God as apprentices in his work of recreation.

2 Peter 1:2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

God has given us the material by which the divine nature can be imparted to us. How was it? His grace and peace being multiplied unto us. How? Through the knowledge of God. What was it that we gained the knowledge of God by? Through all the pure doctrines of his word. Whether it be prophecy, instruction or correction, whatever you have studied on the sanctuary message, everything is a revelation of the knowledge of God and as these doctrines become vivid to our understanding that knowledge is how grace and peace is multiplied unto us and the knowledge of Jesus our lord. According to his divine power that has been displayed pertained to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him that has called us to glory and virtue. This knowledge, doctrine repertoire, this scheme of truth that has been brought to us in the doctrines of God’s word, through that are given unto us exceeding precious promises. Those promises not only in words but in the intonation of all those doctrines there is a promise that by these promises what should happen? You might be partakers of the divine nature having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. Can you see what your part is in this beautiful program? If we don’t open our heart to the pure doctrines of God’s word, can I go any further? I can’t even get the divine nature in the first place. This is the material conveyed to us.

John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

You can only know Him through the display of the pure doctrines of God’s word. That pure knowledge creates inside of us the embryo of the divine nature. We are partakers of the divine nature which then according to scripture we are to diligently nurture desiring the sincere milk of the word that you may grow thereby moving on from baby to adulthood by reason of use of the scriptures.

Do not merely assent to the truth, and fail to be a doer of the words of Christ. The truth must be applied to self; it must bring men and women who receive it to the Rock, that they may fall upon the Rock and be broken. Then Jesus can mold and fashion their characters after His own divine character. If we would listen to His voice, we must let silence reign in the heart. The clamors of self, its pretensions, its lusts, must be rebuked, and we must put on the robe of humility, and take our place as humble learners in the school of Christ. {OHC 37.5}

By knowing the truth we will become proud as all the other people don’t know what we know. God is going to recreate and before He can He has to break us in pieces and put us back together again so let’s cooperate. Let the truth do it. I must now open my ears to his creating work in me. We are to do more than study the truth. Once we know the truth and we know what the pure truth is, then we are to go further not merely ascent to it but be doers of the word so I can fall apart and God can recreate me.

Break On the Rock

The benefit that truth is to us depends not so much on the knowledge we gain by study as on the purity of our purpose and the earnestness of our faith. Merely to read the instruction given in the Word of God is not enough. We are to read with meditation and prayer, filled with an earnest desire to be helped and blessed. {2MR 95.1}

This is actually the answer of what I must do in participating with God. The truth He imparts to me is the material by which He creates in me the new creature, the divine nature. It is the means by which through that knowledge I might be a partaker of that divine nature. Merely to read about that is not sufficient. We are to read with meditation and prayer. How intense was God? With great intensity and we with an intense desire to be helped and blessed. Instead of me doing it myself I must be prepared to be helped and blessed. I must be a humble apprentice. An apprentice does as he is told by the master tradesman. When I was an apprentice and had my own ideas my father would let me have it but God doesn’t let me have it. He says if you want to succeed you need to be prepared to be helped and blessed.

And the truth we learn must be applied to the daily experience. Those who have a true realization of the subtlety of Satan’s devices for these last days will walk with fear and trembling, in great humility, at every step seeking divine guidance. {2MR 95.1}

We are fearing and trembling as we know how subtle Satan is. I will be in great humility at every step knowing the devil is far more powerful than me and I will seek for guidance from the recreator who knows how to help me through this.

Angels of God will instruct them. The Holy Spirit opens to the humble and contrite in heart the rich treasures of truth. A fountain has been opened for Judah and Jerusalem, in which we may wash and be clean. He who will purify his soul by obeying the truth will see and appreciate the love and mercy with which God has strewn the pathway of His children. He will realize that the paths of human devising lead to eternal ruin. {2MR 95.1}

The apprentice knows I have to be ever so careful not to jump in where angels fear to tread broken for the Lord to put me back together again. I can’t put myself back together but I can follow the instructions of the recreator. I can follow the instructions as the apprentice of the moulding of the character. I can follow the instruction of the divine worker and the angels. This is the delicate understanding of how we are going to be saved to secure our salvation. Examine those doctrines with meditation and prayer and apply it to our experience. Every word of God we are to live by. We are to be diligent to make our calling and election sure.

We must have more than an intellectual belief in the truth. {Ev 291.1}

We must have it but we must have more than that.

Many of the Jews were convinced that Jesus was the Son of God, but they were too proud and ambitious to surrender. They decided to resist the truth, and they maintained their opposition. They did not receive into the heart the truth as it is in Jesus. When truth is held as truth only by the conscience, when the heart is not stimulated and made receptive, only the mind is affected. But when the truth is received as truth by the heart, it has passed through the conscience, and has captivated the soul with its pure principles. {Ev 291.1}

We meditate upon it, we pray and we place ourselves surrendering under that. I

It is placed in the heart by the Holy Spirit, who reveals its beauty to the mind, that its transforming power may be seen in the character.–Review and Herald, Feb. 14, 1899. {Ev 291.1}

You become captivated with its pure principles. By reflecting and meditating upon Christ in all the doctrines and prophecies which we studied in the last two studies, the prophecies and the prophecy of Christ, how important it is to believe and to understand the pure doctrine within those prophecies to see and behold Jesus as more than merely hanging on the cross through those prophecies.

Psalm 22

Psalm 22:1 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

We heard Him say that on the cross but there you can see what is going on in his mind. In Psalms 69, 40 you appreciate what the Apostle Peter meant when he said in 1 Peter 2:24. As you meditate on it the Holy Spirit takes and applies it to your experience. What is your experience? My sin is ever before me. My incapability of doing it right is constantly thwarting my efforts and as I behold Jesus with all my sufferings and experiences played out in front of me in all those prophecies, we see the reality of his own self bearing our sins in his own body.

2 Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

You can see the operative activity of this truth. Look at Jesus in Psalms 22, 40, 69 where it is chronicled, is it nothing to you? He wants us to absorb it. As we absorb it we fall to pieces and my true condition becomes big to me and I see my condition can be put back together again correctly. By his stripes I am healed. We saw it in the prophecies that he was made to be sin for us.

2 Corinthians 5:21 For He hath made Him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Why? For a purpose that as I behold and meditate upon this, I might be able to make connection and participate that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. What a promise that we can become partakers of the divine nature by that promise. We will understand it only as the doctrines are absorbed by prayer and meditation.

He, the Sin Bearer, endures the wrath of divine justice, and for thy sake becomes sin itself. {DA 755.1}

Don’t just accept it as doctrine but let it go right in. He became sin itself.

He clothed himself in our filthy garments, that we might wear the spotless robe of his righteousness, which was woven in the loom of heaven.. {ST, May 30, 1895 par. 4}

The question is, do you really believe it? That is the problem. Livingly believe it not just say yes, yes that is good but make it your own. Believe it and act on it.

To Believe and Practise It

If I have received the truth in that knowledge, what does 2 Peter say? Now that I have come so far and I have received this promise and I believe it, what must I do about it?

2 Peter 1:5 And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; 6 And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; 7 And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. 8 For if these things be in you, and abound, they make [you that ye shall] neither [be] barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

There is something for me to do. To exercise the faith I have gained from meditating the doctrines. Believe it and act on it. This is virtue. Faith has been born and now I must exercise it.

Behold Christ. Dwell upon His love and mercy. {HP 111.4}

The intensity that God has for my personal development I will now pick up on that intensity that He has. I will be filled with an intense desire for the righteousness of Christ.

This will fill the soul with abhorrence for all that is sinful and will inspire it with an intense desire for the righteousness of Christ. The more clearly we see the Saviour, the more clearly shall we discern our defects of character. Confess your sins to Christ, and with true contrition of soul cooperate with Him by putting these sins away. {HP 111.4}

Don’t just put them away because they are wrong but because you are cooperating with Him in your life. Do we believe that Jesus took my wretched condition? Do I believe by Him doing that He is intensely desirous that I act in total contrition so that they are pardoned?

The more clearly we see the Saviour, the more clearly shall we discern our defects of character. Confess your sins to Christ, and with true contrition of soul cooperate with Him by putting these sins away. Believe that they are pardoned. The promise is positive, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). Be assured that the word of God will not fail. He who has promised is faithful. It is as much your duty to believe that God will fulfill His word and forgive you as it is to confess your sins. {HP 111.4}

After you have confessed your sin do you believe He has forgiven you? The sin that is ever before me continues to cause me to rely upon His forgiveness. It is a constantly activity of a personal touch with the divine content of the recreation.

How many there are who go through life under a cloud of condemnation! They do not believe God’s word. They have no faith that He will do as He has said. Many who long to see others resting in the pardoning love of Christ do not rest in it for themselves. But how can they possibly lead others to show simple, childlike faith in the heavenly Father when they measure His love by their feelings? {HP 111.2}

Do you go through a cloud of condemnation? It is your duty to believe and apply as God is recreating you. When I went through my terrible experience the Lord said, what did you tell others? It applies to me now.

Let us trust God’s word implicitly, remembering that we are His sons and daughters. Let us train ourselves to believe His word. We hurt the heart of Christ by doubting, when He has given such evidence of His love. He laid down His life to save us. He says to us: “Come unto me, . . . and I will give you rest. . . . ” Do you believe He will do as He has said? Then, after you have complied with the conditions, carry no longer the burden of your sins. Let it roll upon the Saviour. Trust yourself with Him. Has He not promised to give you rest? But to many He is obliged to say sorrowfully, “Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life” (John 5:40). {HP 111.3}

He the re-creator wants me to cooperate, He wants me to believe. Won’t you come to me and let me do it? I’ve got to believe in him.

Why do we not have the consciousness of sins forgiven? It is because we are unbelieving. {TDG 261.3}

If I hold a consciousness of my sins I am unbelieving. That is the first point to believe that all my sins have been forgiven as I in contrition of this beautiful sacrifice of Jesus that He with my sins has died and given me his righteousness.

Why are we so weak in faith? . . . We are so faithless, so unbelieving, that the Lord cannot do for us those things which He longs to do. There are doubts in our minds that are very saddening and very difficult to dispel. {TMK 227.2}

These doubts that bow down the soul we should each one bravely face, and tell the soul that we must conquer them at once. Make no delay, for there can be no peace where faith is lost. We need not express these doubts, for they may cause some poor soul to stumble. But examine them in the light of God’s Word, then talk them over with Jesus with His Word of promise in your hand, and pray for their removal. Tell the Lord, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:24). Let not doubt be placed in a comfortable, easy chair. It is a dangerous guest when it is left to rankle in the mind and counteract faith. . . . {TMK 227.3}

Genuine faith is life, and where there is life there is growth. The life which Jesus imparts cannot but grow more and more abundantly. {TMK 227.4}

Many are grappling on the first step of the ladder of shall I believe or not? Oh but my sins are too bad, oh but my brothers sins are so bad they keep on affecting me. Doubt and doubt and excuses and excuses which we make if we would look at God’s word correctly we would see that and we will be in contrition and break before the Lord. Then we will grow. The development will take place. This is where we must go on. In going on, what must I do in the work of God creating in me the recreated moulding of his divine character?

Philippians 3:12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.

Jesus has got his mind to bring about this end result and I will follow that I may apprehended, take in and make it my own that which for I’m apprehend of. You can’t forget if you haven’t believed your sins are forgiven but once you know your sins have been forgiven you can forget the past. Oh how many people bring up the past? You can forget the past and press on reaching forth unto those things that are before. We can learn from the past but we are not to let the past burden us.

Philippians 3:16 Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing.

What I’ve already attained I’m to walk by and the thing that I’ve not attained yet I’m to press on to reach for perfection and that is the person who is perfect.

A Disposition

There is a disposition now. The Lord has broken in and shattered me and caused me to confess and realise oh He is such a loving God and I have a disposition.

Not one of the ransomed host will be disposed to begin a rebellion similar to the one that Satan began before the creation of our race. {ST, June 24, 1903 par. 5}

There is a disposition created by God in believing the work of his redemption story in Jesus Christ. If I have this disposition that I love God and I love to obey Him as He has created that desire in me and I’ve opened my heart to it Jesus makes up for the deficiency.

Jesus came to our world to bring divine power to man, that through His grace we might be transformed into His likeness. When it is in the heart to obey God, when efforts are put forth to this end, Jesus accepts this disposition and effort as man’s best service, and He makes up for the deficiency with His own divine merit. {TMK 229.4}

What must you have? You must have a disposition. We have just dealt with how God creates it if I believe and do my duty in confessing and am in a contrite spirit and give over to that I then have a divine heart and nature which is a disposition to obey God. With that disposition Jesus accepts that and your effort of your best service and with that disposition He will make up the deficiency with His own divine merit. We are under a worshipful appreciation.

Our infirmities may be many, our sins and mistakes grievous; but the grace of God is for all who seek it with contrition. The power of Omnipotence is enlisted in behalf of those who trust in God. {DA 352.2}

Do you really trust? If I trust His promise that my sins were in his body so that I might have his righteousness, if I trust that and no longer hang onto the condemnations of the past, if I trust then I have no disposition to disobey him. If I love to obey Him but I’ve made some terrible mistakes, that is too bad but I still did it then the contrition that comes back because my heart has a predisposition of wanting to follow God none the less. I failed miserably but i want to obey him, that is still there no matter how severe your sin has been. He will place his merits in the place of your sin. Do you believe it? Do you trust it? The knowledge of Jesus is the knowledge that brings light into our heart.

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

In Christ our eternal life is secure. What must I do to secure my salvation? To exercise myself the above way. He has mapped out the apprenticeship procedure for us. He is the author and finisher of our faith. Let us earnestly and diligently and intensely as our heavenly Father is looking upon and working for us, let us participate with Him and thus secure our salvation in moulding our character in the similitude of the divine.

Amen.

 

Posted on August 21, 2011, in Divine Service Sermons, Sermons by John Thiel and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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