From a physical point of view, Young People, and from the day when we were born, we began to go through some wonderful changes. That day we were very, very helpless and weak, compared with what we are now, and can do today. For many months we could cry; but we could not talk. It took weeks before we could crawl; and could not yet walk. We could not read or write, and could not sing, or even with our mouths ask for that which we wanted.
Now, however, we can do so many of these things and many more. We do well, therefore, to bear in mind that, as children of God, who were born with a new spiritual life, we remain children, that is, children of God. Even though, in the physical sense, we can and do become men or women, we from a spiritual point of view remain children, all through this present physical life. We are correctly taught that in the Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 44, Question and Answer 114. There it is correctly stated that “the holiest of men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this obedience.” Get that truth. We now have only a small beginning of that new spiritual life which we receive, when born again by God’s grace.
That, however, will change the moment we die. Then our old man of sin has come to the end of his life; and our new man in Christ is separated from that old sinful man. That new man in Christ now becomes very active and powerful in worshipping God and in glorifying Him in heaven. Although in this life we have only a small beginning of obedience, we through death are freed from our old man of sin. We are completely free from our sinful nature, the moment we die; and are with Christ in heavenly glory.
Being such children of God we, in this life, are fiercely attacked by Satan in several different ways. He strives to take away from us the love of God, which we received when, by God’s grace, we were born again. Satan strives in many ways, and with many devices, to make us hate God, even as he succeeded in doing so to Adam and Eve. Satan hates us because we love God. And Satan strives every day, and in many ways, to get us to be his devilish children, rather than God’s holy children. And his actions will come more powerfully, when he has brought forth the Antichrist and his kingdom, which is not far away. More and more he is getting all the people of the world to be a godless nation, even as he got that to happen before the flood, which God sent to save Noah and his family.
But, Young People, come what may, all is well for everyone whom God eternally chose, and caused to be born with a new spiritual life. We are by that rebirth citizens in the Kingdom of Heaven. Not one of us shall be, or can be, led into spiritual death by Satan, as he got Adam and Eve. In II Corinthians 4:17 and 18 we read: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”
What is more, our God is not only the creator of heaven and earth, and all that which they contain. Our God will realize everything that He eternally decreed, and everything He promised those whom He chose in Christ. Everything that God wants, and all that which He promises, He will cause to be realized in every smallest detail.
Therefore, there is absolutely no possibility that any one of God’s elect, who was eternally chosen in Christ, can by Satan be caused to die spiritually, as Satan got Adam and Eve to do. What is more, and extremely important, is the truth that God does NOT offer salvation. Young People, reject one hundred percent that Arminian lie that God, through the preaching of the gospel, offers salvation to all who hear it preached. God does not leave salvation up to man’s decision. God does not depend upon man and what he does.
The name Jehovah means I AM. That truth is denied by Arminianism, which claims that God offers salvation, and that only those who accept it will be saved. The awesome truth however is that God, as the I AM, always commands what He eternally decreed would take place. As the I AM, God does completely, in every smallest detail, all that which He eternally decreed. There is absolutely nothing that He desires that does not take place at the exact time, and in the perfect way that He determined its coming to pass.
We are not saved because we want the salvation which God has made possible. As the almighty God, the I AM, God begins salvation in us by causing us to be born again, and by the life of this rebirth He causes us to want that salvation. That truth is presented in Ephesians 2:8 where Paul points out that we are saved by grace, through faith, “and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.” Paul even adds in verse 9, “Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Still more, Paul points out that: “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God before ordained that we should walk in them.” We want salvation only after God has already begun it in us. Away then, from the Arminian teaching that God offers it to us, and if we let Him do so, He will be our Savior.
Still more, in John 3:3 we read: “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” And our calling is to maintain what God commands us to believe. He not only makes us, as already born again, to want it; but also to believe that this salvation is a gift of God’s grace. Salvation realizes in us the thankfulness to God for a free gift, which we can enjoy only by His grace. We must not in our doctrine change God, the I AM, into an “I will be, if you let Me.”
What we should hold on to tightly is what God through Paul presents to us in II Corinthians 4:15, namely, that “our inward man is renewed day by day.” Having begun salvation in us, that salvation is never taken from us. We cannot change God. He does not stop realizing salvation in us. That He renews it day by day means that no day comes in between another day, when God has taken that salvation from us. We have a very striking and comforting evidence of God renewing our new man day by day.
Peter, when Christ Jesus was being tried after His capture, three times denied Christ, as we read in Luke 22:54-60. That same day he in his inward man was renewed. Then in verses 61 and 62 we read that he remembered the word of Christ. He remembered the word which He had spoken, namely that before the cock would crow, he, Peter, would deny Him three times. Peter heard that and went out weeping bitterly, revealing that he was renewed by God that day. His new man in Christ was hurt by that deviltry, which his old man of sin revealed. His new man in Christ was renewed that day.
We can then be absolutely sure that when the Antichrist does come, and is used by Satan, we as born-again children of God will reveal that we by God’s grace are renewed day by day in our attitude toward Antichrist.
It will be hard for our flesh. Our old man of sin will strongly want the mark on his right hand or forehead that the Antichrist will demand; and we will not be allowed to buy or sell, if we refuse; and thus starve to death. But our new man in Christ will by God’s grace be renewed day by day.
How about it, Young People? Do you have God-given evidence that you have a heart that is renewed day by day? The temptations, that comfort our flesh today, are far more subtle, and tempting to our flesh, than they were in the past. When sins are revealed to you in the preaching of a sermon, or by what you read in God’s Word, does it make you, like Peter, weep in your soul? Does it move you to pray to God that He keep you from doing that sin again? Do sins bother you? Does it in your life reveal that God is renewing you day by day?
This is extremely important, so that we find in our lives that God did renew us, when we have fallen into a sin. It reveals that we have been born again, and are the objects of God’s love and grace in Christ. Be thankful then, and let the songs of Zion, not those of the world, move you, and express your thankfulness that God is renewing you day by day.