Before divulging the one-word answer I have, here are some lengthier reasons for loving my neighbor (and my brother) as I ought:
- I have been born of God.
- I know God.
- God loves me.
- God dwells in me.
- God’s love is perfected in me.
- I dwell in God.
- As God is, so am I in this world.
- God loved me first.
- I love God.
- God commands it.
Perhaps you yourself doubt, groaning, “Do I really belong to God’s family?”
I do not believe there exists any significant difference between being saved and staying saved. Salvation is always by Jesus Christ. That truth remains unchanged regardless which side of the cross we live on. Only faith in Jesus will save us; only faith in Jesus will keep us. None of my works brought me into salvation, and none of my works will keep me in salvation. Christ, and Christ alone, is all I need.
Does that mean faith is the sum total of salvation and of being sure I’m saved? No! If faith alone will open Heaven to us, the object of our faith would be immaterial. We could hold the Islamic faith or adhere to Judaism or revere our great-grandmother’s slipper or belong to a conservative Mennonite church…and boldly gain access to the heavenly kingdom. But it isn’t that way!
Faith in Christ is the essence and fulness of our redemption and of our certainty of being saved. Continue reading