Without a standard to keep people honest, they might get the wrong idea: You can sin all you want and it doesn’t matter. They advocate that it is possible to lose salvation. The possibility of losing salvation becomes the incentive to keep us from perpetual sin. They would say that rules and consequences keep a person honest.
Some people panic when they have nothing to do. They feel their life is pointless if they aren’t carrying their own weight. They require having a fear of failure hanging over their heads because it drives them forward. They need to earn their passage in life. They resist accepting any gift.
The need for the fear of failure is really avoiding the fear of trusting someone else for the security of your life.
Other people flee the demands of obedience. They want freedom on their own terms. They want God’s provision but not God. They quickly receive any gift but lack respect to the giver.
The need to have resources stockpiled with no strings attached is really avoiding the fear of trusting someone else for the security of your life.
Both kinds of people seek control over their own life. Both want independence from neediness. The responsible person tries to earn their own way by being good. The irresponsible person tries to secure their freedom through any means necessary (often by being bad).
Being responsible for your own load is a mark of maturity. The young son in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15) learned this lesson well when he was willing to work as a hired hand for his father. He understood he had taken advantage of his father and wanted to repay his father. Fortunately for him (and you and I), his father confirmed his unconditional love for the younger son.
The older son had the responsibility (“I’ve never disobeyed you”) but he lacked the humility to receive the father’s invitation. The older son wanted to continue to rely on self-effort. The younger son, when he left his father, wanted to rely on self-indulgence. When the resources ran out, he switched to self-effort (“Make me
Both self-indulgence and self-righteousness attempt to provide for self and avoid dependence upon God. So long as you’re depending upon God’s righteousness, you can be sure of your salvation. We can see that eternal security depends on the faith, trust, and hope you place in God. Those who worry about losing their salvation are stuck in a moment of time. They can feel no hope because they are focused on fear rather than on God.
Years ago I went repelling for the first time. Somehow I intuitively understood that to descend to the bottom, I had to lean all the way out from the edge of the cliff. Without a rope and a secure anchor, this would result in a much faster (and deadly) descent. But trusting in the anchor and leaning all the way out made for a pleasant descent.
The same is true for your life as a Christian. You must put all your trust in your connection to God, otherwise, you won’t feel or be secure in your life.