Christian leaders know they belong to God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (2 Tim 1:5; 3:14)
Yesterday I spent a little time developing the truth that we belong to God on the basis of Christ’s sacrifice. This is the critical truth that all Christian leaders must “know.” Knowledge has both content and contact elements. In other words, knowing refers to that settled habit of the mind. That inner disposition that drives our conduct. One truth in the “knowing” quadrant is knowing that we are secure in Christ, apart from what we have done.
Paul explicitly says this in verses 9-10 of 2nd Timothy, chapter 1:
He has 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, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
Today I will develop the basis for this security by suggesting three sources of Christian leaders’ security:
Secure Source #1: God’s unchangeable nature
Early on in our journey, I talked about two of God’s attributes: his holiness and love. These attributes drive a lot of God’s actions throughout the Scriptures. God acts are always consistent with His nature and this consistency is a critical foundation for our security.
Exodus 3:13-14 says:
Then Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" God said to Moses, "I am who I am ." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel, 'I am has sent me to you.'"
The Egyptians had a plethora of gods, each with different names. When Moses saw the burning bush, he enquired of the Lord’s name: “I AM” said the Lord God. This is a name that describes the Lord’s eternal power and unchangeable nature.
Hebrews 13:8 continues:
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Paul puts it this way in 2nd Timothy: “He cannot deny Himself.”
Christian security has God’s unchangeable nature as its basis.
Secure Source #2: God’s protection
Jesus said that he would not lose even one person whom the Father had given to him. Anyone who makes a commitment to become a follower of Jesus Christ is secure in the promise that having died with Him, they will also live with Him. Yes, this truth overlooks the relation between conditional eschatology (if you, then I) and God’s sovereignty, but the principle still holds true. God protects those who are His.
“All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.” John 6:37-39
Secure Source #3: God’s Word
Security comes from knowing that we have eternal life. But how do we ‘know’? God says so.
Look at 1st John 5:11-12:
And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
Our security is based upon God’s promise and is mediated to us in faith as we commit to believe the word. Security, like both faith and truth, has both content and contact elements to it. The content of security is based upon the truth about eternal life and God’s Son who brings it. This content brings the contact – we will experience the loving closeness of God. Security is based upon fact not feeling. It is based upon a covenantal relationship not religious duty.
Food for Thought:
As you apply this to your own life and leadership, consider these thoughts:
Those who are not secure in themselves sabotage their ministry. There are many facets to insecurity:
Spiritual: we are not secure in our relationship with the Lord.
Emotional: we are not secure in ourselves.
Relational: we are not secure with others.
As you consider this, consider which of these three is the biggest issue for you and why?