First the Blade
© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven
Grace (Part 5)
When I began seeking the Lord about His grace, I knew that if I could somehow lose my salvation for whatever reasons, then grace was vastly overrated. What good was unmerited favor from God if it could be withdrawn because I no longer deserved it? I supposedly never deserved grace in the first place, right?
I had no answers to these questions. At the time, I still believed the Arminian teachings of Kenneth Hagin, Leonard Ravenhill, Smith Wigglesworth, John Lake, John Wesley, and others who taught we could lose our salvations if we turned our backs on Jesus. Those teachings made sense to me. How could a holy God allow a man to be eternally secure in his salvation, if the man turned his back on God?
Yet, the special children intrigued me. They did not read Bibles, pray much, or ever pay attention to their salvations at all. Did God have different rules for children with IQ’s under a certain level?
I meditated on the Bible verses Hagin, Ravenhill, Lake, Wigglesworth, Wesley, and other Arminian teachers used to justify their beliefs.
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame. (Hebrews 6:4-6)
For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would be better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn away from the holy commandment handed on to them. (1 Peter 2:20-21)
Doesn’t the word meditation conjure up thoughts of me sitting on the floor with my legs crossed and humming aloud?
The word meditation in the Bible actually means saying the scripture over and over again. One version calls it muttering aloud to oneself. I did a variation, which has worked well for me over the years.
I memorized the scriptures in Hebrews and 2 Peter and then said them over and over in my mind while I prayed in tongues. I did this for at least one hour a day over a period of several weeks. There were times when my brain wanted to do anything but meditate on the same scriptures, but I muddled onward, day after day.
Then, one day it happened.
You see, if you believe God is real and He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, the Holy Spirit will eventually show up and enlighten you. That’s what happened to me. In a blink of an eye, I knew there were no limits on grace. My salvation was eternally secure and depended on Him and His grace. It no longer depended on my actions or me.
Did I totally understand the scriptures I meditated on? No, not really, but my revelation was so profound I knew there had to be other explanations for the scriptures.
Marion loaned me her copy of J. F. Strombeck’s classic 1936 book, Shall Never Perish. Strombeck’s explanation about the two scripture references is the best I have ever read and is still quoted today.
This happened over twenty years ago, but I can still remember where I sat and how I felt at the precise moment the Holy Spirit enlightened me. I jumped up and down with joy, knowing that John 3:16 was an absolute, eternal, never-ending truth.
Why is grace so important for our walks with the Lord? And do we all have to agree one hundred percent with my revelation on grace in order?
(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)