Secured for the Second Coming, Part 1

1 Thessalonians 5:8–11

[8] But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. [9] For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, [10] who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him. [11] Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (ESV)

INTRODUCTION:

Verse 8 focuses on human responsibility, on the need to protect ourselves from the coming wrath of God by putting on the breastplate of faith and love and the helmet of the hope of salvation. The hope of salvation is of course a certain hope, and verses 9 and 10 explain why this hope is certain and secure. And this time the focus is on the divine initiative and God’s sovereignty. By way of overview: 1) We are secured by God’s appointment, and 2) we are secured by Christ’s atonement. There’s a third point about the role of the Holy Spirit, since salvation is after all the work of the triune God. But we’ll come to that in due time.

1. WE ARE SECURED BY GOD’S APPOINTMENT (v. 9)

Ultimately, the reason why people are saved is because of God’s appointment (Acts. 13:48; 2 Th. 2:13; Jn 15:16; 1 Jn. 4:19).

Negatively, we are appointed not to suffer wrath (1 Th. 1:10). Positively, we are appointed to obtain salvation. What does the Bible say about God’s appointment of us to obtain salvation?

(A) It is eternal (Eph. 1:3,4; 2 Tim. 1:9)
(B) It is unconditional (Jer. 1:5; Rom. 9:10-16; Ezek. 36:22-28; Heb. 8:10-13).
(C) It is Christological (1 Th. 5:9; Eph. 1:4; Jn. 6:36-40; Acts 4:12; Jn. 14:6).
(D) It is doxological (Eph. 1:3-6; Rom. 9:15, 16, 23). Grace is greater than we ever imagined!
(E) It is paradoxical (Deut. 29:29; Col. 1:22-23; Ps. 37:24;2 Tim. 2:10; Rom. 10:13-17; John 3:16).

  • Election is like a door with a sign on the outside, which says, “Whosoever will”, and another sign on the inside, which says, “Elect before the foundation of the world.”
  • Election is like the rails of the train. They are parallel and will never meet (as far as the human mind is concerned) but the train of salvation needs both the rail of divine sovereignty and the rail of human responsibility to run.

CONCLUSION: Rom. 11:33-36

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

TAKE HOME:

“GRACE IS SO MUCH GREATER THAN WE REALIZE!” All that we are and all that we have, including our salvation, is ultimately “ALL OF GRACE.”

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