You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God. 1 Peter 2:9
The ancient Greeks had a strong sense of fate. They believed life's events unfolded exactly as the gods had ordained them--there was no escape. The legend of Oedipus is an example. Oedipus was a king's son, destined someday to slay his father and, as usurper of his throne, to marry the queen, who was his mother. The tragedy destroyed the lives of all concerned.
As far as the Christian religion is concerned, there is no blind fate. No one will ever go down into eternal perdition because this was divinely ordained. Saint Paul teaches that God has a good and gracious will toward all people. He "wants all men [persons] to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all men" (1 Timothy 2:4-5).
To strengthen Christians, particularly when they are in great affliction, God tells them that He will not fail them. He promises them that the crown of life is theirs. So long as they continue faithfully in the use of His Word and the sacraments, their salvation is sure--sure, not because of anything they do but because of divine grace and because the Gospel "is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes" (Romans 1:16). God's acts of grace provide a firm foundation: "Those God foreknew He also predestined ... He also called; those He called, he also justified; those He justified, He also glorified" (Romans 8:29-30).
This teaching is not to be misunderstood or misused as if to say salvation is an absolute cinch regardless of how a person believes or lives, on the false assumption that election saves. The Bible teaches, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:16). It was Jesus who said this, the same who declares for our comfort concerning believers, "no one can snatch them out of My Father's hand" (John 10:29).
PRAYER: Lord God, through the Word and the Holy Spirit, help me to abide faithful to the end. Amen.
(Devotions from "With Jesus Every Day" copyright 1997, CPH. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be printed, reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of Concordia Publishing House. Permission is granted for one-time emailing of this link to a friend. For information on other devotional material, please contact CPH at 800-325-3040 or visit CPH at www.cph.org.)
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