It has been quite a while since I began this series and circumstances have reminded me to pick it up again. If you are interested in previous posts on this topic, a simple search of “Conditional Security” within this blog will supply all published posts.
The issue of a saints security before and after the cross seems to be highly debatable amongst believers, that is, if there is any clear thinking on the topic in the first place. I only say that since I am not sure what to think of the topic.
During my time when I was a fully committed OSAS / eternal security adherent, I would defend the eternal security teaching when in the Old Testament by stating that it was a different covenant, a different time and different conditions. All this may be true, but I can’t remember anything in the Word that directed me to think that. I mean, where may I find the passage that directly instructs on the differences Old Testament saints experience compared to the security of the New Testament saint?
If there is a passage I would be most happy to consider it.
The passage under consideration today speaks of the activities / actions of David during his entire life. He did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord. Oh sure, there were issues in his life that caused shame, but it is the intentional murder of Uriah that the writer wants to bring to our attention.
because David did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and did not turn aside from anything that he commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. – 1Kings 15:5
David murdered. And by that single act, became a murderer.
When David turned aside to intentionally commit murder, he entered into a very unfavorable state. What security did David experience during this time in his life? According to the Book of Numbers, Chapter 35, the law defines who is a murderer and what the murderer should expect.
Definition and Expectation of a Murderer
But if he struck him down with an iron object, so that he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. And if he struck him down with a stone tool that could cause death, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. Or if he struck him down with a wooden tool that could cause death, and he died, he is a murderer. The murderer shall be put to death. – Numbers 35:16-18 ESV
Intentional (Premeditated) Murder
And if he pushed him out of hatred or hurled something at him, lying in wait, so that he died,
or in enmity struck him down with his hand, so that he died, then he who struck the blow shall be put to death. He is a murderer. The avenger of blood shall put the murderer to death when he meets him. – Numbers 35:20-21 ESV
A murderer is one who accidentally or with malice aforethought takes the life of another person. The passage above seems clear. The expectation of the murderer is also clear.
The Law commanded David’s death.
For the Lord to establish the Kingdom through David’s Son (after an intentional act of murder on David’s part) exhibits the mercy and kindness of God. Mercy, by it’s very character is something that is not guaranteed, and though God is full of mercy and great in love, to presume upon His mercy is very unwise.
Let’s read the promise to get some clarity!
When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever.'” – 2 Samuel 7:12-16 ESV
Some may say that since God’s promise was to David’s immediate son (Solomon), and to his physical lineage, God is “hogtied” to keep His promise. One problem with that thinking is that the earthly kingdom has not continued forever. The Babylonian captivity took care of that. Having a kingdom established forever does not allow for thousands of years inactivity. (All will agree that the earthly theocracy of Israel has been completely erased.)
Therefore I think the promise needs to focus on the ultimate David, that is, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, and the Kingdom that was established during His time on earth.
But some may say that reading the Old Testament and applying it to our lives as Christians is not very wise. If the New Testament did not address the topic of security in relation to the act of murder, I might give you the benefit of the doubt on this point. The only problem is that the New Testament does address the topic of security and murder numerous times.
Consider the following passages.
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. – Galations 5:19-21 ESV
Granted that this list of the works of the flesh is understood to be a description of a continual lifestyle. Might I suggest it also represents a man or woman who is non-repentant.
You see, a murderer who is non-repentant will continue to commit the act of murder. He has become a murderer, and as the saying goes, “Murderer’s gonna murder” (I know the saying is “Hater’s gonna hate” but I think this transfers very easily.)
Speaking of hater’s, consider what John says about the definition of a hater in 1 John.
Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. – 1 John 3:15
I understand 1 John to be giving “Tests for Life”. (See my 18 part series 1 John – Testing to Know ) Throughout the epistle, he is constantly defining the Christian, and by this definition, making it clear to his readers of their security before God. (1 John 5:13 makes sense if the epistle is approached with this understanding.) With that said, understand that John is addressing professing Christians in the epistle and teaching them of their security (based on their actions and attitudes).
John brings the topic up again and describes the expectation of the murderer. The following passage makes it clear that the expectation of the murderer is the second death.
But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.” – Revelation 21:8
My friend – if you have committed murder (or any of the acts of the flesh described above,) understand that the mercy of God is available to those who repent of their ways. Murderers can be forgiven, but to continue in a murderous lifestyle only proves that eternal life does not abide in you.
David was forgiven of his murderous act, and found the Lord to be merciful and full of kindness. David’s “joy of salvation” was a direct outflow of the renewed security He experienced after confession and repentance. His repentance brought him back into favor with the Lord.
True Security is found by –
- Knowing and understanding the character of God (by knowing and understanding His commands and condemnations)
- Trusting the Master for strength to live under His authority, which is His Kingdom.
- Finding the character of Christ being duplicated in your life.
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