One of the greatest deterrents to a walk with God is presumption. When one presumes to have something of God that he doesn’t have it closes the door to that experience. Some seem to feel that when they accepted Jesus Christ as Savior they received everything that could be had. He is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. II Corinthians 5:17. That just simply isn’t true! The scripture is true, but to assume that it is true for you in experience just because you accepted Christ is unwarranted presumption.
When one accepts Jesus as Savior, the door is opened to a new life in God. But that new life isn’t completely experienced at that moment. It is a process. We gradually enter the new life God has for us as we grow spiritually. Many changes will take place as we walk with Him. But if we presume to be complete – all things are become new – then the door is closed to experience new things.
The Lord’s provision for us is complete, but the experiencing of it is not. In fact, the Lord refuses to reveal some things to us until we reach certain levels of growth. I have yet many things to say unto you, but you cannot bear them now. John 16:12.
So when the Scripture says, Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new, it is obviously speaking of a place in God much beyond the initial step of salvation. When Paul says, “If any man be in Christ,” he is speaking of spiritual maturity. And even when we grow to a place of spiritual maturity, we will find that our salvation is still expandable.
John 10:27-28 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they
28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.
Claiming “once saved, always saved” by these verses is presumption, too. This is speaking of sheep who hear the voice of the Lord. Now it is quite obvious that the bulk of Christianity is not hearing the voice of the Lord or following Him. If they were, for example, there wouldn’t be a multitude of denominations, each doing their own thing according to the dictates of their own hearts. Instead there would be only one Church.
One does not automatically hear the voice of the Lord upon being saved. Learning to reject the reasoning of the carnal mind and being led by the voice of the Lord is an ongoing process. Therefore, sheep who hear His voice and follow Him are not babes in Christ; they are mature Christians. They are a select few.
Also Jesus saying, Neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand, is a further indication of a select group of Christians. Being in His hand means that He has complete control; that is, those in His hand are under His Lordship. Those sheep are not doing their own thing, living their lives according to the dictates of their own reasoning and emotions.
The hand speaks of active ministry. Those who are in His hand are the ones through whom Christ is ministering. They are functioning in the will of God under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In Revelation 1:16,20 Jesus is pictured holding the seven stars in His right hand, and verse 20 says that the seven stars are the angels (messengers or ministers) of the churches. These ministries, as indicated by being in His hand, have a special relationship with the Lord.
The sheep that cannot be plucked out of the hand of the Lord are ministries. They are called messengers because the Lord communicates to the churches through them. They are under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, and have a special relationship with Him that can’t be said of every Christian. To assume that we are in His hand just because we have accepted Him as Savior is a presumption without reality, a very dangerous presumption.
It is imperative that we look at the Scriptures honestly. We have so much yet to learn. But while the Word of God speaks of many things that we have not yet experienced, it is all provisional. For all the promises of God in Him are yea, and in Him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. II Corinthians 1:20. Some seem to think that some of the promises were only for the Jews, some only for the early Church, and some for the Kingdom to come. The fact is, they are all for now! It is just as wrong to reject promises and provisions as not being valid now as it is to presume to have something that we don’t have. Therefore, let’s claim every promise and provision as rightfully ours, and believe for each one to become a living reality. We shall not presume; neither shall we reject.
Copyright © 1999 by Henry DuBose