NOTE FROM PASTOR J R FOR SUNDAY, MAY 3, 2015

I loved growing up in the Holiness Church where a typical Sunday worship service would last as long at 2-3 hours. I also loved the assurance and confidence that so many at my church had on so many things about their faith. Yet unlike the Baptists, my Holiness church didn’t believe “Once Saved, Always Saved!” That always bothered me! How could you be so confident about something you could lose? It wasn’t until I was in a progressive church that I really came to understand and believe in the very important doctrine of “Once Saved, Always Saved.” It was only then that I became absolutely confident of my salvation.

To get there I had to take a critical look at what I was taught about this subject. I had to be willing to admit that as much I loved the Holiness Church, their teaching on this subject was simply wrong. That didn’t mean I disavowed everything I’d learned and the marvelous spiritual awakenings I experienced in the Holiness Church. But in order for me to have “Confidence of My Salvation” I had to be willing to rethink and unlearn a teaching from my faith background that was NOT true.

So it is with many LGBTQ persons if they are to ever have “A Confidence of Their Salvation.” Many LGBTQ people grew up in very conservative Christian traditions that taught us that you can’t be LGBTQ and Christian. I was talking to a young lady this very week whose relationship is in turmoil because her partner can’t reconcile her faith with her sexual orientation. Her life-long association with a very prominent Baptist Church in Birmingham has her unsure if she has ever been “saved,” even though she made her profession of faith in Christ at a young age. You see, while the Baptists profess a belief in the doctrine of “Once Saved, Always Saved:” their default position should be if a person comes out later as a LBGT person, then they must not have been saved in the first place! Really?

In John 10, Jesus, as “The Good Shepherd”, makes this statement in verse 28, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of My hand.” I’ve always added “you can’t jump out either!” “Once saved, always saved!” I John 5:13 says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God SO THAT YOU MAY KNOW THAT YOU HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.” Such confidence comes from knowing that “Once Saved, Always Saved.”

Even when familiar voices of our faith traditions cause uncertainty in “The Confidence of Our Salvation,” we must be willing to “trust our own integrity.” You know if you were sincere in your profession of faith in Christ! Therefore, let that be “The Confidence of Your Salvation!” Cece Winans says it well in these words from her song, “Mary’s Alabaster Box:”You weren’t there the night He found me. You didn’t feel what I felt when He wrapped His love all around me.” Let that be “The Confidence of Our Salvation.”

Join us in worship this Sunday at Covenant. I will be preaching on “The Confidence of Our Salvation” from I John 5:13-15 and Mark 14:3-9.

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