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Monday, 24 September 2012

Just One Look...

When writing articles for this website, the idea behind the composition is to edify the faith of the reader as well as providing a level of enjoyment. Therefore I felt the need to delete the original article of the same title because I felt afterwards that it was too critical and negative. So this is the re-written version, which I hope would benefit your faith.

So what do I mean by Just One Look?
It is taken from the story recorded in Numbers 21:4-9.

The passage records the journey the Israelites were making as they relocated from one place to another, often over a distance of many miles. These journeys involve packing all possessions and collapsing the tent, then transport the load on the back of a large beast such as an ox or bullock. When the destination was reached, then the tent was pitched and home was set up once again. The constant collapsing and re-setting of their tents caused the nation to grumble against Moses, who they saw as a wretched nuisance who can't seem to stay put and settle down. Their constant grumbling had tested God's patience, and therefore he sent poisonous snakes which bite proved fatal. As one after another fell dead, the rest became desperate, and cried out to Moses to intervene. He was then instructed to make a serpent of brass, and set it up upon a pole. Anyone who was bitten by a snake just had to look at the brazen snake Moses had set up and he was healed from the poison and his life was spared.

Therefore the apostle John believed that the story was so important, that he made sure that the conversation Jesus had with Nicodemus was recorded. Here, Jesus explained to Nicodemus that just as Moses lifted up the brass serpent in the wilderness, so the Son of Man will also be lifted up upon the Cross, drawing all men to himself. Anyone who looks at the Cross with the eye of faith will be saved. In other words, just as it took just one look for the Israelite to be healed from the snake bite, so likewise, it would take just one look for the sinner to be delivered from eternal death and receive salvation (John 3:14-15.)

So it takes just one look and the sinner receives salvation. Little wonder then that this is the true Gospel, a word that simply means Good News. It is tremendously good news indeed. Of course, the physical cross of Christ is no longer standing. It was taken down shortly after our Saviour died. But the way we see the Cross is through the eye of faith. In other words, to believe.

Is this easy believe-ism? Perhaps, but it's the Gospel. How long does a look take? A few seconds? A minute? Then the sinner is saved forever? Seems too good to be true, doesn't it? But it is true.

When a sinner looks at the Cross by faith, the actual looking may indeed take a moment, but has eternal consequence. The simple reason for this is that there is a rebirth of the spirit, often known as being born from above. The believer then becomes home of the indwelling Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promise that he will abide forever (John 14:16) as well as adopted into God's family.

This is the imputation of Christ's righteousness to the believer, who is now regarded as a saint, not a sinner. Just as Jesus Christ himself committed no sin when he was alive on Earth, so the saint is seen by God as obeying all the commandments - even if this does not look to be the case in his day to day life. This is because Jesus Christ has obeyed all the commandments, therefore fulfilling them. As the saint is in Christ, so the commandments are fulfilled in the believer.

One striking example of this is at the Church of Corinth, which we know about through Paul's two letters addressed to them. Paul greeted them warmly as saints. To the apostle, each member of the church in Corinth had looked upon the Cross with an eye of faith. Yet we read about them boasting that they are wiser than anybody else, along with a case of a man sleeping with his stepmother, gluttony at the Communion Table, arguments over eating meat, cases of fornication, disputes over marriage, a man taking a fellow believer to Court, men wearing long hair (that is bad!) denial of the Resurrection and the threat of the church splitting into four directions. Yet despite their catalogue of failures, they were saved.

We could also consider the church in Ephesus, where some members had a problem with anger, the church in Colosse, where they were wondering whether Jesus was who he claimed to be, and to the churches in Galatia, whose members were slipping back into legalism. But Paul never threatened any of them with eternal fire. Premature or early physical death, yes - particularly to those in Corinth. But not eternal death. Why was this? Because when one is born from above, he becomes a child of God, adopted into his family and his body becomes a residence of the Holy Spirit whom Jesus promised he will abide forever.

God is Almighty. And one of the characteristics of being Almighty is omniscience. In other words, God knew me long before I was even conceived. He knew exactly how many days they will be in my entire life. So far I have more than 21,915 (and hoping to reach 22,000 in less than three months!) He also knew when I trusted in Jesus Christ and he also foreknew every work I would ever do after salvation, both good and bad. But furthermore, you and I are gifts to the Son given by the Father for laying down his life (John 17.) We are his rewards. If we could lose our salvation after we were born from above, as many insist, it would prove how weak God's sovereignty really is, along with a complete denial of his omniscience and omnipotence. In other words, not only does he not know what's going to happen next, but neither is he powerful enough to prevent one of his own ending up as a child of the Devil once again.

This is where the idea of Eternal Security of the Believer comes in. It is not based on our deeds, but entirely on the Almighty power and character of God. And it is all down to one look, just one look at the Cross of Christ, and so one passes from death to life. Eternal life. Life in Christ.


  1. Hello Frank,
    I don't believe we can judge anybody regarding their walk with the Lord, but I do believe that we have to learn from the Holy Spirit as we grow in the Lord and that we are encouraged to be doers of the word and not just hearers. We are told that we must examine ourselves and 1 Cor. ch.11 v.31 says 'For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.', and also that we are judged by the Lord. 1 Cor. 11 v.32 says 'But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.', so there are choices that we get so that we are not condemned with the world.

  2. Hi Frank,
    Just thought I'd mention. That little box that mentions visitors to the side there - It looks like it may not be accurate in some details as it is stating that I am from Worcester and I'm not, I'm from West Wales.

    1. Dear Brenda,
      Thanks for the comment.
      I think you are referring to Feedjit. On all other blogs which also have this feature, I appear as "A visitor from Reading" - when I actually live in Bracknell. However, my address carries a Reading postcode, and Feedjit may indeed use the postcode (zip code in the USA) to identify my location.
      Else, this could also be done deliberately to protect our identity security.
      God bless.

  3. You could be right Frank,
    thanks for responding. It's a nice little gadget though.

  4. Great post Frank, and as ever much food for thought. Yes, we will always sin and always make mistakes, but as we walk with Jesus we won't want to sin, most of those sins being inadvertent, things that just happen but we didn't help along so to speak. What I mean is, a sin can be a deliberate act or it can be something we didn't mean but is still sin.

  5. Hi brother Frank!
    A while a go we were talking over at Steve's blog.

    Excellent story of the Exodus from Egypt.
    As you know that I am one of those who believe in eternal security.

    Have you noticed that the Lord Jesus only called His children out of Egypt, just the same as He call's only His children out of this evil world.
    Why was there a Serpent on the cross? Do you know?

    If everyone who would have one look at the Cross of Jesus Christ and be saved, then it would be fair to say that the devil is also saved.
    Kind regards

  6. "If we could lose our salvation after we were born from above, as many insist, it would prove how weak God's sovereignty really is, along with a complete denial of his omniscience and omnipotence."

    So ture! Thank you for putting it in these words.

    Leah Nicolette

  7. Look to Jesus, and live! Thank you for this Bible-based, beautifully written explanation of salvation and eternal security. Those who have placed their faith in His death, burial and resurrection are held securely in the double grip of the Father clasping the hand of the Son, and nothing can pluck them out of His hand.
    God bless,