Operation Giver is a project connecting young Texas Baptists with older professors, pastors and theologians to discuss Baptist Distinctives. Similar to the book, The Giver, our goal is to pass on wisdom from seasoned Baptists to the up-and-coming generation. While times continually change, the beliefs we share as Texas Baptists have held true for more than 130 years. Facilitating these conversations will help educate and encourage younger Baptists as they continue in the biblical tradition set before them.
When a person accepts Jesus Christ into their lives one of the first things they are assured is: "Nothing can take away your salvation." Looking back at my own salvation experience, I can remember being told these words. As I grew older, I was constantly reminded of this. When asked to find out more on this topic, I thought "What more can be said other than John 10:28 or Romans 8:38-39?"
I knew I was going to get more than just a simple answer when asked to talk to my professor Dr. Art Allen, professor of Christian Studies at Howard Payne University, about the subject. I was still skeptical on how much one can talk about a simple subject, or so I thought. Dr. Allen started off by saying, "Salvation is knowing God through grace."
I found it interesting that Dr. Allen continued to with the theme of knowing God.
He went on, "Knowing God is drawing closer to Him. God already knows everything about us. He knows us on such an intimate level, it would be illogical for Him to 'un-know' us. It would be like me saying that 'I know Bryson, I have had him in class and I have talked with him many times; but there may come a day where I will un-know him.' I can't just un-know you, we have experienced life together, it would be like erasing part of my life. The same goes for God. It is unlikely for the Creator of the Universe to forget His creation."
This statement made an impact on how I view the security of my salvation. The Creator of the Universe dwells in me. He knows every hair on my head, all my strengths and all my weaknesses. Because He knows so much about me, I want to know as much as I can about Him.
After talking more about this idea, Dr. Allen mentioned the security of the believer is not something everyone has an easy time believing. How could someone have trouble with such an easy topic? I should have seen the answer coming with three years of Bible courses under my belt.
It all comes down to the interpretation and translation of scripture.
"People often use Hebrews 6:4-6 to prove that one can lose their salvation," he said. "If one looks at the Greek text, one can see that is certainly not the case. The writer of Hebrews uses a conditional phrase in verse six. In the Greek, it says, 'if they fall away.' This conditional use of the word is often translated: 'If they fall away (which they won't).' The author of Hebrews is saying that it is impossible for one to lose their salvation, for if it was possible, Jesus' death on the cross would mean nothing."
Once again, I learned how important it is to study the Word of God carefully.
Just as I thought our talk was over, Dr. Allen shared one more thing with me.
"Paul mentions in Romans 8, that as Christians, we have the very presence of God dwelling in us. We have the all-knowing Creator of the universe inside of us. If it was possible for God to un-know us, first, He would have to forget a lot of things. Second, if we become unknown to Him, then He would not be all-knowing."
Dr. Allen gave me a lot to think about after our talk. What I thought was such a simple topic turned out to be something more. I am glad I had the opportunity to ask Dr. Allen about the Security of the Believer. It opened my eyes on how important the "simple" things are.
Rest easy and know God knows you, He loves you and He wants to have a relationship with you. Nothing can separate His love and desire for us, not even death on a cross.
Bryson Wallace will be graduating this spring from Howard Payne University with a master's degree in Bible and a minor in biblical languages. He serves as a youth minister at Fellowship Baptist Church in Goldthwaite.