Does it sometimes feel like you were saved twice? Or maybe even three times?
I know the feeling.
I made a profession of faith in the summer of 1980 at which point I believe that I was born again.
But I also had a profound spiritual experience in the fall of 1990 – an experience that for a while I was tempted to think of as my “true conversion”. That was when I really came to understand that to love Jesus I must also hate sin. That was the time in my life when I became “a follower” and not just “a believer”.
Does that sound familiar?
A lot of us can point to a couple of really significant works of God in our lives and there is nothing wrong with that, in fact, it is entirely Biblical. In Jeremiah 16:14-15 the Bible says:
“Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when it shall no longer be said, ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’ but ‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’ For I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers.” (Jeremiah 16:14–15 ESV)
Are you hearing that?
Jeremiah saw a work of God coming that was going to be so powerful and so effective that it would almost eclipse the foundational experience of the Exodus in the minds of God’s people.
It would almost be like they were redeemed a second time.
To be clear, I am not saying that a person might be saved, then lose their salvation and have to be saved or converted a second time. I am saying that a saved person might conceivably fall into a pattern of sin and that God, in his wisdom, may surrender that person over to the power of their sin for an extended season so as to teach them to walk carefully and humbly before him. Once that lesson has been learned the Lord may act again in power and mercy to “redeem” that person from the power of their sin and to restore them to a time of happiness, peace and freedom.
It happened to Israel – it happened to me and it happens to a lot of people growing up and living under God’s Sovereign and Providential care.
We are only saved once – but the Lord continues to act for our good and for his glory always – thanks be to God!
Pastor Paul Carter
To listen to Pastor Paul’s Into The Word devotional podcast visit the TGC Canada website; you can also find it on iTunes.