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Enjoying God Blog


Richard Baxter speaks directly to the fear of many that perhaps God’s love for us is temporary or conditional or will, for some unexplained reason, ultimately die. In his classic work, The Saints’ Everlasting Rest, he seeks to silence this fear once and for all.

“Know this, believer, to your everlasting comfort, that if these arms have once embraced you, neither sin nor hell can ever pluck you from them (John 10:28-29). The sanctuary is inviolable and the rock impregnable to which you have fled. You are safely locked up for all eternity. You no longer have to deal with a shifting, unfaithful, inconstant creature but with him in whom there is no varying nor shadow of change, even the immutable God (James 1:17). If your happiness lay in your own hand, as in Adam’s, there would still be room to fear, but it is in the keeping of a faithful Creator. Christ has not bought you at so dear a price to trust you with yourself anymore. His love to you will not be as yours was on earth to him: seldom and cold, up and down, mixed with burning and quaking, with a good day and a bad. No, Christian, he would not be discouraged by your enmity, by your loathsome, hateful nature, by all your unwillingness, unkind neglect, and grudging resistance, will not cease to love you now that he has made you truly lovely. Indeed, you may be as confident as Paul was before you that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other creature, will be able to separate you from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38-39)” (39-40).

I strongly suspect that many of you need to go back and read that paragraph again, and yet again, and yet one more time. If you live in anxious uncertainty about the reality of God’s love for you, or perhaps you doubt that even it’s real it will likely dissipate and disappear, you should read Baxter’s words yet one more time and pray that the Spirit will imprint this truth indelibly on your heart.

1 Comment

These articles are awesome Sam. Such an encouragement, even for the weak and wobbly. Here is where it is so helpful to know that Jesus tasted death for everyone, and His desire is that everyone be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. Sadly, the teaching that some are born reprobate, with no *actual* hope of salvation, serves to undermine these wonderful promises.

Q: How can we know “if these arms have once embraced you” and we are not among those who will drift and depart from the faith?

A: See 1 John and 2nd Peter 1 for the biblical recipe for the assurance that these precious promises are indeed ours.

I love what Bunyan’s Pilgrim told the Interpreter after he was instructed by scenes of great encouragement and great warning:

“They put me in hope and fear.”

Baxter really brings the Hope here. I’ll bet he could also bring the fear, when needed!

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