My wife and I often joke that aside from our commitment to God and love for one another, a third reason we will never get divorced is because we don’t want to enter the dating scene ever again. Dating is just the worst, isn’t it? The uncertainty. The awkwardness. The mystery sounds fun, but ultimately it’s stressful and sometimes overwhelming.
The Bible teaches that God protects and seals those He saves (John 10; Ephesians 1). This means God isn’t like your high school ex-girlfriend, who you could never quite figure out—that girl who threatened to break up with you every time you got into a little tiff, and then played you against other guys to make you jealous and manipulate your behavior. If God has set His love on you, literally nothing can separate you from Him (Romans 8:31-38).
Our passage today doesn’t contradict that truth. Rather, Paul is telling the Corinthians their salvation is so secure that they can judge for themselves if it’s real. It’s not a mystery or a fleeting thing. Those who love Christ are transformed and made more like Him by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 12:1–2; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Galatians 5:22-23).
If we are becoming more like Christ, even if slowly and painfully, we can have confidence that the Spirit is at work in us. If we fail miserably, we know that God’s grace is not dependent upon our works, but on Christ crucified. The great mystery of salvation is that we are sinful, yet forgiven; we are imperfect, yet growing more and more into Christ’s perfect image through the work of the Holy Spirit.
Paul encourages the Corinthian believers to test their faith, to see to it that they keep becoming more mature. We are all weak, but God’s power works through us. He will never let us go. This truth helps us to both press into His love and push away sin. And it’s only by the power of the Holy Spirit that we can do either one.
May we rejoice in the work of Christ, both in our own hearts and in the world. And may we continue to mature and grow in our faith, doing what is right in His eyes and for the truth of His gospel (2 Corinthians 13:11,8).
Written by Brandon D. Smith