In these bulletin articles, we’ve been going through a list of questions and answers contained in the Westminster Larger Catechism, published in the 17th Century. We’ve previously learnt that a Christian cannot fall away from Christ because of the love of God, the promises of God and the union Christians have with Christ. Why else does a Christian continue to trust in God?
Christians are safe in God’s hands because of Christ’s continual intercession for them.
The Scriptures regularly teach that Jesus pleads to God for his people. While Jesus was on earth, we see instances of Christ’s prayers for his disciples. For example, in Luke’s gospel, Jesus speaks of his intercession for the apostle Peter: ‘Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers’ (Luke 22:31-32). Why will Peter continue to trust in God? Because Jesus prayed for him.
The apostle John also records one of Christ’s prayer for his disciples. Just before Jesus was arrested, Jesus prayed: ‘20 I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. 24 “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world’ (John 17:20-24).
And Jesus didn’t stop praying for his people after he left earth. The author of Hebrews tells us that one of the reasons Jesus went into heaven is to intercede for Christians before God: ‘For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with human hands that was only a copy of the true one; he entered heaven itself, now to appear for us in God’s presence’ (Hebrews 9:24). Similarly, the author of Hebrews says elsewhere: ‘…because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them’ (Hebrews 7:24-25). Notice what such intercession brings – ‘complete’ salvation. If Jesus is always living to intercede for Christians, then they will always have salvation.
Likewise, the apostle Paul reminds us that if Christ is interceding for Christians, no one can make accusations that would lead to Christians being removed from God’s presence. We read: ‘33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died–more than that, who was raised to life–is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us’ (Romans 8:33-34).
So do you trust in Jesus? If you do, that means Christ intercedes for you and you can never fall away from him. Your salvation is secure.