The Grace of God Teaches Us
[Does the belief in the assuranced security of the born-again believer lead to carelessness and lack of spiritual power? Some believe so, but…]
…The fact is, the charge that teaching eternal security leads to carelessness in Christian living is a direct contradiction of God’s word. Many of the strongest appeals in the Bible for a pure, holy, righteous and godly life are based on statements which definitely teach the eternal security of the believer…
God does not, as is the popular conception, make righteous living the condition for eternal life and glory with Him. That, as has already been shown, is a matter of pure grace [Eph. 2:8,9; Rom 4:5]. It is the fact of eternal life and assurance of glory and all that these include that is the incentive to holy living. It is what God has already done through the operation of his sovereign grace. It is the doctrines of the grace of God which have been shown to demand the doctrine of eternal security upon which God rests His appeal for practical righteousness. Men who teach against eternal security do not fully understand these doctrines and therefore cannot appeal to holiness on God’s own basis.
It is not God’s holiness nor His righteousness; it is not the law, nor is it the threat of condemnation (being lost) that teaches Christians to live soberly, righteously and godly. It is His grace that does so. Paul wrote to Titus giving instructions as to what he should teach as rules of conduct. Then he gave the reason in these words:
“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:11,12).
[Notice how the challenge in Romans 12:1,2 follows the chapters that expound God’s grace in salvation: “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”]
Thus, those who limit the grace of God by denying the eternal security of the believer, limit that which God says teaches godly living; while those who magnify His grace are teaching that which God says teaches believers how to live lives that please Him.
It is important to be guided, not by what man’s judgment or conclusions teach, but by that which God’s word reveals.
The Love of Christ Compels Us
As the grace of God teaches how to live as children of God ought to live, so it is the love of Christ that compels the saved one so to live. Paul says “For Christ’s love compels us” (2 Cor. 5:14 NIV). Therefore, fear of the wrath of God (being lost) cannot be the dynamic of holy and righteous living. Neither can it be said that it is the righteousness or holiness of God that is the compelling influence.
[Isaace Watts’ hymn says this well:
“Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”] 
It is that love that was expressed when Christ died and rose again. It was through that death and resurrection that all old things passed away, yes even the curse and the condemnation of the law, and the believer became a new creature in Christ that cannot die [2 Cor. 5:17; John 5:24]. It is that love of God which He manifested when he was in Christ on the cross, reconciling the world to Himself (2 Cor. 5:15-19). It is that love of God from which the believer cannot be separated [Rom. 8:28-39], and which guarantees the eternal security of everyone that has become the object of it.
If Paul’s statement is true, then to proclaim that love, to magnify it, to call attention to its eternal and unchanging nature is to open the hearts and lives of Christians for that which compels them to be what God would have them be.
[“The LORD has appeared of old to me, saying:
‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you'”- Jer. 31:3.]
On the other hand, to deny the unbroken flow of this love, by saying that one who has been the object of it can be lost, is to hinder God’s own dynamic from operating in the life of the saved one.
This is undoubtedly the greatest charge that can be brought against the teaching that those whom God through infinite love, expressed in the death of His Son, has saved, can be lost.
It is grace that teaches and the love of Christ that compels believers to live as God would have them live. The need of the Church today is a clear teaching of this.
“Grace Teaches–Love Compels” is from chapter 18 of the book, Shall Never Perish, by J. F. Strombeck. Language style revised by Ian Green (1992). Originally published in Philadelphia: American Bible Conference Association, c. 1936. Edited by J. B. W. with NKJV quotations; bracketed content and italics added.
 From “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” Isaac Watts (1707).
For further teaching on this topic see the book, Blessed Reassurance: Finding Security in Christ (by GraceNotebook editor, John Woodward)
Bible quotations from the New King James Version (c) 1979 by Thomas Nelson Inc.