God does not desire nor does He delight in the eternal damnation of the wicked. He has given all of us a free will to chose our own actions and behaviors, but in this verse God is imploring us to reconsider our choices…and sadly, the consequences that come along with them.
The Holy Spirit is God’s pledge, providing Believers with the assurance of eternal life. In legal terms, the Holy Spirit is like a down payment or earnest money that secures a claim to something…like when we’re buying a car or a house. For when we put our faith and trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within…thus sealing us for eternity through the redemptive work of the Lord.
God’s gracious gift of salvation is for everyone…for He wants all to be saved.( I Timothy 2:4) But we shouldn’t take His slowness in judgement as a sign of weakness, indecision, or wavering…but rather as long-suffering. For it’s only by God’s kindness, tolerance, and patience is He willing to give all of us the time to change our minds and repent.
There’s nothing like a fresh, hot loaf of homemade bread just out of the oven. The wonderful smell fills the kitchen and my husband is usually there waiting patiently…butter knife in hand. But what happens to that homemade bread in a few days? What satisfies our hunger for a few days suddenly becomes moldy and uneatable. And that’s the biggest difference between natural and spiritual bread. Natural bread has a short shelf-life…but spiritual bread is eternal. Natural bread will never totally fill you up…you’ll keep getting hungry, while spiritual bread lasts forever. That’s why Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)
This new life that Paul speaks of – is taking off the old and putting on our new self. But for many of us, this is a painful, almost impossible struggle. For when doubt and fear have our minds so conditioned, anything that’s new or requires us to be bold, will be met with resistance. We want to change, but fear has us so bound up – we can’t. And so we wrestle with God. But wrestling with God is a good thing. For God isn’t our opponent, it’s rather our old self and fear we’re battling against . And as long as we continue to grapple with God, we’re still engaged and interacting with Him…and hopefully listening along the way. In Genesis 32:28, after Jacob and the Lord had wrestled all night, God gave Jacob a new name. And God has a new name for you too, but it involves the renewing of your mind. It means taking on a new self-perception of who you are in Christ…and then accepting that daily restoration of your inner strength…so that you may be victorious over doubt and fear.