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Eternal Security

Dr. Grant C. Richison

I. ARGUMENTS FOR ETERNAL SECURITY

1. God gives us eternal life at salvation, not temporal life (Ro 6:23; He 5:8, 9; 9:12).

Jn 6: 47Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

Jn 10: 27My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. 28And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

2. Greek tenses

  • Acts 16:31 – “shall be saved” is aorist tense (at one point in time, not at many points).???
  • Eph 2:8,9 – “are you saved” is perfect tense [perfect tense in the Greek, meaning that it happened at one point in the past with the results going on from that point – we are eternally saved at the point of salvation.
  • Jude 1 – “preserved in Christ Jesus” is in the perfect tense again.

3. God keeps our eternal salvation by His power (Jn 10:29; Ro 8:31, 32, 38, 39; 1 Pe 1:5).

Ro 8: 31What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

Ro 8: 38For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Pe 1:5who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

4. Our salvation rests on the promises of God, not on our belief (Jn 3:16, 36; 5:24).

Jn 5: 24Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

5. Jesus saves our lives by His life (Ro 5:9, 10).

Ro 5: 9Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

6. The immutability of God keeps our salvation (2 Ti 2:12, 13).

2 Ti 2: 12If we endure,

We shall also reign with Him.

If we deny Him,

He also will deny us.

13If we are faithless,

He remains faithful;

He cannot deny Himself.

7. It is our position in Jesus Christ that preserves our salvation (1 Pe 1:45; Ju 1).

Ju 1:1Jude, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ…

8. God keeps our salvation (Ju 24).

Jude 24-25, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Amen.”

One day we will be faultless and sinless; now we are blameless (free from censure by God because of Christ’s death for our sin).

9. Our position in Christ Jesus gives us eternal status with God (outer circle) (Ro 8:1; Ep 1:3; 2:6).

10. Jesus pleads our case as our Defense Attorney (He 7:25; 9:24; 1 Jn 2:1, 2; Jn 17).

He 7: 25Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

11. The Christian receives the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit at salvation (1 Co 6:19; Eph 2:22).

1 Co 6: 19Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?

12. The Holy Spirit puts the believer once and for all into the body of Christ at salvation (1 Co 12:13—this is aorist tense, at the one point of salvation).

1 Co 12: 13For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.

13. The Holy Spirit seals our salvation at the point of belief (Eph 1:13, 14; 4:30).

14. Once born spiritually, we cannot become unborn (Ga 3:26).Ga 3: 26For you are ?all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

15.  For God to be consistent with His character, He has to give us His absolute righteousness.  He cannot accept our temporal, relative righteousness into His heaven (Ro 3-5, 10).

Ro 3: 21But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

16. God guarantees that He will complete the work of salvation in us (Ph 1:6; He 12:2).

17.   Placement as an adult son guarantees our salvation (Ro 8:15, 16; Ga 4:4,5; Ep 1:3-5).

Ga 4: 4But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, 5to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.

18.    The causal nature of our justification (Ro 3-5)

Ro 4: 5But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies [cause to be right with God] the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7“Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

19.   Christ’s one or finished offering perfected us forever, He 10:14

He 10: 14For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.

II. WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR SALVATION?

It is the work of three persons:

1. The Father: The Father is able to keep us. He is sovereign and supreme. No power can rise against him: Romans 8:31-34, 38-39 (God lists every spiritual and natural enemy here; no enemy has enough power to attack our salvation).

The Father’s purpose:

Eph 1:4

He 2:10 = God’s avowed purpose to bring many sons to glory.

The Father’s power:

Jn 10:29; 1 Pe 1:5, God’s power to save and keep saved. 

Ro 8:31-39

The Father’s promise:

Jn 3:16; 5:24, Two-fold aspect: (1) shall not come to condemnation but (2) is passed from death to life, i.e., already passed from death to life. 

The Father’s love:

Ro 5:7-9 

2. Jesus Christ: John 10:27-28 (nothing [neuter] can pluck us out of his hand); Romans 4:25; 8:1; Ephesians 2:6; Hebrews 7:25; I John 2:1,2.

Ro 5:8; 8:1; He 5:8-9; 1 Jn 2:2, The provision of the Son as our sacrifice is a basis of our security.  He is our substitute for the penalty of our sins; we cannot be that substitute in any sense.

Ro 4:25; Ep 2:6, We are raised together [jointly] with Christ

Jn 17:11-16; He 7:25; 9:24; 1 Jn 2:1-2, Jesus’ work as advocate [lawyer] guarantees salvation because He always wins His case!

Jn 10:27-28, Jesus is able to keep His sheep so they “shall never perish” and “nothing [neuter] will be able to pluck them out of my hand.”  He is able to save us to the “uttermost” (He 7:25).

3. The Holy Spirit: The Holy Spirit seals our salvation: I Corinthians 6:19; 12:13; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30. God seals us unto the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30). No one can break that seal. The seal is a person–the Holy Spirit.

The indwelling of the Holy Spirit guarantees our salvation because it is permanent (1 Co 6:19; Ep 2:22).

The baptism of the Holy Spirit of the believer into the body of Christ guarantees our salvation because by that baptism God placed us into the body of Christ (1 Co 12:13).  Jesus “…might present her [the church] to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish” (Ep 5:27).

The sealing of the Holy Spirit guarantees our salvation because the Holy Spirit Himself is the seal (Ep 1:13, 14).  God placed His irremovable identifying mark upon every child of God.  This is God’s identifying brand whereby God certifies His ownership of each of us (2 Co 1:21-22; Ep 4:30).

III. DECLARATIONS OF SCRIPTURE

Note the declarations of Scripture about the guarantee of our salvation:

John 6:47, “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.” God gives eternal life, not spasmodic life or intermittent life.”

Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

God keeps our salvation until he comes back again.

2 Timothy 4:18, “And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory forever and ever. Amen!”

No question, no doubt, no equivocation but absolute assurance that God will preserve us for eternity.

Hebrews 5:9, “And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him.”

God gives eternal salvation, not temporal.

Hebrews 7:25, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

The finished work of Christ saves us from the penalty of sin but the unfinished work of Christ at the right hand of God is saving us from the power of sin.

Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. He will complete what he starts.

Jude 1, “To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ.”

God preserves us because of our association with Christ.

Jude 24-25, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,

To God our Savior,

Who alone is wise,

Be glory and majesty,

Dominion and power,

Both now and forever.

Amen.”

One day we will be faultless and sinless; now we are blameless (free from censure by God because of Christ’s death for our sin). 

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