“Who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
Now we come to God’s layaway plan. God lays our inheritance of heaven away with his guarantee that we will receive it. 1 Peter 1:5 is one of the most significant verses in the Bible on the full assurance of faith.
Who are kept
The word “guard” is a military term meaning to keep by guarding, to guard with a garrison.
Plutarch, in his Plutarch Lives, tells the story of an insurrection of gladiators. These gladiators devastated Italy in the War of Spartacus. Lentulus Batiatus had a school of gladiators at Capua (most were Gauls and Thracians). He kept them in confinement reserved for gladiatorial combat. Seventy-eight gladiators escaped. On the road, they seized a wagon carrying gladiators’ weapons to another city. They elected three leaders, one of whom was Spartacus.
In the beginning, the gladiators repelled the soldiers and took their weapons. Then the Roman government sent General Clodius against them with 3000 soldiers. He laid siege to them on a hill which had but one descent, and that a narrow and difficult one. Plutarch says Clodius closely “watched” the descent. This is our term in this verse. It means to throw a military garrison around. God throws the military garrison of his power around our salvation.
The tense indicates that God continuously guards the Christian’s salvation. We can never lose our salvation because God keeps it under guard. God throws the garrison of his person around the believer. God guards us throughout our earthly pilgrimage. There is never a moment when God does not defend our inheritance. God always keeps those he saves. We can never lose our salvation. If we are a Christian, we are eternally secure:
The onus for keeping our salvation is upon God.
To many Christians, the Christian life has no solid foundation. It is like a man sitting at his desk on the 70th floor of a recently constructed building. After moving into the building for a short time, a light falls upon his desk. He does not call the architect to examine the foundation of the building. He examines the fixture to find if there is a flaw. Unfortunately, many Christians do not investigate the immediate cause when they sin. They examine the foundation of their faith. “Am I saved? Has God forsaken me?”
The issue is not the foundation (salvation) but the immediate cause (our sin). If we have violated God’s holiness, then God expects confession of that sin (1 John 1:9).
What about the foundation? How can a person know he is eternally secure with God? The subsequent studies on this verse will answer those questions.
If our salvation is one hundred percent secure, then why does hebrews 6:4-8. Declare that it is impossible to renew them back to the faith, once fallen away, IF IT WASNT possible. ??
The book of Hebrews is addressed to Christians, not non-Christians. Christians were in danger of reverting back into Judaism. If they did this, they would stunt their maturity. The last half of chapter five shows this is the subject. The “therefore” at 6:1 indicates continuation of that subject. The phrase “this we will do” refers to leaving the ABCs of the Christian life and going on to maturity.
What about the unforgivable sin?
Kim, the unpardonable sin could only be committed during the time of Christ. The sin was to attribute the work/miracles of Christ to the work of Satan. That sin cannot be committed today.
There is a principle whereby a person cannot have eternal life and that is to reject the finished work of Christ on the cross for their sin.
Thank you. This has worried me for soo long. I feel the presence of God all the time and I could never explain it. The only explination I can come up with is that I am being kept by his power.
RE:Hebrews 6 – ” If they did this, they would stunt their maturity…”
I’m not sure this is a reasonable conclusion to make about the text. Hebrews 6v5-6 says it is impossible to restore them again to ‘repentance’. Repentance isn’t a matter of maturity, surely, but of salvation?
“they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.
Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.”
Doesn’t sound like a discussion about maturity to me? “It’s end is to be burned”, “worthless”, “near to being cursed”.
Does this text not clarify itself when it says “We feel sure of better things… things that belong to salvation”?
Sorry, I didn’t intend to jump in, but I don’t feel that’s close to even an honest discussion of Hebrews 6, let alone a valid explanation.
Anyway, my question on 1 Peter 1:5 (the reason I found this post) I was looking at the difference between the ESV translation:
“who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
and the NLT:
“And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.”
I wonder if you had any thoughts (regardless of your theology on the matter) as to which is a more faithful translation of the Greek?
Adam,note a number of issues about “maturity” in Hebrews.
1. The context of Heb 6 begins in chapter five where the author begins the discussion of maturity–note contrast between milk of the Word verses eating solid food from the Word.
2. The word “therefore” in 6:1 is inferential showing that the author is continuing the discussion of chapter 5 (maturity) in the faith.
3. The first verse talks about moving on from the ABCs of the faith in order to move on to maturity in the faith.
4. Verse 3 says “this we will do.” The antecedent of “this” is maturity in verse one.
5. The word “for” in verse 4 explains going on to maturity.
6. “Repentance” is often used of the Christian life as well as initial salvation in the NT
7. “Salvation” is often used of the Christian life as well as for initial salvation. The context determines which is the best use.
8. The key phrase in Hebrews is “better than.” The argument is that Jesus is the anti-type so He is better than the types. The OT offerings were ongoing whereas the sacrifice of Christ was once for all. To go back to the OT sacrifices will violate the finished work of Christ. That is the issue of Hebrews 6:4ff, i.e., there is no restoration if a Christian reverts to the OT sacrifices.
9. This is a difficult passage where there are over 60 interpretations–to base a doctrine of Scripture on a highly debated passage would be a mistake.
Regarding your question about translation, the words “being guarded” is an articular present passive participle indicating that God is in the business of contently guarding our salvation. Present in the Greek in ongoing. Passive means that the subject receives the action by another. Participle indicates that it is ongoing.
There are many scriptures that talks about falling away from your faith and warning us that we can lose our salvation. I think that we need to be careful to tell someone that we can’t lose our salvation. Your right God protects our salvation but that is only if we want it. We can chose to leave Christ behind even after we have accepted him and lose our salvation. Its our heart and our choice. We can lose it if we chose it. But if we are obedient to God’s word and have faith in Christ as our Lord it can never be stolen from us.
Lanny, there is no adequate Scripture that indicates people can lose their salvation.
Obedience is no condition of salvation–it is by grace alone, by faith alone. If it is a matter of our obedience then it is a works salvation.
Thank-you for expounding on the term "guard." This passage has become very meaningful to me, knowing we have a treasure that cannot be corrupted. All one has to do is live in this world long enough to really appreciate how special that is. There is nothing in this world that isn't corrupt.
Although salvation is eternal, we must continue on in our Christian walk.. Saul was anointed to be king by the command of God. But look at his end. He did not obey the word of God. Although, I am not dealing with the word salvation concerning him, this lets us know you can lose out of the things God has for you. To maintain out salvation we must maintain our walk with the Lord. One must continue to walk worthy of the walk. Paul tells us in Timothy, the Lord knows those that are his and let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity. Salvation is eternal because God is eternal, but people can and have chosen to leave and walk away from .their salvation. If we say we are saved our lives must reflect that every day, for he that endures to the end the same shall be saved.
People tend to use the 'once saved always saved' to revel in sin and iniquity. So if this statement is made, it must be understood that one must continue in their salvation.
Carol, thanks for your blog.
It is always dangerous to use illustrations, even from the Old Testament, to establish biblical truth. It is better to take didactic, specific statements from Scripture about the topic. For example, I could argue that David was saved eternally after he committed murder and adultery. He wrote two Psalms after those sins.
I suggest that you study all of Jude 24 beginning here: http://versebyversecommentary.com/jude/jude-24a/
The central problem with maintaining salvation by one's life is that it ends in justification by works.
Especially note 24c: http://versebyversecommentary.com/jude/jude-24c/
It is unbalanced to form a docttinal position based on one line of logic to the exclusion of other verses in God’s Word. If God is anything, He is balanced. “My thoughts are not your thoughts neither are my ways your ways, saith the Lord”. So, consider 1 Corinthians 5:1-5. This was a man living in an incestous relationship with his stepmother, IN THE CHURCH!! Now, pay very, very close attention to verse five…why is this man “cast out”? “That the soul may be SAVED in the day of the Lord Jesus”. What is this saying? Exactly what it is saying! There is such abundant and overwhelming statements in God’s Word to support eternal security one must give pause and weigh carefully the entire course of the conversation/writing/subject to draw a conclusion. To say the blood of Christ cannot secure one’s salvation is, for me, the pinnacle of arrogance based on “me”, works. Godspeed:
Another thought, we are kept, “garrisoned, guarded” by whose power in 1Peter 1:5? God’s? Refer to 2Kings 19:35. One night, one angel and 185,000 soldiers killed! You have more than angels guarding you!!! You have the Creator’s personal attention. All I can do is bow before Him in awe, adoration and worship. None are worthy, yet He is faithful! Godspeed,
James, yes, God is the subject of the guarding.
James, that believer was a believer who should have been cast out of the church. In fact, Paul repimanded the church for not letting him back into the fellowship of the church in 2 Co 7. He was obviously a Christian.
James, read my commentary on 1 Co 5.
Grant, can you comment on "through faith" in 1 Peter 1:5? This seems to imply that faith must remain present in order to be kept by God's power. If faith is no longer present, are we no longer kept by God's power?
Ed, there is no intrinsic value in "faith." The value of faith is in the object of what it believes. Faith does not save us but what we place our faith in.
I got stumped by the words, “who by God’s power are being guarded through faith…” [1 Peter 1:5 ESV]
My question is this: is God’s guarding a believer conditional? I personally know of a dear sister in Christ Who died in a violent manner, so is 1 Peter 1:5 not applicable to her? I have always taken this verse, along with other verses, to mean also that God’s power is able to guard His children from harm, let alone, a violent death, a statistic, a prey to sadistic criminals, a victim of heinous crimes; I am just devastated that such a grievous tragedy can happen to one of God’s children.
TJ, I am in India right now and cannot respond until I get back.
TJ, the guarding here has to do with our eternal life and not our temporal life.