Once Saved, Always Saved? pt. 2

You’re stuck with God and he’s stuck with you. When a child of God sins, God doesn’t kick her out of the family. Even for repeated sins. Even for deliberately repeated sins.

Antinomian! some will charge. You’re giving people license to sin!

Thanks for saying that. It makes me feel good. It means I’m on the right path. I’m getting the story that God is telling right.

[Here’s a real license to sin: it’s a copy of Tetzel‘s indulgence…]

tetzels-indulgence.jpg

Whaaaaat????!? The Apostle Paul went to great lengths to clearly explain the gospel: the book of Romans. For five chapters he explains and defends (from logic, nature, and the Old Testament) the doctrine of justification by grace through faith. Strictly on the ground of the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ and his resurrection.

Having explained this irresistably for five whole chapters, Paul then anticipates an objection to open chapter six:

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” Romans 6:1, NKJV.

From this, I infer that a correct teaching of the gospel and its implications should lead to a charge of antinomianism (lawlessness, licence to sin), which charge is immediately answered: “Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” Romans 6:2, NKJV.

Eternal Security is not about giving people permission to sin or to obtain “fire insurance” or to give false confidence. It is real confidence based on the character and promises of God that the biggest question of life (eternal destiny) has been answered once for all in the plan of God in salvation.hellfire22nu.jpg

Yesterday’s blog defined the doctrine of Eternal Security and distinguished it from Assurance and Perseverance.

Today’s entry outlines some scriptures that affirm the doctrine. Later this week, I will deal with a few of the Scriptures commonly raised as evidence against the doctrine.

I write this because I have a passion to strengthen, equip, and comfort you in your life with God. I want to lift the burden of salvation from off your shoulders, and put it all onto God’s. Through Christ. And the Spirit. Only God can bear even a fraction of that burden. Lay it all on him.

Now, let’s turn our attention to the positive evidence in Scripture for eternal security. There are so many passages, we cannot cover them all. I have organizee our scriptural defenses around four attributes of God: You cannot lose your salvation because of the grace of God; the power of God, the faithfulness of God, and the sovereignty of God. Each divine attribute supplies 3 reasons.

Reasons for Eternal Security

Reasons based on the Grace of God.

Because all my sins are fully paid for, even post-salvation sins.

  • Hebrews 10:12 “Jesus, when He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God.”
  • Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
  • John 1:29 “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.”
  • 1 John 2:1 “And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father: Jesus Christ the righteous.”

Because if my good works didn’t get me saved, they can’t be required to keep me saved.

  • Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, that no one should boast.”
  • Titus 3:5 “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy He saved us.”

Think about it: these two reasons alone should compel belief in Eternal Security. If a person could lose salvation, what conceivably could be the reason? Either too many sins, or not enough good works. That’s it. And our first two reasons knock those two out of the ball park.

Because as a Christian I have become a full partner in all that belongs to Christ. For God to unsave me, he would have to let go of Christ. All that belongs to Christ belongs to me, and if he lives, I too, shall live.

  • Hebrews 3:14 “For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end [what end? –the process of salvation].”
  • “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” 1 Corinthians 6:17, NKJV.
  • “and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Romans 8:17, NKJV.
  • Rom 8:16,17 & Galatians 4:7

Reasons based on the Power of God.

Because my security is now in God’s hands, not my own.

  • John 10:27-29 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”

Because salvation depends on God’s ability, not my ability or behavior.

  • Jude 24 “To Him who is able [has the power] to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy… [be praise].” (See the excellent original translation of this verse offered in the comments on yesterday’s blog.)

Because to unsave me, somebody would have to overpower God.

  • 1 Peter 1:5 “[You] who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
  • 2 Timothy 1:12 “…for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able [has the power] to keep [guard] what I have committed to Him [my life and soul] until that day.”

Reasons based on the Faithfulness of God.

Because God promised to save you to the end, and He can’t lie.

  • Phil 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.”
  • Titus 1:2 “In hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.
  • Heb 6:18 “…it is impossible for God to lie…”
  • Heb 7:24-25 Heb 10:14

Because God won’t dump his children.

  • Romans 8:16 “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.”
  • Hebrews 13:5 For “He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”
  • John 6:37 “Whoever comes to me, I will in no way cast out.”

Because God won’t withdraw his Spirit from you.

  • Hebrews 13:5 “For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
  • Eph 1:14 “[The Holy Spirit] who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession.”
  • Eph 1:13 “You are sealed until the day of redemption.”

Reasons based on the Sovereignty of God

Because my eternal future is now predetermined by God.

  • Rom 8:29-30 “For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.”

Because He has willed my salvation to last until the end.

  • 1 Cor 1:8,9 “He will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
  • 2 Tim 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!”
  • 2 Tim 1:12 “I am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day.”
  • 1 Peter 1:5, John 6:37

Because God overrules any being that tries to revoke my salvation.

  • Rev 12:10 “For the Accuser of the brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.”
  • Rom 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor 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.”

The great hymn, How Firm a Foundation, was published in 1787. President Andrew Jackson requested it be sung on his death bed. It was sung at the funeral service of his wife. And of Gen. Robert E. Lee. During a remarkable Christmas-eve cease-fire in the Civil war, both confederate and Yankee soldiers, from their foxholes, joined together in this familiar hymn.

I’m coming to a point: here is the final stanza of that hymn. Count the negatives (the denials…)

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

Have you ever come to Jesus? Then take him at his word:

jesus_and_children011.jpg““All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.” John 6:37, NKJV.

 

Salvation is not “I hope so.” It’s “I know so.” Have you received Jesus? Have you put your faith in him as your only hope? Then rest in his promises. Rest in his character. Rest in his finished work.

Extra verses for your encouragement:

“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” Numbers 23:19, KJV.
Ps 16:8 I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Ps 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the LORD upholds him with His hand.
Ps 62:2 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.
Ps 62:6 He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.
Ps 121:3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber.
1Sa 2:9 He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in darkness. “For by strength no man shall prevail.
“I know that whatever God does, It shall be forever. Nothing can be added to it, And nothing taken from it. God does it, that men should fear before Him.” Ecclesiastes 3:14, NKJV.
1Pe 1:5 who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

 

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5 thoughts on “Once Saved, Always Saved? pt. 2

  1. Not to stir up the pot, but since it is relevant to my current area of study, will you be working out a treatment of Hebrews 6 and other relevant texts from that letter in the plan of eternal security in a forthcoming post?

  2. the biggest question of life (eternal destiny)

    I would be really interested in why you make the above statement. It doesn’t seem to be a relevant question (“Where will I go when I die?”) to most of the people I interact with on a daily basis. Or, for that matter, our culture as a whole. (Upon reflection, it seems that it is less of an issue for people of my generation, perhaps it is more of an issue for previous generations.)

    Is there a biblical reason as to why you make this statement? Or is this statement a product of your observation of people? Or something else?

    It has been a source of confusion to me (we have been using terms differently), and I would love to gain some clarity…

    PS I finally figured out those references to Steve’s ‘Orthodoxy’ weren’t directed towards me!

  3. Sorry to burst your bubble, but the doctrine of once saved always saved simply isn’t true. God has enough grace to stop people from sinning. That’s real grace, not just forgiving repeatedly. My God is stronger than the devil. He can give all who want it the power to stop sinning. Can yours?

  4. Wow, Lisa… Yes, my God has enough grace to stop people from sinning too. He also allows his people free will, by which we sin. Maybe your God shut off free will? And my God is indeed stronger than the devil… yet the devil still runs pretty rampant in the world, doesn’t he.

    I guess my question is this: have you stopped sinning yet?

    My bubble remains unburst, resting in the efficacy of Christ my Savior and the JUSTICE of God that forgives me again and again.

    “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” 1 John 2:1, NKJV.

    Bill

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