One of the next areas of Soteriology (the Doctrine of Salvation) where man tries to have a say in it is whether or not one can stay saved (or, on the converse, whether one can lose his salvation). You will hear ideas such as, “Yes, Jesus will never leave you nor forsake you, but you can choose to leave Him.” What? How does that make sense? So if I’m understanding this, if the Holy Spirit has taken up residence in your life, you can just boot Him out as you see fit? Who is God in this here scenario?
We saw these last two weeks that Jesus can only do the will of the Father. As such, our salvation is eternally secure because not only do those whom the Father gives Jesus He will not lose, but the work of Jesus on the cross was predestined as well:
- Acts 4:27-28 “For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur.”
- Peter 1: 18-21 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. For He was foreknown before the foundation of the world, but has appeared in these last times for the sake of you who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.
Before God created the universe, He knew man would sin and He determined to send Jesus to be the propitiation for our sins by His death on the cross. That is mindboggling.
When you are “in Christ” you are eternally saved as if you were never lost. It’s hard to imagine or conceive, but that is how God views you, because when you are “in Christ”, you are as saved as Christ is saved, and since He can only do the will of the Father, that salvation will never be lost or discarded. And someday, when you are in Glory with an incorruptible body and a new, perfect heart, you will also be as righteousness as He is:
- Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
So now, this is another theological aspect that guarantees your salvation is secure and can never be lost. This is part of Double Imputation. When you got saved, your sin was imputed onto Christ (He took it upon Himself on the cross). But you see, that imputation alone cannot save you. You would still be unrighteous even though Jesus took your sin. As such, God imputes unto you His righteousness which makes you acceptable to Him. When God sees us, He sees Jesus in us (there we have it again, “in Christ”). You have imputed your sin to Jesus on the cross, and God has imputed His righteousness onto you, hence you are not able to discard what God has put inside of you or else you would be God!
- “If you could lose your salvation, you would.”—John MacArthur
So, let us recap:
- As Acts 13:48 says, “as many as had been appointed to eternal life believed,”—Your salvation was eternally determined by God and God alone.
- Jesus was appointed before all of Creation to die for your sins and to keep you secure once you’re saved.
- You are not God, therefore, you cannot lose God’s permanently ordained salvation which is sealed by the Holy Spirit.
- Ephesians 1:11-14 In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory. (ESV)
Remember on Sunday I discussed how your salvation is sealed by the Holy Spirit? Referring to this passage, Voddie Baucham says:
- “I love the way the King James uses this word ‘earnest’ [see Verse 14 “guarantee”]. We still use that word, where you give an earnest money contract; same concept. What is an earnest money contract? You come to a piece of property and you say, ‘I intend to buy this piece of property. Here is a contract and a check. The check is my earnest money. If you sign the other part of this contract, this check is yours and it’s symbolic of the rest of the money that I will bring with me at closing. If I do not bring the rest of the money with me at closing, you get to keep your property and my earnest money.’ What does God put up as earnest money on your salvation? The Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. Which means if He doesn’t show up on closing day, He loses the Third Person of the Trinity, which means the only way you can stop being a Christian is if He stops being God.”
Hence, if you are truly saved, are indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and bear the fruit of repentance (see the Baptist Faith & Message 2000 http://www.sbc.net/bfm2000/bfm2000.aspunder V. God’s Purpose of Grace, second paragraph), then your salvation was eternally (past, present, and future) determined and eternally (past, present, and future) secured. That is some of the best news you will ever hear from the Bible!
- Have you ever doubted your salvation? _________________________
- In what ways does this doctrinal truth of Eternal Security comfort you? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- If you could lose your salvation, if God couldn’t secure and protect you, then what would that say about God? _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
- And, if God would allow you to lose your salvation, what kind of love would that be? ______________________________________________________________________________________________________
- Faith for salvation is based on our faith that God is in fact God. If He isn’t powerful enough to raise Jesus up from the dead, to permanently eradicate sin, to send Satan into the Lake of Fire for eternal punishment, then why even hope in Him? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
But, since we can trust Him fully for our salvation, reflect on these verses:
- John 10:27-29 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will 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 the Father’s hand.
- Romans 11:29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.
- Romans 8:38-39 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Jude 1:24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy,
- Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
- Lastly, do a Concordance search for “in Christ” and “in Him” (when referring to salvation), and reflect how your position in Christ (see Galatians 2:20) changes everything about your life: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Today I am providing just a few informative resources on Eternal Security from some quality sources. I could provide an almost endless array of materials, so I limited this to just three for today that you can review at your own leisure:
- I have referred to Southern Baptist Theological Seminary’s Abstract of Principles which constitutes one of the oldest Southern Baptist doctrinal statements in existence today. John Broadus, who helped found Southern Seminary, was its second president, and contributed to the Abstract of Principles, wrote the following letter about salvation (and notice his discussion of Eternal Security near the end, though he doesn’t refer to it by this name): https://equip.sbts.edu/publications/towers/towers-issue/2016/september-2016-2016/john-broadus-on-the-salvation-of-sinners/
- Phil Johnson is an elder at Grace Community Church in California, serves as editor to John MacArthur, and runs The Spurgeon Archive (https://www.spurgeon.org/). He is an excellent preacher, and you can read or listen to his message on Eternal Security from the Book of Psalms: https://www.thegracelifepulpit.com/sermons.aspx?code=2013-03-24-PJ
- The late R.C. Sproul has a teaching series on this topic that is very good (he was a master of taking complex theological issues and simplifying them so that they were logical and easy to comprehend). https://www.ligonier.org/learn/series/eternal_security/