What the Bible Teaches About Eternal Security

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INTRODUCTION

  • Insecurity is a terrible thing.
    • Terrible if you don’t feel safe and secure in your house at night.
    • Terrible if you don’t feel secure and loved in your family.
    • Terrible if you don’t feel safe and secure in who you are before God.
  • I remember as a child dealing with very strong feelings of insecurity at school and church. I was very shy and very quiet and consumed with the idea that I was not good enough and did not measure up.
  • But, two things sustained me in this years of great insecurity…
    • 1) The unfailing love of my mum and my dad – I always knew that they loved me, cared for me, and accepted me.
    • 2) The unfailing love of God – even stronger than the love my parents, I found in Scripture such wonderful promises and affirmations of God’s love for me that gave me a confidence and certainty that sustained me through my social awkwardness, shyness, fears, and insecurities.
  • Sadly, so many people have no or very little assurance that they have eternal life, that they are full accepted in God’s love, and that when they die they know they will go straight into the arms of Jesus.
  • For others who do have this assurance, it may be based only on feelings and not on anything substantial, anything that has real truth and authenticity behind it – it is just a feeling, a false assurance.
  • Today, we are going to look at what the Bible says eternal security (or better put, “eternal salvation”), how we can obtain it, and the difference it will make in our lives.

DEFINITION

Eternal security is the truth that everyone who believes on Jesus Christ

  • is given the gift of eternal life which can never been taken away.
  • cannot be taken out of God’s hand by anyone.
  • can never be separated from the love of God by anything.
  • is kept by the power of God.

KEY PASSAGES

This is based on several crucial passages of Scripture.

1) John 5:16-24

  • Jesus made claims here that He was equal to God. (v.18)
  • v.17 He calls God His Father.
  • v.19 He does what He sees the Father do.
  • v.20 He is shown everything the Father does.
  • v.21 He can raise the dead just the Father can.
  • v.22 He has been all judgment from the Father.
  • v.23 He is to be honoured just as men honour the Father.
  • v.24 The verse that talks about what Jesus does for those who hear His word and believe on God who sent the Son.
    John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

    • They have everlasting life – life that continues forever is immediately given to those who hear Jesus’ message and believe.
      • Notice the word “hath” – this is past tense
      • Once we believe, the giving of everlasting life is a done deal.
      • Everlasting life is not something we have to work for or something that we are given if we live good and our good outweighs our bad.
    • They shall not come into condemnation – there will never been a time that those who believe on Jesus will come into condemnation (judgment).
      • The idea here is a legal decision that is made the moment we believe on Jesus.
      • The moment we trust in Christ, we are justified (declared righteous). Romans 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
      • And once declared righteous, we will never stand trial again (come into condemnation).
    • They are passed from death to life.
      • “hath everlasting life” – given in the PAST
      • “shall not come into condemnation” – FUTURE confidence
      • “is passed from death until life” – PRESENT condition
      • The present standing of every believer on Christ is that He is already passed from death to life.
        • He/she is “dead to sin” and “alive to God”
        • He/she is forever united to Christ and therefore considered “seated in heavenly places” in Christ.
        • Ephesians 2:4-5 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

2) John 10:7-13,24-31

  • v.7 Jesus stated that He is the door of the sheep – the only way in.
  • v.8 The leaders in Israel who disagreed with Jesus are thieves and robbers, hurting the sheep, leading them astray, destroying the sheep.
  • v.9 Jesus is the only way to be saved and satisfied.
  • v.10 Contrary to the thief who desire to steal, kill, and destroy, Jesus comes so that we might have life and have it more abundantly.
  • v.11 The way He saved us is by giving His life for us.
  • v.12 Others rather than saving the sheep, seeking to use the sheep to save themselves.
  • v.13 This very fact shows they are not the true shepherd.
  • v.19 These statements of Jesus caused controversy and division among the leaders of Israel.
  • v.24 Then they come again and ask him are you really the Christ, the Messiah, the chosen one from God.
  • v.25 Jesus says, that is what I have been saying and what all my works have been showing.
  • v.26 Even though, I do all these things, you still don’t believe because clearly you are not my sheep, in my fold.
  • v.27 Those who are my sheep hear my voice (they listen to me), and I know them (as I result I know them and bring them into my folks), and they follow me.

27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.

  • v.28 To those who listen to me and believe on me…
    • I give unto them eternal life – my gift is life the never ends (If you will believe on me now this can be your gift).
    • They shall never perish – there will never come a time that they will be lost or destroyed
    • They will not be plucked out of my hand – no one, no matter how strong or how forcefully, or how determined will ever steal them away from me, they are in my hand, I have got them.
  • v.29 As if to emphasise this point to the greatest degree, He goes on to say…
    • My Father, who gave them to me (He saved them in the first place)
    • My Father, is greater than all (the Great God of Heaven)
    • No one will pluck (snatch, pull) them out of my Father’s hand
  • v.30 I am my Father are one – to be in my hand, is to be in His hand
  • v.31 And those false shepherds grew angry again at being upstaged but such blatant claims and they wanted to kill Him

3) Romans 8:1,11-16, 30-39

  • v.1 Begins by letting us know there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who do walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.
  • The theme of this chapter is the work that the Spirit does to help us live out our new lives.
  • v.11 The Spirit of God makes us alive spiritually and will one day make even our dead bodies alive physically.
  • v.13 The Spirit helps us to put to death the works of the flesh.
  • v.14-15 The Spirit leads us and and assures us that we are the son of God, letting us know that we can call to our Father.
  • v.16 The Holy Spirit speak to us through the Word of God letting us know we are the children of God.
  • v.30 After discussing the work the Holy Spirit does to change us, we are reminded that God is going to glorify all who justifies.
  • v.31 God is for us, so no one can be against us.
  • v.32 His great love is shown in the fact that He did not spare His own Son.
  • v.33 No on can lay a charge to us, because is the one who justified us.
    • Satan may accuse us. Revelation 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.
    • Our sins may accuse us. 1 John 2:1–2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    • Our hears might condemn us. 1 John 3:19–21 And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 20 For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God.
    • God is greater than all voices of accusation; He voice is the only one that matters. If He justified us, then certainly He is not going to condemn us or deny us.
      • He will not go back on His Word. 2 Tim 2:10-13 Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. 11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: 12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
      • He cannot lie. Eternal life is a promise of God, and He takes it away from us, then He has lied and that is something that God cannot do. Titus 1:1-2 Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness; 2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
  • v.34 The only One who could condemn us (God) will not because God the Son, Jesus Christ is the One who died and rose again and is now making intercession for us.
  • v.35-39 Nothing and no one will separate us from the love of Christ.
  • v.39 God’s love is extended to us through Christ Jesus. We are loved in Christ. And in Christ, we are as secure as Christ is secure. We are forever united to Christ and therefore we will always be accepted and never condemned!

4) 1 Peter 1:1-11

  • v.1 Peter is writing to “strangers” (sojourners, temporary residents) of all the places where they live.
  • v.2 These are believers (“elect” – those who have become the chosen through believing on Jesus).
  • v.2 This choosing is based on God’s foreknowledge (God’s plan to save all who will believe on Christ).
  • v.2 This happens when the Spirit works in hearts and men obey and believe the gospel and have their sins cleansed by the blood of Jesus.
  • v.3 Praise God who in accordance with His abundant mercy has begotten us (birthed us again, new birth) to a “lively” (living) hope by the resurrection of Jesus – the fact that Jesus Christ rose again from the dead give us the confidence exception that what we have is real, that we will rise again, and that nothing, not even death will thwart God’s plan.
  • v.4 Our inheritance in Christ is certain – notice the following words:
    • Incorruptible – it cannot perish, will not break down or corrupt (same word used to describe God who is incorruptible or immortal (Rom 1:23, 1 Tim 1:17) (Our inheritance cannot be corrupted)
    • Undefiled – free from stain or blemish, pure (there is no impurity in our inheritance)
    • Fadeth not away – It will never lose it’s quality or beauty
    • Reserved in heaven for you – this inheritance is ours and it is reserved/guarded/kept for us (it will never tarnish, it is spotless, it will never lose its beauty, and it is reserved for us)
  • v.5 The power that keeps us and keeps our inheritances and our salvation is not us – Praise God!
    • We are kept by the power of God – the same God who saves us is the same God who keeps us (protects us and our salvation)
    • Jude 24-25 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, 25 to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
    • When we believe on God, He keeps us unto salvation (deliverance) that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
  • v.6 This ought to give is great joy even though we go through serious and many trials and troubles.
  • v.7 One day Jesus is going to return and we will realise it was worth it all.
  • v.8-11 We are trusting in this salvation that ultimately takes us out of this world and into God’s presence for ever.

WHAT THIS MEANS FOR US

1) The salvation God provides is eternal.

  • God gave Jesus so that those who believe on Him will never perish.
  • John 3:16  16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

2) Those who believe on Jesus are born into God’s family which is an irreversible position and change.

  • John 1:12–13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
  • Will never be cast out. John 6:37–39 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
  • He who started the work in us will complete it. Philippians 1:6  6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:

3) Our security is not based on our performance or our perfect living but upon

  • A. The sure promises of God to save all who believe on Jesus.
    • Acts 16:31  31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 
    • Matthew 1:21  21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
  • B. The work God does when He redeems us. He justified us (declares us righteous), redeems us (sets us free by paying the price), propitiation (satisfies God’s righteous demands for our sins), and reconciles us (no more enemies of God).
  • C. The terms of our salvation – faith alone. Ephesians 2:8–9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
  • D. The changes that salvation makes – there are real changes that come when we believe on Christ. (1 John 5:1-13)
    • v.13 The things that are written are so that those who believe may know that they have eternal life and so that they would keep believing and greater faith (assurance) in the name of the Son of God.
    • What are these things that are written that give us assurance?
      • 1) All the is necessary is to believe Jesus is the Christ, the chosen one of God, the Saviour (v.1)
      • 2) Those who have believed will love God (v.1)
      • 3) They will also love the children of God (v.2)
      • 4) They will have a new desire, power, and delight in the commands of God (v.2-3)
      • 5) They are have met the one requirement – faith in God’s chosen one Jesus (v.4-5)
      • 6) They have the Spirit bearing witness in their heart (v.6) – changing them, stirring them up, speaking to them.
      • 7) The message the Spirit gives us is found in God’s Word is is greater than any man’s message – God gave His son, in the Son we have eternal life, if we have the Son we have life, if we have not the Son we have not life (v.7-12).
    • So have you believed on Jesus as the Christ, the chosen one of God, sent into this world to die for you and who rose again?
    • Do you love God and do you love Jesus?
    • Do you love the children of God, the people of God, Christians?
    • Do you desire to do and delight in the commands of God?
    • Do you have the Spirit in you changing you, empowering you?
    • Have you obeying the message of God?
  • Then rest in that assurance. Find the joy that comes from full assurance. Rest in the security that you have not because you are good person but because Christ is good, Christ has saved you, God has promised, and it is obvious that the Holy Spirit is changing.
  • If you have not believed. If you don’t see a change. If you don’t exhibit any characteristics of being in God’s family, then believe on Christ today.
  • The only way to get in the family is to believe on Jesus. Trust in Him completely and He will save you and change you and give you everlasting life. And you will have the assurance of eternal life as well.

BUILT TO STAND

George W. Boschke was the famous engineer who built the gigantic sea wall to protect Galveston, Texas, from the horrible floods which had brought disaster to the city. He built his sea wall with a sure confidence of a thoroughgoing engineer and master workman. From Galveston he went to Oregon to build railroads in an undeveloped section of the state. Boschke was in a camp forty miles away from the nearest railroad when an exhausted messenger rode in and handed a telegram to his assistant. The message said that the Galveston sea wall had been washed away by a second furious hurricane. The assistant was in consternation and dreaded to hand the telegram to his chief. Boschke read the telegram, smiled, handed it back and said, “This telegram is a black lie. I built that wall to stand.”

He turned away and went about his work. It turned out that the message was based on a false report. True, there had been a hurricane as severe as that which had flooded the city before, but Boschke’s sea wall had not been moved. It stood firm. “I built that wall to stand,” said Boschke and went smiling about his work amid rumors of disaster.

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