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About Doctrines

Security



Depending upon whether you grew up Baptist, or Methodist, or Presbyterian, or some other denomination, you will have slightly different views on the topic of eternal security – or you may call it something different. A good Baptist will mimic the phrase, "once saved, always saved," and frequently go about his daily affairs without any real concept of what is behind this doctrine.

Many preach that while you cannot loose your salvation, if you really "fall away," well, that is just a sign that you were not saved in the first instance. This, obviously, could be true, although it does not have to be.

Others do not speak of eternal security, but with Calvin talk of the perseverance of the saints. I want to suggest that all of this is pretty much the same. From God's perspective there is eternal security. From man's view it is persevering and preserving unto the end.

The truly important point of all this is that eternal security and perseverance is in the hands of God. By abiding in Christ the believer receives the strength to persevere. When one wanders away from God, the strength fails and the believer falls into temptation and sin. If the believer remains in a habitual, sinful state, one might at least question the believer's salvation, but we need to remember that only God may truly read a person's heart.

The basis of eternal security is stated best (perhaps) in Paul's second letter to the Thessalonians.

2 Thessalonians 1:3-4
3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, NKJV

2 Thessalonians 3:5
Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. NKJV

Verses such as John 6:39; 10:28, 29 make it clear that no one who ever comes to a saving faith in Christ can be separated from God. We will see that this belief is summed up by Paul at the end of this eighth chapter of Romans with his series of "who can" questions.

John 6:39
39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. NIV

John 10:28-29
28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. NIV

There are many verses that promise our security. Consider, for example, passages such as:

John 17:12
While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. NKJV

Luke 22:31-32
31 And the Lord said, "Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren."NKJV

Hebrews 7:25
So he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. NET

While we will consider the issue of the indwelling of God later in this chapter, the presence of the Holy Spirit is, yet, another sign of our security. Eph 1:13-14; John 14:16

Ephesians 1:13-14
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. KJV

John 14:16
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; KJV

This security is reflected in the Old Testament in such places as Psalm 41:2; 97:10; and 116:6

Psalm 41:2
The LORD will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth: and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies. KJV

When Jesus states the "one who endures…. " (Matt 24:13), He speaks of the basis of the endurance and perseverance of Christians. Endurance is a sign of salvation. Salvation is a promise of endurance. The two are inseparable. Paul tells us of the crown of righteousness (2 Tim 4:8). All who believe receive this crown. That it is not awarded until heaven and the Second Coming shows the provision of eternal security (cf Rev 2:10; 1 Pet 5:4).

In Matthew Jesus speaks of those who confess His name.

Matthew 10:32
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. KJV

Jesus would be embarrassed to confess a person's name to the Father if that Person were not in heaven with the Lord. Paul's statements at the end of this chapter (vv28-39) are but an editorial and commentary on Christ's Words.

In the end, like all of one's spiritual walk, the perseverance of the saint, our eternal security, rests with God, not with ourselves. The tension of this is, at times, unclear, but Scripture provides that it is the work of the Holy Trinity that provides our eternal security.

 

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