Eternal Salvation

Positonal Statements

When one hears the term "Eternal Security," this statement , when misunderstood, can ignite a great debate by those who do not fully understand. I personally prefer to use the term "Eternal Salvation." This is what I think is a more Biblical statement. Many people are secure in their belief that one cannot be sure they will go to heaven. There are basically three ways man views salvation: 1) Man is saved by works. 2) Man is saved by grace and kept by his good works. 3) Man is saved by grace and kept saved by grace. When man understands what Christ did and the nature of salvation, they will understand the third view is the Biblical view.

Eternal Security

Eternal security is the Bible confidence that every born again believer has perfect, complete, eternal salvation in Jesus Christ. As soon as a sinner receives Christ, he possesses full, unending salvation. To have Christ is to have a secure position before God (1 John 5:10-13). Though the Bible does not use the term "security" to describe the believer's relationship in Christ, it leaves no doubt that the child of God is eternally safe in Christ. Eternal security refers only to those who are born again through repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. It does not refer to hypocrites or to those who are merely dabbling in the things of Christ. Those who permanently fall away have never been born again.

How we can be sure true Christians are Eternally Secure.

1. Because of the terms used to describe salvation.

"eternal life" (John 3:16; 1 John 5:11;

"full assurance" (Hebrews 6:11; Colossians 2:2);

"strong consolation" (Hebrews 6:18);

"hope...sure and steadfast" (Hebrews 6:19).

2. Because of what we are.

All of the following are spoken of in the present tense; this is the present condition of each true believer:

(1) Forgiven (Romans 4:7; 1 John 2:12)

(2) Justified (Romans 5:1, 9; Titus 3:7)

(3) Risen with Christ (Romans 6:3-6; Colossians 3:1, 2)

(4) Reconciled (Romans 5:10)

(5) Accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6)

(6) Saved (Ephesians 2:8, 9; Titus 1:9)

(7) Citizens of Heaven (Philippians 3:20)

(8) Children of light (1 Thessalonians 5:5)

(9) Not of the world (John 17:16)

(10) Elect (1 Peter 1:2)

(11) Born again (1 Peter 1:2, 23)

(12) New creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)

(13) Complete in Him (Colossians 2:10)

(14) Sanctified once for all (Hebrews 10:10)

(15) Perfected forever (Hebrews 10:14)

(16) Passed from death unto life (1 John 3:14)

(17) Sanctified in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:2)

(18) Light in the Lord (Ephesians 5:8)

(19) A child of God forever (Romans 8:15; Galatians 4:4-7; 1 John 3:1)

(20) Made fit for Heaven (Colossians 1:12)

3. Because of where we are.

(1) In the heavenlies with Christ (Ephesians 2:5-6)

(2) In God's family (Galatians 3:26; 1 John 3:2)

(3) Translated into the kingdom of His dear Son (Colossians 1:13)

(4) Brought near (Ephesians 2:13)

4. Because of what we have.

(1) Peace with God (Romans 5:1)

(2) Eternal life (John 3:16)

(3) Sealing of the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:12-14)

(4) All spiritual blessings (Ephesians 1:3)

(5) Access to God (Ephesians 2:18)

(6) An Advocate with the Father (1 John 2:1-2)

(7) Eternal redemption (Hebrews 9:12)

(8) Forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1`:7; Colossians 1:14, 2:13)

(9) Mercy (1 Peter 2:10)

(10) Eternal glory (2 Timothy 2:10)

(11) Everlasting consolation (2 Timothy 2:16)

(12) An Intercessor in Heaven (Romans 8:34)

5. Because of what is past.

(1) The law of sin and death (Romans 8:2)

(2) Death and wrath (Colossians 3:3; Romans 6:11; 1 Thessalonians 5:9)

(3) Condemnation (John 5:24)

(4) Night and darkness (1 Thessalonians 5:5)

6. Because of God's promises.

(1) The glory of God (Romans 5:2) This speaks of Christ's kingdom glory

(2) Redemption of the body (Romans 8:23-24; Philippians 3:21)

(3) Never perish (John 10:27-28)

(4) Predestinated to be conformed to the image of Christ (Romans 8:28-29)

(5) Shall appear with Christ in glory (Colossians 3:3-4)

(6) Not appointed to wrath but to salvation (1 Thessalonians 5:9)

(7) Delivered from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10)

(8) Incorruptible inheritance (1 Peter 1:4)

(9) He that hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6)

(10) Shall never die (John 11:26)

(11) Glorious liberty of the children of God (Romans 8:21)

(12) God shall confirm you unto the end (1 Corinthians 1:8)

(13) Eternal inheritance (Hebrews 9:15)

(14) Shall be saved from wrath (Romans 5:9)

(15) Cannot be separated from God's love (Romans 8:31-39)

How do we know these blessings cannot be lost?

1. The blessings of salvation cannot be lost because of the nature of salvation:

(1) Salvation is by substitution (2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 2:20; Hebrews 9:10; Romans 3:24)

(2) Salvation is positional (Ephesians 1; Romans 6:7; Colossians 2:10; 3:1-4, 12)

(3) Salvation is a present possession (Romans 5; 1 Peter 2:24-25)

(4) Salvation is eternal (John 3:16, 36)

(5) Salvation is not of human merit; it is a free gift of grace which cannot be mixed with works (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:3-7; Romans 3:19-28; 4:4-5; 11:6)

2. The blessings of salvation cannot be lost because of the results of salvation.

(1) Justification (Romans 5:1; 3:19-28)

(2) Peace with God (Romans 5:1)

(3) Sure possession of future glory (Romans 5:2; Colossians 3:1-4)

(4) Salvation from future wrath (Romans 5:9)

(5) Eternal life (John 3:16)

(6) Sealed with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30)

(7) Raised up with Christ (Romans 6)

(8) Passed from darkness to light (Colossians 1:12-14)

(9) Blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ (Ephesians 1)

3. The blessings of salvation cannot be lost because of the teaching of election.

Election does not destroy human responsibility (2 Thessalonians 2:10-13; Acts 13:46, 48), but election does promise security for the believer (Romans 8:28-29; Ephesians 1; 1 Peter 1:2-7).

4. The blessings of salvation cannot be lost because lack of good works involves loss of rewards and fruitfulness, not loss of one's eternal relationship with Christ.

(1 Corinthians 3:15; Titus 3:14; 2 John 8)

5. The blessings of salvation cannot be lost because of the person and work of Christ.

(Colossians 1:14; Ephesians 1; Hebrews 9:10; 1 Peter 1:18-23; 2:6, 24-25)

Does eternal security mean anyone who professes Christ is saved, regardless of whether they give evidence of genuine faith?

1. No, salvation demands repentance (Luke 13:3-5; Acts 17:30-31). Repentance means a change of mind resulting in a change of life (2 Corinthians 7:8-11). The person who has never changed his mind about God, sin, Christ, the Bible, etc., and who has never evidences this changed mind with a changed, holy life, has never repented and has never been saved.

2. No, salvation requires the new  birth, and the new birth always changes a man's life (2 Corinthians 5:17-21; Matthew 18:3-4; John 3:1-18; 1 John 3:7-10; 3 John 11).

3. No, salvation is evidenced by perseverance (John 10:27-28; Matthew 7:17; 6:9; Romans 8:13-14; Colossians 1:21-23; Hebrews 3:12-14; 10:38-39; 1 John 2:19; 3:3). According to these Scriptures, the one who is truly born again will persevere in Christ; or it could be better stated that Christ will persevere in him!

4. No, saving faith always produces works (Romans 4:18-21; Hebrews 11; James 2:14-26). If one claims to have faith in Christ, but his life does not reflect the works of Christ, that one does not have biblical faith. A fruitless profession of fruit cannot lay claim to God's promises of eternal security.

Does eternal security Cause people to live carelessly?

Eternal security does not cause people to live carelessly. The very opposite is true. The Bible teaches that the grace of God actually motivates believers to serve God with a thankful heart (Romans 2:4; Ephesians 3:14-19; Titus 2:11-14). The more a believer understands the unfathomable love God has for him in Christ, the more he wants to please God.

Who has eternal security?

It is important to further emphasize the fact that the doctrine of eternal security does not promise safety for anyone who merely professes Christ. In the following study we see that the bible connects eternal security only with the true believer, the one who has been born again, and differentiates him with the mere professor. Who has eternal security?

(1) Those who have been born again (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 6:15).

(2) Those who follow Christ (John 10:27-28).

(3) Those who are purifying themselves (1 John 3:1-3).

(4) Those who love the brethren (1 John 3:15).

(5) Those who have an undivided, convinced faith (Hebrews 4:10, 11).

(6) Those who are in the truth and continue in the truth (1 John 2:19-21; 2 John 1-2).

(7) Those who continue in the word (John 8:31, 32).

(8) Those who remain patient and steadfast in tribulations (Hebrews 10:35-39).

(9) Those who evidence the "things that accompany salvation" (Hebrews 6:9-12).

(10) Those who maintain their confidence in Christ (Hebrews 3:14; Philippians 1:21-23).

(11) Those who are led by the Spirit of God (Romans 8:14-15).

(12) Those who are sanctified from an unrighteous way of life (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

(13) Those who have demonstrated their election (1 Thessalonians 1:4-10).

(14) Those who have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts thereof (Galatians 5:19-24).

(15) Those who are looking for Christ's return (Hebrews 9:28).

(16) Those who have the renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:5-7).

(17) Those who depart from iniquity (2 Timothy 2:19).

(18) Those who bring forth fruit (Colossians 1:7-8; John 15:2; Luke 3:9).

Who Does not have eternal security?

(1) Those who profess but do not repent (Luke 3:7-14).

(2) Those who have mere intellectual assent (John 2:23-25).

(3) Those who have self-willed faith, only believing what they want to believe rather than the testimony of the Scriptures (John 6:60-66).

(4) Those who have religious zeal apart from the gospel (Romans 10:1-4).

If the disobedient Christian does not lose his salvation, what does happen to him?

(1) The sinning Christian is out of fellowship with the Lord (1 John 1).

(2) The sinning Christian is helped by the Lord Jesus Christ (1 John 2:1-2).

(3) The sinning Christian is chastened by the Father (Hebrews 12).

(4) The sinning Christian loses irreplaceable opportunities for service and fruit (Ephesians 5:14-17; Matthew 9:36-38; 1 Thessalonians 5:4-10).

(5) The sinning Christian will suffer loss at the judgment seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5: 1 Corinthians 3:11-15; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; 1 John 2:28).

Randall Runions, Pastor