How Secure Is Salvation?

How Secure Is Salvation?

1. Introduction | 2. God's Preservation of Believers | 3. Sealed for Redemption |
4. Forgiven Completely | 5. A License to Sin? |
6. Common Objections to Eternal Security | 7. Conclusion

2. God's Preservation of Believers

Some today live their lives according to the belief that they must work in order to be saved. They have a hard time accepting that God could bestow forgiveness and salvation for free. This way of life stems from the unfortunate fact that in dealings with our fellow human beings, it is very rare that something is truly given for free. So it is not surprising that some people who become Christians fail to understand and accept that Jesus' life, death on the cross, and resurrection was for our salvation apart from our works.

Salvation is seen in terms of buying a house. Jesus provides the down payment for our home loan, and we must continue making payments on the remainder of the loan in order to keep the house. In order to prevent it from being re-possessed.

Fortunately, that is not what John 19:30 says. Jesus said on the cross, "It is finished!" The Greek text uses the word tetelestai, which means "paid in full", not "here is the down payment". This is like saying, "Yes, I am saved by grace, but I have to work to keep my salvation!" And such a person who thinks this way may be in danger of consciously or unconsciously falling into the quagmire of legalism or self-righteousness. And both are not spoken of too well in Scripture.

No, atonement for our sins was done once for all on the cross. It was not a down payment. The full price was paid at that time. God is not a loan company and His grace is not a loan. His grace is a gift. It is like realizing that we cannot pay our way to heaven in even the least bit, and accepting God's full payment on our loan (our sins), which sets us free from debt.

If we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior our salvation is secure. In such a case, we would be covered by His righteousness and not our own. Our salvation is secure because the blood of Christ cleanses us, and continues to cleanse, from all sin (1 John 1:7). We cannot take any credit for our salvation. Only Jesus can because He accomplished everything for us through His blood.

When Jesus said "It is finished" on the cross, that meant our salvation was complete and there is nothing anyone can do to add to it or take away from it. John writes about God's will.

"This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day." (John 6:39)

Jesus Christ accomplished salvation for us on the cross totally apart from any work or effort on our part.

"But He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of God, For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified." (Hebrews 10:12, 14)

Those who place their trust in Christ can take hope and be confident in these promises.

"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." (Philippians 1:6)

"Who will also confirm you to the end, blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ."
(1 Corinthians 1:8)

Who perfects the believer until the end? Who confirms the Christian to the end? It is God who does the keeping of the believer. God's work in saving a person is done by Him alone and lasts forever.

"I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him." (Ecclesiastes 3:14)

When a person trusts Christ and is born again, it is not a conditional or temporary thing. God renews that person's spirit; that person becomes a new creation.

"For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable." (Romans 11:29)

This verse means that God will not save a person today and tomorrow change His mind and take it back. The believer is secure and can depend on the faithfulness of God. In John 11:25-26, the Jesus Christ states that the believer will never perish.

"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." (John 10:27-29)

When Jesus uses words like "never perish", and "no one is able", this indicates that God will use His power to keep the believer secure. Also the Lord Jesus gives eternal life and not partial life. When the Lord Jesus Christ saved us, He did it to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25). Being saved to the uttermost means we are kept at the point of salvation through to heaven and glory without any being lost. The last part of the verse states that the Jesus Christ ever lives to make intercession for us. He constantly prays for His own and His prayers never fail. Another good example of the fact that God keeps the believer can be found in the prayer Jesus to the Father that all who believed on Him would be kept and that they would see Him in heaven in His glory.

"I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. Father, I desire that they also, whom You have given Me, be with Me where I am, so that they may see My glory which You have given Me, for You loved Me before the foundation of the world." (John 17:11, 24)

When the Lord Jesus prays do you think His prayers get answered? Of course they do, and the Lord Jesus prayed for all believers to be kept and to make it to glory. Therefore, how is the Christian kept? Is it by his walk after salvation or is it by God's power? Peter answers this question.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time." (1 Peter 1:3-5)

Jude also answers by saying:

"Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved in God the Father, and kept for Jesus Christ ... 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." (Jude 1, 24)

Again notice that the Christian's preservation, security, and keeping is not dependent upon himself, but upon God. It is good news that the Christian is kept by God's love and power. That salvation is completely apart from the works and merits of the believer. Nowhere in the Bible is the Christian given the responsibility of keeping himself saved and maintaining, under penalty of loss, his salvation. A direct challenge to the ability of God to fully save and keep His own is made when someone maintains that a believer can lose his salvation. This would indicate the belief that God did not provide a complete atonement on the cross, but a partial one, which would need to be continuously maintained by good works after salvation.

1. Introduction | 2. God's Preservation of Believers | 3. Sealed for Redemption |
4. Forgiven Completely | 5. A License to Sin? |
6. Common Objections to Eternal Security | 7. Conclusion
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