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Eternal Security

Eternal Security

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Published by Christopher Skinner
Why a true believer can never be lost.
Why a true believer can never be lost.

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Published by: Christopher Skinner on Oct 19, 2008
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08/10/2010

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 Eternal Security
Why salvation in Jesus Christ is once and for all!
Christopher Skinner 
Page 1 of 9
 
This essay is one in a collection of articles on salvation. The Bible does indicate that the believer issecure. Arminianism disputes this and believes that a believer can fall away and lose his salvation.Many other believers affirm the eternal security of the believer. There are many passages in theBible which are used to promote the eternal security of the believer and others passages used againstit. Obviously one side is right and the other is wrong. I believe in the eternal security of the believer and I am endeavouring to defend this teaching. I will examine some of the texts usedagainst the doctrine (time does not permit me to examine them all, there are numerous passages thatappear to maintain both positions).The most common objection to the doctrine of eternal security is not exegetical but pragmatic.Anti-eternal security advocates object that we provide a licence to sin if we teach this doctrine. Inreality, these objectors do not understand the grace of God any more than those who abuse the sameteaching. It is Gods grace that has brought us salvation, and the same grace which teaches us to liveholy lives, not to live to please ourselves.For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching usthat, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, andgodly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the gloriousappearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us,that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people,zealous of good works. (Titus 2:11-14)The Bible does not spur us to holiness by threatening us with a lost salvation. Instead it appeals tous on the basis of our salvation:Itherefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocationwherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering,forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Eph 4:1-3)The same gracious words were spoken to the Corinthians:Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be notdeceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
 And such were some of  you:
but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of theLord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.Here Paul is saying “do not be like the unrighteous. That is what some of you were, this is how they behave but you have nothing to do with these sins”. The term “unrighteous” designates an unsaved person. The Corinthians, however, were sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be saints (c1v2)despite the fact that they were guilty of the sins listed here. The case of disobedient believers will be looked at later. Another example of beseeching us to holiness is found in Ephesians 5:But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once namedamong you, as becometh saints; Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting,which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. For this ye know, that nowhoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath anyinheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vainwords: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God
uponthe children of 
Page 2 of 9
 
disobedience
.Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimesdarkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) Proving what is acceptableunto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, butrather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are doneof them in secret. (v3-12)Again Paul contrasts believers from unbelievers, not with a threat of a lost salvation if they do not behave, but simply saying “because you are light in the Lord and not a child of disobedience do not be partakers with them”. We now turn our attention to a defence of eternal security.When someone is saved, God gives that individual to the Lord Jesus Christ for security. As a goodshepherd, the Lord makes sure that his sheep do not get lost. The most airtight verses confirmingthis are found in Johns gospel:All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will inno wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the willof him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of allwhich he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the lastday. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.(6:37-40)Some Arminians argue that the continuous tense of the word “believe” means that we haveinsecurity if we stop believing. This ignores the first part of the statement: God gives you to Christonce for all and if you end up lost again, Christ has failed in doing his fathers will. Christ, as thegood shepherd, keeps his flock safely. This is shown later in Johns gospel:My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give untothem eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.(10:28-29)Christ can lose none of his sheep. Arminians lay emphasis on the words “and they follow me” -indicating that only if his sheep follow him will they have eternal life. That exegesis doesn't holdwater as Christ did not word it as a condition – he said that it was
characteristic
of his sheep tofollow him. It does not say, as the Arminian argues “My sheep,
if 
they hear my voice and follow,will have eternal life”. They follow him
because
they have eternal life – not the reverse.So far we have seen the work of the Father and The Son in our salvation. The Holy Spirit also has arole in our security. In Ephesians 4:30 it asks us to “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby yeare sealed unto the day of redemption”. A seal was a mark of ownership, and the seal of the Spiritindicates Gods mark of ownership upon you. We are sealed until the day of redemption, not “untilwe sin so badly”. We see here another gracious entreaty to holiness – because the Spirit has sealedus until the redemption, we are asked not to grieve him. There is no threat of “unsealing” attached.An eternal security passage
 parexcellence
is found in Romans:Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or  persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sakewe are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in allthese things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am
Page 3 of 9

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