FIVE VERSES: Eternal Security6 min read
“We are secure as long as we remain in Christ. A life of obedience to the teaching of God’s Word – a life of “good works” – is necessary for the Christian to grow spiritually and remain in the grace of God.” To the average Biblical Christian, this quote is clearly filled with error in more ways than one. Yet many do not agree with Scripture and its truth of eternal security. We must be ready to defend it, for this is that which gives the believer peace and offers assurance to others. We cannot compromise such a vital teaching, or any Biblical teaching for that matter.
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.”
Notice the various factors of this verse that point to an absolutely secure salvation.
- “Verily, verily” In other words, His following statement is 100% true and without exception. It is there for all to rely fully upon.
- “heareth my Word… believeth on Him that sent me” These are the only two requirements of salvation. There is no teaching of “a life of good works” to secure one’s eternal destiny.
- “hath everlasting life” Everlasting life is not in Heaven: it is obtained fully here, which means there is not even an opportunity to secure one’s salvation, because it is already as secure now as it will ever be. Otherwise, it cannot rightly be called “everlasting.”
- “Shall not come into condemnation” Once salvation happens, one can confidently say according to this verse “I will never perish.” This cannot be true if salvation can be lost. Otherwise it should be “May not come into condemnation.” Romans says “Shall any lay charge to God’s elect? Yea, it is God who justifies.” (Emphasis mine)
- “Is passed.” Notice the passive nature of salvation. It is done for us. We cannot have part in keeping what we have no part in gaining, especially when God says that what we gain is permanent and effectual. Salvation from beginning to end is all of HIM.
John 10:28-30 “And I give unto them 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. I and my Father are one.”
Many can profess to know God, but this is the real question: does God know you? This is what really matters. “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.” Here we see that the Lord knows His sheep, and all who believe are included in that (Jn 10:26). Therefore, all who believe will never perish, because they have eternal life. And if any should lack confidence in this, He adds “neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.” And He goes even further in saying “neither shall any man pluck them out of My Father’s hand: I and My Father are one.” Assurance does not rely on our view of salvation’s permanency: it is God Who says it is permanent. It is God who is deeply involved in holding you secure. Will the Saviour who gave up Himself for you let you go? Will the tender Father of mercies reject one who is found in the perfection of Christ and the seal of the Spirit? Absolutely not! Therefore, no man can overcome the grip of God on a soul that has trusted Christ, not even a man inside that grip. Some would actually object “But this doesn’t speak of those who are within God’s hand: they are the ones who can cause their salvation to be lost.” This makes no sense, because “no man” literally means in the Greek “no man.” There is no distinction between the man on the outside and the man on the inside, except their eternal destinies. We are secure in Christ.
Romans 8:30 “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.”
The predestination deals with believers being conformed to the image of Christ, as verse 29 shows. All believers have been predestinated to this end, and what follows predestination is also true of every believer. Here we see a divine call and divine justification. Now we must ask ourselves “When someone is saved, does that person become justified?” Scripture says yes. But then we are prompted to go further – to glory. Our verse says that ALL who are justified by God are also glorified by God: there is absolutely no way for a man who was once saved (justified) to perish. But how can this be if it is possible to lose one’s salvation? God will glorify all who have been saved. Eternal life is exactly what it is called: eternal.
Rom 8:38-39 “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Those who would oppose eternal security would hold that certain sins can cause one to lose salvation. But the very point that Paul tries to make in this passage is that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. The Devil, present things (which would include sins), future things, or any creature (not even ourselves) – none of these can do anything to harm our salvation. That is why in verse 37, we are called “more than conquerors” (we cannot be conquered regarding salvation) through Christ. The issue is not our sin when it comes to salvation, but His power. Truly it is enough to keep us eternally secure.
Philippians 1:6 “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.”
God is not going to justify us, redeem us, predestinate us, call us, etc. at the cost of Christ’s precious blood only to leave the endurance of our salvation to our own efforts. On the contrary, our salvation was only the beginning of His work in us. He is going to finish what He started. And as long as we are living and waiting for the rapture, He is conforming us to the image of His Son. He promises that this will not end in our lifetime. What is the condition of this? Only that it was necessary that He begin this work, and all who are saved have had this work begun in them. With this in mind, how would it be possible for one to lose his salvation if he was not the one guarding it in the first place? It is the work of God! And it will not fail.
For your own assurance and for the assurance of others, it would be profitable to commit these verses to memory. If you would like more on this topic, Romans 8 is essential. Also, every verse that promises eternal life promises eternal security, for one cannot have something eternal if it can be lost: that would be contradictory. Furthermore, any passage that refutes works-based salvation upholds this truth. As you noticed in the opening quote, those who believe in insecure salvation believe that works are necessary to remain in grace. But Romans clearly teaches “If it is by works, it is no longer grace.” Despite the claims some would put forth, we must always discern based on the word of God: are you willing to believe and uphold the Word of God?