On Eternal Security
Are you safe in your relationship with Christ? Can you lose your salvation which Christ bought on the cross of Calvary and gave to you as a gift of His grace? Arminians argue that you can lose the gift of God, and Calvinists argue that you cannot lose it. Both argue from the Scriptures for their position, but there must be some misunderstanding because Jesus would not send a mixed message to His people on so crucial a subject. How we view this doctrine of the preservation of the saints influences the way we walk in faith.
Romans 8:33–35 asks three questions pertaining to our subject: First, “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect?” Second, “Who is the one who condemns?” Third, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Clearly, we are looking at a legal case by the terms: charge; condemn; and separate.
The “charge” against all men is that they have sinned. The accuser of the brethren, Satan, uses the ignorance of Christians to attempt to hold them in a state of guilty conscience so to immobilize their witness. Paul opened chapter 8 with the liberating statement, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” If Satan attempts to “condemn” the Christian, Paul has answered the question by establishing no condemnation exists for Christians at the judgment of God. The reason is justification.
God’s elect are justified by the blood of Christ through faith. Someone might ask, “What does it mean to be God’s elect?” Paul answered this in Romans 8:29–30, explaining that God chose before creation those whom He would save. These are the elect. In His foreknowledge He predestined the people He would call with the Gospel, in order that they would be justified. Guilt has generated a penalty that must be paid so the guilty party can be declared not guilty. Jesus Christ paid the penalty for the sins of His people in taking their place of punishment and shedding His blood for the forgiveness of their sins against God. A penalty remains for those who are not justified.
Paul finished his reasoning by writing in 8:30, “…and whom He justified these He also glorified.” The justified are waiting for the fulfillment of the promise of glory. Christ in us is the hope of glory because His Spirit indwells the Christian and brings to remembrance the words of Jesus, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” The elect have been born again by the indwelling Holy Spirit who testifies with our spirit that we are the children of God. We are redeemed, sealed, and prepared for resurrection life.
This is what it means when we say, “Salvation belongs to the Lord.” It is completely a work of God. It was God’s will to have mercy upon whom He would have mercy (Rom 9:18) so to choose or elect some to salvation. It was His work in providing the means for reconciliation with God by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. His work continued with the application of the blood of the Lamb by the Spirit upon those given by God the Father to His Son, Jesus. The explanation Jesus gave for this resounds for us in John 6:39, “And 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.”
Jesus preached to those with ears to hear, for His sheep hear and follow Him, “and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand (Jn 10:27–28).” Christian, all charges have been dropped, there is now no condemnation, and no one can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus. So, live with assurance of His love and care…forever!
July 14, 2021