In speaking of the eternal assurance of those redeemed by the blood of Christ, let us not merely view it as a general doctrine to be regarded from an academic point of view. For it is a matter of vital importance, involving the true blessing and prosperity of the soul. The individual should have deepest interest in this, for it is with real reason that God, by the apostle Peter, urges us, “Give diligence to make your calling and election sure” (2 Pet.1:10). It is certainly not that anyone can save himself, or help to; but if the Lord Jesus has saved one by virtue of the value of His precious blood shed for our sins, then certainly He desires that one to be absolutely sure of it, and He gives His word with that very end in mind. This should appeal seriously to every believer to take deeply to heart such words, and to never rest until absolutely certain of his eternal salvation, on the authority of the word of God.
But we propose to consider some basic, wonderful truths of Scripture with which this matter is intimately connected:
1. Security Because Justified by God.
By our sin we have put ourselves under the shame and stigma of guilt before a true and righteous God. Such being the case, He is perfectly right in passing sentence of condemnation against us. If one will believe God, he bows to this sentence in full acknowledgement that he is wrong, and God is right. “We know that whatever the things the law says, it speaks to those under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world be under judgment to God” (Romans 3:19).
But verses 21 to 26 show that the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary is God’s own provision of love, by which God is righteous to justify the previously judged sinner who believes in His Son. Christ has borne the entire judgment, in order that those who receive Him may be cleared fully from every charge of guilt, and declared righteous before God. This is justification. Believers are said to be “justified freely by His grace” (Romans 3:24); “justified by His blood” (Romans 5:9); and justified by God (Romans 8:33). It is based altogether upon the value of the work of Christ in redemption: therefore it is eternal: it cannot require it of any soul who has received Christ in reality as his Savior.
The apostle Paul puts the stamp of absolute finality on this is Romans 8:39: “For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 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.” (New Translation) “What shall we then say to these things?” (Ch. 8:31). If Paul speaks so assuredly, without any doubts, what of each of us? Shall we not honor God by the same simplicity of faith? To doubt this would be dishonour His own word.
2. Security Because Born of God and Having Eternal Life.
By nature we are corrupted, degraded, departed altogether from the condition in which Adam was first created. This nature is spoken of as “sinful flesh” (Romans 8:4), with no shred of value in it for god. But in receiving the Son of god, we are given the right to become children of God, being “born----------of God” (John 1:11-13). A new nature is implanted in the believer, the very nature of God, the nature resident in the Lord Jesus. It is a marvellous miracle, as a living seed planted in the heart, to remain there (1 John 3:9). This is God’s sovereign work, and it is real.
Not that the old, sinful nature is eradicated; but the new nature is now the predominant one: it gives a new outlook, new desires, new motives; though the old exists side by side with it. New birth imparts a new life, which is called “eternal life,” a life absolutely pure and untainted, which death can never touch; and of course it abides for eternity. If it could be lost, then it could never have been called “eternal.” When one has it, he has it for eternity, because it is eternal.
Consider well 1 John 5:13: “These things have I written to you that ye may know that ye have eternal life who believe on the name of the Son of God.” Also John 10:27-29: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give unto them life eternal; and they shall never perish, and no one shall seize them out of my hand. My Father who has given them to Me is greater than all, and no one can seize out of the hand of my Father” (New Trans.). Their security depends upon God’s truth and faithfulness. To claim therefore that any sheep of Christ might perish, is to deny the truth and faithfulness of God the Father and of His Son Jesus Christ.
3. Security Because Chosen in Christ Before the Foundation of The World.
Let each true believer recognize this wonderful truth of Ephesians 1:4, and take it home fully and unquestionably to his own heart: “According as He has chosen us in Him before the world’s foundation, that we should be holy and blameless before Him in love.” (New Trans.). If God has chosen me in Christ before the world’s foundation, of course it is totally impossible that I could ever be lost! Certainly this is not true for an unbeliever, nor for one who makes a mere pretense of being saved; but for every true believer it is intended to give deepest comfort and joy, with a becoming response in present holy conduct and godliness.
4. Security Because Indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
In this present age of grace the Spirit of god has come to indwell the church of God corporately, and every true believer individually, so that today it is declared, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” (Romans 8:9). And Ephesians 1:13 tells us: “In whom (Christ) also, having believed, ye have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the acquired possession to the praise of His glory.” (New Trans.). The only pre-requisite to the sealing of the spirit is belief in the Lord Jesus. The Spirit of God, as the seal, is the unchangeable stamp of God’s ownership. We belong to him. Will he give us up? This is impossible, for to do so He would have to break His own seal. Indeed, the Lord Jesus says in John 14:16: “I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever.” Because of His very nature, god cannot retract such a Gift.
But though there are many other truths with which the believer’s eternal security is connected in Scripture, space requires that, with little comment, we list only a few more of these:
- Security Because Christ, by the Shedding of His Own Blood, has Obtained Eternal Redemption For Us. (Heb. 9:12).
- Security Because We Are Already Seen By God as Having Died with Christ, and Having Been Raised with Christ (Col. 3:1-4).
- Security Because Already Seated Together in Heavenly Places in Christ. (Eph. 2:4-10).
- Security Because We Are Members of the Body of Christ, the Church, From Which no Member Can Be Severed. (1 Cor. 12:13,22).
- Security Because Built By God as Stones Into His Temple, No Stone ever To Be Removed. (Eph. 2:20-22).
- Security Because We Know that, When He Shall Appear, We Shall Be Like Him, For We Shall See Him As He Is. This is True Of All Those who are Now The Children of God. 1 John 3:2.
How well it would be for every child of God to be stirred sufficiently to diligently search the precious word of God, to find many more such truths of living comfort and joy to the heart, to confirm and strengthen wholehearted faith, and with it wholehearted devotion to Him who is unchangeable in truth and love and grace.