Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Doctrinal Issue: Eternal Security

How can one be sure that he is saved? This is a question that every Christian asks himself one time or another in his Christian Walk.

Salvation is the key component in the life of a Christian. Without Salvation there is no Christianity. If there is no Christianity, then there is no freedom from sin. If this is true, then there is no hope. There has to be assurance of salvation in order for there to be peace with God.

Peace with God is a sign of the assurance of Salvation. The first link that ties us eternally with the Savior is peace with God, Verse 1 “Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (John Macarthur Security of Salvation)

A Christian can also be assured of their salvation by the fruit that they bear in their life. Paul writes in Galatians that, the Fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faith, and self-control. If you do not show these fruits then there might be a reason to doubt the assurance of your salvation.

The Assurance of Salvation also brings up the issue of eternal security. Although they are separate issues, they go hand in hand. The Assurance of Salvation is knowing whether or not you have really been saved, and Eternal Security deals with the issue of whether or not one can lose their salvation.

The very definition of Eternal Security puts it in line with Assurance. If you are afraid you might have lost your salvation, you are also probably wondering if you were really saved in the first place.

What does the Bible have to say about Eternal Security? First one must understand the definition of the word “Eternal”. The word “Eternal” means, having no beginning or end of existence; everlasting; continued without intermission; ceaseless; perpetual. (Webster p. 300) This means that Eternal is forever. There is no taking away anything that is eternal.

Scripture says that no one or no thing can pluck us out of the Father’s hand.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 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. (John 10:27-31)

This makes it very clear that we cannot be snatched away from God. He holds onto us and cares for us.

Romans 8:35 asks a question; “What shall separate us from the love of God?” This question is answered in verse 37, “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 death, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of god.” This makes it very clear that nothing can take us out of God’s love, and God’s love is the only thing that maintains salvation.
Another question that John Macarthur brings up about eternal security is this, if God gave the greatest gift He could give, His Spirit to fill our hearts with love, will He not do less to keep us? His love has not changed. He loved us when we were wretched. He still does. (John Macarthur, Security of Salvation)

This is a good point, why would God allow something to be taken away that He made such a great sacrifice for? It wouldn’t make sense.
Charles Stanley relates eternal security to adoption. A parent would not adopt a child with the intentions of “un-adopting” it. That would be crazy. It works the same way with God. He adopted us to be His children and He does not have the intentions of un-adopting us. Galatians 4:4-5, But when the fullness of time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, in order that He might redeem those under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. (Charles Stanley, Eternal Security pg. 33)

Stanley also uses Christ’s illustration of the Prodigal Son. When the son came left the father did not kick him out of the family. Instead, when the son came back having wasted his father’s money and disgracing the family, the father welcomed him with loving arms. God does the same thing for Christians who stray away from Him but come back with a repentant heart.

What is the definition of unsaved? In order to be unsaved you must have never believed that Christ is your Savior. You must have never tried to seek Him and His ways. Scripture tells us that if you believe you are saved. (John 3:16)

What if a Christian loses the faith? God promises that He will be faithful to the faithless. The unfaithful believer will not receive a special place in the Kingdom of Christ like those who are fortunate enough to be allowed to reign with Him. But the unfaithful believer will not lose their Salvation. (Charles Stanley, Eternal Security pg. 92) The Bible states these facts in Second Timothy 2:11-13.

So can a Christian be assured of his Salvation? The answer is, yes. One can know that he is saved by his fruits, desire to follow Christ, and his belief. The Spirit also assures us that we are God’s Children. (Dr. Charles Ryrie, A Survey of Bible Doctrine) If one has not believed and knows he has not believed he has reason to doubt his salvation because he has never been saved.

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