23. SALVATION IN CHRIST AND THE ISSUE OF THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER (Chapter 23).

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Chapter 23 Continued from Chapter 22

 

“Words taught by the Spirit” (1Cor.2:13)

An Email Ministry for the Glory of God

 

A series of Bible studies on

SALVATION IN CHRIST

AND

THE ISSUE OF THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE BELIEVER

ΜΠΑΛΤΑΤΖΗΣ-Σειρά Βιβλικών μελετών (14).

PART C’: Which believer does not risk losing his salvation… (#7)

 

In this chapter, we will discuss certain other characteristics of the soul that belongs to the fourth group of the parable of the Sower:

 

1.  Security – Assurance – Inner Testimony

The Bible is clear: If one loves the Lord, he must hate evil! You that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserves the souls of his saints; he delivers them out of the hand of the wicked(Ps.97:10). The man of God may be sure that God will preserve his soul, will deliver him from the hand of the ‘wicked’, shall deliver him from every evil work, and will preserve him to his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen (2Tim.4:18). So we conclude or better we know that the ‘wicked’ is Satan… The same message is given in another way by the NT verse that follows: The Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust to the Day of Judgment to be punished” (2Pet.2:9).

“He that is of God hears God’s words: you therefore hear them not, because you are not of God” (John 8:47). Dear reader! Stop and think… How dreadful it is to see church people who do not obey God’s words! On the contrary, My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). “My sheep hear my voice”, not those which are not mine! What does follow Him mean? They obey Him: “Then answered Peter and said to him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed you; what shall we have therefore” (Mat.4:20; Mark 10:28; Luke 5:11; Luke 18:28)?

We read in John’s Gospel the following encouraging words: 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 10:29). Our Lord Jesus declared solemnly at another instance: “… I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Believe you this (John 11:25-26)? Did He speak about the physical death? Absolutely not! He was speaking about the eternal life, which is guaranteed to all those who (truly) trust in HIM!

Please notice what the verses 1John 5:13 and John 5:24 respectively denote:

  • “These things have I written to you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you HAVE eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 
  • “Truly, truly, I say to you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, HAS everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life.

These verses guarantee us that WE already HAVE ETERNAL LIFE.

The apostle John was speaking with certainty that he and we all, all true believers, are going to see Jesus: “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knows us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it does not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure (1John 3:1-3). If John believed that there was a possibility, a case after some time, for himself to backslide, would he ever had spoken in this way?

The apostle Paul believed that God would give Him the crown of justice. He had the assurance for his future: “From now on there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing(2Tim.4:8). If he believed that there was a case after some time to backslide, he would never have spoken in that way! They both, John and Paul had the testimony in themselves! How wonderful! But this “honor” is not destined only to Paul and John but also to all those who love Jesus Christ’s appearing! So, let no true believer think that these promises were just for the apostles! The crown of life is also destined for those who endure temptation, love the Lord and are faithful to death (James 1:12; Rev.2:10). And do not forget, dear reader, that “… every man that has this hope in him purifies himself, even as he is pure” (1John 3:3)! This is the reason why the only thing that mattered for John and which he was looking for, was that he would not be condemned by his heart… Here is what he wrote: For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (1John 3:20-22).

I asked some of those who believe and who do not doubt at all about the security of their salvation, if there is a case not to be finally saved if, if, if… Their inner testimony’s answer was audible: “Are you kidding?” On the other hand, I saw people who believe and have even written books that the Christians are not safe but until and only at the end of their life IF death finds them in a good spiritual condition, I saw them speaking and glorying with complete assurance about their salvation and about their blessedness when they will be with the Lord! Both, however, the ones and the others should not forget that it is written in the Word of God “Be not deceived” (1Cor.6:9; 1Cor.15:33; Gal.6:7; Heb.13:9; Jas.1:16), “Take heed that you be not deceived” (Luke 21:8), etc. Unfortunately, both the credo of many churches, the selfishness and the lack of love for the truth, lead them to all kinds of fallacies.

Please notice what is written in 2Tim.11-13: “It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he stays faithful: he cannot deny himself (2Tim.2:11-13). So, if one is dead with Him and if he accepts his sufferings for Him, is not the Lord going to keep him for the eternal life? If one has deposited unreservedly in the Lord’s Bank his whole life, is not the Lord going to protect him and bless him for now and in eternity? And let us not forget that the true and honest believers do not deny HIM and cannot keep denying HIM, because the seed of God remains in them! Peter, who was a true and honest believer denied Him, but did not remain in that state!  Why? Here is the answer: Because he loved the truth;        because he loved the Lord; because he was honest and was ready to die for Christ, irrespective of his weakness! Yes, because he was, right from the beginning, one of Christ’s sheep, listening to His voice and following Him! Yea, “The highway of the upright is to depart from evil: he that keeps his way preserves his soul” (Prov.16:17). God our Father holds our soul in life, and suffers not our feet to be moved (Ps.66:9). Yes! The LORD shall preserve us from all evil: he shall preserve our soul (Ps.121:7).

 

2.  The security of the believer is bound with his uprightness / integrity

            As I was searching the Bible in order to find arguments that could be used in both cases, that is, for those who believe that they risk losing their salvation and for those who do not risk losing it, I was profoundly impressed by the repeated use of the words upright or uprightness! Here is a small sample:

  • “My defense is of God, which saves the upright in heart (Ps.7:10)
  • “O continue your loving kindness to them that know you; and your righteousness to the upright in heart (Ps.36:10).
  • “Do good, O LORD, to those that be good, and to them that are upright in their hearts(Ps.125:4).
  •  “Lord, who shall abide in your tabernacle? who shall dwell in your holy hill? He that walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart(Ps.15:1-2).
  • “The LORD knows the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever (Ps.37:18).
  • “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly (Ps.84:11).
  • “Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart” (Ps.73:1).

That is why true worship to God belongs only to those who are upright (Ps.32:11, 33:1).

Let me repeat what I declared previously: Even the true believer may fall into sin, but he cannot remain in sin, he cannot practice sin: “He that commits sin is of the devil; for the devil sins from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remains in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whoever does not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loves not his brother(1John 3:8-10). Amen and Alleluia!

Also, the passage of John 6:37-40: All that the Father gives me shall come to me; and him that comes to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which has sent me, that of all which he has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which sees the Son, and believes on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”

This passage tells us that  the eternal life the Father has offered us is guaranteed and that we will be raised up at the last day! So, the true believer HAS eternal life and Jesus will raise him up! Sure things! Eternal Security! Alleluia!   

 

3. Conclusions

What do the above mentioned verses mean? Safety, Security, Protection from the beginning to the end! And something else:

A) The Father gives to His Son! Whom does He give? False believers?

B) Man goes to Christ! Who goes to Christ? He who was given by the Father to the Son!

What a guarantee! And what consolation!

I feel strongly the need to put also the emphasis on the following verses – some of which have already been mentioned – to strengthen my argument on Salvation, Security and Protection by means of simple faith:

  • “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:14-16).
  • “Truly, truly, I say to you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death to life” (John 5:24).
  • “Truly, truly, I say to you, He that believes on me has everlasting life(John 6:47).
  • “Whoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day (John 6:54).
  • He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him (John 6:56).
  • “I am come a light into the world, that whoever believes on me should not abide in darkness (John 12:46).
  • “And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin (for committing sin); but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwells in you” (Rom.8:10-11).
  • For by grace are you saved (you have been saved – GR) through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God (Eph.2:8).
  • He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life (1John 5:12).

Watch out : The fact that I am saved (I have been saved) does not mean that I am perfect. I need a lot of things! We must make progress and come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph.4:13). From the moment man has given sincerely his heart (his will) to God there are many steps of commitment, of denying of his interests and rights, many steps of concessions on his rights in order to be agreeable to God and in order to able to help others but also in order to accelerate his improvement and spiritual progress. Let me repeat some verses of the Word of God in order to enhance the need of improvement or of perfection:

  • “But as he which has called you is holy, so be you holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be you holy; for I am holy(1Pet.1:15-16).
  • “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still(Rev.22:11).
  • “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God” (Heb.6:1).

In addition: “We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbor for his good, to edification.(Rom.15:1-2). This verse explains what I meant by saying that the normal Christian life requires “Many steps of commitment, of denying of our interests and rights, many steps of concessions on our rights in order to be able to help others…”

 May we all  walk in an agreeable way before the Lord!

 

John BALTATZIS

baltatzis@skynet.be

 

To be continued…

 

ΔΙΑΔΩΣΤΕ ΤΟ ΑΡΘΡΟ ΣΕ ΦΙΛΟΥΣ ΣΑΣ