The Eternal Security of the Believer
by Leonard A. Radtke
I MUST UNDERSTAND THE SIN QUESTION
To deny eternal security is to deny the finished work of Christ upon the Cross for the sins of the world and to reduce the sacrifice of Christ to the level of Old Testament sacrifices which could never take away sin (Heb. 10:4); thus, putting the person in the hopeless position of always seeking to atone for his sin by his own religious works. One must see that the sin question has been forever taken care of, once and for all (Heb. 10:10-14), and that God is no longer holding man's sins against him (1 Cor. 5:19), which is what God, in His love, did for man. One must see that it is no longer the Sin question, by the Son question. If sin, then, is no longer a condemning factor with the lost, how can sin be a condemning factor with the saved? The sinning believer loses God's blessing, not salvation.
I MUST UNDERSTAND THE LOVE OF GOD
If love is that which motivated God in providing salvation for weak, sinful, ungodly enemies of His, will His love not do more for us now that we have been reconciled to Him? "Much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life (resurrected life at the right hand of the Father)." Can anything separate us from God's love? No--nothing. Note Romans 8:38, 39.
I MUST UNDERSTAND THE GRACE OF GOD
Grace excludes all merit on the part of the one who is the object thereof. Grace is unmerited favor; therefor, to be eternally saved by grace means that God cannot take into account any merit or work of the saved one, either before, at the time, or after he is saved. Grace is only shown to the undeserving; no believer is, or ever will be deserving of his position in Christ. We do nothing to obtain salvation, to maintain salvation, or to regain salvation; and if I did nothing to obtain salvation, what could I do to lose it?
I MUST UNDERSTAND FAITH
There is no merit in faith, or it could not be a channel for grace. It not only excludes merit, it actually includes the idea of helplessness and hopelessness. It calls upon another for help. Faith is a non-meritorious means of receiving this gift from God. (Rom. 4:5, 16; 5:1).
NOTE HOW GOD DESCRIBES THE BELIEVER
The titles given to the believer identifies him with God's eternal plan. ("Son" - John 1:12; "Saint" - 1 Cor. 1:2; "King and a Priest" - Rev. 1:5, 6; "Elect", "holy", "beloved" - Col. 3:12; "New creation" - 2 Cor. 5:17; "Complete in Him (Christ)" - Col. 2:10; "Translated from the kingdom of darkness, into the kingdom of God's dear Son" - Col. 1:13; "Citizenship is in heaven" - Phil. 1:20, 21. The believer is not only declared to be already complete in Him, but also declared to be already glorified (Rom. 8:30). In that this eternal switch was wrought by God, the believer is unable to switch back to his former kingdom. By the way, have you ever run into anyone who said that they believed all this was theirs, and they no longer want it, and desire to go to Hell? Only those who do not know what is offered by God, and are working to ultimately gain such a position, say you can lose it.
I MUST SEE THAT SALVATION IS A GIFT FROM GOD
The only ground upon which God can and will do anything for man is based upon the gift of His Son. "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom. 6:23) Do we work for, or earn, our gift? If so, it is not a gift of grace; it is a debt. God is not, nor will he ever be, indebted to anyone. Uncertainty is ushered in when a person includes himself in God's plan. He says in effect, "Christ plus me equals eternal life"; thus, he is never sure. Thank God that salvation is Christ plus nothing!
EVERY BELIEVER IS IN GOD'S HAND
(John 10:28, 29) The believer is held in God's hand, and He will never let go. (Ps. 37:23, 24)
THE BELIEVER IS BORN INTO GOD'S FAMILY
A Christian has been born from above (Jn. 3:5, 6), "not of corruptible seed (first birth), but of incorruptible seed (second birth), by the Word of God, which lives and abides forever" - 1 Pet. 1:23. The believer will live and abide as long as the incorruptible Seed abides - forever. It is impossible to be unborn.
THE BELIEVER IS SEALED AS GOD'S PROPERTY
"And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." (Eph. 4:30) The sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit guarantees the believer safe delivery to his destination in Heaven. (Eph. 1:13; 2 Cor. 1:22) The Holy Spirit does not leave, but he is grieved when the believer sins.
THE BELIEVER AND DISCIPLINE
One of the marks of being a child of God is discipline. (Heb. 12:5-8) If a believer would be lost when he sinned, he would not be disciplined.
THE BELIEVER CAN LOSE REWARDS, BUT NOT SALVATION
Heaven is a gift provided on the bases of Christ's work. Rewards are earned by the believer based on his willingness to be used of the Holy Spirit. He can lose rewards, but a believer will never lose eternal life. (1 Cor. 3:15)