© Dr. Jack L. Arnold Equipping
Pastors International, Inc. How to Live the Christian Life
© Dr. Jack L. Arnold Equipping Pastors International, Inc.
How to Live the Christian Life Lesson 1
The words “eternal security” are not found in the Bible but it is a Biblical concept. According to the dictionary, the word “secure” means “free from fear, care, or anxiety.” Security is a state of confidence and safety. Security is something all people are looking for, but very few have ever found it. A boy or a girl wants the security of their parent’s love. A man or a woman marry to have the security of companionship. A father works to make money to provide security for his family. Life is all about seeking security because security is the absence of fear, care or anxiety. All men strive in life for temporal security but only a handful of people ever achieve it. Yet even temporal security is shifting because it depends on circumstances, and circumstances change with the wind.
However, there is a security in the spiritual realm that is permanent, lasting and satisfying which never wavers with the circumstances. There is a state of eternal security in Christ where people can be free from fear, care or anxiety about the eternal destiny of their souls. Believers in Christ can know they are safe and have confidence that their souls will one day be with Christ.
Before one can believe the doctrine of the security of the believer, he must have a proper definition of what it is.
The doctrine of eternal security guarantees that once a person is saved that person is always saved and can never be lost, for God has secured the continuous and final salvation of all the elect or true believers in Christ.
Most people who oppose the doctrine of eternal security usually do so out of doctrinal ignorance, or an abhorrence to the idea that once a person is saved, he can live as he pleases. There are three basic things that the doctrine of eternal security does not teach.
1. It does not teach that God accepts all who make a profession of faith in Christ. “Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness” (2 Tim. 2:19). A person may give mental agreement to facts or have an emotional religious experience and still not be genuinely saved.
2. It does not teach that a person who professes Christianity is saved no matter what his practice may be. “For be very sure of this: no one given to fornication (habitual practice of premarital and extramarital sex) or indecency, or the greed which makes an idol of gain, has any share in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Eph. 5:5-6 - New English Bible).
3. It does not teach that once saved a Christian may live as he pleases. God disciplines His children when they sin. “And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: "My son, do not make light of the Lord's discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son” (Heb. 12:5-6).
4. The doctrine of eternal security means that God has secured the continuous and final salvation of all true believers in Christ Jesus, the Savior, keeping them for this life and all eternity.
The true basis for all Christian living rests in the fact that a Christian knows he is safe in Christ. Once a Christian knows his eternal destiny is in God’s plan, he can begin to live a life for Christ in time.
The motivation for serving the Lord, for one who believes in the security of the believer, is love, not fear. If a person serves the Lord out of fear of losing his salvation, he will experience defeat in most of his Christian experience.
There is a legitimate place to fear God’s disciplinary hand when a Christian becomes rebellious in his life, but the true Christian need never fear losing his salvation for he is secure in Christ. I have known people who have lived lives of frustration and have been driven near insanity because they believed they moved in and out of salvation. They never knew if they were saved from one day to the next. They had been to the altar so many times that salvation had lost all its true meaning for them.
Eternal security properly understood will not make one less zealous for the Lord but more zealous, for he will work in his life out of deep appreciation for his so great salvation in Christ.
The PURPOSE of the Father. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.” (Rom. 8:28-30).
Every person that God foreknew, predestinated, called and justified He also glorified. Not one was lost, and so certain is their salvation that they all are considered as glorified already.
The POWER of the Father. “Who (Christians) through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Pet. 1:5). The Greek says that the Christian is continually guarded by the omnipotence of God.
The PERPETUAL LOVE of the Father. “For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled shall we be saved by his life” (Rom. 5:10 RSV). If God took care of the biggest problem of initially saving us, He can surely take care of the smaller problem of keeping us saved.
The PROTECTION of the Father. “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand.” (John 10:29). Each Christian is securely gripped in the Father’s hand.
The PROMISE of the Son. “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28).
The PRAYER of the Son. “I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name--the name you gave me--so that they may be one as we are one. . . . My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” (John 17:11, 15). “I knew that you always hear me.” (John 11:42). Christ prayed for the safe-keeping of all believers and God must answer His Son’s prayer.
The PROVISION of the Son. He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.” (Rom. 8:32-33). Because Christ died we are secure. Christ died for every sin the Christian has done or will do. His death was complete to provide a perfect salvation. No one can lay anything to the charge of God’s elect because Christ is both the Justifier and Judge. If one could bring a charge against a saved person, then the death of Christ was not sufficient.
The PRESENCE of the Son. “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20). The “end of the age” stops at the Second Advent of Christ, therefore, Christ is with all Christians until He returns to earth.
The PRESENT PRAYER of the High Priest. (1) The advocacy of the Son. “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense--Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2). Christ, as advocate, (defense lawyer), pleads His shed blood before the throne of the Father when a believer does any acts of sin. Therefore, the Father cannot bring His wrath upon the Christian. (2) The intercession of the Son. “Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us” (Rom. 8:34). Christ is praying that the Christian’s faith will not fail, just as He prayed that Peter’s faith would not fail.
“‘Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers. But he replied, ‘Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.’” (Luke 22:31-34).
A Christian’s faith may falter and fluctuate, but it cannot fail.
The Work of God, the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit REGENERATES. “Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit.” (John 3:5). Human life, when begun, never ceases to exist; this is also true of spiritual life.
The Holy Spirit INDWELLS. “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own.” (1 Cor. 6:19), This is a permanent indwelling and there is no indication that the Spirit is ever removed from the believer.
The Holy Spirit BAPTIZES. “For we were all baptized by one Spirit into one body--whether Jews or Greeks, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” (1 Cor. 12:13). The Christian is placed into spiritual union with Christ and placed into the universal church by the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit. If the believer could lose his salvation, then the body of Christ would lose a member and the body would not be complete.
The Holy Spirit SEALS. “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” (Eph. 4:30). The Holy Spirit seals the Christian with His own person. Only God could break the seal but God cannot break it because He promised eternal life.
LOGICAL DEFENSE OF ETERNAL SECURITY
The Christian is a son of God in God’s family. “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12). Just as a son or daughter is always a member of a human family, so a Christian becomes a member of the Father’s family forever.
The Christian received eternal life at the moment of salvation. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16). How can something eternal be lost or taken away?
The Christian was chosen or elected by God for salvation. Election involves security in its very nature. Since God chose us, He will keep us. “But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth.” (2 Thess. 2:13).
The character of God is brought into question if man can lose his salvation. God said that whosoever came to Christ would not be cast away. “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” (John 6:37). God cannot lie!
The Bible makes no distinction between kinds of sins. “Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and the like” (Gal. 5:21 - “envy” is placed next to “murder”). It is unscriptural to say that some sins are worse than others in the presence of a holy God. To say a man could lose his salvation by sinning would make a joke of the completed work of Christ and the promise of forgiveness of sin to the believer. Also if sin causes loss of salvation, how great or how many sins must be committed before one loses his salvation?
DESTROYING TEMPORAL FELLOWSHIP
A Christian can and does sin at times, which destroys his temporal fellowship in this life with God but it does not destroy his security in Christ. King David, after he committed the sin of adultery, and was an accomplice in murder, cried out to God to restore to him the joy of His salvation. “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.” (Ps. 51:12). A Christian out of fellowship is the most miserable person in all the world. He can lose the joy of God’s salvation but he cannot lose God’s salvation.
A Christian out of fellowship is frustrated, confused, guilt-ridden and miserable. There is no happiness, peace or joy for a rebellious believer.
For the Christian, we know there is no person or force on earth or in hell that can rob us of our salvation or shake us from our eternal position in Christ. And there is no person or force in heaven that wants to rob us of our salvation.
The Christian can sing as did the Swedish Christians of old:
“More secure is no one ever, than the loved ones of the Savior.”