The Security of the Believer
August 27, 2015
One of the most essential doctrines of the faith, is the security of the believer. Are we eternally secure in our salvation? Can we lose are salvation? Is “once saved always saved even biblical?” Tough questions to answer.
The Bible assures the Believer of the security of their salvation. Let’s look at some of the scriptures and remind us of the rich heritage we share.
II. The main argument against Eternal Salvation: Hebrews 5:9
“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;” (Hebrew 5:9 KJV)
That looks like there is a condition put on eternal salvation (aionos soteria in Greek), the condition of obedience. Having been raised as a Christian in a denomination that did NOT believe in the security of the believer, I wrestled with this scripture for over 20 years.. It wasn’t until I had taken a year of Greek in college, that I was able to render my own translation of this passage.
You really have to resort to the Greek here. hupakouo is translated obey. A better translation is listen intently:
Hupa in Greek, means under. Hupakouo means to listen attentively, as under someone in authority.
The verse then is perhaps better translated:
Hebrews 5:9 NIV “And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him;”
Or my translation: Having been made perfect (teleiothesis), he became (past tense) the source (aitios) of eternal (aionois) salvation (soteria) to all who attentively listen to him.”
Changes the meaning. There is NO condition put upon Eternal Salvation, is there?
How does that mesh with other scriptures?
John 10:27 says: My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me (NIV)
Hmm. Our old familiar akouo. We get our word acoustics from this word. LISTEN. We listen attentively for the shepherd’s voice.
The only condition placed upon salvation that we can find is in Ephesians 2:8-10
“ For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (The faith to believe, is a free gift.) We can’t earn it. We can’t change it. It’s totally, and completely a work of God. Nothing we can do can add or subtract from our salvation. (Eph 2:8-10 NIV)
III. A bit further – Evidences of Salvation (From Pastor Bob Beeman’s Intense Studies Course, Redondo Beach, Ca. Circa 1991)
The indwelling Spirit. “When you are saved, the Holy Spirit moves in and makes His home in your life.” (Romans 8:9).
The Holy Spirit gives evidence of Salvation: Romans 8:16 “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (NIV)
Desire to Please God: A willingness to follow God’s Word and do his commands.
3 We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. 4 Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. 5 But if anyone obeys his word, love for God[a] is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: 6 Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did. (1 john 2:3-6 NIV)
The desire to obey through Christ, the proof of salvation is obedience. John 14:15 tells us simply: “If you love me, keep my commands.” (NIV)
Discipline – The dreaded “D” word
And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says,
“My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline,
and do not lose heart when he rebukes you,
6 because the Lord disciplines the one he loves,
and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.”[a]
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:5-11)
“A lack of God’s disciplining hand in the lives of those who claim to be saved, yet persist to live in sin, should be seen as an indicator that he has most assuredly NOT been saved!” (Pastor Bob Beeman)
God calls us to be fruit inspectors. Remember that fruit takes time to produce, and to grow.
22-23 But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely. (Galatians 5:22-23 The Message)
More familiarly: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. (Galatians 5:22-26 NIV)
Affection for God’s people. “All who are saved below to God’s family. It’s natural that those who belong to the same family, love one another. (Pastor Bob Beeman)
14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love each other. Anyone who does not love remains in death. (1 John 3:14 NIV)
“Notice how this love became evident in the life of the jailer at Philippi after he was converted.” (Pastor Bob Beeman)
At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptised. 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole household. (Acts 16:33-34 NIV)
IV. Once saved, always saved? (Or the Perseverance of the Saints)
Bible exegesis teaches, that we often use easy-to-understand passages, to cultivate the meaning of hard-to-understand passages. Such is the case with the Hebrews 5:9 passage.
Let’s look at John 3:16-18 (NIV)
16 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. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18 NIV)
Eternal Salvation does NOT depend on anything man does. I have to power to rescind.. To declare my trust in Christ alone, as null and void. That doesn’t sound like Eternal Salvation to me.
Ephesians 1:13-14 tells us:
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. (NIV)
The Holy Spirit that indwells every believer, is the deposit – the arrhabon (Earnest Money which purchases a pledge or down-payment that the full amount will subsequently be paid. (Strong’s concordance) guaranteeing our inheritance.
It is completely a work of God, as Ephesians tells us. Our salvation rest firmly on what the word of God says.
Once saved, always saved? John 6:29 answers the question:
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29 NIV)
How about this: 2 Cor 4:16-18
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. (2 Cor 4:16-18 The Message)
Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. (John 5:24 NIV)
Some people believe, only to get their grace ticket to Heaven punched. The feel they can live and do anything they want. It’s grace.
So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!
3-5 That’s what baptism into the life of Jesus means. When we are lowered into the water, it is like the burial of Jesus; when we are raised up out of the water, it is like the resurrection of Jesus. Each of us is raised into a light-filled world by our Father so that we can see where we’re going in our new grace-sovereign country.
6-11 Could it be any clearer? Our old way of life was nailed to the cross with Christ, a decisive end to that sin-miserable life—no longer at sin’s every beck and call! What we believe is this: If we get included in Christ’s sin-conquering death, we also get included in his life-saving resurrection. (Rom 6:3-11 The Message)
Gal 2:19-21 What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. (The Message)
Chuck Swindoll in “The Grace Awakening” said it best:
Journey down the path to freedom
The word grace is a short, simple word. But understanding the biblical depth and meaning of grace can take a lifetime of study and application. It’s almost a shame that a word describing suppleness of movement or a short, quick prayer before a meal is the same word we use to describe God’s unfathomable love for sinners. Nevertheless, it is grace that moves Him to offer us the free gift of salvation and forgiveness.
Grace is what compelled the apostle Paul to write of a mystery never understood before (1 Corinthians 2:7–13). Grace is also what allows us to relax into another’s accepting embrace as he or she gives us the freedom to discover our unique journey laid out by God. So relax as we journey together down the path toward freedom and the wonderment of the surpassing riches of God’s grace!
“Grace is NOT a license to sin. Grace is the power to live free from the bondage of sin.”
The King James said it best. I do NOT frustrate the grace of God. Stop that! We’re to live lives completely dedicated to the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Do our lives reflect His grace, or do we have one foot in the Bible, and the other on a banana peel in the world? STOP.
Is our life a reflection of Jesus, and the grace given to us, or does it have the same consistency of the world.
“God requires us to live in the world. But He inoculates us from its value system.” (Larry O. Richards)
Are you inoculated, or do you continue frustrating God’s grace.
“God’s choice is to let man choose there own eternal destiny, because the invitation is given to all.” (Larry O. Richards)
What’s your individual choice, on where you will spend eternity?
Need more proof? Pastor Bob Beeman’s notes on Eternal Security.