Security of Salvation
How can I be sure
my salvation is once and for all? It says in the Book of Revelation that you
can have your name erased from the Book of Life, doesn’t it? What if I
renounce my faith and turn away from the church? It says in Hebrews 6:4-6 that
if I fall away after tasting the Word of God, it will be impossible to renew me to repentance.
“I used to believe in all of that church stuff but not anymore.”
“If I keep sinning, won’t God someday say, “enough is enough?” and turn His back on me?” “I know that I’m saved, but I’m really not sure if I’m going
to Heaven.” “What if I commit the unpardonable sin?”
These are statements
that are common to many people that hold to a doctrine of conditional salvation. In
other words, your salvation is only so good as long as you meet the conditions of maintaining your salvation. Sure, God has saved me and now if I continue to match up with the standard I can hold on to that salvation,
if at any point I fail to live up to the standard I lose it. Simply said, my
works have to stay up to standard or I forfeit my salvation. Heavy stuff and quite a burden to bear, always looking over my
shoulder to see if I’ve been good enough or wondering if “that sin” was the one to put me over the top. Let’s see if we can tackle the subject.
look at several verses in our search to see what the Bible says about security, but our focus will be in the Book of Romans,
specifically Romans 5 and 8. The Book of Romans is the primary doctrinal book
of the Bible and much of what we know of salvation comes from Paul's incredible work.
I've gone through several classes on Romans, read it many times and even have based much of my doctrinal understanding
on this book. Yet I never understood Romans 5 and the depth of its truth until
now. I owe much of that understanding of this subject to material
which comes from sermon series by John McArthur, Charles Stanley and Adrian Rodgers, Warren Wiersbie as well as many
other conservative Evangelical teachers.
Back in chapters 3 and 4 Paul sets up his thesis that salvation comes by grace through…what?…faith. And that faith is all that is necessary to appropriate eternal salvation. It was a tough one for the Jews to swallow. They believed
in a works-righteous system of salvation, that is, by doing certain works, he gains favor with God. The goodness of man living up to a standard is the key here. But
Paul says that salvation is a free gift that is given by God’s grace, that is unearned and undeserved, and is appropriated
by faith and faith alone.
And because men are
basically into works, into human achievement, into self-righteousness, they have a hard time believing that it’s not
about what they do or don’t do that sets their fate. You say it’s
enough to believe in faith, but are you sure it’s enough? Once you’re
there, don’t you have to live up to some standard or live to a certain level or lose it?
It seems so simple, too simple. Can faith keep us saved?
Paul addresses that
issue in Romans 5 and presents six great links in a chain that ties a true believer to the Savior. These are six great truths, six great realities and the chain is so secure.
Before we dig into chapter five, let’s look at Romans 4:22-25.
“This is why, it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “
it was not for him alone (Abraham), but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in Him
who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our
sins and was raised to life for our justification."
Abraham believed that God had power to do as He promised. That
was essential to his salvation as it is to ours. God has also credited righteousness
to us. Do we believe that God has the power to do as He promised?
because of this past study of justification by faith, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have
(link number one) “peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1). This is the first great reality that affirms to me
as a believer that I am at peace with God. It’s not about feelings; it’s
about a relationship. If we have peace with God because of salvation, what did
we have prior to salvation? War! God
was at war with you because of sin and you were so much his enemy that someday He would throw you into the lake of fire to
burn forever. He hates sin! If you
aren’t a child of God you’re a child of Satan and will get what is promised to Satan.
But it says that we have
peace with God! It isn’t that we did anything at all to earn it- it was
the perfect work of Christ. And all of that wrath and fury God had against sin
was poured out onto Him. The end of verse one says that it (peace) was “through our Lord Jesus Christ.” In Christ,
there was the full payment for sin and God was satisfied, the price was paid.
Colossians 1:19-22 says, “and through Him to reconcile to Himself all things,
whether things on earth or things in Heaven, by making peace through His blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now He has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in His
sight, without blemish and free from accusation…”
From now on God sees
you as holy, unblamable in His sight. Why?
Because every sin which you should have been punished for – Christ bore for you!
Every sin, past, present and future – covered and forgiven by His sacrifice on the cross, each one is already
forgiven. You are without blame. Romans
8:1 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
The entire book of
Romans revolves around the concept of justification – God declaring your sins forgiven through the blood shed on the
cross, but more than that, declaring that the righteousness of Christ is now credited to your account. When He sees us, God sees Christ. Jesus is the filter through
which God sees us, and He is perfect! Everything we have is through our Lord
Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1 tells us that, “For we are blessed with all spiritual blessing in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus.” But does He maintain that reconciliation for us with the Father? First
John 1:7 says, “ He keeps on cleansing us from all sin.”- continual cleansing. So, we are at peace forever because every sin we will ever commit was already borne
by Christ, every sin was paid for and covered – past tense. And we are
maintained in reconciliation not only by the past act of Christ on the cross, but also by His present mediation at the right
hand of God. For how long? As long
as Christ lives. Forever!
link, verse two, is standing in grace. “By whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now
stand.” What a great truth!
For a Jew, this was impossible. They couldn’t even say the name
of God or enter into His presence, not even in the Temple. God is so holy, beyond
what we can conceive, and there was no access. This remains true for sinful man
today, but Christ changed that. Trough Jesus we have access to the Father!
Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let
us come boldly to the very throne of God and stay there to receive His mercy and to find grace to help us in our times of
need.” Hebrews 10:19 says, “And so,dear brothers, now we may walk right into the Holy of Holies where God is, because of the blood
of Jesus…” Because of Christ, we can stand firm in His grace.
What is grace? “It is undeserved favor by which He saves us and makes us righteous solely on
the basis of His sovereign love and not because of any worthiness on our part and in spite of our sin because of the perfect
sacrifice of Jesus Christ.” (McArthur) We had nothing to do with
it, and once we get it, we can stand firm in it, unshakable, and secure. Jude
24 says, “ To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious
presence without fault and with great joy…” That’s how Christ presents us before the Father,
faultless and He does it with great joy!
end with several verses from Hebrews. Hebrews 10:10 says, “ And
by that will (the will of the Father), we have been made holy (sanctified) through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. Verse 12 goes on, “ But when this priest (Jesus) had
offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time He waits for His enemies to be made His footstool, because by one sacrifice He has
made perfect forever those who are being made holy." He sat
down – the work is finished and through that work we have been made perfect – for how long – forever! Praise God.
Our side? We persevere, we obey, and we walk in obedience. We do it
through the power of the Holy Spirit in us. For those Christians who suddenly
bail out and walk away, 1 John 2:19 says, “They went out from us because they were not of us. If they were of us they would have continued with us.” God always protects His own, sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise!