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The Security of Salvation

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The 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.

 

We’ll 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?

 

Therefore,” 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!

 

The second 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!

 

We’ll 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!

 

Thanks to John MacArthur,Charles Stanley, Adrian Rodgers and all of the great Evangelical Christian teachers who preach this message of Salvation.