Eternal Security: Problem Passages, part 1

There are many so-called “problem” passages on the issue of eternal security that various groups use certain to try to prove that it is possible to lose one’s salvation. We shall deal with these briefly below in multiple parts.[1]

Some passages of Scripture have been “dispensationally misapplied.” Take for example these two passages in Ezekiel. People often use this passage to show that it is possible to lose salvation. However, these passages are not dealing with the individual’s salvation in the Age of Grace, but are dealing with Israel as a nation at some other period of time.

These passages are not actually speaking of the spiritual salvation of individuals. Rather, they concern Israel as a nation under the Mosaic Law, individual accountability, physical life and physical death.

Another passage that has been dispensationally misapplied is Matthew 18:21‑35, in which Yeshua dealt with the issue of forgiving the brother and told the story about the unforgiving steward. He then made the point that if a believer does not forgive others, then he should not expect to be forgiven himself (v. 35). However, in this context the issue is not salvation forgiveness; instead, it is family forgiveness. Salvation forgiveness is the means by which one enters into God’s family, and the only way of receiving salvation forgiveness is by grace through faith apart from works. But once one is in the family, sin in the believer’s life; such as, holding a grudge against a brother, can cause a breakup in the relationship within the family of God. And it can break one’s fellowship with God the Father. The way a believer receives family forgiveness of sins is by means of confession (I Jn. 1:9). The point of this Matthew account is that confessing sins is not going to gain family forgiveness if the confessor is not willing to forgive people who have wronged him or offended him.

[1] This post is a modified version of Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s original Messianic Bible Study. The full version may be obtained here.

Eternal Security: Part 5

Here are eleven additional points to consider regarding eternal security:[1]

1)  When Yeshua died for the sins of the world, He died for all of the sins of the world, not only until the next sin was committed. The very fact that the work of Jesus was finished -the fact that He does not need to come and die again – shows that those who have received the benefits of His work cannot lose it. Those who have received salvation cannot, therefore, lose it, because it would require the Messiah to do His work all over again (Heb. 10:12‑18).

2) In I Peter 1:4‑5 we see that believers have been kept through faith, and are kept unto the final consummation. God is doing the keeping. Indeed, if the retaining of salvation were dependent upon the believer, everyone would lose it.

3) Every believer is a new creature or creation (II Cor. 5:17). This fact means that one cannot suddenly now eternally cease to exist.

4) Just as no one can obtain salvation by works, but only through faith, even so, no one is going to keep his salvation by works. Read Ephesians 2:8‑9.

5) According to John 6:37‑40, the believer is a gift given by God the Father to the Son because of the Son’s obedience.

6) In I John 3:9, we read that the seed abides. The seed is the gospel seed that produces eternal life. This eternal life continually abides; it does not at some point become inoperative.

7) Salvation is a free gift (Rom. 11:29). A free gift is not truly free if it can be demanded back. When God gives a gift, it is a free gift of grace; it is not something that He will take back from the one to whom He has given it.

8) Salvation is also a birth, a new birth (Jn. 1:12; 3:3; Jas. 1:18; I Pet. 1:3, 23). The fact that salvation is a birth makes it final and unchangeable. Just as a child’s physical birth is final and unchangeable, so that it cannot be put back into the womb to start all over again, even so, believers are born again.

9) A believer is not able to keep himself saved any more than he was able to save himself in the first place (Gal. 3:3). Just as God saves, God is the One who is going to keep.

10) God has paid the highest price for believers: the blood of His Son. That is too high a price to give them up now.

11) Gross sins are punished, but never at the loss of salvation (e.g. I Cor 5:1‑5; 11:29‑32).

[1] This post is a modified version of Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s original Messianic Bible Study. The full version may be obtained here.

Eternal Security: Part 3

Another important area of evidence for eternal security is based upon the lengthy passage of Romans 8:1‑39.[1]

Verse 1: There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus means that the believer is no longer under any condemnation, no matter how often he may personally sin.

Verses 2‑8: the believer has been delivered from the Law, and the Law can no longer condemn him.

Verses 9‑13: the divine nature is present within the believer, and this divine nature is not capable of spiritually dying.

Verses 14‑17: the believer is an heir of God; as an heir, he will not lose his inheritance.

Verses 28‑30: the divine purpose is that the very ones who have been justified-and every believer has been justified-will some day also be glorified.

Verses 31‑33: Paul emphasizes the execution of the divine purpose, and indeed the ones whom He has justified He will glorify, because He will not accept any charges [against His] elect.

Verse 34: in light of the Messiah’s achievement, the believer’s security is guaranteed to be eternal.

Verses 35‑39: Paul points out the incompetency of celestial and mundane things to keep one eternally. Believers do not have the power to keep themselves, so God is the One who is going to keep them. On the other hand, these verses emphasize further that there is nothing – absolutely nothing – that can now separate us from the love of God. Nothing outside of us, nothing inside of us, not even we ourselves can separate us from the love of God.

[1] This post is a modified version of Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s original Messianic Bible Study. The full version may be obtained here.