Chapter 8 - Securities in God
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This is an elephant in the room at a doubter's convention. Can we lose our salvation? So many different things cause us to ask this question. For the doubter this can mean the difference between doubt and anxiety, to doubt, anxiety, and fear. One of the reasons I believe the Bible didn't address this issue head-on is that it shouldn't be a focus. Christ should be our focus; His Kingdom, His Righteousness (Mat. 6:33). To focus on the security of our salvation tends to get us looking inward, hung up on ourselves. Whether it be because of sin in our life, maybe doubt, maybe an emptiness, many of us do get hung up. For if the foundation that you stand on seems to disappear out from under you nothing else in your life can be at rest. Especially if you've gone as far as to envision hell being where you land. That said, let's examine the evidence the bible provides regarding losing our salvation.


First lets look at the word salvation. What does it mean? In short, it means saved, from what? our sins. So the opposite of salvation then would be not saved from our sins. We know the very name of Jesus means to save His people from their sins (Matt. 1:21), the question were asking here is can we lose that. Let me present several arguments why I believe no we can't. Let's start with Ephesians 1:13-14:


In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Eph. 1:13-14)


God just made us a promise here, a beautiful one. Right away I notice the past tense "after listening", "having also believed" Then notice the emphasis of our promise from God when the writer states "sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise," I'm glad the writer didn't stop there but told us what the promise was, "a pledge of our inheritance". You heard the truth, accepted Jesus into your life, and were given a pledge, a promise, sealed with the Holy Spirit, no strings attached. The same past tense we read in this verse is also read in other verses talking about us having eternal life already. John alone mentions it at least 4 times throughout his book.


"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. (John 6:47 [see also 3:36, 5:24, and 6:54])


You accepted the gospel of your salvation and as the above verse states, you already have eternal life. The thought of losing your salvation in no way fits into the above mentioned verses. For if I believed, and therefore have eternal life, and then do something to lose it than I never had eternal, everlasting life in the first place. You can't have both eternal life and not have eternal life (meaning you lose it) at the same time. For if God declares you have eternal life, what, or who, can nullify that. It doesn't make sense. Jesus is stating here that the believer has eternal life, not will have, or could as long as he finishes his works strong, He is stating he has it, to life forever with Jesus has already been given, it's yours, and it's free!


  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:23)


This brings us to our next point. Salvation is a free gift of God. There is nothing you can contribute to your salvation, your only option to be saved is to accept the One who can. (John 14:6). We don't even get to play a part in it, salvation is 100% completed by God and His finished work on the cross. (John 19:30) This leaves us with nothing to boast about.


  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph. 2:8-9)


Salvation is not merit based. Knowing this let me ask, if we can't gain our salvation by what we do, then why do some think we can lose it by what we do? Is Christ not trust worthy to finish what He started? May it never be! (Phil. 1:6) Salvation started as a free gift, and remains a free gift, the only thing we have to contribute to our salvation is our sin. We get to give it to Jesus and He charges it to the cross and declares us debt free! But can every sin be charged to the cross, aren't their some that are unforgivable, what about this "unpardonable sin" I read about in The Bible.


"Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. "Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matt. 12:31-32)


There is some confusion about what is meant here. One thing most seem to agree on however is that there is an unpardonable sin, what that is however is less clear to many. First I want to look at some basic math, Jesus states "any sin" is forgiven except the one unpardonable sin. This means all but this 1 sin is forgivable. We also know that rejecting Jesus's free gift of salvation is refusing to accept being saved from our sins (John 5:40). Unless these are one in the same, than that would be 2 sins that are unforgivable. If they are in fact one in the same than the math adds up in that there is one unforgivable sin, rejecting Jesus. Let me elaborate.


Notice in these verses it states anything spoken against Jesus (The Son of Man) is forgivable, but anything spoken against the Holy Spirit is not. That's interesting to me, because aren't they one and the same? Isn't the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ? I find it facinating that you can speak against one and be forgiven but not the other, why is that? I would argue, that is because the act of speaking here isn't just harsh words against the Holy Spirit, but it's an act of choosing to reject Him altogether. It is the role of the Spirit to disclose to us the glory of our Lord, (John 16:13-14), It's also the role of the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin so that we see the need for Jesus's saving work, (John 16:7-8), and it is the Holy Spirit which is the gift to those who accept Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2:38). It is the Holy Spirit which seals us in Jesus (Eph. 1:13). And we know that he who has Jesus has life, and he who does not have Jesus does not have life (1 John 5:12).


We know that the Holy Spirit is the indwelling of Jesus in our lives, we also know is the Spirit that knocks on our door asking if He can come in (Rev. 3:20), He will not force His way in as that's a violation of free will. We have to communicate with Him our decision. It's possible that speaking against the Holy Spirit is speaking against/rejecting His offer of salvation and oneness of Jesus Christ, which we communicate with God by prayer, whether external, or internally. The one unforgivable sin here then is not accepting the free gift of salvation that Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit is giving you.


So besides rejecting Jesus's invitation, what sin is unforgivable? None. Once clothed in the righteousness of Jesus there is nothing left to declare "we find the defendant, guilty".


When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Col 2:13-14)


So when we ask Jesus in and are alive together with Him, He forgives us our past debt but He also canceled out the certificate of debt that consisted of decrees against us. He took it out of the way and nailed it to the cross. So our past sins are forgiven and the law/decree that previously judged us has been taken out of the way and nailed to the cross. There is nothing left to condemn us for any future sins. So our math equation looks like this: Jesus makes us alive = past sins forgiven and future sins forgiven. This is why there is now truly no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:1).


I prefer the New American Standard Bible, but I do like how some other translation give a different perspective on a verse. Lets re-read Matthew 12:31-32 in The Message Bible.


"There's nothing done or said that can't be forgiven. But if you deliberately persist in your slanders against God's Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives. If you reject the Son of Man out of some misunderstanding, the Holy Spirit can forgive you, but when you reject the Holy Spirit, you're sawing off the branch on which you're sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives. (Matt. 12:31-32 TMB)


My last topic of discussion is Matthew 7:22-23 & 1 John 2:19. Some have thought these applies to people losing their salvation. Lets look at these verses.


"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' (Matt. 7:22-23).


The argument is that in order for these people to do the works they did in the first place they must of been saved. However, take notice of Jesus's statement "I never knew you", not "I no longer know you". Never implies that they were never saved in the first place. One more side note on this verse, notice all three arguments were what they did, not what Jesus did for them. Acts 13-16 tells a story of non believers working Miracles in Jesus's name.


19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. - 1 John 2:19


It wasn't that they were of us and left but that they were never of us in the first place. As it states here, and is backed by Phil. 1:6, God keeps His commitments and if they were saved, if they were indwelled, "they would have remained". John is saying that by their leaving it was evident that they were never "of us" in the first place.


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If there's a way to fail as a Christian, I feel like I've found it. No I haven't committed murder, but God doesn't call us to perfect ourselves, he calls us to have faith in Him who perfects us. ( Philippians 1:6, Hebrews 12:2) That is where I fail, faith. Trust and reliance aren't my strong suits either. We are called to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7). However, like Peter, I often walk by sight and not by faith. Peter, walking by faith was able to walk on water, but when he started walking by sight he noticed his circumstances, he looked at the wind and at his situation, and he was frightened. (Matthew 14:22 - 36)


But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" - Matthew 14:30


Peters heroism....Peter sank. Is this where the term "sinking feeling" originated? This event is widely known, and Peters role in it? He sank. Don't get me wrong, I love Peter, and I relate with him very well. Like Peter I often feel like I'm sinking. My situation is bad and seems like it can only get worse. Peter wasn't frightened because he was sinking, (as we learn later, he knows how to swim [John 21:7]), Peter was scared because this was the preliminary to him perishing in the storm (Matthew 14:24).


The next part of this story is exciting, Peter who failed to walk by faith, began examining all his options, then he decided on the most logical course of action, Peter cried out, "Lord, save me!" At this point Peter had walked with Jesus for some time. Peter had seen many miracles in fact earlier that day Peter saw Jesus feed 5000 with the amount of food that would normally feed half a dozen. How does Jesus respond?


Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" - Matthew 14:31


You think Peter was discouraged at Jesus's words? I wouldn't be. In that situation I would be rejoicing! Jesus saved me from perishing! Jesus didn't even allow him to splash around a bit to emphasize His rebuke, it states here He grabbed him "Immediately"! Take notice too just before this when all the disciples in the boat became scared at the storm Jesus immediately spoke to them words of encouragement. (Matthew 14:27). (Jesus is not sadistic, He loves us!).


Maybe you found yourself like Peter, doubting Jesus. Not trusting in His ability to sustain you, not understanding how you are safe in your current circumstances; feeling like a failure in faith. I know I have. I would read this story and the part where Jesus was rebuking Peter did not bother me (not to minimize it), I found comfort knowing that while being rebuked I was in Jesus's arms. In fact I am excited. Even though the tone of Jesus's voice might not be pleasant, He can't hide the fact that He loves me, after all we are in His arms.

You see God's faithfulness to us does not depend on our faithfulness to Him. His faithfulness to us is completely conditional on one thing, Himself. God's pillars of faithfulness are deeply grounded in His nature. His promises are backed by the contract of His character. For God cannot deny Himself.


If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. - 2 Timothy 2:13


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