Eternal Security and Gospel Assurance By Mike Gendron Did you know over half of professing…
By Dr. Arnold Frutchenbaum
This shall be the first of a series on various aspects of eternal security.
What is eternal security and can a believer lose his/her salvation?
We might explain eternal security like this: “Eternal security is that continuous operation of the Holy Spirit in the believer by which the work of divine grace that is begun in the heart is continued and brought to completion.” This means that once a person has undergone the real experience of salvation, of regeneration, that person cannot commit some sin or cease to believe with the result of a loss of salvation. That which keeps the believer safe and secure is the work of the Holy Spirit and the work of God on his behalf, not his own works.
Let’s look at this issue in greater detail:
1. Salvation Is Not Repeatable – There is not a single case in Scripture that states: this person was saved; he lost his salvation; and then he was re-saved some time later. That concept is nowhere in Scripture, nor is there a single case of someone who was saved, lost and then saved again later, recorded in the Bible.
2. True Salvation Produces Works of Righteousness – True salvation will produce genuine works of righteousness in one’s life. Anyone who has been truly saved will show it with some degree of evidences, although they might be quite small. A believer works because he is saved (Mat. 7:17-20; Titus 2:11-12; Jas. 2:14-24; II Pet. 1:5-10).
3. Doctrinal Consistency – The Test of True Faith (Col. 1:22-23; II Jn. 2) – When a person is saved, he may not know that Yeshua (Jesus) was born of a virgin. When he does learn it, he will readily accept it. If he denies or rejects this truth, then perhaps he was never truly saved to begin with. Doctrinal consistency is a test of true faith.
4. Works of the Believer Rewarded – (Heb. 6:10) The believer does not attain his salvation by works. Rather, true salvation will result in works. Salvation itself is not a reward, but it is a free gift received by faith.
5. The Basis of the Exhortations to Godly Living – The exhortations in Scripture for godly living are based upon what God has done, never upon the fear of losing one’s salvation (e.g. Rom 12:1-2; 2 Cor 5:15; Eph 4:1)
6. The Results of Sin in the Believer’s Life – Sin severs one’s fellowship with God (I Jn. 1:6-7, 9), but does not sever salvation. Once one believes, he has a “family relationship” with God. When one is born physically, he is born into a family and will always be a part of that family. At times, communion and fellowship within that family might become strained and broken because of animosity between members of the family. The same thing is true in the family of God. One may break fellowship because of one’s sin, but he will always remain in that family nonetheless.
7. Persistent Sin May Show a Lack of Conversion – Consistent sin does not show a loss of salvation. If anything, it may show that the person was never saved to begin with. Often people point to an individual saying that he had walked down the aisle and said “he believed on Jesus,” but has never shown the evidence of it. However, walking down the aisle does not mean a person had true saving faith, nor does merely saying that he believed mean he had true saving faith. The question is: “Was he ever really saved to begin with? Was he ever really converted in the true sense of the term?”
8. Perfection Is Not Achieved in This Life – Believers will be sinning for the rest of their lives. If one must reach perfection in order to maintain salvation, then every believer is in trouble. If anyone could have made it to perfection, it would have been the Apostle Paul, and yet he wrote, “I am not yet perfect” (Phil. 3:12-14).
9. The Difference Between Position and Practice – Paul referred to the Corinthian church positionally as being a sanctified church (I Cor. 1:2). But according to their practice, they are one of the worst churches in the New Testament. There is a difference between position and practice; however, bad practice does not mean that the position has been lost.
10. The Relationship Between Works and Salvation – If works are needed to keep salvation, then salvation is by works. In Romans 4:4-6 Paul said:
4Now to him that works, the reward is not reckoned as of grace, but as of debt. 5But to him that works not, but believes on him that justifies the ungodly, his faith is reckoned for righteousness. 6Even as David also pronounced blessing upon the man, unto whom God reckons righteousness apart from works,…
Galatians 2:21: I do not make void the grace of God: for if righteousness is through the law, then Christ died for nought.
And II Timothy 1:9: …who saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before times eternal.