INTRODUCTION TO
SALVATION SECURITY
 


 

INTRODUCTION TO
SALVATION SECURITY

The security of the believer is an awesome principle of Bible truth.
Not only is it the crown example of what "saved by grace" means, but it is a powerful motivation for greater love and service to the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Far from being any imagined "license" to sin, for the believer who understands God's sealing "down payment" of the indwelling Holy Spirit, salvation security provides the freedom to live above every encumbrance from human viewpoint and every lust from the sin nature that seeks to entangle us.

The doctrine of salvation security, as an imagined excuse or license to sin, is simply a straw man which certain ones think, that by knocking it down, they can once and for all guarantee the purity of the church and exclude anyone who sins as either having never been saved in the first place, or having forfeited the gift of eternal life that God gave to them in Christ. To believe that salvation can be lost, thus becomes a bludgeon which legalistic people use to ride herd over their fellow Christians. It leads only to fear and hopelessness in view of the very real presence of sin in the growing believer.

Christians do not need the threat of loosing salvation as a motivation not to sin. Such motivation comes from an understanding and love of God's word.
But this is something that builds progressively in time through growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. If there is not a very real and on going progression in growth, no threat, however grave will properly motivate someone to live for the Lord.

And in the meantime, we cannot view any failure of a fellow Christian, whether it be mild or serious (relatively speaking), as either a sign that someone was never saved or as something that can some how undo the sovereign decision of God Almighty who saved the one who trusted in Christ.
What then of the sinning Christians that surround us on every side? The bible gives very clear instructions how to deal with the erring believer.

1. The application of the law of love in seeking to mend or
restore an erring believer by providing the information he needs to recover from his failure.

Gal. 6:1-2

Brethren, even if a man is detected
in any trespass
you who are spiritual
mend such a one
in a spirit of gentleness
looking to yourself
lest you too be tempted
Rom. 15:1-3

Now we who are strong
ought to carry away
the weaknesses of those without strength
and not only please ourselves.
Let each of us please his neighbor
for his benefit, to his building up

2. The application of admonishment through teaching and disassociation in order to convict the erring believer of his shortcomings.

2 Thes. 3:14-15

And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter,
take special note of that man and do not associate with him,
so that he may be put to shame.
Yet do not regard him as an enemy,
but admonish him as a brother.

3. Removal of a sinning believer from the midst of fellowship with others within the structure of the local church. (1 Cor. 5:2, 9-13)

Titus 3:10-11

Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,
knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.

4. In reference to church leadership:

1 Tim. 5:19-20

Do not receive an accusation against an elder
except on the basis of two or three witnesses.
Those who continue in sin,
rebuke in the presence of all,
so that the rest also may be fearful {of sinning.}

Notice, that the context for each of these examples, whether the failure be mild or serious, involves people who are to be treated as BRETHREN.

And what of God's part in all of this? The most dramatic proof of salvation security, is the doctrine of divine discipline (Heb. 12:6-13). It is only the child who comes under the loving discipline of his Father. The unbeliever is never disciplined by God.

God treats the erring believer as a son. We are exhorted to treat the erring believer as a brother. Where in this context is there any room for someone who has been once placed into the family of God, to ever, for any reason whatsoever, be rejected and kicked out of that family?

The dissertation which will develop on these pages in days to come, will demonstrate to anyone who is truly oriented to the grace of God, that once our salvation is given to us by God at the moment of time that we trust in Christ as savior, that salvation is eternally ours and is secured and preserved by the very nature of God's integrity who gave it to us.

THE PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS
What is the perseverance of the saints?

In Calvinistic theology this term refers to the idea that those who are truly saved or “elect” WILL most certainly be “faithful unto death” and not succumb to faith-shattering pressures and temptations. Even if they fall into various sins, the theory is that they will certainly RECOVER before death, and stand before the Lord as having endured.

The sad thing about this is that when someone (a believer) fails to recover from sin before his death, it is claimed that such a person was never saved in the first place; was never really a true believer. This is human rationale to explain the fact that “believers” do in fact physically die without recovering from a back-sliding faith and a sinful life style.


 

On the other hand, the Arminian position is that a TRUE believer can indeed fall away to such an extent that he is no longer a believer and has in fact, lost his salvation, and will be condemned to everlasting judgment as an unbeliever.

A quote from John Wesley by Ralston in his book, "Elements of Divinity," on page 455 states this as follows.

“Can a child of God, then, go to hell? Or can a man be a child of God today, and a child of the devil tomorrow? If God is our Father once, is he not our Father always?

I answer, 1. A child of God - that is, a true believer - (for he that believeth is born of God,) while he continues a true believer, cannot go to hell. 2. If a believer makes shipwreck of the faith, he is no longer a child of God; and then he may go to hell, yea, and certainly will, if he continues in unbelief. 3. If a believer may make shipwreck of the faith, then a man that believes now may be an unbeliever some time hence; yea, very possibly tomorrow; but if so, he who is a child of God today, may be a child of the devil tomorrow. For, 4. God is the Father of them that believe, so long as they believe; but the devil is the father of them that believe not, whether they did once believe or no.”



The Calvinist view on this is stated in the Canons of Dordt, articles 6 and 7.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, according to his unchangeable purpose of election, does not wholly withdraw the Holy Spirit from his own people, even in their melancholy falls; nor suffers them to proceed so far as to lose the grace of adoption, and forfeit the state of justification, or to commit the sin unto death; nor does he permit them to be totally deserted, and to plunge themselves into everlasting destruction.

For in the first place. in these falls he preserves in them the incorruptible seed of regeneration from perishing, or being totally lost; and again, by his Word and Spirit, certainly and effectually renews them to repentance, to a sincere and godly sorrow for their sins, that they may seek and obtain remission in the blood of the Mediator, may again experience the favor of a reconciled God, through faith adore his mercies, and henceforward more diligently work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.”


 

And it is summarized by the on-line THEOPEDIA as follows. 

“Perseverance of the saints is the Calvinist doctrine that those who are truly saved will persevere to the end and cannot lose their salvation. It doesn't mean that a person who is truly saved will never lose faith or backslide at any time. But that they will ultimately persevere in faith (in spite of failures) such as not to lose their salvation.”


 

But the purpose of this article is not to compare the above two views. Nor is it to support one over the other. My purpose is to present what I believe to be the true Biblical teaching about the salvation security of the person who has trusted in Christ as Savior.

 I contend that the Calvinist theory of “Perseverance of the saints” is not taught in the Bible. Although our salvation SHOULD be characterized by the doing of good works (as indicated at Ephesians 2:10), and Perseverance would certainly be included as the manifestation of good works, such Perseverance should never be the determining factor as to the salvation security of the believer. Our salvation status is never acquired or maintained through the doing of good works.

Of course we are encouraged in several passages to ENDURE and to “remain faithful unto death,” but these passages focus on blessing in time and reward in eternity, and do not deal with the security of our salvation status. The performance of good works, resisting sin, and remaining faithful is not what determines the validity of one’s salvation relationship with God.


 

The security of the believer is an awesome principle of Bible truth.
Not only is it the crown example of what "saved by grace" means, but it is a powerful motivation for greater love and service to the great God and our Savior, Jesus Christ. Far from being any imagined "license" to sin, for the believer who understands God's sealing "down payment" of the indwelling Holy Spirit, salvation security provides the freedom to live above every encumbrance from human viewpoint and every lust from the sin nature that seeks to entangle us.

The doctrine of salvation security, as an imagined excuse or license to sin, is simply a straw man which certain ones think, that by knocking it down, they can once and for all guarantee the purity of the church and exclude anyone who sins as either having never been saved in the first place, or having forfeited the gift of eternal life that God gave to them in Christ. To believe that salvation can be lost, thus becomes a bludgeon which legalistic people use to ride herd over their fellow Christians. It leads only to fear and hopelessness in view of the very real presence of sin in the growing believer.

Christians do not need the threat of loosing salvation as a motivation not to sin. Such motivation comes from an understanding and love of God's word.
But this is something that builds progressively in time through growth in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. If there is not a very real and on going progression in growth, no threat, however grave will properly motivate someone to live for the Lord.

And in the meantime, we cannot view any failure of a fellow Christian, whether it be mild or serious (relatively speaking), as either a sign that someone was never saved or as something that can some how undo the sovereign decision of God Almighty who saved the one who trusted in Christ.
What then of the sinning Christians that surround us on every side? The bible gives very clear instructions how to deal with the erring believer.

1. The application of the law of love in seeking to mend or restore an erring believer by providing the information he needs to recover from his failure. Galatians 6:1-2

Brethren, even if a man is detected in any trespass you who are spiritual mend such a one in a spirit of gentleness looking to yourself lest you too be tempted.


Romans 15:1-3
Now we who are strong ought to carry away the weaknesses of those without strength
and not only please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his benefit, to his building up.


 

2. The application of admonishment through teaching and disassociation in order to convict the erring believer of his shortcomings. 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15
And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter,  take special note of that man and do not associate with him, so that he may be put to shame.
Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.


 

3. Removal of a sinning believer from the midst of fellowship with others within the structure of the local church. (1 Corinthians 5:2, 9-13)

Titus 3:10-11

Reject a factious man after a first and second warning,
knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.


 

4. In reference to church leadership:

1 Timothy 5:19-20

Do not receive an accusation against an elder except on the basis of two or three witnesses. Those who continue in sin, rebuke in the presence of all, so that the rest also may be fearful {of sinning.}


 

Notice, that the context for each of these examples, whether the failure be mild or serious, involves people who are to be treated as BRETHREN.

And what of God's part in all of this? The most dramatic proof of salvation security, is the doctrine of divine discipline (Heb. 12:6-13). It is only the child who comes under the loving discipline of his Father. The unbeliever is never disciplined by God.

God treats the erring believer as a son. We are exhorted to treat the erring believer as a brother. Where in this context is there any room for someone who has been once placed into the family of God, to ever, for any reason whatsoever, be rejected and kicked out of that family?

The thirteen factors of salvation security outlined below, will demonstrate to anyone who is truly oriented to the grace of God, that once our salvation is given to us by God at the moment of time that we trust in Christ as savior, it is eternally ours and is secured and preserved by the very nature of God's integrity who gave it to us.

THE 13 FACTORS OF SALVATION SECURITY

1. Salvation is provided, administered and secured by God alone.

A. Salvation is the work of God. Man does nothing to possess it.
Eph. 2.8-9; Titus 3.5-6; 2 Tim. 1.9; 1 Cor. 1.30;
Gal. 2.16; 2 Cor. 1.21-22
B. If man is unable in himself to obtain salvation,
he is just as unable to maintain it.
C. Therefore, it depends totally on God's ability that our salvation is secure.
Heb. 7.25
1. The power of God: 1 Pet. 1.5; Jn. 10.28-29; Rom. 14.4
2. The faithfulness of God: 1 Cor. 1.9; 1 Thes. 5.24; 2 Tim.2.12-13

2. ETERNAL life by definition cannot end.

Jn. 3.16, 36; 10.28; 1 Jn. 5.11-12
If we can lose ETERNAL life -- we never had it.

3. Salvation constitutes freedom from judgment: Romans 8.1

A. John 3.16-18; 5.24
B. Romans 6:23, the wages of sin have been removed and replaced with
the gift of eternal life.
B. 1 Thes. 5.9
C. If we have truly been delivered from eternal judgment ,
then we cannot receive such judgment .

4. Salvation places the believer IN UNION WITH CHRIST:

A. Baptism of the H.S: 1 Cor. 12.13; Gal. 3.27
B. 2 Cor. 5.17 - new creation - OLD THINGS PASSED AWAY ---
spiritual death (Rom. 6.23) and judgment (Rom. 8.1)
C. Established and sealed: 2 Cor. 1.21-22
D. The permanent status of sanctification: Heb. 10.14
E. Under the special relationship love of God. Rom. 8.32-39

5. Salvation places the believer in the family of God: Jn. 1.12; Gal. 3.26

Once born into the family of God, you cannot be "unborn."
A. Born again: 1 Pet. 1.23
B. Christ's brethren: Heb. 2.11-13
C. Fellow-brethren: the carnal believers of the Corinthian church.
D. Child discipline: Heb. 12.4-8
E. Back-slidden brother: 2 Thes. 3.14-15
F. Now we are sons of God: 1 Jn. 3.1
G. The people of God: 1 Pet. 2.10
H. Heavenly citizenship: Phil. 3.20

6. Since the believer IS a child of God, he IS an heir (Rom. 8.16-17)
and possesses a reserved inheritance. (1 Pet. 1.4-5)

7. Salvation titles express the permanent STATUS of the believer.

A. Saint: 1 Cor. 1.2; Phil. 1.1
B. Elect: Col. 3.12; 1 Pet. 2.9
C. Brethren: 1 Cor. 2.1

8. The SEALING work of the Holy Spirit is a guarantee of redemption.

A. Indwelling - one time: Rom. 8.9 with 2 Cor. 5.5
B. New birth - one time: Titus 3.5
C. Baptism - one time: 1 Cor. 12.13
D. Sealing - one time: Eph. 1.13-14; 2 Cor. 1.22
E. Filling - many times: Eph. 5.18; 1 Thes. 5.19 Gal. 5.16, 25
F. Man's problem in understanding salvation security is the failure to
recognize the difference between relationship and experience.

9. Status at the reward seat of Christ is SAVED.

1 Cor. 3.10-15 - He himself shall be saved

10. The transfer from darkness to LIGHT is a completed work.

A. The intent: Acts 26.18
B. The fulfillment: Col. 1.13
C. The past, present status and experience: Eph. 5.8

11. The Imitation of God is an issue for a believer ONLY.

2 Cor. 6.14-18; 7.1 + Eph. 5.8; Col. 2.10-16 + 3.1-12

12. The prayer of Jesus is answered. Jn. 17.20, 24

13. The believer is an over-comer by virtue of his initial genuine
trust in Christ as savior and possesses all the benefits of salvation.

1 Jn. 5.5; Rv.12.11a; Rv. 2.7, 11, 17, 26; 3.5, 12, 21; 21.7


see PROMISES
concerning
SALVATION SECURITY

 
 

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