PART 5 ETERNAL SECURITY
PART 5 ETERNAL SECURITY
Are There Additional Benefits That a New Testament Believer Received at Salvation Beside the Indwelling Spirit?
Have you ever wondered, now that you have received the Holy Spirit, what other benefits have been given to you? Well, there are more. Below are only some of them. Some contend that there are actually at least 40 additional benefits that a new believer receives at salvation.
1. We are quickened by the Holy Spirit.
Paul addressed the believers at the Church of Ephesus to let them know that even when their souls were dead in sin, God the Father quickened them in association with repentance and belief in his Son. This word quickened refers to their spiritual resurrection by means of the power of the Holy Spirit and the impartation of divine life, made possible by Christ’s resurrection from the dead.
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (Ephesians 2:4-5)
2. Our old man is crucified with Christ.
Our old man refers to the sinful and corrupt nature that has been crucified with Christ on the cross through our identification with Him. The body, which has belonged to or has been ruled by the power of sin, may now cease to be an instrument of sin and is no longer subject to its control.
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. (Romans 6:6)
3. We are sealed with the Holy Spirit; the seal signifying:
A finished transaction35 (Jeremiah 32:9-10; John 17:4; 19:30)
Ownership36 (Jeremiah 32:11-12; 2 Timothy 2:19)
Security37 (Esther 8:8; Daniel 6:17; Ephesians 4:30)
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:13)
4. We are baptized into one body.
At conversion, the Spirit enters the believing sinner, which is otherwise known as the Baptism (indwelling) of the Holy Spirit. By the agency of the Holy Spirit, the Corinthian believers had been suited individually with the endowments or gifts of the Spirit as necessary for the body of Christ, the church.
Some believe that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit does not refer to the indwelling Spirit, but the filling of the Spirit. They would state that the filling refers to the Spirit providing a person, who repented and believed in Christ, with his power to exercise His gifts. However, the receiving of the indwelling Spirit would only take place, when the person was baptized in water. This view is covered in my new book, “The Spirituality Puzzle” and will subsequently be undertaken in a more in depth manner.
For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:13)
5. We have been made an heir of God through Christ.
We are no longer to be treated as servants, being bound by the oppression of the Law, but as sons --members of God’s family. And because we are sons, then we are also heirs who possess God himself, partake of his nature, and possess every blessing to which we are entitled by Him.
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:6-7)
6. We are given eternal life.
God the Father has given us eternal life. The gift of eternal life is from His Son Jesus Christ, and in Him. It is a life, too which includes everything that appertains to it, the pardon of our sins, reconciliation with God, adoption into His family, and all those sanctifying influences of the Holy Spirit which constitute the foretaste of this eternal life in the heart of the Christian.38
And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. (John 5:11)
7. We are seated together with Christ in heavenly places.
God the Father has raised us up from spiritual death to spiritual life—from death to sin to a life of righteousness, being made alive and raised spiritually with Christ. He has also caused our spiritual position to be in heavenly places in Christ, who is seated at the right hand of the Father as our Head and Representative. We are admitted to exalted honors in virtue of our connection with Him. Even now our life and thoughts are raised to the heavens where He reigns.39
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6)
8. We are God’s handiwork
For we are God the Father’s workmanship (denotes a work of art or masterpiece; a spiritual handiwork), being made a new spiritual creature in which there is a moral and spiritual renewal for good deeds, which God has prepared beforehand a path of good works that He will perform in and through us as we choose to walk by faith.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10)
9. We are fellow citizens with the saints and of the household of God.
The Ephesians Gentile believers, having believed in Christ, were incorporated with the Christian Jews in the city. As fellow heavenly citizens, they were called to the enjoyment of equal privileges with them. They were also members of the same family of God, and are regarded by Him as His children.
Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God (Ephesians 2:19)
10. We are complete in Him.
We are filled with Jesus, rooted as it were in Him by virtue of the intimate relationship entered into with Him by Whom we are provided resources from which we may be filled, that nothing may be wanting to us. This completeness includes the furnishing of men with all that is required for their present and final salvation as individuals (i.e., being richly furnished with the power and gifts of the Holy Spirit), and for their collective perfection as forming the Church, the body of Christ.40
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power (Colossians 2:10)
11. We are sanctified.
Jesus atoned for our sins, sanctifying us in Himself with both the Holy Spirit and God the Father, and He is not ashamed to speak of us as brothers.
… Jesus… For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren (Hebrews 2:9, 11)
12. We are known by the Lord.
That which God has firmly founded is the church. The church stands permanently immoveable having a mark or impression, which has been made by a seal. The mark or impression serves to identify what is sealed, together with its owner, and to specify its purpose or function. We are marked by God so as to be recognized by him as his; and this mark also serves as a perpetual reminder to them that they are not their own.41
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Timothy 2:19)
13. We are reconciled to God the Father.
God’s justice and righteousness provided the means for mankind’s reconciliation to Himself. This reconciliation refers to a changed relationship between Him and a lost world. The means of this reconciliation is the God-man Jesus Christ, who was given as a propitiation for our sins, thus satisfying God’s justice.
Jesus has made it consistent for God the Father to pardon by the atonement that He has provided. Because of such, God can be just while He justifies the sinner. And by the agency of the Spirit, overcomes the unwillingness of the sinner to be reconciled, humbles his pride, shows him his sin, changes his heart, subdues his enmity against God, and secures in fact a harmony of feeling and purpose between God and man, so that they shall be reconciled forever.42
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18)
14. We are translated into the kingdom of His Son.
God the Father rescues us from the dominion (the spiritual power by which mankind is held) of darkness and places us in the kingdom of His Son.
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son (Colossians 1:13)
From what we have just read, should it be surprising that there are still two different opinions as to whether a believer can lose their salvation (i.e., the indwelling Spirit along with the additional benefits)?
Those who hold to the view that a believer in Christ can lose their salvation promote the idea that the commission of continual sin with no admission or acknowledgement of it to God, results in the departure of the indwelling Holy Spirit and the loss of the related benefits.
Those who hold that a believer in Christ cannot lose their salvation promote the idea that continual sin will not cause the indwelling Holy Spirit to depart along with the related benefits. They would contend that God the Father will chastise (discipline) the believer with the hope that he/she will admit or acknowledge his/her sin to Him and be restored to fellowship. If a believer chooses to commit continual sin, then he/she will experience misery of soul and discipline from God. (Hebrews 12:4-11) In the eyes of man, he/she might appear to get away with his/her transgressions, but God is in control. He will do whatever He needs to do in the life of the habitually sinning believer on their behalf.
As I have proceeded along on my spiritual journey, I have met many believers who advocate that a believer can lose their salvation. One person in particular stands out. He has had difficulties with drug addiction ever since I have known him. One day he will show up eager to hear the Word and then he doesn’t show up again for a month. When he does return, he reports that he is now back with God, having recovered his salvation.
It is difficult to imagine a fellow believer, who is struggling with an addiction, thinking that God no longer loves him as His child while operating in this sinful state. If I were to believe that I can lose my salvation, I would probably regard a fellow believer who is engaged in continual sin as being an unbeliever at that point of time in his/her life. Likewise, if a believer were to lose their salvation then he/she would: no longer have the indwelling Spirit; no longer be considered a new creature; no longer be seated with Christ in their identification with Him in heavenly places; no longer be considered as an adopted son; no longer be owned by God; no longer have a new nature; no longer go to heaven at physical death.
I’m not trying to make the case as to whether a believer cannot lose their salvation, because that is not the intent of my writing on this topic, but I will leave you with a couple of questions to consider.
Did Jesus’ atoning sacrifice on the cross pay the penalty for the debt owed to God the Father for all sin past, present, and future along with providing forgiveness (wiping away the record of the debt owed)?
Is sin still an issue somehow in relation to the debt owed to God the Father?
Christ’s Atoning Sacrifice - Is Sin Still the Issue?
It appears that both sides of the argument concerning whether or not salvation can be lost agree that Jesus is God, a member of the Trinity along with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. Both also believe that He came to earth in order to pay the penalty for sin that Adam and Eve committed in the Garden of Eden. Because of Adam’s willful sin, all who are born after him have an inherited sin nature, which habitually sins. The eventual destiny of human souls was Hades (Hell), and prior to Christ’s ascension it was a two-compartment location where the conscious spirits of the dead waited for judgment.
Heaven, at that time, was off limits to the entire human race. Mankind needed someone, a savior, to be their substitute; someone who would pay the penalty (or ransom) for all of the sins ever committed—past, present, and future; and who would also provide forgiveness (to wipe away a record of the debt owed). So, Jesus left heaven and took upon Himself the form of a servant and was made in the likeness of men.
…and they made ready the passover. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. (Matthew 26:19, 26-28)
When they lived on earth, Jesus and his disciples celebrated the Passover Feast by partaking of a sacrificial lamb. The bread and wine became analogous to Jesus’ impending death on the cross; with the bread symbolizing Him as the sacrificial lamb without spot and blemish, and the wine symbolizing His blood which would be shed for the forgiveness of sins.
And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (Mark 15:25, 33-34)
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. (John 19:30)
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)
…having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross (Colossians 2:13-14)
A short time later, Jesus went to the cross for us, suffering physically (bearing our sins) and spiritually (being separated from God the Father), making the payment required to satisfy the demands of God’s justice. When this was accomplished, He shed his blood as analogous to giving up his spirit (dying on the cross) so that the sins of the entire world could be forgiven. The forgiveness of sins means the release of mankind from their debt and the erasure of the record of the debt with penalties attached.
Sin therefore is no longer an issue in relation to the debt that mankind owed God, but that doesn’t mean that all mankind will automatically go to heaven because their debt has been paid and the record cancelled.
While the barrier of sin (its debt and record) has been taken care of along with heaven being open to receive earthly residents, mankind still has one remaining obstacle which prevents them from entering heaven upon physical death. What is it you might ask? It’s the sin nature. A nature that sins cannot enter heaven. At salvation, when a person repents and believes they receive a new nature, the person of the Holy Spirit. With that said, I have one question for you to consider and which we hope to answer in the next chapter.
For a Christian, now that their sin nature has been addressed at salvation, if he/she were to be engaged in habitual sin would this cause the Holy Spirit to depart from his place of indwelling in their body?
If Sin Is No Longer an Issue in Relation to the Penalty of the Debt Owed to God, Then Why, as Some Believe, Is There Still an Issue concerning a Believer Losing Their Salvation Because of It?
The simple answer is that it depends on how the idea of forgiveness is looked at. I would agree that this sounds like a strange comment. Well, when I heard it from someone else, I felt the same way. What does it really mean? Read on and find out.
Those who believe that a person cannot lose their salvation.
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses (Colossians 2:13)
Those who believe in eternal security would propose that when an individual repents (acknowledges their sins) to God the Father and professes belief in Christ, God the Father looks at his Son’s atonement and forgiveness of their sins which was accomplished on the cross, and uses this reality as the means by which he allows them to be quickened (to be made alive; to impart spiritual life) by means of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11)
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour (1 Thessalonians 4:1, 3-4)
And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18)
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (Galatians 5:22)
Following the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the hope is that the new believer will grow to maturity or spiritual adulthood. This involves learning about the various doctrines of the faith (i.e. redemption, forgiveness, etc.) as well as the doctrine of personal sanctification, which involves learning about who we are as new creatures (creations) in Christ. If this learning about ourselves is personally appropriated through memorization and meditation of scripture, the believer will begin to think and act differently and in accordance with such, they will be filled or controlled by Holy Spirit consistently. As a result, their life will begin to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, etc.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. (Hebrews 12:6-7, 10-11)
When sin arises, confession (the admitting of our guilt) to God the Father will result in immediate forgiveness. This forgiveness does not refer to the wiping away of the record of the debt owed to God the Father on the cross, because this was already accomplished by Christ.
Forgiveness in this regard refers to the:
• Removal of punishment (discipline by God) that would have become due.
• Removal of the cause (sinful state in which we were operating).
• Removal of lost fellowship with God.
• Recovery of the filling (control) of the Holy Spirit.
If we do not confess our sins to God the Father, then He will chastise (discipline) us in order to train us, so that hopefully, we will learn how to recover i.e., become spiritually victorious in this area of our life in order to be able to exhibit His divine nature, if and when we are confronted with this type of sin again.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:27-28)
According to this view, the sins that we commit in the dimension of time will not affect our eternal standing with God, because Jesus has already taken care of the payment that was necessary along with providing forgiveness (removal of the record of the debt). The commission of sin does result in the inability of a believer to experience the filling (control) of the Spirit. While the Spirit doesn’t leave the body because of sin, our lives will cease to produce his fruit, and thus God’s love, joy, and peace will no longer be evidenced while the believer allows the old sin nature to take over.
Those who believe that a person can lose their salvation.
For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? (Hebrews 10:26-29)
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (2 Peter 2:20-22)
Those that believe that a believer can lose their salvation would propose that the indwelling Holy Spirit and related benefits can be lost, if a believer continues to live in sin with no admission or acknowledgement of guilt to God the Father. They maintain that God’s justice has been satisfied by Christ’s atonement, but that the receiving (indwelling) of the Holy Spirit and his related benefits are conditional. If a believer loses the Holy Spirit, so then are the additional benefits lost, one of which is eternal life. At physical death, this person would go to hell.
They insist that in order for a believer to secure their salvation, they must continually make decisions within the dimension of time to follow God. This doesn’t mean that they won’t sin but that, in most cases, their sins will primarily involve their mental attitude which can be easily confessed to God the Father and forgiven. Habitual sin involving egregious overt sins such as adultery, fornication, homosexuality, etc. that is not confessed and turned away from, they believe will result in the Holy Spirit’s departure along with the resulting loss of benefits.
Beside continual sin and lack of obedience to Christ’s commands, some would say there is another reason that might cause a person to go to hell at physical death and that is whether the he/she was baptized in water. If this person was not baptized in water for the forgiveness of sins, it is contended that they were not saved in the first place. What this tells us is about their belief system is that the penalty for sin that Christ paid did not result in the forgiveness (wiping away the record of the debt) of these sins. This reality would happen in time by means of being baptized in water.
Have you ever heard of that before? The only thing I can think of concerning water baptism is to the fact that I have a better understanding of it now as to why many churches believe that it is of upmost importance that it takes place in a person’s life following repentance and belief. Over the years, I have been baptized in water about five times. It seems that each time I attended a new church and decided to stay for a while, I was not allowed to be a member until I was dunked in water. I now have a better understanding as to why this was the case. Before going on to the next chapter I would like you to consider the following questions.
What is your outlook concerning the forgiveness of your sins?
Were the sins of the world forgiven at the cross, or are they only forgiven in time when a person is baptized in water follow repentance and belief?
Is it your opinion that a believer who lives in habitual sin will live in an eternal hell, if it is not confessed and they recover?
Do you think the message that a believer will lose their salvation, if they continue in habitual sin will cause them to stop sinning?
Do you think that a believer who is living in habitual sin should be taught/reminded that God has provided for them a new mind and power source for every area of human weakness and strength in their life; and that if they appropriate these truths on a daily basis their thoughts, speech, and actions will change?
With these questions in mind, we have come to the all-important question, “Can a believer in Christ lose their salvation?”
Many scriptures will be considered, and two opposing arguments will be presented, one that says a believer can lose their salvation and the reasons why; and the other that says a believer can’t lose their salvation and the reasons why. This will be an informative and intensive compare and contrast study. Enjoy it!
38The Biblical Illustrator Pc Study Bible version 5, 24 August 2012 ˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.
40Calvin's Commentaries Pc Study Bible version 5, 2006, 1 September 2012 ˂http://www.biblesoft.com>.
Weekly Messages: http://bit.ly/1N9SHdX
Website: http://bit.ly/1RQnYJ8 Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00AQ0997O Twitter: https://twitter.com/jamesrondinone Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/JAMES-Rondinone-Publications-204871026659204/ Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-rondinone-54587956/ Book Bub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/james-rondinone