Now that we have had the rebuke of people who are ok as ‘Christians‘ milling around and doing nothing about it, and the definition and explanation of what a true Christian in the Biblical sense means, now we are heading on to the next question? What is eternal security/ salvation, and what does it mean for Christians?
Although salvation could be described as a continuous regeneration process within Christians, it is eternally sealed by the Holy Spirit. If we were never sealed in the first place, we were never Christians anyways! (See the last article I wrote on this subject, and see what I mean!) As Christians, we believe that from the point of salvation (or being ‘saved’ as some call it), we become eternally sealed with the Holy Spirit; and that Jesus himself never lets us go! We call this doctrine ‘Eternal Security‘.
Now, before you go believing that this promise is for you too because you are a ‘Christian’, then please do as the Bible requests and “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” (2 Corinthians 13: 5). Now, I would recommend doing this from reading through the Gospels and Letters and seeing if what they about genuine believers match up to you, or you can read through my last article I wrote briefly explaining what being a Christian, or Christ-follower, means in a Biblical sense.
Eternal security is a doctrine that is taught as a promise from Jesus Christ himself, or as a promise written through the saints and apostles of the day (Paul and Peter wrote alot on this subject). We can see that once we become genuine believers, these promises will attribute us for eternity-
“25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.
26 My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;
he is mine forever.” (Psalm 73: 25-26)
20 “The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem
to buy back those in Israel
who have turned from their sins,”
says the Lord.
21 “And this is my covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the Lord, have spoken! (Isaiah 59: 20-21)
Now the interesting thing about these two, is that they were written hundreds of years before Christ even came to the Earth- showing the power of God’s prophecy!
I have got a few more quotes for you to feast upon:
” 3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, 4 and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. 5And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.
6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while. 7These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
8 You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. 9The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls.
10 This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. 11 They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.” (1 Peter 1:3-11)
“3Once we, too, were foolish and disobedient. We were misled and became slaves to many lusts and pleasures. Our lives were full of evil and envy, and we hated each other.
4 But—“When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, 5 he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit.6 He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.”” (Titus 3: 3-6)
There are many more scriptures than these four, but I shall be merciful on the ones who can’t stand when I type more than 3000 words or so! So I shall focus this study on these four (although, there are many more we could use to argue and explain the same case).
The main theme and summary of all four of these is: We were once lost and sinners, and now that we believed and repented to Jesus Christ (or The Messiah), we are ‘saved’ and made righteous forever, through The Holy Spirit (The Spirit of Christ)! It means once a Christian (in the genuine and true sense), always a Christian. There is nothing you can do to lose your faith and salvation once you become a genuine ‘Christian’ (as discussed in the last topic). These verses even declare rebirth or new life; “He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit”. As true Christians of the Biblical sense, we are literally reborn into a new life, which in turn “declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life,”. We receive and inherit eternal life with our rebirth and salvation!
As well as this, this salvation wasn’t directly revealed to The Prophets of the Old Testament; as Peter describes here: “This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what time or situation the Spirit of Christ within them was talking about when he told them in advance about Christ’s suffering and his great glory afterward.” It is interesting to note The Prophets I quoted at the top, would not have been revealed the salvation which was being talked about through them. They genuinely wanted to know more, but could not until it was the right time for Jesus to reveal himself. I don’t know the exact dates, but they were at least 6-700 years before Christ was even born, so it isn’t surprising that they had no idea what God was going to do; as it wasn’t revealed to them!
If you have ever watched the Prestige, you would know that each magic trick/ performance consists of three parts- The Pledge, The Turn and The Prestige (thus the name of the film). In some weird and wonderful way, you can almost imagine walking onto the stage of life; revealing himself as the magic trick.
In The Pledge, an ordinary object begins to be turned into something extraordinary; something ‘magical’. In our case here, God begins to reveal himself extraordinarily through the ordinary human beings of The Prophets or the Old Testament. There, they start to describe what is about to happen in their future, in an extraordinary (and inspired) way.
Next comes The Turn. This is the point where the audience is turned to the extraordinary part of the ‘illusion’, in this case it was Jesus Christ himself coming to the Earth. No matter what you think of him, he was an extraordinary man, and fulfilled many of the prophecies written within the Old Testament. The turn in this case is God himself coming to the Earth for all to see. The extraordinary part is that it was not what everybody expected, so the Pharisees cited him as a blasphemer and heretic and put him to death (which fulfilled even more prophecies) and his rise on the third day (which fulfilled a few more prophecies, even ones uttered by himself a year or two before the event). The Turn here was the extraordinary man revealed to the audience; the human being who was actually God!
Now, finally in The Prestige, we get the full reveal of the ‘trick’- the crescendo, the full realisation of what happened. Instead of doing a card trick or two, Jesus; revealed by the prophets of old, even from hundreds to thousands of years before him; came to the Earth, died and rose again- for us! The Prestige here is the Gospel and the assurance of our eternal security and salvation- “For God so loved the World he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” The trick here isn’t something which entertains us for maybe a minute, or even a lifetime- it is God revealed as Jesus Christ; who in return died and rose for every one of us so that we may attain eternal salvation, a rebirth within righteousness, through his sacrifice. And that, my friends, is the best trick anyone could have possibly imagined over the history of mankind.
- to be a disciple of Jesus Christ (easyboy1.wordpress.com)
- ‘Lord! Lord! Why have you forsaken me!’ (onwardswearychristian.wordpress.com)
- The Ingredients of Salvation by Mark D. Roberts (trinityspeaks.wordpress.com)
- In return and reply to ‘Lord, Lord; Why have you Forsaken me!’- Part 1, Then who are Christians then? (onwardswearychristian.wordpress.com)
- Sunday Sermon: What Kind of A God Do You Have Faith In? (jimkane.wordpress.com)