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Sun, Oct 10, 1999

67 - Eternal Security

John 10:27-30 by Robert Dean
Series:John (1998)
Duration:46 mins 13 secs

Eternal Security; John 10:27-30

 

When  it comes to the doctrine of eternal security there are couple of things we need to understand as background. First of all, there is one theological school that is generally referred to as Arminian theology. It basically teaches that man has a will or volition that is unaffected by sin. We believe that man can still exercise positive volition toward God but it is still hindered. He cannot understand the gospel, the Holy Spirit has to make it clear, all of these things. But in their view man has a completely unhindered will, and man is basically the same as Adam was when Adam was created before the fall. There are various other aspects such as the way they treat election, that it is conditioned. Their view says that God in eternity past looked down through time and sees who will trust Christ as saviour and then, key word here, because they have faith God then selects them. So that election or selection is because of faith. But the Bible never says that. In fact, in Ephesians 2:8, 9: "By grace you have been saved through faith," it uses the Greek preposition dia plus the genitive case. If dia is used with an accusative it means cause, but the cause of our salvation is not our faith in Christ, it is the love of God who sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross as a substitute for our sins. That is the cause of our salvation. We are never saved because we believe; never once in the Scriptures does it use that kind of construction. So that is what is wrong with the Arminian view. There is a moderate Calvinist view that would look at it in terms of foreknowledge, that God knows who would under whatever circumstances would exercise positive volition. Then God in His sovereignty would make sure that that person who would exercise positive volition at the moment of gospel hearing will hear the gospel and the circumstances necessary to bring about that amount of response will be present and they will respond in faith. But they are saved through faith and God is still viewed as the efficient cause and doesn't tamper with our volition. The hyper-Calvinist view says that God in essence is the one who moves the believer to be positive, and He doesn't do that for everybody. As a result of that the Arminian view is that because you do something to be saved you can do something to lose your salvation. In both moderate and hyper-Calvinism you can do nothing to lose your salvation, you have eternal security. The Arminian will come to John 10:27 and read it this way: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me," and they read that conditionally. They say if they don't follow or only follow part way then they really weren't my sheep. That is what they read into that text, but that is not there.

 

To properly interpret this verse we have to understand what happened in John chapter nine with the blind man. When Jesus came He was like the shepherd. In Jerusalem they would often pen several different flocks together in one pen. Each shepherd voiced a different call all the time when they were out with the sheep, so the sheep got used to hearing his voice and what he said. So the shepherd would walk in through the door of the sheepfold and utter this cry. They would hear it and all of his sheep would just file out behind him. Jesus is making the analogy that the cry He made as the good shepherd is "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ." Those who "follow Him," those who exercise positive volition at God-consciousness, are His sheep. Those who don't are not His sheep. So all He is saying is: My sheep hear my voice. Hearing His voice is the gospel and following Him is responding by faith alone in Christ alone. Following Him is not continuing in the Christian life, it is not becoming a disciple; it is nothing more in this entire analogy than what we see the blind man doing in John 9:35-38; his response was: "Lord, I believe." 

The doctrine of eternal security (cont.)

3)  God the Father's omnipotence is more powerful than any human attempt to negate salvation. God is the one who saves, faith is merely the means by which we appropriate the work of Christ on the cross into our life. Jude 24 NASB "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy." It is God the Father who keeps us. Cf. John 10:28, 29.

4)  God is omniscient. He knows all the knowable simultaneously and has always known all the knowable. This means that in eternity past God knew every single sin that we would ever commit. There is nothing that we can do that will surprise God. So he was able in His omniscience to devise a plan that was broad enough, complex enough and deep enough to include the solution for every single sin. Nothing that we will ever do will be something that wasn't accounted for in the plan of God. God is omnipotent and has the ability to do whatever is necessary to bring His plan to completion. So when we combine God's omniscience with His omnipotence we see that because God knew all the facts He was able to devise a plan vast enough and detailed enough to include the solution for every sin. To say or think that we can do something that jeopardises our salvation is one of the greatest acts of blasphemy that can ever be committed.

5)  No one, angelic or human, can bring a charge against or condemn those who are saved. Since Christ covers all their sins and we possess the imputed righteousness of Christ, imputed on the basis of faith alone in Christ alone, nothing can be charged against a child of God. If any sin could undo a believer's salvation then either a) Christ's death did not pay for that sin, or b) His payment was not enough and it had to be added to by our obedience. Both of those statements accuse the death of Christ of being inadequate or insufficient for our salvation, and they are false. Romans 8:33 NASB "Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies; [34] who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us." The point is that God's grace is greater than us, greater than our sins, greater than our thoughts and our works.

6)  To think that we can help out God is nothing more than arrogance. God doesn't need out help, doesn't want our help; in fact Scripture says that whenever we try to add to God's plan it nullifies the grace of God and cancels His plan.

7)  When we understand the dynamics and complexities of what God must do to save even one unbeliever we realise how complex the whole process is and how impossible it is to reverse it. At salvation something metaphysical or ontological takes place. There is a radical transformation that takes place in our immaterial being at the moment of salvation that is so vast and so complex, and God has to do so many things that to even think that it is reversible is impossible. We are given 39 irrevocable things at salvation.

8)  Jesus Christ continually prays for us to be kept in salvation, and His prayers are answered. So because His prayers fulfil all the conditions that God sets forth for prayer God always answer His prayers and therefore we will be kept in salvation. John 17:11 NASB ""I am no longer in the world; and {yet} they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, {the name} [name refers to essence, so basically: for who and what you are] which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We {are.} [12] While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. [13] But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves. [14] I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. [15] I do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil {one.}" So Jesus prays that we are kept, day in and day out, and the Father answers His prayer.

9)  Christ is the head of the body. One of the 39 irrevocable things that happen at the moment of salvation is that we are placed in the body of Christ. Christ cannot be severed from a member of the body once it has been joined to the body. There are no spiritual amputations. 1 Corinthians 12:13, 21 NASB "For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit…. And the eye cannot say to the hand, 'I have no need of you'; or again the head to the feet, 'I have no need of you'."

10)  The character of God means that God keeps His promises. Because God is immutable, eternal, infinite and perfect righteousness He cannot cancel the gift once it is given, no matter how disobedient, rebellious or obnoxious the believer's conduct might be. 2 Timothy 2:11-13 NASB "It is a trustworthy statement: For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us [rewards]; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself."

11)  The Holy Spirit seals us at the moment of salvation which is our guarantee for protection and salvation. There is a seal placed on us and we are identified as owned by Christ. 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 1:13; 4:30; 2 Timothy 2:19. Ephesians 1:13 NASB "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." [4:30] "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." Romans 8:38, 39, our position in Christ.

12)  Retroactive positional truth means that at the moment of salvation through the ministry of God the Holy Spirit known as baptism—which means we are identified with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection—everything we are as an unregenerate person is crucified with Christ. Therefore what is broken is the power of the sin nature, and because we are identified with Christ in His death, burial are resurrection every sin is dealt with, and that is not reversible. That is why Jesus says in John 10:28, 29: "I give eternal life to them and they shall never perish… My Father, who has given {them} to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch {them} out of the Father's hand." Then He concludes by saying, "I and the Father are one," a profound statement of His unity with God the Father but in context what He is saying is that it is God's plan to bring us to salvation, and my plan is to bring us to salvation. There is a doubly protection here for the believer, that we cannot be taken away from either the Father or the Son, and the believer can never lose his salvation.