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Jude 1-2 by Robert Dean
Series:Jude (2012)
Duration:49 mins 17 secs

Eternal Security–Part 3
Jude 1–2
Jude Lesson #06
March 6, 2012
Robert L. Dean, Jr.

Slide 3

Jude 1:1, “Jude, a bond-servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, To those who are the called, beloved [sanctified] in God the Father, and kept [preserved in] for Jesus Christ.”

We are using the word “sanctified” and going with the reading of the Majority Text in the Greek rather than the Critical Text because of what is thought to be better internal evidence supporting the reading “sanctified.”

Slide 4

The focus of our topical study now is what does it mean to be preserved or kept by Jesus Christ? This is a perfect passive participle indicating completed action, that this happened in the past and is preserved on into the future, focusing on present results of a past action.

Slide 5

Jude comes back to indicate this at the end of the epistle in his closing benediction: “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,” indicating that all of the warnings, all of that which Jude develops between Jude 3 and Jude 24 are related to this fact that we are kept by God. So that whatever happens, whether we stumble or not, we do not lose our salvation.

Doctrine of Eternal Security

Slides 6 and 7

So we begin to look at the doctrine of eternal security recognizing that there are many Christians who challenge this doctrine. Eternal security is the work of God. It is not our work; it is God’s work toward the believer at the instant of faith alone in Christ alone.

Slide 8

It guarantees—we are locked in at that instant so that we do not lose that salvation—that God’s free gift is eternal and cannot be lost, terminated, abrogated, nullified or reversed by any thought, act or change of belief in the person saved. God is the one who saves us; He is the one who keeps us.

Slide 9

We identified the problem in two areas. In Lordship salvation eternal security versus perseverance. I just had a thought. Eternal security means that God keeps us saved; perseverance means something completely different. The perseverance of the saints is the saints who persevere in keeping themselves saved in Lordship terminology. In the Arminian position there is no eternal security, which means you can’t ever know that you are saved.

Slides 10–14 Skipped

Slides 15–28: Shown but not in the notes

Hebrews 7:25, “Hence, also, He is able also to save [SOZO] forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

Jesus Christ makes intercession for us as mentioned in John 17.

Slide 29

Christ as the head of the body cannot sever a member once joined to the body. We need to understand this dynamic of the body of Christ. It is more than a metaphor that we are a body. It refers to the total membership of every believer in Jesus Christ who has lived since the day of Pentecost until the Rapture of the church. Every believer is incorporated into this organic unity identified as the body of Christ. And Christ is the head of the body.

The Greek word translated “head” has to do with authority and control and His oversight over all of the members of the body. In His role as the authority and head of the body He is not going to sever a member once they are joined to the body.

So the imagery that we have here is an imagery of once joined there is never mentioned this threat of somehow there is going to be a removal of that part or member of the body. 1 Corinthians 12:13, “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 … [21] 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.’ ”  This would bear on this issue of having a member removed from the body.

Slide 30

The work of Jesus Christ on the Cross. It is because of Jesus’ work on the Cross that the sin problem is solved. At the Cross this debt of sin is nailed to the Cross, so that in that imagery of the debt being paid in full historically at the Cross for all mankind it is completely paid for. This means that there is no one who can bring a charge or a condemnation against those who are saved because that list of charges, of indebtedness to the justice of God, is complete because it is the omniscience of God that made the list. He didn’t forget a sin.

Also, we have to remember that since Christ’s death paid for all sin, and because we now possess the righteousness of Christ that is imputed on the basis of faith alone, nothing can be charged to us. It is not on the basis of anything that we have done or haven’t done that we have that righteousness. That blanket that surrounds us is the righteousness of Christ, not our righteousness.

So since it is Christ’s righteousness that is the basis for salvation, and Christ’s righteousness that is the basis for our being declared to be just, there is nothing that we can do to be declared unjust because it is not based on our righteousness at all. Therefore, if anyone claims that a sin can undo our salvation they are really making various blasphemous statements against God. They are claiming (maybe not directly): “Ah, you have committed a sin that Jesus didn’t pay for; you have committed a sin that God forgot about. Or they are saying that Jesus’ payment wasn’t enough.” If it wasn’t enough, then you had to add something to it and it is by your works. All of these statements impugn the justice of God, the omniscience of God, and the sufficiency of Christ’s work on the Cross. This is why Paul was able to say in Romans 8:33, 34, “Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? ...” The way that question is phrased assumes the answer: No one. “… God is the one who justifies; 

—That is the point, we are not justified by anything we have done. God justifies by what Christ did.

Romans 8:34, “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.”

He refers to the Resurrection because the Resurrection doesn’t save us, but the basis of justification, the payment is completed at the Cross, God validates Jesus’ work at the Cross and raised Christ from the dead and is seated—a position of passivity—at the right hand of God the Father because nothing else needs to be done to save the individual.

And He is the One Who intercedes for us—another reference to the fact that it is Christ’s prayer for us that is part of the dynamic that our salvation is kept.

In other words, God is greater than any of us and His grace is greater than any of our sins, our thoughts, our works; there is nothing we can do that can destroy the grace of God, what Christ has done for us, or to reverse the payment for our sin. There is nothing we can do to cancel or eliminate the grace of God.

Eternal security is a fact that is designed to give us a firm foundation on which to live, knowing that, even if we sin or fail we don’t lose our salvation. It’s not a license to sin, but it is a foundation so that we can move forward without fear of failure.

Slides 31 and 32

Another argument comes from the character of God. First of all, God is omniscient. He knows all the knowable, everything that could happen, everything that would happen, everything that will happen. There is nothing that He has forgotten. He knew every human being that would exist, what every human being would do and what they might do.

Jesus said that if Sodom and Gomorrah had seen the miracles that He did then they would have repented. This indicates that He knows what could have happened under different conditions. That means He knows every thought we have ever had, that we will have, everything that we have ever said or would say, everything we would ever do, our motives, desires, wishes. We cannot surprise God, anything that would indicate that somehow God missed something.

When we combine God’s omniscience with His omnipotence, we know that He is able, then, to do everything necessary to bring us to salvation. There is nothing that we can do that is greater than His omnipotence or omniscience. There is nothing we could do that He could not cover it with His grace. So, to say or think that we can do something that jeopardizes our salvation is just the height of human arrogance and blasphemy toward the character of God.

12. To think that we can help God in keeping us saved is also arrogance. This is the reversal of the plan of salvation. It is the idea that somehow we do something to make ourselves savable. Scripture says God saves us and we do not save ourselves. Man’s failure doesn’t cancel out the integrity and the power of God. When we fail it doesn’t negate God’s holiness or His righteousness, it doesn’t change the righteousness of Christ that has been credited to our account.

The problem is that in our arrogance sometimes we are some concerned that somebody got away with sin. We cannot think in any way that we can do something to help God for us to be saved.

13. This next point is one that is a little more sophisticated, a little more complex to think through. It really has to do with an understanding of what transpired in our salvation, understanding the dynamics and complexities of what happens when God saves us. It is that when we understand the dynamics, the complexities, the sophistication, the changes that take place when God saves us, we recognize that that is an irreversible act.

First of all, we have imputation, the imputation of righteousness—when we trusted in Christ God credited to us the righteousness of Christ. To lose salvation would mean that God would have to say that we have committed some act so great that it negated our faith and that Christ’s righteousness has to be removed. The classic example of the imputation of righteousness is Abraham. He received the declaration of righteousness before h e was ever called by God in Genesis 12:1, “Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go forth from your country, And from your relatives And from your father’s house, To the land which I will show you;’ ” —when he was still back in Ur of the Chaldees.

Genesis 15:6, “Then he believed in the Lord; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.”

Abraham committed many sins in terms of disobeying God, in terms of his failure to trust in God’s promise, but he never loses his salvation; there is never the threat of his loss of the imputation of righteousness. So we are not saved because of anything that we have done, we are saved because we have the righteousness of Christ. In order to change that we would have to lose that imputation, it would have to be removed from us. Then justification (related to imputation)—we receive the imputation of Christ’s righteousness and God declares us just—would have to be reversed. God would have to declare us unjust and remove that imputation of righteousness. Since that righteousness is never removed God does not reverse His declaration, there is no appeal trial to the Supreme Court of Heaven that now this person is no longer justified and has to be declared unjust. Justification is eternal because it is based on God’s integrity—His righteousness—and it is His righteousness that is given to us.

Remember that Scripture says in 2 Corinthians 5:21 “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him

Then we have Romans 5:1–3, “Therefore, having been justified [declared righteous] by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance."

So what we have is a relationship with God that is not dependent upon our integrity, our morality, our virtue, or out failures; it depends exclusively on His righteousness, His justice, His integrity. The very concept of eternal security is the fact that God’s integrity is what is at stake, not our integrity.

The claim that we can lose our salvation is to impugn and blaspheme the very integrity of God and saying that He really doesn’t declare us just or righteous; He really hasn’t imputed righteousness to us. We have peace with God because He gave us His righteousness. Because it isn’t based on any works that we have done we can’t lose it. We stand in grace; it is a position that never changes because of the possession of Christ’s righteousness and our declaration of justification from God. Because we stand in grace it is not works. Then we have another aspect of salvation: regeneration.

Regeneration means to be born again. That which was spiritually dead, separated from God, did not have a human spirit—that immaterial component of our nature that allows us to have an eternal relationship with God. At salvation God the Father imparts to us a human spirit. To lose salvation means that we would have to be declared spiritually dead, we would have to have that human spirit taken from us, we would have to become unregenerate again. We also receive eternal life, and God would have to change us from being alive to being dead, removing eternal life from us to eternal death.

So through thinking through all of the things that transpire at salvation and what is involved in reversing them indicates that to believe in the loss of salvation means a very shallow, superficial view of what happens when we are saved. We don’t understand the problem. If we have a small view of the problem, a small view of sin, then salvation is just simply saying, “Okay now you get to go to Heaven”.

But when we understand the magnitude of sin and complexities and totality of its corruption, then we understand its totality and how great our salvation is, how extensive it must be, and what God has wrought in us to save us, we then understand that there it can’t be based on anything we do and therefore we can’t lose it. 

The character of God means that He keeps His promises. When He says that we are saved He doesn’t reverse Himself. When He gives us something, He doesn’t take it back. Because God is immutable, eternal and perfectly righteous He cannot cancel a gift once it is given, no matter how bad our behavior and how obnoxious we become. He’s not going to kick us out of the family. He might disinherit us, but He will not take away our eternal salvation. We may lose reward, but we will not lose our eternity in Heaven with Him.

Slide 33

The work of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit does a number of things at salvation as well that determine our eternal security. 2 Corinthians 1:22, “who also sealed us and gave {us} the Spirit in our hearts as a pledge.”

The idea of a seal is somewhat similar to the old practice in the West of branding cattle. It is the idea of putting a seal on a document that indicates its ownership or to put a brand on cattle to indicate ownership. God the Holy Spirit is our brand; we have been sealed by God the Holy Spirit, and He indwells us as a guarantee that we will be saved.

Slide 34

This is also stated in Ephesians 1:13, “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,” and in 

Ephesians 4:30, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”

That tells us that the sealing was to preserve us to that day in the future at the time of the Rapture when we are all united with Christ forever in Heaven.

Slide 35

Another passage that is important to look at is 2 Timothy 2:19, “Nevertheless, the firm foundation of God stands, having this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His,’ and,  ‘Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to abstain from wickedness.’ ”

So the sealing of the Holy Spirit at salvation is a challenge to the believer to avoid a life of carnality, a life of disobedience, and a life of sin, and to focus on the future plan of God for us.

Slide 36

Our position in Christ protects us, Romans 8:29, 30. We are in Christ and because we are in Him we cannot lose our salvation whatsoever.

Slide 37

Jude begins by reminding his readers that they are kept by Jesus Christ. Then in the second verse he gives his salutation: “Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” The emphasis is different from what we have in other salutations.

Slide 38

Romans 1:7, “to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called {as} saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” There we have grace and peace, not mercy and love.

1 Corinthians 1:2, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their {Lord} and ours.” No mention of mercy, grace or peace.

Slide 39 

1 Thessalonians 1:1, “Paul and Silvanus and Timothy, To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace.” Grace and peace is common to Paul.

2 Thessalonians 1:2, “Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Slide 40 

1 Peter 1:2, “according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.”

2 Peter 1:2, “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”

Slide 41

But in Jude we have mercy, peace, and love. Mercy is a new idea. He doesn’t say grace—mercy and grace are related. And love. The word for “mercy” is ELEOS, which means mercy or compassion. Mercy is the application of grace. Grace is undeserved merit and mercy is the application of that to a person or group of people in a specific situation.

So this tells us that there is a problem in this congregation and they need the grace of God is a specific way. Rather than saying grace, Jude says mercy—so, God be merciful to you in the midst of this testing where these false teachers have infiltrated into your congregation.

Peace is a common salutation. It has a further meaning for Christians, we have peace with God because we are justified; but peace is also the absence of conflict. Absence of conflict with God in phase one means that we can have peace in phase two—peace of mind and peace with other believers. In the context of this Epistle the problem is a conflict with these false teachers.

Then third, love. Why love? Because it is difficult to love those with whom you are engaged in battle. And there is a battle that is going on. Today we live in a world in the evangelical community where there is a tremendous spiritual battle raging to destroy, to dilute, to pervert the gospel of grace and the teaching of the Word of God.

Jude has this propensity to use triplets—called, sanctified, preserved in Jesus Christ, Jude 1; and mercy, peace and love, Jude 2.