Summary: Is it "once saved, always saved" or something else? Let's talk about eternal security. It's surprisingly relevant for the Christian life.
You can listen to the sermon audio here: https://www.buzzsprout.com/697261/5322682
Core 52 Week 36 - Eternal Security
• “Shaved by grace” pun. Once shaved, always shaved.
• Leads us into a question:
• Q: Can Christians lose their salvation?
• Potentially confusing. Can lead to contradictory conclusions. Scripture has both warnings and promises.
Part 1: We are saved by the grace of Jesus.
• There is no effort or work that makes us worthy of salvation before God.
John 6:37 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.
John 10:28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me,
• (Words to Pharisees who were trying to intimidate the disciples into abandoning him.)
• Jesus, then, is on our side and constantly advocating for us.
• Paul echoes this :
Romans 8:38–39 38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
• The guarantee comes from God’s Holy Spirit:
2 Corinthians 5:5 God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
• Clear conclusion: Basically, our security in Jesus is certain.
Part 2: We Must Not Let Go of Jesus
• There are also many warnings not to let go of Jesus.
Hebrews 6:4–6 For it is impossible to bring back to repentance those who were once enlightened—those who have experienced the good things of heaven and shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the power of the age to come—6 and who then turn away from God. It is impossible to bring such people back to repentance; by rejecting the Son of God, they themselves are nailing him to the cross once again and holding him up to public shame.
• Jesus said it himself:
John 15:6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.
• two sides: we’re secure in Christ but the warning is that we can, in fact, abandon Jesus.
• How do we manage this tension?
• Neither Jesus nor Paul contradicted themselves.
• One way is to simply overemphasize one side or the other.
• But we fall into the trap of trying to explain away the other perspective when we do this.
• We find ourselves needing to hold these two positions in some tension.
• We are eternally secure in Christ AND we have a responsibility for our own destiny.
• We need a good handle on both sides so we can find hope in trial (security) and encouragement to hold on under the same trials.
• We need to remember that our security depends more on Jesus than it does on us.
John 6:44 For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up.
John 10:27–30 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”
• God has loved us and prepared for us long before we knew it. He made us, and desired a relationship with us long before we pledge allegiance to Him. He will continue to do so even if we wander away.
• (can you do that? Is it possible to walk away from the faith?) Yes.
1 Timothy 1:19–20 Cling to your faith in Christ, and keep your conscience clear. For some people have deliberately violated their consciences; as a result, their faith has been shipwrecked. 20 Hymenaeus and Alexander are two examples. I threw them out and handed them over to Satan so they might learn not to blaspheme God.
• But it is difficult to escape God’s love. It takes sustained effort.
• We need to remember that the goal isn’t trying to figure out which “box” we or someone else is in but to point clearly to faith - whether believers or unbelievers.