Friday, February 22, 2008

Revival Review (3 of 5)

Eternal security-- the doctrine that once you trust Christ for salvation you cannot lose it-- was the topic of discussion on the third night of our church's revival conference, February 10-13.

Dr. J.B. Hixson, Executive Director of the Free Grace Alliance, and our conference speaker, offered seven reasons why once a person is saved by Christ, they are always saved:

Logical Proof-- John 3:16 promises "everlasting life" to whoever believes. But if salvation can be lost, eternal life is really conditional, temporary life, and not everlasting.

Biblical Proof-- Ephesians 1:13-14, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, John 10:28-30, Romans 8:31-39.

Theological Proof-- Eternal salvation is a work of God (Eph 1:13-14). Eternal salvation is thus dependent upon the work of God and not the works of men (Rom 5:12-21). Works are not a requirement for eternal salvation (Eph 2:8-9; Titus 3:5). Eternal salvation cannot be earned (cf. Matt 5:20; Rom 9:30-10:4).

Legal Proof-- Justification, a term Paul uses often in Romans, describes how the believing sinner is credited with the righteousness of Jesus Christ (Rom 4:5; 5:1; 10:4). To say that someone could become unsaved after being saved would be to say that God changed His mind or reneged on His ruling.

Divine Declarative Proof-- Eternal life is staked upon the promises made by God the Son and God the Father, who does not lie (Titus 1:2).

Exegetical Proof-- In Romans 8:31, Paul refers to all those who have been justified as having also been glorified (aorist tense). The aorist tense in Greek (the original language of the New Testament) speaks of a past action with a continuing effect. Yet, the actual glorification of Christians does not take place until they arrive in heaven. By using the aorist tense, Paul is assuring the arrival of all Christians in heaven.

Hereditary Proof-- The moment a person believes the gospel, he is adopted into the family of God (Rom 8:15-17; Gal 4:4-5). He becomes a child of God (1 John 3:1). To say that salvation can be lost is to speak of disowning a member of the family.

The bottom line? Salvation does not depend on us, but rests in the promises of God.

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