November 1, 2017

Why the Cross?
The Cross and Eternal Security

Romans 8:29-34 (NASB)

For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 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.

Paul has stated in verse 28 that God works all things for good to them who are the called according to His purpose. He then proceeds to describe how God calls sinners to Himself.

  1. Foreknown
    Some seek to explain this verse by saying "God looked down the corridor of time and saw who would believe in Him and those are the ones He called." This can't be right: The verse says "whom" He foreknew. God did not "foreknow" faith; He "foreknew" people. God has knowledge of all people before they are born, but not all are justified.
    1. Foreknowledge means "to love with an everlasting love."
      "I have loved thee with an everlasting love" (Jeremiah 31:3). God said to Israel, "You only have I known among all the nations" (Amos 3:2). Moses said, "And Adam knew his wife Eve and she conceived" (Genesis 4:1). Jesus says in that day, "Depart from Me, I never knew you" (Matthew 7:23). God has chosen to love us.
    2. God's everlasting love is independent of our merits.
      God's love is like an artesian spring and wells up inside of Himself and is not drawn out because of our loveable-ness. His love for us is the beginning of all.

  2. Predestined
    Simply put, God, in His love for you, has decreed to turn your sinful life around. He could rightfully condemn you because of your sin, but He has another purpose. Your destiny is to become like His own Son. God has decreed this for His people.

  3. Called
    1. This is the decree becoming an actual work within us.
      The Spirit begins to draw me to a dependence upon God through Jesus Christ. He then regenerates my sinful heart, mind and will. He transforms my life. If you say, "I know Christ," but live like the devil you are lying (I John 2:4-6).
    2. This work of God is progressive here and finalized there!
      "He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion" (Philippians 1:6). "I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with Thy likeness" (Psalm 17:15).

  4. Justified
    We have studied justification throughout Romans. To be justified means we are seen by God, "just as if we never sinned, and just as if we fully obeyed." This truth is a necessary remedy to those beaten and bruised by life's sin and failures. He saves!

  5. Glorified
    In Romans 8 Paul has been speaking of "eternal glory" (vs. 11, 17, 18, 23) and now He reminds us of the golden chain that leads us to glory. God loved us with love that rose within His own heart, He determined to conform us to the image of His Son, He sent His Spirit to call us to this life, He justified us through faith, and will glorify us. All these action verbs of God are in the PAST tense.
    Because salvation is a work of God, all of God's people are saved outside of time as we know it.

I came across an article written by Bishop Curtis A. Timmons, B.A., Th.D., that said, "The eternal security of the believer is a strong delusion. It is a dangerous false doctrine, a destructive and deceptive teaching of Satan invading and polluting many of today's modern Christian churches." Strong statements. He goes on to say, "A true born-again believer who has accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, can of their own free will choose to leave Christ and walk out from under the safety of His sanctifying blood, thus facing again the consequences of sin, eternal damnation."

It baffles me how a church can have any kind of joy believing what Bishop Timmons believes. However, rather than attacking his position, let's positively see what Paul says. There are four reasons in Romans 8:34 given why a Christian can't lose his salvation.

1. Christ died.

"By His death, the penalty of the holy law, on account of its violation by His people, was executed, and satisfaction was made to Divine justice" (Robert Haldane). God's holiness is infinite, and His justice is absolute. In the Old Covenant, God instituted the sacrificial system to show people the necessity of a satisfaction. These sacrifices foreshadowed the work of Jesus Christ. His death utterly forbids the condemnation of the elect of God (v.33). His death has made satisfaction for them. In the case of the believer, both accusation and condemnation are impossible (v.34).

2. Christ rose.

The resurrection of Christ confirms that complete satisfaction was made for us. "For if but one sin which had been laid upon Him had continued unatoned for, He would have remained forever in the grave, death being the wages of sin" (Haldane). "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" (I Corinthians 15:17). As Christ's death was our condemnation, so Christ's resurrection was our absolution. This is why the emphasis of the apostle's message was the resurrection (Luke 24:46).

3. Christ sits.

This is a figurative expression used by both Paul and the writer of Hebrews to help us understand that nothing else need be done for our salvation. The Old Testament priests "standeth daily offering sacrifices" but our Great High Priest offered Himself and "sat down" (Hebrews 10:12). Who dares enter His presence to charge a believer?

4. Christ prays.

When I say "Christ prays" I simply mean He has conversation with the Father. This communion with the Father is for a purpose. Christ intercedes on behalf of believers. He continually presents His blood of perpetual efficacy on the behalf of His people. "For without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins" (Hebrews 9:22). This is why He said to His disciples, "I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:3). I can't lose my salvation because my salvation is obtained by Christ's perfect work.

It’s all about the work of Christ. That’s why we cannot be lost. Salvation is of the Lord, and that which the Lord accomplishes is eternal in nature. Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face.