During the building of the Golden Gate Bridge over San Francisco Bay, construction fell badly behind schedule because several workers had accidentally fallen from the scaffolding to their deaths. Engineers and administrators could find no solution to the costly delays. Finally, someone suggested a gigantic net be hung under the bridge to catch any that fell. Finally in spite of the enormous cost, the engineers opted for the net.
After it was installed, progress was hardly interrupted. A worker or two fell into the net but were saved. Ultimately, all the time lost to fear was regained by replacing fear with faith in the net. The net gave the workers the security they needed to concentrate on their work. In much the same way, God gives each born again believer an eternal security net. From time to time we fall, but the net of his grace and mercy is always there to catch us.
There are many committed Christians who don't understand or believe that great truth. They believe that once a person is saved, he must then live a life of service and obedience or he will lose his salvation and fall from God's grace. Like workers under the Golden Gate Bridge, they must hold tightly or they will fall and eternally perish. However, a careful study of the Word of God reveals that salvation is eternal, and once a person is saved…they can never be lost again.
I. Basic Problems with Rejecting Eternal Security.
If I could be saved and then by some act lose my salvation…
A. It would mean I have no ASSURANCE.
1. I could never be certain that I was saved, thus I would have no peace and no joy.
2. 1 John 5:13 says, "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may KNOW that you have eternal life…"
B. It would mean I have no FORGIVENESS.
1. The Bible teaches that Christ died for my sins.
2. If I can lose my salvation it must mean that there are some sins in my life for which He has not died.
3. If the sin I commit after my salvation can cause me to lose my salvation then Christ did not die for those sins.
4. Clearly no one would be completely forgiven.
C. It would mean I am not saved by FAITH ALONE.
1. The Bible proves over and over that salvation is by faith alone, apart from any human works.
2. Eph.2:8-9 says, "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast."
3. However to imply that salvation is maintained by good works is to add works to salvation and then it cannot be by faith alone.
D. It would mean that God does not have UNCONDITIONAL LOVE.
1. If God requires something for us in return for His love, His love is conditional.
2. Consider the picture of God in the Parable of the Prodigal Son.
3. The father's unconditional love for the son was evident even while the son was in a far country.
E. It would mean that GOD'S POWER IS LIMITED.
1. Phil.1:6 says we can be "confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."
2. Jesus said of us in Jn.10:28, "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand."
3. If we can lose our salvation then God is not strong enough to keep us saved.
F. It would mean that our FOCUS is not on Christ.
1. As long as I worry about whether or not I am saved, my focus is on me and my behavior and not on Christ. I am like the workers on the bridge who are too paralyzed by the fear of falling to accomplish any work.
2. I want you to know that the doctrine of eternal security, the perseverance of the saints, the security of the believer or as some people express it, "once saved, always saved" is not just a Baptist doctrine.
3. There have throughout history been many that were never called Baptists who died for this truth.
4. This is a biblical doctrine that Baptists have always embraced.
II. We are Secure because we are at Peace with God (v.1).
A. We have "Peace with God" because we are "Justified by Faith."
1. If you were to ask folks this question, "If God were to say to you 'Why should I let you into My heaven,' what would you say?"
2. Nine out of ten people will say something like: "Because I'm a good person" or "I've never killed anyone" or "Because I am as good as the next guy."
3. Unfortunately, many folks believe that being good is what makes them right with God.
4. The truth is, no one is that good!
Ro 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Ro 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
5. But Romans 4 tells us how we have a right relationship with God, how we can go to heaven.
6. It's not by being good, it's not by works, but by faith!
Ro 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
B. What does it mean to have "Peace with God?"
1. Peace is not just a feeling.
a. Some suggest "peace with God" refers to a sense of tranquility of mind, a psychological sense of security, like a child cuddled in his father's strong arms.
b. However, this verse does not describe a feeling but a fact.
2. Peace is the opposite of war.
a. Before we were saved, we were at war with God.
b. He was our enemy and we were His enemy.
c. Now that we have been saved, the war is over.
d. It's more than a feeling of tranquility, we have stopped fighting against God and are at peace.
C. Unsaved Man is at War with God.
1. Before a man is saved or "justified by faith" he is at war with God.
a. Most unsaved folks I know would disagree with that statement.
b. They would say, "I may not go to church, but I'm not against God."
c. Maybe they would say, "I'm not overly religious, but I believe in God and don't fight against Him."
2. While I understand how someone like that would feel, the issue is not whether they are at war with God, but God is at war with them!
3. God is their enemy whether or not they are consciously His enemy or not.
a. James 4:4 says, "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."
b. Rom. 8:7 says, "The carnal [unsaved] mind is enmity against God."
c. John 3:36 says, "He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
d. Wait a minute, isn't God about love and forgiveness? Yes! But first we must turn to Him and accept His invitation. Otherwise we are at war.
D. "Peace with God" only comes "through our Lord Jesus Christ."
1. Jesus enables us to be at peace with the Father.
2. How? Jesus the sinless Son of God died on a cross for our sin.
2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
3. God poured out His entire wrath and anger at our sin on Jesus on the cross.
4. Jesus took our sins upon Himself and bore the wrath of God in our place.
5. Now He offers us His righteousness, which gives us "peace with God."
Col 1:20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.
6. He reconciled us to God and "made peace through the blood of His cross."
Col 1:21-22 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
7. Jesus absorbed the full impact of God's divine fury and wrath for our sins and now reconciles us to God.
8. The war is over we are at peace! That's great news!
E. Jesus maintains our "Peace with God."
1. Jesus not only brought us into a relationship of "peace with God" through the cross, He maintains that peace today.
2. Even though we've been totally forgiven through the cross, we still sin daily.
a. What about that sin?
b. Does that destroy our "peace with God?"
c. No, Jesus our Great High Priest continues to cover our sins.
1Jo 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
d. 'Cleanseth' = present active tense - keeps on cleansing.
Our salvation and "peace with God" is not dependent on our actions or performance but on Jesus Christ. I am at "peace with God" because of Jesus not me! Do you know eternal salvation this morning? No other salvation will be enough. It must be eternal…never ending. You can have that salvation today if you will place your faith in the eternal Lord who offers it. The Bible declares that it is why Jesus came into this world; to offer us eternal life, if we will simply believe in Him.
Joh 3:14-16 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.