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Supplemental Notes:

One of Christianity’s most contro-

versial issues—and one of our most
frequently asked questions—involves
the concept of Eternal Security.

There are good scholars on all sides of

this issue, yet we felt it would useful
to explain our own views on this highly
charged subject.

© 2008 Koinonia House Inc.

Eternal Security together with him, having forgiven you all
trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of
Part 1: How Sure Can We Be? ordinances that was against us, which was
contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing
What’s at Stake? it to his cross;
Colossians 2:13, 14
This is more than simply theology; there are practical
implications… “...handwriting of ordinances” = our “Certificate of
• Assurance (1 John 5:13). Debt”: tete,lestai tetelestai: “Paid in full” (Jn 19:30). No
• Forgiveness: Which of your sins were yet future double jeopardy here!
at the cross? All of them.
• Faith Alone: No room for boasting in heaven.
The Paradigm of “Salvation”
• (Unconditional) Love: If there is a condition—
even just one—attached to God’s willingness to main- I have been saved, I am being saved, and I will
tain a relationship with His children, then it is not be saved.
unconditional. —Dr. Earl Rademacher
• (Avoiding the traps of) Legalism: Self-deception
and Pride. • Justification (Past tense)
• Focus on Christ: Phil 4:8; Col 3:2; Heb 12:1,2. – The gift from God of everlasting life received
by faith alone in Christ alone (Jn 3:18; 5:24;
Guilt Removal Eph 2:5,8).
• Sanctification (Present tense)
There are only three options open to God as sinners – A work in progress that involves the faith and
stand in His courtroom. He must condemn them, the works of the believer.
compromise His own righteousness to receive • Glorification (Future tense)
them just the way they are, or He can change – The result of the previous aspects. All believ-
them into righteous people. If He can exercise ers will be glorified (resurrected and given a
the third option, then He can announce them body like Christ), but some will have more glory
righteous, which is justification. (i.e. reward) than others.
—Dr. Charles C. Ryrie, Basic Theology
Imputation Justification is for
Impute: to credit us with His righteousness. Sanctification is in
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew Justification de-
no sin; that we might be made the righteousness clares the sin-
of God in him. ner righteous;
2 Corinthians 5:21 Sanctification
makes the sin-
And you, being dead in your sins and the
ner righteous.
uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened
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Justification removes the guilt and penalty of sin; 1) It Depends upon God the Father
Sanctification removes the growth and the power of sin.
1) Upon His Sovereign Purpose
Eternal Security • Eternal purpose declared (Eph 1:11-12).
• Anchored within the veil, confirmed by an oath (Heb
Can a man lose his salvation? Yes! If it depends on
him. The Arminian denies that the true child of God is
2) Upon His Solemn Promise
eternally secure. The Calvinist insists that, if he does
• Our salvation depends upon His promise and not
not persevere in holiness, he was never regenerate in
our faithfulness (Rom 4:16).
the first place.
• If it depended at any point upon human ability to
After 400 years of doctrinal disputes, with outstanding continue to believe, then the promise could not be
scholars on both sides of this issue, it appears to be the secure.
result of a failure to adequately distinguish between • The promise that those who believe will be saved is
justification and the possibility of several different confirmed everywhere (Gen 15:6; John 3:16; Acts
inheritances. 16:33; Rom 4:23-24, et al.).
3) Upon His Infinite Power
There is a third option... Overcomers, who have Eter- • He is now free to save us: Christ’s death has ren-
nal Security, but a distinction between “Entering” and dered God free to save us in spite of moral imper-
“Inheriting”; and, Variation of Rewards. All Christians fection. Our eternal security does not depend upon
will be in the kingdom, but not all will be co-heirs our moral worthiness. Christ is the propitiation for
there. our sins (1 Jn 2:2).
• To assume there is some sin sufficiently serious
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold which causes us to forfeit our salvation is to assume
the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto that we were less worthy of salvation after having
the end; committed this sin than before, and reduces salva-
Hebrews 3:14 tion down to human ability to merit it. He has pur-
posed to keep us saved (Jn 6:37-40; Jn 10:28-29).
“...partaker”: me,tocoi metochoi, one who shares in, com- 4) Upon His “Much More” Love
panion, comrade; partner (in a work, office, or dignity). • His intent is love based (Rom 5:6-10).
The Partaker, metachoi, as a true child of God, is “ob- • God knew when He saved us that we were totally
ligated” to persevere (Paul’s word, Rom 8:12), but he depraved, and therefore any new manifestation of
might not. If he does not, he does not forfeit salvation, sin in our lives after our conversion cannot be any
but faces divine discipline in time, and the loss of re- motivation to God to change His mind and withdraw
ward at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Cor 5:10). His grace and His salvation (Rom 11:29; Rom 8:32,
The Basis of our Eternal Security • He saved us for reasons independent of us and out-
side of us.
All three persons of the Godhead have a share in pre- • He was motivated by His electing love, and not by
serving to fruition that which God has determined. observation of any good in the sinner.

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5) Upon His Answer to the Prayer of His Son 3) Upon His Sealing Ministry
• Believers are called many things in Scripture: • 2 Cor 1:22; Eph 1:13-14; Eph 4:30
saints, believers, elect, sheep, partakers, etc. But
the title most dear to the heart of Christ “those Sealing Ministry
whom thou hast given me” is repeated seven times
in His high priestly prayer (Jn 17:11-12, 15, 20, 24). If one person who was born again in Christ ever fails
• I believe that the Father always answers the to enter into heaven when he dies, then God will have
prayers of the Son (Jn 11:42). broken His pledge. No conditions are mentioned. It is
a work of God and depends upon Him alone.
A Chain of Five Links: Romans 8:29-30 Pledge: rrabw,n arrabon: a legal concept: A first install-
God’s sovereign purpose exemplified in these two verses. ment, with which a man secures a legal claim upon a
This eternal choice and foreknowledge involves more thing as yet unconsummated. A down payment; deposit;
than establishing a relationship between God and be- pledge. An evidence of good faith; obligating the party to
lievers. It involves the certainty of our sanctification! consummate the commitment involved (Gen 38:17f). The
Holy Spirit is designated as a down payment, a “first
Foreknow...Predestinate...Called...Justified...Glorified fruits,” to be followed by more (Rom 8:23).

2) It Depends upon God the Son Key Terms

1) Upon His Substitutionary Death (Rom 5:8, 8:34) • Justification
• Who can condemn us if the penalty has already • Imputation
been paid? The greatest proof of eternal security • Predestination
is justification by faith. Justification refers to how • Sealing
God sees us, and no one else. It is entirely a forensic • Adoption—More than simply acquittal. Forgiveness
(legal) matter (Col 2:14). This redemption is eternal implies the restoration of a relationship. There is
(Heb 9:12), once and for all (Heb 10:12, 14). no procedure to be “unadopted”…we have been
2) Upon His Substitutionary Life “pre-selected” by one who does not change His
• Rom 5:9-10, 19; 10:4; Col 2:10. mind…
3) Upon His Present Session
• Heb 9:24: Advocate and Intercessor. Once a Son, Always a Son
• “Saves to the uttermost” (Heb 7:23-25). Arminians
The Prodigal Son (Lk 15:11-32) squandered his inheri-
fear this doctrine will tend toward sin; John says
tance, but the father’s love and acceptance was not con-
that it is motivation not to sin (1 Jn 2:1-2).
tingent on the son’s works—he never lost his sonship!
3) It Depends upon God the Holy Spirit
But I keep under my body, and bring it into
1) Upon His Ministry of Regeneration subjection: lest that by any means, when I
• Titus 3:5; 2 Cor 5:17; Eph 2:10. have preached to others, I myself should be a
2) Upon His Baptizing Ministry castaway.
• Rom 6:3, 8-11; 1 Cor 12:13. 1 Corinthians 9:27
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What was Paul afraid of? He “wrote the book” on eter- • Avoid a “Works Trip”: walk by the Spirit not the
nal security (Rom 8:28-39). flesh (Gal 3:3). Sin not to reign anymore…(Rom
For we must all appear before the judgment seat • Walk with Him: not ahead, nor behind (Heb 4).
of Christ; that every one may receive the things
done in his body, according to that he hath done,
whether it be good or bad.
Eternal Security
2 Corinthians 5:10 Part 2: A Primary Riddle

For other foundation can no man lay than that One of the primary challenges in the entire New Testa-
is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man ment: Hebrews 6:4-6.
build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious
stones; wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work For it is impossible for those who were once
shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift,
it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And
fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it have tasted the good word of God, and the powers
is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to
thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s renew them again unto repentance; seeing they
work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and
himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. put him to an open shame.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 Hebrews 6:4-6

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the The writer of Hebrews relies heavily on Israel’s Exodus
beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; as an example (type) of individual Christians: the Exodus
Hebrews 3:14 generation, a redeemed people, failed to heed God’s instruc-
tion and was judged (disinherited) for its disobedience.
Rewards for Faithfulness
• Some entrusted with special privileges; some not The Five Warnings of Hebrews
(1 Cor 3:11-15).
All were written to believers and so do not represent any
• Some reign with Christ; some not (2 Tim 2:12; Rev
chance of loss to the past aspect of salvation: justifica-
tion. Hence, the eternal security of the Believer.
• Some rich; some poor (Lk 12:21,33;16:11).
• Some heavenly treasures of their own; some not The warnings admonish believers to press on and ob-
(Lk 16:12). tain all God has promised to the faithful Overcomer.
Bottom Line: Behavior Matters!
The warnings represent the very real possibility of the
Caveats loss of privileges or rewards offered to the believer,
which will be revealed at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
• Not under the Law: the Messiah is the fulfillment of Hence, the warnings concern the possible negative con-
the Torah (Mt 5:17). sequences for the unfaithful, apostatizing believer.

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What Is at Stake? The string of participles that modify the adjective
“impossible,” adunaton, are described as leading to an
What are these believers going to lose, forfeit, or suf- impossibility of being renewed (or restored) to repen-
fer? Not “salvation” (Jn 10:28,29; et al.), but rewards tance (anakainizein eis metanoian).
at the Judgment Seat of Christ. We cannot escape this
by applying it to others. The burden of Hebrews is not The impossibility continues during the present state
the rescuing of sinners from hell—it is the bringing of of “crucifying” and the present state of “ridiculing”
sons to glory. (v. 6). The grammar of the passage connotes that the
main verb of the sentence (i.e., the verb “to be”), and its
The readers of the Book of Hebrews were believers! descriptive aorist participles that modify it in vv.4-5,
They were once enlightened; they tasted of the heavenly are all limited and defined by the present tense of the
gift; they were made partakers of the Holy Ghost; they participles in v.6.
tasted the good word of God, and powers of the coming
age. Can these readers lose their salvation? How does That is, the actions described by the aorist participles
this passage impact your views of Eternal Security? occur during the time of the “crucifying to themselves”
and the public ridiculing (“an open shame”).
Alternative Views of Hebrews 6:4-6
After the person stops these two actions, at which time
• Professing, but not real, believers; these behaviors become past tense activities as soon as
• Truly saved, then permanently lost; they are ceased, the impossibility of renewal or restora-
• “Impossible” means “difficult”; tion no longer applies, since they no longer are present
• Repetitive lost and resaved, to a limit; tense activities relating to the word “impossible.”
• Refers to OT sacrifices;
• Purely hypothetical; Once these two present actions cease, the impossibil-
…and variations of each of the above. ity is removed. If the impossibility were described by
the author as being permanent, the two present tense
participles would have to have been described with
Grammatical Analysis
aorist participles.
Hebrews 6:4-6 is one long sentence, modified by tenses
However, the author uses the present tense, thus giv-
of a series of participles. (A participle is a form of a
ing hope to those who might otherwise be hopeless. If
verb that is used to form complex tenses, such as “was
the author had used aorist participles, for the verbs
loving” and “has loved” in English, and may also be
“crucify” and “ridicule,” anybody who fell away for a
used as an adjective.)
season could never be renewed to repentance.
There are five qualifiers modified by the word “impos-
In any case, the impossibility referred to is an impos-
sible”: 1) Once enlightened; 2) Tasted the heavenly gift
sibility to being restored to repentance, not to restore
3) Partakers of the Holy Ghost 4) Tasted the Word of
“salvation” (justification); and the restoration to re-
God; and 5) Have seen the powers of the world to come.
pentance is connoted by the verbs as occurring only
They are in the same position as the Exodus genera-
during the time described by the two present tense
tion at Kadesh-Barnea, refusing to go forward to fight
for their inheritance.
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Our Immutable God: Numbers 13 - 14 have shewed toward his name, in that ye have
ministered to the saints, and do minister.
In Numbers 13 - 14, the Israelites had angered God so Hebrews 6:9, 10
thoroughly that He swore on His name they would not
enter the Promised Land. God made up His mind, and Believers who press on to maturity receive God’s bless-
He would not repent. They changed their mind—re- ing of rewards for the Messianic Kingdom because they
pented—but God did not change His. Therefore they have lived a useful life for the Lord.
suffered defeat when they subsequently attempted to
enter. Lesson: God is jealous about sharing His glory. And we desire that every one of you do shew the
same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto
The impossibility of repentance in Heb 6:6 might be on the end: That ye be not slothful, but followers
God’s part, not the individual’s! of them who through faith and patience inherit
the promises.
meta,noia metanoia, a change of mind, as it appears Hebrews 6:11, 12
to one who repents, of a purpose he has formed or of Which promises were optional?
something he has done. Example: Issac and Esau (read
Gen 27:32-40). The Goal of our Security
For the earth which drinketh in the rain that The resurrected and glorified Lord Jesus Christ
cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs will become the Head of a new race of humanity,
meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth purified from all contact with sin and prepared to
blessing from God: But that which beareth thorns live eternally in His presence (1 Cor 15:42-49). It is
and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; astounding to realize that God’s plan of salvation for
whose end is to be burned. people is a program that reaches from eternity past
Hebrews 6:7, 8 to eternity future, which God will carry out perfectly.

People expect rain to produce and bring forth herbs but Recognizing this, we now encounter:
the result for fruitlessness will be rejection or disap-
proval. The timing for this approval or rewarding will The Ultimate Tour d’Force
come at the Judgment Seat of Christ (1 Cor 3:10-15).
Seven Questions: Romans 8:31-39
They are believers; their justification is not at issue (Cf.
1 Cor 3:15). Judgment, not mercy, will emanate from Seven questions which specifically raise the issue of
the Bema seat, with a just recompense of reward for the believer’s eternal security in this magnificent con-
works—positive and negative as appropriate (Cf. Mt clusion to Romans 8:
18:23-35; 24:42-51; 25:14-30; Mk 8:34-38; Lk 12:1-12;
41-48; 19:11-27). Q:
1,2 Can opposition defeat the Christian? (Rom 8:31).
But, beloved, we are persuaded better things
of you, and things that accompany salvation, “If” = first class conditional: “since.” Obviously, Satan
though we thus speak. For God is not unrighteous and his demonic hosts are against believers (Eph 6:11-
to forget your work and labour of love, which ye
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13; 1 Peter 5:8), but they cannot ultimately prevail evil. If God has already justified the man who believes
and triumph over believers. God is the self-existent, in Jesus, how can He lay anything to the charge of
sovereign Creator, and since He is for believers, no one His already justified one? (Rom 8:26, 30). His jus-
can oppose believers successfully. tification comes from the imputed righteousness of
Christ and is legally ours! It is not a subject of merit,
3 Will we have the resources? (Rom 8:32) and cannot be lost by demerit. Like a father, God can
and does correct His earthly sons, but they always
(KJV and RV failed to translate the Greek particle ge, remain sons (Lk 15:24).
“even”). “Spare” evfei,sato, epheisato is same word used
in the Septuagint (Gen 22:12) Abraham never “with- 6,7 What kind of assurance can we have of victory?
held” his son (Gen 22:2-14). God offered His own Son, (Rom 8:35)
on that very spot, as the Sacrifice for sin (Jn 1:29).
Since God sacrificed His own Son, He will not hesitate The apostle suggested seven setbacks a believer might ex-
to give believers all things pertaining and leading to perience—Paul experienced all of them (2 Cor 11:23-28).
their ultimate sanctification (2 Pet 1:3). In all these adversities (Rom 8:28,32,37), rather than
being separated from Christ’s love, believers are more
4 Will our failures reverse our justification? (Rom 8:33) than conquerors (pres. tense, “keep on being conquer-
ors to a greater degree” or “keep on winning a glorious
“Charge” = enkalesei, “make formal accusation in court; victory”) through Him who loved us.
press charges” (Acts 19:40; 23:29; 26:2). Satan is identi-
fied as “the accuser” of God’s people (Rev 12:10; cf. Zech His Final Guarantee: Romans 8:39
3:1). His accusations are valid, because they are based
on the believer’s sinfulness and defilement. Satan’s ac- For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life,
cusations will be thrown out of court, because it is God nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor
who justifies. The accused person is righteous on the things present, nor things to come, Nor height,
basis of his faith in Jesus Christ (Rom 3:24; 5:1). As a nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able
result, all accusations are dismissed and no one can to separate us from the love of God, which is in
bring an accusation that will stand (Rom 8:1). Christ Jesus our Lord.

5 Can anyone condemn us for any reason? (Rom 8:34) * * *
Jesus is God’s appointed Judge (Jn 5:22, 27; Acts • Book: The Kingdom, Power, & Glory, King’s High
17:31). Jesus is whom the believer has trusted for sal- Way, Coeur d’Alene Idaho
vation. Furthermore, He is the One who died—more • Supporting Series: (DVDs, CDs,) by Nancy Missler,
than that, who was raised to life—who is at the right King’s High Way; Chuck Missler, Koinonia House.
hand of God (Lk 22:69; Acts 2:33; 5:31; Eph 1:20; Col • Commentaries: Romans, Hebrews, Ephesians.
3:1; Heb 1:3, 13; 8:1; 10:12; 12:2; 1 Pet 3:22) and is also • Other recommended references: Eternal Security:
interceding for us. Can You Be Sure?, Charles Stanley, Thomas Nelson
Publishers, Nashville TN, 1990, 2002 and The Reign
Having justified the ungodly (Rom 4:5), God will not of the Servant Kings, Joseph C. Dillow, Schoettle
and cannot contradict Himself by charging them with Publishing Co., 1992.
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Commentaries on MP3 CD-ROM
Chuck Missler’s Expositional Commentar-
ies are now available from Koinonia House
on MP3 CD-ROM as well as cassette tape.
Some titles are also available on DVD and
include workbooks for personal or group
study, and as a way to earn college course
credit. Write or call for a complete list.

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