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The Eternal Security of the Born-Again Believer

Written by: Hutson, Curtis    Posted on: 05/05/2003

Category: Bible Studies

Source: CCN

                                The Eternal Security                               of the Born-Again Believer

                              Can I Lose My Salvation?

                                    By Curtis Hutson                                 (Starts on Page No. 9)

                            with excerpts from Arthur Pink                       from his 3 volume set on the Gospel of John                                           and                                     from Millard Day                       from his book called "basic bible doctrines"                                           and                                     from Hal Lindsey                           from his book called "Combat Faith"

            All Scriptural quotes are taken from the New International Version                 Unless otherwise indicated at the beginning of the verse                           Such as: (KJV)==> King James Version                                     (NKJ)==> New King James Version                                     (RSV)==> Revised Standard Version                           Example: JOH 1:1                                     (NKJ)

                  For a comprehensive, but very "easy to read" account             of the "literal" Fall of Adam, which necessitated Christ's Death,               I strongly suggest reading the book by Hal Lindsey entitled                             "The Liberation of Planet Earth"                         which can be ordered at any book store,                           or found in most Public Libraries.

          ** NOTE **  If Adam wasn't real, than the Bible and Christ's  death           was  meaningless. Because Jesus claimed that the reason He  had  to           come and die was to Undo that which was lost at the Fall.

          1Corinthians  15:45  So it is written:                                 "The first man Adam became a living being";                                 the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.

                Matthew  18:11  "For the Son of Man has come                 (NKJ)          to save that which was lost.

                  Luke  19:10  "for the Son of Man has come                   (NKJ)        to seek                                 and to save                                 that which was lost."

                                                                                            Few other questions cause as many doubts                         and  uncertainties among  Christians  as                         the  misunderstood  issue  of  ETERNAL                         SECURITY.    No  Christian  can  attain                         spiritual  growth  until he  first  com-                         pletely understands the answer to:                                         Can I lose my salvation?                                         

                                  The Eternal Security                               of the Born-Again Believer

          First of all, what is meant by the term "born again"?  Jesus  makes           it clear in the gospel of John that it is imperative for this  "new           birth"  to  take  place if one is ever to know  or  understand  the           things of God.

          JOHN 3:3  Jesus answered and said to him,             (NKJ)    "Most assuredly, I say to you,                     unless one is born again,                     he cannot see the kingdom of God."

                                            Importance of the New Birth

          It  is profoundly significant that the new birth formed  the  first           subject of  the Savior's teaching in this Gospel according to John.           In  the first two chapters we learn of a number of things  He  did,           but  here  in John 3 is the first discourse of Christ  recorded  by           this  apostle.  It is not how man should live that  we  are  first           instructed  by  Christ in this Gospel, but how men are  made  alive           spiritually.

          Christ plainly intimated the supreme importance of the new birth by           affirming that "unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom           of  God" (v.3).  If then the kingdom of God cannot be seen until  a           man is born again, the new birth is shown to be a matter of a vital           moment for every descendant of Adam.  The full force of these first           words  of  Christ to Nicodemus appears to be this: "Unless  one  is           born again, he cannot come to know the things of God."  Such  being           the  case, the new birth is seen to be a thing of  profound  impor-           tance.  A better translation for the words "born again"  would  be           "born from above" as the process of baptism is done completely  and           solely  as an act BY God in the believer THRU the Holy  Spirit.  A           brief  discussion of baptism will follow  "The  Character  of  the           New Birth " as there are many varied beliefs on the subject.

                              The Character of the New Birth

          Heaven  is a prepared place for a prepared people. An  unregenerate           man who has no relish at all for spiritual things, who is bored  by           the  conversation of believers, who finds the Bible dull  and  dry,           who  is  a stranger to the throne of grace, would  be  wretched  in           heaven. Such a man could not spend eternity in the presence of God.           Suppose a fish were taken out of the water, and laid upon a  salver           of  gold; suppose further that the sweetest of  flowers  surrounded           it, and that the air was filled with their fragrance; suppose, too,           that the strains of most melodious music fell upon its ears,  would           that  fish  be  happy and contented? Of course not.  And  why  not?           Because it would be out of harmony with its environment; because it           would  be lacking in capacity to appreciate its surroundings.  Thus           would it be with an unregenerate soul in heaven. What is regenerate           or  regeneration? It is the spiritual change wrought in man by  the           Holy Spirit, by which he becomes the possessor of a new life.

          But what is the new birth? Precisely what is it that differentiates           a  man  who is dead in sins from one who has passed from  death  to           life as Jesus claims in John 5:24?

          JOH 5:24  "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes           him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he  has           crossed over from death to life.

          Upon  this  point there is much confusion and ignorance.  Tell  the           average  person that he must be born again and he thinks  you  mean           that he must reform, mend his manner of life, turn over a new leaf.           But reformation concerns only the outer life. And the trouble  with           man  is  within.  The  new birth,  then,  is  something  more  than           reformation.

          Others suppose, and there are thousands who do so, that being  born           again means becoming religious. Nicodemus was not only a  religious           man,  he  was a preacher (Pharisee), and yet it was to  him  Christ           said  "You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be  born           again.'(John 3:7)

          There  are still others who believe that the new birth is a  change           of heart. In the one who has been born again there is no change  of           heart  though there is a change of life, both inward  and  outward.           The  one who is born again now loves the things he once hated,  and           he  hates  now the things he once loved; and, in  consequence,  his           whole line of conduct is radically affected. But, nevertheless,  it           remains  true  that his old heart (which is  "deceitful  above  all           things  and desperately wicked") remains in him, unchanged, to  the           end of this life.

          JER 17:9  The heart is deceitful above all things,             (KJV)    and desperately wicked: who can know it?

          The new birth is the impartation of the new nature. When I was born           the first time I received from my parents their nature; so, when  I           was  born again, I received from God His nature. The Spirit of  God           begets  within us a spiritual nature. Every born again person  has,           therefore,  two natures within him; one which is carnal, the  other           which  is spiritual. These two natures are contrary the one to  the           other  (Galatians 5:17; Romans 7:21-25; 8:1), and  in  consequence,           there is an unceasing warfare going on within the Christian. It  is           only  the grace of God which can subdue the old nature; and  it  is           only the Word of God which can feed the new nature.

          GAL 5:17  For the sinful nature                       desires what is contrary to the Spirit,                       and the Spirit                       what is contrary to the sinful nature.                       They are in conflict with each other,                       so that you do not do what you want.

          ROM 7:21  So I find this law at work:                       When I want to do good,                       evil is right there with me.

          ROM 7:22  For in my inner being I delight in God's law;

          ROM 7:23  but I see another law at work                       in the members of my body,                       waging war against the law of my mind                       and making me a prisoner of the law of sin                       at work within my members.

          ROM 7:24  What a wretched man I am!                       Who will rescue me from this body of death?

          ROM 7:25a  Thanks be to God--      ROM 8:1  Therefore, there  is                       through Jesus Christ    now no condemnation for those                       our Lord!              who are in Christ Jesus,


          Baptism is for believers, it is not for the unsaved.           Water baptism does not in any way add to our salvation, nor does it           in  any  way  enter into it. We are saved by  faith  and  by  grace           through  faith, and on the ground of the shed blood of Christ;  and           this,  not only from our original sin, but from all sin,  and  from           all our sins. The teaching that water baptism in any way atones for           our  sins is unscriptural. The expression "Whoever believes and  is           baptized  will be saved" (Mark 16:16) doubtless has to do with  the           kingdom age rather than with the Church age.

          Note the following context in verses 16-18:

          MAR  16:16  Whoever believes and is baptized will  be  saved,  but           whoever does not believe will be condemned.

          MAR 16:17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: In  my           name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

          MAR 16:18  they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they           drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will  place           their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

          These  signs  surely do not always follow faith in the  Lord  Jesus           Christ  in  the present age. Some Bible teachers believe  they  are           Kingdom-age signs.

          The  Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled all righteousness for us  when  He           died,  was buried, and rose from the dead. Baptism  symbolizes  all           that, and when a believer submits himself for water baptism and  is           buried under the water as a dead man and then is raised up again as           in  resurrection,  he is proclaiming his faith in  Christ's  death,           burial,  and  resurrection as the means by which he is  saved.  So           then, baptism is an outward expression by the believer to symbolize           what has already actually taken place inwardly by the Holy Spirit.

          That  baptism meant death, to be followed by resurrection,  can  be           seen from our Lord's saying to James and John in Mark 10:38;

          MAR  10:38  "You don't know what you are asking," Jesus said.  "Can           you  drink  the cup I drink or be baptized with the  baptism  I  am           baptized with?"

          He also says in Luke 12:50;

          LUK 12:50  But I have a baptism to undergo, and how distressed I am           until it is completed!

          In Matthew, the Lord Jesus is baptized by John in the Jordan River;           and when John would have prevented it, He said....

          MAT 3:15  Jesus replied, "Let it be so now; it is proper for us  to           do this to fulfill all righteousness." Then John consented.

          This  speaks of a symbol, a type, as the Lord Jesus  actually  ful-           filled  all  righteousness for us when He died on  the  cross,  was           buried,  and rose in resurrection; so water baptism symbolizes  all           this, and it may be said that the sinner fulfills all righteousness           when  he dies and is buried (is buried beneath the water),  and  is           raised in resurrection (is raised up from beneath the water);  this           is said by the apostle Paul in Romans 6:4-5....

          ROM  6:4  We were therefore buried with him through  baptism  into           death  in  order  that, just as Christ was  raised  from  the  dead           through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

          ROM 6:5  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we           will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.

          And also in Colossians 2:12....

          COL  2:12  having been buried with him in baptism and  raised  with           him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the           dead.

          I  believe  baptism by immersion would  more  accurately  symbolize           (typify) His death, burial, and resurrection.           As further proof, in Acts 8:38-39 Philip and eunuch "went down into           the water" for baptism;

          ACT 8:38  And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both  Philip           and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.

          ACT  8:39  When they came up out of the water, the Spirit  of  the           Lord  suddenly  took Philip away, and the eunuch did  not  see  him           again, but went on his way rejoicing.

          John  baptized  in the Jordan River, where it speaks  of  the  Lord           Jesus "coming up out of the water" (Mark 1:10);

          MAR  1:10  As Jesus was coming up out of the water, he  saw  heaven           being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.

          and  John  was  baptizing at Aenon near Salim,  because  there  was           "much" water there (John 3:23). Why was "much" water to be desired,           and  why  not baptize at one of the numerous and nearby  wells,  if           sprinkling were to be used? The answer, it seems, is apparent.  But           nonetheless,  any form of water baptism  is still  a  symbolization           only. An outward expression of faith. I believe that all  children,           before the age of reason, are covered by the blood of Christ. If it           would  take a sinner, such as any of us are, to baptize a  baby  to           save  him/her from God's judgment (before the age of reason),  then           it  would no longer be God's grace alone, but God plus  our  works,           which  is unscriptural (Ephesians 2:8-9). God does not need  us  to           show Him how to be merciful.

          EPH 2:8    For it is by grace you have been saved,                       through faith--                       and this not from yourselves,                       it is the gift of God--

          EPH 2:9    not by works,                       so that no one can boast.

          JOH 3:23  And John also was baptizing in Aenon near to Salim,             (KJV)    because there was much water there:                     and they came, and were baptized.

          JOH 3:23  Now John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim,             (NIV)    because there was plenty of water,                     and people were constantly coming to be baptized.

          That  water  baptism is in no way essential to salvation,  that  it           does  not form one of the conditions which God requires the  sinner           to meet, is clear from many considerations:

          1.>  If  baptism be necessary to salvation then no  one  was  saved           before the days of John the Baptist, for the Old Testament will  be           searched from beginning to end without finding a single mention  of           "baptism". Furthermore, if baptism is an indispensable prerequisite           to the forgiveness of sins, then all who died from Abel to the time           of Christ are eternally lost. But this is absurd. The Old Testament           Scriptures plainly teach otherwise.

          2.>  If  baptism be necessary to salvation, then  every  professing           believer  who  has  died during  this  present  dispensation  (this           dispensation being the Church Age which is from Pentecost till  the           Rapture) is eternally lost, if he died without being baptized.

          3>  If  baptism  be necessary to salvation, then  we  must  utterly           ignore every passage in God's Word which teaches that salvation  is           by grace and not of works, that it is a free gift and not bought by           anything the sinner does ==>>  (Ephesians 2:8,9; Ephesians 1:13,14;           2Corinthians 1:21,22; Romans 3:23,24; 1Peter 1:3,4; 1Timothy 2:5.

          EPH 2:8    For it is by grace you have been saved,                       through faith--                       and this not from yourselves,                       it is the gift of God--

          EPH 2:9    not by works, so that no one can boast.

          EPH 1:13  And you also were included in Christ                       when you heard the word of truth,                       the gospel of your salvation.                       Having believed,                       you were marked in him with a seal,                       the promised Holy Spirit,

          EPH 1:14  who is a deposit                       guaranteeing our inheritance                       until the redemption of those who are God's possession--                       to the praise of his glory.

          2CO  1:21  Now it is God                       who makes both us and you stand firm in

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