The security of the believer, in this dispensation, may be one of the most misunderstood subjects in Scripture. The evidence of that is that most Christians do not believe in eternal security. The fault may lie at the feet of the doctrine that all believers in all dispensations are saved by believing the same thing, and that eternal security is taught in all dispensations. It is not.
It is true that believers in other dispensations had security, but it was conditional, and was not eternal. One passage that should clear this up, and there are many, is found in the Hebrew epistles, is 2 Peter 2:20, 21. “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them.” Also, while under the Law, Luke records, “The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers.” Luke 12:46. Again, He is speaking of the end of the Tribulation.
The difference is found in the position one is placed who trusts Jesus as Savior in this dispensation. The book of Ephesians, and Colossians are two of the best examples. I will choose verses from Colossians that, hopefully, will help us understand this mystery, and eternal security.
Paul’s desire is that the Colossians would have “…full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge… 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.” Salvation is a work of the Trinity. However, all the attributes are placed by the Father in the Son to procure salvation, and exercise judgment. Consider the depth of verse 9. All that pertains to the Godhead dwells in Jesus Christ!
Secondly, every believer has been placed into Jesus Christ at the moment he believes. “10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. (the baptism and the circumcision are both symbolized in His death and resurrection. There is no literal baptism or circumcision intended here) 13 And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; 14 Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; 15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”
The believer should read and re-read the above until he has knowledge and understanding of its import. 1. You are complete IN HIM. Now, what could be more complete than complete? 2. You are complete in Him who has power and position over all powers in heaven, earth, and hell. 3. The circumcision, baptism of Christ, in this context, is his nailing to the cross, His burial, and His resurrection. His “flesh” was cut off from the living, placed in the grave, and newness of life arose the third day! 4. Verse 15 states His open triumph over all principalities and powers. One of those powers was death. His resurrection gave the death blow to the serpent, sin, and death. Thus every Christian is IN HIM. After His victory, He ascended into heaven with every believer residing IN HIM.
5. The church is the body of Christ. There are no religious ceremonies that add to that which is complete and perfect. “…the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God. 20 Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world, why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances, (Touch not; taste not; handle not; 22 Which all are to perish with the using;) after the commandments and doctrines of men? 23 Which things have indeed a shew of wisdom in will worship, and humility, and neglecting of the body; not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh.” Colossians 2:1-23.
6. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4. The believer is as eternally secure as the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not your faith, works, sincerity, or endurance that makes you eternally secure. It is ALL accomplished in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ! The wages of sin is death. The perfect Son of God paid the debt, conquered death, and reconciled us back to God.
7. The following sums it all up. “If ye then be risen with Christ, (and you are)…2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4.
What could be plainer than the above text? We are already in heaven, in Christ, who is in God! Christ is our LIFE. When He appears, we appear with Him in glory. The child of God should memorize this text, and then, regardless of circumstances, he will live in victory!
Saints in other dispensations had security, but only those in this dispensations have eternal security.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.
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