Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:13-14)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

You Can't Believe Jesus and at the Same Time Not Be Certain You Are Eternally Secure

My particular Free Grace Theology position is that one must believe that Jesus guarantees for them irrevocable eternal life in order to receive it. In other words, I believe that in order to be saved, one must believe Jesus in His specific promises. The promises of Christ are found in verses such as John 3:16; 5:24; 6:35-40, 47; 10:28-29; 11:25-26. My position is that only those who believe in Jesus through His promise are saved.

You cannot believe those verses and at the same time not believe you are eternally secure. It is impossible! If you believe those verses, you are certain you are eternally secure. Let us look at the key phrases in Christ's promise of eternal life:

John 3:16
"shall not perish"

John 5:24
"has ETERNAL life, and WILL NOT come into judgment, but has already passed from death unto life"

John 6:35
"shall never hunger"
"shall never thirst"

John 6:37
"the one who comes to me I will by NO MEANS cast out"

John 6:38-39
"... I have come ... to do ... the will of Him who sent Me... this is [His] will [:] I should lose nothing but raise it up on the last day"

John 6:40
"I will raise him up at the last day"

John 6:47
"has ETERNAL life"

John 10:28
"shall NEVER perish"
"neither shall anyone snatch them out My hand"

John 10:29
"No one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand"

John 11:25
"he SHALL live"

John 11:26
"shall NEVER die"
"shall, by no means, ever die even unto eternity" (my translation from the Greek; uses the emphatic denial "ou me" and "eis twn aiown" (into eternity)

Faith is being persuaded or convinced something is true. If you believe Christ in His statement, you must believe youself eternally saved. Only if you doubt His statement will you not be sure. Jesus Christ is emphatic in His promise of eternal life to the believer. The believer shall:

not perish
will not come into judgment
has passed from death to life
has eternal life
never hunger
never thirst
will not be cast out
will not be lost
will be raised
not be snatched out of Christ's hand
not be snatched out of the Father's hand
shall live
and
shall never die

These are the clear, explicit assertions by Christ concerning the believer in Him. If you believe in Him, you will by necessity believe that you are eternally secure at that same moment. To doubt that you are eternally saved, is to doubt Christ in His promise. And how can there be salvation if you doubt Jesus (in other words, not believe Him)?

faith = assurance

Heb 11:1
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."
NASB

Dear readers, if I said to you:

"I put $100 in your bank account."

And you said you believed me (and you did), what are you certain you have?

Answer: $100.

Only if you doubt me could you not be certain you have the $100. Doubt precludes faith (Mark 4:40; Mark 11:23; Rom 14:23; Jas 1:6)!

If faith = conviction and assurance, being persuaded that something is true, you cannot say that you believe something and at the same moment doubt it. It is logically sound to put forth this proposition: if someone believes something, they consider it true. If you believe Christ in His promise, you consider His promise true.

What does His promise say?

You shall never perish, never hunger, never thirst, never be lost, etc.

Therefore, if you believe Jesus, you consider His promise true. The only way you could not understand that you are forever saved is if you don't believe Christ's message, in other words, you do not believe His message to be true.

The logic is sound and even a child can understand it. Here is a simple illustration:

Dad: "Little Billy. I promise you that I put a Milky Way bar on your bed."

Little Billy: "I believe you, Dad."

Dad: "Billy. What is it you know you have on your bed?"

Little Billy: "Dad, I have a Milky Way bar!"

Dad: "Are you certain that you have a Milky Way bar?"

Little Billy: "Of course!"

Dad: "Why are you certain?"

Little Billy: "Because I believe what you said about the candy bar."

Assurance is of the essence of faith. Those who do not hold to my position, show me where this little illustration goes wrong. I believe it is rock solid.

In that one believes, he is certain of what he believes.

If he believes Jesus Christ in His promise, he is certain he is eternally secure.

If he retains doubt, he neither believes, nor has assurance.

4 Comments:

Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Indeed.

July 04, 2007 12:11 AM  
Blogger Paul G said...

Antonio;
This is certainly rock solid logic and sound wisdom.
I could not have said it better myself.
All I can say is! What a wonderful savior we have Jesus Christ our Lord, who is supreme in all things and gives us richly wisdom and understanding of Himself and His word.

July 04, 2007 2:00 AM  
Blogger andrew said...

I think the more strictly logical implications of most of the passages you cite is that: "you can't believe in Jesus and not have eternal life at the same time."

the epistemological slant ("be certain you have . . .") which you give to this (as per your examples), seems to shift focus away from Christ to his gift as the object of faith. rather, I see "eternal life" as the condition, or state of being, that is part and parcel of "seeing"/ "believing in" Jesus, which is to "see" the Father, the knowledge of whom IS eternal life (John 17.3).

in any case, I think you need to make a case for a static/conceptual nature of eternal life; it seems to me that the gift is dynamic/ontological.

"eternal security," by which I think you mean anyone who ever believed will always have eternal life, may be a further implication of some of these passages, but to demonstrate this, it seems to me, requires a different argument than what you have presented.

believers have eternal life. unbelievers do not. so your eternal security thesis depends upon showing that a once believer is always a believer, or else that unbelievers who were once believers nevertheless have eternal life. neither option seems to necessarily flow from any of our premises (i.e., the verses you cited).

the closest thing towards clinching your case is the "I will never cast him out" verse (and surrounding context); the others all seem compatible with the notion that one can forfeit eternal life (e.g., eternal life may once have been, but does not abide, in the faithless/loveless; branches of the vine may thrown into the fire and burned, in which case they are no longer in the vine).

I suppose your position, at least relative to the johannine passages you cite, depends upon making a sharp distinction between having eternal life and abiding in Christ; i.e., insisting upon a static conception of eternal life.

July 04, 2007 7:40 AM  
Blogger David Wyatt said...

Amen bro. Antonio! You are doing a great job of making clear the Gospel call!

Our Savior is indeed THE wonderful One!

July 04, 2007 7:28 PM  

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