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ity. For this he would give unceasing thanks
to the Father through the ages to come.

5. Why the failure of so many converts?

!N"o one can really judge another; but it is evi-
dent that converts who fail are either misguided
professors "who went out from us because they



The Eternal Security of the Believer 115

were not of us" (1 Jno. 2:19), or they are
saved and perhaps so poorly taught, or so neg-
lected in shepherd care, that they are utterly con-
fused and are "walking in darkness" (1 Jno.
1:6).

Conversion is but a human act of turning about.
It can be done many times and even a believer
may be converted (Lk. 22 : 32). Being born again
is a different experience entirely. With it there
is no repetition whatever, nor occasion for repe-
tition. Some modern revival converts who have
heard nothing but appeals for reformation and
a general exhortation to be identified with re-
ligion, can hardly be expected to come under the
same gracious keeping of God, as the one who
has come to God by Jesus Christ, and who has
intelligently rested in the saving grace of God as
revealed in His Son.



CHAPTER XI

THE ETERNAL SECURITY OF THE
BELIEVER

The Doctrine of the Scriptures
Part II

THE eternal security of the believer is revealed
in a well-defined body of Scripture the interpre-
tation of which is not subject to question as to its
exact meaning, or as to the fact that it refers
only to salvation, if the plain teaching of the
Word of God is taken to be the final statement of
truth. Those passages which have been thought
by some to teach that a Christian might be lost
again, together with certain questions of doubt,
have been considered in the preceding chapter,
and the way is clear, so far as this discussion is
concerned, to give undivided attention to the posi-
tive words of certainty regarding the divine keep-
ing guaranteed in the Word to every child of God.
Complete exposition of this extensive body of
Scripture would be impossible within the limits
of this chapter. As in the preceding chapter, the
passages may best be grouped under certain gen-
eral heads, and representative passages of the
Scriptures in this body of truth considered in each
of these divisions. According to His Word, the
true child of God is secure in the divine keep-
ing for at least seven reasons:

I. The Purpose, Power and 'Present T Attitude
of God the Father.

1. The Purpose of God.
116



The Eternal Security of the Believer 117

The divine revelation unfolds the eternal past,
the present order in time, and the eternal future.
To all these the saved one is closely related. From
the beginning he was in the thought and purpose
of God; he is now in the day of decision and
grace; and the eternity to come is made glorious
by the sure realization of the design of God for
him. "For whom he did Jorebao^, he also did
predestinate to be conformed to the image of his
Son, that he might be the firstborn among many
brethren, moreover whom he did predestinate,
them he also called: and whom he called, them
he also justified: and whom he justified, them he
also glorified" (Rom. 8:29, 30). "According as
he hath chosen us in him before the foundation
of the world, that we should be holy and without
blame before him" (Eph. 1:4).

These passages sweep the whole eternity. They
reveal a divine purpose in the dateless past and
reach on to its realization in the eternity to come,
and all without reference to human conditions.
Still another passage, related only to the ages to
come, reveals that this will all be accomplished as
a sufficient display, to all created beings, of the
grace of God: "And hath raised us up together,
and made us sit together in the heavenly in Christ
Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show
the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness
toward us through Christ Jesus" (Eph. 2:6, Y).

The solemn question confronts every thought-
ful person, therefore, whether the infinite God
can realize His eternal purpose, or is He baffled
and uncertain in the presence of the object of



118 Salvation

His own creative power? To this question the
Scriptures give no uncertain answer.

2. The Power of God.

God has not only revealed Himself as Creator
and Lord of all, but it has pleased Him to give
the most minute and exact assurance of His abil-
ity to do for His child that which He purposed
in the ages past. Speaking of what He would
have us know, it is said: "And what is the ex-
ceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who
believe, according to the working of his mighty
power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised
him from the dead, and set him at his own right
hand in the heavenly (Eph. 1:19, 20). "My
sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they
follow me: and I give unto them eternal life;
and they shall never perish, neither shall any
(created thing) pluck them out of my hand" ( Jno.
10:27, 28). This is true of "my sheep." No
power created is sufficient to pluck them out of
His hand. Even the "free will" of the sheep can-
not, and will not, bring him to the point of per-
ishing. "Who are thou that judgest another man's
servant ? to his own master he standeth or f alleth.
Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to
make him stand" (Rom. 14 : 4) . "I know whom
I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able
to keep that which I have committed unto him
(guard my deposit) against that day" (2 Tim.
1: 12). "Now unto him that is able to keep you
from falling (stumbling) and to present you fault-
less before the presence of his glory with ex-
ceeding joy" (Jude 24). Such is the testimony



The Eternal Security of the Believer 119

of the Holy Spirit concerning the sufficient power
of God for the believer's eternal keeping.

3. The Attitude of God.

Could it be possible that God would so love
an individual as to give His only Son to die for
him and still love him to the extent of follow-
ing him with the pleadings and drawings of His
grace until He has won that soul into His own
family and household and created him anew by
the impartation of His own divine nature, and
then be careless as to what becomes of the one
He has thus given His all to procure? Here,
again, the Scriptures make positive reply. "But
God commendeth his love toward us, in that while
we were yet sinners Christ died for us. Much
more then, being now justified by his blood, we
shall be saved from wrath through him. For
if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to
God by the death of his Son, much more, being
reconciled, we shall be saved by his life" (Rom.
5 : 8-10). "Much more" is a term of comparison.
He gave His Son to die for us while we were
yet sinners and most abhorent, as such, to His
absolute purity and holiness. Such is the bound-
less love which He has commended to us through
the cross. But much more than His attitude of
love toward sinners will be His attitude of love
toward those whom He has cleansed, transformed,
redeemed and created anew as His own beloved
children in grace. If He will save sinners at the
price of the blood of His only begotten Son, much
more, when they are justified, will He save them
from wrath through Him. This great compari-



120 Salvation

son is repeated in the text apparently for empha-
sis. For if, when we were enemies, we were rec-
onciled to God by the death of His Son, much
more, being reconciled, we shall be (kept) saved
through His life (or the fact that He is now alive
and appearing for us at the right hand of God.
See Eom. 8: 34; Heb. 7: 25). The testimony of
the Bible, then, is that the attitude of love and
care of God for those whom He has saved will
be much more than the attitude of love, sur-
passing knowledge, for enemies and sinners as
it has been manifested in the cross.

Not only is it revealed that God is disposed
to keep the one whom He has saved, but the true
child of God is also a gift of the Father to the
Son (Jno. 10:29; 17:6, 9, 11) and has been
committed to the keeping power of the Father by
the prayer of the Son. "Holy Father keep."
That prayer will be answered.

Thus it may be concluded that should the saved
one be lost, the eternal purpose of God will have
been thwarted. Admitting this, it must be con-
cluded that He Who can design a universe whose
remotest star shall not deviate by a second from
its appointments throughout the ages; Who can
plan the universe from the highest arch-angel to
the marvelous organism of the smallest insect;
Whose purpose has never yet been known to fail
that such a God may be defeated by the mere
creature His hands have made. If the saved one
is finally lost, it must also be concluded that God
is, to that degree, lacking in power. He Who has
testified that not one of His sheep will ever per-



The Eternal Security of the Believer 121

ish, must yet retract His bold assertions and
humbly submit to a power that is greater than
His own. He Who created and holds the uni-
verse in His hands; Who calls things that are
not as though they were; Who could speak the
word and dismiss every atom of matter and life
from existence forever must retire before the over-
lordship of some creature of His hand.

And, lastly, admitting the revelation concern-
ing God's eternal purpose and His infinite power
to accomplish that purpose, if it could still be
proven that the saved one might be lost we would
be shut up to the one and final conclusion that
it could be so only because the All-powerful God
did not sufficiently care to keep those whom His
power had created as new-born children. But
what do we find ? The revelation is full of testi-
mony concerning that very care. Who can meas-
ure the revealed devotion of His boundless love
toward the objects of His saving grace? Who
will dare claim that He will not answer the
prayer of His Son?

II. The Substitutionary ', Sacrificial Death of
God the Son.

There is no spiritual progress to be made until
one is convinced that something final was accom-
plished at the cross in regard to sin. Nor will
it do to believe that the thing accomplished
applies only to such sins as have already
been committed, or for which forgiveness has
already been granted. Something has been done
concerning every sin that ever has been committed,
or that will yet be committed by man, and conse-



122 Salvation

quently every person has been vitally affected by
the cross. It does not baffle our God to deal with
sins before they are committed. Had He not
done this there could now be no grounds of sal-
vation for any sinner in this age. So complete
has been the sacrificial work of the Son of God
that the Spirit has testified: "Behold the Lamb
of God, that taketh away the sin of the world";
"He tasted death for every man" ; "He is the
propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only,
but also for the sins of the whole world"; "He
died for all." Because of the thing which He
has accomplished by His death, the present con-
demnation of sinners is said to be no longer due
primarily to the fact of their sins, but to the
fact that they will not receive the remedy God
has in infinite love provided: "He that believeth
on him is not condemned : but he that believeth not
is condemned already, because he hath not believed
in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And
this is the condemnation, that light is come into
the world, and men loved darkness rather than
light, because their deeds were evil" (Jno. 3 : 18,
19). "He that believeth not shall be damned"
(Mk. 16:16). "God was in Christ, reconciling
the world unto himself, not imputing their tres-
passes unto them" (2 Cor. 5:19). "Of sin, be-
cause they believe not on me" (Jno. 16: 9). To
this sin of rejecting the lavishing of God's mercy
and grace must be added the fact that those who
thus reject have chosen, in practical effect, to stand
under the burden of their own sins, as though
Christ had not died.



The Eternal Security of the Believer 123

It is a matter of revelation that even the un-
saved are not now condemned because of the sins
which Christ has borne. How much less could a
true child of God be condemned because of his
sins ! "There is, therefore, now no condemnation
to them which are in Christ Jesus." The saved
one will be brought into judgment concerning his
life and service (2 Cor. 5: 10), and be chastened
of the Father (Heb. 12 : 6) ; but never will he
"be condemned with the world" (1 Cor. 11 : 31,
32). "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that
heareth my word, and believeth on him that hath
sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come
into judgment; but is passed from death unto
life" (Jno. 5 : 24). "He that believeth on him is
not condemned" (Jno. 3:18).

Although the child of God will not be con-
demned, God is not indifferent concerning the
manner of his daily life. He has other and more
effective ways of prompting His children to nor-
mal living under grace than to hold over them
the terrors of instantly perishing as the result of
sin. A wise mother, even, has other resources in
correcting and developing her child than instant
murder for the slightest deviation from her will.
Sin is never mitigated, because it is committed
by a Christian; it is terrible in God's holy eyes:
but it is still His child that sins and He has Him-
self provided that even sin shall never hinder the
exercise of His eternal love. He has forever
swept sin's judgments out of His own way.

The child in the Father's house may lose his
fellowship, joy, peace and power and even come



124 Salvation

under the Father's chastening hand, because he
is a son, but he is not to be condemned. When
he is chastened it is not a question of making, or
breaking, his sonship: it is all because he is a
son. Even of the world it is said that God is
"not imputing their trespasses unto them."

The child of God is said to "stand in grace."
This is far removed from standing in works or
any personal merit. Because of the cross, our
God is able to save us in spite of the fact that
we have sinned and are without merit before Him.
Because of that same cross and on the same
grounds of justice, He is able also to keep us
saved who may be sinning and who can claim
no worthiness in His sight. The very same pro-
visions of grace which made it possible to save us
at all, make it equally possible for us to be kept
saved for all eternity.

To claim that the child of God is not safe be-
cause of the supposed unsaving power of sin, is
to put sin above the blood and to set at naught
the eternal redemption that is in Christ Jesus.
If there is real solicitude as to the moral effect
of this revelation, let it be rememberd that, ac-
cording to the Bible, this truth, so far from being
considered a license to sin, is the greatest divine
incentive to true holiness, and as important as
the believer's life and conduct is, it is under other
and more effective divine care.

III. The Sealing ~by God the Spirit.

The believer has been sealed by the Spirit of
God unto the day of redemption. "And grieve
not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed



The Eternal Security of the Believer 125

unto the day of redemption" (Eph. 4 : 30, see
also Eph. 1:13; 2 Cor. 1:22). Nothing could
be more final than this. The Spirit Himself is
the seal. His blessed presence in every true child
of God is the divine mark of ownership, purpose
and destiny. The Spirit Who was sent to abide
in us will not withdraw. He may be grieved, or
quenched (resisted), but He abides. This He
does as the divine guaranty that there shall
be no failure in any purpose of God and
the sealed one will reach his eternal glory
and the eternal blessedness of "the day of
redemption."

It is easily concluded by some, and because to
them it seems reasonable, that the divine Person
cannot remain in a heart where there is sin. Such
are soon driven either to judge themselves to be
absolutely without sin, or else to be lost. They
evidently do not realize the value of the cross as
the divinely provided answer to every challenge
of righteousness that may arise because of sin,
nor do they seem to have considered deeply that
body of Scripture which reveals the fact that God
can and does get on with imperfect Christians.
Out of such imperfect material He must people
heaven, so far as humanity is concerned, else that
blessed place will stand empty throughout eter-
nity. The Spirit can righteously abide in every
Christian. He does thus abide, for God has said
it. His sealing will endure unto the "day of re-
demption." To claim that the child of God may
yet be lost is to ignore the power and sufficiency
of the infinite Spirit Who has sealed every saved



126 Salvation

one unto the day of redemption by His unchang-
ing abiding Presence.

IV. The Unconditional New Covenant Made in
His Blood.

Of all the covenants God has made with man
some are conditional and some are unconditional.
The conditional covenant is made to depend upon
the faithfulness of man: "if ye will do good I
will bless you." The unconditional covenant is
a direct declaration of the purpose of God, and
depends on Him alone. "I will make of thee a
great nation, and in thee all the families of the
earth shall be blessed." This was God's uncon-
ditional covenant with Abraham. It was uncon-
ditional in that God in no way related its accom-
plishment to Abraham's conduct or faithfulness.
Jehovah was certainly interested in Abraham's
conduct; but He in no degree made conduct a
part of the basis of the great undertaking stated
in the covenant. In ratifying a portion of the
covenant made to Abraham, God alone passed be-
tween the pieces of the carcasses while Abraham
lay motionless in a very deep sleep (Gen. 15:4-
17). Abraham had nothing to do with it. He
was committed to nothing whatsoever, and was
wholly set aside. Such is the fact and force of
an unconditional covenant.

"The new covenant made in his blood" is in
like manner unconditional. It is especially men-
tioned in Heb. 8 : 7-10 : 25 and includes every
promise of God for salvation and keeping for
believers in this age of grace. This "new cove-
nant made in his blood" is unconditional, since



The Eternal Security of the Believer 127

it wholly passes over every question of human
merit, or conduct, and consists in the mighty dec-
larations of what God is free to do and will do
in sovereign grace for the one who believes on His
Son. We enter this covenant by believing. This
should not be confused with the conditions within
the covenant. The new covenant is not condi-
tioned by our believing, but is unconditionally de-
clared to those who do believe.

No human conditions are found in the follow-
ing passages: "Verily, verily, I say unto you,
he that heareth my word, and believeth on him
that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall
not come into condemnation; but is passed from
death unto life" ( Jno. 5 : 24) ; "All that the
Father giveth me shall come to me ; and him that
cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (Jno.
6: 37) ; "And I give unto them eternal life; and
they shall never perish, neither shall any man
pluck them out of my hand. My father, which
gave them me, is greater than all; and no man
(creation) is able to pluck them out of my
Father's hand" (Jno. 10 : 28, 29) ; "And we know
that all things work together for good to them
that love God, to them who are the called accord-
ing to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow,
he also did predestinate to be conformed to the
image of his Son, that He might be the first-
born among many brethren. Moreover, whom
he did predestinate, them he also called: and
whom he called, them he also justified: and whom
he justified, them he also glorified" (Rom.
8 : 28-30) ; "Being confident of this very thing,



128 Salvation

that he which hath begun a good work in you will
perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil.
1:6); "And the Lord shall deliver me from
every evil work, and will preserve me unto his
heavenly kingdom : to whom be glory for ever and
ever. Amen" (2 Tim. 4: 18).

These declarations do not once descend to the
level of human life and conduct: they define the
divine intent and purpose. Were they to be con-
ditioned in the slightest degree upon human merit,
the ultimate goal of Christlikeness could never be
realized for any fallen being. It is sometimes
asserted that a condition of good conduct is im-
plied in these passages which together form the
new covenant. Nothing is implied whatsoever.
If God shall choose to make an unconditional
covenant how could He more clearly state it?
Or how could His exact truth be preserved if men
are free to qualify His Word?

To claim that a Christian may be lost through
the issues of his daily life is to make an eternal,
unconditional covenant, made by God in sovereign
grace, seem to be a mere legal demand with which
no human being could ever hope to comply. It
would be tampering with the word of His grace.

V. The Intercession and Advocacy of Christ.

Many have placed an emphasis out of all due
proportion upon the three years' ministry of
Christ on the earth as compared with His present
ministry at the right hand of God. So little is
this latter ministry considered that it is almost
unknown to many Christians; but no one can
enter intelligently into the revelation concerning



The Eternal Security of the Believer 129

the fact, purpose and value of the present ministry
of Christ and not be assured of the eternal se-
curity of all who have put their trust in Him.
Whatever else lies within the purpose of the
Eternal Son at the right hand of God, the Scrip-
tures reveal only that He is there for the keeping
of His own who are in the world.

The present heavenly ministry of Christ is both
intercessory and advocatory. As Intercessor He
prays for all that the Father hath given Him, or
every member of His blessed body. This prayer
is concerning their weakness and helplessness. His
intercessory ministry began with His High
Priestly prayer which He prayed before His
death, as recorded in Jno. 17. This petition, it
should be noted, is not only limited to His own
in the world, but altogether for their keeping and
fitting for their heavenly destiny. He also con-
tinues to pray only for His own, and concerning
their keeping and destiny (Rom. 8:34; Heb.
7:25). No child of God will ever know before
reaching heaven from what dangers and testings
he has been saved by the faithful and unfailing
intercession of his Lord. He is the Great Shep-
herd of the Sheep, brought again from the dead
through the blood of the everlasting covenant Who
is guarding His own, and of them He will say:
"And I have lost none of them, save the son of
perdition that the Scriptures might be fulfilled" ;
while they can say of Him, "The Lord is my
Shepherd, I shall not want."

It is inconceivable that the prayer of the Son
of God should not be answered. It was answered



130 Salvation

in the case of Peter. "And the Lord said, Simon,
Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you,
that he might sift you as wheat : but I have prayed
for thee, that thy faith fail not." He did not
pray that Peter should be kept out of Satan's
sieve. He did pray that Peter's faith might not
fail, and it did not fail. What consolation it
yields to contemplate the fact that He, with all
His understanding of every weakness and danger
before us, is praying this moment, and every mo-
ment, for us! His is not a prayer that will not
avail. His praying is perfect and the result is
absolute. Moreover, His intercession is without
end.

The Aaronic priesthood was most limited in its
continuance because of the death of the priest.
"But this man (Christ), because he continueth
ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Where-
fore he is able also to save them to the uttermost
that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth
to make intercession for them" (Heb. 7: 24, 25).

He is able to save to the uttermost (Greek,
panteles, meaning forever, or perfectly in point
of time). Such security is vouchsafed only to
those "who come unto God by Him," and such
security is assured to these on no other grounds,
in this passage, than that "He ever liveth to make
intercession for them."

As Advocate He now "appears in the presence
of God for us" (Heb. 9 : 24). This ministry has
to do only with the believer's sin. "If any
(Christian) man sin, we have an advocate with
the Father (not an advocate with God), Jesus



The Eternal Security of the Believer 131

Christ the righteous" (1 Jno. 2:1). In exercis-
ing this ministry He does not continue to atone
for sins as they are committed : sin has been atoned


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