ETERNAL SECURITY: PROVIDED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT (Pt. 1)
The Doctrine of Eternal Security Part 10
by Dennis Rokser
It is wonderful to know from the Scriptures that the eternal salvation of every believer in Jesus Christ is based upon the provision and power of the Tri-une Godhead. Therefore, in this on-going study we have previously examined…
A. ETERNAL SECURITY BY GOD THE FATHER…
B. ETERNAL SECURITY BY GOD THE SON and now…
C. ETERNAL SECURITY BY GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT.
1. Every believer in Christ is eternally secure because of the PERPETUAL PRESENCE of the Holy Spirit.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. (John 14:16)
These words were spoken by the Lord Jesus Christ on the eve of His crucifixion In what is commonly referred to as “the Upper Room Discourse” (John 13-17). Having washed the disciples feet and instituted the Lord’s Supper, Jesus Christ has just announced that one of His disciples would betray Him (John 13:21-27), another disciple would deny Him (John 13:36-38), and that He was departing to His Father’s house (John 14:1-6). In light of this, our Lord seeks to comfort the troubled hearts of the disciples (14:1), as well as instruct them about His future grace provisions for their needs after His departure (14:13ff). This would include “another Comforter” (14:16) – who is the Holy Spirit (15:26).
How long does the Holy Spirit abide with every child of God during this present dispensation? “that He may abide with you FOREVER” (14:16). The Greek words translated “forever” are once again “eis ton aiona” (see previous journal articles regarding this phrase). This Comforter (parakletos) would come alongside to comfort, help, and enable these believers as God the Father’s answer to Jesus Christ’s request. And unlike previous dispensations when the Holy Spirit would come and go,1 He would abide with them FOREVER.
Jesus Christ did not declare, “The Holy Spirit will abide with you until you sin, keep sinning, fall away, turn your back on Me, etc.” No, dear friends, the Holy Spirit will abide with you FOREVER.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. (Romans 8:9)
This verse indicates that every genuine, born–again child of God in this dispensation has the Holy Spirit. In fact, if one does not possess the Holy Spirit today “he is none of His.”
Thus, if the Holy Spirit will abide with believers forever, and if the mark of being a genuine Christian in this present dispensation is possessing the Holy Spirit, it stands to reason that it would be IMPOSSIBLE to lose your salvation. That’s eternal security!
2. Every believer in Christ is eternally secure because of the PERMANENT INDWELL-ING of the Holy Spirit.
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:17)
Notice the shift in the Holy Spirit’s ministry at that time (“for He dwelleth with you”) versus the Comforter’s ministry now (“and shall be in you”). This “shall be (future, indicative) in you” promise has been fulfilled for every believer starting on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). Our Lord had previously predicted the Holy Spirit’s indwelling during the Feast of Tabernacles when He announced,
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. This spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified. (John 7:37-39)
How does a lost sinner receive the Holy Spirit today? Ephesians 1:13 plainly explains…
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise (Ephesians 1:13)
Notice the explained sequence of events.
a. They heard the Word of Truth – the Gospel of salvation.
b. They trusted in Jesus Christ alone.
c. They were then sealed with the Holy Spirit.
The phrase “after that ye believed” indicates a completed action in the past (aorist tense) which they chose (active voice). This could be translated “having believed” or “when you believed.” Being an aorist participle, it preceded the action of the main verb which is “sealed.” Thus, putting their trust in Christ through hearing the Gospel resulted in them being “sealed with the Holy Spirit.” Regarding the sealing ministry of the Holy Spirit, the Scofield Study Bible footnotes,
“The Holy Spirit is Himself the seal. In the symbolism of Scripture a seal signifies: (1) A finished transaction (Jeremiah 32:9, 10; John 17:4, 19:30). (2) ownership (Jeremiah 32:11, 12; 2 Timothy 2:19). (3) security (Esther 8:8; Daniel 6:17; Ephesians 4:30).”2
Thus, the sealing of the Holy Spirit reveals that your salvation is a finished transaction (you are not on probation), that you belong to the Lord as His child; and that your salvation is secure. This is a completed reality (aorist tense, indicative mood) that God did for you (passive voice) the moment you trusted in Jesus Christ to save you based on His finished work on the cross. But that’s not all!
Which (who – referring back to the Holy Spirit) is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:14)
The sealing of the Holy Spirit further acts as “the earnest” (the first installment of a guaranteed final purchase) that you will one day receive a new glorified redeemed body. (Romans 8:23; 2 Cor. 1:22). But what is the duration of the Holy Spirit’s sealing ministry to each believer?
And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30)
While the Holy Spirit is grieved through the believer’s sin and unwillingness to walk by faith, note that He is never grieved away. This verse does not warn us, “And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God whereby ye are sealed until you sin, backslide, apostatize, blaspheme, etc.” In fact, if the Holy Spirit seals you permanently and you could somehow lose your salvation, the Holy Spirit would then have to go to Hell forever with you. God forbid! The sealing of the Holy Spirit underscores for us the tremendous truth of eternal security.
3. Every believer in Christ is eternally secure because of the POSITIONAL BAPTIZING of the Holy Spirit.
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
The baptizing work of the Holy Spirit places every believer into union with Christ and His spiritual Body which is the Church.3 This amazing identification with Christ is true of all believers (“we all”) and therefore, must happen at the moment you trusted in Christ (“baptized” – aorist tense). This is a spiritual reality that God did for you (passive voice) and is a fact (indicative mood) though it was unfelt and invisible. How can you know this? Simply because God’s Word says so! This is why the prepositional phrase “in Christ” is repeatedly emphasized in the New Testament epistles.
How does the baptizing work of the Holy Spirit guarantee a believers eternal salvation? If Christ is the Head and you are a member of His Body, are not the two inseparable? And if Christ is seated at the throne of God in heaven, where is your eternal destiny and the place that God now sees you?
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, ye are saved; And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-6)
Futhermore, if Christ is the beloved Son in whom the Father is well-pleased and you are “in Him,” what does that mean about you?
To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (Ephesians 1:6)
It is imperative that every believer becomes firmly established in knowing positional truth and their identification in Christ (Romans 6). It forms the necessary foundation for healthy spiritual growth in grace.4
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power. (Colossians 2:9-10)
Therefore, every believer has been completely and permanently placed into union with Jesus Christ and with His Body, the Church. And if a believer could lose his salvation, the Body of Christ would be ultimately incomplete. There would be eternally missing parts. Now that is impossible! The Lord knows them that are His! The Body of Christ will not be ultimately incomplete because once you are joined to its eternal Head, the two are inseparable.
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (1 Jn. 5:12)
Every believer has been baptized by the Holy Spirit “into Christ” forever. And that’s eternal security!
Dear friend, do you know for sure that you have been saved by God’s grace forever? If you are relying on your works or walk to either obtain or maintain salvation, you will never know for sure that heaven is your final and forever home. But if you take God at His Word and put your trust in Jesus Christ alone who died for your sins and rose again, you can know with certainty you have been saved forever. This truth God wants you to know. Why don’t you settle this issue today?
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
(1 John 5:13)
Loved with everlasting love,
Led by grace that love to know;
Spirit breathing from above,
Thou hast taught me it is so!
Oh, this full and perfect peace!
Oh, this transport all divine!
In a love which cannot cease,
I am His, and He is mine.
His forever, only His;
Who the Lord and me shall part?
Ah, with what a rest of bliss,
Christ can fill the loving heart!
Heav’n and earth may fade and flee,
First born light in gloom decline;
But while God and I shall be,
I am His, and He is mine.5 ¢
1 During the various Old Testament dispensations, the Holy Spirit would selectively come and go upon only certain individuals (e.g. 1 Samuel 10:9-10; 16:13-14; Judges 14:6; 16:20; Psalm 51:10).
2 Scofield Reference Bible – Footnote #4, page 1250.
3 Consider also Galatians 3:26-28; Romans 6:3-5; Col. 2:12.
4 In the apostle Paul’s progression of thought in Romans, the first truths that he communicates relative to the believer’s walk is his position in / identity with Christ (Romans 6:1-13). He doesn’t introduce the Christian life with the need for prayer, witnessing, or service (though all of these have their rightful place); he begins with knowing your position in Christ (6:3, 6, 9), resting in it by faith (“reckon” – 6:11), and yielding to God “as those who are alive from the dead” (6:13). Every believer and teacher does well to follow this pattern.
5 “I am His, and He is Mine,” written by George W. Robinson, 1890.