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Preserving Grace: Can We Lose Our Salvation?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul
The Truth Network Radio
April 8, 2021 12:01 am

Preserving Grace: Can We Lose Our Salvation?

Renewing Your Mind / R.C. Sproul

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April 8, 2021 12:01 am

Is it possible for Christians to lose their salvation? Today, Steven Lawson considers God's preserving grace and shows that His gift of eternal life will never be reversed.

Get 'The Doctrines of Grace in John' DVD with Dr. Steven Lawson for Your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/1672/doctrines-of-grace-in-john

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Coming up next on Renewing Your Mind. God will never give eternal life in and take it back. This is a revocable. This can never be reversed. Once we have received eternal life. It is hours both through time and eternity if you please confirm struggle with belts about salvation. If you think there's a possibility God would let you go that you could lose your grip on him. Let me encourage you to stay with us today here on Renewing Your Mind were studying the doctrines of grace teacher is Dr. Steven Lawson will we come to a very exciting part of our series, we come to the truth of the preserving grace of God.

Sometimes we caught the eternal security of the believer historically has been called the perseverance of the saints, which is really the perseverance of the spirit in the saints. But this truth so sweetens the pot perhaps no truth so sweetens all the other truths as this truth that Charles Haddon Spurgeon, the prince of preachers, the great Baptist preacher 19th-century testified that before he became a believer that he hesitated to give his life to Christ and the reason was he was not persuaded that he could remain faithful that if he would commit himself to Christ. He questioned himself whether he could remain in the faith whether he could remain faithful and so he feared making this fundamental commitment of his life to Christ, lest he later fall away, and he has seen others that he thought were Christians fall away, so he didn't want to be one more hypocrite quote unquote and so he said that he kept himself at a distance. Until that time, he came to understand this truth and he said it was like it was like God was baiting the hook to draw him in the Christ in Spurgeon's own words. Spurgeon said that he found the doctrine of the eternal security of the believer, the preserving grace of God to be irresistible. Spurgeon is a quote when I heard it said that the Lord would keep his people right to the end. I must confess that the doctrine of the final preservation of the saints was the bait that my soul could not resist.

I thought it was a sort of life insurance and insurance of my character and insurance of my soul, and insurance of my eternal destiny. I knew that I could not keep myself but if Christ promised to keep me then I should be safe forever.

And then he went on to say, I longed and prayed to find Christ because I knew that if I found him he would not give me a temporary salvation such as son preach, but he would give to me eternal life, and I would never be lost as the gospel was preached to him as a teenage boy.

He came to the saving knowledge of Christ and part of what drew him to the Lord and encourage his own heart. Give your life to Christ is that I knew if I gave my life to Christ he would hold on to me for ever and it would not be a matter of me having to hold onto him, he would hold on to me and I would never be lost. So that's what I want us to look at in John's Gospel, but as we transition into this for me asking these questions. What good is it to be chosen by the father. If in the end you die lost. What good is it to be redeemed by the sun upon the cross.

If in the end you could fall away. What good is it to be affectionately called by the spirit. If in the end you die lost no it's this truth that makes the doctrine of election so sweet. It is this truth that makes definite atonement so glorious it is this truth that makes the truth of the new birth, something to be so excited about in our hearts that we shall never never perish come with me to John chapter 3 and verse 15 and I want you to see first eternal life.

This is the first time in John's gospel that this phrase is used eternal life.

And here is the preserving grace of God in the life that he gives to us is not temporal life is not 10 year life is not 20 year life he gives to us eternal life, and only tell you what settled for eternity cannot be undone within time. It is eternal life that he is given to us.

Look at John three verse 15 we read so that whoever believes will in him, referring to Christ have eternal life now want to draw out several things. First of all, the verb have that in the present tense, not will have but in him have eternal life. When someone receive eternal life. While some people think that once I get to heaven if I could just hang in there until I get to heaven by his remains saved until I get to heaven, then God will close the door behind me locked the door and I can wipe the sweat from my brow and exhale and go.

I made it. Now I began eternal life. A lot of people live their Christian life with that misunderstanding now. Eternal life does not begin when you go to heaven eternal life begins the moment you believe in Jesus Christ is a tremendous truth. This verse says that whoever believes will in him have right now present tense present possession will have eternal life. If you have truly believed in Jesus Christ. You are the possessor of the gift of eternal life.

Sometimes people think of salvation as getting man out of hell and into heaven, and that is true, but it is also getting God out of heaven, and in demand. That's what eternal life is the life of the eternities to come has already entered into my heart. Now notice the last two words eternal life will in him have eternal life.

Now the adjective is eternal. The noun is life and those who have a mere existence. American empty, hollow, shallow life that is devoid of any reality when you believe upon Christ you receive life. Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life.

And when you receive Christ you receive life you begin to live for the very first time. Jesus said I've come that you might have life and have it abundantly. What kind of life is it that he's given to us what's obvious from this text eternal life that little modifier eternal issues. 17 times in John's Gospel and always in connection with life eternal life eternal life now.

What does this mean eternal life.

It means two things.

First of all, it speaks to the quality of life. Second of all, the duration of life.

First he refers to the quality of life that we have come to receive and literally this means life of the age to come. In other words, what we will experience in heaven one day in the very presence of God has already been deposited down in my heart. Listen heaven has come to us long before we ever go to heaven eternal life life of the ages to come. Meaning it's not a life like anything this world has to offer. It's not a life like anything that is the result of this world system isn't out of this world kind of life that we have come to experience it is eternal life. It is of a totally different quality than anything, this present age can give. So speakers alter the quality of life unlike anything this world has to offer us. But second it also speaks to the duration of life. The word eternal does speak of that which belongs to eternity, eternal life means a life that will go on throughout eternity will if we have come to receive eternal life right now that means were eternally secure forever in the Lord Jesus Christ.

God will never give eternal life in and take it back.

This is a revocable. This can never be reversed. Once we have received eternal life. It is hours both through time and eternity so that which is settled for eternity can never be undone within time that he will go on to say the very same thing at the end of this chapter John three verse 36 he who believes in the son has present tense verb has eternal life. I want to say again I say this to your encouragement.

If you have believed upon Jesus Christ with true saving faith.

You have already come to receive eternal life and the life of the ages to come, already is dwelling within your soul and what is it to believe upon Christ. Well, it involves the mind involves the heart and involves the will just talk about this for second with the mind, we must know the truth of the gospel.

We must know our lost condition before God come to the realization no one can be saved until another lost and with the mind to know, basically this that he is a great Savior and I'm a great center. John Newton wrote amazing Grace began to lose his mind toward the end of his life and he was at times embarrassingly searching for information that was allusive to them in conversations and as he was speak to others.

He would say I can tell you I can always remember this. He is a great Savior and on a great center. I will may we never lose sight of that. So with the mind. Know the terms of the gospel that Christ has died for sinners is been raised from the dead. He offers himself to those who will commit their life to him. Second, with the affections with the heart one is persuaded of the truthfulness of the gospel and the truthfulness of the spirit convicting my heart that I am in need of Christ and then with the will for there to be a decisive choice of the will, whereby I surrender my life to Jesus Christ whereby I submit myself to the Lordship of Christ.

I repent of my sins and I give myself completely to Jesus Christ that is saving faith and he says the one who believes in the son has eternal life. I trust that you have come to believe upon the Lord Jesus Christ not just believe that he existed 2000 years ago came to this earth, not just to believe the maps in the back of your Bible, but to actually surrender and commit your life to Jesus Christ. Just like when you stood before the church when you were married.

He walked into that church and your wife came down the aisle your wife to be in there came a point where you pledged yourself to her and she pledged herself to you and the knot was tied and there was a binding commitment that you entered into. That's what it is to exercise saving faith to commit your self to the saving arms of Jesus Christ was continue to look not only do we receive eternal life. So innocence would only need to look at any other verses that this is this is it that we have eternal life right now, but noticing John 316, the second heading never perish. This says that we will never suffer destruction for God so loved the world. John 316 that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

What part of not perish. Can we not understand to not perish means to never be banished from the love of God to never dwell again under the wrath of God. It's the antithesis of suffering eternal destruction in a real place called hell to never perish means to never suffer under the wrath of God.

In this text says that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. There no exception to that. There's no fine print to that verse. There are no exception clauses to this. If you have surrendered your life to Christ and entrusted yourself to him. I can tell you on the authority of the word of God that you will never, never, never, ever perish or suffer destruction. That's what the preserving grace of God is its much pictured like Noah entering the ark and the ark is a picture of Christ.

We know from first Peter three, Noah fell down many times in the yard, but he never once fell out of the ark and their many times in our Christian lives in which we will stumble and trip, but we will never fall out of Christ and the Bible says the steps of a righteous man are ordained by the Lord, and he delights in his way, though he falls, he shall not be hurled headlong because the Lord is the one who holds his hand. I have been young and I'm old you have not yet seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging bread is the Lord who holds on to us and the Lord will never release his grip upon our lives so eternal life never perish. Number three never thirst. Come with me to John chapter 4 and verse 14. They were just laying one text upon another and putting our arms around all of these to show that they all speak with one voice.

They all say the same thing that there is the preservation of the saints by the eternal security they have in Christ John for verse 14 Jesus is the speaker. He is speaking to the woman at the well and she has said to him, sir, give me this water are she will shortly excuse me and notice verse 13 everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again he's referencing the physical water when you drink of physical water. You thirst and then your thirst is quenched for short period of time and then you have to drink some more water because your thirst again and is quenched in, on and on and on. You drink in your satisfied drink and then need to drink again but verse 14 Jesus said is totally different spiritually. But whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst implied in that if you think about it is the eternal security of the believer that not in time nor in eternity.

Not now or forever. Will you ever thirst in your soul again. Spurgeon is preached a sermon entitled the sip that satisfies and he says one sip of this water and you will never thirst again. He alone satisfies the human heart. He alone fulfills us. He alone quenches the longings in the thirst of our heart.

AW Pink rights never thirst, argues the eternal salvation of the recipient were it possible for a believer to forfeit salvation through unworthiness. This verse would not be true for every loss, so will thirst thirst forever in hell." The fact that we will never thirst means that will never be lost means that we will never be forsaken of the Lord again. This is the eternal security of the believer to give you one more come to John chapter 5 verse 24. In this fourth heading is never condemn never perish. Never thirst never condemned John five verse 24 Jesus again.

The speaker we've Artie looked at this text, but let's look at it in this light of the preserving grace of God. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes him who sent me has present tense, has eternal life, that means everlasting life.

That means never ending life, and does not come into judgment, but is passed out of death into life. You see those words does not come into judgment now before we were saved.

We were under condemnation. We were under a state of wrath. Romans one verse 18 speaks that we are all under the wrath of God, but Romans 81 says there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Now this is in your revocable declaration that the Lord is made in justification by which he is imputed the perfect righteousness of Christ to our account. He's reckoned the righteousness of Christ to our account. It can never be backed out of our account in heaven, it can never be written off the books. It is once and for all settled in heaven. This state of never entering into condemnation again. John three verse 18 says he who believes in him is not judged.

Romans 823 says you shall bring a charge against God's elect. God is the one he justifies. Who is the one who condemns the rhetorical question. The answer of which is no one. God is the one who has justified us through our faith in Christ.

No one can condemn us, and so this is a finished transaction never to be reversed will never go back into a state of condemnation. Again, we are eternally secure in the Lord Jesus Christ I think is a great place for us to bring to conclusion this session and will pick it up at this point for our next session. But let me just conclude by saying, as we have given our lives to Christ. This enables us to enjoy being saved. If I thought that I could lose my salvation. I want to tell you I be scared to come out of my closet each day I'd be scared to come out of my bedroom. I would I would live with such fear and terror that I would somehow someway. Do something that would forfeit the saving grace in my life.

But the fact that I'm eternally secure in what that does. Does the very opposite that propels me out in the world, knowing that I'm held secure by the Lord Jesus Christ. He is holding on to me and I will never slip through his fingers but boldness, what confidence, what assurance. This gives us as we follow the Lord Jesus Christ.

So I want to encourage you and remind you as you have given your life to him rest in his love and go forward into this world fully confident that he holds you in the grip of his hand in the grip of his grace and he will never relinquish that whole human hearing Dr. Stephen Boston explained that it leaves us with the question, how do we want to live. We want to live in fear that God will somehow loses grip on us or do we want to live in confidence that he who began a good work in us will carry it to completion a great privilege to feature Dr. Lawson here on Renewing Your Mind this week as we look at the doctrines of grace and John were making the entire series available to you today, you can request the two DVD set for a donation of any about when you contact us online at renewing your my God word or you can call us with your gift or phone number is 800-435-4343 Dr. Lawson taught the series in 12 parts and each session is about 24 minutes.

They work very well for a series in your Sunday school class at church or small group meeting in your home. So again request the doctrines of grace in John for your gift of any about our number again is 800-435-4343 or if you prefer to bicker request online or web addresses Renewing Your Mind.org and we hope that you have been encouraged by what you heard today from Dr. Lawson and we have more tomorrow, so we hope you'll join us. And here's a portion of what will your when sin moved into the temple. The Holy Spirit moved out and and the glory of God moved out, but now is the spirit is come to well us when sin comes into our life is not leaving. He's not moving out it was going to clean house Holy Spirit will be with you for ever.

That's Friday you on your mind


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