My sermon/teaching notes for Wednesday, July 22nd. Our current Wednesday Summer Series is WHY I LOVE BELONGING TO THE CHURCH. Remember, these are my personal study notes and not a manuscript of the sermon. To see the sermon each week please visit http://www.fbcap.net
Perseverance of True Believers / Eternal Security
One of the doctrines that sets Baptist apart from other churches (Methodist, Christ of Christ, Wesleyan, Assembly of God, and etc.) is the understanding that once someone is genuinely saved that they cannot and will not lose their salvation. This does not mean just THINKING you are saved, but actually saved. So, lets takes some time to look at God’s Word to see how we have come to the understanding “why we believe what we believe”.
The Baptist Faith and Message – Section 5. – God’s Purpose of Grace
Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end. It is the glorious display of God’s sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.
THOUGHTS AND SCRIPTURE
Because it is God who gives us eternal life through Jesus Christ, those who truly belong to Christ will not fall away, but will remain true to the faith to the end (John 10:25-30, Phil. 1:6, Jude 24-25), kept by the power of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14). Knowing this to be true is not an excuse for complacency for the true Christian, but a spur to remain faithful and examine our lives, lest we prove unworthy (Matt. 7:21-23; 1 Cor. 9:27; Col. 1:23; Heb. 6:4-12, 10:26-39). The lives of true believers, as opposed to those who profess faith but deny Christ in their practice, will be marked by a pattern of obedience and love (Matt. 7:15-27; John 10:25-27; 1 John 1:6-7, 2:3-6, 3:3-19, 5:1-5), though they may temporarily fall into sin and become subject to God’s Fatherly discipline until they repent (Heb. 12:3-16, 1 John 1:9).
John 10:25–30 –  Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me,  but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep.  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one.” (ESV)
Philippians 1:6 –  And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (ESV)
Jude 24–25 –  Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,  to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (ESV)
1 John 1:6–7 –  If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. (ESV)
Hebrews 12:5–11 –  And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.  For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”
 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?  If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.  Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?  For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness.  For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (ESV)
TRUTHS TO CONSIDER
We are given eternal life (John 3:16, etc.) It isn’t “eternal” if we can lose it.
We receive eternal life as a gift (John 10:28; Ephesians 2:8; Romans 6:23) If we can’t earn it by works we can’t lose it by lack of works.
We become God’s possession. The Good Shepherd doesn’t lose His sheep (John 10:28-29). God’s seal can’t be erased (Ephesians 1:13,14).
We are “in Christ.” A part of Christ’s “Body” can’t be taken away (1 Corinthians 12:13). We cannot be lost after we are hidden in Christ (Colossians 3:3). Nothing can separate us from Christ (Romans 8:38,39).
All our sins are forgiven (Romans 3:1,33). All our sins were future when Christ died (They were all paid for). So sinning cannot change the security of our salvation.
We become God’s children (John 1:12). Nothing can reverse a person’s birth.
God commits Himself to us forever and unconditionally (2 Timothy 2:13). “If we are faithless, He is faithful for He cannot deny Himself.”
Those that are His will persevere to the end. The Parable of the soils. (Matthew 13:18-23)
WHAT CAN GIVE A BELIEVER GENUINE ASSURANCE?
Can I say today, right now, that I have repented of my sin and placed my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.
Not just saying I BELIEVE. But trusting in Jesus Christ as my LORD and SAVIOR. Living for Him. Following after Him.
Do I trust the promises of God from His Word?
Think about the precious promises from the Word we have read already. His love, power, grace, and mercy will keep and care for HIS OWN!
Do I strive to Walk Worthy of the Lord?
Colossians 1:9–14 –  And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,  so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;  being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy;  giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (ESV)
Do I walk as children of Light?
Ephesians 5:1–8 –  Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.  And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.  But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints.  Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving.  For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.  Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.  Therefore do not become partners with them;  for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (ESV)
Do I have a desire to WALK, LIVE BY, AND KEEP IN STEP WITH THE SPIRIT?
Galatians 5:16–25 –  But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,  idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,  envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
 If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (ESV)