Basic Christian Training
Lesson 5
Eternal Salvation

O.J. Gibson

“My salvation will be forever,” declares the Lord (Isaiah 51:6b). Jesus said, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish” (John 10:28). Believers can be “confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6). The Lord Jesus has obtained eternal redemption for us (Hebrews 9:12). God has eternal life in Himself (John 1:4; 5:26; 1 John 1:2), and it is that very life that God gives to all who trust in Jesus Christ as their Savior (1 John 5:11-12). Those who hear His Word (John 5:24) and believe in the Son have everlasting life (John 3:15-16). There is no such thing as temporary eternal life—a contradiction in terms.

Eternal life is the gift of God (John 17:1-2; Romans 6:23). This gift was costly to God, requiring the sufferings and death of His Son. Eternal life cannot be earned by goodness or religious zeal, for then it would not be a gift but the obligation of God to the deserving (Ephesians 2:8-9; cf. Romans 4:4). Nothing in these Scriptures indicates that eternal life is dependent upon a person’s good behavior. God gives believers eternal life, and no one can take it away.

The Lord desires believers to be sure of their eternal salvation. We are born again “to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:4-5). Our eternal security is sure because God is the one who completes the work of salvation in us. Note the unbroken chain: “whom He predestinated, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified” (Romans 8:30).

Nothing and no one can break the permanent relationship a believer has with Jesus Christ. Paul writes, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). When the Lord Jesus gives us eternal life, no one can snatch us out of His hand or from the Father’s hand (John 10:27-29). It is God who keeps believers eternally safe and secure. He “is able to keep you” (Jude 24; cf. 2 Timothy 1:12). He “will also confirm you to the end, that you may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:8). “He is also able to save to the uttermost [i.e., completely and forever] those who come to God through Him (Hebrews 7:25). How assuring are God’s promises to the hearts and minds of those who believe.

Perfection Of Eternal Salvation

Jesus died on the cross and paid our sin debt as our substitute. From the cross, He cried, “It is finished” (John 19:30). “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive by the Spirit” (1 Peter 3:18). As a result of His finished work, He offers perfect and complete salvation to all who believe in Him (John 3:15). David wrote, “As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30), and “The LORD will perfect that which concerns me” (Psalm 138:8). His finished work on the cross makes us perfect in His sight, “For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:14; cf. Hebrews 11:40, 12:23).

1. Perfect Birth
Every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17). Eternal life is such a gift (Romans 6:23). Eternal life begins with the new birth. The Lord Jesus told Nicodemus that he must be “born again” to enter the kingdom of God (John 3:3-7). We are born again into the family of God when we truly believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (John 1:12-13; 3:18; 20:31). When a person trusts in Jesus Christ for salvation, he is born again by the Spirit of God (John 3:5-7). A person cannot be born again and again to be a member of God’s family. Physical birth occurs only once; the same applies to spiritual birth.

2. Perfect Sacrifice
The book of Hebrews teaches that the many Old Testament sacrifices never took away sin, but the one sacrifice of the Lord Jesus on the cross forever settles the sin question for believers. Christ’s work is perfect, forever and “once for all” (cf. Romans 6:10), and there is nothing we can add to earn our salvation. “We have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:10). “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12). The perfect sacrifice that Jesus made saves us, and His salvation is not conditional upon our good behavior. The believer rests upon Christ’s finished work, plus nothing.

3. Perfect Union
Eternal salvation brings us into a spiritual union with Jesus Christ. Paul wrote, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins…and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:1, 4-6).  So perfect is our union with Christ that we are said to be “in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1; Galatians 3:28; Ephesians 2:6, 7, 10, 13). Our union with Christ is pictured as a loving marriage in which we bear fruit to God (Romans 7:4; Ephesians 5:31-32). Nothing can separate us from the intimate bond of His love and care (Romans 8:35-39). He says, “I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).

Our union with Christ also places us into the body of Christ. The Bible says, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized [placed] into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13). Each believer is an individual member of His body (1 Corinthians 12:14). The body of Christ is the universal church (Ephesians 1:22-23). The universal church is made up of every believer from the Day of Pentecost to the Rapture. Every believer that lives within that time frame is considered a member of Christ’s body. Just as a human body is one but has many parts, even so, the body of Christ – the church – is one but has many parts (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:12). So intimate is this union within Christ’s body that “if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it” (1 Corinthians 12:26). To all believers, the Bible declares, “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually” (1 Corinthians 12:27).

4. Perfect Work Of The Spirit
In the Old Testament and the Gospels, the Spirit came upon and departed from men (1 Samuel 16:14). David prayed to the Lord, “Do not take Your Holy Spirit from me” (Psalm 51:11), and Jesus encouraged His followers to pray that the Father would give them the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13). The Lord made it clear that a new and different work of the Spirit was to come after His return to heaven. Before Jesus was glorified, the Spirit “was not yet given” (John 7:39). The Lord Jesus gave the Spirit to abide forever in the believer (John 14:16-17). The fulfillment of that prophecy was on the Day of Pentecost, the beginning of the Church Age. The Church Age extends from the Day of Pentecost until the Rapture (Acts 1:4-5; 2:1-18, 33). When we believe the gospel message, we are “sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee” of our redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14; cf. 2 Corinthians 1:22; Ephesians 4:30). The Spirit is called “the anointing which you have received from Him,” and it is the Spirit who “abides in you” (1 John 2:27). The Spirit of God permanently dwells in every believer (Romans 8:9b; 1 Corinthians 6:19).

5. Perfect Advocate
In God’s mind, all believers are perfect because they are “in Christ” (Hebrews 10:14; cf. Ephesians 1:3). God’s view of us is based on our position “in Christ,” not on our practice, which is what we are in ourselves. Our practice will not perfectly match our position until we are in heaven. “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy’” (1 Peter 1:15-16). It is God’s desire for our practice to become conformed to our position. However, every believer still has a sin nature and sins (1 John 1:8).

What happens when a true believer sins? He needs to confess and forsake his sin (Proverbs 28:13; 1 John 1:9). The believer also needs a representative to plead his case before a holy God. The role of the Lord Jesus as our Great High Priest is to be our Advocate before the Father. As our Advocate, Jesus comes alongside us to help us and to intercede on our behalf. In this role, He speaks to the Father in our defense (1 John 2:1). No one can level a charge against a believer that has not already been satisfied by Christ’s death (Romans 8:31-33). Jesus Christ is constantly at the right hand of God, making intercession for us (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 9:24). He is able to save completely and forever those for whom He intercedes (Hebrews 7:25-28). His advocacy is not conditional upon our good behavior – He advocates for us because of sins we still commit. Jesus Christ will never lose a case in heaven’s courtroom on your behalf, for it is God who declares you righteous because of Christ’s death and resurrection (Romans 8:33-34). Believers will never wear out His promise, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

6. Perfect Preservation
Any salvation that depends on man’s faithfulness has the mark of doom on it from the beginning. The weakness of the flesh is apparent (Romans 6:19). That which began in the Spirit will not be made perfect by our flesh (Galatians 3:3). It is reassuring, therefore, to hear the words of our Savior, “This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day” (John 6:39-40). The Lord “shall preserve your soul” (Psalm 121:7). These verses highlight this comforting truth (John 10:27-30; 1 Corinthians 1:8; Philippians 1:6; 1 Peter 1:5; Jude 24-25). We base our assurance on His faithfulness, not ours.

Problems Of Eternal Salvation

Understandably, many devout believers have difficulty in accepting the doctrine of eternal salvation. Their objections usually fall under three general headings.

1. Failure of “Converts.”
Some argue that salvation must be conditional because some people who once professed to be Christians (including preachers) have failed morally, turned away from God, and have rejected the Lord. The argument against eternal salvation is this, “If people turn back to their old way of life or rebel against the Lord, how can they be saved?” It’s a reasonable question, but one must first ask whether everyone who professes to be a Christian is indeed saved. The possibility of a lifeless profession is evident in the New Testament. Jesus told the parable of the wheat and the tares growing together (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-42). The tares were never the children of God. Jesus also spoke of a sower who sowed seed on four types of ground, representing four categories of people (Matthew 13:18-23; Mark 4:13-20; Luke 8:11-15). Some hear the word of God with hard indifference. Some respond with enthusiastic simplicity, while others respond halfheartedly, being distracted by issues of life. Some respond wholeheartedly and bear fruit. The first three groups of people were never saved – even though some initially appeared to receive the word.

When a person returns to a sinful life after knowing “the way of righteousness,” he is likened to a dog returning to his vomit and a sow returning to wallowing in the mire (2 Peter 2:20-22). Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’” (Matthew 7:21-23). Significantly, He will not say, “You once knew Me but went away from Me.”

Saving faith differs from pseudo-faith. A childhood prayer, a raised hand, a walk forward at a church meeting, a baptism, or an active role in a church does not assure one of salvation. Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John 3:3, 7). It is not a mere profession that is secure forever but genuine salvation!

Not everyone who professes to be saved is saved. A person who practices sins such as “adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like” is warned that “those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21). Paul writes, “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). God can save such sinners if they repent of their sins and trust in the Lord (1 Corinthians 6:11), but if they continue to practice these things, it is a clear indication that they are not yet saved.

The First Letter of John contains numerous verses to test the reality of saving faith. You must ask:

  • Do I keep His commandments (1 John 2:3-6)?
  • Do I love the world and the things in the world (1 John 2:15-17)?
  • Do I practice righteousness, or do I practice sin (1 John 3:6-10)?
  • Do I love other Christians (1 John 3:14-18; 4:20-21)?
  • Do I believe that Jesus is God (1 John 4:2-3, 15; 5:1; cf. John 8:24)?
  • Do I love God (1 John 5:2-4)?
  • Do I believe in the Son of God for eternal life (1 John 5:9-13)?

If a person says, “I know Him,” yet fails the test questions above, he is a liar, and the truth is not in him (1 John 1:6; 2:4). No regeneration has ever taken place, and that person needs to be born again.

2. “License to Sin.”
Some people reason that if Christians are sure of eternal salvation, they will be spiritually complacent, and they will be free to “sin all they want.” Paul answers this question, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1-2). No true believer will show a callous indifference to sins when he remembers what it cost the Savior to pay for our sins on the cross.

The Lord Jesus taught that believers are His sheep. He said, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” (John 10:27). True sheep of Christ desire to follow the Master, and they will not take advantage of His love and grace. A true believer does commit acts of sin, but he does not practice sin (1 John 3:6-9). If a person continues in chronic sinful behavior, then that is conclusive evidence he was never saved. That’s just not how Christians live.

True believers still sin. Yet, the Lord does not threaten to take salvation away from them since He says, “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand” (John 10:28). But, as a loving Father, the Lord will chasten or discipline His erring children. His correction is an indication that a person does belong to Him (Hebrews 12:5-11). God does not banish His wandering children from His family, but He will chastise them. His loving correction may result in a guilty conscience, loss of joy, peace, testimony, power in prayer, and fruitfulness in this life. Sin will result in the loss of rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:9-10). The Lord may rebuke His wayward child with His word (Revelation 3:19). He may also use testing or trials to bring believers to maturity (James 1:2-4; 1 Peter 1:6-7). Sometimes the Lord allows sickness or death when a believer will not repent (1 Corinthians 11:30). We should never be complacent in our walk with Him or think lightly of sin.

Remember that some believers are tempted and fall into sin and need to be restored to the Lord. “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1).

3. Scriptures Which “Conflict” With Eternal Salvation
Some seek to refute the doctrine of eternal salvation by citing Scriptures that seem to contradict the teaching. However, every doctrine is correctly founded upon the whole of Scripture, not selected parts. Some verses may seem to teach that some professing Christians can lose their salvation, but God’s word never contradicts itself. We will look carefully at some of these verses.

a. “Falling Away.”
Some Bible verses that speak of a person “falling away” are taken to mean that believers can lose their salvation. The word for “falling away” is apostasia, from which we get our English word, apostate. William MacDonald writes, “Apostates are people who hear the gospel, make a profession of being Christians, become identified with a Christian church, and then abandon their profession of faith, decisively repudiate Christ, desert the Christian fellowship, and take their place with enemies of the Lord Jesus Christ. Apostasy is a sin which can be committed only by unbelievers, not by those who are deceived but by those who knowingly, willfully, and maliciously turn against the Lord” (Believer’s Bible Commentary). Apostates deny the deity of Christ and redemption that is solely through His shed blood on the cross. Sometimes apostates remain in local churches, become teachers, and lead people astray.

Often, apostates defect. “They went out from us, but they were not of us” (1 John 2:19). The epistle of Jude describes such persons so well that it has been called “The Acts of the Apostates.” “Certain men have crept in unnoticed” (Jude 4). They are “ungodly” (Jude 4). “These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever” (Jude 12-13). “These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit” (Jude 19). Plainly, they are not true believers, although they may have a “form of godliness” (2 Timothy 3:5). Further description of such men is found in 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Peter 2:1, 15-22; 1 John 2:18-22 and 2 John 7-9.

A fall from grace (Galatians 5:4), from one’s first love for Christ (Revelation 2:4-5), or from steadfastness (2 Peter 3:17) indicates a failure of the understanding or practice of believers but not a “fall from salvation.”

b. Conditional Clauses.
Several Scriptures speak of salvation with an “if” clause attached. Some understand the “if” clause to mean that salvation is conditional upon living a certain way. But a more careful study shows that the person’s salvation is not genuine in the first place, being disproved by a life that is not in keeping with Scriptural standards. The book of Hebrews contains many “conditional” verses which question whether a person’s salvation is genuine. The book’s audience is a mixed group of Jewish people, including regenerate (born again) believers and non-regenerate, wavering followers. Some unsaved Jews were wavering between trusting in Christ’s one sacrifice for sin and turning back to the temple sacrifices. The warnings in Hebrews are for them (Hebrews 2:1-3; 3:6, 12, 14; 4:1; 12:25). Other passages which speak of continued reliance on Christ are 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 and Colossians 1:22-23. The genuineness of one’s faith has an enduring quality. Those who fall away (apostatize) were never saved in the first place.

Some people think that Hebrews 6:4-6 teaches that Christians can lose their salvation. There are two reasons why it cannot mean that. First, believers are sealed or indwelt by the Spirit, but the passage speaks of people who “have become partakers of the Holy Spirit” (Hebrews 6:4). In what way have they partaken of the Spirit? Those who fell away heard the gospel and were convinced of the truth of the message. In that sense, they experienced the pre-conversion work of the Spirit. The Spirit sanctifies, that is, sets apart some unbelievers in a special place of privilege, but it does not guarantee their salvation (1 Corinthians 7:14-16). The Spirit also convicts an unbeliever “of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment” (John 16:8) and leads them to the point of repentance. Many people are almost persuaded (Acts 26:28-29) yet never actually trust in the Lord. In that sense, an unbeliever can partake of the Spirit’s work in his life. Second, the writer says, “But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation” (Hebrews 6:9), indicating that Hebrews 6:4-8 does not apply to true believers. For those who believe that a Christian can be born again repeatedly, these verses prove too much, “For it is impossible…if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance” (Hebrews 6:4-6).

Another warning is found in Hebrews 10:26-39, dealing with those who “sin willfully.” When we compare verse 26 with verse 39, it is clear that there are two contrasting groups. The first group is made up of those who sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth (Hebrews 10:26), and have trampled the Son of God underfoot, and despised the blood of Christ, and insulted the Spirit of grace (Hebrews 10:29). Of the second group, we read, “But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:39). Genuine believers do not draw back from the cross of Christ as their only hope of salvation. Apostates draw back and are eternally lost. True Christians believe and are eternally saved.

c. Various Parables.
Details of certain parables seem to support the doctrine of conditional salvation. However, one must consider all the details of the parable in light of all of the Scripture. We will examine four parables.

(1) The Sower (Luke 8:4-15).
Problem: There are those who “believe for a while.”
Explanation: The key is that “these have no root, who believe for a while and in temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13). Many people believe the facts about the Lord and the gospel intellectually, but they have never personally trusted in Him. These rootless “believers” are not saved. They may be part of a local church, attend studies and profess to know the Lord. The real test comes when they face trials, and because they have no root, they wither away. They did not lose their salvation. They never had salvation. If there is no root, there is no fruit.

(2) The Steward (Luke 12:41-48).
Problem: The faithless manager was not looking for the Lord’s coming. Therefore, “the master of that servant will come…and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers” (Luke 12:46).
Explanation: We cannot assume that all stewards (servants) in this parable are believers. The Lord has many servants who are not His children, for all “governing authorities” are “appointed by God,” and they are called “God’s ministers” (Romans 13:1-7). Even unsaved politicians, military, and police officers are God’s “servants.” Some behave admirably, and others are like the wicked servant in the parable. The description of the faithless servant demonstrates he had no spiritual life. He abused God’s people, lived as a glutton and drunkard, and showed no faithfulness toward God. The Lord appoints him to his rightful place “with the unbelievers.” The servant did not lose his salvation since he was never a believer.

(3) The Law of Forgiveness (Matthew 18:23-35).
Problem: The master was angry with the wicked servant “and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him” (Matthew 18:34).
Explanation: The lesson from this Scripture is not about salvation but forgiveness. The point is that God forgave all believers an enormous debt – a debt too large to pay. If God forgave us that debt, how much more we should forgive our fellow believers any offense they have committed against us. This principle is so essential that if we do not forgive the trespasses of our brothers and sisters, we can expect the chastisement of the Lord until we have a change of heart and forgive. The key lesson is that we, who are recipients of God’s amazing grace, should demonstrate God’s grace to fellow believers.

(4) The True Vine (John 15:1-7).
Problem: “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned” (John 15:6).
Explanation: The subject of the passage is fruit-bearing, not salvation. To bear fruit, a believer must continue to abide or continue to have fellowship with Christ. The burning of the fruitless branches is by men, not by God, which indicates this “fire” is not the fire of God’s eternal judgment for the unsaved but the fire of man’s judgment of a backslidden Christian. David’s sin of adultery and murder resulted in the ridicule of unbelievers. How humiliating is the fiery accusation of unbelievers who say, “How can you call yourself a Christian and act like that?” Therefore, it is vital for believers to continuously abide in Christ by confessing and forsaking sins (1 John 1:9).

d. Miscellaneous Passages.
Passages that speak of shipwrecked faith (1 Timothy 1:19-20), erring faith (1 Timothy 6:10, 21), and overthrown faith (2 Timothy 2:18) are often used to refute eternal salvation. However, these verses describe erring believers or false professors. Often it is difficult for us to know who is a genuine believer and who is not. It is remarkable how close someone can be to the Lord, yet be unsaved (consider Judas), and how far someone can be from the Lord and yet be saved (consider Lot). We would not know that Lot was a saved man from the account of his life in Genesis, but the Bible says he was a “righteous man” (2 Peter 2:7-9). “The Lord knows those who are His” (2 Timothy 2:19).

Believers may lose their reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ yet still be saved. “If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:15). This spiritual loss must have been in the apostle’s mind when he spoke of the danger of being a castaway or “disqualified” (1 Corinthians 9:27). Paul did not fear losing his salvation. In fact, he was confident about his salvation (2 Timothy 1:12; 4:7-8) but did not want to suffer any loss of reward.

Conclusion

The Scripture is clear that saving faith continues until life’s end and is not merely the act of a moment. Saving faith differs from superficial belief, mental assent to a set of facts, ritual prayer, or various other practices of salvation by formula. True faith will never repudiate Christ and His saving work. Believers will not practice sin. True believers are not those who merely say they have faith, but those who demonstrate their faith by their lives (James 2:14-24). Without this reality, the one who professes faith does not have a “ticket to heaven.” Instead, he may soon face the Lord and hear the dreadful words, “Depart from Me. I never knew you!” In contrast, the true sheep of Christ can say, “The Lord will deliver me from every evil work and preserve me for His heavenly kingdom” (2 Timothy 4:18).


BCT Lesson 5 Study Guide
Eternal Salvation

  1. As believers, what are some of the things from which Christ has saved us?
    1. Matthew 1:21
    2. Romans 5:9
    3. Romans 6:14
    4. Romans 6:17-18
    5. Galatians 3:13
    6. Ephesians 2:1-6
  2. What has God done about our sins?
    1. Isaiah 1:18
    2. Psalm 103:12
    3. Micah 7:19
    4. Hebrews 10:17
  3. On what is forgiveness of sins based (Ephesians 1:7)?
  4. When and where were our sins put away (1 Peter 2:24)?
  5. Did this involve all our sins or just the sins we committed before we were saved (Hebrews 9:24-28; 10:10-14)?
  6. What do we receive when we believe in the Son (John 5:24)? Is this something we receive immediately, or only when we die? Explain.
  7. Define the word “eternal” and describe its limits.
  8. Once we are saved, how are we kept saved?
    1. John 6:39-40
    2. 1 Peter 1:4-5
    3. Jude 24
  9. In “Safety, Certainty, and Enjoyment” (Appendix B), how does George Cutting demonstrate from Scripture that our safety depends on God, not ourselves?
  10. What is our relationship to God as Christians (1 John 3:1-2)?
  11. How did we enter into that relationship (John 1:12-13)?
  12. What can separate us from our relationship with God (John 10:28-29; Romans 8:35-39)?
  13. How do the following verses show that the Holy Spirit’s work in the believer’s salvation is eternal (John 14:16-17; Romans 8:9b; Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30)?
  14. Paraphrase (rewrite in your own words) 2 Timothy 1:12b.
  15. What confidence did Paul have regarding his eternal salvation (2 Timothy 1:12b; 4:7-8, 18)?
  16. What does 1 John 5:11-13 indicate about our ability to know we have eternal salvation?
  17. What part of this lesson assures you that you have eternal life?
  18. How would you respond to the following statements, and what Scripture would you use?
    1. “You can’t know you’re saved until you die.”
    2. “I know my life doesn’t show it, but I know I’m saved because I prayed to receive Christ when I was eight years old.”
    3. “If I can’t lose my salvation, I guess I can sin all I want.”
    4. “This teaching of eternal salvation can’t be true because I know a preacher who left his wife and ran off with a church musician.”