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The Security of Salvation #9


Salvation is Irrevocable
Romans 8:31-32
Romans chapter 8 is a chapter about our eternal security, and it all comes to a culmination in verses 28 to 30 where there is the single greatest statement anywhere on the pages of Scripture about the security of the believer. "God is causing all things to work together for good," and remember, I told you that good is our eternal glory.
Everything that happens in our lives God causes to work for our eternal glory. Why? Because that's His purpose. His design is that we be brought to glory, "For whom He foreknew He predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son that His Son might be the firstborn, or the premiere one among many brethren."
The purpose of God is that men and women would be saved, brought all the way into the image of God's Son in eternal glory in order that Christ might be the chief One among many who were made like Him.
"Therefore, whom God predestined He called, whom He called He justified and whom He justified these He also glorified."
That is the monumental summation of the security of the believer that talks about the plan and purpose of God to choose, to call, to justify and to glorify that He might bring us to the very image of His Son in His presence forever. And therefore He works everything that happens to that end...good things and bad things, righteous things and sinful things. He works them all to our ultimate glory.
Now you would think that after that there's nothing more to say. But there is. And the response to that, found in verses 31-39, is actually a chorus of praise. Paul is so overcome at the thought of that, he just burst out in praise to God.
(verses 31-32)
But it's more than that.
There is more to say because Paul knows at this point, having said all he’s just said about eternal security, and how it will never end, and never taken away, he knows that there are going to be some people who may pose some questions.
Well, what about this...and what about that...and what about the other?
And we know that's true because we face those questions all the time.
So, from verses 31 to 39 in kind of an anthem of praise, he answers all the possible arguments. He really wants to nail the truth down solidly. And he's been giving it to us in tremendous clarity all through this chapter.
In fact, the doctrine of eternal salvation really started to unfold in chapter 5, all the way back in chapter 5 when he talked about six great realities that come with salvation: peace with God, standing in grace, the promise of glory, the assurance of love, the certainty of deliverance, and ultimate and final joy.
And chapter 5 shows how those are all ours in Christ. Then in chapter 8, he comes to this great discussion of the eternality of our salvation and presents an unparallel case for our security.
And as we come in to these final verses, there's an element of argument in which Paul anticipates and answers all of the possible objections to what he has been teaching.
In classic style, he has presented the doctrine of the security of the believer on a positive note and now he moves in a triumphant way to answer all the possible arguments that people might pose against this doctrine.
Now the whole thing begins in verse 31, and that's where we'll begin. And it begins with a question, "What shall we say to these things?" What is going to be our response, or our reaction to what has been said about our security? 
Well, he anticipates that some people are going to object. Some people are going to argue...No, a believer can lose his salvation, it is possible for a believer to perish, it is possible through sin or willful rejection to forfeit his salvation.
Is that a proper response? There are still people who are making that argument. Paul knows the argument will come up and so he answers the objections.
Now there's only two possible ways hypothetically your salvation could be lost. Either it could be lost because of something done by a person or something done by a circumstance.
So, in verses 31 to 34 he answers the question: can you lose your salvation by the influence of a person? And in verses 35 to 39 he answers the question: can you lose your salvation by the influence of circumstances? It's a very simple outline.
For today, let's address the issue of persons.
Now, if we're just going to make a little list, the list might run like this. Well, maybe there is some person who could cause us to lose our no-condemnation status. You remember he says in Romans 8:1 that because we're in Christ there is no condemnation, no judgment, but maybe there is some earthly person, some human person, even ourselves,  that could cause us to lose our salvation. 
Secondly, maybe God could come to the place where He was so disgusted with us that He took our salvation away. Maybe if it's not just a human person, or God, maybe Satan. Maybe he could remove us from God's salvation. And what about Christ? Maybe Christ could remove us from God's faithfulness, God's goodness and God's salvation. That’s about all we have to choose from person-wise. 
If you can lose your salvation by the influence of a person, it has to be a human being, God, Satan or Christ. And those are precisely the points that Paul wants to address. It's exactly what he pursues.
Look at verse 31 again.
"What shall we say then to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?"
Now, “who” implies there could be someone against us.  Is there such a person or persons?
How about the Judaizers? What about false teachers? How about those who believe you can be ex-communicated from the church?
Well what about yourself? What about people around you influencing you to sin?
The question is really a challenge to God. It's a challenge to the plan and purpose and power of God. Since God planned your salvation, since God purposed in that plan to bring you into the image of Christ and since God has the power to bring the plan to completion, any person who can interrupt the plan must be more powerful than God. And thus the question, “If God is for us, who in the world can successfully be against us?”
If God on the basis of foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification and glorification has set in motion the redemptive plan and will bring it to pass, who is more powerful than God?
In fact, to be a little more precise, the verse translates more correctly as, “Since God is for us, rhetorical question, who can harm us? Answer: no one. Who is more powerful than God, who is more formidable than God? The answer is no one. Since God is for us, who can harm us?
Listen to Psalm 27, I love this, "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life, whom shall I dread? When evil doers came upon me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell," and then this, "though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear, though war rise against me, in spite of this I shall be confident." Why? "I have asked from the Lord and I will receive that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life to behold the beauty of the Lord and to meditate in His temple. I asked Him to be my Lord and God, I asked Him to bring me to glory and He will do it no matter how many enemies I have."
If nothing else is evident, this much is: God is for us. 
That's why He sent His Son into the world, that's why He grants us by faith the righteousness of Christ, that's why He forgives all our sins, that's why He plants the Holy Spirit in us. And since God is for us, there isn't any person who can successfully be against us.
So, Paul makes this grand and glorious statement of general truth, "God is for us, therefore no one can be successfully against us." There is no one, not the legalists, not the false teachers, not the cultists, not the wicked around us, not even ourselves can alter the purpose of God to choose us before the foundation of the world in foreknowledge to predestine us and then to call us and then to justify us and then to glorify us. He will bring us all the way. The Lord did not choose us to the beginning of our salvation but to the end of it...and there is no one powerful enough to overthrow Him.
Second, somebody is going to say...Well what about God Himself, He's a person.  What about God? Can't God take away our salvation if He wants? After all, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away.
By the way, it always helps if you can quote Scripture out of context to make your point. Can't God just decide...Look, I've had enough out of you, buddy, and you're really more trouble than you're worth, and I'm trying to work heaven out so that it's everything that everybody would want, and if you're there I'm afraid it might not be, I've just changed My mind a little bit about you.
Can't the Lord do that if He wants? Can't He see us sinning and see us being disobedient and take back the gift He gave? We'll agree that there isn't any human that can do it, but can't God do it?
Well, the answer comes in verse 32. This is a powerful answer. "He who did not spare His own Son but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" Now you say, "Well, I don't understand the connection." You will in a minute.
Listen, the simple statement in the verse is this, "If He gave His Son to save us, won't He give us anything else to keep us, since the giving of His Son was the greatest gift?" He already spent the maximum amount on our salvation, He's certainly willing to spend a lesser amount getting us to glory.
This is the greatest proof of God's grace. This is a typical Jewish argument, arguing from the greater to the lesser. God loved us and God chose us in His love before the foundation of the world and predetermined that love relationship to last forever. His love is strong, His love is securing, His love is so strong that in order to make that a reality, He gave His Son. He sent His Son into the world to save us.
In Romans 5 he says, "While we were enemies God loved us enough to send His Son." Now if when we were His enemies He loved us enough to give His Son which is the greatest sacrifice, will He not do the lesser things necessary to keep us? That's Paul's point.
God has already given the best, He's already given the most. He's certainly not going to hold back the least. And He's certainly not going to undo the work of the Son. If the Son died on the cross, and actually paid the penalty for your sins, for God to turn around and let you go would be to depreciate and undo what the Son had accomplished in offering the supreme sacrifice in bearing the punishment for sin.
Since He delivered His Son up for us all to save us, will He not also along with His Son give us whatever we need to get us to glory? Whatever grace it takes? Whatever strength it takes? Whatever wisdom it takes?
And by the way, just for illustration’s sake, verse 32 takes us back to Genesis 22. 
Genesis 22:12 is all about the sacrifice of Isaac and in 22:12, God said, "Do not stretch out your hand against the lad."
Remember he had Isaac up on the altar ready to slay Isaac because God had told him to take his son up there and offer him as a sacrifice. "And do nothing to him, I know that you fear God since you have not withheld your son, your only son from Me."
That is a picture of Christ. Abraham, ready to offer his son and plunge the knife into the heart of his son, is a picture of God willing, as it were, to offer His Son. Abraham only had one son, that son was the son of his love and the son of his promise. In that son all the nations would be blessed. Through that son salvation would come to the world and yet he was willing to offer him in death.
Isaac, however, was spared by divine intervention. There was an animal caught in a bush. But God did not spare His son. 
So the picture is a comparison and a contrast. The willingness of Abraham to offer up Isaac provides only a faint analogy of God's ultimate willingness to give His Son in sacrifice and not spare His Son the way Isaac was spared. He could have spared His Son. If He had then we would have had to be punished. But in love He spared not His Son.
Remember, "For God so...what?...loved the world that He gave..."
And so, when it came time for God to give His Son, He didn't spare Him.
Verse 32, "He did not spare," the word literally means, "didn't hold Him back." In fact, according to Isaiah 53:10, "It pleased the Lord to bruise Him."
Isn't that amazing? God didn't hold Him back from death because it pleased the Lord to bruise Him.
You say, "How could it possibly please the Lord to see His Son suffer the just punishment of all the sins of all who would ever believe?
Because He knew what was being gained by it. Do you know that it even pleased Christ because it tells us in the book of Hebrews that it was in an attitude of joy that He endured the cross? It pleased the Lord to bruise Him.
He didn't spare His own Son. The little possessive pronoun, "own", is put in there for emphasis, "His own Son, but delivered Him up..." and that, by the way, is a technical term, and it refers literally to being delivered over to captors, soldiers.
Jesus was, by God given over to the powers of darkness, was given over to Satan and Satan used his weapon on Him and his weapon, according to Hebrews 2, is death. And God made Him sin for us. The Father delivered the Son to judgment and abandonment. 
You ask the question...who delivered Jesus? Somebody might say, "Judas for money." Somebody might say, "Pilate for fear." Somebody might say, "The Jews for envy." Best answer: His Father for love. And He did it, back to verse 32, "He delivered Him up for us all."
Now the "us" of verse 32 is the "us" of verse 31. "If God is for us," it's the "us" that God is for and the "us" of verse 31 is also the "us" of verse 29, "Whom He foreknew He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son."
In fact, the "us" of the passage goes all the way back to verse 28, "We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God who are called according to His purpose."
The "us" are those who love God because they've been called by Him to salvation. It's those who love God because they're called according to His purpose, those who have been foreknown to be conformed to Christ, those predestined, called, justified and glorified, those are the ones God is for, those are the "us" that God is for and those are the "us" that no one can successfully be against and those are the "us" for whom God delivered up His Son for all believers.
And then the question to drive home the point of verse 32 is, "If He's done that, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?"
If He didn't spare His Son in that, He's certainly not going to fail to give us the lesser things to bring us to glory.
Now what are those lesser things? Well it's indicated in verse 28, it's just His providential orchestration of all the issues of life working together for our eternal glory. And He gives us all things.
I love to compare "all things" in verse 32 with "all things" in verse 28. That's the parallel we need to see. The "all things" of verse 32, "He gives us all things," compares to the "All things that work together for good." Whatever comes into our live, it's comprehensive, He just works it to our eternal glory...He works it to our eternal good.
The bottom line then, we have to conclude that there isn't any human, including ourselves, that could ever interrupt the plan and separate us from God and invalidate our salvation.
Secondly, God Himself is not going to do it. If God already paid the supreme price, He will certainly pay the lesser price.
If from eternity past it was the purpose of God to give to His Son a redeemed humanity to praise Him forever and ever, and God paid the supreme price to buy that redeemed humanity, He's going to make sure He takes care of maintaining them till they get to glory. He will see the plan all the way to the end.
In order to do that He has to take the "all things" of life and cover them with the "all things" of spiritual blessing and power. Providentially He gives us all things to cover the all things of life.
Now if He gives us all things to get us to glory, and takes all things and works together all those things for our good, how could anybody be lost? To deny security is to misunderstand the work and the love of God.
Now, let me point out one other thing, and we'll wrap this up.
Verse 32 says, "How will He not also with Him along with giving us Christ freely give us all things?" Notice, it's not reluctant.
It’s not grudgingly. In fact, the verb here translated freely give is used in the New Testament several times to mean freely forgive.
And that is basically the point. Really that is the “all things” that we need? What we really need to make it to glory is forgiveness. 
Because the only potential thing that could interrupt us on the way to glory would be sin. That’s the main problem. 
And in that use of the verb here, "With Him freely give us all things," we could say just in a generic sense, all things embraces His forgiveness. But by using that specific word which is often translated freely forgive, we find it even closer to the issue. If I'm going to make it to glory, what I need is constant forgiveness. 
You say, "Well, what right do you have to that?" Only this: it’s a part of the package. I have a right to that constant forgiveness only because my sins have already been paid for. There isn't any person that can remove us from God's plan of salvation and God Himself won't do it either.
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