Eternal Security Proof #3


All Sin Removed at Salvation

In our previous studies on Eternal Security, we examined two proofs that salvation is eternally secure.  By that we mean if someone is a “genuine” believer, his salvation can never be lost regardless of what he says, thinks or does.  The first proof showed that the provision of salvation is totally the work of God from start to finish (Heb. 12:2).  Since God is incapable of failure, there is no possibility that a believer’s salvation can ever be lost.  The second proof showed that salvation is offered to the sinner without any conditions.  Since man has no conditions that he must meet to hold onto his salvation then there is nothing he can do to lose it.  Today we want to explore the third proof, all sin is removed at salvation.

Proof #3: Salvation Removes All Sin

God warned Adam and Eve (Gen. 2:17) that if they disobeyed God by eating of the forbidden tree they would experience death.  As God defines it, death would break and separate that which was created to be in union forever.  There were two unions created by God that would be affected by the introduction of sin and death.  The first was the union of a physical body and a spiritual soul which when combined constitute a human being.  Though God originally created man to exist as a body and soul in union forever, sin and death would now begin a lifelong process in which eventually these two aspects of man would be completely separated.  This is what we normally refer to when we speak of death.  James mentions this form of death when speaking of the connection between faith and loving service to God (works). 

James 2:26-3:1, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” NKJV

The second union was the union of God and man.  We know that God originally intended for man to live in a personal relationship with Him.  Genesis tells us that God walked daily in the Garden of Eden and communed with Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:8-14).  However sin resulted in death which broke that union as seen when Adam and Eve attempted to hide from the presence of God.

In God’s grace, He chose to make death a slow process rather than an immediate one.  Man’s physical and spiritual deaths, though a present reality at birth, would not be fully realized until later on in life.  God’s choice was to give man the opportunity to seek salvation from death and its eternal consequences through the saving work of Jesus Christ upon the cross.

2 Peter 3:9, “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” NKJV

1 Tim 2:3-5, “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” NKJV

At this point we can conclude that the reason man experiences death is because of his sin.

Ro 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned,” NKJV

Ro 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” NKJV

To reverse the consequences of sin and restore the unions that were broken, man would need to have his sins removed.  If sin could be wiped away and an individual could stand before God sinless, he could then be raised immortal from physical death and once again enter into complete union with God.  Since man could not atone for his sins himself, God became man in order to put away all sin through His death and shed blood on the cross.

Romans  5:15-19, “But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man's offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many.  And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification.  For if by the one man's offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)  Therefore, as through one man's offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man's righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many will be made righteous.” NKJV

Christ’s atonement for sin had to be a complete one if it were to be capable of wiping out all sin.  He would have to be able, through His death and shed blood, to cover all sin ever committed whether past, present or future.  Jesus did just that as he declared before giving up His Spirit, “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30).  There would be no other sin to be committed by any man which was not covered under that loving gracious work of atonement.  This fact is brought out several times in Scripture.

Rom 6:10, “For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all;”

1 Cor. 15:20-23, “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.   For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” NKJV

Heb 7:27, “who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people's, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.”

Heb 9:12, “Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”

Heb 10:10, “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

1 John 2:2, “And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” NKJV

Now this leads us to an important question.  When a sinner accepts the offer of salvation, is all his sin forgiven or only that sin which he has committed up to the point of salvation?  This is crucial in our understanding of the eternal nature of salvation.  If at salvation, all of the sin that a sinner will ever commit, past, present, and future is covered under the blood of Christ, then there remains nothing left that could ever stand between him and God.  Any sin he commits after salvation will have already been covered under the blood of Christ.  Sin will no longer be used to condemn the believer before God.    In contrast, if at salvation, only the past and present sin of the believer is covered, then his future sins will still need a covering if he is to enter into heaven.  As long as there will be uncovered sins committed there exists the potential for salvation to be lost.  So which side of this question does the Bible side?

As we consider the Scriptures we discover that the whole of a man’s lifetime of sin, even those sins yet to be committed, are all forgiven at the moment of salvation.  All of the sinner’s sin fall under the blood of Jesus Christ.  As Paul indicates in Romans, there is no longer any condemnation to those are genuine believers (Romans 8:1).  As God’s adopted children, we will never ever be in danger of the wrath of God.  Let us consider what the Bible says on this point.

Col 2:13-15, “And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.” NKJV  (notice that all your trespassed were forgiven in the past, at salvation)

Heb 1:3, “Who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” NKJV (notice that the work of purging our sins is not an ongoing process but rather is an event already completed).

Heb 10:10, “By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” NKJV (notice that we were sanctified at salvation through Christ offering which He offers “once for all”)

1 Peter 2:24, “Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed” NKJV (notice we have “died” (past tense) to sins and have been “healed” (past tense) by the work of Christ)

1 Jn 2:12, “I write to you, little children, Because your sins are forgiven you for His name's sake.” NKJV (“forgiven” is a perfect tense verb indicating that this took place at the moment of salvation and continues without end)

Rev 1:5-6, “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” NKJV (Notice again that for the believer his sins are “washed”, past tense indicating it took place at salvation)

Ro 8:31-39, “What then shall we say to these things? If (better “Since”) God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Who shall bring a charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? . . . .Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 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.” NKJV (There is no one who can lay any judgment against us, not even God likewise there is nothing or no one including ourselves who can separate us from the love of God)

One other passage should be considered and in my mind, ends any doubt about whether all the believer’s sins are forgiven at salvation.  The passage in mind is Heb. 6:4-6.

Heb 6:4-6, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.” (NKJV)

According to the writer of Hebrews, it is impossible for those who are true believers, to regain their salvation if they were to lose it.  In other words if one is truly saved and he loses it through sinful living, there are no second chances.  He only gets one chance at salvation. 

The writer is not saying that a true believer can lose his salvation.  What he is doing is showing the implications if it were possible.  Most who believe that genuine salvation can be lost also believe that salvation can be regained again.  Many are “saved” and “resaved” many times.  However, Hebrews says if it is possible to lose one’s salvation then it is impossible to get it back.   

The reason the writer draws this conclusion has to do with the nature of death.  For a person to be subject to death both physical and spiritual, he must commit sin that has not been forgiven.  Since sin is the means to hell, for a believer to lose his salvation he would have to commit some type of sin that was not covered at Calvary.  However, as we saw earlier, Christ’s work on the cross atoned for all the sin of mankind from Adam to the last person born.  At this point let us note three important points that the writer is trying to make.

  1. It is ridiculous to even consider a believer committing a sin not covered under the blood of Christ.  Christ covered it all so therefore it is impossible for any believer to commit a sin that Christ has not covered. 
  2. If it were possible to commit a sin not covered by Christ, the only hope the believer would have of regaining his salvation would require Jesus to come and die once again on the cross to cover this additional sin.  This just isn’t going to happen!  So if you cling to the idea that a believer can lose their salvation, you must accept the idea that if lose your salvation, you cannot get it back.
  3. If such a thing could happen, then you put Jesus Christ to open shame.  As we have seen when Christ suffered on the cross, He made a declaration, “It is finished.” By this statement He announced to all that He had completed the atonement for all of man’s sin.  There is no sin left in the history of mankind that Christ has not covered.  To hold that a believer can commit a sin not covered by Christ’s atonement is to accuse Christ of being a liar and a failure, for Christ and the Scriptures declare He covered it all. 

By giving this hypothetical statement, the writer of Hebrews is proving without question that the possibility of a believer losing His salvation is totally out of the range of possibility.   Since the idea that Christ missed some sin on the cross is totally contrary to Scripture, so then is the idea of a believer losing his salvation.   

This is one very important point missed by churches like the Roman Catholic Church.  At every Mass and at the Last Rites they “crucify Christ again” on the cross to atone for sin not covered since the last Mass.   That is why they believe that at the Mass, the bread becomes the actual body of Christ and the Cup the actual blood of Christ.  This explains why their crosses always have Christ hanging on them for they believe the work of Christ is not complete and must be continuously offered over and over.  I have often wondered if those who believe they can lose their salvation would still cling to this view if they accepted the fact that if salvation can be lost, it cannot be renewed again. The Bible is clear about the eternal security of every believer.