Soteriology 023
John 17:11-12 • Dr. Andy Woods • July 10, 2016 • Soteriology


Andy Woods

Soteriology 23, Romans 8:29-30

July 10, 2016

Good morning everybody.  If we could take your Bible and open it up to John 17, verses 11 and 12.  For those of  you here the first time you’re in the middle of an ongoing study that we started on Wednesday nights and it’s now continuing into Sunday mornings on the doctrine of eternal security.  This is part of a larger class called the doctrine of salvation, and this class is going to at least run through  August, maybe even a little longer, we’ll have to see.  But this class was really started for our missionaries, we didn’t have a clear body of teaching that they could go to get greater learning of our church’s position on the doctrine of salvation so we decided to put these together.  So we are taping these, the guys up there are taping for the benefit of our missionaries.

So we’re using the lecture method so the way it’s going to work is I’m going to basically talk till about 10:35 and then I’m going to open it up for questions at 10:35 so if you have a question just jot it down and we’re going to try to leave room for that at the end.  Here is our big outline we’ve been following on the doctrine of salvation.  And you’ll notice that we have eternal security there, Roman numeral VI, which is where we find ourselves.  And in our first session on eternal security we just made some introductory comments about it, this is the definition that we’re following.  I got this from Dennis Rokser in a book, Shall Never Perish, so when we talk about eternal security what are we talking about?  Eternal security means those who have been genuinely saved.

Now a couple of you have come up to me and said wait a minute, what does this mean, “genuinely saved.”  Isn’t that kind of a subjective type of thing.  And I took your criticism seriously, I went back and looked at this definition with the intent of coming up with my own definition but I decided not to come up with my own definition because you’ll notice that after he uses the words “genuinely saved” he defines it.  So what does “genuinely saved” mean?  By God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone. So when he uses the word “genuinely saved” he’s talking about all people who have placed their personal faith or trust in Christ.

So eternal security therefore means those who have been genuinely saved by God’s grace through faith alone in Christ alone shall never be in danger of God’s condemnation or a loss of salvation but God’s grace and power keep them forever saved and secure.  So that’s the definition of eternal security we’re using.  The question is, does the Bible really teach this.  I mean, is it true that once you place your faith in Christ, “once saved always saved”?  Or are we on probation, divine probation?  Is God going to rip the carpet out from under us if we commit some kind of sin?

And the church has been arguing about this, not our church but the church generically, for many, many centuries.  One camp, like ours, teaches once saved always saved; the other camp, largely coming from a school of thought called Arminianism, promulgated by the Dutch theologian, Jacob Arminius, basically taught, around the 16th century that you could be genuinely saved and then lose your salvation.  So we’re trying to argue here that once saved always saved, that eternal security is true.  And kind of the way we’re doing that is I’m giving you the strongest eternal security arguments I know of in Part 1, but then you’ll discover that I’m not really interested in telling you what to think as much as I’m interested in telling you how to think.  And in part 2, which maybe we’ll start next week, maybe the week after, I’m going to go through the strongest passages I know of that people use to deny eternal security.  And I’m going to show you that all of those passages that they use are wrongly interpreted.  Any verse of the Bible, if you look at it at first glance without context you can make it sound any way you want and there are some verses, you look at them and say oooh, I can see why the church has been debating this.  It looks like you can lose your salvation based on that particular verse but I’ll show you the proper context of those verses and  you’ll see, it’s not a short list.  I’ve got about 48 verses to share with you once we get to that section.  Don’t worry, I won’t do it all in one lesson.

Anyway, eternal security arguments, here’s what we’ve covered so far.  We’ve covered about eight arguments.  They are, number 1, and you can go back and review these, these are all archived if you have questions about them.  Number 1, Because self-righteousness did not save us in the first place it’s not a basis upon which salvation can be lost.

Number 2, Salvation is not given nor maintained by good works.  Good works didn’t get you in the door so why would God say you’ve got to keep doing good works to stay in the door?

Number 3, if the believer can lose eternal life then how can eternal life be what?  Eternal, that doesn’t make a lot of sense does it.  We went through several passages where the Greek word aiōnios, which is translated eternal, is used to describe eternal life.  Interestingly that’s the exact same Greek word used to describe God Himself.  So if God is forever, we believe He is, then so is eternal life.  So therefore how can  you lose eternal life?   How can you lose something that is eternal.  If you could lose something that’s eternal then it’s not eternal, it’s temporal.  Right?  So I think that’s a strong argument, that’s number 3.  I don’t have these in any particular order, I just think when you look at all 13 of them together you have a very compelling case.

Number 4, the Bible’s promises guarantee eternal security.  And we went through several passages where God very clearly…probably the strongest would be John 10:27-30, where we’re in His hands, nothing can take us out. A number of other passages very clearly promise that once saved always saved.  [John 10:27-30, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; [28] and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. [29] 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.[30] I and the Father are one.”]

And then number 5 we took a look at the doctrine of the assurance of salvation.  I have some sloppy wording a couple of you pointed out on point 5 in my last PowerPoint so I went back and corrected that.  But you see, we believe that the Bible doesn’t just teach eternal security; we believe that it also teaches the assurance of salvation, that you can know  you have eternal security.  A lot of places will teach the doctrine of eternal security but then they’ll make it sound like you really don’t know if you have it until you persevere to the end of your life and we don’t believe the Bible teaches that.  We believe the Bible teaches you can know that you’re saved forever the moment you believe in Christ for salvation.  Many passages teach that as we saw; probably the strongest is 1 John 5:13 which says, “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know” not guess, but “know that you have eternal life.”

And then last week, number 6, we saw the believer is predestined for glory.  Our future glorification, you look at the very last verb or word on that slide is in the past tense, we’ve already been glorified in the mind of God.  So you, all of us, are on a fast track to glory from God’s timeless point of view you get the impression as if God looks at us as if we’re already glorified.  So if that’s true how could I do something to derail that?  The answer is you can’t.

Number 7, we saw that the Spirit seals us for how long?  Forever, Ephesians 4:30, [Ephesians 4:30, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”]  And we talked about the significance of a seal and what that means and meant in Greco-Roman times, how it virtually guaranteed that the letter would arrive at its intended destination.

And then we also saw number 8, based on 1 Peter 1:4-5 that God keeps us from falling.  [1 Peter 1:4-5, “to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, [5]  who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”]  Verse 5 says that we are currently being sustained to receive our inheritance in the present by the power of God.  So the same God that brought me to salvation, convicted me of my need to believe so I could receive salvation is the exact same God that is currently, verse 5, protecting me.  So if that’s true, and if I can lose my salvation I guess God is not doing a very good job of protecting me, right?

So that’s our review; this takes us to number 9, that’s why I had you open up to John 17, and this is where we pick it up today.  Number 9, if a Christian can lose their salvation then Jesus can fail in His ministries as our intercessor and advocate.  Jesus, currently at the right hand of the Father, is doing at least two things; He’s doing many things, a lot of people accuse us of teaching this idea because we don’t believe we’re in the kingdom now, that Jesus at the right hand of the Father is doing nothing and that’s a straw man argument.  It isn’t true at all.  We believe we’re not in the kingdom; what we believe is Jesus is now functioning not as King but as what? Priest after the order of who? Melchizedek. The Melchizedekian priesthood which is a higher priesthood than the order after Aaron and the book of Hebrews develops that.

But in His function as high priest at the Father’s right hand Christ is very active.  No, we’re not in the kingdom but He’s doing something else and this is what the theologians, like Dr. Chafer called the present session of Christ.  And what I’ve discovered, and one of the things Dr. Chafer brings up in his writings is most Christians in his day and in our day know almost nothing about the present session of Christ.  We, for whatever reason know a ton of stuff about His First Coming, when He was functioning as prophet.   You know Jesus functions with three offices, prophet, priest, king.  So because we read the Gospels and in Sunday School we get a lot of lessons about the life of Christ, we know a lot about what He did in His first coming, functioning as prophet.

Most Christians understand a lot about His future rule, when He will be functioning as King in the millennial kingdom, but for whatever reason we don’t know a lot about what He’s doing now, which is sort of strange because this is the ministry that most affects us today.  And He’s doing a lot and He’s functioning as high priest in His present session.  Two of the things He is doing is (A) our intercessor and (B) our advocate.  So let’s sort of unpack these.

One of Christ’s ministries is intercessor.  Now notice, if you will, John 17:11-12, this is… if  you’re looking for the Lord’s Prayer John 17 is really the Lord’s Prayer.  A lot of people go to Matthew 6 to find the Lord’s Prayer but the problem is that’s not the prayer Christ prayed, He prayed in Matthew 6, because he says “forgive us our” what?  “debts” or “sins,” I thought Christ was sinless.  So He’s not praying the prayer in Matthew 6, He’s teaching the disciples how to pray a prayer. So that’s better called the Disciple’s Prayer.  If you want the Lord’s Prayer, the prayer the Lord prayed you’d read John 17.  It’s the final lengthy prayer we have record of before He left the earth.  And in the process of praying He starts praying for the disciples and late on us.

Notice verses 11-12, “I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father,” now look at this prayer, as He’s praying for the disciples, “keep them in Your name, thy name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are. [12] “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but” or “except the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled”

So what He’s praying here for is I’m leaving the earth and just as I kept these disciples, Father, I want You to keep these disciples and protect them.  And people say well, that’s just a prayer for the twelve.  Well no it’s not because look at verse 20, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone” that would be the original disciples, eleven really because Judas has already left the group by this time, “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word;”  so I’m not just praying for the eleven, I’m praying for everybody that’s going to be evangelized and impacted by the eleven, which would include us, wouldn’t it, 2,000 years later.  So what He is saying here is just as I kept them, Father, I pray that You will keep them as well.  And here he’s functioning, beginning to function in His role as intercessor.  And I’ll show you some verses in a minute where that ministry of intercession… what is intercession?  It’s petitioning on behalf of somebody else.  Jesus has already made a petition to the Father on our behalf and He continues that role of intercession after His ascension.

Now a lot of people are troubled by verse 12 because it says, “I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.”  And people think oh my gosh, Judas, who this is referring to, must have had salvation and lost his salvation.  But you see, when you look at this prayer very carefully what you’ll discover, it doesn’t apply to Judas, it only applies to the believers that the Lord gave to Christ.  For example, look back at verse 2, it says, “even as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life.”  He’s speaking of those that the Father had given Him.

If you go down to verses 6 and  7 you’ll see basically the same thing.  “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world;” it says the same thing in verse 7, verse 9, verses 11-12.  [Verse 7, “[“Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You.”  Verse 9, “I ask on their behalf; I do not ask on behalf of the world, but of those whom You have given Me; for they are Yours.  Verse 11, “I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to  You.  Holy Father, keep them in You name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.  [12] While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which  You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the Son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled. “]

And here’s the thing to understand about Judas, the Father had never given to the Son Judas; Judas was never an actual believer.   You say well how do you know that?  If you go back to John 6, same book, it tells you very clearly that Judas was never saved.  John 6 and notice, if you will, verse 64, He says, “‘But there are some of you who do not believe.’  For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe,” and who is it that would not believe, it goes on in verse 64 and it says, “who it was that would betray Him.”  So very clearly it says in verse 64 that the one who would betray Him never believed.  Now who is the one that would betray Him?  Look down at verse 71, the last verse in the chapter, “Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him.”  So you look at John 6 and it’s not a case where Judas was saved and lost his salvation; Judas was never saved to begin with.

If you go over to John 13, again we’re in the same book, John 13:10-11, it says, “Jesus said to him, ‘He who has bathed needs only to wash his feet,” and we’ve done sermons on this, so I won’t go back into all the intricacies here, “but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.’  [11] For He knew” now this is in the Upper Room, “He knew the one who was betraying Him; for this reason He said, ‘Not all of you are clean.’”  “Clean” there is the concept of regeneration. Judas had never responded to the gospel; he hung around with the twelve, he looked like a real devout follower of Jesus Christ but John is very clear that Judas never believed.  Verse 18, you’ll see the same kind of thing.  [Verse 18, “I do not speak of all of you.  I know the ones I have chosen; but it is that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘HE WHO EATS MY BREAD HAS LIFTED UP HIS HEEL AGAINST ME.’”]

And this is why Judas, back to our passage in John 17:12, is called “the son of perdition,” “the son of perdition” is the son of destruction.  Now that name, son of destruction is only given to one other person in the whole Bible.  Anybody off the top of their head know who that person is?  The antichrist.  In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 the antichrist, the coming lawless one, is called “the son of perdition.”   [2 Thessalonians 2:3, “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition,” or destruction.  Those are the only two people that are given that name in the whole Bible.

So just as the devil actually entered Judas in John 13, about verse 27, I believe that halfway through the Tribulation period, when Satan plummets to the earth, he will actually go inside the beast and there’s some references to this, not directly, but kind of by inference in Revelation 13 where it talks about the beast was empowered by the dragon or the devil and men worshipped the beast and the dragon, because the dragon, or the devil, empowered the beast.  [John 13:27, “After the morsel, Satan then entered into him.”]

So I think that’s why these two people only are called “the son of perdition,” the beast of course being another reference to the coming antichrist.  So just as the coming antichrist is an unbeliever indwelt by Satan, so was Judas.  And that’s significant because in verse 12 Jesus says I have kept these disciples except Judas.  [John 17:12, “While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which  You have given me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.”] And people read into that well, the doctrine of eternal security must not be true because Jesus lost Judas, but the fact of the matter is Jesus didn’t lose anybody.  He, of the ones that the Father gave Him He protected.  The Father never gave Him Judas in the sense of being a believer.   And so Judas did not lose his salvation, Judas was never saved to begin with.

That’s why it says of Judas in the Scripture it had been better for him if he had never been born.  [Matthew 24:26, “The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”] That’s a very strange statement to make to a Christian, isn’t it.  Judas was obviously unsaved.  So all of this to say that Jesus specifically prays for our security and protection, just like He kept the security and protection of the eleven disciples when He was on the earth.  This is His prayer as intercessor.

Now does the Father answer the prayers of the Son?  Take a look at John 11:41, it’s speaking of Jesus prayer, Jesus was praying that Lazarus would come out of the tomb; remember.  John 11:41, “So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.” Christ’s intercession.  Verse 42, “I know that you always hear me,…” So whenever Jesus prays for something to happen it’s honored by the Father.  And one of the things that He prayed for here in John 17 is our protection, just as He protected the eleven and kept them.

Now Jesus, then ascends in Acts 1, to the right hand of the Father; He begins to function as high priest after the order of Melchizedek, and guess what?  He’s still praying for us.  Isn’t that great!  He didn’t just pray for us but He is currently praying for us.  Take a look at Romans 8:34.  Isn’t it comforting when another Christian comes up to you and says you know, I’m praying for you.  That’s always a comforting thing.  Well, I’ve got better news for you than that.  The Son, God the Son is praying for us in His present session.  Romans 8:34 says, “who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God,” so what’s He doing at the right hand of God?  He’s active, it says, “who also intercedes” I believe that’s in the present tense, indicating continuation, “who also intercedes for us.”

So the prayer that he prayed in John 17 is the prayer He’s praying even right now.  And I got really good news for  you; it’s not just one member of the Trinity that’s praying for you, it’s two; take a look at Romans 8:26, “In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weaknesses,” anybody here have any weaknesses?   You can identify with that verse.  “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself” that’s the Holy Spirit, Third Member of the Trinity, “intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.”  So if Jesus prayed for my security and He continues to pray for my security alongside the Holy Spirit, how in the world would I ever get the idea in my mind that I could lose my salvation.  I mean if that could happen Jesus is not much of an intercessor, is He?

One more verse, go over to the book of Hebrews which is really the book of the Bible which most develops the present session of Christ after the order of Melchizedek, explaining what Jesus is doing currently.  And notice, if you will, verses 24 and 25, Hebrews 7:24-25, “but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever,” see, He’s not like those Aaronic priests that had to die or retire or fell asleep, Jesus is currently ongoing active in this present session, “but Jesus, on the other hand, because He continues forever, holds His priesthood permanently. [25] Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

Jesus lives to make intercession for us.  Now if somebody says I live for the weekend, you know, their whole live revolves around the weekend.  Right?  Well, the question I like to ask myself is do I eat to live or live to eat, because eating is so enjoyable.  But I don’t want to be that way, I want to eat to survive, not just stuff my face all the time.   But it’s a delight, and I say I live for this, or I live for that, and what is the delight of Jesus’ heart?  It’s to intercede for you and for me.  So that’s a very powerful ministry.  And He specifically prayed that we wouldn’t be lost, that we would be kept, and He keeps praying that.

Not only does Jesus function as our intercessor, but in His current position at the Father’s right hand He functions as our advocate.  Every once in while in life we need an advocate, don’t we?  On the job, you need somebody in a position of authority to kind of stick up for you against criticism.  And this was really the great problem that the book of Job articulates; by the way, what’s the oldest book of the Bible?  Job.

And this is what Job said in John 9:32-33, he said, “For He is not a man as I am that I may answer Him, that we may go to court together.  [33] There is no umpire between us, who may lay his hand upon us both.”  Job says I don’t have an advocate in my problems; I need a go-between, I need someone to put his hand on my shoulder and also represent me before God and I don’t have that.  The rest of the Bible answers that prayer request, through the incarnate Son of God, who is both God and man.  Who better to represent God before man than the God-man; His humanity allows Him to put His hand on our shoulder, His deity allows Him to represent our case before the Father in heaven.

And so what is He doing at the right hand of the Father?  He is functioning as our defense attorney or our advocate.  Notice 1 John 2:1, that’s probably the key verse that comments on this ministry that Christ is currently fulfilling at the Father’s right hand.  1 John 2:1 says, “My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.”  I’m glad the verse doesn’t stop there, “But if anyone sins,” anybody in that category?   You guys ever sin?  You guys don’t look like it with your Bibles, you guys look very spiritual today, but the fact of the matter is we do sin as Christians, “My little children” so he’s writing to Christians here, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin.  And if anyone does sin, we have” a what? “an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous;”

It’s Jesus who is constantly pleading our case and He has a great case to argue because we have the transferred positional righteousness of Christ.  The moment we trusted in Christ the righteousness of Jesus Christ was transferred to us and now God the Father looks at us, whether we feel like it or not, He looks at  us as if we were as pure as His Son.  Philippians 3:9, you can jot that down, it’s a great verse, it talks about the transferred righteousness of Christ.  [Philippians 3:9, “and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,”]

So currently at the Father’s right hand we have an advocate who is interceding for us and advocating our cause.  Now do we need an advocate?  Yes we do because there’s a prosecuting attorney out there, called who?  The devil, and he’s very active in the Bible.  One of his things that he likes to do is to accuse the brethren and this is really what started all of Jobs problems.  Look at the accusatory nature of the devil, Job 1:8, “The LORD said to Satan, ‘Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.’”

Now look at the accusation, [9] “Then Satan answered the LORD, ‘Does Job fear God for nothing?’  [10] Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. [11] But put forth Your hand now and touch all that he has; he will surely curse You to Your face.” What an accusation, an attack on the character of Job.

Over in the book of Zechariah, chapter 3 and verse 1, chapter 3 and verse 1 you have a tremendous… if you’re having trouble finding it just go to the last book of the Old Testament, Malachi, sometimes called Mah lah chi, the only Italian prophet in the Bible, (just joking of course) but just go to Malachi, take a left, you should hit Zechariah and notice what Zechariah 3:1 says, “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.”  See the accusatory nature of the devil?

Peter, Jesus said something to Peter one day that if I had been in Peter’s shoes it would have scared the daylights out of me.  It’s over in Luke 22:31-32, “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift all of you like wheat.”  How would you like it if the Lord said that to you?  That would be scary, wouldn’t it?  [32] “But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you once have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”  So there’s conversations going on in heaven, Simon, that you don’t even know about and the devil is bringing accusation against you, (prosecuting attorney).

Now how frequently does the devil bring accusations against the saints?  Revelation 12:10 answers that question.  Revelation 12: 10 says, “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ, have come, for the accuser of our brethren” that would be the devil, “has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.”  So around the clock in heaven, apparently Satan, although he’s a fallen creature, has access to heaven, he’ll lose that about midway through the Tribulation period, he can still go into heaven not to worship and serve as he once did as a high ranking angel but rather to communicate and to accuse, and he brings these accusations against  us day and night.

And so that would be a troubling thing if I didn’t have1 John 2:1 in my Bible telling me that Jesus is standing up for me as my advocate and He has grounds to do it because I stand in the positional righteousness of Jesus.  [I John 2:1, “My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”]

So if Jesus is our perpetual intercessor and is our perpetual advocate, how would we ever get the idea that we could lose our salvation.  If I could lose my salvation, have it and then lose it, then Jesus is not doing a very good job as either my intercessor or my advocate.  That’s the point.

Let me take you to a tenth reason why I don’t think you can lose your salvation.  Number 10, Christ’s death perfectly dealt with all sins,” not some sins, “all sins.”  If a Christian can lose his salvation and go to hell because of some sin then Jesus Christ’s atonement must not have perfectly dealt with all sins.  And you see, when  you get into the subject that you can lose your salvation what people are always focused on are some post conversion sin or some kind.  So they’re looking at personal sin in their life instead of looking at the Son, Jesus Christ.  It’s a matter of focus.

And what the Bible teaches, many, many places, you might want to just open to Titus 2:14, but many, many places it tells us that Christ has permanently dealt with all sins.  That would be the sin I committed before I was saved and any sin I’ve committed post salvation.  [Titus 2:14, “who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”]

In fact, Psalm 103:12 tells me that He has already taken my sins and thrown them as far as the what?  The east is from the west.  Well, how far is the east from the west, exactly?  It’s an infinite line, is it not.  {Psalm 103:12, “As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.”]   And I love how the psalmist doesn’t say He throws our sins as far as the north is from the south because there’s a north pole and a south pole, so therefore the north and south are really not infinitely removed from each other but there is no east pole or west pole so unlike the north and the south the east and the west are infinitely removed.  Christ has taken every sin you’ve ever committed or will ever commit and infinitely removed them from us.

Another pretty good verse on this, it’s not as strong as the Titus verse I had you turn to but Acts 10:43, says, “Of Him all the prophets bear witness that through His name everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins.”  So if I believe in Jesus I’ve received “forgiveness of sins.” It doesn’t say some, it says all, actually it doesn’t say “all” here, it does say it in Titus, but it doesn’t say some at least in Acts 10:43.

Now notice the book of Titus, Titus 2:14, just go to those Timothy books and take a right and you should run into Titus, Titus 2:14, it says, “who gave himself for us to redeem us from” what? “every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”  So I’ve been forgiven for pre-cross,  pre-salvation sins and also post-salvation sins.  And this is important to understand because the focus of people that think you can lose your salvation is always some post salvation sin where God is going to rip the carpet our from under somebody.  But the Bible keeps saying He’s paid for all of our sins.

Notice the book of Colossians, Colossians 2:10, “and in Him you have been made” what, “complete,” so it’s not like I’m 95% there, I’m “complete in Him.”  So if I’m “complete in Him” why do I think I can do X, Y or Z which would forfeit my salvation?

Colossians 2:13 says, “When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us [all our sins]” how many of our transgressions? “All” of the, pre-cross, pre-salvation, post-salvation.

Back to the book of Hebrews, chapter 10, and verse 12, see these are things you can build your house on when  you ever start to doubt  your security in Christ.  Hebrews 10:12 says, “But He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, sat down at the right hand of the Father.”  Notice He “offered one sacrifice for sins” and then it modifies what’s meant by sins, “all time,” one-time offering for all sins.

And then of course what is the very last words that came out of Christ’s mouth just before He died.  There’s seven statements Jesus made on the cross but the very last thing He said you’ll find in John 19:30, it’s a tremendous thing, it says, “Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, ‘It is finished! And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.”  The King James says “He gave  up the ghost.”  That’s the separation between the immaterial and the material which is what happens when somebody dies.  So He gave up His spirit and just before He gave up His spirit and died He said “It is finished.”  Now “It is finished” means the sins that I have committed and will ever commit have already been taken care of.  Right?  Isn’t that what “It is finished” means?

The Greek word translated “It is finished” is tetelestai, which to me is one of the most beautiful words in the entire Scripture, tetelestai means paid in full.  Not paid 99%, “paid in full.”  Tetelestai is in the Greek language in the perfect tense, which means a single action in the past with ongoing reverberating results.  So what He did on Calvary has completed everything, all sins, past, present and future.  In fact, those of you that are accountants will appreciate this, all over the Greco-Roman world they found financial, archeological evidence of financial transactions and that’s the way they stamped “paid in full,” or a fulfilled account or a paid account, they just put on it tetelestai.  So it’s an accounting term.  And that’s what’s used to describe what Jesus has done for us.  Finality!

And this is one of the slides I’ve used earlier in the series but that finality of what Jesus has done for us is communicated through the imagery of sitting down.  Colossians 3:1 says He sat down at the right hand of the Father.  [Colossians 3:1, “Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of the Father.”]

The book of Hebrews, chapter 1 verse 3 says the same thing many, many times, I won’t go through every verse, but right at the beginning of the book it says, Hebrews 1:3,  “And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down [at the right hand of the Majesty on high].” Now notice it doesn’t say He’s on David’s throne the way Amillennialists interpret that, He’s not on David’s throne, David’s throne is on the earth, He is not functioning as King, He’s functioning as high priest and His first order of business when He ascended back to the right hand of the Father is to sit down.

Now Hebrews was written to who?   Jews, the title gives it away; right?  The Jewish mind… as Gentiles we don’t think this way because we really don’t know our Old Testament that well but the Jewish mind understood what we call Hebrew Bible, or Tanach, or what we call the Old Testament, they knew it cold and they’re thinking of the tabernacle, which is referenced so frequently in the book of Hebrews that Moses, under God’s guidance and instruction built in the wilderness at the base of Sinai, and it gives in the book of Exodus, chapters 19-40 a very, very detailed account of the furniture in that tabernacle.  It describes the furniture in great detail and what’s the one piece of furniture it never mentions?  There’s no chair.

Now why is that?  Because under the Aaronic system the priest’s job was never finished.  Why is that?  Because the sacrifices, the only thing that they did under that older system was to postpone the note of indebtedness for one year, on the Day or Atonement.  It sort of kicked the can down the road for one year, and the next year would come along on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, it’s all described in Leviticus 16.  And they would have to do the same offering the next year, and the year after that, and the year after that.  And that’s why God, in the Psalms, particularly Psalm 40, could look at this animal sacrificial system that He had given and He said in Psalm 40 I’m not pleased with it.  In other words, it was a good system but God was never completely pleased in it because it was never the final act, it was just a shadow.  The final act is Jesus Christ who tetelestai, finished the job and sat down at the right hand of the Father.

The book of “Revelation, chapter 3, verse 21 tells us that He is not on David’s throne now, He is on the Father’s throne at the right hand of the Father in a seated position.  Sitting down is huge imagery indicating finality.  [Revelation 3:21, “He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.”]

And this finality is also communicated because the book of Hebrews keeps saying one time when it describes the sacrifice of Jesus, “one time.”  I have many, many verses, I won’t give them all to you but Hebrews 9:12 is a good one, it says, “and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.”  Now when it says “once” over and over again, in Hebrews the Greek word there is hapax, meaning one time.  And from that Greek word, hapax, we get this expression, a hapax legomena, legomena means a word or a spoken word, so a hapax legomena is a word used only one time in the Greek New Testament.  So rather than saying that over and over again grammarians just use the expression hapax legomena.  If someone says hapax legomena that’s a word used one time.

But you’ll notice that that word hapax is used to describe what Jesus did.  It’s a singular event in the past that’s happened that covered every single sin, past, present and future.  So therefore the sin that you may commit this afternoon, God forbid, I don’t recommend you do that, but it’s already been paid for.  It’s already been paid for!  So it’s seated, hapax and then this language, tetelestai indicates everything has been paid for, past, present and future.  And you say well, what does this have to do with eternal security.  It has everything to do with eternal security because in the minds of people that think you can lose your salvation, and I know this to be true because I used to think, at one time in my Christian life, that you could lose your salvation.  My focus was always some sin I might commit in the future.  But if I’m understanding my Bible correctly even the sins that I commit in the future have been paid for, singularly by Jesus Christ.

So it indeed is finished!  And no extra charge for this but this is sort of the great problem with the Roman Catholic view of the mass, which they view as transubstantiation, meaning when they partake of the elements Christ is being re-crucified at every mass.  Now in addition to that being cannibalism it would blatantly contradict the hapax, one time.  We don’t believe in a perpetual re-crucifixion of Jesus over and over again.  That’s not what our Bibles tell us.  We believe that Jesus paid one time for every sin, past, present and future, and we, at the communion table celebrate looking back at what He did.  Didn’t Jesus say “do this in” what? “remembrance of me, so we don’t look at the… when we celebrate communion or the Lord’s Table at this church we don’t look at it through the lens of transubstantiation or kind of a variation of it, consubstantiation, which I won’t get into but we look at it through remembrance of what Jesus has done.  We look at it looking back to enhance our gratitude.

So all of this to say… two points we went over today, if a believer can lose their salvation then Christ has failed in His role at the right hand of the Father as our intercessor and advocate.  And number 2, you don’t need to worry about some sin in your future that was going to somehow disqualify you from eternal life because Christ’s death paid for that sin as well.

Now one of the things that people say is well, if that’s true then I’m just going to go out and sin as a Christian.  So you want to come back next week and I’ll try to explain to you why you shouldn’t do that.  There’s some losses to be experienced if you go out and to that, they just don’t have to do with hell.  So this is a good point to stop and we’ll release people if they need to take off and we’ll go ahead and open it up for questions.