Soteriology 024

Andy Woods

Soteriology 24, 1 Corinthians 12:13

July 17, 2016

I want to welcome everybody to our summer sessions on eternal security.  Just as a quick reminder we are taping these for the benefit of our missionaries so we are holding questions until the end, so if you have a question just jot it down and we’ll try to save room till the end for that.  If you can take your Bible and open it to 1 Corinthians 12:13.  If you’re tracking with the whole class, which started spring Wednesday nights, here’s the ground we’ve covered.    [Definition, Election, Atone­ment, Salvation words, God’s one condition of salvation, results of salvation, eternal security]

We find ourselves in Roman numeral 7, which is eternal security, the doctrine of eternal security.  And I’m really slowing down and spending a lot of time here because this is an issue that people struggle with, really their whole Christian lives if they don’t get some clear teaching on this.  Is it true that one saved always saved or are we on divine probation (that’s how I like to phrase it).

We’re going through eternal security arguments, I don’t think we’ll finish them today but we’ll most likely have them finished next week and then in part 2 we’ll be going through key problem passages which seem to deny eternal security.  There are some passages at first glance that look like they deny eternal security, and I’ll show you those in part 2 which we won’t start this week or next week but the week after, and I’ll show you how to analyze those properly, through proper Bible study methods.

So evidence for eternal security; here’s what we’ve covered so far.  Number 1, because self-righteousness did not save us in the first place it’s not a basis upon which salvation can be lost.  Now if you have questions on these go back to our video archives on the website and you can get all the teaching as we’ve covered these various points.

Number 2, salvation is not given nor maintained by works.

Number 3, if a believer can lose eternal life then how can eternal life be what?  Eternal.

Number 4, the Bible promises eternal security, John 10:28, one of the clearest passages.  [John 10:28, “and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”]

Number 5, the Bible promises the assurance of salvation, not only that you have eternal life but you can know you have it, which couldn’t happen, could it, if we could lose salvation.

Number 6, the believer is predestined for glory, Romans 8:30, so if that’s true how could we do something to forfeit our salvation.  [Romans 8:30, “and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”]

Number 7, I, we are all sealed by the Spirit of God, and how long does the seal last for?  Until the day of redemption, Ephesians 4:30.  [Ephesians 4:30, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”]

Number 8. God keeps us from falling; He doesn’t necessarily keep us from sinning but He keeps us from falling, the present tense power of God preserves us, 1 Peter 1:4-5.  [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.”]

Number 9, Christ is our advocate and intercessor as we speak so if I could lose my salvation He’s not doing a very good job “intercessing” or advocating.  That’s number 9.

Number 10, Christ’s death paid perfectly for all sin, Titus 2:14 and other passages, which includes the sin  you might commit this week  It doesn’t just cover sins committed in the past, it covers all sin. [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.”]

So we come to number 11, an eleventh argument for eternal security.  That’s why I had you turn to 1 Corinthians 12:13,  [1 Corinthians 12:13, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”]  Number XI, if a believer can lose their salvation then they can become removed from Christ’s body.

So notice, if you will, 1 Corinthians 12:13, it speaks of the baptism of the Spirit, and notice what it says, “For by one Spirit we were all baptized” now what tense is baptism there?  Past.  “For by one Spirit we were all,” not some of us, “all baptized by one Spirit into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”

I have a lot of students that come from a Pentecostal background and they always tell me they want to go to some meeting and get the second blessing.  And I say what do you mean by a second blessing, when the book of Ephesians says, in chapter 1 verse 3 you’ve already been “blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,” and they say well you need to go further on in God and you need to get baptized in the Holy Spirit.  But you’ll notice here that the baptism of the Holy Spirit already took place in the life of the believer.

And you’ll notice that it’s not given on the basis of how spiritual a person is because this promise is articulated to the Corinthians church, which is the most carnal church of the first century that we have record of.  So how would you like to be the pastor of the Corinthians church, that’d be a tough assignment wouldn’t it?  So even this carnal crowd, because they’ve placed their faith in Christ has already been baptized into the Holy Spirit.  So baptism of the Holy Spirit is not something you go out and seek; it’s something that’s already happened to you.

And the confusion is when we see the word “baptized” here everybody thinks of water baptism but water baptism is not in the context here; this is not a passage on water baptism, this is a passage on Spirit baptism.  Water baptism just symbolizes it, it’s an outward symbol of an inward reality of Spirit baptism that already happened.

So what does the word “baptize” mean then?  It means, baptizō in Greek means identification.  So the moment you trusted in Christ the Holy Spirit took you and connected you to the body of Christ.  And you may not even know what church you’re going to go to, what your style of preference is in terms of worship, it doesn’t matter.  You are connected to the universal church, the body of Christ, the moment you placed your personal faith in Christ.  It’s a positional truth that’s already happened to you if you are a believer.  It’s not something  you have to go out and seek, it’s something that’s already transpired.  It’s not given on the basis of how spiritual you are or are not; it’s part of the grace positional truths you’ve already received.  So we are connected to the body of Christ already, the body of Christ being a metaphor here for the church.

Now in this chapter Paul explains the different parts of the body.  We all have different roles to play, just like I don’t have two right hands, I’ve got a right hand, I’ve got a left hand, all the different parts of my body work together to fulfill different roles.

So we are, at the point of faith, connected to Christ’s body, we are given specific spiritual gifts, most of them we don’t even know exist  yet, what gifts we have, so early in the faith, but we have them and God wants to use us in different ways in His body, the church, to expand or extend His purposes on the earth.  All of that to say if  you could lose your salvation it’s the equivalent of Jesus walking around and all of a sudden His thumb falls off His hand, or His index finger falls off or His right arm disappears or something like that.  To argue that you can lose your salvation is to undo a birth truth, which when you think about it is absurd.  So this baptism of the Spirit, when you understand it correctly it argues against the prospect that you can lose your salvation.

Now the baptism of the Spirit is not the only birth truth we have; we have also been spiritually born.  Many,  many verses we could look up, I won’t go through all of them but just one,  you might want to take a look at John 1, the Gospel of John, chapter 1, and notice verses 12-13.  It says, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who” what? “believe in His name,” that’s what makes you a child of God; then verse 13, “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”  So when a person trusts Christ they become born of the Spirit of God; it’s called regeneration which literally means to begin again, paliggenesia is the word for regeneration, it’s a new beginning.  And it’s taught here in John 1, this is what Jesus is talking to Nicodemus about, John 3:3.  [John 3:3, “Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”]

Both James 1 and 1 Peter 1, I have the verses on the screen, indicate that we’ve been born again as a result of believing the Word of God.  And so it’s a positional birth truth.  Now if you understand that how could you lose that, when you understand the analogy to physical birth.  Once you’re physically born you’re born, right?  Have you ever known someone that was born and then they got undone or unborn?  That wouldn’t make any sense.  Because the loss of salvation view basically says you can be saved, you can commit some sin and lose your salvation, then what do you do?  Well, you’ve got to get born again a second time.  That’s why in Arminian churches that don’t have good theological understanding what you’ll notice is when they give altar calls you get the same people getting saved, supposedly every single week.  Now why are they doing that?  They’re doing that because they think they got unsaved that week because they did some kind of sin so they’ve got to get saved all over again.

Now think about that from the analogy of physical birth.  Have you ever known someone that was born and then they became unborn, then they became born all over again, then they became unborn, then they became born all over again.  That just wouldn’t make sense, would it?  So the whole analogy of our spiritual birth doesn’t make any real sense in light of the doctrine that you can lose your salvation.

Another birth truth, and let’s go to Ephesians 2:8-9, is the fact that you have been given a gift from God, which is salvation.  Ephesians 2:8-9, and these are verses you probably know well, it says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; it is not of yourselves, it is the” what? “gift of God; [9] not as a result of works so that no one may boast.”

So that is another birth truth.  You have actually been given a gift; a gift, what does that really mean?  We’re so works oriented and we so seldom receive gifts, sometimes, from people because there’s always strings attached, but when God gives a gift it’s actually a gift.  So let’s say when my daughter turns 16 I go out and buy her a bright red Porsche, which will not be happening, and I put it in the driveway and I say Sarah, you know, here’s a gift from mom and dad and now that you’re 16, you’ve passed your driver’s license test, dah  dah dah dah, it’s just a gift, go and enjoy it.  And then I say to her before she gets is the car, by the way, I need you to start making payments and the payments start this month.  Well, I just changed the vocabulary around, didn’t I.  that’s not a gift.

And see this is the whole problem with the loss of salvation mindset; it’s a lack of understanding that salvation is a gift; it’s like people are saying God gave you salvation but you’d better mind your P’s and Q’s because you might do something to forfeit it.  Now if I could do something to forfeit what God has given me then it’s no longer a gift, is it.

And there is a wonderful verse in the book of Romans, Roman 11:29, it’s making a statement about the gifts that God gives and the context is talking about the nation of Israel.  But I also interpret generically as the nature of gifts, and what does it say in Romans 11:29, it says, “For the gifts” which would include salvation, wouldn’t it?  “For the gifts  and the calling of God are” what?  “irrevocable.”  Which is a legal term in contract law, it basically means you reach a certain point in contractual arrangements with somebody and once an offer is on the table under certain circumstances it cannot be withdrawn.  So what Paul is saying here is “the gifts and calling of God” to not only national Israel but also to us as recipients of this great gift of salvation, cannot be withdrawn.  If it could be withdrawn then it violates the nature of a gift.  Right?

And then another birth truth that’s also in Ephesians 2:8-9 is the description of our salvation as the fact that we” have been saved.”

So let me highlight a different part of Ephesians 2:8-9, it says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; [9] not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.”  Now “saved” I have this underlined and it’s translated “have been saved” is basically a perfect tense verb—saved, plus the present tense connecting verb, “you are” or better translated “have been,” and when you have the perfect tense in Greek… now the perfect tense is, and I’ve said this quite a bit from the pulpit so maybe some of  you have picked up on it, maybe not, but the way the perfect tense works in Greek is it’s a one-time action in the past.  It happened one time and it has ongoing… whatever happened once in the past has ongoing benefits.  It’s the same tense that’s used to translate Christ’s final words on the cross, “It is finished” which is a translation from the Greek verb tetelestai, which is also in the perfect tense of the Greek verb, I think it’s teleo, if I remember right, so when it’s tetelestai its perfect tense, it’s a onetime action with ongoing results. So when it’s tetelestai it’s perfect tense, it’s a onetime action with ongoing results.

So what it is saying is our salvation in the past at the point of faith has one time been accomplished.  It cannot be undone.  The only thing that we can experience today is the ongoing benefits of this onetime gift of salvation.  So you have here the perfect tense plus the present tense verb and when you have those two together that forms in Greek what’s called a perfect periphrastic.  And that’s a very strong linguistic clue indicating that what God has given us has already been accomplished.  I’m not trying to give you a Greek lesson here but I want you to understand that words mean things and there’s a reason that when Paul wrote this he put it in what we would call a perfect tense periphrastic.  There isn’t a stronger way, in other words, for Paul to say salvation is already a done deal; salvation has already been accomplished.

Beyond that, the verb is in the passive voice.  Now active voice is the idea that the subject does the action.  The passive voice is the idea that the subject receives the action.  The subject here is you, us, the believer, so by putting this in the passive voice Paul is saying that we have not done the action, we have not saved ourselves but it is something that has entirely been done by God and He is the one that has done this for us, on our behalf, and we are the recipients of this great gift of salvation.

So all of this to say we “have been saved,” and the way this is structured is if it’s already been accomplished and it’s a gift, and it’s irrevocable, what can I do to undo it?  Nothing!  I can’t undo it any more than my baptism in the Holy Spirit can be undone, because that would be the equivalent of Christ losing a finger or a mouth or an ear, whatever part of the body, or a nose, whatever part of the body we’re in.  And I can’t undo my salvation any more than I can, at the physical level, make a choice to be unborn and then born the second time physically.  It’s an impossibility.  So these birth truths, in and of themselves, when you start to understand them, become very strong arguments for the idea of eternal security.  So that takes us from number 11, a believer cannot be removed from Christ’s body, let me give you a twelfth reason why a believer cannot lose their salvation.  You might want to take  your Bible and go over to Psalm 37:23-24.

So a twelfth of the thirteen reasons why you cannot lose your salvation is number 12, the Bible never specifies which sin or sins removes salvation.  Think about this for a minute; if salvation could be lost by something we do or some sin we commit wouldn’t the Bible say you need to stay away from that particular sin?  Wouldn’t there be like warning, warning, warning, don’t do that.  I mean, what sin is it that undoes my salvation?  Is it having doubts in times of trial?  Does that undo my salvation?  Is it gambling? Is it smoking?  Is it chewing tobacco?  Is it committing adultery?  Is it looking at pornography? What sin is it that undoes my salvation?  The Bible never tells us.

And the reason the Bible never says stay away from that one is because there is no sin you can commit that can undo your salvation; if there was such a sin there would be warning signs, flashing lights, hazard, hazard, hazard, stay away from that.  And you can go through the New Testament and you won’t find any such warning.

Now people like to bring up the unpardonable sin so just put that in the back of your mind because I’m going to do a whole Sunday School lesson on what the unpardonable sin is, because people read those words “unpardonable sin” and they just… I always ask people, well what is the unpardonable sin?  And they always say well I don’t know but it’s pretty bad, whatever it is.  And I’m going to show you that there’s a way to understand exactly what Jesus was talking about when he mentions this “unpardonable sin.”  It has nothing to do with what most people think it is; it has everything to do with national Israel in the first century rejecting the offer of the Kingdom which it’s going to take me about a whole lesson to explain all that.  So just file that in the back of your mind.

So if that is true, what happens when we do sin? Well, when we do sin… do you guys ever sin as Christians?  Becky do you sin ever?  Okay, just wanted to make sure, asking the most spiritual people in the church here… Eric have you ever sinned?  Okay, just want to make sure I’m with the right crowd here.  We all sin as Christians, I mean hopefully we’re sinning less but we don’t become sinless.  So what happens when a person sins?  Well, it never takes you out… if you have trusted in Christ you never fall outside the hand of God.

And Jesus made that clear in a verse we’ve already gone over, John 10:27-29, “My sheep hear my voice,  I know them, and they follow Me; [28] and I give them eternal life,” see how it’s a gift on God’s part, “I give them eternal life and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”  Now when it says there “they will never perish,” I hate that translation because that’s such a poor translation from what the Greek says.  In the Greek when it’s translated “never perish” it’s got two negations together and when you have two negations together in the Greek language that’s the strongest negative you can possibly give.  So it’s like my ten  year old says can I have the keys to the car and take it out for a spin and I say no way, I can’t express a negation in a stronger way, that will never happen, you CANNOT have the keys to the car.  That, essentially, is what the double negation is doing there in John 10:28.

And then, I don’t understand why our English translation didn’t translate this word, but there’s also right there in the context an aiōnios, now you remember what aioniōs means?  Forever!  It’s the same word used to describe God Himself in Romans 16:26.  [Romans 16:26, “but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith;”  “eternal” is aioniōs]

So really what that is saying is nothing, in the strongest negation possible, can ever take someone outside of the hand of God forever, is what that’s saying.  And then it says, “no one will snatch them out of my hand,” now in context it’s the wolf that is coming to snatch the sheep away and Jesus is saying that can never happen.  By the way, that word “snatch” is the Greek word harpazo, which is used to describe the rapture.  The rapture has been called the great snatch where God takes us out of the earth prior to the tribulation and brings us to the Father’s house.  Satan, in the same way, is trying to snatch us, remove us from the Father’s hand and Jesus just makes a simple statement here that that can NEVER happen, forever!  So nothing can snatch you from the hand of God.

Now I mentioned before that I have a cousin and he’s in the Lord and I’m in the Lord; when he got saved he went the Arminian direction; as I got saved I went in the direction of eternal security, so we’ve been arguing since 1983 about this, can a person lose their salvation.  So I don’t think there’s any argument that I’ve ever heard that I haven’t heard before on this.  And he always says well, but we can take ourselves out of the Father’s hands.  Well, doesn’t “no one” mean “NO ONE” here?  I mean nothing would include me, wouldn’t it.  It would include Satan, it would include any force that’s trying to take me out of the Father’s hand.  So this is a direct promise from God.

So when we sin where do we fall exactly?   You can’t fall outside the hand of God when you sin; that’s an impossibility based on John 10.  Well then, where do you fall?  You fall within God’s hand.  David, when he sinned, fell, he no doubt suffered tremendous consequences for his actions but he did not fall outside the hand of God; he fell within the hand of God because David, I believe he’s the author of Psalm 37:23, said this:  “The steps of a man are established by the LORD and He delights in his way, [24] When he falls,” notice he doesn’t say  if he falls, “when he falls he will not be hurled headlong, Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.”

So we think that somehow all of these positional truths about us are erased when we happen to sin and Psalm 37 is saying that is not true; we, as I’ll show you in just a minute, do suffer repercussions for sin, I’m not promoting sin at all, don’t get me wrong, there’s consequences always with sin, but the consequences do not involve anything that’s eternal, in other words anything that can undo the John 10 promise. [John 10:28, “and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”]

So when we fall we fall within the hand of God, not outside the hand of God.

This takes us to number 13, this is my last argument for eternal security, and this is what everybody asks: what about the person who’s a believer in Jesus Christ but they don’t have any real fruit, they have an unfruitful life?  What about them?  And I guess my answer to that is well probably you should be more concerned about yourself and lack of fruit, don’t worry about what everybody else is doing.  I mean, I have enough internal problems of my own and my own walk with God without monitoring what everybody else is doing.  But this is a question that’s always asked; you’ve got this prospect of people that claim to have faith in Christ but there’s not a lot of fruit there.  And when we analyze that we’re always looking at somebody else but maybe we should look at ourselves; are we in that category.  And my response to that is there’s only two options with that: the first option is you have people that really have never trusted in Christ but they are church-goers.  Now I would put a particular disciple in that category; which one am I thinking of? Judas!  Judas was a church goer, in fact, Jesus said one of you is going to betray Me and everybody didn’t say it’s Judas, He’s the guy!  [Mark 14:18, “As they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me– one who is eating with Me.”]

What did they all say?  Is it me?  Is it me?  Is it me?  I mean, Judas just fit the part so well but we know and I showed you some verses at the end of John 6 last time that Judas was never actually a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.  So that is a possibility.  The other possibility is you have believers in an extreme state of carnality where there is a lack of fruit because of their carnality.  Now whether someone is in category A, and by the way, if they’re in category A that’s why we at Sugar Land Bible Church give the gospel every single week, because we live in the south, we live in the Bible belt and a lot of people are church goers just because that’s part of the culture.  So we recognize that people can come to church and not be saved any more than sitting in McDonalds makes me a hamburger.  So we give the gospel every single week.

Or there’s another possibility that someone is saved but they’re in a state of carnality.  That’s a possibility as well.  So we encourage people, through progressive sanctification to being to walk with the Lord under His resources.  And whether someone is in category A or category B I don’t have the omniscience or the equipment to know what’s in people’s hearts.  I have no idea.  I just need to be faithful with what God has called me to do rather than be worried about everybody else.

But you see, in that second category what is always the warning in the Bible with the believer with the unfruitful life?  Let’s focus on category B; a person is saved but there’s’ not a lot of fruit.  What is always the warning?  It’s never you’re going to lose your salvation!  It’s never you’re going to go to hell one day!  There is no verse in Scripture that teaches such a thing.  Rather, what the believer is warned about constantly is temporal consequences of sin; consequences of sin that do not necessarily relate to hell.  And just because you’re saved and you sin and  you’re not going to hell doesn’t mean you don’t experience consequences in  your life.  And among these consequences, I actually have two slides on these there are so many of them, but you’ll never see a warning of hell.

If you don’t believe me you can take the life of David, for example. Is there any doubt n anybody’s mind that David was a believer?  Of course he was a believer.  Well, he stepped out of line, as we know, through adultery, murder, deception, and all kinds of sins.  And David’s life, it probably felt like hell, what he went through, but what does David say in the Psalms?  Going back to Psalm 37, “when he falls he is not hurled headlong, Because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.”  During all of that time of consequences David was still in the hand of God.  I’m not saying David’s life was easy, and as severe as that sin was it did not forfeit his eternity.

So we are perpetually warned about these temporal consequences; none of them relate to forfeiting salvation. So let me rehearse these temporal consequences because a lot of people, when you begin to teach the doctrine of eternal security they mishear what we’re saying.  What they hear is oh, you guys don’t care about sin, you guys just teach everybody is secure and everybody can go sin all they want and it doesn’t matter.  Let me tell you something; it is serious about sin in the believer’s life.  And it is very severe but we don’t dangle hell over people because of these consequences.

So here’s some things that will happen in your life through unconfessed sin, perpetual unconfessed sin in the life of the believer.  One of them is a lack of power, you’ll start to experience a lack of power because the book of Galatians, Galatians 5:16 says that we walk according to the what? the Spirit.  [Galatians 5:16, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”  And 1 Thessalonians 5:19 specifically says don’t to the believer in context, “Do not quench the Spirit.”  Don’t put out the Spirit’s fire.  So when I sin I don’t lose the Holy Spirit, my body is still the temple of the Holy Spirit but the influence that the Spirit of God has over me starts to shrink.  So when I confess my sin and am restored to God in terms of fellowship I don’t get the Holy Spirit again but the Spirit of God gets more of me, if you follow this distinction. So there’s a lot of people in the body of Christ and you always wonder, you know, this person is talented and why aren’t they doing more for God?  Why isn’t God accomplishing more through their life?  And nine times out of ten it has to do with some sort of unconfessed sin which is not forfeiting their salvation but its inhibiting the power that God wants to demonstrate through them.

Another consequence of going back into sin as a Christian as I grieve the Holy Spirit, Ephesians 4:30-32 says, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit” which is a very interesting verse because it shows us that the Holy Spirit is not like the movie Star Wars, we don’t… you know, there’s the dark side, there’s the light side or The Force, and so people take the movie Star Wars and they get their theology from it.  Star Wars is a great movie by the way, I enjoyed it, watched it recently as a matter of fact, but that movie is basically built on Eastern mystical thought.  It’s not based on biblical truth.  Pantheism and Eastern Mysticism is all over that movie, if you study Eastern thought.  [Ephesians 4:30-32, “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  [31] Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  [32] Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”

So people look at The Force like the Holy Spirit, like it’s some kind of impersonal source of energy.  That’s not the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is the eternally existent Third Member of the Trinity who is actually a personage and a personality.  He actually has emotions, the Holy Spirit does.  One of the emotions that He can experience is grief, or emotional pain.  And so when I go back into sin and unconfessed sin resides in my life I actually, if you think about this it’s very severe, inflict emotional injury on the Holy Spirit that’s inside of me.

We know from John 14:16 and other places that the Holy Spirit is in us for how long?  Forever! [John 14:6, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;”] And that’s Paul’s whole exhortation to the Corinthians as they were sneaking out late at night and wandering off into the temple prostitutes there in Corinth.  In the mystery religions of the Greco-Romans world they connected sexuality, unrestrained sexuality with spirituality.  So you go to this pagan temple, you have this sexual experience with this prostitute and then you call it being spiritual.  And Paul says in 1 Corinthians 16:19 the Corinthian church, people in the Corinthian church were going off and doing this.  [Now you go through 1 Corinthians 6, you go through the whole book of 1 Corinthians, Paul never says you know, you all are going to hell for doing that.  Or you all were never saved, if you were saved you wouldn’t act that way.  This is how we handle issues like that.

Paul says, verse 19 of chapter 6, “1 Corinthians 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the” what” “Holy Spirit”, you’re involving the Holy Spirit in that sin, that’s his whole exhortation to them.  So if I am looking at pornography or involved in some kind of sexual sin or any other sin for that matter, I’m actually inflicting injury into the heart of God who is forever connected to me, who I am enjoining in that sinful experience.  So that’s a part of it that we really don’t think about when we sin.  Sin has always been expensive; it always has been expensive, it always will be expensive and there are lots of consequences associated with it but there’s nothing that removes us from God’s hand.

Something else you’ll start to experience, take a look at Psalm 51, with unconfessed sin is a loss of joy.  Joy is very different than happiness.  The word “happiness” comes from the root, hap in English, where you get the word happenstance; happenstance means luck.  Luck or happenstance is referring to circumstances.  So people are happy if circumstances are good. Right?  As long as there’s money in my account and as long as my body is working fine and my relationships are fine, I have this kind of euphoria.  The problem is what happens when the money and the bank account dwindles and  your body starts to deteriorate and relationships that you once had begin to go south?  Then happiness disappears because happiness, by definition, is built on circumstances.  So we’re not talking here about happiness.  The Bible never promises happiness; what it promises is joy.  And joy is not a euphoria where I walk around with this kind of a plastic smile on my face and I ignore reality and I pretend like everything is fine when it’s not.  That’s not what joy is.

Joy is a deep-down internal satisfaction and contentment that a person in Christ has the ability to experience, regardless of circumstances.  So it is not circumstance based.  And one of my favorite stories, probably in the whole Bible, is over in Matthew 14 where a big storm comes up on the Sea of Galilee and the disciples are panicked to the hilt because they’re focused on happiness and our circumstances just got wrecked and we’re going to sink and drown.  And Lord, don’t you care that we’re drowning.  Do you remember what Jesus was doing in the midst of that?  Sound asleep, sawin’ them logs.

And let me ask you a question: where does Jesus live right now?  Inside of us, doesn’t He?  Doesn’t Paul say in Galatians 2:20 “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives” where? “in me.”    So what I’m trying to say is the same serenity in the midst of a storm that Jesus exemplified, Jesus wants to reproduce in the life of the child of God.  And the same Jesus that was asleep in the midst of the storm, He will be a source of serenity, peace, contentment, satisfaction, to you when happiness has all disappeared because circumstances have gone unfavorably.

And anybody that’s walked with the Lord for a while and has gone through valleys can testify to this; I can testify to it.   When things have gone south I just say well Lord, you know… and I don’t always do this, I typically… my first instinct is to hit the panic button but then when I finally take inventory and realize that I’m in some kind of problem that I didn’t create and don’t really have a lot of control over, there’s this inner peace that I can tap into at any moment.  And if you really want a good book on it I would recommend the book of Philippians.  The book of Philippians is all about this.

Paul says, in that book, “I have learned the secret of contentment,” and he didn’t write that from the penthouse suite of the Hilton.  The man is in jail when he said that, and he’s chained to a Praetorian guard and in that context he says I’ve learned the secret of contentment.  [Philippians 4:11, “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am. [12] I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.”]

And he says there also in Philippians 4, “Be anxious for nothing,” you mean nothing?  I can’t be worried about anything?  Not if you want to experience what God has for you.  “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by” what? “prayer and supplication” supplication means supply, you ask God to supply the need, “by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. [7]  And the peace of God, which” what? “transcends all understanding,” well why does it transcend all understanding?  Because the world doesn’t understand it; the world doesn’t understand it because they’re focused on happiness in circumstances.  “And the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard” that’s a military term, “your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” because that’s where the battle is fought.  It’s mental and emotional.  So the Spirit of God will stand, the Lord will stand guard over those things and allow you to experience the inner peace of God in the midst of the trials of life.  But let me tell you something about unconfessed sin; if you’ve got unconfessed sin in your life you’re not going to experience it.

Psalm 51:4, now Psalm 51 is one of those psalms where David is reflecting upon the time after he committed all of those sins and was hiding from God.  And then towards the end there he confessed his sin, he didn’t get saved or reborn, he got restored to fellowship.  And look at what he says there in Psalm 51:4, he says, “Against You, You only, I have sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge.”  So now he’s confessed his sin to the Lord (that he committed as a believer) and then if you go down to verse 12 it says, “Restore to me the” what? “joy of Your salvation and sustain me with a willing spirit.”  So all of that time where he was in this unconfessed sin the joy was gone.  The salvation wasn’t gone; his eternal destiny wasn’t gone but the moment joy that he once had disappeared.  He had nothing in his life but inner struggles, tranquility and turmoil.  And when he confessed his sin and was restore  to fellowship he says Lord, I just need that joy restored.

Joy is one of the aspects of the fruit of the Holy Spirit that the Holy Spirit is seeking to replicate in the life of the child of God.  Galatians 5:22-23 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit” see these are things  you can’t produce yourself, you have to rely on the Spirit to produce these because the Bible says like produces like.  What does Genesis say?  Each produced after its own kind.  [Genesis 1:11, “Then God said, ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation: plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them’; and it was so.”]  Flesh cannot produce these; these things have to be produced by the Holy Spirit or they can’t come into existence.

Galatians 5:22, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love,” what’s the second one, “joy,” what’s the third one, “peace,” what’s the fourth one, “patience,” are those lacking in your life?   Boy, those are in short supply today, aren’t they?  “love, joy, peace, patience” let’s just forget about all the others, I mean, the Lord wants to reproduce those too but man, wouldn’t Sugar Land Bible Church be a different place, wouldn’t our lives be in a different place if we were all walking in “love, joy, peace, and patience” instead of getting so irritated with each other?  And because we have the ability to quench the Spirit those, when we go into sin those things start to disappear from our character.  So a loss of joy.

Something else that happens is a, and I’ll just cover one more here, loss of spiritual sight.  Take a look at 2 Peter 1:8-10, a loss of spiritual sight.  The things that you used to be able to see you can’t really see anymore because of unconfessed sin.  Notice what it says, 2 Peter1:8-10, “For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. [9] For he who lacks these qualities is” what? “blind” can’t see, “short-sighted,” you can’t see things in the distance, you can’t see things immediately in front of you, and then “having forgotten” I can forget things as a Christian, “having forgotten his what? “his purification from his former sins.”

Now is Peter writing here to believers or unbelievers?  It’s very clear he’s writing to believers because what does he say?  You can forget your “purification from your former sins.”  If you’re not a Christian you never had “purification from your former sins.”  He goes on in verse 10 and he says, “Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble.”  But the key verse is verse 19, you can actually, through unconfessed sin, forget your positional reality in God.  The things that  you receive with so much excitement as a new Christian, you wonder off into sin as a Christian and suddenly those things are not really on the forefront of your mind any more.  They’re not on the forefront of your thinking.  And what has happened is unconfessed sin has damaged your spiritual sight.

The quintessential example of it is the prodigal son.  Luke 15:18-19, this has to be one the most mistaught passages in the Scripture because everybody teaches the story of the prodigal son as an unbeliever that gets saved.  Isn’t that how this is normally taught?  How could that be when he has two sons, the prodigal son is still a what?  A son.  So this is not a story about an unbeliever getting saved, this is a story about somebody that has fellowship with his father and that fellowship is broken through unconfessed sin.

So notice what the prodigal says when he returns to his father in verses 18-19, when he hits rock bottom he starts to get spiritual all of a sudden.  “I will get up and go to my father, and will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight; [19] I am no longer worthy to be called your son;” now that’s spiritual blindness right there, you didn’t become a child of God because of your own worthiness to begin with.  So the prodigal had what I would say is lost sight of a key positional reality of grace, the only thing that got him into the door to begin with was the grace of God.  “I am no longer worthy to be called your son, make me as one of your hired men.”’

How can I make you one of my hired men when you’re my son.  So what I’m trying to simply demonstrate here is the loss of spiritual sight that happened to this person because of unconfessed sin.

So all of this to say, as we go through the list, I’m going to stop now because I don’t have time to cover the rest.  But I just want you to understand that we’re not here promoting go ahead and sin just because you’re secure, because there are horrific consequences you experience, but when you fall you fall within the hand of God.

So very quickly, basically what we’ve covered today is three more arguments for eternal security: number 1, you can’t undo birth truths.  Number 2, the Bible never specifies which sins remove salvation; and then the last one, believers with unfruitful lives lose a lot but loss of salvation is not one of those things.

All right, any thoughts, comments, questions, testimonies, altar calls?