Safe And Secure In Christ

Bible Book: 1 Peter  1 : 3
Subject: Salvation; Peace And Assurance

Does the name Henry Dempsey mean anything to you? If not, perhaps you will recall the event that catapulted Henry into the national spotlight. It all happened on one ill-fated day.

Henry Dempsey is a pilot for a commuter airline. Early one morning, Henry and his co-pilot took off in their commuter plane to ferry it back to the airport at Portland, Maine. After they were airborne Henry detected that the passenger door was not fastened tight (there were no passengers on board at the time), so Henry gave the controls over to the co-pilot as he said, "I am going back to fix that door." As Henry grabbed the door to latch it, the door suddenly flew open. The co-pilot, hearing the door fly open, was almost in shock, knowing that the pilot was gone. Nothing he could do for him now. He had to land the plane in Portland safely with the passenger compartment door open. He radioed approach control to inform them of the tragedy. He made a safe landing and taxied off the runway. To everyone's amazement and especially that of the co-pilot, the pilot, Henry Dempsey, was hanging on to the stairs which he had grabbed as they fell out of the plane when the door flew open. Henry was on the national news that night explaining that he had done the only thing he could possibly do-he hung on for dear life.

Now, some people have this idea about the salvation of a Christian. They believe that the Christian is saved by the power of God through Christ but they also believe that salvation hangs on by a mere thread and the only way they will be saved eternally is if they hold our faithful to the end-just like Henry who held on to the stairs of that airplane. Because he was able to hold on he was saved from death. A lot of folks believe that eternal life is for the believer only if he is able to hold out faithful to the end. If he loses his grip, he is lost forever.

The other day someone said, "I wish I could believe what you Baptists believe about the security of the believer because it would give me so much peace."

In John 14:16, Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, that He will "abide with you forever." That word "abide" means to remain, to stay. God has come to settle down in us forever. No wonder in the same chapter Jesus also said, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" (John 14:27).

You can have peace and assurance today because the Word of God teaches that the Christian is safe and secure in Christ. Billy Graham interviewed by Larry King was asked, "Do you ever doubt?" Graham leaned forward and said, "Never."

Let it also be said that there are those who profess to be saved who give no evidence that they possess salvation. Profession and possession are two different things. There are people who try with all their might to look like Christians, but they have never been redeemed.

In Matthew 7:22-23, Jesus spoke an emphatic word of warning concerning these pretenders who have never been born again. (Read Matthew 7:22-23) Notice that Jesus said, "I never knew you." We have all seen some make a false start and then fall away and even deny their faith once they professed. They did not lose their salvation, because they never had it.

The Apostle John made reference to such people in 1 John 2:19 (read). Notice he said they went from us because they were not of us. That is, they never had really been added to the body of Christ.

I want to share with you this morning several reasons why someone who has been saved is safe and secure in Christ.

I. Perseverance of the Spirit

Paul expresses a great truth in Philippians: "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Philippians 1:6).

Who is it that has begun this good work in us and Who is going to carry it on until its completion? The Holy Spirit! This verse tells us that what He has begun, He will finish.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if that could be said of us! Unfortunately all too often we begin things that we cannot finish.

I read of a youngster named Billy who said to his dad, "Daddy, Jimmy says that his dad has a list of men that he can whip and your name is at the top of the list."

Billy's dad confronts Jimmy's Dad, "My son says that you have a list of men that you can whip and my name is at the top of the list. Is that right?"

"Yes, that's right."

"Well, I am telling you right now, you can't do it! What are you going to do about that?"

"Then I guess I will just have to take your name off the list," said Jimmy's dad.

That may be like man, but that's not like God. When God saves us our names are recorded in heaven on the Lamb's book of life and God will never take our names off that list. What God begins He finishes.

The Bible teaches that the Holy Spirit is the holy participant in our salvation. He is: Convicter - He shows us our sins and brings us under conviction.

A. Converter

He is the one who works the marvelous work of grace in our hearts so that we are "born of the Spirit" (John 3:8)

B. Companion

When we receive Christ the Holy Spirit comes in to stay in us forever. He is our constant companion. (John 14:16)

C. Completer

He will finish what he has begun. He has promised that He will never abandon you. (Philippians 1:6)

II. The Perfection of the Sacrifice

When Jesus died on the cross, He offered a perfect sacrifice that makes us perfect forever. In the Old Testament when a sacrifice for sin was made it was never a perfect or a complete sacrifice. The Old Testament priest had to come again and again with their bloody sacrifices to the smoldering alters because their sacrifices were only shadows and prophecies of the perfect sacrifice to come (read Hebrews 10:14-22).

All the sacrifices of the Old Testament did was to bring temporary forgiveness for sin. But when Jesus shed His precious divine blood upon the cross everything was paid in full. Because of His sacrifice we are perfected forever. We just don't get a new start. We get eternal perfection.

Think about this: if it were possible for one to lose his salvation then for that person to be saved a second time Jesus would have to die again. What happened at Calvary was good for eternal salvation. It was the "once for all" offering for sin. It was a "forever" sacrifice.

It is for this reason that if you search the Scriptures, you will never find anyone who was ever saved twice!

III. The Position of the Saved

Once you are saved not only does Jesus come to live in you, but you live in Him. II Corinthians 5:17 says: "Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." In this verse our position is clearly stated as "in Christ". That means among other things that we are actually a part of His body. I have been made a part of the very body of Christ. Christ is the invisible part of the visible Christian and the Christian is the visible part of the invisible Christ. He is in us and we are in Him.

An exciting description of this is found in 1 Peter 3: 18-22 where Peter shows our position in Christ as illustrated by Noah's position in the ark. When the ark was finished, a perfect way of escape from the wrath of God had been provided for Noah and his family.

What if Noah had been like Henry Dempsey? Suppose that when God instructed Noah to build the ark He had told him to place large pegs on the outside of the ark so that Noah might hold on for his salvation. Picture Noah holding on to a wet peg on the outside of the ark. His knuckles are turning white and above the roar of the storm he shouts to his wife, "Honey, please pray for me that I will hold out faithful to the end." Poor Noah would never had made it.

No, God said to Noah, "Come thou and all thy house into the ark" (Genesis 7:1). These words "come into" mean that God was already inside that ark and He was inviting Noah to come in with Him. It was then that God shut the door and sealed it shut. Not only did He shut the water out but at the same time He closed Noah in with Himself. Noah was safe and secure inside of the ark. Likewise, we Christians are safe and secure in Christ.

IV. The Predestination of the Saint

(Read Romans 8:28-30)

According to this Scripture, the child of God has been foreknown in the mind of God from before the foundation of the world. More debates than we care to count have taken place over this matter of predestination. There have been some rather farfetched interpretations. Some people feel that every event in our lives has been minutely programmed ahead of time and there is nothing that we can do to change it. It is to them as if we are preprogrammed robots responding to a divine key operator who is putting us through our paces. These folks believe there is nothing we can do to alter our lives in anyway. Like the old lady who fell down the cellar stairs, got up and brushed herself off, and said, "I am glad that is over with." I am not in agreement with that kind of predestination. I do believe that God will carry out His great eternal purposes in the lives of every man, woman, boy, and girl who places faith in Jesus Christ.

Often times in our lives we have predetermined destinations that we intend to reach but fail to reach.

God, however, reaches whatever He predestines. The Christian is predestined to be "conformed to the image of his Son" and all of hell cannot stop that. As a matter of fact, the Scriptures speak of the Christian as having already been glorified. Actually the verb is in the past tense. It says that whom He calls, "them He also justified, and whom He justified, them He also glorified." We don't have to wait until we die to see whether we are going to heaven.

V. The Present Tense of Salvation

Eternal life means a life that will never end. That is the definition of eternal life. The believer has eternal life. That means that he has a life that will never end.

Think about this: eternal life does not begin for the Christian when he dies. It begins when he believes. John 5:24 says this: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passes from death unto life." You cannot accurately say: "Yes, you have eternal life now. But you can lost it." The very meaning of the word "eternal" means that I cannot lose it!

If a man becomes a Christian and remains a Christian for 10 years and then becomes a lost person, he would not have eternal life. What he would have would be "10 year life." Whatever you have, if you ever lose it, it is not eternal! The believer is passed from death unto life and that life is eternal life.

VI. The Prayers of the Savior

Another reason for our security in the Lord Jesus Christ is the intercession of the Savior. Hebrews 7:25 says: "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."

Christ is ever living and interceding. He is praying for His own. This is beautifully reflected in John 17, the priestly prayer of Jesus. Jesus prays: "I pray for them; I pray not for the world, but for them whom thou hast given me, for they are thine" (John 17:9). It is clear that Jesus is praying for His own followers, His believers.

What was He praying for them? "I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil" (John 17:15). Jesus is not just praying that they will live above the level of sin, but that God will keep them from the clutches of Satan. Literally, He is praying that God would keep them from the "evil one". He was praying for their keeping, for their eternal security. No question that His prayer was heard and answered. In John 11:42 Jesus said, "Thou hearest me always." Jesus never prayed a prayer that was not answered.

Now, here is the exciting part for us. He was not just praying for those early disciples. By faith Jesus was looking down through the tunnel of time and prayed for you and for me. Listen to this: "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word" (John 17:20). He might as well have inserted our names.

VII. The Power of God's Sovereignty

(Read 1 Peter 1:3-5).

We are kept by the power of God! The Scripture says that our inheritance in glory is incorruptible, undefiled, fades not away, and is reserved in heaven for us.

You and I have a reservation in heaven because of the resurrection of Jesus. The Bible assures us that we have a reservation. Now you may want to write down this reservation confirmation number: "J" as in "John" 10:27-30! The Christian is in the hand of Jesus and Jesus is in the hand of the      Father. Before you could ever be lost again someone would have to take you out of the hand of Jesus and then take you out of the hand of God and Jesus tells us that nobody is able to do that.

Some people say if I believed in the eternal security of the believer then I would get saved and then sin all I wanted to. No you wouldn't, not if you had been truly saved. The greatest desire of the Christian is not to sin, but to serve.

Further, security of the believer does not mean that the Christian can sin without punishment. The Father will chastise His children if they are disobedient. Hebrews 12:6-7 (read).

Consider these brief facts:

# God offers eternal life as a gift, not as a reward.

# If eternal life were a reward if could be lost by bad behavior, but since it is a gift from God, God would have to take back the gift that He says is ours in order for us to lose our salvation.

# Not only is it unthinkable that God would take back an eternal promise, it is impossible. Remember, the Bible clearly says that God is immutable, which means that He cannot lie.

# If God could take back the gift of eternal life and strip me of His forgiveness, then His Word would have to make that very clear so that all of us would be adequately warned and it does not.


Lucy and Linus of the Peanuts comic strip are starring out the window as the rain pours down. Lucy says, "Boy, look at it rain....what if it floods the whole world again?"

Linus answers, "It will never do that. In the 9th chapter of Genesis God promised Noah that would never happen again, and the sign of the promise is the rainbow."

Lucy is looking directly at him as he speaks. She turns back toward the window, smiles big, and announces: "You have taken a great load off my mind."

To which Linus responds: "Sound theology has a way of doing that!"

The security of the believer is sound theology. It has a wonderful way of taking a load off our mind. The believer in Jesus Christ can know that he is safe and secure, eternally, in the arms of Jesus.