Saturday, June 23

Eternal Security

John 6:47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.

Many single verses have great truths for believers. It is important to identify and rest on the truth found in a verse without reading something into it that is not there. John 6:47 is one of those verses. What truths can be gleaned from John 6:47?

Here are some of the basic truths from this verse:
1. When Jesus says truly, truly or verily, verily then this is a truth that can be depended on and is important.
2. “whoever believes” means there are no gender, racial, or any other restrictions on the kind of people that may be included. It does not speak to man’s ability to come to faith. It does not affirm ability to believe or deny it.
3. “whoever believes has eternal life” means that anyone that believes has eternal life. Eternal life is a done deal for whoever believes.

Truths one and two are complete and really need no more information. However, the truth in #3 does not explain what is to be believed. For example: Believing that Jesus was just a great teacher without believing that he was God and died an atoning death for sinners does not satisfy what is to be believed to have eternal life. It would satisfy believing a historical fact about Jesus and that Jesus lived, but it would be worthless for redemption. One must look elsewhere in John and Scripture to get the information that must be believed in order to secure eternal life. John in context and other Scriptures make it clear that trusting through faith alone in God’s only begotten son, Jesus Christ, for dying on the cross and paying the sin debt for sinners and rising from the dead to purchase eternal life is what is to be believed. This information is not hidden and easily found, but John 6:47 does not give this information. To assert that John 6:47 gives all the information one needs for salvation is misleading.

This verse is sometimes used as a proof against predestination and for man’s ability to come to salvation apart from the effectual call. However, it is neutral on this doctrine. It is silent on man’s ability to come to faith on his own without God doing a work in their heart. Just like John 3:16, it neither confirms or denies predestination. There are verses in John 6 that speak to this point, but verse 47 merely gives an external call.

While this verse does not give all of the information about what is to be believed, it gives conclusive proof for eternal security or what is also called perseverance of the saints. Therefore, the great truth that this verse contains is eternal security. Whether you call it eternal security or perseverance of the saints, John 6:47 confirms that eternal life is a present possession of those that believe at the moment of belief. Salvations cannot be lost. Again this verse does not give the details, but elsewhere in Scripture we learn that eternal security is a work of God. God through the work of the Holy Spirit makes spiritually dead people alive and enables them to respond in faith with repentance and sanctification. God does it all and he is 100% successful. John 6:47 gives us a great truth, but it does not give the whole story of redemption.


mark pierson said...

" God does it all and he is 100% successful. John 6:47 gives us a great truth, but it does not give the whole story of redemption."

Great point, Wayne

donsands said...

Good thoughts.

Jesus gives us eternal life, and it's Himself He gives us.
That's an eternally done deal.

jazzycat said...

Thanks Mark and Don.