What is the difference between eternal security and security of the believer? Eternal Security is total and full Security forever for those who have truly trusted in Jesus sacrifice and payment for their sins. Security of the believer means that as long as one continues to believe he is secure. Many people while not believing that you can lose your salvation because of personal sin believe that you can lose your salvation by losing your faith. The first question that needs to be examined is “Can a person truly lose his faith once he has truly believed?” While I do not believe that a person can “lose his faith”, he can become extremely confused and lack full confidence in Jesus Christ. Scripture states that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption.
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Eph 4:30 (KJV)
The day of redemption is when we will be truly complete having received a new and perfect body.
The sealing of the believer by the Holy Spirit seems to indicate security and safety. This sealing is a promise that you now belong to God and Jesus Christ and you are no longer your own. You are God’s possession and God will take care of His own property. If God saved you initially He will not discard you.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Eph 1:13-14 (KJV)
He saved you without any goodness on your part and thus there is no reason that he will abandon you. Usually people who believe that they can lose their salvation connect it to works or something that they do or do not do. There are multitudes of biblical passages that indicate that salvation is by God’s grace, through faith alone. Ephesians 2:8-9 is one of the clearest passages.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Eph 2:8-9 (KJV)
Also, Romans 11:6 explains that faith and works do not mix together for salvation. Salvation is all of grace. Grace and works are like water and oil when it comes to the matter of salvation.
6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.Romans 11:6 (KJV)
Many that are insecure as to their salvation are also insecure in other aspects of their lives. Many trust in their feelings and are thus frequently discouraged. A large number of those who believe or have come to believe that a person can lose his salvation base it on some difficult and obscure passage of Scripture. Almost without exception a person that wants to agree that one’s salvation can be lost turn to the problem passages in the book of Hebrews, especially Hebrews 6:4-6.
One of the important principles in Bible interpretation is ignored when a person looks to an obscure and difficult passage in order to prove his point. The principle is this: A clear passage of Scripture is not to be interpreted in the light of an obscure, difficult, and controversial passage. There is great disagreement over what the Hebrews 6:4-6 passage teaches. There are at least 6 different potential interpretations of the Hebrews 6:4-6passage.
I have posted chapter 19 of the book, The Reign of the Servant Kings – A Study of Eternal Security and the Final Significance of Man by Joseph C. Dillow, Th.D. This is the best article that I have ever read on the subject that relates to Eternal Security.
When any one resorts to the Hebrews passages I redirect them to John 10:27-31 which is a much clearer passage. These words were clearly spoken by Jesus to his followers.
27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one. John 27-30 (KJV)
So we see that the true believer is protected by all three members of the Trinity: The Son, The Father, and the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13-14). There is an excellent book written by Charles Spurgeon entitled ALL OF GRACE. It is free on the internet. If you cannot find it, let me know and I will send you a copy.
We who have believed in Jesus Christ are truly Eternally Secure! I believe that a Christian can live a much more effective life if they have the assurance that they are fully accepted and protected of God. I sometimes use the example of a man drowning and someone throws him a life preserver. When he realizes that he is safe and secure he will then feel like helping others that are drowning. But if on the other hand he believes that he is in danger of drowning himself, he will not feel free to venture to help others. Being assured of your own eternal salvation will free you to help others.
Now we are prepared for the battle. Even though we are secure, we must follow Jesus Christ in order to please Him and win the reward He has promised for faithful Christian life or service. Since you are now totally Jesus Christ’s and God is your Father, God will deal with you as your Father with the carrot and the stick. At some point I will include an article on the Carrot and The Stick.
Just as a note: I have many excellent articles on the problem passages in the book of Hebrews which I believe to provide the correct interpretation.