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Eternal Security

by Stephen Davey Scripture Reference: Romans 8:31–34

Our salvation rests solely upon the gracious work of God. Likewise, our salvation is eternally secure because of His completed work; no person and no power can take away what God in His grace has given.


In 1898, a young man named Peter Deyneka sailed from his home country of Russia, bound for Nova Scotia. For months he and his family had saved their money to purchase his ticket for the journey. Peter’s mother had packed him bread and a few vegetables for the journey—they could not afford much more than that. During the voyage, Peter would often gaze through the dining-room window as all the passengers enjoyed delicious meals.

About halfway through the voyage, some of the sailors found out about Peter and made a bargain with him. If he did some of their chores, they would give him food in return. Peter was thrilled, and he was soon hard at work; and as promised, he was given a meal at the back door of the kitchen each day.

It was not until the very last day of the voyage Peter discovered the truth—three meals a day had been included with his ticket. He could have enjoyed every meal in that dining room with the other passengers. He had been tricked into working for food that rightfully belonged to him.[1]

We have discovered already that our ticket to heaven is free. But I believe there are Christians who are not aware of the privileges that come with their ticket.

In fact, I have talked to many Christians who believe they have to work to stay on board; they wonder if God will throw them overboard, so to speak. Others wonder if God will abandon them or make them work a little harder for His promises.

Well, the truth is that anybody who is bound for the port of heaven cannot be thrown overboard but is secure forever. Believers do not have to work their way into the dining room of God’s promises either; they have an all-expenses-paid ticket to heaven.

That is the security we have in Christ; and as we sail back into Romans 8 once again, the security of the believer becomes our focus. Here in verses 31-34, Paul delivers three principles regarding the eternal security of the Christian.

Here is the first principle: Because God has delivered you, there isn’t anyone who can destroy you! Paul writes in verse 31, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Simply put, your salvation cannot be destroyed! It might be doubted, because we all struggle with doubt from time to time. And yes, we can be discouraged along our voyage. Your ticket does not promise you a storm-free journey, but it does promise you a safe landing—a safe arrival home one day.

Doubt and discouragement cannot destroy your salvation. And no person, no church, no religion has the power to revoke what God in His power has given to you.

Someone might say, “But you could sin so much and stray so far that God might take away your salvation.” But let me tell you, for God to take your salvation away would require God to fail!

God chose you from eternity past. He called you, redeemed you, and sealed you. He indwells you by His Holy Spirit, and He has promised to one day glorify you in heaven. So, if you do not make it home to heaven, God failed in His sovereign choice, His redeeming purpose, His Son’s bloodshed, and His Spirit’s indwelling ministry in your life. You are not getting into heaven because you are faithful to God; you are getting into heaven because God is faithful to you.

Now there are some who think a Christian can lose his salvation by committing some terrible sin. What about the sin of suicide, for example? Yes, that is indeed a sinful act against the authority of our creator God. There are many who believe that particular sin will keep somebody out of heaven.

Beloved, when you came to faith in Christ, did Jesus forgive every sin except the last sin you might commit? Was His blood shed for you good enough to forgive all of your sins but one particular sin?

To say that you can sin to the point that Jesus’ sacrifice will not cover all of your sins—past, present, and future—is to is say that His death on the cross was insufficient. That means He did not quite pay for your ticket after all, and you are going to need to add a little bit to the price of salvation in order to get into heaven.

That is not the gospel of Christ, beloved. That is the religion of works. Your assurance is not based on sinning less; your assurance is based on Jesus paying for every sin.

I have had people say to me, “But Stephen, wait, maybe the Christian can choose to return the gift of salvation and hand it back—you know, like that sweater you got at Christmas that you would never wear out in public. Besides, what were they thinking, giving you a medium size, when you need an extra-large—especially after Christmas. Can’t people turn their salvation back in, like they can that sweater?”

Anybody who wants to hand their “salvation” in and exchange it for something that fits them better—something they will be more comfortable in—you can be sure they never had salvation to begin with! If you do not want Jesus; if you do not want His forgiveness; if you do not want His Word or His Spirit within you; if you do not want salvation—that does not mean you can turn it in; it means you never had it to begin with.

The apostle John was thinking about people like that when he wrote this in 1 John 2:19:

They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

Here is the second principle: Because God has acquitted you, there isn’t anyone who can indict you. Paul writes in verse 33, “Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.”  

Now the devil might whisper in your ear, “Jesus died for you, but just look at yourself! You do not deserve the Lord. You do not deserve salvation. You do not deserve to go to heaven!”

Paul uses legal language here: “Who shall bring a charge against you?” These words mean to arrest someone and bring that person before a judge—to take someone to court to face charges. Are the charges true? Yes! We are still sinful. We do not deserve to be forgiven.

But wait. Paul adds this little phrase at the end of verse 33: “It is God who justifies.”

In other words, the Judge of the universe has declared you righteous—justified, freed from the penalty of your crimes. And here is the point: If God has declared you righteous, there is no higher court that can overrule the court of Heaven. Your case is closed forever, and His verdict will never be reversed. You are secure through faith in Christ alone!

Here is one more principle I want to point out: Because Jesus has redeemed you, there isn’t anyone who can condemn you. This is what Paul is saying here in verse 34:

Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.

The only one who can prosecute you in court is Jesus Christ. But if you have come to faith in Christ as your Savior, He is no longer your prosecutor; He is your defender.

He will not dismiss you or denounce you because He has delivered you. So, beloved, enjoy the voyage. Your ticket is paid in full; you can sail securely all the way to your eternal home under the protection and promise and provision of God until you arrive safely home in heaven.

[1] Erwin Lutzer, You’re Richer Than You Think (Victor Books, 1978), 9.

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