Basics of Sovereign Grace

    I. TOTAL DEPRAVITY: When Adam sinned by disobeying and eating the forbidden fruit in the garden (Genesis 3), death and sin was passed upon the whole human race. We are born bound by sin, and are unable to do any good thing while in this unsaved condition. For the unsaved person even the works which seem to be good are considered by God worthy only to be burned. In this condition we are totally unable to do any good thing toward God, including by our own ability believing on Christ for our salvation.A. Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man (Adam) sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”B. Romans 5:18 “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation….”

C. Genesis 6:5 “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

D. Psalm 51:5 “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.” (Note: David’s parents were married to each other when David was conceived. It was not sin for his :rather to have sex with his father and become pregnant. David is expounding on the fact that we have all inherited Adam’s sin from conception.)

E. Romans 3:9-19 “…..for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; as it is written, ‘There is none righteous, no, not one: there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: their feet are swift to shed blood:destruction and misery are in their ways.: and the way of peace have they not known: there is no fear of God before their eyes.’ Now we know that what thing soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”

F. I Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

G. Romans 8:5-8 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then, they that are in the flesh cannot please God.”

H. Ephesians 2:1-2 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:”

I. Romans 6:20 “For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.”

CONCLUSION: Since we are all decedents of Adam, death and sin was passed upon all of us at conception. Therefore, the unsaved who are in the flesh are servants of sin, free from righteousness, condemned, and unable to please God. They cannot perform any act to acquire freedom from that sin, so as to be saved. Since they cannot please God while they are in the flesh, they cannot of their own ability or faith believe on Christ nor receive Him as Savior.

II. UNCONDITIONAL ELECTION: Since it is impossible for totally depraved people to choose Christ, all who will be saved must be saved solely by God, without any act on our part, because to do anything to promote our own salvation would be a good work. It is impossible for one who cannot please God and is dead in sin, to do the good act of believing and accepting Christ as Savior. That act would please God and totally depraved man, in his unsaved state, cannot please God. God must make the person’s spirit alive by the power of the Holy Spirit in order to give that person the ability to believe and receive Christ as Savior. Since it is clear that not everyone will be saved, it is logical to assume that only some will be saved. If the unsaved cannot do anything to acquire this salvation, and only God can give life to a spirit, we must agree that He only imparts His salvation. to  some of the people. Before forming the world, God chose all who will be saved, not by any good works that He saw they would do, nor for any merit of their own, nor, because He saw that they would choose Him, but for the “good pleasure of His will.”

A. Ephesians 1:4-‘5 “According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will.” (If he chose and predestined everyone, he has failed to accomplish making everyone holy and without blame, because there are people in Hell today. This passage says nothing about choosing us, but depending on us to choose him, in order to accomplish his will.)B. Ephesians 1:11 “In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.”C. Ephesians 2:8-11 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”

D. Romans 8:29-30 “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Note: God’s predestination is not based on his foreknowledge of those who will accept Him; but, rather He knows whom He predestinated before the foundation of the world.- Eph. 1:4-5; John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me:” If He elected because He knew who would accept Him as Savior, His election would be based on the person’s work of accepting Him, making Eph. 2:8-11 void.)

E. Romans 9:11 “For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election  might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;” (Speaking of God electing Jacob and hating Esau.)

F. Romans 9:15:16 “For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (Read Romans 9:17-26) (We are not saved because of our will, nor our work-“runneth”, but of God who shows mercy to His elect.)

G. We see election in the story of Noah. Noah and his family were the only people allowed on the ark. No one was told that if they would repent, they would be welcomed on the ark and be saved from the flood. Genesis 6 & 7. Everyone on Earth except Noah and his family died in the flood.

H. We see election when the Death Angel passed through Egypt. Only the Hebrews were told to spread the blood of the lamb on their door posts.(symbolic of Christ’s shed blood) Only the Hebrews were spared the death of their first born. Exodus 11 & 12.

I. When Joshua led the Hebrews through battles to conquer the land, they were instructed to kill every living thing in the cities. Only Rahab and her family were spared, as they stayed inside of the house which displayed the scarlet thread.(symbolic of Christ’s blood) No one else was invited to be saved by going inside the house, not even “innocent” children. Joshua 2.

J. When God said He was going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot was not to invite everyone to come with him because God was going to destroy the cities. Only his daughters, sons-in-law, and wife were warned. Lot’s sons-in-law thought that he was joking, when he told them that everything there would be destroyed. They didn’t understand it to be true, therefore, they didn’t leave. It was not because they “chose” to stay and be destroyed, but they didn’t believe this was true. If they had believed, they would have left. Lot, his wife, and his other daughters, lingered, hesitating to leave. God was merciful to them. The angels took them by their hands and forced them to leave. The angels did not bother with the daughters and their husbands who did not understand Lot’s warning. No one else was invited, nor even warned of the impending disaster. Everyone else in the city had no choice, but to perish. The city was no doubt inhabited by children, infants, and expectant mothers,  those considered to be “innocent”. God chose (elected) all those who would be saved from the destruction. Genesis 19.

K. John 6:44-45 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets. And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.” (God does not draw everyone everywhere to be saved. Everyone does not hear, nor learn of the Father, because clearly, everyone does not come to Him. He does not say, “has the opportunity to come.” He says “cometh unto me.”)

L. John 6:37-40 “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (Christ will do the Father’s will without fail. It does not say “might come to me”; it says “all that the Father giveth me SHALL come to me.” Clearly, the Father doesn’t give everyone to the Son, else, everyone would come to Christ. If some who are given to Christ do not come, this Scripture would be a lie.)

M. John 6:65 “And he (Christ) said, Therefore said I unto you that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.”

CONCLUSION: Before He made the world, according to the good pleasure of the Father’s will, He chose all of those who would be saved. This election was not based on foreseeing that they would accept Him, nor anything the elect would do, but solely because it pleased God. His election was without respect of persons, and includes all types and races of people. (Revelation 7:9) His election is sure and cannot be thwarted in any way.

III. PARTICULAR REDEMPTION: (Christ died to redeem the elect only): All people are born separated from God. Since God is totally righteous and will not tolerate sin, it is impossible to unite totally sinful man with Him. Because God loves His elect so much, He desires to cleanse them from their sin and unite them with Him. (God does not love everyone. Example: Rom.9:11-13-God loves Jacob, but hates Esau. Psalm 5:5,6 God hates all workers of iniquity and abhors the bloody and deceitful man. The world that God loves in John 3:16 is translated from the Greek word “kosmos”, which has many meanings. One meaning is “an orderly arrangement”. “Kosmos” has been translated into “world” in many passages which clearly are talking about different kinds of worlds. Example: I John 2:15 “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” The world that we are instructed not to love is “kosmos”. If we love “kosmos” the love of the Father is not in us. Christ is one with the Father, so has the same love as the Father. The meaning of “kosmos” in this passage must be different than the “kosmos” or “world”, in John 3:16, which God loves so much that He gave His only Son to save. God would not instruct us NOT to love something that He loves. Since Esau, the workers of iniquity, and the bloody and deceitful man, whom God hates, are part of this world, “kosmos” in John 3:16 cannot mean the entire human race, but rather, “an orderly arrangement”.

To reconcile the elect to Himself, God chose to place all of the sins of all of the elect on His Son, Jesus Christ and put their sins to death on the cross. This choice was also made before the foundation of the world (1 Peter 1:20). Mary, a virgin, was chosen to conceive the Son of God by the Holy Spirit. God’s Son Jesus Christ, who had no sin of His own, was born God in the flesh, to take the sins of the elect upon himself. He had to be born in human form to be able take the sins of the elect upon himself, and suffer the judgment and punishment of the Father, because of sin. When He died, Christ was judged in the place of the elect, thereby buying pardon for the guilty elect. He was raised from the dead totally free from our sin. Our sin was not resurrected with Christ. This assures us that God’s elect will, at the time of their salvation, receive God’s forgiveness, based on Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. His righteousness is imputed to his elect and they become holy before God, heirs and joint heirs with Christ. In other words, they become the Father’s child, just as Christ is His Son. They do not become deity, but rather one who  inherits everlasting life.

Christ died and rose again to redeem the elect from their sins. His overcoming death, assures that the elect will also be raised from the dead in the last day. They will be raised unto eternal life, just as Christ was. Christ did not die for the sins of every person who would be born, to make it possible for everyone to be saved. If He did, then His death would have failed for the ones who never receive Him as Saviour. Christ never fails. He died for the sins of the elect to make their salvation certain. Every elect child of God will, at God’s appointed time, receive Christ in faith, when God, the Holy Spirit, gives life to their spirit. (I John 2:2 speaks of Christ being the propitiation for the sins of the whole world. John is making it clear to his readers that there are others for whom Christ died, not only for the ones to whom the epistle was written, “my little children”. The word “world” is also translated from kosmos, meaning an orderly arrangement. If it meant everyone ever born, the following scriptures would be void.)

A. Luke 1:67-79 Zacharias (John the Baptist’s father) prophesied by the Holy Ghost of the coming Lord. vs. 68 “…for he hath visited and redeemed his people.” vs.77 “to give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins.” (His people are the ones whom the Father has given Him. John 6:37)

B. Ephesians 5:1-2 “Be ye therefore followers of God as dear children: and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savour.” (Christ gave himself for the ones whom He loves. Remember Esau and the workers of iniquity; he hates them, therefore did not give himself for them.)

C. Ephesians 1:4-12 This passage speaks of those who God chose, predestined, and redeemed. vs. 7 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace:” The passage makes no mention of anyone other than those whom He chose, having redemption.

D. Matthew 20:28 “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Notice it does not say “everyone”.)

E. John 10:1-18 In this passage, Christ tells the people that he is the shepherd and his chosen are the sheep. He elaborates that he knows his sheep and they know him. Not everyone is considered a sheep, because not everyone knows Christ. “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep:”

F. John 10:25-30 Christ continues representing himself as the good shepherd and the elect as the sheep. He now makes a distinction between his sheep and those who are not his sheep. vs. 26-27 “But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice and I know them, and they follow me:” (It does not say “might follow me.”)

G. John 17:9 “I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” (The “world” spoken here is also from the original Greek “kosmos”. He obviously does not mean the ones whom He loved in John 3:16, else He would pray for them. This “kosmos” must mean the non-elect world, those whom He does not love. The world for which He is praying belongs to the Father-“for they are
thine.”)

H. Acts 20:28 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.” (Christ purchased the church of God, not all of humanity. Clearly, everyone ever born will not be members of God’s church, else all would be saved and none would be damned.)

I. Romans 8:30 “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” (Only the predestinated, the called, and those who will be glorified, are justified. Justified means that their sins are forgiven. We are guaranteed that the predestinated people will be called, justified, and glorified. It is not upon the condition of our acceptance of these things.)

J. Romans 8:32 “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (The “all” spoken of must be “all of the elect” since this passage is speaking of the elect and does not mention those who are not the elect. The continuing passage in vs. 35-39 speaks of it being impossible to separate us from the love of God. We have already established that this couldn’t be the whole world, since God does not love everyone and is not united with everyone. Since God hated Esau, he was already separated from God’s love before he was born. At the same time, God loved Esau’s twin brother, Jacob, “that the purpose of election might stand.”)

CONCLUSION: If Christ had suffered and died for everyone who will ever be born, why would He die for those who have no possibility of ever being saved? Only those whom God has chosen will be saved, which is seen in the scriptures dealing with election. If Christ died for everyone, why did He not pray for everyone? He prayed only for those whom the Father had given him. It would make absolutely no sense for Christ to die for those who cannot be saved. If he did, then on their account, his death would have failed to accomplish its purpose. Christ never fails, only those elected by God can be saved, since it is He who gives eternal life, and clearly not everyone will be given this life. If Christ died for those who are not given to Him by the Father (John 17:9), then His death was not sufficient to save them. If our salvation is contingent upon our faith and acceptance, then His death is insufficient in itself and we would be saved by grace through our faith and our work of believing and accepting Christ. Eph. 2:8-9 establishes that neither the grace, nor faith is ours, but a gift of God. A gift is something that for some time one does not have, then it is given to that one, without the expectation of any kind of payment from the one who receives the gift, else it would not be a gift, but a purchase. Romans 12:3 “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure faith.” Notice that he is speaking to “every man that is among you”. He was speaking to a group of born again people, not to the general public. The purpose of the scripture is to show that we would not have faith, except God give it to us. It cannot be earned through any act.

How can God hold a non-elect person guilty, when they have no escape? Read all of Romans 9:9-24. Rom. 9:18 says, “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” We are the clay and God is the potter. Can the clay say to the potter, “Why have you made me thus?” God does as He wills and we must accept His will, for we can do nothing to change it. If we could, we would have power over God. He allows us to have our own way, sometimes, which usually turns out to be far inferior to His plan for us. It is said that “prayer changes things.” Scripturally, true prayer originates from God, is impressed upon us by the Holy Spirit, and comes from us as prayer. When true prayer is prayed, it is answered and God performs his will. (I John 5:14-15)

IV. IRRESISTIBLE GRACE: Because God has chosen those who will be saved and sent His Son to die for them, their salvation is assured. It is impossible for them to resist God’s salvation, at the time that God has appointed for them to believe and be saved. We can resist God, only as far as He allows us.

A. Romans 9:26 “And it shall come to pass, that in the place, where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.” (Not “might be”, but “shall be”.)

B. Isaiah 14:24 “The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it
stand.”

C. Psalm 115:3 “But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” (We are chosen out of His good pleasure, Eph. 1:5. It does not say that He hopes He will accomplish whatsoever He pleases. It says that “he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.”)

D. Ephesians 2:5-6 “Even when we were dead in sins, he hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:” (It does NOT say that we were alive enough to choose, then were offered the opportunity to be raised up and invited to sit together in heavenly places.)

E. Revelation 3:7 “….these things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;” (What of Rev. 3:20? “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” The passage is speaking of the Laodicean church who are neither cold nor hot. He rebukes them and tells them that He will spue them out of His mouth. He then tells them to buy gold from Him tried in the fire,(when we go through tribulation, we are purified as gold) white raiment to cover the shame of their nakedness, (we are to be clothed in righteousness) and to anoint their eyes with salve, that they may see (the Holy Spirit is the salve that heals and opens our eyes). Next, He says in vs. 19, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” He establishes the fact that they are His church, who are walking in sin. He tells them that He rebukes and chastens those whom He loves. He has clearly just rebuked them and tells them that they will be tried in the fire. Then, He tells them that He is standing at the door waiting to have fellowship with them. If they obey (are zealous and repent) He will come and sup (have supper or fellowship) with them. This passage deals with Christians walking in sin, not the unsaved who must open the door of their heart to Christ so that they can be saved. A dead person cannot open a door.)

D. Acts 16:14 “And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshiped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.”

E. Ezekiel 36:26-27 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” (He is not being given a choice, rather God is telling him what will be done,.not what might be done.)

F. Isaiah 43:13 “Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?” (in other words, who can stop it?)

G. Deuteronomy 32:39 “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive: I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand.”

H. Romans 8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Notice it does not say “might make me free”.)

I. Ephesians 1:4-12 This passage tells us that we have redemption through the blood of Christ. He made known unto us the mystery of His will. We have obtained an inheritance. The entire passage is directed toward His elect.

J. John 6:37 “ALL THAT THE FATHER GIVETH ME SHALL COME TO ME; AND HIM THAT COMETH TO ME I WILL IN NO WISE CAST OUT.” (How many that the Father gives Him will come to Him? ALL!)

K. John 6:40-41 “AND THIS IS THE FATHER’S WILL WHICH HATH SENT ME, THAT OF ALL WHICH HE HATH GIVEN ME I SHOULD LOSE NOTHING, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (The elect will believe when the Son is revealed to them. If they did not believe, then the Father’s will would not be done and Christ would lose one whom the Father had given Him. Psalm 115:3 assures us that the Father does whatever He pleases.)

L. John 6:44 “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.” (We cannot choose to come, unless the Father draws us. Those whom the Father does not draw, do not want to come to Him. Christ assures us that those whom the Father draws will be raised up at the last day. Their being raised is not contingent upon whether or not they choose salvation. The Scripture says they WILL be raised. Obviously, they will be saved.)

M. Philippians 2:13 “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” (No one can will or do anything of God’s pleasure on their own. It is God that works this in a person. It is not a “free will” that pleases God, but His will in us.)

N. James 1:18 “Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

0. I Cor. 1:30-31 “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”

CONCLUSION: Since salvation cannot be obtained without God’s election, it stands to reason that He will bring to pass that which He has purposed to do. To say that we have the ability to reject the salvation which God has secured through the death of His Son, is to say that our will can overpower God’s will, that we can keep Him from doing “whatsoever He pleases”. You may say that God has granted us the right to choose. The Bible teaches that God has made the elect believe by opening his heart and calling him to salvation. Without Christ’s work on the behalf of the elect, it would be impossible for anyone to believe.  That call to the elect brings life everlasting, which is certain. If it were possible for the elect to reject salvation forever, then the following passage would not be true. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” John 10:27-30. What about “whosoever will”? God makes us willing in the day of His power (Psalm 110:3). All those who are willing will come to Him, and He will receive them. The non-elect are never willing and they will never come to Him.

`What about Acts 16:31 “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved”? There are many such passages in the Bible and everyone of them is true. If we truly believe with the faith given us by God, we will be saved. If we believe with natural belief, we will not be saved. John 2:23-25 tells us of ones who believed, but God did not save them. “……many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for he knew what was in man.” These men believed only because they saw Christ’s miracles. The word translated from the Greek into “believed” in vs. 23 is the same word used in vs. 22 : “…his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them; and they believed the scripture and the word which Jesus had said.” Therefore, these men had the same kind of belief that the disciples had. Why did Jesus not commit Himself to them, as He had to the disciples?

Vs. 24-25 tell us that He knew all men and knew what was IN man. God given belief was not in these men, only natural belief. They saw the miracles, and for lack of another explanation, believed that He must be who He said He was. If another came working miracles, no doubt they would have been confused as to who the real Christ was. The Antichrist will come working miracles, and will be able to deceive even the elect, if it were possible. The non-elect will be deceived. Natural faith is faith based on available information that seems reasonable to us. We have faith that an airplane won’t crash when we fly in it. Odds are, we are safe, based on statistics of air travel. Sometimes, we have no statistics to compare, as was probably the case of the people who believed because of the miracles. They could not explain the miracles so they simply accepted the available explanation that Christ was from God. There was no eternal life in them. Many people logically accept the death of Christ on their behalf, so they will go to Heaven, or for some other self-serving purpose. They may even live a “church life”. They look at the options and review their information, then make a decision. This is what the men in the above passage did. This is not saving faith. Saving faith works repentance in the unsaved elect, making them see that they are against God. Saving faith reveals what is in their heart, causing them to hate their sin, repent and come to Christ, not for self-serving purposes, but because they truly desire to please God and be united with Him. Saving faith is a gift from God. It is NOT based on past experience, because no one ever used to be saved (see section following).    He gives His elect eternal life and gives them the gift of faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). If the men in John 2:23 had this gift of faith, Christ would have committed himself to them.

V. PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS: Since it is God’s purpose in election and the Lord Jesus Christ’s purpose in his death, to forgive the sins of the elect and unite them with Himself, those who are saved are given the power, through the Holy Spirit, to remain saved forever. It is impossible for one whom Christ has bought, the Father has called, and the Holy Spirit has sealed to ever be lost again. Christians do sin and must confess that sin to the Father. They have an advocate (one to plead their case), Christ Jesus, who is constantly making intercession for them to the Father, and obtaining forgiveness for every sin (I John :1). They are forgiven by God’s grace. Should Christians continue sinning that grace may increase? The lives of some would seem to indicate that is what they believe. The Apostle Paul compares it to the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 5:20-21 and Romans 6 tells us that if one is truly raised from being dead in sins to the newness of life in Christ, we are no longer bound (compelled without escape) to sin. The unsaved are bound to sin and will sin continuously. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” II Corinthians 5:21. Although the saved will commit sins, while they are still in their fleshly bodies, they are no longer bound to sin; Christ has made it possible for them to become the righteousness of God and escape sin. The saved are instructed throughout the Bible to flee from sin and not let sin reign in them. Those who are saved will grow to hate sin and will grow to be more like Christ. For some, it is a very slow process of trials, prayer, and study. For others, it is a very rapid process. Nonetheless, the saved will be made like Christ, being completed at His return. There are some who may appear to be Christians, but are fooling others, and possibly themselves. These will eventually fall away, as seen in the Scriptures below. When a saved person sins, God chastens him through guilty feelings, and the results of that sin. He will quickly become a very miserable person. If he still does not repent, God may take his life, rather than let him continue walking in sin, harming himself, others, and bringing a bad reproach on God’s name (Ezekiel 18:24). Those who are not saved, but are pretending, may for awhile seem to walk in righteousness, but will soon be made manifest that they are not of God.WHO WILL FALL AWAY?A. I John 2:19 “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”

B. Hebrews 10: 38-39 “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”

C. Romans 11:20 “… because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high minded, but fear.”

D. Hebrews 6:4-6 “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” (If a saved person could fall away, it would be impossible for him to be granted repentance again, causing him to keep his sin. Therefore, he could not ever be with the Father, who will not tolerate sin. He must be sent to Hell, which is made for those who retain their sin. This would make all of the Scriptures listed above about the salvation of the elect sure, a lie. It is impossible to be saved, lose your salvation, and be saved again.)

CONCLUSION: Those without faith, the unbelievers, who may walk awhile in Christian appearances, will eventually fall away. These are not the elect. Judas Iscariot is a prime example. He had all of the appearances of being a disciple, but turned against Christ and betrayed him.

WHO WILL CONTINUE IN FAITH (PERSEVERE)?

E. John 5:24. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (words of Christ) (Everlasting life is life that lasts forever, without end.)

F. II Timothy 1:14 “That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.”

G. II Timothy 1:12 “…I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”

H. I Peter 1:3-5 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

I. Ephesians 1:13-14 “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, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” ( The phrase “earnest of our inheritance” means that it is the proof that we will receive an inheritance. It is like the practice of putting earnest money down on a house you will buy. The earnest money is your promise that you will buy the house. The Holy Spirit is God’s promise that we will receive our inheritance, when the purchased possession, his elect, are redeemed.)

J. John 18:9 “That the saying might be fulfilled which he (Christ) spake, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.” (All that the Father gives to Christ will come to Christ and He will lose none of them.)

K. Romans 8:35-39 “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written for thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (The love of Christ for his elect makes them able to conquer all of the temptations that are put before them. Nothing can separate them from that love.)

L. John 10:27-28 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall NEVER perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (No one can tempt a Christian to the point of losing his salvation, not even the Christian himself. It is impossible for a Christian to perish.)

M. John 3:15 “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

CONCLUSION: All that the Father gives to Christ will come to Him and will never be cast out (John 6:37). Christ promises eternal life to all of those who believe on Him and are the called according to His purpose. This means life without end. If Satan or anyone could take eternal life from the Christian, it wouldn’t be eternal life, but only temporary life. If it were possible for a Christian to lose his salvation, it would be impossible for him to be saved again. Hebrews 6:4-7.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO ALL OF THOSE WHO ARE NOT THE ELECT OF GOD WHOM CHRIST DID NOT DIE FOR, AND ARE NOT CALLED, JUSTIFIED, SANCTIFIED, AND GLORIFIED BY GOD? Revelation 20:10-15 “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened and another book was opened which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. AND WHOSOEVER WAS NOT FOUND WRITTEN IN THE BOOK OF LIFE WAS CAST INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE.”Christians will be judged according to their works. Their rewards will be according to their works. Those who have not received Christ as their Savior will be judged and sentenced to the lake of fire. Are you the elect? If you have the desire to know God and serve Him, not because of what you can get out of it, nor because of fear of being cast into the lake of fire (although it is natural to fear this), but because you desire to please Him, and be accepted by Him, you are. This desire must come from God, as He calls you to Himself by the Holy Spirit. Seek Him in prayer. If you come to God, through Jesus Christ, with saving faith, He will in no wise cast you out.