A Question I Was Asked:

If 'Eternal Security' is Biblical - Does It Mean That One Can Sin With Impunity?

The Actual Question

'I always thought that Eternal Security was biblical, but then I read this quote:
"Eternal security: the belief that once a person accepts Jesus Christ as his Savior, he can never be lost. Eternal security sounds great until you realize that this doctrine allows people to commit every sin under the sun without suffering any consequences for their complete lack of holy living."
So my question is this: Does Eternal Security - should it be biblical - mean that one can sin with impunity thereafter?'

My Reply
Okay, I suppose that this is a good question although much confusion lies behind it.

We need to get a few things straight here. Eternal Security is clearly the teaching of the New Testament. The meaning is that the saved, I mean the elect of God, cannot fail to inherit Eternal Life. Both Paul the Apostle and John the Apostle clearly teach it; Paul, in particular, devotes the entire eight chapter of Romans in order to reassure a few at Rome (who might have been having doubts or who were feeling discouraged) that Eternal Security is indeed the promise to the faithful.

But the person who is quoted saying, "... this doctrine allows people to commit every sin under the sun without suffering any consequences for their complete lack of holy living," clearly does not even understand the doctrine! If a person, supposedly under the grace of God, "commits every sin under the sun," that person is not even converted! I must say that I find it very disappointing when certain Christians do not appear to understand this doctrine. Romans 8 contains 39 verses - that is a mighty big chunk of Scripture - in which Paul is adamant about defending the doctrine of Eternal Security! Do people who say that they cannot accept this doctrine consider that Paul was wrong?? I would really love to know. But the Gospel of John is also strong on this teaching. John says this,

Joh 10:27: My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.
Joh 10:28: And I give to them eternal life, and they shall never ever perish, and not anyone shall pluck them out of My hand.
Joh 10:29: My Father who gave them to me is greater than all, and no one is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand.

Even earlier in John we read this,

Joh 6:44: No one can come to Me unless the Father who has sent Me draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:64: But there are some of you who do not believe. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who is the one betraying Him.
Joh 6:65: And He said, Because of this I said to you that no one can come to Me unless it was given to him from My Father.

So we see that there were some that did not believe, Jesus knew about them, of course He did. But when it is granted to us by the Father to come in faith to Jesus, we come under the grace of God. Under the grace of God one cannot fail - it is really very simple! Nobody - and nothing - can pluck us out of the Father's hand! If that is not clear enough, one has the entire 8th chapter of Romans. I won't quote every single verse here, but here is some of it:

Rom 8:16: The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.
Rom 8:17: And if we are children, then we are heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; so that if we suffer with Him, we may also be glorified together.
Rom 8:18: For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the coming glory to be revealed in us.

And here is the ending:

Rom 8:29: For whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His Son, for Him to be the First-born among many brothers.
Rom 8:30: But whom He predestinated, these He also called; and whom He called, those He also justified. And whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Rom 8:31: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Rom 8:32: Truly He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Rom 8:33: Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God who justifies.
Rom 8:34: Who is he condemning? It is Christ who has died, but rather also who is raised, who is also at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.
Rom 8:35: Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
Rom 8:36: As it is written, "For Your sake we are killed all the day long. We are counted as sheep of slaughter."
Rom 8:37: But in all these things we more than conquer through Him who loved us.
Rom 8:38: For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Rom 8:39: 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.

That should be pretty convincing, I would say. Trouble is, some people think we come under God's grace when we are 'good,' but if we do 'bad,' we lose it. What a strange view of God they must have! Read about the life of Samson; sometimes he did some very bad things, but he was under God's grace and he died under it - he inherited the kingdom of God! Read about the life of David. A wonderful man but a man who occasionally sinned, sometimes quite grievously. He commited adultery with Bathsheba and, if that were not bad enough, he effectively then had her husband murdered! But guess what? David died still under God's grace - he inherited the kingdom of God!

So this idea that God places Christians under His grace only as long as they are good is obviously awry. Scripture states that there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. But - to return to that very strange quote - "this doctrine allows people to commit every sin under the sun without suffering any consequences for their complete lack of holy living" - there is no understanding of this biblical doctrine in that quote because if a person should continue to behave in such an evil manner, that person is obviously not under the grace of God.

Now, of course, even after conversion we remain sinners by nature and will certainly sin occasionally, however, if we are God's people we will be headed in the opposite direction to sin. Yet if we say we never sin, John calls us liars!

1Jn 1:8: If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10: If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us.

If all of the above should not be enough to convince one on this vital doctrine, we have even more! The 'earnest of our inheritance' teaching of Ephesians 1:14. This teaching assures believers that reception of the Holy Spirit should be seen as the 'down payment,' or 'deposit' on Eternal Life. We should view it as a guarantee! Go here to look at more on that.
Robin A. Brace. February, 2009.

See also:


(This is a really in-depth consideration of the Romans Eight approach to Eternal Security)