The Believer’s Eternal Security (John 10:22-30)
By Andrew E. Courtis
It would be unwise to leave all your money or valuables on your front door mat. Why is that? Such an act is an open invitation for people to take that which you deem precious. It really is no surprise that security and safety are very important to us. Money or valuables will be stored in a bank or in some secure place in people’s homes.Security guards, safes, and secret locations are specific ways in which people will keep their goods secure. Security is important for us privately and nationally. But despite all our efforts there is no way in which we can manufacture perfect security. However, there is one kind of security that is safe, impenetrable and perfect and we will consider this as we examine our passage in this message.
In-order to set he scene, John provides us with some specific information regarding the timing of the conversation that took place this passage. He writes, “At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon” (10:22-23). This was not a prescribed feast in the Mosaic Law, but this Feast (also known as the Feast of Lights or Hanukkah) lasted eight days and celebrated the rededication of the temple, which occurred in 165 BC. The fact that John mentions the name of the feast and the time of the year (“winter”) indicate that the conversation between Jesus and the Jews occurred around two months after the events in verse 21. In consistent use of John’s use of imagery, it would also appear that the actual winter that Israel was experiencing was also a reflection of their spiritual condition (cf. 3:3; 13:30; 18:18; 20:1). They have rejected the bright shining light of the gospel, and now they are entering into a spiritual winter.
After they saw Jesus, the Jews gathered around Him and asked, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly” (10:24). Sadly for them, this was not a sincere question in which they were seeking to learn more about Jesus with the purpose of worshipping Him. Instead, this question was part of a growing conspiracy so as to catch Him out and arrest Him. Jesus responds,
“I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father's name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep” (10:25-26).
That is to say, you have been given opportunities and yet you still don’t believe. Furthermore, if you are going to believe you are in need of the saving and sovereign power of God.
John 10:25-42 contains our Lord’s response to the religious leaders questions (10:24, 33) and their angry response (10:31). This entire section can be divided into two parts: Secure Sheep (10:22-30) and Defended Deity (10:31-42). In this message we will examine this first part.
Study Summary: In this message we will see three reasons why every true believer has secure and eternal salvation.
I believe this (eternal security) is a very important truth for us to be persuaded of. Throughout the Christian life, there will be times in which God’s people will feel down through circumstances, failures, and even Satanic attacks. This experience of feeling downcast can be an occasion in which individuals will question the security of their salvation. Is your salvation secure? On the authority of the Word of God by means of the very words of the Lord Jesus Christ the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Let us now consider the three reasons why every true believer has secure and eternal salvation.
SECURE BY GOD’S PURPOSE
If you have truly trusted in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins and the salvation of your soul, your salvation is secure by God’s purpose. Jesus said,
“but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” (10:26-27).
These verses teach us that the gift of salvation was not an afterthought. Salvation comes as the result of God’s sovereign purpose that began in eternity past. Nothing in the universe can prevent or thwart God’s sovereign purpose. The prophet Isaiah said concerning God,
declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, “My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose” (Is. 46:10)
We also read that God,
saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began (2 Tim. 1:9)
What is His purpose in saving us? It is to bring us to glory. Paul puts it this way,
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified (Rom. 8:28-30)
The purpose of salvation is not for people to come in and out of salvation. There is no revolving door in God’s sheepfold! When God chose who would be saved before the foundation of the world, it was with the view of bringing them to Heaven completely glorified and made like Christ. That is the purpose of salvation. That is a sure guarantee for security. That is what David expected “and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever” (Psalm 23:6).
SECURE BY GOD’S PROMISE
The second reason why the salvation of God’s people is secure is because of God’s promise. Jesus continued by saying, “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand” (10:28). Throughout history and no doubt your own experience we hear of broken promises. When a person breaks a promise they become untrustworthy and will need to prove their future trustworthiness. What makes the promises of God amazing and certain is that He is trustworthy. This is a truth demonstrated throughout Scripture. In the book of Numbers we read,
God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it? (Numbers 23:19)
We are also told in no uncertain terms that “it is impossible for God to lie”(Heb. 6:18) and that He “never lies” (Titus 1:2). What does this mean? If God says something, it is true and we are to trust Him! When it comes to salvation we know that it is secure because Jesus promises to keep you. We trust the promises of God because God does not lie and is trustworthy.
SECURE BY GOD’S PROTECTION
We now come to the third reason in our passage that reveals why God’s people will never lose their salvation. God’s people are secure by God’s protection. Jesus went on to say,
“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one” (10:28-30)
To know that you are safe and secure is truly a comforting thing. It provides you with confidence and assurance. When it comes to the eternal security of a believer, Jesus says they are safe because of Divine protection. He says, “no one will snatch them out of my hand” and “no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand”. This is double protection. As a child of God, you are in the hand of Jesus, and this is covered by the Father’s hand! But add to this, the Holy Spirit is the seal of our salvation (2 Cor. 1:22, 5:5; Eph. 1:13-14, 4:30). So here we learn that the whole Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – are sovereignly protecting the soul of every believer. There is no way that anyone in the entire universe is getting past that kind of security! The apostle Peter wrote that God has granted us an, “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Pet. 1:4-5). The Person of God protects you and He is powerful. That is the greatest security system in the universe.
Jesus adds, “I and the Father are one” (10:30). Because the Father and Son are one in substance and essence, they are perfectly united in their purpose and commitment to keep the souls of their people secure.
This passage ought to fill the Christian with great encouragement and confidence when it comes to their salvation. You need to know that God will see to it that nothing in this world will be able to snatch your from His hand. He loves you and by His grace He will bring you safely home. In his famous hymn (Amazing Grace) John Newton wrote,
Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home
But what about those who have made a profession of faith and yet have abandoned the faith? Have they lost their salvation? It is very sad when we hear about people who are in this category. Despite the fact that they persuaded many that they were Christians, the reality is that if they reject and refuse the Lord Jesus Christ and the truth of the Word of God, then the reality is they were not truly saved to begin with. The apostle John wrote,
“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” (1 John 2:19).
True salvation comes by God’s grace, and when it has been applied it is secure and eternal. As the people of God, we must allow this truth to result in gratitude to God and godliness in our actions.