November 17, 2009

Final Salvationis Dependent on Christ’s Life

Dear Guests of IDOTG:

Last week I received an e-mail from a preacher in which he comments on the previous discussion of “final salvation.” See- Does “Final Salvation” Serve as a Cover for Works Salvation? I asked for and received his permission to repost that e-mail here although anonymously. What follows is for your consideration.

Ironically, years ago while listening to the radio I happened upon MacArthur’s program and in that broadcast he mentioned that he thought that Romans 5:1-10 was the proof text for eternal security. That statement led me to look at that particular passage to see if that indeed was the case. Since then, I have preached from that Romans passage many times. It says,

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

Keeping to the point of the current discussion, this passage deals with the assurance of what is commonly referred to as ultimate sanctification or glorification that some are now inclined to call “final salvation.” Paul’s repeated phrase “we shall be saved from wrath” and “we shall be saved” speaks to this future aspect of our salvation. However, it must be noted, contrary to *John Piper’s doctrine, the outcome of this part of our salvation is not dependent upon our own means but upon Christ’s work. Paul begins by reminding us that it is the death of Christ that takes us from being “ungodly,” “sinners,” and “enemies” of God to “being now justified” and “being reconciled” to God.

Reading the comments of the Lordship Salvation men about their understanding of the requirements for salvation, one seriously has to wonder if they would have us put our ultimate confidence for salvation in our commitment to be crucified with Christ than just solely in Christ’s death. Likewise, according to this passage “final salvation” is dependent upon “Christ’s life” not mine! Can they not understand what it says, “we shall be saved from wrath through him” and “we shall be saved by his life?”

Sadly, these Lordship Salvation men would have us to be consumed with minding our Christian life, our obedience, and our faithfulness in order to have confidence rather than relying on Christ’s life.

From beginning to end salvation is all of Christ.

If it depends upon me, how could any of us (those that are really acquainted with our personal failures and pretences) ever be sure that we had been obedient and faithful enough to exhibit to ourselves that we had ever truly been saved?

I love the way that Paul tells me that since God did the greatest thing He could do for me in saving me when I was nothing but His enemy I can have “much more” confidence that now that I am His child He would never cast me away!

*There is no doubt that Jesus saw a measure of real, lived-out obedience to the will of God as necessary for final salvation.” (John Piper, What Jesus Demands From the World, p. 160).

Endurance in faith is a condition for future salvation. Only those who endure in faith will be saved for eternity.” (R. C. Sproul, Grace Unknown, p. 198.)


  1. Hello Lou:

    Great post.

    I especially liked your next to closing statement, "If it depends upon me, how could any of us (those that are really acquainted with our personal failures and pretences) ever be sure that we had been obedient and faithful enough to exhibit to ourselves that we had ever truly been saved?". So true.


  2. Hey Jimmy:

    Good to hear from you. The portion you mention is powerful. The entirety IMO is very compelling, which is why I asked his permission to reproduce it here.