Spiritual Security

Bible Book: John  10 : 27-29
Subject: Eternal Security; Spiritual Security

We are so security conscious. I mean it's just obvious that everybody wants to be secure in a number of different ways. Militarily, we want to be secure as a nation. President, George W. Bush, has decided that he would take military action in order to be certain that we remain secure, whether you agree   with the action or not.

We all want to be secure in a financial world and so many of us are so involved in the sense of uneasiness about how the stock market goes up and down, and up and down. We wonder, "Am I going to have enough to retire on, can I stay retired, do I have to go back to work, does it really matter, how do I know if I'll even have a job next week?" We are consumed with security, militarily and financially; but individually we're also consumed with it. We wonder, "Who is it that is possibly going to threaten my life?" Some of you carry mace, or at least some type of sting spray, in your purse or under the front seat of your car or in your glove box. The individual security that you're wanting is that you will not be attacked and that you will not be harmed.

We all have security features. When I pull out the keys to my car, I know that if at any time I feel insecure as I approach my car, I can push a little red button about two times and it will start talking. We're always looking for ways that we can stay secure.

But you know the greatest security of all has nothing to do with what we do as a country, what we do with our personal finances, or even what we do with our own physical security. It is our spiritual security that we must be concerned with.

As we examine John 10:27-29, we're going to be dealing with the simple topic of spiritual security. I trust you will understand that this is not just something that you probably already know and will never forget; but it's something that needs to be reexamined time and time again. I think that of all the Bible doctrines we have, perhaps the most difficult one for people to genuinely fix their eyes and their focus on is that of eternal security. We feel a sense of insecurity at times. "Have I gone too far away from God?" "Have I wandered so far that He's forgotten who I am and what's going on?" "Is there really a way for me to know absolutely that 'once saved always saved' is true (and is that true), and is that what we teach, and is that what we believe?" Well I hope to answer those questions and many more through the course of this study.

Beginning with John 10:27, Jesus said, "My sheep listen to my voice. I know them and they follow me and I give them eternal life and they shall never perish. No one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father who has given them to me is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one." Let's look at two words before we really get deeper into this study. I want you to think with me about the two words never and perish. Perish: The word "perish" of course means to simply be without life. If you were to fall into a swimming pool and it was the dead of winter, you would gasp for breath and you would cry out to someone, "Please rescue me, get me out of this place." You would feel that you were perishing. Never: Now the word "never" is quite obvious as well. The word "never" simply means that it's just not going to happen. The promise of the scripture here is that we will never perish. I want you to note with me that as the scripture uses those words, it doesn't use them lightly. When you see that you could possibly perish, if you've come to Christ and you know that you've given your heart to Him, I want you to examine the alternative of that. If salvation is a gift of God (and it is), and you are secure in Him, then what is the alternative of that? It is simply this - it is salvation by works; and that goes against what the scripture teaches. Scripture reminds us over and over again that it's not by works of righteousness that we have done, but it is according to His mercy that He saved us. (Titus 3:5). It's God's wonderful mercy and His way of saying to us that we are His.

Now could I ask you a couple of questions before we go deeper? If we can lose our salvation, then I ask - how many sins do you have to commit in order to lose that salvation? Do you have that answer? Is it two, is it three, is it four, five, is it a dozen? How many sins would you have to commit before you genuinely lose your salvation, if it were true that you could?

Now I ask a second question. Which sins would they be? Would they be murder, would they be adultery, would they be profanity or would it be the smaller sins, as we call them, like gossip or anger or how about just not tithing? Is that enough to lose your salvation?

You see we have so many unanswered questions whenever we begin to say and to feel that we can lose our security in Christ. Any belief other than once saved, always saved leads to a total frustration in the Christian walk and life. I'm want to declare and to redefine for us that we, who've come to Christ, can stay with Him. We can remain with Him. I like what a bumper sticker said that I read not too long ago. It said, "Christians aren't perfect, just forgiven." But you know what I like even better? I like one of the Christmas cards I got last season. It said, "Christians aren't perfect, they just know someone who is!" So we are not perfect, folks. When we come to Christ, we can't be perfect. We come to the One who is perfect and He has provided for us His salvation as a gift.

Could I ask just another question? How far can one wander away from God and still rightly be called a Christian? Well I don't know that, but I do know that too many times we blur the lines between and salvation and our relationship with Christ and fellowship with Christ. What we've got to remember is that it's not a matter of losing our relationship with Christ; it's sometimes a matter of losing our fellowship with Him. When we lose our fellowship with Him, sometimes we feel like He's let us go. But He never has and He never will. He said He would never leave us, He would never forsake us and He said that those who come to Him would never perish.

Now let me go back to that word "never" just for a moment. Jesus used this word on two other occasions when He spoke. The first was at the grave of Lazarus as He was there and He said to Martha, "Whoever lives and believes in me (listen to this) will never die." He also used it at the occasion in John 11:26 and John, chapter 4, when he had an encounter with the woman at the well. Here's what He said to her, "Whoever drinks of the water that I give him will never thirst again." Never! When Christ says "never", He means NEVER. It is a powerful promise that you will never ever perish. They will never suffer the utter loss of salvation, is what He is saying. There are three things I want you to see. I believe that our spiritual security is based upon these three things:

I. Our Security is Based on the Guidance of God (v. 27)

The first of these is the guidance of God. Think back to verse 27 as Jesus said, "My sheep listen to (or hear) my voice and I know them and they follow me." Now the word "follow" there is an interesting word. It is written in the Greek New Testament language in the present, active, imperative. It simply means that it's going to be a continual action. What He's literally saying is that if my sheep hear my voice, they know my guidance and they keep on following me.

The difference between too many Christians, who are away from God and broken in their relationship or their fellowship with Him, is that they haven't continued to follow after Him. You did a good job when you first came to Christ. You were active, you were involved, and you were excited. It seemed that life was altogether different and renewed for you. But then something or someone crept in and began to break that fellowship you had. And in the breaking of that fellowship, you began not to follow after Him and you became unfaithful perhaps.

I've got a dog. I love Labrador Retrievers and he's a yellow lab. His name is Buddy. When I pull into my driveway, do you know what Buddy's going to do? He's going to hear me, and he's going to get up out of his bed, and he's going to race to me. And as I open up the side door where I'm going to get out, he's going to get up there with his paws and he's going to try to lick my face. I mean that's his pattern. He's as faithful as faithful can be. He'll chase a stick in the pond that the neighbors own next door to me until he absolutely passes out! He just wants to please me. He wants to follow me. There are so many times as he's following after me that I just can't shake him. I say, "Buddy, leave me alone; I need some space!"

Wouldn't it be great if we were like that with God? But if we were so close with Him in such a powerful, wonderful fellowship with Him, our Father would never say to us, "Oh I sure wish you would back off, you're so close.

"You see it's really a matter of following His guidance. But some of us don't really understand because we say, "I've served God, I've joined the church, I've been a part of what He's called me to do, I've been baptized in the baptistery, in fact I've been here longer than you, preacher, and I know     what goes on around here." But you know what happens? Jesus said, "Not everyone that saith unto me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter into the kingdom of heaven but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." So friend it's a matter of knowing His voice, following His guidance, not backing off and sticking with Him.

We need to be sure that we're listening to the right voice. Now there are some of us who are hearing all kinds of voices and some of them are from God and some are not from God. The voices of doubt are the voices that say, "You know things are really going to be a problem during this time when we don't have a pastor, it's really a problem, things are going to back off, giving's going to go down, how's the building going to be paid for?" All of these consuming worries are not the voice of God.

The voice of God is one of confidence, of wisdom. You can say and even hear the same thing, but they can come from two different sources. Let me give you an example of that. Perhaps there's a woman who has heard the words, "I love you," and she's heard them from someone who is genuinely caring and compassionate about her life and who really meant what they said. But you've also heard those same three little words, "I love you," and you've heard them from someone who is trying to take advantage of you. You've got to listen to the right voice and you've got to be discerning to know the difference between the seducer and the impersonator and the one who genuinely does love you. The voice of God is what we need to hear. He said, "My sheep hear and listen to my voice and they follow after me." It's a matter of having the guidance of God.

II. Our Security is Based on the Grace of God (v. 28)

The second concern is this: Our security is based not only on the guidance of God, but also on the grace of God. In verse 28, again Christ says, "I give them eternal life and they shall never perish. No one can snatch them out of my hand.

"Have you ever wondered how long we really are secure in His hands? Of course you have and that's what the issue of spiritual security is all about. How long are you really there and can you genuinely come out of His hands? It reminds me of these guys who pulled up to a lumber yard in their old pickup truck and they came to the guy at the counter. He said, "Can I help you?" and they said, "Yeah, I want a four by two." He said, "You mean a two by four?" One of the fellows said, "Well I don't know; I'll be right back." So he scrambled out of the store and goes back to the truck and asks whoever is in the truck and he comes back in to the counter and he says, "Yeah, I guess I need a two by four." So the clerk behind the counter said, "How long? How long do you need this?" He said, "Well I don't know; I'll be right back." So he goes out and he's gone five minutes, ten minutes, finally he comes back in and he says to the clerk, "Well, we're going to need it a long time; we're building a house."

You know folks some of us are pretty thick and we just don't get it! When God said, "You'll never perish," He meant a long time because He's preparing for us a powerful, wonderful house. In fact, it's a mansion! He said, "If I go, those who believe in me will also be with me that where I am you might be also. I say these things to you that you might know and you might understand that you'll never, never perish." It's a matter of the grace of God. Did you notice there that it's a gift to us and that it's not a loan? It really is. Its simple folks. God doesn't take it back when He gives it. It is a gift.

It is by the grace of God that we receive the gift of salvation. Now it comes with a price, though. You've got to be willing to come and get it. You've got to be willing to take your sin and ask for His forgiveness, and He will come and enter into your life and He will never take it back from you. It is not a loan. It is not a phony bill. It is the real deal. What Jesus is saying to us here is simply that our security is based upon the grace of God: "And I give unto them eternal life and they shall not ever perish."

Paul wrote to the Ephesian Church in Ephesians 2:9 and said, "Lest any man should boast." You see if it were built upon what we did of our own works and our own lifestyle, it would simply be what we deserved and what we earned, rather than what God has given to each one of us. My friend, it is a gift of God; it is not something that we have come to in our own desire and by our own credit and merit.

Let me get this straight. I want to say to you that the only thing that could be worse than a lost sinner would be a proud lost sinner. What I'm sharing with you tonight is that He took all the possibility of human pride out of it by saving us through grace alone. But there are three kinds of faith I want to share with you tonight and the first one is simply this: it is the intellectual faith that we have.

For instance, you've never met Georgia Washington; but by intellectual faith you believe that there really was a George Washington who was the first President of the United States, whose wife was Martha, who presumably chopped down a cherry tree - maybe, maybe not. But, you believe that there was a George Washington. He is on the front of the one-dollar bill. He is in our history books. That's the first kind of faith we have.

The second kind of faith is what I call temporal faith. It's a kind of faith that we have whenever we get backed into a corner. Have you ever been there? I had a roommate in college who was. He was in the middle of a metal Johnboat, a little fourteen-foot fishing boat. He told me that he was out in the middle of a lake and lightening was striking all around him. And as it was striking, he made a pledge to God and said, "God if you'll get me out of this storm, I promise I will serve you." You know what?

God got him out of the storm, but he broke the deal because he came back and he was just as bad as he was at the beginning. His salvation was temporal. It was just a kind of temporal faith where he said that he would make a deal with God. But it didn't last very long.

I wonder, have some of us done that? Have we made a deal with the Lord saying, "As long as you keep things good for me, as long as I can get good enough grades, as long as I can keep my job, as long as my income is okay, as long as I'm secure in the stuff I have around me, then I'll serve you God. You see, that's temporal faith.

But the third and most important kind of faith is saving faith. That's when you really come to Christ and you genuinely give Him your life and you absolutely say to Him, "I am yours and you are mine and we are one together." The whole key to the understanding of spiritual security is to ask that question, "Have I really been once saved; have I really given my life to Jesus Christ?" It's not, "Do I know enough about him?" It's not just, "Have I been backed up in a corner in my life to make a deal with Him?" Saving faith is, "Have I really, genuinely come to Christ; have I given Him my life?" Saving faith is what God is looking for in each one of our lives.

III. Our Security is Based on the Greatness of God (v. 29)

There's a third factor here. I believe our spiritual security is based upon not only the guidance of God and the grace of God, but also the greatness of God. Look at verse 29 now as Jesus said, "My Father who has given them to me, he is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

Now I want to direct your attention all the way back to the very first verse in the beginning of the Bible, its Genesis 1:1, the Book of Beginnings. You know what it says, don't you? You remember it says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty and darkness was over the surface of the deep and the Spirit of God was hovering over the water." Here is the beginning of the story of all creation but I want to take you back to that first phrase, "In the beginning God created..." Now the Hebrew word for God there is the word Elohim. It is used in the scripture in the Old Testament over 2,550 times. It is a popular, powerful word; and I literally mean that because the word Elohim does mean powerful. What it's saying here is that in the beginning the power, the power of God Himself, the One to whom all power belongs, He created the heavens and the earth.

The second and interesting word there is the word created. It is the Hebrew word “bara” and it speaks to us about God creating something from nothing. Now folks when I speak about the greatness of God, I'm talking about a God who made something from absolutely nothing! A craftsman, with wood, can made a pulpit. He had something to work with. Artificial flowers that we enjoy are crafted and designed and look beautiful, but they are made from something. The pews we sit on and the fabric that you have as your clothing was made from some type of plant or some type of synthetic product that was made from something.

Everything that we have, what we drive, what we watch, what we see with our eyes, what we touch with our hands, came from something. Do you see how great God is?

Our God is so great that He created something from absolutely nothing. In the beginning He did that and so we've got to remember that God is so great and so powerful that He will have absolutely no problem holding on to you and having His grip not slip!

How's your grip on Him these days? How well are you holding on to what He has shared with your life? Some of us laugh at God and say, "I can't do that." Well you're in good company if you laugh. Do you remember Abraham and Sarah? How great was their God? Well their God was so great that He said to them, "In old age I'm going to give you a child. You've been barren, Sarah, for these many years." So it happened to be that they laughed and they couldn't believe it. But it happened! It really happened because of the greatness of God.

There Sarah was, ninety years old, and Abraham one hundred years old. Could I just simply put it into the terms that we can understand? Nothing is too hard for God...nothing! He is a great, powerful, Elohim, God who creates in you and me the power to continue to be His very best.

I want you to remember that because there are times in our lives where we feel like God is too small and He's too far away from us and He can't do all that we continually want and ask Him to do; but He really can. He's asking us just simply to move toward Him by faith.

I discovered also back in Genesis 17, chapter 1, that there is another name for God. It is a popular name and also the name of a popular Christian song that has been written in the past decade. It is simply El Shaddai. It's a compound word. It's a word used here for God; but it is a word that again reaches back to the word Elohim, meaning the one who has power. But you see the compound word Elohim and Shaddai work wonderfully together because Shaddai means adequate or sufficient. Do you know what that means? That means that God has adequate, sufficient power for your life, no matter what struggle you're going through, whether it's a separation - whether it's discouragement and depression you thought you had beaten, but somehow or another it has overwhelmed you once again - whether it is financial insecurity - or physical insecurity - or whatever you may be going through - your God and mine is sufficient. His power is there and He's simply waiting for us to activate it and to become a partner with Him in every possible way.

Now I want to go back to those two little words again, never perish. As we go back to John, chapter 10 once more, I want to remind you that as the scripture speaks to us here it is really a double negative. You say, "Big deal, what does that mean?" Well it means a lot to our lives. What it means from the original language simply and literally reads, "They shall not never perish." Now that's bad English, but that's great Bible. "They shall not never perish." It's a double negative but there's a powerful positive that comes at the end, at the conclusion of what Jesus was saying. He said that no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand and I and the Father are one. Do you see what's happening here? You're in the hands of Jesus and you're in the hands of the Father. They are one. The double positive is that you shall not never, ever perish if you've genuinely been once saved, if you really genuinely know Him and have come to trust Him with all your heart. Peter declared that we're kept by the power of God through faith and salvation (I Peter 1:5). I believe that and I trust that.

Years ago, as I was just a young boy, I went back to where my father was in medical practice in Canada. He was there after the war years and he had established a practice and was being trained more before he came back to the States. I was coming down a long row of wooden steps. This was by one of the Great Lakes and the wind was blowing and there was ice on the steps, and it had been raining. My oldest and next to the oldest sisters were holding on to me. And they were saying to me, "John," as we walked down the steps, "hold tight, hold tight." You know what I did! I decided I could do it better myself. So we were going down the steps and I was holding onto Katherine's hand and I was holding onto Nancy's hand and we made it the first step, and we made it the second step. Then I decided that I could do this thing by myself and I pulled my hand away from one of my sisters and I held onto my other sister's hand and we made it the third step. Then I decided I could do this all by myself and I pulled my hand from my other sister, and you can guess what happened. I hit the ice on the next step and “kerplunk” - all the way down to the bottom of the steps I fell.

That's not going to happen with you. You're held. You shall not never perish. God cannot let you loosen completely from Him. He is your parent who loves you and has provided for you and who waits for you to trust Him with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul and with all your spirit.


I recognize that there are some of us who are struggling with our spiritual security. I have some questions that I want to close with.

Let me ask you the key question in the whole issue of spiritual security: Have you once been saved? Have you really? And if you are struggling with that, there's no need for you to. You can come to meet Christ as your personal Savior.

The key question beyond your salvation is the second question: How is your fellowship with God? If your relationship is secure and you know you're with Him, how is your fellowship with Him? Have you wandered away from Him? Then isn't it time to come back and give your heart completely to Him again?

The last and key question for your life right now is: What will I do about it? What will I do with what I know to do? Because my God is so great and His grace is so mighty and He's given to me such powerful guidance, I will follow Him!