Eternal Security

John Bennett, Pinxton, Nottingham [SEE PROFILE BELOW]

Part 1 of 3 of the series Eternal Security

We are all prone to doubt. It is a characteristic of human nature. In our lowest moments, at times of greatest trial and testing, we are liable to question our salvation and the goodness of our God. There have been and still are believers who have read sections of the scriptures and feel convinced that the message is for them; they consider it possible to fall away from grace leaving no hope of restoration or repentance.

The doubts and fears that the Adversary can bring into our hearts are real. How many can say that they have never doubted their salvation? How many can say that they have never feared as they have looked within and seen the coldness of their own heart?

It is for this reason that this article will consider three aspects of the double security of the believer.

The Lord stated, ‘Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand’, John 10. 28. Again, ‘no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand’, v. 29. Here, we have the double security of the hands - held tightly in the divine grip!

Paul wrote to the Corinthians, 2 Cor. 1. 20, ‘For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen’. This is the double affirmation of divine promises. The writer of Hebrews wrote, ‘That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation’, Heb. 6. 18. This is the promise and the oath of God combined as a fortress against doubt.

John 10 - The double security of the divine grip The characteristics of the sheep are given here as those that, ‘hear my voice’, v. 27, and ‘follow me’. This should be a challenge to our hearts. KENNETH WUEST’s translation of these two phrases is helpful: ‘are in the habit of listening to my voice’; and, ‘they take the same road that I take with me’. The sheep listen to the voice of the Shepherd because it is He that has their care and preservation in mind. The Eastern shepherd goes before his sheep and thus the sheep would be expected to take the same road that he takes.

The ministry of the Good Shepherd is based upon His threefold relationship to His sheep. He has a loving relationship because He died for the sheep, as well as a living relationship because He cares for the sheep. It is also a lasting relationship, for He keeps His sheep and not one is lost.

In verses 28 and 29 there are four phrases we need to consider:

  • ‘I give unto them eternal life’;
  • ‘They shall never perish’;
  • ‘Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand’;
  • ‘No man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand’.

Eternal life is a gift. If we had merited it, earned it, or won it as a prize then we could equally have lost it by our waywardness or folly. If the eternal life that we have in Christ depended upon anything that we had done, or had to do, then there could be no security in the believer’s salvation. The truth of this phrase is that our salvation and eternal security is a gift of divine sovereignty and grace. As such it does not depend upon us but upon the unfailing work of Christ.

We might translate the second phrase: ‘They shall never, never perish’; the Greek double negative is used. What the Lord is describing is utterly impossible. If we might use the illustration, we find the whole theory of evolution laughable because the evolutionist would suggest that the reptile became a bird, that, in effect, the frog turned into a prince. Why, then, should we think that the sheep can become a goat or the child of God become lost. While the shepherd lives we are secure in the knowledge that we are His.

Our third phrase is, ‘Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand’. The word ‘man’ is in italics in the King James Bible to indicate that it is inserted in our English translation to give the sense. We might also translate it, ‘Neither shall any one or anything pluck them out of my hand’. The thought in the word pluck is to snatch by force. But let us remember that the universe holds no power capable of snatching us by force from the Saviour’s hand. There is no force able to stand against the King of kings and Lord of lords. Colossians chapter 2 tells us that He has defeated every foe. We may be weak and helpless but there is absolute strength with Him.

Our fourth phrase adds the final answer to every question, ‘No man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand’, v. 29. To confirm the assurance of this statement the Lord adds, ‘My Father . . . is greater than all’. The hand of the Saviour is beneath us, and the hand of the Father is above us. There can be no greater security than that which is the portion of every saint of God.

2 Cor. 1 - The double affirmation of divine promises

Every promise that God has made finds its fulfilment in Christ. We might consider every promise in the New Testament as signified by the ‘Yea’ and every promise in the Old Testament as signified by the ‘Amen’. All are fulfilled in Christ! He is the beginning and end of the divine promises. Although much of what God has promised in relation to the believer has yet to be fulfilled, we can rest assured that as Christ has fulfilled the past promises so He will fulfil that which remains.

In verse 22 we have the confirmation: we are ‘sealed’. The mark and guarantee of ownership has been stamped upon us. We are His. God has ‘given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts’, v. 22. Here is the down-payment. We know from the world of business that often the seller would seek some indication of the genuineness of a buyer. He would ask for a deposit or down-payment. God has given us that demonstration of His intention – the guarantee of ownership and the downpayment. He will carry out all that He has promised.

Jesus Christ reveals the promises, fulfils the promises, and enables us to claim them for ourselves!

Hebrews 6 - The promise and the oath of God

This chapter has caused deep concern and anxiety in the hearts of many. In the section, vv. 4-12, we, like the writer, must seek to separate the true from the false and the believer from the unbeliever.

In verses 4-6 the writer speaks of ‘those’, they’, and ‘them’. He puts a distance between himself and those of whom he wrote. He was speaking of unbelievers. From their Jewish background and their experience of and involvement in the rituals of Judaism they had come close to the truth whilst not accepting it for themselves.

In verse 9 he speaks of ‘you’. He addresses his readers as ‘beloved’ using the term descriptive of the love of God. Clearly, he is addressing believers and not unbelievers. He expresses his compassion for them and his conviction about them. He testifies to the reality of their salvation because it has been seen: the ‘things that accompany salvation’, v. 9. There is no need to address a warning to them. Like the ground, described in the previous verse, they were bringing forth fruit meet for the one who had dressed them. A description of the kind of fruit is given us: their ‘work and labour of love’, v. 10. What they did was motivated by love for the Lord.

To be comtinued

AUTHOR PROFILE: JOHN BENNETT is a member of the Precious Seed committee.

There are 30 articles in
ISSUE (2006, Volume 61 Issue 3)

1 Corinthians 9-10 (2)

Are you still in fellowship?

A Christian Worldview

Commission-Minded Assemblies

Cranmer Christian Fellowship Croydon

The Da Vinci Code


The Englishman’s Bible

Eternal Security

The Eyes of the Heart

The Fruit of the Spirit is Meekness

Gospel Work and other Activities

The Ground

His never-failing Love


A Lesson from the Past

The Letters of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor

The One Gospel and its New Style

A Paraphrase of Psalm 4

The Race

The Shock of Unexpected Change

Spiritual Reality/Unreality

The Return of Jesus Christ

A truthful tongue avoids half-truths


Views from the News

What God hath Joined

What the Bible Teaches – Song of Solomon and Isaiah

Why do I keep on making the same mistakes time after time?

Wise words from the book of Proverbs

There are 2 articles in this series

Eternal Security

Eternal Security

There are 114 articles by this author

Hezekiah’s Confession

The Central Role of the King

On-Line Bible version 1.41

Hezekiah’s Revival

Day by Day Bible Promises

Light & Life Literature

Editorial - ‘We be brethren’, Gen. 13. 8.

Hezekiah’s Revival

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995


The Precious Seed Web Site

Day by Day Divine Titles

God and the Nations

Eternal Security

Editorial - ‘Who is Apollos?’ 1 Cor. 3. 6.

Editorial - ‘Abstain from all appearance of evil’, 1 Thess. 5. 22.

The Chuch in Smyrna

Eternal Security

Day by Day - Bible Commands

The King in Psalm 45

Man’s Attitude to Christ

All Things

The Fear of the Lord


Could you ever love me again? Bob Cretney

Day by Day - Pictures and Parables




Book Reviews

Prayer Moves Mountains John Williams


R. B. Jones – Gospel Ministry in Turbulent Times N. Gibbard

Bible and Church Conference 2009 Peter Williams, Dirk Jongkind, Simon Gathercole

Christian Devotedness Anthony Norris Groves


A Practical Theology of Missions: Dispelling the Mystery; Recovering the Passion

Psalm 119 For Life: Living Today In The Light Of The Word

Empty Arms Keren Baker

The Church the Body of Christ

On wings of prayer

Editorial - Do I seek to please men?

Laridian Bible Software

King Asa

King Jehoshaphat

Baptism Jack Hay

The Heavenly Physician Rommel Ghossain

Editorial - ‘For if ye do these things ye shall never fall’

Editorial - ‘The fruit of the Spirit is love’, Gal. 5. 22


The Tabernacle and the Offerings Albert Leckie

Roses, Marys & Others Betty Holt

Editorial - ‘Many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them’, Mark 2.

“Thank You, King James” – the tough life of Robert Hicks James Hastings

Editorial - ‘Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you’, Matt. 28. 20.

Editorial - ‘Apollos . . . mighty in the scriptures’, Acts 18. 24.

Amaziah – ‘thine heart hath lifted thee up’



Working with Senior Citizens - Part 2

Editorial - ‘Touched with the feeling of our infirmities’, Heb 4. 15.

David Livingstone

Editorial - ‘In whom we have . . . the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace’, E

Voice in the Darkness - Della Letkeman

The Messiah in the Temple - Roger Liebi

Show & Tell Colin D. Jones

Life in the Big Story – Your Place in God’s Unfolding Plan - Heidi Johnston

Led by His Hand - Malcolm Coombes, ex- R.N.

The Saviour God and His Servant King - Malcolm C. Davis.

Frederick Stanley Arnot: 1858-1914

Editorial - ‘Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others’, Phil

Making Disciples – The Thessalonian Way Tim Mather

Biblical Principles of Leadership - Dr. Alexander Kurian

Possessing the Inheritance – a Concise Commentary on the Book of Joshua Malcolm C. Davis

Replacement Theology David Dunlap


William Rhodes Lewis 1877-1964


J. Charleton Steen, 1865 - 1931

Editorial -


The Prophet Gad

William Trotter 1818-1865

The Epistle to Philemon - Part 1

Epistle to Philemon


Henry Craik 1805-1866


Changes in the Precious Seed Trust

John R. Caldwell

Chairman’s Notes

At His Feet - Part 1

The Gospel of Mark

First Samuel

At His Feet: John 11 - Weeping at His Feet

Second Samuel

The Gospel of Mark - Part 2

At His Feet - Part 3: John 12 - Worshipping at His Feet

General Data Protection Regulation - Article 29 of the EU

The Gospel of Mark - Part 3

Robert Eugene Sparks 1844-1918

The Gospel of Mark - Part 4

Their Finest Hour - Mary Magdalene

Chairman’s Notes

The Gospel of Mark - Part 5

Major-General Sir Charles H. Scott, KCB, RA 1848-1919

The Gospel of Mark - Part 6

The Gospel of Mark - Part 7

Chairman’s Notes

The Gospel of Mark - Part 8

The Gospel of Mark - Part 9

Chairman’s Notes

The Gospel of Mark - Part 10

Chairman’s Notes