The following is a presentation that I have been doing for almost 20 years, yet am never tire of hearing these words myself.
Many people for the sake of unity and peace are willing to compromise certain biblical doctrines, yet anyone that knows me knows that I swing the other way; especially when those doctrines can be detrimental to a new believer, as well as a handicap for those more mature in the faith.
Such is the topic of salvation by grace alone, through faith alone; as it has more to do with God’s authority and integrity1, then appears evident at first (The following is a rabbit trail prior to the formal presentation – for those that have read any of my essays, you understand I am prone to rabbit trails; attempting to teach a lot of information within a limited presentation. If you find yourself asking, what a particular side topic that I’m addressing has to do with the original presentation, please just allow me to continue on, and get back to the topic at hand, and hopefully it will all make sense).
You see, if I have anything to do with my own salvation, then I have something to brag about (Ephesians 2:9), as well as the concept that I can lose anything that I gain.
However, if I did not save myself, then how could I lose myself – or stated more plainly – “how can I lose what I didn’t achieve;” this is why we refer to “receiving” Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior; not that we “earn it,” “buy it,” or “barter for it.”
This is why Jesus used the specific and precise terminology of being “born again“ (John 3:3).
What place does a child have in it”s birth – none.
Now for those that would break down the analogy and ask what about abortion, abortions are not performed by the baby or the parent, and if there is a premature birth, or death; this is because of sickness of the mother or the fetus itself, and does not apply to the analogy as Jesus stated it, because there’s nothing sick about the Holy Spirit, wherein the Holy Spirit would abort us after our birth.
If I desired to really lay some groundwork for the subject, I could speak about how Ephesians 1:5, deals with our “adoption,” and that within both the Roman and Hebrew cultures; once a child was adopted either into the family, or adopted into the inheritance of the legal heir of the family (Within the Hebrew culture, though it was considered normal for the eldest son / the “firstborn” to be the family heir, there was a legal formality in ratifying this position of “primogenitor” [see “primogenture” in Wikipedia, it is pretty accurate] which was referred to as an “adoption“ [also see Exodus 13:1-2, 13 – to be supplanted by Lev. 3:11-12]; which is different than taking and adopting a child from outside the blood line, or lineage, in making them a part of the family.
One point to notice is how many times God avoided using the “firstborn,”and gave the privilege of being the heir to the second born, or further down the line. [See below for a few examples2]. An interesting note is to see how many times God will violate the norms He Himself established in order to see if people trust them – He told Abraham to kill his own son, He bypassed the position of heirs at least 30 different times; when Joshua came against Jericho, God had him violate the Torah repeatedly, the Ark of the Covenant was never be apart of any battle, the day of the week that they had to yelled, was a Sabbath, which they also had to perform labor by walking around the city 7 times, the priest’s were within the ranks of the soldiers, and many other directions that God instituted which went against His directions in the Torah.
We must remember that God is God because He is the boss, He makes the rules, and if He tells you face-to-face to violate a rule to test your faith, then you better follow what He says, rather than following the religious system, even if He initiated it Himself.
The reason why God would do this is very simple, man becomes very comfortable following preordained rules and systems, wherein man learns to put his faith in the rules, or the system; rather than upon the living God. This was the mistake the Pharisees made, and this is the mistake that is made today within dead orthodoxy.
God is not defined by his righteousness as to his attributes of divinity, we are yet fortunate that he is a righteous God – however be on this he is God because he is all powerful and he is the boss, and he will not be manipulated by us, our religious system, or are rules. Jesus stated in Matthew 15:3, “… Why do you transgress the commandment of God by your tradition,” or in the Greek literal: “why do you make void the word of God by your traditions”), the adoption cannot be broken by anyone – I repeat not anyone; not the parents, not the priesthood, and not the government.
I could also speak about how we are “sealed” with the Holy Spirit as seen in Ephesians 1:3; and that the word “sealed,”3is taken from the same root word for “signet,” and holds the same meaning as in the signet on a king’s ring; both carrying the idea of being sealed or decreed – with no ability even of the King himself to counteract his own sealing of a law or decree.
This has been replicated in every culture prior to the usage of this word, not just with the Hebrews, but with every lineage recorded by man.
Many times this is referred to as the law of the Kings of the Medo-Persians, and is seen in the story of Esther, where the King could not with draw the decreed to kill the Jews, though his queen would be affected by it.
As well, this law is seen in the story of Daniel in the Lions den, where the king did not wish for Daniel to be placed there, yet he could not make in valid his decree which Daniel had violated.
These are but a few examples where in the Scripture with out hesitation or exception demands that once a person becomes a child of God, it is totally 100 percent impossible for them to be otherwise.
Sheep are born sheep, goats are born goats; as we are all predestined from the foundation of the earth to these positions, yet it is only due to the dimensionality of time, that we declare what God has already declared; that we are his children – born again and forever – Amen.
Now back to the point at hand, while on the cross Jesus made seven statements, the last thing He said is recorded in John 19:30, which states:
“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”4
The last thing Jesus said before His death has been quoted many times, however most of the time without a full understanding of its meaning. While true He did say, “it is finished,” (tetélestai) this transliteration is incomplete at best, and at inadequate at worst.
The Greek word tetélestai is not a singular word, but is actually a phrase in the English commonly translated, “it is finished.” Generally (connotatively) speaking, this translation is adequate, yet specifically (denotatively) this rendering in the English is incomplete.
Other translations render Tetélestai, either, “accomplished” or “completed,” which are closer to the true meaning, in that both these English words do indicate a more than simply finishing of an act, that of the complete fulfillment of the purpose.
Resent archeological digs have shade much light on our understanding of the word Tetélestai. The first indication that there is a fuller meaning to this word was found in box in Israel, it held a property deed that had Tetélestai written across it, proving that the deed holder had paid for the land.5 After this find, archeologist started noticing Tetélestaiused in accounting parchments and codices, as a conclusion rendering that accounts were “paid in full.”
It has come to light during the last few years that this term was a common expression used at the time of Jesus.
If a worker had completed an assignment he would report back to his master, who would pay and state: tetélestai. When an artist or writer had completed painting or manuscript, it was said that they had tetélestai. If the agreed-upon price of a piece of land was paid and the transaction was completed, a deed of trust was witnessed by both parties with tetélestai written from corner to corner.
The Hebrews did not incarcerate individuals for violations of the law (a violation of any of the 10 Commandments was death by stoning); it was the Romans that understood the value of incarceration as a deterrent. When an individual convicted of a crime had served their “debt to society” (the same as: The “ordinance of debt” ~ Col. 2:14), the Romans would give them the written court document of their conviction, their “debt to society,” with tetélestai written from corner to corner in order to prove that they hadn’t escaped, but had paid the price for their crime.
They would be given this document to hold on to showing that they had served their sentence in full, so if anyone ever accused them of committing the offence and getting away with it or of being an escapee, they could produce the court transcript showing they served their sentence in full.
Concerning the Greek grammar of the word
In the Greek, the word tetélestai, literally means: “paid in full”, with the grammar breaking down as:
Perfect Tense:The Action is Completed in the Past (Results in the Present)
The perfect tense in Greek describes an action which is viewed as having been completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated, while having ramifications in the present. Jesus’ last cry from the cross, tetélestai (“It is finished“) is a good example of the perfect tense used in this sense, namely “It [the atonement] has been accomplished, completely, once and for all time.”
Indicative Mood:Mood of Certainty (A Reality)
The indicative mood is a simple statement of fact. If an action really occurs or has occurred or will occur, it will be rendered in the indicative mood.
Number: Singular (Applies to a specific person)
Meaning that salvation applies to the person that meets the conditions of being a believer, having exercised faith.
Four days before Passover, the same day that Jesus presented himself as the Messiah, commonly referred to as the “triumphant entry,” the priest would examine all of the lambs that would be offered for the individual families to guarantee they were without spot (outward imperfection ~ received after birth) or blemish (inward imperfection ~ tainted blood line), if the animal was validated for sacrifice the priest would say, tetélestai. All of these transactions and situations were “finished,” yet more specifically they were completed wholly, 100%, without exception.
When Jesus died on the cross some might say that He finished the vinegar brought to His mouth, or that He finished his assignment, or that he finished his life, or that he finished His last breath.
Specifically, tetélestai has always been understood to more fully mean “paid in full.” When Jesus gave Himself on the cross, He fully met the righteous demands of a Holy law; Christ paid our debt in full. None of the Old Testament sacrifices could take away sins; their blood only covered sin temporarily.
But the Lamb of God shed His blood to pay in full for our redemption (Joh. 1:29), and His blood alone could takeaway the sins of the world completely and permanently, as the word tetélestai means (Heb. 9:24-28), Jesus “paid in full” the price of our salvation. This is why Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 15:13-14: “
“But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.”
This is why this word is one of the most important words to the child of God in that it is Jesus Christ last words in which He proclaimed that He would pay for the sins of the world, and that He paid the full price for those sins.
There is nothing that a person can do to make void their own salvation; Jesus did it all. He paid the price in full.
1. SALVATION DEPENDS UPON GOD THE FATHER
1. Upon His sovereign purpose (Eph 1:11-12). This eternal purpose is anchored
within the veil, confirmed by an oath (Heb 6:17-20).
2. Upon His solemn promise (Rom_4:16) The promise that those who believe will
be saved is confirmed everywhere in Scripture: (Gen_15:6; Joh_3:16; Act_16:33; Rom_4:23-24, et al)
3. Upon His infinite power. Christ death has rendered God free to save us, in spite of moral
imperfection (1 John_2:2). He has purposed to keep us saved (John_6:37-40; John_10:27-29; John 5:24).
4. Upon His “much more” love (Rom_5:6-10; Rom_11:29; Rom_8:32; Rom_8:38-39; 9;10-13).
5. Upon His Answer to the prayer of His Son . The title that Jesus uses seven times, and most dear to us heart concerning the believer is: “those whom thou hast given me:” (Joh_17:2; Joh_17:6 (x2); Joh_17:9; Joh_17:11; Joh_17:12, 15, 20, 24; Joh_1:1). The Father always answers prayer of His Son (Joh_11:42).
The title that Jesus used seven times, and most dear to us heart concerning the believer is: “those whom thou hast given me:” (Joh_17:2; Joh_17:6 (x2); Joh_17:9; Joh_17:11; Joh_17:12; Joh_1:1). The Father always answers prayer of His Son (Joh_11:42). (Rom_5:6-10; Rom_11:29; Rom_8:32; Rom_8:38-39).
2. A few examples are: Cain and Seth (Gen. 4:1; 5:3); Ham, the father of Canaan and Shem (Gen. 9:22-26); Haran and Abram / Abraham (Gen. 11:27-29); Ishmael and Isaac (Gen. 17:21); Esau and Jacob (Gen. 25:31-34); Reuben and Judah (Genesis 49:3-10); and, Manasseh and Ephraim (Gen. 48:8-19); but to name a few from the book of Genesis, and I know I’ve missed some from this first book of the Bible; not to mention the dozens of others to the rest of God’s Word.
3. Sealed (sphragizo): “to set a seal of protection & ownership.” It was used concerning setting the seal of Christ’s tomb (Mat_27:66), and used for ‘setting boundary markers”. A broken seal indicated that the protection was not adequate. The believer is sealed: (Eph_1:13-14; Eph_4:30), and it is impossible to be unseal, or break God’s seal (even by the person who is sealed themselves). The same word was used concerning the law for the Kings of Medo-Persians, in which the King could not break His own seal (Est_8:8; Dan_6:12).
4. The Greek transliteration is “Hote oun elaben to oxos ho Iesous eipen,”Tetelestai!” Kai klinas ten kefalen paredoken topneuma.
5. Koinonia House, Chuck Missler, P.O. Box D, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
OTHER INSIGHTS IN CONSIDERING ETERNAL SECURITY
Ernest (arrabon): “pledge” (2 Co_1:22), “a legal concept in which a first installment, which secures a legal claim prior to consummation is made,” “a down payment,” “evidence of good faith” (Gen_38:17). The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is God’s pledge, as a down payment “first fruits” of God’s sealing of salvation according to the adoption (see; Rom_8:23),
Adoption ~ According to Roman & Hebrew law, adoption was a legal procedure that could not be undone, under no circumstance, could it be reversed (Eph_1:4-6)
Sons of God ~ This term, which was also used of the Angels; it is a term that means: “something that was directly created by God,” this is what born-again means. (Joh_1:12; Rom_8:19; Gal_4:1-7; Gal_4:6; Php_2:15; 1Jn_3:1-2)
Believers are a gift from God the Father to the Son ~ Our sonship is more than ours, it is His. In our self-centered way we make it about us, but it is really about Jesus and the Father, as we are given to Jesus from the Father, do we think the Father would take back what He has given, or be unable to deliver on a promise? (Psa_2:8; Joh_6:37; Joh_6:39; Joh_6:65; Joh_10:29; Joh_17:2, Joh_17:6, Joh_17:9, Joh_17:12, Joh_17:24; Joh_18:9
Believers are chosen, they do not do the choosing, they respond to the choice of the Father ~ (Rom_3:11; Joh_6:44; 2Th_2:13-14; Joh_6:37; Joh_6:39).
Also concerning salvation, see the blog entitled: “Eternal Security ~ Ephenisans 2:14,” located in the “Brent’s Topics” “Doctrine” folder.
“The difference between ‘involvement’ and ‘commitment’ is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast:
the chicken was ‘involved’ – the pig was ‘committed’.”
Though much of this original information comes from: www.faithbibleministries.com; the introduction, and much more was created on this date.
This is a great post Brent. Most, I knew, but got some deeper understanding on. I am always saying that a king’s seal can’t be broken. Even He can’t break it. No one could trust a king who broke His promise. The deeper understanding on the “born again”, and “adoption”, is something I will be thinking on. Loved that.
I was wondering about the “seal” being called a “down payment” as I thought it meant, as Jesus will be coming back for us. But really He paid in full, so I’m not sure my understanding on that is right. I had it fitting with the analogy, or parable of the good samaritan making the down payment for the injured person that he saved off the road. And he would be coming back to finish what he started in this man being saved. That being a picture of what Jesus did, and will do. What are you thoughts on this?
…meant the good samaritan coming back to get the man he saved, and taking care of anything that was done for the man in his absence….
I’m not sure if I understand your question correctly so if I get it wrong please let me know.
In 2 Cor. 1:22, it states:
“Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” (also 2 Cor. 5:5)
Yet it is specifically Ephesians 1:14, which states: “Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Which I believe fits into your analogy concerning the meaning of the word “earnest,” and yes the analogy of the good Samaritan fits quite well into this meaning of the word. In that the earnest, or in my thinking the pledge that God makes with us is by implanting the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, until such time as the rapture occurs, wherein we are taken up with him and in the process transfigured – changed.
It is the idea that our guarantee concerning all that God has said in his word which effects us, is a guarantee or pledge that is beyond comprehension – it is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit connotativly (Generally speaking) in power, yet denotatively (specifically, and more precisely), concerning the instruction and guidance of the believer in comprehending Gods Word.
When it comes to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, I actually spend more time studying John, chapter 14 to 16; rather than Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians.
When it comes to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit it is a function as the “comforter,” (Gk. Paraclete) which literally means “called to one’s come to aid.” This reference to the Holy Spirit is understood to one goal the idea of an “advocate” (1 John 2:1 ~ defender). And while Paul never uses this specific Greek word he does referred to the Holy Spirit’s function in this capacity as intercession (Romans 8:27, 34).
The point is, according to Jesus direct teaching on the matter concerning the indwelling of the Holy Spirit of the believer, it is this indwelling aspect of the Holy Spirit for the work of service, and help; that is obviously acknowledged by the believer to be God’s stamp of approval, that the believer is a child of God. This serves to be God’s pledge that he will return for his own, to those that are alive – we see the rapture, to those already passed, it is the same event yet in the act of the resurrection of the dead (1 Thess. 4:16) .
It is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit wherein the believer remembers those things which Christ spoke (knowing that the spirit of Christ is of the same origin as the “Holy Spirit,” and that is the Holy Spirit who dictated the rest of the New Testament – hence for the Holy Spirit to bring those things that were taught directly by Jesus to our remembrance, would also reference the rest of the New Testament being brought to the remembrance of the believer as well – as it is the Holy Spirit involved in both – see John 14:26),.
John 14:16-17, states:
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”
It is this wherein I find a connection with the Holy Spirit being the “promissory note,” the guarantee, this segment seal of God, which cannot be broken – taken out of the believer.
I know I’ve been shooting all over the place with this one, not really sure if I’m answering your question please advise if I have not, and I’ll try again. But yes I do think your analogy concerning the good Samaritan being another example of the of a promise area note, and cognate for the words “apodidomi” (Luke 10:35), which is rendered in the English: “will repay,” carries the idea of “perform,” “recompense,” or and more notably: “restore,” though it is not specific concerning the same meaning as “Ernest” which is more specific in its rendering.
I do not think that the story of the good Samaritan is an allegory of the rapture, but I think the principal that you have made does fit, in that the good Samaritan left the injured person behind to be taken care of and left a verbal promise that he would return and settle the bill; which in the same way hypothetically speaking, the Holy Spirit has been left as a “promissiory note” within the believer until the day the Lord comes back to collect them.
I think I have messed this one all up. bb
I think you said it very well, Brent. Thanks for explaining it, and I forget where I learned it, but I didn’t get that one from straight from God, while reading His Word, as I did Jesus’ deity. But I love the analogy, and wondered if you thought about it. Thanks! Blessings to you and yours