Today we’ll look at a couple more passages that are used to support the doctrine of eternal security.
Ephesians 1:13-14 says, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.” This is used to say that we have been permanently sealed as belonging to Christ and our going to heaven when we die is guaranteed. According to Webster’s Dictionary, a deposit is something given for safekeeping, security or partial payment. The Holy Spirit is indeed God giving us a piece of himself, which marks us as his. The Holy Spirit in the believer proves that we are his and that we have a heavenly inheritance to look forward to. We can trust in this. However, as we have discussed before, one can choose by an act of the will to remove themselves from faith in Christ. If one does this, they forfeit what was given them – in this case, the deposit. As long as we remain in Christ, our salvation is sure, because he is our firm foundation. But if we remove ourselves from him, we do not get to keep the rewards we would have in him. To continue with the illustration, a deposit, say from a bank, may be withdrawn again by the one who gave it. Or to use another example, some things have a money-back guarantee, but the option is there to get your money back if you are not satisfied and give back the product.
Philippians 1:6 says, “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” The meaning of this passage is similar to that of the previous: that as long as we remain in Christ we are indeed secure. He will continue to work in us and move in our lives until the day of the Lord. But this does not exempt a believer from removing themselves from the presence of Christ and his influence in their life.