14 Bible Verses to Demonstrate God Sustains His Bride

14 Bible Verses to Demonstrate God Sustains His Bride June 1, 2016

If you like Scripture then this article is for you. If you don’t like Scripture you may find it boring. Since Scripture is God’s Word to us, I trust all believers will be uplifted and fed by the truth found within these passages.

When I did a search on this topic I found some 100 related passages. Clearly I had to pare the list down for our purposes. I was a bit surprised to find exactly how many passages directly state, or clearly show the truth of the fact, that it is God who sustains our souls and not man. I was not surprised to find out God is the one who sustains, but I was surprised at the number of explicit passages.

God sustains our souls, God keeps us, God saves us, God predestines and elects us. Despite the popular belief that we have something to do with the keeping of our souls, that we have enough power as sinful man to undo what God has done, it is simply a faulty interpretation when compared to the whole counsel of God.

SCRIPTURE PASSAGES:

Ephesians 1:11, “In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,”

Point: “obtained” is in the past tense, it is an act that has been completed. We have the inheritance, we don’t have it taken away by any outside force, including ourselves. The act was “predestined” by God for His purposes.

Romans 8:29, “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.”

Point: Again, those who are saved and “conformed to the image of his Son” have been predestined to this position. Does God “un-predestine” us? Can we “un-predestine” ourselves?” The answer is clearly,
“no.”

Hebrews 1:3, “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,”

Point: Jesus is very God and is in full and absolute control of all. He purified us from our sins and then “sat down at the right hand” of God Almighty. This sitting down to rule and reign signifies an accomplished work, not a work that can be taken out of His rule and reign by us or any other force.

Psalm 139:1-4, “To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David. O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. …”

Point: God is clearly Omniscient, He knows all things from beginning to end. He knows our very actions. What would be the point or purpose to supposedly grant salvation to one only knowing later He would remove it?

1 Peter 1:23, “Since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God;”

Point: How does Peter describe the seed we have been born again by, “imperishable.” Through Jesus Christ, “the living and abiding word of God” our conversion experience, our being born again, is imperishable. For it were able to be removed from our souls it would need to be perishable, which the passage clearly states it is not.

Ephesians 2:8-9, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”

Point: Most of us know this verse, or at least know of it, however, few truly comprehend it. We are saved “by grace…through faith…not of your own doing; it is a gift of God, not…works, so that no one may boast.” We are saved by grace, which is not from us. We are saved through faith, which is not of us. The nearest referent to “this” is “faith.” It is the “faith” that is being referred to as “not our own doing.” The very thing God requires of us, “faith,” He gives to us. Our salvation has nothing to do with our works, so how can our works have anything to do with losing such a precious gift from God?

Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

Point: “Crucified,” past tense. An already completed task. If we sustain our own soul, if we are the one who preserves our salvation, then we are crucifying Christ all over again. That is heretical for He cried out, “It is finished!” Once we are saved it is no longer “I” it is “Christ” living in us.

John 6:44, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.”

Point: Once we are drawn by the Father to Christ what happens? We will be raised up on the last day. A promise, a promise with no conditions.

Numbers 23:19, “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?”

Point: If God saves, we will remain saved. For He does not lie or change His mind. When He regenerates our heart and we belong to Him by the faith He has given us, He does not change His mind about the matter.

Colossians 1:13, “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,”

Point: “delivered,” past tense. An accomplished act. “Transferred,” past tense. An accomplished act.

Galatians 3:13, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”

Point: “Redeemed,” past tense. We are redeemed from the curse of the law. He does not re-redeem.

Romans 5:1, “Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Point: “have been justified by faith,” again an accomplished, past tense act. This means we have peace with God through Jesus. How can anyone have peace if they must worry about losing the gift of salvation Christ paid for on the Cross and with His life?

John 6:37, “All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”

Point: Who does the giving/bringing? Us? Absolutely not, it is the Father. And when will Jesus cast them out? “Never.”

Psalm 55:4, “Behold, God is my helper. The Lord is the one who sustains my soul.”

Point: Well, I think it’s clear.

CONCLUSION:

Well, believe it or not I am not one for using “proof texts” in this fashion. It is easy for them to be taken out of context and bent toward whatever view one is trying to suggest. However, most of these do directly deal with salvation, the soul, and who keeps or sustains them. Clearly it is God not man. Even the texts which one may be able to argue are not directly related still speak to the nature of God and His ways which logically leads to the position that we, or are works, in any way cannot “keep” our salvation, or that we can remove what God has accomplished through Christ. To believe such can happen is to place far too much power and ability in the hands of mankind, and not enough power and ability in the hands of an Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent God.

 

 

Featured Image: mountain by Steven Taschuk; CC 2.0

 

This was a guest post from Dr. Jeff Hagan.

Jeff is an ordained Christian minister with over 23 years of ministry experience. He has attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Luther Rice Seminary, Tyndale Seminary and a handful of other institutes as well. He has earned several degrees including the Doctor of Christian Education and the Doctor of Theology.

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  • bumbutcha

    Your point regarding Eph 1:11 is that since we have already obtained something (in this case salvation) it cannot be lost or taken away. The logic behind that does not hold up to scrutiny. For example, I can already possess something but later lose it in the future. I can possess a car but later on have it taken away by the bank due to failure to make my loan payments. Just because ownership has occurred in the past or continues to occur in the present, logically it in no way guarantees that ownership will in fact continue in the future.

    But more importantly does scripture uphold your premise? Both Eph 1:11 and Rom 8:29 contain the root word proorisen translated as predestined as you point out. Rom 8:30 also contains the same word. In this verse, those who are predestined are also called, justified and glorified. At first glance this unbreakable chain appears to support your premise. However. Paul uses the same word “called” contained in both v.30 and in Gal 1:6. Despite being “called” or of the elect, Paul himself testifies that the Galatian believers were turning away from Christ to follow another gospel. In other words they were apostatizing. Since these Galatians who were called were turning away to follow another gospel, it dispels your claim that we cannot “un-predestine” ourselves.

    While Heb 1:3 describes an accomplished work by the Son, it in no way implies or suggests that believers have no further commitment or obligation to the Son. In fact, later on in chapter 5, the author of Hebrews declares: “And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him” (Heb 5:9). Obey is a present tense verb meaning that believers must go on obeying and does not refer to a past moment in time when one obeyed by first trusting in Jesus for salvation. Jesus accomplished his work but we still need to obey.

    Psalm 139:1-4 God is indeed omniscient but again this has nothing to do with our own volition. God can grant us salvation and later remove it – that in itself is no contradiction. I as a father can choose to give my son a car to use for college. My son did not earn it; I purchased it and gave it to him. However, I can stipulate that in order for him to keep possession of the car, he has to maintain good grades, lest I take away the car. In the same way, obedience is required for eternal life which Heb 5:9 plainly states.

    1 Pet 1:23 – the referent which is imperishable is the Jesus/Word of God. This verse does not reference our conversion as being imperishable.

    You claim that our salvation has nothing to do with our works in citing Eph 2:8-9 but you leave out v.10 which states that we were created to do good works. We are not saved by works but for works which is the outward manifestation of our inner faith. James reiterates this when he wrote that we are justified by works and not by faith alone (Js 2:24). Justification is a salvific issue so James is saying that works do have a part to play in our salvation. Faith and works go hand in hand and cannot be dichotomized as you claim.

    In Gal 2:20 the pertinent question that must be asked is what does it mean to be “crucified?” Is it simply a past tense issue as you assert? Fortunately, Paul provides the answer for us in chapter 5: “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal 5:24). Clearly, Paul did not mean “crucifying Christ all over again.” Rather those who belong to Christ are those believers who crucify the flesh by not living according to it. That requires ongoing obedience on our part; not just a past tense event.

    To whom is the promise in Jn 6:44 promised to? Just 3 verses later we read: “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.” The word believe is a present verb so more accurately, the one believing has eternal life. The promise in v.44 is is made to those who continue to believe. Believers who stop believing and apostasize have no such assurance.

    Num 23:19 Yes God does not change his mind but we can certainly change our minds. “If we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself” (2 Tim 2:12-14). God is always faithful since he cannot disown who he is as faithfulness is one of his attributes. This conditional clause plainly and simply states that IF we disown him – he will disown us.

    Col 1:13, Gal 3:13, 5:1 are all in the past tense but as I pointed out earlier, the use of the past tense does not guarantee our future salvation, i.e. Gal 1:6.

    Jn 6:37 You fail to take into account the context of the whole passage. In your argument you have repeatedly pointed out the use of past tense verbs but fail to notice the use of the present tense verb in John 6. The word “believe” in Jn 6:40, 47 is a present tense verb properly translated as believing. Therefore, one must continue believing. Those who cease to believe are cast out.

    You take Ps 54:4 completely out of context. It does reference the soul but only in terms of God sustaining David’s soul from his enemies who seek to do violence to his life. David is seeking vindication and recompense from God for his suffering and has nothing at all to do with one’s salvation.

    Your article has demonstrated that proof-texts can indeed be slanted toward one’s own view.

    • Thanks for reading and I appreciate the thought you’ve put into this. However, it’s not first and foremost an article on Eternal Security. It’s more on assurance of one’s faith which of course includes the idea. If you’d like to refute Eternal Security I have a handful of articles on here you may wish to look at. With that said…
      Eph. 1:11 – what is it we “obtained?” An inheritance, not any inheritance but an inheritance from God. We do not “un”inherit” by its very nature.
      I’d have to disagree with most of what you note in your second paragraph. As you said, at least your point was, we must interpret the Bible in its entirety. When I do this my conclusion is a clear teaching of eternal security.
      Third paragraph, obedience does not save. Obedience follows salvation but does not save. We will all disobey, where is the line to be drawn. What disobedient act is the one that will cause us to be unsaved?
      Fourth paragraph, the gift of salvation is described as an eternal gift. If something is eternal it cannot be temporary so God would contradict His very nature to revert the gift. A temporal gift, such as a car, cannot be compared to a gift such as salvation which is from Almighty God and described as eternal.
      Sixth paragraph, I never denied works. They are a fruit or result of salvation. They are the results of our faith and obedience. Not sure what you were trying to state here.
      John 6:44 (paragraph), of course one must believe. But where does that ability come from? Within ourselves? No way. It is a gift of God so that no one can boast.
      As for your last sentence, I’d have to agree, however, I’d agree in reverse. These are portions of Scripture that support the explicit teaching of the Bible as a whole.
      “No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand.” Are you a someone? Am I a someone? If you’re a someone then you’re included in the “no one.” If one is truly called, truly chosen for an eternal salvation, they cannot be snatched away from God by any power, principality or person (this includes ourselves).

      • bumbutcha

        Thanks for your reply; allow me to respond first to your last comment and work backwards in reply to your comments. Certainly “no one” ELSE can snatch us out of the Father’s hand however we are responsible and accountable for our own actions – not someone else. Clearly, the verse specifies “them” as meaning “us” believers. Therefore, no one (meaning someone else) is able to snatch us/them out of His hand. We can certainly choose to leave the Father’s hand due to our denying the faith or disobedience as the plain wording of 1Tim 5:15 indicates: “Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.”
        * Disobedience can in fact disqualify a believer from salvation as you pose the wrong question. It is not a matter of what particular sin disqualifies us but a matter of whether we have repented. Habitual sin is what disqualifies us as it demonstrates that we have not repented and remain disobedient since we practice the same sin(s) again and again. We all sin but 1 Jn 1:7 states that Jesus’ blood cleanses us from sin as long as we are “walking in the light.” If one engages in habitual sin, one is walking in the darkness – not walking in the light and hence no forgiveness is assured of; in fact we do not even have fellowship with God (v.6).
        * We both agree that works are necessary as they are the outward evidence of our inward faith. However some characterize obedience as somehow being “works-based salvation.” I think we both agree that our own works done in our flesh account for nothing.
        *Jn:6:44 refers to ongoing belief as evidenced by the present tense verb pistueon in v.47. My point was that one must continue to go on believing. If one stops believing and denies the faith then he/she is no longer saved.
        * The word “eternal” as in eternal gift does not mean without end as it is a mistranslation of the Greek word aion. This would require too much explanation than space allows for but let me quote from Dr. G. Campbell Morgan – known as the prince of expositors: “Let me say to Bible students that we must be very careful how to use the word ‘eternity.’ We have fallen into great error in our constant use of that word. There is no word in the whole book of God corresponding with our ‘eternal,’ which as commonly used among us, means absolutely without end.” (God’s Methods with Man; p.185-86).
        * Agree that an inheritance from God is not just any inheritance, but that in itself does not make it “un-inheritable.” One only need look at the tragic example of Israel who were at one time chosen to inherit the promises of God only to forsake them due to their chronic disobedience.