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Jude 1 by Robert Dean
Series:Jude (2012)
Duration:1 hr 3 mins 13 secs

The Christian’s Sanctification and Eternal Security
Jude 1–2
Jude Lesson #04
January 17, 2012
Dr. Robert L. Dean, Jr.

Slide 3

Sanctified is a word that means to be set apart to the service of God, and in that sense it is similar to the English word “consecrated,” to be set apart for a specific purpose. In Jude’s opening verse he uses this word referring to believers who are called, and that idea of calling has to do with the fact that God has a purpose for us. That calling is then further defined by the two phrases “sanctified by God the Father” and “preserved [kept] by Jesus Christ.”

We have seen that there is a textual problem where some manuscripts have the word “sanctified” and others have “beloved.” “Beloved” comes from the word AGAPE and “sanctified” comes from the word HAGIAZO, both of which begin with an “a” and a “g” and in a perfect tense form there is a similarity in the ending as well so that it would be easy for a copyist to simply make an error of transmission and substitute one word for the other. Doctrinally—although the content of the idea of sanctification verses beloved are distinct—both concepts are taught in the New Testament, so it doesn’t affect any doctrine to have one word versus the other word.

Slide 4

The various forms of HAGIAZO emphasize being set apart to the service of God. Most people when they think of these words, especially in light of the English word “holy,” think that they have the idea of being morally pure. But we have forms of the Hebrew word used to apply to the male and female cultic prostitutes in the worship of Baal and the Asherah and there is nothing morally pure about that, it has to do with the fact that they are set apart for the service of their god. So the essential meaning of the word “sanctify” or “holy” is to be set apart for the serviced of God. There are three ways in which we are set apart for the service of God. We think of these in a temporal sense, but they have to do with different stages or phases of our Christian life. We can also think of experiential sanctification just simply as the spiritual life, how we grow as Christians.

Slide 5

There are three phases or stages to salvation. Phase one is justification. When a believers believes in Jesus Christ as savior and at that instant a number of things happen—non-experientially, we don‘t know about them until afterward. God the Father imputes to our account the perfect righteousness of Christ. Simultaneously, as God sees that we have that perfect righteousness He declares that we are judicially righteous, we are justified, and because of this we are considered to be positionally sanctified. Because of our identification with Christ through the baptism of the Holy Spirit we are said to be “in Christ.” That is our new position. This is positional truth, the reality of our identity in Christ. This means that we are now slaves to Christ as opposed to slaves to the sin nature. The power of the sin nature is broken at this time, and we are no longer slaves to the sin nature.

We are free from the penalty of sin, but the power of the sin nature is also broken. Because of that we can grow spiritually. It is a progress, not something that happens instantaneously—a misconception that was very popular in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries known as the higher life teaching, related to Keswick theology, holiness theology which was the background for much of Charismatic and Pentecostal theology.

It simply means that we are freed from the power of sin and the authority and dominion of the sin nature, and therefore we can grow and advance spiritually as we walk by means of the Holy Spirit in obedience to the Word of God. We grow and mature so that we can serve God more effectively, we are experientially set apart to His service. As we walk by the Spirit and according to the Word of God we are experientially sanctified and experiential righteousness is produced in us. Then at the time of death we have final or ultimate sanctification, we are absent from the body and face to face with the Lord, we are freed from the presence of the sin nature.

Slide 6

Phase one, 

1 Corinthians 1:2, “To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified…

Perfect participle, emphasizing that they have been set apart in the past, it is completed, done with, and that indicates positional sanctification.

“… in Christ Jesus, saints by calling …”

That is the purpose for which God has brought us into union with Christ. There is a relationship between the two words, “sanctified” being a participle and “saints” being a noun, indicating “sanctified ones.” So every believer is a saint because they have been positionally sanctified, and so they are “sanctified ones.” So this verse is talking about phase one sanctification.

Slide 7

1 Corinthians 1:30, “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption.”

So at the instant that we are saved we received the imputation of Christ’s righteousness, which means we are set apart then to the service of God because we are judicially righteous and redeemed.

Slide 8

2 Thessalonians 2:13, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”

This is not talking about election, that God in eternity past decided He was going to save you and you and you but not you. That is not the idea here, it is that “I will save you through positional sanctification.” It is the choice of a method here, not of an individual. Those who believe in Christ trust in Him, they are chosen by God because that is the method He chose for salvation— “through [or, by means of] sanctification.” The translation “by the Spirit” is really a genitive here, indicating of or from the Spirit, indicating that sanctification the primary responsibility of God the Holy Spirit.

Slide 9

1 Peter 1:2, “[elect] according to the foreknowledge of God the Father …”

That has to do with the knowledge of God beforehand that God in His omniscience knows all of the knowable—everything that could happen or would happen or might have happened, as well as what will happen—and on the basis of His omniscience He knows who will respond to the gospel and who will not. Those who believe in the gospel are the elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father.

“… by [means of] the sanctifying work of the Spirit …”

This emphasizes the role of God the Holy Spirit in our positional sanctification as well as our experiential sanctification. 

Slide 10

Hebrews 10:10, “By this will [because] we have been sanctified [perfect passive participle; the present results of already completed past action] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

This is talking about phase one sanctification which occurs positionally at the instant of faith alone in Christ alone. It is because we have been cleansed of sin, we have the imputation of Christ’s righteousness; we are forgiven so that we are set apart to His service only on that basis. So that is phase one, known as positional sanctification which happens at an instant in time.

Don‘t confuse or correlate phase one with phase two. This is the problem historically in Roman Catholic theology, i.e. that justification and sanctification are experiential so that they happen over time and you never know when you have enough to be sanctified; you get a little grace each time you participate in one of the sacraments and so it is not an instant in time, you are not declared justified or positionally sanctified, there is just this progress that you have. There is also this problem in a little bit different sense with Lordship salvation because you don‘t really know if you are one hundred per cent saved.

You can’t say, well I trusted Christ here therefore I know I am saved, the only way you know you are saved in Lordship salvation is if you can point back in your life to “fruit” and you have seen a progress of sanctification. If you don’t see that progress of sanctification then you didn’t have the right kind of faith. John MacArthur, pastor of Grace Community Church in southern California, is one of the most widely known proponents of Lordship salvation. He wrote a number of books, one of which was The Gospel According to Jesus. When asked if he was sure if he was saved he said he was ninety per cent sure! But the Scripture teaches you can be one hundred per cent sure if you trust in Christ as savior; it is not progressive positional, it is instantaneous.

Slide 11 

Then we come to phase two: progressive sanctification. There is a little bit of a problem with that term, only because within a Lordship context they believe that if you are truly, genuinely saved there is an automatic progression. The term is fine as long as it is not understood as automatic because it is not necessarily so. Just because you are justified doesn’t mean you will automatically progress in your spiritual life (which is a Lordship idea). The word “experiential” is better.

John 17:17, “Sanctify them in [by] the truth; Your word is truth.” In other words, the means of sanctification here is the Word of God. You cannot grow as a Christian if you do not know the Word of God—studying the Word of God, internalizing the Word of God as part of your thinking. You cannot grow experientially in your spiritual life. Singing hymns and praise songs won’t do it, giving won’t do it, all of the other things that people try to substitute for the study of God’s Word won’t do it; God only sets us apart experientially, and growth only occurs by the Word of God.

Hebrews 12:14, “Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord.” That is not talking about salvation, seeing the Lord in terms of being face to face with Him at death, this is talking about the on-going intimacy with the Lord in heaven that is spoken of as a special reward to those who persevere in their Christian growth in the seven letters to the seven churches at the beginning of Revelation. So this has to do with a closer intimacy in the presence of God and access to the presence of God in the kingdom and in the eternal state.

2 Corinthians 7:1, “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” We are to be cleansed experientially from sin. 1 John 1:9 states it more clearly: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” So it is not just the sins that we know but the sins that we don’t know—the sins that we have forgotten about, the sins that we are unaware of. We cannot grow spiritually if we are out of fellowship.

Some people have said in criticizing that view of 1 John 1:9, thus: What you are saying is that the Holy Spirit isn’t doing anything in the Christian life. That is not what we have said. The Holy Spirit has a number of ministries in the believer’s life, one of which is convicting us of sin—bringing sin to our consciousness so that we confess it. When we are out of fellowship He is still involved, but He is involved in getting us back on track, not moving us down the track.

So we have to recognize that when we sin it shuts down our forward momentum. It shuts down the growth process but it doesn’t shut down the role of the Holy Spirit, He is just not able to produce growth. He is instead involved in getting us to recover, confess sin and then once we are back in fellowship to go forward. 2 Corinthians 7:1 talks about this, and “perfecting holiness” there isn’t the idea of becoming perfect, it is the idea of moving towards an end goal of maturity. We could translate it “maturing sanctification in the fear of God.”

Hebrews 2:10, “For it was fitting for Him [God the Father], for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory …” That is, in the process of bringing and maturing believers to ultimate glorification. “… to perfect the author of their salvation [the Lord Jesus Christ] through sufferings.” Jesus Christ did not have to be sanctified by the removal of sin in His life because He was without sin, nevertheless He still had to grow to spiritual maturity, trusting in God, and so He was tested in various areas of suffering in that process. It is suffering and testing that gives us the opportunity to trust in God and we grow and mature spiritually.

Hebrews 2:11, “For both He who sanctifies [God the Father] and those who are [being] sanctified are all from one {Father;} for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren.” In other words, we go through the same process that He went through. He pioneered that through His dependency upon God the Holy Spirit.

2 Peter 3:18, “but grow in [by means of] the grace and [by means of the] knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” So spiritual growth cannot take place apart from knowledge. So, the two basic elements in spiritual growth are the Word of God and the Spirit of God. We have to be rightly related to God the Holy Spirit and we are through His leadership, guidance and empowering in our life we are rightly related to the Word of God by learning it and applying it. God the Holy Spirit then works in us to produce spiritual growth and spiritual maturity. This is experiential sanctification.

Ultimate sanctification or phase three is also seen in several verses. Ephesians 5:27, “that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” This is phase three where the church will be glorified.

Jude 24, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.”

Romans 8:29, “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined {to become} conformed to the image of His Son…” That is our destiny, which means sinlessness, impeccability, without sin.

1 John 3:1, 2, “See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and {such} we are. For this reason, the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him [Phase 3, ultimate glorification] because we will see Him just as He is.” We will be in a sinless state and only then will be without a sin nature.

Slides 20 and 21

So Jude begins this epistle by reminding his readers that they are called, i.e., God has called them through the proclamation of the gospel and at their response to that gospel they have become sanctified—positional sanctification. He is emphasizing their identity in Christ, who they are in Christ, that they are set apart positionally for the service of God, relating it back to the idea of being a slave that he alludes to in terms of himself. We are all at the instant of faith alone in Christ alone slaves of Christ positionally.

and kept [preserved] for [in] Jesus Christ.” We are preserved or kept in Jesus Christ. This is an extremely important word in the Greek, TEREO which means to keep, preserve. Sometimes it is that is frequently used for “obey.” It is a perfect passive participle here, indicating completed action, not ongoing. The results go on forever. It is completed, we are preserved, kept, it is final. This is a great verse for understanding eternal security. Eternal security is a doctrine that is not believed by a number of different people within the history of Christianity, and it shows that they have an extremely anemic, impoverished view of salvation. Just as with sanctification Jude frames or brackets this epistle with an introduction and a conclusion that focuses on security. He uses two synonyms, TEREO and PHULASSO, that latter frequently used in passages as a very close synonym for TEREO.

Slide 22

Now to Him who is able to keep you” (v. 24) is an aorist active infinitive emphasizing results. He is able to keep us, to preserve us, to protect us from stumbling, i.e., from losing salvation. We cannot lose salvation. He will present us blameless/faultless before the throne because in this life we never get away from the sin nature.

Slides 23 and 24

The Doctrine of Eternal Security (Once saved, always saved)


We have to understand what “saved” means, and the more we understand what happens at salvation the more we realize how that cannot be undone. It is so complex and so profound that we cannot imagine that it could be reversed in any way. There are a lot of different Christians who reject the idea of eternal security. There is no eternal security for a Roman Catholic because they don’t even know if they ever got enough grace to be saved. This is not to say that if you are a Roman Catholic you are not eternally secure. Such pastors and such theologically systems consistently have a low view of God and a high view of man. For example, in Arminian theology, in a number of Pentecostal/Charismatic denominations (though not all). And there is a lot of similarity between the Arminian view and the Lordship view. The Arminian view says you can do something to lose your salvation. 

Remember this. If anyone says there is something you can do to lose salvation then somewhere in their theological system works gets them saved. They may not say this in an extreme way but if you can do something to lose salvation then you are doing something to get it or to keep it and that is always works. To the degree that we can do something to lose our salvation to that same degree our works are part of our salvation.

The problem that the Lordship crowd has is that if they look at a person and it doesn’t seem to them that they are living like a Christian should they have really bought into Lordship salvation at that point because they are trying to determine that person’s spiritual status on the basis of what you perceive their outer works to be. We can’t see the heart, we can’t see what they trusted in, and many Christians who have trusted in Christ as Savior have done many evil, sinful, horrible things but they are still saved. If you said you once trusted Christ as your savior but there’s no fruit—in their terms: no evidence of you going to church, reading your Bible, praying, or growing as a Christian—then you weren’t ever saved. They connect justification with experiential sanctification so that you know you are justified by your experiential sanctification, and that is a form of Roman Catholic heresy. That is a basic problem with Lordship, and it is the problem with John Piper up in Minnesota, the problem with John MacArthur. It is a hidden works gospel. They sneak works in the back door rather than the front door.

The Arminians say you are saved by your works.

The Lordship crowd says that if you have the right kind of faith then you will have the right kind of works. If you don‘t have the right kind of works then you didn‘t have the right kind of faith.

They are both saying the same thing ultimately, they just use a little more sophistry in the Lordship camp to avoid being overt. Both have problems with believing that a person who simply trusts Christ as savior is eternally secure apart from any other obedience or works in their life.

Slide 25

1.  Definition: Eternal security is the work of God. God is the one who secures us and keeps us and preserves us, not us. It is the work of God toward the believer at the instant of faith alone in Christ alone, which guarantees that God’s free gift of salvation is eternal and cannot be lost, terminated, abrogated, nullified or reversed by any thought act or change of belief in the person saved. In other words, our salvation isn’t dependent at any point on what we think, say, or do, it is based completely and exclusively on Jesus Christ. There is no merit in belief, the only merit is in the object of belief, and it is in Christ alone. God saves us and keeps us, the only thing that comes from us is that we believe and trust in God to save us. 

Slide 26

2.  The Problem. It is expressed in one or two ways. There is the problem of eternal security versus perseverance. In the Lordship problem, which is a manifestation of certain forms of Calvinism, perseverance is expressed in terms of the individual perseverance in obedience to Christ and this is why he knows he is saved. Others will say no, it is not just the individual that perseveres, it is Christ who perseveres in keeping us. This was L. S. Chafer’s definition of perseverance. That is biblically accurate and what is known as eternal security. But eternal security does not necessarily equal perseverance in the Calvinistic sense. On the other side of the story, the Arminian or Pelagian problem, they say there is no eternal security. That means there is no real salvation, you can’t ever be sure of your salvation. It is really just a superficial salvation.

Slide 27

2a.  Examples: The Westminster Confession of Faith was written in the mid-seventeenth century by the Calvinists within the Anglican church. This is the standard doctrinal statement found in most conservative Presbyterian churches.

It states: “They whom God hath accepted in His beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace.”

In other words, as someone who once trusted in Christ as savior can you say you don’t believe in Jesus anymore, He is not God, He didn‘t rise from the dead, you reject everything about Christianity and say it just isn‘t true. That is what they mean by totally falling away. They do make a little room for the fact that you can have doubts, you can have an extended period of carnality, but you will always come back to Christianity before the end of your life if you were truly saved.

Slide 28

Another view is stated by Louis Berkhof:

“The doctrine is perseverance requires careful statement, especially in view of the fact that the term perseverance of the saints is liable to misunderstanding. We should guard against the possible misunderstanding that this perseverance is regarded as an inherent property of the believer or as a continuous activity of man by means of which he perseveres in the way of salvation.”

The way he states it there is that he is trying to get away from saying that this is something that the individual does. So he is on the more correct side of the Calvinist equation.

Slide 29

Charles Hodge:

“The devoted apostle considered himself as engaged in a life struggle of his salvation.”

That was his comment on 1 Corinthians 9:27. That is the bad side, the Lordship end of Calvinistic salvation—Paul was never sure, he was in a life struggle to maintain salvation. In his Systematic Theology Hodge defines perseverance as

“perseverance and holiness, therefore, in opposition to our weakness and temptations is the only sure evidence of the genuineness of past experience, of the validity of our confidence as to our future salvation.”

So assurance of salvation is based on works so that you can see that you have persevered. He is on the negative side of perseverance.

Slide 30

So to the Arminian side. Robert Shank:

“There is no saving faith apart from obedience. There is no valid assurance of election or final salvation for any man apart from deliberate perseverance and faith.”

He is Arminian, so how does what he says differ from the Calvinist?

Slide 31

The worst statement comes from A.W. Pink who one time was a dispensationalist then went Covenant:

“God preserves His people in this world through their perseverance.”

This is a dominant view out there. People just can’t let God be God and grace be grace and that God does all the work. To understand this as we go through it is to see that there is a Trinitarian role to eternal security. There are aspects that belong to God the Father, aspects that belong to God the Son, and aspects that belong to God the Holy Spirit. It is the triune God that keeps us secure in our salvation. He saves us; we do nothing to save ourselves.

Slide 32

3.  The biblical teaching. The purpose of God, stated in 

Romans 8:29, 30, “For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined {to become} conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.”

God’s purpose in salvation is clear, it is to conform us to the image of Christ and His purpose cannot be overwritten.

Notice, “those whom He foreknew,” this same group is “conformed to the image of His Son.” The same group is justified: He doesn’t lose anyone; He accomplishes His purpose so that all those who are justified are those who are glorified.

Slide 33

4.  Our security is based upon the power of God. 

Jude 1:24, “Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling …”

God is able to keep us and preserve us. Let’s just stop a minute. God is omnipotent, which means He is able to do whatever He wishes to accomplish. That means that His desire, His purpose is to save those who trust in Christ. So, He provides a salvation where Jesus Christ pays the penalty for sin. Now is there any decision, any sin, any activity in human history that God did not know about in His omniscience billions of years ago. None. God knew every sin, thought, action and He doesn’t forget one; they are all nailed to the Cross, Colossians 2:12–14. In His omniscience God is more powerful than any human effort to negate salvation.