we be “conformed to the image of His Son”
Was the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ when He died on the cross all-sufficient for God to save the sinner? Was His sacrifice sufficient for God to justly keep the sinner saved? Is God lacking in wisdom and power to fulfill His eternal purpose for the saved sinner?
Ultimately the question of eternal security is reduced to a question of the all-sufficiency of the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ when He died on the cross.
If the person who has received eternal life by believing on Christ is ultimately lost then we must conclude that God is impotent and the sacrifice of Christ is not sufficient to save the depraved sinner. One would have to conclude that the Sovereign LORD God would have to submit to a power greater than Himself that He has created.
The eternal purpose of God for the sinner is that we be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29; 1 Cor. 15:49; Phil. 3:20-21; Col. 3:10; 1 Jn. 3:2). Could our great God and Savior be so careless as to what becomes of the person He has so loved and sent His Son to die for on the cross?
The apostle Paul argues the attitude and power of God will be “much more” for the person He has saved than His attitude of love for His enemies before He saved them. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life” (Romans 5:8-10).
God has demonstrated His love toward His enemies by sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross (vv. 6, 8). Christ died on behalf of, or instead of the sinner. Paul argues from the greater problem to the less saying the greater thing is the justification “by His blood.” Since that was an awesome mystery of profound cost, keeping the sinner saved is less of a mystery. God gave His Son as a propitiation for our sins (Rom. 3:25; Col. 1:10; 1 John 2:20; 4:10). We have become reconciled to God by means of the death of His Son. Paul argues, “Much more then” we shall be saved “by His life.” Christ is alive, seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven, “since He always lives to make intercession for them” (Heb. 7:25).
Since God has gone to such great costs to save us, He will do “much more” if that is needed to keep us saved (Rom. 5:9-10). It is inconceivable that our Good Shepherd and Savior who has sacrificed so much to save us in giving His Son on the cross, would be careless to insure or secure such an investment.
How “much more” is His attitude of love to those whom He has cleansed in His blood, transformed by His power and saved. If God has gone to such lengths to save us then He will surely save us from His fiery wrath by that same blood of propitiation. He died in the place of the powerless, ungodly sinners who were His enemies. Certainly, his Savior will not forsake that “now-declared-righteous” person. Since the blood of Jesus has resolved the greater dilemma, certainly the justified sinner will be saved from God’s wrath. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). The saved sinner will never be condemned to hell (Jn. 5:24).
The atoning sacrifice is totally the work of God, accomplished by the blood of Jesus. God has removed the enmity that stands between people and God. Since reconciliation was done “through the death of His Son,” while we were enemies, then His present resurrection life in heaven will insure the complete and final salvation of believers.
Paul’s argument is, “Before we were saved, God proved His love by sending Christ to die for us. Now that we are His children, without doubt He will love us more.” If God saved us while we were sinners, He will keep on saving us now that we are His children. The child of God will not experience the wrath of God. Since Christ accomplished our reconciliation in His death how “much more” will He do for us in His life of intercession for us in heaven. We are eternally saved because He lives (Heb. 7:23-25; Rom. 8:34). He is interceding for us even now.
Since God the Son died for us when we were sinners who hated Him, how much more will He save from the wrath of God those who are now in a righteous standing as is the Son is with the Father.
“Much more” having been now justified by His blood we shall be saved through Him from the wrath of God. “Much more” having been reconciled we shall be saved by His life.