Is the Believer Imperishable? Part 2 -- By: Arthur B. Whiting

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 101:402 (Apr 1944)
Article: Is the Believer Imperishable? Part 2
Author: Arthur B. Whiting

Is the Believer Imperishable?
Part 2

Arthur B. Whiting

(Concluded from the January-March Number, 1944)

{Editor’s note: A footnote in the original printed edition was numbered 4, but in this electronic edition is numbered 1}

From this brief survey of grace-truth in connection with the salvation of the believer, surely sufficient evidence is presented by the perfect undertakings of the triune God to demonstrate the eternal security of the true Christian. The affirmations of grace-revelation, however, characterize the provided salvation itself in such a way as to leave no doubt of the believer’s safekeeping. Salvation is referred to as a life received, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16); “He that believeth on the Son hath eternal life” (3:36); “He that heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into judgment, but hath passed out of death into life” (5:24); “For this is the will of my Father, that every one that beholdeth the Son, and believeth on him, should have eternal life” (6:40); “And the witness is this, that God gave unto us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1 John 5:11). It will be observed that the keynote of these passages is that life is received as a present possession through faith in the Savior. The believer is said to have this life now; it is not held before him as a future attainment, but is definitely asserted to be a present obtainment. There is, of course, a sense in which this salvation is a legitimate hope, for its fulness will not be realized until the believer is entirely conformed to Christ. But the benefit of life made available through the death of Christ is for the believer’s enjoyment here and now; hence it is said, “He that hath the Son hath the life” (1 John 5:12).

Of the greatest significance is the specific characterization of this life. It is described in the above passages, as well as in many others, as eternal, or everlasting. The meaning of the New Testament word αἰώνιον embraces the twofold idea of quality and quantity. Eternal life is the very life of God

Himself, and it is life that knows no end. Such life is manifestly different from that possessed by Adam prior to his fall. According to the Scriptures his w...

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