Old Doxoblogy

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Eternal Security Is Only A Half-Truth Part Two

Having laid a foundation of faith and repentance and their application to Lordship salvation, we will now look at Eternal Security.
Eternal Security is true...If it is not separated from the conditions of salvation. Otherwise Eternal Security is false. No one who has ever made a profession of faith has any reason to believe that they will finally be saved if they do not continue believing and repenting. Likewise the 'believer' who does not repent has no reason to believe that they are Eternally Secure. On the flip side of this, no 'repenter' who does not believe has any reason to think that they will be saved.
Let me explain further.

Those who claim to trust Christ and yet continue living in their sin and do not experience sanctification are not truly trusting Christ. They do not have Biblical faith.
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth. To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word. (2Th 2:13-17)

Five basic truths are revealed in these verses. First, God chose us to salvation. Second, salvation is through sanctification. Third, salvation is through belief in the truth. Fourth, we are called to salvation through the Gospel. Fifth, salvation is equated to obtaining to the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Points two and three are the relevant points in this study. These verses clearly state that without sanctification, there is no salvation. They also state that without faith (belief in the truth), there is no salvation.

This is only one text but these points are clearly demonstrated elsewhere through Scripture.
Mark 1:14-15 are interesting verses.
Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, proclaiming the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel." (Mar 1:14-15)

Jesus preached that in order to be saved that we must believe and repent.
But back to our original text. Where belief in the truth is not present (faith), salvation is not present. Where sanctification is not present, neither is salvation.
We have labored the point on Biblical faith elsewhere, so now we want to look at sanctification.
Sanctification is being set apart for service. It denotes a consecration. It is the act of God separating us to Himself and His service.
Sanctification is also a growing in purity. This is where repentance comes in. Repentance is turning from sin to Christ. Sanctification is cleansing ourselves by the power of the Spirit, and becoming more like Christ. It is also, according to our text, a means of salvation. We are being saved 'through sanctification by the Spirit.'
This is why Calvinists typically do not use the term Eternal Security. Eternal Security, as taught in its most popular form says that after a one time confessing of Jesus as Lord, and a one time repenting of our sins, and a one time belief in the truth, we are secure. In its true form it is taught that those who truly believe cannot lose their salvation.
Calvinists prefer the term Perseverance of the Saints. This term includes Eternal Security and adds that those who are truly saved and have truly believed will continue believing and repenting and growing in sanctification until death or the return of Christ. They will never fall away from Christ and their not falling away is characterized by a sanctified and holy life. They have been eternally saved, are being saved, and will finally be saved as they persevere to the end.

Thank you for persevering to the end of my ramblings on what Calvinism is and is not.


forgiven said...

Hi Dox
Good Writing

Hosea 14
4 “ I will heal their backsliding,
I will love them freely,
For My anger has turned away from him.

What about the Backsider how can one say if they are saved or not

pilgrim said...

This is perhaps one of the most cariacatured elements of Calvinism/Reformed Theology in my experience.

I may point people towards your articles for that.

Antonio said...

It is so telling how not a shred of what you are saying you support.

All of this just betrays the superficial thought and study expressed in the same tired ol' credos of the Reformed/Lordship Salvation tradition.

Blog series on James


Joe said...

I hear a lot about "accepting Christ" from preachers and pastors. I hear only a smattering of repentance.

In John 3:16 the word "believeth"(KJV) includes a turning from sin, a turning from whom you perceive Christ to be and a turning to Him for salvation.

We know that from the context of the rest of both the Old and New Testaments.

When one does that, one receives everlasting life (as opposed to on-again-off-again life or temoprary life).

(BTW, I do know the translation issues with the word renderd "everlasting" vs "eternal" in the KJV.)

Good post, as always.

bluecollar said...

"Salvation is through sanctification"..."Sanctification..Becoming more like Christ"

I have always looked at 2Thess. 2:13 that way. Awesome post!!!

Rock on Boss!!!!

Jeremy Weaver said...

It amazes me that if I take a text to expound like you recommended to Shawn that you say I don't use Biblical support.
And yet you tell Shawn that he is prooftexting when he uses a lot of Scripture.
Just another inconsistency that I've noticed with you.

BTW, Stop including links to your heretical posts from here. You can comment, but don't spread your links across the board. Three strikes and you're out.

Antonio said...


It is interesting that in the book of John (which by its own explicit and written statements has as its purpose that of evangelism, and is the only book in the Bible that makes such a claim)that the word "repent" and "repentance" and any and all of its cognates are absent.

Not one mention of repentance at all in the book that explains it purpose as being evangelistic.

If I wrote a book on the greatest hitters of all time in baseball and I did not include Pete Rose, what two observations could you make about it?

1) I am in error, for he most certainly was a great hitter
2) I do not consider Pete Rose to be a great hitter.

There are no other options.

Either John was in error and did not know the way to eternal life, or he did not consider repentance a condition for eternal life.


as to my posts being heretical, our mutual friend Rose had this to say on my blog:

I do not see why anyone is calling these posts heretical. What you have said is very easy to follow and you have not made any big leaps into your "own opinion". I see this as a study trying to understand what James is really saying here and how it fits in with the whole of scripture.

Have you even read my posts, yet you call them heretical? Talk about hypothesis contrary to fact and a speaking to a matter before it is heard!


Jeremy Weaver said...

Just off the top of my head, the story of the adulteress in John 8, about verse 10, Jesus tells this woman after everyone has left, "Go and sin no more."
If that is not a command to repentance it is nothing.

Did you know the word Trinity does not appear in all of Scripture?
Either the writers of the New Testament were in error and did not believe the doctrine, or they did not consider the doctrine important.

Did Jesus know the way to eternal life?
Mark 1:15 "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."-Jesus
Let's not pit John against Jesus here.

I didn't say that all of your posts are heretical. Just the ones I have read.

Antonio said...

Not only does John not have "repent" and "repentance" and all of their cognates (which is very important, as John is the only explicitly written book for the purpose of evangelism in the whole canon!) neither is jot or tittle of "repentance" or any of its cognates found in Galatians, which is Paul's defense of the gospel!

If you wrote a book on evangelism, and repentance is indeed a condition for eternal life, would you not include several times the words "repent" and "repentance" or any of its cognates? Yet in John we find "faith" and its cognates 99-100 times!

How incredible! Both John and Galatians not speaking as to even ONE WORD about repentance?

John had to take great CARE not to even include one WORD about repentance in his gospel. He spoke about John the Baptist. What was John the Batists's message? "Repent for the remission of sins!"

Yet you don't hear John saying that.

Everywhere in the gospel of John, which is the only book in the canon which has as its EXPLICITLY written purpose: Evangelism, the ONLY CONDITION OFFERED as the intermediate agency for eternal life is: faith in Christ.

Isn't it odd that John would believe that repentance is a condition for eternal life, yet DOES NOT EVEN MENTION IT ONCE in his gospel (the only explicitly written book in the Bible that has as its purpose evangelism), but mentions FAITH 99 times?

Isn't it odd that Paul would defend his gospel in the book of Galatians, yet not even mention repentance and any of its cognates even once!?

You don't preach a doctrine by remaining silent on it!


Jeremy Weaver said...

I'm done with this convesation.
I am not going to let you argue one book of the Bible against the rest of the Bible. That argument deserves no response whatsoever from me.
It is shortsighted and willfully ignorant of the rest of Scripture.
Don't bring this trash to me. Bring me something real. Show me where repentance is not implied in any of the passages on faith in John or Galatians.
It is impossible for this simple reason, You can't turn to Christ without turning from sin. It is impossible. To teach other than this is heresy.
That was me not commenting.

Antonio said...

It is not arguing one book of the Bible against another.

It is rightly dividing the word of truth.

If John does not expound repentance as a condition for eternal life in his book that he explicitly wrote so that men would receive that life, it is apparant that it is not a condition for salvation.

Repentance IS a doctrine in the Scriptures. A prevalent one. An important one. One that John DID know about (he speaks about it multiple times in Revelation).

Yet, when he wrote his magnum opus, which has as its purpose:

John 20:31
these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

He chose, in all 21 chapters to not even include ONE reference to repentance as a condition for eternal life.

How do you account for it?

By turning to the Christian doctrine of repentance in the epistles which were written for Christian audiences?

Or the synoptic gospels that conditioned the instatement of the kingdom of God to Israel upon Israel's national repentance and acceptance of Jesus as their Messiah?

This is not rightly dividing the word of truth.

You have taken your bible passages, stuck them in a blender, and hit puree.

This is NOT rightly dividing the word of truth! It is jumbling and mixing the word of God, not accounting for distinctions, and context.

If John says that he is writing a book to show people how to have eternal life, and he does not mention repentance whatsoever, but mentions faith 99 times, this is telling.

If Paul writes an epistle in defense of the gospel and fails to mention repentance even once, yet conditions justification solely on faith in Jesus, this is telling.

The simple fact is that the whole Fourth Gospel is designed to show how its readers can simply appropriate eternal life. To say anything other than this is to accept a fallacy. It is to mistakenly suppose that the Fourth Gospel presents the terms of salvation incompletely and inadequately! (while it makes specific claim as to purpose TO BE evangelistic!) I sincerely hope no Christian person would want to be stuck with a position like that!


bluecollar said...

In 1 Cor. 6:9-10 there is behavior mentioned here that paul says that people who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom. At what point do people who pray to receive Christ turn from these sins before they can have assurance of salvation? In this case if there is no repentance there can be NO assurance of salvation.

bluecollar said...

Oh, and by the way, did not repentance take place after paul's preaching in Acts 19:18-19?

bluecollar said...

Oh, and by the way, Didn't repentance take place after Paul preached to the Thessalonians...1Thess.1:9-10?

bluecollar said...

Oh, by the way, What do we say takes place with genuine salvation after reading Romans chapters 6-8... from slavery to sin to walking in the Spirit.

bluecollar said...

Oh, by the way, Dox brings up the woman in John 8. Repentance WAS,WAS, demanded.

bluecollar said...

MacArthur was right, Dispensationism is a good thing,but it can be taken toooo far.

Antonio said...

Blue Collar,

In 1 Cor 6:9-10 we find that people who do those things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Not doing those things is a requirement to inherit the kingdom of God!

Yet it is abundantly clear that there is a HUGE difference between merely ENTERING the kingdom and the reward of INHERITING it.

The man on the street understands the difference between entering and inheriting, why don't the Reformed people?

This is a form of legalism. You see, "You cannot be saved unless:"
(See acts 15!)

You give up the nasty nine
You give up the dirty dozen
If you persist in any of these sins
If you don't follow after this and that and that and this.

Christ died for all these sins! They were all on Him when he died. There were all yet future to His death. It is legalism to state that one cannot be saved if they are involved in these sins! It is by grace apart from works. The consequences for unfaithfulness and disobedience are severe. Disinheritance of the kingdom, discipline, loss, etc. That is what Paul is saying! If you do these things (he is talking to Christians!!! I can prove this) you will not enter the kingdom, nope, it does not say this. It says inherit the kingdom. It is a tragedy of great proportions to say that one cannot be saved if they are involved in persistent sin. Christ died for each and every one of those sins. He is the propitiation ofor the sins of the world. God is satisfied completely with Christ's sacrifice. Jesus does not put any provisos on receiving the gift of eternal life.


Antonio said...

Oh by the way,

Aren't there alot of commands that Paul gave Christians? Yet why aren't you requiring all these as well as requirements for salvation?

Antonio said...

Oh, by the way, didn't the Christians at Corinth have great and plenty sins? Didn't even some of them die because of them?

Repentance is a Christian doctrine. When a Christian realizes that he has been in a form of sin, he should repent. It is a life-long process.

Antonio said...

About the reference in John 8. It is grasping at straws. You mean that John knows and understands that repentance is a NECESSARY condition for eternal life, yet he does not even mention it once?

You do not preach a doctrine by not even mentioning it!

John does not even mention it! Why would he not even mention it if he thought it was so important for the reception of eternal life?

Antonio said...

Mark, you write:
In this case if there is no repentance there can be NO assurance of salvation.
I guess there can never be assurance of salvation, for you keep having to repent, one time is not enough, and how are you to know if you repented enough? Don't you later find sins that you haven't repented of?

No one can have assurance if it is based upon some supposed result of having repented.

Jeremy Weaver said...

You broke two of my rules:
No mean-spirited comments, and
Address critcisms of the posts to me.
Dr. MacArthur has no dog in this fight. I will not tolerate you dragging his name through the mud by taking quotes out of context here.
You can state what you believe and why, criticize me and my posts, and quote people in context, but there will be no personal attacks allowed.

bluecollar said...

I have noticed that out side of Reformed circles there is very little stress on regeneration ( a new heart of flesh,replacing the heart of stone,God placing His Spirit in us and causing us to walk in His statutes and to keep His judgements and do them). Why is that? What about the tremendous role it plays in the life of the believer.

It is the regenerated believer that LONGS to let the word of Christ dwell in them richly. see Col. 3:16. It is the regenerated believer that LONGS to be being filled with the Spirit. see Eph.5:18. It is the regenerated believer who LONGS to have Christ place His yoke upon him or her. see Matt.11:28-30. It is the regenerated believer that LONGS to abide in Christ and have His words abide in him. I t is the regenerated believer that LONGS to obey Christ's commands. see John 15 the whole chapter.It is the regenerated believer that LONGS to submit to Christ as Master and Lord.

All of those desires are put there in the heart by God Himself. If they are not there then...Well, Read 1John-The whole letter...

bluecollar said...

If we look at Gal.5:16-25. Walking in the Spirit is a direct clash with walking in the flesh. There it is said that the Spirit and the flesh are contrary to each other. If we are to walk in the Spirit then that would mean that we are not walking in the flesh...REPENTANCE.See 5:16

Also notice that if the Spirit were not present then what good would exist in that person's life.

bluecollar said...

Are we not taught in 2Cor.5:17 that people who come to Christ are a "New Creation".God the Holy Spirit has breathed new life into the believer. That person is now a new creature-REGENERATED.They can now and will now (though they will falter from time to time, I know I have)walk in God's ways. And when they sin, they will have that God implanted desire in their heart to confess and receive cleansing. No unregenerate person would care to confess sins and receive cleansing.