This is the problem, first of all with the non-Lordship Salvation controversy, and secondly with the Eternal Security controversy. In order to see the issues clearly between 'Eternal Security' and 'Perseverance of the Saints', we must understand first of all an issue at hand with the Lordship controversy. The issue at hand is true, Biblical conversion.
Conversion is the term given to the act of turning from our sins to Christ. The two Bible words that are used to describe this turn are Repentance and Faith.
Repentance is turning from sin. It is not merely confessing sin, or only feeling sorry for sin, but a turn away from sin. It is affected in our inner being by the regenerating power of the Holy Spirit by which we are given a new nature that abhors sin and ceases to practice sin continually.
Faith is turning to Christ. Christ stands both opposite of and opposed to our sin. When we turn to Christ we are emptying ourselves of self-dependence and in humility acknowledging our inability to save ourselves by our own righteousness. Faith is accepting the gift of salvation as offered to us through the death, burial, and Resurrection of Christ. Faith surrenders to Christ.
Both faith and repentance are the terms of the New Covenant. Biblical conversion then, is, turning from sin, self, and Satan to Christ as our Redeemer. This necessarily implies Lordship Salvation. But Lordship is more explicitly stated in the following verses:
And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says "I know him" but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may be sure that we are in him: (1Jo 2:3-5)
And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1Jo 4:21)
But what does it say? "The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart" (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. (Rom 10:8-10)
Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified." (Act 2:36)
But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Mat 12:48-50)
In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, (Heb 5:7-9)
And there are many others. Especially relevant is the book of First John, which, in context, gives certain, undeniable criteria by which one can discern between true believers and unbelievers.
Understanding that Christ is Lord, whether we want Him to be or not, informs what we believe about the final perseverance of the saints. Only those who continue in faith and repentance, that is, loving and obeying Christ, will be saved.
Part 2 tomorrow.