Eternal Security Debate

My beliefs concerning these issues can be found on the BCBSR web site. Steve Amato
The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources

Briefly - I believe in both Eternal Security and the Perseverance of the Saints. But I do not equate Eternal Security with Assurance of Salvation. On these particular issues I hold pretty much along Calvinistic lines, although I deviate from Calvinism on a number of other issues.

Phyllis made an inquirying concerning eternal security and then handed off the debate to Scott, who holds an Arminian position, not accepting eternal security and apparently not even understanding the concept of the Perseverance of the Saints.


I have been studying your outline and comments on Philippians.  Your comments
are very good; however, I do have one question.  Where in the Bible do you
find "once saved, always saved"?

Phyllis


Phyllis,

The exact phrase is not in the Bible just as the word "Trinity" is not. But I would say that the concept is there, not only of Eternal Security, but of the Perseverance of the Saints.

Consider for example 1John 2:19

They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us.
For if they had belonged to us, (ONCE SAVED)
they would have remained with us; (ALWAYS SAVED)
but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.

Once a person is born of God not only is their salvation status secure, but also they will inevitably continue to endure in their faith and in a lifestyle consistent with that faith to the end.

1John 3:9,10
"No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God. This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother."

So we see that we can measure whether one has been born of God based on their behavior. But if one falls away from the faith, this indicates that one has never been born of God.

Hebrews 3:14  "We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first."

Here in Hebrews he indicates that a past event (our having come to share in Christ) is only true if we hold firmly to the end our confidence of faith. Logically this can only be true if it is inevitable that once we come to share in Christ we will also endure to the end. Thus this is an effect rather than a cause.

1 Corinthians 15:2  "By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain."

There are those who "believe", but not with the quality of faith acceptable to God for salvation. They believe in vain. They never were saved and thus the once saved, always saved doesn't apply to them.There is a faith that doesn't save. A non-application oriented faith is a dead faith of no saving value.

So the issue is not so much once saved always saved, but how does one know whether one has ever been saved. For Paul even writes the Corinthians saying:

"Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-- unless, of course, you fail the test?" 2Cor 13:5

You might also check out the web page on Eternal Security at
http://www.bcbsr.com/topics/etsec.html
And the 1st John Study at
http://www.bcbsr.com/books/1jn.html

Good talking with you,

Steve Amato
The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources
http://www.bcbsr.com


Steve,

I am a friend of Phyllis and she has asked me to respond to
your recent e-mail on the subject of "once saved always saved."  She
wanted to respond to you personally but was unable due to vacation plans.

   I would like to begin by stating that I firmly believe Christians must
be confident of their salvation in Jesus Christ.  I know too many who
believe their eternal life is merely left up to chance - as if one's
salvation is equal to the "roll of the dice."  That is so sad and it is
not biblical!  We serve a great God who offers us confidence like no
other.  So, there is the extreme position that states a child of God can
never know whether he is saved or not - how absurd!  However, there are
many references in the Bible which deals with the possibility of a child
of God sinning and thus breaking off fellowship with God.  Study and
meditate upon the following scriptures:

   Scripture #1 - "Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make
your calling and election sure.  For if you do these things, you will
never fall" (II Peter 1:10).  Notice Peter refers to these people as
brethren!  Those who currently are a part of the family of God.  Yet he
says to them, "do these things and you will never fall."  What things?
The things mentioned in the five previous verses.  It seems to imply,
therefore, that if one does not do these things he will fall.  A child of
God must be diligent to continue to grow in the "Christian graces."

   Scripture #2 - Paul admonished the Corinthians (again brethren in
Christ - members of the family of God), "So if you think you are standing
firm, be careful that you don't fall" (I Corinthians 10:12).  If a child
of God cannot fall, why was this command given?  Would the Holy Spirit
issue such a warning if it were impossible for a Christian to fall?  The
next verse teaches us that God is faithful to make an opportunity of
escape for the Christian, but we must seize the opportunity or we will
fall.

   Scripture #3 - Paul knew it was even possible for him to fall and be
rejected.  "Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not
fight like a man beating the air.  No, I beat my body and make it my
slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be
disqualified for the prize" (I Corinthians 9:26, 27).  Paul knew it was
possible for him to be disqualified; and to prevent it, he imposed
self-discipline.

   Scripture #4 - "See to it brothers, that none of you has a sinful,
unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God" (Hebrews 3:12).
Again, this text is addressed to brothers - those who are presently
members of the family of God; but, steps could be taken which would lead
them away and out of that family of God.

   Scripture #5 - "You who are trying to be justified by law have been
alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace" (Galatians 5:4).  In
attempting to be justified by the law of Moses they became guilty of a
complete apostasy.  Not only does this text teach that it is possible for
Christians to fall, but in this instance it actually happened!

   There are many other scriptures I would encourage you to study (Rev.
3:16; I Tim. 4:1-3).   Again let me restate that a child
of God should have the utmost confidence in their salvation in Jesus
Christ.  As Paul eloquently stated in Romans 8:35-39 there is no external
force that can separate us from the love of God,  but the Holy Spirit has
warned us that we can separate ourselves from the love of God.

   Now, in response to your scripture references:  Scripture #1 - I John
2:19 is dealing with the "antichrists" who were "not of us."  They were
not genuine converts in the first place; they were simply wolves in
sheep's clothing.  They only made a pretense of their conversion in order
to carry out their deceitful mission.  Refer to I John 4:1-3 as to their
true motives.

   Scripture #2 - I John 3:9, 10 does not mean that there is the
"impossibility" of a child of God to sin - that would not be consistent
to what John said in chapter 2 verses 1 and 2.  But those who are born of
God do not remain in a life of sin.  I think this verse is related to
Paul's statement in Romans 6:1,2, "What shall we say, then?  Shall we go
on sinning so that grace may increase?  By no means!  We died to sin; how
can we live in it any longer?"  Therefore, "he cannot sin" is not a
statement of impossibility at all, but a declaration of what is forbidden
- a life style of sin.  We have buried that old man in baptism and have
been raised a new man (see Rom. 6:3-7) - a man who puts away the sinful
lifestyle.

   Scripture #3 - Hebrews 3:14.  The Hebrew writer stated in the same
chapter, "And we are his house, if (there is a condition) we hold on to
our courage and hope of which we boast" (Heb. 3:6).  Therefore, I believe
both of these verses reminds us as believers to continue faithfully and
enthusiastically to the end.  What end?  As Jesus said in Rev 2:10, "Be
faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of
life."

   Scripture #4 - I Corinthians 15:2  I completely agree
with your statement about the kind of faith that saves.  But even if a
man has the "saving type of faith" he can still lose that faith.  Did
Paul have this saving faith?  Yes!  But he saw the possibility of losing
that faith (see again I Cor. 9:26, 27).

   I do not write to you in a spirit of confrontation or antagonism.  I
hope you will view this as a honest and open discussion of a very
important topic.

May God bless our study,

Scott


Scott,

Thanks for sharing your opinion. However I've done my own Bible study on these matters and have come to different conclusions. I've written commentaries on all of these verses which you might reference to understand my perspective on the matter. For it is not born of presumption or ignorance, but of a careful examination of the scriptures.

One of the assumptions you make is the all "Christians" are born of God. That is not the assumption made by the apostles. In fact the book of 1st John for example is how to identify who in the Christian community has been born of God and who has not.

Do you really think that every who attends the church at Corinth, for example, has neccesarily been born of God? Do you really think that Peter and Paul assumed that everyone who attends such churches whom they address in their letters has been born of God? They were neither that gullible nor did they assume their readers were so presumptuous. For one is not saved simply by going to church. So let's be reasonable.

Notice for example John's writing of 1John 2:19
"They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us."

Notice he says "from us". And he says many such things in 1John indicating that such "falling away" is not a losing of one's salvation, but rather a revealing that one had never been born of God to begin with. That's what the Bible teaches.

>   Scripture #1 - "Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make
>your calling and election sure.  For if you do these things, you will
>never fall" (II Peter 1:10).  Notice Peter refers to these people as
>brethren!  Those who currently are a part of the family of God.  Yet he
>says to them, "do these things and you will never fall."  What things?
>The things mentioned in the five previous verses.  It seems to imply,
>therefore, that if one does not do these things he will fall.  A child of
>God must be diligent to continue to grow in the "Christian graces."

see http://www.bcbsr.com/books/2pet1a.html

>   Scripture #2 - Paul admonished the Corinthians (again brethren in
>Christ - members of the family of God), "So if you think you are standing
>firm, be careful that you don't fall" (I Corinthians 10:12).  If a child
>of God cannot fall, why was this command given?  Would the Holy Spirit
>issue such a warning if it were impossible for a Christian to fall?  The
>next verse teaches us that God is faithful to make an opportunity of
>escape for the Christian, but we must seize the opportunity or we will
>fall.

see http://www.bcbsr.com/books/1cor10.html

>   Scripture #3 - Paul knew it was even possible for him to fall and be
>rejected.  "Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not
>fight like a man beating the air.  No, I beat my body and make it my
>slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be
>disqualified for the prize" (I Corinthians 9:26, 27).  Paul knew it was
>possible for him to be disqualified; and to prevent it, he imposed
>self-discipline.

see http://www.bcbsr.com/books/1cor9.html

>   Scripture #4 - "See to it brothers, that none of you has a sinful,
>unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God" (Hebrews 3:12).
>Again, this text is addressed to brothers - those who are presently
>members of the family of God; but, steps could be taken which would lead
>them away and out of that family of God.

see http://www.bcbsr.com/books/heb3.html

>   Scripture #5 - "You who are trying to be justified by law have been
>alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace" (Galatians 5:4).  In
>attempting to be justified by the law of Moses they became guilty of a
>complete apostasy.  Not only does this text teach that it is possible for
>Christians to fall, but in this instance it actually happened!

see http://www.bcbsr.com/books/gal5.html

>   There are many other scriptures I would encourage you to study (Rev.
>3:16; I Tim. 4:1-3).   Again let me restate that a child
>of God should have the utmost confidence in their salvation in Jesus
>Christ.  As Paul eloquently stated in Romans 8:35-39 there is no external
>force that can separate us from the love of God,  but the Holy Spirit has
>warned us that we can separate ourselves from the love of God.

see
http://www.bcbsr.com/books/1tim4.html
http://www.bcbsr.com/books/rev3.html

>   Now, in response to your scripture references:  Scripture #1 - I John
>2:19 is dealing with the "antichrists" who were "not of us."  They were
>not genuine converts in the first place; they were simply wolves in
>sheep's clothing.  They only made a pretense of their conversion in order
>to carry out their deceitful mission.  Refer to I John 4:1-3 as to their
>true motives.

Just as everyone else who leaves the faith had also never been of Christ to begin with. For you failed to consider the phrase, "if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us." Think about it!

>   Scripture #2 - I John 3:9, 10 does not mean that there is the
>"impossibility" of a child of God to sin - that would not be consistent
>to what John said in chapter 2 verses 1 and 2.

Again you need to read more carefully as to what it literally says even in the Greek.
See
http://www.bcbsr.com/books/1jn1.html
http://www.bcbsr.com/books/1jn3.html

>   Scripture #3 - Hebrews 3:14.  The Hebrew writer stated in the same
>chapter, "And we are his house, if (there is a condition) we hold on to
>our courage and hope of which we boast" (Heb. 3:6).  Therefore, I believe
>both of these verses reminds us as believers to continue faithfully and
>enthusiastically to the end.  What end?  As Jesus said in Rev 2:10, "Be
>faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of
>life."

see http://www.bcbsr.com/books/heb3.html

>   Scripture #4 - I Corinthians 15:2  I completely agree
>with your statement about the kind of faith that saves.  But even if a
>man has the "saving type of faith" he can still lose that faith.  Did
>Paul have this saving faith?  Yes!  But he saw the possibility of losing
>that faith (see again I Cor. 9:26, 27).

see http://www.bcbsr.com/books/1cor9.html

>   I do not write to you in a spirit of confrontation or antagonism.  I
>hope you will view this as a honest and open discussion of a very
>important topic.
>
>May God bless our study,
>
>Scott

Thanks for sharing. I hope you take the time to examine my point of view.

In Christ,

Steve Amato


Steve,

   Thanks for your prompt response but I am confused as to how you
reached the conclusion that I assume all "Christians" are born of God.  I
firmly believe there are many professed "Christians" or "churchgoers" who
have not been born of God and who have not received the gift of the Holy
Spirit.  Jesus said, "Many on that day will say, 'But we did all of these
wonderful things in your name'; but, I will say depart from me I never
knew you" (my paraphrase).  So I am perplexed as to how you reached that
conclusion about me.
   I will take some time to read your commentaries and examine what you
have to say.  But I sense you are not open to any more thinking on these
lines.  Steve, no matter how many commentaries we write or sermons we
preach or how old we are there is always room for reevaluation of our
beliefs.  When we think we have arrived at a point in our lives where no
more study needs to be done - watch out because spiritual arrogance has
set in!  And I will add that was the first step the Jews took which
eventually led to their fall!!!  They presumed they were God's children
and He would only continue to bless them.  Human arrogance will
eventually lead to a fall every time.  May we pursue an attitude of
humility and never position ourselves as if we have it all figured out
and are in need of no more study

Scott



Scott,

Perhaps I've misinterpreted your position. So let's speak plainly:

Do you or do you not believe that after a person is born of God he can lose his salvation?

I assume from your letter you do believe that they can lose salvation. You never actually say so explicitly in those terms in your letter, but that is also strongly implied. Have I misinterpreted you on this point?

For you say, for example, "steps could be taken which would lead them away and out of that family of God." I assume you mean by that that one born of God can become unborn and also lose his salvation. If you mean something different by that, then perhaps you should learn to communicate more clearly. And if that is your point, then when you speak of "falling"I assume you also mean "losing salvation."

Those are the assumptions I made in interpreting your letter and the reasons why I made those assumptions. Correct me if you meant something else. For I am surprised by your response, as the conclusions I drew were simply a logical deduction based upon those assumptions.

In the beginning you say "there are many references in the Bible which deals with the possibility of a child of God sinning and thus breaking off fellowship with God." But you go on to speak of losing salvation. Therefore "breaking off fellowship with God" to you means losing salvation. There are others even in the eternal security crowd that also use such phrases but don't mean losing salvation. It's best in communication if you use clear and distinct terminology, else you should not be surprised if people misinterpret you.

In Scripture #1 (2Pet 1:10) you mention "Notice Peter refers to these people as
brethren!  Those who currently are a part of the family of God."  That is an assumption on your part. As I said before, Peter is writing to "Christians" - those who are "brethren" in name. But in your interpretation you assume that everyone who is a brother in name has been born of God. For you go on to substitute the term "child of God".  In other words you are assuming all "Christians" are born of God. And you do the same with Scripture #2 saying, "the Corinthians (again brethren in Christ - members of the family of God)" And you make the same assumption in Scripture #4 and #5. In Paul's comment in scripture #3 he is not assuming that he ever had been born of God if his behavior indicates otherwise. He speaks of himself with the same kind of assumptions he speaks with others. For how does any individual Christian know whether they had ever been born of God?

But now you are saying that not all Christians are born of God. Well, if not all Christians are born of God, if not all people whom the apostles are writing to have been born of God, even though they may be "called" brethren, if not all "brethren" who attending the various churches described in the New Testament have been born of God, then how can you assume that such verses prove that those born of God can lose their salvation. How do you know whether they had ever been born of God?

You are making assumptions about what the Bible does not explicitly teach. But what does the Bible explicitly teach on this subject?

"Everyone born of God overcomes the world." 1John 5:4

Are there people born of God who don't overcome the world? The Bible says NO!

And as I pointed out the Bible says:
"No one who is born of God will continue to sin" 1John 3:9

Here he's speaking in a lifestyle sense as I pointed out Paul is also speaking in 1Cor 6:9,10. Futhermore, "is born of God" is literally "has been born of God" - perfect passive participle indicating something which has occurred in the past and continues up to the present.
Is there anyone who has been born of God who continues to live a lifestyle of sin? NOT A ONE! That's what the Bible explicitly teaches. But what say you?

Let me ask you a personal question, but don't feel obligated to respond if you prefer not to: How do you know whether you have been born of God?

Steve Amato
bcbsr.com


Steve,

   I am sensing a subtle air of contempt from you.  Slowly the discussion
has gone from substantive questioning of biblical texts to a ridiculing
of my communication abilities (and I suppose your communication is
unflawed).  There are so many questions and verses on the table at this
time so let's get back to a very basic examination of one text in
scripture.
   In Acts 8:14 we have the account of Simon the sorcerer's conversion
and subsequent sin.  What is your view as to what happened to him in this
text?

Scott


Scott,

I don't know how you got that impression. I'm merely stating the facts and asking reasonable questions to clarify our communication - questions which you haven't yet answered.

There is no record of Simon the Sorcerer being born of God in that section. Rather than being a record of his "conversion" is seems to be more a record of his not yet having saving faith. And this is not "going back", for you had never previously mentioned Acts 8:14. If there are so many verses already on the table, then why bring in yet another one? Is it that you find Acts 8:14 provides a more solid basis for your convictions on the matter than the other verses you mentioned? Yet it's the same reasoning as in the others. You simply have too many assumptions in your interpretation to form a convincing argument. And what is so basic that you find about Acts 8:14?

Was Simon "converted"? We he born of God? When? Before he sinned or after? And if before,  did he commit a sin that led to the loss of his salvation? People can come up with all kinds of different answers to these based on just that small section. Much is just pure speculation. Futhermore a book like Acts is simply recording historical events, but it's primary purpose is not to teach doctrine. As I said before, best to stick with those verses that teach explicitly on the matter (like 1st John) and interpret the "what happened" sections in the light of those.

In Christ,

Steve Amato


Steve,

You say there is "no record of Simon the Sorcerer being born of God in
this section."  Please think about the following basic syllogism:
Premise #1 - Jesus said, "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved"
(Mark 16:16).
Premise #2 - "Simon himself believed and was baptized" (Acts 8:13).of
Jesus.
Conclusion - Therefore Simon was saved!

   Now, I'm sure you will respond that he wasn't truly saved for he had
not truly believed and thus he was just a "professing" Christian.  I will
remind you that the words in Acts are not Simon's words but they are the
words of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit tells us that Simon believed
and was baptized!  The Holy Spirit tells us that Simon was saved.

Scott


Scott,

Luke in the inspiration of the Holy Spirit recorded what people did in a nominal historic sense. For example, Luke writes: "Some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said,'The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to obey the law of Moses.'" Acts 15:2

But Paul,under the inspiritation of the Holy Spirit, said what they really were. "This matter arose because some false brothers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves." Gal 2:4 Notice that Paul judged that they were not "believers" at one time that lost their salvation, but rather were false brothers from the start. And who is to say such was also not true of Simon?

So Luke calls them "believers" but Paul calls them "false brothers", because Luke was writing in an historical sense of what people were called externally or nominally whereas Paul was writing about what people really were inside.

So also when it speaks of Simon "believing" this is not necessarily referring to saving faith. And you end up with burden of proof. As I said, Acts is not primarily for instruction but is primarily a record of what happened. If you want to speak on the "basics" of this issue of eternal security Acts is not going to help you much as long as you ignore the explicit teachings on the matter which I pointed out to you.

Steve Amato
bcbsr.com


Steve,

   I don't even know how to reply to your misguided belief that one can
not establish doctrine from historical books such as Acts.  You have lost
all credibility on anything you say.  We no longer have a common basis
upon which to discuss important doctrinal concerns.  It is as if I were
speaking to a Buddhist who doesn't believe in the Bible.  Or a Mormon who
would rather teach from his book than God's Word.  I suppose the four
gospels can not be used to establish doctrine either - for they are just
a historical account of Jesus' life.  How sad!  The greatest sermon ever
preached - Jesus' sermon on the mount - can not be used to establish how
doctrinally we are to treat each other or our enemies!?  I will admit it
is a great way of side stepping plain texts which would refute your "once
saved always saved" false doctrine.
   Your previous response to the five scriptures I used to prove the
error of your doctrine was to simply point me to your notes on the
Internet.  I went to those notes and saw nothing in them that would
address my questions.
   Steve, there are just too many scriptures which in essence say,  "Once
saved always saved IF...."  Here are five more:
"IF (again) IF you abide in my word, you are my disciples indeed" (John
8:31).

"Moreover brethren I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you,
which also you received and in which you stand by which also you are
saved IF (again) IF you hold fast that word which I preached to you -
unless you believed in vain" (I Cor. 15:1, 2).

"And you who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked
works, yet now He has reconciled in the body of His flesh through death,
to present you holy, and blameless, and irreproachable in His sight - IF
(again) IF you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not
moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard" (Col. 1:21-23).

"But Christ as a Son over His own house, whose house we are IF (again) IF
we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm TO THE
END" (Heb. 3:6).

"Now by this we know that we know Him IF (again) IF we keep His
commandments" (I John 2:3).

Scott


Scott,

I thought I've responded clearly enough to all your propositions, but I perceive that you have so much hatred and contempt built up within in you that you are unable to hear the truth.

I have proven from the Bible that when Acts speaks of believers it may be referring to those who are only nominally so.

I have shown you what the Bible explicitly states concerning the issue of Eternal Security, as well as the doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints.

You point out the "if" clauses, but you should realize that these will all inevitably be satisfied by those who have been born of God. For "Everyone born of God overcomes the world". The "if" clauses are there for one to question whether they have actually been born of God. They speak of the expected fruits of regeneration. They do not logically disprove the doctrine of Eternal Security.

You say that my notes don't deal with the issues you bring up. You really didn't make a serious effort to listen, did you? So let's go back to your 5 scriptures. (You still haven't dealt with the scriptures I have pointed out to you).

2Peter 1:10 "Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall,"

As you now admit we shouldn't assume that all Christians have been born of God, neither did Peter make such an assumption. Here he is speaking of increasing the assurance that you have been born of God through the development of application oriented faith, which is also the faith  For there is a quality of faith that doesn't save and one that does.

1Cor 10:12  "So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don't fall!"

Same as with 2Peter 1:10. Here again Christians are encouraged to question their salvation status. (Eternal Security is not the same as Assurance of Salvation - or do you not understand that?)

1Cor 9:26,27   "Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize."

Here Paul is doing what he told the Corinthians to do in 1Cor 10:12, for example and what Peter teaches in 2Peter 1:10. We see Paul telling the Corinthians to question whether they are in Christ or not in 2Cor 13:5,6 "Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you-- unless, of course, you fail the test?" And in the very next verse they are even encourage to examine him as well. "And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test."  So Paul is simply practicing what he preaches. None of this contrary to the doctrine of Eternal Security.

Hebrews 3:12 "See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God."

Because if they do then as 1John 2:19 indicates if they had belonged to Christ, then they would have remained with Christ, but if they don't remain that they had never belonged to begin with.

And finally Gal 5:4 "You who are trying to be justified by law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace."

They had fallen from the concept of grace into a performance based salvation concept. This is not to say that such people had ever been born of God to begin with. The quality of faith that saves is an unwavering conviction as Paul speaks of Abraham's faith in Romans 4 as analogous to saving faith, "Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised." Those who fall into a performance based salvation concept demonstrate by doing so that they never really held Biblical faith as a conviction.

Let my know if there's any other point you would like me to clarify. I do hope that you would take your own advice and develop a degree of humility so that you may be edified by these teachings.

Here is your proposition:
"May we pursue an attitude of humility and never position ourselves as if we have it all figured out and are in need of no more study."

But are you yourself actually practicing it?

In Christ,

Steve Amato
bcbsr.com


Steve,

First, eternal security is the same as assurance of salvation (do you not
understand that?).

Second, I have responded to your scripture texts (did you not listen?).

Third, I do not have hatred built up with in me but sadness.  Why?
Because so many people have been and will continue to be misled by the
false doctrines of Calvinism.  And many will feel false security about
their eternal life and thus behave immorally, which is the logical result
of your "once saved always saved" doctrine.

Phyllis will return from vacation on Saturday and I will allow her to
respond any further to your thoughts.  Clearly, any more discussion will
be a waste of our time.  I must admit it was helpful to be challenged and
thus fulfill Peter's requirement to, "Sanctify the Lord God in your
hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a
reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good
conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your
good conduct in Christ may be ashamed" (I Peter 3:14, 15).

Sincerely,
Scott



The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources Jul 29,2015