While I agree with you on a number of points it appears you are unaware there are not simply two positions on the issues you bring up, but three. You can view the three positions at http://www.bcbsr.com/topics/posp.html I will refer to the three positions at Free Grace, Lordship Salvation, and Arminian. You are taking the Arminian position, but I believe Lordship Salvation to be most Biblical and is also consistent with reformed theology and Calvinism on this point. Both you and I disagree with the Free Grace position, which is antinomial.
Todd: "The same faith that initially appropriated God's grace must be continued in to the end of one's life or eternal life will be forfeited. Though eternal life is eternal, the possession of it is not - necessarily. There will be those who will employ one of Calvin's cop-outs by saying that this message is one that sets forth a system of works to earn salvation."
Can you tell me where Calvin says that? I've read some of Calvin's works. He does not preach antinomianism. But neither does he hold your position. Much as I disagree with a number of points of Calvinism, yet I believe he is Biblical correct concerning the doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints. I believe he would say something like, "The same faith that initially appropriated God's grace will continue to the end of one's life or eternal life will be forfeited, not having been accepting with saving faith. Though once saved always saved, the assurance of one's salvation is dependent upon one's performance."
In analyzing your paper I'll just deal with those areas where the Arminian positions conflicts with Lordship Salvation.
CAN THE BELIEVER STOP BELIEVING? WHAT DID JESUS TEACH?: "They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, RECEIVE THE WORD with joy; and these have no root, which for a while BELIEVE, and in time of temptation FALL AWAY." (Luke 8:13) Many who "believe" and therefore come to a saving faith in Jesus Christ, do not continue to trust Him due to persecutions, trials, love for the things of this world, greed, idolatry, etc., and consequently will not be eternally saved, because they have "fall[en] away." (Matthew 10:22) Notice here that JESUS CHRIST is the One who first used the term "fall away." Why would the very Son of God use this language if it were not possible?
Jesus uses a number of illustrations contrasting
saving faith with that of non-saving faith. The
Parable of the Sower in Luke 8:13 is such an example. The faith that
saves is not a trivial thing but a deep conviction. It is a rooted faith,
whereas the those that fell away did not have their faith rooted.
|One day a farmer went out to sow
Scattering seed to and frow
Some fell along the path
Which could not deliver from God's wrath
For the devil took what they hadn't craved
So they didn't believe and were not saved.
Some fell on rocks but withered and died
For their faith was not deep enough to be qualified
To receive the life God promised to those
Who really believed Jesus died and arose.
Yes at first they were overjoyed
But when trials came their faith was destroyed
For they received it without their faith being rooted
And so fell away after they were persecuted
Who is it that invented the term "fall away"? It was the Master Himself. Dare we argue with Him or question whether such is possible?
Is Jesus Christ a deceiver? Why then would He warn us of something if such were not possible?
"From that time many of his DISCIPLES went back, and walked no more with him." John 6:66They didn't have the kind of faith that saves. Just being a "disciple" doesn't mean that such a person is saved.
The prodigal son's father, who represents the Heavenly Father, said:
"It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive AGAIN; and was lost, and is found." Luke 15:32
The Parable of the Prodigal Son is dealing with the lost sheep of Israel. It is not dealing with those who have been born of God under the New Covenant.
"They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, RECEIVE THE WORD with joy; and these have no root, which for a while BELIEVE, and in time of temptation FALL AWAY." Luke 8:13Again this is from the Parable of the Sower dealing with the distinction between nominal belief and saving faith.
Many who teach unconditional eternal security state that there is no reason for the believer to 'hold on' to God because God is holding on to the believer. Is this the truth (Bible)? Let's let the LORD answer this question:
1 Timothy 1:19 "HOLDING faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away (such is obviously possible) concerning faith have made shipwreck (Greek: smash, crash, be ruined)."Saving faith is of a kind which endures to the end. Failure to endure indicates such a person did not have such faith. Their faith was like that of the man who builds his house on the sand, claiming to believe the word, but not applying it.
1 Timothy 6:12 "Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses."
Notice that we are "called" to "eternal life", yet must "Fight the good fight of faith" and "lay hold on eternal life" (because if you don't it could get away from you). Why must we "lay hold on eternal life" if there were no possibility of it getting away from us if we return to our sinful life? Was the LORD just filling space in His Book here or was He lovingly warning us to beware of this eternal danger?
He who endures to the end will be saved. If a person has a faith which is not one which fights to live the Christian life, such a person has not been born of God. (1John 3:9,10; 5:3,4 and so forth)
OSAS is a dangerous teaching that robs the fear of the Lord from the believer's heart. It is very seductive to put it lightly. The mind and heart can be seduced to partake of this,t he original life, if not guarded. Let me encourage you to beware and be established in the truth - for your self, straight from the Word (John 8:31-32).
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 - which also teaches the Perseverance of the Saints)
but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
CAN A TRUE BELIEVER DEPART FROM GOD?: "Take heed, BRETHREN, lest there be IN ANY OF YOU (brethren) an evil heart of unbelief, in DEPARTING FROM the living God." (Hebrews 3:13) Here we see that it is possible for "brethren" to backslide and have "an evil heart of unbelief" while "departing from (leaving) the living God". If it were not possible for a brother to "depart" from God, why the warning?
Actually if you read verse 14 it elaborates saying, "We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first." Thus if a person does not hold firmly to the end, such a person had never come to share in Christ to begin with. Realize that the author is written to Christians in general. He doesn't know which of them in particular has been born of God. But a person's salvation status is revealed by their behavior. See "How to measure you salvation status".
FALLING FROM GRACE; IS IT POSSIBLE?: What did the true grace teacher, the apostle Paul, have to say? "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; YE ARE FALLEN FROM GRACE." (Galatians 5:4) Beloved, how could someone possibly "fall" from something they weren't already on/in? This would obviously be impossible.
"fallen from grace" means that they had fallen away from the concept of grace indicating that they had never really accepted it as a conviction to begin with. There are many Christians today who have heard and even say they believe in forgiveness of sins through faith in the atoning work of Christ on the cross alone, but don't even understand what it means. For they believe that for such forgiveness to actually be given one must do certain ceremonial acts and maintain a certain level of performance. They have fallen from the concept of grace that Paul preaches and replaced it with their own gospel.
Speaking to believers (see 3:1), the writer of Hebrews says; "Looking diligently lest ANY MAN FAIL OF THE GRACE OF GOD." Hebrews 12:15
You mean speaking to Christians. Not all "Christians" are born of God. Not all have saving faith. Many are in the wilderness developing saving faith but may fall away as the people of Israel did in the desert and die. But they have not crossed the Jordan river and enter the promise land as those who have been born of God have. See also "Becoming a Christian."
So far we have witnessed that JESUS Christ used the words "Fall away" (Luke 8:13) and the great apostle used the term "fallen from grace." (Galatians 5:4) The divinely inspired writer of Hebrews, when speaking to "brethren", used the term "Fail of the grace of God." Please tell me why these terms would be used by the very Son of God and two other divinely inspired NT writers if such were not possible?
In the process of developing saving faith one can fall away and lose the opportunity to be saved.
MORE ON FALLING:
"For IT IS IMPOSSIBLE for those who WERE ONCE ENLIGHTENED, and HAVE TASTED OF (experienced) THE HEAVENLY GIFT (eternal life), and WERE MADE PARTAKERS OF THE HOLY GHOST, And HAVE TASTED OF THE GOOD WORD OF GOD AND THE POWERS OF THE WORLD TO COME, IF (the "if" word denotes that it is possible) they shall FALL FALL FALL AWAY FALL AWAY, to renew them AGAIN unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." Hebrews 6:4-6Does this section mean a Christian could lose his salvation?
Although that is a possible interpretation if one reads just this section alone, it seems inconsistent with overs verses. 1John 2:19, for example, indicates that true believers do not even "fall away". However, there are also many verses that indicate that not everyone who calls themself a "Christian" actually is a believer (Matt 7:21). And if one is a real believer, then there should be some inevitable "fruit" as external evidence of their belief (Matt 7:19-20). Heb 6:7,8 indicates that this person is not such a believer, but merely a nominal Christian.
The situation described in this section may be likened to the time when Israel came out of Egypt, through the desert to the Jordan River, and despite all that they experienced of God's power, they refused to enter the promise land. So God sent them back into the desert to die.
This section describes a person who has been enlightened to understand the gospel. But understanding it doesn't make one saved. They have had a taste of the heavenly gift, possibly referring to the Holy Spirit which Peter calls a gift in Acts 2:38. In which case, "tasted" and "shared in" both refer to their experience with the Holy Spirit. The greek word for "shared in" (metochos) is literally "became partners with". It is first used in the New Testament in Lu 5:7 "And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink." This is the type of relationship that the Holy Spirit has with those He is helping to come to Christ. Such people do have an experience with the Holy Spirit even though they don't have the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit promises to believers as in Eph 1:13,14 "In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."
They also experienced how good the Word of God is, although had yet to really put their faith in it. They also experience miracles, which made them even more accountable in God's sight just as Jesus had said: "Woe unto thee, Chorazin! woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty works, which were done in you, had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you." Matt 11:21,22
A person who has such knowledge and experience, and rejects Christ will be permanently lost. Having reject what the Holy Spirit had been revealing to him, he has sinned against the Holy Spirit, and as Jesus says, "But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness, but is in danger of eternal damnation." Mr 3:29 Having led the person to the point of salvation, having given him sufficient evidence to make a decision, and having been rejected, the Holy Spirit breaks His partnership with the unbeliever and never returns. For "But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned."Heb 6:8
Heb 6:4 It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, (NIV)
Heb 6:4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, (AV)
We must be careful to note that the Greek word translated "partakers" does not mean "possessors," in the sense that these Hebrews possessed the Holy Spirit as an indwelling Person who had come to take up His permanent abode in their hearts. The word is a compound of the Greek verb "to have or hold", and a preposition meaning "with" thus "to hold with." It is used in Luke 5:7 where it is translated "partners," signifying one who co-operates with another in a common task or undertaking. It is used in Hebrews 1:9 where the angels are "fellows" of our Lord, partners or associates with Him in the work of salvation. It is used in Hebrews 3:1 where the recipients of this letter are called participators in the heavenly calling. That is, they participated together in the heavenly calling. These Hebrews had left the earthly calling of the nation Israel, and had identified themselves with the Church which has a heavenly calling. It is used in Hebrews 3:14, where it speaks of those who participate together in the Lord Jesus.
The word (metochos) was so used in secular Greek. Moulton and Milligan give examples of its usage in the following phrases: "We, Dionysius son of Socrates and the associate collectors;" Pikos son of Pamonthes and his colleagues," "the Joint-owner of a holding," "I am unable to take part in the cultivation," "Some do so because they are partners in their misdeeds." Thus the word signifies one who participates with another in a common activity or possession. It is so used here. These Hebrews became participators in the Holy Spirit insofar as an unsaved person can do so, namely, in the sense that they willingly co-operated with Him in receiving His pre-salvation ministry, that of leading them on step by step toward the act of faith. He had led them into the act of repentance. The next step would be that of faith. Here they were in danger of turning their backs upon the Spirit and returning to the sacrifices. Peter in his first epistle (1:2) in the words, "through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience," speaks of this work of the Holy Spirit on the unsaved, setting them apart from unbelief to faith. This word in its context does not at all imply that these Hebrews had been born of the Spirit, sealed with the Spirit, indwelt by the Spirit, anointed with the Spirit, baptized by the Spirit into the Body of Christ, or filled with the Spirit. This work of the Holy Spirit in leading them on towards faith was a once-for-all work, so thoroughy done that it needed never to be repeated. However, there was nothing permanent of itself in this work, for the work was only a means to an end. This is shown by the aorist participle used, referring to the mere fact, not a perfect, speaking of a finished act having present results. The fact that the writer did not use the perfect tense here, which is a specialized tense, but rather the aorist, which is the maid of all work, points to the incompleteness of the work of the Spirit in the case of these Hebrews. So far as the work had been done, it was perfect, thorough. But it would not be complete until the Hebrews accepted the proffered faith from the Spirit. The incompleteness of the work would be due, therefore, not to the Spirit, but to their willingness to go on as a partner or cooperator with the Spirit.
See also More Discussion over the Interpretation of Hebrews 6:4-8.
LATTER END WORSE:
"For if AFTER they have escaped the pollutions of the world THROUGH THE KNOWLEDGE of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are AGAIN entangled therein, and overcome, THE LATTER END IS WORSE WITH THEM than the beginning. For it had been BETTER for them not to HAVE KNOWN the way of righteousness, than, AFTER THEY HAVE KNOWN IT, to TURN FROM the holy commandment delivered unto them." 2 Peter 2:20-22vs 20-21 "Knowledge" here is "epignosis" in the greek. And while "gnosis" is a relational knowledge, "epignosis" is only a surface knowledge. "epi" means "around". These people know about Christ, but they don't know him personally. And thus this is referring to nominal Christians. In the process of coming to know about Christ and developing saving faith by following Christ, nominal "Christians" will repent from sin and experience a degree of "escaping the pollutions of the world" entering the Christian community. But as Paul in 1Corinthians 10 also alludes to the people of Israel dying in the desert, so in th middle of following Christ, nominal Christians may turn away, get entangled in sin and are overcome.
It would have been better for them to know have known because while before it is true they were going to hell, now they are going to suffer worse punishment. The more you know, the more you will be held responsible for. As Jesus said to those who saw his miracles, but didn't believe "I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you." Matt 11:24 (niv) and "That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked." Luke 12:47,48 (niv)
vs 22 This again affirms that these people have never been regenerate. For "if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature" 2Cor 5:17. A dog or a pig can pretend to be a sheep for a period of time, but eventually they conform to their nature if they do not become regenerate.
"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he FALL." (1 Corinthians 10:12) Again, Why all the warnings to Christians not to "FALL" if such were not possible?
Because many Christians can fall away, just as I said.
"BRETHREN, if any of YOU (brethren) do err FROM the truth, and one CONVERT him (bring him back to God); Let him know, that he which CONVERTETH THE SINNER from the error of his way shall SAVE a soul from death (eternal separation from God)." James 5:19-20It speaks of a person previously unconverted and therefore a nominal Christian. As for "Brethren", realize that it is often used in a nominal sense as is "believer". For example in "Acts 15:5 Luke writes, "Then 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." Luke writing in an historic sense speaks of these Pharisees as "believers" referring simply to their association with the Christian community. But Paul writes of this incident in Galatians 2 saying, "Yet not even Titus, who was with me, was compelled to be circumcised, even though he was a Greek. 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. We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the truth of the gospel might remain with you."Gal 2:3-5 Here he calls these same people "false brothers". For he was writing what they really were not simply what they called themselves.
DOES SIN SEPARATE THE BELIEVER FROM GOD? OR, IS HE UNCONDITIONALLY FORGIVEN
OF ALL HIS SINS No MATTER WHAT HE DOES? What Does the Bible State?
"That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas BY TRANSGRESSION FELL, that he might go to his own place (hell)." Acts 1:25
Judas had never been saved to begin with. He fell away, never having developed saving faith.
Judas, a man selected by the very Son of God to hold the highest office in the Church (Apostle), and promised an eternal throne, "by transgression FELL." Judas was a man who was Christ's "own familiar friend, in whom I (He - Jesus) trusted." (Psalms 41:9) Jesus not only chose Judas as one of His 12, but "trusted" him so much so that He made Judas the treasurer of His ministry. Dare we even insinuate that Jesus, the very Lamb of God, chose an evil man to be part of His ministry?
Yes Jesus purposely chose an evil man to be part of his ministy. Do you think Jesus was unaware that Judas was stealing from the money bag. (John 12:6)? Judas was chosen to fulfill the scriptures. He was to be characteristic of the wolves in the Christian community. He was not reckoned a son of God, but a son of perdition. (John 17:12) Would you have rather that Jesus not fulfill the scriptures?
But you bring up an important issue. Let me start with some questions. Since you have come to faith in Christ, have you ever sinned? Each time you sin, have you lost your salvation? Arminians hold different positions on this issue and I want to find out which you stand on.
4 Times the Bible states that because of the sin of taking away from the words of Scripture, names will be blotted out of the book of life. Obviously, those names had to be IN the book of life in order to be blotted OUT of it (Ex. 32:32; Ps 69:28; Rev. 3:5, 22:19).
In Exodus Moses was not under the New Covenant nor was the Psalmist. Revelation 3:5 states, "He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels." It is speaking only of those who overcome. It does not say that those who don't overcome had their names previously written in the book of Life. But realize that the Bible explicitly teaches "everyone born of God overcomes the world." 1John 5:4 And thus if a person is born of God it is inevitable that they will not have their names blotted out of the book of Life. (Sounds like Eternal Security to me)
"Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which NO man shall see the Lord." Hebrews 12:14
God makes holy those who have been born of God. No conflict with eternal security there.
Space does not permit listing the plethora of Scripture that reveals that the Lord will not allow sin into His presence - no matter what his previous relationship with a person was (Ezekiel 33:12-13).
The Ezekiel passages is referring to righteousness by law, just as Jesus does to the rich man of Luke 18. The righteousness of the law is different than that righteous of faith. Paul contrasts these two concepts of obtaining righteousness in the first few chapters of Romans, the transition being in Romans 3:20-22
"Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin. But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe."And Paul extensively contrasts righteousness by Law and by Faith in Galatians, such as saying
All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: "Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law." Clearly no one is justified before God by the law, because, "The righteous will live by faith." The law is not based on faith; on the contrary, "The man who does these things will live by them." Gal 3:10-12This same curse in the curse Ezekiel describes as he expresses performance based righteousness.
Is your position that a person must live a perfectly sinless life in order to be saved? What about yourself, do you life a perfectly sinless life?
DO CERTAIN SINS DISQUALIFY ONE FROM HEAVEN?: To the church, the Holy Spirit inspired apostle wrote: "Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are THESE; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things SHALL NOT inherit the kingdom of God." Galatians 5:19-21
1 Corinthians 6:9-10: "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? BE NOT DECEIVED: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind (homosexuals), Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
"But the fearful (spiritual cowards, men pleasers), and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Revelation 21:8These are all referring to sin in a lifestyle sense. (You have to consider the significance of the Greek present tense) There is no one born of God who does these things in such a sense.
"No one who has been 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." 1John 3:9,10
Notice that it says that this correlation is not due to effort, but due to the fact that the person has been born of God. Regeneration has an inevitable effect on a person's behavior. Lack of such effect indicates that the person had not been born of God.
UNCONDITIONAL ETERNAL SECURITY? MUST A CHRISTIAN CONTINUE IN OBEDIENT FAITH TO THE END OF HIS LIFE TO BE ETERNALLY SAVED?: To His very own disciples, JESUS stated: "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth TO THE END shall be saved." Matthew 10:22
Everyone born of God continues to endure to the end. "for everyone born of God overcomes the world." 1John 5:4
If you really want to know exactly who the Savior was speaking to here, read Matthew 10:1-22. Hint: He was speaking to His very own disciples. See verse 1.
His disciples were yet to be born of God. For "Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified." John 7:39
IF, IF, IF?
"And you ... hath he reconciled (saved) ... to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: IF you continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel ..." Colossians 1:21-23 We see here that it is possible for those who have been "reconciled" to be "moved away" from eternal life which is "the hope of the gospel".If we interpret "if" to mean "only if", this eliminates both the Free Grace position and the Arminian position. For what if ones does not continue in the faith? It's not that he lost his salvation. But rather he had never been reconciled to begin with. The verse speaks of a present and past condition (reconciled) in view of a future behavior, which is incompatible with both positions and only supports the case of Lordship Salvation. And many other such verses can be interpreted in a similar manner such as John 8:31 "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples."
But what are they being joined to and cut off from? Is it salvation? I don't think so. It seems to me that Paul is referring to the outward manifestation of God's people. For example, before Christendom, the outward manifestation of God's people was the nation of Israel, or the "Jews". They represented God's people. But these people were not automatically saved just because they were born Jewish, or because they had been circumcised.
"Be not highminded, but FEAR: For if God spared not the natural branches (Israel), take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold (study) therefore the goodness AND severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, IF THOU CONTINUE in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be CUT OFF." Romans 11:20-22
After Christ, God's people were changed from Judaism to Christianity. It changed from the Jewish nation to Christendom. But Christendom was not a new tree. It was in fact the same old tree. Christianity is the "true" Judaism. Judaism as the unbelieving Jews perceive it is contrary to Christianity. Thus they have cut themselves off from the true Judaism, which is Christianity. And if they come to faith in Christ, they can join themselves back on to the true Judaism.
When a Jew or Gentile identify with Christendom, by claiming faith in Christ and getting baptized, that may not necessarily mean that they have been "saved" (or "justified"), but rather that they can be called and treated as a Christian. But the requirement for salvation goes beyond outward things. It requires an inward faith that is confident, enduring and application-oriented. And while many "play" Christianity on an outward level, it often takes a while for a Christian to travel through the outward "nominal" stage before their faith is on the level of a conviction. And this is a basis for fear.
The real grace teacher, Paul, writing to "Brethren" concerning the "gospel", states, "By which also ye are saved IF ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, UNLESS YE HAVE BELIEVED IN VAIN." 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 "Believing in vain" would mean that one's initial/previous saving faith is useless "if" they do not "keep in memory" the gospel which Paul preached to them and they received.
As I stated before, he was writing to "Christians" - those who outwardly identified themselves with the Christian community. But whether they truly believed would be revealed by their behavior. But concerning this verse it contradicts the Free Grace position. But can be used to affirm Lordship Salvation. It could also support the Arminian position if we just focus on the present tense. But even so it could not be used to reject Lordship Salvation. 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.
IS A PERSON ETERNALLY "SECURE" BECAUSE OF HIS PREVIOUS SAVING FAITH IN JESUS?
Hebrews 4:11 "Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man FALLAFTER THE SAME EXAMPLE OF UNBELIEF." This is a clear warning not to "fall". How could one "fall" from something he wasn't on?Once again these are concerning people would do not go on to develop their faith to be of a quality acceptable to God for salvation. As for the Corinthians, for example, doesn't Paul write: "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 He does not presume that they are all saved just because they associate themselves with the Christian community.
"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he FALL." 1 Corinthians 10:12 Again, Why all the warnings to Christians not to "FALL" if it were not possible?
AGAIN, IS A PERSON ETERNALLY "SECURE" BECAUSE OF HIS PREVIOUS SAVING FAITH IN JESUS? (The big question is whether or not YOU are willing to hear what the Bible says.) "The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression ... neither shall the righteous be able to live for his righteousness in the day that he sinneth. When I shall say to the righteous, that he shall surely live; IF he trust to his own righteousness, and commit iniquity, all his righteousnesses shall not be remembered; but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he shall die (be separated from God) for it." Ezekiel 33:12,13
You're just repeating yourself, again making reference the legalist righteousness Ezekiel preached under the Old Covenant. Is it that righteousness in which you have put your faith? Or the righteousness of the New Covenant expressed by Jeremiah "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time, I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest," declares the LORD. "For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more." Such a covenant includes God forgetting our sins and God changing our hearts and minds. Under the Old Covenant a person had to save themselves by modifying their behavior. Have you put your faith in the atoning work of Christ, or are you working to be saved. Is it not written, "Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. However, to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness." Rom 4:4,5 Which are you?
Obedience is always the evidence that one currently possesses saving faith (James 2:14-26). Anything short of continuing faith that renders obedience to God and produces personal holiness, is damnable unbelief and rebellion. See Luke 8:13; 9:62; Matt. 7:21; Heb. 4:1,11; 10:26-39; 1 Jn. 1:7; 2:3-5.
But everyone born of God does obey, and it's not particularly burdensome to do so. "This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world." 1John 5:3,4
Biblical faith produces holiness of life without which NO man shall enter Heaven, regardless of his past relationship with God.
It is inevitable that those born of God will have such holiness. Saving faith results in regeneration which affects behavior. "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." 1John 3:9
Paul did not count himself above falling away. Paul did not consider himself unconditionally eternally secure:
"But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway (reprobate)." 1 Corinthians 9:27Paul was dealing not with eternal security but with assurance of salvation. For even in his case there is no guarantee that he was ever born of God if he didn't continue in the faith.
According to the New Testament, saving faith can be:
THE SOUL MUST BE KEPT: "To an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled ... in heaven ... Who are KEPT (preserved for Heaven) by the power of God THROUGH FAITH unto salvation..." 1 Peter 1:4-5 Notice here that we are "kept by the power of God THROUGH FAITH UNTO salvation". Again, the only prerequisite for man to be saved is genuine "faith" in God - this saving faith must be continued in to the end of one's life or he forfeits eternal life. God, who is our Keeper, requires our ongoing faith to the end. See also 1 Peter 4:19. At the end of his life, the Apostle Paul stated "... I have KEPT the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness ..." 2 Timothy 4:7-8
One's keeping of the faith is inevitable for those born of God, and these verses do not contradict that concept. For where does "the power of God" come in, if in fact it is us and not God that secures our salvation?
** Major Snip **
You go on to repeat yourself a number of times. But I have already dealt with those verses. And I am snipping out all the times you repeat yourself. The redundancy in unnecessary.
Hebrews 10:26-39 "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But call to remembrance the former days, in which, after ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions; Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used. For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance. Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise (eternal life). For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition (destruction); but of them that believe to the saving of the soul."This is speaking of those who only receive a surface knowledge of Christ and identified themselves with the Christian community, but it doesn't refer to those who have been born of God. Knowledge" here is "epignosis" in the greek. And while "gnosis" is a relational knowledge, "epignosis" is only a surface knowledge. "epi" means "around". These people know about Christ, but they don't know him personally. And thus this is referring to nominal Christians who fall away from the faith.
Since when did man lose his ability to choose (free moral agency) after he is saved? This is a question that stumps all proponents of the unconditional eternal security myth.
"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." 1John 3:9
But let me ask you, let's say you make it to heaven, will you have the free will to lose your salvation in heaven? If not then when did you lose your free will?
God sets "life and death, blessing and cursing" before His own people with the choice between the two (Deut. 30:19; Isaiah 1:19,20).
That's a quote from the Law of Moses. Have you put yourself under the Old Covenant Law, or are you under the New Covenant?
JESUS said that there were ten virgins likened to the kingdom of heaven, not hell. All ten of these virgins were predestined to go to Heaven, yet only five made it. Matthew 25:1-13
Who said they were predestined to go to heaven. For my interpretation of the parable of the 10 virgins, see the link.
WARNING TO THOSE WHO TEACH UNCONDITIONAL ETERNAL SECURITY: The lie of lasciviousness (license to sin) is not new. It started in the very cradle of creation. There are several warnings in Scripture to those who would teach this destructive doctrine of devils.
Jude 3-7 & 11-13 tell us about the destiny of all false teachers, especially those who teach lasciviousness (a license to sin) - Once Saved Always Saved. Lasciviousness is another term for the unconditional eternal security (no responsibility to live holy) teaching:
That's slander! Lordship salvation holds to Once Saved, Always Saved, but also makes a correlation between a person's salvation status and their behavior. And even for Free Grace theology you cannot equate their concept of eternal security with Lasciviousness. Their concept is antinominal. An antinominal concept may lead to lascivious behavior, but not all Christians who hold to such a concept can be characterized as lascivious. Lascivious is expressing lust or exciting sexual desires. Maybe you you meant to say "licentious", which means "Lacking moral discipline or ignoring legal restraint, especially in sexual conduct, or having no regard for accepted rules or standards." But that would still be inappropriate. Free Grace antinomianism is the idea that obedience to law is uncorrelated with a person's salvation status. That itself is not licentious but can lead to the licentious presuming they are saved when they are not. But if you want to play the legalist, what justifies you in slandering others? Is it not written that slanderers do not inherit the kingdom of God. (1Cor 6:9,10)?
Jude 3-7 & 11-13:
Dealt extensively with in the Jude study.
For additional Study guides on this subject see:
The BCBSR Gospel Menu
The BCBSR Theology Menu
The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources