The message last Sunday seems to have sparked some interest & questions. As a result, I thought I’d take this opportunity to provide some of the information that had to be cut out from a 30-minute sermon.
Again, the question is: How secure is our salvation? In other words, is it possible to lose one’s salvation? If so, under what conditions?
4 Major Views
Throughout the history of the Christianity, there have been 4 major views on this question.
View #1: A believer can lose his/her salvation by purposefully committing a grave sin. (As I explained on Sunday, this is the Roman Catholic view.)
View #2: A believer can lose his/her salvation only by committing apostasy. (To commit apostasy means to abandon the faith; to renounce one’s salvation.)
View #3: Only a non-elect believer can lose his/her salvation. (This is a fairly obscure view that is not widely held.)
View #4: A believer cannot (and will not) lose his/her salvation under any circumstance. (This view is known as the doctrine of eternal security.)
Obviously, I ascribe to View #4; however, I think most theologians regard the doctrine of eternal security as a Level III doctrine, meaning it’s one that people IN THE SAME CHURCH can disagree over and yet remain in fellowship with each other.
That’s not to say the doctrine isn’t important. I think it’s VERY important, and what one believes about this issue tends to say a lot about one’s belief & understanding with respect to salvation generally.
Support for Eternal Security
There are 3 main arguments in favor of the doctrine of eternal security.
#1 – the doctrine of eternal security is a necessary & logical outcome of the other salvation doctrines.
For example, if we believe the Bible when it says a saved person is foreknown, predestined, called, converted, regenerated, justified, brought into union with Christ and adopted as His child, all of that would have to be reversed in order to lose one’s salvation. In other words, the person would have to be un-regenerated, un-justified, un-adopted and so forth. That sounds silly on the face.
#2 – if God wants a believer to be confident of his or her salvation (which He does), it must be secure.
To say this another way: A person cannot be confident of his/her salvation if it’s not secure. To be confident when it’s NOT secure is delusional.
#3 (and most importantly) – of the 4 major views, the Bible speaks most clearly & forcefully in defense of eternal security.
The three passages commonly regarded as especially clear & forceful include: John 10:27-30; I Peter 1:3-5; and of course, the Romans 8 passage we studied last Sunday. In contrast, the passages typically cited in opposition to eternal security (e.g., Hebrews 6:4-6) just aren’t as clear or forceful.
So Great a Salvation
The doctrine of eternal security causes us to marvel even more at the greatness of God’s salvation. Not only does God rescue lost, undeserving sinners, but He KEEPS us saved when we wander away or fail to love Him as He should be loved.