Eternal Security - OSAS

Discussion in 'Baptist History' started by LadyEagle, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. LadyEagle

    LadyEagle
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    Question: Didn't the doctrine of eternal security or OSAS originate with Augustine and wasn't he Catholic ?? (what I found on the Internet)

    And isn't this OSAS doctrine also linked with Calvinism?

    So, can anyone find any writings of the early church fathers or Baptists regarding eternal security ?

    Not looking for trite replies or Scripture thrown at me. I know what the Scriptures are on both sides. Am sincerely wondering about the history.

    Hoping not to get too bashed too quickly, :eek:
    She Eagle
     
  2. rsr

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    The earliest English churches of the Baptist name did not believe in security. In his 1611 confession, Thomas Helwys wrote:

    Helwys Confession

    Shortly thereafter, another group of Baptists appeared that held the contrary view, as exemplified in the London Confession of 1644:

    1644 London Confession
     
  3. rsr

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    Calvin definitely held to perseverance/preservation.

    As to Augustine (AD 354-430), that is beyond me. While his belief in predestination is well known, I'm not sure that he believed in perseverance/preservation as being equated with eternal security.
     
  4. Jim1999

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    The Origin Of OSAS
    OSAS can easily be traced back to John Calvin (1509-1564) from the Synod of Dort under the description of the perseverance of the saints. But did you know that it, and other points of Calvinism, can be traced more than one thousand years earlier to Augustine of Hippo (354-430)?

    This was the theme about which Augustine structured his thinking during the last half of his writing ministry. As he put it: “Whatsoever persons are through the riches of divine grace exempted from the original sentence of condemnation are undoubtedly brought to hear the Gospel, and when hearing they are caused to believe it, and are made likewise to endure to the end in the faith which works by love, and should they at any time go astray, they are recovered and set right again.” Here are Election and eternal security.
    As a consequence Augustine wrote two treatises: the first was entitled On the Predestination of the Saints, and the second On the Gift of Perseverance. In the first, Augustine reaffirmed that Predestination is in no way based upon foreseen merit in the elect. All a man’s strivings in his own strength to achieve holiness of life apart from the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit are in vain, and Augustine explained why this is so. In the second treatise Augustine showed that the Perseverance of the Saints, by which he meant (in modern terminology) the eternal security of the believer, is not dependent upon the good works of the individual believer which would result from his conversion, but entirely upon the constancy and unchangeableness of God’s elective choice (italics his).
    Since Augustine this doctrine [the perseverance of the saints] has served as a theological framework within which theologians have wrestled with the question of whether and how one remains in salvation. Augustine introduced the idea of a donum perseverantiae: as a divine gift the perseverance of the saints in grace was certain. Calvin later championed the doctrine by affirming the perseverance of believers through the power and faithfulness of God. The Reformed confessions, in particular, the Canons of Dort, emphatically espoused the perseverance of the saints by denying that they could totally or finally fall away (italics his).

    I copied this piece as part of a much longer treatise. It offers some information about "eternal security" as taught down through history

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  5. rsr

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    OK, Jim, you got me. I will not deny that Calvin appeared to base his doctrine on Augustine.

    What I meant was that, from my limited reading of Augustine, he appears to think there is a possibility that some of the regenerate may indeed fall away, so Christians must continually pray for God's free gift of perseverance; those who do fall away are not of the elect.

    That's not the way I understand Calvin.

    Canons of Dort:

    Augustine:

    I am perhaps quibbling and am quite willing to be corrected and apologize for my misunderstandings, as well as straying from the topic.

    [ March 03, 2003, 10:47 PM: Message edited by: rsr ]
     
  6. Jim1999

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    RSR, it depends on whether you are reading early Calvin, such as when he wrote the Institutes, or the later Calvin, when he wrote the Commentary on Romans. Calvin underwent some theological adjustments along the way.

    Augustine too went through several adjustmentsn as he wrestled with "eternal security" and how to deal with those who habitually fall away and even to an apostate state of unbelief.....He raise the question as to whether they were "redeemed" to begin with. It was Calvin who developed the concept of the Perseverance of the saints. This was the human side of the divine act of sanctification......so man does persevere in the faith, but God is the one who makes all this possible in sanctification. In other words, the man in the pew, because of some over zealous preachers shouting OSAS, fail to distinguish between the work of grace by God, and the works (notice plural) of man in persevering in the faith,,,hence,,"working out your own salvation in fear and trembling."

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. rsr

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    Sorry, Jim. I was editing my post while you were adding one. I will shut up now on this. I promise.
     
  8. Aaron

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    All I can say is, if my salvation and preservation rest in my ability to adhere to the Lord, then I have no hope.
     
  9. Jim1999

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    I quite agree with you, Aaron, but it is amazing how many Baptists seem to think that way, at least by what they say.

    I think the confusion comes when we do not differentiate between the Divine prerogatives and looking at the same doctrines from the Divine side and the human side.

    As Spurgeon once illustrated it: We face the great arch as we enter heaven's gates. We read on one side, "Whosoever will may come" and inside, we look back at that same arch and read "Elect from before the foundation of the earth."

    Sanctification is the Divine action of perseverance. Without the Divine side we couldn't persevere at all.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  10. Aaron

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    Cheers indeed!
     

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