Perserverence of the Saints -- is it biblical?

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Skandelon, Jan 29, 2004.

  1. Skandelon

    Skandelon
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    If we, as Gentile believers, have been saved and we can't lose our salvation then what is this passage teaching us?

    If the Calvinistic doctrine of once saved always saved is truth, then what is Paul calling the Gentiles to fear in this passage? Can someone please explain this? Thank you.
     
  2. massdak

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    If the Calvinistic doctrine of once saved always saved is truth, then what is Paul calling the Gentiles to fear in this passage? Can someone please explain this? Thank you. </font>[/QUOTE]this is where you need to read this with the understanding that if you believe in Christ of the bible knowing that the apostle paul wrote that a person is saved by grace through faith and not by any works or human merit and even adding this means no more grace. if you know this and believe this, then you cannot possibly interpret any passage no matter how obscure to your thinking it seems to imply a person must work to get saved or keep saved. this is why arminians tend to sink more and more into doctrinal error.
    once a person is born again they are sealed by the Holy Spirit
    learn these things your soul depends on it
     
  3. AllOfGrace

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    Skandelon,

    Consider another writing of Paul:

    "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."
    Ephesians 1:13-14 KJV

    The only way to assume that Paul teaches a believer could lose salvation is to not understand what "earnest" is.
    An example — If I was to buy your car, I would give you earnest money. It would be yours to keep as the promise of the deal. Even if, in this example, I changed my mind about the car, you keep the earnest.

    Paul says the Holy Spirit is our earnest — our assurance of salvation. It is never taken away and neither is our salvation that is given to us by God. Paul makes it clear that the only remaining part of the equation is the "redemption of the purchased possession" or, in our example — taking possession of the car.

    We are eternally secure with Christ as our Savior, the Holy Spirit indwelling us, until such time as the Father sees fit to collect what He is due.
     
  4. Skandelon

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    I sincerely appreciate both of your responses, however it is apparent to me that you have failed to respond to the question presented.

    You have only presented verses that may be perceived as being contradictory, but neither of us believe that the Bible contradicts itself, so there must be an appropriate answer to this question.

    If we cannot lose our salvation, what was Paul calling the Gentiles to fear?

    Thank you once again for your consideration.
     
  5. John Owen

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    In this case, it seems Paul is speaking corporately, not of individuals. For his point is that the Jews, as a nation, were no longer the sole means of the conveyance of salvation to the world. Their unbelief made room for the Gentiles. But, cautions Paul, the Gentiles must not think more highly of themselves then they ought, for God could as easily cut off the Gentiles, just as He did for the Jews. Manifestly, in this hypothetical scenario, this could not mean that salvation would never come again come to a Gentile. So too Paul could not possibly mean that each and every Jew had been cut off from salvation given that the Gentiles had been grafted in, though he used the phrase "all Israel" in his olive tree analogy to speak of the "cutting off". We look no further than to Paul himself for evidence of a Jew being saved, even though Israel is spoken of as being cit off.

    Further proof that Paul does not have in mind individual falling away from a true faith in God is that Paul goes on to point out that the Jews were not totally and permanently cut off. No, God would one day restore the Jews;
    RO 11:25-26 I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.
    26 And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:

    "The deliverer will come from Zion;
    he will turn godlessness away from Jacob."

    So Paul is warning the Gentiles about falling into an anti-semitic view, and or conversely the equally serious error of glorying in their position as if they had done something to merit God's favor. Rather than boasting in their status as a Gentile, they need to instead boast of God's graciousness that caused them, a wild olive shoot, to be ever have been grafted into the olive tree to begin with.

    (Expositors)

    Blessings
     
  6. Kiffin

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    Most Calvinist such as myself reject once saved always saved as teaching easy believism. I think this modern term has more connections to Karl Barth rather than Calvin. Calvinists teach Perseverance of the saints or Presevation of the Saints.

    The 1833 New Hampshire Baptist Confession states, We believe that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare;and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

    The Huguenot Confession
    We believe also that faith is not given to the elect only to introduce them into the right way, but also to make them continue in it to the end. For as it is God who has begun the work, he will also perfect it.

    Westminister Confession
    They, whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally, nor finally, fall away from the state of grace: but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.

    There is a call to persevere for a lack of persevering may be proof one has not been saved in the first place. Those who fall away and never retun show they were never saved.

    John Bunyan stated,

    Heaven is not for those who almost made it, or for those who began, but only for those that finish. The sober thought continues when one considers those who have sprinted, but have not arrived, and those who sit still who are just as if they ran in the wrong direction.

    The Calvinist believes saints persevere because they are saved. In this the Calvinist position is the balanced position between Arminian Perseverance and Once Saved Always saved easy believism. Arminians believe one must persevere in order not to lose their salvation. The Once Saved Always crowd generaly believe the saved may fall away and yet still go to Heaven. In many ways the Calvinist and Arminian position have more in common with the Antinomian teaching of Once Saved Always Saved. (I can't believe I said that :eek: )
     
  7. Skandelon

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    (Expositors)
    </font>[/QUOTE]Thanks for your post. I learned several things I hadn't thought about before.

    A couple of questions/obsevations:

    1. If what you say is true, that Paul is speaking more corporately instead of individually, and therefore the individual has no risk of losing his status in Christ, then what is it that the Gentile should be fearing? I still don't get that part. If salvation is not in question, what is? What is to fear?

    2. If indeed this passage is speaking about the nation of Gentiles and not necessarily about individuals then why do Calvinists (most, not all) insist that Romans 9, which deals with much of the same issues is speaking about individual election rather than more of a corporate election? Wouldn't it be more consistant to say that he is speaking corporately on both of these issues. If not, what is it about Paul's words concerning election that make Calvinists want to apply it to individuals in the same way that I have applied fear of being "cut off" to individuals?

    Thanks for your time. Blessings to you.
     
  8. Skandelon

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    Kiffin,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    If perserverence of the saints is true, then what is Paul calling Gentiles to fear in this passage?

    Blessings.
     
  9. Yelsew

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    Massdak said,
    Because Jesus atonement for sin did not remove sin from mankind, only the penalty of sin, it should be apparent to you that people who believe in God still sin! Some notables who sinned include, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, to name a couple of prominent names. So if you become “Born Again” you are still subject to sinning. If you continue sinning, you subject yourself to being “cut off” the vine. So Fear God! He is still in the vine dressing business!

    There is one thing that continuance in sin does to those who have faith, and that is that sins erode faith in the manner that water erodes sand. So if you have established faith in God, but continue sinning, it is not long before your faith in God takes a back seat to the sin. Eventually, if you do not confess your sins and repent from doing them, they will cause you to not have faith. If you die without faith, you will be cast into the lake of fire! The Holy Spirit convicts all of their sins so that we are all mindful of our sins, and so that we will confess our sins and repent from them. The Holy Spirit will not cohabitate with a human spirit that continues to sin without confession and repentance.
     
  10. Skandelon

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    Yelsew,

    What you say does seem to be the most consistant with the text. Its like the writer of Hebrews say, "Do not let your heart grow hardened."

    And "we must work out our salvation with fear and trembling."

    Its seems that the doctrine of Perserverence of the Saints removes that fear and therefore removes the motivation to work out our salvation and avoid hardening.

    What say ye?
     
  11. John Owen

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    Hi Skandelon.... re 1.
    I think it is that the Gentiles as a people group could be cut off from God's blessings, just as the Jews were at one point, though, as I mentioned, this does not seem to be an absolute statement regarding salvation for even while Israel was cut off, Jews were still coming to believe in Christ Jesus.

    RE 2.
    I think the reason that these 2 passages are dissimilar is that Paul specifically mentions individuals on several occasions throughout Romans 9, versus the above passage which only speaks in terms of people groups, Jews and Gentiles. In Ro 9 Paul speaks of the twins by name, as individuals, and mentions that God would work out His will, and that this would be based on His sovereign choice, and could not be attributed to anything humanly done, as He had made His choices prior to their having ever done anything at all. He also speaks of Moses and Pharaoh as individuals, and again, Paul emphasizes God's will being done regardless of any running or willing on man's part.

    Thats my take on it anyway.....

    Blessings
     
  12. Yelsew

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    There is no such thing as "working out your salvation". Jesus never said "if you believe in me and..." He said Whosoever believeth shall have.

    What Peter is saying about it is this. Now that you have the assurance of Salvation, do the works of your faith in the manner of one who has such assurance. In other words, if you are saved and you know it, work like you know it, with the calm assurance that your faith brings you. If you don't live your faith you must fear losing your faith.
     
  13. Kiffin

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    Skandelon, Paul's warning to persevere is real. Genuine salvation perseveres. If one turns their back on their profession in Christ and departs and never returns it shows a false profession and a false faith.
     
  14. Pastor Larry

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    Philippians 2:12 So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;

    Paul made it clear that you are wrong.

    True belief means a person will work out his salvation. The words of the epistles are as much the words of Christ as are the gospels. All Scripture is God-breathed, not just the red letters.

    ON this you are right. It is what it means to "work out your own salvation."
     
  15. Yelsew

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    We agree except for
    All scripture is not God-breathed! All scripture is inspired by God. It is still man's writings and not God's. The words of Jesus are God breathed. The rest is man's attempt to explain the meaning of God breathed scripture, and to teach the CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE. It may be used for edification, for correction, and for inspiration. It may not be used as a sledgehammer!
     
  16. Pastor Larry

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    Actually we don't agree unless you have changed. You said there was no such thing as working our your own salvation. Paul said there was. I agree with Paul. You claim to disagree with Paul. That means we don't agree.

    But the more important issue is your denial of Scripture.

    You say, ]All scripture is not God-breathed! All scripture is inspired by God. To be "God breathed" is to be "inspired." The word is theopnuestos and its mean God breathed. That is what 2 Tim 3:16. When you say you believe in one and not the other, you are contradicting yourself. To believe one is to believe the other.

    It is God's word as the Holy Spirit bore along holy men: "but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."

    Once agian, you are in direct contradiction to the word of God: Jeremiah 23:29 29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

    Scripture is not man's attempt to explain anything. It is God breathed Scripture. It is used for doctrine, reproof, correction, instructions in righteousness.

    It can be used as a sledgehammer. God said so.
     
  17. Yelsew

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    Actually we don't agree unless you have changed. You said there was no such thing as working our your own salvation. Paul said there was. I agree with Paul. You claim to disagree with Paul. That means we don't agree.

    But the more important issue is your denial of Scripture.

    You say, ]All scripture is not God-breathed! All scripture is inspired by God. To be "God breathed" is to be "inspired." The word is theopnuestos and its mean God breathed. That is what 2 Tim 3:16. When you say you believe in one and not the other, you are contradicting yourself. To believe one is to believe the other.

    It is God's word as the Holy Spirit bore along holy men: "but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God."

    Once agian, you are in direct contradiction to the word of God: Jeremiah 23:29 29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

    Scripture is not man's attempt to explain anything. It is God breathed Scripture. It is used for doctrine, reproof, correction, instructions in righteousness.

    It can be used as a sledgehammer. God said so.
    </font>[/QUOTE]OK, as always, we disagree!
     
  18. Pastor Larry

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    And I have done nothing but show you from Scripture that my position is the correct one. Therefore, your position is unbiblical by your own admission.
     
  19. Yelsew

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    And I have done nothing but show you from Scripture that my position is the correct one. Therefore, your position is unbiblical by your own admission. </font>[/QUOTE]As always, we again disagree!
     
  20. Pastor Larry

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    And your disagreement is with Scripture, and therefore God, not with me. Scripture is explicit.
     

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