Salvation Assurance Beliefs

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by drfuss, Jul 3, 2006.

  1. drfuss

    drfuss
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    Considering salvation assurance beliefs to be either Calvinistis or Arminian lead to many misunderstandings about what others believe. The following is an attempt to delineate the various beliefs on this issue.

    1. Unconditional Security - Once saved, always saved even if you stop believing.
    Works required? No
    Heaven assured? Yes
    Advocates - Charley Stanley, etc.

    2. Continuing Security - If really saved, you will continue to believe.
    Works required? No
    Heaven assured? Yes
    Advocates - SBC Faith and Message, etc.

    3. Conditional Security - Eternally secure unless you choose to stop believing.
    Works required? No
    Heaven assured? Yes
    Advocates - Some evangelical and pentecostal churches, etc.

    4. Victorious Security - Secure as long as you live a victorious life, i.e. His spirit bearth witness with our spirit...
    Works required? No, but works are part of the required victorious life.
    Heaven assured? Yes, if living for Christ.
    Advocates- Some evangelical and pentecostal churches, etc.

    5, Grace Plus Works - God provides grace, we provide works.
    Works required? Yes
    Heaven assured? Maybe.
    Advocates - Taught by many liberal churches, but church official theology may be any of the #1-4 beliefs listed above.

    6. Grace, Works, Sacrements - God's grace, our works, church's sacrements.
    Works required? Yes
    Heaven assured? Yes, if faithful to Christ.
    Advocates - Roman Catholic Church, etc.

    The above provides a list of the salvation assurance beliefs that I have observed. Sometimes those of Beliefs #1 & 2 consider Beliefs 3 & 4 to be #5. Conversely, some of those of Beliefs #3-6 consider those of Belief #2 to be #1. Considering beliefs to be either Calvinistic or Arminian is too simplistic and has lead to many misunderstandings on this BB.

    Note that Beliefs #2,3,4 & 6 all require someone to be trusting Christ as Savior when they die to get to heaven. Contrastingly, in Belief #1 people can get to heaven when they die even if they are not trusting Christ as Savior; but they must have trusted Him at one time.

    The purpose here is not to debate the various beliefs, but to clarify the various beliefs. There are plenty of other threads to debate the pros and cons of the beliefs.

    Comments on the completeness and accuracy of the beliefs are welcome. Since there are some misconceptions about other beliefs, please comment only on the completeness and accuracy of your belief and not on the other beliefs at this time.

    If your have an additional belief on this issue, please provide it in the format of the other beliefs.

    Questions about the beliefs of others can be addressed later after this initial phase. Let's first establish the beliefs.
     
  2. vanhall

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    i do believe once saved always saved but i do believe you do need works to get the full satifation you want to asure your place in heaven because at the judgment seat of christ you will need works to have crowns:praise: :praise:
     
  3. BobRyan

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    Assurance is something that both Arminians and Calvinists can claim "logically" from their distinctive positions.

    For example -

    An Arminian (a consistent Arminian that does not deny perseverance or free will) can KNOW that they ARE saved today (full assurance) but can not know that they WILL be saved ten years from today.

    A 3 and 5 point Calvinist can not even know that. Holding to the Bible doctrine of perseverance as do the Arminians and 3 and 5 point Calvinists in this case - the only way to THEN come away with "Assurance" is to drop OSAS.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  4. James_Newman

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    Absolutely true.
     
  5. Hope of Glory

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    I wish more people could see this so clearly in the Scriptures. No works are required to be saved, but works are expected. Without works, you will suffer loss.
     
  6. drfuss

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    Do you think that Beliefs #1,2,3,4,5&6 cover the whole range of beliefs on this issue?

    Is your own belief represented correctly?
     
  7. J. Jump

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    I would pick No. 1, but I would not say that heaven is assured, but rather eternity in the presence of God is assured, because I don't think the Bible teaches that we will spend eternity in heaven, but rather God will come down and dwell amongst His people on earth from the New Jerusalem.
     
  8. drfuss

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    J Jump writes:
    "I would pick No. 1, but I would not say that heaven is assured, but rather eternity in the presence of God is assured, because I don't think the Bible teaches that we will spend eternity in heaven, but rather God will come down and dwell amongst His people on earth from the New Jerusalem."

    Thank you for responding. I see your point. I assumed heaven is where God is, i.e. obtain salvation when you die.
     
  9. BobRyan

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    Option 1 -- for 4 point Calvinists but not 3 and 5 point Calvinists or anyone that accepts the Bible teaching on Perseverance.

    Option 2 - for 3 and 5 point Calvinists but not for Arminians that accept fully the Bible teaching on free will and perseverance.

    Option 3 - the consistent position for Arminians that hold to both Free Will and the Bible teaching on Perseverance.
     
  10. drfuss

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    BobRyan writes:
    "Option 1 -- for 4 point Calvinists but not 3 and 5 point Calvinists or anyone that accepts the Bible teaching on Perseverance.
    Option 2 - for 3 and 5 point Calvinists but not for Arminians that accept fully the Bible teaching on free will and perseverance.
    Option 3 - the consistent position for Arminians that hold to both Free Will and the Bible teaching on Perseverance."

    The above is an example of why there are misunderstandings and misconceptions about salvation assurance beliefs. Beliefs #3-6 are all grouped as one belief in BobRyan's Option #3. Beliefs #3-6 are different and distinct beliefs.

    Even Charles Stanley believes Beliefs #3 & 4 are distinct beliefs. In "Eternal Security Arguments" by Charles Stanley, he states the following:
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][SIZE=-1]"Two Schools of Thought
    As is the case with most doctrinal systems, there are differences among persons who would be considered Arminian in their theology. I have talked with literally hundreds of people about the question of eternal security. Some wanted to argue. Others sought answers. Through these discussions I have discovered that two schools of thought exist among those who believe salvation can be lost."[/SIZE][/FONT]

    Stanley follows this by a lenghtly description of Beliefs #3 & 4. Of course he then tries to discredit both beliefs. Also, he does not claim that Beliefs #3 & 4 depend on works. Beliefs #5 & 6, which depend on works, was not included in his two schools of thought, i.e. two more beliefs.

    Let's try to address the beliefs listed in the OP.
     
  11. BobRyan

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    Actually I was not trying to comment on the options after 3.

    But I do agree that 3 and 4 are the same thing.

    I am shocked however that Stanley would believe them. I don't see how it is remotely possible to have 3 and 4 AND also OSAS!
     
  12. BobRyan

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    Beliefs 3 and 4 (which I accept) deal with Justififcation "past" as we see it in Romans 5:1-2. "Having BEEN justified we HAVE peace with God".

    When a person comes to Christ they are not to reference any "past work" as a basis for coming to Christ. That is true each day that we come to Christ - as long as we are a born again Christian.

    Past justification is daily, individual, subjective and based on surrender alone.

    But options 5&6 speak of "Justified by works and not by faith alone" to quote James 2. That is only possible in the "future justification" that Paul speaks of in Romans 2 and that Christ describes in Matt 7.

    FUTURE justification merely SHOWS the results in the life of PAST justification. Paul says "it is NOT the hearers of the Law that are just before God but the DOERS of the Law WILL BE Justified"

    That is a pure 5&6 model. It totally does not work at all for the "Justification past" truth of Romans 5. But works great in the Daniel 7 "corporate judgment" where "Judgment is passed in favor of the saints" corporately based out of the things written in the "books" of heaven.
     
  13. BobRyan

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    As I say - the fact that Stanley understands this is truly shocking to me! I just can't believe it.
     
  14. drfuss

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    BobRyan writes:
    "Actually I was not trying to comment on the options after 3.
    But I do agree that 3 and 4 are the same thing.
    I am shocked however that Stanley would believe them. I don't see how it is remotely possible to have 3 and 4 AND also OSAS!"

    Options#3 & 4 are not the same thing. Option #3 is based on belief only. Option #4 is based on belief and a victorious life. They are close, but not the same.

    Satnley believes Options #3 & 4 are different. I found his Eternal Security Arguments document by using my search engine for the words: eternal security Charles Stanley.
     
  15. Dustin

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    As far as 5 point "calvinism" goes, we as believers MUST persevere in the faith. But we, being born of God, by the power of God, WILL persevere, because God in His mercy will preserve us. Romans 7 is a great chapter to see the daily battle that Paul wages with sin in his life. But the antinomian belief that after having faith one can denouce Christ and become a muslim or an atheist is completely off., having no basis in Scripture. Biblical perseverance is the perseverance of the saints, not perseverance of the sinner, or OSAS. But anyone TRULY born of God, having faith in Christ, WILL persevere, by God's power and with Christ's righteousness, and none of thier own. There no account in the scriptures of anyone having faith in Christ or God's promises in the OT who didn't persevere.

    In His grace,
    Dustin
     
  16. drfuss

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    Beliefs 3 and 4 (which I accept) deal with Justififcation "past" as we see it in Romans 5:1-2. "Having BEEN justified we HAVE peace with God".
    BobRyan writes:
    "When a person comes to Christ they are not to reference any "past work" as a basis for coming to Christ. That is true each day that we come to Christ - as long as we are a born again Christian.

    Past justification is daily, individual, subjective and based on surrender alone.

    But options 5&6 speak of "Justified by works and not by faith alone" to quote James 2. That is only possible in the "future justification" that Paul speaks of in Romans 2 and that Christ describes in Matt 7.

    FUTURE justification merely SHOWS the results in the life of PAST justification. Paul says "it is NOT the hearers of the Law that are just before God but the DOERS of the Law WILL BE Justified"

    That is a pure 5&6 model. It totally does not work at all for the "Justification past" truth of Romans 5. But works great in the Daniel 7 "corporate judgment" where "Judgment is passed in favor of the saints" corporately based out of the things written in the "books" of heaven."

    WOW!
    Where in the list of salvation assurance beliefs definitions is there anything about "justification past, past work, future justification, or corporate judgement"? I don't see where any of those ideas serve to clarify the six beliefs.

    The difinitions are what they are. I am trying to clarify the similarities and differences of the various beliefs.

    Perhaps this demonstrates why communications about salvation assurance is so difficult.
     
  17. drfuss

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    Back to the six beliefs.

    Beliefs #1 & 2 have OSAS in common and are separate from Beliefs #3-6 due to OSAS.

    Concerning the criteria for getting to heaven when one dies, Beliefs #2,3,4 & 6 agree that one must be trusting Christ when they die to get to heaven. Belief #6 is different from Beliefs #2,3 & 4 due to the works requirement. On the other hand, Belief #1 is very different in that one does not have to be trusting Christ when they die to be saved.

    From a theological point of view, Beliefs #1 & 2 are separate from the others due to OSAS.

    From a practical point of view, Beliefs #2,3 & 4 are the most alike.
     
  18. BobRyan

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    As an Arminian - I agree with a lot of that. But when you look at the Bible texts that speak of perseverance -- they also WARN of the danger of falling instead of making the Calvinist argument "falling is NOT POSSIBLE"

    The 5 Point Calvinist position then takes a very strange turn which in effect denies the entire warning given in scripture.

    The 5Pt arguments says that the PROOF that someone is NOT a Christian (retro deleting assurance all the way back to the start in their case) is that the person "fails to persevere". But then they turn right around and argue that "there is no such thing".

    So the EVIDENCE that they were not saved is that they failed to persevere. But then the RETRO DELETE that they do completely abolishes the act of "failing to persevere" since you can not "fail to persevere in something you were never doing". It is a form of revisionist history that destroys the warning in the text AND negates the entire argument for saying that person-A is not really a christian.
     
  19. BobRyan

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    4 Point Calvinists have the BEST argument for assurance and for OSAS "no matter what" because they deny the bible doctrine on Perseverance.

    3 and 5 Point Calvinists have the worst position for assurance BUT they make a good case for OSAS, just not assurance. (Since in that system you can not KNOW you are saved until you see that ten years from today you do not fail to persevere).

    Arminians that reject OSAS (as I do) have the next best argument for assurance - vs the 4 point Calvinists. Better than 3 and 5 point Calvinists, but not as handy as the 4 point Calvinists that have the luxury of denying the Bible doctrine on perseverance.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  20. Dustin

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    Take Judas Iscariot for example, he followed Christ for 3 years, yet betrayed him, did he have true faith that Christ was Who He said He was? I think by studying the scriptures you can be certain that that wasn't the case. A muslim can have all the faith in his religion that one can have, but does that make it any more truthful? That's why we are to focus ONLY on the righteuosness of Christ and his holiness for our salvation, because trusting in anything else becomes idolatry. Now by the Holy Spirit, we as Christians , trust only in Christ's perfect holiness and righteousness for our salvation. Thats why we "work out our salvation in fear and trembling" because the holiness of our Lord is terrifying to our sinful flesh. Because it is GOD who works in us. If anyone professes VCHrist goes 10 years then denies Christ, his faith wasn't truly in Christ. If we are truly born again of God, then we WILL persevere in our faith in Christ.
     

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