Security of the Believer Beliefs

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by drfuss, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. drfuss

    drfuss
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    On a Baptist only thread, I posted the following in response to an inquiry about different beliefs.

    "I know of at least six different beliefs in the security of the believer. All believe that God is completely sovereign. All believe that the grace God provides is more than sufficient for salvation. The differences are in man's required response to God's grace.

    The folowing are very abbreviated descriptions of the beliefs. Obviously more could be said about each one.

    1. 4/5 Point Calvinist.
    - God's elects, man has no choice.

    2. Eternal Security (non- 4/5 point Calvinist).
    - Man must accept grace, then cannot reject grace.

    3, Arminius Belief
    - Man must accept grace, but can later choose to forfiet grace by not believing.

    4. Wesley' Belief
    - Man must: accept grace, confess and be remorseful for known sins, and not have long term unforgiveness of others.

    5. Santification Belief
    - Wesley' belief plus man must continue on the path to santification.

    6. Roman Catholic Belief
    - Accept grace by faith plus have some good works."


    I am interested in where the Seven Day Adventists, Church of Christ, and Luthern churches beliefs would fit into the very abbreviated descriptions in the table. I realize that there is bound to be small differences, but in the context of the abbreviated descriptions, where would they fit? Or do they need a separate very abbreviated description? If so, please provide.
     
  2. bmerr

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    drfuss,

    bmerr here. I am a member of the Church of Christ. Without getting too deep into it, I'd say that the position taken by Arminius seems pretty much in line with Biblical teaching. I don't know much about Arminius, myself. We could look at it further if you like.

    In Christ,

    bmerr
     
  3. drfuss

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    Thank you for responding. Sometimes the denomination websites are not very clear on this issue. My intention is not to debate between the various beliefs, but to list and clarify them.
     
  4. Darron Steele

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    "Eternal Security" has actually more than one perspective. The one you cited is one of those.

    Another version of "Eternal Security" is based upon 1 John 2:19, where the only actual Scripture case of people leaving the Christian community is people who were never part of it, plus the comment that “if they had been of us, they would have continued with us” (ASV).

    The belief here is that if a person is genuinely saved, their faith will endure to the end.

    Having been among them, the Church of Christ position is #6. With rare exceptions, they specifically require completed vocalized confession, and completed baptism by immersion.
     
  5. BobRyan

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    Belief 3-4-5 all look like the same thing to me.

    Belief 6 is "questionable" given the RC teaching on infant baptism, limbo and magic powers of the priest to "mark the soul" of an unbelieving infant.


    1. The sinner must accept the Gospel and is enabled to do so throug the supernatural drawing of ALL by God John 12:32 for God "stands and the door and knock" Rev 3... Christ is the light that coming into the world "enlightens EVERY man".

    2. Having accepted the Gospel - the sinner is then "born again" and forgiven. The assurance of salvation is confirmed via the Romans 8:16 external objective transactional "Witness of the Holy Spirit" bearing witness with our spirit that WE ARE the children of God.

    3. The "forgiveness revoked" lesson of Matt 18 and the branches cast out of the vine of Christ lesson of John 15 then argue for the born-again believer to persevere in that walk of justification and sanctification through the many warnings of the NT text. During that entire walk in perseverance - the Christian is abiding in Christ and is receiving daily the assurance of salvation via the witness of God the Holy Spirit as stated in Romans 8.

    That is the SDA view.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  6. drfuss

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    BobRyan writes:
    "1. The sinner must accept the Gospel and is enabled to do so throug the supernatural drawing of ALL by God John 12:32 for God "stands and the door and knock" Rev 3... Christ is the light that coming into the world "enlightens EVERY man".

    2. Having accepted the Gospel - the sinner is then "born again" and forgiven. The assurance of salvation is confirmed via the Romans 8:16 external objective transactional "Witness of the Holy Spirit" bearing witness with our spirit that WE ARE the children of God.

    3. The "forgiveness revoked" lesson of Matt 18 and the branches cast out of the vine of Christ lesson of John 15 then argue for the born-again believer to persevere in that walk of justification and sanctification through the many warnings of the NT text. During that entire walk in perseverance - the Christian is abiding in Christ and is receiving daily the assurance of salvation via the witness of God the Holy Spirit as stated in Romans 8.

    That is the SDA view."

    Thanks for the response, Bob.

    Are you saying that the SDA security of the believer is at least partially dependent on the believer's experience and/or witness (feeling)?
     
  7. BobRyan

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    I am saying that in the Matt 7 scenario "the many" claimed to have "assurance" and "security" saying "Lord Lord did we not"...

    All Christians have the ability to claim the promises and imagine themselves to be saved - and some of them actually are saved while doing that.

    Other Christians may not take advantage of the Bible promise of assurance and KNOW they are saved - and yet they are saved "anyway". Just because they have doubts does not mean that God has doubts.

    But the Romans 8:16 promise STILL remains for all saints. ALL saints CAN know for dead certainty by taking advantage of the fact that God Promises that Holy Spirit will indeed "bear witness with our spirit that WE ARE the children of God". It is a living transactional relationship experience that can be felt and WITNESSED by the born-again believer in Christ every day if they so wish.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  8. hillclimber1

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    I think it might be better stated that "Christ's faith" will endure to the end, while ours may falter along the way. I believe "Once saved, always saved". But it is Christ's work and not ours.
     
  9. drfuss

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    drfuss writes:
    "Are you saying that the SDA security of the believer is at least partially dependent on the believer's experience and/or witness (feeling)?"

    BobRyan writes:
    "But the Romans 8:16 promise STILL remains for all saints. ALL saints CAN know for dead certainty by taking advantage of the fact that God Promises that Holy Spirit will indeed "bear witness with our spirit that WE ARE the children of God". It is a living transactional relationship experience that can be felt and WITNESSED by the born-again believer in Christ every day if they so wish."

    Thanks Bob, I will take that as a yes.


    The first four views are taken directly from a book entitled "4 Views On Eternal Security". The book was written by four seminary professors, each presenting his view and then commenting on the other's views. The sixth view is based on a debate on this subject between a Catholic Priest and a Baptist minister on a TV show. The 5th view is based on my experience many years ago and was memtioned in the 4 Views book, but not really discussed.

    The four views book only addressed beliefs and did not include experience or personal witness as being any part of the security of the believer. The same was true for the Catholic belief.

    I have no doctrine statement concerning the santification belief, but suspect some santification beliefs may include experience or personal witness. Santification views will vary because the definition of santification varies.

    Based on the above, I think we should add the following to the six views in the very abbreviated format:

    The SDA View
    - Man must accept grace, continue belief and have personal witness.

    My intention is not to debate, but to clarify differences in a brief, concise manner.
     
  10. drfuss

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    BobRyan writes:
    "Belief 3-4-5 all look like the same thing to me."

    To those of beliefs 3-4-5, the differences are very distinct. This is the problem with dividing Christians into either Calvinists or Arminians. The Calvinists and eternal security believers think all others are Arminians. The problem is they pick one of the other beliefs that they like to criticize and broad brush it to apply to all other beliefs. They never bother to find out just what the other beliefs really are.

    A good example of broad brushing is in the New Ungers Bible Dictionary put out by Moody Press. Under Security (page 1153) is the following statement: "Arminian doctrines reject security, employing experience as a proof" It doesn't even include belief as a part of "Arminian" assurance. Except possibly the SDA, I know of no other "Arminian" beliefs that include experience as part of the believers security.

    One should expect something coming out of the Moody Press to promote Calvinism and eternal security. But they totally misrepresent what the other beliefs are. The problem is that most Calvinist and eternal security believers trust the New Ungers Bible Dictionary as being very reliable. The Calvinists and eternal security misleading and false statements have been around for so long that they blindly believe them, and they even find their way into their Bible dictionaries.
     
  11. drfuss

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    bmerr writes:
    bmerr here. I am a member of the Church of Christ. Without getting too deep into it, I'd say that the position taken by Arminius seems pretty much in line with Biblical teaching. I don't know much about Arminius, myself. We could look at it further if you like.

    Darron writes:
    "Having been among them, the Church of Christ position is #6. With rare exceptions, they specifically require completed vocalized confession, and completed baptism by immersion."

    To me, security of the believer refers to security after one is a believer. I should have made that clear. In the COC, isn't baptism a part of becoming a Christian? Perhaps I am missing something.
     
  12. BobRyan

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    The SDA view is that at the moment of justifcation - at the moment of the new birth the believer may claim the promise given in Rom 8 for the witness of the Holy Spirit 'bearing witness with our spirit that we ARE the children of God".

    They do not "wait until some day when they persevere some more" to get that assurance.

    Though one could argue that the "many" in Matt 7 claim to have assurance when they have nothing at all.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. drfuss

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    Thanks Bob,

    Perhaps I can ask it another way. After a person becomes a Christian (born again), On what does the SDA Christian rely on to know that he remains a Christian. For instance, the Non-Calvinist/eternal security belief relies on eternal security (OSAS) for salvation security; Arminius believed that continued belief by the Christian was required for salvation security; The Wesley belief relies on continued belief, confessed sins and forgiveness of others for salvation security; etc.

    Does SDA depend on experience or personal witness in any way for salvation security in addition to 3, 4, or 5 beliefs above?
     
    #13 drfuss, Mar 24, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2007
  14. Oasis

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    Good thoughts Darren and hillclimber1. I can only echo your thoughts:

    "To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy"-Jude 24

    It's all about what God does for us and through us that justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies us. It's our faith in God's faith in us.
    I've heard Chuck Swindol say several times that
    the Grace that was good enough to save us
    is good enough to keep us.
     
  15. Dustin

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    Speaking technically, wouldn't one cease to be a Calvinist if one denied one of the 5 points?

    Most often, but not all the time, the hardest one for them to grapple with is the atonement. This is were so-called "4 pointers" usually break off. What is the other point that "3 pointers" deny? One of my co-workers says he is a 4 1/2 point Calvinist, James White from aomin.org says the 6th point of Calvinism should be the freedom of God to do whatever it is He wants to do, John Piper says he's a 7 point Calvinist...whatever that is.

    Where do you draw the line?


    Soli Deo Gloria,
    Dustin
     
  16. drfuss

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    For purposes and the format of this thread, I believe Calvinism is adequately covered under belief #1. In order to avoid issues within the beliefs, we are describing them in a very abbreviated form.

    We are primarily interested in the many different beliefs that Calvinists conveniently consider Arminian.
     
  17. DQuixote

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    God convicts. My first act of faith is to believe that He is who He says He is and that eternal security is mine though the Cross. I understand that my sin / sins were forgiven there. In gratitude I ask Him to become Lord of my life. I invite Him in. In faith, I believe that He has heard me; that He is mine. He, in His overwhelming love, empowered me to believe, to step out in faith, unafraid.

    I could have run from the offer, as many do. I could have done my best to ignore this overwhelming conviction of sin. I didn't. He stood at the door and knocked, I went to the door. There He was. Here He is. He has come to dwell with me now and forevermore. He will never leave me or forsake me. He is mine and I am His, now and forevermore. His great love for me, His Grace, is sufficient. He sustains our relationship, which, in eternal salvation terms, never changes. If I sin, I grieve Him. I break our fellowship. I go to 1 John 1:9. I confess that I have failed. He tells me not to worry, I'm secure. I ask Him for strength not to fail again. And I go on my way, rejoicing.
     
  18. Oasis

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    DQuixote
    Amen Brother!:thumbs:

    :godisgood: :godisgood: :godisgood:
     
  19. BobRyan

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    As I said - Salvation and the witness that we ARE saved is instantaneous with being born again. No waiting 2 years to "persevere".

    On the other hand - the SDA position IS fully and consitently Arminian in that it DOES allow that at any point in the future you may certainly choose to fall from grace as Paul states in Gal 5. There is no locked-in-OSAS position where you can simply "forget what the Bible says about Perseverance you are saved anyway". SDAs could never adopt the 4 point Calvinist position to that effect.

    As for how you STAY saved - you walk by the Spirit as Paul states in Romans 8. In the SDA POV there is no shortcut AROUND the warning Christ gives in John 15 and Romans 11 and Matt 7 and Romans 2 about those who fail to persevere.

    The way that you go and find assurance 10 years from today is the same as it was the day you were saved - go to God and claim the Romans 8:16 promise HE has given for the witness that "WE ARE the children of God".

    If you fail to do that - you are not necessarily lost - but in that case you are simply "talking to yourself" and you are turning a blind eye to your actual status instead of going to God for that answer. Saved "still" maybe - but foolishly disregarding the promise of God for KNOWING if it is in fact true.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  20. drfuss

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    Bob,
    Thank you for your patience.

    One of the reasons I am asking these questions is a result of what is said in the New Ungers Bible Dictionary put out by Moody Press. Under Security (page 1153) is the following statement: "Arminian doctrines reject security, employing experience as a proof" The context is that eternal security believers rely on thier belief in eternal security as their continued salvation security. It doesn't even include belief as a part of assurance for those they call Arminians.

    Obviously, it is false to say that experience is the believers continuing salvation security for most of what they call Arminians. None ot the views in the 4 View On Eternal Security book included experience as a factor. I am trying to determine is there is a denomination of significant size where believers experience (rather than belief or in addition to belief) is what provides their continuing salvation security. In other words, is continuing experience necessary for the believer to have continuing salvation assurance?

    Most if not all believe that experience and personal witness is a benefit to the Christian life. But do you believe it necessary for continuing salvation assurance? That is what I am trying to find out.

    I suspect the Moody Press people may have found a belief that required experience for continuing salvation security. They then broad brushed it to include all beliefs that they consider Arminian. I am trying to locate a denomination belief that they could have used or expanded on to make that statement.

    One should expect something coming out of the Moody Press to promote Calvinism and eternal security. But they misrepresent what the other beliefs are. The problem is that most Calvinist and eternal security believers trust the New Ungers Bible Dictionary as being very reliable. These Calvinists and eternal security misleading or false statements about other beliefs, have been around for so long that they are blindly believed, and they have even found their way into their Bible dictionaries.
     

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