2010-04-14

Eternal Security Arguments again


Some friend sent me articles that "exposed the errors of famous so and so" and asked me my views. 
Here is my respond.

The articles are just some of many many that debate between the "Eternal Security - One saved always saved" doctrine of Calvinist vs. the "Conditional Security - You could loose your salvation if you continue in sin" doctrine of the Armenians.

Conditional Security followers argues that Eternal Security people give people a license to sin since there is not more punishment for sins. This argument implies that people don't sin because of fear of punishment. If you remove the punishment, people will sin. In this case, sinful nature is still with the people. It is the punishment that keep them from not sinning. If the sinful nature stills remain with them, that would mean they are not saved. Christ's death is to pay for the punishments of our sins and Christ's resurrection and sending of the Holy Spirit is to give us a new nature (God's sinless nature) that we will not only don't sin but will love to do good things because love is in our new nature of God - the Zoe Life in us (Christ's life in us).

How then can we explain a saved and born again with God's nature Christian still commit sin? We then have to understand the tripartite nature of man. Man is of the spirit, soul and body. Before salvation, our spirit is separated(dead) from God. After salvation, our spirit is rebirth and connected to God with the Holy Spirit coming into our spirit. However, our soul (mind) and body remains unchanged (our body will be changed, new heavenly body when Christ come again ). The unchanged mind and body with our passions in them still remain unchanged. Hence, there is a process of growth, called Sanctification, where our mind is to be renewed with the Word and Spirit of God, to rule over our body so that our body can be instruments for righteousness rather and sin. The process of Sanctification, where the inner man grows up to rule the mind and body requires discipline or training or exercises in the Word and Spirit and Action or work of faith by the body.

The typical error in the "Eternal Security" camp is the ignoring of this process of growth. They claimed they are mature already in Christ when they are first born! They misinterpreted Bible verses about "we are complete in Christ" and hence there is no need to grow. An apple seed is a complete seed in Apple. If you plant it, it will grow up into an apple tree and produces lot of apples. If the apple seed is incomplete, then either it cannot grow, die prematurely, or don't produce apples. A fertilized egg is complete as a chicken. Given a right temperature and incubation period of 21 days, it will become a chick. An unfertilized egg is incomplete and even given the right temperature and time, it will never become a chick.

Both camps at least agree on the starting point - One need to believe and receive Jesus Christ as Savior in order to be saved. Jesus is the only way to salvation.
They differs in the process of growth. Common errors committed by believers are:

1. Relying on Jesus for salvation and then rely on self-effort for Christian Growth. They only appropriate the Grace of God for salvation. The truth is that God's Grace (God's power for living the lives we should) is not just for salvation but for sanctification (make holy) as well.

2. Relying on God to do everything and then just don't do anything or do your own thing waiting for God to lead. They called the people is group 1 as legalistic and work of the flesh. But the truth is God and Man has their part to play. God initiatives and Man follows.  see Fleshy Work & Spiritual Work and God Initiates & Man Follows and Let Go & Let God - Spiritual or Just Plain Lazy?
Work could be of the flesh, but Work could of Faith as well. Read James - Faith without Work is dead! see Bible Study - James 2:14-2:24 Work Actualizes the Inner Faith . In 1Th 1:3  remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
We rely on the Grace of God to live out God's unique calling of life. We are saved for God glorying work. Read Eph 2:8-10 Saved by Grace for walking out God's good workmanship in Christ.

Always have a balanced view of things and hold both extremes in view. God is both LOVE and JUST. Either extremes is wrong.

Lastly, on the security of our salvation, on whom do you place your trust in maintaining your salvation ? On God or yourself?
John 10:29  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.

1 comment:

Michael Gormley said...

The Protestant Doctrine of Eternal Security.

A Psychological Trap.

The Protestant doctrine of eternal security is a psychological trap, and one that is all too easy to fall into. By providing a quick, simplistic answer as to how we are saved, and giving the person the comfort of assured eternal salvation, it discourages further inquiry into the fullness of the truth on this most important matter.

This rather fast assurance of salvation helps to make Protestantism very popular. My personal feeling is that many people in the silent or quiet moments of their lives must know in their hearts that this fast, simplistic assurance of eternal salvation is too good to be true (Romans 2:14-16).

The natural law, the law written on our hearts of flesh, is calling us to seek the fullness of the truth in the Church founded by Jesus Christ (Jeremiah 29:11-13) (Deuteronomy 6:4-6).

Playing With Fire.

Many people in following the 16th century reformers are deliberately choosing to reject Catholic Church authority and the channels of grace available to them in the seven (7) Sacraments.

If they knowingly and wilfully did this, on such an important matter, they could find out (perhaps to late) that it will be more difficult for them to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

God will respect their free will and the decisions they made, along with the grace and truth that they have received, and will place them in the proper eternal location or condition.

The more grace and truth that they have received the more that will be expected from them (Luke 7: 47; 12: 48). Perhaps they feel they can live life their way, using their freedom to choose the truth when they want to, or abuse their freedom by choosing to do evil (Contraception, abortion, etc.) when they find it convenient.

You are only free to choose the good. Love God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your spirit, and then do what you will.

Many people joining a "church" (faith communities) for convenience of life style, are "choosing not to know" the fullness of the truth in the Catholic Church.

They hope that they can somehow claim ignorance (or say it was controversial) and therefore escape culpability on their individual day of judgment.

Feigned ignorance will not allow anyone to escape culpability ( proverbs 24: 11-12 ). This is like playing with fire.

They choose not to turn and come closer to the fullness of the truth, which is a person Jesus Christ and who also is one with His Spouse, the Church (Ephesians 5: 32).