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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : perseverance

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Joined: 2011/6/30
Posts: 25


I have not been in the forum for a while,so I don't mean to stir something up that may or may not have been banned from the site. My question is simple: which viewpoint holds more weight...perseverance or once saved always saved? Now I know all the surface "Sunday school" answers,but I can't help but read my bible and look through history and see a picture that is very different than the one being painted today in this regard. This is not a debate about calvinism vs. arminianism,so please don't bring any of that into this dialogue. I just want to know how this doctrine has gotten to the place it is now and if there is really any real biblical evidence to support what many believe is the biblical stance on eternal assurance/security.

tom bowerman

 2014/2/3 18:13Profile

Joined: 2011/2/25
Posts: 266

 Re: perseverance

Very good question rawhide, many today are asking exactly the same question.
Hebrews is a brilliant book to find the answer, I will just provide a little.

One thing that is very true is that when Jesus died for the whole world His Blood cleansed all that are in the world of all their sins but are all saved?

It begins the day that Christ reveals Himself to us and we begin to Trust, in the Hebraic sense trust is not what we do but it is in actual focused on who we are Trusting in, God is Faithful and the more we Trust the more we see His faithfulness.

It is a Trust that no matter what comes our way we Know that God is in Control and that His Promises are always true, God will never break His Covenant to us.

When we read Hebrews especially the men of Faith we see the humanness of man, we all fall at some point, and God in His Love and Mercy reaches out with His loving hand and lifts us back with Tenderness.

One thing that stands out in scripture is the importance of never giving up on our part, all of the Great men of faith never stopped trusting.

Php_2:12 Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Heb_2:3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;

1Pe_1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

It is important to trust and continue trusting

Look at this small part in Hebrews

Heb 6:6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
Heb 6:7 For the earth which drinketh in the rain that cometh oft upon it, and bringeth forth herbs meet for them by whom it is dressed, receiveth blessing from God:
Heb 6:8 But that which beareth thorns and briers is rejected, and is nigh unto cursing; whose end is to be burned.
Heb 6:9 But, beloved, we are persuaded better things of you, and things that accompany salvation, though we thus speak.
Heb 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Heb 6:11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:
Heb 6:12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
Heb 6:13 For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself,
Heb 6:14 Saying, Surely blessing I will bless thee, and multiplying I will multiply thee.
Heb 6:15 And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.
Heb 6:16 For men verily swear by the greater: and an oath for confirmation is to them an end of all strife.
Heb 6:17 Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed it by an oath:
Heb 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Heb 6:19 Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil;
Heb 6:20 Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

I encourage all to have Faith and Patience to the end.

 2014/2/4 0:29Profile

Joined: 2011/6/30
Posts: 25


I can definately get on board with that....but what is your perspective on where christian doctrine has been and where it is now concerning this topic? I read old confessions,writings of apostolic fathers,and even statements of faith within the past century,and it just seems that we have tweeked the belief of perseverance into what we now know as once saved always saved...thoughts?

tom bowerman

 2014/2/4 17:38Profile

Joined: 2011/10/19
Posts: 112
Georgia, USA


I can understand your thoughts regarding this subject. I was raised believing a Christian's perseverance is dependent on his resolve to press on in Christ. While this resolve should never be looked over, I have been persuaded by the Scriptures that the perseverance of a Christian is dependent on God's faithfulness. Before I move on to the Scriptures regarding this, I want to say that I recognize this is something you will have to pray about and come to a decision on yourself. I don't want to move you over to one camp or another because of what I say. God is the one who should convince us of His Word! With that being said, I would like to show you why I believe in eternal security.

Jeremiah 32:39–41 (ESV)
39 I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever, for their own good and the good of their children after them. 40 I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me. 41 I will rejoice in doing them good, and I will plant them in this land in faithfulness, with all my heart and all my soul.

This Scripture explains God's faithfulness in the New Covenant. God says He will not turn away from doing good to His children and that the fear of God He will place in their hearts will keep them from going astray.

Hebrews 8:8–12 (ESV)
8 For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, 9 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. 10 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 11 And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. 12 For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.”

In this Scripture, it explains why the Old Covenant was not sufficient, or at least one reason why. That reason is the fact the Old Covenant did not ensure the continual obedience of the ones the Lord made a covenant with. Verse 9 shows this. With the New Covenant the laws are not be external but internal, literally in "their minds" and "their hearts." This will ensure obedience, and all of God's people will know the Lord.

John 14:19 (ESV)
19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.

Jesus is the reason why we will live, and because He will never die again we will never die. The next several verses from Romans expounds on this.

Romans 6:1–11 (ESV)
6 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? 3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.
5 For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

This clearly explains who a Christian is. Each Christian once was a slave to sin. Consider yourself before being saved. Could you live the redeemed life by your own strength? I know I could not, even though I tried very hard to do so. No matter what I did I kept going back to the sin I hated and loved at the same time. But now, as verse 7 says, I have been set free from sin! Verse 5 gives one of the best arguments for eternal security in my opinion. He says we shall certainly partake in the resurrection if we have been united with Christ in His death.

Romans 6:14 (ESV)
14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

Just as the ESV Study Bible commentary says, this is not a command but a promise.

Romans 6:22–23 (ESV)
22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Again, we have been set free from sin. Coupled with the promise of Romans 6:14, how can we fall back into sin and be lost?

Romans 8:28 (ESV)
28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

How can all things work together for our good if we fall away and are lost forever? The emphasis is on the word "all." God is at work in us to ensure all things work together for our good. This is not of us, but a work of God. If it were of us, it could not be said that all things work together for our good because we would surely fall away apart from God's amazing grace.

1 John 3:6–10 (ESV)
6 No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. 8 Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 9 No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. 10 By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother.

This is my last verse to give. Habitual sin cannot be a part of a Christian. It is alien to the Christian. The pattern of a Christian's life reveals a lifestyle that is striving to be like Christ. There are ups and downs, but the Christian will prevail because he has been born of God. Christ's Spirit is in him, and he cannot live a life of habitual sin because of Christ in him. Much attention should be given to verse 9. God's seed (Christ; see Gal. 3:16. The word "offspring" means "seed") remains in the Christian and keeps him from sinning. The fact he has been born of God is another reason why he cannot keep on sinning. Therefore, this prevention of the Christian from entering into a life of sin, and that prevention being from God, is a serious indicator that the true Christian cannot fall away. This is due to the faithfulness of God.

We must fear God and never live in a state of false confidence that sin can never touch us. That is foolishness. A Christian can sin and can sin very severely as well. But God's faithfulness will ensure the Christian is never lost and that the Christian repents of his sin. I do not believe in "easy believism" or "hyper grace." Both are totally contrary to the Bible. A true Christian will love God and hate sin. He will weep if he sins and yearn for God when he has begun to stray. To bring this to a close, God's Word, from what I showed you, has very much to say on this subject, and I believe it shows that eternal security is a biblical teaching.

Ryan Rutan

 2014/2/4 19:13Profile

Joined: 2011/2/25
Posts: 266


As to your question Rawhide
I am very fortunate to be able to work as a Prison Officer and have had the opportunity to witness to many that are lost and it is very surprising how many have been in a church and have been disillusioned by some form of doctrine that is not balanced.

It is good to see the relief in their faces when they see that they are correct and harm was done, and you see their faith restored. Many churches have many doctrines that differ and in this, disunity is sometimes formed and elitism, We are right they are wrong, we are saved you are lost.

I am also very fortunate in that many pastors from many churches come to the prison and their own doctrinal focus is (to see lost souls saved), it is not about trying to get that lost soul to go to their own church and to believe in their own doctrine.

There is in so many ways so much more unity in the Faith in prison than there is outside. One Lord one faith one baptism.
Everything needs to be in balance, it is like a set of scales, Gods promise of Security on one side and He never fails, and on the other side is our Trusting in Him.

Without us Trusting Him His Salvation does not come into Effect.
Jesus saved the whole world, but the Salvation begins when we turn from our ways and turn to God.

There is no scripture that states that we can( lose )salvation the same as there is no scripture that states that we cannot (lose) salvation.
To lose something means that we have LOST something.
When it comes to Salvation God keeps His promises and we have a choice to continue to believe and trust, or to deny and not trust.
We have a choice.
Many disciples left Jesus when His Doctrine became to costly.

There are many scriptures that focus on our part of the Covenant, Be an Overcomer, endure to the end, walk in Faith, keep trusting, win the race, count the cost, be faithful even unto death.

All of the men that God spoke of as an example in Hebrews were men that never stopped trusting, they fell but got back up with a repentant heart,God did not use as a witness those that did not trust to the end. There are many verses that speak of the Security of God that we can be confident in Him, He is Faithful even when we at times may not be faithful.

There are also many strong warnings in Hebrews where examples of hardening of the heart, disbelief and purposeful sinning are a dangerous place to be, and we are told that if we get to a place where sin is so great that we will be worse off than the sinners and it would have been better for us to not have known the Lord.

May we walk each day with all in balance and each day not harden our hearts.

Satan was the angel of light and the daystar before he hardened his heart.

Trust in God today, do not harden your heart and see Gods faithfulness, run the race like Paul, He was always humble and did not think that He had attained it until the race was done.

God is faithful and our trusting in Him produces fruit that reveals the Trust in Him and also Glorifies Him, we are to be the Light to the World and the Salt to the Earth, it is no good when we don't let our light shine, and when we lose our saltiness it is good for nothing but to be thrown out.

Who would put salt on their meal if it had no flavour, no one.

 2014/2/4 21:31Profile

Joined: 2011/6/30
Posts: 25


Good example of what I'm trying to get at: 2 chronicles 25. Heard a good friend of mine give the illustration that just as king Amaziah did what was right but not perfectly,and how he also worshipped false gods,that you need to be all in or all out...but that you can be a halfway christian because he believes amaziah never worshipped the gods with all his heart,but then God destroys him for his actions. Based on this view,many people would conclude that as long as you're a "christian",there is a possibility that you can serve idols (look at how many people worshipped the god of the super bowl last week) and still be assured that God will bring you home when the time comes. Now I'm not trying to sound like my friend is an evil man,but where is this type of thinking found in the bible? I read that God destroyed amaziah for what he had done...but since when is God in the business of destroying those that are his?(I'm not talking about nations as a whole,let's keep it to just individuals.)

tom bowerman

 2014/2/6 0:03Profile

Joined: 2011/2/25
Posts: 266

 Re: Rawhide

The whole concept of Christianity or being a Christian is sometimes seen as just a religion like many others but a Christian is a Follower of Jesus Christ, a Representative or an ambassador of Christ through the power of His Holy Spirit, we re present Jesus to a dying world, our fruits either Glorify God or bring dishonour to His name. They either reveal truth or hypocrisy.
All is based on Salvation in Jesus Christ.
Jesus is Salvation

We hear of the doctrine of whether you can lose Salvation or not lose Salvation as if it is a thing or a ticket as if it is something that can be lost or thrown away, but the Truth is Salvation is a person, and it is about intimacy with this person, walking hand in hand, walking arm in arm, walking in Christ, Christ in me the Hope of Glory.

In our English we misunderstand so much.

Genesis reads as follows
Gen 49:18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
When we read this verse we see salvation as something that we are waiting for and all we see is the salvation.
But when we read this in Hebrew we see an amazing thing, this word Salvation that we use in English is in actual fact the word Yeshua in Hebrew.

Yeshua is Salvation, Jesus is salvation, it is a person not a thing, Yeshua means salvation, deliverance, help, victory, prosperity. The primary meaning is to rescue from distress or danger. It is used to signify help given by other human beings

So Salvation is a person that comes in Jesus, His name is Yeshua, He is salvation
Mat_1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: (Yeshua) (Salvation) for he shall save his people from their sins.
There are so many places in the Old Testament where this( Salvation) (Yeshua) is used, literally they were crying out for Yeshua.

So the Salvation we have now and will also come to completion when Jesus comes is a relationship with the person of Salvation and all dependant on entering into and walking with Jesus in an intimate walk, an intimate relationship of Love, intimacy, truthfulness, openness, and sacrifice.

Our intimacy with Him produces and reveals fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Please fall in Love with Jesus and see Salvation as a person, not a ticket, not something that is earned or can be purchased by us.
Jesus purchased us by His Blood, His Life, Jesus is Salvation.

May we all experience Life in Jesus Christ and by our fruits reveal how much of Christ lives in us.

 2014/2/6 4:10Profile

Joined: 2011/6/30
Posts: 25


Please don't misunderstand me,I KNOW I am secure in him and that he abides within me,despite this flesh body that surrounds my soul...the issue is not my personal relationship,its how we are teaching foundational doctrines and how they may be perceived. I know that ultimately the holy spirit will open the blind eye,but I also know that we need to be sure we are holding up our end of what God has told us to do and to teach properly. My concern is that we are giving false assurance that leads to an apathy to what scripture has to say.

tom bowerman

 2014/2/6 8:54Profile

Joined: 2011/2/25
Posts: 266


Hello rawhide, I was not against what you said, and was not refering to your relationship with Jesus, I was merely confirming with you that the assurance that we have is in Christ and from that should flow forth fruits, it is not merely a ticket as many suppose but a dedicated walk of Love, Trust and Faithfulness.
I agree with you

 2014/2/7 14:32Profile

Joined: 2011/6/30
Posts: 25


No worries,I never took it that way....I just wasn't sure if I cconveyed what I really wanted to get across in previous posts.

tom bowerman

 2014/2/7 20:58Profile

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