Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Is Eternal Security a “License to Sin”?

From time to time, as a person believes the doctrine of “Eternal Security”, I am accused of “telling people that they can live anyway they want to” or “giving people a license to sin”. I want to demonstrate briefly here why this is WRONG and how that argument itself is a straw man.

Firstly, it should be obvious to the person who would make such an argument that he and I are reading the same Bible… so then it stands to reason that we would agree on some things. So let’s look at some things we agree on and how these things prove the opposing view to be a straw man based purely on emotional argumentation. Let ‘s read some verses (many more could be utilized):

1 Peter 1:15-16
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
MY COMMENT: Yes, I preach and believe in living holy… is that encouraging people to sin? If so, please tell me how one rationally comes to that conclusion…

2 Corinthians 5:15
And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
MY COMMENT: Yes, I also preach and believe that we shouldn’t live unto ourselves… which of course would involve a shunning of sin.

Galatians 2:19-20
For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
MY COMMENT: “Live unto God”? “Crucified with Christ”? “Christ liveth in me”? If one preaches, teaches and lives his life in the flesh by the “faith of the Son of God”… how in the world is that encouraging people to sin? How does a sane person come to that conclusion?

Galatians 5:22-25
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
MY COMMENT: Need I say anything here? Here’s a deep theological revelation… I believe this and I believe Eternal Security!

Titus 2:12-14
12Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
MY COMMENT: “Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts”, “live soberly, righteously, and godly”, “zealous of good works”… these verses couldn’t possibly be in the Bible of a person who believes in Eternal Security, strike it from the record I say!

1 Peter 4:1-3
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
MY COMMENT: Dear accuser of the Eternal Security brethren, your argument just received the “death blow”. The straw man you continually bludgeon has… …disappeared.

So where does this accusation come from? It comes from someone’s “experience” because it can be easily disproved scripturally (just for starters, eternal life is a FREE GIFT and is not “eternal” if it could be lost, duh?). Many people have said, “I know this guy who believes in Eternal Security (ES) and he lives any way he wants to”. May I respond to that? I know people who don’t believe in ES who seem to have no care for living holy. So can I accuse EVERY person who doesn’t believe in ES of living “any way he wants” based on “my experience”? Hasn’t the charismatic movement shown us what relying on experience does? Let’s get past this silliness and look at what the Bible teaches instead of creating straw men to bludgeon that are based purely on experiential or emotional arguments.

Even with all this proof, some will of course persist in their bludgeoning of the straw man. Why? Well, if they admit that a ES believer is not “preaching a license to sin” then their argument completely disappears. That is unacceptable to some, so they persist in the weak and emotional arguments in the face of plain scripture and logic. If one so denies such a simple point, I have to wonder about their whole view of scripture.

It may shock some to know that as someone who holds to the doctrine of ES that I DO NOT subscribe to “easy believism”. Let’s clear this up...

Acts 2:38
Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Faith as well as repentance is required for one to have truly trusted Christ as Savior. One cannot have faith without repentance or repentance without faith. They go hand in hand. The whole reason we need to be saved is because of the state sin has left us in… turning from that sin is part of saving faith! Even the devil believes there is a God, obviously that isn’t enough. Trusting IN Christ’s FINISHED work (finished as in there is nothing left for us to do, like try and live a good enough life to “stay saved”) is what saves. This saving faith involves a turning from, i.e. repentance of, the selfish fleshly life that is the result of original sin.

Will one live perfectly after that? No, not one will be able. If God left it up to us to live a “good enough life” to “stay saved”… then NONE would be saved.

Finally, any non-ES position is works religion trusting in ones own ability to keep a set of rules after being saved. For more on this, please see my 3 part series, “Does God Owe Me Something?”


Blogger Unknown said...

Well what you don't seem to understand is the logic of your position. Nearly all OSAS people say what you say, but the logical conclusion to your doctrine (despite the texts you quote) is that regardless the sin of the Christian, it is IMPOSSIBLE for him to be lost. The scriptures do not support this. The issue is not do you believe a christian should live holy; but if he fails to do so (and it's possible), does he retain his salvation? Your answer would be NO! regardless the nature of the sin. Also, to hide behind the statement that a true christian WILL live a holy life(true faith) and/or not live habitually in sin is just restating OSAS, and contrary to scripture. No scripture teaches that a true believer will automatically continue faithful in holy living. This is precisely why they are admonished to "continue", "lay hold on", and "endure", etc. These are indeed real warnings. God is not a road sign trickster who warns us of possible danger if it's not really there. The apostle John told us that "NO MURDERER has eternal life ABIDING in him". So tell me, was king David at the same time saved while a murderer and an adulterer?

11:49 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Grace-works are accepted by God, because they are the product of the Holy Spirit in us, and not self effort. It's all possible because of what Jesus did on the cross. That's not leaving it up to us. It is us fulfilling the righteousness of the law via the power of the Holy Spirit and a consequence of faith in the person and work of Christ. The works that we do after salvation are a part of that salvation. They are works produced in us by grace through the power of the Holy Spirit. I don't see a problem here.

11:55 AM  

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