Why this study? 1) Sound doctrine matters (1Ti 4:16; 1Co 15:32-34), 2) Contending for this point as part of true Christianity is commanded (Jud 1:3-5; This study provides you w/the resource to do that), 3) Large letters are needed where heresy has succeeded (Gal 6:11), 4) Appreciation of the subject is a means of defending against personal doubt and the attacks of Satan (1Pe 5:8-9; two strategies in teaching: assimilation [you understand enough to teach it] and appreciation [you are no longer ignorant of something’s truthfulness]. This study is again meant to produce the latter since this too is a defense against stumbling from personal/satanic doubt – e.g. 2Pe 2:12 w/3:15-17).
- What (so-called) biblically-based, Evangelical churches (and Christians) believe and teach = The false doctrines of Eternal Security, Perseverance of the Saints or “Once Saved, Always Saved”: Those who are truly saved (the elect), can/will never lose their salvation.
“The bottom line in this doctrine is that when the Lord saves someone, that salvation is forever, never to be reversed. The Bible is clear on that basic truth and the basic truth is that salvation by its very nature is irrevocable.” – John MacArthur
- What Moses, Jesus, Paul, the author of Hebrews, Peter, James, Jude and John believed and taught = Legitimately saved people or true Christians can (and will) lose their salvation if they do not continue in faith and faithful obedience.
(Discussed: Deu 29:18-20, 32:5; Mat 6:14-15, 8:11-12; Rom 11:17-22; 1Co 9:24-10:12; Gal 5:4; Phi 2:12-16; Col 1:21-23; 1Th 1:4 w/3:1-5; 1Ti 1:18-20; Heb 6:4-9, 10:19-30; Jam 5:19-20; 2Pe 2:20-21; Jud 1:3-5; Rev 3:5, 22:19; Additional passages to consider: Psa 50:14-23, 51:11-12; Eze 33:13; Amo 5:21-27; Mat 25:24-27; Luk 19:24-26; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:1-10; Heb 3:12-4:11; Jam 2:14-26; 2Pe 3:14-17; 2Jo 1:8)
- Why (so-called) biblically-based, Evangelical churches (and Christians) believe and teach that you cannot lose your salvation=
B/C they erroneously believe that in relation to salvation the bible teaches: The Godhead does it all – including Christ covering it all, which means all that God gives to us in salvation is irreversible.
3.1. The Godhead does it all…
3.1.1. From beginning to end, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit (i.e. the Trinity) are the only ones working to secure the conditions of our salvation. The Godhead is the only truly responsible party – or the only ones with real obligations, in relation to our salvation. Salvation is all of God or all of grace – we contribute nothing. Which means that those verses that seem to communicate loss of salvation are really about false Christians who never actually possessed it in the first place – since if they did, the work of the Godhead guarantees it will remain. This view is sometimes referred to as “monergism” (one working) (e.g. Monergism.com) And though the verses used to support this view do teach that our salvation is the result of the Godhead’s gracious work, none of those passages negate – or are the same as saying, that we are not responsible for contributing anything to our salvation – or that the Godhead is the only responsible party in our salvation. CONSIDER:
126.96.36.199. The surrounding context of many of those passages/verses make it clear that the promises made are contingent upon continued faith and/or faithfulness on our part. In other words, we too have work to do (Rom 8:29-30 w/28; Rom 11:6 w/11:17-22; Phi 2:12-13 w/14-16; Col 1:20-22 w/23; 2Co 5:18-19 w/20-6:1; Tit 3:5 w/8, 14 w/Mat 8:18-23 w/Luk 13:1-9 w/Joh 15:2; 1Pe 1:1-4 w/5; 2Pe 1:1-4 w/5-11; Jud 24 w/20-21; Rev 21:6 w/7; Joh 10:27-29 = Those “sheep” Jesus promises will “never perish” or be “snatched out” His or the Father’s “hand” are only those who “hear” and “follow” Him – i.e. who continue in faith/faithfulness – see vv 22-26 – “believe”[or faith]; vv1-8 – “follow” = listen” = faithful obedience – Deu 1:43 w/4:1).
188.8.131.52. That such faith and faithfulness is our obligation/responsibility (and not something God does for us) is also made clear by the fact that all the commands in Scripture are directed at us. In other words, we (not God) are the ones being told to exercise and continue to exercise faith and faithfulness (e.g. Rom 8:12-13; 1Th 4:1; 2Pe 1:5).
184.108.40.206. The warning passages associated with unbelief or unfaithfulness further demonstrate these things to be our obligation/responsibility and a condition of our salvation (e.g. Heb 10:26-31; Gal 5:19-21; 1Pe 1:14-19, 4:15-18; 2Co 5:9-11).
220.127.116.11. Again, when vetted by their surrounding context – or the witness of Scripture as a whole, those passages which seem to teach faith and faithfulness as gifts of God, something that He alone produces for us, or that God’s work in salvation is immutable, are defused:
18.104.22.168.1. As it re: to faith and faithfulness as gifts/something God alone produces in the saved.
(Eze 36:25-28) = The word translated “cause” in the ESV is better translated “prepare” (e.g. Gen 18:7; 1Sa 25:18; 1Ki 18:23). As a matter of fact, there is nowhere this Hebrew word is ever translated that way in the OT. So why here? As such, it does not teach that God will do the work of faith and faithfulness for us (or guarantee that such work wb done), but rather that by his “Spirit”, we wb empowered w/everything we need to successfully accomplish our responsibility/obligation (See 2Pe 1:3; Deu 30:11 has become a superlative!).
(Joh 3:21) = The works of the person who “comes to the light” have been carried out in God (His name) – not by God (His doing).
(Act 13:48 and 16:14) = These passages teach only that God’s work (in calling to salvation and opening the heart) were received, not that God does the work of faith or faithfulness. Such conclusions demonstrate poor logic (e.g. Jim invited and influenced John to be a part of the football team ≠ Jim accepted the offer and played John’s position on the team; Correlation ≠ Causation).
(1Co 1:26-31 and Eph 2:9 w/12) = We are to “boast in the Lord” not b/c He is the only One doing the work in our salvation. Neither of these passages are dealing w/that issue. Rather they speak to how we – the “foolish”, unwise, ignoble, weak, “w/no hope and w/o God” people of the world, were able to know God and receive His salvation. We did so only b/c of His mercy in choosing to reveal Himself to us. We boast therefore in this: that He found us – and made a way for us to be saved through His Son (“b/c of Him you are in Christ Jesus”). Paul then uses such knowledge as the motivation for calling the Corinthians and Ephesians to their responsibility in the rest of their respective letters.
(Eph 2:8-10 w/11-12) = Faith is not the “gift” given by God. Rather it is salvation. And such faith comes before (not after) regeneration (the view of many in the Evangelical camp). According to Paul, to be “made alive” (i.e. regenerated) is to be “saved by grace” (verse 5) which happens “through (or by) faith” (verse 8). Faith is therefore not only our responsibility, but the condition to God furthering His work in regeneration. And it is something we have the ability to do (Rom 10:6-8 w/Deu 30:11-14)!
 Upon hearing the word “work”, Evangelicals think of earning one’s way to salvation since for them there are only two possible options: 1) you earn your way to heaven (the impossible option), or 2) God (or more specifically Jesus) earns it for you. Neither however is communicated in the Bible. The gospel is (and always has been ) a marriage – or a system of gain (by symbolic faith) and maintain (through law faithfulness). The word “work” is therefore meant to refer to labor for the purpose of maintenance not merit.