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The Eternal Security of the Believer

Studies in Theology

There are some theological issues that never seem to lose their hold on the minds and hearts of serious believers. One such issue is the doctrine of eternal security. This page is dedicated to examining this issue in some detail. 
     The doctrine of eternal security has spawned endless debate within the Christian community - extending back to the 1st Century. The debate is driven not only by exegetical concerns, but just as much by deep-seated emotional concerns as well - especially how a believer’s “take” on the matter is apt to influence how he pursues his walk of faith. Millard Erickson puts it well:
  • On one hand, a theology that does not affirm eternal security leads to anxiety about one’s spiritual condition.
  • On the other, a view of eternal security that does not point to genuine conversion leads to “indifference to the moral and spiritual demand of the gospel.”
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While Erickson’s point is well taken, neither of the concerns he lists should influence how the whole matter is resolved. Only the text itself should be our focus.
     Salvation is rooted in the doctrine of forgiveness. And it’s there that we first turn our attention. We will then take up Hebrews 6:1-6, then the Greek perfect tense, and, finally, the whole matter of rewards, another doctrine that sheds light on how the matter is best resolved.
    

Articles on Eternal Security

Eternal Security and the Doctrine of Forgiveness
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Forgiveness in Greek means "release." When God forgives, he releases. His release is two-fold: first he releases us from the penalty of sin, death; second, he releases us from alienation and restores us to fellowship. W herever in scriptures forgiveness is made unconditional, that forgiveness pertains to penalty. But wherever in scripture forgiveness is made conditional - based upon whether or not we forgive others and confess our sins - that forgiveness pertains to fellowship. Thus, it's possible for a believer to be in either one of two states: (1) delivered from the penalty of sin and in fellowship with God; or (2) delivered from the penalty of sin but alienated from fellowhip with God. The one is a spiritual Christian (πνευματικοῖς); the other is a carnal Christian (σαρκικοῖς1 Corinthians 3:1-15). Herein lies one of the keys to resolving the debate that swirls around the doctrine of eternal security. The article here is a download. Press the icon and look for the article in your download file.

Download Article on Forgiveness (PDF) by Pastor Douglas Shearer

Hebrews 6:1-6
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There is perhaps no passage of scripture more troubling for Christians than Hebrews 6:1-6. Can a Christian lose his salvation? A straight forward reading of Hebrews 6:1-6 seems to suggest that, yes, a Christian can indeed forfeit his salvation; that, yes, salvation is not an iron-clad certainty. But that interpretation conflicts with other passages of scripture that suggest quite the contrary. What’s the answer? The point I will be making here is that Hebrews 6:1-6 does not address the issue of salvation at all; but it nonetheless underscores a very sobering truth - a truth much needed among a generation of Christians apparently addicted to “easy believism,” and “greasy grace.”  Press the icon to the left.

Teleological Thought
and  the Greek Perfect Tense xx
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An important key to resolving the whole matter of eternal security is found in the language itself - meaning the nature and structure of biblical Greek. Press the icon to the left.

Teleological Thought
The Greek Perfect Tense

More to come ...