Is Philippians 1:6 A Good Proof Text For Eternal Security?

Matt O’Reilly takes a corporate view of the passage and concludes that Paul did not intend to teach individual eternal security in Philippians 1:6

The Question of Perseverance in Philippians 1:6

For a post I wrote a while back that takes a slightly different approach, but also concludes that Philippians 1:6 fails as  proof text for eternal security see:

Does Paul Teach Unconditional Eternal Security in Philippians 1:6?

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27 Responses

  1. Repentance is a gift God grants his children.It is a on going thing till death.We repent and die daily,so no worser thing will come upon us.When the Lord quickens his children they go through the dark nights of repentance.A great Horro falls upon there life and soul,so much so that it becomes grevious.Not ever wanting to go through this again,they learn repentance.A great change comes upon them.If they don’t learn enough the first time,that horro can return and a greater something can come upon them.Not a good experience to go through,nevertheless we learn.It’s not very rewarding dabbling in sin and having to lay your head down at night.In the body and out of the body expereinces with paralysis is not a good feeling.So it’s time to examine yourself,you may need to stop what you are doing.Turn and repent.Divine chastizement will always bring the child of GOD back to a better standing with the LORD.It is a blessing to have this experience because it is by GODS grace that it comes about in our lives.IT’s a whole lot better if the LORD comes in meekness than with a rod.We will learn and we have a teacher Our LORD our GOD our SAVIOUR.JESUS CHRIST.This experience will save our soul in this life and bring about salvation at the end of our life.It is because your name is written in the LAMBS book of life that you go through this hardship for good.At all times the LORD knows how to bring one of his to himself and on home to heaven.And he will not fail.

  2. Hi Lewis,

    Is repentance the gift or salvation?

    Additionally you stated:
    “Divine chastizement will always bring the child of GOD back to a better standing with the LORD”

    If God’s chastisement ALWAYS brings the child of GOD back, then that would make apostasy impossible. Which in turn makes all the warning passages nothing more than suggestions at best.

    Russ

  3. Apostates are not children of GOD.They are a fraud.They are satans minions.Wolves.They appears as ministers of righteousness,but they have no light in them.The Lords divine hand is never upon them.
    Repentance is a granted gift and so is salvation.They go together.

  4. Lewis could you demonstrate in scripture, where apostasy is defined as someone never saved?

    I would ask you to do the same with repentance as a gift?

    If apostasy is someone never saved in the first place, then what is the purpose of the warning passages and whom are they directed towards?

    Russ

  5. Lewis,

    Thanks for stopping by. I am sure you won’t be surprised that I disagree with much of what you say. You write,

    Repentance is a gift God grants his children.

    This may be true in a sense, but there is nothing in Scripture that suggests that repentance is an irresistible gift that cannot be forfeited or revoked.

    It is a on going thing till death.We repent and die daily,so no worser thing will come upon us.When the Lord quickens his children they go through the dark nights of repentance.A great Horro falls upon there life and soul,so much so that it becomes grevious.Not ever wanting to go through this again,they learn repentance.A great change comes upon them.If they don’t learn enough the first time,that horro can return and a greater something can come upon them.

    This is really all just an assertion on your part. The Bible never says these things. Scripture says that He disciplines His children, but never says that such discipline guarantees a positive response or that God’s children cannot turn away despite this discipline.

    Not a good experience to go through,nevertheless we learn.

    No doubt many learn from being disciplined, but there is no reason to believe that all learn from it or respond positively to it. The Bible never says this.

    It’s not very rewarding dabbling in sin and having to lay your head down at night.In the body and out of the body expereinces with paralysis is not a good feeling.So it’s time to examine yourself,you may need to stop what you are doing.Turn and repent.Divine chastizement will always bring the child of GOD back to a better standing with the LORD.

    Again, you are simply giving your opinion on how you assume things should work out with regards divine discipline. But the Bible speaks of many who fall away and repeatedly warns true believers against falling away. Those Scriptures seem to plainly contradict your opinion concerning the effects of divine discipline.

    It is a blessing to have this experience because it is by GODS grace that it comes about in our lives.IT’s a whole lot better if the LORD comes in meekness than with a rod.We will learn and we have a teacher Our LORD our GOD our SAVIOUR.JESUS CHRIST.This experience will save our soul in this life and bring about salvation at the end of our life.It is because your name is written in the LAMBS book of life that you go through this hardship for good.At all times the LORD knows how to bring one of his to himself and on home to heaven.And he will not fail.

    Nobody is suggesting that God will fail if someone turns away from Him. Rather, the person who turns away fails to continue in the faith, even though God gives that person all he or she needs to continue. In other words, while God does not want anyone to fall away, and works to prevent it from happening, He does not work irresistibly to prevent His children from falling away. Since God’s intentions never were to work irresistibly to prevent believers from falling away, He in no way fails if they do fall away.

    If you have the time, please look over my 13 part series on perseverance. It will at least help you to see why so many do not agree with your take on things. Here is a link to the first post in the series. At the end of each post is a link to the next post in the series.

    https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/2007/10/08/perseverance-of-the-saints-part-1-definitions/

    God Bless,
    Ben

  6. Lewis,

    You wrote,

    Apostates are not children of GOD.

    Agreed, but that is beside the point. The question is whether or not they ever were children of God prior to defecting. The view that such “apostates” were never true believers or were never really saved is Scripturally untenable in my opinion. Here are some posts that illustrate this rather strongly:

    https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/2008/10/16/never-really-saved-to-begin-with/

    https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/2008/11/05/never-really-saved-to-begin-with-part-2/

    https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/2012/04/17/debunking-the-false-faith-view-of-the-hebrews-passages/

    Repentance is a granted gift and so is salvation.They go together.

    Repentance being “granted” in Scripture has reference to God granting the opportunity for repentance. Context bears this out. There is nothing in Scripture to suggest that repentance being “granted” has reference to an irresistible gift.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  7. I guess you would just have to experience the dark nights of repentance ,which is like the great horro that fell on Abraham to understand it.I don’t think Abraham could have resisted it.Maybe some of you can,but i don’t think you could.The Lord can work and no man hinder or he can hinder and no man work.

  8. Lewis,

    You do realize that you have cited a passage that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand as if it somehow supports your position? Could you please show me this irresistible “dark night of repentance” in Scripture? And if you get the chance, please carefully consider the posts I linked to that are directly related to the subject you have brought up and made a great many assertions about.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  9. At the moment of divine quickenening.Isn’t a child of GOD saved.Isn’t it by GODS grace.This salvation is not of ourselves.And the child of GOD is sealed with the holy spirit of promise.When a child of GOD is dead in sin and is raised up and made alive,made a new creature in Christ Jesus.Why do you people get so caught up in the word resist to the point that you could resist the LORDS will.Who hath resisted his will.If you have you are one special creature.One that i don’t want nothing to do with.

  10. Lewis,

    You write,

    At the moment of divine quickenening.Isn’t a child of GOD saved.

    Yes. Nobody is disputing that. But the question has to do with whether or not someone can later forfeit that salvation, so this is really beside the point. Since I am convinced the Scriptures teach that believers can later abandon the faith and thereby forfeit salvation, I believe they can. I would love to hold to eternal security. But I refuse to hold to a doctrine that I find to be out of harmony with the testimony of Scripture, even if it would make me feel better to believe in it.

    Isn’t it by GODS grace.

    Absolutely. We don;t deserve to be saved and cannot earn salvation. That God saves us is fully the result of His mercy and grace, without which salvation would be impossible.

    This salvation is not of ourselves.

    Right. It is of God. That is why we put our trust in Him to save us, because we know that we are powerless to save ourselves.

    And the child of GOD is sealed with the holy spirit of promise.

    Amen, but Scripture nowhere claims that this seal cannot be broken through unbelief. Please see the following post regarding the false claim that this sealing supports eternal security:

    https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/2010/02/16/some-further-reflections-on-the-nature-of-the-sealing-of-the-holy-spirit-in-eph-113-and-430/

    When a child of GOD is dead in sin and is raised up and made alive,made a new creature in Christ Jesus.Why do you people get so caught up in the word resist to the point that you could resist the LORDS will.Who hath resisted his will.If you have you are one special creature.One that i don’t want nothing to do with.

    Your argument here seems very strained to me. In order to defend your view, are you really suggesting that we can in no way resist God’s will? It seems painfully obvious and self-evident, both in Scripture and in daily experience, that people resist God’s will all the time. Do you agree with me that it is not God’s will that Christians sin? So wouldn’t you say that when a Christian sins, he is resisting God’s will for his life? Would you agree with me that God’s will is for all to be saved and none to perish? Yet many still do perish contrary to God’s will that wants them saved. Do you agree with Stephen that Jews throughout history have “resisted the Holy Spirit”? Don’t you see that you put yourself at odds with numerous Scriptures in trying to support your claims that believers will always return to the Lord and never fall away? Even if it is true that they will come back, are they not resisting God’s will for them when they drift away to the point of needing divine discipline?

    Let me ask you in return why you get so caught up in defending eternal security and the “never saved to begin with” view, when so many passages of Scripture flatly contradict such a view?

    God Bless,
    Ben

  11. I just don’t believe that a human being born of GODS spirit can loose that birth.I believe you can loose your fellowship with the church and even the LORD.But at death i believe the Lord will still be faithful in Saving that soul even if he or she have not been.When the LORD puts his hand to something mainly our soul in saving it,i believe it is forever.Chasetizments may come and will,but thats how we learn.When your natural Father spanked you,you learnt something.How much more will you learn in this life when we are chasened of the Lord.I think that is in continuance.Even till deaths day.But wether we live or wether we die,we are the LORDS.The bible speaks of being in the fathers hand,and none could be plucked out of it.So i believe all that are to be saved ,will be.Pardoned and passed by,as with the whirlwind and left a blessing.

  12. Ben, I read Matt O’Reilly’s interpretation of Phil. 1:6 and I feel that it is not capturing the context of the verse (I agree with your take on it). He states that “you” can mean an individual or a group but that really does not address the issue as I believe that Paul is clearly speaking to a group of individuals that he knows and cares about and not to a faceless corporate group. I think that the Pastoral concern and love and hope he has for this Church is evident when you read the context of the epistle:

    “I thank my God in all my remembrance of you…because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus…..I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I too may be cheered by news of you….and I trust in the Lord that shortly I myself will come also…. Therefore, my brothers, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved. I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord….What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me–practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you. I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble. And you Philippians yourselves know that in the beginning of the gospel, when I left Macedonia, no church entered into partnership with me in giving and receiving, except you only. Even in Thessalonica you sent me help for my needs once and again. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that increases to your credit. I have received full payment, and more. I am well supplied, having received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent, a fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God.”

    Does this sound like a faceless group he is writing to? That is not possible. Paul believed that God would complete the work among them based on their track record, his love and his hope for them. These are words of encouragement similar to other passages in Scripture:

    “For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many. Yet have I sent the brethren, lest our boasting of you should be in vain in this behalf; that, as I said, ye may be ready: Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting.” 2 Cor 9:1-4

    Here he was confident and boasting of their help but he could still be ashamed and proven wrong if they were not ready.

    “Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things–things that belong to salvation. For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. And we desire each one of you to show the same earnestness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made a promise to Abraham, since he had no one greater by whom to swear, he swore by himself, saying, “Surely I will bless you and multiply you.” And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us.” Hebrews 6: 9-18

    I believe this portion in Hebrews 6 is a direct parallel to Phil. 1:6 as he shows that he was sure of better things for them that accompany Salvation and spoke of God’s “guarantee” and “oath” but also spoke of the need for them “show the same earnestness of full assurance to the end..not being sluggish…imitating those that inherit the promise through faith and patience” and to “hold fast the hope set before them”. It is no different than Paul stating late in Phil. to “work out their own Salvation through fear and trembling, for it is God at work in you both to will and to work for his good pleasure”.

    God’s promises are wonderful and the assurances of the Gospel are a great encouragement but that in no way means that it is unconditional and we should be foolishly confident in unrepentant sin as though God will not punish us. Because, as we are told in Hebrews, though we are in a better covenant with better promises, the flip side of that is this:

    “Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace?” Hebrews 10:28-29.

  13. JPC,

    Matt O’Reilly never says or so much as hints that Paul addressed the Philippians in 1:6 as a “faceless corporate group”. All he says works completely fine with Paul addressing a corporate group that he knows intimately and loves dearly and cares for (I even intensified the description of Paul’s knowledge and love of the group for good measure).

  14. Arminian, I am aware that Matt never said “faceless corporate group” directly but I believe that it is a logical conclusion based on the points that he was making (he much more than hints at this in my opinion). He starts off by stating this regarding Phil. 1:6:

    “Philippians 1:6 was the text on to which I held in order to maintain that my former position on perseverance was biblical. Even after I changed my mind I wasn’t quite sure what to do with Philippians 1:6. Recently, though, I began to work through the Greek text of Philippians 1 and was struck by what Paul actually says. I’ve always taken this text to mean that God would complete his good work in me as an individual.”

    So, when he believed in Eternal Security (or P in TULIP) this was one of his proof passages and even after he changed his mind to the Arminian doctrine of a Conditional Security he still had a problem with this passage. Apparently, he never realized that many Arminians (such as myself and Ben as evidenced by his post from last year) have no problems at all with this passage and in fact, it is one of my favorite ones. It poses no problems at all for the doctrine of Conditional Security when looked at in context (Paul’s confidence in God finishing the work in them was based on his experience with them, his love for them in which he was believing the best for them, his hope for them and his trust in God’s ability to complete the work provided they continue in the faith) and in conjunction with the rest of the NT teaching. It is a tremendous promise of God’s faithfulness to all Christians but by no means eliminates the force of all the warning passages as those are directed towards our faithfulness.

    So, neglecting this, he goes on to state:

    “I’ve always taken this text to mean that God would complete his good work in me as an individual. The problem with this reading is that it neglects the fact that the English pronoun “you” can be either singular or plural. In Greek, though, there are two different words for you – one singular and the other plural. In Philippians 1:6 Paul uses the plural word for “you” (humin). The pronoun is the object of the preposition en which is often translated “in” but is able to function in a variety of other ways. One of the chief functions of this preposition is to indicate the location or sphere in which an event or action occurs. Thus, Paul could mean that the location where God’s good work will be brought to completion is the plural “you” that is the Philippian church.”

    There is no problem with this text meaning God will complete the work in me so long as I understand that I must remain faithful and hold on. Then, he wants to switch from the individual “you” to the plural “you”. Why would he want to do this if he is still acknowledging that this is addressed to the individuals in the Church at Phillipi? To me this is significant for this reason. Is Paul saying that God will finish the work in the Church at Phillipi regardless if those individuals now present are still there? Or is he stating that God will finish the work with those same individuals? To me it must be the latter as Paul would have been devastated to know that the members of the Church at Phillipi had fallen away. He wasn’t just saying that God will finish the work with you or someone else instead of you if you fall away. This would be a rather callous thing to say in the immediate context of what he is writing as it is very personal.

    He then states:

    “If that is the intended sense, the verse could legitimately be translated: “The one who began a good work among you all will complete it until the day of Christ” (cf. NRSV) The community of believers is the sphere where God is at work, and it is the sphere where his good work will be brought to eschatological fulfillment when Christ returns. This is a different matter than whether or not the good work is brought to completion in the life of an individual, a matter that is simply not addressed in Philippians 1:6. Paul’s confidence that God is at work in the Philippian church and will complete that work is grounded in that church’s participation in the ministry of the gospel (5). Even if some individuals fall away from the work, it does not mean that God’s purposes for the church as a whole corporate community will not be brought to perfection.”

    Now it seems clear to me what his point is here. This verse is not about the individual so you should not take this verse to mean anything to you personally. I often am amazed at how Calvinists take the warning passages and pulverize them into insignificance and leave people thinking “this verse does not apply to me”. Is he not doing the same thing here by taking the significance out of this verse and saying it does not apply to us? Just because he says that he still had a problem with this verse does not mean that he should empty it of his meaning.

    He finishes with:

    “To sum up, Philippians 1:6 is not speaking to the issue of the final perseverance of individual Christians. That question is not in view in this text. Rather, Philippians 1:6 is evidence for the Arminian view of corporate election. God has chosen his church and will complete the work that he is doing in his church. One comes into the church through faith and, according to Romans 11:17-25, out of the church through non-faith. But even if some fall away, it does not mean that God’s work in the church is thwarted. Indeed, it is he who breaks of the branches because of their unbelief (Romans 11:20).”

    How much more clear could he be? But he is wrong, as this passage IS about the final perseverance of individual Christians. It is about God’s faithfulness to complete the work in us, not about our faithfulness to God which is addressed in many other passages of Scripture.

  15. Lewis,

    You wrote,

    I just don’t believe that a human being born of GODS spirit can loose that birth.I believe you can loose your fellowship with the church and even the LORD.But at death i believe the Lord will still be faithful in Saving that soul even if he or she have not been.

    But Scripture simply doesn’t support your “belief”, and that is the problem.

    When the LORD puts his hand to something mainly our soul in saving it,i believe it is forever.

    Again, this is simply your belief. One could just as easily say that one believes that His love is such that He will ultimately save everyone and not allow anyone to go to hell (universalism). But we don’t “believe” that. Why not? Because such an idea, however appealing, is contradicted by numerous passages of Scripture. It is the same with eternal security. It is appealing, but flatly contradicted by numerous passages of Scripture and for that reason needs to be abandoned.

    Chasetizments may come and will,but thats how we learn.When your natural Father spanked you,you learnt something.How much more will you learn in this life when we are chasened of the Lord.I think that is in continuance.Even till deaths day.But wether we live or wether we die,we are the LORDS.The bible speaks of being in the fathers hand,and none could be plucked out of it.So i believe all that are to be saved ,will be.Pardoned and passed by,as with the whirlwind and left a blessing.

    Again, just more of your opinions. It’s OK to have opinions, but if Scripture contradicts those opinions, we need to abandon them. I hope you will take the time to read through the posts I recommend and linked to above. As I mentioned before, I would love to believe in eternal security. The only reason I don’t is because I am convinced it is not Biblical. I would urge you to make this an issue of Scriptural integrity rather than an issue of what you would prefer to be the case. As far as your reference to John 10:28, 29, please see the following post which demonstrates that this is another passage that has been wrongly used to support eternal security:

    https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/does-jesus-teach-unconditional-eternal-security-in-john-1027-29/

    God Bless,
    Ben

  16. Thats to bad.But thats what i believe.The bible even speaks of a man that would have his fathers wife.And that he would be turned over to satan for the destruction of the flesh,but his spirit would go free in the end.Now that is a picture of eternal security.Not that the child of GOD has a license to sin,but if a child of God does sin even a sin unto death their is consequences.The Lord has condemned sin in the flesh for all his elect.The consequences maybe cancer,or some disease the Lord allows Satan to put on a child of God for the consequences of sin,as a chastizement.So this is what i believe .Sorry if you don’t see this way.But we must all fear and repent so no worser thing come upon us.We do that by examining ourselves daily and dieing to the desires of the flesh.If we strengthen the spirit and the things that remain and sow to the spirit good things we reap of the benefits of the spirit,but if we sow to the flesh ,we reap the things of the flesh.

  17. Lewis,

    All Ben is asking you to do is show us your position in scripture and do so without writing off scripture with scripture. Can you provide that?

    Russ

  18. I’m not giving you the scriptures books or chapters,because i’m not looking them up.You people know the storys.I give you enough to get a concordance and find it for yourself.What i have give you is enough for you to read yourself.The last post i made is sufficent for you to search out for yourself.So get after it.I’m not writing off scripture with scripture.If you don’t have the mind of Paul then you don’t have the mind of Christ.Quit trying to disprove the Power of God in saving a soul eternally.Your theory is that God on the cross actually saved no one.Yet we know that he didn’t just make is possible, he made it sure for all his elect.If you are one of his then you are going to heaven when you leave this time world.Apart from that you have no hope.He raises his people up from a dead state.This quickening and raised up is a type of ressurrection.Raised like Christ as a child of the day,of which Christ triumphed over death,where is thy sting.The ministration of death has no more power over Christ neither does it a born again Child of God.All that take part in this birth how is death going to have power over you now?Raised in Christ,added to the church,are made within and not without.Your not apart of the old creation anymore,or the old covenant of the blood of bulls or goat,but under the precious blood of Christ.And you people say that this has no more power to save if you sin at any time ,according to you,all that do forfeits their eternal salvation.You people never cease to amaze me,with darkness.You can’t read,write or understand anything pertaining to spiritual things.

  19. Lewis,

    You write,

    I’m not giving you the scriptures books or chapters,because i’m not looking them up.You people know the storys.I give you enough to get a concordance and find it for yourself.What i have give you is enough for you to read yourself.The last post i made is sufficent for you to search out for yourself.

    OK, but the problem is that you are the one who is making these claims and not citing any Scripture. Why is it up to us to try to figure out what Scriptures you are referring to? The problem with vague references is that very often extremely important context is left out, context that would undermine your claims. That is why I referred you to a post on John 10:28, 29 (even though you didn’t cite the Scripture specifically, but only alluded to the language). When context is taken into consideration, we can see that your claim for that passage doesn’t really hold up to careful examination. Here is another example:

    If we strengthen the spirit and the things that remain and sow to the spirit good things we reap of the benefits of the spirit,but if we sow to the flesh ,we reap the things of the flesh.

    Well, since you didn’t give us a reference, I guess I need to cite the verse for you. The verse you are most likely referring to is Galatians 6:7, 8

    “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (NASB)

    Now we have some context and Biblical language to examine, rather than just your loose paraphrase. That’s important. Look at the parts I emphasized above. Notice that there is a specific contrast being made. There is a contrast between the results of sowing to the flesh and sowing to the Spirit. Only the one who sows to the Spirit reaps “eternal life.” Eternal life is contrasted with “corruption.” The NIV translates “corruption” as “destruction.”

    Now you can’t just say this is physical death or some sort of temporal punishment being described here because it is specifically being contrasted with eternal life. You either get eternal life or you get corruption/destruction. You can’t have corruption/destruction and eternal life. That would make nonsense of the specific language being used here by Paul. But that is how you are apparently reading this passage.

    Paul is saying not to be deceived by any such thinking that would lead to the idea that one who sows to the flesh will reap eternal life. Only by sowing to the Spirit can we reap eternal life. To deny this reality is to try to “mock God.” That seems to me to be a very big problem with your claim. Based on the fact that your use of this passage is contrary to Paul’s intentions in his specific use of language to describe the contrast between those who sow to the flesh and those who sow to the Spirit, this comment of yours is highly ironic:

    “If you don’t have the mind of Paul then you don’t have the mind of Christ.”

    Unfortunately, it is more than ironic. It is suggestive that you think that if one disagrees with you, then they do not have the mind of Christ. Is that really where you want to go with this disagreement?

    You write,

    Quit trying to disprove the Power of God in saving a soul eternally.

    Nobody is trying to disprove the power of God. Do you see how your rhetoric is now going way over the top here? I explained to you exactly why I reject eternal security. I told you that I would like to believe in it, but I am compelled to reject it since Scripture does not teach it, but plainly contradicts it. I gave you links to posts that gave in-depth exegesis of the texts that demonstrate this. Did you bother to read them? Of course you don’t have to read them, but if you did you would see why I reject eternal security and it has nothing to do with “trying to disprove the power of God.”

    Your theory is that God on the cross actually saved no one.

    First, I am not promoting a theory. I am simply trying to allow the Scriptures to dictate my theology. The Bible says that some have fallen away from faith and salvation, so I believe it. The Bible continually warns Christians against the very real possibility of falling away. So I believe that. Why do you find that so offensive?

    Second, talking about who was saved at the cross is not a Biblical way to describe things. The cross made a way for any sinner to be reconciled with God through faith in Christ. That provision of atonement is only applied to the believer through faith. If you think that you were “saved at the cross” then you would have been born saved and been saved prior to putting faith in Christ. Is that what you believe?

    Yet we know that he didn’t just make is possible, he made it sure for all his elect.

    It is sure for the elect, but the elect are only those who are “in Christ” (Eph. 1:4) and we come to be joined to Christ through faith (Eph. 1:13). So long as one remains in Christ, that person is chosen in Him, but if one is broken off from that elect body, he no longer enjoys the benefits of God’s chosen people as he has been cut off from God’s chosen people and is no longer elect (Rom. 11:16-24, cf. John 15:1-6). My guess is that part of the problem is that you hold to a Calvinistic view of election, which is not supported by Scripture. I could refer you to some excellent articles on the subject, but I have the feeling you will not take the time or make the effort to read them. If I am wrong about that, let me know.

    The ministration of death has no more power over Christ neither does it a born again Child of God.All that take part in this birth how is death going to have power over you now?

    It can’t while we remain in Christ by faith, but if we do not remain we will certainly be cut off. (John 15:1-6; Rom. 11:16-24).

    Raised in Christ,added to the church,are made within and not without.Your not apart of the old creation anymore,or the old covenant of the blood of bulls or goat,but under the precious blood of Christ.And you people say that this has no more power to save if you sin at any time.

    Actually, nobody said that at all. Who are these “you people” you are referring to?

    You people never cease to amaze me,with darkness.You can’t read,write or understand anything pertaining to spiritual things.

    Like before, this is a totally unnecessary comment. Why take it to this level simply because we disagree? Have I said anything like this to you? Have you read in any of the posts or articles on my blog any suggestion that those who disagree with me are “with darkness” or unable to “write or understand anything pertaining to spiritual things”? If you continue to speak this way, you will no longer be allowed to comment here. We should be able to disagree without disparaging each other as unspiritual or devoid of the mind of Christ, etc. Don’t you think?

    I am fine with agreeing to disagree, just understand that I disagree because I don’t find your claims in harmony with numerous Scriptures, and for no other reason. Likewise, it may that you hold to eternal security because you feel that Scriptures teach it, but you came out of the gate strong in your first comment and simply gave your opinion with no Scriptural support. My responses have been primarily pointing that out to you and challenging you to investigate the Scriptures that seem to plainly contradict your view. It doesn’t seem that you have been very willing to do that. I only hope that at some point you will.

    May God Bless you as you continue to seek Him and study His word,

    Ben

  20. First of all i’m sorry.I got aggravated.I will get back with you guys on this as soon as i’m able.Can you forgive me?

  21. Of course. Everyone gets aggravated sometimes. If there is anything to forgive, consider it forgiven. Take your time in getting back. No hurry and no obligation.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  22. Eternal Security, or Saved Today and Lost Tomorrow?

    Many persons are unsure of their eternal destiny due to false teaching. Some sects in the area of the Christian profession teach their followers that they will have to wait until after death before they will know whether they have been accepted by God. What a system of lifelong doubt and fear. Others think that they can lose their eternal salvation. What does the word of God say?

    “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any one pluck them out of my hand. My Father who gave them to me is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” (John 10:27-29). Here we have double security, eternal security. Not only this, but every true believer – every one who has his faith in Christ and his finished work and is indwelt by the Holy Spirit – is a member of Christ’s body. “We are members of Christ’s body” (Ephesians 5:30). No member of Christ’s body can ever perish. These are facts that give great assurance. In Hebrews 10:25 we are told that he is able to save to the uttermost [completely], all those who come to God by him. “He is able”. It is Christ’s ability, not ours. We must keep the question of eternal security clear of self, and make it rest entirely on God. “If God be for us, who can be against us?” Again, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? …nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:27-29). Of course there may be counterfeit conversions; persons may be deceived and deceive others and others may seem to run well for a time then break down. True believers may fail in many things; they may stumble and fall and have ample cause for self-judgment. Despite all this, the precious truth of eternal security remains unshaken – “I give my sheep eternal life and they shall never perish.”

    A true believer is among the children of God; such are also sons of God, according to Galatians. The former refers to my likeness and character, the latter tells me my status. A child is always a child, a son is always a son. He may not always conduct himself rightly, and therefore will be disciplined, but he remains a son. A servant may lose his reward, but as a son, I can never lose that place. Sonship is one thing, service or discipleship is another. If our sonship were dependent on being good disciples, where would we be? The more I enjoy my place as a son, the more faithfully I will serve as a disciple; but these two things must not be confused. Our title to heaven is Christ’s work; our place in the coming kingdom will be according to faithfulness here. “We have been marked out beforehand for adoption through Jesus Christ to himself”, Ephesians 1:5. The word “adoption” could be translated “sonship” as it is in Galatians 4:5.

    In 1 Corinthians 3:13-15 Paul tells us of a person who may build with materials that are not substantial. His works will be burnt up, be he shall be saved. Again a distinction is made between the person and his works.

    Another consideration: a true believer is sealed by the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians 1:14-15 we are told, “ye have been sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the earnest of our inheritance…” To suggest that a person could be sealed with the Holy Spirit then later go to perdition is to say that God made a mistake – an unthinkable proposition.

    Let us now consider some questions raised on this subject. “How do you keep people honest? If this is the case, people will just live as they like.”

    How does a true Christian like to live? As much like Christ as possible. The apostle Paul provides many answers. See 2 Corinthians 5:14-15; “For the love of the Christ constrains us…that they who live should no longer live to themselves, but to him who died for them and has been raised.” Persons who ask such questions show they know very little of Christ, or of grace and its teaching. Grace directs to holiness. Paul writes, Titus 2:11-14; “For the grace of God which carries with it salvation for all men has appeared, teaching us that, having denied impiety and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, and justly, and piously in the present course of things”…

    Someone might quote a case where a person, having learnt this truth, plunged into a life of sin. Does this bring into discredit the truth of eternal security. Let me quote C.H.Mackintosh: “It is a very serious mistake to judge the truth of God by the actings of men, i.e. in this case, to question the doctrine of eternal security because persons might abuse it. The only true way is to get hold of God’s truth first, then judge everything by that. Set up the divine standard and test everything by it. Set up the public weighbridge, and weigh everyone’s load on it. The scales must not be regulated by each man’s load, but each man’s load by the scales. If ten thousand persons, all professing Christians, were to fall away and live and die in sin, it would not shake our confidence in the divine doctrine of eternal security. The same word of God that proves the doctrine to be true, proves them to be false. The foundation of God stands sure, having this seal, the Lord knows them that are his. And, let everyone that names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity (2 Tim. 2:19)”. There are many who make an outward profession who are not real, and will fall away. The Lord teaches us about the wheat and the tares; both look similar and grow together now, but divine discernment will separate them in future.

    “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Some may be worried by this. Firstly, the word “salvation” is not just saved for heaven when we die. It has many applications. Always consider the context. For the Jew, “saved” meant saved from his enemies – see Luke 1:71 as an example. A believer is to be saved from the world, now – see Galatians 1:3-4: …our Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins, so that he should deliver [save] us out of this present evil world. A brother recently expressed it: You have a great salvation, now work it out [put it into practice].

    Another verse used by people who suggest that one can be saved today and lost to-morrow is 2 Peter 2:1. “But there were false prophets also among the people, as there shall be also among you false teachers, who shall bring in by the bye destructive heresies, and the deny the master that bought them, bringing on themselves swift destruction.” The difficulty arises from the words “denying the Lord that bought them.” There is really no problem here. The Lord has a double claim on every person earth. He has a claim based on creation, and a claim based on redemption. The Lord Jesus has a purchased right over every person. It is a sin to deny him as Creator, and a sin to deny him as Redeemer. It is not a question of being born of God, of divinely given life. The apostle does not say, Denying the Lord that quickened them. This would be a difficulty; but as the passage stands it leaves untouched the question of eternal security of those who belong to Christ. Much of the second epistle of Peter is taken up with God’s government in connection with the wicked. So again, at the end of chapter 2, another passage occurs that deals with mere professors: “For if after having escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, again entangled, they are subdued by these, their last state is worse than the first…it were better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it to turn back from the holy commandment…” To quote C.H.M. again: “The spread of the teachings of scripture and the light of the gospel frequently exerts an amazing influence on the conduct of persons who hear it. Many gross habits may be given up, many “pollutions” laid aside under the influence of a merely intellectual “knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”, while at the same time the heart has never been reached in a saving way at all. When such persons shake off the influence of the light of the gospel – when only their outward conduct has been affected – they are sure to plunge into greater depths of evil. Satan will see to that. Hence the need to ensure that the truth reaches the heart – “with the heart is believed to righteousnes” – and impart that life which can never be lost. There is nothing in this passage to terrify the sheep of Christ, but very much to warn those who may adopt an outward form without the inward reality.”

    Hebrews 6:4 is another verse that may cause difficulty to a casual reader. Again, it refers to persons who have tasted the benefits of grace and the Spirit’s presence, but not true salvation or the indwelling of the Spirit.

    When persons are unsure as to their eternal salvation, the subjects of faith and works are usually prominent. Paul labours in the epistles to the Romans and Galatians particularly to show that justification is by faith alone. Paul describes works or efforts by us to obtain life as works of law, or dead works. The evidence of faith is what James looks for – actions which flow out of my having faith, of possessing life. In the much quoted verse in James 2:14, “What is the profit, my brethren, if any one say he have faith, but have not works? can faith save him?” The reader should pay attention to the little word “say.” People quoting this verse often leave it out. It is certainly there in the Greek original. It is vital to the meaning of the passage. There is no use in me saying I have faith if my actions do not correspond. It would then be a mere intellectual assent. If a person really has faith, it connects him with Christ, and puts him in full and unshakeable possession of all that Christ has done and all that he is for us before God. Then works [actions, decisions and words] will give the evidence that James looks for. Works of law are those done in order to get life; works of life are the fruits or outcome of life already possessed. We get life by believing on the Son of God. “… he that hears my word, and believes him that has sent me, has life eternal, and does not come into judgment, but is passed out of death into life” (John 5:24).

    In summary, when studying scripture, never allow what we know to be disturbed by what we do not understand. As we wait prayerfully, our understanding will be opened. Hold fast to the Lord’s words. “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him may not perish, but have life everlasting (John 3:16).” It is a free, unconditional and eternal salvation. Our sins were all future when the work of redemption was accomplished. As having the Holy Spirit we are “sealed to the day of redemption.” Grace teaches that a holy walk becomes us. Our new nature delights in it. However, when we do sin, “we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1).” It is a period of grace, but God’s government is not given up. God’s dealings with us on earth are not to be confused with our eternal security.
    MM

  23. Lewis,

    It looks like you just pasted in someone else’s article without citing who it is from. Could you please leave a link to the article? I don’t have time to interact with it right now as I am in the process of moving, but I could actually do a post on it, addressing it point by point (again, I need the reference). Much of it has already been addressed in my 13 part series (I urge you again to read that when you can), and much of it seems like Biblically unjustified assertions (more opinions) and question begging. However, I have only browsed it and not looked at it too carefully.

    God Bless,
    Ben

  24. JPC (August 17, 2013 at 9:29 pm),

    I don’t think a “faceless corporate group” is a logical implication at all from what Matt said. That is a mistaken criticism often aimed at corporate election as well. It has been addressed in this article: Brian J. Abasciano, “Clearing Up Misconceptions about Corporate Election” http://evangelicalarminians.org/brian-abasciano-clearing-up-misconceptions-about-corporate-election/.

    I agree that the corporate interpretation is not necessary to hold conditional security together with Phil 1:6. But that does not make it true or not true. It is rather the corporate orientation of Phil 1:6 that commends the corporate interpretation.

    You said: “Then, he wants to switch from the individual “you” to the plural “you”. Why would he want to do this if he is still acknowledging that this is addressed to the individuals in the Church at Phillipi?”

    ***** Well, first, he does not switch from the singular to the plural, but he points out that the original Greek is plural. There is no singular involved. He also does not acknowledge that the passage is addressed to individuals as individuals, but to the church as a corporate group. Now the best corporate thought embraces this type of address to apply to individuals *as members of the group*, something the individual member of the group participates in because of his membership in the group, which is not a faceless, impersonal thing, though it is not individualistic.

    You said: “To me this is significant for this reason. Is Paul saying that God will finish the work in the Church at Phillipi regardless if those individuals now present are still there? Or is he stating that God will finish the work with those same individuals?”

    ***** Paul is saying he will finish the work in the church, and that is something that the individuals might or might not participate in depending on whether they are in the church. Ideally it would involve those same individuals. But just as in your view, that would depend on whether the individuals persevere. So mark well, even your view acknowledges that the work might not be finished in those same individuals.

    You said: “To me it must be the latter as Paul would have been devastated to know that the members of the Church at Phillipi had fallen away. He wasn’t just saying that God will finish the work with you or someone else instead of you if you fall away. This would be a rather callous thing to say in the immediate context of what he is writing as it is very personal.”

    ***** This does not seem to sound reasoning IMO. First, on the corporate view, Paul would still be devastated by members falling away. And saying that God would still finish the work even if some fell away would not be callous in the least. It would be an encouragement for the church. And your view would not be any less callous (though neither is callous), for it would be saying that God would complete the work unless they fell away. So somehow you think it would be less callous for Paul to be saying that if God does not complete the work in each person then the work will not get done. I don’t see callousness in any of this. It is a matter of Paul laying out the truth to them and encouraging them of God’s faithfulness to his work among them. It just seems to be personal opinion on your part of what you would find callous, but is not obviously callous. It is often dangerous to judge Scripture’s meaning by what we think the author should mean or say. It is better to let what the author says to form our understanding.

    You said: “Now it seems clear to me what his point is here. This verse is not about the individual so you should not take this verse to mean anything to you personally.”

    ****** Your conclusion does not follow here. How could the work of God in your church mean nothing to you personally? How could God working in your church not have an impact on you personally? It might not be him working in you exclusively or in a way that is only individual, but it would certainly still be personally meaningful, and indeed could involve him working in you personally.

    You said: “Is he not doing the same thing here by taking the significance out of this verse and saying it does not apply to us?”

    ***** No; he is not saying it does not apply to us. He is saying its focus is not individual, not that it has no meaning or significance for individuals.

    You said: “How much more clear could he be? But he is wrong, as this passage IS about the final perseverance of individual Christians. It is about God’s faithfulness to complete the work in us . . .”

    ******* But you give no real objective evidence for your position, just your personal opinion about the Philippians’ fate meaning a lot to Paul and therefore what he says to them must be focused on the individual members of the church as individuals rather than on them as a group. But that conclusion does not follow from Paul’s care for the Philippians (that would mean that someone who cares about a group of people could not express concern for them as a group with corporate language). Moreover, standing against your view is the objective fact that Paul addresses the Philippians as a group with plural language/address.

    Let me add something else. I actually tend to think Paul is not even talking about God’s work of salvation in Phil 1:6, but about God’s work of inspiring the Philippians to support Paul’s gospel ministry, their partnership with him in the gospel. Philippians is among other things a thank you letter from the missionary Paul to a church that supported his gospel ministry. The statement of confidence of God continuing his good work in them is tied to his thankfulness for their partnership in the gospel. So it seems most likely that it is this work of gospel partnership that Paul has in mind. But no matter what interpretation one takes of these Arminian ones we have been discussing, Phil 1:6 does not support OSAS, but is completely compatible with conditional security.

  25. Apostle Paul made a statement once,that sin shall not have a dominion over you.Meaning sin would not dominate the born again child of GOD.I don’t see a true born again child of GOD falling away back into sin.I do see entire churchs falling away from the true doctrine because of men that crept in unawares.Wolves in the mist.The true doctrine is of a gathering spirit while a false doctrine is of a dividing spirit.The bad spirits desire is to destroy the flock,divided it,make it loose it’s way.That what we see in free will and accept Christ Doctrines.They all rob GOD of his works and credit it to man.False churchs everyly use the LORDS name in vain,also worship in vain.I teach that if you ever been born again.Then the Lord will keep you till deaths day.Thats what i believe.I may fall in a many of error,but the good lord has delivered me before and will again.One day he will deliver us all from this present evil world,so that we fell not.None of us are perfect,but striving to be perfect in all things though we come up short.Falling short of the glory of GOD.

  26. Lewis,

    I don’t have time right now for a detailed response to your latest comment, though it seems to me to be similar to your other comments, mostly just an expression of your opinion based on how you think things should be or how you think God should deal with His people. But it is important for me to remind you again to leave a reference for the source of the comment you left before this one. Leaving other people’s work in the comment section without giving credit to the person who wrote it is in violation of my blog rules:

    5) Posting large portions of other people’s material (specifically scholars or published writers) without giving credit to those sources will not be tolerated. Whenever possible link to your source material or cite the source.

    https://arminianperspectives.wordpress.com/important-blog-rules/

    Please do not comment further until you provide us with the reference or link to the comment you left that began with, “Eternal Security, or Saved Today and Lost Tomorrow?”

    Thanks,
    Ben

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