[Go to Part One here] We now come to the important topic of salvation assurance. Calvinists have often claimed that Arminians do not have solid ground for assurance because Arminians do not hold to inevitable perseverance. The Calvinist assumes that if one cannot be sure that they will indeed persevere in the faith, then that … Continue reading Perseverance of the Saints Part 13: Salvation Assurance
Having examined the primary passages that teach apostasy we now examine the passages that the advocates of unconditional eternal security believe clearly support their doctrine: John 10:27-29 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them … Continue reading Perseverance of the Saints Part 12: Examining Passages Commonly Appealed to by the Advocates of Unconditional Eternal Security
[revised on 7/17/08] Is Restoration Really Impossible? After studying the warning passages in Hebrews the question naturally arises: can an apostate ever be restored again to salvation? Is the repudiation of saving faith irrevocable and the condition of the apostate permanent? In this series we have attempted to let exegesis guide our theology. I would … Continue reading Perseverance of the Saints Part 11: Can Apostates Be Restored?
Some Calvinists have argued that the frequent references to the wandering Israelites in the desert suggest that the writer of Hebrews is not addressing apostasy from true faith. It is assumed that the wandering generation who failed to enter the Promised Land never had a saving faith relationship with the Lord. Since the writer of … Continue reading Perseverance of the Saints Part 10: Examining Wilderness Typology in Hebrews
We finish our exegetical examination of the warning passage in Hebrews 10 with verses 32-39:  But remember the former days, when, after being enlightened, you endured a great conflict of sufferings,  partly by being made a public spectacle through reproaches and tribulations, and partly by becoming sharers with those who were so treated. … Continue reading Perseverance of the Saints Part 9: Hebrews 10:32-39
We now examine another interpretation that looks to make this sanctification merely outward with no internal reality. It looks to compare the sanctification described in 10:29 with the outward ceremonial cleansing referred to under the old covenant in 9:9 and 9:13. Peterson and Williams see it as “a covenantal sanctification in which persons are set … Continue reading Perseverance of the Saints Part 8: What Kind of Sanctification is Being Described in Hebrews 10:29?
We will now examine one of the alternative interpretations offered by the proponents of unconditional security concerning the apostate of Hebrews 10:29 being "sanctified by the blood of the covenant". Calvinists are well aware that if the text is stating that the apostate had truly been sanctified by Christ's blood, then their doctrine cannot stand. … Continue reading Perseverance of the Saints Part 7: Who is Sanctified in Hebrews 10:29?
We now examine what I consider to be the most significant warning against apostasy in the entire Bible: Hebrews 10:26-30, 35-39. I will quote the entirety of the text I wish to examine below but this post will deal only with verses 26-30. Verses 35-39 will be examined in a future post.  For if … Continue reading Perseverance of the Saints Part 6: Hebrews 10:26-30
Audience: There is general agreement that this letter was written to Hebrew believers who were in the midst of some sort of testing which threatened their faith. “To the Hebrews” is a later addition to the epistle, but it is clear from the context of the letter that the writer assumed his audience to be … Continue reading Perseverance Of The Saints Part 5: Hebrews 6:4-9
We will now examine 2 Pet. 2:20-22:  "For if after they have escaped the defilements of the world by the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and are overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first.  For it would be better … Continue reading Perseverance Of The Saints Part 4: Again Entagled In Corruption
This passage is very similar in meaning and application as the passage previously discussed from Christ’s discourse in John 15. It may well be that Paul was familiar with Christ’s teaching on the Vine and the branches, and had His discourse in mind while writing about the olive tree in Rom. 11:15-24:  For if … Continue reading Perseverance Of The Saints Part 3: The Ancient Olive Tree
Before we examine John 15, I want to give a general outline of how I envision this series unfolding. We will begin by examining what I consider to be the five passages of Scripture which I believe to most clearly teach that true believers can commit apostasy (Jn. 15:1-6; Rom. 11:18-23; Heb. 6:4-8; 10:26-39; 2 … Continue reading Perseverance Of The Saints Part 2: The Vine And The Branches
My next several posts will be dealing with the topic of perseverance. Perseverance of the saints is represented in Calvinism by the P in TULIP. Most Calvinists rest their understanding of perseverance on the certainty of unconditional eternal election. Those who have been elected from all eternity to salvation cannot fail to persevere to the … Continue reading Perseverance Of The Saints Part 1: Definitions