Arminian Today

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Arminius on Perseverance of the Saints

My sentiments respecting the perseverance of the saints are, that those persons who have been grafted into Christ by true faith, and have thus been made partakers of his life-giving Spirit, possess sufficient powers [or strength] to fight against Satan, sin, the world and their own flesh, and to gain the victory over these enemies — yet not without the assistance of the grace of the same Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ also by his Spirit assists them in all their temptations, and affords them the ready aid of his hand; and, provided they stand prepared for the battle, implore his help, and be not wanting to themselves, Christ preserves them from falling. So that it is not possible for them, by any of the cunning craftiness or power of Satan, to be either seduced or dragged out of the hands of Christ. But I think it is useful and will be quite necessary in our first convention, [or Synod] to institute a diligent inquiry from the Scriptures, whether it is not possible for some individuals through negligence to desert the commencement of their existence in Christ, to cleave again to the present evil world, to decline from the sound doctrine which was once delivered to them, to lose a good conscience, and to cause Divine grace to be ineffectual.

Though I here openly and ingenuously affirm, I never taught that a true believer can, either totally or finally fall away from the faith, and perish; yet I will not conceal, that there are passages of scripture which seem to me to wear this aspect; and those answers to them which I have been permitted to see, are not of such a kind as to approve themselves on all points to my understanding. On the other hand, certain passages are produced for the contrary doctrine [of unconditional perseverance] which are worthy of much consideration.

I love Arminius’ heart here.  He, being a student of the Word of God, wants us to study the Scriptures to make our own decision about unconditional perseverance.  I, from my studies, reject unconditional perseverance but I know that some Arminians still hold to eternal security in some ways.  There is room in the Church for us to safely debate that doctrine within the understanding that God is holy and that His people must be holy (1 Peter 1:15-16).  

Written by The Seeking Disciple

01/05/2011 at 10:11 AM

2 Responses

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  1. Wow … a theologian who admits he just doesn't know something. How did someone so wishy-washy and immature in his faith ever get published in the first place? This Arminius guy would never get a book deal these days, I guarantee. šŸ˜‰

    Chris Bloom

    01/05/2011 at 9:41 PM

  2. Arminis changed later his view on OSAS:In the beginning of faith in Christ and conversion to God the believer becomes a living member of Christ; and, if persevering in the faith of Christ, and keepĀ­ing a conscience void of offence, remains a living member. But if it happen that this member grows slothful, is not careful over itself, gives place to sin, by little and little it becomes half-dead; and so at length, proceeding still further, dies altoĀ­gether, and ceases to be a member. aus The Works of Arminius, Vol. III, The London Edition, Translated by James Nichols and William Nichols (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, Reprinted 1991), p. 470.


    01/07/2011 at 8:16 AM

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