Arminian Today

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Salvation is in Christ Alone

I received a book recently for review and the author is writing short chapters on various theological subjects.  I would say that I am agreeing with him on about 85% of what he is written.   We differ on non-essentials such as spiritual gifts, eschatology, and a few ideas here and there but overall I am agreeing with him.  However, like some theologians tend to do, he often brushes all Arminians into a group of semi-Pelagians and he is incorrect, I believe, in his view regarding eternal security.

His view is the main view held by most evangelicals.  He first cites a few passages that seem to teach conditional security and then he cites a few passages that seem to support unconditional security of the believer and then he turns around and denies the conditional view in favor of the unconditional view simply because he believes that logically it makes no sense to hold that one can “lose their salvation.”  He bases this on two main points.  First, that salvation is a work of God.  No Arminian would deny this.  Secondly, he basis his views on that since Jesus died for all our sins, how could we “lose our salvation” from sinning when we are completely forgiven of our sins in Christ.

It is that last section that I want to pick apart.  I have no quarrels with teaching that salvation is a work of God.  I believe this.  I agree with this.  I believe that apart from prevenient grace, none could be saved.  Arminians and Calvinists agree on this issue.  By the way, the author seems to hold that he is neither in this case.  In essence, he is an Arminian (though he does not realize this) although he holds to eternal security which most Arminians do not.  I completely concur with my Calvinist brethren that salvation is a work of God and not of flesh (Ephesians 2:8-9).  Apart from regeneration by the Spirit, we are not saved (Titus 3:5-7).  We must be born again (John 3:3-7).  No arguments there.

Yet I disagree with this brother’s approach to first cite passages of Scripture against his view and then for his view and then deny the first simply because it doesn’t fit his view.  A balanced approach would be to acknowledge the danger of apostasy and the warnings for disciples to abide in Jesus through faith (John 15:1-11; 2 Corinthians 1:24; 1 Peter 1:5) and then to turn around and likewise acknowledge that the believer is secure in Jesus (Romans 8:38-39; 1 Peter 1:5).  For example, in Jude we find both positions of a warning to remain in Christ and then the promise that He keeps us (Jude 21, 24).  In order to derive at a position of unconditional security, one must first take all the Scripture references to apostasy, conditional salvation such as Colossians 1:23, and deny the plain meaning of Scripture.  This is poor exegesis.  This is taking our theological presuppositions and reading them into the text.

The security of the believer is not that difficult if you approach the issue as first seeing that salvation is found only in Christ (John 14:6).  Nearly all of us would agree that Jesus alone saves (Acts 4:12) and salvation is found only in Him (1 Timothy 2:5-6).  The question would then be, “Is there salvation outside of faith in Jesus?”  Romans 5:1 says that we are justified before God through faith in Christ Jesus.  It is through faith in Jesus that we are saved and being in Him by faith is the only place we have the assurance of our salvation (Romans 8:1, 9-17).  To live in sin and rebellion against Jesus proves we are not His (1 John 2:3-6; 3:6-9).  Jesus said that if we love Him, we will obey His commandments (John 14:15) and His commandments, for the child of God, are not burdensome because we are saved and in the Spirit (1 John 5:1-4).

So is there salvation apart from Christ?  Can we be saved and not obey Him as Lord (Luke 6:46-49)?  Can we have justification without sanctification?  Romans 6 clearly teaches that salvation leads to holiness.  To abide in sin shows that we are not obeying Jesus as Lord but the flesh (Galatians 6:7-9).  To live for the world shows we love the world and are enemies of God (James 4:4).  Can God’s enemies then occupy His heaven (Revelation 21:7-8)?

My point is simply this: preach Christ.  Don’t preach that we are eternally secure no matter what we do or how we live or what we believe.  Preach that salvation and security are both found IN JESUS.  We need not fear if we are in Jesus (John 10:27-29).  John 8:51 says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he will never see death” (NASB).  Amen!  If we keep Jesus’ word, we need not fear (Psalm 121).  There is true security in Jesus!

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Written by The Seeking Disciple

10/05/2012 at 10:00 AM

One Response

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  1. Once you are biblically born again your eternal salvation is sealed! You are bound for Heaven and you’re sure to get there! See John 10:27-29

    But the thing most Christians don’t understand is that:

    Salvation Comes in Threes.

    There are three levels to salvation, each affecting a different part of your being at a different time and in a different way.

    The Three Levels of Salvation are:

    (1) The Regeneration of the Spirit –

    The Bible says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you…” Eze 36:26

    (2) The Restoration of the Soul (mind) –

    The Bible says, “…Receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” James 1:21

    (3) The Transfiguration of the Body –

    The Bible says, “…Waiting for the time when we will take our place as sons, that is, the salvation of our bodies.” Rom 8:23 (Bible in Basic English)

    In strictly biblical terms we call them:

    (1) Justification
    (2) Sanctification
    (3) Glorification

    For more info: http://www.3LevelsOfSalvation.com


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