Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Short Thoughts on Apostasy

Someone asked, “Must one hold to apostasy to be an Arminian or can one hold to eternal security and be an Arminian?”

I have met both.  I personally reject the teaching of eternal security apart from a living faith in Christ.  I do believe that in eternity, we shall forever be sealed to our Master but for now, I hold that a person is saved by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9) and kept by faith (1 Peter 1:5).  I know the Calvinist will counter that the faith we have comes from God and thus He is able to keep us but none will deny that our faith is well our faith.  God doesn’t believe for me.  Certainly I agree that His grace enables me to believe and I am saved by His grace but this does not negate personal responsibility (a point that nearly all Calvinists agree with me on).  We are responsible to believe and through belief, we are saved but this faith is not a dead faith.  It is not a faith in facts about the gospel or faith in the writings of Arminius or Calvin.  Our faith must be a living faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (James 2:14-26).  The gospel produces works (Ephesians 2:10).

The problem is that there are many apostasy passages in the New Testament (not to mention the countless warnings in the Old).  We must do something with them.  In my estimation we have three options.  We can:

  1. Ignore the warning passages altogether.
  2. Make the warning passages not aimed at disciples of Jesus but either unsaved or “half-saved” (as I have seen taught on the warning passages in Hebrews).  Teach they are hypothetical and can never really happen to the truly saved.
  3. Accept the warning passages as real and deal with each of them as such.  This is my approach.

I have met Arminians who say that if you hold to “once saved, always saved” you are in grave error since you will no doubt teach that sin has no bearing on the life of a disciple.  These Arminians fear that eternal security will lead to cheap grace and antinomianism.

I have also met those who have told me that I am not saved because I reject eternal security.  They believe that such a view as mine leads to “works righteousness” since I teach that perseverance is necessary for final salvation.  I have met most of these guys on Twitter and they are relentless in tweeting over and over and over again that if you hold to apostasy, you are not saved.

Charles Spurgeon had written on the doorpost of his college, “Holding fast, I am held.”  That is my motto as well.  Where can I go?  Jesus is the one who gives life (John 6:68).  I cling to Him (John 8:51).  I long for Him (John 15:1-11).  I know I am held in Him by His grace (John 10:27-29; Romans 8:38-39). I look to Him alone to save me and keep me (Hebrews 12:1-2; Revelation 3:5).  I know I am hidden with Him (Colossians 3:3).  He is my life (Colossians 3:4).  I have no fear in Him (Romans 8:1).  I am confident in Him (Philippians 1:6).  But I do fear Him (Proverbs 1:7; Romans 11:20-22).  I do not want to abuse His grace (Titus 2:12; Hebrews 10:26-31).  I pray that I would be able to say with Paul the Apostle in 2 Timothy 4:7:

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”

3 Responses

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  1. Wonderful! It is truly a blessing when I find another brother who speaks Truth. You have the mind of Christ on these issues. To God be the glory!


    02/03/2014 at 6:29 PM

  2. “Holding fast, I am held.” A great motto!

    Like you, I accept the warning passages as real and deal with each of them as such and pray that when the time comes I’ll be able to say with Paul, “”I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith.”

    Bob Hunter

    02/04/2014 at 12:43 AM

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