I have written an e-book, Does the Bible Really Say That?, which is free to anyone. To download that book, in several formats, go here.
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Sunday, June 22, 2014

Does the Bible really say that? Excerpt from my book, 40

The previous chapter of my book dealt with the question of who is saved, and pointed out that the Bible describes some characteristics of such a person -- not everyone who believes she has been redeemed really is. The next topic follows:

Nine: Can a believer lose salvation?

In this chapter, I’m going to present the Biblical evidence for both a “yes” and a “no” answer to that question – there’s a lot of evidence supporting both sides. I have my beliefs, but this study has been instructive in helping me to realize that the people who disagree with me on this issue have some good reasons for doing so. I hope this study does the same for you, the reader.

Eternal Security

Does the Bible say that, once a person becomes a believer, they cannot be lost? I will call a belief that answers “yes” to that question a belief in eternal security.

There is a related topic, Predestination. A particular doctrinal outlook, related to predestination, namely Calvinism, is related to eternal security. But there are many Christians who do not believe all of Calvinism to be correct, but still believe in eternal security. This is true of many Southern Baptists, for example. Article Nine of this statement of traditional Southern Baptist belief says:

We affirm that when a person responds in faith to the Gospel, God promises to complete the process of salvation in the believer into eternity. This process begins with justification, whereby the sinner is immediately acquitted of all sin and granted peace with God; continues in sanctification, whereby the saved are progressively conformed to the image of Christ by the indwelling Holy Spirit; and concludes in glorification, whereby the saint enjoys life with Christ in heaven forever.

We deny that this Holy Spirit-sealed relationship can ever be broken. We deny even the possibility of apostasy. (Emphasis in original.)

Note - “Apostasy: Abandonment of one’s religious faith, a political party, one’s principles, or a cause.” (The Free Dictionary)
The word, apostasy, occurs only twice in the New Testament, in Acts 21:21 and 2 Timothy 2:3. Most English versions of the Bible do not use apostasy in translating from the Greek, probably because readers might not be familiar with it.

Clearly, many Southern Baptists (and others) do believe in eternal security. But there are also Christians who do not believe in eternal security. What does the Bible say about the question of the chapter?

The above material is an excerpt from my self-published e-book, Does the Bible Really Say That?, which may be obtained free of charge, or purchased from Amazon for $0.99, which is the lowest price Amazon lets an author set. Scripture quotations are from the World English Bible, which is in the public domain.

The previous post in this series, on the characteristics of a true Christian, is here. God willing, the next post in this series will consider a new topic. Thanks for reading.

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