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By Jeff Paton This addition to the Eternal Security web-page seeks to answer many of the common questions and statements that are presented in defense of the doctrine of unconditional eternal security. The Bible tells us in 1 John 2: Many have used this one verse to defend unconditional eternal security by saying that it posits that any departure from the faith is evidence that they were never genuine believers to begin with.
Based on the presupposition that a genuine believer will remain to the end, and this lonely verse, they discard the many verses that establish the possibility of such an apostasy in favor of a singular proof-text. While it is a fact that there are many who wear the name of Christian are not really believers at all, this does not prove that those who defect from the faith were never genuine in the estimate of their salvation.
They use this specific application of John to certain individuals as a blanket answer to any and all situations. The context of the verse in question is dealing with the false teachers who had infiltrated the church in which John is writing to.
They wore the label "Christian," but it was the Gnostic version of Christianity. Daniel Steele observed, "They were not of us. It does not signify that they were never genuine Christians.
The fact that there are withered and fruitless branches now in the true vine John It is a case of manifest apostasy, beginning in the spirit and ending in the flesh.
Whedon writes, "Alford, following Dusterdieck, has an elaborate dissertation on the passage, as if it had some bearing on the question of the necessary final perseverance of all true believers.
He writes as if the apostle assumed a universal law in the kingdom of God, that a man once converted always continues a saved man.
It does not say, or assume, that all Christians will forever stay Christians; but that it be assumed, when we know nothing to the contrary, that these men would have remained in the Church if they had been, and as long as they were, Christians.
Even if we hold to this interpretation of this passage, we do not have any warrant to make a universal application outside of this specific scenario. To make every case of apostasy outside of the situation that John addresses to mean that certain people were never saved could not be proved from this singular text.
The passage does not say directly, or indirectly, that a true believer cannot fall away. To draw that this verse proves that you cannot fall away and be lost if you are a believer is a mere assumption and theological interjection. It is valid interpretation to say that this verse is asserting that those who leave the assembly of believers were not believers or in sympathy with believers at the moment of their departure.
This does not prove that they had never been genuine believers. I believe this to be the most accurate interpretation of this passage.
It is true that both situations are evident in the Church. There are those who are in "membership" on a human level, but have never been a member on a "spiritual" level.BibMe Free Bibliography & Citation Maker - MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard.
William Lane Craig is a prolific Christian philosopher, apologist, author, and public debater. He is the best debater – on any topic – that I’ve ever heard. As far as I can tell, he has won nearly all his debates with initiativeblog.com debating him, atheists have consistently failed to put forward solid arguments, and consistently failed to point out the flaws in Craig’s arguments.
initiativeblog.com is the place to go to get the answers you need and to ask the questions you want. Words and expressions for menstruation around the world Send contributions from any culture and language!
Write as much as you know about the words, including who uses it (women and/or men), where used, origin, etc. The best opinions, comments and analysis from The Telegraph.
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