May 12, 2011

ETERNAL SECURITY


ROMANS 8:29-39
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For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” [Psalm 44:22]

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

(English Standard Version)

6 comments:

Dakota said...

See also:

Hebrews 10:38; Luke 9:62; Isaiah 59:2; 2 Timothy 4:10; & Proverbs 14:14


In Christ,
Dakota

Penn Tomassetti said...

Hi Dakota,

Thank you for reading and for commenting! I have two questions for you:

1) What do you think is the main point, or the central theme, or the focus, if you will, of Romans 8:29-39?
And
2) Do you believe the verses you listed disprove the idea that says, " God never loses any of those whom He has chosen to save"?

Thank you, and I'm looking forward to hearing from you!
Penn

Dakota said...

Hi Penn,

Thanks for taking the time to read and respond to my first comment.

To answer your first question, I believe it would be nearly impossible to condense the entire message of Romans 8:29-39 into a one-sentence summarization. As a Christian blogger myself I could literally do an entire series of 500-word posts on this passage of Scripture without having ever even scratched the surface of what God has for us here. With that said I will focus only on one portion of Paul’s writing: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?... For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Though I could be wrong, it seems to me that these are the central verses of your “once saved always saved” argument. We must be careful, though, to realize that the point being made here is not one of eternal security; rather, we are simply being reminded of God’s enduring love for us (“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ/God?"). Notice Paul also reminds us in Romans 5:6-8 that the love of God reaches even to the vilest of sinners. In other words, the Scriptures are simply indicating that we will always be under the love, though not necessarily the grace, of God.

As for question #2, I’m going to let God speak for Himself. I believe those verses are plain enough to be interpreted without exposition.


In Christ,
Dakota

Penn Tomassetti said...

Dakota,

I really appreciate hearing back from you again. Thank you for replying to my questions, even after they were deleted because of that blogger shut-down period.

I see some problems with your answers, but my goal is that I hope to be of some kind of help to you, in that you would begin to examine what you are saying to me a little closer in response to what I asked. First of all, where did I make a "once saved, always saved argument"? I'm not sure if you've read any other posts on my blog, but it doesn't seem you really understand the issues being discussed, or at least the purposes of the questions I was asking. I'm not saying that to offend you, just as statement of fact based upon your responses.

In your answer to my first question, you seem to be telling me that Paul is not saying that all Christians will always be under God's grace necessarily (if they fall from that grace, I suppose), though they will always be under His love forever. I think that is what you mean? Well the problem I see is that in order to believe what you seem to be telling me, you have to ignore some of the key verses in the passage from Romans 8:29-39 that I posed. I know that's likely not your intention, or even what you think is happening. I encourage you to check that as a possible "blind spot" in your reading of this passage. Paul's questions assume his answers. "If God is for us, who can be against us?" assumes "Nobody". "How will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?" assumes "He will graciously gives us all things with Christ!" "It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn?" assumes "No one!", as he had said in Romans 8:1. Now, let me ask you a question, if God won't condemn His elect, who will?

I say all this, knowing you are not going to agree with me on every point, but I do want you to at least look at the passage and read it a little closer, and then reexamine your responses to people like me, who do not have a "once saved always saved" way of looking at things.

Thanks,
Penn

Rita Martinez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Penn Tomassetti said...

I meant to type "posted".

Also, I want to clarify something. I do not believe God's children are able to be lost, condemned, or ever have to pay for the sin that Christ already paid on the cross. That would make a mockery of what Christ did on the cross. But I do think the phrase "Once saved always saved" is problematic for a number of reasons, including that it leaves out the essential teaching of Jesus that those who are saved must persevere to the end.

I want to encourage you to continue this conversation with me if you are able, because I'm sure its something we both have thought a lot about. At least I have.

Thanks,
Penn