Last night, like every Tuesday night, was Bible Study night. My group and I are currently studying the Baptist’s Confession. It’s similar to the Westminster (Presbyterian) Confession, only it’s…well…Baptist. The topic for tonight’s study was Perseverance of the Saints. The study emphasized doing away with two extremes people seem to associate with perseverance.
Extreme position number one: The believer can lose his salvation – which is probably believed by more people than we like to imagine, whether they admit to it or not. It’s very similar to when someone responds to the question, “Do you have assurance that you’re saved?” with, “I don’t know.” Losable (is that even a word?) salvation is bedfellows with “unsure salvation.” Brother, if you believe that your salvation (your new justified standing with God, the new life in Christ, the adoption into God’s family, etc.) can be lost, then there is nothing for you but misery, and by default an endless reliance on good works to please God. God help you.
Extreme position number two: The perversion known as “once saved always saved.” (For the life of me, I can’t find anything wrong with the idea behind it – after all, if you are saved, then you are saved, you are saved, you are saved.) The problem I believe is that the phrase sounds so cliche it makes sensible people like me barf. It leads to the mentality that since I’m saved anyway, I can do whatever I please. Did I steal anything today? Did I have lustful thoughts towards someone? Did I murder someone in my heart? Nothing to it, since “God is faithful and just to forgive.” Extreme position number two leads to licentious living.
I’ll stop here, because… we stopped there. The topic broached off to other avenues before the wrap-up. I’ll continue my post on how the particular study turned out next week.
“Finitum non capax infinitum.”