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Eternal Security: Can a Christian Lose His Salvation? Essay

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Some view their Christian liberty as a license to sin. As Bible-believing Christians, we know this is absolutely not the case! Indeed, we are saved by grace, and not through our good works. But what happens when a Christian falls from the path, into his old ways? A Calvinist would say that a true believer cannot lose his salvation, while an Arminian would say that one can lose his salvation (Dunham 41). The purpose of this paper is to look at the issue of eternal security, and to determine whether “once saved, always saved” does hold true, or whether a Christian can lose his salvation.

Eternal Security

The definition of eternal security, or perseverance of the saints, is defined in the Moody Handbook of Theology as “The Calvinistic doctrine of the believer’s security. Those whom Christ chose and died for are eternally secure in their salvation; they can never fall away or be lost once they are saved (Enns 643)”. The Arminian counterpart of this doctrine is commonly called conditional perseverance, which states that “Believers have been empowered to live a victorious life, but they are capable to turning from grace and losing their salvation (Enns 495). ”
First, let us look at the Calvinistic view of eternal security. To support this view, Calvinists will use such verses as John 10:28, which says “…I will give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of my hand”. Another common verse used is Romans 8:1: “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” These verses support the belief that, as the Moody Handbook of Theology words it, “Since salvation is a result of grace, with the believer being chosen from the foundation of the world, being redeemed...


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...Theology. Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1989.
Horne, Charles M. Salvation. Chicago, IL: The Moody Bible Institute, 1971.
Johnson, S. Lewis. “Studies in the Epistle to the Colossians.” Bibliotheca Sacra 118 (1961): 147.
Kempson, Wayne R. “Hebrews 6:1-8.” Review and Expositor 91 (1994): 567-573.
Lineberry, John. Salvation Is of the Lord: Topical and Word Studies. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House, 1959.
Ryrie, Charles C. “Apostasy in the Church.” Bibliotheca Sacra 121 (1964): 44-53.
Schreiner, Thomas R. and Ardel B. Caneday. The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance & Assurance. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2001.
Shank, Robert. Life in the Son: A Study of the Doctrine of Perseverance. Springfield, MO: Westcott Publishers, 1961.
Strombeck, J.F. Shall Never Perish. Findlay, OH: Fundamental Truth Publishers, 1936.


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