Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Baptists and Eternal Security, or Once Saved Always Saved; Part 1 of 3

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy. -Jude 24

Baptists are known for believing in “Eternal Security,” or, “Once Saved, Always Saved.”

More humorously it has been put, “Methodists believe in falling from grace, and Baptists practice it.” Also said, “Arminians know they have it (salvation), but they’re afraid they’re going to loose it. Calvinists know they can’t loose it, but they’re afraid they don’t have it.” In my humble opinion, most Baptists have it just right. We know we are saved, and we know we can’t loose it.

There are good Christian folks who believe you can lose your salvation.

I believe, however, the Bible teaches eternal security or, once saved always saved, for the following reasons.

Note:  First, a quick explanation. I am referring to someone who has really, truly placed their faith in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Just because someone says they are saved, does not mean they are saved. The Bible teaches there are those who falsely profess to be believers (Matthew 7:21-23; 1 John 2:19).

1. Everlasting Life Cannot Be Lost. John 3:16

If it can be lost, then it is not everlasting.
If you have it for a year, and then lose it, it is one year life, not everlasting life.

2. Everlasting Life is something the saved person has right now. John 3:16; 5:24

Well, you say, “Everlasting life may be everlasting, but you do not receive it until you get to Heaven.” No, it is something we possess right now.

John 3:16 - “have” is present tense
John 5:24 - “has” (or “hath”) is present tense

Everlasting life is something the saved person has right now.

3. We are sealed until the day of redemption. Ephesians 1:13-14; 4:30

When a king sealed a document, it was as good as already done. No one could break the seal until the proper time.

You yourselves write a decree concerning the Jews, as you please, in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s signet ring; for whatever is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring no one can revoke. -Esther 8:8

4. We have been given the Holy Sprit. His is the “guarantee” (or “earnest”) of our inheritance. Ephesians 1:13-14

Guarantee - deposit, earnest money.

When you buy a house you are asked to put down “Earnest Money” to guarantee you are serious and plan to buy the house. The Holy Spirit is our Guarantee of even more things to come when we receive our full inheritance in Heaven. You don’t give a “guarantee” and then take it back.

5. If you could lose your salvation then salvation would be of works. Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 3:28

Someone says, “No, we are saying that salvation is of grace, and then you have to keep yourself saved.”
Then you are making salvation part of grace and part of works. But for the grace of God AND your good works of keeping yourself saved, you would not make it to Heaven.
Instead of singing “Jesus Paid It All” you would have to sing:
“Jesus paid a part,
Some to Him I owe.
Sin hath left a crimson stain,
We washed it white as snow.”

But salvation is all of grace, not of works lest anyone should boast.

6. You never cease to be a child of your parents. John 1:12

You may disobey your biological parents, but you never cease to be their child. Disobedience hurts your fellowship; but it does not affect your relationship. You are still their child.
After we become children of God, the same is true. You can’t be “un-born again.”

7. Paul said that we have been adopted into the family of God.
Romans 8:14-17, 23; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5
Adoption meant you became, in every legal sense, a part of the family. It was viewed as a permanent relationship.
(to be continued)

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 17, AD 2012. 

Other Articles:
Basic Baptist Doctrines / Beliefs
Dr. Robert Wring on Baptists and Elder Rule
Pastors, Salaries, Parsonages
Other articles in lower right margin.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Basic Baptist Doctrines / Beliefs

Below is material we used in teaching Deacons. I reprint it here, with some revision, to remind us of what we believe. This is a brief list with no attempt to give the Scriptural reasons for these beliefs. That will be left for other articles. This is a summary. For a complete statement, read the Bible!

Fundamental or Basic Christian Doctrines are the foundational beliefs of Christianity. They have been believed by all, or at least the huge majority of all Christians.

Distinctive Baptist Doctrines are those beliefs that distinguish (or have distinguished) Baptists from all other, or some other, Evangelical Christian groups.

Fundamental, Basic Christian Doctrines:
1. Divine inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible. The Bible is our supreme rule of faith and practice.

2. The Trinity. God is one, but reveals Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

3. Jesus is God.

4. The Virgin Birth of Jesus.

5. Jesus’ sinless life

6. The blood atonement. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, shed His blood for us.

7. Jesus literally, physically rose from the dead.

8. Literal Return of Christ to the earth.

9. Resurrection and Judgment

10. Reality of Heaven and Hell

11. Man is a sinner in need of a Savior.

12. Personal faith in Jesus is the only way of salvation. Faith alone in Christ alone.

Distinctive Baptist Doctrines:
1. Believers Baptism by Immersion, is the scriptural means of baptism.

2. Two scriptural offices: pastors and deacons. In the Bible pastor, bishop, and elder are used synonymously for the same office.

3. Eternal Security of the believer. Once saved, always saved. But true faith should result in good works for the Lord.

4. Autonomy of the local church. The local church is a democratic body, with Christ as the head of the church. No one outside a local Baptist church can tell them what to do.

5. Religious liberty. Citizens of a country should be free to worship according to the dictates of their conscience. They should be free to witness to others.

6. Requirements for church membership: salvation and believer’s baptism by immersion.

7. Priesthood of the believer. Each believer is responsible before God to search the Scripture and believe and live accordingly.

8. The two ordinances of the church are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. They are not sacraments. A sacrament carries with it the idea of having “saving grace.” We are only saved by personal faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. Ordinance - a special command given by Jesus for the church to observe.

9. The elements (unleavened bread & fruit of the vine) of the Lord’s Supper are symbolic, not literal. They are not His literal body, they symbolize Jesus’ body and blood given for us on the cross. The Lord’s Supper is not a sacrifice, it is a memorial service.

10. Missions and Evangelism. We are to go into all the world with the Gospel. Baptists believe in giving to missions, for example, through the Cooperative Program, and to the local Baptist Association. Baptists believe in personal involvement in evangelism.

11. Southern Baptists stand against beverage alcohol, destructive drugs, and gambling.

12. Our church is a part of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC), and the San Jacinto Baptist Association (SJBA).

Ongoing Christian Life
Baptists believe Bible reading and study, prayer, giving, faithful church attendance, ministry and witnessing should be an ongoing part of the Christian life. Jesus Christ and His Word should be central in all we do.

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, April 2, AD 2012.

Other Articles:
Brief History of SBC Conservative Resurgence
Differences Between the 1963 and 2000 Baptist Faith and Message
2006 SBC Resolution on Alcohol Use in America
The Roman Road of Salvation
About the Church Covenant
Adrian Rogers on "Wit & Wisdom of Pastor Joe Brumbelow"
Why I Support the Baptist Association, Part 1