- Total Depravity
- Limited Atonement
- Irresistible Grace
- Perseverance of the Saints
These five heresies form the basis of Calvinist doctrine.
Right now I just want to focus on perseverance of the saints.
Why? Because knocking out eternal security logically takes
out four of the five points. If P falls, then U naturally
falls as well, because if God elects unconditionally, then
that person cannot choose to leave the faith which God has
implanted. If U falls, then L falls as well. I falls as well
because if one can resist after salvation, it's not
irresistible. So, eternal security. Let's first deal with
the typical Calvinist prooftext.
John 10:28 "I give them eternal
life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch
them out of my hand."
Oooohhh. They can't be snatched, right...but can they jump?
This verse speaks only of someone else taking away your
salvation, not you yourself walking away from the foot of
the cross. So, nothing too scary for the Orthodox here.
Now, for the texts which very clearly speak against the
heresy of eternal security, which was ultimately borne from
the heresy of justification by faith alone.
Galatians 5:4 "You are severed
from Christ, you who would be justified by the law; you have
fallen away from grace."
So, people fell from grace. Wasn't that supposed to be
irresistible? Guess not.
James 5:19-20 "My brothers, if
anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings
him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner
from his wandering will save his soul from death and will
cover a multitude of sins."
So, someone can leave the faith (apostatize) and lose his
salvation, thus necessitating being brought back.
Some more scriptures, then we'll get to my favorite.
Mark 4:16 "And in a similar way
these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places,
who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with
joy; (they believe for a while) and they have no firm root
in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction
or persecution arises because of the word, immediately they
Revelation 2:4-5 "'But I have
this against you, that you have left your first love. 'Remember
therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the
deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you, and will
remove your lampstand out of its place-unless you repent."
Revelation 2:10 "Do not fear
what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to
throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and
for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto
death, and I will give you the crown of life."
Note that perseverance until death is conditional, not
Time for my favorite!
1 Corinthians 9:27 " But I
discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after
preaching to others I myself should be disqualified."
So, Paul himself says he can be disqualified. What does this
mean? Well, one need only look at the Greek word behind "disqualified".
It's the Greek word "adókimos". It is translated as "reprobate"
EVERY SINGLE TIME it is used except for Hebrews 6:8 (which
is speaking about land, not people) and the passage I just
cited. So, that sheds some light on what the word actually
means. When speaking about people, it means apostate. Paul
himself said he had the potential to become an apostate.
That seals up the case. That settles tonight's refutation of
the heresies of Calvinism.