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Eternal Security Summarized by J. C. Dillow The Reign of the Servant Kings:

01 Jun

The Partaker view of eternal security may be summarized as follows:

1. Those who have been born again will always31 give some evidence of growth in grace and spiritual interest and commitment. A man who claims he is a Christian and yet never manifests any change at all has no reason to believe he is justified (Mk. 4:5, 16–17).

2. The assurance of salvation is found only by looking outward to Christ and not by looking inward to the evidences of regeneration in the life. As the gospel promise and the beauty of the Redeemer are held before the believer’s gaze, assurance is the result of such contemplation. The fruits of faith are helpful as secondary confirmations of one’s regenerate state, but their absence does not necessarily invalidate a man’s salvation. If a believer is looking biblically and dependently to Christ, a lifestyle of sin will be psychologically, spiritually, and biblically impossible (Rom. 6:1, 11; 8:35–39; Heb. 11:1–2).

3. It is possible for true Christians to fail to persevere in faith and, in remote cases, even to deny the faith altogether (Heb. 10:26, 35). While initial growth is taught in the New Testament, it is possible for a true Christian to lapse into carnality and finish his course walking as a mere man. The automatic unity between justification and sanctification maintained by the Experimental Predestinarians is not taught in Scripture.

4. The warning passages of the New Testament are intended by the New Testament writers to address regenerate people, not merely professing people, and to express real dangers to the regenerate. The danger, however, is not loss of salvation but severe divine discipline (physical death or worse) in the present time and loss of reward, and even rebuke, at the judgment seat of Christ.

5. A life of good works is the obligatory outcome of justification but is not the inevitable outcome (Rom. 8:12).

6. Those whom God has chosen before the foundations of the world and efficaciously called into saving faith and regenerated by His Holy Spirit can never fall away from salvation, but they shall be preserved in a state of salvation to the final hour and be eternally saved. This preservation is guaranteed regardless of the amount of works or lack thereof in the believer’s life (Jn. 6:38–40).

7. The motive for godly living is not to be found in either fear of losing salvation (Arminian) or wondering if one is saved (Experimental Predestinarian). Rather, it is to be found, negatively, in the fear of disapproval, and, positively, in gratitude for a salvation already assured and in anticipation of hearing the Master say, “Well done!” The doctrine of eternal rewards usually has a more prominent place in spiritual inspiration toward a life of good works in the Partaker view than in that of the Arminian or Experimental Predestinarian (1 Cor. 9:24–27; 2 Cor. 5:10; Jn. 8).32[1]

 


31 This is true because (1) at conversion a person has repented, changed his perspective about sin and Christ and is therefore predisposed to allow Christ to change him; (2) he has been flooded with the new motivations toward godliness accompanied by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit; and (3) the parable of the soil says of the second man there was growth, a kind of fruit. But he may soon after quench the Spirit, walk by means of the flesh, and thus fail to give visible evidences of these initial inner workings. A life of sanctification will not inevitably and necessarily follow justification.

32 John MacArthur, for example, has only one sentence devoted to the subject in his entire book on discipleship, p. 145.

[1] Dillow, J. C. (2011). The Reign of the Servant Kings: A Study of Eternal Security and the Final Significance of Man (21–22). Monument, CO: Paniym Group.

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