What About the Doctrine of Eternal Security?

What About the Doctrine of Eternal Security?

The doctrine of eternal security was first taught by Augustine of Hippo 354-430 AD and was not readily accepted by the church at large; prior to him it is not found in any of the early writings of the church fathers[1].  The next prominent one to teach it was John Calvin[2] 1509-1564 AD.

In my thinking, the doctrine of eternal security is a “me” doctrine and human-centered. It is irrelative to the person who intends to continue with Christ and obey him.  One of its roots is the lack of faith in the forgiveness we received by Christ and reflects anxiety over one’s salvation.  It is a stumbling block for many because it destroys the tension between sanctification and justification, which is necessary for a balanced Christian walk.  By its very nature, it inhibits growth and a striving for maturity and holiness in Christ.  By this, I am not inferring that we can make ourselves mature nor earn our salvation by growing, but just like in the natural world where a child is expected to grow up, a believer is expected to grow up in their faith.  We must continue to do those things that contribute to our growth.  Things like fellowship, prayer, meditation and the reading of scripture.  To neglect these is like a man that refuses to eat and yet expects to live.

[1]  Here are some typical quotations from their writings: We ought, therefore, brethren, carefully to inquire concerning our salvation. Otherwise, the wicked one, having made his entrance by deceit, may hurl us forth from our life. Barnabas (c. 70-130).
Those who do not obey Him, being disinherited by Him, have ceased to be His sons. Irenaeus (c. 180).
It is neither the faith, nor the love, nor the hope, nor the endurance of one day; rather, “he that endures to the end will be saved.” Clement of Alexandria (c. 195).  God gives forgiveness of past sins. However, as to future sins, each one procures this for himself. He does this by repenting, by condemning the past deeds, and by begging the Father to blot them out. For only the Father is the one who is able to undo what is done. …So even in the case of one who has done the greatest good deeds in his life, but at the end has run headlong into wickedness, all his former pains are profitless to him. For at the climax of the drama, he has given up his part. Clement of Alexandria (c. 195).

[2] http://eternalsecurity.us/a_historical_examination.htm