The doctrine of [eternal] security is one of
the five points of Calvinistic system, but it is more distinguished by the
fact that it is set forth in the New Testament in the most absolute terms
and is there seen to be an indivisible feature of that which God undertakes
when a soul is saved. This major doctrine is well stated in the Westminster
Confession of Faith [Presbyterian], which declares: "They whom God hath
accepted in his Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit,
can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall
certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved" (17.1). p.
To the Arminian [Anglo-Catholic] the limiting
effect of depravity [sin nature] is annulled to a large degree by the
supposed bestowment upon all men of a so-called "common grace" which
provides ability on the sinner's part to turn to Christ. p. 268.
Doubts about the security of those who are
saved may be traced almost universally to a failure to comprehend the
reality of that which God accomplishes in sovereign grace. p. 272.
The issue that is paramount is whether
the saving work of Christ on the cross includes the safekeeping of the one
who trusts Him, or not. This is the central and precise issue in the
controversy. Either Christ did enough by His death concerning the believer's
sins that it can be said that
"there is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus"
(though it is not said that there is no chastisement), or He did not. p.
It is thus demonstrated
that the erroneous exaltation of human ability [free will] in the beginning
becomes man's effectual undoing in the end. Over against this, the man who
is totally incompetent [lost and unable to save himself], falling into the
hands of God, who acts in sovereign grace, is saved and safe forever. p.
On the other hand, the Calvinist contends
that, when God by His Spirit inclines one to receive Christ, that one, in so
doing, acts only in the consciousness of his own choice. p. 277.
Again it will be seen that the Arminian
[Anglo-Catholic] exaltation of the human will in the matter of personal
salvation encourages those same Arminians to contend, as they do, that the
same free will by which the individual accepts Christ is itself able to
depart from God after he is saved. p. 278.
In the end, according to this system
[Arminian/Anglo-Catholic], man is his own savior. p. 279.
A grave question arises under the Arminian
system, namely, whether men who have been impressed with the notion that
they are to a large degree their own saviors and keepers, will ever find the
rest and peace which is the portion of those who have ceased from their own
works and are wholly cast upon God. p. 280.
By so much the glorious, divine arrangement
by which the ungodly may go to heaven, is replaced [under
Arminian/Anglo-Catholic] by the mere moral program in which only good people
may have a hope. p. 282.
Arminianism makes security to be contingent
upon human conduct. They seem strangely blinded in the matter of
comprehending the divine plan by which, apart from all features of human
merit, sinners are elected in past ages without respect to future
worthiness, saved at the present time on the sole condition of faith in
Christ, and kept to the eternal ages to come through the power of God on a
basis which sustains no relation to human conduct.
In reality, to assert so much is to declare the Arminians are blind to the
true gospel of divine grace which is the central truth of Christianity--that
is, if the Pauline revelation is to be considered at all. p. 283.
There could never be such a thing as a
justification before God which is based upon human worthiness. On the other
hand, a justification which is not subject to human merit could hardly be
subject to human demerit. p. 325.