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The Security of Believers:  A Free Methodist Perspective

At one time, being “for” or “against” eternal security was a major point of identity for many Christians, but today, for a growing number, it is no longer an issue that hinders fellowship in the Body of Christ.  This statement attempts to clarify how Free Methodism understands the overall direction of Biblical truth regarding the “security” of believers.

While Free Methodists respectfully disagree with the part of Christ’s family who hold to the unconditional security of true believers, they do not believe that those who trust in Jesus are insecure, and constantly in danger of “losing their salvation.”

The issue of “eternal security” or “the perseverance of the saints” flows out of a pair of perspectives on salvation that have existed and have been discussed for many centuries.

One point of view sees the Bible as teaching that God is the sole sovereign agent in salvation, and salvation is entirely the work of God in the person being saved.

The other perspective sees the Bible as teaching that salvation, while entirely flowing from God’s grace, is nonetheless a co-operative project and process in which God is the initiating and providing partner and the human person is the responding partner.  This understanding of the teaching of scripture sees salvation as by grace alone, but as requiring free reception, and not resistance, and then ongoing co-operation by the human person (all grace-enabled).  [For a fuller discussion, see Roger E. Olson, The Mosaic of Christian Belief:  Twenty Centuries of Unity and Diversity (InterVarsity Press, 2002), especially pp. 278-280.]

A discussion of the issue in sermonic form by a Free Methodist pastor/teacher at
 http://www.fmc-canada.org/who/papers/EternalSecurityofBelievers_VlainicSermon.pdf

 

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