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Therefore, consistent with the two other passages from John we maintain that eternal life presupposes the fact that those who possess it are unable to lose it.
After considering the Apostle John and particularly the Lord Jesus's words in the Gospel, we will move beyond the direct words of Jesus into the writings of the disciples beginning with Paul. Paul has 13 Epistles attributed to his name. He is the one who has some warning passages, passages about “falling away”, but he is also the one who often speaks of ASSURANCE OF SALVATION and perseverance. Here, I want to look at a few passages from which we see that Paul taught the doctrine of Perseverance.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written, “For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
The Golden Chain of Redemption is a great passage on ASSURANCE OF SALVATION from the beginning until the end and the victory of God's unconquerable love. Few observations on this passage are in order.
1. First of all, let us notice and take hold of the promise in verse 28. Everything that happens to us is decreed by an all-wise and all-good God for the benefit of His children (e.g. Eph. 1:11; Heb. 1:3; Isa. 46:8-11). Everything must work for the good. But the good of whom? Everything must work for the good of a specific people, namely, “those who are called according to his purpose.” Not everyone has this promise, but only the elect have the promise that everything that comes at them will eventually work together for good. Not that only good things will come to us. But rather, whatever comes to pass, we can declare that God will work all things together for our good and His glory. Does this also include temptations, trials and struggles through which we doubt God's goodness and power and run into unbelief? I believe that it certainly does. But somehow God will work it together for good. Nothing, whatever it may be, will be able to separate the elect from God and will render God power...
Most importantly, this passage, if we side with the Roman Catholics that it is about the Eucharist, teaches more than they want. Dabney wrote, "If the chapter be forced into an application to the Supper, then Jn. 6:53, 54 explicitly teach that every one who eats the Supper goes to heaven, and that no one who fails to eat it does; neither of which Rome admits: And in verse Jn. 6:63, our Saviour fixes a figurative and spiritual interpretation of His words, beyond all question." Roman Catholics don't believe that people may have an ASSURANCE OF SALVATION and that they may participate in a thousand Masses, yet not be perfected in contrast to Christ's once for all atonement (Heb. 10:10-14). But these passages, if they speak about the Lord's Supper directly, teach that anyone who partakes of the elements will go to heaven, without any doubts. But the Roman Catholic Church does not teach that, therefore, they contradict their interpretation and pick and choose which parts of this passage they will believe or consistently interpret. The foundation, which the Roman Catholic claims for the doctrine of Transubstantiation, is flawed and based on erroneous interpretations of Scripture. Therefore, Transubstantiation it is repugnant to Scripture.
Repugnant To Common Sense And Reason
Interestingly, the Confession does not only appeal to the Bible against this doctrine, but also to common sense. This doctrine is contradictory to common sense and reason, because it claims a change in the substance of a thing, while nothing outward is changed. Moreover, they claim that the human nature of Christ, which Scripture teaches remains in heaven until the Parousia (Acts 3:21), is everywhere present when the Eucharistic sacrifice is taking place. Not only that, but Christ in His whole Person, divine and human, is present in every part of the host. For example, if a host, consecrated by a priest, is divided into a hundred pieces, each piece contains and is fully Christ's body. There is a difference between something that is unlikely and something that is logically impossible. There is a difference between restoring someone's sight, restoring someone's speech, and the doctrine of Transubstantiation. Calling it a miracle will not help, because miracles are not things which are impossible, but things which are unusual and require the direct intervention of God. But even God cannot do that which is logically impossible. The doctrine of Transubstantiation requires that Christ's physical body be everyone at once, which is impossible. His divine nature is everyone at once, but His physical, glorified body is located in Heaven. We close this paragraph with the words of Dabney:
In the second place, it is impossible to be true; because it violates our understanding. Our mental intuitions compel us to recognize substance by its sensible attributes. Those attributes inhere only in the substance, and can only be present by its presence. It is impossible to avoid this reference. An attribute or accident is relative to its substance; to attempt to conceive of it as separate destroys it. Again: it is impossible for us to abstract from matter, the attributes of locality, dimension, and divisibility. But transubstantiation requires us to conceive of Christ's body without all these. Again: it is impossible for matter to be ubiquitous [omnipresent]; but Christ's body must be so, if this doctrine be true. And it is vain to attempt an ...