Studying the views of Christian commentators throughout history can help us learn more about the doctrine of Eternal Security. To understand this topic, we will look at six different Christian commentators—two from before 1934, two from between 1935 and 2000, and two from the 21st century—and compare their explanations of Eternal Security.
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) is the first commentator we will consider. Jonathan believed in a sovereign God who was ultimately in control of Salvation, so he held that once someone has accepted Christ as Lord and Savior, they are permanently Saved. This idea fits with his view on original sin; since every person is born with it, only Divine Grace can lead to Salvation. Therefore, Edwards argued, those who have been truly born again cannot be lost.
The second commentator from before 1934 that we will consider is Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892). Charles believed in the perseverance of the saints, which means those who are genuinely saved will remain in the right relationship with God through their Faithfulness. This view was based on his belief in an unchanging and consistent God and his understanding of Scripture. Spurgeon argued that those who Grace has redeemed are kept secure by Divine Power.
Next, we’ll examine two commentators between 1935 and 2000: John F. Walvoord (1910-2002) and J. I Packer (1926-2020). Walvoord was a Calvinist who argued that the security of those in Christ is based on the assurance of Salvation given by God. He viewed Eternal Security as being assured through God’s faithfulness and promise of Salvation.
Packer, meanwhile, wrote extensively on the doctrine of assurance and viewed it from an Anglican perspective. He believed in the perseverance of believers—based on their faithfulness—and also argued that no one can take away believers’ Salvation unless they willingly choose to reject it.
Finally, two commentators from the 21st century will be examined: Sinclair Ferguson (born 1948) and Mark Dever (born 1960). Ferguson is a Reformed theologian who believes in “triple-security”: God’s election, Christ’s atonement, and the Holy Spirit’s regeneration of believers. He views eternal security as being assured through God’s unchangeable nature and faithfulness.
Dever is a Baptist who believes in Eternal Security based on God's assurance for those who have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. He also argues that once someone has been saved, nothing can separate them from the love of God.
All six commentators agree that those who are genuinely Saved are kept secure in their Salvation by the Grace of God; they differ in how they explain this assurance.
Edwards viewed it through a Calvinist lens, while
Spurgeon saw it as an unchanging promise.
Walvoord believed in the security of salvation given by God, and
Packer argued for perseverance through faithfulness. Finally,
Ferguson believes in triple protection, while
Dever sees the warranty provided by God as the key to eternal security.
Though these six commentators hold different views on specific aspects of Eternal Security, they all agree that those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior shall never be separated from His love. This is a comforting thought for believers, and it’s one we can take comfort in, knowing that no matter how many times change or how long ago an explanation was written, this truth will never change. Studying these authors helps us grow our knowledge and understanding of this doctrine to remain secure in our faith.
In conclusion, As Christians, we must take the time to study these authors to fully comprehend how important it is to be aware of our Eternal Security in Christ Jesus. Though we may never know all the details, one thing is sure: no matter what happens, believers will always be secure in their Salvation if they remain faithful to God’s covenant.