Eternal security and the health of the body of Christ

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eternal security and the health of the bodyEternal security is often attacked by many Christians because they are not comfortable with the implications of  a “baring all rules free for all salvation”. This is understandable however we must be careful not to base our Christian beliefs on the implications of rejecting them but on the weight of biblical evidence that supports them no matter how uncomfortable the outcome.

There are numerous bible passages that indicate the position Christians should take regarding the issue of Eternal security and here we will look at a few that relate salvation to the church as the ever-growing and developing body of Christ.

Eternal security and the metaphor of the body

The bible teaches that when someone receives salvation, God not only regenerates them but He makes them one spirit with Him (1 Cor. 6:17).  Beyond that, they also become members of His body. This claim, which carries with it implications that can be argued to support the doctrine of Eternal Security is established by the following passages:

But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.  (1 Corinthians 6:17)

Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.  (1 Corinthians 12:27)

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!  (1 Corinthians 6:15)

When a sinner converts, he not only receives regeneration and eternal life, but God also unites him to the body of Christ and transforms him into a member of His body.  If it were possible for a Christian to spiritually perish at a later time and become lost, that would imply a mutilation of the body of Christ.  There would be one less member, a hand, finger, nose or other member. The body of Christ is not merely an illustration; it is a definite spiritual reality, not a physical connection but a spiritual bond that transcends time and space.

The bible does not claim that the church is like a body, it affirms that it is the body of Christ. To affirm that Eternal Security or the belief that salvation is not lost is against the spirit of scripture is to do violence to this Holy Spirit inspired metaphor.

And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.  (1 Corinthians 12:26)

The apostle Paul spoke of the possibility and case of a member of Christ’s body suffering and how the remaining part of the body should react, but not of the possibility of bodily members entering and leaving the body. New members can enter the body as a function of its normal process of growth but the idea of a body with temporary members does violence to the metaphor. God was not forced to use this metaphor but chose to use it fully knowing the natural implications that would result.

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