Bible · Christian Security · Conditional Security · Doctrinal · Interpretation · OSAS

Conditional Security – John 6:66-71

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him. – John 6:66-71 ESV

Consistency of the Eternal Security Teaching

A passage like the one referred to above gave me heartache as an adherent of the eternal security doctrine. Usually, when I came to a passage such as this, I simply ignored the implications of the text, or even worse, ignored the text.

But when I did read the passage, and tried to explain it to myself or others, I would attempt to differentiate between two groups within the passage.

(Now that I have started to see the consistency of the conditional security teaching within the Scriptures, this problem has lessened considerably.)

A common method I used to explain the passage went something like this.

The “disciples” that turned away were merely professors, whereas the apostles (the twelve) were “real Christians”.

The only problem is that a “real Christian”, by my previous explanations, ends up denying Jesus.  And another one betrays Jesus.  And both Peter and Judas were connected with Satan/devil at one time in the ministry of the Lord.

OK, so then I really should have considered an entirely separate special subgroup of believer/professors. Or maybe Peter was never really saved before his denial. And Judas – well – he is a study all on his own. But no matter how often I tried to understand this conundrum, I couldn’t make it fit in the once saved only saved thinking. Things just got fuzzier. So I just decided it was a mystery that wasn’t meant to be understood.

Or maybe, there is such a thing as conditional security.

What think ye? Let me know with a comment below.


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