Sep 11, 2012

Debate Review VII

"For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?"  (Heb. 10: 26-29)

This was the third major scripture that my opponent introduced in order to prove that genuinely converted Christians may lose salvation.  I have never been in a debate on the question of eternal security where this passage and the second Peter chapter two passage were given as proof texts. 

I have never denied that the punishment that these apostates receive is eternal punishment.  What I have ever denied, however, was that these apostates were genuinely born of God.  I have always argued that they were either shallow or thorny ground Christians. 

Like the passage in II Peter chapter two, there are several things said of these apostates that some think proves that they were genuinely saved Christians.  First, the text says apostasy happens to those who "received the knowledge (epignosis) of the truth."  My opponent again argued that having epignosis proved that the apostates were once truly saved.  But, my arguments on this point were simply applied to this passage.  Epignosis does not denote that one has been truly inwardly converted.  Second, my opponent argued that the apostates had previoulsy been sanctified by the blood of the covenant

I argued that all men were sanctified by the blood of Christ when Christ died.  I showed how this can be gathered from Peter's words to Cornelius and his household.

"And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean."  (Acts 10: 28)

"No man" shows that what Peter is affirming is true in regard to every man.  Every man is now "not common" and "not unclean."  All are uncommon and clean.  How and why?  Is it not because of the shedding of Christ's blood?  I argued that the two particulars mentioned by Peter are integral to what it means to be sanctified.  Sanctification makes what is common to be uncommon, or special.  It also makes clean what is unclean.  Thus, as all men are sanctified by the blood, it cannot mean that all men are saved. 

It is therefore no proof that the apostates mentioned in the passage were ever truly saved or born of God.  My opponent never refuted these rebuttal arguments.

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