Summary: The blessing of eternal security through the power of God.
THE BLESSING OF SECURITY
I. Faith is not conditional.
A. Wesleyan Theology does not support eternal security, and relegates the perseverence of the saints to man’s efforts.
B. Some forms of Baptist and Presbyterian theology have been influenced by Wesleyan doctrines.
Albert Barnes says on this verse, “he does not keep us by mere exertion of power, but He excites faith in our hearts, and makes that the means of keeping us. As long as we have faith in God, and in his promises, we are safe. When that fails, we are weak; and if it should fail altogether, we could not be saved.” (Barnes Notes: 1 PeterP.114)
Barnes admits that God “excites faith”, or somehow effects faith. Yet still draws back to Wesleyanism, by placing the ability or inability of faith upon man and not God.
II. Whose Faith is it anyway?
Galatians 2:16 16 Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. (Subjective genetive?)
Philippians 3:9 9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: (Objective genetive?) i.e. “faith in Christ”
Semi-Pelagians, Romanists, and Arminians, Believe in what is known as “Sufficient Grace”. Which claims that the Spirit gives all men enough of what they need to exercise faith in Christ to the saving of the soul.
Remonstrants believe in “Efficacious Grace”. The doctrine states that man is incapable of believing to the saving of the soul, because he is born in a state of sin. It is necessary therefore that he be regenerated or converted by God in Christ, through the truth of the gospel and added energy of the Holy Spirit… (Hodge) - See John 3:3
III. Faith is the vehicle that brings us unto salvation.
A. Saving Faith is not an intrinsic element of man. (Eph. 2:8)
B. Saving Faith can only be appropriated by the direct intervention of God, i.e. through His word. (Romans 10:17; Phil.1:6)
The purpose is for faith in man to be the means by which we are kept in an infinite position of security in Christ.
Yet, if it were the intrinsic faith of man, it would be corrupt and subject to change, thereby leaving room for the possibility of the loss of salvation.
Because Saving Faith is borne in us by the intervention of God through His Spirit, we are kept by the power of God through this faith in Christ!
The scripture says, “Let god be true and every man a liar.” Notice that our text states that we are “kept by the power of God , through faith, unto salvation…” There is no way that God could make such a statement, if faith was conditional, (solely by the merit of man to believe). We conclude therefore that God is affecting our faith for the purpose of preserving us, to the intent that we all receive the fullness of salvation, which is ready to be revealed in the last time!