1 COR 15:1-2

HOLDING FAST TO THE GOSPEL

Objectors to the biblical doctrine of eternal security often maintain the following point of view: "We are saved only if we keep in memory what was preached and live the life of faith (1 Cor 15: 1, 2)."

So objectors to free grace salvation state that salvation IS dependent upon what one does and consequently upon the continuance of ones faith; and not simply on what Christ did for one on the cross.

But if you lose your faith or commit any number of acts of sin, aren’t those actions and and/or faithlessness, which have been appropriated by faith alone in Christ alone, covered by what our Lord did for my once for all time at the cross, (1 Jn 2:2)?

Furthermore, the passage in 1 Corinthians does not support a necessary continuance of faith in order to have the promise of eternal life:

[1 Cor 15:1-2]:

1) "Now I make known to you brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand

(v. 2) by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you unless you believed in vain."

If this passage is stating that you must hold fast to your belief in Christ as Savior otherwise you will not stay saved, then the Bible is a contradictory book because many passages clearly teach otherwise, (Eph 2:8-9, 2Tim 2:11-13, Ro 8:1, 38-39, Jn 10:28, etc).

A careful examination, however, reveals that this conclusion is not the case.

The if in verse 2 is a first class if in the Greek* which is best translated as since. "If you hold fast" - "eikatechete" - verb is in the indicative mood which means a statement of fact - if and it is true - since you hold fast to the gospel of salvation you are indeed saved. This is not to say that one is not saved if one does not hold fast to the faith. That conclusion is not supported here or anywhere else in Scripture. So the passage is better rendered:

"Now I make known to you brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, [(v. 2)]: by which also you are saved, SINCE you hold fast the word which I preached to you unless you believed in vain."

The Apostle Paul is thus observing that the brethren in Corinth are indeed saved the evidence of which is confirmed by their holding fast to their faith in Christ as Savior. If holding fast to ones faith in Christ were a requirement of receiving eternal life then the 3rd class condition should have been chosen by God the Holy Spirit for Paul to use: "ean" + subjunctive (conditional) mood + future tense. One is saved if one (subjunctive - conditional) continues in the faith.

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