Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Eternal Security Pt. 25: The Perfect Verb Tense

Okay, this is the final entry on this doctrine. And like Part 24, it concerns Greek verb tenses. This time the focus will be on Ephesians 2:8-9:

For by grace are you saved through faith, and that (salvation) not of yourselves, it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.

Once again, the tense of "saved" here in the English is ambiguous. But consult the Greek and we get much more precision. The Greek verb here is "sesosmenoi" which is the "perfect tense" form of the Greek verb "sozo" which means "to save." The perfect tense refers to an action that was performed in the past, but whose results continue. So, by grace we have been saved… and in the perfect tense, this salvation happens once and that's it. You remain saved. There is no allowance anywhere in the perfect tense for that salvation to come to an end. It is done and there's absolutely nothing we can do to alter that.

The person who rejects Eternal Security has to be able to explain why the perfect tense is used in this verse, and also why the aorist tense is used in Acts 16:31. Did the Holy Spirit mess up here? These details cannot be ignored, particularly since they lead us to conclusions which are entirely consistent with the previous 23 lines of argument.

Next post: The Wrap-Up

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