Vol. 11 No. 9 September 2009
[We are happy to present this Guest Editorial in place of my monthly Editorial, because we highly esteem brother Gulledge for his works' sake (John 10:25; 14:11). Howbeit, we depart from our ordinary policy for articles on three counts: (1) The length of the article far exceeds the short teaching articles with which we customarily populate the pages of Gospel Gazette Online. (2) The degree of understanding required to comprehend the material presented exceeds the skills in the English language customary of the short teaching articles with which we normally populate GGO. (3) Usually, articles within the pages of Gospel Gazette Online deal solely with biblical doctrine aside from how well or in some cases how poorly sometimes members of the churches of Christ apply the teaching of God to themselves. Nevertheless, we offer this article for those readers who can digest and benefit from it. We wish Dennis Gulledge a long, fruitful life serving the cause of Christ as well as a happy, heavenly hereafter—toward which each of us ought to strive with diligence. ~ Louis Rushmore, Editor]
Dennis Gulledge, Guest Editorial
Is it possible for a child of God to so live as to fall from the status of divine grace and be eternally lost in hell? It will be the purpose of this discussion to answer that question in the affirmative. That is, a Christian, a child of God, one who has been “washed…sanctified…justified” (1 Corinthians 6:11) can of his own volition remove himself from God’s grace so that it might be said he has “fallen” from it (Galatians 5:4). Let us keep in mind that this is a question of possibility and not probability. The question is: Can a believer cease to be a faithful believer and suffer eternal punishment as a result? The question is not will he do so, but can he do so. The fact that travelers are warned that there is “No Shoulder” alongside the road does not mean that they will run off into the ravine. The possibility exists, however, that they could. The fact that the Bible contains warnings of the danger of apostasy is simply because, we as rational beings, require such motivation. There is a danger of backsliding (2 Peter 3:17). It may be gradual (Hebrews 2:1-2). It could be total (Hebrews 6:1-6; 10:26-30). Also, the point at issue is not the eternal security of the faithful believer (1 Peter 1:3-5). While we are secure in our obedient faith, we must realize the possibility of being lost in our sins if we do not “walk in the light” as Christ is in the light (1 John 1:7), which includes regularly confessing our sins and praying for forgiveness (1 John 1:8-10).
This question is one that should not be viewed merely as an academic exercise that is only argumentative in nature. We are not trying solely to win an argument by attempting to prove those wrong who disagree with us. That is not to suggest, however, that debating the subject is a worthless endeavor. Far from it! Many polemic exercises have dealt with this issue. Some of the most notable exchanges of which I am aware are the Bogard-Warlick Debate (1914), the Oliphant-Rice Debate (1935), the Hardeman-Bogard Debate (1938), the Smith-Bogard Debate (1942) and the Woods-Nunnery Debate (1946). The question takes on a practical significance when we remember that every Christian must seriously consider the possibility of his own dereliction of duty so as to fall from grace and ultimately be eternally lost. Paul said, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted” (Galatians 6:1). Again, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). The question comes close to home when we see that grace is a status to be attained (Ephesians 2:8-9), it is a status to be maintained (2 Peter 3:18) and it is a status in which some have not remained (1 Corinthians 10:1-12). It is in the same way that one receives the grace of God through faith in obeying the Gospel (Ephesians 2:8-10), he may also fall from grace through “an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living “God (Hebrews 3:12).
In taking this stand, I recognize that a large segment of the religious world assumes a contrary view, and in light of some contentions by certain “grace only” advocates among us, I wonder how long we as a brotherhood will be as united on the truth, as it pertains to this question. There are many religious people who profess respect for the Bible as the Word of God who zealously teach that it is impossible for a child of God to so conduct himself that he will be eternally lost. They admit that one may fall from fellowship with God, lose the joy of his own salvation and bring upon himself God’s displeasure, but find it impossible to acknowledge that a child of God could be lost due to his sins. Some who so believe and teach are the Primitive Baptists, Missionary Baptists, Association Baptists and Presbyterians. Their viewpoint is one of long standing, however, not long enough, seeing that the apostles never held it and that the Scriptures do not teach it. The Westminster Confession of Faith,  which constitutes a part of the Book of Confessions of the Presbyterian Church (USA), plainly states, “They whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither usually nor finally fall away from the state of grace: but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.”
The Calvinistic doctrine of the impossibility of apostasy is the outgrowth of the theological system of the Swiss Reformer John Calvin. Benjamin B. Warfield has described for us what lies at the heart of the belief system of the Calvinist:
What lies at the heart of his soteriology is the absolute exclusion of the creaturely element in the initiation of the saving process, that so the pure grace of God may be magnified. Only so could he express his sense of man’s complete dependence as sinner on the free mercy of a saving God; or extrude the evil leaven of Synergism (q.v.) by which, as he clearly sees, God is robbed of His glory and man is encouraged to think that he owes to some power, some act of choice,some initiative of his own, his participation in that salvation which is in reality all of grace (emphasis D.G.) (359-360).
In light of Mr. Warfield’s synopsis, it is abundantly clear that there is rank Calvinism being propagated by some of our preaching brethren in the Lord’s church today as demonstrated in the current emphasis on salvation by “grace only.” A primary example is the contention of Rubel Shelly that, “It is a scandalous and outrageous lie to teach that salvation arises from human activity. We do not contribute one whit to our salvation.” The current emphasis of brother Shelly, and others of like mind, is an all out assault on, as Warfield stated, “the evil leaven of synergism,” i.e., the combined action or cooperation of two parties so as to achieve desired results. Notice further as Warfield describes the soteriology of Calvinism:
There is accordingly nothing against which Calvinism sets its face with more firmness than every form and degree of autosoterism. Above everything else, it is determined that God, in His Son Jesus Christ, acting through the Holy Spirit whom He has sent, shall be recognized as our veritable Saviour. To it sinful man stands in need not of inducements or assistance to save himself, but of actual saving; and Jesus Christ has come not to advise, or urge, or induce, or aid him to save himself, but to save him. This is the root of Calvinistic soteriology… (360)
Is this not exactly what some of our brethren are saying when they proclaim salvation by grace only or 100% grace? Denny Boultinghouse writes, “To say that we are saved by Christ’s work plus our work is to suggest that the work of Christ at the Cross was inadequate. To say that God does 99% and we do 1% undermines what Christ did at the Cross” (4). Whether these brethren mean meritorious grounds of salvation as distinguished from the conditions which God requires men to meet in order to be saved they are rarely so candid as to specify, yet this is what must be clarified in this type of discussion. Nevertheless, they are beating the straw man of synergism.
Now consider this: If these brethren are so bold as to espouse plain and simple Calvinism relative to salvation by grace, it can only be a matter of time until they are forced to follow their own faulty reasoning to its logical end, and that is to deny that a child of God can ever fall from grace so as to be eternally lost. If one is saved by grace alone (100%) without doing anything (contributing “one whit” to his salvation), or submitting to any of God’s commands, how then, can he possibly contribute one whit to his own damnation? Is God not sovereign over all? And if one does fall from grace, is it not true that God is to blame since it is God who saved him by “100% grace”? If not, why not? Warfield defines the principle of consistency for Calvinism: “In everything which enters into the process of redemption, it is impelled by the force of its first principle to place the initiative in God” (359). If God takes the initiative in our salvation, and that by grace alone, then, God must take the initiative in the loss of anyone’s soul; otherwise it is impossible for a child of God to fall from grace. Who is ready to accept such a conclusion? We are awaiting the time when some brethren will admit as much.
This article does not inquire, “Can a Christian fall from grace?” It confidently affirms that a Christian can fall from grace. In this affirmative stance I am confident that I am consistent with the general warnings against apostasy that are to be found in both the Old and New Testaments. The Bible gives a general warning: “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12). This is a New Testament warning in the context of Old Testament events showing clearly the possibility of apostasy (vss. 1-11). Warnings always imply danger, and so both the Old and New Testaments speak of potential and actual apostasies among God’s people (Numbers 14:26-30; 1 Timothy 1:19-20; 2 Timothy 2:17-18).
Old Testament Warnings
In the Old Testament, we begin with the beginning to suggest that Adam was a child of God by creation. Luke 3:38 says that Adam was “the son of God.” He was made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), he disobeyed God’s law (Genesis 2:16-17), and as a result, men have suffered the penalty of God’s wrath for sin, that being death: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12). Paul employed this ancient precedent to show the church at Corinth, children of God by regeneration, that like Adam, they could fall: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:3).
What can be any plainer than the warning in 2 Chronicles 15:2, where Azariah said to Asa, “The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.” F.C. Cook says, “…the reference is especially to the many apostasies in the days of the Judges, which were followed by repentance and deliverance” (391).
Moses had repeatedly warned Israel of the danger of forgetting God (Deuteronomy 8:11-14; 4:9). Many years later, the prophet Hosea spoke of the Northern Kingdom of Israel, saying, “And my people are bent to backsliding from me: though they called them to the most High, none at all would exalt him” (Hosea 11:7).
New Testament Warnings
The New Testament also offers considerable evidence on the possibility of apostasy. The English word “apostasy” comes from the Greek word “apostasia,” meaning, “a falling away, defection, apostasy; in the Bible sc. from the true religion: Acts xxi.21; 2 Th. ii.3” (Thayer 67). A kindred term is the synonym “apostason,” which is used in the Bible as “divorce, repudiation: Mt. xix.7; Mk. x.4.” (67). Therefore, as Robert Shank has correctly stated:
Apostasy, according to New Testament usage, constitutes defection, revolt, withdrawal, departure, and repudiation. An apostate, according to New Testament definition, is one who has severed his union with Christ by withdrawing from an actual saving relationship with Him. Apostasy is impossible for men who have not entered into a saving relationship with God. (158)
Relative to the many plain and simple teachings in the New Testament regarding the fact that a Christian can fall from grace, may I suggest the following as merely a sampling. The New Testament teaches that a Christian may “shrink back” to perdition: “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul” (Hebrews 10:38-39). The New Testament teaches that it was possible for even an apostle to fall away from the faith: “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27). The New Testament teaches that some did in fact fall from grace: “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4). The New Testament teaches that “holy brethren” can depart from God: “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus…Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Hebrews 3:1, 12). It is foolish to suggest that these warnings are directed toward anyone other than those persons who have obeyed the Gospel and are true believers! To insist that a Christian cannot fall from grace means that he cannot in any way act so as to lose God’s favor. Since grace means “favor,” if a child of God cannot apostatize, then he cannot ever come under divine displeasure. Such a notion the Scriptures deny, but the Calvinist affirms. May we take our stand with the Scriptures and teach the Calvinist to do likewise.
Further Analysis of New Testament Warnings
At this point in our study, let us rehearse the New Testament warnings that I have affirmed are directed toward those who have obeyed the Gospel. It would be in order for us to consider the aforementioned passages in the light of further analysis.
First, the New Testament teaches that it is possible for a Christian to “shrink back” to “perdition” (Hebrews 10:38-39). There is no warrant for the inclusion of the words “any man” in the text of the King James Version. Many authorities so attest. Marvin R. Vincent says, “Omit if any man. Rend. ‘and if he draw back,’ that is, the just man. The possibility of the lapse of even the just is assumed. See on ch. vi. 4-6” (508-509). Robert Milligan wrote, “It is not ‘any man,’ but the ‘just man,’ of whom God speaks. It is of the man who was once justified by his faith, and who lived by his faith, that the affirmation is made” (295) Brooke Foss Westcott argued, “The insertion of ‘any man’ so as to avoid the thought of the falling away of ‘the just one,’ is wholly unwarranted…” (337). Adam Clarke contended that the insertion of these two words “…were evidently intended to…save the doctrine of final and unconditional perseverance; which doctrine this text destroys” (760). According to Vincent, the word “perdition” (vs. 39), means “Or destruction. Drawing back makes for and terminates in (eis) destruction” (509). The apostle Peter gives us an example of some who drew back unto perdition:
For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire. (2 Peter 2:20-22)
Second, the New Testament teaches that it was possible for even an apostle to fall away from the faith (1 Corinthians 9:27). Wayne Jackson makes the point that, “The fact that a person possessed inspiration did not mean that he was free from personal sin” (57). As a case in point from the Old Testament, David, the great King of Israel and “sweet singer” of the same, sinned on numerous occasions, most notably in committing adultery with Bathsheba (2 Sam. 11:1-4). In Psalm 51, the great psalmist confesses his guilt and prays for pardon. Included in his petition are these Divinely inspired words:
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness; according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me...Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation: and uphold me with thy free spirit. (emphasis mine, D.G.) (vss. 1-3, 12)
For one to suggest that David was concerned about anything less than the salvation of his soul as a result of his sinful actions is an artful dodge and a deceitful handling of the Word of God.  The loss of the Holy Spirit meant the total loss of God’s grace.
It is clear that the apostle Paul recognized the possibility of even his own apostasy. He said, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Corinthians 9:27). What does the word “castaway” mean? It means “rejected” (ASV). It is translated elsewhere in the King James New Testament as “reprobate,” which is from “re-probare, to reject on a second trial, hence, to condemn” (21). The same word appears in other passages. It is used in Romans 1:28 of a “reprobate mind,” which indicates a person who is rejected of God because he has rejected God (1 Chronicles 28:9; 2 Chronicles 15:2). It is used in 2 Corinthians 13:6 where it constitutes the great test as to whether or not Christ is in a person. In 2 Timothy 3:8, Paul uses this word to describe some who had “…turned from ‘the faith’ and at that point, lost fellowship with God and Christ Jesus (2 John 9)” (468). Therefore, if Paul knew that even he could be rejected of God through the sins of the flesh, who is the one who will contend otherwise?
Paul never entertained such thoughts of eternal perseverance as Calvinism teaches, of himself or any other saint. Yet, neither did he think his salvation in Christ to be anything less than solidly anchored. He said:
Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)
He did not think himself saved once and always saved regardless of how he lived his life. He wrote: “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged of you, or of man’s judgment: yea, I judge not mine own self. For I know nothing by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord” (1 Corinthians 4:3-4). Such is a post-apostolic doctrine, therefore, making it unscriptural and false, as is any doctrine which presumes to go beyond that which is written (1 Corinthians 4:6 ASV).
Third, the New Testament teaches that some did in fact fall from grace. Paul said, “For some are already turned aside after Satan” (1 Timothy 5:15). Of what class of persons does the apostle speak: children of God or children of Satan? C.R. Nichol answers: “Reference cannot be made, in this passage, to some who had not become a child of God. Sinners are not following Christ, and cannot be referred to as having ‘turned aside after Satan,’ for they are not followers of Christ! Not only did they ‘turn aside,’ but they ‘turned aside after Satan.’ In the face of such statements there are those who insist that a child of God cannot act in such way as to be lost” (63-64).
Paul refers to actual instances of apostasy among the churches of Galatia: “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” (Galatians 5:4). Reference is made to those Judaizing teachers who taught that it was necessary for Christians to be circumcised and keep the law of Moses in order to be saved (Acts 15:1, 5; Galatians 2:4-9). In obligating themselves to obey an abolished system (Ephesians 2:14-17), they had turned from Christ, and therefore were severed, separated and segregated from the Lord. In short, they had “fallen from grace.”
Please consider a simple question: “Could the Galatians have fallen from grace if they had never been in it?” The answer is of course, “No.” They were “called into the grace of Christ,” however, they were “soon removed” from that grace so as to be in such a state that the apostle said they had fallen from it (Galatians 1:6; 5:4)!
Fourth the New Testament teaches that “holy brethren” can depart from God. The erroneous thesis of the impossibility of apostasy stands in direct contradiction to an opposing principle stated many times in Scripture, but especially in the Book of Hebrews, i.e., that a Christian can fall from grace. Hebrews was written in order to warn Jewish Christians of the danger of falling back into their old religion of Judaism.
Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house…Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called To-day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; While it is said, To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as is the provocation. (Hebrews 3:1-2; 12-15)
In their efforts to revert to Judaism, they were sinning willfully and were putting Christ upon the cross to be crucified again, thus, repudiating the efficacy of his blood.
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 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? (Hebrews 10:26-29)
The Hebrews writer addresses himself to “holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling…,” and warns them, “Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God” (Hebrews 3:1, 12). If the Calvinistic premise of eternal security is true, then, it is the case that, (1) These are not “holy brethren” or (2) They cannot possibly depart from the living God. In both cases the Word of God stands contradicted.
It is often argued that those in the Bible who are warned of falling from the grace of God are not truly children of God. Shank states the case thusly: “Many have assumed that apostasy is possible only for men who never actually have entered into a saving relationship with God. Apostasy, as they believe, is the act of men who come to an apprehension of the Gospel without any sincere desire in their hearts to obey it, and who deliberately refuse to accept Christ and His Gospel after having become fully persuaded of the truth” (156).
Calvinists like to make much of the idea that there are “real” and “nominal” Christians— otherwise known as the “possessors” and “professors.” It is a paradoxical rule wherein a “real” Christian (possessor) cannot fall from grace. If he should fall from grace, he is in reality a “professor.” The word “holy” in Hebrews 3:1 describes children of God, those who are called by the Gospel (2 Thessalonians 2:14), and set apart to his service (1 Peter 1:15-16). Thus, it cannot be truthfully said that these are less than real children of God under consideration. Perfect people? No. Christians? Yes. I refuse to say “real” or “true” Christians, because God does not add camouflage to His church (Acts 2:41, 47). As N.B. Hardeman said, “No man on earth is in the church of God nominally. Every man that is in God’s church is in there in reality. The Lord adds unto the church. The Lord doesn’t add whitewash or camouflage” (284).
If it cannot be said that these are not indeed “holy brethren,” then, can it be sustained that it is impossible for them to fall from God’s grace so as to be lost? Indeed not, for to even suggest such is to fly in the face of plain statements from God’s Holy Word!
Someone may ask, “What is the harm in believing in the eternal perseverance of the saints?” It fundamentally robs men of an appreciation of human free moral agency, and nothing is taught with greater clarity than the fact that God leaves man free to act as he pleases (Ezekiel 18:1-4; Romans 11:11-24). Man is free to come to God and man is free to leave him (Matthew 11:28-30; John 5:40; 6:60-66). Calvinism denies the “creaturely element” in the saving process, and likewise denies that a Christian may act in such a way as to totally and finally lose his soul. It is certainly one of the most pernicious of doctrines and will contribute as much to the population of hell as any lie capable of damning the souls of men (2 Thessalonians 2:10-12).
Many other passages could be presented which prove beyond a sliver of a doubt the utter absurdity of Calvinism and the impossibility of apostasy dogma. Some have suggested that there is scarcely a page in either the Old or New testaments that does not sound a warning and raise the possibility of apostasy. Such warnings as we have studied in this presentation would be completely meaningless if it is impossible for a Christian to fall from the grace of God, to come short of heaven and its glories, and in the end to “go away into everlasting punishment” (Matthew 25:46). Such a doctrine robs the Christian of any inducement to obey God in doing those things that will keep him from falling from God’s grace (2 Peter 1:5-11).
It is to our advantage to learn those areas of weakness within ourselves that could cause us to be spiritual castaways, and to realize that none of us is beyond the possibility of apostasy (Matthew 26:41; 1 Corinthians 9:27; 10:12). We thank God for His only begotten Son who gave His precious blood, and that our redemption is secure in Him (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Peter 1:22-23). We know that we cannot base our hope on works by which we may boast (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5), but that we must obey God (1 John 5:3) and endeavor to walk in the wonderful light of God’s Truth so that the cleansing power of Christ’s blood might continue with us (1 John 1:6-10).
Boultinghouse, Denny. “100% Grace.” Image Magazine. November/December 1991, 4.
Clarke, Adam. Clarke’s Commentary, Volume II - Romans To the Revelation. New York: Abingdon P., n.d.
Cook, F.C. The Bible Commentary. London: The Student’s Commentary on the Holy Bible, 1879. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1983.
Hardeman, N.B. Hardeman-Bogard Debate. Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1938.
Jackson, Wayne. “Some Important Points About Bible Inspiration.” Reason & Revelation. December 1984, 57.
Littrell, Harold. The English Study Bible New Testament With Notes. Paragould: Harold Littrell, 1988.
Milligan, Robert The New Testament Commentary, Vol. IX - Epistle To The Hebrews. Delight: Gospel Light, n.d.
Nichol, C.R. The Possibility Of Apostasy. Clifton: Nichol Publishing Co., 1951.
Shank, Robert. Life In The Son: A Study Of The Doctrine Of Perseverance. Springfield: Westcott, 1975.
Shelly, Rubel. Love Lines. Woodmont Hills Church of Christ bulletin, October 31, 1990.
Thayer, Joseph Henry. A Greek-English Lexicon Of The New Testament New York: Harper & Brothers, 1896.
Vincent, Marvin R. Word Studies In The New Testament, Volume III. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973.
- - -. Word Studies In The New Testament, Volume IV. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1973.
Warfield, Benjamin Breckinridge. Calvin And Calvinism. New York: Oxford UP, 1931. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1991.
Westcott, Brooke Foss. The Epistle To The Hebrews: The Greek Text With Notes And Essays. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1974.
Westminster Confession of Faith: quoted in The Constitution Of The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Part I, Book Of Confessions (New York: Office Of The General Assembly, Presbyterian Church [U.S.A.] 1983): 6.094.
2 Note the manner in which the famous Baptist debater Ben M. Bogard dodged the implication of damnation in David’s words: “…David did not fall from grace, but fell from the joy of salvation. Why? Because when he prayed for forgiveness, Psalm 51:11,12, he did not say restore unto me my salvation, but ‘Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation,’ and then he said, ‘Take not thy holy spirit from me.’ The Holy Spirit had not been taken from him. He was still a child of God.” Ben M. Bogard, Hardeman-Bogard Debate. Nashville: Gospel Advocate, 1938, 254.