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Doesn't Perseverance of the Saints mean that we can sin all we want?

One of the criticisms of Calvinism is that because of the teaching of perseverance of the saints (once saved always saved) Calvinists can then go out and sin all they want. The problem with this criticism is twofold. First, that is not what Calvinism teaches. Second, it ignores regeneration.

Calvinism, also known as reformed theology, has never taught that once a person is saved and because they are secure in Christ that it is okay to go out and sin all we want. It is against Scripture. It is against holiness the holiness of God. Again, that is not what Calvinism teaches and those who hold to the perseverance of the saints would look upon those who say it is okay to sin because were eternally secure in Christ, as those who are not regenerated. The Bible tells us in 1 John 2:4, "if you say you know him and do not keep his commandments the truth is not in you and you are a liar."

Second, when someone is born again (John 3:3), he is regenerated (2 Cor. 5:17).  This means that once a person has trusted in Christ he is indwelt by God (John 14:23).  There is a change in him is affected by the work of God and as a result, Christians were born again and to also believe that we are eternally secure in Christ (because of Christ's work, not hours) seek to honor God and turn from sin.

Finally, the critics of Calvinism who accuse the doctrines of grace as being a license to sin misrepresent what Calvinism is an they also failed to account for the fact of regeneration.

Verses Cited:

  • John 3:3, "Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
  • John 14:23, "Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him."
  • 2 Cor. 5:17, "Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come."
  • 1 John 2:4, "if you say you know him and do not keep his commandments the truth is not in you and you are a liar."

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Copyright by Matthew J. Slick, B.A., M. Div., 2012
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