Does Paul Teach That the Gift of Salvation is Unconditionally Irrevocable in Romans 11:29?

, posted by Ben Henshaw

Romans 6:23; 11:29

For the wages of sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord….For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Many see here a strong assertion of unconditional eternal security based on the fact that “the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable” (NAS), and that eternal life is a gift (Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:8, 9), therefore, they reason, eternal life must be irrevocable. God is always faithful to his promises (both pleasant and terrible, e.g. Joshua 23:15, 16), but his promises are not without conditions. God’s gift of salvation is irrevocable so long as the condition is met. Paul was speaking of Israel’s final restoration in Rom.11:29, but he was giving no assurance to those branches that had been broken off in unbelief (verse 20), and sternly warned that those who were now standing by faith, could yet be broken off through unbelief (verses 20, and 21). God’s divine gift (of life) is always and only for believers! God does not revoke his gift, for it cannot exist outside of Christ. Only believers are “in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). If we fail to meet the condition for union with Christ, we can have no claim on the gift (see Jn. 3:16 and 10:27-29 discussed above).

From: Perseverance of the Saints Part 12: Examining Passages Commonly Appealed to by the Advocates of Unconditional Eternal Security

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