OSAS Proof-Texts: Job 19:25-26

Job 19:25-26:

“For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.”

OSAS Interpretation:

“Job was certain of two things: (1) that his Redeemer lived, and (2) that he would one day see God in his flesh (affirming resurrection). In other words, Job had present knowledge that he had been redeemed (‘my Redeemer’) and that he would see Him in his heavenly resurrected body: I ‘know’ (now) that I ‘will see God’ (later, in heaven). Such knowledge implies his assurance of eternal security.” 1

The passage simply says that Job was certain that he would one day see God, nothing more.  Nothing is said as to how he arrived at such a conclusion.  Nothing is said as to whether Job was unconditionally assured of seeing God.  It could well have been that Job was only conditionally assured, for he was described as a one of a kind, blameless, upright man, by none other than God Himself (1:8).  Also, through his sufferings, Job did not sin, nor did he accuse God of any wrongdoing (1:22).  Furthermore, if one wants to see God, there is a condition which must be met: holiness (Heb. 12:14).

All that conjecture aside, the plain truth is: this passage neither proves unconditional eternal security, nor does it disprove conditional security.  The passage simply affirms that an individual person felt secure.  It proves absolutely nothing one way or the other.

It should also be noted that whoever uses Job 19:25-26 to prove OSAS has actually missed the whole issue.  Believe it or not, the issue is not about the eternal security of the believer, for those who accept OSAS, and those of us who reject OSAS, both affirm the security of the believer.  As Shank says,

“It is abundantly evident from the Scriptures that the believer is secure.  But only the believer.  Many who have debated ‘the security of the believer’ have missed the issue.  The question is not, Is the believer secure? but rather, What is a believer?” 2

Verdict:

Job 19:25-26 proves nothing.  It affirms neither unconditional security, nor conditional security; it negates neither unconditional security, nor conditional security.  This passage should not be used as a proof-text for either view, as it affirms nothing more than what both sides already agree on, namely that the believer is secure.


Notes

1 Geisler, N., Systematic Theology (2004: Bethany House), 4 Vols, Volume 3, pp. 305-6

2 Shank, R., Life in the Son: A Study of the Doctrine of Perseverance (1989: Bethany House), p. 55, footnote 3

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