Once Save Always Saved - Is that what the bible teaches? | Jesus Coffee Break

Once Saved Always Saved – Is that what the bible teaches?

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What God’s Word Says about Once saved always saved

Does the bible teach us that “once saved always saved?” Some Christians believe that once saved always saved. That means that we trust God when He says that whom ever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Some Christians believe the bible teachings on salvation are not as simply expressed. Meaning, you can’t accept one verse and throw out everything else the scripture teaches on the subject. In short, the bible says numerous things about being saved. One of which is that we must continue in the faith. None of the things the scripture teaches should be ignored. They all are important. How do we tie these bible facts together so we can understand it?

Work out your own salvation

When we believe in Jesus Christ to save us He sends the Holy Spirit to dwell in us. God does His work in us to transform us from our old selves into a new creation in Jesus Christ. As we continue in fellowship with Jesus He continues to work in us. It is at that point that we can obey Philippians 2:12-13 which says, Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. That term fear and trembling is not talking about fear, but excitement and awe at what God is doing.

Once saved always saved

I have often wondered what would happen to a Christian who fell back into sin. Do they become separated form God? Then there is the question as to whether they were truly saved. I believe that God through the power of the Holy Spirit does everything He can to draw us back to Him. He may use varying situations such as hard times or jail time to do so. But if it is one thing God has demonstrated so many times to us is that He loves His children. God warns us in scripture about remaining in the faith. It seems a little weird to say once saved always saved when we don’t even know whether someone is saved. How does once saved always saved fit in with someone who has apparently left the faith? The bible says that if they don’t continue with us in the faith, they were never one of God’s children. But only God knows what is going on in the life of that person.
Christians hold on tightly to Jesus Christ and never let go. Repent of your sins and turn to God. “Once saved always saved” was a statement I would repeat several years ago which I altered a bit because I knew that not everyone who professed to be Christian wasn’t truly Christian. So I changed it to, “Once truly saved, always saved.” God has marked His people. I do believe the bible teaches that God sends His holy Spirit inside of us as the earnest expectation (a down payment on us made by God) Not only for His Spirit to leave again. 

God’s Grace does not excuse returning to a life of sin

We have an advocate with the Father when we fall into temptation. We can get back up and continue in the spiritual battle. As Christians we are thankful for Gods forgiveness. In the time of the Apostle Paul, the church debated whether Gods grace covered a person returning to a life of sin. It does not. Christ died to defeat sin, not so we could return to a life of sin. So we would be set free from it and walk in newness of life. Is it any wonder there are so many self professed Christians who think it is acceptable to live like the world and who love the world.

Remain in Christ

Some churches teach that Christians can’t fall away. Is that true?  What does the bible teach about believers who fall away? God knows who is going to Heaven. God knows who will endure till the end. He knows who belongs to Him. Lets face a truth. People do fall away, but who? God warns us about that. God does says nothing can separate us from his love. However, people do return to a life of sin. God does still loves them, however people do make choices. Its a sad but real truth. Some of those choices may be because of strange teachings and confusions from different churches. We are led away by our own desires and God does everything in his power to lead us back to Him, but He will never force us. Why is it so important that we never fall away? That we stay in the secret place, focused on Jesus and remaining in His love? Hebrews 6:4-6 “It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.” One can debate what the verse means but we need to remain fervent in Christ. 

Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not

"once saved always saved?"

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How serious is sin. Paramount. God is Holy! He wants us to mature and grow. Not to remain stagnant and drift so that we are blown around by winds. I submit to you that teaching, “once saved always save is confusing.” It was confusing in Paul’s time and also today. Jesus doesn’t confuse us with words here. John 15:4-5 “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Those word are clear. Once saved always saved needs some clarification to go along with it. Jesus also said in Matthew 10:22 “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.” Here is a very strong verse from 1 John 3:6 “Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him neither knows Him.

The Lord knows those who are his

2 Timothy 2:19-21 Nevertheless, God’s solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for special purposes and some for common use. Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

Demonstrate your repentance

Paul says we are to repent and demonstrate our repentance by our deeds. Acts 26:19-20 “So then, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.” We were created in Christ to do good works. Ephesians 2:10 “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” 


Once saved always saved has to mean, “once genuinely saved always saved.” because on its own this statement can’t nullify other scripture. Therefore the Apostles must be talking about people who congregate with the body of Christ who have not repented of their sin and been transformed into newness of life through the Holy Spirit. Again, praise be to God.

What do you think about this topic?

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  • Great article, Norman! I agree that God’s grace does not excuse returning to a life of sin, for we must not confuse Christian liberty with a license to sin. I would suggest, rather that the “saved” person who willfully and unrepentantly returns to a life of sin was never truly born again. Yet, we are all sinners, and even after salvation we must “die daily” to our sin nature. Those who do not are those who Paul describes as “carnal” Christians. They are not lost, but they are not doing God’s will or glorifying Him.

    Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on Saved by Grace! Your blog is a blessing and I am now following it, and I invite you to follow Saved by Grace also:

    As I said in response to your comment on my post:
    I believe, and the Bible teaches, that once you are saved by faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the only Way to Heaven, and once you know this not only intellectually but in your heart, you are “born again” and indwelled by the Holy Spirit. Then you are a new creation in Christ, Heaven is your home, and you are kept safely in the double grip of Jesus the Son and God the Father. Nothing can separate you from the love of God. You did nothing to earn your salvation, so you can do nothing to lose it.

    That being said, if we see no evidence of the new creation (person continues to live in a sinful life style, doesn’t want to go to church, read the Word, or do good works, we may wonder if they truly were saved or if they just got caught up with emotion and confessed to a faith they did not truly have.

    Once we are saved, the Holy Spirit begins to do a good work in us, if we yield to Him and die to our sin nature. We will become more like Christ, follow His will, and do more in His service. This is what Paul means by “work out your own salvation,” and what James means by “faith without works is dead.” This is also referred to as “progressive sanctification,” which ideally should continue throughout our Christian life.

    Here is a link to a post I wrote about this recently:

    God bless,

    • Norman Grant

      Thank you so much Laurie for responding. The reason I wrote the article is so people will think and talk about all areas of salvation. I always use to say “Once truly saved, always saved.” But now I repeat the line in the bible to warn folks that those who continue till the end shall be saved. And that is something I think the whole church should hear. I believe that the Holy Spirit does seal us when we genuinely repent and come to Christ. God bless you Laurie

  • Pastor David Gorbet

    Also Hebrew 5:4-6 Does Not Say What You Quoted. Hebrews 5:4-6 Says And No Man Taketh This Honor Unto Himself, But He That Is Called Of God As Was Aaron. 5) So Also Christ Glorified Not Himself To Be Made An High Priest; Be He That Said Unto Him, Thou Art My Son, Today Have I Begotten Thee. 6) As He Saith Also In Another Place, Thou Art A Priest For Ever After the Order Of Mel-Chis-Ed-EC.

    • Norman Grant

      I see that it is Hebrews 6:4-6

  • Pastor David Gorbet

    Well Brother Norman, As So Many Others You Have It Perfectly Wrong, But That Is O’k For As So many Others It Is Not Your Fault You Are Just Unlearned Or We Have An Interpretation Problem Or A Misunderstanding, But I Do Enjoy Speaking About Jesus In Any Manner, Shape Or Form. For As Paul Said,.. And I Too,,,.. Am A Prisoner Of Jesus Christ.. And I Too Am Only A Humble Servant.

    #1) Eph 2:8-9 For By Grace Are Ye Saved Through Grace And That Not Of Yourselves IT IS A GIFT OF GOD 9) Not Of Works ,Lest Any Man Should Boast… Your Salvation Is A Gift And After You Receive The Gift Of Salvation Through Repentance Your Sins Are Paid For,…If We Could Loose Our Salvation Then Jesus Dying On The Cross Would Be In Vain, I Do This Better On The Pulpit But I Will Give It A Shot With This Format Amen. #2) Eph 4:6-7 One God And Father Of all, Who Is Above All And Through All And In You All. 7) But Unto Everyone Of Us Is Given Grace According To The Measure Of The Gift Of God. Yes The Bible Teaches Us That If We Are Truly Saved That We Will Be Converted Amen. Matt 10:32 Whosoever Therefore Shall Confess Me Before Men, Him Will I Confess Also Before My Father Which Is In Heaven Amen.,.. Not By Works Keeping The Ten Commandments Or Going To Church Every Sunday Or Helping The Poor And Feeding The Hungry, None Of These Things Will Get You To Heaven: Jesus Said That The Only Way To The Father Is Through Him, He Never Put Conditions On His Gift He Never Said Once You Are Saved And If You Stray Away I Will Or Can Take My Gift Back, That’s Not What He Said. In Luke 15:4 Where He Says He Will Leave The 99 And Go After The One Who Has Strayed Away.. Let Us Just Cut To The Chase, You Are Right About One Thing If Some One Say’s That They Have Been Saved And Then They Go Out And Live Like The Devil, Then There Is A Good Chance That They Were Not Converted On The Other Hand If Some One Got Saved And Something Tragic Happen In There Life To The Point That They Started To Hate God And Did Live Like The Devil, This Person Still Would Not And Could Not Loose The Gift That God Has Given Him. This Is Why We All Will Go Before Judgement, Sometimes Christians Do Not Want To Think That Some People Can Live That Way And Still Get A Free Pass But Their Not, Once Again We Are All Going To Judgement For Any Sin In Our Life That Has Not Been Repented For At The Time We Leave The Flesh…Now Let Us Address This Other Argument About Christians Getting Saved And At Some Point Straying Away From God, No Mater What They Are Doing, Drinking, Do Drugs, Whore Chasing No Matter What There Are No Big Sins Are Little Sins In Gods Eyes, Sin Is Sin… Now Brother Norman You Might Say How Do You Figure That, I May Sin But I Do Not Sin Like That: Well Yes You Do In James 2:10 It Says For Whosoever Shall Keep The Whole Law And Yet Offend At One Point, HE IS GUILTY OF ALL: So If You Were To Commit Adultery In Gods Eyes You Also Commit’ed Murder .. So That If A Christian Has Strayed Away And Is Doing Things That Are Unbecoming As A Christian The Sins That We Commit Are Just As Bad… So When Someone Says That We Can Loose Our Salvation I’am Very Passionate About It Because You Might As Well Say That After Everything That Jesus Went Through Leaving His Father To Come Down In The Flesh To Be Beat, Persecuted, His Hair Pulled Out, Spit On, Tormented, Given A Crown Of Thorns, And Nailed To Cross To Pay Our Debt Of Sin, So That He Could Give Us The Gift Of Salvation And Then Someone Says None Of That Matters Un”less I Endure To The End , Which By The Way Simply Means To Do Your Best To Serve Him And Be Obedient To Him The Best We Can To The End, We Can Not Ever Judge Some Ones Salvation By Deeds Or Works. For Instance I’am In The Word 5-6 Hrs Everyday And Some One Else Is In The Word Just 15 Min Before Work, Does That Make Me Holier Than Them,. No, Not Even Close, They May Be Closer To God Than Me, That Is Why We Can Never Judge Someones Walk With God, We Never Know, But God Has In Many Ways Let Us Know All Over The Bible That We can Not Loose Our Salvation That Is The One Thing That We Can Rest assure On Amen.. Please Forgive Me If I Have Hurt You In Anyway Amen. !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Norman Grant

      Hi Pastor Gorbet, no I’m not offended in the least. I belong to Christ just as you do. Remaining humble and teachable is something that we must all be. The question I had was not whether we were saved by works. I know we are not. However we must have works because we were created to do good work in Christ. Jesus said He will return for those who does His Father’s will.
      The question I had pertaining to this article was when we come to Christ. Are we saved our entire lives from that moment or is salvation a process? Regardless of repetitive sin? And are you saying that the reference to this verse “But he who endures to the end will be saved.” is it only talking about false Christians who don’t endure to the end (who give up). Or perhaps its talking about a trait of a real Christian that endures till the end.
      Thank again pastor

      • Pastor David Gorbet

        No Brother, My Point Was That We Can Not Ever Loose Our Salvation, And If A Christian Strays Away And Is Truly Saved He Will Be Convicted And Return To Christ, You Changed Your Wording Of Once Genuinely Saved Always Saved And That Is Fine Who Am I To Question Your Words If That Makes You Feel Better, Forgive Me For Misunderstanding I Thought That You Were Saying At First That We Could Loose Our Salvation Through Falling Back Into Sin. He Who Endures To The End Will Be Saved, I Think That Means Like You Said Earlier That Even Though We Are Saved That Salvation Is A Process Through Obedience Love Among Many Things Crucifying Our Flesh Daily And Serving God As A Servant Leader To The Best Of Our Ability That Is What Enduring To The End Means To Me. As The Question Are We Saved Our Entire Lives From That Moment On I Think Of Course We Are. And Is Salvation A Process You Bet It Is In My Humble Opinion . But There Is No Such Thing Really As A False Christian We Are Saved Or We Are Not Only God Knows For Sure. My Wife’s Labor Shows Her Fruits, Do I Think She Is Saved, Yes I Do, But Do I Know For Sure No, Only God Knows That… Wow God Just Gave Me A Revelation To What You Said,. Hallelujah Praise God. Once Saved Always Saved Your Right We Should Not Say That, That Is Almost Like Giving A Christian Permission To Sin At Will And Thinking There Will Be No Ramifications Better Yet A Christian Still On Milk, Yes Brother Thank You For The Lesson,.. I’am 54 Yrs Old.It Has Been A Little While For Me, Please Forgive Me For My Arrogance And I Sometimes Forget That I’am Only A Servant Of God And The People. Amen.. And That I’am Also Still A Student Of The Word Of God. Amen

        • Norman Grant

          I appreciate you pastor. I Think we are on the same track now and am glad that we got to have this conversation. It has been a blessing for me and I hope to anyone that reads it. Thanks again.

  • Laurie Collett

    Norman, I like the revisions. I think “Once genuinely saved, always saved” sums it up very well. Only God knows the hearts, so only He knows who has truly been born again. I believe our churches contain many “Christians” who attend faithfully, tithe, etc., but who never had a heart relationship with Jesus. To them He will say, “Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity, for I never knew you.”

    But those who are genuinely saved cannot lose their salvation. All of us still sin after we are saved, because we still have our sin nature. Paul himself expressed the frustration of knowing what he should do, yet not doing it, and still doing that which he hated (sin). To God, all sin is the same — He doesn’t rate sins, and even the smallest sin would be enough for Him to be justified in sending us to hell, But, thankfully, once we are genuinely saved, He no longer sees any of our sin — only the perfect righteousness of His Son. We did nothing to earn our salvation, so we can do nothing to lose it.

    Thanks so much for providing a forum for this discussion.

    God bless,

    • Norman Grant

      Thank you Laurie for participating, you are always welcome. I think the churches have allowed lots of people to be confused over this matter. You have been a great help. I appreciate your time and your comments.
      God bless you.

  • Pastor David Gorbet


    • Sidd Finch

      Since it feels just right, make sure you don’t check or challenge yourself.

  • joshua michael

    I like what you had to say on a tough subject. The nation of Israel is also a great example of the salvation process and what’s required for genuine salvation. They took a step of faith when they were baptized in the cloud and the sea (1Cor 10), but many that took that step later on failed to enter into the promised land due to their unbelief (Heb 3-4). Many fell in the desert when tested and only those that trusted their lives to God were saved.
    Jesus’ parable of the seed and 4 soils in Matt 13 shows a similar picture. Many fall away before God’s word is fully accepted and trusted on. It’s only then we can grow in our faith and produce fruit unto repentance.

    • Amen Joshua, Those are great examples. In fact I just recently did a bible study on Hebrews 3-4. It really highlights the how God views salvation and disobedience. I will a these Hebrews 3:7-11 So, as the Holy Spirit says:

      “Today, if you hear his voice,
      8 do not harden your hearts
      as you did in the rebellion,
      during the time of testing in the wilderness,
      9 where your ancestors tested and tried me,
      though for forty years they saw what I did.
      10 That is why I was angry with that generation;
      I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray,
      and they have not known my ways.’
      11 So I declared on oath in my anger,
      ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ”
      Joshua thanks for your comments!

  • Deborah Thorwart

    So, so agree with, “once genuinely saved always saved.” I’ve heard it said, “You can sit in a pew until your bottom is flat and that doesn’t make you a Christian anymore than sitting in your garage makes you a car.” We have a lukewarm church today that God (in Revelations) says He will spew out of His mouth. I love this article and I’m going to share it with other communities, because I wonder how many churchgoers who label themselves as Christians understand true confession that Jesus is Lord and belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of God whom the Holy Spirit raised from the dead; the Bible says this is the criteria for salvation ~ it is not about pew knowledge by Spirit-filled revelation of who Christ is, and with this knowledge there is no turning back. Although we grow in holiness as believers, at this point we receive the Righteousness of Christ Jesus and we are Righteousness in the Father’s eyes. Without the Blood covering there is not salvation. Again, how may “Christ”ians truly understand this revelation?

    • I agree with you totally Deborah, there is so much deception when it comes to this issue and thats why I felt the need to write the article. We owe it to people who think its okay to remain in their sinful lifestyles and think it is okay with God because of teachings that are unclear. God bless you and thank you.

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  • stuart

    To say that a truly saved person; one who has been regenerated cannot lose his or her salvation is contraindicated by Rom 8:12-13: “So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
    Paul wrote his warning to the brethren or the regenerated ones in v.12. warning them of the consequences of lapsing into the practice or lifestyle of sin which is spiritual death in v.13.

    • Norman Grant

      Does God not see the end from the beginning? If we are truly saved we will overcome sin. And it does necessarily happen right away. We really can’t determine who will overcome sin in the end. That’s why Jesus warns us about calling anyone a fool. I have struggled with sin. Sin I didn’t think I could overcome. What I realized is that it is not we who overcome, it is Christ in us that lifts us up, creating a want and a need to overcome. (We are wicked fleshly people) The bible say, “no good thing dwells in the flesh.” Paul said that we are His workmanship created in Christ to do good works. His workmanship. God working in us. A move of the Spirit of God. That is why He is above all and in all. He loves us. We are His servants. He will be the judge of everyone. It is not our place to judge another’s servant. (And I’m not saying you are). Many are going to a sure hell. I always careful when I observe myself, because I remember what it was like to be in the flesh, (Not long ago), that is to walk in the flesh. You feel trapped, of little worth. Like you can never overcome. But when I began to overcome sin is when I realized that God does not condemn me! I realized that God is rooting for me to overcome. The strength that we need to overcome is in the Joy of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Joy of the Lord is our strength. The joy of the Lord does not condemn. It lifts us up! It loves on us and by that we are strengthened.
      Whether it is sexual sin or alcohol. God, who can make the rocks cry out can work in us to do good. That is why I praise Him. Thank you Jesus!

      • bumbutcha

        Indeed it is God’s grace that enables believers to overcome sin however, if a believer chooses to continue in sin, God’s grace is made to no effect. “Anyone who does not remain in Christ’s teaching but goes beyond it, does not have God. The one who remains in that teaching, this one has both the Father and the Son (2 Jn 1:9). This verse does not refer to an unbeliever since an unbeliever cannot remain in Christ’s teaching since he was never abiding in Christ’s teaching to start with. It is impossible to remain in the faith if he/she was never a part of the faith. Therefore this verse does refer to someone who is genuinely saved. This verse states that in order to remain genuinely saved, a believer must continue to abide in Christ – to love and walk according to his commandments (v.6). Salvation is never promised to those believers who choose to continue to sow to the flesh.

        • Norman Grant

          Amen, I agree 100%

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