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