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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 “once saved always saved?” Now, I trust God’s word.I am thankful for the word of God because it pierces our souls and reveal to us the truth of God. We may agree the bible helps to break chains of oppression. Exposing darkness and deception the enemy plants to keep us bound. Some Christians believe once saved always saved. Others believe that the scriptures teach we are to work out our own salvation daily and endure till the end. That is two trains of thought here for Christians or is it? Many Christians don’t understand it.
Work out your own salvation
Philippians 2:12-13 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.
Once saved always saved
Jesus comforts and loves us willingly while we remain in His love. However, we should not get comfortable. Many of us grow to love our worldly positions. (This is not our home). There are many warnings in scripture concerning the pitfalls of falling backward. Falling away into unbelief. Many Christians believe that once saved always saved. That may be okay for someone fervent in their faith, but what about one that wonders away from the faith or to lose focus on the call God has for them? Might that be deadly for him? Can telling someone not to worry about sin, because once you are saved you are always saved, might that not have eternal ramifications. I am not sure what the answer is. I believe the best teaching is for Christians to hold on tightly to Jesus Christ and not let go. “Once saved always saved” was a statement I made several years ago which I altered because I knew that not everyone who professed to be Christian was one. So I changed my statement to, “Once genuinely saved, always saved.” I do believe the bible teaches that God sends His holy Spirit inside of us as the earnest expectation (down payment). Again God did not call us to relax and bounce back and forth in sin.
God’s Grace does not excuse returning to a life of sin
It is great that when we stumble and fall down, we can get back up and continue in the spiritual battle. As Christians we make mistakes and 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 it. 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. Yes God says nothing can separate us from his love. However, people do return to a life of sin. Yes God still loves them, but people make choices. Its sad. 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.