Question of the day: salvation.

I have a very firm stand on this issue, and if you know me well then you know where I stand. However, I want to open it up for debate humane, intelligent discussion. :]

If you don’t know where I stand on the issue and you’re curious to know that information, you can check out my Statement of Faith to read up on it a bit.

If you’ve gone to church for any amount of time, I’m sure you’ve heard it preached on or taught in a class. If not, check your church’s Statement of Faith – their stand on the issue is usually mentioned in there. If not, it should be.

Here’s the question…

Is “once saved, always saved” a Biblical doctrine or a doctrine of demons?

Thoughts?  Opinions?  Scripture?  Leave a comment below with your ideas about the matter.


Posted on February 21, 2011, in Question of the Day and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.

  1. John 10:28

    “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand.”

    NO MAN, not even I, can pluck myself out of His hand. Yeeehaw! 😉

  2. I do believe in eternal. Security, but do not agree with the statement “once saved always saved”. It tends to be taught in the context of if you have ever asked Jesus to come into your heart and meant it then you are saved no matter what you do later. This is not biblical. The question in scripture is never “did you ever at one point in time believe in Jesus?” The question is “are you believing now?” Americans treat is like its a one time thing… “I’m so glad I got saved when I was 10 years old! You need to get saved too!” Then the proceed to say all one has to do is ask Jesus to save them and then they can know heaven is their home. No matter how this individual lives he is told that he is saved if he asked Jesus to save Him and meant it.
    This causes people to hang their eternal destiny on a point I time when they did something, not the work of Jesus.
    If one prays the prayer but lives like the devil then Scripture says there is no reason that person should think they are saved.
    When people come to me with doubts, I don’t point them to a time they did something, I point them to Jesus. I ask the “are you believing in Jesus?” Not “have you ever believed?”

    • “If we believe not, [yet] he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.” II Tim. 2:13

      • I’m not sure you’re purpose in quoting II Tim. 2:13. The verse prior to it says, “if we deny him, he also will deny us”. If this verse is taken to say that those who at one time make a profession but cease believing are still saved then one must throw out all of Scripture that speaks of belief for Scripture doesn’t speak of saving faith as a one time action, but a continual action. It is the same with repentance.

        John Gill commented on this verse saying, “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful,…. The Syriac and Ethiopic versions read, “if we believe not him.” This may be understood, either of such who are altogether destitute of faith, who do not believe in Christ at all; and particularly do not believe what was just now said concerning his denying such that deny him, but mock and scoff at his coming, and at a future judgment: this unbelief of theirs will not make void his faith or faithfulness; see Romans 3:3, he will abide faithful to his word of threatening; and what he says in Mr 16:16 will be found to be an everlasting truth: or it may be understood of true believers, whose faith sometimes is very low, as to its exercise on Christ, and with reference to their future glory and happiness; but Christ is faithful to all his, covenant engagements for them, to bring them to glory, and to every word of promise concerning their happiness, and to every branch of the faithful saying above mentioned; and he is ever the same in his love to them, and in the efficacy of his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice; and his salvation is an everlasting and unchangeable one; nor do the saints’ interest in it, and security by it, depend upon their acts of believing, or their frames, but upon the firmness and unchangeableness of Christ, the object of faith.

        He cannot deny himself; he cannot go contrary to his word; that would be to act contrary to his nature and perfections, and would be a denying of himself, which is not possible; wherefore his faithfulness will never fail, even though, the faith of his people does, as to the exercise of it.”

        Scripture is clear that there will be a change in a convert’s life. No change means no salvation happened, they didn’t repent. Also, just like Jesus’ parable of the soils. Some looked saved, but fell away because there was no genuine conversion. John tells us in I John that if anyone loves the world the love of the Father is not in him. He also says, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth”.
        We must be careful in this verse. For if you are saying that God is faithful and will not deny Himself in saving us regardless of our faith that could lead to Universalism. For if Jesus died for everyone then He will not deny Himself even in saving those who do not believe.
        If you say that we just have to believe once but not continue to believe then you negate the passages of Scripture that speak of enduring to the end. And you turn the prayer into something akin to baptismal regeneration – just say the words once and it’s done forever.
        It also could lead to antinomianism. This is a fundamental misunderstanding of grace. There is a little poem that says, “Free from the law,
        O blessed condition;
        We can sin all we want
        And still have remission.”
        To think that once I said the prayer I’m in and nothing else matters in terms of my eternal security shows that we were never saved.

        You may not be using this verse in that way, I am just trying to piece it with the context of the conversation and thinking it was stated in disagreement with what I said.
        I could be wrong in my understanding of your comment though. I do, however think that this verse is not addressing those who deny their faith for Scripture is clear that we have no promise of salvation if we are not trusting in Jesus.

        It can get convoluted, I know, I’ve spent a great deal of time on this topic while I was teaching through chapters of Hebrews. But what I believe Scripture teaches on this is that we are to only ground our assurance in Jesus Christ. It is our being in Him that we have this security. As long as we are in Him we know we are saved. and we are in Him by faith. My faith yesterday doesn’t matter. I can’t say I’m saved because I use to believe. So often, in looking for security we are really asking if we have to keep believing in Jesus. Outside of Him there is no hope. So if one asked me, “I have sinned, am I still saved?” I ask them to examine their heart. If they can sin and have no compunction then I give them no encouragement to believe they were ever saved to begin with – Simon the magician had spurious faith like this. But if they are repentant of their sin and are truly believing in Jesus then I tell them that Scripture promises all who are believing in Him are united to Him and He is life. So often we view salvation like a package that Jesus hands us. It is with this idea that we ask the question of “Can I lose it?” as if we can misplace it or give it back. But Salvation is found in a Person. So the question of whether one is saved or not is not did you ever obtain it, but are you united to The One who is Salvation? We are united to Him by faith. No faith, no union, no salvation.
        I hope this makes sense.

  3. Let’s stop just for a second to think about the statement: “once saved, always saved.” Regardless of how it has been misused, misinterpreted, and abused by those who would champion an antinomian lifestyle, the fact of the matter remains – if you are saved, you are not lost or condemned.

    The question becomes, then, “can one stay saved in their own power?” The answer would have to be an unquestionable, “NO!” Salvation is an unearned gift. Salvation requires the mercy, grace, and love of God in order to be offered. Salvation then depends on the immutable character of a faithful, committed, Covenant-Maker to remain in effect. The only option or requirement man has is to either accept or reject it.

    Salvation is a demonstration of the love of God (John 3:16; 1 John 3:1). Salvation is a demonstration of the mercy and grace of God (Romans 3:24; Ephesians 2:8-9). It is also a demonstration of the power and wisdom of God (Romans 1:6; Ephesians 3:10). Salvation is meant to show that God is great and plenteous in mercy. It is in no way meant to give glory to man. Losing one’s salvation would seriously devalue the ability of God to keep His promises, considering He is the Author and Finisher of our faith; the One Who holds us in His hand.

    If a person truly becomes a follower of Jesus Christ, then I believe their salvation is secure for eternity, regardless of anything the saved can do. When we are born again, we are given a new nature, a new blood-line, a new name. We become family with God and His Son, Jesus. The righteousness of Christ is imputed unto us. Our names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. We are “sealed with the holy Spirit of Promise.” We are justified. We are doubly blessed in that we are born AND adopted into the family of God. Since when did our actions change our relationship to our parents on earth? How could it be any different with God? When we’re family, we’re family.

    The thing that confuses most people are those who profess something they do not have.

    • Great post Brother Baker. We’re saved because of what Jesus Christ did for us, not what we did for ourselves to save ourselves.

      That doesn’t change after salvation either.

      Gal. 3:1-3, “O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?
      2) This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?
      3) Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?”

  4. I am thankful that I can know I’m saved and can never fall away because my salvation rests completely on God and the fact that he chose me before I was born to be His. If my salvation was to rest on my shoulders and on my decisions whether to accept it or not, (and for that matter to decide to keep it or not) that would give me cause to fear losing it. For I am an imperfect and sinful being and desire no power over my own salvation, for I would surely screw it up. Before I was saved I was dead and all I desired was evil, but God in his mercy and grace resurrected me to life by way of His perfect salvation. Salvation that was made perfect by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ who died for those who believe in Him.
    Glory to our Sovereign Lord who works everything out according to His purpose!

    “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ in accordance with his pleasure and will…” Ephesians 1:4-5

    “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no man can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:8-10

    To sum it up: Salvation is given you by God as well as His promise to keep you for eternity. And only God’s promises will never be broken! So no, you cannot lose your God given Salvation!

  5. This is biblically wrong. There is no scriptural warrant for this term. The Bible has 5 tenses for salvation. They being

    Were saved
    Were being saved
    Are saved
    Are being saved
    Will be saved

    Yes you can proof text isolated scriptures; but this method doesn’t do God’s word justice. To say that we cannot lose our salvation is to denigrate what God’s word actually says and to therefore relegate the warnings and exhortations to continue in salvation and that there are no second chances if we throw it away to mere hypothetical words which have no truth in them.

  6. “Once saved, always saved” is not in the Bible, but the eternal security of the child of God is reiterated numerous times throughout the Scriptures.

    I believe most problems arise because of a misunderstanding of salvation in the first place. “Easy-believism” has become rampant. As a counsellor at more than a hundred childrens/teens camps and holiday clubs, I have been amazed at the number who pin their salvation of false beliefs. In answer to a question of how they became a Christian, the more common answers are, “I prayed a prayer” or “My mother told me I accepted Jesus” or “My pastor said I am because I made a decision when I was seven” or “I signed a card”. None of these are a basis for believing the person is saved.

    Further gentle questioning revealed that they had NO idea of what prayer they prayed, what decision they made, etc. There was no understanding of sin and the idea of repentance was completely foreign. There was no change in their lives and there was no concept of a relationship with God.

    The fact is that we cannot tell the hearts of others. The only people who can be 100% certain that I am saved are myself and my Saviour (and the angels in heaven who rejoiced at my conversion). My husband and people who know me can be 99.9999999999999% sure but they cannot KNOW. I can. I do. And I know that He has continued His work in me and will continue it and take me to Himself – not because I “feel” it but because He has said so over and over again in His Word and His Word is truth – and because my continual experience with Him over the last 52 years has proven it to me.

    What a wonderful Saviour!

  7. If we could lose salvation, God would have called it temporal life. Eternal suggests there is no end. One of God’s attributes is that he is eternal. Distort the reality of eternal life and you must deal with the distortion of our eternal God.

  8. Great question, Heather.

    I personally do believe in the doctrine of eternal security, for reason of the verses mentioned above. Therefore, when I read verses like Hebrews 6:4-6, I can only conclude that such individuals were never truly saved in the first place.

    If only God can do what man could never do (salvation), then it is foolish to think man can undo what only God could do in the first place.

  9. “If only God can do what man could never do (salvation), then it is foolish to think man can undo what only God could do in the first place.”

    It’s really that simple, in my humble opinion. This is where the Calvinist and I do agree – it’s all about God’s grace, nothing we can do or “undo.”
    (PS, I’m not a Calvinist, nor an Arminian)

  10. I believe that if you are truly saved, then you are saved. Why do I say “truly?” Well, if there was a regeneration of your soul, if the Holy Spirit of God lives in you, then there’s no way that you can lose your salvation. If you’re like the man who finds a treasure in a field and sells everything he has to buy that field, then you get it, you are saved.

    Many times Jesus asks us to count the cost before we follow Him. And I believe that those who have counted the cost, those who of us who truly follow Him, cannot lose our salvation. It is God who saves us. It’s all Him. I think he’s pretty good at keeping stuff.

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