Originally Posted by HereIStand
In my view, Scripture clearly teaches assurance of salvation and this can't be over emphasized. As I believe I've read, Martin Luther called forgiveness of sins the voice of the Gospel. So, can a Christian lose his salvation and lose this forgiveness? If the question is asked that way, I would say no. However, the basis of our salvation is our faith in Christ granted to us by God’s grace. So, can a person who has faith in Christ lose his faith? If viewed from this standpoint, I would lean towards yes, but I admit that arguments can be made against this.
Notice the bolded part? We can believe whatever we want; however, the question remains, WHAT DID CHRIST AND THE APOSTLES TEACH? Not 'what did they write'; that question is easily answered: "not much." Jesus wrote nothing down (except a few words in the sand). To answer the question we have to look back into history and see what the historical church taught from the beginning.
I’ll just take one passage: "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand." (John 10:27-28) I’ve heard this passage used to rightly defend the idea that salvation, once given, can’t be taken away. I’ve also heard another note that the verb “hear” in verse 27 entails continuous hearing. I think both views are correct.
I'll see your one passage and raise you a whole bunch. I posted this in another thread which got closed last night. http://www.scripturecatholic.com/sal...ml#salvation-V
Acts 7:51 - you stiff-necked people, you always resist the Holy Spirit. We, by our own freewill, can resist God and His grace, and turn away from Him.
Rom. 11:20-23 – in expounding on Jesus’ teaching in John 15, Paul teaches that the Jews (the natural branches) were broken off by lack of faith (v.20), but says that the Romans stand fast through faith (v. 21). So the Romans are justified. However, Paul then says that the Romans can also be cut off if they don’t persevere in faith and kindness (v. 22-23). Hence, those justified before God can fall away from the faith and lose their salvation (be “cut off”). Paul also says that those who are cut off can be grafted back in if they do not persist in their unbelief, for God has the power to graft them in again (v.23). These verses are devastating to the “once saved, always saved” position.
1 Cor. 9:24-27 – Paul says that all the runners compete, but only one wins the prize. Paul recognizes that if he doesn’t train himself properly in perseverance, he too can become “disqualified.” The word "disqualified" comes from the Greek word "adokimos" which literally means cut off from Christ, or reprobate. When “adokimos” is used in the Scriptures, it always refers to those who are to be condemned by God. It has nothing to do with going to heaven with less rewards. See, for example, Rom. 1:28; Titus 1:16; 2 Tim. 3:8; Heb. 6:8; 2 Cor. 13:5-7. This proves that Saint Paul thought he could lose his salvation. No one would reasonably argue that Paul wasn’t “saved” when he wrote the Scriptures. So if Saint Paul thought that he could lose his salvation, why do many Protestants think that they cannot lose theirs?
1 Cor. 9:24 – Paul says that only one wins the “prize” (brabeion). To further prove that the race Paul is writing about refers to our journey to heaven, “brabeion” always has a soteriological implication. See, for example, Phil. 3:14 where “prize” refers to the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (which is heaven).
1 Cor. 9:25 – Paul writes about achieving the “imperishable” (aphthartos) wreath. Again, to further prove Paul is writing about salvation, “aphthartos” always refers to the eternal. See, for example, 1 Cor. 15:51 (the only other place in NT Scripture where “aphthartos” appears relative to humans) where Paul says the dead will be raised “imperishable.” This refers to the resurrection of our salvation. See also 1 Tim. 1:17 where the King of ages is called “immortal” (imperishable).
Rom. 13:11 – for salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. If we already have salvation, then how can we only be nearer to it?
1 Cor. 4:4 - Paul says he is not aware of anything against himself, but he is still not acquitted. Paul is not presumptuous about his salvation. Only the Lord is our Judge.
1 Cor. 6:9-11 - we can be washed, sanctified, and justified, yet Paul still warns us that we can be deceived and become unrighteous.
1 Cor. 10:6-13 – the passage is about how the Israelites, once justified before God, fell away from God. Therefore, let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall (v.12). You can be standing in God's grace, and then fall away. But God will always provide enough grace to overcome the temptation (v.13).
1 Cor. 15:1-2 - we can be believers (predestined to grace) but believe in vain. Scripture refutes the novel Protestant theory "once saved, always saved."
2 Cor. 6:1 - we can receive the grace of God (predestined to grace) in vain. We can choose not to cooperate with His grace.
2 Cor. 11:2-3 – Paul writes, “I betrothed you to Christ, but I am afraid that your thoughts will be led astray from a devotion to Christ.” The Corinthians already had a sincere devotion to Christ, for Paul wrote to them earlier in the letter, “you stand firm in your faith.” (2 Cor. 1:24). They are already “saved.” But Paul warns them that they can fall away just like Eve fell away (and, remember, Eve was created without sin!) This is another verse that is devastating to the belief of “once saved, always saved.”
Gal. 1:8-9 – Paul says, “if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel to that which we preached to you…let him be accursed.” Paul says “if we,” which means he believed even the sacred writers (currently “saved”) could fall away from the true faith and teach a heretical gospel.
Gal. 4:9 – Paul asks those who know God how they can now turn back again to the weak and beggarly elemental spirits, whose slaves they once were. Paul acknowledges and warns of this possibility.
Gal. 5:1 – Paul writes that the Galatians are free in Christ, but warns them to stand fast, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. You cannot be severed from Christ if you were never connected to Christ. This warning applies to those who are connected to Christ in faith.
Gal. 5:4 - Paul teaches that we can be in Christ, then be severed from Him and fall away from God's grace. You cannot be severed from something unless you were previously connected to it.
Phil. 2:12 - we cannot assume salvation. We need to work it out to the end with fear and trembling. If "once saved, always saved" were true, why would the great apostle Paul have to work his salvation out in fear and trembling? What is there to fear if salvation is assured?
Phil. 3:11-14 – Paul writes that “if possible,” he may attain the resurrection, says he is not perfect, and presses on toward the prize of salvation. Paul has no presumption of salvation but works it out in fear and trembling.
Col. 1:21-23 - we have now been reconciled in His body to be presented holy and blameless, provided we continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel which we heard. Paul warns them that it is possible to turn away and lose hope in the gospel.
Col. 2:18-19 - a man puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind has lost the connection with Jesus. He had the connection and lost it.
1 Tim. 1:5-6 - some people have wandered away from a sincere faith, a pure heart and a good conscience. They had a sincere (not a fake) faith, and still fell away.
1 Tim. 1:19-20 - Paul tells Timothy to hold fast to the faith, and not shipwreck it like Alexander and Hymenaeus. They had it, and then they lost it.
1 Tim. 4:1 - the Spirit "expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by giving heed to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons." God Himself is telling us that some people who had the faith will lose the faith.
1 Tim. 5:8 - if we do not provide for our relatives, we have disowned the faith (we had the faith, and we lost it).
1 Tim. 5:15 – Paul says that some have already turned away and gone after Satan. There is never any distinction between falling away from a true faith versus a false faith.
1 Tim. 6:10 - for the love of riches we may wander from the faith (we had the faith, and we can lose the faith).
Heb. 2:1 - we must pay closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it. We have it, but we can drift away from it.
Heb. 3:12 – the author warns the Hebrews to take care, lest there be in any one of you an evil heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. We can be with God, and choose to fall away from Him.
Heb. 3:13-14 – the author warns the Hebrews that they need to exhort one another every day, so that none of them may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. Paul teaches that we share in Christ, but only if we hold our first confidence firm to the end.
Heb. 4:1 - while the promise of entering his rest remains, let us fear lest any of you be judged to have failed to reach it. There would be nothing to fear if salvation were assured.
Heb. 4:6,11 - we can receive the good news (predestined to grace) and then disobey it and fall away. The author thus exhorts us to strive to enter that rest, that no one falls by the same sort of disobedience.
Heb. 6:4-6 - those who have been enlightened and partakers of the Holy Spirit (predestined to grace) can fall away, commit apostasy and crucify the Son of God.
Heb. 10:23-29 - we can sin deliberately after receiving knowledge of the truth (predestined to grace) and then face a fury of fire.
Heb. 10:26 - if we continue to sin after knowing truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sin - our salvation is jeopardized.
Heb. 10:35 - we can have confidence in salvation (predestined to grace), and then throw it away. We can have it, and lose it.
Heb. 10:36: - we have the need of endurance, so that we may do the will of God and receive what is promised. There is no need for endurance to get what is promised if salvation is assured.
Heb. 10:38-39 – the author says that the righteous live by faith, but can shrink back. He then exhorts the people not to shrink back and be destroyed, but to keep their souls.
James 5:19-20 - we can be in the truth, and then wander from the truth which means death, unless we are brought back.
1 Peter 1:14 – Peter warns that, as obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance. Thus, you can first be ignorant, then receive the truth and become obedient, and later revert back to the passions of your former ignorance.
2 Peter 2:1 - we can be bought by Christ, and then become false teachers of destructive heresies and destroy ourselves.
2 Peter 1:10 – we must be zealous to confirm our call and election; for if we do this we will never fall. But Peter is saying that it is possible to fall, without zeal and perseverance.
2 Peter 2:15 – forsaking the right way they have gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing. They had the right way, and then chose to forsake it.
2 Peter 2:20-22 - we can escape the defilements of the world through Jesus (predestined to grace) and then become entangled again therein.
2 Peter 3:16-17 - we can be the beloved of God and then lose our stability and carried away with the error of lawless men.
1 John 1:7 - if we walk in the light, the blood of Jesus cleanses us. But we need continual cleansing, and can walk out of the light.
1 John 1:9 - if we confess our sins, Jesus will forgive them and cleanse us. But we need continual cleansing. Growing in holiness is a lifelong process.
1 John 2:19 - "they left, but didn't not belong to us" refers to those who were Christians who did not persevere and were thus not predestined to glory.
1 John 2:28 - we must abide in Him so we have confidence and don't shrink in shame. If we fail to abide, we are lost.
2 John 8 - look to yourselves, that you may not lose what you have worked for. You can lose the grace you currently have.
Jude 6 - even some of the angels, who beheld the face of God, fell. How much more could we fall?
Gen. 3:6 - Adam and Eve, who were already living the divine life of supernatural grace, fell away from God. Is falling more possible for us?
Ezek. 3:20; 18:24; 33:12,13,18 – the Lord clearly teaches us in these verses that a righteous man can turn away from his righteousness and commit iniquity. He was righteous (there is nothing about having phony righteousness), but he fell away and chose unrighteousness. When he does, his prior good deeds shall be forgotten, and he shall die.
Some argue that a person who renounces faith in Christ never had faith to begin with, while others may argue such a person had faith but lost it. I think there’s Scriptural support for both views as has been discussed. Either way though, whether a person never had faith or lost it, such a person ultimately won’t be saved if they continue without faith. But the good news is that all who turn to Christ in faith can and will be saved.
Can, but that doesn't mean will.