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once saved always saved

Discussion in 'Salvation (Soteriology)' started by Die Allerbeste, Dec 4, 2001.

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  1. Tyler

    Tyler Member

    182
    +0
    Ephesians 2:8,9
    For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
    not of works, lest anyone should boast.

    Jesus Christ Forgives.
     
  2. Da Berkshire Massive

    Da Berkshire Massive New Member

    88
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    Psalm 89 v30-34

    30 "If his sons forsake my law and do not follow my statutes
    31 If they violate my decrees and fail to keep my commands,
    32 I will punish their sin with the rod, their iniquity with flogging;
    33 but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.
    34 I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered.
     
  3. Tyler

    Tyler Member

    182
    +0
    John 6:40
    And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
     
  4. ZoneChaos

    ZoneChaos Senior Veteran

    +23
    Christian
    Married
    US-Republican
    Good post Da Berkshire. You said pretty much eveything I wanted to say. :)
     
  5. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +384
    Christian
    There seems to be some confusion about Eph2:8-9. I say that "you can't use it to contend for predestination", because of the sentence structure. The subject of the passage is "God's gift of salvation", and all four phrases transfer from the Greek.

    "God's eternal gift of salvation" (Gegos)

    "For by grace are you saved" (Gegos)

    "Through faith" ---Dia Pistis, prepositional phrase, NOT the subject. "God's eternal gift of salvation through faith"

    "And THAT (Gegos) is not of yourselves"

    "IT (Gegos) is the gift of God"

    "(Gegos is) NOT as a result of works, lest anyone boast..."

    To still believe that the word, "THAT", is indicating "FAITH", makes just as much sense as to contend that John3:5 is using "WATER" to indicate "BAPTISM" (it is not---water is "a fundamental element, contextually identical with "flesh"). "THAT" is "GEGOS" in Eph2:8, pure and simply...

    But then if someone loses their salvation as soon as they sin, how can they come to Christ in the first place? Surely if God snatched our salvation away from us the moment we sinned, then why would he give it to us, simply as a result of asking for it?
    We do not "lose salvation as soon as we sin"; and God never "snatches salvation away from us" (have you near read, "The gifts and calling of God are irrevocable (without repentence)"? (Rom11:29) HE will not repent of the gift, but what if YOU do?

    Surely if that was the case, we would have to prove our repentance first to God and if we became as sinless as possible then he would save us, but on the condition we did not sin?
    Repentance is absolutely required before we can be saved. Lk13:3 But sins do not condemn us, and sinlessness does not save us. We are saved by Jesus sacrifice...

    Where does grace come into all this if we have to earn our initial salvation and struggle to keep our salvation until the end?
    We do not "earn our salvation". But we do "keep it". As Jude plainly says in verse 21, as John says in 2:1:8-9, as Jesus says in Jn15:6.

    Again where does it say in the Bible that you can lose your salvation and get it back again?
    In Romans11:23, in Jms5:19-20, in Lk15:24&32, in Heb6:6 (the Greek plainly says, "Impossible to restore to REPENTANCE, WHILE they are falling away"---if the cease "falling away" and return to repentance, they will be saved---just as the James passage plainly states)

    I would have thought if someone lost their salvation, that was it- no second chance! I don't think you can lose your salvation- if you are going to eternally reject God later, an omnipotent God isn't going to be stupid enough to give it to you in the first place- if you really mean it, you will mean it for life, no matter what gets thrown at you in this world.
    The importance of the issue, is "WHAT IS SALVATION"? God does not "give us salvation". He makes it available, and we receive it (Jn1:12), or reject it. If it is our choice to recieve it (and it IS our choice), how can you say that it passes beyond our choice to keep it?

    So many verses speak of salvation being "born again", which is identically "abiding in Him", "Fellowshipping with/in/through Jesus", "new creation", "Jesus in me", all say the same. And abiding with someone is absolutely a choice...
     
  6. Tyler

    Tyler Member

    182
    +0
    We cannot lose our salvation not because of ourselves, but because God is faithful and He keeps His promises!
    Jesus Christ Forgives.
     
  7. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +384
    Christian
    Hey, Tyler. What you say would be true, if God chooses who is to be saved and who is not to be saved (sort of like a "lightning bolt" zapping specific individuals in a crowd...).

    But it is clear that the whole nature of our salvation, is a choice. If there was no choice, there would be no need for Jesus to have died on the Cross. He died, that "whosoever believes should not perish but have eternal life". Have you read verse 18? "He who believes is not judged, but he who does not believe has been juded already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

    Does the Bible present "belief-unto-salvation" as a choice? It very much does. We can "believe in Him", or we can "not believe in Him". If we disbelieve, God remains faithful (for "God cannot deny Himself")---and the disbeliever is destined for Hell. It is not God's fault, it is the disbeliever's choice.

    The foundation of salvation is "fellowship with/in/through Jesus". One aspect of OSAS, "Carnal Christianity", contends a person can be "willfully sinning, cheerfully, unrepentantly, denying Jesus, but will STILL GO TO HEAVEN". "Backslidden-but-STILL-SAVED". This is easy to disprove, Scripturally. Another aspect of OSAS is "Predestined-Election", with which we have been dealing here.

    Romans 1 makes it clear that God reveals Himself to each man in enough measure to either choose Jesus, or reject Him. ("So they are therefore without excuse".) In spite of the concept of "total depravity" (based largely on Rom3), we are nevertheless given enough measure of Him to make a qualified choice.

    Paul absolutely confirms this perspective. This is why I differentiated "faith-unto-salvation", rather than just saying "faith". 1Cor12 tells us there is a type of faith that is a spiritual gift, but this kind of faith is absolutely NOT "faith-unto-salvation". (Else it would be given to all---but 12:9 says this kind of faith is only given to SOME...) Romans 12:3 speaks of a kind of faith that God "divides", but this too is NOT "faith-unto-salvation". Paul very specifically says, "Now FAITH (unto salvation---see context) comes from HEARING". Not "unilaterally installed by God", it COMES FROM HEARING.

    Choice. Plain and simple...

    :)
     
  8. Da Berkshire Massive

    Da Berkshire Massive New Member

    88
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    in Heb6:6 (the Greek plainly says, "Impossible to restore to REPENTANCE, WHILE they are falling away"---if the cease "falling away" and return to repentance, they will be saved---just as the James passage plainly states)

    Well in my bible the NIV it says IF they fall away NOT while!
    Unless what I read is wrong, it means there is NO chance to return and I have seen this with people I know who have committed Apostasy- THEY CAN'T COME BACK!
    So this would also mean if salvation could be lost that a Christian cannot come back if they fall away! But I have heard of many even one on this forum who has totally fallen away for many years and came back- did they suddenly choose to come back -no!
    If anything they were convinced that they were beyond redemption! But God through his love and assurance brought THEM back!
    But still where does it specifically say that a person can lose their salvation and get it back? This is NOT the ETERNAL life Jesus was talking about! And it would also go against verses such as Romans 8 v38-39. Paul was saying through the Holy Spirit that NOTHING in all creation can separate us from the love of God- I do not see except our sin and willful rebellion, or us choosing to go our own way, against God and reject him, in these verses!
    Psalm 89 v 30-34 also makes it perfectly clear that whatever we decide to do, God will never leave us nor forsake us- if whilst we were still his enemies Christ died for us, why would he forsake us if we turn against him for a time once we are saved? The bible does not say anywhere that we can LOSE our salvation- our relationship with God- YES , because it takes two to have a relationship, if one does not want to know, then that relationship is broken- but all relationships can be restored and God is never the one who isn't willing to restore it- it is us who are unfaithful to him! God is always faithful to us!
    The way God dealt with Israel who rebelled and rejected him and worshipped other imaginary gods proves this- they left him and were adulterous with the devil through sin and following other gods, but God NEVER left them and was always longing for them to return and came running towards them as soon as they took the first step back towards him!
     
  9. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +384
    Christian
    Hi, DBM. The verses I quoted before on "falling from salvation" and "returning to salvation" are not the only ones in the Bible.

    In Hebrews6:4 the word for "impossible" is "adunatos"--- Definition:
    1.without strength, impotent, powerless, weakly, disabled
    2.unable to be done, impossible

    So that the word "impossible" is conveyed in the meaning, "without strength, powerless-to-be-done". The key to this passage is the word, "SINCE". The "impossibility" is SINCE (because) they "crucify to themselves Christ anew, and hold Him up to contempt (in their own eyes)". The tense of "falling away" is active, 2nd aorist. It has been translated past tense, "have fallen away", but the Greek is closer to "while they are falling away". And in context it does not say "impossible to restore to salvation", it says "impossible to restore to repentance". Acknowledging of course that repentance is necessary for salvation, nevertheless the "repentance" aspect is directed "person-to-God", NOT "God-to-person". It very much says that they are CHOOSING not to repent, because of their CONTEMPTUOUS unbelief.

    You do not accept that "branch not abiding in Me is cut off and cast into the fire", refers to Hell? I don't know how I can convince you. But I think I can answer the Romans passage ("nothing will separate us from His love") with another Romans passage: "But God showed His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us". 5:8 His love for us existed before we were saved, and it will persist if we then reject our salvation. The Psalms passage you quoted is identical with Heb13:5, which also reflects in passages like "2Tim2:13". Because God did not unilaterally accomplish our salvations apart from us, His promise to never forsake us does not transfer to a promise of unforsakable salvation. He will never leave us, He will never forsake us---but Scripture is replete with recounts about US forsaking HIM.
    I've quoted clear verses that speak of "falling from salvation". I could give you lots more (like Gal5:4 & 2Pet2:20-21), but I do not think they would be accepted by strong OSAS proponents. That verse in 2Tim2:13 that assures us of God's faithfulness, is immediately preceded by: "If we endure, we shall reign with Him. But if we deny Him, He will also deny us (and we will not reign with Him)."

    Those who hold to "carnal Christianity" contend that a "saved-relationship APART from fellowship" is possible. You can be "backslidden-but-still-saved". If my contention that salvation IS fellowship with/in/through Jesus (1Jn1:6), then it is not possible to "backslide, return to sin, deny Jesus, AND still be saved".

    If we are not in fellowship with Jesus, we are not saved.

    Salvation is "Christ IN us" (Gal2:20), which is "BORN AGAIN", which is "ABIDING IN CHRIST", which is "KEEPING OURSELVES IN THE LOVE OF GOD", which is "DILIGENCE TO MAKE CERTAIN OF OUR CALLING AND ELECTION".

    :)
     
  10. Da Berkshire Massive

    Da Berkshire Massive New Member

    88
    +0
    Yes but I would argue that God is NOT giving freewill by only keeping a person saved if they remain in him.
    The fact is God wants us to freely choose to love him and put him first as Lord of our lives. How can we freely love and obey God, if we are doing it because we are afraid of being thrown into the lake of fire if we don't? If that is the case then we really are serving and loving God primarily out of fear of losing our salvation. Take the loss of salvation out and we then have total free will- not to lose our salvation- (I believe that no-one truly born again of the Spirit of God can eternally reject him and will eventually be drawn back). But don't you see? God wants us to freely love him, because there is nothing to worry about- he wants our unconditional free love for no other reason than to purely love God because we adore him and want to love him. God doesn't want us loving him, remaining committed to him out of fear of eternity in hell- that is slavery -NOT freewill. No once we have accepted and trusted in Jesus for our salvation, God then gives us total freedom to CHOOSE to love him- if we want to go our own way we can, but we will always be drawn back to God, because what he offers and his love is infinitely better than anything in the world and of ourselves.
    I have experienced this myself- when I first became a Christian, I tried to live the Christian life on my own terms- I wanted God's help with things I was afraid of, I wanted his love and protection and blessings, but I didn't want to do his will- I wanted to do my will and live as I pleased. I knew it was wrong- I was now aware of all the sin in my life, but I wanted the relationship on my terms.
    Only after years of dismal failure sinwise and recently going through months of relentless and extremely difficult testing and trials have I finally realised God's will is infinitely the best for my life- I also finally want to do his will and be obedient God, putting Jesus first as Lord of my life. This only happened after going through severe trials (I thought at the time if I fell, I would be eternally condemned, so went through hell on earth) and I had to give up everything without exception about me and everything in my life to God the Holy Spirit. Before I was frightened of letting the Holy Spirit change me - I saw a Godly holy life totally alien to the still largely non christian like life I still wanted to live and felt comfortable with- I believed the devil's lies that God would turn me into a really serious boring miserable person who had no sense of fun! I didn't want my life to change with friends and family, didn't understand the need for repentance either so quenched the Holy Spirit- I knew he wanted to sanctify me but wouldn't let him do anything other than protect me in certain areas.
    However since I gave up everything to the Holy Spirit, I have found that nothing good about me has changed, but only the bad things- God is NOT going to change the gifts he gave us such as personality and what makes us individuals, but a lot of bad things that I was enslaved to have gone or are rapidly dying out and now for the first time in my life I can say to God that he can do what he likes in my life and go all the way in doing it and that my will is his will. I am also finally willing to start with God's help, to stop every sin I possibly can and live as pleasing a life to God as I can. There are some very dramatic changes in my life at the moment and I am amazed, now I am letting him, how God is now changing me!
    You see God let me go my own way- but it was to live in bondage and slavery to sin- because I didn't want to give it to God, he left me to carry on as if I was still a non christian. However in the time of testing I found living like this, mostly for myself, unsustainable and have learnt that God's way is infinitely the best way and finally I can say that I would want nothing other than to live out my life his way, please him and love God with all my heart.
     
  11. LouisBooth

    LouisBooth Well-Known Member

    +62
    Christian
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    Still waiting on a reply to my post...

    "if God chooses who is to be saved and who is not to be saved "

    This is a wrong statement. That is double predesniation and even most calvinists say that is wrong.
     
  12. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +384
    Christian
    A couple of fine points---God does not "keep a person saved" at all. Salvation is by grace, through faith. God's grace, our faith. So the "keeping", is done by us. Hence, Jude's admonition, "KEEP YOURSELVES in the love of God". (21) And Peter's admonition "be diligent that the fruits commensurate with salvation are manifest in us, for in this way (having the heart-that-manifests-the-good-fruits) the EISODOS GATE of Heaven will be provided" (mutually exclusive, not provided in any other way). (2:1:5-11)
    Who said it is out of fear? "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us. (1Jn4:18-19)
    Without the freedom to lose (specifically, reject) salvation, there is no "free will"...
    The problem is the abundance of Scriptures that say otherwise. Not that He won't CALL them back, but that some of them, who once belonged, won't COME back...

    I am impressed by your relationship with God. My only question, is, when you were "going your own way and turning your back on God", if you had died, do you really think you would have gone to Heaven? If you DO, then what is salvation? Paul very clearly says that "they who practice sinning will NOT GO TO HEAVEN". Hebrews 6 says "they won't WANT to REPENT, WHILE they are falling away". Is it possible to enter Heaven UNREPENTANT? I still contend that salvation is "fellowship with/in/through Jesus", which is identically "born again", which is identically "Jesus-as-Lord, surrendered, I-no-longer-live-but-Christ-lives-in-me" (Gal2:20), surrendered to His LORDSHIP/MASTERY. Which is a rejectable state...
    Was this not identical to when you first came to Him? The "faith-unto-salvation-born-of-your-heart's-conviction"? While you were lost, did you not have the freedom to stay lost, or to return (just as the Prodigal Son had---and JUST LIKE him, you were at rock bottom and returned to where you were!)? Doesn't your post fairly scream of "free will"?
    Louis---please forgive a bit of forgetfulness. Was looking back at the last two pages---what was your post that you wanted replied? Were you asking me for a reply? Was it about "double predestination"?
     
  13. LouisBooth

    LouisBooth Well-Known Member

    +62
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    "God does not "keep a person saved" at all. "

    dude??? Romans 3:3 "What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness? Not at all!"

    Nope it wasn't..but I was pointing out the error of your statement. Most calvinists (I'm not one by the way) don't believe in double predesntination. You shouldn't imply that they do.
     
  14. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +384
    Christian
    Hello, Louis. Romans 3:3ff

    "What then? If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it? May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar... But if our unrihteousness demonstrates the righteousness of od, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in Human terms.) May it never be! For otherwise how will God judge the world? [20]because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the unrighteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ." (God's righteousness imputed to us by our faith in Jesus Christ...)

    The fact that God is faithful simply does not transfer to the "indissoluability of our salvation". As 2Tim2 says, if we deny Him, He will deny us (and we will NOT reign with Him); yet even when we deny Him, He remains faithful, because He cannot deny Himself (His nature is perfect, He is incapable of being imperfect and "forsaking us" or "being unfaithful").

    Even when we perish, God remains faithful. His faithfulness is a part of His nature. But justice is also a part of His nature---those who rebel and disbelieve, even after having been saved once, He is required by His perfect nature to condemn. Condemnation which does not nullify His faithfulness...

    :)
     
  15. Didaskomenos

    Didaskomenos Voiced Bilabial Spirant

    +40
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    It really depends on when one is really saved, doesn't it? I mean, "he who endures to the end will be be saved." I think that from that salvation, no one will fall away. However, we often put our view of salvation in temporal (time) constraints, and I believe we either are saved or we aren't, and those who are don't fall away. I don't believe anyone is saved yet. Not completely. I think that's where a lot of people get caught up. Is Jesus' redemptive work complete? Yes. Are we saved? Yes. The NT talks at various places about someone having been saved (past), being saved (present), and being saved at some point in the future. After all, Paul said that we, after Jesus' sacrifice, have recieved only the firstfruits of our redemption, and "eagerly await our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies" (Ro. 8:23). Our redemption is an atemporal (timeless) reality.
     
  16. LouisBooth

    LouisBooth Well-Known Member

    +62
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    "The fact that God is faithful simply does not transfer to the "indissoluability of our salvation". "

    Umm..that's what the verse says :) It says once you're saved you're always saved.

    "As 2Tim2 says, if we deny Him, He will deny us "

    This isn't applicable because someone with true faith won't do that. :)
     
  17. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +384
    Christian
    Really? "If some did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?" Rm3:3

    You understand that "the UNBELIEVERS" are still SAVED? God is faithful and somehow He bestows salvation on unbelief??? Can you please help me to understand that???

    ("he who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God"---but you say "he who does not believe" is saved???)
    Sometimes semantics can be confusing. The Bible is very clear about the difference between "SALVATION" and "ETERNAL LIFE". In 1Jn5 it says, "He who HAS the Son has the life; I write this that you can KNOW you have eternal life". But this fits perfectly with the concept that "salvation is ABIDING in Christ" ("Abide in Me, and [I will] abide in you"). So that, while we abide in Him, we have eternal life. This does not dispute the reality that eternal life does not exist until after death (or after Jesus' return). John absolutely validates what I have just said in 2:1:8-9. If you do NOT abide in Him & His teachings, you do NOT have eternal life.

    In the verse "he who endures to the end will be saved" absolutely says that his salvation, enduring-to-the-end, becomes eternal life...
    This is the "catch-22" of the OSAS perspective. If they are now FALLEN (not-saved), then they MUST never have been saved in the first place. But that absolutely calls the Bible, a LIE. Because of all of the verses that undeniably speak of "saved-people-who-fall-from-salvation". Do you want the Scriptural quotes again?


    (Sorry, guys---at home I get ONE PAGE LOAD, and ONE POST. Then my computer is fried, and I hafta do a hard reboot. Wish I knew how to fix it. Wish I knew if it was the computer or this site...)
     
  18. LouisBooth

    LouisBooth Well-Known Member

    +62
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    "Can you please help me to understand that??? "

    Sure..its God that supplies the faith...true faith..hence our salvation isn't dependant on us.

    "If you do NOT abide in Him & His teachings, you do NOT have eternal life. "

    That's true because if you don't you don't have true faith, as Paul says, "If I rebuild what I destroyed, I prove that I am a lawbreaker.." That says OSAS..this verse is speaking on how to recognize true faith :)

    "Do you want the Scriptural quotes again?"

    If you want. I have gone through each one with you already while you still haven't addressed several I and others have put forth. Just yet ANOTHER question...why make the comparision of spiritual birth to natural birth? One main reason..both only happen once. If they happen more then once you, "crusify christ again." which according to the bible is WRONG.
     
  19. Didaskomenos

    Didaskomenos Voiced Bilabial Spirant

    +40
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Ben,

    The semantical/lexical problem is with the modern idea of "salvation." It is a word with so many meanings that it probably shouldn't even be used. (Like that'd actually happen!) You're saying there's a difference between salvation and eternal life. I say that's what our salvation is - and our eternal life begins once we believe. One of the themes of John is the "abundant life" motif, and it is presented as one of the primary "perks" of faith in Christ.

    I don't really disagree with you on the issue of OSAS. My statement, "I believe we either are saved or we aren't, and those who are don't fall away," does not take place until the end, when we are returned to God's time construct. Indeed, that was the point of my quoting "he who endures to the end." We may very well fall away while on the earth, but in an eternal perspective, the person who isn't finally saved isn't saved at all. C.S. Lewis wrote in the Great Divorce, "There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.'"
     
  20. Ben johnson

    Ben johnson Legend Supporter

    +384
    Christian
    Remember, I have been "39-years-old", for a couple of years now! ;) The memory ain't what it used to be... Please refresh my memory about what Scriptures I have not addressed?

    The "Spiritual Birth", according to the Bible, can happen more than once. Since salvation is "abiding in Christ", being "born again" is identically the same as "fellowship with/in/through Jesus". Specifically, "I have been crucified with Christ, it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me..." Gal2:20 But---if I was to disbelieve, I am no longer "in Christ", am I? He would no longer be my Lord and Master, would He? Is there some rule that prevents me from returning to belief at some point in the future? Certainly not! The whole point of the parable of the "Prodigal Son" (Jn15) IS leaving-and-then-returning-again. "My son was lost, now is found! Was dead, now is alive again".

    Alive, dead, alive again. Very clear...

    Hi, Did! I think we have only a slight disagreement. "Eternal Life" is "Heaven", which does not occur until we die. Or are "caught-up-with-Him".

    If "those-who-are-saved", how do you accomodate 2Pet2? "Seeking to entice the ONTOS-APOFUEGO-TRULY-SAVED. For if, after having EPIGNOSIS-RIGHTLY-KNOWN the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in the defilements of the world and overcome..." Are these "truly saved" not then, "unsaved"???

    Or does "dispensationsim" cover this problem???
     
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