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June 11, 2007

Once saved, always saved

There is a common misunderstanding of scripture and the meaning behind the expression “once saved, always saved“. The basic problem for many people is that people who are saved can “fall away” and stop behaving as a Christian should. Another misconception is that people think this phrase means that once you are saved, you are free to do what you want. This is simply not true. But (and this is hard to accept) your salvation does not depend on what you do but on what God has done. Your good work is an outpouring of your love for God but we are still sinners (even after being “saved”) so we will continue to sin. But because God has changed our hearts toward Him, we are convicted of our sin and compelled to repent. Sometimes we sin hard and the repentance comes slowly (or not at all) But again, it’s not us who does the saving, it’s Jesus through His perfect sacrifice. Here’s a little excerpt from an article on Salvation at Kaleo Church

Can Jesus lose a Christian?

Some people wonder if a Christian can lose their salvation. The Bible, however, states that salvation does not belong to Christians but instead belongs to God (Jonah 2:9). Therefore, the question is not whether or not a Christian can lose their salvation, but rather whether Jesus can lose a Christian.

According to Scripture, Jesus does not lose any people that God has given Him (John 6:39; 10:28; 17:12). The doctrine of the ?Perseverance of the Saints? (sometimes known as ?Once saved always saved?) is very misunderstood, and intricately tied into the doctrine of election. If we are choosing God, then it is certain that we can choose out too.

The traditional Arminian position on the matter is that a believer can ?lose his/her salvation.? This is consistent with that understanding of salvation. However, if God chooses us before the foundation of the world (See question above re: when salvation was determined), then how is that we can lose it? Jesus does not lose those His Father gave Him, period! So what do we do with verses like Hebrews 6:4-6, or 10:29, which seem to indicate that you can lose your salvation? They must be interpreted in light of the nature of salvation, and the nature of God?s role in salvation. It is quite possible that these Hebrew verses reflect individuals that were with us, ?But were not really of us? (See 1 John 2:19). Paul is clear that nothing can separate us from God?s love (Romans 8:35-39) and that even we are unfaithful to God we are secure because He remains faithful to us (2 Timothy 2:13).

Note: It is imperative to realize that this assurance doesn?t depend on you making a choice towards God in some sort of ritual (i.e. prayer, baptism, communion, etc.), but is secured by the work that God, through His Son Jesus, did on the cross. Assurance comes from knowing that God is at work in you (Philippians 1:6 and 1 John). Too often we have assured people they are saved because they grew up in the church, or once said a prayer, but this is simply unbiblical. Assurance comes from trusting in Christ, and realizing that God is growing His love in our lives. It is His Sprit bearing witness with our spirit that we are His.

So, do you believe God can lose a Christian? Learn More

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3 comments

  • At 1:30 pm on June 11, 2007, Bela Wouters commented:

    Can you imagine God having to erase a name which He wrote in the Book of Life? Admitting He was unable to hang onto someone who He had chosen? Giving the devil credit for succeeding in being more powerful than Himself? Unable to hang onto someone because of their will?

    [Reply]

  • At 4:24 pm on June 11, 2007, Wendy commented:

    This is why I find the Arminianism theology so confusing, because on one hand they say that “humans are unable to make any effort towards salvation”, but then they also say that “Salvation can be lost, as continued salvation is conditional upon continued faith.”

    I looked up the phrase “conditional upon continued faith” on wikipedia, and it gave the following description…”The Arminian position is accurately portrayed by someone throwing a lifeline to a drowning man and saying ‘grab hold of this and keep holding on tightly until I pull you to safety.’ I would maintain that no one rescued in this way would dream that he had saved himself or even made a ‘contribution’ which merited his rescue. He would be filled with gratitude towards his rescuer.”

    Again, this confuses me, because it seems more along the lines of “grace” (Jesus saves/rescues you) plus “religion” (but you must hang on/do all you can, etc).

    A better example to help visualize salvation is to imagine that you are dead. God comes along and brings you to life. You contributed nothing and you can not stop Him. But this is getting more into the issue of ‘Free Will’

    [Reply]

  • At 9:27 pm on June 11, 2007, mrc1471 commented:

    well, after reading this, I would say that God cannot lose a christian. but i’m not well versed on biblical things.. michele sent me!

    [Reply]

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