Advent Talk

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  


You can find an active Save 3ABN website at

Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: The false belief of "Once Saved Always Saved."  (Read 1570 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 367
The false belief of "Once Saved Always Saved."
« on: June 11, 2008, 03:02:30 PM »

The false belief of "once saved always saved" really is a variation of saved by (your own) works, as its adherents feel that they did the work so they now have divine pardon for any sin they do instead of repenting from them and letting God work within them. They have no real "faith" in the gift of salvation but depend on their "works" and that is not how Paul shows us in scripture, so far as salvation is concerned, grace and works are mutually exclusive. Salvation is by grace through faith alone; there is no such thing as divine grace plus human "works". "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God--not because of works, lest any man should boast" (Eph. 2:8, 9).*

God's saving grace is: the means whereby "we might be justified . . . and become heirs in hope of eternal life" (Titus 3:7).

God's free gift, "through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith" (Rom. 3:24, 25).

The Bible's teaching however is clear that no person has sinned to much or gone too far to be brought home by God's grace when that person approaches God in absolute surrender and faith. "Whoever comes to me I will never drive away" (John 6:37, NIV) . However, we do not take this "grace" and then say nothing I do will now be sin, or I got a pardon so now I can sin all I want. Even a pardon from the President would not stop the police from rearresting a pardonned felon who then goes and commits a new crime. If we work hard just to get a pardon and care not about what the pardon frees us from and we work to get it just so we can go and commit more sin, then it is not by "grace you have been saved through faith." Here is a good explanation of how by John M. Fowler:

"...Redemption has its source, its means, its completion, in God's love as manifested in Jesus Christ. That's the foundation upon which the entire gospel is built and proclaimed. Those who believe in Jesus are saved, and those who do not believe are condemned. "The gospel . . . is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith. . . . For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith; as it is written, 'He who through faith is righteous shall live'" (Rom. 1:16, 17).

But the very fact that salvation is intertwined in God's love shows that the first limitation of God's grace is our human response to that grace. "God is love" (1 John 4:8), and love cannot force allegiance. All that God does--His plan of creation, providence, redemption, relationship, restoration, and judgment--proceeds from love. While He does not "drive away" any sinner who may come to Him (John 6:37, NIV), He cannot force anyone to come to Him against that person's will.

Freedom of choice plays an essential role in salvation. If salvation comes by a forced allegiance to God, it would not be an act of a loving God, but the desperate measure of a super tyrant--something totally different from the very character of God. Hence God's abundant, free, and all-powerful grace cannot save a sinner unwilling to come to Him and accept through faith the redemption that God has provided in Jesus. Our freedom of choice can effectively limit the working of grace...."

"...Another limitation to God's grace comes from human pride that one can save oneself by one's own works. The doctrine of righteousness by works is as old as sin itself. "The principle that man can save himself by his own works lay at the foundation of every heathen religion," wrote Ellen White.1 ...."

"...Another word for such pretension is legalism. The apostle Paul indicted the Galatians for quickly deserting "the one who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel--not that there is another gospel" (Gal. 1:6, NRSV).
The Galatians, who accepted Christ and entered into a salvation experience through faith in Him (Gal. 3:1, 2), were now in serious peril of losing that experience because they were attributing their salvation to their works. The apostle asked, "Did you receive the Spirit by doing the works of the law or by believing what you heard?" (verse 2, NRSV).

Paul was quite firm: "We have come to believe in Christ Jesus, so that we might be justified by faith in Christ, and not by doing the works of the law, because no one will be justified by the works of the law (Gal. 2:16, NRSV). Wrote Ellen White: The robe of Christ's righteousness, "woven in the loom of heaven, has in it not one thread of human devising."2 ...."

"..We are saved by grace through faith, and the resulting freedom is not meant to live as one pleases, but to live in accordance with God's will, as revealed in His law. Salvation comes by faith, but must lead to obedience, the natural sequence to God's gracious liberation from sin.

Consider Jesus' assertion and hope in John 14 and 15. Just as the relationship of Jesus with the Father preceded His obedience to the Father, so should the disciples' relationship with Jesus precede their obedience to Him. "If you love me, you will keep my commandments" (John 14:15).

Observe the hope Jesus has for His disciples. "Abide in me," He said, "as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me" (John 15:4, NRSV).

Christian discipleship is not the achievement of a moral status, but the reception of Christ's calling; it is not moral perfection, but a constant abiding in Him. Once that abiding is established through faith in God's grace, fruit follows as a natural course. The principle is simple: first love, then fruit; first grace, then obedience......"

Paul wrote: "By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them [the apostles], though it was not I, but the grace of God which is with me" (1 Cor. 15:10).

Paul did not receive grace in order to sin or get to eternal life because he faked it and got a pardon. Nowhere does the Bible teach such a false assumption"once saved, always saved.". It just leads Christians to take their salvation experience for granted and lead lives of lethargy and indifference.

While the power of God's love and grace is great and abundant, it does not guarantee that once a person accepts that love and grace he or she will not fail. Scriptures is clear on this:

"Be watchful, stand firm in your faith, be courageous, be strong" (1 Cor. 16:13).

"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand fast therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery" (Gal. 5:1).

"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil" (Eph. 6:11, 12).

"Let any one who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall" (l Cor. 10:12).

"Be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall" (2 Peter 1:10).

So what do we do when someone comes and ask "I'm saved. Are you?" God says that when we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we receive the gift of salvation (Acts 4:12; Heb. 5:8, 9). No matter how we feel about our status with God, He has promised the gift of salvation to us because we have accepted a relationship with Jesus Christ, and we must speak with assurance of our salvation.

This however doesn't advocate the "once saved, always saved belief." We are created with free choice. We can choose to consistently disregard God's Word, and keep ourselves in league with sin and to sever our relationship with Christ. But we are also not to live in fear of sin in each moment of our lives, never feeling assured of our salvation, that is where faith not works comes in. So you can with assurance say "by grace I have been saved through faith".

The false belief of "Once Saved Always Saved" is a post I made after reading a old article on the issue that I came across, I will try to see if I can find it...
Pages: [1]   Go Up