Once saved, always saved?

General discussions about Christianity including salvation, heaven and hell, Christian history and so on.
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#16

Post by Anonymous » Thu Oct 14, 2004 8:55 pm

Let's rephrase the question to avoid having to deal with two prespectives namely God and ours.

Is it possible for someone to recieve the holy spirit by faith and then lose him? Is it possible for one to be Justified by faith and then lose that faith and no longuer be justified.

I have trouble with this question. I see many scripture that seem very obvious that this is infact possible. But i also see the doctrine of election as very solid in the bible which logically points to the opposit.

There is one thing I want to clarify. When someone says that one cannot reject Christ after he has accepted him, it is not meant by this that the man has no free will. Nor does it mean that the man COULD not reject Christ. Rather it means that man who once accepted Christ WOULD not reject Christ. God, through the work of his holy spirit and under his councel, would not allow that man to be driven to a point where he would want to reject Christ.

As to where i stand on the whole Calvanism thing. I would have to say i'm the most moderate Calvanist ever and the most conservative Arminist ever. I cannot explain my position because I believe the truth lies somewhere in between that cannot be explained. I accept all points of Calvanism except limited atonment. But at the same time i accept that free will is found, as having to do with the final outcome, in each of the 4 points. How? I don't know.

So can one lose his salvation? If I had to answer with a strait yes or no, i would have to say no. But i say this with a lot of reluctance.

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#17

Post by RGeeB » Fri Oct 15, 2004 1:21 am

Is it a safe assumption to make that people discussing this doctrine are not in danger of falling away from the salvation process themselves? (I'm assuming now that salvation is complete only when a person inherits eternal life).

The people who are the subject of this debate have rejected the gift of God. The 'once saved, always saved' assumption is not the primary buffer they use for not walking the Christian Way. I'll guess that its the 'cares of the world'.

Also, from my research, I'm inclined to believe that the statement of justification and receiving the Holy Spirit are two separate incidents - One, with works reflecting repentance and the other with charismatic gifts - which the recepient receives as a discernable seal (might open another can of worms here!).

So, does the Holy Spirit help us walk the narrow way? Yes, and if we start getting choked, He can leave us - and that makes falling away all that more easier. (like king Saul in I Samuel).

Since God works outside of time He is able to both pre-destine and blot out names from the Book of Life.

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#18

Post by BavarianWheels » Fri Oct 15, 2004 8:03 am

Kurieuo wrote:Therefore, what counts salvation-wise after acceptance is that our hearts desire continues to be for God. In this way it could perhaps be said that salvation is ongoing. And also, it is in this way we will also want to change our ways for God. However, I would vehemently deny it is ongoing in the sense that we must continue being flawless, because otherwise we will loose our salvation in those moments we sin.
Agreed. :)
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#19

Post by Jac3510 » Fri Oct 15, 2004 11:07 am

You guys have to decide what sense you are using the term "salvation" in. If you are referring to it as the completion of the sanctification process, then you can't "lose" it because you never "have" it. This, I gather, is how K and Bav are presenting it.

I, on the other hand, use the term "salvation" in the sense of "being saved from sin." This directly correlates with justification.

Mark, you asked:
Is it possible for someone to recieve the holy spirit by faith and then lose him? Is it possible for one to be Justified by faith and then lose that faith and no longuer be justified?
The short answer is no. If you have been justified of your sins, the the answer is just that. You have been justified. YOU didn't justify yourself, so YOU can't unjustify yourself. Sin, all of it, has been paid for in your life. I challenge you to show me a single passage of Scripture that says that you can lose your stance of justification. You'll find that you can lose your position in the sanctification process, but never in being justified. That is a one time event.

This means that all people who have ever been justified of their sins will enter into Heaven. That does NOT mean that all will be equally rewarded (see my previously mentioned 1 Co. references).

It is in that sense that I say "once saved, always saved" is true. To assert otherwise is to insist that you have to work to maintain your salvation. This is true even if you view "keeping your faith in Jesus" as a requirement, because it makes faith itself a work. Now, I totally agree that works are the basis of sanctification. Further, I believe that it is not works that saves, but a faith that works that saves. More literally, grace does not save through faith, but through faith that works, and to get even more technical, grace does not save through faith that works, but better grace saves through properly placed faith and results in works. What is properly placed faith? Trust that Jesus Christ is the ONLY means of salvation. If you have absolutely any part of yourself in the process, then you are like Peter who said that Jesus wouldn't wash his feet. We all know Jesus' response to that!

I'm not a Calvinist. Perseverance is too much of a step for me, but assurance--unconditional assurance--is, in my view, the correct theological position.
RGeeB wrote:I'm inclined to believe that the statement of justification and receiving the Holy Spirit are two separate incidents - One, with works reflecting repentance and the other with charismatic gifts - which the recepient receives as a discernable seal (might open another can of worms here!).
I did want to comment on this . . . I'm not entirely sure what you are getting at. Do you really mean the "receiving" of the HS is different from justification? I would say that the "filling" of the HS is . . . but not "receiving." The latter happens when you are sealed, and that happens the moment you are justified. As you go on to note, the Spirit can leave a person if he rejects Him after finding grace, and in that sense, he is worse off that before--a dog returning to his vomit as Bav. pointed out. For him, "it is impossible to return again to repentance." (Heb 6:4). That, though, doesn't mean he's lost your salvation. It means he has forsaken the sanctification process. Salvation is assured, but "as by fire."

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#20

Post by Kurieuo » Fri Oct 15, 2004 8:00 pm

Just think I should recover some good points that I had only sped over when I wrote my previous few posts.
Jac wrote:The first thing you need to understand is that salvation itself isn't completed until death. People equivocate "saved" with "salvation," and, as such, they come to faulty conclusions. There are three things that go specifically into this process:

1) Justification
2) Sanctification
3) Salvation
I'd agree with these in all the senses you've described. I've not studied all these concepts as much as I'd like to have (and I think Martin-Lloyd Jones, great theologian who first made me really understand "grace," offers up some further distinctions if I remember correctly), and so bear in mind I'm not speaking with any real decisiveness but still desire a deeper understanding on these things. That said, I think there are perhaps at least two senses of "justification" being used within this discussion. One is in the sense of redemption, which you assign to it above, and which I would also agree with. The other is justification at the end of things, which shouldn't be confused with the former, and which is where "salvation" (in the sense you described) becomes "official." Now I don't believe this is a master key to unlocking the entire puzzle before us, but I do believe it is one to help us understand.
Jac wrote:Here's the deal: the literal way to say it would be, "Once justified, always justified." You, I think, were seeing this when you said, "What about the sins I commit, following this?" When Jesus justified you of your sins, He justified you of ALL of your sins. He "declared you righteous."

And further on you also write: "If humans have free will, they must be able to reject Christ, even after their salvation. Now, I disagree with the last four words. Once God justifies of your sins, how can you "unjustify" yourself? Would it not be a sin to turn your back on God? But has that sin not already been justified? And would this not make God a liar? He has, after all, declared you righteous the moment you accepted Him as your savior. Must He now declare you unrighteous? Can we undo the works of God? In any case, how would that work? As noted above, your sins have been paid for. How can you take upon you a new debt? Is sin still not sin?"
I'd like to add strength to your argument, but then take it away (after having thought it through and come back to edit this sentence ;)). If one becomes "born again" (i.e., born of the Spirit), then can one become unborn? It seems impossible. Yet, following the analogy through (and remember its only an analogy), we can turn our back on God and there is nothing I see which says we can't be outcast from God's family though we were born into it. The dilemma you pose above still remains... yet, I do have more to offer.

We become justified from our sin at the moment of accepting Christ, therefore our sins are not counted against us. The dilemma you pose is that if we turn our back on Christ (to be viewed as sin), it has also been forgiven. One can opt out by saying this is one sin that is not forgiven by associating it with the exception in Mark 3:28-30 (which I think there is room to do, although I'm hesitant to do so as it raises another issue that doesn't sit well with me, which is, whether someone who comes to Christ and then turns away is lost forever). Then another is to associate justification as being dependant on acceptance of Christ's forgiveness. So to someone who accepts Christ's forgiveness they will always be forgiven. However, the person who turns away from Christ can no longer be forgiven because they have forfeited their forgiveness of all present and future sins. I'm inclined to go with this latter approach.
Jac wrote:So, in salvation, we see that I was saved (justified), and am in the process of being saved (sanctification), and I will be saved (salvation) in the Last Day from God's wrath.

You write in your last post: "You guys have to decide what sense you are using the term "salvation" in. If you are referring to it as the completion of the sanctification process, then you can't "lose" it because you never "have" it. This, I gather, is how K and Bav are presenting it... I, on the other hand, use the term "salvation" in the sense of "being saved from sin." This directly correlates with justification."
I'm not sure I'd agree with your use of saved in the first quoted paragraph, though if you substitute the words justified, sanctification and salvation I'd be more accepting. Your assigning "saved" to three different meanings is perhaps also just as blurred as our (BW's and myself) lack of defining salvation thus far. Yet, throughout this discussion I'm beginning to think there is perhaps a three-fold understanding of the three based on tense (i.e., past, present, and future)... and I think your three-fold understanding of "saved" above also hints at this. In other words—and I am only developing my thoughts on this and offering them up as something to work with—it could be said I am saved, being saved and will be saved; I am justified, being justified and will be justified; I am sanctified, being sanctified and will be sanctified. I can see truth to each one, which suggests to me that though such is perplexing, it can't be illogical. Instead it must be a paradox (funny how in Christianity they come in 3's ;)), or a matter that requires more careful analysis and deeper reasoning.

Kurieuo.
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#21

Post by Kurieuo » Fri Oct 15, 2004 8:24 pm

RGeeB wrote:Is it a safe assumption to make that people discussing this doctrine are not in danger of falling away from the salvation process themselves? (I'm assuming now that salvation is complete only when a person inherits eternal life).
:lol: - studying the early Christian fathers and beliefs has certainly expanded my view on what should be open to discussion (and belief).

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"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved." (Romans 10:13)

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#22

Post by Felgar » Tue Nov 09, 2004 2:21 pm

Jac3510 wrote:This means that all people who have ever been justified of their sins will enter into Heaven. That does NOT mean that all will be equally rewarded (see my previously mentioned 1 Co. references).
I know I'm late to the conversation but there's a scripture I didn't see referenced. I completely agree with Jac on this... Eternal reward (not Salvation) is what is contingent upon our behaviour in life. So can we accept Jesus as our Saviour, turn completely from him, and still be saved? Yes but it's a bad idea because we're not living how we should. Granted our place in heaven would be pretty low, but it would nevertheless be there. Anyways, here's the scripture:

1 Corinthians 5:3-5
Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

Some texts apparently replace 'sinful nature be destroyed' with 'flesh be destroyed.' At any rate, to me this would indicate that the sinner in question is handed over to Satan to live his life in sin, which will undoubtedly destroy his flesh. Yet he remains saved.

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#23

Post by BavarianWheels » Tue Nov 09, 2004 2:27 pm

Felgar wrote:
Jac3510 wrote:This means that all people who have ever been justified of their sins will enter into Heaven. That does NOT mean that all will be equally rewarded (see my previously mentioned 1 Co. references).
I know I'm late to the conversation but there's a scripture I didn't see referenced. I completely agree with Jac on this... Eternal reward (not Salvation) is what is contingent upon our behaviour in life. So can we accept Jesus as our Saviour, turn completely from him, and still be saved? Yes but it's a bad idea because we're not living how we should. Granted our place in heaven would be pretty low, but it would nevertheless be there. Anyways, here's the scripture:

1 Corinthians 5:3-5
Even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. And I have already passed judgment on the one who did this, just as if I were present. When you are assembled in the name of our Lord Jesus and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.

Some texts apparently replace 'sinful nature be destroyed' with 'flesh be destroyed.' At any rate, to me this would indicate that the sinner in question is handed over to Satan to live his life in sin, which will undoubtedly destroy his flesh. Yet he remains saved.
And so what do we do with the texts that the warn us of deceivers, the A-C, of wolves among the lambs, of continuing in faith, of watching, of perserverance...???

Are you saying that, had Hitler been "saved" at some early point in life, his actions later have no bearing on his salvation vs. damnation?

Where does repentance come in? Or does it in your above opinion?
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#24

Post by Felgar » Tue Nov 09, 2004 2:39 pm

Yeah I hear ya Bav... Yet when it comes right down, if Faith could be lost then it would have to be in some part based on an action on our part; on works. And we're told repeatedly that Faith (well Grace through Faith if you wanna be technical) is what saves, not any work.

And we're also told that works are 'the sumbling block' that the Jews have fallen over.

With regards to the continuing watching, perseverence, etc. those are instructions for how to live... They will leave us better off in this life and in heaven, but are not a requirement for getting there.

With regards to Hitler... The human in me says no way could he be saved. But the heart says I hope he could be. Why? Because if Hitler were originally saved but then unsaved, that would indicate that there's sin that is bad enough to reverse our Salvation. Sin that the blood of Jesus could not cover; that just doesn't jive. If I ever thought that there was sin that Jesus could not cleanse, then I might not be saved because then have I truly believed? Let me say though, I don't think Hitler coud have ever been originally saved because no saved soul would be capable of that...

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#25

Post by BavarianWheels » Tue Nov 09, 2004 2:55 pm

Felgar wrote:Yeah I hear ya Bav... Yet when it comes right down, if Faith could be lost then it would have to be in some part based on an action on our part; on works. And we're told repeatedly that Faith (well Grace through Faith if you wanna be technical) is what saves, not any work.

And we're also told that works are 'the sumbling block' that the Jews have fallen over.

With regards to the continuing watching, perseverence, etc. those are instructions for how to live... They will leave us better off in this life and in heaven, but are not a requirement for getting there.

With regards to Hitler... The human in me says no way could he be saved. But the heart says I hope he could be. Why? Because if Hitler were originally saved but then unsaved, that would indicate that there's sin that is bad enough to reverse our Salvation. Sin that the blood of Jesus could not cover; that just doesn't jive. If I ever thought that there was sin that Jesus could not cleanse, then I might not be saved because then have I truly believed? Let me say though, I don't think Hitler coud have ever been originally saved because no saved soul would be capable of that...
Well...we both agree. There is no sin to "big" that Christ cannot cover.

However, does this "doctrine" of OSAS give the believer license to live however s/he sees fit? Can a Christian man or woman consciously continue (after repenting as we are assuming they are "saved.") in partaking of extra-marrital affairs, prostitution, multiple partners, homosexuality, murder, lies, cheating, hate, racism,...lets even go so far as to say, devil worship? In your words, s/he has already been justified...what do we say about this?

What are the words of Christ to the woman "caught in the act"?
John 8: 10, 11 wrote: Has no one condemned you?"

"No one, sir," she said.
"Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin."
Now...whom to we believe? Apparent interpretations or Christ's words?
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#26

Post by Felgar » Tue Nov 09, 2004 3:16 pm

Don't get me wrong, I would never advocate ignoring any portion of the scripture or His words. But there must be room for careful interpretation of Christ's words. The parables would make no sense if we weren't supposed to interpret them.

I don't see how that passage of the woman indicates the status of her salvation.

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#27

Post by BavarianWheels » Tue Nov 09, 2004 3:40 pm

Felgar wrote:Don't get me wrong, I would never advocate ignoring any portion of the scripture or His words. But there must be room for careful interpretation of Christ's words. The parables would make no sense if we weren't supposed to interpret them.

I don't see how that passage of the woman indicates the status of her salvation.
If God says he does not condemn you, where does that leave you in regard to the sin? It's reasonable to say God didn't condemn her for the sin, and then told her to go and sin no more. Could she go and sin no more? No. We understand she couldn't be perfect...so the interpretation could be to keep yourself as far from sin as possible.

Don't you believe that she received salvation? Don't most Biblical scholars make this woman to be the same woman that pours perfume on Christ's feet? (Luke 7: 36-48 )
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#28

Post by Felgar » Tue Nov 09, 2004 4:08 pm

BavarianWheels wrote:If God says he does not condemn you, where does that leave you in regard to the sin? It's reasonable to say God didn't condemn her for the sin, and then told her to go and sin no more. Could she go and sin no more? No. We understand she couldn't be perfect...so the interpretation could be to keep yourself as far from sin as possible.

Don't you believe that she received salvation? Don't most Biblical scholars make this woman to be the same woman that pours perfume on Christ's feet? (Luke 7: 36-48 )
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Yeah ok, I didn't draw that link - I'm not as well-versed in the Bible as some to be certain. But that's fine; she's saved and Jesus says to go live her life in sin...

So I'm confused... What are you implying about our discussion regarding OSAS?

Edit: Oh, never mind. I misread the passage. My bad. So Jesus tells her to leave her sin. Of course it's should be our desire to never in, even though we will. He's sayig she's dorgiven, now go live a life for Him. Which is good too, but doesn't seem to shed light on OSAS from my perspective.

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#29

Post by Jac3510 » Wed Nov 10, 2004 12:09 pm

Bav, we've said this before. OSAS does not give a person the license to sin. To assert it does is a straw man. In fact, to add even more strength to the argument, look at what Paul says in Romans 6:1. "Should we continue in sin, then, that grace may abound? May it never be!" (NASB)

Why does Paul feel the need to present this argument? His opponents were saying exactly the same thing you are: if you are saved by grace and therefore cannot lose your salvation, then salvation gives a person the license to sin. Paul says this is absolutely not true. We are NOT given the license to sin. Sin is still sin, but it is forgiven. As Felgar noted, and as I have previously said, habitual sin hurts the Christian's rewards in heaven, not his place in it.

Secondly, we've already discussed and come to an answer concerning the question of warnings against falling away. Of course we are warned against it. If you fall away, you will lose your inheritance in heaven (your reward), but not your place in it (which is guaranteed). As I said so long ago, if falling away is a sin, and God has forgiven ALL sins, then how can God re-condemn you for a sin He has already forgiven you for? It isn't logical, and Scripture strongly refutes it.

Justification is final. OSAS is true in that sense. It is the reward that can be lost, nothing more.

BTW, Felgar, welcome to the boards :)
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And that, brothers and sisters, is the kind of foolishness you get people who insist on denying biblical theism. A good illustration of any as the length people will go to avoid acknowledging basic truths.

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#30

Post by Anonymous » Fri Nov 12, 2004 8:15 am

In my analysis OSAS has no strong biblical support.

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