Once Saved Always Saved
The Once Saved Always Saved debate has been invigorating albeit with not too many participants. I wager that many are most concerned about cleaving to Christ in the Now- If we cleave to Christ, we know we are saved. Salvation speaks to the heart, not to the mind.
There is a prime question to be asked:
QUESTION 1: The proper question is not whether “Once Saved Always Saved” but what constitutes Salvation. This is answered in my next blog.
Contradictions in the Word?
Out of the many Scriptures posted supporting / rejecting OSAS some contradictions have emerged. Are these important? I assert not at all, but as some would use such contradictions to justify OSAS we need to identify and deal with contradictions in Scripture- (PRD)
1Jn 3:6 Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him.
These are powerful words- even if we cast this by the Greek present continuous into “continues to sin” there is a problem, how so?
There are a great many passages- including those I quote in this blog where Scripture identifies and addresses persons as believers ( Heb 6: 4-12 one example) yet warning them of destruction if they continue their behavior. In certain instances Scripture further qualifies that these believers have participated in communion with the Holy Spirit.
To properly answer the matter of scriptural contradiction would detract from the flow of this blog (ask and I will explain) so or now, I offer this:
the problem lies with human language and what I term “Greek Thinking”. Fact is there is nothing sacrosanct about the rules of Logic. These are not immutable principles and Mathematics itself discovered in the early 20th century that there are inherent contradictions in Mathematics and Logic that no Theory of Logic can bridge. So, why hold onto an idea of interpretation rooted in the world where the world has discarded this.
God’s word encapsulates TRUTH. God’s Truth is above human thoughts and human thinking generally.. This is stated in Isaiah 55: 8,9
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
To escape conflict of logic, we require that the Same Spirit who transmitted the Word, interprets the Word. (2Pe.1:20,21, 1Jn 2: 26, 27, Jn 14, 16)- Often believers interpret Scripture through the natural mind- hence the plethora of divisions and conflicting opinions on fundamental Scriptural principles. Such division is the hallmark of the fallen mind and the curse of Babel.
My contention is that the human natural mind is often at work building up an understanding of Scripture; this rather than through discernment from the Holy Spirit. The natural mind is an integral part of the old man. Scripture needs be interpreted by the Spirit in the context of our New Mind, the Mind of Christ. Paul describes this mind in various passages Ph.2:5-8, Ro.12:2…. Before all else make a determination that the Mind of Christ is renewed within you!
Definitive Scriptures that address Once Saved always Saved
What do I mean by definitive?
A useful example being the account of Noah’s flood (Ge. 7). Certain Christians have asserted that “the flood was not overly boisterous” However we read “… all the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered by water….every living thing that moved on the earth which had the breath of life perished…”. I am amazed at the flexibility of language that allows such diverse interpretation. Fact is, the language of Genesis 7 is literal and emphatic- Noah’s flood was detestation and if not, nothing is certain in Scripture.
Here are certain definitive Scriptures on OSAS
(1) The Parable of the Talents: Mathew 25: 14…
(2) The parable fo the Ten Virgins: Mathew 25:1….
(3) Eternal babies- Hebrews 5-6
(3) the Son of God address to his Churches: Rev: 2-4
Parable of the Talents & Virgins
In the parable of the Talents: who is the master who departed on a journey? Who are the servants – are these believers or unbelievers? How do we relate to the punishment of the servant who did nothing with his talent? Was this but a chastising preceding reconciliation or a revoking of relationship?
In the parable of the Ten Virgins- again we ask precisely the same questions. The very text of Scripture by stating these as virgins declares that they have been cleaned by the Son of God. If the use of “virgins here does not constitute this” then this would bring into question the semantic accuracy of verbal inspiration by the Holy Spirit. Likewise- the end described for 5 of the virgins is horrific.
Some might make a distinction between their rejection at the Wedding Feast yet redemption at the final judgment. I haven’t read this argument advanced but do we wish to chance our “knowing of Christ” on some strange presupposition?” I think not.
The Son of God to the Churches Rev: 2-4
> These Scriptures are special for here we have the Risen Lord addressing the lifestyle of believers.
I take but one church that at Thyatira. The Son of God cuts to the core singling out Jezebel-
(Rev 2: 20, 21) Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow[ that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.
Jezebel’s status as a believer is uncertain but those of her followers is not for Jesus refers to them as “My Servants”. This passage does not declare the final end of Jezebel or her seduced followers. But if we consider Jesus’ warning to the luke warm “Laodician church”, whose fate is to be “spat out of the Son of God’s mouth, then the matter is clear.
Believers can fall away when they walk in contempt of the Lord- the solution given by Jesus in his address to the 7 churches is repent and submit to the instruction and guidance of the Seven fold Spirit!
Eternal Babies: He. 5: 11-14, 6: 1-12
Some learned Christians argue that the parable of the talents and virgins does not necessarily apply to believers. On questioning this strangeness- I discovered that in their book, it did not seem to apply to any real grouping but was some type of allegory that applied to a unique category
” no one in particular? ”
So, I point to Hebrews 6. (He: 5: 11-14, 6: 1-12)
In this passage the Apostle to the Hebrews is lamenting that certain of the Hebrew Christians are failing to progress beyond the stage of babies. What is their problem? probably yet again these Hebrews were mixing Grace with Law, works with faith.
So the issue is not infirmity of mind but infirmity of spirit. Our believer gatherings are filled with such believers. They clog the works, monopolize food and attention intended for the willing and sow dissension and disruption where-ever they go. Many amongst us have been there in some form or other.
The warning goes so:
> (Heb 6: 4-6) For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.
> (Heb 6:7,8) For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God; but if it bears thorns and briers, it is rejected and near to being cursed, whose end is to be burned.
Who is addressed by this Scripture? We are told they are believers: for these are enlightened, and have partaken of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit’s use of land as an analogy is perfect, for we are told that land which fails to respond is near to being cursed and its end is to be burnt! Land that is cursed is dead land- such land will be burnt- and the burning refers to the fires of Gehenna where the fires are perpetual.
With Fear and With Trembling
Phil 2: 13, 14: “Therefore my dear friends, as you have always obeyed not only in my presence but now in my absence- continue to work out your Salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose”
Why fear and trembling? Attitude driven by the knowledge that it is God prompting or directing our activities? If I know that God is directing my promptings- surely this makes me cautious and respectful to act quickly in the way God is directing?
Paul lays it out- Salvation must be treated with respect and with an attitude of fear of God! What does this expression mean: that we should live in a state of perpetual anxiety? No- translated it means “deep reverence”- approach God not as your baseball pal or your Nintendo partner but as the great Spirit who holds in his hands the life of all! He is your Father, not your pal.
This falls squarely into line with the consistent message presented in all Scripture but in particular Proverbs (3,4, 8 and 9). Fear of God and Humility are the clothes that attract God’s attention.
Any believer is able to study the bible and grow in complete knowledge of the Gospel truths. We have the Spirit and with the right attitude the Spirit will teach us through Scripture. Don’t waste time on philosophical questions such as “is my eternal life guaranteed or not” but rather “Am I cleaving to Christ”. For to have Christ is to have eternal life (Jn.17:3).
To know the unfolded meaning of faith, truth, salvation, righteousness…. is inspiring and wonderful but more wonderful and rewarding is simply cleaving to the Lord, ensuring his will is prominent and that your ways and path is pleasing to him. . We do this by simple checks and audits. All of this requires that the Holy Spirit is active in our spirit- approving, warning and directing.
It is not possible to switch the “holy Spirit channel” on when confronted by an emergency and then toggle off to delete annoying “Godly Messages”. Don’t do this, for you will lose the substance of faith, the channel will rot and when the day of your Messiah arrives you will be caught unaware.
Next blog: The Puzzle Piece “S”
Here I answer the dangling question: what is this thing “Salvation” how does it relate to the other puzzle pieces?