Salvation, Forgiveness, Grace, Faith, and Works

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Chester

Senior Member
May 23, 2016
4,024
1,245
113
#1
This thread is to answer the accusation that the person who does not believe in “once saved always saved” must by definition also believe that works are then what keeps the Christian saved. I do not believe in OSAS, but am adamantly against the idea that works are what keep me saved or that salvation has to be earned or somehow kept by my good works.

You will notice that besides a few verses, I do not quote a lot of Scriptures. That is on purpose. I am giving my personal beliefs that I have come to from a study of Scripture, my own background, and other influences in my life. Believe me, I could “prooftext” my comments below with verses, but prefer to be honest that this is a summary of my personal beliefs.

What I am looking for on this thread? I want anyone and everyone to look at these ideas, tear them apart, tell me where you think they conflict with Scripture, tell me what you like, argue (is “dispute” a better word? :) with me and with others, etc. But let’s be civil, kind, fair, and agree to disagree (which we will need to do, I am sure :) Feel free to ask questions if you want me to explain something. It seemed there is much more I should say, but this is already much longer than I wanted.

I hope to be a better person and have a better theology once you are all done! (And thus to better understand and love my Lord!)



How does a person come to initial salvation (justification, or being born again)?

It happens by the grace of God through my response in faith. the grace of God is the beginning point and the ending point, and our response in faith is only the channel through which salvation comes. But if I do not exercise faith in the finished work of Christ I will never get saved - but to me that is not my work - the faith that I exercise is still the grace of God working in me - Ephesians says - I am His workmanship. When I got saved (born again) I had no doubts about the power of God being able to save me.


How does a person stay saved?

The way I got saved is exactly the same way I stay saved. It is by the grace of God through my response in faith. The grace of God is the beginning point and the ending point, and my response in faith is only the channel through which salvation persists. But if I do not continue to exercise faith in the finished work of Christ I will not stay saved - but to me that is not my work - the faith that I exercise is still the grace of God working in me - Ephesians says - I am His workmanship. When I got saved (born again) I had no doubts about the power of God being able to save me; I have no doubts about the power of God being able to keep me saved.


How and when are sins forgiven? (for the Christian)

This has been a journey for me. I grew up believing that God the Father (as a stern Judge!) marked down every sin I committed. (Let’s see - who really is the accuser of the brethren?!!!). My concept of God was quite warped.

Now I believe that the cross (the blood) of Jesus makes forgiveness available for those who are believing in Christ Jesus. In contrast to some that believe that at the new birth (justification) all sins past, present, and future are forgiven, I believe that at the new birth all past sins are forgiven. From that day on for the believer (those walking in the light - I John 1) the blood of Jesus Christ ongoingly cleanses us from each and every sin (I John 1:7). God does not count the number of my sins, does not condemn me when I fail, but he forgives and forgives, and forgives, and keeps on forgiving. As long as I am believing in Jesus Christ, I am forgiven of any sin I might commit at the very moment I commit it.


How is it possible to love one’s salvation?

Salvation can be lost if a person does not continue to believe in Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. How often does this happen? In my opinion, not very often – I am happy to let God be the Judge in these matters! Many who believe in OSAS will say that many who appear to “backslide” were likely never saved to begin with: I agree with this sentiment. I feel that once a person really knows and understands and experiences salvation and the immense, deep love of my Jesus, it is not just something that will get easily thrown aside!

But having said that, I do stand adamantly against the idea that once a person is saved, there is no possibility of being lost. I think the dividing line is Scripture is that the one who believes is saved, and the one who does not believe is not saved..

How does a person “stop believing”? I don’t know and I never intend to stop believing! The love of my Saviour that I experience day by day is so great that (by the grace of God) I will not step aside! There is no other place of refuge I could turn to in this dark evil world: “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life, and we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the Living God” (John 6:68,69). Yet I also know that if I am honest, I have the moral capability to turn my back on Jesus Christ and to stop believing. The “believing” I am talking about here is not a surface “knowledge of the facts” but is a much deeper “depending and leaning on for life”.

I do know of at least one specific person who clearly believed (at least it so seemed to me) in Jesus, but now is an avowed agnostic. Was he saved or not? I will not be the Judge. Is he saved now? He is by his own admission not believing and not wanting to believe in Jesus. Yet still I will not judge.


Please Note: I am not on this thread wanting or trying to disprove OSAS - that can be argued elsewhere. I mention OSAS above several times in order to differentiate what I believe from OSAS. I prefer to try to keep the discussions to debating the ideas above. HA! I know having said that, that the two are so intwertwined that we need to discuss both. That's OK -- but I just want it to be clear that this thread is not about trying to disprove OSAS.
 
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Marano

Senior Member
Dec 7, 2011
398
32
28
27
#2
If you say your faith is the result of God's grace, and well said according to ephesians 2:8-10, you can't possibly say that the author of your faith and reason you believe will stop that all of a sudden and you'd lose your salvation.

He who began a good work us is faithful to finish it, it's never up to us or our moral choices as you put it since man is dead in sin and trespasses and would never choose Christ in the first place, salvation is a gift of God from beginning to end.
 

notuptome

Senior Member
May 17, 2013
15,050
2,531
113
#4
Poppycock. Salvation is more than believing. Gods grace is more than belief. The redemptive work of Christ is more than belief.

You admit that you are not saved by your will but by Gods grace. How can you then circumvent Gods grace by unbelieving? Salvation is more than belief. Salvation is a complete change, a complete rebirth by the power of God by His determinate will.

The butterfly by his rebirth is completely changed and cannot go back to his prior caterpillar state. Even the simplest of creatures in nature testifies against the idea that man can cast off or lose that great transformation the God has done in his soul. The natural revelation and the divine revelation both testify that the new birth in Christ cannot be reversed.

For the cause of Christ
Roger
 
E

eternally-gratefull

Guest
#5
This thread is to answer the accusation that the person who does not believe in “once saved always saved” must by definition also believe that works are then what keeps the Christian saved. I do not believe in OSAS, but am adamantly against the idea that works are what keep me saved or that salvation has to be earned or somehow kept by my good works.

You will notice that besides a few verses, I do not quote a lot of Scriptures. That is on purpose. I am giving my personal beliefs that I have come to from a study of Scripture, my own background, and other influences in my life. Believe me, I could “prooftext” my comments below with verses, but prefer to be honest that this is a summary of my personal beliefs.

What I am looking for on this thread? I want anyone and everyone to look at these ideas, tear them apart, tell me where you think they conflict with Scripture, tell me what you like, argue (is “dispute” a better word? :) with me and with others, etc. But let’s be civil, kind, fair, and agree to disagree (which we will need to do, I am sure :) Feel free to ask questions if you want me to explain something. It seemed there is much more I should say, but this is already much longer than I wanted.

I hope to be a better person and have a better theology once you are all done! (And thus to better understand and love my Lord!)
..you may get some flack opening another grace vs works thread..lol so be patient.



How does a person come to initial salvation (justification, or being born again)?

It happens by the grace of God through my response in faith. the grace of God is the beginning point and the ending point, and our response in faith is only the channel through which salvation comes. But if I do not exercise faith in the finished work of Christ I will never get saved - but to me that is not my work - the faith that I exercise is still the grace of God working in me - Ephesians says - I am His workmanship. When I got saved (born again) I had no doubts about the power of God being able to save me.
What do you consider real faith?

And what do you consider grace to be?

How does a person stay saved


I will just say, Just this term would go to show a person has to earn salvation.. if he has to do something to "stay saved" then that salvation is not freely given, but earned.

If someone gives me a gift, And I take it, But I have to do something to keep it. That gift was not a gift, but a downpayment for something the one who gave it wants me to do. That gift becomes a wage, or a salary then, and not a gift.


The way I got saved is exactly the same way I stay saved. It is by the grace of God through my response in faith. The grace of God is the beginning point and the ending point, and my response in faith is only the channel through which salvation persists. But if I do not continue to exercise faith in the finished work of Christ I will not stay saved - but to me that is not my work - the faith that I exercise is still the grace of God working in me - Ephesians says - I am His workmanship. When I got saved (born again) I had no doubts about the power of God being able to save me; I have no doubts about the power of God being able to keep me saved.
Again, we must look. What is faith, And what is grace.

If you believe you are Christ's workmanship then to say one can lose salvation is to claim (in my view) God failed in his workmanship.



How and when are sins forgiven? (for the Christian)
This has been a journey for me. I grew up believing that God the Father (as a stern Judge!) marked down every sin I committed. (Let’s see - who really is the accuser of the brethren?!!!). My concept of God was quite warped.

Now I believe that the cross (the blood) of Jesus makes forgiveness available for those who are believing in Christ Jesus. In contrast to some that believe that at the new birth (justification) all sins past, present, and future are forgiven, I believe that at the new birth all past sins are forgiven. From that day on for the believer (those walking in the light - I John 1) the blood of Jesus Christ ongoingly cleanses us from each and every sin (I John 1:7). God does not count the number of my sins, does not condemn me when I fail, but he forgives and forgives, and forgives, and keeps on forgiving. As long as I am believing in Jesus Christ, I am forgiven of any sin I might commit at the very moment I commit it.
This I will be honest, does not make sense, It says Jesus paid for my sin 2000 years ago. But only past.. If only past sins are forgiven, then there is no way for future sins to ever be forgiven, Because again, Jesus died 2000 years ago.

This does not even get into eph 1, and predestination.. which is another issue you will run into.


How is it possible to love one’s salvation?
Salvation can be lost if a person does not continue to believe in Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. How often does this happen? In my opinion, not very often – I am happy to let God be the Judge in these matters! Many who believe in OSAS will say that many who appear to “backslide” were likely never saved to begin with: I agree with this sentiment. I feel that once a person really knows and understands and experiences salvation and the immense, deep love of my Jesus, it is not just something that will get easily thrown aside!

But having said that, I do stand adamantly against the idea that once a person is saved, there is no possibility of being lost. I think the dividing line is Scripture is that the one who believes is saved, and the one who does not believe is not saved..

How does a person “stop believing”? I don’t know and I never intend to stop believing! The love of my Saviour that I experience day by day is so great that (by the grace of God) I will not step aside! There is no other place of refuge I could turn to in this dark evil world: “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life, and we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the Living God” (John 6:68,69). Yet I also know that if I am honest, I have the moral capability to turn my back on Jesus Christ and to stop believing. The “believing” I am talking about here is not a surface “knowledge of the facts” but is a much deeper “depending and leaning on for life”.

I do know of at least one specific person who clearly believed (at least it so seemed to me) in Jesus, but now is an avowed agnostic. Was he saved or not? I will not be the Judge. Is he saved now? He is by his own admission not believing and not wanting to believe in Jesus. Yet still I will not judge.


Please Note: I am not on this thread wanting or trying to disprove OSAS - that can be argued elsewhere. I mention OSAS above several times in order to differentiate what I believe from OSAS. I prefer to try to keep the discussions to debating the ideas above. HA! I know having said that, that the two are so intwertwined that we need to discuss both. That's OK -- but I just want it to be clear that this thread is not about trying to disprove OSAS.
It seems your using john 3: 16, That one who is believing has to continue to believe if he wants to be saved.

However. In that same passage, it says one who is beliveing has been given (aorist tense) eternal life. That eternal life can not end, It is not somethign that is maintained by a present state of events, it is something that started at a particular time , and continues, Not to mention, It is called eternal for a reason.. It is not something (as some want to say ) which is not given until the future event when we are ressurected. But something we have. Even john said, He wrote his epistles so we KNOW WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE..



and again, I think the issue comes to the defenition of faith and grace, And is missing the term repent..
 

Chester

Senior Member
May 23, 2016
4,024
1,245
113
#6
Poppycock. Salvation is more than believing. Gods grace is more than belief. The redemptive work of Christ is more than belief.

You admit that you are not saved by your will but by Gods grace. How can you then circumvent Gods grace by unbelieving? Salvation is more than belief. Salvation is a complete change, a complete rebirth by the power of God by His determinate will.

The butterfly by his rebirth is completely changed and cannot go back to his prior caterpillar state. Even the simplest of creatures in nature testifies against the idea that man can cast off or lose that great transformation the God has done in his soul. The natural revelation and the divine revelation both testify that the new birth in Christ cannot be reversed.

For the cause of Christ
Roger
You obviously believe differently about salvation in some ways than I do, but I think there are also a lot of similarities.

I am especially intrigued by your idea that Salvation, grace, and the redemptive work of Christ are "more than belief". I am not sure what I said that made you make those statements, but I definitely would agree with you, though I am not sure what you mean for sure. I would be glad to hear you expound on it more if you want.
 

Chester

Senior Member
May 23, 2016
4,024
1,245
113
#7
..you may get some flack opening another grace vs works thread..lol so be patient.





What do you consider real faith?

And what do you consider grace to be?



I will just say, Just this term would go to show a person has to earn salvation.. if he has to do something to "stay saved" then that salvation is not freely given, but earned.

If someone gives me a gift, And I take it, But I have to do something to keep it. That gift was not a gift, but a downpayment for something the one who gave it wants me to do. That gift becomes a wage, or a salary then, and not a gift.




Again, we must look. What is faith, And what is grace.

If you believe you are Christ's workmanship then to say one can lose salvation is to claim (in my view) God failed in his workmanship.





This I will be honest, does not make sense, It says Jesus paid for my sin 2000 years ago. But only past.. If only past sins are forgiven, then there is no way for future sins to ever be forgiven, Because again, Jesus died 2000 years ago.

This does not even get into eph 1, and predestination.. which is another issue you will run into.




It seems your using john 3: 16, That one who is believing has to continue to believe if he wants to be saved.

However. In that same passage, it says one who is beliveing has been given (aorist tense) eternal life. That eternal life can not end, It is not somethign that is maintained by a present state of events, it is something that started at a particular time , and continues, Not to mention, It is called eternal for a reason.. It is not something (as some want to say ) which is not given until the future event when we are ressurected. But something we have. Even john said, He wrote his epistles so we KNOW WE HAVE ETERNAL LIFE..



and again, I think the issue comes to the defenition of faith and grace, And is missing the term repent..


Great response and some good questions: And EG - I am not so much trying to debate with you here as I am wanting to learn from you. I won't convince you(until heaven :) of all of my views and you won't convince me (even in heaven :) of all of your views LOL!

You ask what I believe faith is and what grace is? Now come on! You know no matter how I answer that someone will back me into a corner! Oh, well -- here goes . . .

faith = believing faith begins with knowing about Jesus and his death and resurrection, and then resting "into" (the Greek uses the preposition "eis" - into - to describe this) this fact - hence I believe a complete understanding of biblical saving faith really includes "repentance". Repentance means "to think differently" - so it is a change of thinking (from my own way to knowing I need Jesus) which will of course result in a change of action

grace - can perhaps be seen as the mercy, love, and power of God all wrapped up in one! -- but why all these different attributes of God that are given in Scripture? We shouldn't just use theses attributes interchangeably - or - what I mean is that the grace of God is not the same as the mercy of God or the power of God, etc. - so what specifically is God's grace? In relation to salvation, it is the starting point and the ending point - grace is nothing related to anything I can or might do - it is completely undeserved by me, it is God showing his kindness love and mercy to a lost sinner to awaken faith in me so that I can hear and believe and then God's grace gives the power, motivation, and will to live for the Lord day by day (the works part)

Honestly - EG - those are pretty "raw" definitions - I purposefully tried to stay away from prepackaged ideas but give my own thoughts.

You said : "I will just say, Just this term would go to show a person has to earn salvation.. if he has to do something to "stay saved" then that salvation is not freely given, but earned.

I very purposefully used the same words to describe my belief in being born again (justification) as I used for sanctification (staying saved). No one has accused me of believing in being saved by works. But I am accused of believing in staying saved by works. I don't understand the difference? Really? I haven't a clue?

Or, let me try to ask it this way: Why didn't you object to my question: "How does a person come to initial salvation (justification, or being born again)? " by saying "Just this term would go to show a person has to earn salvation.. if he has to do something to "get" saved" then that salvation is not freely given, but earned"

Not sure if the above question is clear??

Your "gift" analogy - I did not say we have to "do something to keep it" - I don't believe that way! -- I assume you meant my beliefs make God's gift into wages, etc. (we probably just have to agree to disagree . . .)

The question about forgiveness of past, present, and future sins" Some of our differences is I think how we use the words. Of course even my "past" sins when I was born again were "future" in regard to the chronological time Jesus died on the cross. So do I believe Jesus died to forgive "future" sins - Yes, indeed! Our difference (I think) comes that I do not believe I have a guarantee that my future sins from today on will be forgiven. You believe the cross and blood of Christ brought immediate forgiveness for all those "future" sins when I was born again (I think you think I was born again! :) I believe that all sins I commit are forgiven because of the cross and blood of Jesus as I ongoingly believe.

Let me clarify one statement in the above paragraph here - I said "I do not believe I have a guarantee that my future sins from today on will be forgiven." I don't like how that sounds! I do have a 100% guarantee that as I believe in Jesus my sins will be forgiven. Of course what I meant is that if do not have faith, I will not have forgiveness.

You asked about the tenses in John 3:16. I hesitate using Greek verb tenses to prove doctrine, though it is surely a part of what and why I believe how I do. It's just that if you and I have both decided what we believe, we can take the tense in just about any verse to fit into our system of belief.

But having said that - here is how I would say the last part of the verse: the one who is believing has been given (at that point in time) the gift of eternal life. Eternal life is ours today. Eternal life is a relationship of knowing God (John 17:3). It begins now and will go through all eternity and get better and deeper and richer all the time. I do not think that we can make the definition of "eternal" mean that God has to let us into heaven if we cease to believe. John 3:36 - "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on Him."

EG - You do not have to respond to everything here - but anything you have time for would be appreciated

And anyone else - feel free to respond to this post - I have some pretty "raw" thoughts here!! :)

 
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E

eternally-gratefull

Guest
#8
Great response and some good questions: And EG - I am not so much trying to debate with you here as I am wanting to learn from you. I won't convince you(until heaven :) of all of my views and you won't convince me (even in heaven :) of all of your views LOL!

You ask what I believe faith is and what grace is? Now come on! You know no matter how I answer that someone will back me into a corner! Oh, well -- here goes . . .

faith = believing faith begins with knowing about Jesus and his death and resurrection, and then resting "into" (the Greek uses the preposition "eis" - into - to describe this) this fact - hence I believe a complete understanding of biblical saving faith really includes "repentance". Repentance means "to think differently" - so it is a change of thinking (from my own way to knowing I need Jesus) which will of course result in a change of action
I agree so far and am with you. But I think you forgot a very important fact about what separates a true faith from a perceived faith which is not real (mere belief)

grace - can perhaps be seen as the mercy, love, and power of God all wrapped up in one! -- but why all these different attributes of God that are given in Scripture? We shouldn't just use theses attributes interchangeably - or - what I mean is that the grace of God is not the same as the mercy of God or the power of God, etc. - so what specifically is God's grace? In relation to salvation, it is the starting point and the ending point - grace is nothing related to anything I can or might do - it is completely undeserved by me, it is God showing his kindness love and mercy to a lost sinner to awaken faith in me so that I can hear and believe and then God's grace gives the power, motivation, and will to live for the Lord day by day (the works part)
Is grace only given to a lost sinner? and is it only given to awaken faith so you can hear and believe? Is it not much more than this?

Honestly - EG - those are pretty "raw" definitions - I purposefully tried to stay away from prepackaged ideas but give my own thoughts.
That's fine, But I think this is the cruxt of the issue that separates what you believe and what I believe. And you can not understand what I believe until you understand what these two terms mean.

ps I am not trying to trick you. Peter thinks that, That's why he will never give anyone a straight answer.


You said : "I will just say, Just this term would go to show a person has to earn salvation.. if he has to do something to "stay saved" then that salvation is not freely given, but earned.

I very purposefully used the same words to describe my belief in being born again (justification) as I used for sanctification (staying saved). No one has accused me of believing in being saved by works. But I am accused of believing in staying saved by works. I don't understand the difference? Really? I haven't a clue?


The first part of confusion might be when you say sanctification is the process of "staying saved" can you explain this some more. so I do not misread you.

Or, let me try to ask it this way: Why didn't you object to my question: "How does a person come to initial salvation (justification, or being born again)? " by saying "Just this term would go to show a person has to earn salvation.. if he has to do something to "get" saved" then that salvation is not freely given, but earned"

Not sure if the above question is clear??
I did not say anything about the first, because I have to see what you mean by faith and grace first.. I would be foolish to just assume I know. I try not to assume things, and ask questions first.

Your "gift" analogy - I did not say we have to "do something to keep it" - I don't believe that way! -- I assume you meant my beliefs make God's gift into wages, etc. (we probably just have to agree to disagree . . .)
I was just explaning what most people see when they hear the term, Remain saved. (ie, keep my gift of eternal life) that's all..

It is important, and I think needs discussed.

The question about forgiveness of past, present, and future sins" Some of our differences is I think how we use the words. Of course even my "past" sins when I was born again were "future" in regard to the chronological time Jesus died on the cross. So do I believe Jesus died to forgive "future" sins - Yes, indeed! Our difference (I think) comes that I do not believe I have a guarantee that my future sins from today on will be forgiven. You believe the cross and blood of Christ brought immediate forgiveness for all those "future" sins when I was born again (I think you think I was born again! :) I believe that all sins I commit are forgiven because of the cross and blood of Jesus as I ongoingly believe.
To me (and this is my view) then the person in your gospel is not yet saved, If future sin is not forgiven, then how can I be saved from Gods wrath? Saved from my sin? Saved from the condemnation which the law pronounced on me..

The bible says I am saved, not might be saved.. So there is another issue with terms..lol


Let me clarify one statement in the above paragraph here - I said "I do not believe I have a guarantee that my future sins from today on will be forgiven." I don't like how that sounds! I do have a 100% guarantee that as I believe in Jesus my sins will be forgiven. Of course what I meant is that if do not have faith, I will not have forgiveness.
My response would be, Do you have faith or not. Again, this is why we have to determine what faith is. True faith does not come and go. Especially with someone who has done nothing to stop earning our trust in him.

I can see you stop having faith in man or yourself. Humans fail. and always let us down, But when will, or has God ever let us down.


You asked about the tenses in John 3:16. I hesitate using Greek verb tenses to prove doctrine, though it is surely a part of what and why I believe how I do. It's just that if you and I have both decided what we believe, we can take the tense in just about any verse to fit into our system of belief.

I disagree.. I can not make the aorist tense noun eternal life mean anything else. It stands as is.. Greek is much deeper than English, English tenses are week. That's why at times we must go to the greek.


But having said that - here is how I would say the last part of the verse: the one who is believing has been given (at that point in time) the gift of eternal life. Eternal life is ours today. Eternal life is a relationship of knowing God (John 17:3). It begins now and will go through all eternity and get better and deeper and richer all the time. I do not think that we can make the definition of "eternal" mean that God has to let us into heaven if we cease to believe. John 3:36 - "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on Him."
Why would god call "life" eternal. if it can be lost.

A person
who is not saved is dead. It means he has gained life. and died again.. What God called eternal. was not eternal at all..

And remember, in that last part. Who who does not believe is condemned already (they have not past from death to life. and the wrath of God does abide on them, Why? They have not yet been saved.

EG - You do not have to respond to everything here - but anything you have time for would be appreciated

And anyone else - feel free to respond to this post - I have some pretty "raw" thoughts here!! :)

I try to explain my views, and not leave anything, May get long soon and have to split into separate posts. But it does no good if we do not try to figure out where each other is coming from.
 

PennEd

Senior Member
Apr 22, 2013
10,955
7,146
113
#9
Chester. I believe you have grown since 1st coming here. I'm certain it is the Holy Spirit working in you to try to get you to see what you almost are grasping. You seem to be trying out this idea you've put forth on several threads now that you are saved by Grace but only as long as you continue to believe in Jesus.

To be honest though, this is really a refurbished, repackaged same old doctrine of believing that it is YOU that somehow does, or keeps you saved. I know you insist that isn't the case, but no matter how many times I read and try and see it your way, that is the conclusion I come to.

If God saves you through His Son Jesus, as YOU admit, and Jesus says He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you, how can YOU lose your salvation?

Roger's analogy is accurate. Once you've been born again, baptized BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, YOU are a different, new creation.

The term Baptize is expressed in the idea of a cucumber dipped into vinegar and becoming something completely new and different, a pickle. How does that pickle become a cucumber again?

Pray on it Chester. Embrace it. He loves YOU. He died for YOU. He is NEVER going to leave YOU.

May the Lord's peace fill your heart and mind with His amazing Grace!
 

FlSnookman7

Senior Member
Jun 27, 2015
1,125
132
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#10
I can only comment on my walk with God so maybe this is not what you are looking for but I will give it a go...I believe we who are saved are called by God though i'm not a Calvinist. I believe that when I was saved the dead spirit I inherited from Adam was made alive and combined with the spirit of Jesus and that can never be undone. I believe salvation is the finished work of Jesus and is not dependent on what I do or do not do to gain or maintain it.
I believe I am a new creation in Christ and that my true identity is no longer my flesh or my thoughts and feelings (soul). I believe I am who and what Jesus says I am even though I don't "feel" like a saint and I do not always "think" I am redeemed. I am slowly learning that when I think or feel one way and God's Word says something else, one of us is mistaken....(hint, it is not God who is mistaken).
 

Chester

Senior Member
May 23, 2016
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#11
I can only comment on my walk with God so maybe this is not what you are looking for but I will give it a go...I believe we who are saved are called by God though i'm not a Calvinist. I believe that when I was saved the dead spirit I inherited from Adam was made alive and combined with the spirit of Jesus and that can never be undone. I believe salvation is the finished work of Jesus and is not dependent on what I do or do not do to gain or maintain it.
I believe I am a new creation in Christ and that my true identity is no longer my flesh or my thoughts and feelings (soul). I believe I am who and what Jesus says I am even though I don't "feel" like a saint and I do not always "think" I am redeemed. I am slowly learning that when I think or feel one way and God's Word says something else, one of us is mistaken....(hint, it is not God who is mistaken).
What intrigues me in discussions like this is I often agree with all except a few words.

I think that if you had left out the words "that can never be undone" I would completely agree with every word you said. Of course, I don't understand everything you are saying, but at first glance I say a hearty "Amen"!
 

Chester

Senior Member
May 23, 2016
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#12
Chester. I believe you have grown since 1st coming here. I'm certain it is the Holy Spirit working in you to try to get you to see what you almost are grasping. You seem to be trying out this idea you've put forth on several threads now that you are saved by Grace but only as long as you continue to believe in Jesus.

To be honest though, this is really a refurbished, repackaged same old doctrine of believing that it is YOU that somehow does, or keeps you saved. I know you insist that isn't the case, but no matter how many times I read and try and see it your way, that is the conclusion I come to.

If God saves you through His Son Jesus, as YOU admit, and Jesus says He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you, how can YOU lose your salvation?

Roger's analogy is accurate. Once you've been born again, baptized BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, YOU are a different, new creation.

The term Baptize is expressed in the idea of a cucumber dipped into vinegar and becoming something completely new and different, a pickle. How does that pickle become a cucumber again?

Pray on it Chester. Embrace it. He loves YOU. He died for YOU. He is NEVER going to leave YOU.

May the Lord's peace fill your heart and mind with His amazing Grace!
Ouch! Ouch!

No, not really! but really! If I would interpret only your words (from my viewpoint) I would say you perceive yourself as a wise old veteran of many stormy seas who is now helping a young whippersnap of a sailor who is just trying to guess what a sail actually is! And maybe I am that -- I sure am a work in progress yet . . .

But I do not just read your words, PennEd - I read your heart - I have seen your heart and love for the Lord in your posts and your interaction with others here. You care about people, pray for others, love deeply and sincerely, and go out of your way to avoid strife and dissension.

I have changed since I came here - My reactions and my opinions are much more controlled - I have learned (at least a little) to listen and ask questions before making a judgment. I have learned to love others who disagree with me.

Doctrinally I have changed little - About salvation I still believe what I did when I came here. I guess I have tried and tried to see and understand it "your way" and yet haven't seen it! :) But what I have changed my view on is this: I came believing that a belief in OSAS automatically meant that a person did not really care about (or at least really didn't need to care about) discipleship. I realize now that is not a correct view. I still believe it is a danger of believing in OSAS - that it can lead others to think that it does not matter if they sin.

As I say on the first post here, I am not trying to convince you or others not to believe in OSAS (maybe later :). I am trying to convince others that just because someone does not believe in OSAS, does not mean that it follows that they believe it is works, or themselves, etc. that keep them saved. I have insisted and insisted that I do not believe this and yet people still think I must believe this! You are very nice about it in your post, but it is still clear that you think I must be a believer in a works salvation.

That is OK! I am really not offended - because I see your heart - you just don't get it! but neither do I . . . !!!!!!

I think we will have a swell time in heaven laughing over our ignorance! We do indeed see through a glass darkly!
 

Chester

Senior Member
May 23, 2016
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#13
EG - Post # 8 - great stuff - I will have to wait till tomorrow to answer . . .
 
Jan 15, 2011
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#14
I agree with your original post in many ways Chester. There have been many people who mislabel and characterize those who understand that at the intrinsic level, OSAS is not true as those who believe that works keep mankind saved.

However, I must say that many Christians backslide. I have done it, I know many Christians who have backslid... we are simply human and we have flesh bodies that war against the Spirit. To establish that one was never saved to begin with is to make a heart judgment. This is the only type of judgment we are never called to make. Christians can backslide and do, the important part to remember is that when we repent, He is good to forgive us of our transgression against Him! :) This is a reality in the new covenant that we have a Mediator and Advocate who is good to forgive us our sins when we repent. All He is looking for is for us to purpose our hearts towards Him as broken yielded vessels, not perfection by our own merits.
 

Chester

Senior Member
May 23, 2016
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#15
I agree with your original post in many ways Chester. There have been many people who mislabel and characterize those who understand that at the intrinsic level, OSAS is not true as those who believe that works keep mankind saved.

However, I must say that many Christians backslide. I have done it, I know many Christians who have backslid... we are simply human and we have flesh bodies that war against the Spirit. To establish that one was never saved to begin with is to make a heart judgment. This is the only type of judgment we are never called to make. Christians can backslide and do, the important part to remember is that when we repent, He is good to forgive us of our transgression against Him! :) This is a reality in the new covenant that we have a Mediator and Advocate who is good to forgive us our sins when we repent. All He is looking for is for us to purpose our hearts towards Him as broken yielded vessels, not perfection by our own merits.
I would not disagree with you when you say that "many Christians backslide". I probably wouldn't say it that way because I don't know. I would say that I am not called to make that judgement call. When you say that you have done it, I do not doubt it for you would know your own heart. I have often in my Christian walk become lukewarm, discouraged, etc., but I do not believe that at any time I have lost my faith in Christ. But I believe that it is possible.

My statement in the opening post that probably many who "backslide" were never born again comes from I have seen in my own church and family.
 
E

eph610

Guest
#16
I agree with your original post in many ways Chester. There have been many people who mislabel and characterize those who understand that at the intrinsic level, OSAS is not true as those who believe that works keep mankind saved.

However, I must say that many Christians backslide. I have done it, I know many Christians who have backslid... we are simply human and we have flesh bodies that war against the Spirit. To establish that one was never saved to begin with is to make a heart judgment. This is the only type of judgment we are never called to make. Christians can backslide and do, the important part to remember is that when we repent, He is good to forgive us of our transgression against Him! :) This is a reality in the new covenant that we have a Mediator and Advocate who is good to forgive us our sins when we repent. All He is looking for is for us to purpose our hearts towards Him as broken yielded vessels, not perfection by our own merits.
You make it sound like backsliding is a run of the mill process....this is dangerous theology...you don't go to church on Sunday and on Wednesday wake up and have backslid.....It does not work that way....

Backsliding is a process of the heart growing hard and cold to the truth of Jesus Christ...This is why I disagree with Baptists and other protestant denominations and their definitions of backsliding and re-dedication....

Most of the very real cases of backsliding I have been involved in never ended well....the person had made up their mind, usually through a root of bitterness and hurt/offense they are parting ways with the God and Jesus....not the church....leaving church is the outward sign of leaving God....As much as it hurt not being able to convince them they made their choice....oh and before the usual suspects try to pin the tail on my donkey, please read and heed I said when that person leaves God, not salvation...

Very few of real backsliders re-dedicate....


re-dedication to me is just another "self proclaimed" Christian getting scared about hell and renewing his life insurance and then never changing their life....some same that's fine, I do not share with them on that at all, and it is likely they are not saved at all and only mentally assenting to a scary message on hell.... I say that because growing up I watched the same people come down the aisle either every week, or every time the hell fire Evangelist came to town....they go runnin to GEE-ZUS again....
 

hornetguy

Senior Member
Jan 18, 2016
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#17
Poppycock. Salvation is more than believing. Gods grace is more than belief. The redemptive work of Christ is more than belief.

You admit that you are not saved by your will but by Gods grace. How can you then circumvent Gods grace by unbelieving? Salvation is more than belief. Salvation is a complete change, a complete rebirth by the power of God by His determinate will.

The butterfly by his rebirth is completely changed and cannot go back to his prior caterpillar state. Even the simplest of creatures in nature testifies against the idea that man can cast off or lose that great transformation the God has done in his soul. The natural revelation and the divine revelation both testify that the new birth in Christ cannot be reversed.

For the cause of Christ
Roger
He cannot "lose" it, but he can certainly willingly give it up, IMO, of course.
 

Chester

Senior Member
May 23, 2016
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#18
This thread is to answer the accusation that the person who does not believe in “once saved always saved” must by definition also believe that works are then what keeps the Christian saved. I do not believe in OSAS, but am adamantly against the idea that works are what keep me saved or that salvation has to be earned or somehow kept by my good works.

You will notice that besides a few verses, I do not quote a lot of Scriptures. That is on purpose. I am giving my personal beliefs that I have come to from a study of Scripture, my own background, and other influences in my life. Believe me, I could “prooftext” my comments below with verses, but prefer to be honest that this is a summary of my personal beliefs.

What I am looking for on this thread? I want anyone and everyone to look at these ideas, tear them apart, tell me where you think they conflict with Scripture, tell me what you like, argue (is “dispute” a better word? :) with me and with others, etc. But let’s be civil, kind, fair, and agree to disagree (which we will need to do, I am sure :) Feel free to ask questions if you want me to explain something. It seemed there is much more I should say, but this is already much longer than I wanted.

I hope to be a better person and have a better theology once you are all done! (And thus to better understand and love my Lord!)



How does a person come to initial salvation (justification, or being born again)?

It happens by the grace of God through my response in faith. the grace of God is the beginning point and the ending point, and our response in faith is only the channel through which salvation comes. But if I do not exercise faith in the finished work of Christ I will never get saved - but to me that is not my work - the faith that I exercise is still the grace of God working in me - Ephesians says - I am His workmanship. When I got saved (born again) I had no doubts about the power of God being able to save me.


How does a person stay saved?

The way I got saved is exactly the same way I stay saved. It is by the grace of God through my response in faith. The grace of God is the beginning point and the ending point, and my response in faith is only the channel through which salvation persists. But if I do not continue to exercise faith in the finished work of Christ I will not stay saved - but to me that is not my work - the faith that I exercise is still the grace of God working in me - Ephesians says - I am His workmanship. When I got saved (born again) I had no doubts about the power of God being able to save me; I have no doubts about the power of God being able to keep me saved.


How and when are sins forgiven? (for the Christian)

This has been a journey for me. I grew up believing that God the Father (as a stern Judge!) marked down every sin I committed. (Let’s see - who really is the accuser of the brethren?!!!). My concept of God was quite warped.

Now I believe that the cross (the blood) of Jesus makes forgiveness available for those who are believing in Christ Jesus. In contrast to some that believe that at the new birth (justification) all sins past, present, and future are forgiven, I believe that at the new birth all past sins are forgiven. From that day on for the believer (those walking in the light - I John 1) the blood of Jesus Christ ongoingly cleanses us from each and every sin (I John 1:7). God does not count the number of my sins, does not condemn me when I fail, but he forgives and forgives, and forgives, and keeps on forgiving. As long as I am believing in Jesus Christ, I am forgiven of any sin I might commit at the very moment I commit it.


How is it possible to love one’s salvation?

Salvation can be lost if a person does not continue to believe in Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour. How often does this happen? In my opinion, not very often – I am happy to let God be the Judge in these matters! Many who believe in OSAS will say that many who appear to “backslide” were likely never saved to begin with: I agree with this sentiment. I feel that once a person really knows and understands and experiences salvation and the immense, deep love of my Jesus, it is not just something that will get easily thrown aside!

But having said that, I do stand adamantly against the idea that once a person is saved, there is no possibility of being lost. I think the dividing line is Scripture is that the one who believes is saved, and the one who does not believe is not saved..

How does a person “stop believing”? I don’t know and I never intend to stop believing! The love of my Saviour that I experience day by day is so great that (by the grace of God) I will not step aside! There is no other place of refuge I could turn to in this dark evil world: “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life, and we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the Living God” (John 6:68,69). Yet I also know that if I am honest, I have the moral capability to turn my back on Jesus Christ and to stop believing. The “believing” I am talking about here is not a surface “knowledge of the facts” but is a much deeper “depending and leaning on for life”.

I do know of at least one specific person who clearly believed (at least it so seemed to me) in Jesus, but now is an avowed agnostic. Was he saved or not? I will not be the Judge. Is he saved now? He is by his own admission not believing and not wanting to believe in Jesus. Yet still I will not judge.


Please Note: I am not on this thread wanting or trying to disprove OSAS - that can be argued elsewhere. I mention OSAS above several times in order to differentiate what I believe from OSAS. I prefer to try to keep the discussions to debating the ideas above. HA! I know having said that, that the two are so intwertwined that we need to discuss both. That's OK -- but I just want it to be clear that this thread is not about trying to disprove OSAS.
Ha! Did anyone catch my typo: The dark print heading reads: How is it possible to love one’s salvation?

Very different than what I meant -- Lose!?

Maybe an angel changed it and God is trying to tell me something (that is OSAS is true)!! LOL!

Ha - or maybe the angel is trying to tell others this guy does really love the Lord! LOL!
 

PennEd

Senior Member
Apr 22, 2013
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#19
Ouch! Ouch!

No, not really! but really! If I would interpret only your words (from my viewpoint) I would say you perceive yourself as a wise old veteran of many stormy seas who is now helping a young whippersnap of a sailor who is just trying to guess what a sail actually is! And maybe I am that -- I sure am a work in progress yet . . .

But I do not just read your words, PennEd - I read your heart - I have seen your heart and love for the Lord in your posts and your interaction with others here. You care about people, pray for others, love deeply and sincerely, and go out of your way to avoid strife and dissension.

I have changed since I came here - My reactions and my opinions are much more controlled - I have learned (at least a little) to listen and ask questions before making a judgment. I have learned to love others who disagree with me.

Doctrinally I have changed little - About salvation I still believe what I did when I came here. I guess I have tried and tried to see and understand it "your way" and yet haven't seen it! :) But what I have changed my view on is this: I came believing that a belief in OSAS automatically meant that a person did not really care about (or at least really didn't need to care about) discipleship. I realize now that is not a correct view. I still believe it is a danger of believing in OSAS - that it can lead others to think that it does not matter if they sin.

As I say on the first post here, I am not trying to convince you or others not to believe in OSAS (maybe later :). I am trying to convince others that just because someone does not believe in OSAS, does not mean that it follows that they believe it is works, or themselves, etc. that keep them saved. I have insisted and insisted that I do not believe this and yet people still think I must believe this! You are very nice about it in your post, but it is still clear that you think I must be a believer in a works salvation.

That is OK! I am really not offended - because I see your heart - you just don't get it! but neither do I . . . !!!!!!

I think we will have a swell time in heaven laughing over our ignorance! We do indeed see through a glass darkly!
Yeah, I can absolutely see how my post could have come off as condescension. I'm truly sorry for that.
I'm a little passionate about Trusting Jesus for EVERYTHING, since I have such a long and very painful history when I had thought that My sin separated me from Him after salvation.

Part of that trust now, is KNOWING He will NEVER LEAVE ME nor forsake me. Realizing that,from the Holy Spirit, has given me incredible freedom to be productive for his Kingdom.

You are right though, I don't at all believe your way of thinking disqualifies you from us being together in eternity with Jesus! Peace, Grace, and Love to you brother!
 
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Nov 22, 2015
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#20
I believe a lot of sincere believers have left the church ( not Jesus ) because they could not live this religious Christian life that was being preached to them. They loved Jesus " in their heart" but they didn't want to be a hypocrite so they backed away from the organized church.

Then there is the group that struggled with a certain sin and were never taught about grace properly and so they left because they were defeated. Constantly feeling condemned and guilty and full of shame. The legalists keep preaching at them to change!

The only change that is effective is from the true manifestation of the life of Jesus that is already in us - in our new creation and that only comes with the message of the gospel of the grace of Christ.

I believe there are thousands of Christians like this but I also believe the Lord is bringing them back to Him - only this time it will be based on the true knowledge of Him and His love and grace for them.
 
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