Monday, May 19, 2014

Once Saved Always Saved vs. Fall from Grace

One Year Bible
New Testament passage for Monday, May 19:  John 10:22-42

2And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.  John 10:28-29 (NKJV)

One of the most hotly argued subjects in the Bible is the security of the believer.  One side says you can't lose your salvation ("once saved always saved") while the other declares that unrepentant sinners will not inherit the Kingdom of God ("you can fall from grace").

It is usually the tactic of both sides to caricature their opponents in the worst possible light.  Those who believe you can lose your salvation say "once saved always saved" people give license to live like hell and still claim heaven.  On the other side of the coin, security Christians criticize the "fall from grace" people saying a person can get saved again and again -- maybe several times in one day depending on how active their sin life is!

Both sides marshal considerable Scriptural ammunition to make their point.  For my part, I believe that salvation has sticking power.  I acknowledge that many people who CLAIM to know Jesus simply do not act like it.  It is difficult to affirm their salvation based solely on a hand-shake with a preacher 30 years ago.  However, IF a person is truly regenerate -- they really did meet the living God and receive His new life through Jesus -- I believe they will be KEPT by the power of God.

That's what Jesus says here in John 10.  There may be times that we falter temporarily in our faith and go through trials, but the man or woman who has truly been born again is held in the hands of Jesus.  NO ONE can snatch him out!  He may even run from God, but the Hound of Heaven will track him down.

The Reformers called this "the perseverance of the saints."  I actually like that phrase better than "once saved always saved."  The latter sounds like a free ride -- once your ticket is stamped you can do as you please.  I know that no one wants that impression to be given, but it is still there.  "The perseverance of the saints" says that the seed will endure -- it is imperishable.  

The unfortunate problem with many of these arguments about security vs. falling from grace is that we forget that both agree on one thing:  WE ALL NEED TO LOVE JESUS AND WALK WITH HIM.  No "security person" I know says carnality and sin is acceptable.  That is the thrust of the "fall from grace" position.  In the words of Paul, "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  Certainly not..."  (Romans 6:1-2)

Which ever way you stand on this topic, let's agree on this:  God is good -- sin is bad -- believers ought to obey God -- anyone who is living in rebellion against God is in trouble and should repent.

I love it when we can solve the problems of the world so easily.  God bless!!!

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