Thursday, July 9, 2009

"Once Saved...Always Saved?"

There are many in the religious community who hold the view that once a person enters into a covenant relationship with God (is saved) that he/she can NEVER fall from that state.

-Although this view may be appealing, Scripture does not support it. Below, we examine some scripture on the matter of "once saved . . . always saved."

Their Argument:
Most proponents of "once saved, always saved" use 2 main scriptures to support their belief.

1. John 10:27-29: "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of my hand. 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."

2. Romans 8:38-39: "For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

*We know that Scripture does not contradict itself. So, with that in mind, let's look at the following scriptures and then discuss the above 2 scriptures in context.

1. Galations 5:3-4: "And I testify again to every man who becomes circumcised that he is a debtor to keep the whole law. You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace."

2. Hebrews 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."

3. 2 Peter 2:20-22: "For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: "A dog returns to his own vomit," and "a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire."

4. Hebrews 10:26: " For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins . . ."

5. Revelation 2:10: " . . .Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life."

6. 1 Corinthians 10:12: "Therefore let him who thinks he stand take heed lest he fall."

7. Hebrews 3:12: "Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God."

8. Hebrews 4:1: "Therefore, since a promise remains of entering His rest, let us fear lest any of you seem to have come short of it."

Other Scriptures:

*Romans 6:1, 2 Timothy 2:17,18, 2 Timothy 4:10, Philippians 2:12, John 15:1-8, and 1John (chapters 1-5)

The above Scriptures clearly indicate that one can fall from grace/ from a saved state with God.

So then, in that context, what do John 10:27-29 and Romans 8:38-39 mean? They simply mean that there is no external source that can take salvation away from you once you have obtained it. However, you can, by choice lay it down.

Thought Question If a child of God could not lose salvation, what then is the purpose of the continual warning to beware of Satan and his devises and of his temptations? If we could not lose our saved state, what difference would it make if we fell to Satan's temptations?

In Conclusion, "once saved, always saved" is a dangerous doctrine. It implies that once we are saved, we can live any sort of way because we can never lose our salvation. Not only is that doctrine dangerous, as the above scriptures clearly teach; it is untrue.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Is Baptism Necessary for Salvation?

There is an on-going debate concerning Baptism. Some suggest that it is not necessary for salvation. Rather, they say, it is just a symbolic act. An outward showing of what has already occurred inwardly. I disagree. Baptism, the New Testament scriptures clearly teaches, is required by God. Therefore, I conclude, it is necessary for salvation. When we refuse to obey God's commands, we surely can not expect salvation. Let's consider the scriptures . . .

1. Matthew 28:19-20: Jesus said ". . .Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world."

2. Mark 16:15-16: And he said unto them "Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

3. Acts 2: 37-38, 41, 47: Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
vs 41- "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about 3,000 souls."
vs 47- "Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."

4. Ats 8:27-39- (Story of Ethiopian Eunuch) vs 35-38- "Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See here is water; what does hinder me to be baptized? And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.

5. Acts 16:25-34- ( Story of the Philippian jailer) vs. 30-34- " And brought them out, and said Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thou house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.


1. Although there are several types of baptisms in the Bible, every last one of the above examples is in-disputably a water baptism. (For this purpose, I deliberately did not include Galations 3:26, 27, 1 Corinthians 12: 12-14 and Romans 6:3-11).-as they are debated and unnecessary in proving the commandment of water baptism.

2. Some argue that belief is all that is required for salvation. I believe these scriptures teach otherwise. Also, please keep in mind that Satan and demons also believe and we know that they will not be saved. James 2:19, 20: "Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"
Matthew 25:41: " . . .Depart from me, ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."

Monday, June 8, 2009

Old Testament vs New Testament?

I've noticed over the years in my discussions with certain individuals that they sometimes use obscure Old Testament passages as the authority for spiritual beliefs that they hold. So, it is important that we discuss early on the respective roles of the Old Testament and New Testament in christianity.

The Old Testament refers to the first 39 books of the Bible (Genesis-Malachi)
-the OT law was given ONLY to the children of Israel. The only way a gentile- non-jew was subject to OT law was if he/she became a jewish proselyte

A. Purpose(s) of Old Testament...
1. It revealed the coming of the Messiah (Isaiah 7:14), his miracles (Isaiah 35:5,6), his preaching (Isaiah 61:1-3), and his resurrection and ascension (Psalms 2:7, 68:18, and 110:
2. It pointed out sin (Romans 3:20)
3. It revealed the coming of a new and better way (Jeremiah 31:31)
4. It was written as a shadow of the new and better way (Hebrews 10:1)
5. It was written for our learning (Romans 15:4)
6. It was written for an example and for our admonition (1 Corinthians 10:11)

B. Problems with the Old Testament
1. It could not take away sin (Hebrews 10:4, 11)
2. It contained faults (Hebrews 8:7)
3. It was intended as only the shadow of the real thing (Hebrews 8:5, 10:1)

The New Testament refers to the last 29 books of the Bible/ Matthew-Revelations

A. When did the New Testament come into effect? After the testator of the New Testament died (Hebrews 9:16)

B. Who is the testator of the NT? Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:14)
1. think of the OT and NT as covenants or wills
2. wills do not come into effect until the owner of the will dies
3. to replace an old will, one only needs to create a new and later one
4. So after Jesus Christ died on the cross, the New Testament came into effect

C. More specifically, the New Testament was made known in AD 33 on the Day of Pentecost in Jeruselem (Acts 2)
1. The New Testament has the ability to take away sins through Jesus Christ's death

D. The New Testament brought over certain themes from the OT. But others were done away with.
1. For ex: in the NT there is no longer a requirement of the sacrificing of bulls and goats
2. For ex: many of the concepts of "the 10 commandments" are brought over in the NT
3. Unless a concept from the OT is reiterated in the NT, christians are not bound by it

Friday, June 5, 2009

7 Quick Facts About the Church of Christ

1. The Church of Christ was foretold in the Old Testament
a. Isaiah 2:2,3
b. Daniel 2:44

2. Jesus Christ promised that he would build his Church
a. Matthew 16:18

3. The Church of Christ was established on the Day of Pentecost
a. Acts 2: (entire chapter)
b. Acts 2:47

4. The Church of Christ is Jesus Christ's spiritual body
a. Ephesians 1:22,23
b. Colossians 1:18, 24

5. The Church of Christ is Jesus Christ's spiritual wife
a. Ephesians 5:23-32

6. Jesus Christ has only one church/body
a. I Corinthians 12:12,13
b. Ephesians 4:4-6
c. Colossians 3:15

7. The Church of Christ is written in Heaven
a. Hebrews 12:23

*There is so much more that the Bible teaches about the Church of Christ.
Some of those facts will be the detailed subject matter of future blogs.
Please feel free to share your thoughts on this and all future subjects.