Once Saved...Always Saved? The Reality of Eternal Security (Search For Truth Bible Series - Book 7)

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He [Jesus] came voluntarily under the curse of God, in order to set us at liberty from it cf. In fact, the Law was 'added' Galatians , it 'came in by the side door' Romans , and was given in order to make men see how necessary dependence on the promise of justification is! We are saved by grace. Just as Abraham was not justified by any work of the Law, neither are we today justified by any "Law of Christ" which is a set of rules that replaces the Old Covenant.

In trying to explain the impossibility of adding works to grace for justification, it is argued that those accepting Church of Christ theology are not doing ENOUGH to satisfy God! How so? Tim Keller in his book The Reason for God explains how a legalist he knows came to understand the problem. She said that the new message of the true gospel was scary. When asked why, she responded:.

I would be like a taxpayer with 'rights'—I would have done my duty and now I would deserve a certain quality of life. But if I am a sinner saved by sheer grace—then there's nothing he cannot ask of me. Yes, works are necessary for salvation; but not our works—rather the work of Christ! While our works are a test of our spiritual hearing, they are the result of our salvation not a cause of it.

We will spend the rest of this section attempting to demonstrate this. What is meant by obedience within the CC seems to be different in the CC than in other parts of Christianity. We do not think you can possibly comply with this request.

Issues with Once Saved Always Saved and Eternal Security Doctrine

The word legalism is derived from the word law. Since you believe that the Mosaic Law has been replaced by a new law code the Law of Christ , doesn't that make you legalists by definition? Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commandments John Isn't it love? Have you subtly abstracted the law of God from its original context?

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Jesus warned the scribes and Pharisees: Woe to you! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law—justice and mercy Matthew What message do you seek to send to non-Christians? Have you added legislation to God's law and treated it as if it were from God? If so, this is a perilous danger! Have you added regulations that seek to bind the conscience? Have you added prohibitions against card playing, lipstick, dancing, wine, etc.

Where are such prohibitions in the Bible? Have you moved subtly from Godly morality into moralism? If so, as theologian R. The Church of Christ's view on justification seems confused and contradictory to us. It always seems to end up with obedience as the way one is justified. When we asked a dear CC friend—who is an elder in a Church of Christ—how he knows that he is saved, he responded, "Because I have been pleasing to God.

Is there anyone who is righteous: Mk , Rom , 1 Jn ? Isn't our justification imputed by the righteousness of Christ rather than from ourselves? As put by C. Moser, "If man pleads his own works, he ignores the blood of Christ. Whoever does that will most certainly be ignored by God. After reading this, what do you now think about the concept of imputed righteousness?

We cannot help but wonder whether the CC fails to appreciate the depth of our sin. The Bible says that "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked Jer It also says that "For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it Jas , Mat So, if you believe the Bible, your heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked.

And assuming that you acknowledge at least some sin, you are guilty of breaking the whole law. Thus, if you are guilty of breaking the whole law, are you really pleasing to God? How can one possibly say that he is pleasing to God?! What seems most ironic is that in spite of its insistence on New Testament commands, the CC seems to have missed the New Testament purpose of the law—which is to show us our own sin Rom There are other examples of how CC theology seems to us to contradict itself. Here is what one CC teacher says: "The church of Christ does not teach salvation by works.

We teach salvation by the grace of God, which is given to those whom God says will receive it: specifically, those who humbly submit to his will. What then is a straight forward answer to how one is saved? If a Christian can sin so as to lose one's salvation, just what sin or sins will place him in such danger? Is it possible to know at what point one has committed such a sin and become lost again?

Please be specific and give clear Bible references. The first law of logic—The Law of Non-Contradiction—says that two distinctly different or opposite things cannot both be true at the same time and in the same sense. So, how is it reconcilable to say that we are saved by a free gift Romans ; from God grace and at the same time imply that the gift is not free —that we are saved by our works after all?

This method of interpretation makes the Bible contradict itself at every turn. Grace does not mean grace; a free gift is not free. Man is not hopelessly sinful; but then again he is. Christ is necessary; but then he isn't. The law does not save; but yes it does and only a Church of Christ preacher can interpret all the details of which works save and which ones don't. This hermeneutic leaves the Bible in hopeless shambles. Is not this exactly what Paul is arguing in Romans and Galatians ?

Let us ask this question of biblical logic: Is grace necessary for salvation? Thus, no matter how hard you labor to earn God's favor, there is still something missing, namely God's grace? We may be very wrong, as we often are. It seems to us that the hermeneutic error that the CC makes is to make biblical statements about justification additive rather than reconciled. So, instead of making conflicting statements about, on the one hand, how we are saved by grace and elsewhere saying that we must be obedient to be saved —a contradictory construction—a better and non-contradictory construction would be to say that we are saved by grace through a type of faith which leads one to conform his life to the will of God.

Does the Bible contradict itself? If so, it cannot be the Word of God. The distinction here may be subtle, but crucial.

Eternal Security Debate with Steve Gregg & Tommy Bertoli, 1 of 2

A friend sent me to your website and I was so enlightened about all of their doctrine. Thank you! It scares me. They proudly state that 'where the Bible is silent they are silent' and 'where it speaks they speak. I have never seen people twist Scripture so much, or take what they want and omit the rest. I have heard them give long-winded, circled-around explanations of Scripture. My heart breaks for them. I truly believe in my heart that church is a cult. Gresham Machen explained that, "Paul as well as the Judaizers believed that the keeping of the law of God, in its deepest import, is inseparably connected with faith.

The difference concerned only the logical Paul said that a man 1 first believes on Christ, 2 then is justified before God, 3 then immediately proceeds to keep God's law. The Judaizers said that a man 1 believes on Christ and 2 keeps the law of God the best he can, and then 3 is justified. Here is where we think the Church of Christ misinterprets the Bible on a very important point. But no one can be saved by keeping the law.

This is the Bible's point when Romans says that the Christian is not under the law. This is far different from saying that the Christian is not obligated to obey the law as a standard of righteousness. Prior to regeneration, a person is unable to keep the law and is condemned for his 'lawlessness.

Christians are not sanctified by the law if one means that the law is added to faith to save someone the Judaizing heresy. If there is anything that man can do to merit or retain his salvation, then there is room for boasting. The Bible says that rebellious sinners do not even add faith ; it too is a 'gift of God' Ephesians Why would one choose to emphasize anything?

Do some passages of Scripture have more authority than others? Is the message of the Bible slanted by arbitrarily emphasizing obedience over grace, when there are over passages in the New Testament that emphasize grace or faith or election as the means to salvation? If you would like to see a comprehensive list, you may email us at mail faithfacts. Are we obedient in order to be saved or because we are saved? Did God choose us before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless? Further, did God choose us, or did we choose God? Perhaps a more poignant question is—Are you now free Gal ?

Or do feel like you are in bondage? Is your burden easy or light chapter 25, What God Requires? What does God really require? While liberals think the Christian faith is a country club, does CC doctrine make it seem like a prison? Is the message of the New Testament simply that one legal system replaced another? Are these men possibly correct that legalism is indeed the "fatal error" of CC theology? But isn't it correct that the Bible teaches that "the law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul" Psalm ?

And isn't the law of Christ described as perfect James ? What law is then perfect—both the "law of God" and the "law of Christ," because they are one and the same! What source does Jesus quote when he declares, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself"? Isn't it Leviticus ? Aren't all Ten Commandments repeated or alluded to in the New Testament? What is the context of the law of Christ in Galatians 6? Isn't it bearing others' burdens with the glory only in the cross of Christ? Please bear with us on some further thoughts on the Law of Christ.

It would be like someone pushing you down into a well, then throwing you a rope. Besides making Jesus into a nasty character, this idea is not biblical. John says that "God sent his son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved by him. We have heard Church of Christ people say that when Paul speaks of not being saved by "law" he is only saying he is not saved by the "Law of Moses.

Here Paul does not use the term law or law of Moses. He uses the term "works. Isn't Paul making a general case that we are not saved by works of any kind? Note Galatians , again in Young's Literal Translation. Doesn't Paul make it clear that no law can give life? And Galatians doesn't Paul further clarify that we are not under any law "guardian"?

Do you think that only those laws that are repeated in the New Testament from the Old Testament are valid? Where is such principle of interpretation found in the Bible? Is there any new law in the New Testament, or only new forgiveness and the fulfillment of the shadows of this forgiveness found in the Old Testament? Do you notice a theme? How can that be? Read his explanation. Clue: It has to do with the New Testament view of the purpose of the law. This brings up another point.

Non-believers are told to repent and believe for example Acts We argue that all other commands in the Bible, including baptism! Are we reconciled to God by what we do or by what God did to present us holy in his sight Col ? How does the CC respond to those who may accuse them of following the letter-of-the-law and not the spirit-of-the-law?

For example, the Bible says we should care for widows and orphans the letter of the law , and were astounded to hear a CC person tell us that charity should thus be limited to these groups. But Jesus gives the example of caring for the outcast and others who need help example, the Good Samaritan and commands us to be merciful Mat Is the CC attitude legalistic in this regard too, adding insult to injury to the Christian faith? Is not faith very much alive before good works are performed, and not because of good works?

Christians in the historic orthodox faith thus believe that we are saved by grace through faith and strongly agree that a faith without works is dead; that is, a true saving faith will be accompanied by works. Christians also believe that faith before it has a chance to work is a saving faith—for example, the thief on the cross. The CC would have others believe that faith is dead until one rises out of the water. Thus, someone on his way to be baptized could not be one whose faith is working by love.

Christians throughout the ages have pointed out that Christianity is uniquely different from all other religions and cults because salvation is through faith and not through works. Can you see that the view of salvation through works puts the CC in close company with false religions and cults? While we are not saying the Church of Christ is a cult, we cannot help pointing out the similarities between the Church of Christ and Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons:. Don't we become sons of God by the power of God and not by the will of man John ? Does anyone really seek after God on his own Romans ?

Don't these verses clarify that it is the work of God, not of man, that saves us? Are we dead in our sins, or just merely sick Ephesians ? Can a dead man respond? Aren't we therefore made alive by the work of Christ alone, just as Larazus was raised from the dead? Just as our physical birth is not something we earn nor have any control over, isn't our spiritual birth likewise something we do not earn nor have any control over 1 Peter ? Here is a single question that may quickly determine whether the CC is in fact legalistic: If it would bring more people to your church to hear the gospel, would you allow instrumental music?

Then, if you are a CC member, would you consider taking this Legalism Questionnaire? The Church of Christ is under the impression that evangelicals have no part for works in the salvation formula. This is incorrect. We have attempted above to show above that the Church of Christ hermeneutic of of legalistic patternism is flawed.

So how should the Bible be interpreted? Because this is so crucial, we repeat. If the Bible is contradictory, it cannot be God's word. Let us examine a statement made to us by a Church of Christ preacher regarding justification how we are saved :. Every person, however, who hears and does what God has said to do in the way that God has said to do it will be saved by the grace of God through the blood of Christ. Is it not clear that this statement—which is typical of how CC folks state justification—is contradictory? As Paul says in Rom , "But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

Paul clarifies what the Church of Christ is risking in its hermeneutic. He states, "I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose Gal It is giving too much credit for sinful man and too little credit to God and Christ's finished work on the cross. Moser, "If man must still work for salvation we have in Christ an atonement that does not atone! This is incomprehensible for our Church of Christ brothers and so too for Muslims, Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Jews, and every other religion.

Yet the Bible insists over and over again that we are saved by faith and specifically not by our works Romans chapters , Galatians chapters , Ephesians chapter 2, Titus chapter 3, etc. Yet the Bible commands us to obey! So how do we reconcile faith and works? We have asked the CC why they keep coming back to James 2 in an attempt to show that salvation is through works, and the answer has been, because others "keep denying what it clearly teaches.

Is James contradicting the rest of the Bible? Most theologians down through the ages have insisted that the way to reconcile the biblical message of faith and works is to explain that works describe a true saving faith but do not save unto themselves? James gives us the clues we need.

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He insists that even one single sin on our part is equivalent to breaking the entire law James ! Of course he means, no it cannot.


God's Plan of Salvation

Then in verse 18 he says that a living, saving faith is shown by our works. So James is not saying that we are saved by works, rather our obedience is evidence of a legitimate faith. So, there is, then, a simple way to reconcile faith and works in a way that is faithful to Scripture without making Scripture contradict itself. We are saved by a living faith—that is, one which expresses itself in obedience. Note that this is very different from saying that we are saved by faith plus works or any such construction.

We are saved by grace through faith, not of works can we boast. Moser gives several biblical examples of how it is faith that saves, regardless of whether or not that faith is expressed in some sort of action. He cites the stories of Jesus healing the blind in John 9 and Matthew 9. In one case, the blind man did something—washed in the pool of Siloam. In the other case, nothing was done other than what Jesus did. Moser asks, "Were these blind men cured upon different principles?

In both cases the blind received sight upon the principle of faith in Christ. In one case faith expressed by overt acts, in the other case it was not. After all it is faith that the Lord wants Faith expressed remains faith. What about repentance— isn't that a work? Was this an action or a change of mind? Moser continues, "But salvation is by faith. Repentance, then, must in some way relate to faith. And it must relate to faith in such a way as not to oppose it. If you turn to Jesus y o u will by definition turn from your life of sin and selfishness.

You will automatically repudiate your fleshly nature. This is the deep meaning of repentance. So, repentance is technically not a work per se. After we are saved by faith, we begin to show outward confirming acts such as confession and good works because of our gratitude for what God has done for us. Confession is faith expressed in words Romans Again, it is the faith that saves, not any expression of it.

What about baptism? Isn't it a work? This leads us into the next section. But before that, one last word. If we are wrong in this, our error is putting too high a view on God and his work and too low a view on our own work. If the Church of Christ is wrong on justification, your error is putting too low a view on Jesus and too high a view on man's work! Most of my friends in the church believed that because he had not been baptized that this boy was in hell for eternity. This event started me questioning the teachings of the Church of Christ.

In time, I studied my way out of this sect. Among many other points in this article, Garrett says, "We as immersionists must rid ourselves of the ungracious notion that those who do not baptize the way we do have rebellious and disobedient hearts. They can be mistaken without being degenerate. And they can be mistaken and still be Christians who are pleasing God, just as we can still be Christians when we are mistaken. CC theologian Everett Ferguson in his book instructs against such practice page : "Paul in 1 Corinthians protests against any view of baptism which would make it a badge of distinction among Christians instead of a unifying act.

Ferguson also warns page : "Baptism provides an objective assurance of having received God's promised salvation in Christ. That may lead to the subtle temptation to trust in baptism for salvation instead of trusting in God, his act in Christ, and his word of promise. What is the difference, according to Hook, in baptism for remission of sins and baptism to receive the Holy Spirit?

First, just a point of logic.

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In the rest of this section we will attempt to prove this biblically. Now, as confession is faith expressed by words, baptism is faith expressed by deed This view of baptism sanctioned by scripture lifts baptism from a meaningless act of legalism to the high plane of salvation by faith in Christ. Or were they children of God filled with the Holy Spirit and later got baptized? Doesn't Peter in Acts make it clear that it was the faith that produced remission of sins, and that water baptism came later as a symbol of their new life in Christ? Is there any record in the Bible that the apostles received water baptism?

Doesn't 1 Corinthians show that baptism by the Holy Spirit is what places us in the body of Christ? Your motto is, "Where the Bible speaks we speak; where the Bible is silent we are silent. For example, you say, "He that is baptized not shall be damned. What does appear in the Bible is, "He that believeth not shall be damned. Such Church-of-Christ-isms like all other 'isms' are an insult to the persons and dignity of the Holy Spirit by whom we 'are all baptized into one body. Is Jesus Christ the head of the church of Christ?

What kind of baptism did the apostles receive? Were they saved or lost? What kind of baptism did the disciples, who who were baptized by the apostles on the authority of Christ during his personal ministry, receive John ? Was this before Pentecost? In Mark , John's baptism was for "remission of sins. If so, why were they re-baptized in Acts ? If not, what does that say about your insistence on baptism for "remission of sins"? Other things are listed in the Bible besides baptism for remission of sins—belief, confession, repentance.

The act of signing the gift check in no way earns it, or even merits it, nor does this action make it any less of a gift. Baptism is simply how we "endorse" and identify with what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. Therefore, in baptism we express our faith that His check won't bounce; that His righteousness is credited to our account; that our name is entered on His ledger.

What do you think of R. By the way, Sproul is a man who has written over 70 books and is considered by many to be one of the top theologians of our age. However, the modern CC undeniably traces its lineage to it, and so one would think that CC folk would have at least some respect for the views of the founders. Alexander Campbell was rebaptized as an adult upon a simple confession of his faith in Jesus as the Messiah.

He never changed his views on this and was never baptized "for the remission of sins. Since Alexander Campbell was baptized by a Baptist preacher Elder Luce and was thus put into the Church of Christ, why will not Baptist Baptism do the same for people today? If Elder Luce did not baptize Campbell into Christ, when and where and how did Campbell ever get into Christ, since he died with Baptist Baptism and never repudiated it? If Campbell was baptized into Christ by Luce's act, then was not the Church of Christ in fact already here? Specifically that message taught by the eternal security teachers is their never saved or false convert argument, which quickly becomes falsified in light of the time King David sinned.

Eternal security proponents never say King David lost his salvation or he was never saved before he fell into adultery and murder! Neither do they say that about Solomon, who turned to idolatry. It should also be noted that it is logically inconsistent for any eternal security proponent to ever say another person was never saved or is not saved now , based on their present tense sinful behavior, even if they are a Hindu, Muslim , witch doctor, child molester, serial killer, serial rapist, etc.!

Because their doctrine says, if they, at any time in their entire life, had a saving faith, they are still saved because once saved always saved, once in grace always in grace, once a son always a son! Remember that about eternal security doctrine. While some Bible believers embrace a conditional security in Christ or NO eternal security most professing Christians live in no fear of God or concern about sinning as they embrace once saved always saved. Too many continue to be tossed back and forth on this salvation -related issue, but this need not be the case.

Below is a vast array of Bible-based teachings on this very crucial issue. They range from spiritual death to imputed righteousness to the false accusation of a works salvation , etc. Beyond all of that, available here are various anti eternal security audio and video interviews as well as a few eternal security debates on radio with Dan Corner. He is the author of the page book, " The Believer's Conditional Security: Eternal Security Refuted ," the most exhaustive book ever written refuting eternal security.

All of the following will help you better understand this massive problem with eternal security and how to counter it. Please don't be duped by the popularity of once saved always saved. The only assurance of salvation is for the present-tense follower of Jesus - those who have [present tense] the Son 1 John The aforementioned are some of the strawman arguments and misconceptions about a conditional salvation used to smear Christian beliefs.

Because of His love and grace, He has not left us without hope and a solution. This is the good news of the Bible, the message of the gospel. Romans who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Romans He was given over because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification. John But to all who have received him--those who believe in his name--he has given the right to become God's children. John For this is the way God loved the world: he gave his one and only Son that everyone who believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. This means we must each come to God the same way: 1 as a sinner who recognizes his sinfulness, 2 realizes no human works can result in salvation, and 3 relies totally on Christ alone by faith alone for our salvation.

If you would like to receive and trust Christ as your personal Savior, you may want to express your faith in Christ by a simple prayer acknowledging your sinfulness, accepting His forgiveness and putting your faith in Christ for your salvation.

The Truth About Lying

If you have just trusted in Christ, you need to learn about your new life and how to walk with the Lord. We will reply with an email address you can send attachments to. To help us create translated graphics, here is a document with the words from the graphics. Translate these words and we will make new graphics for your translation of the text.