I was asked a question that sparks many a debate among Christians. The “Once saved, always saved” notion is a sticky subject.
All following verses are from the KJV
I was looking at some notes I took for this discussion, and thought it would be a good read for you. Please keep in mind though, that according to scripture, we are to each work out “our own” salvation. What that means to you is, well, just that.
First I want to say this…
We are a creation. We belong to Someone. We are not our own. (1st Cor. 6: 19-20) And if we are lost, and the owner decides to salvage us… there’s literally nothing we can do about it….we will be salvaged. One could even say (with confidence) that it’s none of our business what God does with His property. Look at the boat in the picture above. If the owner wants to save his boat, what can the boat do about it? From my notes…
The saved are eternally secure?
The Holy Bible is quite clear that salvation is just by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His shed blood, and that salvation is guaranteed forever. Thus once saved always saved is true. Here are just some of the many passages that show this:
The saved can never lose salvation because they are not under the law of sin unto damnation.
For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
The following says the same thing. The first part is negated by the second part, which is why the word “but” is there.
For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Since salvation is a gift from God, God never takes it back.
For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
The saved are not under the law but under grace.
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
The saved are not under the curse of the law, which is damnation. Jesus Christ already paid for all the sins of the saved. So there is no need for any of them to be paid for by the saved. What this means is…there are no “requirements”, or hoops to jump through that will earn you a salvation.
Christ hath redeemed us (this is a past tense verb) from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:
The saved already have redemption, that is, they are already redeemed. The saved have all their sins forgiven. There is no qualifier in the following verse, so it must be all sins.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:
The following verse says the exact same thing.
In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
The saved have all their trespasses already forgiven.
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven (again, past tense) you all trespasses;
Jesus Christ has already paid for all the sins of the saved.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
In verse 3, it says our sins. There is no qualifier, so it must be all sins. Since Jesus Christ already paid for all the sins of the saved, the saved could never be damned.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand (present tense verb);
2 By which also ye are saved (present tense), [The next “if” is a requirement. The requirement is that we believe we are saved. So if you believe we are only if you do this and that, then you are adding words to scripture that don’t belong there. The rest of the verse…] if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
The saved are cleansed from all sins.
There is no qualifier in the following verse, so the saved have all their sins washed away.
And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,
Eternal Security or Once Saved Always Saved is Absolutely True. The Holy Bible has many verses or passages that prove this. Here are just a few. There are many more.
Jesus Christ who is God said the following. If someone has everlasting life, then they could never be damned. If not, they did not have everlasting life but potentially have everlasting life. The verse would have said, “might have everlasting life” or “possibly have everlasting life.” Jesus Christ, who is God, would not lie, especially with the double verily (verily, verily, I say this unto you; is saying ‘surely, surely, I say’).
Notice also that only believe is mentioned so it must be believe only. If it were believe “and” anything else, then the something else would be mentioned. Else the statement is not true. But the statement is true, so it must be believe only.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
Jesus also said the following. Verses 15 and 16 say the same thing and by the same logic above prove eternal security and salvation just by faith alone. Both also emphatically claim, “should not perish” which again proves eternal security. In verse 18, Jesus Christ says that they are not condemned. All again prove eternal security.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, (this is present tense) because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
If you “believe” you have to “do other things, you condemn yourself)
Jesus Christ also said the following. In verse 26, Jesus Christ said that they shall never die. Surely you believe God.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, wrote the following, so there is no way the saved could lose salvation. If you are sealed until the day of redemption, you could not be damned.
And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed (present tense) unto the day of redemption. (present tense verbs aren’t used if the “doing of things to attain” aren’t already done)
That sealing forever happens at the moment of belief in Jesus Christ.
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise,
God promised the saved that He will make sure the saved are saved. It is God that makes the promise and God that makes it happen.
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
The saved have already been raised and already sit in heavenly places.
5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved
6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
In the following verse, Jesus says He is with the saved and will never leave them. How could they ever go to hell?
Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
Jesus Christ also said the following. Since the Holy Spirit is with the saved forever, the saved could never go to hell, because the Holy Spirit would have to go there too.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Jesus Christ the Lord also said the following. If someone has “eternal life,” then they could never be damned. If not, they did not have eternal life but potentially had eternal life. Jesus Christ, who is God, would not lie. Again Jesus Christ is emphatic that “they shall never perish.” Obviously no man can pluck them out of Jesus’ hand or His Father’s hand, not even the saved person themselves.
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
It is the will of the Father that Jesus Christ not lose any that believe on Him. Jesus Christ always does the Father’s will.
39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Jesus Christ promised to never cast out those that come to Him. So once saved always saved.
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
The apostle John wrote the following. How can you know that you have eternal life if it is only a maybe?
1 John 5:13
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
The next passage, written by Paul, the apostle of the Gentiles, says, “are saved,” not might be saved. Notice it is through faith and not works. Since there is no qualifier on the word works it must mean all works.
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Potentially damned could not be salvation as written by Paul in the following passage. Note that everyone, every single person without exception that believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ is saved. That is a guarantee forever.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
The following words spoken by Jesus Christ again prove once saved always saved.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
As already shown in Ephesians 2:9, works do not earn salvation. All the work for salvation is already completed by the blood payment for our sins by sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. That is why Jesus Christ said:
When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
In fact, Jesus Christ declared that the only work for salvation is to just believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.
28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Paul says that a person must stop trying to earn salvation by works or merit or they will not be saved.
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Now accept one who is weak in faith, but not for disputes over opinions. Who are you who judge another’s servant? Let each man be fully assured in his own mind. For none of us lives to himself, and none dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord. Or if we die, we die to the Lord. If therefore we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died, rose, and lived again, that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living.