Monday, February 3, 2014

Once Saved, Always Saved is proof that Baptists and Evangelicals teach Works Righteousness for Salvation

Whenever I discuss the Doctrine of Eternal Security,  otherwise known as "Once Saved, Always Saved", with Baptists and evangelicals, this interesting insight into their theology always comes up:

When asked this question:  What about the person who accepted Christ as his Savior as an older child or teenager, then spent the next ten years, "on fire" for God; witnessing, sharing Christ, living a godly life, praying, reading the Bible, attending church and church activities regularly, but then "falls off the wagon" for one reason or another, never returns to church, stops reading the Bible and praying, and turns to a life of wicked, ongoing sin for the next 50-60 years and dies unrepentant...was he saved?  Doesn't that show that he abandoned his faith and therefore mostly likely lost his salvation?

"No.  It shows that he was never saved to begin with!" they will respond.

Isn't this statement an admission that in Baptist and evangelical theology, salvation is an act of the sinner?  Doesn't it show that in Baptist/evangelical theology, the act of salvation must be done "right" in order to attain salvation?  How is this any different from the Roman Catholic and his required "acts" to attain salvation?  "If the sinner had just done it (salvation) right, he never would have "back-slid" into sin, he never would have died unrepentant."

Isn't that Works Righteousness???


  1. Dear Bro. Gary: The faith the person abandoned was not the faith that saves. There is such a thing as non-saving, human based belief that pays lips service externally to benefits of Christ. The Jewish leaders in John 12:42-43 were described as "believing" and yet were not confessing him for fear of men.

    The faith that saves is from God. That monergistically conceived faith will not ultimately and finally fail. Faith is a seed implanted by the Spirit via the Word (Col 3:16). The seed implanted will grow, will at times go through dry seasons but ultimately persevere to the end. (Jude 24-25)

    For what it is worth, here is the Baptist Faith and Message 2000 on the subject:
    Article V. God's Purpose of Grace

    Election is the gracious purpose of God, according to which He regenerates, justifies, sanctifies, and glorifies sinners. It is consistent with the free agency of man, and comprehends all the means in connection with the end.

    It is the glorious display of God's sovereign goodness, and is infinitely wise, holy, and unchangeable. It excludes boasting and promotes humility.

    All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end.

    Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

    1. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

      John 15:4

    2. "One Lord, one faith, one baptism."

      There is one Lord: Jesus Christ
      There is one faith, not several.
      There is one baptism, not two.

    3. Calvinist Mahlon is wrong when he makes a blanket statement that if one turns away from God he had a false faith. All believes do NOT endure to the end to be saved. If it was automatic, Jesus would never have told his disciples this: "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." (Mat 10:22) Calvinists refrain from mentioning King David who was saved before he turned to ADULTERY AND MURDER. They never say he was NEVER SAVED because of that, but instead would have say he remained saved in such VILE WICKEDNESS! Their belief is a license to sin. Finally, the "sin unto death" as believed by all once saved always saved proponents proves they believe one can DIE IN VILE HEINOUS UNREPENTANT SIN and yet still have salvation! The Bible does NOT teach eternal security

    4. It is interesting:

      The Arminian believes that the sinner has a free will to choose God, but he does NOT believe that a believer has a free will to reject God.

      The Lutheran does NOT believe that the sinner has a free will to choose God, but DOES believe that the believer has a free will to reject God.

      The Calvinist does not believe that the sinner has a free will to choose God, NOR does he believe that the believer have a free will to reject God.

  2. Dear Bro. Gary: As you and I have discussed in times past, the Once Saved Always Saved Doctrine is to be distinguished from the Reformed and Augustinian (and most importantly of all Biblical "Perseverance" or "preservation of the faith".

    Since salvation is God's work, it will will do its work to the end. All who are truly converted to faith will work because of God who wills and purposes in them (to paraphrase Philippians 3:12-13).

    If I say: "well that person was never saved to begin with", to me I am simply saying that the person's faith was not true saving faith - a work of God.

    1. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.

      Matthew 24:13

      Salvation is not a one time event. We are justified in a one time event, but salvation requires faith...abiding faith.

    2. Lutherans use the word "saved" to mean justified/made righteous before God/sins forgiven. Baptists and evangelicals use this term to mean "guaranteed entrance into and eternal residence in heaven".

      We should make sure we are using the same definition of the terms we use.


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