Fall From Grace or Failure of Grace?

I know I have written on this topic previously but from time to time I learn something new, more on a topic, there is just something more that should be said on a topic. The eternal security of the believer is one of those topics. I have posted on this previously (Why Can’t A Christian Lose Their Salvation) and have a written a position paper on it (Can A Saved Person Ever Be Lost?) and so I will try to limit my discussion here to some new, additional thoughts on this topic. If I seem to be missing an obvious point, check these post available here before ripping on me too hard.

I have some additional thoughts on the losing of salvation:

  1. How do you know when you have lost it? At what point does God’s grace fail?
  2. If you have to do good to keep your salvation, then it is no longer grace but a religious system of works. And if by grace, then [is it] no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if [it be] of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. -Romans 11:6 Now I know the primary application here is for Israel, but we can look at this as God speaks to Israel as a nation, we can apply this simple principle to us: it is either grace or works. We cannot be saved by grace and keep it by works.
  3. Can you be saved by Grace & hope to keep it by works. How did we receive Him? By grace through faith. how do we walk? How are we to continue in Him? By works now? No! The same way: through grace by faith. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, [so] walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving. -Colosians 2:6-7
  4. We see also the seriousness of the error of mixing grace and works. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.- Galatians 5:4. The legalists among the Galatians wanted them to think that they could have both Jesus and a law-relationship with God. Paul tells them that this is not an option open to them – the system of grace and the system of law are incompatible. “Whoever wants to have a half-Christ loses the whole.” (Calvin)[1]

I think there is also another issue is a misunderstanding on what is sometimes called the OSAS (Once Saved, Always Saved) which what they use as a derogatory term for the eternal security of the believer. The belief of eternal security does not equal “sloppy agape.”

I recently heard a pastor rant about the evil of the doctrine of OSAS because it teaches that people can live however they want, in any sin they like, and still be saved. I know of nobody that teaches that. This well intentioned but misinformed pastor does not really understand what this teaching is about. I believe that we are to follow the teachings of the Bible, the ten commandments, the great  commandment as taught by Jesus (to love the Lord my God will all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength and my neighbor as myself. We do not wink at sin and let is slide, neither does God. I believe in repentance and confession of sin. I believe these are necessary part of the Christian life. I believe also these confessions need to be specific and sincere and done not daily but as soon as you realize that you have sinned. I feel it cheapens the grace and mercy given by God to just say “forgive me of all the sins I committed today.” You took the time to commit them individually so take the time to man up and confess them (of course if you are just coming to salvation, you sins you committed over your life are too numerous to mention, just be thankful you are forgiven). Why? Mainly, in my opinion, it allows God to convict you of what you need to change in our lives.

A couple of closing thoughts:

  1. Look at the parable of the sheep and the goats. They said “Lord, did we not prophecy in your name…etc.” What did Jesus say? “I use to know you but not anymore?” No, He said “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matthew 7:23)
  2. If you live in unconfessed sin, unrepentant and rampant, and there is no chastisement from God then you are bastards (not backsliders) and not sons. For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Hebrews 12:6-8

So the thought here is that you do not lose your salvation, you never had it. I think part of the problem is we do not really understand what salvation is or the concepts of mercy and grace. I am going to make these the topics of the next several posts.

[1] Blue Letter Bible. “Paul’s Epistle – Galatians 5 – (KJV – King James Version).” Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2011. 20 Sep 2011. < http://www.blueletterbible.org/Bible.cfm?=Gal&c=5&t=KJV >

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