Freedom From Sin Part 4
Our security is in Christ
There is no doubt that a believer is secure in Christ but the question is, “Is our security conditional or unconditional?” That is, once we are saved, will we get to heaven no matter what we do or can we lose our salvation? In Luke 13:3, Jesus answered that question very clearly in just three words: “Repent or perish.” In the Greek text, these words mean that a believer must continue to repent or he will perish. This simple statement by Jesus has left no room for debate; the plain meaning of these three words cannot be refuted; we must continue in repentance otherwise we will be lost and perish.
Two common arguments against salvation loss are –
1) In John 10:27-28, Jesus said that no one could snatch a sheep from His hand but it does not say that we can’t walk away from Him. He said that His sheep listen to and follow His voice but sheep can be lost and that happens when they stop listening to and following their Shepherd. Likewise, believers must continue to listen and continue to follow Jesus otherwise they may be lost.
2) Rom. 8:35-39 tell us that nothing in creation can separate us from the love of God. In these verses, each situation, such as persecution, famine and sword, is external to a believer. God’s promise is to protect us through these troubles, however, sin is not an external influence but an internal act of our will. It is true that nothing in creation can separate us from God but we can choose to sin and this will separate us from His love. In John 15:10 Jesus said, “If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love,” so we can see that we must continue to obey God’s commands to remain in His love.
From this we can see that our security in Christ is conditional upon our obedience to Him. If we continue to live a repentant life, by listening to and following Jesus’ voice, then there is nothing in this world that can separate us from God’s love.
Repentance is not works; rather, it is the key to our salvation. In Luke 13:3, Jesus commands us to repent otherwise we will perish so repenting to be saved is not works, it’s a command. So, because repenting to become saved is not works then continuing in repentance to remain saved cannot be considered works either.
A point to note is that the Bible doesn’t say that we must be sinlessly perfect to be saved. The fact is, Christians may sin occasionally through weakness or circumstance. That is why 1 John 2:1 says that we might sin and 1 John 1:9 tells us that we will be forgiven if we confess our sins. However, if we reject Jesus’ command to repent and instead wilfully continue in sin then we face the possibility of losing our salvation (Heb. 10:26-27).
There is no doubt that believers can struggle with sin, especially the newly saved, but it can happen to long term Christians as well. It should be noted that there is a vast difference between struggling with sin and deliberate, wilful sin. The wilful sinner either doesn’t care about his sin or makes excuses for it while a struggling sinner is convicted by his sin and wants to be freed from it’s power. The fact that a Christian is struggling with sin shows that they have a genuinely repentant heart but they don’t yet have the self control to resist because they don’t hate their sin enough. If they wholeheartedly continue in repentance then, when they have come to the point where they hate their sin as much as God does, He will deliver them from it’s power.
Finally, a very good book which refutes the Once Saved, Always Saved (OSAS) doctrine is “Life In The Son” by Robert Shank. After studying the Greek texts to prove to himself that salvation could not be lost, his belief was turned around and he wrote the book in which he reveals how the Greek verb tenses clearly show that the OSAS doctrine is false.
On my website, I have an article about the OSAS doctrine. The link is – http://www.christianissues.biz/perseverance.html
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Video of Freedom From Sin Part 4