Saturday, April 25, 2009

Once Saved Always Saved?

So I initially started this blog as a place to reflect on some theological issues for my studies in BCM. Check out my first blog post if you're interested to know more about how and why this blog is here. It has been some time now since I made any "theological" posts. But last Thursday during the Kepong cell (which is somehow located in Kota Damansara), Joel, who was leading the cell, brought up this question:

"Once saved always saved?"

So here's a chance for us (the cell members and you, the reader) to interact more on that question without being worried about the time constraint and needing to give one minute answers...

Among some verses mentioned during our cell discussion was 1 John 1:9 as well as Philippians 2:12. I'm sure there are so many other verses that can be brought up, so as we discuss you can go ahead and back it up with your choice of verses.

On this issue some people propagate that we have to constantly confess our sins, lest we die with unconfessed sins and thus cause us to go to hell. People who believe this are clearly against the "once saved always saved" doctrine.

On the flip side of the coin, there are others who claim that after we have accepted Jesus as our personal Lord and saviour it doesn't matter what we do anymore, our ticket to heaven is bought and pain in full, so we can live our lives in whatever way we please. People who hold to this view is for the doctrine of "once saved always saved".

I do not think there is a clear cut answer. Theologians to this very day still debate on this matter, only when we get to heaven will we really know for sure if this doctrine is right or wrong, or if it is a tension or certain mixture of this two opposing ideas. But I believe God gave us a brain, and I think God would like for us to use it (otherwise he would have created us without a brain). I do not appreciate Christians who want to reject theology as irrelevant to Christian life. What we believe (or don't believe) will determine how we live our lives. Even the smallest things make a big difference on a long run. So let's try to dig in here so that we can live a more "Christian" life, so to speak.

Feel free to express, as we interact I hope we will be able to better understand God and soteriology (meaning the doctrine of Salvation... have to throw in the theological term there), and thus cause us to grow in our faith.

I will also put up the very first poll on this blog, and it's not about whether I should cut my hair and how it should look. So check it out and leave your mark there as well.

Looking forward to growing with you.


thamfuan said...

To fully understand this issue, we need to look into the scriptures. I have one article in my blog entitled, "Salvation Assured".

Stephen Lim said...

I wish to inform that it is not thamfuan who posted this comment. It is Stephen Lim

Lemuel Yee Ngan Foong said...

Your link not working la... You should check and post it up again.

Stephen Lim said...

Go to my blog

Look into Sept 2008 - Salvation Assured.

Deric said...

Once saved, always saved - Agreed.

You've heard my views during cell, although some part of my mind was pricked during that discussion by some of the matters brought.

Makes me ask:"Why didn't I think of that?"

Stephen Lim said...

I wish to comment on Phil 2:12. Some would think that we need to continue to "work out our salvation" in order we be saved. Otherwise, we would lose it.

We need to look deeper into the meaning of "working out our daily salvation" in this verse.

I have extracted footnotes from The Living Stream Ministry, which may help clarify this verse. "...carry out, bring to the ultimate conclusion. We have received God's salvation, which has as its climax our being exalted by God in glory as the Lord Jesus was (v. 9). We need to carry out this salvation, to bring it to its ultimate conclusion, by our constant and absolute obedience with fear and trembling. We have received this salvation by faith; now we must carry it out by obedience, which includes our being genuinely one in our soul. To receive this salvation by faith is once for all; to carry it out is lifelong."

Lemuel Yee Ngan Foong said...


what "pricked" your mind? Do you mean that you have not given much thought in this area or do you mean the discussion and answers were so simple and "correct" that made you ask "Why didn't I think of that?"

Uncle Kim Ling:
You are so vague... Maybe you're functioning on a higher level and I still need to get to where you are before I understand what you are talking about... But yes, "work out" our salvation definitely requires some looking into. You also brought up another aspect of this discussion, which is, the process of our salvation: justification, sanctification, and glorification. Care to elaborate on what you are trying to say?

Stephen said...

Dear Lemuel,

Before i write this, i was also wondering if readers could understand what i am saying. There is a whole spectrum of the economy of God - the beginning and the end. Once you see it, you should have no problem understanding what i am writing. The ultimate is of course the consummation of the New Jerusalem. It is mentioned in Revelation.

It may sound strange to many christians, even to the older ones. I have resorted to the fact that we have no other choice but to depend on the conviction of the Spirit to help us truly understand the real meaning behind the scriptures....then we shall not be like babes being tossed around.....

Remember, the closer you get to God, the more you will understand and discern what is right and wrong and what is imperative......

Anonymous said...

Big Blessings, Eternal Insercurity is
Bondage. For example, The reason we should live Godly lives is not this underlining fear if we live in a bad way , God will send you to hell. The Truth sets you free from sin .Sin is not freedom, a closer relationship returns us the ability
to refect a God glory .God,s love brings us to repent.I used to believe stronly in insecurity never never again will i be blined
I serve God much much more now and love it . SET the CAPTIVES FREE.
Big blessing (Iraq)U.S. Embassy

The Hedonese said...

Those whom God foreknew, he predestine, those he predestine, he also call, those he call he also justify, and those he justify, he also glorifies.

That's ironclad assurance of those genuinely justified will one day be glorified :)