Bible Q&A: Does the Bible Teach “Once Saved, Always Saved”?

Does the Bible teach “Once Saved, Always Saved”?

“Once Saved, Always Saved,” or as it’s more formally known in Calvinism as “Perseverance of the Saints,” is the idea that Christians could commit any sin from idolatry to murder and their souls would be fine (as said by Baptist preacher Sam Morris.)

The Bible says something different.  The gospel saves us (Rom. 1:16)…but how does it do it?  “…IF you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain” (1 Cor. 15:1-2).  “If” (ei) is a conjunction, a primary particle of conditionality.  Paul is basically saying that the gospel saves us on the condition that we hold fast to God’s Word.  See similar conditional statements regarding our salvation and forgiveness in 1 John 1:7, 9 and 2 Peter 1:10.

The writer of Hebrews said that the saved (those who have “tasted the heavenly gift…have shared in the Holy Spirit…have tasted the goodness of the Word of God”) who “then have fallen away” are “crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt.”  That’s why he also says that it is “impossible…to restore them again to repentance” (Heb. 6:4-6).

Paul also specifically said that Judaizing Christians who bound Old Covenant circumcision as a condition of New Covenant salvation “have fallen away from grace” (Gal. 5:4).

Consider also the numerous warnings given to the saved in the New Testament (e.g., 1 Cor. 3:17; 10:12).  If salvation is always theirs no matter what, then why would the saved need to be warned about anything?

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