Re: Once saved, always saved?
I am in agreement with shepherdsword, above. Having studied scriptures avidly over many years, I too had to abandon the OSAS position. I do understand the position since I was taught that way as a child and grew up under that teaching. But as I studied more and more, I've had to conclude there are just far too many 'IFs'' in relation to our salvation.
Salvation is not a one-time-come-to-repentance deal and then its 'done'. Paul calls it a 'race' we run and we run it with fear and trembling. I can see how people can earnestly believe OSAS, because truly if we are a new creature, then the former lusts would not draw us away. Our desires change, our outlook changes, our way of seeing ourselves change.
But then, we must consider the total of scriptures, like this:
4 For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,
5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,
6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
This says they CAN fall away, even though they been enlightened and they have known (tasted) the power of the Holy Ghost and they have known (tasted) the good word of God.
Its not that we can just 'lose' our salvation. Its that one CAN walk away and back into the lusts of sin. In other words, we quit running the race!
It would pay us all to take note of the 'IFs" in the Bible, and conditions, especially in the New Testament. Here are a few examples:
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye?
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it Abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye Abide in me.
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
1 John 2:28
And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
My favorite scripture: Malachi 3:16
"Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name!" (Every time we speak of the Lord, or even THINK of him--its written down in a book of remembrance!)