Daar word op die oomblik in die kerk meer gepraat oor self-ontplooiing as oor self-opoffering.-Anon.......As ‘n kerk haar woorde begin devalueer, dan word die kerk ‘n ramp vir die volk. - K Schilder


“Once saved, always saved”?

One of the major points of Calvinism is "the eternal security of the believer" or the "perseverance of the saints." It is also called "impossibility of apostasy," or simply "once saved, always saved." The doctrine teaches that it is impossible for a child of God to so sin as to fall from grace and be eternally lost. It is based on the belief that salvation is unconditional, so there is nothing a person can do to be saved; and once he is saved there is nothing he can do to be lost. What does the Bible teach about falling from grace?


Liza said...

If you believe in 'once saved, always saved' how then do you relate your beliefs to Matthew 13: 20-21?-(The Parable of the Sower) The one who received the seed that fell on rocky places is the man who hears the word and at once receives it with joy.
21 But since he has no root, he lasts only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.

If you cannot lose your salvation then why would Jesus say 'When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away'?

I personally think it all boils down to our God-given gift of free will. You can either choose to love Him or turn your back on Him. It is this gift which proves that ‘once saved, always saved’ must be wrong.

If you are saved in spite of yourself then there can be no free will.

Henrietta said...

This is one of those "God only knows"- issues - throughout the ages people have been debating this.

One of the most well-known advocates of free will is Armin (Arminius) - read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arminianism

Liza said...

Henrietta, is daar enige verse in die Bybel om die teendeel te staaf?

Dis 'n ander saak vir 'n kind van God (bekeerde) om te struikel en om in opregtheid jou skuld te bely, maar om aan te hou met sondig omdat jy dink dit maak nie saak nie want jy's mos gered maak nie vir my sin nie???

Henrietta said...

Die oorweldigende boodskap van die Woord is “eenmaal ‘n kind van God, altyd ‘n kind”. Lees in hierdie verband Joh Joh 10:28; Rom 8:35-39; Fil 1:6.

Redding is onvoorwaardelik, nie a.g.v. iets wat ons doen nie (bv Joh 3:16) . As dit nie was nie, sou dit mos gegrond wees op “goeie werke”?

Mens kan sekerheid van redding hê : 1 Joh 5:13 (Sou mens sekerheid kon hê as dit nie onvoorwaardelik is nie?) - redding is afhanklik van wat Christus vir ONS gedoen het, nie wat ons vir HOM doen nie - lê dus buite ‘n mens self (anders is dit weereens gegrond op goeie werke).

Daar mag verskillende redes wees vir person wat sy/haar “geloof verloor” (soos in die verse van die saaier wat jy aangehaal het). Iets mooi in hierdie verband is : ons kan stout kinders van God wees, maar ons bly steeds kinders van God.

Gideon said...

Henrietta, this is an extremely controversial matter – because there are so many elements / aspects to take into consideration. Once you omit some of them, you find yourself in a whirlpool of controversies. I cannot possibly give every point here, but here are some of my personal views and understanding:

I don’t have the English version, but Chapter 5 of “Die Dortse Leerreëls” discusses “Die volharding van die gelowiges” (the “Perseverance of the saints”) in detail over 9 pages. It covers many aspects. And remember that this “perseverance” has everything to do with the divine election (üitverkiesing”).

You mention a belief that “salvation is unconditional, so there is nothing a person can do to be saved;” and “once he is saved there is nothing he can do to be lost.” I consider this to be a misleading coupling of two viewpoints. The first part is correct, but the second part is a half truth.
The first to consider is God’s power and that His decisions / election (“uitverkiesing”) is irrevocable (Job23:13; Rom.11:29).
Secondly: Liza rightly points out that we have the God-given gift of free will.
However: God’s power is such that He can turn a person’s heart around so as to love Him, and once that happens, that person’s free will is bent towards God’s will.

Let me use a simple example: Someone may say: “I really cannot understand what John sees in Mary, or what attracts him to her”, but yet John loves Mary with all his heart, and if he has his way, he WILL marry her. If we cannot understand some of the decisions / preferences of our fellowmen, how can we ever understand God’s ways, His thoughts? Why would He love the worst of us and even give His life so that I may be saved? If He has set His mind upon saving me, my salvation is certain. God will have His way, and by His power He WILL bend my will to His will.

Liza, as concerns Matthew 13: 20-21-(The Parable of the Sower). The fact that this man received the word with joy, does not mean salvation. Salvation means to endure to the end, but v.21 clearly states that he endures only for a while, but “when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, forthwith he is offended.”

Finally: (See my first paragraph above): My view of the doctrine of divine election is that it’s focus is to give the believer the assurance that he personally is really saved. If I try to determine who is saved and who not (focussing on others and not on my own relationship with God), I will also find myself in a labarinth of questions and uncertainties. I believe what God promises me concerning my salvation – and the rest I leave to Him.

I, myself, have “wandered far away from God” for many years, after innitially being a “sturdy believer” – stopped reading the Bible, stopped praying, going to church etc. But He pursued me and finaly brought me safely “home”.