"Once Saved Always Saved" is a Doctrine of Deception
[Gospel is that we must believe Jesus Christ, with proof that we obey his commandments, for our everlasting life. Any other gospel is perverting the gospel of Christ. The Bible invariably says that we must believe and obey the gospel, in order to escape the vengeance of our Lord Jesus Christ, in flaming fire.]
'Once saved always saved' is a subtle topic of twist by false teachers. It is a doctrine of deception. According to them ‘saved’ is a status that inherits heaven. Once we got it we will not lose it no matter what we do. That is, even if a saved man rapes and kills a girl, surely he will go to heaven while the unsaved victim goes to hell. It is ridiculous before the holy God.
The doctrine of Jesus Christ is in the Bible. And, theologians have made many doctrines using scripture. The doctrines of Jesus Christ is true and all other doctrines are false. Even though men make doctrines, Satan inspires their doctrines. False workers preach their doctrines. Now, let us see whether "once saved always saved" is the doctrine of Jesus Christ or is it the doctrine of Satan.
The doctrine of Jesus Christ is very important in
the scripture. Christ says that as long as a person is sinning; he is the servant
of sin. "John
8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I
say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin."
It is a very direct statement of the Lord Jesus Christ. It should supersede
Christian theology. The word of God continued to come through the apostles as
apostle's doctrine. But theologians ignore them. Listen to the statement of
Apostle Paul: "Romans
6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield
yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey;
whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
Galatians 6:8 For he that
soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that
soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting."
Listen to the statement of Apostle Peter:
"2 Peter 2:19
While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption:
for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage."
Listen to the statement of Apostle John:
"1 John 3:8
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the
beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might
destroy the works of the devil."
Here we see that the work of Satan is to make the people to commit sin. God will
destroy the works of Satan, which is sinning of people, and will save
them from their sins.
Matthew 1:21- his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." If the work of the devil in them is not destroyed, they are not saved from sins. Yet, preachers teach that they are saved when they are not saved and then they say to the unsaved people "once saved always saved" as if they are already saved. They are not saved to begin with.
The crux of the doctrine of salvation is the fact that as long as a person is sinning he is a sinner. Since he/she is not saved from sinning, this person is not saved. Let us apply that to our topic. "Once Saved" means "Once a person has stopped sinning." "Always Saved" means "Always the person will stay without committing Sin." Even if we give this true meaning, still the statement "once saved always saved" is not according to the word of God. "1 Corinthians 10:12 ... let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." But they interpret the word of God according to the teachings of the devil, with a twist or a spin in it. Even if we do not sin one day, it will not guarantee us that we will not sin the next day, or in the future.
Everybody knows the scripture that says "by grace we are saved." Let us see the scripture verses. "Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)"... 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast." These verses say that the recipients of this epistle are saved. People may think that all those read this epistle are saved. However, salvation is by the love, mercy and grace of God. These are the data we gather from these verses. One more thing that is needed to be saved is the faith of the person. Yet, these verses miss another vital point. That is: What it means to be "Saved?"
In verses 2 and 3, God explains what is to be saved. God announces them as saved in verse 5 and 8. "Ephesians 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others." What is it in the verses 2 and 3? Verse 2 says that previously (in time past) they were committing sins, (a) walked according to the course of this world, (b) walked according to the prince of the power of the air, and (c) walked according to the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:. Verse 3 also says that previously (in time past) they were living in the lusts of their flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Now they do not walk that way anymore. See, they are saved by grace. Their previous life style of sin became past history. Their new life does not have sin. Now they are saved by grace. This is the salvation given by God. Even after they are free from sinning, they still have to continue in Christ to stay saved. So, the cliché "once saved always saved" is not true. Even they can fall back to commit sin, if they do not keep themselves in Christ. There is no sin in Christ, and no sin can enter Christ.
We saw "saved by grace" is: those who were living in sin are no longer living in sin. In other words, Jesus saved them from their sins. "Matthew 1:21 ...call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." Those who were delivered from sin will live a righteous life. "Romans 6:18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness." As they continue to be righteous they will become holy. "Romans 6:19 ... even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness." The holy life will be rewarded with the inheritance of heaven, even to be joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. "Romans 6:22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. Revelation 22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still. 12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. 13 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Romans 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."
Churches usually teach false salvation. They teach a form of (counterfeit) godliness as grace, which will make a person religious. But this is false grace and it will deny the power to convert a sinner to righteous and holy living. "2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." With this false grace, a sinner will continue to live in sin. But he was taught to believe that he is saved while he is sinning. But as long as he is sinning, he is not saved. "Acts 3:26 Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." The true grace of God will convert a sinner to righteous holy living. It will be rewarded with inheritance in heaven, even to be joint-heirs with the Lord Jesus Christ. If you want to see more details about the Bible grace, click on this link: 'Grace'.
Salvation is an escape from sins. "Matthew 1:21 … call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins." If people, who were living in sin, have quit sin, then they are saved. Once saved, always saved means that those who quit sin will never sin again. The word of God gives no guaranty for this cliché. Let us see a few scripture verses in order to verify this.
"Matthew 24:24 ... if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Jesus Christ says that even the very elect could be deceived. So, if a saved person gives into deception, then he will lose his salvation. So, there is no guaranty for salvation.
"Luke 12:45 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken; 46 The lord of that servant will come in a day when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers." He was the servant of his Lord. But, Jesus Christ says that his lord will appoint him a portion in hell, if he begins to commit sin. He was once saved, now he will be in hell.
"Luke 14:34 Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour,..." Jesus Christ says that salt may lose its savor. Once saved may become lost.
"John 15:6 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." The person was already abiding in the vine. Now, he will be cut off and will be burned.
"Romans 11:21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. 22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off." This is the warning of the Lord Jesus Christ. He has cut off many before. If you don't continue in his goodness, he will cut you off also. Once saved, you have to continue in salvation. Or else you will be cut off.
"1 Corinthians 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy;" You are the temple of God. He lives in you. But, if you defile yourself with sin, God will destroy you. It is not once saved always saved.
"1 Corinthians 9:27 I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway." If Apostle Paul did not continue to keep his body in obedience, he would have been thrown away. That means salvation is not automatically kept. We have to keep it.
"1 Corinthians 10:12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." If we stand, be careful so that we may not fall. This caution shows that the position is not guaranteed.
"1 Corinthians 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain." "If you keep in memory" is conditional. If they do not keep the memory of the preaching, and do what it requires, they lose the position of salvation.
"Galatians 5:4 Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace." They were in grace and hence they were saved. Now they fell from grace. That is, salvation is lost. They were saved once. But now they are lost.
"2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first,.." Few saved people that are saved will be deceived and fall away. So, saved is not always saved.
"1 Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." A new person who is saved, he is more vulnerable to fall into condemnation, until he is strongly rooted.
Timothy 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that
in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing
spirits, and doctrines of devils;"
The Holy Spirit says clearly that some saved persons will depart from faith and
will be lost. They will preach the doctrine of devils.
The Holy Spirit says clearly that some saved persons will depart from faith and will be lost. They will preach the doctrine of devils.
"1 Timothy 5:12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith." They were saved through faith. Then they cast off their faith and fell into damnation.
"1 Timothy 5:15 For some are already turned aside after Satan." They were with God. But now they are with Satan. Once saved, now lost it for ever.
"Hebrews 3:12 Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. 13 But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;" Partakers with God are departing from God. Sin is deceitful and will separate you from God. Once saved, but if you are not steadfast, you will lose it.
"Hebrews 6:4 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." Those who once enjoyed the spiritual height in salvation, according to verses 4 and 5, may also fall away. If they shall fall away, they may not be allowed to come back. Then, they have lost salvation permanently. This is not for ordinary believers, but this is for those who have already attained a high status with God, examples: Judas Iscariot, Archangel Lucifer, fallen angels, Adam, Eve, and such people only. They were once saved, but now lost.
"Hebrews 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him." People can draw back from their salvation.
"Hebrews 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God;" By grace you are saved. If you are not diligent you may fall from the grace of God, and lose the salvation.
"James 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; 20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins." If a saved person erred from the truth, it makes him a sinner who needs to be saved again. Saved from the error is saving his soul. That is, any time you are in error or in sin you have lost your salvation.
"2 Peter 2:15 Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam." They were in the right way and now gone astray. Once saved and now lost with Satan.
"2 Peter 2:20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning." Those who escaped sin may also fall into sin again.
"Revelation 2:5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent." They had fallen from salvation. Jesus Christ requires them to repent and get back.
"Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent." They have received and were holding fast, but now have to do it all over again since they lost it.
"Revelation 3:5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,.." Once their names were in the book of life. That is they were saved. But God will blot out their names if they do not overcome. "Rev 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." They will end up in the lake of fire. Once saved, but now lost it and they will be in hell.
"Revelation 3:16 ... because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth." This church was living in the mouth of God. Now God will throw them out unless they become hot for God.
"Revelation 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. Revelation 20:15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire." God has written their names in the book of life. But, if they reject any of his word, God will take their names out of the book of life. Then, they will be thrown into the lake of fire. That is, those who were once saved are now thrown into the lake of fire.
In spite of the overwhelming evidence to warn those who are saved that they can also lose their salvation, there are people who will not accept the word of God, but believe the doctrines of the devil.
In section one, we have seen the statements made by the Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles that if a person is sinning he/she is not saved but a sinner. If they stopped sinning then they are saved. In section two, we defined what salvation is from the Bible. In section three, we explained the true salvation as well as the false salvation. In section four, we quoted many Bible verses to show that saved people may lose their salvation, and "once saved always saved" doctrine is deception. Since false doctrines are derived from selected scripture verses by manipulating them, we rebuttal a few such interpretations. We do not rebuttal all their arguments in this study. However, I give enough samples to show you how to find the truth by verifying the scripture verses in its contexts. If you have any questions or doubts of any doctrine or scripture verses you can e-mail me. I will send a reply as quick as possible. I assure you that my answers will be based on the word of God.
"John 3:14 ...as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: 15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." They quote these verses and preach to mean the following: The only requirement to be saved is to believe Jesus Christ, which they all do. So, they have everlasting life. Those who do not believe will face the wrath of God. This will not bother them since they all will continue to believe him. Their logic is good. By their logic, they got it made. But, there is one problem. What is it to "believe the Son" or to "believe Jesus Christ?"
'Believe the Son', is not just to believe that Jesus of Nazareth has done miracles, was crucified and resurrected. But, it is to believe what the Son has said. He said: "John 8:34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings:.. Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Jesus said the above verses. If they believe what he says, then they will either obey his commandments or they will know that they are rejected from the kingdom of God. This is truly believing Jesus Christ. But they believe something about him that is not believing HIM, but think that they believe him. They believe that Jesus Christ will take them to heaven, no matter what they do. This is cool. But, God did not tell them to believe their own statement about Jesus Christ for their salvation, but to believe and do what Jesus Christ told them to do for their salvation. If they believe what he told, then they will do what he wants them to do for their salvation. Nobody can cheat God. Christians believe their church, preachers, so called miracle workers, their celebrities, etc, but they do not believe what Jesus Christ has said. They say that they believe Jesus Christ, but it is a lie, and they do not believe Jesus Christ in practice.
I will reply promptly.Thanks.
They say: the Bible makes it clear that our works has nothing whatsoever to do with our salvation. We didn't receive it by our works. So, we don't keep it by our works. Then they quote the following scripture verses to prove their point. "Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us,... Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast."
These verses are mini Bible to many preachers and believers. They emphasize three points for salvation. (i) "according to his mercy he saved us, and by grace are ye saved." (ii) We are saved "not by works of righteousness which we have done, it is not of yourselves and not of works, lest any man should boast." (iii) We are "saved through faith; it is the gift of God:" Let us review these points in the light of the scriptures without manipulating the verses.
This statement is true. However, false teachers twist the meaning of these three words, (a) saved, (b) grace and (c) mercy and give an entirely different meaning and deceive believers. So it is important to study the meaning of these words.
(a). Saved: Those who are sinning are sinners and they are not saved, no matter what they claim. Refer section 1, "Doctrine of Jesus Christ." It explains who sinners are. This will help us not to consider a sinner as a saved person. Refer section 2, "What is Salvation." It explains the true meaning of the word "saved." Those who are converted from the past filthy unjust life to the holy righteous life are saved. Nobody will be saved by the word of their mouth. It should be proven by their living. If their mouth confession is not the reality of their life, then their confession is not a confession, but it is a lie. Liars are not saved persons, and they go to hell. Nobody can fool God or deceive God. If you like to study this in detail with many scriptures, refer these links. 1. 'Salvation', 2. 'Saved'.
(b). Grace: Most Christians think that grace is a free ticket to heaven, given to sinning Christians, since they believe the story of Jesus. This is not true. Grace is a gift from God, given only to true believers, who obey God with love, sincerity and humbleness. "Ephesians 6:24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 1 Peter 5:5 ... be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble." Grace is a spiritual gift package that contains three things. They are (1) doctrine of Jesus Christ, (2) power of the Holy Spirit, and (3) the abiding of God. They are given as grace upon grace as believers needed them. Grace will strengthen the true believer to overcome the world, flesh and Satan. Believers don't have to do the ceremonial work of circumcision or any such church ordinance or ceremony, but they will have to use the grace of God to overcome sin for their salvation. Details of grace is on this link: 'Grace'.
(c). Mercy: The love and compassion of God, which is God's mercy, forgives the past sins of a person who has overcome sins. Forgiveness is offered by the blood of the Lamb of God. "Romans 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" False preachers say that the blood of Jesus forgives the past, present and future sins. This is a lie of the devil. The forgiveness of God, which is provided by the blood of Jesus, is for the past sins only. Even though it is past sins, but it is not an immediate past, but the past when God was forbearing. So, there will be a period of time between sinning and forgiveness, that is, the sinner has to live without sin for some time before forgiveness. If they take the blood of Jesus for granted, and try to use it for the present and future sins, then severe damnation will be upon them. The reference is Hebrews 10: 26-31. Further, the mercy is upon them, who fear him. If we fear him we will obey him. "Luke 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation." If you have no fear of God, you are rejected of God, and he will show no mercy to you. Obedience with fear and love, is the key to be accepted by God.
We are in the fast food culture. Preachers use this principle to promote their business. They don't realize that salvation is God's business. So, they offer ready made forgiveness, instant salvation, quick access to the throne, etc, all for free. Nobody can deceive God, but they deceive people with lies. God forgives only those who have repented truthfully. The broken hearted sinner will have a contrite spirit. He will accept the grace of God that converts a sinner to a just holy person. God forgives his past sins after the person is justified (converted to be righteous), but not before. "Romans 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: 25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" Justified is to convert a person from being unjust into being just. Just person is a righteous person. If a sinner starts to walk in the light, as God is in the light, then only the blood of Jesus Christ will apply to him and he will be forgiven from the past sins. If a person keeps on sinning, it is not the principle of God to keep on forgiving his sins. The sinning should become past. God says that Jesus died once and he is not dying daily. "1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." Forgiveness is free to a converted sinner but not to a sinning Christian. Please read the important bible document about forgiveness by a click on this link: 'Forgiven'.
If you are doing righteousness, you are already saved, (Refer Section 2: What is salvation?). Jesus did not come to save the saved. Those who live in unrighteousness need salvation. God has mercy for the unrighteous people, who fear him and saves them from unrighteousness. After this process is done, they will do righteousness. If they don't do the works of righteousness, then their salvation is fake. They are not saved, because saved people walk in the path of righteousness. Let us study how God changes an unrighteous person into a righteous person. Let me quote the verse. "Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, (a) by the washing of regeneration, and (b) renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 (c) That being justified by his grace, (d) we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. Ephesians 2:10 (e) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Please follow the five (a-e) steps from the above verses.
(a) By the washing of regeneration: Jesus Christ washes away the carnality that is dead in sins and regenerate them as spirituality that is the new creature, which will not sin. This person will be dead to sin and will live in Christ.
(b) Renewing of the Holy Ghost: The Holy Ghost makes the person totally new. "2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
(c) Justified by his grace: Justified means, converted from being an unjust person into a just person. It is not calling an unjust person as righteous person, which will be a lie. The devil will lie, but God will not. The Lord Jesus Christ, by steps 'a' and 'b', has converted an unjust person to be a righteous person.
(d) We should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life: If we are made righteous (just) people, then we will become heirs of eternal life.
(e) For we are his workmanship that we should walk in righteousness: God made us in such a way that we be walking in righteousness.
They say that salvation is a free gift from God. If we had to work to keep it, then it would not be a free gift. So we don't have to do anything to keep it. So, they think that if we are once saved we are always saved. They have a very good logic. Then they quote the two following verses to support their logic. "Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." But, this is a deceptive way of quoting the scripture to prove what they want to prove. The verses should be presented to bring the truth of God to light. Let us look at the verses in their context.
The gift of God, the eternal life, is not given to a person who is keep on sinning. But it was given to a person, who was a sinner but obeyed God and was made free from committing sin. This person is made righteous and holy and now he is ashamed of the sins that he had committed. As this person continues as such, and at the end Jesus Christ gives him/her the gift of eternal life. "Romans 6:16 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? 17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. 18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 ... now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. 20 For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. 21 What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. 22 But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. 23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." It all summarizes in the last verse saying, sinning people will get eternal death, and those who were made free from sinning, has become servants of God, they live holy life and they are the only people who receive the gift of God, which is the eternal life. Verse 23 is not an island by itself, but it is the summary of verses 16 to 22. But, they hide verses 16 to 22 from people, and interpret verse 23 to mean that God gives them eternal life instead of death to sinning people as a gift. This is ridiculous and it is the deception of the devil.
We all started as servants of sin. That means we were all sinners. Verse 17 says "but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you", that is, (1) they obeyed the commandments of Jesus Christ. Verse 18 says "made free from sin", that is, (2) they do not sin any more. They "became the servants of righteousness", that is, (3) now they are righteous and serve God. Verse 19 says, they became "servants to righteousness unto holiness", that is, (4) they are living a holy life. Verse 21 says that "those things whereof ye are now ashamed", that is, (5) they are ashamed of the past life of sin, which could have taken them to eternal death. Verse 22 says, (6) they have "being made free from sin, and become servants to God", (7) they have "your fruit unto holiness" produced evidence of holiness in their life, and "the end everlasting life." These things are the cause of eternal life. The summary of the verses 17 to 22 is in verse 23. It says, (A) whoever is sinning will face eternal death and (B) the gift of God is eternal life. That is, (B) the eternal life given to the person by the above seven steps that is explained from verse 17 to 22. However, the sinning person will face eternal damnation. The saint, who was once a sinner and is not sinning anymore, will receive eternal life as free gift from God. But false preachers say; a sinning person gets this free gift, which is the twist of the truth. The wages of sinning is eternal death (damnation).
Let us see verse 18 also with its context. "Romans 5:17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ. 18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." (You may read verses 12- 21) In general the reference is comparing Adam and Jesus Christ. Though we do not do exactly what Adam did, the nature of disobedience is on us. But verse 12 says that we all sin: "Romans 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" This is sin and it will bring eternal death. Contrary to Adam, when Jesus Christ was a man, he received abundant grace from God and lived righteous life, and was totally obedient to God. Now, Jesus Christ gives abundant grace to the obedient people to make them righteous and holy. According to the context, since we all have sinned after Adam (verse 12), death passed upon us. "Romans 5:21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord." So, since we have sinned after Adam and as our sin hath reigned unto death, if now we are changed and do righteousness after Jesus, we will have eternal life, by the grace that reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. But if we have continued the sinning life, that sin would have reigned us unto death.
They convince their congregation saying that they are children of God by these verses. "1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God,... Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." We will study these two verses.
After convincing that they are the children of God, they apply their logic that goes like this: Your children will always be your children no matter what happens. You may have troubles and may have broken fellowship, yet they are your children and nothing can change that. Then they say, we all are children of God and nothing negates that. No matter what we do, we will still be the children of God. If this logic is true, we are in a big trouble, since we all started as the children of the devil. "1 John 3:10 ... the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, John 8:44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do." What will they say now? Will they say, since we started as the children of the devil nothing can negate that? Thank God, this logic is absurd and it is not true.
We all are the children of our parents. They gave birth to us and we came from their body. We did not come from the body of God, but God will glorify and adopt a few of us as his sons/daughters. "John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God... 2 Corinthians 6:17 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, 18 And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Romans 8:15 ...ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." However, let us look at the two verses they quoted and analyze it in their context.
They quote "Beloved, now are we the sons of God" from 1 John 3:2, and connect the word "beloved" to a sinner, to mean that God calls a sinner as his son. But 1 John 2:29, tells us who are the sons of God. "1 John 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him." It says, whoever doing righteousness are sons of God. In other words, those who are living a righteous life are sons of God. "1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not." It says, God call us as his sons because of his love toward us. Then it says that we have become like God to the extent that the worldly people who do not know God, do not know us either. "1 John 3:2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." Verse 3 says, even though they are righteous, they are striving to be as pure as even Jesus of Nazareth was pure, or even Jesus Christ is pure. People with such a love and dedication are called the sons of God, in the Bible. It is a sad distortion, when anybody call the sinners (sinning Christians), who still love sin and living in it, as sons of God.
They quote Romans 8:15 in such a fashion to show that every sinner who believe their version of the story of Jesus Christ has received the Spirit and they can call God as their Father. Let us analyze the verse in its context. "Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." These people have the same Spirit as Jesus and they will be raised from the dead as the same way Jesus was raised from the dead. "Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live." These verses say that those who live after the flesh will have eternal death and those who mortify the body of sin, through the Spirit of God, will have eternal life. "Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." Verse 13 says, those who have mortified the body of sin by the leading of the Spirit are sons of God. Verse 15 refers the Spirit that mortified their body of sin as the Spirit of adoption. If their body of sin is not mortified they do not have the Spirit of adoption. "Romans 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father." False teachers refer this verse to the sinning Christians, who live in the flesh. They have no Spirit.
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