tractor

Woodpecker
Orthodox
So what do "once saved always saved" and "by faith alone" actually mean? I heard many protestants trying to explain these but most of the times it was just a very convoluted way of saying "it's faith alone but if you're not a good person then you don't really have faith..." or something in that vein (which is pretty much the same what Catholic and Orthodox churches teach).
Am I saved if I say out loud "Jesus is my Saviour!" but then proceed and commit every possible sin in the book?

Romans 6:14-18

14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
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.


It sais, yes, you were delivered by Jesus but it seems there're some terms and conditions too.

The verses 17-18 are the case in point: if you believe in Jesus from all of your heart, you're the servant of righteousness. Everyone can translate for himself "servant" and "righteousness".

It's still a bit tricky though.

I watched a video of an Russian-German orthodox priest on the differences between Catholisism, Protestantism (in general) and Orthodoxy regarding salvation. He clarified the differences between Sola Fide and the Orthodox position like this:

The catholic/protestan position sees the relationship between God and man as judge and offender. The difference between catholics and protestants is that catholics argue that Jesus saved us not to 100% and we can tip the scales with our deeds. Therefore, for every sin, there is penance. Then Luther came and said that Jesus saved us 100%. It means no penance is due.

So protestantism is like God is a rich dad of a minor who faces serious charges. "Dad" bribes the authorities, so his son's actions have no consequences and he's not compelled to make a U turn to righteousness. If this minor commits another serious crime, the rich dad will bribe the authorities again and again. The minor only has to have faith in the purchasing power of his dad's wallet.

The orthodox position is somewhat different but I think this difference can have tremendous impact on a Christian. Orthodoxy sees the relationship between God and man as father and son. Orthodoxy doesn't deny the fact that Jesus saved us to the degree of 100%. But the believer in Christ is compelled to build a relationship to God. We need to take action and "build back better" (couldn't resist :laughter:) what Adam and Eve violated.

Let's say you live with your parents. One day, you take your dad's credit card to subscribe to multiple hoes on OnlyFans. What happens if your father busts you? Call the police (theft is a crime)? Doubt it. Beat the shit out of you? Doubt it. But the relationship to your father as well as trust is damaged. If you have a normal loving family you will naturally seek to win back your father's trust with some deeds. Maybe the father will forgive you anyway, but if you're a good son you'll be naturally driven to make amends.

Maybe this father-son thing is already included in Sola Fide. But you shouldn't invent new fancy terms for what's already in place (and had been for centuries before Luther).
 
2 right hands:

I didn't say saying a sentence equals being saved. If you're not trying to be an A-hole, don't make stuff up.

My line of reasoning? Good grief, the Bible, brother! Literally, Christians believe that Jesus paid for ALL sins. That's what we believe. That's just the Gospel, man. It's all about Jesus saving us, not us saving ourselves. I'm sorry but this is just Christianity.
 
Tractor:

I appreciate a lot of that from a motivational standpoint. But as a guy who knows he's saved, I don't struggle with motivation. I know I'm going to Heaven, but I am still motivated to spread the gospel, start a family, etc. Not to mention I know I'm a wretch who has lived a wretched life, so I'm pretty sure I won't have great rewards. I'm secure but I still want much more. Knowing you are secure in your salvation should be just the START of our journey.
 
2 right hands:

I didn't say saying a sentence equals being saved. If you're not trying to be an A-hole, don't make stuff up.

My line of reasoning? Good grief, the Bible, brother! Literally, Christians believe that Jesus paid for ALL sins. That's what we believe. That's just the Gospel, man. It's all about Jesus saving us, not us saving ourselves. I'm sorry but this is just Christianity.
So why is it so difficult for you to explain how/when is a person saved? I genuinely don't understand your view in this matter. I asked a pretty straightforward question.

Let's start again then.
Do you believe you're saved the day you are (literally) born? Or maybe born again? If it's the latter, what constitutes being born again?
 
So why is it so difficult for you to explain how/when is a person saved? I genuinely don't understand your view in this matter. I asked a pretty straightforward question.

Let's start again then.
Do you believe you're saved the day you are (literally) born? Or maybe born again? If it's the latter, what constitutes being born again?

It is not difficult. You just aren't putting yourself into the proper mindset. Consider the term "being saved." I believe Jesus does ALL the saving. Like if you were in the ocean drowning and passed out. Because you were unconscious you had no ability to save yourself. Try to think of this as (my personal) take on salvation. Thus, yes, there is a "moment" we are saved but we don't always know what it is. It is as simple as confessing with our mouths and believing in our hearts, but I didn't "know" for sure I was saved right away. It took me several months reflecting on what I had done. I asked God if I was really saved and felt secure each time. The problem is, we intellectualize this particular thing and that is a great mistake. This is a personal thing between us and Jesus. As I said before, for me it was a huge step when I realized I didn't play a part. I was simply acknowledging what Jesus did on the cross, that's all.
So why is it so difficult for you to explain how/when is a person saved? I genuinely don't understand your view in this matter. I asked a pretty straightforward question.

Let's start again then.
Do you believe you're saved the day you are (literally) born? Or maybe born again? If it's the latter, what constitutes being born again
 

Nacho

Sparrow
I think you are misunderstanding my point. When I say it is grace vs works, i mean that is what people really mean by faith vs works. "Faith" still implies we are doing something to save ourselves. "Grace" is an undeserved gift, meaning we don't save ourselves at all. Grace means God/Jesus did it. Grace and works are opposites; faith and works are not opposites.

So you don't believe someone can fall out of grace from God? It sounds like what you are advocating for is Calvinism. Even Martin Luther believed a man could lose justification before God. Keep in mind the early protestant reformers were having these petty arguments amongst each other over things that have been settled or deemed not even debatable in the early church.
 
It is not difficult. You just aren't putting yourself into the proper mindset. Consider the term "being saved." I believe Jesus does ALL the saving. Like if you were in the ocean drowning and passed out. Because you were unconscious you had no ability to save yourself. Try to think of this as (my personal) take on salvation. Thus, yes, there is a "moment" we are saved but we don't always know what it is. It is as simple as confessing with our mouths and believing in our hearts, but I didn't "know" for sure I was saved right away. It took me several months reflecting on what I had done. I asked God if I was really saved and felt secure each time. The problem is, we intellectualize this particular thing and that is a great mistake. This is a personal thing between us and Jesus. As I said before, for me it was a huge step when I realized I didn't play a part. I was simply acknowledging what Jesus did on the cross, that's all.
Ok, I understand that you believe you are already saved. So do you believe you are unable to commit sins anymore? Or if you do they don't matter?
 
Ok, I understand that you believe you are already saved. So do you believe you are unable to commit sins anymore? Or if you do they don't matter?
Of course sin matters. Sin isn't just a crime against God. Sin hurts us. If I want to live well, have peace and joy, I try to live by God's laws, because I know God knows what is best for me.
 
So you don't believe someone can fall out of grace from God? It sounds like what you are advocating for is Calvinism. Even Martin Luther believed a man could lose justification before God. Keep in mind the early protestant reformers were having these petty arguments amongst each other over things that have been settled or deemed not even debatable in the early church.

I don't know much about Calvinism, but you mean things like predestination, fatalism? I definitely think God has a master plan. There's a verse somewhere in Isaiah, God begins with the end and then He begins. He planned for everything before he even started.

There is salvation, and then are rewards. An earlier poster mentioned this. No, I cannot lose my salvation, but I can lose my standing in His Kingdom. Honestly, though, the life I've lived, I'll have a lot to answer for at the Judgement seat of Christ. I'm secure to enter the Kingdom, but there are still tangible things that can be lost or gained based on my actions.
 

Psalm27

Woodpecker
Gold Member
Salvation is by God's grace, his unmerited mercy, through faith in His Son Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross. We are not saved by good works, so that no man can boast (Ephesians 2:8-9), but we are saved for good works that God has ordained for us to walk in (Ephesians 2:10).

Salvation and heavenly rewards from good works are two different things entirely. You are saved when you believe on Christ and trust in Him. But then you can do good works on earth and God will reward you for your works in heaven.
 
I am sorry but you just guys are being super wishy-washy about it, throwing Bible verses and general statements but somehow you're not able to answer one or two simple questions.

Can you believe in Christ and trust in Him (i.e. be granted Salvation) but commit gazillion of worst sins without ever repenting and never lose Salvation?
 
I am sorry but you just guys are being super wishy-washy about it, throwing Bible verses and general statements but somehow you're not able to answer one or two simple questions.

Can you believe in Christ and trust in Him (i.e. be granted Salvation) but commit gazillion of worst sins without ever repenting and never lose Salvation?
Not wishy washy at all. Yes, I believe once saved always saved. I could commit a gazillion sins, I could kill someone and still go to Heaven. Again, because it's not about my performance but what Jesus did on the cross. By all means you can disagree but let's not pretend I've been wishy washy.
 
Thank you! Finally! That's all I wanted to know yet I had to ask several questions, rephrasing the same thought. To me it seemed wishy-washy but, hey, I apologise if you felt offended.

I obviously disagree with your idea of Salvation. The gate to God's Kingdom doesn't seem that narrow...
 
You can't "know you're saved" until you enter Heaven.

The Crucifixion of The Lord was an act of "Redemption" not an act of "Salvation."


Not wishy washy at all. Yes, I believe once saved always saved. I could commit a gazillion sins, I could kill someone and still go to Heaven. Again, because it's not about my performance but what Jesus did on the cross. By all means you can disagree but let's not pretend I've been wishy washy.


Your understanding of Salvation is horribly malformed, and I will pray for you.

What you are describing is evil.
 

tractor

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Now this is funny. A Catholic writing about his discussion with his protestant frens on the subject. They say "by faith alone" and then "if you sin, you don't have real faith". That contradicts the "gazillion sins" doctrin of Christopher J but supports my experience of talking to many protestants. Either some of them don't believe what they're taught, or they are taught badly, or they as "home only "Christians cherry pick the Bible verses, or there's something wrong with the doctrin itself.

Let’s use the illustration of married person having an affair from before. Let say the person is Christian, will he be saved when he die? One of my friends argues that if that person has real faith to God, he would repent and turn way from his sinful lives. Then I asked, what if the person doesn’t wanna cut off the affair? My friend promptly responds that in that case, the person doesn’t have real faith. Then I ask, what is the definition of real faith? My friend answered that it depends on God to judge. While I understand that we are not supposed to judge a person, and God alone can pass a judgement, I think it’s pretty clear that God explicitly told us not to do adultery as is written in the 10 commandments. If even things that are written in the 10 commandments are not constraining, then why would God bother writing that down? My other friend argues that if the person truly have faith, he wouldn’t have done that. He says that a person with faith will be transformed to be like Christ in a way that he’ll despise sins. While I can personally testify how my faith in God has transformed me, I don’t think that once we have faith in God, all so sudden we stop feeling the temptations that sins offer. From my personal experience, as long as I have flesh, I’ll be tempted over and over and fall over and over again until the day I die. This is exactly where I need to put the efforts not to give in to the temptations. I need to pray for God’s grace not to fall into the temptation, while at the same time, I need to put my best efforts to avoid the temptations.
Source
 
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Psalm27

Woodpecker
Gold Member
I am sorry but you just guys are being super wishy-washy about it, throwing Bible verses and general statements but somehow you're not able to answer one or two simple questions.

Can you believe in Christ and trust in Him (i.e. be granted Salvation) but commit gazillion of worst sins without ever repenting and never lose Salvation?
First of all when you believe on Jesus Christ you receive a new heart, new desires and the Holy Spirit (Ezekiel 36:26-27). This will cause you to desire walking in God's statutes, rather than following the flesh and living in sin as you did before. I know it happened to me. Of course I still committed sin due to my flesh which has yet to be glorified, but my inward desire was for righteousness.

Secondly, God chastens every son whom he receives (Hebrews 12:6). Can you commit sins on earth after being saved? Yes. Will you get away with it free of any earthly consequences? No, you will be chastened because God loves you. Will you lose your salvation and experience the second death? No, you are still a child of God born from incorruptible seed.

You can't "know you're saved" until you enter Heaven.

The Crucifixion of The Lord was an act of "Redemption" not an act of "Salvation."

Your understanding of Salvation is horribly malformed, and I will pray for you.

What you are describing is evil.
The Bible disagrees. Check 1 John 5:13, it says "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God."
 

tractor

Woodpecker
Orthodox
The Crucifixion of The Lord was an act of "Redemption" not an act of "Salvation."
Actually, it does make sense to differentiate between the two. I have to admit I sometimes use these words interchangeably.


This is interesting:
Our lives as children of God does not begin and end in redemption. After we are redeemed from our sins and reconciled with God, we begin the process of salvation. In the Council of Trent, salvation from sin begins with the grace of God touching a sinner’s heart and calling him to repent.

This grace is a product of the love and mercy of God and it is our choice whether to receive this grace or reject it. If we choose to receive grace, we choose a life aligned with the will of God but it we don’t receive it, we remain in a life of sin.
Source

Also, see Romans 5:12-15

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:

(For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

It looks like Jesus freed us from the original sin of Adam and showed the way forward.
 
Not wishy washy at all. Yes, I believe once saved always saved. I could commit a gazillion sins, I could kill someone and still go to Heaven. Again, because it's not about my performance but what Jesus did on the cross. By all means you can disagree but let's not pretend I've been wishy washy.
What about someone who completely loses faith? Not just someone who sins excessively, but still retains faith in Christ. Throughout my life I’m ashamed to admit I’ve probably completely lost and regained faith 4-5 times.

Even now I believe beyond reasonable doubt, but not absolutely no doubt. I try to intellectualise my way into understanding it, but inevitably go in circles.

There have been times I believe I have experienced influence of the Holy Spirit and this has led to repentance, but I always end up falling back into sin, and then coming up with complex rationalisations as to why Christianity is not true. Convincing myself that whatever I’ve experienced was just self hypnosis and a delusion. I find it difficult to grow in faith and sustain it.

I find it hard to believe once saved always saved because why then would the bible warn so much against apostasy. Also there are many like me that don’t fit the stereotype of becoming a Christian after a one once in a lifetime experience of being ‘born again’, their relationship with god is more like a lifelong struggle than an instant transformation.
 
What about someone who completely loses faith? Not just someone who sins excessively, but still retains faith in Christ. Throughout my life I’m ashamed to admit I’ve probably completely lost and regained faith 4-5 times.

Even now I believe beyond reasonable doubt, but not absolutely no doubt. I try to intellectualise my way into understanding it, but inevitably go in circles.

There have been times I believe I have experienced influence of the Holy Spirit and this has led to repentance, but I always end up falling back into sin, and then coming up with complex rationalisations as to why Christianity is not true. Convincing myself that whatever I’ve experienced was just self hypnosis and a delusion. I find it difficult to grow in faith and sustain it.

I find it hard to believe once saved always saved because why then would the bible warn so much against apostasy. Also there are many like me that don’t fit the stereotype of becoming a Christian after a one once in a lifetime experience of being ‘born again’, their relationship with god is more like a lifelong struggle than an instant transformation.
Totally normal experience from a child of God. See, you are hard on yourself for your lack of faith, but that right there shows me why you are already saved. Those who aren't saved, and never will be, are not losing sleep over whether they are "committed", "trusting In Christ" enough, etc. Because those people are of this world. This world is all they really care about. You are a citizen of Heaven. Many things you feel are a homesickness because you are an alien on this planet. So many Christians on this forum take offense to my views on salvation in part because they are concerned about their own salvation. But I am certain many of them are saved but just don't know it yet.
 
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