C.H. Spurgeon

Sinners, let me address you with words of life; Jesus wants nothing from you, nothing whatsoever, nothing done, nothing felt; he gives both work and feeling. Ragged, penniless, just as you are, lost, forsaken, desolate, with no good feelings, and no good hopes, still Jesus comes to you, and in these words of pity he addresses you, "Him that cometh unto me I will in no wise cast out."

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Monday, March 22, 2010

OSAS Does Not Justify Abounding In Sin

I recently picked up the book entitled Green Zone (aka Imperial Life in the Emerald City) by Rajiv Chandrasekaran. In chapter 3, You’re in Charge!, I came across the following, which caused me to ponder the comparative thought many seem to believe when it comes to Once Saved Always Saved (aka OSAS).

“My driver, an English-speaking law student who had not dared to flout a traffic rule before the war, now coolly drove on the wrong side of the street, into opposing traffic at times, to avoid traffic jams. When I asked him what he was doing, he turned to me, smiled, and said, ‘Mr. Rajiv, democracy is wonderful. Now we can do whatever we want.’” (p. 52)

Paul tells us in Romans 5:20b-21 and 6:1-2, ‘But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?’

Although scripture declares we are not to abound any longer in sin, but have been ordained to walk in good works by the workmanship of God (Ephesians 2:8-10), all too often many professing Christians find ourselves (whether consciously or subconsciously) gravitating to wickedness rather than righteousness. And even though we may not declare such outwardly, within our hearts we almost (or sadly even outright) seem to try to justify our lack of obedience.

Many times in our lost state we may have moments of fear, genuine worry, about where we may spend eternity based on our acknowledgment of poor morality or measuring up to God’s standard of holy perfection. Then we profess Christ with our mouth at our doorstep, a local event (concert, tent meeting, stadium, crusade, etc.), or local church; claiming we realize we are a sinner who needs the forgiveness of Christ, to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. So, we ask Christ to come into our hearts, possibly get baptized (but there be some who do not even make it to this step of obedience), and then we are all but done with our Christian walk and fellowship with our Savior.

We have done what we have been told must be done to give us a clear conscious and free eternal access to heaven, NO MATTER WHAT WE DO HEREAFTER. We allow sin to abound in our life, expecting, almost demanding, grace must also abound to cover whatever our flesh desires to do; even if is in total opposition to God and His Word, for we have prayed the prayer. As the taxi driver above, we smile, ‘Once Saved Always Saved (salvation) is wonderful. Now we can do whatever we want.’

With our backs pressed hard against the wall we may not claim this, but our actions declare it loud and clear both to God and man. When asked, we quickly mimic, ‘I am a Christian’, though we have no desire to attend church, pray, read or study scripture, speak or ponder the things of God, nor has there been any change in our thoughts and actions since the day we claim to have put faith in Christ.

No, Christians are not perfect, but there is more to Christianity than simply stating ‘I am a Christian’. James tells us (ch. 2) ‘Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.’

Now, let me make it fully clear, I am an advocate who believes scripture teaches once a person is truly saved, they cannot lose salvation; for we are in Christ (Romans 8). Yet, grace is not a license to sin, nor is profession of faith without works WHICH MUST FOLLOW (because of the spiritual quickening and indwelling of the Holy Spirit within us) a proof one is forgiven and bound for heaven. Anyone who claims salvation, yet has no desire for a personal relationship with Christ, needs desperately to examine themselves and seek repentance; for a truly repentant heart does as Christ: gives themselves over to the will of God rather than their own will.

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John Bunyan

To be saved is to be preserved in the faith to the end. 'He that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.' (Mt. 24:13) Not that perseverance is an accident in Christianity, or a thing performed by human industry; they that are saved 'are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation.' (1 Pet. 1: 3-6) But perseverance is absolutely necessary to the complete saving of the soul…. He that goeth to sea with a purpose to arrive at Spain, cannot arrive there if he be drowned by the way; wherefore perseverance is absolutely necessary to the saving of the soul.