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Topic: Once Saved, Always Saved

The Foundation for Doing Right

by Darrel Cline

We have been looking into the biblical fact that once God forgives us our sins because we have come to believe in Jesus Christ, our sins are forgiven for all time and eternity. In another article (102) we made the claim that belief in this truth is the only way we can be free to live selflessly. We said that people who behave in order to escape Hell are self-focused and are acting in pure self interest. This keeps them from living in genuine love.

But, someone is going to say, "Look, this is crazy! You can't free people from sin by telling them that they are free to sin." On the surface of it, it does look like teaching people that they are saved forever by faith in the blood of Jesus makes them free to sin and still go to heaven. But, that's only the most superficial appearance.

What are some of the more fundamental facts? Here are a few: 1) Everyone, who is not absolutely morally perfect, sins; 2) If everyone sins (because there are none who are morally perfect), then no one goes to heaven if we have to refrain from sinning in order to go there; 3) The question is not whether people sin or not; it is, rather, what produces the motivation in people to make an honest effort to deal with their sins and sinfulness?

In respect to this third question, there are two popular answers. There is the answer that the You can, too, lose your salvation crowd gives: the motivation to do righteously comes from the fear of Hell because of the loss of salvation. And there is the answer that the No you can not lose your salvation crowd gives: the motivation for godly living comes from a deep love for God that is generated in the heart by His amazing grace and willingness to save sinners who are not, and never will be in this life, morally perfect. So, the issue is: where is your motivation coming from? self-interest? or love for the forgiving God?

But some in the you can too lose it crowd are going to object that they serve God because of love and not because of fear of loss. But, the question then becomes: why do you love Him? Because He forgave your sins and granted you eternal life? or because He gave you a second chance to behave? If you love Him for forgiving you, how much did He forgive? Jesus said they would love most who were forgiven most. Therefore, if He has forgiven all of our sins, we can love Him a great deal. But, if He has only forgiven some of our sins, we will only love Him a little, and we will always wonder if He will continue. Therefore we will not be secure and that will make us focus upon ourselves.

On the other hand, if you love Him because He gave you a second chance, you don't love Him at all--because love for God comes from being forgiven, not from getting another chance.

So, again we see that only those who are absolutely and completely forgiven have a foundation for being motivated to do what is right out of love for God. There are some who claim to believe they are forgiven and use that as an excuse to sin, but the Bible says if you are forgiven, you love your Forgiver. If you love Him, you will not use His forgiveness as permission to sin.

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This is article #103.
If you wish, you may contact Darrel as darrelcline at this site.