Question: Do you agree to OSAS (Once Saved Always Saved)?

Answer:

  1. As far as God is concerned, no;
  2. As far as the Christian is concerned:

2.1 the Christian who believes as manifested by good works, no

2.2 the Christian who does not believe as manifested by the absence of good works, yes

Let’s make John 3:16 as our base verse.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

The cited verse shows two opposite destinations where man could end up with as a result of his exercise of the God given freedom to choose: 1. Everlasting life; and, 2. To perish.

My understanding of salvation is that it is connected with God’s declared purpose to create man in his image according to his likeness (Gen. 1:26). The main bible theme is not man’s salvation but man’s creation.

In order for man to acquire God’s image, which is really God’s character of love for God is love (1 John 4:8), man is to be subjected to trials and tests to develop character. At any trying situation, man’s choice is either to make God to reign over him or not. His course of action is either in line with God’s will or not.

Choosing the way contrary to God’s will, which is also expressed in his laws, is sin. By God’s edict the man who sins shall die (Romans 6:23). If all men sin, and they did and still do and “fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), all men will die. God’s objective to create man in his image according to his likeness would fail. 

But God would not be God if he fails.

Foreseeing the high probability of man sinning, God provided Plan B which is salvation. In order for sinful man to be exempted from dying for his sin, another mode of paying for the wages of sin is for the Lamb to die in man’s stead (Revelation 13:8).  Man’s salvation is simply his exemption or escape from dying for his sins.

Is there anything man needs to contribute for his salvation? None. Does a man need to do something good to qualify for salvation? No. The reason why man was saved from death is because God unconditionally loves man. Because God so loved man that he gave his only begotten son, Jesus, to die in man’s behalf, man who deserved to die doesn’t have to. And when Jesus laid down his life and died, man was saved. It is at this point that man was saved.

Man’s salvation is all of God’s acts. God’s love alone saved man. Jesus died not for a person who already had repented of his sins. Jesus did not die for a cleansed man. Jesus died for man while man was still a sinner. Jesus’ death is a demonstration of how much God loves man.

Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus’ death reconciled man to God (Romans 5:10, 1st part). Is the saved man always saved? If the creation, not salvation, is all God’s acts, man will always be saved. It is in this sense that I agree with those who believe in OSAS.

But in order for man’s creation process to proceed, God needs man’s consent. The saved man needs to agree to God’s subjecting him to the rigors of the creation process which is likened to what the clay undergoes in the hands of the master potter. The cleansed and spotless man is now in the hands of God ready to be fashioned into a masterpiece (Isaiah 64:8).

God needs man to express his gratitude by way of belief in Jesus his savior (John 3:16). And when he does, man is gifted with the Holy Spirit which is the guarantee of eternal life (2 Corinthians 5:5) making him, in a sense, a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Notice that the everlasting life John 3:16 mentions is not absolute. For man to finally be changed to spirit to become like God who is Spirit (John 4:24) man has works to do. These works or “business” man has to be occupied with till that “certain nobleman” who “went to a far country” returns (Luke 19:12-13) are not for his salvation which already occurred. These works, which are really more of Jesus’ who lives in the saved man (Galatians 2:20), are geared to develop in man love. Man’s input in his creation is merely, albeit really challenging and difficult to overcome, to make God to reign over his will (Luke 19:27) in trying situations. 

If the saved man, by his choice do not exert any effort to overcome and develop godly character as the wicked servant showed (Luke 19:20-21), man becomes disqualified to be changed to spirit to become like God. By his own volition, he forfeits the guarantee of eternal life previously given him.

Luke 19:26 ‘For I say to you, that to everyone who has will be given; and from him who does not have, even what he has (the guarantee of eternal life) will be taken away from him.

By not doing his part in the creation process, the previously saved man forfeits even his salvation which was freely granted him. It is in this sense that I agree with those who don’t believe in OSAS.

Avelino Matriano further asks: Kaya pwede ring ang tanong ay: Ang tao bang nakatanggap ng regalo ng buhay na walang sa Diyos ay pwede pang mawalan ng buhay na walang hanggan dahil pwedeng bawiin ng Diyos ang buhay na walang hanggan na ipinagkaloob Niya kaninuman?

The answer is yes. While “neither shall anyone snatch them out of” Jesus’ “hand” (John 10:28) the saved man himself, by his choice to not make God to reign over his being, will get himself snatched from Jesus’ hands.

Again, will the saved man still lose his unearned salvation? Because of the God given freewill, my qualified answer as above explained is:

  1. As far as God is concerned, no;
  2. As far as the Christian is concerned:

2.1 the Christian who believes as shown by his making God to reign over him, no

2.2 the Christian who does not believe as manifested by his not making God to reign over him, yes.

Unless one connects salvation to creation, which is really the main theme of the bible message, the debate on OSAS will persist.

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I’d like to point out that, with my understanding, there are 3 views on the issue of salvation:

1. OSAS;

2. Not OSAS; and

3. Salvation being merely a part of creation where:

3.1 As to God, OSAS;

3.2. As to man who proves his faith, OSAS; and

3.3. As to man who proves absence of faith, not OSAS.

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