Once Saved… Always Saved?

Most of my life was spent under the teaching of a very unhealthy, yet popular truism: Once saved; Always saved. I use the term truism, because I believe it is true… it’s just very confusing. Maybe it would have been better stated as… If saved, Always saved.

The problem with this term is our failure to clearly define salvation. What does it mean to say that a person has been saved?

The Bible has much to say about this, but it differs greatly from a lot of the teaching we hear today.

In his letter to the church at Ephesus, Paul identified who the true believers are.

True believers are those who have been positioned in Christ. They have properly responded to the gospel with repentance, they bear good fruit, and they persevere until the end.

The gospel provision of justification (no longer guilty of sin) and regeneration (born again, a new creation, changed) are evidenced in the daily lives of those who have been redeemed by God.

True believers understand that the treasure of the gospel is not heaven… it is Jesus. They grasp the reality that they have already been blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

The true believers rest in assurance because they have been sealed with the Holy Spirit, their guarantee of inheritance.

The problem with that truism mentioned above is that men have drove a wedge between justification and regeneration. They have decided that people can be saved and not be changed. The Bible knows nothing of this!

About mtsweat

Seeking the rest that is only promised and found in Christ Jesus, along with my treasured wife of more than twenty-five years, we seek to grow in our relationship with our Heavenly Father, walk with the Holy Spirit as He moves our hearts, loving others always as Jesus loves us, and carry the news of His glory, the wonderful gospel, that gives light and life where there once was only darkness.
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24 Responses to Once Saved… Always Saved?

  1. jellybeanyee says:

    I believe once saved, always saved. But it is sad to see this truism cause laziness in many Christians, because they believe they already have the passport to heaven, so they don’t care to serve God or witness for Christ. The cults that preach salvation by works, their believers are zealous in preaching their false doctrines.

    • Cris says:

      Check out Ezekiel 18:20-32.
      Ezekiel 33:11-20 says pretty much the same thing.

      • savedbygrace says:

        HI Chris,

        We are righteous not by works. but by the eternal blood of Jesus.
        We cannot, by doing good works make ourselves righteous. but by faith in Jesus, we become righteous by His blood.

        “Just think how much more the blood of Christ will purify our consciences from sinful deeds so that we can worship the living God. For by the power of the eternal Spirit, Christ offered himself to God as a perfect sacrifice for our sins.”
        – Hebrews 9:14

        We who are rightheous by His blood, cannot unrighteos ourselves before God. We may sin, or miss the mark. but The eternal blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

        “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”
        – 1 John 1:7

        Ezekiel 18:20-32, Ezekiel 33:11-20 = is not the same rightheousness we have from Jesus.

        God promise has been fulfilled by Jesus

        “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.””
        – Hebrews 8:12 (also in Jeremiah 31

        relax.. You are rightheous in God’s sight..

        If because of the though you are rightheous in God’s sight makes you want to sin, then something is wrong here. grace does not encourage you to sin as opposed to the popular wordly definition

        grace and peace

  2. Cris says:

    Ezekiel 18 and 33 have some interesting things to say about sinners who turn away from their sins and the righteous who turn away from their righteousness. You might want to read those two chapters for some additional enlightenment.

    Although there are some who think the Old Testament is no longer valid or essential, having been superseded by the New Testament, I am not one of them.

    In fact, I think I’ll address this subject in one of my future blogs at https://thebiblicalapologist.wordpress.com/ where I address subjects that are not (I imagine) ordinarily discussed.

    Come and see for yourself and check out the past blogs at “The Biblical Apologist”. I’m currently in the midst of a six-part series on “Who Are We?” You just might be in for some surprises.

    Pardon me for the shameless self-promoting. 🙂

    • savedbygrace says:

      I apologize for the long post.

      “If a righteous man turns from his righteousness and does evil, he will die for it.”
      – Ezekiel 33:18

      “For I have no pleasure in the death of one who dies,” says the Lord God. “Therefore turn and live!”
      – Ezekiel 18:32

      ** the righteousness in Ezekiel is not “JESUS KIND OF RIGHTEOUSNESS”
      ** We are righteous because of Jesus. Not by works. but by grace.
      ** even turning away (works) from sin does not make one righteous
      ** turning away from sin, is the result of righteousness in you

      “I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”
      – Galatians 2 :21

      “It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God–that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption”
      – 1 Corinthians 1:30

      Look at this verse below
      “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, VISITING THE INIQUITY of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me”
      – Exodus 20:5

      God will VISIT YOU SINS. GOD Remembers your sin.

      now look at this below
      “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.””
      – Hebrews 8:12 (also in Jeremiah 31)

      God will remember sins no more! He has done so, at the body of Jesus
      God remembered all your sins (past present future), long before you were born, God remembered you sins at the cross where Jesus was nailed and crucified.
      when Jesus said, It is finish, God forgotten all your sins. because all your sins has been punished.

      Tell me, Which covenant are you?

      the old covenant – which remembers your sins?
      the new covenant – which forgets all you sins?

      There is no distinction between New Testament and Old Testament..

      The new testament IS NOT THE NEW COVENANT
      The old testament IS NOT THE OLD COVENANT

      you can find the old in the new, and the new in the old.

      you can fin JESUS in the old testament.. because The bible is about Jesus.

      In the new covenant, a righteous man can never sin, much less do evil

      “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God”
      – 1 John 3:9


      you are forgiven Righteously. Judicially.. You are forgiven not by Gods mercy, but by God’s grace, judging your all your sins.

      how can you lose your righteousness? how can you lose salvation?

      “By calling this covenant “new,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.”
      – Hebrew 8:13

      grace and peace

      • singingsinglev4 says:

        Sorry so long –
        Here’s what the Lord revealed to me about the subject, and I am still learning, but I gathered that you are forgiven if you continue to remain faithful to Him like a wife is supposed to be toward her husband. If you turn away from Him like the Branch planted by the fertile soil in Isaiah 5 there could be some repercussions. “You who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 97:10 NKJV We are supposed to hate evil. Evil is sin, and whatever we do that is evil and is like crucifying Christ all over again. Granted we are not perfect, but if we still continue to love and pursue Him with a daily surrendering of our will towards His and to take on His nature, we will become more and more like Him and take on His character until it becomes complete in us.

        We may fall down and miss the mark at times with our own soulish characteristics, and if we’re not led by the Spirit, and God forgives us for that, but if we practice the works of the flesh which are: adultery,fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5) Also it talks about walking in the Spirit and those that walk in the Spirit and are led by the Spirit with consistent surrender to Him, then they will no longer sin. The Holy Spirit helps us so if we try to do it on our own we will fail. In Revelation Jesus has warnings for the Churches for not repenting for sins, and He did talk about repenting. The thing that gets to me is Matthew 7:23 where He says “I never knew you, depart from Me, you workers of iniquity”. I am still digesting this subject, but it all comes back to the fear of God, and the love of God, those two in combination are a power punch!!

  3. singingsinglev4 says:

    Can you expound on this topic a little more – it’s an issue I’m struggling with. At times I think that there is no change, especially to the people I live with, so I can’t see the change, but others can. I would hope to be bearing more fruit, until the day that we become so much like Jesus, that people can’t tell the difference.

    • savedbygrace says:

      the question is “can you lose your salvation?”.

      For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
      – Ephesians 2:8

      You are saved by Gods grace and not by your works

      Question 1.
      1. Can you save yourself by works?
      – No
      2. Can you “un-save” yourself by works?
      – you cant even save yourself by works, how can you “un-save” yourself then?
      3. How did God save you?
      – by the blood of Jesus His only Son who died at the cross
      4. How can God “un-save” you?
      – by going back to the past and not send Jesus to die and shed His blood at the cross.

      God would have to unseal (how?) you with His holy Spirit.
      God would have to retract His words “I will never leave you nor forsake you”
      What kind of Sin must you commit to undo your salvation?

      If you are really interested to know the steps in losing the salvation, see this post.


      grace and peace

  4. savedbygrace says:

    Two things

    1. Always saved
    – live a happy life, do anything like – kill someone (are you really saved?)
    – preaching is not required, but you cant help it. you’ll preach anyway
    – the Spirit in you bears fruit, resulting to Life

    2. May lose salvation
    – live a fearful life
    – preach to the dying just in time for his last breath before he dies.
    – come up with something called “purgatory”, work your way up

    i’m getting ready to be fired,
    grace and peace

  5. literary lew says:

    There is a graciousness that characterizes your writing.

  6. JR says:

    If we are saved by Christ’s work on our behalf, thus resulting in GENUINE salvation; then the Father would have to reject the work of the Son for a person to lose their redemption. God would have to deny Himself, and this would be heretical. Thanks for posting!

  7. Reblogged this on Justification by Grace and commented:
    Here is a well-stated look at the skewed truism that some call “once saved, always saved,” courtesy of blessed friends at “Resting in His Grace.” Enjoy.

  8. Clark Bunch says:

    I’m not a 5-Point Calvinist, but reformed theology has a better way of saying the same thing. “Eternal security of the believer” acknowledges a component of faith, and through faith by grace we are saved.

  9. Joe Quatrone, Jr. says:

    Great post! There are many people running around this world claiming to be Christians, but do they really know what it means to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? Many people are interested in spirituality, but do they really know what it means to be a Christian? I know many people who claim to be Christians, but in actually they are really not. Sometimes people get offended when you ask them if they are Christian. Why? Because they probably aren’t. They say, “Hey man! Stop judging me!” But Jesus said, “By their fruits you will know them.”

  10. Steven Sawyer says:

    Another “truism”, Mike. Thanks. It’s kind of weird to me that someone can separate salvation and transformation. When we are “saved” we are “transformed”. I heard a good quote I posted on Twitter today. “God doesn’t clear out the cobwebs, he kills the spider.” Talk about transformation! Thanks for this post, Mike, and as usual, again you are spot on.

  11. I certainly believe that when a person is born gain he/she can never be otherwise. We are saved for all eternity. However, we cannot tell with absolute certainly whether or not someone else is born again. The only person who KNOWS my spiritual condition is ME and God – and I can know with absolute certainty that He will continue His work in me and will one day present me faultless before the throne.

    On the other hand, “easy believism” is a curse. Telling someone “you are saved” can condemn them because they might count on a false security. Over many years of counselling children and teens, I have been astounded at the number who claim to be a Christian but show no signs of a changed life. On questioning them, asking them how they know they are a Christian, I’ve had replies such as “Mum told me I asked Jesus into my heart when I was about 6” or “I put up my hand/went forward at a meeting and my pastor told me I was saved” They cannot add anything about sin, repentance, faith etc.

    The saying “once saved, always saved’ is a devil’s lie when applied to situations like these, but it doesn’t detract from the truth of God’s Word that if we are truly saved, we are forever saved.

  12. evanlaar1922 says:

    what am I supposed to say – written with passion and sincerity – but still leaves me doubt

  13. “They have decided that people can be saved and not be changed.”

    …and thereby forgetting the work of the Holy Spirit through sanctification! Great post, thank you. -Dani

  14. lambskinny says:

    I believe “when saved, always saved” — the change is a permanent alteration of our very natures! Thanks MT!

  15. Hank says:

    Totally agree. “Easy Believism” is rampant in our churches and has left many a church member sitting on the pew thinking that He is “right with God”. Its a real shame. Men compromise truth just for numbers,money in the plate, and popularity.

  16. granbee says:

    The good tree bears good fruit. The Spirit that comes to dwell within us when we “come under the blood” in true faith, confession, and submission bears much fruit. The act of salvation and the bearing of the fruit can not be falsely separated by man’s misinterpretation of Holy Scripture, praise be!

  17. writinggomer says:

    Your insight in this is really good. Thanks for sharing.

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