Posts Tagged ‘Epistle to the Romans’

Haven’t you heard or thought this when the subject of eternal security, perseverance of the saints, or “once saved always saved,” comes up: “That’s going to make people think that once they are saved then they can just go do whatever they want and they’ll still go to heaven. That is horrible!”

I have heard people say this a lot. My question though is, is it true? Once people are TRULY saved, can they do whatever they want and be okay?

Although I need you to hear me out in order to be understood properly, I shout a resounding…


Now before I get everyone all worked up, let me explain. The question again was, “doesn’t ‘Once Saved Always Saved’ imply that people can do whatever they want after they are saved and they will still go to heaven?” Sometime it is worded, “isn’t that a license to sin?” This last question I would firmly oppose. It is firmly not a license to sin and this is why:

If the person has truly been taken from the kingdom of darkness and transferred to the kingdom of light, that means that they received what Ezekiel calls a new heart, a new spirit, the Holy Spirit, and God’s forceful causing them to obey His commands. Let’s look at the passage in Ezekiel 36:

“26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.”

A heart of stone that is void of a willing spirit and the Holy Spirit cannot please God. It has to have a radical change enacted upon itself by God. This is what Jeremiah 31 talks about as well with the New Covenant. So if you truly have been redeemed by Jesus Christ, you have a new spirit (you are now wanting to be holy as God is Holy), you now have the Holy Spirit (which Ephesians 1:13-14 calls the seal or down payment of God which, by giving it, guarantees He will pay in full by bringing you all the way to full Salvation), and finally it says explicitly in the text, God will CAUSE you to walk in His ways and be careful to OBEY His rules. This text should make people who hold to free will go insane.

Now briefly, I want to touch on this “new heart” concept. The Bible has a lot to say about the heart.

Proverbs 4:23
Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.

Proverbs 27:19
As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.

Matthew 12:34
You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart
the mouth speaks.

Matthew 15:18-19
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony,

Mark 7:21-22
For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22
greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.

The heart of the unbeliever is a factory that continually makes idols and because of the natural condition of the heart, it proves our guilt of sin. The heart is where our desires live. If we have an unconverted heart, we have evil desires, and then, because our will is in bondage to our heart’s desires, we will evil things all the time, proving that we have no free will, but are slaves to sin (Romans 6:5, 20). But, and I repeat, but if/when God gives us a new heart, we have new wants and new desires!

So go and do whatever you want to do because if you are truly a blood-bought child of God, you want to worship God, you want to read His Word, you want to obey all of His commands. You don’t want to sin against Him anymore. Even the Apostle Paul said that the things he did not want to do, he did, and the things he did want to do, he still struggled to do (Romans 7). This means that yes, if we are Christians we are still affected by sin’s presence in our lives and we still stumble and fall, but we don’t want to do that anymore. We want to please God.

How do we know if we are saved though? We don’t want to believe in vain. And also, we have to test ourselves to see if we are of the faith. But listen to this:

Romans 10:9-10
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.

So if you are truly saved, and you have had the Holy Spirit testify with your spirit that you are a child of God, Go and do what you want to do, which is worship and glorify Jesus Christ all your days. And when we do we know that it is God who, “works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose (Philippians 2:13).”

Jesus Christ
Image via Wikipedia

I haven’t blogged something for a little while now. I’m getting back into the rhythm of teaching. I was just thinking about something this morning and I figured I would share it with everyone.

As Christians, because of Jesus’ work on the cross, we are reconciled back to God. As Romans 5:8 says,”… while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” A problem I was thinking about this morning and over the weekend is that we have yet to become perfected.


We are still being perfected as Hebrews 10:14 explains. Even though we are “being perfected”, Hebrews 10:14 tells us that we are perfect in God’s sight. That is because of Christ’s completed work and his righteousness imputed to us fallen sinners. I’m very appreciative toward my pastor Doug Rehberg for reminding me of something amazing. I read it before in an R. C. Sproul book. He said,

“The Father appointed us to salvation (Acts 13:48), Jesus accomplished everything that we needed for salvation, and the Holy Spirit applies that finished work to the elect.”

It makes for a great acrostic. Remember the three A’s.

  1. The Father Appoints
  2. The Son Accomplishes
  3. The Spirit Applies

Another great thing to understand is that were predestined by God before the foundations of the world for salvation and to be conformed to the image of Jesus, as Ephesians 1:3-10 explains. Some people think that reformed theology is that God chooses people to save and it doesn’t matter if that person even loves Jesus or progresses in Christ-likeness. This is just an unfair description of the reformed view of predestination and election and that is not the way reformed people think. 

The truth is that God chose us before the creation of our world, and the effect of that choosing is that we are “blameless and holy before him.”

-Ephesians 1:4

If you read Ephesians 1, you will understand that God chooses us and the effect of that choosing is that we love God. The point I want to talk about today is that even though God now sees us as perfect because of what Jesus has done, we still sin. A couple of verses that I have been thinking about lately are Philippians 3:12-15. It says,

[Straining Toward the Goal]
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own (progressively growing in holiness and Christ-likeness), because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it (perfection) my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.

The part I want to focus on is this: “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”

I still sin, but so did Paul. So did all the apostles. King David, Elijah, Moses, (etc.). They all were sinners. Paul is saying here though that we need to be striving to grow in holiness, or as he puts it, make it our own. Why should we do this? Because Christ Jesus has made us his own. This really is an amazing thought. Jesus has made me his own.

Notice how it does not say that Christ Jesus offered that he would make us his own. It says that he did it! He made us his own. God gave us to Jesus (John 6:37) and he made us his own by his completed incarnate work. This very fact motivated Paul to not look back at his sins, but repent and continue on this race toward becoming like Jesus. Jesus made us his own, and now, by the Holy Spirit’s power, we must strive toward this goal and make it our own. Our past, present, and future sins were all nailed to Jesus on the cross. Repent, get back up, and work toward this amazing goal.