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Grace, Works, and OSAS (Once Saved Always Saved)

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  • This thread is here for discussing salvation and its parts. Salvation is a more complex issue than what we are taught as kids. In this belief, which has its foundation in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we find the center point of every theme of the Bible and the greatest step in the redemption of mankind. Salvation is related to every other part of the Bible, from the creation and Fall to the End Times.

    With this in mind, there's a lot of content to consider in understanding salvation, and there's no other concept of Christianity for us to worry more of getting correct. Unfortunately, Christianity is split down the middle over this. Generally, Catholics and Protestants disagree with regards to gaining salvation through works and losing salvation, among other things. These are very important differences which must be considered and examined.

    So, to at least present the different beliefs about salvation, I invite all of you to share your views on the parts of salvation. There will undoubtedly be both agreements and disagreements, and I would be naïve to think that after a discussion of these things, we will all come to a consensus on every issue. But I ask that we all do our part in partaking in civil discussions and presenting our views with clarity. Anyone is free to begin any discussion that they want; I just ask that you would wait until the current discussion is over before beginning another one.

    I hope that with these discussions, we will be able to learn more about the different views of Christians and will be made better able to defend the faith and to lead others to Christ.

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

  • I'll begin with a somewhat vaguely defined (vaguely defined by Christians, I mean) part of Christianity: works.  What role do works play in salvation?

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

  • Works don't play any part in obtaining salvation. It's through faith that we achieve salvation, not through works, because it's God's gift, not our own works that gets us salvation. (Loosely based off of Ephesians 2:8.) In my own personnel opinion, works only lull someone into a false sense of security that because they're doing good things, that means that they're saved. Granted, you can have salvation already and then do good works, but you can't do works to get salvation.

  • What role, then, do works play in the Christian's life?  If they are not required in obtaining salvation, what role do they play after salvation?

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

  • Then they're just a way of someone expressing Jesus's love towards other people.

  • I believe true good works result from spiritual growth.  What I mean by "true" is doing good works out of the goodness of your heart and for the progression of God's Kingdom, not to satisfy human desires.  As you begin to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, pray and read God's Word, you will have the urge to help and spread the news of salvation.  I know this is something I have struggled with, doing good works because it's the "right thing to do" or doing good works because you have spiritually progressed and want to spread the Good News.

  • @Johnathan: So, to you, good works are only "true" if they are done out of the goodness of your heart and for the progression of God's Kingdom rather than to satisfy human desires.  First, whose human desires are you talking about?  Second, you mentioned doing good works because it's "the right thing to do".  Is doing good for this reason somehow worse than doing good because you have spiritually progressed?  Are we not obligated to do good?

    I'm not necessarily specifically questioning you, nor do I necessarily disagree with you.  Think of me as a moderator.  I'm only helping to move the conversation.

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

  • Here is a great message by Charles Stanley

    Servant of God :
    So, to you, good works are only "true" if they are done out of the goodness of your heart and for the progression of God's Kingdom rather than to satisfy human desires.

    Yes. That doesn't mean there can't be a combination of both: feeling good about yourself (example desire) and progressing God's Kingdom, however, (I believe) everyone should strive for the latter.  We can use Jesus as an example of someone who performed true good works.  

    Servant of God :
    First, whose human desires are you talking about?

    The person doing the good works. 

    Servant of God :
    Second, you mentioned doing good works because it's "the right thing to do".  Is doing good for this reason somehow worse than doing good because you have spiritually progressed?  Are we not obligated to do good?

    The outcome of the good works would be the same in both situations.  However, you will know when you are doing good because you feel like you have to (which you don't) and when you want to because your spirit is filled with the glory of God. 

    We are not obligated to do good.

    Ephesians 2:8-9: For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

     

    Here are some more questions if anyone wants to share their opinion. Let me know if I should be more specific.

    Can non-Christians do good works?

    Should we support the billions of dollars of aid given every year even though they were from non-Christian organizations and donors?

    Should we only donate to Christian organizations?

  • "We are not obligated to do good." Considering both this statement and your quote of Ephesians 2:8-9, then what do you think of Christian hypocrites and of Matthew 7:16?

    "You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?" (ESV)

    "Can non-Christians do good works?" Yes.

    "Should we support the billions of dollars of aid given every year even though they were from non-Christian organizations and donors?" That depends, to me, on whatever the money is going to. If it is to aid in, for example, educating Africans of how to farm or in research for a cancer cure, then yes. If it is to aid in stem cell research, then I wouldn't be so sure. I don't think that whether or not the organization is a Christian one matters as much, but I would focus more on supporting other Christians.

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

  • Servant of God :
    "We are not obligated to do good." Considering both this statement and your quote of Ephesians 2:8-9, then what do you think of Christian hypocrites and of Matthew 7:16?

    "You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?" (ESV

    This article by Paul Elliott  sheds some light on the above question.

     

  • Okay, I agree that good works are the by-products of a relationship with Christ.  I have two questions, then.  First, are we justified in looking at a professing Christian's fruits to determine if he or she is a genuine Christian?  Second, are Christians held accountable for the works they do, even though they have already been forgiven and given the Holy Spirit?

    1 Peter 3:15 (NASB): "But sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence."

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