Many people glance at the discussion between the OSAS proponents and the other side which believes
that your salvation is conditional and they ask the question, is it really such a big deal whether you believe one way or
the other? Many people feel that this discussion is causing unnecessary divisions within the Body of Christ and therefore
it is not at all a profitable discussion. I’d like to briefly address these concerns in this article. Before I begin
I’d like to state that I believe that this issue is foundational to understanding Biblical Christianity. How a person
views this issue affects their views on sin, grace, salvation, and their entire Christian experience.
Regarding sin, the Bible teaches us that the wages of sin is spiritual death. (Rom. 6:23) It
teaches us that God is holy and because of one act of disobedience (sin) by mankind, man was cut off from the presence of
God. Jesus Christ came, was crucified, and rose again to pay the penalty for our sins. He came to give us the opportunity
to be reconciled with a holy God. Both sides would agree up to this point. But here is where a separation occurs.
OSAS proponents teach that you have been forgiven for absolutely all of your sins: past, present,
and future, the moment you put your trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior. From this point forward, no matter what you might do,
God looks down from His throne at you and sees Jesus. They would teach that God’s grace essentially covers all of your
sins. You can be right smack in the middle of an act of adultery yet God sees Jesus. You could have just finished physically
abusing your wife and children yet God sees Jesus. You can commit suicide, which is self-murder, yet still go to heaven. From
their perspective there is absolutely no sin that you could commit that could sever your relationship with God.
A conditional security advocate believes that the moment you receive Jesus as Lord and Savior
that all of your past sins are immediately forgiven but that any sins that are committed afterward must be confessed and repented
of, to God, to receive forgiveness for them. They believe that God has destroyed the bondage to sinning that you were previously
enslaved to and they believe that God’s grace gives you the ability to now live a righteous, godly life, of which you
are required to try to do. They believe that the Bible teaches that some sins can destroy your relationship with God.
After analyzing these two different views we should be able to begin to see how each teaching
might alter one’s perspectives on sin, salvation, and grace and how this eventually could play out in one’s Christian
walk. From the OSAS perspective, if all of our future sins are forgiven, sin is no longer a very big issue in the Christian’s
life. Sinning is probably not a good idea but logically, if they have already been forgiven, there is no real reason to be
overly concerned with it. An OSAS proponent might say that sinning will cause you to lose some rewards in heaven but, your
salvation is sealed, it’s a done deal, you are on your way to heaven no matter what you might do.
The conditional security side believes that sin is still a very big issue in the Christian’s
life. They believe that post-conversion sins must be confessed and repented of to receive forgiveness and they believe that
certain sins, if not repented of, will result in loss of salvation and an even harsher punishment in hell because of having
once believed. Are we beginning to see how these differences might affect how a Christian might live? Which view, do you think,
would compel people to live holy, as the Bible commands?
An OSAS proponent, at this point, would probably tell you that the gratitude they have, because
of all that God ’s grace has accomplished, the forgiveness of all sins: past, present, and future, gives them the incentive
and compels them to try to live a holy life. Is this true? It sounds real nice and commendable but is this what actually occurs
most of the time? I’m convinced, and statistics regarding the morality, or lack of it in the church, seem to confirm
this, that OSAS teaching produces the opposite result. My own experience tells me that it causes people to trivialize sin,
tempts them to get closer to sin than they might otherwise, invites engaging in certain sins which are deemed as minor which
leads to participation in more serious sins, and gives them a general lackadaisical attitude in regard to the importance of
living holy. I’ve also noticed the tendency to make people hearers of the word only. Only you, Christian, know in your
own heart which result is true.
From the side of the conditional security advocate, though, the seriousness of sin is magnified,
God’s hatred of sin is ever present in your thoughts, and the possibility of spending eternity in the Lake of Fire is
incentive to utilize the grace that God has given to us to live a holy life. The Bible says that without holiness, no man
shall see the Lord. (Heb. 12:14) Which belief system do you see necessitating holiness?
Let’s now move on to the most important factor. Which view is the Biblical view? Are all
of our sins: past, present, and future, forgiven the moment we believe in Jesus? The three passages most widely used by OSAS
teachers would have to be Eph. 1:7 and Col. 1:14; 2:13. These passages clearly speak of our receiving forgiveness of sins
but can we say for sure that they are including all of our future sins, which to this point haven’t been committed yet?
Are there any other passages which can clarify this a little more for us? Well Rom. 3:25 says,
“Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, to declare His righteousness for the remission
of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God.” Interesting, what about 2Peter 1:9 which reads, “But
he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”
Notice that Peter doesn’t say that, they’d forgotten that they had been purged from all (including their future)
sins, he only mentions their old or past sins. One last passage I’d like to point out is 1John 1:5-9 which reads, “This
then is the message which we have heard of Him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all.
If we (Christians) say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we (Christians)
walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us
from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we (Christians) confess
our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Here the Apostle
John is speaking to Christians about the Christian walk. In verse 7 he does mention that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses
us from all sin but verse 9 makes it clear that he is speaking of all our present sins. If a Christian had already been forgiven
for all of their future sins would the command to confess our sins for forgiveness and cleansing be necessary? Does the Bible
teach that at the initial moment of salvation that all of our sins: past, present, and future, are immediately forgiven or
are only our past sins forgiven with future sins being forgiven only after confession and repentance?
Does the Bible teach that God’s grace has taken care of all of our sins so that God looks
down and sees Jesus no matter what we do or does it teach that God’s grace gives us the ability to overcome future sins
and live godly lives? Titus 2:11-12 seems to answer this question pretty well. It reads, “For the grace of God that
bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly,
righteously, and godly, in this present world.” What teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and live righteously
in this present world? God’s grace! The grace of God not only takes away sins it also enables us to avoid future sins.
This is why Paul could write, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
(Rom. 6:14) The law brought about sinfulness because of our sin nature, grace has broken our bondage to sin and enables us
to overcome it. Sin no longer has dominion over us because of God’s grace. God has made us free from sin so that we
can now live holy lives. “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness,
and the end everlasting life.” (Rom. 6:22)
Does the Bible teach that sinful living can destroy a Christian or is sin no longer an issue
in regard to salvation? Rom. 8:12-13 reads, “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh (sinful nature),
to live after the flesh. For if ye (brethren) live after the flesh (sinful nature), ye shall die: but if ye through
the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Gal. 6:7-8 reads, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked:
for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh (sinful nature) shall of the flesh reap
corruption (destruction); but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” These scriptures
seem to be very clear. The Christian that continues to sin will die (spiritually). Some additional passages to consider would
be: 1Cor. 6:9-10; Gal. 6:19-21; Eph. 5:3-7; Rev. 21:7-8. After reading through these additional passages ask yourself these
questions. Does it ever say that it is ok for a Christian to do any of these things listed? And will anyone who does these
things enter the kingdom of God? Based upon these passages, will sinful living result in loss of rewards for the Christian
or eternity in hell?
Does the Bible teach that holy living is a necessary aspect of the Christian experience or is
it simply a good idea to work towards out of gratitude and love for God? The Apostle Peter in 1Pet. 1:14-17 writes, “As
obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: but as He which hath called
you is holy, so ye be holy in all manner of conversation (behavior); because it is written, ’Be ye holy; for I am holy.’”
And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of
your sojourning here in fear.” Paul writes in 1Thess. 4:7-8, “For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but
unto holiness. He therefore that despiseth (this), despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us His Holy Spirit.”
Paul again in 2Cor. 6:17-7:1 writes, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch
not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith
the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh
and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.” And finally Heb. 12:14 which tells us that without holiness shall
no man see the Lord. Is holy living a necessity, that should be approached with fear, and without it shall no man see God
or is it a good idea to work towards because of our gratitude to God?
Friends, there’s one other point I need to mention. There is a false gospel of grace talked
about in the Bible which tells people that sin is no longer an issue and that if you sin you needn’t worry and it insinuates
and logically concludes that you can sin and get away with it. Jude warns us about this false gospel of grace in Jude 3-5.
It reads, “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write
unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there
are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace
of our God into lasciviousness (or into a license to sin), and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. I
will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land
of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.” Here we are told to contend against a gospel of grace which promotes
sinful living and in verse 5 Jude gives us an example of why this is so necessary.
Jude takes the example of the experience of the nation of Israel and compares it with the Christian
life. Just as the Lord saved the children of Israel out of Egyptian bondage, so He also saves us from the bondage to sin that
was destroying us. As you see though, that was not the end of the story, for them or for us. Israel was saved but had to prove
themselves faithful to God for 40 years in the wilderness before they reached the promised land and as Jude says here, many
who were saved, afterward believed not and were destroyed. Our Christian walk parallels the experience of the Israelites.
We, too, are saved out of bondage but we must prove ourselves faithful to God for the rest of our lives before we will reach
our promised land, heaven. (read 1Pet. 1:7-9) Many will not make it.
The false gospel Jude tells us to contend against will tell you, No, “once you are saved,
you will always be saved.” There is no wilderness experience, or trial of your faith, to be concerned with because you’re
guaranteed to enter the promised land. You’ve already made it. How many Christians cross over the Red Sea and enter
the gate to begin their journey down that narrow road towards the promised land but then encounter a horde of Christians congregating
right there at the entrance congratulating them and telling them “You’ve made it”, “Stay right here
with us”, not even knowing that they are required to continue walking in faith to be proved faithful enough to enter
the promised land. They remain at the gate, just close enough to the other side to still be able to hear Satan say, “Don’t
worry” “Ye shall not surely die.” And as they listen and listen they are lulled to sleep and they begin
to disregard the seriousness of sin, they begin to trifle with it more and more, they begin to explain away the commands of
the Lord Jesus and His Apostles and soon after they are no longer walking in faith. If these Christians do not wake up and
repent and begin again to faithfully obey the Lord Jesus and His Word, they will join the devil and his demons in the Lake
of Fire. May that not be you, my dear friend. Don’t allow Satan to mislead you and lull you to sleep. Get back up and
start walking that narrow path. Jesus said it won’t be easy. In Luke 13:24 He tells us, “Strive to enter in at
the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.” and then we see in verse 29
that He is referring to finally entering into the Kingdom of God (heaven). It is also important to point out that the word
“strive” that Jesus uses here means to struggle, contend, fight for, and agonize. Jesus tells us that we will
need to struggle and fight and agonize to finally enter the kingdom. These words of Jesus make no sense to an OSAS proponent.
It doesn’t fit in with their gospel. So, is this an important issue? Our very souls depend on it. Please friend, reject
that false gospel and contend for the one, true faith that was originally delivered unto the saints. May God bless you.