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IS OSAS BIBLICAL?

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(Thanks to Darrell Creswell for his illustrated scripture.)

WHAT DOES OSAS MEAN?  I recently discovered what OSAS meant when I came across this acronym from reading different posts.  There are many Christians who subscribe to this teaching of ‘Once Saved Always Saved’,  which is what OSAS means.  According to the scripture above we did nothing by ourselves to deserve God’s grace and gift of salvation.  I certainly believe this to be true, that Jesus paid the price for our sins, calling  us “out from darkness into his marvelous light”  (1 Pe 2:9). . .   

BUT we are also called to Righteousness and Holiness:                                                                                      

“BUT now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”  (Romans 6: 22-23) 

“BUT if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in  you.

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: BUT if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.”  (Romans 8:11-13) 

“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;

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”         (Titus 2:11-14)

Professing faith in Jesus Christ is just the BEGINNING of our faith walk, a life long relationship with God. We must learn to love God and share His love with others.  Jesus told His disciples to follow Him, learn from His example and His teachings.  He commissioned His followers and us as well, to preach the gospel in all the world, make disciples of men, heal the sick, cast out devils, etc. (Mt 28:19-20; Mark 16:15; Luke 24:47; John 20:21; Acts 1:8)

A brief profile of the believer’s life should be as follows- RODS:

  • R- Repentance- to confess and turn away from sin, from our old life of living for self to living for God and others; a clear change in mind set and a new life style;
  • O- Obedience- to live out our faith with works pleasing to God and holy living by following and obeying God’s Word and doing His Will.
  • D- Discipleship- to follow after Christ’ example and the New Testament teachings; living a life of studying God’s Word, prayer and worship, and Christian fellowship. 
  • S- Service- to obey the Great Commission, sharing the Gospel message at home and abroad by words and by deeds; serving God by serving others in the local assembly, community, etc., being zealous of good works!

The basic attributes noted above should be found in the lives of all those who desire to be counted as faithful followers of Christ.   A true worshipper of Christ is one who worships God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).  He is separated unto God and does not compromise God’s standards with the ways of the world:

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.  If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”  (1John 2:15-17)

Qualities In Our Character that God Desires:

HUMILITY AND PURITY

“The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”  (Psa 34:18)  

“Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?  He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”  (Psa 24:3-4)

“Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.  (Mt 5:8)

GOOD FRUIT AND GOOD WORKS

“. . .for the tree is known by his fruit.”  (Mt 12:33)                                                       “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Mt 7:19-20)

“. . .the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.  And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”  (Gal 5:22-23, 25)

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  (Mt 5:16)

“He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”  (Micah 6:8)

THE BIG QUESTION:  Is my salvation a done deal?  

 “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”  (Phlp 2:12)

“How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation;. . .”  (Heb 2:3)

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. . . 

And they continued stedfastly in  the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread and in prayers.  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.”  (Acts 2:38, 42, 43)

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Do all things without murmurings and disputings:

That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; . . .”   (Php 2:12-15)

“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”  (Mt 24:13)

0SAS– AN ERRONEOUS TEACHING

From the many scriptures that have been cited so far, we can easily see that salvation is a matter to be taken very seriously.  It is about a life commitment to God 24/7, 365 days a year.   It is ABOUT GOD, not us,  who sets the standards, and ABOUT JESUS who is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb 12:2).  

OSAS is a concept that is unBiblical and cannot be proven by scriptures.  Careful study of God’s Word shows that there are many ‘If-then’ conditions attached to God’s promises.  One outstanding illustration is 2Chronicles 7:14.   God spoke this promise to King Solomon who disobeyed God and led his people into apostasy which is still the national condition of Israel today.  If we are disobedient and reject God, He will withhold His blessings from us.  God moves on our behalf when we are humble and repent of our sinful ways.  Obedience or disobedience to God determined the final outcome of individuals and nations in the past and will be the case in the present and future.

 OSAS is misleading in that it generates more questions than answers, thus creating confusion and disputings over the definition of ‘saved’ and ‘saved from what?’  More importantly, it gives many Christians a false security of being saved no matter how they live.  So what does ‘work out your own salvation with fear and trembling’ mean?  Or ‘he that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved’? 

In reviewing the preceding sections of scriptures, two big words in particular stand out: HUMILITY of character and HOLINESS in Christian conduct.  For this reason I submit that OSAS, ‘Once Saved Always Saved’ is a misnomer and a fallacious doctrine.  Only God alone knows the heart of man.  He is the ultimate Judge in matters of humility or pride and righteous or unrighteous living.  How can anyone say that his salvation is written in stone?  Many Christian leaders will be in for a rude awakening:  

“Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  (Mt 7:21-23)

 In Ezekiel chapter 3, God commands Ezekiel to warn people regarding their sins.  One group are the righteous who sin, that they must repent.  God says that He will not remember their righteousness because they sinned and did not repent. (Eze 3:20)  Who are these people?  They may be any of these in 2 Tim 3:1-8.   Or they may those  going to churches that practice ‘cheap grace’ or ‘sloppy agape’, churches that don’t preach repentance and holiness  and close their eyes to sexual sins in the camp like members living in fornication, adultery, homosexuality, worldly lifestyles, and other sins.  

Jesus spoke a parable of two men praying in the temple to point out their heart attitudes.  The Pharisee boasted of what a righteous person he was and told of his good works; he looked with disdain and scorn upon other men, even the other person in the temple with him.  Standing a distance away, the publican prayed, “God be merciful to me a sinner.”  (Luke 18:9-14)  This is what Jesus said about pride and humility:

“. . .every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” 

A LAST WORD  

Isaiah 43:25 says, “I, even I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.”  This speaks of the sins we repent of and we are told to not continue in our sins.  (Rom 6:1-4)

Names written in the Book of Life may be or can be BLOTTED OUT!

“He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” (Rev 3:5)

“He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”  (Rev 21:7)

BUT the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”  (Rev 21:8)

(The LORD speaking to Moses) “Furthermore the LORD spake unto me, saying, I have seen this people, and behold, it is a stiffnecked people:

Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven: and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they.

So I turned and came down from the mount, and the mount burned with fire: and the two tables of the covenant were in my two hands.”  (Deut 9:13-15)

Let us be careful to be humble and have a teachable spirit so that the Holy Spirit can be our teacher to illuminate God’s truths to our hearts.

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”  (2Tim 2:15-16)