Can a believer lose their salvation?

can a believer lose their salvationA few Pentecostal teachers today, such as Dr Michael Brown, are attacking so called ‘hyper-grace teaching’, by writing articles in Charisma magazine claiming that those who believe that future sins are forgiven are introducing heresy into the Body of Christ.

Consequently therefore, those who believe that only past sins have been forgiven, believe that you need to ask and receive forgiveness for every sin that you commit from the point of salvation. In extreme cases, some believe that if you die without confessing your latest sin, you may go to hell!

So, can a believer lose their salvation? Did God really design salvation to be that uncertain and precarious? If what Dr Michael Brown is saying is correct, then none of us can sleep safe at night, as at any moment we may be in danger of being plunged into hell for a brief lapse of faith or oversight in confession. I mean, what are the chances of anybody getting saved? This is a doctrine of life-time insecurity! Its hardly peace with God!

Of course, it gets even more complicated when you get down to the detail of individual sins we might commit, because there are not only sins of commission but there are sins of omission. In addition, there also sins we are not even conscious of at all!

James 4:12 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth [it] not, to him it is sin.”

To cap it all, Paul declares in Romans 14:23 :  “what is not of faith is sin”. This makes it virtually impossible to ever list, confess and repent of  all your sins! Maybe then, it would  be better to confess all known sin and then commit suicide quick so you go straight to heaven – unfortunately suicide is a sin so, that won’t work either!

Fortunately, this idea, that a believer can lose their salvation through unconfessed sin, is not true. If it were true, then the work of the cross is not sufficient to save the believer completely but is only completed by the endurance of the saint.

It means also,  that unconfessed sin can cause the believer to become unrighteous, unjustified, unborn again, unredeemed or even lose eternal life – which doesn’t make sense if its eternal!

What preachers such as Dr Michael Brown are afraid of I believe, is that if future sins are forgiven, then there is no motivation for holiness and the believer will simply abuse grace. In other words grace is a license to sin! I wonder though,  how much of this angst  comes from a genuine concern for their congregations or rather,  that if God’s grace is this good,  then they no longer have a big stick to scare their sheep into behavioural change!

In fact, if there is no possibility of abusing grace, then what is being preached is not grace at all!  If real grace is being preached, then this question should always come up, as it did in Paul’s exposition of the Gospel when he wrote Romans 6:1:

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?”

If therefore a believer can be lost because of un-confessed sin, then tell me: how he can continue in sin so that grace might abound? How is losing salvation God abounding in grace towards the sinner?

Salvation therefore, is not some kind of probation: in other words you get a free ticket to heaven but make one false move and your out the door without a parachute!  Neither, are you paying for passage on this salvation voyage by working for God as one of the ship’s crew. No, he has paid for everything up front and there is nothing to pay back ever. Your in a first class!

This then, is the ‘to good to be true news’ of the Gospel. Can a believer abuse this grace? Yes, but would a genuine believer want to? So, I believe the answer to the question: “Can a believer lose their salvation?” ,  is a resounding NO!

Further Reading:

Is it possible to preach to much grace?
Eternal Salvation
The dangers of the holiness movement

 

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21 thoughts on “Can a believer lose their salvation?

  1. Sean Lawrence

    I don’t know. I understand law and grace. Grace is always available, but it is not always taken. It’s seems pretty hard to reconcile John 5:19-20 with what you are saying. He is addressing brothers and sisters concerning a possible future act. The consequence is death.
    “19 My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

    1. paul.noble@envizu.co.uk Post author

      Hi Sean, I think you mean James 5:19-20? My understanding would be that when James says Brethren he is talking to all his jewish brethren not just the believers so the context is important. The word for ‘turns a sinner’ is convert G1994:

      Acts 3:19 “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, G1994 that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

      If you are a believer then you are converted surely? What do you think?

      Another angle is this article http://www.sermonaudio.com/new_details3.asp?ID=21764 which I find interesting.

  2. Sean Lawrence

    I’m sorry, James 5:19-20.
    There are some problems with your explanation. If we look back slightly earlier in this letter we find James tells us clearly whom he is talking to. James 2:1 “My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism.” BELIEVERS IN OUR GLORIOUS LORD JESUS. Please also note that this same group of people are also being told “15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” They are not being instructed in the Law, but in grace. Prayer, confession, forgiveness, not “Take for doves to the priest for sacrifice”. So if these are Jewish brethren, the they must be Jewish believers.
    If we ignore that, if we assume that they Jews and not believing Jews, then what does the passage mean?
    “19 My “Jewish brethren”, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” James is concerned with them wandering FROM the truth? The implication is that they must know the truth in order to wander away from it. Either way they are believers, or else the closing of James’s letter makes no sense.
    I don’t want to argue this. I just came across your blog by chance and the subject caught my eye. I also happened to read a wonderful essay on Grace (by someone I don’t know). I think that you will enjoy it.

    http://melwild.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/is-it-hyper-grace-or-just-gods-radical-grace/

    I do not agree with you on this point, but I rejoice in what you are doing. When we get to heaven it won’t matter at all. Bless You.

    1. paul.noble@envizu.co.uk Post author

      Thanks Sean and thank you for your gracious attitude – we are all working through truth as best we can. I think its probably quite hard for us to interpret scriptures accurately sometimes because we live in a time and place so far removed from the original recipients. We tend to read into scripture our own theology ( I do). I certainly agree that believers can wander off, become fleshly and need correction. James and Hebrews though are books written to Jews and I suspect there was a huge temptation for them to go back to judaism so often that is what is in the writers mind. Anyway, as you say when we all get to heaven we are going to know as we are known so it won’t matter!

    2. paul.noble@envizu.co.uk Post author

      Just another thought reading the verse again- I do wonder as you say this is a believer because the consequence is not losing salvation but death? I’m not sure what covering over a multitude of sins means?

  3. stuart

    A big problem with the eternal security doctrine is that it is based on a synecdoche which presumes that belief is the only condition necessary for salvation. If that were the only requirement mentioned in Scripture, then it would be correct; however, the Bible includes other requirements such as repentance and obedience which are the outward manifestations of saving faith. While John 3:16 references the need to believe, the Greek word for believe is a present tense verb and should be translated as “believing.” Thus one needs to go on believing for eternal life – not just a one-time moment of belief made in the past. Acts 26:20 describes the gospel message that Paul preached – repentance evidenced by deeds – not the kind of message that is promulgated today which is largely based on cognitive assent only. In addition, verses like Heb 5:9 specify obedience as a requirement for eternal life: “And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who OBEY him…” No obedience = No salvation. The apostle Paul echoes the same dire warning to the brethren (not the unsaved) living in Rome when he wrote in Rom 8:12-13: “Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For IF you live according to the flesh, YOU WILL DIE; but IF by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, YOU WILL LIVE.” Eternal life is conditional; not unconditional.

    1. paul.noble@envizu.co.uk Post author

      Don’t see a “problem” at all! Yes I think continued believing is necessary but who gave you faith in the first place? Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: As my friend Peter Stott says: “the only thing you brought to your salvation was your sin”. If salvation depends at all on us then it is highly insecure and no one is saved. God not only saves us but he gives us the downpayment of the Holy Spirit that is how certain he is! Obedience is the obedience of faith. Sadly some believers can’t trust God’s grace but want to make even repentance a work but actually repentance is a fruit of the obedience of faith! Believers continually repent (change their minds) because the kindness of God leads them to repentance!

      1. stuart

        Your statement that “if salvation depends at all on us then it is highly insecure and no one is saved” is a red herring. No one is claiming that salvation depends on us. We are simply saved by grace and obedience is the outward manifestation of saving faith. Obedience is not the obedience of faith if you are equating obedience with belief. One must go on obeying because the verb tense in Heb 5:9 for obey is in the present tense. Logically a down payment does not make for full possession; it is simply the earnest payment toward our glorification. If your claim that all believers continually repent is true then Paul must have been deluded in issuing his warning to the brethren that those who continue to sow to the flesh will face spiritual death. Paul would have not written his warning if it was not possible for believers to spiritually die. That is the plain meaning of the text you have to wrestle with.

        1. paul.noble@envizu.co.uk Post author

          Thing is I’m not wrestling with anything. I don’t understand the mentality of wanting to make the believer less secure? Its like winning a free holiday but finding out its not really free because you have to attend a sales presentation to buy a timeshare! So what is the obedience … not sinning? If that is so you are under law when you are supposed to be dead to law and dead to sin. Repentance mean a change of mind – the whole process of sanctification is exactly that. Hebrews 5:9 “And being made perfect, he became the author of “eternal” salvation unto all them that obey him;” The whole point is HE is the author not of a temporary or probational salvation but an eternal one. Thats why I can enjoy eternal life right now which is to know the Father.

          1. stuart

            Respectfully, I find you your argument to be a philosophical argument – not a scriptural one. That is why I referenced Rom 8:12-13 as a passage to “wrestle with” as the plain reading of these verses indicate that a believer risks spiritual death if he/she sows to the flesh. You have not responded with your explaining away of those verses.
            Your definition of repentance while correct omits the whole gospel message that Paul preached. Your definition only requires a change of mind however Paul’s salvation message required behavioral change as well. In his own words Paul describes the gospel he preached: “First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and DEMONSTRATE their repentance by their DEEDS” (Acts 26:20). Paul’s preaching of the gospel is perfectly consistent with James’ message in Js 2:24: “You see that a person is JUSTIFIED by WORKS and NOT by FAITH ALONE.
            Of course you are correct in saying obedience is not sinning as it would be quite illogical to claim that sinning is obedience. However that does not mean that obedience means we never sin. That would contradict 1 Jn 1:7-10 where it says that we are liars if we claim to have no sin. It also says provided that we are WALKING IN THE LIGHT – IF – we confess our sin, God forgives us. Walking in the light means walking with God though we still have OCCASIONAL sin, God forgives upon repentance. However no such assurance is given to believers that continue to sow to the flesh and PRACTICE sin for later in John 3:4-10, John writes: “Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he appeared in order to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Whoever practices righteousness is righteous, as he is righteous. Whoever makes a PRACTICE of sinning IS OF THE DEVIL, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God. By this it is EVIDENT who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: WHOEVER DOES NOT PRACTICE RIGHTEOUS IS NOT OF GOD, nor is the one who does not love his brother.”
            All three apostles are consistent in their reinforcement of the same message/warning which should not come as a surprise since we know that Scripture cannot contradict itself.

          2. paul.noble@envizu.co.uk Post author

            Surely it should make sense? To be honest I’ve heard all sorts of weird doctrine justified using out of context scriptures. To me if salvation is not eternal then it cheapens grace because its reduces the risk on God’s part. The fact is, when you are saved you are born again – your nature changes so therefore the fruit follows. I have eternal life now in my spirit and I have the Holy Spirit living in me now, I have Christ in me NOW! That is my starting point. That is why I know I am eternally saved because as the scripture says: he who began a good work will complete it.

          3. paul.noble@envizu.co.uk Post author

            I thought I would reply again, as actually part of what you say in a away actually proves that the believer is eternally secure! The proof of whether some one is saved is as you say quoting Johns Epistle that practice righteousness and they love one another. John doesn’t warn them that they can lose their salvation, no he is making sure they are true believers and not gnostics. Paul tells the Corinthians to test themselves whether they be in the faith and Christ is in them, not to make them afraid that they may lose their salvation, no, but to make sure they are genuine. You see, John’s point is that a true believer CANNOT sin because the believer has had a change of nature. A believer doesn’t one day walk in the light and the next minute walk in darkness, the whole point is John is saying IF your are a true believer you walk in the light if you aren’t you walk in darkness. There is no grey in-between state! Even if you didn’t sin at all you couldn’t walk in the light because even though you have a new nature your flesh even one little tiny impure though would be enough to separate you. That is why the blood of Jesus continually cleanses us from all sin. Most believers I meet that believe that they can lose their salvation really don’t have much idea of the holiness that God expects!!

  4. stuart

    It really doesn’t matter what your opinion is, or mine for that matter – the only thing that matters is what the scriptures say – which I presume you agree with. I provided you with several scriptural passages taken from the writings of the apostles John, James and Paul, all three of which are consistent in their message and my argument. For whatever reason you have chosen not to address or refute those passages but keep clinging to your logic despite the plain simple reading of the scriptures offered. While that is certainly your prerogative, it doesn’t strengthen your argument.
    I do agree with you that one can presently possess salvation. We disagree whether one can lose it due to disobedience and persistent sin. In keeping with the spirit of letting the scriptures speak for themselves, I offer yet another scripture:
    “He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.” (1Tim 3:6). Convert specifically refers to a believer and Paul writes to Timothy that a new believer can due to the sin of pride, receive the same judgment as the devil. That does not square with your belief that just because we are saved, we are always eternally saved. This verse plainly says that it is possible for a believer to end up with the same condemnation as Satan.

  5. stuart

    Hello Paul. Your claim that John was only addressing the gnostics and thus does not apply to believers in 1st John is very unconvincing to me. Whether John was teaching against gnosticism, docetism or antinomianism is somewhat irrelevant. The main point is that he is teaching CORRECT doctrine in 1st John by which all other world views including the three mentioned above and other false teachings should be compared to. John stresses that correct doctrine teaches that occasional sins are forgiven provided that we are walking in the light in Ch 1. HOWEVER, he also goes on to write in Ch. 3 that that one who practices sinning is of the devil. Notice the term he uses – EVERYONE in v4 means unbelievers and believers who practice lawlessness. In v7 he references LITTLE CHILDREN meaning believers. IF believers practice righteousness, they are righteous. IF believers practice sinning, they are of the devil.
    Scripture cannot contradict itself and John’s writings are perfectly consistent with Paul’s writings in Rom 8:12-13 which specifically address the BRETHREN and 1 Tim 3:6 which refers to CONVERTS. You have not dealt with these scriptures. Do you also deny that these warnings don’t apply to believers?
    Your premise that salvation is unconditional in nature and requires nothing from us because we are already reconciled to God is not accurate. Note Paul’s own description of what it means to be saved in Col 1:22-23:
    ” But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— IF YOU CONTINUE IN YOUR FAITH, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.”
    We are reconciled PROVIDED THAT “we continue in faith.” God provides grace – which is his part. We need to continue in the faith through grace – which is our part. If we shirk back, fail to obey, fail to persevere and overcome and fall away, then our salvation is not assured. That is the gospel that Paul preached. To preach or teach otherwise is a direct contradiction to the gospel.

    1. paul.noble@envizu.co.uk Post author

      Hi Stuart, I’m not claiming he is only addressing gnostics but a mix of christian and gnostics: read “the ancient epistles of Jude and John” by Ken Johnson to get some good background info. You have a problem 1 John 3:9 Whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. If you commit or practice sin then you are not born of God. It DOES NOT say if you practice sin you are not born of God it says if you are born of God you CANNOT sin. Likewise 1 John 3:9 Whoever is born of God does not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. The warning to all is … make sure you are a believer and that you are believing the Gospel rather than following some religious ideas. Colossians doesn’t say you’ll lose your salvation, in fact that IF isn’t even a if of doubt in the greek it simply means since or if indeed. And by the way it doesn’t say if you continue not sinning it says in the faith! the trouble is the Bible doesn’t teach that you can lose your salvation through sin … if it did no one would ever arrive because what is not of faith is sin and who is going to be able to be perfect there. You see one of the main issues with born gain, losing salvation, born again and so on is that it ignores the cross. If you are born again you died, you were crucified and you were buried. Thats why you can only be baptised once because that can happen only happen once. You are dead to sin and dead to law but to lose your salvation I have to be alive to sin. The new testament is full of warnings because even then the church was full of mixture. For example: Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognise this about yourselves that Jesus Christ is in you – unless indeed you fail the test? But I trust that you will realise that we ourselves do not fail the test” 2 Cor 13:5 This scripture does not say your going to lose your salvation, its saying make sure you are a real christian!!!! So I say to you WHO are you relying on for salvation? Is it your continued faith and lack of sinning or is it in the finished work of Jesus? “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” Jude.. Who is it that keeps us from falling and faultless?

      PS How do you become righteous? Is it by what you do or don’t do or is it received as a gift? Only those who have believed and received jesus christ are righteous. They will practice righteousness because that is the fruit. This is what reveals those who are truly born again. If you are not practicing righteousness then you are not born again. If an apple tree does not produce apples but pears it is not an apple tree!

      1. stuart

        I find your interpretation of 1 Jn 3:9 to be strained. You wrote: “…it says if you are born of God you CANNOT sin.” If this is indeed what you claim then your interpretation is at odds with 1 Jn 1:10 – “If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” Christians CAN and DO sin. You appear to be using the KJV or similar translation. Most translations have “practice” or “continue” to sin which supports my contention that believers do occasionally sin and upon repentance God forgives. However those believers who practice or habitually sin evidence hardened hearts showing that they are no longer children of God but instead are children of the devil according to 1 Jn 3.
        Likewise, your objection to the Colossians passage is based on your questioning of the conjunction “if” or “since” and “faith” vs “sinning” – also misses the issue. The fact is the verse says one must CONTINUE or REMAIN in the faith. Apostates are obviously those who do not continue or remain in the faith. This cannot refer to unbelievers because in order to be an apostate one had to possess faith to begin with. One cannot fall away or apostatize from something that they were never a part of to begin with. If one does not remain in the faith then salvation cannot be assured.
        Your contention that sinning cannot disqualify a believer from eternal life is contraindicated by passages such as Rom 8:12-13 and 1 Tim 3:6. These scriptures are clearly directed at believers; not gnostics or other world views. Paul issues these warnings to the brethren so how do you reconcile these passages with your belief?

        1. paul.noble@envizu.co.uk Post author

          Stuart, exactly. Of course he isn’t contradicting himself the scripture you are quoting proves that the believer still sins. However, a believer cannot sin at least the born again spirit cannot. Romans 7:17 “Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” . You see you have a problem. John also says 1 John 2:29 “If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone also who practices righteousness is born of him” . The verb tense is present active here exactly the same as cannot sin (continuously) so if you are not completely righteous in everything you do – you are not born again either. You see the work of God is not dependant on your continued performance its dependant of the finished work of jesus on the cross. That work of new birth is a born again spirit that is just like Christ, I am a partaker of the divine nature and my spirit man is already righteous and holy and sinless – that is my identity. Do I still sin? Yes because I have the flesh which is my soul and body and the work of sanctification is to learn to live in my new identity. Does sin still matter. Yes of course because it still has consequences and damages fruitfulness, however scripture never says that because of sin I lose my salvation in fact scripture says where sin abounds grace even more abounds! Apostates were never truly born again in the first place, they maybe look and sound like a christian ( just like Judas and Simon Magnus) but they never truly had Christ in them. Romans 8:12-13 doesn’t say the believer loses their salvation. You haven’t read the rest of Romans 8. There is therefore now no condemnation (future judgement against sin) and yet you are saying yes this is. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ – well according to you the least little sin can! Tell me this. How much sin loses you salvation? 1 Timothy 3:6 says nothing about losing salvation again it is quite clear that if you sin you will be accused by the devil and you will give him grounds in your life – that is quite different from losing your salvation!!

          1. stuart

            Paul – it is likely that neither of us will change our minds regarding the subject at hand but I do appreciate the cordial nature of your argumentation as this subject has caused embarrassing uncivility amongst Christians.

            I disagree with your explanation of 1 Jn 2:29. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that if the person is not practicing righteousness then he/she was never born again (to begin with). I don’t believe the Apostle John is referring to unbelievers in this verse because the context demands otherwise. In the previous verse he directs his remarks to “little children” which cannot mean those who were never born again. He uses the imperative command to ABIDE in him which is consistent with the practice of righteousness in the next verse. Unbelievers can never be said or be expected to abide or practice righteousness in the first place because they they do not possess God’s grace and hence are unable to do so thus I find your explanation to be untenable.

            Your explanation regarding apostates makes little sense to me because the very definition of apostasy necessitates that one possess faith to begin with. One cannot fall away from something that they were never a part of to begin with. Why would the writers of the scriptures even bother with warnings against apostasy if it were directed at unbelievers? Unbelievers are already dead!

            You asked: “How much sin loses you salvation? This is a common question and I think I have been consistent in all of my replies so please review them for the specifics. To summarize, 1 John 1 makes it clear that all Christians sin and no one is without sin. Provided that we are walking in the light, meaning that our lifestyle is generally characterized as abiding in Christ, during times of occasional sin – God promises to forgive us when we repent and we thus have assurance. However, John goes on to address the flip side of the coin in 1 Jn 3 where he addresses us as little children meaning believers only – not unbelievers as you claim. He warns believers that those who practice sin are practicing lawlessness and in doing so makes them children of the devil. Believers who allow habitual sin to dwell in their lives have no such assurance of salvation unless they repent.

            1 Tim 3:6 says nothing at all about being accused by the devil. It does reference judgement or condemnation which can be interpreted one of two ways such as incurring the same condemnation as the devil, or alternatively being subject to the judgment of the devil. While Satan is indeed our accuser; I’m not aware of anyplace in Scripture where he is our judge as that right is reserved for God alone. Besides, even if it is Satan who judges, why should that matter at all since according to your view believers are eternally secure. However, if it is God who condemns then Paul’s warning makes much more sense.

            I believe Rom 8:12-13 is a very clear warning that a believer can lose their salvation for the following reasons. These verses describe the potential death of born-again believers, specifically referred to as the brethren in v. 12. If this death were not a real possibility, the warning would be nonsensical. We also know that this warning pertains to spiritual death – not physical death – because everyone dies physically irrespective of how we live our lives. Moreover, one must have spiritual life in order to be in danger of spiritual death. You cannot threaten a spiritually dead person with spiritual death. Such a person is already dead. Therefore, it must be concluded that these are regenerate brethren who are being warned of dying. Also note that this verse is conditional – not unconditional – as indicated by the word “if.” IF those believers walk according to the flesh – they will die. IF those believers walk according to the Spirit, – they will live. We have a choice as to what we will reap. I think it is very difficult to get around the plain meaning of this passage. Contrary to your assertion, I have read Rom. 8 multiple times. Your objection that these verses do not square with the fact that there is no condemnation for those in Christ in Rom 8:1 is wholly unsupported by its context. Rom 8:1 is not an unconditional statement. It is conditioned by verse 4 which states “in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, WHO DO NOT LIVE ACCORDING TO THE FLESH BUT ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT. ” Thus vss. 12-13 support rather than contradict Paul’s opening statements in Ch 8. No condemnation can only be said to be reserved for those Christians who walk according to the Spirit. To teach otherwise directly contradicts these verses.

          2. paul.noble@envizu.co.uk Post author

            Hi Stuart, thanks for your reply. I believe your missing an important ingredient which rather than attempt a long reply has occasioned me to write an article entitled “can a believer sin” which I will post in a couple of weeks. This is what I will explain. John basically says this – a believer cannot practice sin and a believer only practices righteousness. If you do not, according to these passages in John’s Epistle then you are not born again at all!

          3. paul.noble@envizu.co.uk Post author

            Have a look at my latest post: “can a believer sin?” for a full answer

  6. Willie Barber

    Dr John R Rice was one of the greatest preachers since Spurgeon. One of his simplest arguments was that once Christians are saved, they become children of God. On earth, we are children of our earthly father. No matter what we do in life, even if it is so bad that our earthly father disavows us as his child, we are still his child. He can never, under no circumstance, under any condition, disclaim the fact we are still his child, like it or not. Same with our Heavenly Father, once a child, God likewise can never “unchild” anyone. If God is that fickle, then Jesus’s work on the cross was only temporary, not permanent. I have to agree with Dr. Rice. I am a child of God. I always will be, but it is my responsibility to also be a good son.

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