Am I saved by my works? No! Not from sin and condemnation. The Bible declares unequivocally that human works of any kind are not the means of obtaining eternal life (Romans 9:11,15-16; Ephesians 2:8-9; 2nd Timothy 1:9; Titus 3:3-7). Justification, the forgiveness of sins, and eternal life are by the obedience of one~Jesus Christ (Isaiah 53:10-12; Romans 5:19; 2nd Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 1:3). God will not share His glory with another, and salvation by works puts Him in a position of debt to sinners, which He is not at all (Romans 4:1-8; Ist Corinthians 1:29-31). Salvation is a free gift by the grace of God without works (Romans 3:24; 5:15-18; 6:23; 8:32; 11:5-6).
Can I be saved without works? Yes, but you can never rightly have assurance without good works. Conversion and fruit-bearing by God’s elect vary from none to much, from Lot to Abraham, from David to Paul. Some of God’s elect live barren lives without fruit (Luke 8:11-18; 2nd Pet 1:5-9). The repentant thief went to heaven, and there were no good works following him (Revelation 14:13) other than what Jesus did FOR HIM! Some of the elect, even ministers, will have their works burned up (Ist Corinthians 3:15), yet saved from the lake of fire. Without works, you have no evidence of eternal life, because faith always presumes works (John 8:30-32; Ist Thessalonians 1:2-4; James 2:14-16).
Can “once saved, always saved” be used correctly? Yes, if it is limited to the will or operation of God, it can be used truthfully. If “once saved” is applied to the will of God in election, the death of Christ in justification, or the cleansing of the Spirit in regeneration, these are certain events of salvation that definitely occurred at points in time and result in eternal life. If any one of these salvation events has occurred for a person, then “always saved” is entirely true for that person. In particular, we can glory in this manmade phrase by applying it to the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ (John 19:30; Hebrews 9:12; 10:10-14). Yet we much more prefer ONCE LOVED ALWAYS LOVED.
How is “once saved, always saved” inconsistent? If eternal life begins by your choice, then consistency requires you to keep that salvation by your obedience. Roman Catholics, who offer eternal life through sacraments, are consistent by teaching you can lose your salvation, if you sin later. True Arminianism, from Jacobus Arminius, also teach that you can lose eternal life by sinning after your freewill decision that got salvation started. It is Finney, Moody, Graham, and others that popularized the inconsistent combination of decisional salvation with a perpetual guarantee.
Is “perseverance of the saints” the solution? No! our Calvinist friends invented the doctrine of perseverance. Knowing that righteousness is the true evidence of eternal life, they teach fatalistically that God guarantees all the elect will live holy and righteous lives. This is not the case, or there would be no purpose for preaching or warnings against apostasy. God preserves the elect by His grace and integrity in Jesus Christ, but He does not guarantee their perseverance in holiness and righteousness (Romans 8:28-39; Ist Corinthians 10:1-11; 11:32; 2nd Timothy 2:13,16-19; Hebrews 6:17-20).
Can I fall from grace? Yes, it is possible to fall from grace, because Galatians 5:4 and Hebrews 12:15 declare it so. But you must understand the sense of what falling from grace means before you foolishly presume believers can lose eternal life and perish at the end in the lake of fire. (Nehemiah 8:8; 2nd Timothy 2:15). In Galatians 5:4, Paul warned about falling from the true doctrine and understanding of grace by mixing it with the Law of Moses. He did not teach that these believers were going to perish in the lake of fire. In Hebrews 12:15, Paul warned about failing of the true grace of God by living carnal and worldly lives (Hebrews 12:11-17).
Can the elect’s faith be overthrown? Yes, it is possible to have your faith wrecked by false teachers, persecution, or temptations. Hymenaeus and Philetus overthrew the faith of some by teaching the resurrection had already come and gone; but God still knew those who were His, which is the real issue of eternal life anyway (2nd Timothy 2:15-19). Paul warned Timothy to ministerial faithfulness, lest he cost his hearers the truth and righteous living (Ist Timothy 4:16). And he told Corinth that they were of all men most miserable, if they let false teachers steal the doctrine of the resurrection from them (Ist Corinthians 15:2,19).
Does severe chastening mean I am going perish in the lake of fire which is the second death? No, chastening means you are a son of God and He is dealing with us AS SONS in love, even when the chastening is severe enough to be compared to scourging (Hebrews 12:5-8). God’s chastening is proof positive that you will not be condemned with the world, which He does not love or chasten and whom he NEVER KNEW! (Ist Corinthians 11:32; Matthew 7:23). God loved Israel of old very much, but He punished them for their sins with the loving care of a Father (Deuteronomy 7:6-11; Ist Corinthians 10:1-11; Psalms 78:1-72; 106:43-48; 118:18; Isaiah 44:21-22; Ezekiel 16:1-63). Consider how God dealt with David (2nd Samuel 12:7-14).
This little outline is very simple and very easy to follow and all questions asked and answered with scriptures to prove God's truth on this subject to any lover of the truth. Now it's any person's turn who may disagree to prove what was said in these three posts is against the scriptures~ but make sure you bring scriptures with you to first prove what I have said is wrong and scriptures proving your position. May the Lord bless all sincere seekers of his truths.