Following is a reply I wrote to a commenter on another blog.
That person has spent some time arguing against a series of articles written by the blog owner, in which the blog owner was addressing the errors of “Once Save Always Saved” (OSAS).
The commenter includes links to a site promoting “Free Grace” theology – which basically says that once a decision has been made for Christ, then no matter what comes afterwards, that decision ensures eternal security.
As an example of this belief system, in one article posted by that commenter it was stated:
“The Bible clearly teaches that God’s love for His people is of such magnitude that even those who walk away from the faith have not the slightest chance of slipping from His hand (my emphasis in bold type – onesimus)”
Such a statement is the worst kind of false teaching because the Bible does not teach anything of the kind, clearly or otherwise.
The “foundation” to this belief seems to be a single phrase “by grace you are saved” found in Ephesians.
In one of their replies to me the commenter said:
I told you not to bother answering me and to go back and study things…….didn’t think you would…….
This was my reply:
I have spent a life time studying, from my late teens.
The first years I studied what men said about scripture and what they said scripture meant, and I could quote verse upon verse to prove what they had taught me.
And then a lot of what I’d learned came crashing down when I found I could no longer push aside my increasing questions about why some of their teachings didn’t add up; that the parts of scripture they ignored tended to contradict some of the things they were teaching.
During the last couple of decades, I have let scripture itself be the authority and found it was much easier to understand than I expected.
I learned that proof-texting, or relying on individual bible statements to “prove” a point was not only counterproductive, it was destructive.
ANYONE can quote verses to “prove” whatever they want to believe. It’s often more enlightening to note which parts of scripture are avoided instead of the parts being quoted as “proof”.
The Bible is NOT a collection of countless individual theological points encapsulated in convenient quotable texts. The Bible, as a whole, is a developing revelation of God and His relationship with His creation, (in particular mankind) from the very beginning of this current creation, through to the establishment of a new heaven and earth.
It is impossible to grasp the truth by fixating on parts of scripture while ignoring the rest.
It is impossible to grasp the truth by fixating on individual words in scripture, while ignoring the rest.
Instead of fixating on a word like “grace” from one verse of scripture to establish an all-over doctrine of salvation – try getting an understanding through the whole of scripture, seeing God’s grace AT WORK through His ongoing relationship with mankind.
See God’s grace in action rather than applying man’s artificial definitions of what grace means.
It would be a worthless exercise for me to attempt to counteract the proof texts of others with proof texts of my own – I long ago recognised that proof text duelling is a fruitless exercise.
The truth will only be discovered and accepted by those who have a desire for the truth, who are willing to search the scriptures (the WHOLE of scripture) to find it.
It will not be discovered in out of context, cherry-picked parts of scripture.