Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Once Saved, Now Lost - Part 3a

Salvation is a Result of Covenant

As we discuss whether the Once Saved Always Saved doctrine is upheld in Scripture, one of the essential topics which must be addressed is our covenant with God.

I recently had a discussion with a believer in the OSAS doctrine where I attempted to touch on this matter. In doing so, the person responded, "What are you talking about a covenant between us and God? The new covenant is between Jesus and the Father, not us."

While I was hopeful that this lady's perspective was atypical of those supporting the OSAS doctrine, I have seen that such is not the case. Many are in fact perverting the nature of the new covenant in order to validate the OSAS position.

Understand that Jesus was not alienated from God and as such didn't need to be reconciled to Him. He has existed eternally as God, and has always been one with the Father. The need and benefit for the sacrifice of His life was to reconcile man unto Himself, who had been made an enemy of God through sin.

The new covenant is between man and God. The basis for God's relationship with man has always been based on the foundations of a covenant.

God's Relationship With Man is Based on Covenant

Covenant: a legally binding agreement between two or more persons to do or not do something specified; the conditional promises made to humanity by God, as revealed in Scripture.
When we turn in faith to Jesus Christ, we are partaking of the new covenant or testament which is in His blood.

"And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you." Luke 22:19-20

"And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins." Matthew 26:27–28

Sharing a meal was one way of having communion with another and also served as a basis for covenant. Jesus began to reveal the new covenant to His disciples in the communion they shared in this passover feast. At this feast, the bread and wine represented the sacrifice of His body and blood.

"The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof. Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined. Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people. Gather my saints together unto me; those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice." Psalm 50:1-5

The above text is one of many Messianic prophecies in Psalms, this one speaking particularly of the second coming of Jesus Christ. Notice Jesus' declaration: Gather my saints who have made a covenant with ME by sacrifice. The sacrifice referenced here is the death of Jesus on the cross (Hebrews 9:26, 10:12).

"For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins." Romans 11:27

"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them" Hebrews 10:16

If we are to come into relationship with God, it will have to be by means of covenant; and the principles of the covenant are defined by God alone.

The Scriptures state that the New Testament covenant is based upon the covenant God made with Abraham. In many ways, it is perversions of the Abrahamic covenant which is used to justify the OSAS doctrine. Yet, the Scriptures say:

"And I will make my covenant between me and thee [Abraham], and will multiply thee exceedingly." Genesis 17:2

The new covenant by which we come into salvation is indeed a covenant between God and man. Additionally, examining this covenant makes it clear that it was conditional upon Abraham obeying God's commands.

In examining the Abrahamic covenant, we can see the pattern for which we are restored to God in Jesus Christ.

This article is part of a 6-part series evaluating a doctrine referred to as Once Saved Always Saved, Eternal Unconditional Security, or Preservation of the Saints.

  1. God Doesn't Mince Words
  2. "IF"
  3. Salvation is a Result of Covenant
  4. Sealed Until the Day of Redemption
  5. A Candid Look at OSAS "Support"
  6. The ONLY Reason Salvation Can Be "Lost"

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