Is someone with sin in their life truly saved?

mattfivefour

Administrator
Staff member
I came across a 2017 article of mine about whether a person who sins is in fact truly saved. It seems to me to be a perennial question in Christian circles. So I am repeating it here.

The issue is actually very simple, but it is not one that others can always judge. Only the individual can do that. And the issue is this: Is the person truly born again? In other words do they believe in God? Do they see their need for salvation? Do they believe they cannot save themselves? And do they believe that Jesus came in the flesh, died for their sins, was raised from the dead to return to Heaven and that by faith in His finished work they may be made right with God and guaranteed Heaven? If the honest, heart-held answer to each of those questions is yes, then that person is—according to Scripture—most assuredly saved.

IF, then, that person is saved ... then they are also "born again", "born from above". This means that they literally and in FACT have a new life birthed within them. Not only are they redeemed from Satan's hands, transferred into Christ's Kingdom, forgiven of all their sins, set apart for (ie: sanctified to) God, and justified before Him; but God Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, actually comes and takes up residence in that person. As a result of this process, not only is the individual sealed to God for all time and against all possibility of ultimate failure, but that person now has a new heart that seeks after God. And it is this new heart and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that more and more leads that person to follow God's ways rather than those of the world, the flesh, and the Devil.

Yes, believers may sin willfully until their flesh is weakened by God's action in their lives. I am not saying they must, or that all do; but it is very possible. And in the course of the sanctification process—the process of God breaking the power of sin in the believer, delivering them from what has held them in the past—they may even engage repeatedly with some besetting sin—be it alcoholism, drug addiction, lust, homosexuality, or any other bondage. But they do not sin without knowledge or conviction: they feel terrible that they have offended God by their acts and they beat themselves up continually. Now some say, "Can such a person really be saved?" Well, we have the story of Lot as an answer.

Lot knew of God. He was blessed by God. Yet he lived his life continually seeking the satisfaction of his own flesh. Every decision he made was to please himself. And despite being grieved in his spirit by the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him (2 Peter 2:7), he chose to live among them for the riches and the status it afforded him. He even sat as a judge of Sodom. And even when God pronounced judgment upon that wicked city, Lot argued with the angel who told him to take his wife and daughters and head for the mountains. Lot instead said, "No. I want to go to Zoar instead." So God allowed him to go to that little city of the plain instead of to the safety of God's place in the high country. Eventually, Lot was forced to go to the mountains; and as his story ends in the Old Testament, we see this self-willed man dwelling in a cave—broken, wretched, drunk, and impregnating his own two daughters! Surely this is the classic picture of the fallen, backslidden, lost individual! But wait! This is not the end of the story! For that we have to go to Peter's second epistle.

In 2 Peter 2, the Holy Spirit gives the apostle the following words:

"4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority."​

"Righteous" Lot? "Godly" Lot? Really? How could such a man be righteous and godly when he was so led by his own flesh? Because, my friends, salvation is by faith—not by works. I do not pretend to KNOW what Lot believed about God or how he practiced his faith. I only know that he was raised in part by Abram, the altar builder ... altars and their sacrifices being a picture of Christ and Calvary ... and I can only presume that he learned of God and altars and sacrifices from his uncle. Certainly the fact that God chose not to destroy him with the wicked in Sodom and said what He said about him through Peter, tells me that while there is a lot we do not know about Lot, we do know that he must have been acceptable to God. And since we also know that God is perfect and just and righteous, then we must accept his judgment on Lot as given in 2 Peter 2:7-8 as being perfect, just and righteous. There is no sin in God, not even the tinge of a hint of darkness in Him. Therefore, we must learn from the story of Lot that what we may presume to be true is not the entire picture. God alone possesses that. And it is clear that despite our view of Lot, God saw something else. And He placed that story (both its OT beginning and its NT ending) in His Word to teach us something. Actually to teach us some things. The first is that we just cannot judge others. We may, in love and gentleness and humility (Galatians 6:1-2) point out to them the error of their behavior and seek to restore them to right living before God and man; but we are not in a position to make final pronouncements about their salvation. Secondly—and most importantly—we are to learn that salvation does not depend in any way upon our behavior, but solely upon Christ's finished work. And it is faith ALONE in that finished work ALONE that provides a man or woman or boy or girl with salvation. That and NOTHING ELSE! EVER!

Now, many rebel at that thought. "Surely not!" they cry. But that is because they simply do not yet truly understand God. And they truly do not understand His salvation. Somehow, some way, to some degree or other, they have the idea that a man must do SOME thing or behave in SOME way to demonstrate that he is worthy of (or at least possessing of) salvation. They look at who God is and the standards He sets and think that because the Word of God warns the unsaved what will happen to them if they die in their sins, then therefore if a Christian commits the same sins, he or she is unsaved and under the judgment of God. They fail to understand that Jesus Christ took ALL of our sin upon Himself and paid ALL of the penalty due us. ALL of the penalty. Past, present, and future. Forever. It is our faith alone that saves us. And it is the loss of that faith alone that could damn us. When Jesus warned Peter that he would be "sifted" by Satan and would fall, He did not tell Peter that He prayed that he would not sin: He prayed that Peter's faith would not fail. Why? Because that alone is the ground for our salvation.

To come to this position, for me, has been a hard, long road. For decades I clung to the belief that somehow I must live in a certain way, behave in a certain fashion, do some things (and certainly not do others!) or else I would forfeit my salvation. I was continually under Satan's condemnation, mistaking it for God's conviction. I struggled in my flesh, BY my flesh, trying to overcome "the sin which so easily beset me." I could not enjoy the rest of God because I was still working: I was experiencing the opposite of Hebrews 4:9-10. I would proclaim Christ's Word to others that they should take His yoke because, as He said, "My yoke is easy and My burden light." But, myself, I found God's yoke hard and His burden heavy. Without realizing it, I had placed myself under the same burden that the Pharisees had placed upon the Jews: I was trying to prove myself worthy of God's salvation.

Praise God, He did not leave me under that burden! Beginning with Galatians 3, He began to reveal to me that I would be sanctified, not by my efforts, but by faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. He told me that I would only—COULD only—be sanctified in the same way I was saved: by faith in Christ and what He did on the Cross. A study of Romans 5, 6 and 7 then brought me to the completion of the lesson. Praise God! I realized that faith in Christ and the Cross saved me and that same faith in Christ and the Cross would sanctify me. I learned the truth of Romans 8:1-2! "There is therefore NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who live according to the Spirit not the flesh ..." (the lesson of Galatians 3) ... "for the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the Law of Sin and Death." The Holy Spirit IN me, working by means of my faith in Christ's finished work, would work out in me the character of Christ that was birthed in me at the moment of my salvation . All those years of struggling to perfect myself gave way to a daily walk with God, trusting in HIM to change me ... from the inside out, not the outside in. The latter was the Pharisees' way; the former God's way. Now I know the truth of entering into His rest, resting from my labors as God did from His. This is the TRUE Sabbath! Now I can honestly say that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Hallelujah! And this is the truth I now proclaim as a minister of the Gospel that says ALL who humble themselves and truly believe in Jesus Christ and HIS sacrifice are saved.

Now, am I saying that you can live any old way as long as you claim to believe in Christ? Absolutely not. First, true belief (as I indicated above) results in a new birth, a new life, within; and the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us. If this occurs, then we will inwardly desire to please God. we may struggle—and we may fall ... even frequently—but we will never be content in that condition. True salvation is shown by that inward struggle against sin. Not necessarily by our victory over sin (at least not in the beginning) but by the very presence of the struggle ... set over and against our faith in Christ and His sacrifice for us at Calvary.

Now, if someone continues to sin and it doesn't really bother them; if someone just carries on as before, not seeing any need to cease from their former life; then I would suggest to them that they may indeed not be saved. The Holy Spirit dwelling inside us impels us to holy living. He is the HOLY Spirit, after all. If that inward impulsion is lacking, so, I suggest, is salvation! God tells us to examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) and to judge ourselves (1 Corinthians 11:31) in regard to whether we are in THE faith. What is that faith? Simply the belief that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, died on the Cross as a full sacrifice for all of our sins, and was raised from the dead that we may be raised to newness of life. That, in its simplest form, is THE faith. If we hold to that, then we are saved. If we deny that, then we are not saved. End of story. It is that simple. And the RESULT of exercising that faith is that not only are we guaranteed Heaven for eternity but we are guaranteed that God will clean us up from the inside out. We need to cooperate, of course, for that cleaning up in us to successfully manifest itself to others. But our salvation hinges upon our faith, not upon the success of the cleaning up process in us.

I pray this helps someone.
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member

Is someone with sin in their life truly saved?​


If nobody can be saved because of some sin in their life, then Heaven will be only occupied by…

John 1:
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 He was with God in the beginning.
 

GoldenEagle

Well-Known Member
I came across a 2017 article of mine about whether a person who sins is in fact truly saved. it seems to me to be a perennial question in Christian circles. So I am repeating it here.

The issue is actually very simple, but it is not one that others can always judge. Only the individual can do that. And the issue is this: Is the person truly born again? In other words do they believe in God? Do they see their need for salvation? Do they believe they cannot save themselves? And do they believe that Jesus came in the flesh, died for their sins, was raised from the dead to return to Heaven and that by faith in His finished work they may be made right with God and guaranteed Heaven? If the honest, heart-held answer to each of those questions is yes, then that person is—according to Scripture—most assuredly saved.

IF, then, that person is saved ... then they are also "born again", "born from above". This means that they literally and in FACT have a new life birthed within them. Not only are they redeemed from Satan's hands, transferred into Christ's Kingdom, forgiven of all their sins, set apart for (ie: sanctified to) God, and justified before Him; but God Himself, in the person of the Holy Spirit, actually comes and takes up residence in that person. As a result of this process, not only is the individual sealed to God for all time and against all possibility of ultimate failure, but that person now has a new heart that seeks after God. And it is this new heart and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit that more and more leads that person to follow God's ways rather than those of the world, the flesh, and the Devil.

Yes, believers may sin willfully until their flesh is weakened by God's action in their lives. I am not saying they must, or that all do; but it is very possible. And in the course of the sanctification process—the process of God breaking the power of sin in the believer, delivering them from what has held them in the past—they may even engage repeatedly with some besetting sin—be it alcoholism, drug addiction, lust, homosexuality, or any other bondage. But they do not sin without knowledge or conviction: they feel terrible that they have offended God by their acts and they beat themselves up continually. Now some say, "Can such a person really be saved?" Well, we have the story of Lot as an answer.

Lot knew of God. He was blessed by God. Yet he lived his life continually seeking the satisfaction of his own flesh. Every decision he made was to please himself. And despite being grieved in his spirit by the shameful immorality of the wicked people around him (2 Peter 2:7), he chose to live among them for the riches and the status it afforded him. He even sat as a judge of Sodom. And even when God pronounced judgment upon that wicked city, Lot argued with the angel who told him to take his wife and daughters and head for the mountains. Lot instead said, "No. I want to go to Zoar instead." So God allowed him to go to that little city of the plain instead of to the safety of God's place in the high country. Eventually, Lot was forced to go to the mountains; and as his story ends in the Old Testament, we see this self-willed man dwelling in a cave—broken, wretched, drunk, and impregnating his own two daughters! Surely this is the classic picture of the fallen, backslidden, lost individual! But wait! This is not the end of the story! For that we have to go to Peter's second epistle.

In 2 Peter 2, the Holy Spirit gives the apostle the following words:

"4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 6 if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard); 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment, 10 and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority."​

"Righteous" Lot? "Godly" Lot? Really? How could such a man be righteous and godly when he was so led by his own flesh? Because, my friends, salvation is by faith—not by works. I do not pretend to KNOW what Lot believed about God or how he practiced his faith. I only know that he was raised in part by Abram, the altar builder ... altars and their sacrifices being a picture of Christ and Calvary ... and I can only presume that he learned of God and altars and sacrifices from his uncle. Certainly the fact that God chose not to destroy him with the wicked in Sodom and said what He said about him through Peter, tells me that while there is a lot we do not know about Lot, we do know that he must have been acceptable to God. And since we also know that God is perfect and just and righteous, then we must accept his judgment on Lot as given in 2 Peter 2:7-8 as being perfect, just and righteous. There is no sin in God, not even the tinge of a hint of darkness in Him. Therefore, we must learn from the story of Lot that what we may presume to be true is not the entire picture. God alone possesses that. And it is clear that despite our view of Lot, God saw something else. And He placed that story (both its OT beginning and its NT ending) in His Word to teach us something. Actually to teach us some things. The first is that we just cannot judge others. We may, in love and gentleness and humility (Galatians 6:1-2) point out to them the error of their behavior and seek to restore them to right living before God and man; but we are not in a position to make final pronouncements about their salvation. Secondly—and most importantly—we are to learn that salvation does not depend in any way upon our behavior, but solely upon Christ's finished work. And it is faith ALONE in that finished work ALONE that provides a man or woman or boy or girl with salvation. That and NOTHING ELSE! EVER!

Now, many rebel at that thought. "Surely not!" they cry. But that is because they simply do not yet truly understand God. And they truly do not understand His salvation. Somehow, some way, to some degree or other, they have the idea that a man must do SOME thing or behave in SOME way to demonstrate that he is worthy of (or at least possessing of) salvation. They look at who God is and the standards He sets and think that because the Word of God warns the unsaved what will happen to them if they die in their sins, then therefore if a Christian commits the same sins, he or she is unsaved and under the judgment of God. They fail to understand that Jesus Christ took ALL of our sin upon Himself and paid ALL of the penalty due us. ALL of the penalty. Past, present, and future. Forever. It is our faith alone that saves us. And it is the loss of that faith alone that could damn us. When Jesus warned Peter that he would be "sifted" by Satan and would fall, He did not tell Peter that He prayed that he would not sin: He prayed that Peter's faith would not fail. Why? Because that alone is the ground for our salvation.

To come to this position, for me, has been a hard, long road. For decades I clung to the belief that somehow I must live in a certain way, behave in a certain fashion, do some things (and certainly not do others!) or else I would forfeit my salvation. I was continually under Satan's condemnation, mistaking it for God's conviction. I struggled in my flesh, BY my flesh, trying to overcome "the sin which so easily beset me." I could not enjoy the rest of God because I was still working: I was experiencing the opposite of Hebrews 4:9-10. I would proclaim Christ's Word to others that they should take His yoke because, as He said, "My yoke is easy and My burden light." But, myself, I found God's yoke hard and His burden heavy. Without realizing it, I had placed myself under the same burden that the Pharisees had placed upon the Jews: I was trying to prove myself worthy of God's salvation.

Praise God, He did not leave me under that burden! Beginning with Galatians 3, He began to reveal to me that I would be sanctified, not by my efforts, but by faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice. He told me that I would only—COULD only—be sanctified in the same way I was saved: by faith in Christ and what He did on the Cross. A study of Romans 5, 6 and 7 then brought me to the completion of the lesson. Praise God! I realized that faith in Christ and the Cross saved me and that same faith in Christ and the Cross would sanctify me. I learned the truth of Romans 8:1-2! "There is therefore NO condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who live according to the Spirit not the flesh ..." (the lesson of Galatians 3) ... "for the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the Law of Sin and Death." The Holy Spirit IN me, working by means of my faith in Christ's finished work, would work out in me the character of Christ that was birthed in me at the moment of my salvation . All those years of struggling to perfect myself gave way to a daily walk with God, trusting in HIM to change me ... from the inside out, not the outside in. The latter was the Pharisees' way; the former God's way. Now I know the truth of entering into His rest, resting from my labors as God did from His. This is the TRUE Sabbath! Now I can honestly say that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Hallelujah! And this is the truth I now proclaim as a minister of the Gospel that says ALL who humble themselves and truly believe in Jesus Christ and HIS sacrifice are saved.

Now, am I saying that you can live any old way as long as you claim to believe in Christ? Absolutely not. First, true belief (as I indicated above) results in a new birth, a new life, within; and the Holy Spirit takes up residence in us. If this occurs, then we will inwardly desire to please God. we may struggle—and we may fall ... even frequently—but we will never be content in that condition. True salvation is shown by that inward struggle against sin. Not necessarily by our victory over sin (at least not in the beginning) but by the very presence of the struggle ... set over and against our faith in Christ and His sacrifice for us at Calvary.

Now, if someone continues to sin and it doesn't really bother them; if someone just carries on as before, not seeing any need to cease from their former life; then I would suggest to them that they may indeed not be saved. The Holy Spirit dwelling inside us impels us to holy living. He is the HOLY Spirit, after all. If that inward impulsion is lacking, so, I suggest, is salvation! God tells us to examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5) and to judge ourselves (1 Corinthians 11:31) in regard to whether we are in THE faith. What is that faith? Simply the belief that Jesus Christ came in the flesh, died on the Cross as a full sacrifice for all of our sins, and was raised from the dead that we may be raised to newness of life. That, in its simplest form, is THE faith. If we hold to that, then we are saved. If we deny that, then we are not saved. End of story. It is that simple. And the RESULT of exercising that faith is that not only are we guaranteed Heaven for eternity but we are guaranteed that God will clean us up from the inside out. We need to cooperate, of course, for that cleaning up in us to successfully manifest itself to others. But our salvation hinges upon our faith, not upon the success of the cleaning up process in us.

I pray this helps someone.
I personally find your teaching much easier to understand, absorb and digest than that of Dr Andy Woods. Thank you.
 

soundingthealarm

Fleethewrath2come
Love this, thanks for sharing!!! So very well stated and refreshing and liberating and encouraging!!!!

I saw a animated meme of a man falling on an escalator BUT the escalator carried the man to the top anyway, and the title of the meme was "sanctification" when I saw that I was like THAT IS ME!! Thank you Father that You who have began a good work in us, will complete it and the convicting presence of Your Holy Spirit is actually testifying non stop to us that we are Yours cause we wouldn't even be aware of the battle without Your Convincing Presence.
 

pixelpusher

Well-Known Member
Love this, thanks for sharing!!! So very well stated and refreshing and liberating and encouraging!!!!

I saw a animated meme of a man falling on an escalator BUT the escalator carried the man to the top anyway, and the title of the meme was "sanctification" when I saw that I was like THAT IS ME!! Thank you Father that You who have began a good work in us, will complete it and the convicting presence of Your Holy Spirit is actually testifying non stop to us that we are Yours cause we wouldn't even be aware of the battle without Your Convincing Presence.
That's a great illustration!
 
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