Q. I believe in OSAS, as the Bible clearly teaches it. However, I am finding more and more people (especially in my bible study group) using different scriptures to counter OSAS, which does not make sense to me. The most common one I have seen used is Romans 8:6 and 13 where Paul speaks of the fleshly mind is death (physical and spiritual) and that whoever lives according to the flesh will die spiritually, but whoever lives according to the spirit will live. How does this relate to believers?
A. Taking all of Paul’s writing on eternal security (OSAS) into consideration, we can interpret Romans 8:6,13 to mean that those who are led by the Spirit are believers and those who are led by the flesh are unbelievers. To say that we’re saved by grace and not by works on one hand, and on the other saying if we don’t behave correctly we’ll lose our salvation, is combining faith and works into a hybrid form of salvation that Paul argued against. Notice in Romans 8:15-16 Paul confirmed that we don’t live in fear of losing our salvation because we are literally God’s children. The Holy Spirit Himself testifies to this with our spirit.
Obviously, believers strive to live lives that are pleasing to God, but it’s not out of fear of losing the free gift God has given us. It’s an expression of our gratitude for having received it. Or as Paul said, it’s living up to what we have already attained (Phil. 3:16). By virtue of being born again, we’re already God’s children (John 1:12-13) and nothing can change that (Ephesians 1:13-14). Now let’s act the part.