Q. I am an Ordained Minister of the Gospel and I must admit, I have used much of your teaching in my messages! One of the questions I’m commonly asked is about OSAS. This first occurred when a member of my church asked me if that meant she could “Commit murder and still be saved and go to heaven.” I have also been told by critics of OSAS that this is a license to sin. I have been reading your books and commentaries on this interesting subject and must admit that you have changed my mind and I thank you. However, what is to keep some one who is saved from turning his/her back on Jesus and “going astray”?
A. It is true that all of a believer’s sins have already been forgiven (Colossians 2:13-14), so technically we could do anything we want (1 Cor. 10:23-24). But people who question OSAS overlook two things. The first is that our salvation is based on what we believe, not on how we behave, so our behavior is not a salvation issue.
Second, we have the indwelling Holy Spirit, who is not only a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (Ephes. 1:13-14) but is also a counselor guiding us into behavior that’s pleasing to the Lord. We try to behave in a manner pleasing to Him as a way of saying thanks for the free gift of salvation. We do it because we want to, not because we have to.
Also, according to 2 Cor. 1:21-22 it is God who makes us stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set His seal of ownership upon us, and put His Spirit in our heart as a deposit guaranteeing what is to come.
When we become a believer, God takes ownership of us. Then He turns us over to His son as an owner turns his sheep over to a shepherd. The shepherd’s job is to keep the sheep. In John 6:39 Jesus said it’s His Father’s will that He should lose none of those the Father has given Him. Therefore like sheep, we might go astray for a time, but if we do, our Shepherd has promised not to lose us. He will hunt us down and bring us back, like He explained in the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:4-6) . And after all, isn’t going astray also a form of behavior, and therefore not a salvation issue?