Faith Alone, Eternal Assurance/Once Saved Always Saved and 1 John.

In 1 John we find considerable scriptural backing against the doctrines of “Faith Alone” and “Once Saved Always Saved” or “Eternal Assurance”.

John makes it clear here that something additional to faith is required.

That is to strive to live a life without sin, and if we do sin, to acknowledge our sins in order to be forgiven by God; that “if we live in the light” the blood of Jesus cleanses us from sin, implying that if we do not live in the light, it won’t; that if we say we have no sin, the truth has no place in us.

That if we do not keep the commandments, the truth has no place in us, and if we say we know Jesus without keeping the commandments, we are liars, who, Rev 22:15  tells us, will not inherit eternal life  (– “everyone of false speech”); that if we claim to be in Jesus we need to act like Jesus did; that the proof that we are in God is that we keep his Word; that to remain in Jesus we have to act as he acted; that he who hates his brother is blinded by darkness; that for anyone who loves the world, the love of the father finds no place in him, because disordered desires of the body and the eyes and pride in possession are not from God; that he who does the will of God remains for ever; that everyone whose life is upright is a child of God.

That whoever sins has neither seen nor recognized God; that whoever lives sinfully belongs to the devil; that whoever does not live uprightly and does not love his brother is not from God; that whoever does not love remains in death; that whoever hates his brother is a murderer and has no eternal life remaining in him; that God’s love does not remain in him who does not share his worldly possessions; that our love must be something genuine and active; that Jesus’ commandment was that we should believe in him and love one another as he commanded us; that whoever keeps Jesus’ commandments remains in God and God in him.

That whoever fails to love does not know God; that when we love one another God remains in us and comes to perfection in us; that anyone who says “I love God” and hates his brother is a liar;

That we know we love one another when we love God and keep his commandments; that to love God is to keep his commandments;  

John tells us that sin and failure to love cuts us off from God, that we are to keep Jesus’ commandments and act as he did and that eternal life does not remain in him who hates his brother. John also makes it clear that we must always be on our guard against falling, which tells us that we can fall.

1 John 1.

“5 This is what we have heard from him and are declaring to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all.

If we say that we share in God’s life while we are living in darkness, we are lying, because we are not living the truth.

7 But if we live in light, as he is in light, we have a share in another’s life, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin.

If we say, ‘We have no sin,’ we are deceiving ourselves, and truth has no place in us;if we acknowledge our sins, he is trustworthy and upright, so that he will forgive our sins and will cleanse us from all evil.”

1 John 2.

“1 My children, I am writing this to prevent you from sinning; but if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the upright.

2 He is the sacrifice to expiate our sins, and not only ours, but also those of the whole world.

3 In this way we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

4 Whoever says, ‘I know him’ without keeping his commandments, is a liar, and truth has no place in him.

5 But anyone who does keep his word, in such a one God’s love truly reaches its perfection. This is the proof that we are in God.

6 Whoever claims to remain in him must act as he acted.

9 Whoever claims to be in light but hates his brother is still in darkness.

10 Anyone who loves his brother remains in light and there is in him nothing to make him fall away.

11 But whoever hates his brother is in darkness and is walking about in darkness not knowing where he is going, because darkness has blinded him.

15 Do not love the world or what is in the world. If anyone does love the world, the love of the Father finds no place in him,

16 because everything there is in the world — disordered bodily desires, disordered desires of the eyes, pride in possession — is not from the Father but is from the world.

17 And the world, with all its disordered desires, is passing away. But whoever does the will of God remains for ever.

18 Children, this is the final hour; you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and now many Antichrists have already come; from this we know that it is the final hour.

19 They have gone from among us, but they never really belonged to us; if they had belonged to us, they would have stayed with us. But this was to prove that not one of them belonged to us.

24 Let what you heard in the beginning remain in you; as long as what you heard in the beginning remains in you, you will remain in the Son and in the Father.

27 But as for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you; since the anointing he gave you teaches you everything, and since it is true, not false, remain in him just as he has taught you.

28 Therefore remain in him now, children, so that when he appears we may be fearless, and not shrink from him in shame at his coming.

29 If you know that he is upright you must recognise that everyone whose life is upright is a child of his.”

1 John 3.

“6 No one who remains in him sins, and whoever sins has neither seen him nor recognised him.

7 Children, do not let anyone lead you astray. Whoever acts uprightly is upright, just as he is upright.

8 Whoever lives sinfully belongs to the devil, since the devil has been a sinner from the beginning.

10 This is what distinguishes the children of God from the children of the devil: whoever does not live uprightly and does not love his brother is not from God.

11 This is the message which you heard from the beginning, that we must love one another,

14 …… Whoever does not love, remains in death.

15 Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you are well aware that no murderer has eternal life remaining in him.

17 If anyone is well-off in worldly possessions and sees his brother in need but closes his heart to him, how can the love of God be remaining in him?

18 Children, our love must be not just words or mere talk, but something active and genuine.

23 His commandment is this, that we should believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and that we should love one another as he commanded us.

24 Whoever keeps his commandments remains in God, and God in him.”

1 John 4.

“7 My dear friends, let us love one another, since love is from God and everyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.

8 Whoever fails to love does not know God, because God is love.

12 No one has ever seen God, but as long as we love one another God remains in us and his love comes to its perfection in us.

20 Anyone who says ‘I love God’ and hates his brother, is a liar, since whoever does not love the brother whom he can see cannot love God whom he has not seen.

21 Indeed this is the commandment we have received from him, that whoever loves God, must also love his brother.”

1 John 5.

“1 Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is a child of God, and whoever loves the father loves the son.

2 In this way we know that we love God’s children, when we love God and keep his commandments.

3 This is what the love of God is: keeping his commandments. Nor are his commandments burdensome,

20 …..  Children, be on your guard against false gods.”


2 thoughts on “Faith Alone, Eternal Assurance/Once Saved Always Saved and 1 John.

  1. Ken Punter

    In John 3:16 Jesus tells us about “everlasting life” for whosoever believes in Him. I believe in Him, so I have everlasting life. I John 5:13 says you can know that you have eternal life. I know I have eternal life. What can “eternal life” possibly mean if it can be lost? It is either eternal or it is not. I have eternal life because my life is in Christ (Romans 8:1-2). He lives forever and I live forever with Him. I pray you will see this truth and put your trust in Christ for salvation, and be eternally secure in Him.


    1. Ken,
      Indeed if you believe in Jesus you have eternal life.
      Jesus says in mark 16:16 ” 16 Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved; ” Were we to die at that point, we’d go straight to heaven.
      But Paul reminds us that we must work for our salvation with fear and trembling.
      Rom 8:28 “28 We are well aware that God works with those who love him, those who have been called in accordance with his purpose, and turns everything to their good.”
      “God works with those who love him,”. God knows from eternity who will respond to Him, and He works with those.
      No problem with “Believers are born again (regenerated) when they believe (John 3:3; Titus 3:5).” The church teaches the same.Paul clearly teaches that a person can choose to turn away from God himself. No one or thing can take someone from God, but a person can choose to move away from God.
      The Bible gives does give evidence that the new birth “can be taken away.”
      Rom 8:38-39 does not mean that one cannot lose one’s salvation. That is not what Romans 8:38-39 says. What Rom 8:38-39 says is that: Neither “death”, “life”, “angels” “demons”, “the present” “the future”, “any powers”, “neither height nor depth”, “nor anything else in all creation”, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
      That is what it says. All these things are external to us. But we can still by sinning move away from God. There is plenty of scriptural evidence to back this up.
      Once saved always saved is absolutely unscriptural. Those who believe it have strayed far from the teachings of Christ. It has become a slogan which cannot be scrutinised or questioned without people being “offended” and unable to examine and consider the weight of the biblical evidence against it.

      Gal 5: 1, 4 “1 Christ set us free, so that we should remain free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be fastened again to the yoke of slavery.
      4 …. then you have separated yourself from Christ, you have fallen away from grace.”
      To fall away from grace means that one was in a state of grace in the first place.
      1 Tim 5:15 “15 there are already some who have turned aside to follow Satan.” You cannot get clearer that that.

      Heb 3:14 “14 because we have been granted a share with Christ only if we keep the grasp of our first confidence firm to the end.”

      Heb 6: 4-6 “4 As for those people who were once brought into the light, and tasted the gift from heaven, and received a share of the Holy Spirit,
      5 and tasted the goodness of God’s message and the powers of the world to come
      6 and yet in spite of this have fallen away — it is impossible for them to be brought to the freshness of repentance a second time, since they are crucifying the Son of God again for themselves, and making a public exhibition of him.”

      2 Pet 2:15, 20 “15 They have left the right path and wandered off to follow the path of Balaam son of Bosor, ….. 20 and anyone who has escaped the pollution of the world by coming to know our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and who then allows himself to be entangled and mastered by it a second time, ends up by being worse than he was before.”

      1 Sam 11:6, 18 : 12
      11: 6 “6 And the spirit of Yahweh seized on Saul when he heard these words,
      18: 12 “12 Saul feared David, since Yahweh was with him and had withdrawn from Saul.”

      Ezek 18: 24, 18:24 “24 ‘But if the upright abandons uprightness and does wrong by copying all the loathsome practices of the wicked, is he to live? All his upright actions will be forgotten from then on; for the infidelity of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, he will most certainly die.”
      Ezek 33:13 “13 (f)Though I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, yet if he trusts in his righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered; but in the iniquity that he has committed he shall die.”

      Col 1:21-23 “21 You were once estranged and of hostile intent through your evil behaviour;
      22 now he has reconciled you, by his death and in that mortal body, to bring you before himself holy, faultless and irreproachable-
      23 as long as you persevere and stand firm on the solid base of the faith, never letting yourselves drift away from the hope promised by the gospel,”

      Rev 2: 4-5 “4 Nevertheless, I have this complaint to make: you have less love now than formerly.
      5 Think where you were before you fell; repent, and behave as you did at first, or else, if you will not repent, I shall come to you and take your lamp-stand from its place.”
      Rev 3: “14 ‘Write to the angel of the church in Laodicea and say, “Here is the message of the Amen, the trustworthy, the true witness, the Principle of God’s creation:15 I know about your activities: how you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other,16 but since you are neither hot nor cold, but only lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth.

      Rom 11 :22 “22 Remember God’s severity as well as his goodness: his severity to those who fell, and his goodness to you as long as you persevere in it; if not, you too will be cut off.”
      1 Tim 5:8, “If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his own family, he has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
      John 15:5-6 “5 I am the vine, you are the branches.
      6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a branch — and withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire and are burnt.”


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