Once Saved, Always Saved, and Marriage


#1

A thought occurred to me the other day, and I thought I would see what others on this board had to say about it. Many Protestants believe in “once saved, always saved,” that once we have made our profession of faith in Christ, we never lose the presence of God in our lives, and we are guaranteed Heaven. Catholics believe that this “saved state,” which we enter at baptism, can be lost many times in our lives through mortal sin, and is only restored through confession (or an act of perfect contrition).

I would like to compare this to marriage. The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is permanent, and that nothing the man or woman in question does after the marriage can change this. In other words, the Catholic Church believes in “once married, always married” (in this life, anyway). By contrast, many Protestants believe that unrepentant adultery, or perhaps some other serious sin against the spouse, can end a marriage.

If a person falls into a sinful lifestyle after becoming a Christian, the Catholic might say that this person has likely lost his or her salvation, that his or her saved state has ended (temporarily, at any rate). A OSAS-believing Protestant might say that the person was never actually saved to begin with.

If a person divorces and remarries, the Protestant will likely say that the individual ceased to be married (i.e. they lost their married state), but then entered into the married state again. The Catholic will likely look to a Church investigation that may determine the original marriage never existed (i.e. the person was never married to begin with).

The parallels are interesting to me, as it seems that the Catholic attitude about salvation is similiar to the Protestant attitude about marriage, and the Catholic attitude about marriage is similiar to the Protestant attitude about salvation.

Also, I find it interesting that the Catholic Church seems to believe that the bond between a husband and wife is stronger (to the point of being completely unbreakable) than the bond between God and the Christian (which can be broken with every mortal sin).

Any thoughts on all of this? I mean no offense to anyone; I just thought this line of reasoning was worthy of discussion.

God bless!


#2

One distinction that comes to my mind is that in the case of marriage, God declared it to be permanent.

In the case of our salvation, God made no such declaration.


#3

I see this as a mystery of the faith. It’s obvious that the marriage bond, in the material world at least, which may have existed at the time of marriage, is gone, severed, non-existent (in the material world) in a couple who is seeking civil divorce. There is nothing holding them together. And yet, the Bible does say, “What God has joined together…” and so you do have a permanent bond, in the spiritual world at least. And for that reason, couples should be…what’s the word I want – careful? – about who they marry and committed to the marriage.


#4

To the Catholic, both marriage and marriage-to-God are irrevocable perpetual covenants. Covenants are a giving of a person (or lineage) to another person (or lineage).

Just because one is indisoluably covenented to another doesn’t mean that the pair can’t be “separated” for some time, or for all time.

The protestant conception of both marriage and marriage-to-God is one of contract, which is revocable upon certain conditions.

Damnation, to the Catholic, is eternal separation from our Spouse. Therefore, the “agony” is one of wanting our Spouse and never being able to achieve Him.

Damnation, to the protestant, is breaking the contract with God, and being punished by outside forces (non-sufferer) for not living up to our contractual duties.

Any thoughts on all of this? I mean no offense to anyone; I just thought this line of reasoning was worthy of discussion.

God bless!


#5

I’m no apologist (lucky for the church!:wink: ) but I don’t think you can come to that conclusion. IF so, they would have come right out and said it in the chatechism.

The “bond” (IMHO), between husband and wife can be strong, weak, damaged, or even broken. That bond can be further damaged by hostility, unfaithful behavior, and more, but the couple is obligated to try to restore the bond. Through prayer, counseling, retreats etc.

Interestingly enough, when a human damages his bond with God, through breaking of the commandments or mortal sin,he the human - like the marriage - is obligated to take action to restore his BOND with God through prayer, repentances, the sacrament of Confession, etc.

In the first case, it is the sacrament of marriage that is unbreakable, not the BOND. In the second case, we are his fallen creation that keeps striving to regain union with Him.

My two cents:twocents:


#6

The difference is simple, really. We are not judged on this earth, but we are married on this earth. One is evident, public, in the past. The other is not evident, not public, and in the future.


#7

Catholic Marriage (if not null to begin with) is a “past perfect” (a thing completed utterly in the past) validity until death of one of the spouses.

Protestant Marriage is a “past imperfect” (a thing that is an ongoing process initiated in the past which is never completed) validity which is revocable at any point.

Catholic Salvation is a “future perfect” (a thing **only **completed [decided/finalized] in the future) validity which we simply strive for.

Protestant Salvation (osas) is a “past perfect” (a thing completed utterly in the past) validity which is irrevocable, UNLESS God revokes His UNREVOCABLE covenant.

…thus the illogic of the osas idea. God makes a covenant which is both revocable and irrevocable.

“But”, they will respond, “since God is not bound by even His own laws (ie bound even by Himself), He can do that!”

…really?


#8

Thanks for the input. Something to think about…


#9

You should also think about the concept of the Sacraments in the Catholic Church:

Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Orders and Marriage…all of these CANNOT be “undone”. You can ABUSE these gifts but they cannot be broken or undone.

I liked how you mentioned the OSAS link and divorce because the startling fact is even those Protestants who believe in OSAS and allow divorce are in a bind because if adultery is taking place, yet salvation cannot be lost, then what? How is the pastor supposed to preach against sin or even prevent divorce and remarriage?

I came across the web page of a well respected conservative Protestant pastor (who himself says marriage is permanent, no divorce) yet he also teaches OSAS and worse yet the pastors he works with (at that same church) disagree with him and say marriage is not permanent. That church’s rules and regulatory laws even say the divorce issue is up to the individual conscience! :eek:


#10

Christ is that Covenant - it’s not a thing; it’s a Person.

[LIST]
*]The election of the believer in Christ is “from before the foundation of the world” - it is “in” eternity.
*]The coming of the elect sinner to Christ is in time
*]The gift of saving faith in the Saviour Christ is given in time.
*]So is justification - that is complete
*]so is regeneration - & that takes a lifetime; it is never completed
*]the regenerate & justified saints on earth have still to persevere, to “make [their] calling and election sure” - it is by living in Christ, that they become more completely “rooted and grounded” in Him. Not because He is defective, but because they are.
*]assurance of salvation is not a necessary quality of faith - there can be great faith, where no assurance is. Faith we must have, or not be Christians. And regeneration includes having more and more faith, & more after that, until the atheism & unbelief in the believer is no more[/LIST]The work of Christ in making Atonement for us is complete - it is finished, ended. Just He said. It is once-for-all, unique, & unrepeatable; because He is.

The appropriation of His saving Atonement to His elect, by which He takes hold of them & they of Him, is not finished, but will continue “until He come again”, & then the day of grace will be over. Election, like justification, is a completed work for all who have been apprehended by Christ & His Spirit - it is the process of the gathering-in of all the elect that is not completed. So the Church is still being built, for not all its “living stones” have been laid in their places - but God knows them all.

I wonder if you could be confusing regeneration (incomplete) with the election of the individual (completed) ?


#11

Christ is the “Lamb” of the covenant. A covenant is the giving of the “whole” to the “whole”, the whole man to the whole woman. The whole man/God (and by extension the “rest” of God) to the whole of mankind.

[LIST]
*]The election of the believer in Christ is “from before the foundation of the world” - it is “in” eternity.
*]The coming of the elect sinner to Christ is in time
*]The gift of saving faith in the Saviour Christ is given in time.
*]So is justification - that is complete
*]so is regeneration - & that takes a lifetime; it is never completed
*]the regenerate & justified saints on earth have still to persevere, to “make [their] calling and election sure” - it is by living in Christ, that they become more completely “rooted and grounded” in Him. Not because He is defective, but because they are.
*]assurance of salvation is not a necessary quality of faith - there can be great faith, where no assurance is. Faith we must have, or not be Christians. And regeneration includes having more and more faith, & more after that, until the atheism & unbelief in the believer is no more[/LIST]

The work of Christ in making Atonement for us is complete - it is finished, ended. Just He said. It is once-for-all, unique, & unrepeatable; because He is.

The appropriation of His saving Atonement to His elect, by which He takes hold of them & they of Him, is not finished, but will continue “until He come again”, & then the day of grace will be over. Election, like justification, is a completed work for all who have been apprehended by Christ & His Spirit - it is the process of the gathering-in of all the elect that is not completed. So the Church is still being built, for not all its “living stones” have been laid in their places - but God knows them all.

I wonder if you could be confusing regeneration (incomplete) with the election of the individual (completed) ?

Since we don’t operate, as human persons, in eternity, which is the domain of “election”, we can have no awareness of our status as either being of the elect or not (unless through private revelation which STILL would need to be verified with the Church for validity, and their willingness to do that would probably be near-nill), so no one can comment on anyone’s status thus except the Church when they choose to announce with certainty of one’s being actually IN heaven, which applies (I THINK!?) only to deceased folks!

Therefore, I never comment on the “elect”-ness of anyone. BUT the continuing process of, what you call regeneration, which is living up to the strictures of the covenant of which Jesus is the Lamb, ain’t over till it’s over, which is at that point at which we choose God or not, finally and irrevocably.

So, yeah, we agree. If you don’t think we do please let me know where, as I think my head is a bit fuzzy at the moment, and probably for the next several hours. :slight_smile:


#12

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24 KJV)

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:28-29 KJV)

We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not. (1 John 5:18 KJV)

I am married to Christ!

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. (Romans 7:4 KJV)


#13

Hi everyone,

We Catholics see salvation as a process, not a one time event.

Past tense: We “have been saved” (Eph. 2:8)

Present tense: We “are being saved” (1 Cor. 1:18)

Future tense: We “shall be saved” (Acts 15:11)

God bless,

Rony


#14

Hi everyone,

We Catholics see salvation as a process, not a one time event.

JUSTIFICATION
Past tense: We “have been saved” (Eph. 2:8)

SANCTIFICATION
Present tense: We “are being saved” (1 Cor. 1:18)

GLORIFICATION
Future tense: We “shall be saved” (Acts 15:11)

God bless,

Rony

Unfortunately, there seems to be no place for the event (and I stress event) of justification which is by faith alone. What seems to really matter is some process of justification which is foreign to scripture.

Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:30 KJV)

Once begun…it will continue on through to glorification.

C2C

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6 KJV)


#15

JUSTIFICATION SANCTIFICATION GLORIFICATION

“And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God” (1 Cor. 6:11)

Justification is sanctification, we are made holy (sanctified) when we are justified in the washing of baptism. Glorification is the end result of our justification/sanctification when we remain and die in the grace of God.

Unfortunately, there seems to be no place for the event (and I stress event) of justification which is by faith alone.

“a man is justified by works and not by faith alone” (James 2:24)

What seems to really matter is some process of justification which is foreign to scripture.

“he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:5)

Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a clear conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:21).

Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. (Romans 8:30 KJV)

Amen.

Once begun…it will continue on through to glorification.

Yes it will, provided that we remain in His grace and choose not to separate ourselves from God.

“Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness; otherwise you too will be cut off” (Romans 11:22)

“For if we sin deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire which will consume the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27).

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: (Philippians 1:6 KJV)

Amen.

God bless,

Rony


#16

I liked how you mentioned the OSAS link and divorce because the startling fact is even those Protestants who believe in OSAS and allow divorce are in a bind because if adultery is taking place, yet salvation cannot be lost, then what? How is the pastor supposed to preach against sin or even prevent divorce and remarriage?

I came across the web page of a well respected conservative Protestant pastor (who himself says marriage is permanent, no divorce) yet he also teaches OSAS and worse yet the pastors he works with (at that same church) disagree with him and say marriage is not permanent. That church’s rules and regulatory laws even say the divorce issue is up to the individual conscience!

I read somewere that divorce statistics among protestant clery are not different that those of the average population.
That some protestant denominations that teach OSAS have higher divorce rates than Catholics and Lutherans who do not teach OSAS.
Than States were most Christians belong to those denominations have three times the divorce rates of Catholic Massachusets or Lutheran Minessotta.
So OSAS, divorce as a non sacrament (or ordinance) and high divorce rates seem to go hand in hand.


#17

It is an interesting line of thinking. I don’t think I can agree that it is the “bond” that is unbreakable in marriage. Clearly, the bond breaks, and in the case of adultery, there is not a difference between that state, and the state of a baptized person who then rejects God.

What I think is unbreakable is the vow that is made. Just as God does not go against HImself even when we turn away from Him, He expects us to maintain faithfulness to our unfaithful spouse. A person who is abandoned or cheated on by the spouse is to maintain forgiveness and intercessary prayer, in the hopes that the wayward spouse may find the way back.


#18

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