I want to start this thread by first stating that I a convert the the Catholic faith from Protestant evangelicalism. I greatly appreciate the all that I experienced as a Protestant and am indebted to those who first introduced me to the Savior Jesus Christ. My desire for this thread is that it not become simply another discussion about OSAS, but to examine the Protestant understanding of the Christian battle against the world, the flesh and the devil in light of the Reformation understanding of ‘sin and grace’ as seen by Martin Luther.
Now, I understand there are many Protestants who do not agree with much of what Luther had to say or are all together ignorant of his teachings, but what must be agreed on is that Martin Luther is the ‘lynch-pin’ connecting the teachings of the Reformation with all other denominations that followed. Martin Luther and his teachings cannot be altogether dismissed for the Reformation brought with it a ‘spirit’ that traveled down through all the other teachers and teachings that followed the Reformation. Some Protestant denominations have outright rejected Luthers teachings altogether seeing them as incompatible with Sacred Scripture.
My intention for this post is this: I know there are Protestants who have come to CAF because they find themselves on the fence trying to reconcile what Sacred Scripture has to say about the war against sin in light of ‘once saved always saved’ and it’s my hope to inspire to carefully examine what your conscience may be telling you and to look honestly at passages of scripture that warn us about the consequences of willful deliberate sin.
I understand the battle many Protestants struggle with internally when dealing with the issue of sin because I was one of them. I had a powerful experience with Christ that literally changed me overnight and I became a new man, I fell in love with Jesus Christ and began to consume the Bible like a man who had been dying of thirst. I wanted to lead a holy life and flee from sin at every opportunity and for periods of time was very successful which gave me great satisfaction. The church I first belonged to did not believe in OSAS and believed that willful sinning based on scripture would lead to lose their salvation. This group even promoted confessing sins to one another and maintained a rigorous evangelization and discipleship policy.
I strived with all my might to lead a holy life, to evangelize, to fight sin, to confess but I soon found myself very tired and mentally drained and these folks began to show a different side that scared me. I began to secretly attend a non-denominational church and finally was led to believe this church I was currently involved with was a cult. A few weeks before I left I did something this church absolutely forbid, I asked for Jesus to come into my heart, this was my second powerful encounter with Jesus Christ and I instantly felt the grace and strength to confront these people and get out of the cult. One thing I did take from this experience was a love for my God Jesus Christ and scripture. I believed the mercy of Jesus touched me that day and prepared me for all that followed. (cont)