So I'm curious some denominations teach that "accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior" and you will be saved?

So what verses are used in support for this doctrine? Is it biblical? I would also like to know when they mean “saved” is it a past-tense and you can no-longer lose your salvation?

It goes back to once saved always saved.:shrug: I have no idea where they got it.

They think that as long as you believe and are baptized you are in. That’s what they have told me anyway. Again no idea how they get this.

This whole discussion can get very complicated and confusing for Catholics not well versed in the varieties of Evangelical Protestantism. The confusion lies in the fact that all Evangelicals teach that you must accept Jesus as personal Lord and Savior, but Evangelicals are not in agreement on issues such as Perseverance of the Saints/Eternal Security.

Where Evangelicals Agree

In general, Evangelical Christians are characterized by their belief that placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ and repenting of one’s sins is what makes a person a Christian. Water baptism comes after authentic conversion as a sign and testimony of one’s new found faith and identification with Christ.

The belief, in general, is stated in the following way. “Salvation is received through repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ. By the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, being justified by grace through faith, man becomes an heir of God, according to the hope of eternal life.” The Scriptures used to support this belief include the following: Luke 24:47; John 3:3; Romans 10:9-15; Ephesians 2:8; Titus 2:11;Titus 3:5-7.

The “process” goes like this. Men are spiritually dead in their trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1). Consequently, they cannot come to God on their own initiative. The Holy Spirit moves on them, convincing (or “convicting” in Evangelical jargon) them of their own sins and the righteousness of God and the coming judgment (John 16:8). Mere logic is not enough to convince spiritually dead people of spiritual truths. The power of the Holy Spirit is necessary to awaken man to his need of God.

The means by which the Holy Spirit usually works to convince people is the message of the gospel delivered by faithful witnesses (Romans 10:14-17). The Book of Acts demonstrated that the Early Church preached the message of Jesus Christ as savior and the need to believe in him on the basis of his death and resurrection. In response, the hearers were “cut to the heart” and asked “What shall we do?” The answer is to repent of sins. We are also told by Paul, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10).

This results in regeneration, spiritual resurrection, becoming a new creation, adoption, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. With it comes the witness of the Spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).

Where Evangelicals Disagree

Where we disagree is on whether salvation can be lost/forfeited or whether an individual once saved is always saved. The former position is called “Conditional Security” and the latter position is called “Eternal Security.”

Conditional Security holds that faith and repentance are necessary to be saved and they remain necessary to salvation as the individual progressively grows in grace and holiness. Eternal Security holds that once a person is saved, they will persevere to the end; they cannot forfeit salvation through lack of faith or repentance.

As stated; where we differ is whether one is eternally secure.

Essentially the results remain the same though. Most Evangelical Churches that teach “OSAS” believe that if one falls away, then they were never truly “saved.” I think this is logically a poor belief, but it’s important for those who read Romans as teaching pre-destination.

I think where Catholics and all Protestants agree is that one can lose their salvation; however the circumstances of that loss can differ. Catholics will say that one could have believed and fell away, where some Protestants say they never could have truly believed in the first place.

Either way it doesn’t matter, the results are the same.

Belief in OSAS is not universal across Evangelical denominations. The denomination that I grew up in (and quite a few others) believe that salvation can be lost, and that a person must then be saved all over again. In fact, it used to be said about that denomination that “They believe in backsliding, and they practice it every week.”

Yes. Perhaps my post was not clear. The last 2 paragraphs discussed the division within Evangelicalism between those who adhere to the Eternal Security position (aka "once saved always saved) and those who adhere to the Conditional Security position (or the possibility of backsliding).

Pentecostals, of which I am one, believe it is possible to backslide. “Lose salvation” is not the best term. It’s much better to think of it in terms of relationship. Two people in a relationship can grow apart over time if the relationship is not maintained. This is what happens when someone backslides. They did not “lose their salvation” (because our salvation is not dependent on us but on Christ), but they did opt our of their relationship with Christ. They chose to move away from him bit by bit until there was no longer any relationship there at all.

What do you mean the “the results are the same”?

Are you making a prudential judgement?

There is no scriptural basis for this. Sure they can find some scripture that alludes to it but that is mostly taken out of context. It’s a line that was created during some evangelical revival tent meeting likely. I’ve heard it all my life from family and family friends and still hear it to this day.

For example, as one person mentioned John 3:3 and sometimes also John 3:15. But if what’s conveniently left out and I have challenged people staking this claim to me, is that they should also read to me John 3:5 (and the entire section really)…

5 Jesus answered, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit.

What is being referred to here is that to be saved one must be born again. That is baptism! As others have mentioned some of those who preach this believe you can loose your salvation but most (that I’ve encountered) don’t. I see them living a life that is extremely hypocritical and actually quite arrogant because they are “Saved Christians”! This is again, my experience. Not saying all of them, but most.

I grew up in a non-denominational protestant church, and the one thing that as drilled into me from an early age was John 3:16. All I had to do was make a profession of faith that I believed I Jesus as my Lord and Savior and just like that I was a Christian. I don’t know about anyone else that was protestant, but in our church, we believed that you could never lose your salvation. EVER. Even I you murdered someone. Nope. Once saved always saved.

Dangerous thinking for a Serial Killer, Once Saved always Saved, especially when its not true.

In response, the hearers were “cut to the heart” and asked “What shall we do?” The answer is to repent of sins. We are also told by Paul, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved” (Romans 10).

This results in regeneration, spiritual resurrection, becoming a new creation, adoption, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. With it comes the witness of the Spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16).

Generally a fine post, but why did you cut-and-paste like that? You quoted the question the men of Jerusalem asked Peter, but instead of giving Peter’s answer, you switch to a quote by Paul that was given in a completely different context and does not address half of Peter’s answer.

For the benefit of the other readers here, let me quote the entire question/answer from Acts chapter 2:

37 Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

38 Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

I have read and heard many evangelicals use this cut-and-paste method to avoid the plain biblical teaching that baptism for the remission of sins, along with faith and repentance, is a requirement for salvation. Why is that, I wonder?

BTW, Peter also said:

20 those who disobeyed God long ago when God waited patiently while Noah was building his boat. Only eight people were saved from drowning in that terrible flood.
21 And that water is a picture of **baptism, which now saves you, **not by removing dirt from your body, but as a response to God from a clean conscience. It is effective because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 3:20-21

And there are dozens more New Testament references to the combination of repentance and baptism, as I’m sure you know. The spiritual regeneration you speak of is accomplished through baptism.

Not sure how I could be any clearer.

Whether one loses salvation or was never saved to begin with, they don’t have salvation.

This always makes me laugh considering what Paul writes about this sort of thinking.

As if Evangelicals justify serial killing.

Thanks. I didn’t want to go on and on about what Evangelicals believe on a Catholic site. I wanted to answer the question.

Actually, I gave the first part of Peter’s answer (repent) and then started a new sentence where I quoted Paul.

Few people have time to casually engage in systematic theology. Of course, I’m well aware that on Catholic Answers, this is going to come up, so why not wait until I’m asked about it?

If I really got into the details of how I interpret this passage, I would have to talk about issues of Pentecostal hermeneutics, such as the fact that the “gift of the Holy Spirit” being referred to is not his indwelling but, in fact, his infilling. So, from a Pentecostal perspective, the ideal pattern is for an individual to be saved, water baptized, and Spirit baptized in quick succession.

Anyway, the short answer that I think all Evangelicals agree with is that the crucial act is repentance. Yes, we are to be baptized in water (and many Evangelical ministers stress that we should be baptized immediately upon our confession of faith in Christ), but it is not baptism in water that makes us a Christian. Repentance and water baptism should properly occur at the same time, but they are not the same thing. There can be repentance without baptism, but baptism is meaningless without accompanying repentance. In Acts 2, the people were told to baptized, but this occurred when they were already believers.

In the New Testament, we are constantly shown that people were baptized only after they believed (Acts 2:41; Acts 8:12; Acts 10:47-48). It is only natural that the sacrament of Christian initiation should only be given to those who have begun to live Christian lives. New Testament writers assume that those who have been baptized have also trusted in Christ and experienced salvation. Paul writes in Galatians 3:25-26,

25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian, 26 for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith. 27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

This is strong language about baptism, but it’s language that assumes that the people being baptized have faith. For those with faith, baptism is putting on Christ. It is the outward symbol/identification with Jesus Christ.

In Romans 6:3-4, Paul talks about the importance of baptism once again, writing,

3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

And in Colossians 2:11-12 he writes,

11 In him also you were circumcised with a circumcision made without hands, by putting off the body of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, 12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead.

So, yes, in baptism we are buried with Christ, and we are raised with him through faith. Once again, Paul is assuming that those who are baptized have faith and repentance while being baptized. Apart from saving faith (of the individual, not the faith of the Church), baptism is a meaningless rite.

1 Peter 3:20-21 often comes up in these debates, but I don’t think it makes a strong of a case for automatic conferral of grace in baptism. Peter does say that baptism saves, but he immediately makes explicit what he means. He writes “not by removing dirt from your body,” indicating that he is not referring to a physical, outward act.

He goes on to say, “but as a response to God from a clean conscience.” Other translations have, “but as an appeal to God for a good conscience.” Undergoing a rite of baptism is not what saves. It is the individual’s appeal to God, the request for a clean conscience and a new heart and forgiveness of sins that saves. Baptism is the outward sign of this appeal, but the inward appeal is what is effective. This scripture even rules out infant baptism, because it makes baptism contingent on being old enough to make such an appeal to God.

Well, I do believe that the biblical pattern (which few churches these days seem to want to enact) is that new converts are baptized when they believe, I do not think that Scripture gives any positive proof that regeneration is accomplished through baptism. It certainly rules out regeneration by baptism alone (as is the case in infant baptism where the baptized are incapable of having faith).

Catholics don’t believe you need to accept Jesus as your lord and savior?

With questions like this I can understand why you are an “ex-Catholic”. :rolleyes:

How so?

Your question implies you didn’t know the basic tenants of the faith in which you once belonged and if I thought I belonged to a religion that didn’t know you had to accept Jesus as your savior I would leave that organization also - that’s all. :shrug:


You misunderstood my post, its hard to express sarcasm online.

Of course I know the Roman Catholic Church teaches that you must accept Jesus Christ as your lord and savior to be saved.

That’s why I think its a bit ironic and inconsistent that the OP critiques protestant Christians for teaching that you have to accept Jesus as your lord and savior when the Roman Catholic Church just as surely teaches that you must accept Jesus as your Lord and savior.

You’re not saved until you’re dead.

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