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Ephesians 1:13-14 KJV

[13] In whom ye also trusted , after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, [14] Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.

How would one, who doesn't believe in the doctrine of "once saved always saved", go about explaining this passage? It seems to me that this passage is saying that once you believe, you are "sealed" (or marked) with the "earnest (pledge) of our inheritance" (the Holy Spirit). How could one lose their salvation if they have the pledge of inheritance by being sealed with the Holy Spirit? Unless that seal can be broken. Are there any other interpretations?

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("explain away" presupposes this verse teaches the so-called 'once saved always saved' doctrine)

Ephesians 1:13-14

In whom you also, after you had heard the word of truth, (the gospel of your salvation;) in whom also believing, you were signed with the holy Spirit of promise, Who is the pledge of our inheritance, unto the redemption of acquisition, unto the praise of his glory.

Right off the bat, we know this is a conditional (Romans 11:22b) assurance (you can't murder someone or commit adultery,and not have that forfeit your salvation).

Hebrews 10:26-38

For if we sin wilfully after having the knowledge of the truth, there is now left no sacrifice for sins, but a certain dreadful expectation of judgment, and the rage of a fire which shall consume the adversaries. A man making void the law of Moses, dieth without any mercy under two or three witnesses: How much more, do you think he deserveth worse punishments, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath esteemed the blood of the testament unclean, by which he was sanctified, and hath offered an affront to the Spirit of grace? For we know him that hath said: Vengeance belongeth to me, and I will repay. And again: The Lord shall judge his people. It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

...

Do not therefore lose your confidence, which hath a great reward. For patience is necessary for you; that, doing the will of God, you may receive the promise. For yet a little and a very little while, and he that is to come, will come, and will not delay. But my just man liveth by faith; but if he withdraw himself, he shall not please my soul.

Scripture doesn't make an except for Christians, who are called to a higher calling than everyone else, anywhere.

1 Corinthians 6:8-10

But you do wrong and defraud, and that to your brethren. Know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers,  Nor the effeminate, nor liers with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor railers, nor extortioners, shall possess the kingdom of God.

Imagine St. Paul saying this if 'once saved always saved' were true. He would be saying in fact:

"But you sin against your brother. Do you not know that the unjust (but don't worry, not you) shall not inherit the kingdom of God?"

Ridiculous. It strips all meaning from the text.

Or again:

Romans 6:11-16

So do you also reckon, that you are dead to sin, but alive unto God, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, so as to obey the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of iniquity unto sin; but present yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of justice unto God. For sin shall not have dominion over you; for you are not under the law, but under grace. What then? Shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are whom you obey, whether it be of sin unto death, or of obedience unto justice.

The extensive use in of the countless imperatives of St. Paul and others in Scripture to urge us not to sin, and tells us that those who sin will go to Hell, are stripped of all their meaning by people to advocate the unbiblical doctrine of unconditional perseverence.

Heck, we are commanded to persevere (Hebrews 10:36). We aren't robots.

Matthew 24:13

And because iniquity hath abounded, the charity of many shall grow cold. But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved.

Matthew 13:18-23

Hear you therefore the parable of the sower.

When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, there cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart: this is he that received the seed by the way side. And he that received the seed upon stony ground, is he that heareth the word, and immediately receiveth it with joy. Yet hath he not root in himself, but is only for a time: and when there ariseth tribulation and persecution because of the word, he is presently scandalized. And he that received the seed among thorns, is he that heareth the word, and the care of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choketh up the word, and he becometh fruitless. But he that received the seed upon good ground, is he that heareth the word, and understandeth, and beareth fruit, and yieldeth the one an hundredfold, and another sixty, and another thirty.

Matthew 25:14-30

For even as [a parable] a man going into a far country, called his servants, and delivered to them his goods; And to one he gave five talents, and to another two, and to another one, to every one according to his proper ability: and immediately he took his journey. And he that had received the five talents, went his way, and traded with the same, and gained other five. And in like manner he that had received the two, gained two more. But he that had received the one, going his way digged into the earth, and hid his lord's money. But after a long time the lord of those servants came, and reckoned with them. And he that had received the five talents coming, brought five more talents, saying: Lord, thou didst deliver to me five talents, behold I have gained five more over and above. His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant, because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. And he also that had received the two talents came and said: Lord, thou deliveredst two talents to me: behold I have gained other two. His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant: because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. But he that had received the one talent, came and said: Lord, I know that thou art a hard man; thou reapest where thou hast not sown, and gatherest where thou hast not strewed. And being afraid I went and hid thy talent in the earth: behold here thou hast that which is thine. And his lord answering, said to him: Wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sow not, and gather where I have not strewed: Thou oughtest therefore to have committed my money to the bankers, and at my coming I should have received my own with usury. Take ye away therefore the talent from him, and give it to him that hath ten talents. For to every one that hath shall be given, and he shall abound: but from him that hath not, that also which he seemeth to have shall be taken away. And the unprofitable servant cast ye out into the exterior darkness. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

So our deeds aren't inconsequential in the slightest (John 15:6 et seq). Our salvation depends on continuing (Romans 11:22) in goodness.

Romans 2:7

To them indeed, who according to patience in good work, seek glory and honour and incorruption, [He gives] eternal life

In short, it isn't God who is unfaithful to His promises (John 6:37; 1 Timothy 2:4), but us who forfeit the promise ourselves (2 Timothy 2:12).

See my related answer here.

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There are several other verses in the Bible which also discuss these ones which are "sealed" by holy spirit. They can shed more light on the subject.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22

But the one who guarantees that you and we belong to Christ and the one who anointed us is God. He has also put his seal on us and has given us the token of what is to come, that is, the spirit, in our hearts.

From this verse we also see that the sealing is by means of holy spirit, and that it's in one's heart.

Ephesians 4:30

Also, do not be grieving God’s holy spirit, with which you have been sealed for a day of releasing by ransom.

From this verse we can observe two more things: that this sealing is towards a future day of redemption, and that there is a warning against grieving the holy spirit.

This warning against grieving the holy spirit references the mistake which the nation of Israel made, when they began rejecting God's rule and therefore grieved the holy spirit, losing their privileged status.

Isaiah 63:10, 19

But they rebelled and grieved his holy spirit.
He then turned into their enemy,
And he fought against them.
...
For too long we have become like those you never ruled over,
Like those never called by your name.

So to answer your question, yes, the seal can be broken by "grieving God's holy spirit," just as it was able to be broken by the Israelites who lost Jerusalem.

For more information, you could read this article: Do Not Grieve Jehovah's Holy Spirit.

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The key is in the first part of the verse:

"In whom ye also trusted..."

Our salvation involves our trust in the Lord. If we lost that trust, or decide not to continue to trust in Him, then we fall away.

There are several "if" statements that show the promise is conditional on continued belief and continued walking with God and His Spirit.

Heb. 6:4-6,

"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,

5 And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,

6 If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." (KJV)

The author spoke of those who had been in Christ - those once enlightened - and who had been given the gift of the Holy Spirit but then fell away. The Holy Spirit did not prevent them from falling away. Being sealed with the Holy Spirit did not mean their free will was over come. They did not become robots operating on remote control. They could choose to turn away.

1 Cor. 15:1-2,

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain." (KJV)

Believing in vain... remember the parable of the sower and the seeds that fell by the wayside and did not catch root (Matt. 13:19), or those that fell in the stony places and had short growth, but then died off because they had no roots (Matt. 13:20). Or, the seeds that fell among the thorns, and were choked back by the cares of the world and became unfruitful (Matt. 13:22). All these believed in vain.

1 John 2:19, speaking of the anti-Christs that appeared in the first century AD,

" out of us they went forth, but they were not of us, for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but -- that they might be manifested that they are not all of us."

Those that did not remain with the believers were those that turned away from Christ and went back to Judaism or other pagan religions. They walked away.

2 Pet 1:8-10, having the characteristics of the faithful,

" For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

9 But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:"

The blind forgot that he had been saved - purged of his sins - and turned back to them (2 Pet. 2:22).

Therefore, if we keep our faith and keep believing and keep walking with God, then we remain in His grace, we remain sealed for Him, and our salvation is sure. But, we have the choice of all free will adults to turn away, and if we do fall away, then we have forfeited our salvation. The control is in our hands.

However, the "if" works for us as well as demonstrated in Ezek. 18:21--22:

"But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

22 All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live."

This what is meant by repentance - complete sorrow of the heart that causes us to turn back to God.

Under the gospel of Christ we have the choice, the ability to repent, and if we do sincerely repent of our sins, God has promised to forgive us and will welcome us home and restore us to full son-ship just as the parable of the prodigal son teaches (Luke 15:11-32).

If we trust in Him, if we walk with Him, if we continue to believe in Him, then is our salvation sure. To say otherwise is to say that we have no free will and no choice of our own.

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First off, the people that Paul is addressing here are the Ephesians who are the one who were sealed with the Holy Ghost. Paul is NOT talking to every believer. He is talking specifically to these Ephesians who in Acts Chapter 19 he came upon them in Ephasus and asked them have you received the Holy Ghost since you've believed? They said they had not even heard of any Holy Ghost. Acts 19:1-6 he asked them then what baptism we're you baptized into and they said John's baptism, then he told them John said they should be baptized in Jesus name to be baptized with the Holy Ghost and when they heard this they were baptized in Jesus name and Paul laid hands on them and they spoke in tongues and received the Holy Ghost. This is fact!

I was rebaptized per Acts 19 and received it myself with evidence of speaking in tongues.

You don't receive the Holy Ghost when you believe John 3:16 it is taken out of context. Jesus is talking to Nicodemus about being born of water and of spirit. Everyone who received the Holy Ghost manifested tongues. Are those who have received the Holy Ghost better? NO!!!! God is no respecter of people. Those who have received it and continue in sin will go straight to hell to await the second death, the lake of fire. Romans chapter 2 states those who sin without law will perish too. Hebrews 6, 10, 12 as well as various other scriptures tell us those who have received the Holy Ghost cannot continue in sin.

But remember most of the people in the Bible had the Holy Ghost with evidence of speaking in tongues. I could not understand the Bible before and it is because the things of God are diserned spiritually. It is not understood by the natural man. 1 Corinthians 2:14 That's why Nicodemus did not understand being born again. You Repent and live Holy and perfect. Matthew 5:48 we stop sinning, put down the alcohol and porn ect... Realize it will send us to hell. Romans 8:9 says if the spirit of God not dwell in you then you are not his! If that is true,but you receive it when you believe, how can you explain romans 8:9 if you are a believer, you should have the Holy Ghost right? Wrong!!! You must Repent and be baptized in Jesus name Acts 2:38 with evidence of speaking in tongues. It won't get you into heaven BUT NOW you can go and sin no more, John 8:11. And NOW walk in the spirit Romans 8:1 and not be under condemnation. Romans 6 says sin has no Dominion over people dead with Christ. 1 Peter 3:21 says baptism saves you. Galatians 3:27 those who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Mark 16:15-18 go preach to every creature he who believe AND is baptized will be saved but he who believe not will be damned.

John 3:5 unless a man be born of water and Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God and no I am not pentacostal, I don't agree that Jesus is God in the flesh. He is the Christ the Son of God. God manifested himself in his Son Luke 3:22 then he was in the world and the world was made by him and the world knew him not. John chapter 1. 1 Timothy 3:16 tells us God was seen in the spirit. Justified in the spirit!! In Jesus!!! I and my father are one. He in me does the works. John 14:10 any form of the Trinity doctrine is false as well. It is Antichrist spirit to deny Jesus is the Christ. One question arises, then why was he perfect. He was fully man but without sin Hebrews 4:14 why was he perfect then? Isaiah 7:15 says he would eat butter and honey to know to refuse evil so he was perfect by supernatural means.

Not because Jesus was God himself. No God cannot be tempted.james 1:13 but Jesus was tempted by the devil. We need to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints of the common salvation. Book of Jude. God is a spirit and must be worshipped in spirit and in truth. Acts 2:38 Mark 16:17 Luke 13:3 repent or perish. Those who have received the Holy Ghost who harden their selves against obedience will suddenly be broken without remedy proverbs 29:1 Hebrews 6 says if you don't provide or manifest the the fruit "character" of Christ completey in your life you will be rejected and burned, sent to hell to await the second death.

I now can rightly divide the scriptures and understand them having the Holy Ghost. The spirit of truth, but I am no better for it than anyone else. I am able to work my salvation out with fear and trembling. It's only been 8 months since I've received the Holy Ghost. My depression went away and anxiety. My porn addiction stopped completely. Now I can diserned the spiritual. That's why a spiritual man judges all things but righteous judgment!!! Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy. The hypocrits will be cut in half and awarded his portion to the unbeliever. Matthew 24:51 we are told to strive to enter in many will seek to do so but not be able Luke 13:24. With man it's impossible but With God "the Holy Ghost" it is not!!! Matthew 19:26

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