Sin and Salvation

Here is a great post I saw on

“I don’t agree with your theology; you are teaching here that I can lose my salvation, and I believe in eternal security. I believe that nothing can separate me from God not even my sins of sexual impurity.”

“Your course points me to my actions, or behavior, and asks me to examine whether or not I have salvation, but I am only supposed to look to Jesus, and the work He did on the cross, as my only assurance of salvation.”

Such are some of the comments that we receive from students at Setting Captives Free, so in an effort to clarify our position on some of these important matters we have put together this page. We hope you will find it a helpful resource.

As to our doctrinal beliefs at Setting Captives Free, we do not believe that anyone can lose their salvation. We believe in the biblical doctrine of perseverance of the saints; that is, Jesus will not lose one that the Father has given Him (John 10:28-29), and we who are Christ’s will persevere to the very end (1 Timothy 4:16). It is a great comfort to know that we are, indeed, held in God’s hand and cannot be taken out (John 10:29) or separated from His love (Romans 8:39) because we were chosen before the foundation of the world by Him (Ephesians 1:4).

However, we also understand that there are some who will believe themselves to be Christians who may not actually be born again (Matthew 7:21-23). These people may have a profession of salvation in Jesus Christ, but the fruit of their life, that is, their believing of lies that result in bondage to habitual sin, should cause them to question whether or not they are truly saved. It is indeed possible to be saved and to simply have fallen into a sin trap (Galatians 6:1), yet there is also ample biblical evidence to suggest that one who is truly captive to habitual sin may not be saved. At Setting Captives Free we take the issue of salvation very seriously, and we point out that deception in this area is a high possibility, and if you are enslaved to sin then you should test yourself to see if you are in the faith.

Please examine these Scriptures:

Beware lest there be among you a man or woman or clan or tribe whose heart is turning away today from the Lord our God to go and serve the gods of those nations. Beware lest there be among you a root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit, 19one who, when he hears the words of this sworn covenant, blesses himself in his heart, saying, ‘I shall be safe, though I walk in the stubbornness of my heart.’ This will lead to the sweeping away of moist and dry alike. 20The Lord will not be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the Lord and his jealousy will smoke against that man, and the curses written in this book will settle upon him, and the Lord will blot out his name from under heaven. 21And the Lord will single him out from all the tribes of Israel for calamity, in accordance with all the curses of the covenant written in this Book of the Law. Deuteronomy 29:18-21

In the above passage, God presents the truth that He is against those who are at carnal ease. That is, those who assure themselves of their eternal safety while they are stubborn of heart and have idols in their lives. God promises to single this person out for calamity, for he is deceived and enslaved to idol worship, while professing to be a child of God.

Some say that this is merely Old Testament law, which does not apply to us today who are under New Testament grace. In so doing, they blunt the sharp edge of the sword, which is designed to cause us to examine our lives and see if we are truly “safe” (verse 19), and they deny that “ALL Scriptures are…useful for teaching, reproof, correction and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). But, for those who prefer to hear the viewpoint from the New Testament, this passage says essentially the same thing:

Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

This passage states clearly that the “unrighteous” (and then it goes on to define who are unrighteous) will not inherit the kingdom of God. It could not be clearer that those who are habitually involved in sexual immorality, idolatry (which includes all forms of impurity, according to Colossians 3:5), homosexuality, thieves, greedy, drunkards, etc. are not saved. Those who are saved are no longer involved in this type of activity, which truth is communicated to us in the above passage by saying, “Such WERE some of you…” Some of the Corinthians WERE sexually immoral, idolatrous, homosexuals, etc. but they are not now. Something happened. They were changed, cleansed, sanctified, washed, etc. by God.

We have many people come to Setting Captives Free who are practicing a lifestyle that is specifically mentioned in the above passage, yet they are fully convinced that they are saved. They point to a time when they said a prayer, were baptized, or raised their hand during some altar call as their point of salvation. But we know the truth from Scripture that if anyone is in Christ then he is a new creation-the old has gone, the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17)-and yet these people continue in their old sinful lifestyles, despite their profession of faith in Christ and their assurance (falsely) that all is well with their soul. They are described in the Deuteronomy 29 passage above as those who say to themselves that they will be safe, though they walk in the stubbornness of their hearts, and are instead singled out by God for calamity.

Friend, there is a great possibility of self-deception in the area of habitual sin. The 1 Corinthians 6 passage begins, “Do not be deceived…” because of the very real possibility of deception in those who are ensnared in sin. At Setting Captives Free, we are very concerned for those who are deceived and it is our desire that each one that comes to this site would follow the instruction of 2 Corinthians 13:5

Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? -unless indeed you fail to meet the test! 2 Corinthians 13:5

Some want to say that there is no reason to test ourselves, for after all, we “made a decision,” we “prayed a prayer”, we have been baptized, etc. therefore we are assured our place in heaven, no matter if our lives evidence to the contrary. Why do I need to test myself if I have prayed to accept Christ? And yet the Apostle Paul, in the above verse, declares that it is possible to fail the test, thereby revealing that one is not in the faith. It is not that this person could lose salvation, it is that he or she never had it. Therefore, he calls us to both examine ourselves and to test ourselves to see if there is evidence of our salvation from sin.

Now notice Galatians 5:24,

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

The above verse does not say, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have prayed a prayer of repentance” or “those who belong to Christ Jesus have walked an aisle, making a public profession of faith in Christ.” No, it says, “those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Those who have thus crucified the flesh, and so belong to Christ, have some evidence in their lives of crucifixion. Jesus showed Thomas His scars, and invited examination of His body, as evidence that He had been crucified and had risen from the dead to new life. Those of us who belong to Christ should be able to show evidence in our lives of how we have crucified our flesh with its lusts and passions. If we are yet alive in sin, living in the lusts and passion of impurity, what evidence do we have that we belong to Christ? A few words that we mouthed years ago? God forbid. Oh friend, we must remember that the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk, but of power to crucify the flesh and walk in newness of life (1 Corinthians 4:20).

At Setting Captives Free we believe fully in eternal security, or rather the biblical doctrine of “perseverance of the saints.” But our point is to cause people to question whether or not they are saved, since the issue at stake is so critical, and since there exists a high probability of deception. And it is good, and right, and biblical for us to call people who come to study with us to an examination of their lives and see if they may be one who is deceived and enslaved, and headed for hell while claiming safety, or whether they are truly converted but have, for a time, fallen into a sin trap but are now quickly repenting and finding freedom in Christ.

If you are walking in purity, we welcome your comments. However, if you are in this course because of being involved in impurity then you are not in a good position to be correcting doctrine because your bondage to impurity is obscuring your view of truth. Note the following passage:

They shall eat, but not be satisfied; they shall play the whore, but not multiply, because they have forsaken the Lord to cherish 11whoredom, wine, and new wine, which take away the understanding. Hosea 4:10-11

We note from verse 11 that “whoredom” or in other versions “adultery”, is that which takes away the understanding. We may be serious Bible students, we may be seminary trained, we may have degrees in theology, but if we are involved in habitual sins of pornography, masturbation, or any other forms of heart adultery, our understanding has been removed. We may have knowledge, but true understanding of God and His ways only come to those who are not involved in impurity.

So, if you have come to Setting Captives Free to find freedom from habitual sin, you are not in a position to correct theology. The most important thing you can do is to find freedom. Those who come into purity by the grace of God, have clear sight and accurate views of God. Jesus stated this in Matthew 5:8:

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8

We note that it is the pure in heart that are able to see God. Those defiled by habitual sin are skewed, not only in their understanding of the Bible, but also of their view of Who God is. Purity removes the filter between us and God and, like laser eye surgery, corrects our previously poor vision of God.

So, the best thing any sin captive can do is to humble themselves, ask questions of those who are free in Christ, seek to learn how those who are indeed free got out of the prison of sin, and then apply what they learn to their own lives.

If you still have questions about this teaching, please look at your life to see whether you are walking in personal purity. If not, we request that you wait until you have been sexually pure for 60 days before writing to us with suggested changes.


  1. December 6, 2011 at 9:34 pm

    I just added your web page to my bookmarks. I enjoy reading your posts. Thank you!

  2. December 14, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    So glad I found your site 🙂

    I started my own website for women struggling with this addiction. The Way of Purity course from helped me.

    Here’s my site:

    • December 23, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      Wow…you would be shocked at the number of girls that visit my blog and cry for help. Please go through some of the comments on my blog and reach out to some of them. God bless you as you reach out to the multitude of addicts.

      • January 5, 2012 at 3:05 am

        Thank you for the encouragement, I will do that!!

      • January 5, 2012 at 10:09 am

        God bless you in your walk with our Lord Jesus Christ

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