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Don Stewart :: Can a Believer Lose Their Salvation?

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Don Stewart
Once a person trusts Christ as their Savior can they lose this salvation? Is it possible for someone to fall from grace? The issue is simple: the salvation that Jesus Christ offers is either conditional or unconditional.

If is unconditional, then there is nothing we can do to lose it. If it is conditional, then there is some thing or some things that we can do to lose it. The real issue is, What does the Scripture say?

What Does The Bible Say?

As the Scripture is carefully studied we find that a true believer in Jesus is safe and secure eternally. The following relevant passages make this clear.

1.Never Perish

Jesus said those who believe in Him will never perish:

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand (John 10:27,28).

These verses could not be stronger. Those who trust Jesus will never perish. Jesus said nobody will take believers out of His hand. This is because believers are securely held in the arms of God the Father.

2.Eternal Life

The Bible promises eternal life to all who believe in Christ. The most famous verse in the Bible says:

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

The promise of eternal life is not true if it can be lost. There is, however, nothing conditional stated in this promise. If a person believes in Jesus they shall have everlasting life. Everlasting means forever.

3. Present Possession Of Believer

Those who believe in Jesus presently possess eternal life.

I tell you the truth, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life (John 5:24).

Salvation, therefore, is not something that is far off in the future-it is a present possession of the believer. Salvation is not looked upon as a day-to-day thing. We do not keep ourselves saved day after day. Scripture treats our salvation as something that is secure forever.


Eternal Life Defined

Thus eternal life has already begun for the believer. The Bible defines eternal life as knowing Christ.

Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent (John 17:3).

4.Nothing Shall Separate

The Bible says nothing shall separate us from Christ.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril or sword . . . For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:35, 38,39).

This passage makes it clear that nothing shall separate Christ from those who have trusted Him. Nothing. This includes the believer separating themselves from Christ.

5.Christ Remains Faithful

That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day (2 Timothy 1:12).

The Apostle Paul stresses the fact that Christ is able to keep that which we have committed.

6.He Keeps Us From Falling

To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy - (Jude 24).

The idea here is that He is the one who keeps us from falling, we are not keeping ourselves.

7.Kept By God's Power

The Bible says that we are kept by God's power, not our own.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade - kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:3-5).

8.We Have Been Glorified

The Bible already speaks of us as being glorified:

And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified (Romans 8:30).


9.It Is A Gift

Salvation is a gift. A gift is often confused with something earned. No one can earn their salvation, it is God's gift to us.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast (Ephesians 2:8,9).

It has been given to us by Christ, we had nothing to do with earning our own salvation.

10.We Are Joined To Christ

Once a person has been born again by the word and the Spirit of God he receives new life in Christ. God puts Christ's righteousness on his account

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).

But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God-and righteousness and sanctification and redemption (1 Corinthians 1:30).

11.Christ's Sacrifice Is Adequate

The sacrifice of Jesus Christ was adequate for our salvation.

For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified (Hebrews 10:14 ).

There is nothing that can be added or taken away from His sacrifice.

12.He Will Complete What He Started

The Bible says it is God's power that saves us:

being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ (Philippians 1:6).

He started the salvation process, He will finish it.

13.Kept By God's Power

Furthermore, that which keeps us saved is God's power, not our own.

who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:5).

We did not save ourselves, we do not keep ourselves saved.

14.We Are A New Creation

We are identified with Christ as a new creation.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
And raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6).

15. Christ Paid The Penalty Once

Jesus Christ has paid the penalty once and for all for sins. God will not demand payment for a second time. The Bible says:

For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit (1 Peter 3:18).

Since Christ has died for our sins we will never have to die for them.

Questions To Be Answered

If someone believes salvation can be lost, then there is a number of questions that must be asked. What sin or sins would cause me to lose it? How do I know when I've lost it? If I lose it, can I get it back? Do I have to get baptized again? What does the Bible mean when it promises eternal life for those who believe? How long is eternal life for? Finally, if a person can lose their salvation then how can they explain what John wrote:

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life (1 John 5:13).

If a person could lose their salvation then no one could know, from moment to moment whether they are saved or not. Yet the Bible says that we can know. This is because once a person truly trusts Christ as Savior they cannot lose that salvation.

Summary

Once a person trusts Christ as Savior they become His child forever. Because He saves and keeps us, nothing shall separate us from His presence.



CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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