(Originally posted on the Bibles for America Blog)
Have you ever wondered if you can lose your salvation? Or if you can be “unsaved” if you do something wrong or sin?
It’s extremely important for us believers to be clear about several fundamental matters. One of these is having the assurance that we’re saved once we believe in Christ. Another fundamental matter we must be clear about is the security of our salvation. Just how secure is our salvation? What safeguards it? Does its security depend on us? Can we lose our salvation?
Let’s get into five points that address the security of our salvation.
1. God initiated our salvation, and His calling is irreversible
Not a single one of us initiated our salvation. Ephesians 1:4-5 show us that God initiated our salvation before we were even born:
“Even as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blemish before Him in love, predestinating us unto sonship through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will.”
Our salvation didn’t start with us; it started with God. He chose us before the foundation of the world. And Romans 11:29 gives us this reassuring word:
“For the gracious gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”
Irrevocable! This means our God-initiated salvation is irreversible, permanent, final, and unalterable.
2. God’s love and grace are eternal
We may withhold our love from others if they don’t love us in return, or we may want others to meet certain conditions in order to gain our love. But God isn’t like that. He loved us when we were His enemies, even dead in our offenses and sins. First John 4:10 tells us:
“Herein is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son as a propitiation for our sins.”
God loved us so much that He sent His Son to die for our sins. His love for us is so great, and it’s also eternal. In Jeremiah 31:3 God says, “Indeed I have loved you with an eternal love.”
God’s grace to us is also eternal. Second Timothy 1:9 says:
“Who [God] has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the times of the ages.”
God gave His grace to us before the times of the ages—that is, in eternity past. Our salvation is not based on our love for God or on our works, but on His eternal, unchanging love for us and on His eternal grace.
3. God is righteous in regard to our salvation
God’s salvation surely arises from His love for us. But it is also a matter of His righteousness. Our sins violate God’s righteousness, and legally we should pay the penalty for them.
But Christ fulfilled the demand of God’s righteousness by paying the penalty for us. He died in our place for our sins, bearing them in His body on the cross. Because Christ died for our sins, God must righteously acknowledge that our debt has been paid; He can no longer demand that we pay it.
As an illustration, let’s say we violate a traffic law and a police officer gives us a ticket. But we have a problem: we can’t pay the fine. However, say someone pays it for us. Since that person paid the fine, a judge can’t require us to pay it again. The judge has to acknowledge that the fine was paid.
The righteous God can never take away our salvation because our debt was fully paid, once and for all, by Christ’s death on our behalf. We’ve been forever redeemed by His precious blood.
4. God begot us with His eternal life
When we were saved, we were born again with the life of God. John 1:12-13 tell us:
“As many as received Him [the Lord Jesus], to them He [God] gave the authority to become children of God, to those who believe into His name, who were begotten not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
Once we’re born of God as His children and receive His eternal life, we can never be “unborn,” even if we do things that aren’t pleasing to God. The life we’ve received from God is eternal, and our life relationship with God is also eternal.
To illustrate, let’s say our son or daughter isn’t behaving well. While this makes us unhappy, it can’t cancel or undo the fact that they are our children. Their bad behaviour can’t annul the fact that they share our human life.
In the same way, we’re children of God. We were born with His eternal life, and nothing can undo that.
5. God holds us in His hands
Furthermore, John 10:28-29 tell us:
“I give to them eternal life, and they shall by no means perish forever, and no one shall snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”
Once we receive the eternal life of God, we’re held in the strongest hands in the universe. No one, not even Satan, can snatch us out of these hands! Our salvation could not be more secure.
Being absolutely clear that our salvation is eternally secure
The verses in the points above prove to us that our salvation is eternally secure, safeguarded by God Himself. We must be absolutely clear about this. Reading and understanding the verses related to each point will reassure us that we can never lose our salvation.
But what if we sin?
We should never think that because our salvation is eternally secure, we have license to sin. Although we can never lose our salvation, we shouldn’t be careless about sin. When we sin, we suffer the consequences. We don’t lose our salvation, but we lose our joy, because sin interrupts our fellowship with the Lord.
So what should we do when we sin? When our conscience bothers us about any sin we’ve committed, we should confess it to Him so we can be forgiven and cleansed from that sin. We shouldn’t let unconfessed sins remain on our conscience; we should keep short accounts with the Lord. We should build up a habit of daily confessing our sins in order to maintain our fellowship with the Lord and our enjoyment of Him.
Praise God that our salvation is not based on us, but on God Himself—on His calling, love, grace, righteousness, life, and strength. We can rest knowing that we can never lose our salvation.
To learn more about these wonderful facts, click here to download our free e-book Basic Elements of the Christian Life, vol. 1 and read chapter 2, “The Assurance, Security, and Joy of Salvation.”