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Can we lose our salvation? So many different things cause us to ask this question. For the doubter this can mean the difference between doubt and anxiety, to doubt, anxiety, and fear. One of the reasons I believe the Bible didn't address this issue head-on is that it shouldn't be a focus. Christ should be our focus; His Kingdom, His Righteousness (Mat. 6:33). To focus on the security of our salvation tends to get us looking inward, hung up on ourselves. Whether it be because of sin in our life, maybe doubt, maybe an emptiness, many of us do get hung up. For if the foundation that you stand on seems to disappear out from under you nothing else in your life can be at rest. Especially if you've gone as far as to envision hell being where you land. That said, let's examine the evidence the bible provides regarding losing our salvation.


First lets look at the word salvation. What does it mean? In short, it means saved, from what? our sins. So the opposite of salvation then would be not saved from our sins. We know the very name of Jesus means to save His people from their sins (Matt. 1:21), the question were asking here is can we lose that. Let me present several arguments why I believe no we can't. Let's start with Ephesians 1:13-14:


In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation--having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God's own possession, to the praise of His glory. (Eph. 1:13-14)


God just made us a promise here, a beautiful one. Right away I notice the past tense "after listening", "having also believed" Then notice the emphasis of our promise from God when the writer states "sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise," I'm glad the writer didn't stop there but told us what the promise was, "a pledge of our inheritance". You heard the truth, accepted Jesus into your life, and were given a pledge, a promise, sealed with the Holy Spirit, no strings attached. The same past tense we read in this verse is also read in other verses talking about us having eternal life already. John alone mentions it at least 4 times throughout his book.


"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. (John 6:47 [see also 3:36, 5:24, and 6:54])


You accepted the gospel of your salvation and as the above verse states, you already have eternal life. The thought of losing your salvation in no way fits into the above mentioned verses. For if I believed, and therefore have eternal life, and then do something to lose it than I never had eternal, that is, everlasting life in the first place. You can't have both eternal life and not have eternal life (meaning you lose it) at the same time. For if God declares you have eternal life, what, or who, can nullify that. It doesn't make sense. Jesus is stating here that the believer has eternal life, not will have, or could as long as he finishes his works strong, He is stating he has it. To live forever with Jesus has already been given, it's yours and it's free!


  For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom. 6:23)


This brings us to our next point. Salvation is a free gift of God. There is nothing you can contribute to your salvation, your only option to be saved is to accept the One who can. (John 14:6). We don't even get to play a part in it, salvation is 100% completed by God and His finished work on the cross. (John 19:30) This leaves us with nothing to boast about.


  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Eph. 2:8-9)


Salvation is not merit based. Knowing this let me ask, if we can't gain our salvation by what we do, then why do some think we can lose it by what we do? If the gift was free then how can we lose it by failing to pay up later for a gift that was given free in the first place? This very notion is exactly what Paul is battling in the book of Galatians when he speaks of the "perversion of the gospel" (Gal. 1:6-9, 3:3). Is Christ not trustworthy to finish what He started?


For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. - Philippians 1:6


Salvation started as a free gift, and remains a free gift, the only thing we have to contribute to our salvation is our sin. We get to give it to Jesus and He charges it to the cross and declares us debt free! But can every sin be charged to the cross, aren't their some that are unforgivable, what about this "unpardonable sin" I read about in The Bible.


"Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. "Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come. (Matt. 12:31-32)


There is some confusion about what is meant here. One thing most seem to agree on however is that there is an unpardonable sin, what that is however is less clear to many. First I want to look at some basic math, Jesus states "any sin" is forgiven except the one unpardonable sin. This means all but this 1 sin is forgivable. We also know that rejecting Jesus's free gift of salvation is refusing to accept being saved from our sins (John 5:40). Unless these are one in the same, than that would be 2 sins that are unforgivable. If they are in fact one in the same than the math adds up in that there is one unforgivable sin, rejecting Jesus. Let me elaborate.


Notice in these verses it states anything spoken against Jesus (The Son of Man) is forgivable, but anything spoken against the Holy Spirit is not. That's interesting to me, because aren't they one and the same? Isn't the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus Christ? I find it fascinating that you can speak against one and be forgiven but not the other, why is that? I would argue, that is because the act of speaking here isn't just harsh words against the Holy Spirit, but it's an act of choosing to reject Him altogether. It is the role of the Spirit to disclose to us the glory of our Lord, (John 16:13-14), It's also the role of the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin so that we see the need for Jesus's saving work, (John 16:7-8), and it is the Holy Spirit which is the gift to those who accept Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins (Acts 2:38). It is the Holy Spirit which seals us in Jesus (Eph. 1:13). It is the Holy Spirit within that determines whether or not we belong to Jesus (Rom. 8:9), and we know that he who has Jesus has life, and he who does not have Jesus does not have life (1 John 5:12).


We know that the Holy Spirit is the indwelling of Jesus in our lives, we also know is the Spirit that knocks on our door asking if He can come in (Rev. 3:20), He will not force His way in as that's a violation of free will. We have to communicate with Him our decision to receive (John 1:12). It's possible that speaking against the Holy Spirit is speaking against/rejecting His offer of salvation and oneness of Jesus Christ, which we communicate with God by prayer, whether externally or internally. The one unforgivable sin here then is not accepting the free gift of salvation that Jesus Christ in the Holy Spirit is giving you.


So besides rejecting Jesus's invitation, what sin is unforgivable? None. Once clothed in the righteousness of Jesus there is nothing left to declare "we find the defendant, guilty".


When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. (Col 2:13-14)


So when we ask Jesus in and are alive together with Him, He forgives us our past debt but He also canceled out the certificate of debt that consisted of decrees against us. He took it out of the way and nailed it to the cross. So our past sins are forgiven and the law/decree that previously judged us has been taken out of the way and nailed to the cross. There is nothing left to condemn us for any future sins. So our math equation looks like this: Jesus makes us alive = past sins forgiven and future sins forgiven. This is why there is now truly no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:1).


I prefer the New American Standard Bible, but I do like how some other translation give a different perspective on a verse. Lets re-read Matthew 12:31-32 in The Message Bible.


"There's nothing done or said that can't be forgiven. But if you deliberately persist in your slanders against God's Spirit, you are repudiating the very One who forgives. If you reject the Son of Man out of some misunderstanding, the Holy Spirit can forgive you, but when you reject the Holy Spirit, you're sawing off the branch on which you're sitting, severing by your own perversity all connection with the One who forgives (Matt. 12:31-32 TMB).


Well put.


My next topic of discussion is Matthew 7:22-23 & 1 John 2:19. Some have thought these applies to people losing their salvation. Lets look at these verses.


"Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' (Matt. 7:22-23).


The argument is that in order for these people to do the works they did in the first place they must of been saved. However, take notice of Jesus's statement "I never knew you", not "I no longer know you". Never implies that they were never saved in the first place. One more side note on this verse, notice all three arguments were what they did, not what Jesus did for them. Acts 13-16 tells a story of non believers working Miracles in Jesus's name.


19 They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us. - 1 John 2:19


It wasn't that they were of us and left but that they were never of us in the first place. As it states here, and is backed by Phil. 1:6, God keeps His commitments and if they were saved, if they were indwelled, "they would have remained". John is saying that by their leaving it was evident that they were never "of us" in the first place.


God is faithful. Whoever belongs to Christ will in no way ever not belong to Christ. If you have children, is there anything they can do that would make them not your children? No.


39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. - John 6:39


27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.” - John 10:27-30


to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:4-5 (emphasis mine)


But what about those who actively and constantly rebel? What about those who choose to not keep the faith? I have three refutations to this. First, someone with the Holy Spirit within is a good tree and therefore will absolutely bear fruit to some degree as decreed by Christ Himself (Matt. 7:17) and so one must ask would someone who is saved and therefore a good tree ever bear bad fruit? The very next verse says this is impossible.


17 So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. - Matt. 7:17-18


From this we can conclude that it is impossible for a good tree (one indwelled by the Holy Spirit) to start bearing bad fruit which can only be produced by a bad tree (one not indwelled by God). This is not to say we don't sin, Paul Himself wrestled deeply with sin, even practicing it, after He became a Christian (Rom. 7:14-25) but in that same chapter He described how God has separated Him from that sin and therefore it is no longer him doing it but his flesh which he was separated from. Those of us saved are separated from our sinful flesh and are presently made perfect (meaning it's not something coming but something that's already happened upon the receiving Jesus); we are presently new creatures in Jesus Christ.


17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. - 2 Cor. 5:17 (bold mine)


One more point on this before I continue. There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus (Rom. 8:1), all of our sins, past, present, and future are paid to the Cross and the grace of Jesus Christ remains victorious. Paul knew this and also knew a person who is a new creature, indwelled by the Holy Spirit, would be dead to sin and alive to Christ and therefore a good tree who bears good fruit. If someone is exhibiting bad fruit (actual bad fruit, may not be applicable just to sin as we pointed out above Paul struggled with sin), I am speaking to those giving evidence they are a bad tree, such evidence would be someone who, when learning of the gospel of Christ, the wonderful good news of grace; instead of responding in appreciation and affection they see it as a license to sin. Paul challenges such a person to examine themselves since they are exhibiting being alive to sin.


What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? - Rom. 6:1-2


Therefore my challenge to those who claim to be dead to sin and show fruit of being alive to it is the same challenge that Paul gives. That such a person no longer deceive themselves into thinking they are saved when they do not consider themselves dead to sin (Rom. 6:11).


My 2nd refutation regarding a true Christian who is being rebellious is that God saw this coming. Whatever it is that you may have stumbled on, God who exists outside of time fully knew of all your failures before it ever happened and He still chose to call you. God is unchanging (Heb. 13:8, Num. 23:19). You did not catch Him off guard and make Him somehow change His mind in calling you in the first place.


29 for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. - Romans 8:29


We are not born again and therefore made alive together with Christ only to have God realize He made a mistake and take it back. Furthermore, we are made alive together with Christ (Col. 2:13, Eph. 2:5), we are fused together with Him!


38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:39 (emphasis mine)


My third refutation regarding a true Christian who is being rebellious is that God's faithfulness is not contingent on man's faithfulness.


13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself. - 2 Tim. 2:13


God cannot deny Himself. This means that if God has indeed indwelled someone than God cannot forsake that person otherwise God would be denying Himself. I am thankful for this. God is faithful to us because He is faithful according to His character, His goodness. Therefore even if we are not faithful on our end, God is unwavering faithful on His. This is why it's possible to grieve the Holy Spirit. Because even though we may go down a bad path the Holy Spirit never departs from us.


30 Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. - Ephesians 4:30


A sobering thought that God never leaves us, even in our sin. God however, as a wonderful Heavenly Father does, like any loving father, discipline us. If a child of His is in sin, like a good Father we can count on Him to discipline us (Heb. 12:5-6, Prov. 3:11). Even if such discipline calls for the destruction of our flesh it's still to our eternal benefit.


I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. - 1 Cor. 5:5


My next point is imputed righteousness.


21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. - 2 Corinthians 5:21


For someone to be saved and then no longer saved means that when Jesus became sin (2 Cor. 5:21) on the cross that He somehow missed some (which is absurd) and that somehow in our many sins we still commit, once in awhile some of us somehow manage to stumble across one that He missed and thereby are once again under God's wrath (again absurd). God's wrath was satisfied on the cross for all sins (Mark 3:28, Rom. 5:9, 1 John 2:2). 2 Cor. 5:21 states that Jesus actually became sin. He wasn't just bearing our sins or wearing our sins, He actually became sin. He took full ownership of our sins as His. (Thank you Jesus!). This was needed for God to actually pour out His wrath on Jesus, the very same wrath that was due us until Jesus took ownership of our sins. For God to enact His anger, His wrath on Jesus, Jesus had to actually take ownership of our sin so that God was mad at Him and no longer us. Jesus did not just put on a show, He was not just clothed with our sin. He had to actually take our sin as His and therefore God actually (and justly) was wrathful toward Him. Otherwise God would have not been just in His punishment of Jesus. If that doesn't humble you there's more. In order for us to be saved we actually had to take ownership of Christ's righteousness in the same way. Take notice of the 2nd half of 2 Cor. 5:21 "so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him". In the same way Christ took ownership of our sin we took ownership of His righteousness. In the same way our sins became His, His righteousness became ours. Christ imputed us with His righteousness. Therefore by an amazing feat of love, God looks at us who are in Christ and views us as perfect. If I may be so bold since Christ has given us His righteousness, God may look at us and say "This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased". God is pleased with you. Not because you earned it but because Christ who did earn it has gifted it to you. Such an amazing feat that has turned us cross deserving wretches into heirs of the kingdom of God who not only behold the glory of Christ but also, by incomprehensable love, share in it!


15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. - Rom. 8:15-17

24 Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, 25 to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. - June 1:24-25




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