The “Once Saved, Always Saved” debate has been going on for a long time. Let’s see what the Bible says about this topic.
Can a believer, justified by the blood of Jesus Christ, commit a sin so a horrific or accumulate so many sins that God would revoke the Salvation He gave. I could just say no, He wouldn’t, but you would want to know why. First let’s ask an important question: What is Salvation?
Well Salvation, sozo in greek, means to deliver from the penalty of Messianic judgement. How did Jesus do this? Glad you asked. Let us take a look at some Scripture:
And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;- Colossians 2:13-14
See, we are dead in sin at first (please do not confuse this with animation. We can be physically alive but Spiritually dead) but Jesus forgave us. And you see, we were condemned by Old Testament Law, but he took the law and nailed it to the cross. What is the significance of this? Let’s see:
Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster [to bring us] unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.-Galatians 3:24-26
There are two major points here. First is that we are no longer under the law. See, under the law in the Old Testament the Holy Spirit would come upon some and then could leave. This is why David would cry in the Psalms ‘Take not thy Spirit from me.’ (Psalm 51:11). We are under Grace and the Holy Spirit now indwells the believer ‘that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost [which is] in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?’-1 Corinthians 6:19).
So we have Old Testament: Law, God dwelt in a tabernacle or temple. New Testament: Grace and God indwells the believer.
The second major point is we now have a family relationship. Let’s see the importance of this.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together.-Romans 8:15-17
We are adopted into the family of God, where He is our Father. Not only that but He makes us join heirs with Christ. It is one thing for us to adopt a child, but to give the child equal standing with your natural son or daughter? But this is what God has done for us!
Now that we have established that God dwells in us and we are now quite literally in the family of God, we can look at eternal security.
II Why You Cannot Lose Your Salvation God’s Promise:
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand.I and [my] Father are one.-John 10:27-30
See, God’s children will never perish and no man (including yourself) can pluck them out of The Father’s hand. What great assurance to the child of God, and a promise we cannot lose what God gave us in love.
The Works Problem
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: [it is] the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.-Ephesians 2:8-9
See, we cannot work for our Salvation, but should work afterwards. That is what James mean by faith without works is dead. Ephesians means we cannot work to earn our Salvation in any way, and James means works shows or Salvation to the World.
So if we get saved through faith in Jesus, but have to work to keep our salvation, we now have a system of works to get into heaven. This is directly contrary to the Bible.
III. The Big Question
Every time the issue of eternal security, one question arises: Doesn’t this give Christians a license to sin? After all now you can do whatever you want and still be saved. (As an aside, I can just as easily turn the question around to state: If you can keep getting saved, why can’t you just live like you want? You can just get ‘saved’ again.) But again we run into this family relationship. Do badly do your children have to mis-behave before they are no longer your son or daughter? Silly question.They cannot, they will always be your child. But just as you correct your children, God must lovingly correct us, so there are consequences for our actions:
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons-Hebrews 12:5-8
Sin, unconfessed, brings Chastisement. Notice the word all. If you claim Jesus as Saviour and live in unconfessed, unrepented sin and there is no chastisement, check your Salvation God says there is no family relationship present.
How severe can this chastising be? If any man see his brother sin a sin [which is] not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it.-1 John 5:16
So there can be a sin unto death. The most famous case of this is Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5:1-10. They lied to God and were struck dead. Saved? I would say yes, but they did not lose there Salvation but they did sin unto death. They were Chastised by God.
The Bible plainly teaches Salvation is eternal. Once a person is saved, there is a personal relationship with God, and praise His name, He keeps us forever. Remember, while sin has consequences, losing your Salvation is not one of them.
Remember, there will be Chastisement. If not, check your relationship. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew Chapter 7: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (verses 22-23).