If salvation can be lost, then why is one “saved” and not “might be saved”? To say one is “saved” implies they are now safe from the danger which once would destroy them. If salvation can be lost, it’s not salvation.
While some may argue there are passages in the Bible which teach salvation is indeed conditional (such as Hebrews 10:26-31), these must be viewed in context. Didactic teachings on the issue of the security of our salvation, that is teachings which are specifically addressing and teaching on the subject, are clear: our salvation is from, by, and through the work of God alone. Henceforth, I will demonstrate it such.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish—ever; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.John 10:27-28 LSB
“No one” includes “you” if you are truly His sheep. Christ’s effectiveness and ability as Savior is not dependent on you or your abilities or in abilities, but on Christ and His ability to save.
Therefore He is able also to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.Hebrews 7:25 LSB
The inclination is to read this passage and rest the onus of “drawing near to God” on our capacity, our individual ability to do this. Yet, Christ taught differently.
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”
“All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out.
“Now 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.
“No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.John 6:29, 37, 39, 44 LSB
We draw near to God, not by our own strength or ability, but by the Father giving us to the Son, having been chosen before the world began according to the counsel of His good will. (Ephesians 1:11)
“Eternal Security and the Perseverance of the Saints” is not “Once Saved Always Saved”
Nothing I write is meant to separate the Christian from their responsibility to obey Christ. The Bible is clear, as Christ said,
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.John 15:10 LSB
And, Paul wrote,
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?Romans 6:1-2 LSB
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.Ephesians 2:10 LSB
Once Saved, Always Saved suggests someone can just say a prayer and continue on as if nothing happened. Yet, we know from Scripture a person who has had a personal encounter with the grace of Almighty God is not able to continue on as if nothing happened.
What use is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but he has no works? Can that faith save him Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead by itself.James 2:14,17 LSB
Often used to affirm the idea our salvation must be earned, James is not contradicting Paul.
For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.James 2:26 LSB
While this is an interesting topic to dive into, the point of this article is the eternal security of the Christian believer. So, let this just be a cursory response and not meant to answer any and all objections on the matter.
The crux of the matter — Christ saves
Our salvation isn’t earned or kept by our own ability, but by Christ who is able to faithfully keep us in Him. Every good thing we do is Christ living in us. It is the power of God working sanctifying and working out itself in us, wretched sinners that we are if not for Christ’s redemptive work.
We are eternally secure in our faith not because we are able to keep ourselves saved, but because Christ is a perfect, powerful, and effective Savior who never fails to save all whom He intends to save.
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 LSB
Featured Image: Medieval Castle Tower colorized by Matthew Semrau CC BY-NC-SA 4.0