The truth of eternal salvation seems to trigger some people’s anger button. Can I lose my salvation? Is my salvation eternally secure?
No matter how much any man disagrees/agrees with this- it’s the truth as found in God’s word. Salvation is indeed once and for all. Once saved is indeed forever saved.
Before we dive into examining God’s word, let’s just reason for a second, shall we?
God became a man in Christ Jesus. He died and he was buried, and rose from the dead for our sins, yes? Yes.
If what he did for sin is not once, and for all- then why did he die in the first place? Why then do we hold on to Jesus for the forgiveness of sins? What then differentiates the believer in Christ from the one in another religion who believes in traditions such as pulling a bead and saying a word over it; killing rams; giving alms; not urinating in a public space and the likes? If the believer cannot preach a grace that is everlasting to the unbeliever then he’d better hold on to his faith!
Let’s look at it this way – let’s imagine that a representative of a brand (maybe Opay) stopped you on the street, and in the process of trying to sell the brand to you, you begin to ask him questions. If he begins to show signs of unsureness, would you subscribe to the brand? I for one, wouldn’t take his words seriously (I believe you wouldn’t either). I wouldn’t trust a man who wasn’t sure about what he was talking about. I would rather stay with what I am sure of.
In the same vein, if I were to be an unbeliever approached by a believer telling me about salvation he isn’t sure of, I would rather not believe and stay with that which I am sure of. After all, there are people in other religions who are 100% sure that -by their conduct- they are right with God! Since this cannot be genuine, then how would we preach to such a one about salvation that fluctuates?
Eternal salvation is basic in Christianity. If a believer is not grounded and well-rested in this truth, his Christian life would remain unstable. His spiritual growth would not be stable as he would be tossed to and fro by condemnation.
Eternal salvation is basic in Christianity. If a believer is not grounded and well-rested in this truth, his Christian life and spiritual growth would be tossed to and fro by condemnation. Click To Tweet
“…God our Savior…will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.”
From the beginning of time, God’s plan has always been the salvation of man and this plan was fulfilled for men in Christ Jesus!From the beginning of time, God's plan has always been the salvation of man and this plan was fulfilled for men in Christ Jesus! Click To Tweet
“…Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
“…the name of Jesus Christ…neither is there any salvation in any other, for there is no other, none under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
God fulfilled this in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and whoever believes this is saved.
1 Corinthians 15:1-4:
“…the Gospel which I preached unto you which also ye have received…by which ye also are saved…Christ died for our sins… was buried…and that he rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures.”
Jesus explained it himself in Luke 24:46:
“…it is written and…it behoved (was necessary for) Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead on the third day.”
Therefore, if any man believes this fact that Jesus died and rose again- he is saved, and this salvation is eternal.Luke 24:46: '...it is written and...it behoved (was necessary for) Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead on the third day. Click To Tweet
In John 3, Jesus was seen having a conversation with a man named Nicodemus about being born again. Jesus explained that being born again is a result of believing the gospel and that this gives a man new birth (being born of the spirit of God).
“…except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
“…except a man be born of water and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”
Now, in the original language of the New Testament that word ‘again’ is the Greek word ‘anothen‘, which actually means from above and is better put as ‘by the spirit’, in this context. Also, in verse 5, the word ‘and’ is the Greek word ‘kai‘ and is better translated as ‘which is in this context. Jesus simply used water to describe the spirit (in terms of cleansing of sins). He used the same in John 4:14, John 7:37-39.
The ‘translation4translators’ translation puts John 3:3 & 5 this way;
Verse 3: “…unless people are born again which means to have a new life from God… “
Verse 5: “…being born naturally is not enough: people need to also be born again, spiritually, by God’s spirit.”
In essence, the believer in Christ has been cleansed by God’s spirit that now indwells him. This shows that questions such as “are you a born again Christian?” is very wrong. A believer in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is born again!The believer in Christ has been cleansed by God's spirit that now dwells in him. This shows the question 'are you a born again Christian?' is very wrong. A believer in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ is born again! Click To Tweet
In fact, Jesus continued explaining what it meant to be born again when he said in John 3:16,
“for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
In essence, Jesus explained to Nicodemus that a man who believes the gospel of Christ Jesus shall have eternal life and would never perish. I am sure Jesus realized the man might still make mistakes but he said the only criteria for a life that is everlasting is to believe. He never mentioned anything about conduct!
The same thing in John 10:28-30. Jesus said:
“…I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand… no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.”
Jesus placed the believer in him, which is the same as being in God. Do you think he didn’t know the man might still struggle with bad habits when he said this- yes, he knew but he still said, “this man SHALL NEVER perish.”
Salvation is completely God’s work, it needs no input of man, except to believe.Jesus placed the believer in Himself. Do you think he didn't know the man might still struggle with bad habits after salvation? He knew, but he still said, 'this man SHALL NEVER perish.' Salvation is completely God's work. Click To Tweet
Ezekiel explained further in Ezekiel 36:23-27:
“…saith the Lord God… a new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put in you… and I will put my spirit within you…”
God promised to do this and he sure has done so in Christ Jesus.
Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21:
“…since any man in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away… God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them… made him sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
In essence, the identity of the believer is in Christ. God sees him in Christ Jesus. There’s no condemnation for him because he is born of the spirit. His identity is therefore not in his conduct but in Christ. So to judge a believer according to his conduct is to have an identity crisis!
Also, righteousness is not attained by works- it is only in Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-10: “…by grace are ye saved…not of works, lest any man should boast.”)Righteousness is not attained by works- it is only in Christ. (Ephesians 2:8-10: '...by grace are ye saved...not of works, lest any man should boast.') Click To Tweet
Paul said something similar in Romans 10:1-4:
“…that Israel be saved… they have zeal of God… not according to knowledge… going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted unto the righteousness of God… Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes.”
Zeal is good but it is not what saves a man. Believing in God’s work in Christ Jesus is what saves.Zeal is good but it is not what saves a man. Believing in God's work in Christ Jesus is what saves. Click To Tweet
The writer of Hebrews clarifies it in Hebrews 10:10.
“…we are sanctified through the offering of Jesus Christ ONCE for all.”
This work of salvation is ONCE. There is no longer any offering for sin.This work of salvation is ONCE. There is no longer any offering for sin. Click To Tweet
Hebrews 10:17-18 says,
“And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more… where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin”.
It means God has no memory nor record of sins. He forgives and forgets eternally. The believer has therefore been blessed with forgiveness of sins forever (Ephesians 1:7, Galatians 3:11-13).
If Jesus did it all, what then is the value of righteousness?
The value of righteousness is in Christ Jesus.
Romans 10:4 (T4T): “They wanted God to erase the record of their sins as a result of their obeying his laws. But because of what Christ has done, it is no longer necessary for people to obey the laws God gave Moses in order for the record of their sins to be erased. Now God will erase the record of sins of everyone who trusts in what Christ has done.”
We mustn’t see God as an earthly king who holds you at ransom for your mistakes or who you have to do something amazing to earn his favour. We must reason as God’s word does.
Should believers sin anyhow?
No! Many people, upon hearing that salvation is eternal, ask this question in unbelief. But no- the scriptures didn’t say that! Rather, the life of Christ received by the believer has compelled him unto responsibility.Many people,upon hearing that salvation is eternal, ask 'should believers sin anyhow?' in unbelief. But No!-the scriptures didn't say that! Rather, the life of Christ received by the believer has compelled him unto responsibility. Click To Tweet
2 Corinthians 5:14-15:
“…the love of Christ constrains us… One died for all,…all are dead…he died for all… that they which live should live unto him which died and rose again.”
In essence, when the believer understands God’s love for him in Christ- he must then live for Christ and not for himself.
Just like Paul said in Galatians 5:20, the believer must be able to say “I am crucified with Christ… nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ lives in me“. The believer’s life is no longer for him.
But some believers live carelessly!
Yes. That’s true. But, as Pastor Stephen Tijesuni puts it: “They are simply on an excursion!” James said such believers are only deceiving themselves! (James 1:22) or, we can say they are acting beside themselves -as Paul puts it- in essence, they are not walking in the reality of who they are; they are not dogs but yet bark as though they are.
If a man barks like a dog- for instance- that doesn’t mean he is actually a dog. It only means something is wrong with him and he needs to be treated so as to be reminded of his identity as a human being!
Same as the believer in Christ- he has been saved eternally and nothing can take this away. He only must grow in this same gospel: allowing it to influence his conduct.The believer in Christ- he has been saved eternally and nothing can take this away. He only must grow in this same gospel: allowing it to influence his conduct. Click To Tweet
Like Peter puts it in 1 Peter 2:16,
“As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness but as the servants of God”.
In essence, the believer, though free, must be careful. He must serve God because he is free, not serve God so as to be free.
He must live right because he has been saved, not live right so as to be saved.The believer must live right because he has been saved, not live right so as to be saved. Click To Tweet
There are NO works for salvation but there are works OF salvation. There are things the believer must abstain from. There are more than a thousand instructions for the believer in scriptures even after salvation!There are NO works for salvation but there are works OF salvation. There are things the believer must abstain from. There are more than a thousand instructions for the believer in scriptures even after salvation! Click To Tweet
“The believer has not been called into a life of mannerlessness but of responsibility.” – (Pastor Stephen Tijesuni)
So, yes, Salvation is eternal and requires no work and its value is in Christ. The believer must then walk in that light.Salvation is eternal and requires no work and its value is in Christ. The believer must then walk in this light. Click To Tweet
Yes, I know it seems simple, but it is the truth of God’s word. Believe it.
Read more on this subject; How Do I Know I’m Saved?