In this paper, I will approach a question that has draw the attention of many believers in Christ, it has brought separation and debate at some extent. Yet, Christ continues to be preached, people to be saved, and the church is still moving forward. The question is, can I lose my salvation? I will try to prove biblically that even though we can’t do anything on our own to earn salvation, we are called to take care of that salvation and walk in holiness, which is in a constant relationship with God through Christ empowered by His Spirit. In order for us to understand the question, we must come to agree as to what salvation is, and how it is attained. The Bible says that Salvation is the restoration of the relationship between a Holy God and us. Sin separates us from God, and the only way to cover that sin is through blood which Christ shed for us at the cross providing salvation for everyone who believes in Him. His sacrifice is sufficient to save the whole world, but it is contingent upon the acceptance of it. The Bible says that we are saved through grace by faith, “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, KJV)
From this standpoint, there is common agreement in the fact that we can do absolutely nothing to earn our salvation, it has been freely given to us (Eph. 1:6), and many believe that just as we can do nothing to earn it, we can do nothing to lose it. I don’t doubt God’s love, grace, and sufficiency to save us. But God is also a just God, and if He had to send His Son to die on the cross to make those who believe in Him righteous before the Father, it would not make sense that we could go back to our old ways of living after accepting His grace. In 1 Corinthians 15:10, Paul talks about God’s grace as an enabling power to live a righteous life before God, and also to fulfill His purpose of reaching out to the lost. Why would he allow such grace to empower Him, if such empowerment was not necessary to maintain his salvation? Paul also talks about running a race in Philippians 3:14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (NIV) To finish a race you must persevere, remain in the track. This does not mean that there will be no times of struggle, or battles, or even weaknesses when we drift from our goal, but when that happens, we should allow God’s grace to empower us to seek Him once again, and restore our relationship with Him. But to deliberately sin and believe that there will be no consequences to the point of even loosing our salvation is a dangerous and risky belief. Paul also calls us to “work out our salvation with fear”
“Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” (Phil. 2:12-13, NIV)
Paul also makes great emphasis in crucifying the flesh, and leaving behind the old nature. Just as Christ was crucified, we are also to crucify our flesh.
“What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?” (Rom. 6:1-2)
Once, again, why should we not abuse the grace if there is no consequence? I do believe that there is security in our salvation as we continue in the faith, “But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation— if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel.” (Col. 1:23, NIV). There is a condition in this verse to remain free from accusation, and that is to continue in the faith. The great news is that as we continue in the faith, He has promise to help us, and work in us (Phil. 1:6). Not only Paul calls us to remain faithful, to finish the race, to not abuse grace. But in the very words of Jesus we are warned also to produce fruit, 1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” (John 15:1-4, NIV).
Matthew 7:21 says: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”. We can’t place the seriousness of our eternity in a mere confession without fruit, without perseverance in the faith, and without repentance and turning from sin as more light is revealed to us through God’s word. I would even question that if this happens may be we were not really saved in the first place, but that may cause another debate or argument. The question remains, can we lose our salvation? More than arguing with the answer I would emphasize the need to understand when are we really saved? From scripture we can see than not everyone who even perform miracles in the name of the Lord will be saved. May God help us to know Him, seek Him, and remain faithful to His word. His grace is sufficient, Christ sacrifice is enough, and His love was manifested on the cross, it is up to us to receive it, and live a life that pleases Him empowered by His Holy Spirit, motivated by the cross, abiding in the Father’s love. I would say that the term itself, “losing salvation” is wrong, we can’t lose salvation, because we are talking about a relationship with the living God. We either have a relationship or we don’t. The question then should be, am I having a relationship with Christ daily, or am I not? The answer, only God and us individually know.