The question whether Christians can lose their salvation is a topic that has sparked theological debate for centuries. Different denominations and theologians hold various views on this matter. Nonetheless, like many Christians, I believe in the doctrine of eternal security which asserts that once a person becomes a true believer in Jesus Christ, they cannot lose their salvation. Therefore, in this blog post, we’ll explore the rationale behind my conviction, with references to relevant verses from the Bible. Ready?  Let’s dive in.

1. We are Justified by Faith, not Works

The Bible teaches us that salvation is a gift of God’s grace and not something we can earn through our own efforts. Ephesians 2:8-9 says. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God not by works so that no one can boast“.

Romans 3:28 also emphasizes this saying, “For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” 

When a person believes in Christ as their Savior, they are justified (declared righteous) by God and reconciled to Him. This justification is not based on our own merit but on the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ. Since salvation is a gift freely given by God, it does not depend on our ability to maintain it through good works. 

As such, it cannot be earned or lost through human effort. If salvation could be lost through one’s actions, it would cease to be a gift and become a reward. However, this runs contrary to the New Testament’s emphasis on God’s grace as the primary source of salvation. In light of this, it stands to reason that God cannot not change His mind or retract His gift of eternal life.

“My security as a Christian does not reside in the strength of my faith but in the indestructibility of my Savior.”
Sinclair Ferguson

Related: What is the Message of the Gospel?

2. The Sufficient Work of Jesus Christ

Salvation is made possible because of Christ’s finished work on the cross. And the completeness of His sacrifice for our salvation is affirmed in Hebrews 10:14, which states:

For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:14 NIV

This verse underscores the fullness of God’s grace and redemption through Jesus Christ. It highlights the eternal sufficiency and effectiveness of Christ’s sacrifice to cover all sins past, present, and future.

The perfection of Christ’s sacrifice leaves no room for doubt regarding Christ’s ability to save completely. Additionally, Hebrews 7:25 reassures us that Jesus “is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him since he always lives to make intercession for them.

Not only can He fully save those who draw near to God through Him, but none among the elect will ever be lost, thanks to the power of Christ’s ongoing intercession. Christ continually advocates for believers ensuring that their salvation remains secure.

Again, if salvation depended on our actions, it would negate the completeness of Christ’s work. Furthermore, it would imply that Christ’s sacrifice was insufficient to cover all sins. But is it conceivable that Jesus would fall short of fulfilling God’s redemption plan?

This would mean that the capacity of His sacrifice to save anybody would be put into question. Yet, Christ eternally secured the salvation of the elect through his death and resurrection. And He still maintains their salvation through his high priestly ministry of prayer. 

3. The Sealing of the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 1:13-14 explains that when we believe in Christ, we are sealed with the Holy Spirit as a guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Likewise, 2 Corinthians 1:22 also says,  “and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.” This means that upon receiving the Holy Spirit, a believer is not only marked but also sealed and assured of their eternal inheritance

In ancient times, a seal served as a symbol and evidence of a completed transaction, ownership, and security. As such, the sealing of the Holy Spirit denotes security and permanence.

The Holy Spirit’s presence in a believer’s life is not temporary. It’s a permanent gift that stands as a guarantee of God’s commitment to safeguarding His children in their salvation. It is a constant reminder of God’s faithfulness to keep us secure in our relationship with Him.

4. God’s Faithfulness

Our salvation depends on God’s faithfulness, not our ability to remain steadfast. His faithfulness is the bedrock upon which our eternal security rests. God is not only responsible for initiating our salvation but also for preserving it until the end.

He is committed to perfecting the work He started in us, ensuring that He will bring it to its intended conclusion as seen in the following verses:

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, 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. Jude 1:24-25 ESV
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6 ESV
even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Corinthians 1:6-9ESV
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 ESV 
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39 ESV
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 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. John 10:27-29 ESV 
For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:38-40 ESV

If our salvation could be lost, it would imply that God’s promises are unreliable, which goes against His character. But as we’ve seen God intends to preserve the believers. He is committed to ensuring that no one will perish. But that they will all rise from the dead on the last day. 

“Though Christians be not kept altogether from falling, yet they are kept from falling altogether.”
William Secker

5. God is Sovereign over Salvation

I’ll level with you. I had a hard time deciding whether to write this section of this blog post or not. First, I do not want to be labeled as belonging to a specific theological group. Second, few doctrines have garnered such a contentious reputation as God’s sovereignty over salvation. Nevertheless, I decided to write, it as it remains firmly expressed in Ephesians 1:3-5 which says,

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will.  Ephesians 1:3-5 ESV

Romans 8:28-30 also says “And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” 

These passages as well as significant portions of John 6, and Jesus’s high priestly prayer in John 17 affirm the eternal and sovereign plan of God, who resolved from eternity’s past to redeem us by grace through faith in His Son. 

Therefore, It goes without saying that, If our inheritance is established in God, who chose us before the foundation of the world, then our salvation is secure, and we cannot lose it.

“God’s decree is the very pillar and basis on which the saint’s perseverance depends. That decree ties the knot of adoption so fast, that neither sin, death, nor hell, can break it asunder.”
Sinclair Ferguson

Eternal Security is Not a License to Sin

This priceless assurance, however, has gotten a bad rap because of the maxim, “Once saved, always saved.” This is a phrase that is often misused to imply that, no matter how one lives, as long as they have walked down the church aisle and prayed the sinner’s prayer they are guaranteed to have eternal life.

I believe this flawed understanding of the Christian journey provides false comfort to those who are traveling the broad path that leads to destruction (Matt 7:13). Yet, the Bible vehemently cautions believers against adopting this mindset.

We are reminded in Romans 6:1-2, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” James 2:26 declares, “For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.”

James argues that genuine saving faith naturally produces good deeds; otherwise, it may not be genuine faith at all. As Christ articulated in Matthew 7:18, “A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot produce good fruit.” Our actions, in this regard,  are essential in demonstrating the genuineness of our faith. 

In John 14:15 He also says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever.” Therefore, when someone believes that Jesus loves them that person will want to love Jesus back. That love looks like obeying His commandments.

Indeed, salvation should lead to a profound change in our lives. By recognizing the destructive impact of sin, we are compelled to put to death the desires of the flesh. This transformation is a testament to our commitment to follow Christ. As John put it. “No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God’s seed abides in him; and he cannot keep on sinning, because he has been born of God” (1 John 3:9).

Understanding our security in Christ should serve as an assurance that motivates us to make a conscious effort to persevere in the faith. It should never lead to careless living or taking the Lord’s grace for granted. Our security in Christ should serve as a catalyst for righteous living and a deeper relationship with Him, rather than an excuse for complacency.

The Warning Against Apostasy

Perhaps one of the mistakes that those of us who believe in eternal security make, is making light of the various warnings in scripture against the danger of falling into the unbelief that leads to apostasy (falling away from the faith). Some of these warnings include:

For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the last state has become worse for them than the first. For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. What the true proverb says has happened to them: “The dog returns to its own vomit, and the sow, after washing herself, returns to wallow in the mire.” 2 Peter 2:20-22 ESV
 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. Hebrews 3:12 ESV
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 1 Timothy 4:1-3 ESV 
And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:12 ESV
For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. Hebrews 6:4-8 ESV

I believe that it’s for this reason that the Bible urges us to examine ourselves (2 Cor 13:5) and make every effort to confirm our calling and election (2 Pet 1:10). And why the Apostles frequently emphasized the need for believers to endure:

Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 ESV
but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope. Hebrews 3:6 ESV
For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. Hebrews 3:14 ESV
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 ESV
Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 1 Timothy 6:12 ESV
And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Mark 13:13 ESV
“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Luke 21:34-36 ESV

These passages underscore the idea that genuine faith should lead to persevering faithfulness. In addition, they caution against falling away or losing sight of one’s commitment to Christ. The Christian journey is often depicted as a race or a pilgrimage, and these warnings are a reminder of the need for endurance and steadfastness in the face of trials and temptations.

They serve as instruments of God’s providence to encourage believers to persevere, and they should not be minimized or ignored. Embracing both the warnings and the promises of perseverance allows for a holistic and faithful understanding of the Christian walk.

Philippians 2:12-13 beautifully captures the harmony between these two aspects of the Christian journey saying,

Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13 ESV

It’s a delicate balance, recognizing that we have a role to play in our faith journey while ultimately relying on God’s grace and guidance.

While these verses highlight the importance of persevering faith, they shouldn’t be seen as negating the security of salvation. Instead, they emphasize the relationship between genuine faith and the evidence of that faith through endurance. You might ask what about those who have fallen away and aren’t Christian anymore?

“We are secure, not because we hold tightly to Jesus, but because He holds tightly to us.”
R.C. Sproul

Well, 1 John 2:19  gives us an idea when it says “They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.”

This suggests when someone who may have appeared to have sincere faith later falls away, there’s a high chance that they did not possess a genuine faith to begin with. The parable of the sower, in Matthew 13, illustrates how trials and tribulations can reveal a person’s true character and the depth of their faith. 

This, however, doesn’t mean that Christians cannot become prodigal. There is no doubt that professing believers are capable of falling terribly. Peter’s denial of Christ is a well-known example. However, his story also illustrates the hope of restoration and redemption that exists for believers who fall.

Prior to his fall, Jesus informed Peter that Satan sought to sift him like wheat but He encouraged Him saying, “but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers” (Luke 22:32 ).

Peter’s eventual restoration emphasizes the point that not everyone who professes the Christian faith that stumbles or falls is irretrievably lost. This account also highlights Jesus’ high priestly role in ensuring that the faith of believers doesn’t fail.

“If a person professes faith in Christ and yet falls away or makes по progress in godliness, it does not mean that he has lost his salvation. It reveals that he was never truly converted.”
Paul Washer

All in all, discerning the true state of a person’s heart and their relationship with God is something only God can do. Ours is to pray for those who seem to have fallen from the faith to repent knowing fully well that God is capable of restoring them.

Final thoughts

If you’ve been wrestling with doubts and concerns about your eternal destiny and the security of your salvation. I hope and pray that this blog post has offered solace and confidence to trust in God’s faithfulness. For He has promised to see to it that He completes the wonderful work He began in you.

Lastly, as I mentioned earlier, this is a topic that often stirs questions and elicits debates among believers. And from experience, they can tend to turn ugly pretty fast. 

Now, I know that there are those of you who are sincere Christ-loving believers who might disagree with my position on this issue. And that’s okay.

Regardless of which side of the aisle you fall on, I believe that it’s a secondary issue that doesn’t warrant creating division within the body of Christ. Of primary importance is that we believe in the doctrines that are central to the Christian faith.

As a result, we should seek to engage in respectful dialogue, seeking understanding, and showing love and grace to one another, even when there are doctrinal differences. Our unity in our shared faith in Christ should always take precedence over disagreements on secondary matters.

Related: Why Christians Need to Continually Hear the Gospel


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  1. avatar
    Ndeto says:

    Once-saved-forever-saved/eternal security is not the same as perseverance of the saints.

    The idea that we are forgiven is Biblical.

    The idea that God saved us while we were enemies is Biblical.

    The idea that God keeps His children to the end is Biblical.

    This is where it ends.

    That doesn’t extend to lawlessness and unrepentant evil doers.

    Those who live lawlessly will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Those who live in the flesh will die.

    Saving faith is not alone. It produces righteousness.

    So no man is Once-saved-forever-saved.

    Also, I do not subscribe to the idea that the people who fall back were not genuinely saved. That is misleading, and before I buttress this point, would I be wrong to think or conclude based on the initial post and the reply to my comment that you subscribe to John Calvin’s premise of assurance of salvation or election?

    1. avatar
      Wanjiru Ng'ang'a says:

      Hi Ndeto,

      Thanks for your reply! I really appreciate the chance to clarify my thoughts and address any misunderstandings.

      First off, to answer your question directly, I’m not a Calvinist. I’ve tried to stay neutral and not fully subscribe to either Calvinist or Arminian soteriology. My goal is to understand what the Bible says about salvation without letting any one theological stance cloud my objectivity. I’m still researching and learning about both positions classically cause i have realized I have also bumped into a lot of misrepresentations of both positions in my research. But that’s besides the point.

      Regarding “once-saved-forever-saved” versus perseverance of the saints, I know they’re not the same. What I meant is that perseverance of the saints is a result of God preserving a believer’s salvation, which leads to eternal security. I definitely agree that saving faith isn’t alone; it should produce righteousness. A true profession of faith should be followed by good deeds and a transformed life.

      I also totally agree that living lawlessly and unrepentantly is not okay and that true faith leads to a righteous life. Eternal security doesn’t give us a free pass to live in sin; instead, it should inspire us to live obediently and gratefully.

      My belief in eternal security is hinged on the fact that God is sovereign over salvation. I’ve demonstrated why I believe this with scriptural references in the article. Scripture, in my view, makes a strong case for it, which is why I think that when some who profess faith later fall away, there’s a high chance they never had genuine faith to begin with.

      If it seems like I wasn’t clear on these points, I’d encourage a reread. I’ve tried to present my views clearly and while I am always open to respectful dialogue, I do not want this to turn this into a battle of wits. If it’s okay with you we can respectfully agree to disagree.

  2. avatar
    Ndeto says:

    I find it ironical that you could argue for eternal security and at the same time subscribe to the idea of apostasy. The two are mutually exclusive and if you will argue for one, then automatically you disapprove the other, which is not the case. Eternal salvation is not the same as eternal security. Otherwise, if eternal security was in any way true, then we wouldn’t need to be warned of apostasy. But since the idea is flawed, in essence it means you can fall away from faith and lose whichever salvation you had. Jesus speaking in Revelation 3:5, says those who endure until the end, will be clothed in white raiment, and will not blot their name from the book of life. It’s implication is that you name can actually be blotted out of the book of life. Salvation is both instaneous and an ongoing venture. The salvation we get after we’ve accepted Christ in our lives is only but a downpayment. It’s not the end, but a means to the end. We are saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved. Read widely (I’m not trying to be arrogant but even though we’ll written, there are gaps in your authorship that you’d obviously fill with more extensive reading.

    1. avatar
      Wanjiru Ng'ang'a says:

      Hi Ndeto,

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

      Firstly, I want to clarify that I do not subscribe to the idea that a true Christian can become apostate in the sense of permanently falling away from the faith. My belief in eternal security is rooted in the conviction that once someone is genuinely saved, they are secure in Christ forever. However, I also firmly believe in the whole counsel of Scripture, which includes the warnings against apostasy. From my understanding, these warnings are vital serve as God’s instruments to encourage believers to persevere in their faith just like I pointed out in the article.

      Now, the tension between eternal security and the warnings against apostasy is indeed challenging. Nonetheless, I believe it’s essential to let the Word of God speak in all its complexities without using some passages that support my view while ignoring the others that seem to oppose it. Which is what I hope those who hold my position on eternal security would also do.

      I also want to stress that my study of Scripture and other theological works is what has led me to my current understanding of eternal security, and I remain open to further study and dialogue, as I recognize that I do not have all the answers. Not to mention, my understanding is fallible.

      Regarding the distinction you make between eternal salvation and eternal security, I see them as interconnected rather than mutually exclusive. Eternal security is, in my view, a natural consequence of the gift of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ. The Bible’s assurances of salvation, like those found in John 10:27-29 and Romans 8:16, underscore that true believers will have confidence in God’s acceptance of them as His children and hope for eternal salvation.

      As for Revelation 3:5, I understand your interpretation that it implies a name can be blotted out of the book of life. However, I interpret this as an assurance that those who overcome will certainly not be blotted out, emphasizing the perseverance of those who are genuinely saved.

      Nonetheless, I agree with you that salvation is both an instantaneous event and an ongoing journey. My stance on eternal security does not dismiss the need for faithful living; rather, it underscores that our perseverance is ultimately sustained by God’s power and faithfulness, not merely our efforts.

      Please note that my aim in writing about eternal security is not to convince anyone to adopt my view but to share my understanding and foster thoughtful discussion.

      Lastly, I apologize if there were any gaps in my article or if my presentation seemed dismissive of opposing views. I also want to stress that this is a secondary issue within Christian doctrine. While it is important and worth discussing, it should not divide us. Our unity in Christ is paramount, and I hope we can continue to engage in respectful dialogue, seeking to understand one another better.

      I also appreciate your encouragement to read widely, which I continually strive to do and for prompting a deeper examination of this important theological issue.

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