Part 1 – Can A Christian Lose His Salvation?
This study series is to answer several related questions that are often disputed among Christians.
Once saved, always saved? Can I lose my salvation? How can I have the assurance of salvation?
Must we do good “works” in order to be saved and then also to maintain or keep our salvation?
Is salvation instantaneous, once for all, or is it progressive throughout your lifetime?
We will look at the Bible verses people often used to refute and reject the Scriptural doctrinal truth that believers are in fact are ‘forever saved,’ often referred to as ‘eternal security’ for believers.
The fact is that all Biblical confusion and apparent contradictions would disappear if people would follow Paul’s admonition to “Study… Rightly Dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15 KJV only)!
Study What? To Divide What?
Paul advises us to study the Bible because a mere perusal of “the word of God” leads to error and this will not do. Bible study answers all our questions, but only if we will study it carefully, In Context! When we believe any passage we must also then believe the part of the verses that tell us who the party is that’s being addressed. Do the verses we study concern Israel, or do they concern “the body of Christ.”
In Bible Study, we must carefully note, divide, and believe that which applies to the Nation Israel and also how it differs from that which applies to the members of “the church, the body of Christ.”
Why Rightly Divide the Written Word of God?
We rightly divide the word because mixing the truths of Israel’s “Law” program and its performance based demands…with the Paul’s “gospel of the grace of God” for the Gentile church in today’s Gentile age of “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24). Failure to do has caused the confusion, division, and insecurity of believers, and the loss of the clear calling and purpose for Church today.
Paul wrote of the Galatians who turned back from Paul’s Grace Gospel to Israel’s Law.
“Christ is become of no effect (no benefit) unto you, whosoever of you (you Galatians who think you) are justified by the law; Ye Are Fallen From Grace.” (Gal. 5:4).
Does the expression “fallen from grace” (above) mean that some of the Galatians lost their salvation?
Of course not! Note that Paul still calls these Galatians “brethren” nine times (Gal. 1:11, 3:15, 4:12, 4:28, 4:30, 5:11, 5:13, 6:1, 6:18)! All the “brethren” are regenerated and saved as being “born of God” as Father.
The Galatian church was being pummeled with false teaching of works and performance based religion (Judaism). Some of these believers had been deceived to the point where they were now laboring under the Mosaic Law, trying to receive salvation… a salvation that they had already received ‘by grace through faith Without Works of the Law.
“But to him that worketh NOT, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (Romans 4:5)
“This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? 3 “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? (Galatians 3:2-3)
“Fallen from grace” simply means that some of the Galatians had given up on God’s grace system for the members of “the church, the body of Christ”— Grace is the free reward for simply trusting solely in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork at Calvary… for us. But because the Galatians now preferred Law’s legalism, they were rewarded on the basis of their impossible works of keeping the whole Law. Their security, rest and peace was shattered. (cf. Rom. 4:1-8, 11:6; Eph. 2:8-9; Gal. 2:16-21; Titus 3:5).
For those who are unfamiliar with dispensational Bible study by rightly dividing the word of God (mid-Acts Pauline dispensationalism), the verses we will discuss can otherwise be quite confusing. But when we do approach the Bible correctly all confusion and seeming contradictions… disappear.