1. Is salvation by grace or by works?
2. The meaning of the phrase, eternal life.
3. the difference between law and grace
4. understanding rewards
5. unconditional verses conditional promises
6. verses and passages that support eternal security
7. Fellowship with God
8. The teaching of the permanent indwelling of the holy spirit.
9. the argument and flaw in saying you can lose your salvation and the dangers and negative consequences of teaching that person can lose their salvation.
Is salvation by grace or by works?
This is the first thing question that must be answered and that must be understood if you are going to understand eternal security. You see, to believe you can lose your salvation is to believe that salvation is by works. Because by saying that you can lose your salvation you’re saying that whether you are saved or not is based on what you do. It doesn’t make sense to say that you are saved by grace but then after you are saved by grace you’re works determined if you are saved or not. If that was true then it was’nt grace in the first place. So you have to understand what the Bible teaches about salvation by grace and not of works if you want to understand eternal security.
The book of Romans is the great book in the Bible on the gospel of Jesus Christ. Or you could say Romans is the great doctrinal book on salvation. You need to understand the book of Romans if you want to understand the gospel. What people are often confused by is the relationship between works and faith. Often faith and works are mingled together in an explanation of the gospel. As we look at these verses we are going to see that the Bible makes it clear salvation is by faith alone and works has nothing to do with it. Later on in this study we will discuss the passage in James 2 which says faith without works is dead. James chapter 2 is the big passage which is used to teach that a person can lose their salvation or than a person is saved by works and not just by grace.
But first lets look at Romans chapter 4:1-5 which says, Romans 4:1 What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? Romans 4:2 For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God. Romans 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Romans 4:4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. Romans 4:5 But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
These verses make it very clear Abraham believed God and it was accounted to Him for righteousness. These verses are making it very clear it was not Abraham’s works that justified Him. Romans 4 also goes on to use King David as an example. But the big example used is Abraham. Just think about some of the phrases stated in these verses of Romans chapter 4: Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Or Think about what verse 5 says to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. What does it mean to believe? Why believe means to trust to rely upon.
Acts , “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Remember the word believe means to trust, to rely upon, in other words faith. Faith is what saves.
Now let’s talk about grace and works. The word grace implies a free gift, unmerited favor. Grace is what God gives freely. Works implies human effort, what a person does.
If salvation is by works then ask yourself this question. Why did Jesus die on the cross? What was the point of Jesus suffering and dying on the cross for your sins if your salvation is based on your works and not based on God’s grace? Jesus would not have come to die on the cross if salvation was based on works. That’s the whole point of grace, the whole point of a free gift, there’s nothing you can do to earn it, there is nothing you can do to work for it, there is no good deed or amount of good deeds that you can do, it is given to you freely.
There is a big difference between someone giving you a free gift, and someone giving you something because they owe it to you. Salvation is a free gift. If you try to work for it, you are implying that God will eventually owe you something. It will be a debt for Him to pay. Of course, you could never do enough to earn it anyway. You could never of your own works make up for the sins that you have committed.
For example. If you rob a bank but then go and give money to the poor. You still robbed that bank. Giving money to the poor doesn’t nullify the fact that you robbed a bank. You are still going to get arrested and stand before a judge and that judge is going to say guilty and send you to jail for robbing that bank. It works the same way with God. When you stand before God to be judged and you say to him I did this and this and this good deed God is going to say to you well you did this and this and this sin. What God is going to look at in determining whether or not to declare you righteous is not how many good deeds you have done but whether or not you have trusted in Jesus Christ.
If you have entered into faith, you have nothing to fear. You can be confident of God’s kind regards towards you. You did not gain salvation through your good works, and you cannot lose it through bad works. If you have entered into faith, you may yet fail miserably, even as Peter did when he denied Christ. But with kindness and gentleness the Lord sought Peter out and encouraged him, because it is all based upon God’s grace and not our works. One of the great promises of the Bible we will come to in Romans chapter 8. It says, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose." This promise and others like it can only be possible if we are basing everything on the principle of God’s grace.
Romans 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
Salvation cannot be both by grace and by works. That is contradictory. If something is free then you cannot earn it. If something is earned by works then It’s not free. So it’s not possible to receive something for free and yet earn it at the same time. It has to be one or the other. And that is what this verse in Romans 11:6 is saying.
Just to clarify the matter even more let’s look at 3 other passages that clearly teach Salvation is by grace and not by works.
The most well known and commonly used passage is Ephesians 2:8 which says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.”
This verse makes it clear salvation is by grace not by works. But we can look at more of the verses to show that this verse is not being taken out of context.
Ephesians 2:4-10, “Ephesians 2:4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Ephesians 2:5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) Ephesians 2:6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: Ephesians 2:7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Ephesians 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:5, by grace are ye saved. (Remember grace is what God gives freely.)
Ephesians 2:8 grace through faith. Ephesians 2:9 NOT OF WORKS….now in looking at these verses how in the world does someone say not of works means well some works. It doesn’t mean that it means No works.
Ephesians For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Make sure you do not misunderstand what Ephesians is saying. The word ordained means to prepare in advance. In other words God has a plan. God did just randomly decide salvation would be by grace through faith in Jesus Christ God planed it out and enacted out that plan. And God also decided that those who trust in Jesus for salvation the result would be that they would have good works. That is what this verse is talking about. Don’t confuse good works with salvation. Good works do not bring salvation good works come as a result of being saved.
Now lets look at another passage which clearly teaches salvation is by grace not by works.
Titus 3:4-7 says, “Titus 3:4, But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Titus 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; Titus 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.”
Look at these verses. Titus 3:5 says Not by works of righteous. Titus 3:7, justified by His grace.
So here is another group of verses which are clearly stating Salvation is by grace not by works. It cannot be said any more clearly than this.
Consider these verses: Romans 10:9-15, “Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. Romans For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. Romans For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. Romans For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. Romans For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Romans How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? Romans And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”
passage the key verse is Romans 10:13 which says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be
saved.” This verse is repeated in Acts which says, “And it shall
come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
This verse is actually a quote from the Old Testament in Joel which says, “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call
on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount
This verse does not say whosoever shall do works shall be saved, this verse says whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Now if you want to get real detailed about this particular passage then look up the meaning of the word called. It has the idea of worship. In other words if your calling on the name of Jesus your worshiping Him. You’re recognizing that Jesus is God and you’re submitting yourself unto Him. This is what a person does when they repent of their sins to Christ and trust Jesus they submit unto Him they accept the truth that Christ is all powerful and is the Judge, the Final authority, the King of kings and the one who was judged in place of their sins.
There is more than one way to skin a cat or you could say there is more than one way to say the same thing. That is why when the Bible teaches salvation it has quite a few different ways of saying the same thing. Call upon the name of the Lord, repent of your sins to Jesus, confess your sins to Jesus, ask Jesus into your heart, bow before the feet of Jesus, faith pleases God, salvation is by grace through faith and not of yourselves, not according to works of righteousness but according to His mercy He saved us. Be born again. Be baptized. Be redeemed. Jesus is the atonement. Jesus is the propitiation for our sins. All of these phrases mean the same thing.
In other words you’re either relying upon God’s grace to save you or your relying upon your own works. If you are in anyway relying upon your own works to save you then you’re not saved because that is not how salvation works.
Why do people want so much to believe that salvation is by works and not accept the free gift of Christ. Pride. They want to be able to say I did this, I earned this. And that will keep them from going to heaven.
The conclusion is this in regards to the issue of salvation by grace or by works…if salvation is by grace you can’t lose your salvation because its not based on what you do but it is based on what God has done for you. If salvation is by works you can lose your salvation because instead of it being a free gift it’s based on your works, what you do, you earning it. And the Bible is very clear salvation is by grace not by works.
The meaning of the phrase, eternal life.
The word eternal means everlasting, perpetual without end.
How long is eternal? If I already have eternal life because I already believe in Jesus, then my eternal life can never end. Eternal life cannot end, or it is not eternal. Jesus said a similar thing about the believer possessing something that the believer will never lose in John 11:26: "And whosoever lives and believes in me shall never die."
In other words the very concept of what eternal means implies that you cannot lose your salvation. It is either eternal or it is not. Eternal means eternal eternal does not mean temporary.
The difference between law and grace
Understanding the difference between law and grace will help you to understand eternal security. The difference between law and grace is almost the same as saying the difference between salvation by grace or by works.
Grace-what God gives freely.
Law-a list of do’s and do nots…
Grace therefore implies not doing. It cannot be earned through human effort because it is given freely.
Law therefore implies works. Things you have to do or not do through human effort.
To truly understand salvation you have to understand the difference between law and grace. It is people that do not understand the difference between law and grace that are confused about eternal security and that are confused about whether salvation is by grace or by works.
Are you saved by the keeping of the law or are you saved by the grace of God?
The Bible very clear states in Romans , “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”
Sometimes people confuse the concept of reaping what you sow, the concept that God is going to give out rewards, they confuse this with the teaching of salvation. Receiving rewards in heaven for the good works that you do for Christ does not mean that salvation is by works.
Lets look at Revelation 20:11-15 which says, Revelation 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. Revelation And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. Revelation And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. Revelation And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.Revelation And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.”
This passage makes it very clear that there is life and death and then the judgment. Sometimes people do not understand the judgment and therefore they are confused about salvation. Unsaved people will stand before God and be judged for their works. Saved people will stand before God and be rewarded for their works for Christ.
What is the difference between a saved person and an unsaved person? The answer is righteousness. A person who trusts in Christ for forgiveness of their sins is in effect saying that they are relying upon the work of Christ on the Cross and not their own work to get them into heaven. You see you are either in Christ or you are not in Christ. If you are in Christ then you are clothed with the righteousness of Christ. That means the righteous of God is imputed unto you. The word imputed is Biblical word. It’s used many times in the bible even in the book of James in the very middle of the passage that people often use to try to argue works salvation, James chapter 2.
James says, “And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God.”
The word imputed means reckoned. It means God thinks. God looks at you and thinks, God decides, God declares that you are righteous because of Jesus not because of your own works.
To understand the concept of rewards and to not confused being rewarded for your works with being saved not by works but by grace you have to understand that there two kinds of righteousness. There is you’re positional righteousness and there is practical righteousness. Positional righteousness speaks of salvation. It speaks of a person’s position in Christ. They have trusted in Christ they have relied upon Christ, they have believed Christ and therefore the righteousness of God is freely given to them. They didn’t earn it through works but they received it freely.
Practical righteousness refers to works. It means how consistent I am on a day by day basis at doing what is right. We reap what we so. Practically speaking what we do God is going to reward us for in Heaven.
It is important to not be confused about the concept of earning rewards and of salvation by grace and not by works.
Another great passage that explains
rewards is 1 Corinthians 3:11-17 which says, “1Corinthians For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which
is Jesus Christ. 1Corinthian s 3:12 Now
if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay,
stubble; 1Corinthians 3:13 Every man's
work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be
revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
1Corinthians If any man's work
abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 1Corinthians If any man's work
shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as
by fire. 1Corinthians Know ye not that ye are the
These verses are talking about the earning of rewards in heaven and the losing of rewards. If you can earn rewards in heaven then you can lose rewards too if you go away from God and fail to serve God and fail to do His will. Losing your rewards is not losing your salvation. 1Corinthians If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
One of the key verses to understand
in this passage is the last verse 1Corinthians If any man defile the
The key words in this verse are the words defile and destroy. They actually mean the same thing. Defile can mean destroy and destroy can mean defile. Remember in the context of this passage God is talking to believers. This is the law of reciprocity. Or you could say if you bounce a ball at a wall it will bounce back at you. What you cause to happen will happen to you. In other words it is possible for A Christian to go so far from God ,to stray so far into sin and not repent of that sin that God will judge that person by ending their life and taking them off the earth. If that happens to a Christian are they losing their salvation? NO. Their losing their rewards. They are taken off the earth so they lose the opportunity to serve God and the things could have accomplished for God if they had lived and had served God they lose. It’s a lose of rewards.
Another passage in the Bible that clearly teaches this in regards to the lose of rewards is Hebrews 10:26-30 which says, “Hebrews 10:26 For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, Hebrews 10:27 But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace? Hebrews For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people.”
Now this passage of scripture is often misunderstood and some people use it to say you can lose your salvation. So lets look at what it says. Look at the phrase in Hebrews 10:26, If we sin willfully. This phrase in the Greek is in the present tense, the idea is that of continuing in sin and not repenting.
Now look at verses 28-29
Hebrews 10:28 He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Hebrews 10:29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?
Remember these verses are talking to Christians. In the Old Testament under the law Christians died faced the death penalty for just about any sin. The deathl penalty was the common punishment for sinning. And so the comparison is made between the law and the gospel. If believers died for breaking the law in old Testament times how much sorerer of a punish is a Christian going to receive who takes for granted who slanders, the blood of Jesus Christ by refusing to repent of their sins. What is worse to break one of the ten commandments or to live a life as a Christian that is a horrible testimony to the gospel of Jesus Christ. The one resulted in dead and the other most certainly will result in death. This is why the very last phrase in Hebews says And again, The Lord shall judge his people.” Therefore its very clear these verses are not talking about losing your salvation but that God will judge His children and punish them when they don’t repent.
unconditional promises verses conditional promises
Heres another way of understating salvation and eternal security. There two kinds of covenants or you could say promises. Conditional and unconditional. A conditional promise means that God is going to do something if you do something. The best example of this is the law and the keeping of the law. The promise of the law is that if you obey the law then you receive the blessings. If you don’t obey the law you don’t receive the blessings but you receive the curses. This is what Deuteronomy chapter 27 is about. The Old Testament covenant of the law is a conditional covenant if you do such and such then God will in response do such and such.
An unconditional covenant means that God makes a promise and that promise is based on what God is going to do on what God has done and in no way shape or form is it based on man doing anything. And that’s what salvation is. Salvation is an unconditional promise or covenant. Jesus died for our sins, paid the debt for our sins and therefore there is nothing for us to do we don’t have to pay the debt for our sins not by burning in hell nor by trying to do good works. An unconditional promise. Because salvation is an unconditional promise that means we can’t lose our salvation. It’s unconditional.
verses and passages that support eternal security
Lets look at a few passages in the Bible that clear teach Eternal Security. There’s a lot of passages but only need to look at a few.
One of the most common passages used is in the Gospel of John.
John 10:27-30 says, John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: John 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. John My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. John I and my Father are one.”
The key verse here is John which says, And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Who does the giving? Jesus does. You don’t give yourself eternal life Jesus gives you eternal life. Remember the word Eternal means eternal, everlasting it does not mean temporary. If you could lose the eternal life it would not be eternal. Now notice the phrase they shall never perish. It’s a very clear phrase. Never means never. This verse doesn’t say they shall perish unless they sin again it says they shall never perish. This is an unconditional promise.
Now notice the phrase neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. This is a very interesting passage to look at in the Greek. The word
man is actually not in the Greek. In the KJV the word man was added to smooth
out the translation. So it actually says neither shall any pluck them out of my
hand. I don’t think the KJV translators were wrong to add the word man because
it does not change the meaning it does help to clarify the meaning but lets
look at the word ANY. ANY can mean all. Its like if I say you can have any of these
apples. Now that could mean take one apple among all of them or it could mean
take which ever of the apples you want including 1 or all of them. So Any means All. Any is a word used to imply the entire group.
It does help to look at the context. In the context of these verses it should
be obvious that any means all. The actual Greek word used here and translated
any can actually be translated
Another great verse to look at to see eternal security or could say another great unconditional promise to look at which teaches eternal security is Hebrews 13:5 which says, Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
I will never leave thee nor forsake thee. That’s eternal security. That’s a promise which is not based on anything that I do, not based on my works, but a promise simply based on what God has said. Is God a liar. Does God do what He says He is going to do or not?
Now lets look at a phrase in the Old Testament. Psalms 106:1 says, “Praise ye the LORD. O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.” His mercy endureth forever. This phrase is found many many times in the Old Testament especially in the book of Psalms. We can explain the word forever the same way we have explained the word eternal in the sense of eternal life. Remember if something is eternal it’s not temporary. If God’s mercy endureth forever then that is saying eternal security, once saved always saved. If you can lose your salvation then God’s mercy isn’t enduring forever is it? It would only be enduring temporarily. So it makes sense that once saved always saved is what the Bible teaches.
Understanding the principle of being in or out of Fellowship with God.
The illustration of Marriage
Hosea 2:19-20, “Hosea And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. Hosea I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.”
God created marriage between a man and a woman. And marriage is used to symbolize our relationship with Christ. How does a marriage work. In a marriage two people can either be in fellowship or out of fellowship, in a marriage two people can either be getting along or not getting along. For example a married couple might have an argument, the one spouse might do or say something wrong to the other spouse and then they are out of fellowship until the one spouse who wronged the other spouse comes to them and says I’m sorry I shouldn’t have said that I shouldn’t have done that I shouldn’t have treated you that way. But during the time that they are out of fellowship are they still married? Yes they are married still they are just out of fellowship.
And that is the principle here. Being out of fellowship with God is not losing your salvation. If a Christian sins they are out of fellowship with God until they come to Jesus and say Lord please forgive me I’m sorry for what I did I’m going to try to do better and to not do that sinful action again.
Jesus explained this concept of fellowship in the gospel of John 13:3-17 which says, “John 13:3 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God; John 13:4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself. John 13:5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. John 13:6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet? John 13:7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter. John 13:8 Peter saith unto him, Thou shalt never wash my feet. Jesus answered him, If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me. John 13:9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. John Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. John For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean. John So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? John Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. John If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another's feet. John For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. John Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. John If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.”
The key verses in this passage are John 13:9-10.
John 13:9 Simon Peter saith unto him, Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head. John Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit.”
The washing was an example of forgiveness or the washing away of sin. Their bodies were already clean (an example of salvation), but their feet still got dirty when they went out on a walk and needed to be washed (an example of a believer’s daily life in this world, and the need for forgiveness to stay in fellowship with God.) So this passage shows eternal security. If a person could lose their salvation then Jesus would have taught the disciples that they needed to wash their whole bodies and not just their feet. Jesus said, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet.. In other words a person that is saved doesn’t need to get saved again when they sin but they need to confess their sins daily to stay in fellowship with the Lord.
One more point about fellowship. Sometimes people will argue based on experience that they knew someone who claimed to be a Christian and then they saw that person stray away from God, stop serving God and go live like the world. And so they say see there’s an example of a person who lost their salvation.
But consider this verse 1John , “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”
The phrase they went out means to depart. In other words this verse is saying the departed because they were never truly saved in the first place. This is a much more logical explanation when we considered all these verses in the bible that teach salvation by grace and that teach eternal security.
The teaching of the permanent indwelling of the holy spirit.
To understand this we have realize the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament. In Old Testament times there was not a permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit. There were times in which there were fillings of the Spirit. The permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit came after Jesus died on the cross and rose from the grave.
You will find no verses in the New Testament that say or indicate that A Christian can lose the Spirit of God.
Let’s look at a passage in the Gospel of John that talks about the Holy Spirit also called the Comforter.
John 14:16-18, John 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. John I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.”
The Word comforter means called along side. These verses make it clear that the Comforter, the Holy Spirit came after Jesus left the earth and asended into heaven. No where in these verses are there any words or phrases that suggest that if you sin you lose your salvation or that the Spirit of God leaves you. There are passages in the New Testament that talk about grieving the Spirit and quenching the Spirit. But grieving and quenching is not losing the Spirit lets look at those verses.
Ephesians says, And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” The word grieve means to cause sorrow, to distress to cause sadness…The word grieve does not mean to lose or to go away. In fact notice the last half of Ephsians 4:30, “ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Now notice that word sealed. The word sealed as the idea of preservation or you could permanency. Sealed until the day of redemption. What is the day of redemption? The day of redemption refers to when Christ returns and we receive our glorified bodies. If you are sealed, or you could preserved until the day of redemption then that is eternal security that means no matter how many days pass no matter how many times you sin you are guaranteed to be sealed to be saved to be preserved and to received up into glory on the day of redemption. If a person could lose their salvation the Bible would not say sealed unto the day of redemption it would say sealed until you sin and it does not say that.
1 Thessalonians says, “Quench not the Spirit.” This verse does not say Don’t lose the Spirit by sinning. It says quench not the Spirit. In other words be controlled be led by be filled with the Spirit of God don’t let sin control you don’t let sin lead you don’t let sin fill your heart.
the argument and flaw in saying you can lose your salvation and the dangers and negative consequences of teaching that person can lose their salvation.
Hebrews 9:25-28 says, “Hebrews 9:25 Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; Hebrews 9:26 For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. Hebrews And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.”
The key verse here is Hebrews 9:28 which says, “Christ was once offered.” Notice the word Once. Christ died once not twice not three times but once. If you can lose your salvation then that would make void Christ’s death on the cross and He would have to come and die again for your sins and the Bible makes it very clear Christ was Once offered, Once. One sacrifice, One time and that’s it.
1 John 3:18-22 says, “ 1John My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. 1John And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. 1John For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 1John Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. 1John And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”
The key verse of these verses is 1John For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.” In other words just because we think we lost our salvation does not mean that we have. Who is greater God or man? You see what happens is when you get saved because salvation is not based on works but on grace then the keeping of your salvation is not based on what you do but on the power of God. God is not going to let you go even if you run away from Him He won’t give you up. He won’t cast you away, He wont forsake you. You’re will is not more powerful than God’s will. So even if you forget that you are saved or believe that you are not saved or believe that you’ve lost your salvation because of some sin that you committed it doesn’t matter because you’re still saved.
Now let’s address the most common passage used to teach that you can lose your salvation. James chapter 2.
James 2:17-26 says, James Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. James Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. James Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. James But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? James Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? James Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? James And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. James Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. James Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? James For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.
As James said, "Faith without works is dead." But good works do not help gain justification, they are simply an evidence of it. Don’t put the cart before the horse. It’s not what you do that determines if you are righteous, it’s what you believe. "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness."
In other words If you have faith you will have works. Faith produces works. The result, the consequence of having faith is that there will be works. Or could say if there is faith a person will produce fruit. Now they may not produce a lot of fruit but they will produce some fruit. If they are not saved they will produce no fruit. That is what these verses are saying. These verses are not saying a person is saved by works or that a person can lose their salvation.
You can’t say that salvation is a free gift but I’m going to give back that gift. Because God won’t take back the gift God makes you keep the gift. Salvation is based on the power of God not on power or will of man. If you say salvation is by grace but whether I stay saved or not is based on works…that in effect still saying that salvation is by works.
If a person can lose their salvation? Which sins is it that causes a person to lose their salvation? If you say well it is certain sins only that doesn’t make sense it would have to be every sin for God to be just and fair. That would mean every time you sin and every time you make a mistake you lose your salvation…that would also mean that your salvation is based on what you do...your works...and not based on grace.
The teaching that a person can lose their salvation is a bad teaching. It can damage and destroy a person faith in God. Where is the peace, where is the confidence where is the understanding of God’s unconditional love for us as His children? God doesn’t unforgive us of our sins. Once you are forgiven you are forgiven. God wants us to have peace, God wants us to have confidence, God wants us to have joy, God wants us to have assurance that He keeps His promises, that He loves us that nothing can separate from the Love of Christ once we are saved just as it says in Romans chapter 8:35-39, “Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Romans Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. Romans For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Romans Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ not even your own sins, once you are saved. It’s a horrible teaching to teach you can lose your salvation, it torments people, it causes them to live in fear to wonder if God loves them to wonder if God forgives them, it takes away their peace in regards to what their eternal destiny is and it forces them to focus on their works and to worry and to stress over whether or not they are doing and have done enough good works to get into heaven. Salvation is not by works but by grace. You must understand this basic teaching of the gospel if you want to understand anything else about the Bible the way and to the depth that it is meant to be understood and especially if you wan to be the testimony to the lost of the world that God wants you to be. To be the testimony to the lost of this world that God wants you to be you need the joy and the confidence that comes with understanding eternal security that comes with understanding the forgiveness of your sins in Christ and the unconditional love that God has for you. So let go of your pride stop relying upon your works your own righteousness to do so is pride instead rely upon the righteousness of Christ.
Romans says, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”
Copyright; 2017 by Bruce
All Rights Reserved