As pastor, one of the most asked questions I have been asked over the years is “can a person lose their salvation?” or some variation of that concern. Of course, Baptists are well known for believing in “once saved, always saved” (or as it’s also referred to as “the security of the believer” and the “perseverance of the saints.”) Whatever you call it, it means that we believe the Bible teaches us that we cannot lose our salvation. The Bible strongly affirms this theological truth. Now, there is a difference between the personal assurance of one’s salvation and the promised security of their salvation. While a person may or may not have a feeling of assurance, security is a fact based on the promises of God. Let me give you seven reasons why you can you know you are saved, and cannot lose your salvation.
1. You cannot lose your salvation because of the NEW POSITION OF THE BELIEVER.
Jesus said, “unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). We are born again. We have been given a new birth; we cannot be unborn. If we could lose salvation, we’d be born, reborn, unborn, then re-born to be saved again. That makes no sense.
Scripture is clear that by trusting Christ He makes us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). We can’t be uncreated. If we could lose salvation, we’d have to be created, re-created, uncreated, then re-recreated to be saved again. Once again, that is illogical.
2. You cannot lose your salvation because of the PERFECTION OF CHRIST’S SACRIFICE.
Our salvation was paid by a once-and-for-all sacrifice by Christ on the cross. “But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet. For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified” (Hebrews 10:12-14).
When Jesus died on the cross, He said, “It is finished.” The debt we owed was paid in full. Jesus doesn’t have to die again and again. His sacrifice was once and for all.
3. You cannot lose your salvation because of the PICTURE OF SALVATION.
We are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8-9). Salvation is not so much about a place, but a person (see John 17:3). You cannot separate the gift (of salvation) from the Giver (of salvation). In fact, as Oswald Chambers said, “Eternal life is not a gift from God; it is the gift of God.” And by the way, if you could lose eternal life, it wouldn’t be eternal. And one more thing: if you could lose your salvation, you already would have!
4. You cannot lose your salvation because of the PROFILE OF A FAMILY.
When we trust Christ to save us, we are adopted into God’s family. God is our Father. We cannot be unadopted or kicked out of the family. (see Romans 8:14-17 and Ephesians 1:5)
By the way, how cruel would it be for God to adopt us into His family, and then un-adopt us? That is not the loving Father we read about in Scripture.
5. You cannot lose your salvation because of the PROTECTION OF THE SAINT.
When we trust Christ, we are doubly protected by the Father and the Son (John 10:27-29). Moreover, we are protected and sealed by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14). So, from the moment we are saved, we are protected by the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit!
6. You cannot lose your salvation because of the PROMISE OF SCRIPTURE.
The preponderance of Scripture reveals that we cannot lose salvation. Over and over again, the Bible points to the fact that the true believer has true security. Please read Scripture, such as John 6:39-40; Romans 8:28-39; and 1 John 5:13.
7. Because of the PLAN OF GOD.
God always finishes what He starts (Philippians 1:6). Salvation begins with God, not us. And when God finishes the salvation process, it is truly finished. This is true of those who have sincerely repented of their sin, believed in Jesus’ death and resurrection, and have received Him as Savior and Lord. Assurance of salvation is referred to as “security of the believer,” not “security of the unbeliever.” So, it is very possible for people to act and maybe even look like they’re saved, but in reality they are not. As has been stated, “The faith that fizzles before the finish had a flaw from the first.” So, for those who have truly trusted Christ, they cannot lose the gift of salvation they’ve been given. So, it’s true… “once (truly and actually) saved, always (truly and actually) saved!"