Can We Lose Our Salvation?

February 28, 2013 | 5 comments

On Tuesday I wrote how some criminals take advantage of God's forgiveness and use it as a license to sin (something Paul says is a big no-no in Romans 6:1-4). I also partly blamed this on bad theology that teaches that once God has legally declared we are justified we stand no chance of going to hell. This view is also called "Once saved, always saved."

In the previous post I showed that this idea doesn't make logical sense because it would lead to the conclusion that believers who fall away from the faith at a later time were never "saved" to begin with.

Now I'd like to examine two scripture passages that are used to support the view that a Christian can never lose his salvation (or eternal security).

Philippians 1:6: I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work in you will continue to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus.

Paul is praising the Philippians in particular, not all Christians, when he expresses his confidence. The Philippian Church was the only one generous enough to support him in his time of struggle (Phil. 4:14-16). In 2:12 we also read of their obedience, which was the source of Paul’s confidence in them. Regardless, in the same verse where Paul describes their obedience (2:12) he still tells them to “work out their salvation in fear and trembling.”

1 John 5:13: I write these things to you so that you may know that you have eternal life, you who believe in the name of the Son of God.

Earlier in the letter, the author of 1 John describes essential attributes one must have in order to be a true believer in the son of God. In 3:10 he says, “No one who fails to act in righteousness belongs to God, nor anyone who does not love his brother.” In 5:3 he says, "For the love of God is this, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”  If we believe in the son of God we will keep his commandments, but if we do not keep the commandments, then we do not believe in him and can’t know that we are saved.

For a longer treatment of this subject see the Catholic Answer's tract Assurance of Salvation?

After his conversion to the Catholic Faith, Trent Horn earned a master's degree in theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville and is currently pursuing a graduate degree in philosophy from Holy Apostles College. 

He serves as a staff apologist for Catholic Answers and...

Comments by Members

#1  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Trent ; Why haven't you had at least one Comment on this subject? There are many things that automatically happens to a person when they are Born Again. You become the Righteousness of Jesus. This means you are in right standing with God because God sees Jesus in My Place. My Sinful Nature I was born with is exchanged for My Godly Nature that I should have had if not for Adam and Eve's selling out to Satan. Hebrews tells us that Jesus Died for Everyone, Once, Forever; so we don't have to come back often to offer a sacrifice for sins committed since the last time. Old Testament was in effect (including the Gospels) until Jesus died and Promised Us "The Comforter" to come; then The New Testament began ; Ending the Old. Scripture say's the Old is Obsolete and passing away. God always deals with man by FAITH. It is impossible to please God without Faith. You say that we should live keeping the law but God say's we can't keep the Law. Scripture states that the Law was not made for a Righteous Man but for Sinners. The purpose of the Law is when they can't keep the Law they see that they are Sinner and in need of a Savior. God provided Jesus to reconciled Us back to the Father. He Redeemed us; bought us back. There's more Later

August 20, 2014 at 6:10 pm PST
#2  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Eternal security is the work of God which guarantees that the gift of salvation, once received, is forever and cannot be lost. The Bible truth of eternal security emphasizes God’s activity in guaranteeing the eternal possession of the gift of eternal life. It relates to those the Holy Spirit regenerates, and its veracity does not rest on feelings , experiences or common sense.
In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,
that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory.
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,
who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.
How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?
Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,
knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.
For he who has died has been freed from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,
knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.
For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.
Likewise you also, consider yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

August 21, 2014 at 7:02 am PST
#3  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Trent; I should have added : All of the above are actual quotes from the Catholic Bible. Not my Thoughts but God's thoughts. God tells us that "your thoughts are not my thoughts, my Ways are not your ways. I am not of any denomination. I converted from Catholic to Christian.

August 21, 2014 at 7:11 am PST
#4  Dick Martin - Frazeysburg, Ohio

Trent; I saw in your comments that;" Once saved ,always saved' doesn't make any logical sense. Does Born of a virgin or raising the dead or as Peter's shadow pass over the sick they were healed or speaking things into existence that was not. Jesus even gave us the authority for us to use His name and He tells us to Lay Hands on the sick and they will recover. Does anything of God seem LOGICAL? How about "Though your sins are as scarlet; I see them as white as snow". How about; There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus; or It's accounted unto to us Righteousness. God say's "I will remember you sins no more. My way are not your ways. There are many examples. The things of God has to be discerned Spiritually. The natural , fleshly , worldly man only understands the things of the senses; only things that make sense. Faith is applying Gods Word into your life even if it makes no sense.

September 13, 2014 at 7:59 pm PST
#5  Debbie Douglas - Fraser, Michigan

Hi Dick,

You say: "Faith is applying Gods Word into your life even if it makes no sense. Two words for you - Holy Eucharist



May 10, 2015 at 7:19 am PST

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