In order to gain a lucid perspicacity of this subject, the term Christian must be lucidly defined. Just because a person has been raised in a Christian home, recited some prayer or walked down the isle of the church does not mean that they are a Christian. All three of the aforementioned actions can very well be a part of the conversion experience; however, neither of them, in and of themselves, constitute conversion. From a biblical perspective, a Christian is someone who has completely received and accepted Christ as their absolute Savior, subsequently possessing the indwelling of the Holy Spirit (John 3:16; Acts 16:31; Eph. 2:8-9)
Now that we have this definition of a Christian in mind, we can effectively engage the question of whether a Christian can lose their salvation. The best approach to take in order to answer this question is to anatomize the process of salvation to determine what happens at the point of salvation. It would also help to determine what the loss of salvation would require.
A Christian Is a New Creation
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!" 2 Corinthians 5:17
Despite common beliefs, becoming a Christian is not simply a personal improvement, it is enduring the process of being transformed into an entire new creation. So, the first thing that would have to happen is that the creation would have to be destroyed.
A Christian Is Redeemed
"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect!" 1 Peter 1:18-19
In theology, the term "redeemed" carries the connotation of Christ purchasing the debt of the believer, and the price being paid in full. The price that He paid was giving up His life — the shedding of his precious blood!
A Christian Is Justified
"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 5:1
To become justified is to be declared righteous; just as if you have never sinned. It is through the act of believing in and receiving Christ as the final atonement for your sins — your Savior. This means that for a Christian to lose the gift of salvation, God would have to renege on His word. Meaning that he would have to change a previous declaration, but God is not capricious in His actions.
A Christian Is Given Eternal Salvation
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
Biblically speaking, eternal life is the promise belonging to every Christian that they will spend eternity with God in heaven. For a Christian to lose their salvation, the phrase "eternal life" would have to be redefined in a way in which eternal no longer means eternal.
A Christian is Sealed by the Holy Spirit and Marked by God
"You also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until those who are God's possession — to the praise of his glory." Ephesians 1:12-14
At the very moment that a believer becomes saved, they are marked and sealed by way of the Spirit, who was given to the believer as a deposit, which guarantees God's promise of our an eternal inheritance. This is done to the Glory of God. It means that God would have to unseal the believer and remove the mark, which would nullify the initial purpose of the sealing process and the mark in the first place.
The guarantee of glorification also belongs to the Christian believer. The truth is that the vast majority of the gifts that are associated with salvation would have to be nullified in order for the loss of salvation to be possible.
Those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified." Romans 8:30
Based on Romans 5:1, the moment that we believe in Christ, we are justified based on that faith. Additionally, based on Romans 8:30, glorification comes with justification. This is will take place at the moment that the Christian receives their glorified body in heaven.
The truth is that a Christian cannot lose their salvation, because it would require a significant portion of what God promises the believer at salvation to be invalidated, which would go against the character of God. Salvation is an Irrevocable gift of God (Rom. 11:29). It is impossible to reverse the creation of a new creature. It is also impossible to cancel the purchase of the redeemed Christian that took place on Calvary. Eternal means eternal. The Scripture is very clear on the fact that God cannot lie (Titus 1:2)
There are two common objections to the doctrine of eternal security. The first objection is the Christian who leads a sinful life, and is unrepentant, and the second objection is that there are some Christians who ultimately reject the faith and deny Christ. The first problem that arises from these objections is the assumption that every person who declares that they are a Christian is actually a genuine believer. The Bible is very clear that a true believer will not live in a state of continual unrepentant sin (1 John 3:6). The Bible also makes it clear that any person who leaves the faith is actually revealing that they were never a part of the faith to begin with (1 John 2:19). The true Christian will be recognized by their actions.
"By their fruit you will recognize them." Matthew 7:16
"Those who have been redeemed by God belong to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God." Romans 7:4
The Apostle Paul also revealed that it is impossible to separate the believer from the love of God (Rom. 8:38-39). Christ also made it quite clear that once a believer was in the hand of God, nothing could remove them (John 10:28-29). It is God who guarantees the believer's status of salvation. The Good Shepard will search for his lost ship, and "when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home" (Luke 15:5-6).
The awesome faithfulness of our Savior can also be witnessed in Jude 24-24:
"To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy — to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen"
Cary Byrd is the founder of ChristiansLikeMe.net, a free Christian social network that is dedicated to connecting people to Jesus Christ and others. He is also the president of eDrugSearch.com, a free price comparison engine for prescription drugs that helps consumers to get safe access to affordable medications.
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