Have you ever doubted your own salvation? Or were unsure if you were really saved in the first place? What if one leaves the church? Can a person’s name be erased from the Book of Life? Can one commit the “unpardonable sin” today? And can a person lose their salvation after they have been saved? Is it a true saying that “Once saved, always saved?“. First, let’s look at how salvation is attained.
Some infer works are part of acquiring our own salvation. But a definition of grace by humans and what the Bible consistently declares are not always the same thing. Don’t believe what I say. Just believe what the Bible says. It can’t be wrong; I, and others, can be! The fact is that the believer's right standing with God is “without works” (Romans 4:6), “without the deeds of the Law” (Romans 3:28), “not of works” (Ephesians 2:9) “It is the gift of God,” (Ephsians 2:8). If you have to earn your salvation by human effort, then yes…it could be lost. Humans are frail and make mistakes. For many Christians, their feelings about the state of their salvation, or being saved, can waver from day to day. There are days when they even can doubt their own salvation or if they‘re really saved at all.
Here’s why’s it’s called the Good News (Gospel). Our assurance of eternal salvation and security is not based upon what we believe, or what we feel or what we think, but on what God has done (Hebrews 9:26)! Can we not believe what Jesus has told us about Him and the Father, that not even one would ever be lost (John 10:28-29)? There seems to have always been attempts to make the believer's response part of their own salvation. It is completely, humanly natural. But clearly, that is to look upon grace as “a help” which flatly denies Biblical truth, “…if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace…” (Romans 11:6). The simple Biblical message is that “the gift of righteousness” in Christ Jesus is a gift, resting on His all-sufficient sacrifice on the cross, “For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ“ (Romans 5:17).
So it is as Christ Jesus Himself said, He died in place of the believer, the One for many (Mark 10:45), His life a ransom for many. As He declared, …this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins“ (Matthew 26:28). This is also what Peter proclaimed, “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God…” (I Pet. 3:18). Paul's preaching is summarized at the end of 2 Corinthians 5:21), “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him..” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
It seems overwhelming when we take on all the responsibility of working out our own salvation. Literally, I thank God that it is not all our responsibility. I feel it is more, our response to His ability. Many have never felt absolved (Mark 1:15). Originally for me, repentance and feeling saved was very difficult. I had thought that salvation was “meriting,” “earning,” or “being good enough,” instead of simply accepting with empty hands, the gift of righteousness in Christ Jesus. To refuse to accept what God commands is the same sin as that of the religious Jews of Paul's time, “For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God” (Romans 10:3). I finally understood that Jesus has done it all, once and for all! Holiness is not the way to Jesus, Jesus is the way to holiness. As has been said before, God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called. What works can save us? Here are the only “works” we can do to receive salvation, from Jesus own lips: “…This is the work of God, that you believe on Him Whom He has sent” (John 6:29). As has been said before, God doesn’t call the qualified…He qualifies the called. Now isn’t that‘s a big relief? More on this later.