The idea of eternal security is simple. It merely means that Jesus gave us salvation if we accept Him through baptism, but it comes with a responsibility to continue being a disciple of Christ. Whoever believes in Christ receives eternal life and, therefore, cannot lose it.Is Once Saved Always Saved in the Bible & True?
The subject of “eternal security” is a continuous debate among Christians today. Some people believe in the concept of “once saved, always saved” while others do not. Some people believe that if a person accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as one’s personal Savior through the gift of baptism, one is assured that one has eternal security. However, other people think that salvation is not forever, and one can lose it with sin.
What does the Bible tell us about this? Is salvation permanent throughout one’s Christian life or can it be taken from us even if we have received Christ? Let us examine the different passages in the Bible that talk about salvation and analyze if a person is forever saved, once saved.
Once Saved – The Gift of Salvation is Eternal
The Bible teaches us that Jesus Christ is our salvation and that it is found in no one else but Him. “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12).
This one act of Jesus, through His death and resurrection, has provided us the privilege of salvation. We are reminded in John 14:6 that Jesus is our way to the Father which means that His act of saving us is the only way for us to be saved.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
This is a very important fact in our Christian lives. Once we accept Christ, we are destined to always have Him at our side. In Romans 10:9-10, we are reminded by this,
That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
This Bible verse reminds us that if we continue to believe, then we are saved. This is further emphasized in Titus 3:5 stating that “He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.”
This scripture also reminds us why Jesus saved us in the first place. It is His mercy that saves us and that we accept His salvation by accepting Him through the gift of baptism of water and the Holy Spirit.
God loves us so much that He gave His only son, Jesus. And therefore, Jesus is our salvation. We are reminded by this in John 3:16-18,
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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
These passages point out that once we accept Jesus, we are ultimately saved. It is eternal. But this gift of salvation is not a gift to be taken lightly.
This gift means we are bound to do what Jesus would do, veering away from sin, because the life of a Christian is a never-ending journey to be faithful to Christ.
Always Saved -Christians Still Need to Always Be Faithful
To further emphasize why a Christian’s life is a never-ending journey, let us examine what happens to us, as Christians, once we accept Jesus. Sometimes, we may encounter difficult paths while there are times when we may encounter easier paths.
In a Christian’s life, the easiest path is accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and through the gift of baptism, thereby receiving the gift of salvation through faith, but the more difficult path is maintaining faith unto death.
As it is written in the Bible, our lives as Christians is a constant battle against the devil. However, we are reminded in Revelations 2:10,
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.
Romans 8:30 declares, “And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.”
This is a prompt that, although we have received Christ as our Savior, it does not mean that we are exempt from sin and temptation and the tendency to give in. However, we have to be strong so that we are faithful to Jesus until death.
This is emphasized in John 15, which states it is important that we continue to abide in Christ especially since we have already received Him. John specifically states that receiving salvation means remaining with Christ and living a life that overcomes sin.
Therefore, there is a greater responsibility to those who have received Christ in terms of following and abiding in Him. This responsibility means giving all to Christ and putting everything in faith.
Matthew 19:24 states, “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
What Does This Mean?
This also means that it is not easy to enter the Kingdom of God even as a Christian. Yes, by being saved we have received salvation but that means a constant battle of persistence in following Him because entering His kingdom is not easy. Deuteronomy 28:1-68 states this,
And if you faithfully obey the voice of the Lord your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
The idea of eternal security is simple. It merely means that Jesus gave us salvation if we accept Him through baptism, but it comes with a responsibility to continue being a disciple of Christ. As written in John 3:15-17, whoever believes in Christ receives eternal life and, therefore, one cannot lose it as long one believes in Christ and does His will.
“That everyone who believes may have eternal life in him. 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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”