A simple Yes or No answer ignores the fact that salvation has different aspects to it, like a house has several rooms. A house may catch on fire, but only a room or two may be lost, not the whole building. What are these different “rooms” in the house of salvation, and can we forfeit any of them?
Jesus saves us from sin’s punishment
Before, we were sinners facing guilt before God (Romans 3:19). Can we still be punished? We can’t be punished for the sins up to the time we confessed Christ, for his blood had cleansed us. But if we continue willfully in sin, we will experience guilt again, and God may punish us in this life (1 Corinthians 11:30-31) until we confess it and get right with God (1 John 1:8-9). But if we continue in faith, walking in the light we know from the Scriptures, then the blood continually cleanses us from sin (1 John 1:7).
Jesus saves us from sin’s mastery
Before, we lived based on the flesh’s desires (Romans 6:14). But Jesus is our new Ruler, and we yield our minds and bodies to him by faith, to please him. Can we lose this? Paul, in his epistles written to Christians, keeps exhorting us to live for God and not the flesh, which tells me that we can go either way, even after we have first believed on Christ. Paul warned the Galatian church that if we feed the flesh, we’ll bear the consequences (Galatians 6:8). By returning to faith and obedience to Christ, we once again put the reigns into Jesus hands again, and we can prosper spiritually.
Jesus saves us from sin’s estrangement from God
Before, we were children of wrath and of the devil (Ephesians 2:2-3) and without God (Ephesians 2:12). Now we are children of God (John 1:12). Can we lose that aspect? Occasionally, we may lapse into sin and find that God seems to hide himself (Psalms 51:11), but that is not for ever. The strongest argument for a Christian to retain his status as God’s child is probably in Romans 8:31-39, where Paul lists the many obstacles that one would think could separate us from the love of God, but none of them can – nothing in life or death. This aspect of salvation, being God’s child, cannot be lost!
Jesus saves us for a glorious future
Our bodies are decaying every day, as is the rest of creation (Romans 8:22-23). However, the day is coming when all in the graves will arise with new bodies, where we will die no more (1 Corinthians 15:54-57). This aspect cannot be lost. All in God’s family will share a life free of sin, death, and wickedness when Jesus comes to set up his kingdom, then recreates the word anew (Revelation 21:1-5).
Can we lose our salvation? We are eternally secure with the Father as his children. However, some benefits of our salvation can be lost and regained during this life. Nevertheless, with the power of the blood, the Holy Spirit, and faith, we are well able to overcome any obstacles to be “saved to the uttermost” (Hebrews 7:25).
What Do You Think?
a. Christians disagree about many things. Would they agree more if they first broke down their terms into smaller parts and discussed the parts?
b. How would you have defined “salvation” before you read this article? How does this answer change your appreciation for what God has done?