The salvation of sinful men is the work of God and is totally of grace (Eph. 2:8-9, Acts 15:11). Salvation is the gift of God (Rom. 6:23) which is received through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His work on our behalf; a sinless life lived under the law, death on the cross and resurrection on the third day (John 1:12, 5:24, 3:16, 6:47, Acts 16:31). The moment a person believes in Christ as Savior, that person passes from death to eternal life and stands before God in the righteousness of Christ. The true believer is assured of God's acceptance and love forever because of Christ's work, and not because of the believer's efforts (1 John 3:14, Eph. 2:9-10, Rom. 5:1). Salvation is based on the finished work of Christ in bearing the penalty and guilt of our sin; Jesus Christ is the only Savior, and apart from Him there is no salvation (Acts 4:12). Those who do not receive God's free gift of eternal life will perish under the wrath of a holy God (John 3:16-18, 36, 8:24).
© June 2006 By D. Eric Williams
The Bible is clear in stating that God is the author of our salvation. We do not choose Him, but He chooses us. He has mercy on whomever He wills and withholds mercy from whomever he chooses (John 6:37, 44, 65, Rom. 5:8, 9:14-ff, 1 Jn. 4:19). At the same time, too much emphasis is often placed upon one side of the story. The fact is, we exercise free will even while God directs the process (Prv. 16:1, 9, 33, Phil. 2:12-13). Because this can be a divisive issue, one must be careful to present the whole council of God concerning these issues. We cannot neglect the truth of man's free will in the context of God's sovereignty simply because it is a difficult doctrine to understand and to accept.
The Bible clearly teaches that all the redeemed, once saved, are kept by God's power and are safe and secure in Christ forever (John 5:24, 6:37-40, 47, 10:27-30, Rom. 8:28-39, Eph. 1:13-14, 4:30, 1 Pet. 1:5, 1 Cor. 1:4-8, Heb. 13:5). Therefore, it is impossible for someone who is born again to loose their salvation (John 10:28). On the other hand, the person whose life is devoid of Christian character ought to make certain of their calling and election (2 Pet. 1:3-10) and should examine themselves to see whether they are in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5). The question therefore is not whether a saved person can be lost (which is impossible) but whether one who professes belief is truly saved (1 John 2:4, 6, 9).