By Russ Ramsey
Once saved, always saved. There, I said it.
Though some misguided souls have taken this sentiment as a license to sin without fear of repercussion, and though some have found it distasteful to presume upon the Lord for such long-suffering without us kicking in at least a little merit, I defy you to find one single verse in the Bible that says a person can sin their way out of God’s grip of grace.
Of course people can claim a faith that isn’t genuine, but if Jesus has redeemed a soul, not even the vilest demons of hell can reclaim it. In Christ, our place in God’s presence is secure. We cannot be separated from His love.
Look at how clearly Jesus says this in John 6:37–39. He says all that the Father gives to Him will come to Him, and He will never cast them out. He won’t lose anyone; He’ll raise them all up on the last day. As Paul wrote to the believers in Rome, “Whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14:8).
Chances are there’s at least some part of you that wants to object to the “once saved, always saved” idea. Maybe it’s the presumptive way that phrase can be used to cheapen grace. That’s fair. We mustn’t ever cheapen grace. But often the objection is in response to the extravagance of the claim. It’s too good. How could it possibly be true?
THAT question right there—How could it possibly be true that our place in God’s presence is secure?—is one of the best questions you could ever ask, because it is not a rhetorical question, but rather a question with an answer. And it’s a glorious answer.
Consider everything we’ve read in this four-week study. Consider God’s purpose in making us for His presence, and how we broke that relationship through sin. Think of the devastation of the fall of humanity, and all the brokenness that entered the world as a result. Think of our utter inability to reconcile ourselves to God. Think of the incarnation of Jesus—God come in the flesh for the purpose of living and dying in our place and defeating the power of death. Think of the war between good and evil waged on our behalf. Think of the way the angels sang in triumphant chorus at the birth of Jesus, and how they sing in Revelation that He alone is worthy of all blessing and honor and glory. Think of how we, the Church, are called His beloved Bride, which He adorns with splendor and makes radiant.
What could you possibly do to undo all of that?
There is nothing cheap about believing that our salvation is secure because it is not our performance that makes it so. The work of Christ makes it so. What cheapens grace is suggesting we have it in ourselves to overrule the gracious purposes of God and thwart the resurrection power of Jesus through our conduct.
The good news of the gospel is that you were made for an intimate relationship with your Creator, and because of the finished work of Christ on behalf of all who believe, you will have that relationship for all eternity. To Him be the glory.
Written by Russ Ramsey