Question – Can someone practicing sin lose their salvation?
There are Godly Christians on both sides of this debate, however, in order to come to a biblical conclusion, we first must start with the understanding that both sides cannot be true. We must also turn our attention away from men and onto to God and His Word. It might also be helpful to examine the differences between “practicing sin” as a nonbeliever and the born-again believer who returns to sinful habits. (Instead of tackling this last area in a separate section, we will attempt to address some of the differences throughout the article.)
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So can a born-again believer lose his salvation? We, at Once Lost Ministries, believe the biblical answer is no. The Bible teaches that those who are truly born again have permanently passed from death to life, never to be “unborn” from the kingdom of His dear Son. We are signed, sealed, and delivered by Jesus and Him alone. (John 3:3; Ephesians 1:13-14 and 2:5, Colossians 1:13). “Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sin.” Colossians 1:12-14.
God’s Word is clear that Jesus paid for all sin when He died upon that old, rugged cross. “It is finished!” Paid in full! (John 19:30). This is what Jesus declared. The Holy Spirit, through Paul, reminds us that there is neither condemnation nor separation for the born-again believer. (Romans 8).
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that hears My word, and believes on Him that sent Me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” John 5:24
“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:13
“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
“And such were some of you: but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” 1 Corinthians 6:11
Also, be sure to stay accountable by attending a local fellowship. This is becoming increasingly more difficult, however, the Bible is clear that we should never neglect the assembling together. It is easy to drift from the Lord if we separate ourselves from His body. “And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as you see the day approaching.” Hebrews 11:24-25.
Lastly, remember to fear God, not men. Psalm 118:8 says it perfectly, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” Again, in 2 Corinthians, the Holy Spirit, through Paul, reminds us, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” 2 Corinthians 7:1. The fear of the Lord is perfected in His love, however, let us never forget Who we are to follow. We will follow who we fear and this fear will lead to deeper love. But if it’s flesh we fear, then it’s flesh we will love. If it’s God we fear, then it’s God we will love and Jesus we will follow. The “fear of God” is another excellent word study.
May we remain diligent and obedient in Jesus, holding firmly to God’s faithfulness, not so we can keep our salvation, but so we can grow that much more in love with the only One who fully redeemed us by His blood!
“He has not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the Heaven is high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Psalm 103:10-12