Can We Lose Our Salvation By Grace?

In order for us to lose something we must have the responsibility for keeping it secure. Otherwise, we did not lose it, someone else did. We must be very careful as we study the Scripture to sort the mail according to whom it was written. We must not read into a verse what is not there, and must interpret a verse in its proper context. This is what makes dispensational Bible study so helpful to our understanding God’s will and purpose.

In regards to our salvation in the dispensation of grace, we can clearly see that we receive through Paul the message of ‘salvation by grace’. Romans is a wonderful book to illuminate our understanding of salvation by grace in this age.

We learn in Romans 1-3 that men are desperately wicked. In fact, Paul calls them reprobate, sinners, wicked, evil, and deserving of anguish and God’s wrath. Every man, Jew and Gentile has broken God’s law of righteousness and is guilty before a just God who will judge our works in this life, whether they be good or evil.

It is through the use of appealing to man’s conscious and the law of God that Paul identifies every man unworthy and incapable of obtaining righteousness through their own efforts. He concludes in Romans 3:10 by saying, ‘There is none righteous, no not one. There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.’

Since God demands perfect righteousness for salvation and eternal life, we are all condemned to death and judgment in hell.

However, Paul is given a special revelation from God that explains that now we can receive righteousness and salvation apart from the law (Gal 1:11, 12). In fact, the purpose of the law was never to save anyone, but to show that they were guilty.

“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” – Romans 3:19

The law was to bring the ‘knowledge of sin’. But now the righteousness of God can only come through faith in Jesus Christ.

“Even the righteousness of God [which is] by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe:” – Romans 3:22

Today, we are justified ‘freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus’ (Romans 3:24).

Knowing how we obtained our salvation is crucial to understanding whether we can lose our salvation. Paul clearly teaches that our salvation is by faith in the righteousness of Jesus Christ who was made to be our substitution for death, sin, and judgment (2 Cor 5:21, Romans 3:25, Romans 3:23). Since he paid our fine, and we trust in Christ, God can fairly declare us righteous and give us salvation (Eph 1:13).

Trying to ‘keep’ our salvation

The reason that God sent Christ to die on the cross for our sins, was because we could not live lives worthy of obtaining righteousness ourselves. Why then would we think that once we are saved, we can now live lives worthy of God’s righteous judgment without Christ?

Paul speaks to the Galatians about this issue in Galatians 3:3 and 5:4. After having received the grace of God for salvation, the Galatians were now trying to go back under the law to live their lives for God. Paul says ‘Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.’

This seems to be a severe statement but is repeated in 1 Corinthians 1:17 to those who were debating over Paul’s baptism. Paul replied regarding these rituals,

“For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” – I Corinthians 1:17

Paul repeatedly teaches that it is not by our own works of righteousness that we are saved. If it were by our works then Christ died in vain! It follows that if we are not saved by works of righteousness then we can not lose our salvation because of a lack of them.

Because we are saved by God’s grace, the sole responsibility for producing the works meet for our salvation lies upon Christ and the efficacy of his death on the cross. Our faith alone would be of no effect for salvation only if God was not able to fulfill that which he promised (Romans 4:21). This of course is unbelief of the first degree!

The whole basis of our salvation is by faith in Christ’s full payment for sins (Ephesians 2:8, Romans 3:22)!

Therefore, if we are saved by grace and then determine that we can lose our justified status simply by not acting obediently or following after righteousness, then we are in essence rejecting the cross, ignoring what Christ came to do! We are also denying our present position in our crucified flesh combating its temptations daily.

As Paul told the Galatians, ‘Christ is become of no effect unto you’. You would have just as much success trying to save yourself without the cross as you would trying to stay saved without the grace of God operating on your behalf.

This discussion will most likely bring up many other questions that you should also find responded to on our question page.

The topic of what happens in salvation is an important topic shrouded with confusion by the powers of darkness of this world. If there are questions that are not answered cleary in this article or on our question page, please submit them through our online form.

Understanding what Christ did on the cross for you is the key to changing your life for eternity! Without the grace of God, every man would have no answer for God on judgment day, but would spend eternity in the lake of fire. Don’t rest until you know that you are saved by the grace of God and have eternity secured through the blood of Christ.

The question should not be ‘Can we lose our salvation by grace?’ Instead it should be, ‘Am I saved by my trust in God’s grace?’

“I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.”- Gal 2:21

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Published: Monday, September 21st, 2009
Last Modified: July 1, 2016