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QUESTION: Can a Christian sin and lose their salvation?

 

 

ANSWER:  First of all let me say that even a man or woman who does not claim to be religious knows that someone who claims to be born again or a Christian, and is still living in sin (i.e. shacked up, taking God’s name in vain, not attending church, etc.), has a problem and is not “practicing what they preach.”  They were called Christians meaning “Christ-like” first in Antioch because their lives imitated the life of Christ (Acts 11:26)!

 

Secondly, when a person is saved by the power of God they are given a new life (hence the term “born again” cf. John 3:3).  This new life is the Spirit of God that dwells in a believer and it cannot sin (1 John 3:9).  The old nature however is still being dealt with and it sins naturally (James 1:23).  Allowing the new nature (God’s) to get control over the old nature (ours) is the process of sanctification.  That’s what Paul is refering to in Romans 7:14-25 (cf. also Romans 8:13; Colossians 3:5; and John 17:17).

 

“Doing things” or “not doing things” in order to get to Heaven are works. These personal efforts or works cannot save anyone (Galatians 2:16; Titus 3:5; Philippians 3:9; James 2:23-26; Acts 13:39; 3:11-14, 25; Ephesians 2:8-9).  The moment we are saved it is all of grace -

 

While it is true that faith without works is dead (James 2:26), it is equally true that works without faith are futile (Mark 16:16; Acts 8:37).  So what is man to do?  Faith and works are inseparable.  They are two sides of the same coin.  And the coin is a gift from God.  Man’s faith comes from God (Galatians 2:16, King James Version, notice the word “of”) and righteous works come from God (John 6:29; Ephesians 3:7).

 

When we are commanded to keep His commandments (1 John 5:2), keep ourselves from idols (1 John 5:21), keep ourselves unspotted from the world (James 1:27), et. al., we are to do so the same way we got saved to begin with: by faith! “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:3).

 

“Keeping yourself” means to end the race with the same rules that you started with.  You started by faith, so KEEP BELIEVING that GOD WILL KEEP YOU.  Consider the following verses: “But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.” (2 Thess 3:3); “For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.” (2 Tim 1:12); “That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.” (2 Tim 1:14); “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” (Jude 1:24); and “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.” (1 Peter 1:5).

 

What kind of faith do you have? God says, "…According to your faith be it unto you." (Matt 9:29) Does your faith agree with God when it comes to "eternal salvation?" (Hebrews 5:9) "Eternal redemption?" (Hebrews 9:12), "Everlasting life?" (John 3:16) And "eternal life?" (Matthew 25:46). According to your faith be it unto you. "And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." (Ephesians 4:30) Christians are "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation…" (1 Peter 1:5)

 

A Christian is going to sin. (1 John 1:8, 10) Does this mean we can live like we please? No! Reread the first paragraph and the following passage by Paul who clearly states the early church was similarly misunderstood on this same subject: Romans 5:20 – 6:2.