“God will keep you strong to the end so that you will be free from all blame on the day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns. God will do this, for he is faithful to do what he says, and he has invited you into partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (I Corinthians 1:8,9)
Do you believe in eternal security? The eternal security of the believer has been hotly debated for hundreds of years by theologians much smarter than me, so it’s not likely that I’ll resolve the issue for you.
Perhaps you’ve already taken a position on this yourself—most Christians have. Maybe you’re of the camp that believes you cannot lose your salvation—once you’re saved you’re always saved. Or it could be you’ve joined doctrinal sides with those who’ve found Biblical support that it is indeed possible to “backslide” and fall away from God.
I grew up in a theological tradition that supported the latter. I like to say we believed in backsliding—and practiced it regularly. But all kidding aside, the older I get and the longer I’ve been a Christian, honestly, I’m not sure where I stand on this issue anymore. Frankly, there are compelling arguments for both sides. I sometimes wonder if there is a third alternative that will be revealed to us when we get to heaven. Wouldn’t that be great!
But one thing I do believe, and that is, if it is possible to lose your salvation—and I say “if” it is possible—then it must be exceedingly difficult to walk away from your relationship with God and into a life of sin for the very simple fact of the truth revealed in these verses—I Corinthians 1:8-9. You see, you are not in this all by yourself; your salvation is not up to you alone. In fact very little of it is up to you. That’s not to say that you don’t have a part to play—you do. In verse 9, Paul says it is a partnership that you have been called into with Jesus Christ at the moment of your salvation. You have to believe, obey, love and serve God.
But even then, God is helping you to do that. According to verse 8, God is giving you the strength, and he will supply the means to fulfill your end of the partnership until the day Jesus returns and finds you blameless. Isn’t that great news? You are not alone in your spiritual journey; someone greater than you is at your side helping you each step of the way.
And he is committed to finishing what he started in you. Paul says it this way in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Now here’s the deal: when God starts a good work, he always finishes it. He doesn’t have a workshop full of half finished projects. He completes them all—each and every one of them. And since you are one of his good works, you can have that same kind of confidence Paul talked about when he said that God will take you from the starting line to the finish line of your salvation marathon.
The book of Jude says the same thing, “Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and present you before his throne without fault and with great joy…” (Jude 24) God is able. You may feel weak and incapable in your spiritual walk at times; you may worry if there might be a time in the future where you would walk away from God. But let me say it again:
You are not alone. Your salvation is not all up to you. God is able to keep you from falling. God is able to take you from start to finish and present you in the winner’s circle without fault (Jude 24), complete (Philippians 1:6) and blameless (I Corinthians 1:8).
So if you can lose your salvation—if—then it must be the most difficult thing in all creation, since you will have to overcome God’s saving, sustaining, completing grace to do it.
No—you are not alone in your salvation. You now belong to the Great Finisher!
I hope that makes your day better!