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How Secure is Your Salvation?
(Part 1)

Perhaps no other issue creates heated disagreement like a discussion of security of salvation. In other words, once a person is transformed by the work of Jesus on the cross, is there anything that can occur to undo this transformation?

In religious wording, once you are saved by the grace of God, can you lose that salvation through poor performance?

While there are a number of things to consider in what follows, I view the matter of security of salvation from two major points:

1) Salvation is a matter of God’s determination to hang onto you, not vice versa. This sounds trite, but the reason people stay up at night worrying over their standing with God is doubt over whether they are hanging on tightly enough to God. Never mind the fact that none of us are strong enough or ingenious enough to get to God. This is why He came for to get us rather than vice versa.

2) The reason we need salvation to begin with is because our spiritual identity is rooted in the lineage and heritage of Adam, the first man, who rebelled against God and sought independence as a god (ref. Rm. 5:11 ff). Certainly we need forgiveness of our sins, but far more problematic is the fact of our identity in Adam. Thus, Jesus’ statements to Nicodemus (Jn. 3) about salvation being a rebirth from above (lit., being "born again").

Once Jesus introduces the subject of rebirth, the motif is continued throughout Scripture with verses that talk about our home being heaven, our lineage being traced from Christ, God being our Father, Christ our brother, being a member of the family of God, etc. In other words, when you get saved and become a follower of Jesus you are transferred from Adam into the spiritual lineage of Christ, the Last Adam, and are transformed into a new person (2 Cor. 5:20).

You become a Believer by being removed from the lineage of Adam through identification-from God’s vantage point-with the death of Christ on the cross. The old, rebellious person, rooted in the heritage of Adam, is buried with Christ (ref. Romans 6:4 ff) and is no more. Then, through the grace of God and your identification in Jesus Christ, you are resurrected a completely new person and are placed into the lineage of Christ (ref. Gal. 2:20, et al).

Therefore, in order to lose what God did to you in Christ, i.e. your salvation, you would have to be taken out of the lineage of Christ and placed back into the heritage of Adam. In order to get saved again, you would have to be crucified again in Christ, which means Christ would have to be crucified again, and that can’t occur (ref. Rm. 6:9 ff and Heb. 10).

The Scripture teaches that only God has the ability to breathe life into a person (Jn. 14:6, et al). Satan does not have the ability to get you back into Adam, and neither do you for that matter. Now that you are a child of God through the actions of Christ’s work at Calvary and your confidence (i.e. faith) in Him and His work, you can no more cease to be saved-lose your salvation-than I can cease to be a "Gillham."

So what of poor performance? Or, what affect does it have on my standing with God when I sin?

Carrying the family identity illustration forward: I can act contrary to the Gillham family, but I am a Gillham right down to my DNA, and you are a child of God right down to your spiritual DNA.

You cannot get born again backwards. Satan does not have the power of life. Christ said He was the only way and the only life. You can sin and behave poorly, but you can’t change who God says you are: His child.

Preston Gillham

About the Author

As a co-founder, Preston Gillham led Lifetime for 30 years. Preston is a writer, speaker, and leadership guide. He has authored numerous articles and several books including No Mercy and Battle for the Round Tower. He blogs on “Life and Leadership”. More about Preston, his writings, speaking, and his consulting practice can be located at PrestonGillham.com.