In His Hands

By Ron Graham


“In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.” Ephesians 1:13-14. I’ve heard it said numerous times “Maybe we can’t lose our salvation, but we can certainly walk away from it.” This statement is in every respect erroneous. What is being espoused with the above erroneous statement by the uninformed or biblically illiterate is that when we get right down to it our salvation can be lost if we so choose to walk away from God. But the truth of the matter is, every time we sin we walk away from God.

Jesus tells us that all we need to do is ask and it will be given to us. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8. Nowhere in the scriptures does God tell us that He’ll remove our salvation for some yet future sin. Since Jesus died once for all sin, then logic tells us that God views what we would consider future sins as part of the past.

Thoughts of that day when the world nailed the Creator of the universe to the cross become abundantly clear as we study the scriptures. Our minds become immediately focused on an event so incredible that it actually changed the world. Many, when reading about Christ’s sacrifice, see it as a tragedy, but it was nothing of the sort. Jesus’ death on the cross was an achievement, an achievement that was planned before the laying of the first foundation stone of this earth. And its place in history was also preordained. Nothing can be done to change what was put into motion on that fateful day – the full and complete payment for the salvation of mankind. What had been broken by the first Adam was now repaired by the Last Adam. After all that God did, the lengths He went through to reconcile mankind to Himself through the shed blood of His only begotten Son, do we honestly believe that He would invalidate His freely given gift of salvation to those who continue to stumble now and then as they wrestle with their sin nature? The free gift He gave was not dependent on anyone’s actions only on belief in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus His Son. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 3:36.

It would be foolish thinking indeed, and it would also be dangerous, to believe God would not be completely truthful in this respect. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” John 10:27-30. No man can pluck them out of God’s hands. The reference to “no man” means that not even one who is born again can at some future point in time reject the fact that he/she is now justified in God’s eyes and turn away from Him. They might move themselves out of fellowship with God by turning away but they would never lose their justification (salvation).

Even though God paid the price in full with His very own blood to redeem mankind so that all might be reconciled to Him many who believe and are saved also believe there’s more for us to do than just believe. Many Christians believe it’s their responsibility to keep themselves saved through their good works. “Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” John 6:28, 29. How many times does Jesus need to repeat Himself before we finally get it? Believe and thou shalt be saved. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9.

Many of the brethren, as they profess a faith in Jesus Christ for salvation, feel the necessity to take away from the sufficiency of the cross by limiting what Jesus accomplished once and for all. Essentially, what they are saying is that every time they sin they must put Jesus back on the cross so He can die again and they can be forgiven again – and again – and again. This is not right. Jesus doesn’t need to get back on that cross ever again. God’s shed blood was the sufficient propitiation or payment if you will, to save every human being throughout history. “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14. Once we are sanctified/justified it’s forever. Alas, many deny this truth and they will wander around in the most defeated of attitudes, never realizing the joy they would have been privy to had they only studied their Bibles and believed and trusted in God’s Word.

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19. A born again believer in Christ is no longer his or her own since Jesus bought us through His unselfish sacrifice of dying on that cross. If we believe that Jesus will lose or turn loose of those who belong to Him then we must believe that He puts little value on what He’s purchased with His priceless blood. “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.” 2 Corinthians 1:21-22. It’s not hard to accept the truth, but as the professors of lies continue in their presentation of misinformation, the truth can become hazy, glossed over, substituted. It’s a fact that people love to parrot other people, especially those who seem to have more biblical knowledge than they do. Lies have become an ever widening phenomenon in and amongst believers all because we’ve allowed Satan to have his say in the matter.

Now let’s take a look at a few verses that get a lot of attention as being the proof that we can walk away or even lose our salvation. “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” Hebrews 6:4-6. These verses are continually misrepresented because of misinterpretation by those who wish to prove their point about losing salvation. In all actuality they are proof positive that a born again believer in Christ can never lose their salvation. Let me explain.

The correct interpretation simply surrounds the word “If” in verse 6. The writer of Hebrews (who I believe is Paul but that’s for another commentary) has set up a hypothetical hypothesis. “If they (born again believers in Christ) shall fall away . . .” The point Paul is making is that it would be impossible to renew salvation IF a Christian could fall away. That’s because Christ died once for sin – once, that’s it. “So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many…” Hebrews 9:28a, and if His sacrifice is insufficient, then there’s no hope at all. The argument is based on a false premise (that the born again can fall away) and following it to its senseless conclusion (that Jesus would have to be sacrificed again and again) we find the whole idea absurd.

The Apostle Paul makes the point well, that those of us who are born again can never lose what we’ve received freely, nor should we even contemplate a scenario of even the possibility of walking away from our completely secure, in God’s hands, salvation. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 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 8:35-39. Go ahead, tear those verses apart if you must, but the truth is there for all to read. Nothing can separate us from God once we are in Christ.

Many who hold to the misguided belief that somehow we can lose our salvation, or that at the very least believe we can walk away from what God has done in our life through His only begotten Son, are mixing two distinctive characteristics. No, we can’t lose salvation which was once and for all imparted to all those who’ve placed their faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Yes, we can move ourselves away from God’s fellowship. Being out of fellowship doesn’t mean we’ve lost what God covered us with, which is the blood of His only begotten Son, but that we’ve lost out on the incredible blessings that flow from our walk with the Lord – the peace and the joy that is inherent in our relationship with God our Savior.

When we sin we move away from God and that position is not at all a desirable position to be in. But the fact of the matter is this, it happens to all of us from time to time. When it does we must recognize it for what it is and return to God posthaste. How do we do that? Simple. The Apostle John, speaking to born again believers in Christ, delivers to each of us our own personal bar of soap “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9. That cleansing which only the Lord can provide moves us back into a right relationship with Him. If we don’t confess our sins are we lost once again, such as those who reject Christ altogether? No, absolutely not. We will feel defeated after awhile, we might feel down trodden, and we might even feel like giving up. Our fellowship with God will suffer as long as we make no effort to right ourselves with Him.

We didn’t receive salvation for anything we did – we can’t lose our salvation for anything we do. We believe – we’re born again – we’re justified, end of story? No. Then begins the process called sanctification. But that’s a subject for another commentary.

God bless you all, 

Ron Graham