By Leonard Lauriault
About a month ago, our grandson came in holding his back saying, “I fell out of a tree and I don’t feel good. I’m going to lie down. I never thought that would happen to me.” Emergency room staff found that he’d cracked a rib and nicked a small hole in his lung. He’s a fast healer and he’s back in the trees. Several times since then, though, he’s restated that he never thought he could fall out of a tree.
It’s common mindset among some believers to think they cannot fall from their secure position of salvation (John 10:27-30). The promise is that the saved can’t be snatched out of God’s hand if they’re listening to Jesus’ voice and following him (1 John 2:3-6; 5:18-19; Jude 1:17-25). God will actually keep us from falling if we remain obedient to him. This doesn’t apply to anyone who isn’t following Jesus, though; they’ve either jumped out of God’s hand or they’ve never been there to begin with having never been taught the whole will of God (Matthew 7:15-27; 1 John 2:15-17).
The New Testament points out clearly the possibility of falling from God’s grace and losing salvation as well as the results of teaching that doesn’t adhere to Jesus’ instruction through his inspired writers, which prevents salvation (2 Peter 2: 20-22; 1-2; 3:17-18; Galatians 1:6-9; 3:1-4; 5:1-5). We’re even warned about pride when it comes to our salvation (Proverbs 11:2; 16:18; Romans 10:1-3; 1 Corinthians 10:1-12). It’s easy to fall away when we don’t remain grounded in the truth (Mark 4:13-17; 2 Peter 1:3-11; John 17:17). Nonetheless, anyone can recover from falling if they follow through on God’s instructions for recovery without giving up, but some who were clearly saved at one time won’t recover (Romans 11:11; 1 John 1:5-9; Hebrews 6:4-12).
We can have confidence (positive pride) in our salvation, though, if we maintain the hope we had when we became a Christian because we continue to humbly rely on God’s grace through obedience (Hebrews 5:7-10; Philippians 2:5-11; Galatians 6:3-4; 2 Corinthians 13:5; 10:17-18; 1 John 5:13). Scriptural obedience is a simple matter: If the New Testament gives an instruction to do something or prohibition against something, you follow that out of faith realizing that if you don’t understand the reasoning behind the command, God will make it clear to you later through personal Bible study (Philippians 2:12-16; 3:15-16; 2 Timothy 2:15).
Upon initial obedience the Holy Spirit indwells us as a guarantee of our salvation (John 14:15-21; Acts 5:29-32; 2:36-39; Romans 8:9-11; Ephesians 1:13-14). Sustained obedience is possible only for those continuing to be Spirit-led (Romans 8:12-17; John 15:1-14).
So, do you love Jesus enough to let him be both the author and finisher of your faith by obeying his commands? Are you sure that you cannot fall from your secure position? Your only certainty in that comes from studying God’s word, particularly the New Testament, for yourself to make sure you’re doing ALL of his will (Luke 6:46-49).
Leonard Lauriault is a member of the Church of Christ in Logan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org