“None of the Father’s chosen ones will ever be lost.” writes Lawson, “None for whom the Son died will ever perish. None who are regenerated by the Spirit will ever fall from grace. All the recipients of the saving grace of God will be ushered into glory, forever protected and preserved”(Lawson 2006: 35)
You may have heard a popular slogan; “once saved, always saved”. I believe this saying is true, when its correctly understood. If we understand as Martyn Lloyd-Jones puts its, viz., “God does not merely initiate the[saving] work and then leave it, he continues with it; he leads us on, directing and manipulating our circumstances, restraining us at one time and urging us on at another. Paul’s whole conception of the Church is that it is a place where God is working in the hearts of men and women”(Lloyd-Jones 1989: 38), then we can correctly begin to unveil the truthfulness of this slogan, which assures a Christian that once she was saved, she will remain saved to the end.
Peterson and Williams expound, “Christians are assured that God will work all for their good because he has accomplished the greatest good for them—he planned and brought about their salvation from beginning to end.”(Peterson & Williams 2004: 54)
Manser defines the nature of assurance as “[t]he God-given security which believers have in the blessings of divine grace. Believers are assured of the unfailing love of God and of their relationship with him as Father, the salvation and eternal life which he offers and the sure hope of one day sharing his glory.”(Manser 1999: n.p)
God’s assurance of redemption, justification, adoption and eternal life is trace in Genesis 3:15 protevangelium. Schreiner expounded that; “the initial promise is […] fleshed out in Yahweh’s covenants with Abraham, Israel at Sinai, David, and the new covenant.”(Schreiner 2005: 71) He contended that Christians ought to “grasp the thread of the story line that informs Yahweh’s covenant with Israel” which demonstrate what God spoken, He truly brings it to pass. He always accomplishes His purpose will and good pleasure. (Isa. 60:10-11; Acts 3:19–26; Gal. 3:6–9).
Beeke wonderful captures the assurances of faith:
[It] is the believer’s conviction that, by God’s grace, he belongs to Christ, has received full pardon for all sins, and will inherit eternal life. Someone who has true assurance not only believes in Christ for salvation but also knows that he believes and is graciously loved by God. Such assurance includes freedom from guilt, joy in God, and a sense of belonging to the family of God.(Beeke 2008: 119)
Assurance is rooted in awe-inspiring sovereign love of God that draws those whom God the Father called according to his purpose and established them in His Son, Christ Jesus and place His seal on them through pouring of His Holy Spirit in their hearts as a guarantee (2 Co. 1:22) of their inheritance (Eph. 1:14).
Believers are assured that none whom the Father draws to His Son would be lost (John. 6:39). Their sovereign God will guard (1 Pet. 1:5), and keep (1 The. 4:23-24) them strong to the end (1 Cor. 1:8 Jude 24-25). For it is Him who establishes them in Christ and makes sure that believers will fight the good fight and preserver to take hold of eternal life that they were called (1 Tim. 6:12).
Christians can work out their salvation with fear and trembling(Phil 2:12) diligently making their calling and election sure( 2Pet 1:10) “for it is God who works in [them], both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”(Phil 2:13 ESV). Barnes noted in his notes 2 Peter 1:10:
the fact that God has chosen those who shall be saved, does not make our own efforts unnecessary to make that salvation sure to us. It can be made sure to our own minds only by our own exertions; by obtaining evidence that we are in fact the children of God. There can be no evidence that salvation will be ours, unless there is a holy life; that is, unless there is true religion. Whatever may be the secret purpose of God in regard to us, the only evidence that we have that we shall be saved is to be found in the fact that we are sincere Christians, and are honestly endeavoring to do his will.
Assurance is true if and only if it is God who brings to completion the good work that He Himself began in the believers (Phi. 1:6). If it is God alone that saves sinners by His grace and for His glory from beginning to the end then when one is once saved, she is always saved indeed.
Question: Do you agree, that once a person is truly saved, she is always saved? Give reasons
Lawson, S. J. (2006). Vol. 1: Foundations of Grace (1400 BC–AD 100). A Long Line of Godly Men . Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing.
Lloyd-Jones, D. Martyn(1986) The Life of Joy. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Books
Manser, M. H. (1999). Dictionary of Bible Themes: The Accessible and Comprehensive Tool for Topical Studies. London: Martin Manser.
Schreiner, Thomas R.: “Assurance” in Vanhoozer, K. J., Bartholomew, C. G., Treier, D. J., & Wright, N. T. (2005). Dictionary for theological interpretation of the Bible. London; Grand Rapids, MI.: SPCK; Baker Academic.
Beeke, J. R. (2008). Living for God’s Glory: An Introduction to Calvinism. Lake Mary, FL: Reformation Trust Publishing.
Peterson, Robert A. and Williams, Michael D. (2004) Why I Am Not An Arminian (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity)