The Church of Christ at Wisconsin Rapids

Is It Possible to Fall from Salvation?

The bible says that we are saved from our sins by the grace of God and not by our own works.

Ephesians 2:8-9:
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

See also: Romans 5:15 and Romans 11:6

Given the fact that we are saved by God’s grace and not our own merits, is it possible to fall from this salvation of grace? The bible says that it is.

First, it is possible to fall from grace by acting as if we are earning our own salvation. During New Testament times, people did this by believing that God would save them based on how well they kept the Old Law.

Galatians 5:4:
You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

We are saved by God’s grace, but not if we refuse His grace by acting as if we are worthy of salvation on our own merits.

Second, it is possible to fall from grace and lose our salvation if we are not trying to live faithfully to God. As imperfect humans, we will certainly make mistakes and sin from time to time. But there is a difference between being weak from time to time and willfully continuing in sin.

If we willfully continue in sin, then the sacrifice that Jesus made to pay for our sins will no longer apply to us.

Hebrews 10:26-27:
For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.

God’s grace, through the sacrifice of His Son, pays the price for our sins -- no matter how many they are. But this only applies to the faithful, those who are doing their sincere best to obey Him. Ephesians 2:8 says that we are saved by grace through faith.

We may not be able to look at a person and know whether or not he or she is faithful or just pretending. But God knows what is in our hearts.

Jeremiah 17:10:
I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings.

Third, there are just too many warnings in the bible that we would have to ignore to believe that we cannot lose our salvation.

2 Peter 2:20-21:
For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
Ezekiel 18:24:
But when a righteous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and does according to all the abominations that the wicked man does, shall he live? All the righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; because of the unfaithfulness of which he is guilty and the sin which he has committed, because of them he shall die.
Romans 11:19-21:
You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.

Finally, if we have stopped living faithfully to God, it is not too late to turn back to Him.

James 5:19-20
Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.
Revelation 2:5:
Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place -- unless you repent.