“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Romans 6.1-2 ESV)
I have a great friend who does not believe in what is commonly known as “Perseverance of the Saints” or Eternal Security.” He is a wonderful Christian and the pastor of a vibrant and evangelistic church in Pennsylvania. He and I have discussed Eternal Security (what most Southern Baptist refer to the teaching that once a person is saved, they are saved eternally and cannot lose their salvation). My friend’s greatest issue with the idea of Eternal Security is his experience with people who have claimed to be Christian believing they cannot lose their salvation, but at the same time they are “living like the devil.” I have assured him that the teaching any committed Southern Baptist embraces does not allow for such a hedonistic twisting of Scripture.
In these two verses, Paul counters any such arguments. Paul, unmistakably, teaches that once a soul is saved he is secure in that salvation. However, he leaves no place for the thought that once someone is saved he or she can go on sinning. What my friend misses is the internal work of the Holy Spirit on a believer. The work that may allow a believer to go through the pain of backsliding but will never allow a believer to fall away. In fact, the Bible not only shows us the Holy Spirit is working on us from the point of salvation, but, also, it is Jesus’ job to keep us from falling. (Jude 1.1, 24) And, my friends, JESUS NEVER FAILS.
Today we can praise the Lord Jesus for His saving work for our lives, His sanctifying Spirit in our lives and His marvelous plan for our lives. (Granted, the plan may sometimes not seem so marvelous from this perspective, but from Heaven it is always clearly an awesome plan.)