You might be surprised at the number of times I have been asked if I believe that you can lose your salvation. Even though we are saved by grace through faith, many Christians seem to be bound and determined that they can save themselves. Well, they don’t put it that way and they don’t even intentionally claim that they can really do it. However, their reluctance to accept salvation as a gift from God inevitably leads them down the path of attempting to establish their own righteousness through their works.
Now, some of you are probably wondering if I am suggesting that you can live like the devil now that you have been saved by grace. Actually, to some degree, you can, but there are consequences. I’m sure you have heard that you reap what you sow. That’s still true. You do not attain or lose your salvation based on your works, but your quality of life now and in eternity are both affected by your behavior. If you have confessed Jesus as Lord, and you believe that God raised him from the dead, the scripture states that you are saved. That’s it! It’s final! It also says that since God has recreated you spiritually, your nature has been changed. You are righteous. Yes, that’s what I said, righteous. You are holy. Your holiness is not determined by your behavior. If this were not true, it would be impossible for you to behave in a holy manner. You see, we often get things backwards. Instead of trying to obtain holiness by doing the right things, we need to realize that we have been made holy, therefore, we should change our behavior accordingly. If we have truly accepted Jesus as the Lord of our lives, we must do our best to live like him.
We are able to live holy lives because we have a new nature. Yet, since we are still human, we do not always live up to that new standard, even when we really try to do so. God understands our situation. He does not continually remind us of our failings. If you are constantly being beaten down because you sometimes fall short, remember that the devil is your personal accuser! He’s the one who loves to remind you of your past sins. The holy spirit can, and does, bring your sins to mind when you need to make some lifestyle changes, and perhaps for other reasons, but be careful not to fall into the trap of letting the devil smack you in the face with past sins which God has already forgiven.
God and Jesus Christ have given everything for us! We should be thankful and focus on loving one another rather than on hating ourselves.