Q. I love your site and have found it very helpful, however I have a question. I am a born again Christian and I believe in OSAS, but lately I’ve been having a very difficult time accepting it for me. I understand that Jesus died for all of our sins, and all those who believe in him will be saved and that salvation can come only through faith. But at the same time I often feel as if my own personal sins will somehow leave me exempt from that. No matter how much evidence I read I just can’t seem to accept the fact that I am saved, and still feel as though I need to earn it and that if I commit sins I will somehow forfeit my salvation.
A. I’ve answered so many questions on OSAS that I normally just refer people to my other answers. But your question is different because you’re not questioning OSAS in general, just whether it can apply to you. I know there are others who feel the way you do. They can accept the idea of eternal security in the general sense but have trouble applying it personally. Usually this is due to the mistaken impression that they are not as worthy as other people.
But the truth is that none of us is worthy (Romans 3:10) and therefore our salvation is not based on our worthiness. It’s based on the Lord’s faithfulness. He promised to die for our sins so we could live with Him, and then He did what He promised to do. Believing that is all that’s necessary for us (John 3:16, John 6:28-29). When we believe He marks us with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance (Ephesians 1:13-14, 2 Cor. 1:21-22).
In these two references, Paul explained that it’s a cause and effect relationship. The cause is our belief that Jesus died for our sins, and the effect is His guarantee of our inheritance, which is eternal life. Ephesians 1:13-14 say this relationship takes effect when we hear the gospel and believe it. In other words, when we’re first saved.
2 Cor. 1:21-22 adds that it is God who makes us stand firm in Christ (not us). He anointed us, set His mark of ownership on us and put His Spirit in our hearts. This is His guarantee of what is to come. These are the clearest statements of our security in the Lord anywhere in Scripture. Together they tell us that OSAS is like gravity in that it applies to all of us whether we believe in it or not. This is why Jesus could promise that no one can take us out of His Hands (John 10:27-30).