Answering Common Sense Questions – #5

This week I will be continuing to answer the questions posed by David Martin at the Solid Rock Baptist Church webite in his column “Common Sense Questions A Church of Christ Preacher Cannot Clearly Answer”.  The fifth question on Mr. Martins list is the following:

If as a Christian I can sin so as to “lose my salvation,” just what sin or sins will place me in such danger? Is it possible to know at what point one has committed such a sin, and become lost again? Please be specific and give clear Bible references.

Unlike the previous question which was of a similar nature (see Answers To Common Sense Questions – Part 4) this is indeed an important question that actually needs to be asked.  If salvation can be lost but we don’t know what can cause one to lose it then we could never be sure if we were saved. 

The Bible is clear that God wants us to know that we are saved (1 John 5:13, 2 Peter 1:10). Paul urged the Corinthian brethren to examine and test themselves to determine whether or not they were truly in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).  So there is no doubt that we can examine our lives and determine whether or not we are indeed saved.  So if salvation can be lost how can I know that I haven’t done something to lose it?

As noted in the previous blog there is no single sin that results in the immediate loss of salvation.  We are told that if we are walking in the light the blood of Christ continually removes our sins (1 John 1:7).  This tells us first that we will not live perfectly after salvation otherwise we would not need this promise. Second it tells us that while we are “walking in the light”, whatever that involves, that the sins we commit are continually removed by the blood of Christ.  Paul in a similar statement tells us that there is no condemnation of those that are “walking in the Spirit” (Romans 8:1).

So how do we tell if we are indeed walking in the light?  Well the Bible does give us the tools we need to make that determination though if we are intellectually honest I think that we would admit that we know.  Imagine if you had just driven home on a rainy day and you are walking along the sidewalk up to your house, stumble and end up stepping into a mud puddle.  If someone saw your muddy feet asked if you had been walking in the mud would you tell them that you didn’t know for sure?  I feel that we also know whether or not we have been walking in the light or after the Spirit.  However, we do still want to go to the Bible and see what God has given us regarding this.

Christ taught his disciples that the type of fruit produced in our lives is an indication of whether we belong to God or not (Matthew 7:16-20).  Paul said that if we are walking in the light we are going to be producing the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Ephesians 5:8-9).  In his writings to the Galatian brethren he taught more about walking in the Spirit and gave us great detail about what is a work of the flesh and what are the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-26).  When we examine our lives which list does the fruit fall in, the works of the flesh or fruits of the Spirit?

To summarize, we do not need to worry that if we slip up and commit a sin that we have lost our salvation. However, we should continually be developing the fruits of the Spirit and in so doing we make our salvation sure. Each of us is responsible for examining and testing ourselves to see that we are indeed doing these things (Ephesians 5:10).

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