Love in the Word Church

Ephesians 2

This is the main reference that members use to prove that once you have been saved you are always saved. They conclude therefore that one cannot lose salvation once they have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord. I understand the logic, but the conclusion is faulty. It is very wrong to take a few verses out of context and build a house upon it. Harmonizing the scriptures as 1 whole is essential for biblical hermeneutics. No one who is Christian disagrees that “justification “ comes by faith in Christ, not by works. This is indeed what this passage in Ephesians 2 to which Paul is alluding. But Paul uses the Greek word for saved. Confusing yes, but having a systematic theology helps us harmonize what we know about God. There are 2 concepts of salvation. They both deal with being spared or saved from something, but they are NOT the same. The verb tense is our key. One salvation is stated in the past - have been saved. This salvation means being saved from our own fallen state or being brought into a right relationship with God. A much better word than “saved” in this case would be “justified”. Clearly there is nothing that we can do to earn this. This must be obtained by faith. The Law proved that it was impossible to be justified by keeping the Law. Only Jesus was able to do this. Notice that there is nothing futuristic spoken of here. This is your clue. The other salvation is futuristic for all humankind. This salvation means to be saved from eternal damnation - to be out of the presence of God. The writer will signal this salvation by the future tense - shall be saved. This salvation is referred to as glorification because for the corruptible to put on the incorruptible, one is glorified to be like Christ with an eternal body to live with Jesus as joint heirs (sonship as it is often referred to for both men and women). Romans 10:9 is a great example of this. In fact salvation in the Book of Romans is always future tense. The first salvation brings one into the access of grace so that our faithful “work” will bring us into the eternal presence of God in the final judgement day fueled and made possible by our access to grace. This process is called sanctification. So, justification is a GIFT upon faith in Jesus Christ. Sanctification is a mingling of faithful works AND grace. Glorification is the prize WON upon completion of the other 2 (overcoming). This is why Paul says that if he boasts, he boasts in Christ because it is by faith in Jesus that we SHALL BE saved. This understanding resolves all of the seemingly contradictions and therefore opens truth that one can lose salvation after having been saved (justified). This brings verses like Matt 12:30-32 and Matt 25 into focus and supports Rev 1-3. Praise him!