Hi friends! I received this question today and wanted to spend some time to give an answer. On Salvation and Overcoming Sin.
The question that has been bothering me for a while is whether or not people can loose their salvation? If not, then who does 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (and other verses like that) refer to? What does it mean that Jesus gives us the power to overcome sin (since I know that we all keep sinning)?
(1) Some hold that you can lose your salvation if you are not faithful.
(2) Some hold that you cannot lose your salvation, but that you can choose to no longer follow Christ.
(3) Some hold that once you are saved you are always saved.
I am in the third camp, personally. I believe that once you have been saved, God will not allow you to be unsaved! See John 6:39 – “I shall not lose one that the Father has given me, but shall raise them up at the last day.” Also, John 10:28 – “I give them eternal life…No one can snatch them out of my hand.” The emphasis is that Jesus does the saving, that salvation is a gift, and that giving the gift, he will not take the gift back. That is my view based on what I see in the Bible.
The most important verse in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 is verse 11, which says: “Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
Paul is describing what life WAS like without Jesus. Fornication, idolatry, adultery, homosexuality, thievery, etc. These are some of the sins and lifestyles that carry with them consequences of separation from God, death, and eternity in Hell. (There are many more, lest we think that these are the only ones). Romans 6:23, the “wages of sin is death.” Apart from Jesus, these things keep you from inheriting the Kingdom of God. But, Paul says, such WERE some of you. You were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and in the Spirit of our God. In other words, Jesus has done the saving and has kept you from the penalty of the sin. In the next post, I’ll respond more about the power of sin. Because, God saves us also from the power of sin. When we talk about going on sinning and overcoming sin, we need to be saved from the power of sin. And so, we turn to the Spirit. Stay tuned.