Can a Child of God Fall From Grace?
In our recent study of the grace of God, we learned from the Scriptures that man is saved by the grace of God when man is obedient to the will of God (Ephesians 2:8-10). We will now consider, once a man is saved by the grace of God, regardless of what he may or may not do, is he stilling going to be saved? In other words, does the Bible teach the doctrine of "Once saved always saved"? Let's search the Scriptures and see.
First, the Bible teaches that a child of God can sin once having been saved by the grace of God. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us" (I John 1:8-10).
To whom is the apostle John speaking? The context indicates that he's speaking to Christians, ones that have been saved by the grace of God. "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (I John 2:1-2).
Another example of a child of God (one that has been saved by the grace of God) sinning is Simon. Simon had obeyed the gospel of Jesus Christ for the remission of his sins (Acts 8:13). While witnessing the laying on of hands by the apostles Peter and John, Simon sinned by offering them money for this power (Acts 8:18-19). Peter then replied to Simon, "Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee" (Acts 8:20-22).
Second, the Word of God teaches that a child of God can fall from grace. Paul, writing to the churches of Galatia, that is, folks that have been saved by the grace of God, says, "Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace" (Galatians 5:4). How can one fall from that which he is not in? By the mere fact that Paul says that "ye are fallen from grace" means that they had previously been saved by grace of God.
The apostle Paul warns the Colossians (again those that have been saved by the grace of God) to remain faithful, lest they fall from God's saving power. "And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: if ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel" (Colossians 1:21-23, emp LS). More next time.