Essay originally published as a thread post on Servantstatus.com
The quick answer is, no, and that is simply because the Father is not a failure and is faithful to finish the Work that He started in us (Philippians 1:6) and we are His workmanship (Ephesians 2:10) — but if you want to know in more depth I go over more about this in the post below.
Once someone has been saved by God Himself, they are no longer IN sin but are IN Jesus who saved them and who overcame sin. So they can NOT sin out of a salvation that through the power of God, destroys sin in the first place…
This post is about my response to a tweet thread that I found that asks a very commonly asked question in the Body of Christ:
- Can you lose your salvation when you have been saved (by the Hand/Work of God)?
- Can you backslide or sin your way out of salvation?
- Can I do some deep dark sin that can make me become unsaved?
Where I believe that these types of questions may come from
After thinking on it I believe these types of questions may come from someone who may be very young in the faith and is currently being worked on by the Father on how to deeply understand that we are saved by faith in the Power and Work of God (which never fails) and not saved by our works (which will always fail).
A quick note to the reader:
I want to say this so that I am not talking over anyone’s heads. This response is geared more towards someone who has truly believed in the name of Jesus Christ and His gospel which is:
- Jesus Christ died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins
- Was buried in the tomb for three days
- BUT He did not remain dead in the tomb and He rose from the grave
- And He is now at the Right Hand of the Father in Heaven
This is the message, testimony, and the power of God that saves you when you believe in His Word, which is describing the Work of God. Nothing and I mean nothing else can save you or I. Believing in anything else that has especially been added to a person’s understanding through religious “works” and/or through the tradition of man is going to leave a person unsaved while trying to wrestle and overcome the flesh through their own works which is doomed to fail, resulting in backsliding out of a ‘salvation’ that was never made by the Work of God but made through an illusion orchestrated by the works and the traditions of man.
So what I just described would be the result of a faith WITHOUT works of God and sin would still be the master over someone’s life that has not believed in Jesus Christ who overcame sin at the cross.
So I wanted to make a note of this first before proceeding with my response:
- to practice sin is to be committed and devoted to the works of the devil.
- To fight against sin is not practicing sin. Fighting against it is a heart of repentance, the delights, and desires, to do the wheel in the work of God, which only comes by having faith in the work of God, which is Jesus Christ.
These two motives are very contrary to one another.
I think many times semantics, paired with a lot confusion, (and God is not the author of confusion) can lead a believer in Christ to being confused about the difference between fighting against their flesh (that they have died to upon coming into the faith) and someone that has not yet been saved by faith in Jesus who would be trying to fight against their flesh and ultimately end up losing that battle every time because it is only through Jesus Christ that anyone can overcome the flesh and not go on sinning. And since a child of God can not go on sinning; while they are saved by the Hand of God; it is impossible for a child of God to be able to sin out of their salvation because a child of God cannot go on sinning to be able to sin out of their salvation (1 John 3).
I know that may be a tongue twister but if you didn’t get that just go back and read it slowly.
If a person is still under the works of the devil then they will not be able to overcome his works because they would still be a slave of sin and their flesh. This is why every religion of the world that performs religious works of man continues sinning while giving off the “appearance” of godliness but denying the power of God that saves you from your sins which is His Son, Jesus Christ.
It is even worse when while this type of person continues sinning, if they think that they are overcoming the flesh through the appearance of godliness (again because to walk by the flesh is to walk and judge by “sight”) while believing and having faith in their works being greater than the Work and the power of God’s message of the gospel, then they are perishing in their sins while “believing” they are winning deeds and respect from God and they are not. This happens when a person has mistaken the praise of man (that uplifts and boasts of the word and the works of man) for the praise of God (that only glorifies His Word and Work and no one else’s as He glorified Jesus). To deny God’s Work while accepting and expecting for God to accept your works is the result of the sinful mentality called: The Pride of Life.
A person like this will only be able to perform and practice the works of the devil because they had not yet known the Work of God through faith in Jesus. This is why Jesus will say to those who “professed” to do works in His name but who had faith in their works: “Turn away from me you worker of sin (lawlessness/iniquity); I never knew you…(Matthew 7:23) A person is only a worker of sin when they have not had faith in the Work of God to work the works of God which is being a worker of righteousness (John 6:29).
A person that practices sin is of the devil (keyword is practice) and as Jesus says that a slave fulfills the desires of their master (the devil) then it is through devotion this type of person can not stop sinning — no matter how many religious works of man they may perform to cover up their sin — they can not and will not stop sinning due to their devotion to their master; again which is the devil. And the devil can not stop sinning, so the servant of the devil — who can not be above their master — will also not be able to stop sinning because as Jesus also says; the truth is not in him; and so the truth will not be in someone who practices sin and does not believe in Jesus.
This means that when Jesus Christ; who is the Truth; is in you and you are in Him; by your faith in Him and as He says; you do not continue on in sin. It does not matter if a person, whose master is Satan still; professes with their lips that they are a Christian or not, their fruit will still be coming from the devil and not from Jesus, because if their master is not Jesus Christ then they can not serve two masters regardless of what they call themselves and they will only be able to fulfill the works of the devil instead of the Work of God.
Since someone who is a slave of sin obeys their master and not Jesus then that person who is not saved yet is going to obey their flesh resulting in fulfilling the work of the devil, which is sin, so they are not going to be able to overcome the flesh as they are not yet a slave of Christ by faith. They are only able (through a false belief); obey what the devil says through the temptations of the lusts of the flesh. They are still going to be dead in their sins, fulfilling the scriptures that states that faith without works is dead.
When someone has been saved through faith in Jesus then the master of that person is no longer sin but is Jesus Christ. And this is why through faith, which is seen by obedience to Jesus, — as a slave of Christ can not serve another — the result of their faith is going to be the Work of God and the performance of the Works of God (John 6:29).
The term “backsliding” for someone that has faith and devotion to the works of the devil is just like saying that they are continuing to fall short of the glory of God because they have not YET had faith in Jesus Christ. They are not going to be able to fulfill the Work and the glory of God until they have had faith in the Work and the glory of God which is Jesus who again overcame the works of the devil at the cross.
You are only going to fulfill the work that you believe in…and the work that you believe in will be in you and you in the work — this is why Jesus says you will know them by their fruits…
I believe that tares teach this “tare”ibble teaching (the lie of backsliding out of your salvation) to the wheat…
I also think that this confusion may have come about because as it is written there are going to be tares among the wheat. So understanding this makes me wonder if someone who is a tare (which is someone that is not a sheep or a believer of God) would be someone who would teach among the wheat that you can sin out of your salvation/lose your salvation; while being someone who pretends that they are saved by pretending that they are Christian. This type of person would be just like Judas. Judas is an example of being a tare among the wheat/sheep who pretended to be a sheep and a disciple of Jesus but who was readily receptive to receive Satan (Jesus’s enemy) to betray and turn Jesus in to the authorities (John 13:30).
So because a tare is someone who is ignorant of who Jesus Christ is; while only pretending to follow Him; they may be trying to overcome sin but failing, (or I would rather say that they are trying to give off the appearance of overcoming sin or give off the appearance of godliness, while at the same time denying the power of God (Jesus)).
And it would be tares among the sheep/wheat that would be influencing the wheat to believe that they cannot stop sinning or say the lie that they can sin their way out of their salvation that was done by the Work of God. I say this because they (the tares) can not and do not desire to stop sinning as they do not desire to believe in Jesus but prefer faith in lies, which results in sinning. Since they desire lies they give off the appearance of following the truth, while denying the truth and while holding the truth in unrighteousness.
It would be the fake Christian, who does not have the Truth in them, that would be backsliding and constantly falling short of the glory of God while lying and saying that they are saved/sinning out of their salvation that they never had. This happens because they never knew or desired Jesus who could save them from sinning. The tares only know lies — not the Truth. Jesus Christ is the Truth.
This is also why it is written that anyone that leaves from among us (who are saved) did not belong in the first place (1 John 2:19). You only belong when you have been adopted by the Father in Heaven as a child of God. God’s adoption is final because He does not renege. Once the Father makes a decision He does not change His Mind (James 1:17, Hebrews 13:8, Numbers 23:19).
And as I said before, Jesus Christ destroyed the works of the devil and sin at the cross, so by believing in Him alone the same work is performed in believers that will and do overcome sin just as Jesus did. This is because while you are in Christ you become more like Him. Since your flesh is dead when you are Christ you are going to be IN the Spirit of Christ which is the Spirit of Truth. To be IN the Spirit of God results in worshipping Him IN spirit and IN truth by you being IN the Truth, which is Jesus Christ.
A believer of Jesus no longer fulfills the works of the devil but the Works of God alone — because as stated earlier, your master is now Jesus Christ when you believed in Him and you cannot serve two masters. So no believer can sin out of a salvation that they had no “hand” in (when it came/comes to the One who was doing the saving), especially since our flesh that delights in practicing and fulfilling the works of sin, is now dead in Christ. So with being a new creation in Christ you will also be dead to and away from the idea of being a practitioner of the works of the devil.
In Christ, you wouldn’t even be able to perform a multitude of sin that could “unsave yourself” because:
- Your flesh is dead…the flesh and anyone walking according to it is the only thing that can perform a multitude of sins against God. I could just stop there but…
- Where there is sin that increases, God’s grace increases evermore (Romans 5:20). This also means His power in you increases. His power is the only power that overcame the flesh to begin with through Christ at the Cross. The Father’s power is His Word; Jesus Christ. This isn’t an excuse to sin, but is the Father sharing His patience to uphold His children when they desire to stop sinning and need His strength to overcome sin while needing His grace (and not guilt) in the process of learning how to be more like Him. Grace is given in the process of sanctification for a believer, because the Father doesn’t condemn but saves. Grace is apart of salvation not an excuse to sin (which is “thought” up by someone that isn’t saved)
- A person’s desire to sin is not more powerful than the desire of the Father to save His child from sin and Jesus makes it clear that He doesn’t lose ANY of His sheep. But again a believer of Christ does not have a desire to sin in the first place. You can only fulfill sin continuously when your desire is for it. Remember; a slave of sin will be devoted to their master (sin). But this name and “profession” is no longer what a person is called who has been saved from sin and its devotion.
- Sin is performed of the flesh, while righteousness is performed of the spirit by the Spirit of God. The flesh is not more powerful than God. Jesus says that life comes from the Spirit but the flesh can do NOTHING. So it definitely isn’t going to work it’s way out of the Hand of God or guide someone out of the Father’s Hand…because again the flesh is dead and as Jesus said: “NO MAN can take His sheep out of His Right Hand”. No fruit of this type of “work” that comes from the flesh can be present because as Jesus says, “Without Me you can do NOTHING.”—There goes that word again… As stated earlier a person that isn’t saved, walks according to the flesh while being without Christ so they can’t do anything. They can’t overcome the flesh that delights in sinning. A person with the Spirit of God in them; again which is Jesus; produces fruit to overcome the flesh that again CAN’T do ANYTHING as the flesh is away from and at war with the Word of God, where all things come from.
- a person who has faith in Jesus has no desire to sin or sin out of their salvation to begin with. So backsliding out of your salvation is a thought that is nonexistent in reality, but only coexists with the lies of the devil that wants to make the work at the cross appear as null and void by his works — which are NOTHING but lies.
…and because of all of this plus more you no longer practice sin when you are in Christ to be able to sin/backslide out of Christ.
But anyway, I want to go ahead and talk more about my response to this reply about if someone “could” backslide out of their your salvation. There are some points that I cover in my response that I did not cover already. ￼
Here is the tweet thread to the response that I am replying to:
Another quick note to the reader:
The last response is what I am responding to. I censored the name because I really think he was asking for himself and in case he was I wanted to cover his name and twitter handle.
He said, “…They WANT to turn but struggle to do it” at the end of his response. Struggling is not failing in your walk with Christ. Struggling is apart of resisting sin because when you are accepting of sin then there is no struggle involved but rather acceptance. Struggling and resisting against sin is also a reminder that we are human learning how to become more like the Father who does not struggle with sin and has never sinned. Becoming holy as the Father is Holy is not going to be easy but is going to happen because in Christ we are IN the Word of God that is Holy. It’s going to be a struggle as we walk with Christ but we endure until the end because since Jesus is our Master, we remain devoted to fighting against the flesh to fulfill the law of Christ.
Struggles are to be expected and our Father expects them because He knows that without Him we can’t be successful or do ANYTHING. Success comes through someone who has their faith and strength rooted in the LORD as it is written that those who endure to the end are those who are saved.
A cold and hardened heart of someone that is not saved is not struggling to sin OR is not struggling against sin. Sin has become easier to do with no remorse for this type of person. This is because this type of heart that has not been made into a heart of flesh by faith in the Father, is a heart that delights in and accepts sin. That is not the heart of a believer in Jesus.
For someone to even have the desire to turn from sin is￼ someone that has been gifted with that desire from the Father, showing they have a heart of flesh and truly have believed in Him. Remember that it is written that a carnal mind can not please God (Romans 8:7-10). To turn or repent of sin is pleasing to God’s eyes — so a person, again that believes in Jesus, who desires to turn from sin, but is struggling in the process, is going through what all believers are going through which is apart of the process of maturation and the sanctification of the Father in us.
Remember we wrestle against our flesh while we are still on earth. The flesh is at war with the law of Christ. We don’t fulfill the flesh but we fulfill the Will of the Father through Christ. Sincerely we are still in our bodies (that does not want to please or fulfill God’s Will) then we are at war with our “members” just as Paul was (Romans 7:23).
The more that you resist the flesh, the less of a struggle it becomes to resist the flesh because at the same time while you are resisting the flesh you are practicing righteousness and focusing on the Father and what He has said through His Son in that: “It is finished” and that the battle has already been won. Also when we ( and of course I am talking about myself here) are fighting the flesh, then we are overcoming it and are not being overcome by it as we once were when we were not saved. This only happens because of our faith in Jesus who is our strength. Our Father gives strength to His people and we are His people who love and desire to fulfill His law and not the law or works of satan. This desire is all that is required by the Father who already says He will do a lot with a mustard seed of faith and that the righteous shall live by faith.
That faith is going to be seen by what or rather who you desire…
My response to Terry:
I believe in those moments when we are faced with something “new” like that, that it is our Father revealing what was present in us BEFORE we were saved and what He is working in us in the current season that we must listen to Him and follow what He says we must do to practice unlearning that said behavior.
Fighting the flesh is the literal act of practicing
righteousness and remember that it is written that those who practice righteousness are righteous just as Christ as righteous.
When we have the DESIRE to turn but struggle to do it it is because we are newly fighting something we once practiced freely (before we were saved) and it has become a habit that needs to be unlearned; but at the same time remember that when you have that DESIRE it is the Father that places that desire on our hearts in the first place.
The spirit is WILLING, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:14) so remember that your flesh is WEAK when you are in those dark moments of sinful behavior and remember Jesus who is now in you by your faith in Him, overcame your same flesh that is weak. When you focus on Him and are thankful that He will show you how to overcome whatever sin that you would be facing then THAT is when your spirit gets stronger and more firmly rooted in Christ. This all must be done because it is apart of our maturation.
These moments in our walk with Jesus is going to happen so that we grow closer to Him as we would need to rely on Him more when we realized a “new” and dark sinful behavior. This “new” reliance is actually an understanding being revealed by our Father reiterating what He says and what we already believe which is: “We can’t do it all. We can’t overcome the flesh. We can’t trust ourselves or our works to overcome sin. We can only trust in His finished Work through Christ to be able to overcome sin; thus fulfilling what is written that a child of God can not go on sinning and the enemy can not harm us. (1 John 3:9, 1 John 5:18).
So it is in these moments where when you trust in the Father and His process of salvation in us that you overcome whatever sin you are facing while BECOMING more like He is and getting closer to Him and further away from what you and I used to be and think as which is self-reliance.
Think of a child learning how to walk for the first time. Their heart desires to mimic their “Father” (who walks with no issues) and that desire is only there BECAUSE of the Father’s presence.
Did you catch that?
But since the act of walking is new to the child the child may STRUGGLE while they are PRACTICING how to walk. But as long as they keep their eyes FOCUSED on the Father then they keep their head up and keep fighting to learn how to walk and please the father thus fulfilling the desire (that is present in them) to BE ABLE to walk upright like the Father.
The child may fall many times while they learn how to walk and have “new” terrain to walk on, but it is written that the righteous may fall 7 times but we get back up (Proverbs 24:16). That is because our strength is in the Father and NOT in our flesh.
This is why it is also written that Jesus said you MUST be like a child in order to SEE the Kingdom of God. (Matthew 18:3) A child DESIRES to please the one over them. A child RELIES on the rearing, uplifting, edification, nurturing, and providence of the one over them and are not self reliant as an adult is. A child is not performing to please their parent (when parenting is done right) but instead whatever they do they do for the delight and pleasure of the one over them. The child TRUSTS the one who is over them…trust is faith. A child literally puts their life in hands of the one who is over them.
A child of God does all of these things plus more while unlearning the ways of the world that teaches performance mentality and trusting SELF and to not trust the Father. So since we are relearning how to be a child again relying on our Father in Heaven for all of our needs it is going to be a struggle when you are surrounded around majority of people who do not believe, so they do not see. Who do not listen and trust in Jesus because they are still listening to a focusing on what the devil is teaching. Just look at the world around you. It is the result of many people enjoying and practicing sin and death while thinking to be wise, end up becoming fools.
When you are in Christ you are being trained by the Father through His Word fulfilling what He tells us as parents (because He is the “first” parent): To train up a child in the way that he should go and he will never depart from it. We are children of God through our faith in Him and it is because of that we are being trained in His Way that we all should go and since God is faithful to finish the Work He has started in us, we will NEVER depart from His Way.
This is why the person before me said that backsliding “as to say you can fall away from the Hand of God” was made up to cause fear and control which came by having doubt in the power and the Hand of God in the first place. The term backsliding in the scriptures does not even mean that you can be unsaved, people inject that false belief because THEY are not focused on the Father to be able to SEE that that is not possible. Salvation is in the very name of God Himself — not unsalvation.
The devil knows that when a person who has been saved thinks that they can’t get back up when they have fallen then he would have caused a stumbling block in a person’s walk with Christ and caused that person to have a stunted growth in their spiritual maturation.
They would remain like a child on milk that gets upset and disappointed that they can not walk and so end up depleting their desire TO WALK and that all benefits of our enemy the devil because someone who is STRONG in spirit through faith won’t be able to listen to the devil’s lies and temptations of the flesh and would be able to be the light of the world in Christ to inspire and witness the Work of God in others who ALSO want to overcome sin but can not. Remember that we are in spiritual warfare and the enemy over the kingdom of darkness does not like to take blows. You can not be unsaved once you have been saved; but you can become distracted and have a harder time in your salvation when you LOSE FOCUS on heavenly things above and Jesus. Remember this is what the enemy does to KEEP people from even seeing Christ (Luke 21:34-36 & Mark 4:18-19).
So stay encouraged and keep fighting! The struggle is apart of the process and is necessary because you can’t overcome what is needed if you are not faced with what needs to be overcome. Keep your focus on Jesus and NOT the struggle and your desire will remain renewed. ONLY listen to our Father’s Voice ALONE. I am speaking from experience because when you lose focus you lose momentum and become like Peter who was able to walk on the water because He focused on Jesus but the moment he was distracted Peter began to SINK…
I also made an encouraging video on my YouTube channel about this topic if you would like to watch: Some encouragement for the Body of Christ that is fighting against the flesh
Cover Image By photo nic