Can a Christian Lose Their Salvation? (Updated 9/5/20)

We begin with a brief review of some foundational truths. Sin is the falling short of God’s standard of right. There is voluntary sin and involuntary sin. Character is one’s set of habits of doing right. In a Christian, habits of doing right are supported by the Holy Spirit. Character weakness is the moral condition of an undeveloped character or partially developed character. Character weakness can result in involuntary sin.

Now, can a Christian lose their salvation?

Psalm 37:23-24 says: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.”

Falling is an involuntary event. It is not something that one chooses to do. Therefore, falling covers failing morally through character weakness, not by choice.

Therefore:

Psalm 37:23-24 includes in its meaning: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.  Though he fall [fail morally through character weakness, not by choice], he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.”

So, with regard to moral failure resulting from character weakness, not by choice, the effect of falling of being utterly cast down will not occur. Now, in terms of salvation, being utterly cast down would be losing one’s salvation.

Therefore:

Psalm 37:23-24 includes in its meaning: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.  Though he fall [fail morally through character weakness, not by choice], he shall not be utterly cast down [he shall not lose his salvation]: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.”

Using the IAV (spelling-updated KJV), we have:

Psalm 37:23-24 includes in its meaning: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way.  Though he fall [fail morally through character weakness, not by choice], he shall not be utterly cast down [he shall not lose his salvation]: for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”

Finally, adding to the IAV a bit of definition from Dr. Noah Webster’s dictionary we have:

Psalm 37:23-24 includes in its meaning: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way.  Though he fall [fail morally through character weakness, not by choice], he shall not be utterly [totally] cast down [he shall not lose his salvation]: for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”

Now, there is another question that some might be asking and that is whether a Christian can lose their salvation through voluntary sin?

The fact is that, in the Bible, in one case at least, a Christian committed a voluntary sin but, in the end, did not lose their salvation. However, the Bible says that voluntary sin prevents us from knowing for sure that the sinning, supposed Christian is, in fact, a Christian, that is, that they were ever a Christian at all.

Therefore, the answer to the question whether voluntary sin can result in a loss of salvation for every (real or merely supposed) Christian is that God does not give us the answer to that question. However, we don’t need the answer to that question and here is why. If you are supposed to be a Christian and commit a voluntary sin and are not dead and in hell, if you start doing what is right again, either you never lost your salvation to begin with or you have just been given salvation or you still have a chance to be given salvation.

One final note for those who plan to switch back and forth between doing what is right and doing what is wrong.  The Bible says that God will not provide salvation to such a person.