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Intro: In this verse, the Apostle Paul makes a bold statement concerning his salvation. He tells us that he is confident that his salvation is eternal in nature. But, is it really? Is salvation something we can count on, or is it something we must simply hope will work out for us in the end? Can a Christian truly have absolute assurance that he or she is saved? And, can the Christian be sure that he or she will never be lost again? Is there anything you or I could do that would cause Jesus to take away our salvation? Is it possible for us to decide that we didn't want to be a Christian anymore and lose it that way? What I am asking is can God really keep you saved?

Most people would say "No!" Most denominations hold a view that says man can, by the exercise of his own free will turn from God to sin at any time and be lost. This is the view held by the Methodists, Wesleyans, Free Will Baptists, Lutherans, Episcopalians, most holiness and charismatic groups, and the Anglican Church. In other words, the majority of Protestant denominations believe that it is possible for a person to be lost after they have come to Jesus Christ for salvation. This view is called the Arminian view of salvation. It teaches that man's free will allows him the right to choose between salvation and sin at his own choice. This view of salvation is based in a faulty understanding of the Bible and of salvation itself. Slipshod theology is the root of the Arminian point of view!

We Baptists, on the other hand, believe that once salvation has been granted by God, salvation can never be taken away. We hold that once a person has been saved by grace, they are forever saved and nothing will ever be able to change that fact! We believe that man is saved by the exercise of his free will, but that at the moment of salvation, the believer is instantly and eternally changed and adopted in to the family of God. We believe that the believer is declared righteous through justification and that eternal life is a present possession. We hold that it is impossible for a born again one to ever be lost, or to ever go to hell.

Now, who is right? Can salvation be lost as the majority of the church world teaches? Or, is salvation an eternal gift that can never be taken back? I believe that Paul clears up the issue in this verse. Please allow me to take this one verse this morning, as well as some supporting texts, and answer the question, "Can God Really Keep You Saved?" By the way, my answer at the outset is "God Can!" Hopefully, we will all be of the same mind by the conclusion of the message.


A. Involved A Person - Paul says he knows in "Whom" he had believed. When Paul was saved on the way to Damascus, his conversion was the direct result of meeting a person, Acts 9:4-6. Paul was a highly educated man, Acts 22:3, and he was a holy man when his life was compared with the requirements of the Law, Phil. 3:6. But, his salvation could never be earned with such things. It took a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ to bring about Paul's salvation.

(Ill. This is the way conversion happens for every person who ever gets saved. No one ever earns their salvation by good works, Eph. 2:8-9, neither can it be brought about by learning a bunch of Bible verses or church teachings. Salvation is the result of a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ - Acts 4:12; 1 John 5:12. No amount of goodness or education will ever produce salvation. It is always and only the result of meeting Jesus Christ in a personal way.)

B. Involved A Plan - Notice that Paul says that his conversion was the result of "belief." Salvation cannot be worked up or prayed down. It can only be accomplished through simple faith. Notice what the Bible says about the means and manner of salvation - John 3:16; Rom. 10:9; John 3:36. Salvation can only be yours through faith in Jesus Christ.

(Ill. What is faith? The word faith is defined as "complete confidence, trust or reliance." Faith, in regard to God, means having total trust in Jesus Christ for the salvation of one's soul. It mean trusting Jesus, Him alone, and Him completely for salvation. Faith is absolutely essential for salvation. Faith also implies letting go of one's self-effort. Being saved means that we are to trust Jesus Christ and Him alone for the salvation of our souls. It is always based on absolute belief.)

C. Involved A Permanence - Notice the use of the words "I have believed." In the Greek, this verb is in the Perfect Tense. This means that it is an action that has been completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated ever. Paul is saying that when he placed his faith in Jesus Christ, it was a one time for all time action. He says that what was accomplished then was also finished then. Paul knows that his salvation is a permanent thing. It never needs to be redone and will last forever.

(Ill. The same is true for the salvation you and I enjoy through Jesus Christ. When you come to Jesus, the work He does in you is a permanent work. It will never have to be repeated. In fact, it cannot be repeated. If salvation were ever lost, it could never be redone until Jesus came, was virgin born, died on the cross and rose again from the dead, Heb. 6:4-6.)

I. Paul's Conversion

(Ill. Some may wonder why I have given the plan of salvation in a message about eternal security. The reason is simple! You must be saved before you can be confident of salvation. After telling us about his salvation, Paul shares with us why he has the confidence in Christ he does.)


A. Based In The Person Of God - Paul says this, "I know in Whom I have believed." The word know means to "know by personal experience." Paul is telling us that he has the confidence he does in the Lord because he knows the Lord. He has experienced God's power first hand and he knows what God can do.

(Ill. People who have assurance of salvation have a strong personal faith in God. They believe in a God who is all-powerful. One who does what He has promised and One who is able to bring about salvation. Those who doubt whether or not God can save them and keep them saved often have an imperfect view of who God is. Who is God to you? Is He an all-powerful, able being who does what He says perfectly, or is He weak, imperfect and unable to do what He has said He would do? You can choose, but I'll take a powerful God any day!)

B. Based In The Power Of God - Next Paul reminds us that God is "able". This word simply means that God has the power to do a thing. Paul tells us that his salvation, and our as well, is based in the power of God. Peter tells us that we are "kept by the power of God", 1 Pet. 1:5. In simple terms, our salvation is only as strong as God's power to keep us saved. The bottom line is this, if our salvation depends on anything less than the power of God, then we are all hopelessly lost. If those who teach that a clean, holy live is essential to maintaining one's state of salvation, then we are all going to Hell. If, however, salvation is maintained by the power of God alone, then we have nothing to fear. After all, we serve a God Who is infinitely powerful. (Isa. 26:4; Luke 1:37)

C. Based In The Promises Of God - Paul tells us that he is "persuaded" about God's ability to preserve the soul. Paul's confidence is not a blind leap into the dark, but it is a confidence based squarely upon the precious promises of God. Notice the promises related to salvation that you and I can take to the bank.

1. Salvation is by grace, not works - Eph. 2:8-9.

2. Everlasting means exactly what it says - John 6:47; John 3:16.

3. Everlasting life is a present possession - John 3:36.

4. Salvation is Christ's gift and will never be revoked - John 10:28.

5. Nothing can remove us from His hand - John 10:28-29.

6. The believer is no longer condemned - Rom. 8:1; John 5:24.

7. Sin is not charged to the believer - Rom. 4:5-8.

8. Nothing can separate the believer from the love of God - Rom. 8:38-39.

9. The believer will never be cast out - John 6:37.

10. The believer has been born again and cannot be unborn - John 3:3; 5-7.

11. The believer is called a child of God and the father child relationship is one that cannot be ended - 1 John 3:2.

(Ill. In the simplest of terms, Paul is telling us that he knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that God can save the soul and that He can keep the born again one saved. My friend, do you share the same confidence held by Paul? Are you settled in the knowledge that Jesus Christ saves sinners?)

I. Paul's Conversion

II. Paul's Confidence


A. He Committed His Soul - Paul was trusting Jesus with his eternal soul. I believe that this is the "that" he was speaking of in this verse. So are you and I! We need to be as confident in our salvation as Paul was in his, and we can be if we are willing to take the Lord at His word and accept that fact that He saves and keeps those who come to Him by faith.

B. He Committed His Service - Paul had given his life, after salvation, to doing what the Lord wanted him to do. Paul's total surrender was based in the knowledge that the Lord had saved him with a perfect salvation that would last for all eternity. Such a gift demands such a surrender! (Ill. This is the principle taught in 1 John 4:19.) My friends, we are wasting our time serving the Lord if we are not kept by His power. It is true that His life is the best life, however, as Paul said, "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.", 1 Cor. 15:19. On the contrary, we serve and love Him because of that which He has done on our behalf!

C. He Committed His Salvation - As this verse closes, Paul speaks of "that day." He is writing about the day when he must leave this world and face the Lord in judgment. He knows that when that day comes, he had better be found in Christ. For to be found in the flesh and in the substance of the natural man is to invite certain damnation. Paul knew that when "that day" came he would be found in Jesus, regardless of what happened down here in this life, Phil. 3:9.

(Ill. I am glad that I have that same confidence this morning. My salvation does not, nor has it ever depended on me or what I can do. My salvation depends totally upon the Lord Jesus Christ and what He is able to do through His limitless power.)

Conc: My friends, there is no way I can present a complete discussion on a topic this deep in the allotted time we have we have together. However, I want every person who comes to this church to know that there is a great big God in Heaven who keeps every saint He saves. He is able and He will get us home in one piece, 1 Thes. 5:23.

As we close this message this morning, I want to ask you a very simple question, "Have you ever been saved?" If you answer is no, then I want to remind you that God loves you and has made a way for you to be saved. If you would like to get the matter of your salvation squared away this morning, then this altar is open for you.

If you are saved, I want you to know that God will take you safely home to Heaven when you leave this world. Irregardless of what the devil, the world or the flesh does, God is still able to save to the uttermost, Heb. 7:25. As we close, let me remind you that what He has started, He will finish, Phil. 1:6.

Sermon By Alan Carr




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