The Eternal Security of the Believer In Christ [Romans 8:28-31]

Once you are saved are you always saved? If you are struggling with the idea that you can lose your salvation, consider this less quoted passage from Romans 8.

Romans 8:28-31 NASB And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. [29] For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; [30] and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. [31] What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

We will be specifically examining verses 29 & 30. Here are some questions for meditation:

  • Did He (God) lose anyone between those He foreknew and those He predestined?
  • Did He lose anyone between those He predestined and those He called?
  • Did He lose anyone between those He called and those He justified?
  • Did He lose anyone between those He justified and those He glorified?

Conclusion: Did you notice all of the verbs are past tense? Those whom He foreknew, He also glorified [Romans 9:23].

Rest assured God has a firm hold on you if you are following Christ [Luke 9:23-24].

7 responses to “The Eternal Security of the Believer In Christ [Romans 8:28-31]”

  1. Rom 8:28-31 is not an unqualified and unconditional statement arguing for eternal security as it contains a qualifier in v28 – “those who LOVE” God. Therefore it is important to define what it means to love God. 1 Jn 5:3 states: “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” The notion of keeping his commandments; i.e., obeying God is requisite to one’s salvation and is consistent with the whole of Romans 8 as in Rom 8:1 – “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who DO NOT WALK according to the FLESH, but ACCORDING to the SPIRIT. Some translations omit the second clause based on manuscript used but this qualification is again repeated in vs 4 – “that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” Paul repeats himself when he addresses the brethren living in Rome with his stark warning to them in vs 13: “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. This certainly conflicts with the teaching of once saved, always saved. Belief is no doubt required but so also is obedience. No obedience = no salvation. “And being made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who OBEY him,” (Heb 5:9).

    • why would anyone be obedient if they didn’t first believe? how can they? Paul says,

      For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
      [Romans 8:6-8 NASB]

      all of our outward actions are responses to an inward reality that has already taken place. we’re born again and so we produce works, we love, we desire to be obedient, etc. it’s this saving grace that produces this fruit in us. in other words, if one really could lose their salvation, there would be no more fruit and no way to get it back since we couldn’t earn it in the first place. it’s all about Jesus, not us, and He says He’ll see us through to the end. what He begins, He finishes because we can’t.

      For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. [Philippians 1:6 NASB]

      for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. [Philippians 2:13 NASB]

      i would reverse what you said and say “no salvation = no obedience”.

      • Your response is a common retort amongst those who hold to the eternal security view; namely referring to those who were never believers in the first place. While that is certainly true, does that automatically exclude the other possibility that a believer can lose their salvation? I say no because Paul is directing his warning to believers; not the unsaved. He specifically refers to them as “brethren” in Rom 8:12 indicating that he considers them to be of the faith and he goes on to warn the brethren of the consequences of disobedience or walking after the flesh which is spiritual death. Furthermore, you have not addressed the simple and plain meaning of Heb 5:9 which clearly links eternal salvation with requisite obedience.

        • when it says, “Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death,” what does it mean? [Romans 8:1-2 NASB]

          • BTW I changed my name to Evan so I’m still the same person responding to you. Don’t neglect to take context into account in quoting your above verse. It is certainly true that there is no condemnation for those in Christ but who is Paul specifically referring to here? Verse 4 gives us the context and provides us with the answer: “so that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. [Rom 8:4 NASB] Paul associates no condemnation ONLY with those believers who DO NOT WALK AFTER THE FLESH; no such assurance is given to those who sow to the flesh. That is why Paul is consistent in his message and a few verses later warns the brothers & sisters living in Rome: “So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live” [Rom 8:12-13 NASB]. I think Paul’s warning is abundantly clear – those believers who continue to live according to the flesh will reap spiritual death. Paul cannot be referring to physical death here because we know that we all die physically regardless of how we lived our lives.

            • Brother, if a person who professes salvation continues to live in a state of walking after the flesh, then I would be suspect of their salvation. If a person dies in a state of walking after their flesh, then I would be doubly suspect. However, saved people don’t die in that state. That’s the grace and power of God.


  2. I just want to ask anyone reading this: are you born-again and are you a created thing?

    For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 8:38-39 NASB]

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