We understand that God, in His divine providence, decides who will be saved (John 6:37, 6:44, 6:65; Romans 8:29-30, 9:11-18; Acts 13:48, 16:14; Ephesians 1:4-6, 2:8-9; 1 Peter 1:3), and it is God’s kindness, forbearance and patience that leads that person to repentance (Romans 2:4). The Bible also teaches that each person is responsible to embrace or reject Jesus as Savior and Lord and that God, in His great grace, welcomes all who come to Him by faith, regardless of their works (Matthew 22:1-14; Luke 15:7, 20:9-18; John 6:37, 7:37; Romans 10:9-13; Acts 16:30-34, 17:30). Both of these two truths—God’s sovereignty in salvation and man’s decision to embrace Christ—are taught in the Scriptures. Their co-existence is a mystery only fully comprehended by the mind of our omniscient God (Isaiah 55:8; Romans 11:33-34). All glory for the salvation of every believer belongs to God alone (Romans 3:21-31; Ephesians 1:7-9, 2:8-9; Jude 1:24-25).
Those who are born of God’s Spirit through Jesus Christ persevere in the faith (John 15:4-8; 2 Thessalonians 1:4; 1 Timothy 4:16; 2 Timothy 2:10-13; 1 John 4:13; 2 John 9). God is faithful to His people, empowering them to persevere in the faith (1 Corinthians 1:9, 10:13; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; 1 John 2:19-20).
We understand that everyone who is born of God’s Spirit through Jesus Christ is assured of salvation from the moment that they place their trust in Christ (Ephesians 1:13-14). This assurance relies on God’s decisive, faithful and extravagant grace, rather than on the works of the believer. Neither obedience nor good works earn or retain the believer’s salvation. Instead, they are responses to Christ’s love and indicators of the believer’s love of Christ and profession of faith (Luke 6:46; John 14:21; James 2:17-18).
Eternal security in salvation relies on the Father’s guarantee of each believer’s adoption as His child (Galatians 4:4-7), God’s seal of the believer by the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Ephesians 1:13-14), and His gift of the Holy Spirit to each believer as a down payment toward future, eternal joy in heaven (2 Corinthians 1:21-22).
A person who professes genuine faith in Christ immediately becomes His possession (Luke 23:42-43; Acts 2:40-41, 16:30-34; Romans 10:13), and nothing can snatch that person out of His hands (John 10:27-29). Having been bought with the price of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion as complete payment for sin, the believer belongs to Christ (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). This assurance is absolutely certain, reserved in heaven, and protected by God’s unlimited power (1 Peter 1:4-5).