7. Once a person accepts the relationship of adoption granted by God’s grace on his behalf, such a “contract” is binding upon God to fulfill, despite the contractee’s faithlessness. The emphasis of the word “adoption” is upon God’s unilateral decision to make the believer “His son.” Adoption is generally a unilateral, contractual relationship, and permission need not be acquired by the person being adopted. Therefore, the relationship created by God’s contractual bond cannot be disannulled by the behavior of the adoptee.
8. In Scripture, salvation is compared to a birthing by seed (“born again,” “incorruptible seed,” etc.). As a father remains the father of his child by virtue of the permanent effect of his seed upon the egg, so God’s fatherhood remains permanent by the effect of His grace upon the believer who once believes in Christ as his Savior. Therefore, the conversion experience, like conception, is an irreversible process.
9. Salvation comes by way of one confessing with his mouth Jesus as Lord and believing in his heart the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Romans 10:9 says to the person who does this: “Thou shalt be saved,” which grammatically is referring to a present state of being, not future. The bedrock of this salvation is a historical fact verified by eye-witnesses, the highest form of legal testimony, even more compelling than a confession. God grounds salvation in belief of an historical fact. This indicates that He desires to provide man a basis for rational conviction that can withstand the challenges of blasphemers, atheists, and historical revisionists. Salvation depends upon written testimony by witnesses. On top of that is the presence of holy spirit, the witness within, which provides an even greater testimony than if we were eyewitnesses ourselves.
10. Scripture says that, “with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Rom. 10:10). Our belief in and confession of Jesus as Lord is not the cause of our salvation, but rather the condition we meet that enables God to save us. Since the believer does not save himself, neither can he “unsave” himself.
11. Salvation is the guarantee of life in the age to come. This life is a gift (Rom. 6:23), as opposed to death, which is the “wages” paid for the work of sin. If this life is a gift, there is no merit required on the part of the recipient. He is simply the object of another’s love and desire to bless him. If some merit were required, the fallen human heart would boast about it (Eph. 2:8 and 9). If the gift can be kept only by faithfulness, then it is not truly a gift. A gift, by definition, becomes the property of the recipient, once he has received it. He can then appreciate it and use it for good, or ignore it or even step on it.
12. To be “saved” (sozo) also means “to be made whole,” and this is what is being referred to in 1 Corinthians 15:2, a verse sometimes used in an attempt to prove that a person can lose his salvation. The verse begins with the affirmation that the Corinthians had received the Gospel and taken a stand upon it. Therefore the salvation being referred to— “you are saved if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you”—must mean the opposite of “in vain,” or to no purpose. How could one be saved to “no purpose” if the meaning of salvation as “rescuing from death or destruction is employed”? That is surely purpose aplenty, but if salvation here means “wholeness” or “soundness,” then the meaning of the verse is that their salvation would not be in evidence, not that it wouldn’t be really in their possession.
This is the same usage of salvation as in Philippians 2:12, in which we are exhorted to “work out our salvation with fear and trembling.” There is no guarantee that, once having been saved by grace through faith in the Gospel, we can enjoy the fruits of this salvation without continued faith in the efficacy of this Gospel. The same truth is found in Hebrews 4:2: “The message [Gospel] they heard was of no value to them because those who heard did not combine it with faith.” We must value our salvation and walk in it to enjoy the fruits of it, as the parable of the sower makes plain (Matt. 13:3-9).