While it is a great comfort to know that the preservation of our faith is in God's hands, and that He is fully able to keep us from falling. We should never become so smug that we forget that we need His help. Instead, we need to remember that our eternal security does not lie in the fact that we cannot lose our salvation, but in the fact that we “are kept by the power of God through faith” (1Peter 1:5). Keeping that fact in mind, we need to acknowledge our dependence upon Him and entrust the preservation of our faith to His care (Psalms 22:29, 2Timothy 1:12, Luke 8:13).


    Just as we cannot trust in Christ for salvation unless we are willing to admit that we need to be saved, we cannot trust God to keep us from losing salvation unless we are willing to admit that we need His help. Of course, the carnal mind wants to do just the opposite. When people believe that their salvation is in danger, their first reaction is to look to works, not grace, to keep them saved. What they fail to realize is that there is not a dime's worth of difference between trusting in works to get salvation and trusting in works to keep salvation. In both cases those who trust in works are trusting in themselves instead of trusting in Christ. [Psalm 40:11, 1Corinthians 9:27, Hebrews 10:26, Galatians 5:4, Luke 8:13, John 10:28-29, 1Peter 1:5.]

1 PETER 1:5

    One precious promise of God's sustaining grace is found in the words, “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation” (1 Peter 1:5). Those words assure us that having “purchased” us “with His own blood” Christ will keep us by His “power.” However, the words “through faith” tell us that we have access to His sustaining grace, through faith in His promise (Galatians 3:22, Romans 5:2). Therefore, the power by which He keeps us is the power of the gospel, for the gospel alone is “power of God unto salvation” (Romans 1:16).

JOHN 10:28-29

    Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life: and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father's hand” (John 10:28-29). That promise is God's Word of comfort to all who endure persecution for the faith. Through those words He assures us that He will not let anyone take our faith from us. However, He only promises us His help because He knows that we would not be able to endure persecution, or keep from losing salvation, without it. Just as we cannot save ourselves, we cannot keep ourselves saved.

    Once we understand that sustaining grace is a matter of relying on God to keep us from falling, it becomes obvious that willful sin would offend the very one whom we depend upon for support. For that reason, those who look to God for help are not going to think that they can live in open rebellion against God and still be saved. In contrast, those who think that they do not need God’s help to stay saved, all too often fall into that error.


    Because the words, “Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace” are a warning of God’s law, they are meant for the unrepentant, not for those who are contrite (Galatians 5:4, see 1Timothy 1:9). Moreover, since those words are specifically aimed at the self-righteous, it is ridiculous for anyone to think that this passage is teaching that works keep us saved. With the Galatians, works were the problem, not the solution. In fact, their efforts to keep the law were a form of disobedience, for in their zeal to believe that they were keeping the law they were refusing to acknowledge their sin, and thus were not obeying the truth (Galatians 5:7).

    The Apostle Paul makes it clear that those at Galatia who were seeking righteousness by the law had fallen from grace, and for that reason had to be born again a second time (Galatians 4:19). God kept them from being damned by restoring them to repentance through His Word, as given by the Apostle Paul. Thus, He keeps us saved by keeping us repentant, not by letting us sin.


    “If we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins. But a certain fearful looking for of judgement and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries” (Hebrews 10:26-27).

    Like Galatians 5:4, this passage is a warning of God's law not a promise of grace. Moreover, as a warning of the law, it was given to condemn sin not to tell us how to be saved. God intends for those who sin willfully to be convicted when they read this passage, and to have no rest night or day until they are sorry that they transgressed His law and humbly come to Him for mercy. In short, Hebrews 10:26 was written to bring those who sin willfully back to repentance, for true faith cannot exist without repentance, and the unrepentant shall not inherit the kingdom of God (1Corinthians 6:9-10).

    Just as God brought us to faith through His Word, He keeps us in faith through His Word (Romans 10:17). And, just as He used His law to convict us of sin and show us our need for forgiveness, He uses His law to continually remind us of our sin and need of Christ’s sacrifice. Therefore, we should never neglect the Word of God for it is the source of our spiritual nourishment, and it is only as we stay close to the Word that we stay strong in faith. [Psalm 40:11, Matthew 4:40, John 21:15-17, 1 Peter 2:2, Romans 1:16.]


    The good news that we are, “kept by the power of God” is an important part of the gospel. It is a promise of God’s grace that we should never allow to be perverted by those who claim that someone can live in open rebellion against God and still be saved. In fact, that doctrine is blasphemous because it makes God a party to sin. In contrast, God's Word condemns those who strengthen “the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life [without repentance]” (Ezekiel 13:22).