If you are a follower of Christ, you will most likely wrestle with many different questions along your spiritual journey. Was Jesus really fully human and fully God? Did Adam and Eve really live? Was Mary truly a virgin? The list could go on and on. We live in an age of skepticism, so it seems natural for us to have some amount of skepticism about issues that seem impossible to us.
One question that will most likely plague every believer at some point in their life has to do with eternal security. Is it really possible that once a person is saved they are always saved? Is it possible to lose your salvation once you have professed faith in Jesus Christ?
While many have tackled this subject in the past, Sam Storms does a masterful job of writing a book that is effective and accessible for a wide array of readers. Coming from a Reformed perspective, Storms presents his argument in favor of the belief that a person is “once saved, always saved.” Storms sets out to convince those who hold to an Arminian or antinomian viewpoint that the Reformed viewpoint is the correct one. He also sets out to deepen the reader’s confidence in the supremacy of God and his preserving grace.
As Storms takes the reader through this issue, he presents the various arguments against eternal security. These arguments come in the form of verses in the Bible that both Arminians and antinomians use for support. Along with those arguments, he presents the Reformed view and gives his rationale for why it’s the right approach.
Storms offers up an example of a fictitious character named Charley who seems to have made an outward and public profession of Christ as Lord and Savior. After some time of seemingly walking with Christ, Charley steps away from his beliefs and his changed life. The question presented, “Is Charley saved?” A valid question, and as I mentioned, most likely a question that many have wrestled with, especially if they have had a personal experience similar to this, either themselves or someone they love.
From the outset, Storms makes it clear what he believes. He believes that salvation does not come about because of our works or because we have earned it. Salvation simply comes because God is gracious and he offered up his Son as a sacrifice for the sins of those who repent and confess him as Lord and Savior. He believes that those who put faith in Jesus Christ are given to Jesus, given before even time began. He also believes that while we are not saved by our good works, those good works are evidence of the fact that we have been saved.
While Storms has a definite bias and opinion in the matter, he doesn’t present it in an arrogant manner. He presents the various sides and explains why he thinks his view makes the most sense in light of the various Scripture passages that he shares. He even ends the book dealing with some of the problem passages in Scripture which seem to contradict the idea of “once saved, always saved.” He readily admits that he continues to have struggles with some of the passages yet reminds the reader that it’s important to look at Scripture in context with itself and not isolate passages for our own advantage.
“Kept For Jesus” is an encouraging book for those who have struggled with doubts about whether or not they are truly saved. It’s a great resource as well for those who find themselves counseling individuals who struggle with the idea as well. I highly recommend it for your bookshelf to refer back to again and again.
(This review is based upon a copy of this book which was provided free of charge from NetGalley.com. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.)