“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, kept anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before-hand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2.8-10
Question: Will a Christian lose his salvation if he fails to do good works?
Answer: I believe the question is not a good one in light of the verse you chose. Good works or deeds will follow those who are truly committed to Christ. We should walk in them. Deeds or works are either good or evil.
Then there are many churches who have their definition of good works. To some it may be that if we are not witnessing enough and winning souls, we are not bearing fruit. If we don’t spend enough quiet time with the Lord, we are not bearing fruit. But God’s word tells us what he means by fruit. In Gal. 5:19-21 we have the works of the flesh in contrast to the fruit of the Spirit. God’s word tells us,
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:22-25)
In Romans 8 it says,
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
This is the kind of work God is interested in.
Jesus tells us how we can spot the moral quality of a person’s heart by the type of fruit he bears.
“A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.’ (Matt. 7:18-20)
“Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.” (Mat. 12:33).
I also think there is a lot of confusion when we say a person lost his salvation. Some will say he lost it, got it back, lost it again and got it back again. I think this confuses many people, especially with the OSAS advocates. I don’t think of salvation as a revolving door. There is initial salvation, and then we are on probabtion, if you will, until final salvation.
But here is what happens. When a Christian falls away from God, back to a life of sin, they are back into a spiritually dead state (separated from God), just like the prodigal son was. If that person comes to his senses, realizing he has offended man and God and truly seeks God and repents, he can be RESTORED. ALIVE AGAIN. (Luke 15:32)
The OSAS advocates think that final salvation is a guarantee because of initial salvation, but this is not true as we see in Rom. 13:11.
“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”
When a person comes to Christ in faith and repentance he is then, from that point on, in a temporal salvation. Continuing in the faith assures final salvation.
“The righteous shall live by faith,” according to Hebrews. (Heb. 10:38) Our salvation begins with faith and ends with faith, that is, if we continue in faith (Col. 1:23).
“Receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 1:9)