Can I lose the Holy Spirit?

I recently had the conversation with a friend of mine that you can lose the Holy Spirit if you sin to much or to bad. I think you cannot lose the Holy Spirit even if you are the worst sinner.
For example, you were a believer with the Holy Spirit, but suddenly you fell into sin and now you don’t have any connection to God or the Holy Spirit. I know in Psalms David says don’t take the Holy Spirit away from me but that’s the Old Testament. What are your thoughts about?

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It’s a complex issue and I am sure someone else more knowledgeable can give a better answer than myself, but this is what I think off the cuff.

You cannot “lose” your salvation as long as you continue to have a repentant heart, however, there are times that you can grieve the Holy Spirit and destroy the trust He placed in you. It is not until you repent and soften your heart that you can invite the Holy Spirit back into you life.

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@Beny_Crestin That’s a great question :slight_smile: Some people believe that you can lose your salvation and others do not believe that is possible. I’ll include some additional threads on that topic below. But, no matter what you believe, you need to keep this in mind:

Those who walk in darkness do not belong to God - whether you think that means they were never really saved in the first place or they fell away. Jesus is clear that we know a tree by its fruits (Matthew 7) and that those who love Him keep His commandments (John 14:21). James says that faith without works is dead (James 2) and Paul that those who have died to sin cannot continue in it (Romans 6:2). And John said if we claim to have fellowship with God and yet walk in darkness, we are liars and the truth is not in us (1 John 1).

Christians still struggle with sin, but the do not live as if God does not exist and God guarantees that He will be at work in their hearts and lives.

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@Beny_Crestin
Hi Benny, the short answer is no, you cannot lose your salvation. Here is just 1 example Colossians ch 1:9-14. For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God;strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience; joyouslygiving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Ok skipping to the middle of the verses.

  1. God strengthens us so we can attain steadfastness to please Him. 2 He has qualified us to share in the inheritance. 3 He has rescued us from a place we couldn’t leave (domain of darkness) and transferred us to a place we couldn’t get to (the kingdom of his beloved Son). 4. He provides us with redemption, the forgiveness of sins. All four of these are a one-way transaction from God to us, designed to overcome our inabilities and our fallen nature. In short we don’t have the ability to undo our regeneration because it’s origin is Divine and the Holy Spirit will never leave whom He has brought back to life because being perfect in all His attributes He does not make mistakes.

I too have often heard the phrase, “Once saved, always saved.” But some years ago I took the liberty of tweaking the expression - I now say, “Once transformed, always transformed!”

Because just as @Dannyd mentioned, the original phrase implies that your subsequent lifestyle is irrelevant - and I have heard people explain it to mean that you essentially have a free pass to sin all you want.

But I think emphasizing the transformation that genuine salvation brings is closer to the Biblical teaching on the issue.

A genuinely saved person cannot be ‘okay with’ committing things that he believes the Bible condemns.

Can he knowingly disobey the Bible? Oh yes, but his spirit will grieve even as he gives into the temptation. Sin will vex his righteous soul, and he will hate it in himself supremely.

Can he disobey the Bible with a clear conscience if he’s unaware that it condemns those things? Yes - but as he grows in understanding, the Holy Spirit within him will convict him to repent.

But if his heart relishes sin and craves after it, defends it, and denies what he knows the Bible says about it without compunction, then that is evidence of an unregenerate heart.

I’m not talking about the flesh - the flesh will crave sin until the day it dies - the flesh will cause the righteous soul no end of conflict. But if the heart within can be ‘okay with’ deliberately disobeying what it knows the Bible says, then it has not been transformed.

A faith that does not change your direction will not change your destination.

And faith that does not change your life will not change your afterlife.

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We need to nurture the Spirit, if we ignore it and starve it we can diminish it voice in our lives , but you can’t loose it.

I have a related question. It is the one verse in the Bible that gives me pause. It is in the Book of Revelations where Jesus is speaking to one of the churches and says, It would be better if they were either hot or cold, but because of being lukewarm he would spew them out of His mouth. When I consider that He IS speaking to Christians, I have to wonder about a “Once Saved, Always Saved” belief. What are your thoughts on this verse? Is it possible that spewing them out of His mouth could mean something other than loss of salvation?

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@1rickolson Honestly, I am not certain on this one. My impression is that Jesus is saying that this Church is spiritually dead, but that if individuals within the Church will open the door of their heart He will come in and dine with them. Since the letter is to the whole Church and the context is Jesus removing His lamp stand from Churches, I am not certain if the spewing out refers to the Church as a whole or to individual salvation. It really sounds to me like a lot of people in this Church were not saved—they were not clothed in Christ’s righteous white garments, just like those in Jesus’ parable of the wedding feast who were thrown out.

My personal opinion is that God’s covenants are always conditional on obedience, and yet God is very gracious with His children. So while it is possible to fall away, I do not personally think it is a common occurrence, if it happens at all. I think it is far more common that, like in Jesus’ parable of the seeds, the soil of peoples’ hearts shows itself over time and the hard, thorny soil could look like falling away to us.

Revelation 3:14-20 - These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

Ephesians 1:13–14 (NAS): In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise,
14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.

There is no where scripturally that supports the loss of the Holy Spirit or your salvation. Only poor exegesis would lead you to find that biblically. The real question comes down to what is saving you? Is it something you did/didn’t do? Are doing/not doing? Will do/not do? Your salvation is not based on anything you can, are or will do. It is based on Christ power and promise to save you. Over 164 times in the New Testament alone it says salvation comes by faith/belief. Nothing else. It comes down to the promise of Christ and the power of Christ to save you. Ephesians 2:8-9, John 10:28 and on and on. The Christian life or discipleship is what you choose to do. Ephesians 4:1 walk worthy of the calling. 1 John. Galatians 5. James 2 says faith without works is dead. The Greek word there is rendered useless. Christ calls us to love as He loved. To go and tell others what He told the disciples. Etc. etc. if you have a car it takes a battery to work. The car won’t start if the battery is dead. Rendered useless. But it still has a battery. It is still a car. You did not seal up the Holy Spirit. It sealed you up. Read Romans 6 and 7. You must choose to surrender to the Holy Spirit. You must choose to walk worthy. That is not salvation

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My understanding is that a church gets more and more Spiritually dead over time and that is why it talks about repentance here. Also, take note from the other churches who have both saved and unsaved in the same church. So over time less and less people are actually saved in the church until Jesus puts out their lampstand (they cease to be a church of any believers).

I appreciate both of your replies and I understand the idea of going spiritually dead or being unsaved and the Grace provided by our Lord to correct and solve both problems but…I still get “tunnel vision” from time to time on the statement “spew you out”. To me, this means that they WERE/ARE Christians and have fallen “so low” as to be called “lukewarm”…Not, dead or close to death but, “lukewarm”. The idea of being a Christian but not a “good enough” one to remain in the family is troubling. Does this imply “works and effort” are needed? How much? Am I there yet or do I have to work harder, read more, pray more, serve more? I thought we were saved by Grace alone and NOT WORKS? I understand that Jesus is far more than just our Savior, he also insists on being LORD in our lives. I guess what I am saying is: From to time to time I simply question what, if anything more I should do to ensure that I am not “Lukewarm”? Do you think this is something that I should simply “Set Aside” and continue to live by faith or is it a question of legitimate concern?

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I have said this before and please consider it.

God does not care that you sin as long as you are battling your sin. When you fight sin, it communicates to God that you desire to be Holy as He is Holy. This makes Jesus very happy. I do not mean fight your sin as guilt tripping yourself and beating yourself up everytime you sin. I mean what Jesus said, “Resist Satan and he will flee from you.” So much praise is done in the heavenly kingdom every time you battle against your sin and are successful in not sinning. Chapters 2-3 are packed with the idea that there are great rewards for those who intentionally persue righteousness over the fleeting pleasures of this world. So you might ask, “How do I fight my sin?” That is something you do by trying to do good as much as you can. To set your gaze on doing good. Because if you focus on “not sinning” you will indeed sin. But if you focus on doing good, you will not sin. God is always there to fogive you. He is always there to say to you, “You are righteous in my sight.”

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@1rickolson Jesus said that those who are connected to the vine produce fruit, so I do not think we need to worry about the abundance of our works. Rather, we should focus on seeking God’s Kingdom first and remaining in Christ through prayer, confession, and worship. As long as we are actively seeking to abide in Christ and obey Him even through our shortcomings, we do not need to fear judgment. We are not saved by what we do. We live differently because we are saved.

As C. S. Lewis said, “God does not love us because we are good. He makes us good because He loves us.”

John 15:5-8 - “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.