Ephesians 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
These are just a couple of many passages that tell us it is by God’s grace through faith that we are saved. It is not by works of any kind. Any attempt at righteousness on our part could never come close to equating with the perfect state of righteousness that God requires. This can only come by accepting Christ who willingly gives us His perfect righteousness when we are saved. There is nothing a person can do to become a Christian. Since the Bible teaches that there is no action that we can take to merit salvation initially, we must realize that there is no way we can work to “keep” God's favor. That would still be salvation by works. Salvation is called a 'gift' from God.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
While wages are “earned” a gift is given without any compensation. In order for something to be considered a gift it must come with no strings attached. Once a gift is given it belongs to the owner. The person who gave it to them cannot take it back for any reason, even if the person they gave it to wronged them in some way. God chose to call salvation a “gift” for a reason. He also used the Word “eternal” to describe it. Here are just a few passages in John that confirm salvation is “everlasting” and “eternal.”
John 3:16 -everlasting
Salvation would not be “eternal” if a person could lose it. That would be conditional salvation. Consider these examples:
1) A man is in the water drowning and someone comes along in a boat. The man in the boat thinks to himself, I will help this man to keep from drowning by teaching him how to swim, so he throws him a book about swimming. Well, this did not save the man because he drowned before he could read the book.
2) A man is in the water drowning and someone comes along in a boat. The man in the boat thinks to himself I will help save this man by “showing” him how to swim. So he jumps in the water and starts swimming while shouting out his instructions to the drowning man. This also did not save the man because he drowned before he could learn how to swim.
3) A man is in the water drowning and someone comes along in a boat. This man decides to save the man so he pulls him out of the water and puts him in the boat. As they are heading to the shore the man who was drowning becomes very annoying. He starts cussing and yelling at the person who was trying to save his life, so in turn, this man decides to throw him back overboard. The man then drowns because he was never delivered safely to the shore. He was only given a short reprieve before he died.
4) A man is in the water drowning and someone comes along in a boat. This person decides to save the drowning man so he pulls him out of the water and puts him in the boat. He drives the boat to land and delivers the man safely on the shore. This man was “saved” from his death.
In all of those scenarios only one man was saved. Simply reading the instructions did not rescue the dying man, watching someone who was not drowning did not help him, and being taken aboard the boat and then getting thrown back into the water did not save him either. In all those instances the man still died. Salvation only came when the drowning man was not only rescued from the water but was also delivered safely to the shore. Christ did not die on the cross and rise from the dead to simply put us in a boat and expect us to find our own way to the shore. Instead, his death paid the penalty for our sin and his resurrection offers the life we need to make it all the way to heaven. Salvation could not be salvation if it were anything less.
As Jesus promised no one can snatch us out of the Father's hand, and that no one includes you. We can not take away something that belongs to God.
John 10:27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life , and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and the Father are one."
For further study see our paper Eternal Security.