KEEPIN’ THE FAITH: OUR PROMISE OF PERSEVERANCE

 

Dear Readers,

“Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine, O what a foretaste of glory divine”1

We sing this old hymn from time to time, but I also wonder how many truly born-again Christians struggle with doubt when it comes to their salvation.

One of the things I love the most about the Doctrines of Grace is that it biblically asserts that any attainment of salvation, any price, and any means we have to God is dependent upon Him, not of ourselves, who can and will fail. Is there a greater security of a believer’s place in heaven that is greater than God Himself?

On the contrary, His word shows us that:

Since

…we are unable to save ourselves so…He saves us. (Eph. 2:1)

…we are unable to choose Him…so He chooses us. (Romans 9:18)

…we are unrighteousness…so Christ provides the means to salvation (John 6:37-38)

…we are given ears to hear…so He calls us (Romans 8:30)

What He has ordained to save, died to save, and called to salvation, He will preserve to the glory of His Name.

So, we, as products of God’s grace, Christ’s work on the cross, and the Holy Spirit’s calling will surely persevere to the end, eternally saved.

Thus, the fifth and final point in the Doctrines of Grace: The Perseverance of the Saints.

“He that hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6)

The word of God confirms this truth over and over:

“And this is the Father’s will, that of all He hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day” (John 6:39)

“I give unto my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand” (John 10:28)

“There is now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1)

While we may fall, while we may have times of spiritual weakness or rebellion, the Holy Spirit within each true believer’s heart will continue to convict. The believer will come forth, and go forth again unto the ways of the Lord.

I love the words of W.J. Seaton – “The salvation that begins in the mind and purpose of God must end in the fulfilment of His unthwartable purpose that those ‘whom he did foreknow’ are eternally united with their Saviour.”2

Blessed Assurance Indeed!

 

1) “Blessed Assurance” Christian Hymn – Lyrics – Fanny Crosby, Music –Phoebe Knapp, 1873

2) Pamphlet “The Five Points of Calvinism”, © The Banner of Truth Trust 1970, Reprinted 2012 by VersaPress, Inc. P.22

 

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6 thoughts on “KEEPIN’ THE FAITH: OUR PROMISE OF PERSEVERANCE

  1. Good stuff Margo. But just remember to keep in mind the distinction between justification and salvation. God’s saving us is a change in our condition, which takes place in time (Eph.2); His justifying us is our position from all eternity. Eph.1:4.

    Pat

    • Hello Pat!

      Thank you for your comment and for stopping by!

      Yes, I would agree, but isn’t the term “Sanctification” used to refer to a believer’s change in condition over time?

  2. Good post…short and to the point.
    We persevere in faith through the power and
    energy of the Holy Spirit. We strive with all
    our might unto godliness through the power
    and energy of the Holy Spirit. See Colossians
    1:21-23.

    • “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled
      22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:
      23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister” – Col 1:21-23

      A continued faith and life firmly established and steadfast is evidence of being reconciled with God. Thank you for your comment, Chuck!

  3. Amen and well-said, Margo.

    IMO, there are many passages that could be referenced to establish the safety and eternal security of the believer, and many things God has said that revolve around or even speak directly to this. Here are some others I love:

    ” Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. ” ( 1 Peter 1:3-5 )

    Kept by the power of GOD…I know of no greater power, and this statement dovetails with this next one:

    ” My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave [them] me, is greater than all; and no [man] is able to pluck [them] out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and [my] Father are one.”

    No one can pluck God’s children out of His hand…He keeps them safe and secure by His power.

    Now, italics being what they are in the KJV ( put there for “readability” or continuity of translation, from what I understand ), I often read His word by skipping the italics on purpose, and seeing how it flows without them. With this passage, I see and understand it this way, without the italics:

    ” My sheep hear my voice, I know them and they follow ME. and I give to them ETERNAL life; and they shall NEVER perish, neither shall ANY ( that includes myself, for those out there who believe in loss of salvation ) pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave me ( them ) is greater than ALL, and no ( none or “no one” ) is able to pluck out of my Father’s hand. I and ( God the ) Father are one. ”

    Back to my point: No one is powerful enough to take me out of His hand…not even myself.

    Salvation is a sure thing because it is entirely dependent on God’s efforts; I thank God for His unspeakable gift, and that He preserves me to the end of my life…I have an inheritance reserved for me in Heaven, and nothing can keep me from it.

    As I see it, Christ’s sheep will persevere because He perseveres them; They will be preserved because He preserves His own; They are loved with God’s love, which human love only pales in comparison to. It is complete, pervasive and absolutely unwavering, and nothing we can ever do in this life will result in the gift of eternal life being revoked…it’s that simple and amazing. No matter how bad our conscience condemns us for sinning against Him, all of God’s children are FORGIVEN and LOVED.

    With that said, keep in mind that this present life is but a vapor, and then we will be with Him forever. Believe me, it’s WORTH the wait. 🙂 Better yet, believe God:

    ” At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art ** greatly beloved **: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.” ( Daniel 9:23 )

    Daniel was greatly beloved, and so are ALL of God’s children:

    ” Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” ( 1 Thessalonians 1:4 )
    ” to all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called [to be] saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” ( Romans 1:7 )
    ” Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” ( 1 Corinthians 15:58 )
    ” Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” ( James 2:5 )

    We are BELOVED, Margo, and nothing can change that for us. THAT is why we persevere…like wandering sheep, He brings us back to the sheepfold ( in our hearts ) every time we sin, and reminds us of that love periodically and even constantly. Our consciences might fail us and our assurance may waver like a stormy sea, but He will never let us go… I also believe that we will eventually grow to respond in like manner, steady and unwavering in our faith and love for Him.

    That’s us, the children of the living God. We love Him because He first loved us, and all of that is what Perseveres us.

    May you always be mindful of your gift, my sister…it’s worth more than anything you will ever be given in this life.

    Dave.

    • Hello Dave! 🙂

      “Salvation is a sure thing because it is entirely dependent on God’s efforts; I thank God for His unspeakable gift, and that He preserves me to the end of my life…I have an inheritance reserved for me in Heaven, and nothing can keep me from it.”

      Exactly, Dave! Kept by the power of God, so that no one, not even myself from myself, can pluck me out of the Father’s hand.

      Our response? Like you cited, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” ( 1 Corinthians 15:58 ).

      We can only do that because of His faithfulness to us.

      Thank you for the truth and encouragement you’ve communicated here and obvious love for the Lord.

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