Perseverance of the Saints – the doctrine that deals with the eternal security of the believer. Often we hear Once Saved, Always Saved.
Perseverance of the Saints
(Believer’s position and Application of God’s Grace)
Perseverance of the saints talks about the eternal security of once saved always saved. As in once you are born again or regenerated, nothing can pluck you from the hands of God. Those truly saved will persevere to the end. This is the fifth point, or the letter P of Reformed theology for TULIP, part of the Doctrines of Grace.
How can I stay that way? What if I sin again? The Holy Spirit not only calls us to faith, but He also keeps us in faith!
This doctrine dismissed by meany because people don’t believe that God can preserve their faith mostly because they want to submit to what they believe is their own free will instead. One thing to remind people. Just because you believe you are eternally secure, doesn’t give you a license to sin! There is an old saying Proof is in the Pudding. Simply put, we will know them by their fruit. God will not allow His children to sin successfully. They will want to repent or turn away! That is because we are made a new creation, regenerated.
Wayne A. Grudem
Wayne A. Grudem says it like this in his book Christian Beliefs … “All who are truly Christians will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives.” Using John 8:31. I agree with this as God will not take away salvation for His true children. 1
One was God keeps His promise of eternity is from the Holy Spirit. He places this “Seal” as Grudem stated in Systematic Theology, This seal of the Holy Spirit acts as a “guarantee”.4 The Holy Spirit is our helper and our guide. We only get the Holy Spirit if we are truly born again. When we are born again we are the New Creation in Christ where the old is gone and the new is here. That new is Christ. Due to our sinful nature, if you see anything good in me, you see Christ in me. He is the only good within me.
Might want to check out this blog post, The Holy Spirit is like an security alarm.
R.C. Sproul says in Everyone’s A Theologian, “Those who lose their faith, never had it.”2 I would have to agree with that. If you lose your faith, you never had the faith. You may have thought you had the faith. Truly you never had what you thought you had. Sadly there are way too many people who thing they are saved that aren’t. Many from false teachers in this world.
True Christians can have radical and serious falls but never total and final falls from grace. —R.C. Sproul
Charles C. Ryrie
Now Charles C. Ryrie in Basic Theology will call it Eternal Security in stead of Perseverance of the Saints. These two things are the same thing. Ryrie says in Basic Theology, “Eternal Security is the work of God that guarantees that the gift of salvation, once received, is forever and cannot be lost.” However, Ryrie, says Perseverance of the Saints focuses on the believer, while Eternal Security focuses on God. 3
Some still believe you can lose your salvation
The Roman Church, known as the Catholic Church, will tell you that you can lose your salvation.Even most Armenians believe you can lose your salvation as well. While, most Baptist believe in a Know Soul Salvation. You can know that you know that you know you are saved. That is because God’s perseveres His children. Nothing can pluck us from the hand of God. See John 10:28-30. Most Reformers will agree you cannot lose your salvation as well.
Those people whom God according to his purpose calls into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord and regenerates by the Holy Spirit, God also sets free from the dominion and slavery of sin, though not entirely from the flesh and from the body of sin as long as they are in this life.5
The above is found in Article I from the 5th head. This article is on the regenerate not entirely free from sin section.
This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ; the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them; and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.6
The above was found in the second part of the XVII Chapter.
This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father, upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ and union with him, the oath of God, the abiding of his Spirit, and the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace; from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.7
Above is found in the second part of the 17th Chapter.
All true believers endure to the end. Those whom God has accepted in Christ, and sanctified by His Spirit, will never fall away from the state of grace, but shall persevere to the end. Believers may fall into sin through neglect and temptation, whereby they grieve the Spirit, impair their graces and comforts, and bring reproach on the cause of Christ and temporal judgments on themselves; yet they shall be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.8
Found in the second paragraph of article V.
- Philippians 1:6
- John 6:38-40
- Ephesians 1:13-14
- John 5:24
- 1 John 2:3-4
- Hebrews 12:2
- John 8:31
- Hebrews 7:25
- John 3:36
- Colossians 1:22-23
- John 10:27-30
- Plus many more that can be listed
Here is a blog post on Perseverance.
- Christian Beliefs by Wayne A. Grudem, Pages 102, 105-106
- Everyone’s a Theologian by R.C. Sproul, Pages 252-257
- Basic Theology by Charles C. Ryrie, Pages 379-386
- Systematic Theology by Wayne A. Grudem, Pages 788-809
- Canons of Dort (5th Head Doctrine)
- Westminster Confession of Faith (Chapter XVII)
- London Baptist Confession of 1689 (Chapter 17)
- Baptist Faith & Message, Article V, God’s Purpose of Grace