On Predestination and Perseverance of the Saints

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This name, then, teaches the truth that God "preserves" all those whom He has chosen and redeemed and in whose hearts He has worked by the power of His irresistible grace. Eternal Security : The third name that is used for this doctrine is "eternal security. This name, while not in itself objectionable, is often used by those who believe "once saved, always saved," no matter how a person lives or what he does.

That teaching, as we hope to show, is not biblical, and if we use the name "eternal security," we must be sure to contradict that teaching.

Explore the opposing doctrines of Calvinism and Arminianism

We may not believe that the assurance of final salvation allows anyone to live carelessly and wickedly When we speak of the perseverance or preservation of saints , we are teaching the truth that those who are saved persevere to the end as a result of the grace of God, not as a result of their own strength or works, but always in the way of real, personal holiness.

The name "saints", when it is applied to believers is a name that refers to their holiness. The name means holy ones. We do not believe just in perseverance or preservation, but in the perseverance of saints. It is important, first of all, because it reminds us of the real issue.

Unconditional Election: What is Reformed Theology? with R.C. Sproul

The question raised by this doctrine is not simply whether or not the Bible teaches that a person once saved is always saved, but also what the Bible teaches about saints. The Bible , however, shows that saints are holy only by the grace of God, that of themselves they are sinners and have no natural holiness or power to be holy.

Perseverance of the Saints

It is God who makes saints. The Reformed Free Publishing Association RFPA is an independent, non-profit organization founded in for the purpose of witnessing to the distinctive Reformed truth. Phone: Email: mail rfpa. Subscribe to our email list to stay up-to-date with blog articles, new products, and promotions. Home Books Categories View our eBooks! Engelsma, Joshua Haak, Carl J. Kamps, Marvin Kregel, Lois E. Kuyper, Abraham Langerak, Nathan L.

Calvinism VI: Perseverance of the Saints

Smit, Richard J. Van Baren, Gise J. He did this through the life and death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth who was and is God in the flesh. The five points of Calvinism are, in fact, not the whole teaching of John Calvin on theology or his major views on the Reformed faith. The response to this charge was studiously provided by 84 pastors and theologians and 18 representatives of the Dutch government. Steele, Curtis C. Thomas, and S. The doctrine of the perseverance of the saints can be explained another way.

Thus, those on whom He set His love from all eternity are His and He will never let them go. The Reformed faith holds that God is sovereign and man is responsible. Thus, if one is called by God and has responded in faith, and has been given the gift of the Holy Spirit, then one will be eager to make his calling and election sure 2 Peter That is how believers persevere against the devil, the flesh, and the world. The Reformed doctrine of the perseverance of the saints does not deny that there are difficult passages of Scripture. For example, consider the falling away of personages in Scripture.

Paul mentions several ministers who served with him, yet fell away. The doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, though, does not deny that there are those who make outward professions of faith, but who remain unregenerate. Membership in a visible congregation does not prove membership in the invisible Church of Jesus Christ. But what about the passages in which believers are warned against falling away e.

Calvinism Vs. Arminianism - Definition and Comparison

Would there be a warning if in fact God was going to guarantee their salvation? Of course the answer is that the God who ordains our end also ordains the means to His end His purpose for us. And the means is obedience flowing from a renewed heart. For land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned.

But Henry assures that the humble sinner who pleads guilty and cries for mercy can have no ground from this passage to be discouraged, whatever his conscience may accuse him of. If those who through mistaken views of this passage, as well as of their own case, fear that there is no mercy for them, would attend to the account given of the nature of this sin, that it is a total and a willing renouncing of Christ, and His cause, and joining with His enemies, it would relieve them from wrong fears.

Practical Applications for the Believer.


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The perseverance of the saints, like all biblical truth, brings blessings, for as we have seen, doctrine brings delight. To know that one is safe in the arms of Jesus forever delights the soul in many ways. Here are only a few practical applications: The perseverance of the saints is a delight to those struggling with sin. If you are His and He is yours, the means of grace that Christ has ordained will give you victory.

While your struggle may last a lifetime, nothing can withstand the power of the cross. The perseverance of the saints is a delight to the believer. For it magnifies the Father who predestined us to salvation in the mystery of His love, as well as Jesus Christ who became the Mediator of this covenant and lived for us and died for us and rose again for us, and the Holy Spirit who actively works in and through us.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.


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  • And He who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God Romans As this doctrine magnifies God, it correspondingly excites our souls to prayer and adoration, and convinces us of our total dependence upon the Savior.


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