P – Perseverance of the Saints

The last of the 5 Points of Calvinism is the Perseverance of the Saints. This is one of the sweetest doctrines in the Bible, but it is reserved for those with a truly biblical understanding of salvation. The Westminster Confession defines Perseverance of the Saints in this way:

They whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.”

This is a truth that the vast majority of evangelicals today would affirm. It’s typically stated in much simpler terms like, “Once saved, always saved” and others. In this way, it seems that a large number of evangelicals are “Closet Calvinists”, because the doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints can only be the result of a fully calvinistic understanding of soteriology.

The Perseverance of the Saints is the last link in an unbreakable chain of salvation. For the Calvinist this chain of salvation is thoroughly God-Centered, for the Arminian this chain is thoroughly Man-Centered. For the Calvinist man is totally depraved and is completely unable to save himself or even to respond to God, because of man’s desperate condition God mercifully chooses some to be saved, because God’s choice of these elect requires atonement, the Father sent His Son to receive His full wrath against their particular sins (in other words, as Christ died on the cross, his death was for the elect), having purchased His elect through the cross the Holy Spirit effectually calls these elect to the Father, which is a call that can not be resisted. For those whom God chose, God atoned for, and God called to Himself, God will be the one will keep them.

RC Sproul has said, “If my salvation depended upon me, I’d lose it every day…a thousand times every day.” The heart of arminianism is to exalt man’s role in salvation, but the horrible consequence of this exaltation is that it gives man a burden, that he can not bear. This leaves the Arminian in the dreadful position of having to maintain his own salvation, which can not be done. The heart of Calvinism is to exalt God’s role in salvation, while maintaining man’s responsibility, this means that man’s salvation is not dependent upon Him, but rather upon God.

Again, a number of passages can be examined in regards to this doctrine. Her are a few of them:

John 6:37-40 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

John 10:28-29 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.

Romans 8:1 – There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

As I said in an earlier post, the 5 points of Calvinism have a way of breaking the pride that is so much a part of our fallen nature and taking our eyes off of ourselvs and putting them on the Lord Jesus Christ.

It's only fair to share...Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

April 01 2008 02:45 pm | Doctrines of Grace

Comments are closed.