Hey! Randy

The Saints Keep on Being Saints

Posted by heyrandy on October 11, 2008

The final letter in the TULIP acrostic stands for the doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints.  This means that those who believe with saving faith, having been chosen to salvation by God from before the foundation of the world, will continue in that faith until the end.  This doctrine is sometimes called “the eternal security of the believer”.   While eternal security is true, the traditional term has the advantage of implying the struggle, the need to persevere, that is part of the Christian life.

The doctrine of perseverance follows from the doctrine of election.  If God chooses some to salvation, those chosen will indeed be saved.  Perseverance is also related to the other points we have discussed.  By now it is obvious that the entire five points form a cohesive whole.

Some have objected to the idea of perseverance saying that such a doctrine breeds carelessness in a Christian’s life.  It is usually replied that such carelessness is not evident, and when it is it is a sign of a false believer.  Perseverance is not an excuse for idleness.  It is a motive to activity.  Perseverance encourages effort.  Perseverance tells the believer that it is not up to him; God is working within him to ensure success.

The realization that God is working in the believer to “do His good will” is in keeping with the previous four points.  Salvation is God centered from beginning to end.  There is no room for man to glory, to brag, about his success.  The Christian can only “glory in the Lord”.

If the believer was left to himself, he would fall away.  No human is strong enough to resist all that the devil will throw at him.  This is why perseverance is so vital.  There is struggle in the Christian life, but there is sustaining grace from God to prevail in that struggle.  The Christian is not abandoned.

It is further objected that perseverance means that the Christian can sin all he wants.  After all,  if once saved, always saved, why not just indulge in sin?  Again, as with the previous objection, there is the issue of evidence of a false believer.  Perseverance does not mean that Christians are sinless.  Perseverance fully realizes that Christians do sin and do so frequently.  Perseverance says that one does not lose one’s salvation by committing a sin.

Those who raise this objection often say that sinning does cause one to lose one’s salvation.  If it is true that one does lose one’s salvation at every sin, how does one ever know that one still has that salvation?  Does not the Scriptures say If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us? 1 John 1:8

The apostle Paul take up the matter of perseverance in Romans 8:30: and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.  The key word is “He”.  It is all of God.

Sin is a fact of Christian living.  There is no escaping it, even with our new nature.  This is why perseverance is so important.  We would have no hope without it.  Without God to bring us through we would never get past the first day.

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