Thursday, October 9

Perserverance of the Saints Week 5 Day 4

I asked my friend Mitch (TruthWar) a couple weeks back to pick one of the 5 points of Calvinism and to write something on it so that I can post it. The following is his bit, you can visit his Blog here! Don't forget to Listen to Last weekends Sermon and to listen to "Who can pluck us" by Flame on my Media Player track 1 & 2!

C'ya Tomorrow!

Perseverence of the Saints

Can a believer lose their salvation? Stick around if you aren’t sure because this theology has major ramifications. What is perseverance of the saints(POTS)? It is a hotly debated issue, and very much confusion surrounds it. In my opinion, the confusion arises due to a lack of understanding of covenant. If you understand Gods character and how he deals with his covenant partners, you will believe in perseverance of the saints. If your understanding of covenant is off, many areas of your theology will suffer.

Lets get a good definition on the table before we go any further.

The perseverance of the saints means that all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again.
Wayne Grudem from Systematic Theology (pg. 788)

The most important part of this theology is the assertion that “all those who are truly born again” will be kept by God’s power. Many people are confused because people who claim to be Christians end up becoming homosexuals, raging atheists or sexually deviant crack dealers. Most people think that these “Christians” have just backslidden, and are truly saved. Does the Bible teach that it is possible for Christians to live in habitual sin? First we need to understand what a true Christian looks like, then it will make sense when we see professing Christians fall away.

True Christians are people who recognize their own sinful state before God. Most professing Christians do not believe they are wretched sinners who deserve God’s just wrath, but rather good people who have made mistakes. They do not come to God in repentance for sinning against him and spitting in his face, but instead greedily seeking his good gifts. Many people come to Jesus because they have a “god shaped whole in their heart” and are seeking fulfillment. This is not a biblical phrase, but instead is a man centered phrase taken from a Bible verse which was violently ripped from its proper context. Jesus does not wait outside the door of a sinners heart waiting to come in. Jesus kicks the door in with a size 12 steel toed combat boot and intrudes into the sinners heart without permission and then rips the heart of stone out, and replaces it with a heart of flesh. When sinners are given a new heart, they now desire to please Jesus and that means they hate sin and love God. They will desire to read their Bibles, go to church, pray, live in holiness and worship Jesus with their lives. It is impossible to be justified (made right with God) and not be in the process of sanctification (being made more holy).

When we speak of “once saved, always saved,” we are not taking into account the full scope of salvation. We have been saved (justification), was are being saved (sanctified), and we will one day be saved (glorified). You cannot claim to have been “saved” (justified) unless you are being sanctified. Jesus Christ is Savior and Lord.
Michael Horton from Putting the Amazing Back into Grace (pg. 171)

Some people have a false view of POTS because they try and separate sanctification and justification. They teach that it is OK to be “carnal” and still be a Christian. People who reject POTS do so many times because they think that its adherents are arguing for antinomianism (no law). There were people in history who said that Christians could live in complete sin, because we were dead to the law. Antinomianism is heresy, and no true Christian believes its acceptable to live in habitual sin. It is important to make the distinction that true Christians must live a holy life, not to be saved but as evidence of true saving faith. Stated plainly, if you do not persevere in the faith, it is evidence that you were never truly saved.

The main 2 reasons I believe POTS is because God is powerful and that He always keeps his covenants. God always keeps his covenants, he is unable to break them because of his nature. There are many verses that speak about God sealing his believers with the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 1:13 In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

2 Corinthians 1:22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

2 Corinthains 5:5 He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

These 4 verses all have a similar meaning. When a person is born again, God places the Holy Spirit within them to dwell. Upon the Spirit of God entering a person, they are sealed for the day of redemption. It is also said in 2 Cor 1:22 that the spirit is a seal on us as a “guarantee” or an “earnest”. The Greek word used for guarantee is ἀρραβῶνα arrabon, which means earnest-money, caution-money deposited in case of purchasers, generally a pledge.

With this defenition, it claims that God placed a down payment or a deposit on HIS possession. This means that we cannot be lost eternally because we have been given the spirit as a downpayment. God has made an eternal covenant with his people, and it cannot be broken.

John 6:39 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.

Jesus is a perfect savior who says that he will not lose any that the Father has given him. God chooses his people in election, Jesus comes to die for his people and the Spirit comes to give them life. The triunity of God is shown clearly in the doctrine of soteriology.

John 17: 6 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.

12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

These verses are very clear. The Father gives people to the Son, the Son then dies for them and guards them so that they wont be lost. The reason Christians cannot lose their salvation is because Jesus is the one guarding our faith.

Here is a list of verses that teach of God’s everlasting covenant with his people.

Soli Deo Gloria-


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