Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Perseverance’

A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine-16-Assurance and Perseverance

February 6, 2014 3 comments

Assurance and Perseverance

 

1. What is meant by assurance of Salvation?

It is an undoubting conviction of our acceptance in Christ.

2. Do all the people of God attain it?

It is not attained by all.

3. Is not assurance an essential of saving faith?

It is not; doubts and fears assail believers sometimes to the end of life.

4. Is it not desirable to attain this grace?

It is not only very desirable, but we are expressly commanded to seek for it.

5. Do any in whom the work of grace has begun ever finally fall?

They do not.

6. How do we know this?

We learn it from the Scriptures; moreover, salvation is the work of God, who cannot fail in what He undertakes.

7. Do not such persons sometimes fall into grievous sin?

They do; and years may elapse before they are finally rescued therefrom.

8. Can a child of God be contented in this state?

No; the renewed nature God has given him must be disturbed at the presence of sin.

9. What is his plain duty when he finds himself in this condition?

Still to trust in his Saviour, praying to Him for pardon and for help to avoid sin.

 

James P. Boyce-A Brief Catechism of Bible Doctrine

Question 35-Puritan Catechism

September 5, 2013 2 comments

Spurgeon 3Q. What are the benefits which in this life do either accompany or flow from justification, adoption, and sanctification?

A. The benefits which in this life do accompany or flow from justification, (Romans 5:1,2,5) are assurance of God’s love, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Spirit, (Romans 14:17) increase of grace, perseverance in it to the end. (Proverbs 4:18; 1 John 5:13; 1 Peter 1:5)

Charles Haddon Spurgeon-A Puritan Catechism

The Church has always been living and we have no quarrel with it

February 20, 2013 Leave a comment

calvin.jpg_7MA21605611-0015

6. Their dilemma does not push us so violently as to oblige us to confess, either that the Church was a considerable time without life, or that we have now a quarrel with the Church. The Church of Christ assuredly has lived, and will live, as long as Christ shall reign at the right hand of the Father. By his hand it is sustained, by his protection defended, by his mighty power preserved in safety. For what he once undertook he will undoubtedly perform, he will be with his people always, “even to the end of the world,” (Matthew 28:20.) With the Church we wage no war, since, with one consent, in common with the whole body of the faithful we worship and adore one Gods and Christ Jesus the Lord, as all the pious have always adored him. But they themselves err not a little from the truth in not recognizing any church but that which they behold with the bodily eye, and in endeavoring to circumscribe it by limits, within which it cannot be confined.

John Calvin-Prefatory Address to Francis King of the French-Institutes of the Christian Religion

 

Those who fall away never professed true faith

January 2, 2013 1 comment

Uniting with the Church however, important as this act may be, is any easy matter. It is but the beginning of the Christian life. Next comes the period of trial. Will all who join the Churches, bear the test to which sooner or later, they will most surely be subjected. Remember also that the period which is to try the strength of their faith, patience, obedience, and fidelity, extends through their whole life upon earth. With these facts before you, survey the scene which I will now sketch, as it passes. For one, the seductions of sense, ere long, prove too mighty; he yields; lives after the flesh, and dies. Another, carried away by the fascinations of the world,―wealth, ambition, honor, pleasure―is found sowing to the flesh; he reaps corruption. Then the righteous man―he who had been eminent for zeal, and good works, foremost in the sacred ranks, is overthrown, turns away from his righteousness, commits iniquity, and miserably perish! A succession of similar events continues. Their profession when tested, prove unequal to the trial! They have fallen; and are probably lost forever. Behold the picture. Is it imaginary? Alas! far from it. Do these facts, however, prove that the persons in question have “lost their faith, and regeneration?” Surely not. The facts all concur to demonstrate that they never possessed these high endowments. True they professed religion. But the indubitable evidence of a man’s faith and regeneration” is, not alone that he has been excited, and experienced fears and sorrows, and confidence and raptures; nor that he does many righteous acts, and is lauded as eminently devoted; but it is that he sustains the tests to which he is subjected in the christian profession. The “refiners fire” consumes the dross only; the pure gold all remains, and is by the process, rendered but the finer, and the brighter. Can it be proved that these men who have fallen, although they previously maintained the character of great piety, were ever rally regenerated? Never. Such proof is impossible, as long as men can appear to be what they are not. Then their fall is very far from showing that the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints is not true.

R. B. C. Howell—Perseverance of the Saints

Proof that the warnings are towards the church body

December 26, 2012 Leave a comment

To the Churches as bodies, so composed, are all the fearful passages in question addressed. To the members of the Church at Rome for example, Paul said―”If ye live after the flesh ye shall die.”

To those of the Churches of Galatia, “Be not deceived God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap; for he that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap corruption.”

To the members of the old Jewish Church the prophet Ezekiel said―”When the righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he love? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned; in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sins that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.”

Does any one deny that these, and all similar threatenings, are, in fact, addressed to the members of the Churches. If they are not addressed to members of the Churches, they can have no influence upon the argument; they are directed to those who are not members, and whose claims to religion, since all truly religious men unite with the Churches, are at best, exceedingly questionable. They are in truth, however, addressed to the Churches, all of whose members are professedly righteous, and claim to be accepted of God through Christ. They are so regarded by their brethren, and by all others. For a season, they all act in accordance with their profession. No difference in zeal, and good works, can be perceived between the truly converted and unconverted. They all, whatever may be really the fact, bear the same character. They are known as Christians―men of God.

R. B. C. Howell—Perseverance of the Saints

God provides the means to the end

November 28, 2012 Leave a comment

A third preliminary remark―Final perseverance in grace is never accomplished without the divinely appointed instrumentalities. The means, and the ends, are invariably associated. And will believers in Christ always employ those means? If they do, the result can never be doubtful. Messiah himself says they will. If a man love me he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.””This is the love of God that we keep his commandments; and his commandments are not grievous.”The saints of the Redeemer―

 

“Have proclaimed him King, and in their hearts His title is engraven, with a pen Dipt in the fountain of eternal love,”

 

With these considerations before you, we proceed to weigh carefully, and prayerfully, in the balances of divine truth, the principal objections to the conclusion that all believers in Christ will persevere in grace unto the attainment of final and complete salvation, never “totally losing their faith, and regeneration,” but pressing onward till they reach, and wear, the crown of eternal life.

 

R. B. C. Howell—Perseverance of the Saints

God’s work on us will bring us eternal delight and joy

November 27, 2012 Leave a comment

What pleasure it now gives the Christian to hear of the varied and wondrous ways in which God regenerates His people! What delight will be ours in Heaven when we learn of the loving care, abiding faithfulness, and mighty power of God in the preservation of each of His own! What joy will be ours when we learn the details of how He made good His promise “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned, neither shall the flame kindle upon thee” (Isa. 43:2)—His providence working for us externally, His grace operating internally: preserving amid the tossings and tempests of life, recovering from woeful backslidings, reviving us when almost dead.

Arthur W. Pink—Studies in the Scriptures April, 1937 The Spirit Preserving

The Perseverance of the Saints

November 14, 2012 2 comments

The Privileges of Believers In Christ Include Their Perseverance In Grace Unto the Attainment of Final, and Complete Salvation

Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”

To persevere in grace unto the attainment of final, and complete salvation, is another, and the last in the catalogue which I shall at present particularly consider, of the inestimable privileges growing out of the union of believers with Christ. I need not tell you that a result so glorious will not be achieved without a struggle. The utmost energies of minds renewed and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, will be imperatively demanded. Battles are to be fought; victories are to be won; labors are to be endured; before the end is gained.

 . . . Not for thee Spreads the world her downy pillow; On the rock thy couch must me, While around thee chafes the billow.”

 But in every struggle, every conflict, Jehovah is your guide and support, and has promised that you shall be “more than conquerors,” through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Many excellent christians however, in opposition to the doctrine maintained by us, hold, to use the language of one of their most distinguished divines, that―”A believer may totally lose his faith, and regeneration, and may continue in apostasy, and so eternally perish.”1

Either this proposition is not defensible, or that which asserts the final perseverance of the saints―in other words, the continuance of all believers “in a state of grace to a state of glory”―must be abandoned. Both cannot be true. To which shall we adhere? It is our interest, and our duty, to know the truth, on this, and all other topics; and thanks to our God, the means are accessible and at hand by which the whole inquiry may be fully and satisfactorily determined.

Before entering upon the argument however, whether in refutation of the opinion stated, or in defence of our own conclusion, it is necessary, if you would clearly comprehend the question to be examined, that several preliminary observations should be submitted.

In the first place, we predicate final perseverance in grace of those only who are “born again”―the saints of Christ Jesus―and not of mere professors of religion. Let this fact be kept constantly in memory. Professors of religion, members of the Churches, are not all, as a matter of course, the children of God, and followers of the Redeemer. Many, in every age, have assumed the outward forms of godliness, in whose hearts true piety had no dwelling place. In the estimation of enlightened christians of every class, such are expected to “fall away.” Their relations to the Church are not congenial; their spiritual duties are burdensome; they soon become weary; and in going back to the world, they return to a course of life which their hearts always preferred. Their apostasy is a natural consequence, and always to be anticipated.

R. B. C. Howell—Perseverance of the Saints

There is both preservation on God’s part and perseverance in holiness on ours

Thus there is both preservation on God’s part and perseverance in holiness on ours, and the former is accomplished by maintaining the latter. God does not deal with His people as though they were machines, but as rational creatures. He sets before them weighty considerations and powerful motives, solemn warnings and rich rewards, and by the renewings of His grace and the revivings of His Spirit causes them to respond thereto. Are they made conscious of the power and pollution of indwelling sin? then they cry for help to resist its lustings and to escape its defilements. Are they shown the importance, the value, and the need of faith? then they beg the Lord for an increase of it. Are they made sensible of that obedience which is due unto God, but aware too of the hindering drag of the flesh? then they cry “Draw me, we will run after Thee.” Do they yearn to be fruitful? then they pray “Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my Beloved come into His garden, and eat His pleasant fruits” (Song. 4:16).

Arthur W. Pink—Studies in the Scriptures March, 1937 The Spirit Preserving

God works from within a believer in order to preserve

Yet it needs to be pointed out that in maintaining His people in holiness, the power of God operates in quite another manner than it does in the maintenance of a river or the preservation of a tree. A rive may (sometimes does) dry up, and a tree may be uprooted: the one is maintained by being replenished by fresh waters, the other is preserved by its being nourished and by its roots being held in the ground; but in each case, the preservation is by physical power, from without, entirely without their concurrence. In the case of the Christian’s preservation it is quite otherwise. With him, God works from within, using moral suasion, leading him to a concurrence of mind and will with the Holy Spirit in this work. God deals with the believer as a moral agent, draws him “with cords of a man” (Hosea 11:4), maintains his responsibility, and bids him “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure” (Phil. 2:12, 13).

Arthur W. Pink—Studies in the Scriptures March, 1937 The Spirit Preserving