Perseverance of the Saints

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JM

Puritan Board Doctor
What would be the top five passages you believe are essential in understanding the perseverance of the saints?
 

Michael Doyle

Puritan Board Junior
Romans 8:1; Philippians 1:6; Ephesians 1:13-14; John 6:44; Romans 8:35

These are very good. The best? Thats debatable I spose
 

A.J.

Puritan Board Junior
Jer. 31-32 (esp. 31:31-34 & 32:38-40); John 6 and 10 (cf. chap. 17); Rom. 8-9; Eph. 1
 

Jimmy the Greek

Puritan Board Senior
All the above are good, but the first one that always comes to my mind when this issue is raised is Philippians 1:6 "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ."
 

JM

Puritan Board Doctor
I was given this list as the top five against the doctrine of persverance:

1. John 15:1-7
2. Romans 11:17-22
3. Heb 3:12-14, 6:4-12, 10:19-39
4. 2 Peter 2:1-22
5. 1 John 2:24-25
 

Lincolnshire Paul

Puritan Board Freshman
I was given this list as the top five against the doctrine of persverance:

1. John 15:1-7
2. Romans 11:17-22
3. Heb 3:12-14, 6:4-12, 10:19-39
4. 2 Peter 2:1-22
5. 1 John 2:24-25

To be honest, even having reformed theology, I'm starting to believe less and less with Peservance of the Saints.
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
I was given this list as the top five against the doctrine of persverance:

1. John 15:1-7
2. Romans 11:17-22
3. Heb 3:12-14, 6:4-12, 10:19-39
4. 2 Peter 2:1-22
5. 1 John 2:24-25

To be honest, even having reformed theology, I'm starting to believe less and less with Peservance of the Saints.

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MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
I was given this list as the top five against the doctrine of persverance:

1. John 15:1-7
2. Romans 11:17-22
3. Heb 3:12-14, 6:4-12, 10:19-39
4. 2 Peter 2:1-22
5. 1 John 2:24-25

These passages present motives, means, and warnings for persevering in grace; they do not negate the fact that the gift to persevere flows from divine grace which never changes.
 

Oecolampadius

Puritan Board Sophomore
I was given this list as the top five against the doctrine of persverance:

1. John 15:1-7
2. Romans 11:17-22
3. Heb 3:12-14, 6:4-12, 10:19-39
4. 2 Peter 2:1-22
5. 1 John 2:24-25

To be honest, even having reformed theology, I'm starting to believe less and less with Peservance of the Saints.

I'm going to quote one of the passages that I think is very relevant to the question of Perseverance, Romans 8:16-39:

18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,

“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

The whole basis for the doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints is the Sovereignty of God. If we are to doubt Perseverance then we might as well doubt Election. For it has been ordained that the saints will persevere. Are the elect "more than conquerors" (v.37) if they do not persevere? And, if we doubt the doctrine of Perseverance, do we not doubt the Spirit in doing his role? The Spirit, who has been called the Paraclete, our Comforter and Helper, "helps us in our weakness" (v. 26).

The sufferings that most Christians face now are little compared to what the saints back then during the time of the Early Church or during the Reformation endured. If you want proof that saints do persevere no matter what, I suggest you read this book:
Amazon.com: Foxe's Book of Martyrs: (Forgotten Books): John Foxe: Books
 

ExGentibus

Puritan Board Freshman
The Scripture offers countless references to the perseverance of the saints, some of which so obvious that it requires a dedicated effort to deny them.
Nonetheless, a good number of those passages require the right presuppositions about God, His attributes and covenant, and the nature of faith in order to be appreciated.

For example, I think three significant verses are:
Jer. 31:3 "Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee." The love with which God has loved Israel is everlasting: it cannot cease, not because of something in the object, but because of God's immutable nature, and God is immutable because He is eternal. The eternity of God is our greatest assurance of the perseverance. However, the interpretation of this verse changes depending on one's understanding of the word Israel in verse 4. A dispensational structure would relate this to the national Israel, and the verse would tell us nothing about our perseverance in the Christian faith. A covenant framework would instead understand it correctly as the spiritual Israel and relate it, for example, to Ephesians 5.25-27.

The eternity of the triune God and His gracious, monergistic work are also assumed here as the foundation of our perseverance: 2 Cor. 1:20-22 "For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us. Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts."

Jude 24,25: "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever." God is omnipotent and "none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?" The apostle says that God is forever worthy of glory and majesty, dominion and power, because he is able to keep up from falling and to present us faultless.

None of those three verses would say anything about the perseverance of the Saints without the proper presuppositions about the attributes of God. A view of God that does not affirm His immutability cannot rest our hope of salvation on His love for the elect in His Son, but has to look elsewhere, like our own will or works.
 

Phil Fourie

Puritan Board Freshman
I would add:

And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Ephesians 4:30
 

ClayPot

Puritan Board Sophomore
1. Rom 8:28-38: 28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[j] who[k] have been called according to his purpose. 29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written:
"For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered."[l] 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[m] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

2. 1 Peter 3-5: 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.

3. Phil 1:3-6: 3I thank my God every time I remember you. 4In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

4. Eph 1:3-14: 3Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5he[c] predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. 9And he[d] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.

11In him we were also chosen,[e] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory.

5. 1 John 2:19: 19They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
 

Lincolnshire Paul

Puritan Board Freshman
Good verses. I have reconsidered and re-read many passages recently, and it seems that if it is a work of God and not of the Flesh, then it is lasting.

:)
 

KMK

Administrator
Staff member
Good verses. I have reconsidered and re-read many passages recently, and it seems that if it is a work of God and not of the Flesh, then it is lasting.

:)

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