The Staunch Calvinist

"Absolute sovereignty is what I love to ascribe to God." - Jonathan Edwards

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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 17: Of The Perseverance of the Saints - Commentary

... href="#Rom8:28-39"briefly above. No matter what, God will preserve His elect and bring them safely and without blame into His kingdom.

Falling Away From Grace?

There are verses which at first sight seem to support the idea that a true believer can lose their salvation. But if that was the case, then how do we understand the many passages that we discussed above which make such a thing for a true believe an impossibility? We are to interpret the unclear in light of the clear and it is clear that none of the elect will ever perish. In this section, I want to examine a few passages which are often brought up against the Perseverance of the Saints or Eternal Security. I will not discuss every passage brought up against this doctrine, obviously, but I will try to get the most important ones. I do not see any benefit in using warning passages against apostasy to say that it is, in fact, possible for true believers to commit apostasy under the New Covenant. They warn against apostasy and of its danger, but they, in fact, do not describe true believers becoming unbelievers.

I come to the difficult passages unashamedly with presuppositions in mind, namely, that none of the elect, on the basis of the clear teaching of Scripture, can fall away completely from grace and so end up in hell. I acknowledge that some of these passages brought up against the doctrine of Perseverance are difficult, but I also want to apply the principle of Analogia Fidei. I seek to interpret the unclear in light of the clear and not otherwise. If there is a passage which can only be interpreted in one way, while the other difficult passage can be interpreted multiple ways, I'm not going to look for a way to escape the first passage.

A General Observation

The writers of the New Testament take those who profess faith at their word. If they were at one time professing the name of Christ, they take them at their word and when they later deny the name of Christ, they, therefore, conclude that they have left the faith that they once professed. But the authors of the New Testament never once claim that those who apostatized were regenerate believers but now have become unregenerate, or they were justified believers that now have been unjustified, or they were Spirit in-dwelt believers that now are Spirit-less. This is the crucial point of all of this. If it can be demonstrated that such a thing as described is possible, then apostasy from truth and living faith is proven biblical. Therefore, using passages like 1 Timothy 6:10 to claim that true believers do, in fact, fall away from the faith into damnation, is I believe wrong in light of Scripture’s clear teaching on perseverance. Passages like 1 Timothy 4:1; 6:10 could better be interpreted to be about professing believers and not about true believers. Those who claimed at one time to belong to Christ, but have rejected that profession they once made. They were never sown in the good soil to begin with (Matt. 13:22). Or to use Revelation 3:5 to say that Christ will, in fact, blot out some names goes against what the passage expressly says. That the Lord says He will never blot out the name of the conquerors does not at all mean that He blots out some other names, rather it confirms the conquerors in their faith and shows them that Christ the Lord of all is on their side in the midst of their persecution.

Using warning or conditional passages from Hebrews like Hebrews 2:1, 3; 3:6, 12-14; 12:15-17, 25 wil...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 18: Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation - Commentary

...ry Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words. (Zondervan, 2006). p. 1106, number 1010.
  • ^ ibid., pp. 1106-1107, number 1011.
  • ...

    Preservation of the Saints - Scripture List

    ...

    Preservation of the Saints[1]

    Some prefer saying “the preservation of the saints” to emphasize that this is the work of God: others use the phrase “Eternal Security” to emphasize the impossibility of God’s perfect work of salvation being undone. But whatever one calls it, it is the belief that when Christ save one of His elect, he will not fail to keep that saved person throughout life and bring them safely in to His presence. It is, in short, the belief that Christ is able to save perfectly.[2]

    All who are chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit, are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of almighty God, and thus persevere to the end.[3]

    For a biblical defense and an exegetical case for this doctrine, also containing answers to passages supposedly refuting the doctrine of Perseverance see here.

    If God brings you to it, He will get you through it

    Ps 138:8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

    Ecc 3:14 I perceived that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it. God has done it, so that people fear before him.

    Isa 46:3-4 “Listen to me, O house of Jacob, all the remnant of the house of Israel, who have been borne by me from before your birth, carried from the womb; 4even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you. I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.

    1Cor 1:4-9 I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus, 5 that in every way you were enriched in him in all speech and all knowledge— 6 even as the testimony about Christ was confirmed among you— 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Col 3:3-4 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

    Phil 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

    2Tim 4:18 The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into his heavenly kingdom. To him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.

    1Pet 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

    None of Christ’s sheep will be lost—ever!

    Jn 6:39-40 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. 40 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.”

    Jn 10:27-29 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able t...