Thursday, March 14, 2013

Calvinism: Finally the Letter P, Perseverance of the Saints

Romans 8:28-30, "We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him, who are called according to his propose. 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 brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified."

“I was afraid that I would not make it, “ my friend said of a difficult trial. There are times when we feel we can’t hold on. There may be times when we veer off into a besetting sin for a season.

Wherever grace is presented there are people who respond, “Shall we go on sinning that grace may increase?” Some might say that since God will bring us to Heaven in the end we can do whatever we want. That is not the concept taught in the principle of Perseverance.

The biblical principle is that the faith which brings us to Heaven will energize us to do good works. The proof of our faith is that we do works which glorify God. It is a twofold perseverance; God brings us to Heaven and we persevere through faith which is shown in our works. These bookends of perseverance are seen in such passages as 2 Peter which says, "Therefore, brethren, be the more zealous to confirm your call and election, for if you do this you will never fall; so there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ."

The principle of Perseverance is simply that as Piper states, “God works to cause His elect to persevere.” It is not an excuse to sin the same as salvation wholly by grace isn’t an excuse. It is an assurance that when trials and our flesh make finishing well seem impossible we can rest in the God with Whom nothing is impossible.

No comments: