Perserverance

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Winman, Jan 13, 2011.

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  1. Winman

    Winman
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    Perseverance

    Here are some questions for you reformed folks.

    How do you absolutely know for a certain fact you will persevere to the end of your life?

    It seems to me that the only way you could be absolutely sure you will persevere is to know for an absolute certainty you are elect.

    But the only absolutely certain way to know you are elect is if you persevere.

    Many reformed scholars freely admit that many who have professed to be elect have fallen away and failed to persevere. So, professing you are elect is no guarantee that you actually are.

    So, how do you know for certain you will persevere unless you know you are elect, and how do you know you are elect if you cannot be absolutely sure you will persevere?
     
    #1 Winman, Jan 13, 2011
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  2. annsni

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    I know because the Bible tells me that I have salvation - eternal life. I know that my heart is not my own and there is NO way I could ever EVER turn my back on God. It's just as much of an impossibility as me killing one of my children. It would never happen.

    1 John 5 tells us "Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
    13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. 14And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him
    ."
     
  3. Jedi Knight

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    The Spirit himself testifies:smilewinkgrin:with our spirit that we are God's children.
     
  4. jbh28

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    John 6:37, John 10:27-28, Romans 8:29-30

    God has promised to keep us. It's not a matter "if" we will persevere, but that we will persevere because of God.
     
  5. glfredrick

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    I echo what was already said above.

    I also suggest Schreiner's book, "Run to Win the Prize: Perseverance in the New Testament" and his earlier work "The Race Set Before Us: A Biblical Theology of Perseverance & Assurance."

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0830815554/?tag=baptis04-20

    http://www.amazon.com/dp/1433514362/?tag=baptis04-20

    I think that Dr. Ware's comment on "Perseverance" sums up the book -- and the difficulty with the theology -- nicely:

     
  6. Winman

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    Not one of you has answered my question. The question is;

    How can you know for an absolute certainty you will persevere unless you know for an absolute certainty you are elect, and how can you know for an absolute certainty you are elect unless you know for an absolute certainty you will persevere?

    I know and agree that a truly elect person will persevere, that is not the question.

    The question is how YOU KNOW personally if you are elect and will persevere?
     
  7. jbh28

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    Winman, how do you know that you are saved? That will answer you question. And your question was really answered btw. annsni did a great job with the I John 5:13 passage.

    So, how do you know if you are elect? When you believe and are saved.
     
  8. moral necessity

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    "These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life." - I John 5:13

    In the context of sinning unto death, ie. apostasy,...
    "All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death. We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life." - I John 5:17-20

    That's how I tend to view it.

    Blessings!
     
  9. moral necessity

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    Also, it's not from knowing that you are elect, that assurance of perseverance arises. But rather from assurance in Christ's promises to you. He says, "All who come to me, I will in no wise cast out.", and "no one is able to pluck them out of my hand." And, Peter says that we are "protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

    That's how I tend to view it.

    Blessings!
     
  10. Robert Snow

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    Doesn't the same bible that contain I Jn. 5 also say:

    Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

    Also, claiming that you could never turn your back on God is pride personified. It has happened to many Christians who love Him as much as you do.
     
  11. Winman

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    I agree with Ann and my assurance is based on many promises in God's word.

    But that is not the reformed position, in fact, many reformed would call my position "easy believeism"

    I am not persevering, I am not enduring, I am resting.

    Again, this is not the reformed position, and I am sure you know that. The reformed position offers no assurance unless one either presumes they are elect, or else bases assurance on works and persevering in those works.

    If you are consistent in reformed theology you cannot possibly know you are elect unless you persevere until the day you die.
     
  12. zrs6v4

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    Winman I'd echo the above. I would go further to say that there are many examples.

    There are some who are saved and aren't assured
    Some are saved and are sure
    Some are not saved and think they are saved
    Some are not saved and know they are not
    -R.C. Sproul

    The truth is either we are or we aren't saved. :)

    It all depends, ultimately it is the relationship with God that we have that testifies within us and His Spirit also. I cannot explain to someone how I know within myself that I am saved, but I do. I know that my heart is decieving above all things, and for that I trust God all the more. There have been times I have questioned my salvation, yet, I went to God for help. All of my life is in God's hands and He sovereignly keeps me. My security is built in God's work. I also was blind, and He gave me eyes, and I have become blinded over and over again only to see Him lift me above my blindness (Ps 38-39)

    The interesting thing about assurance is that it is between us and God alone. I really don't say, "we will wait and see if I persevere." That is looking at my performance. The Christian life isnt about performance at all. Although that is a fruit of a heart that is filled with the Spirit.
     
    #12 zrs6v4, Jan 13, 2011
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  13. jbh28

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    "my heart is no my own" was missed I think. The reason is because of God, not us.
     
  14. Tom Butler

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    John wrote in his first letter, "This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith."

    I would equate overcoming with persevering, and the scriptures guarantee that a believer will overcome.

    And although election and salvation are two different things, I reject the idea that one is possible without the other. The elect will be saved. The saved are the elect.

    I also reject the idea that persevering is necessary for our salvation. This is analagous to the proposition that good works do not save, but the saved will do good works. Persevering does not saved, but the saved persevere.

    Now, I may be the only one on this board who has failed my Lord. I confess that I have been disobedient. I have disappointed Him many times (the latest just today).

    But after beating up on me (which tells me I am his child), he has been faithful and just to forgive. I, like Winman, am resting in his promises. I am resting in Jesus assertion that no one can snatch his sheep out of his hand; I am resting on the promise that He is able to keep that which i have committed to him.

    If perfect perseverance is required, I'm a dead man. If I die and go to Hell, I will go trusting my Lord Christ for salvation.

    If this is inconsistent with Calvinism, then so be it.
     
  15. jbh28

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    Actually, that's the Arminiam position. I know there are some Calvinist that believe something very close to that, but most that I have talked to do not. there is a big difference between "I must persevere to keep my salvation(Arminian) and I will persevere because of my salvation(Calvinist).
     
  16. Robert Snow

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    Even Peter had his moments of betrayal.

    Christians can mess up and turn away from Christ, but thank God He doesn't turn away from us. God will bring us back and restore us because He cannot deny Himself!
     
  17. quantumfaith

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    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  18. Old Union Brother

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    A good exercise might be counting the number of times in 1 John it is written "ye know" or "we know". I did this not long ago. It is eye openning.
     
  19. preacher4truth

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    First, let me say that "perseverance of the saints" by mere wording alone lends itself to many assumptions as to what it must mean, not what the doctrine truly means.

    So I ask, what do you mean by persevere, Winman? Your thinking here and definition is paramount to giving a proper response.

    I hear what you're saying. Again, please define perseverance. Is it something we do; (read Bibles, pray, go to church, witness, walk holy, stay away from a fall into sin) or is it something else, and if it is please define this.

    Basically you are saying we cannot know until the day we go home with the Lord since you say this:

    Our salvation, does it depend upon what we do, or; upon your definition of persevere (which I am not aware of what yours is), or; do we rest solely upon the work of Christ all of our days since trusting Him, and believe that He saved us? If it is the latter, then there is nothing to discuss other than "...for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard that which I have entrusted to Him until that day." 2 Timothy 1:12. Christ is doing the saving, not any perseverance on our part whatsoever. It's all Him; He saved us, He is saving us, He will save us. But His will believe until the end, it is the fruit of a truly regenerate person, the outcome of being born-again.

    OK. Can you give some documented examples of this since you are using this as a proof to your cause in this debate? I don't think we can have a fair debate without documentation to back up our statements. If there are many who have said this, then give at least two examples. By the way, I have never read nor seen this in my life. The way this is worded lends itself toward a works based salvation, which no reformed theology accepts. You are correct, though, that professing we are elect is no guarantee, but this is a given and doesn't serve your purpose as it is purely hypothetical.

    But, when we judge one who formerly professed faith (and that such imply being then elect to follow your argument) when are we able to make a proper judgment upon their standing (to determine whether they were ever or never elect) other than in this fact that the Scriptures lend themselves judgment to do so towards those apostatizing from the Gospel, that is, rejecting the Gospel and its message once for all, something to which they formerly professed themselves yet now deny? 1 John 2:19 gives us cause, as does Hebrews 6, of those who've apostatized, thus we can make a cautious verdict in some cases, but these are not simply those who have fallen into sin, but have abandoned the hope of the Gospel.

    Because we have believed in Him and what He has said. Look at John 10:27-28, Ephesians 2, 1 John 5:13, John 5:24, 1 John 3:14.

    Now there are tests to see whether or not we have passed from death to life, as 1 John clearly gives us.

    There are also some fearful passages such as Hebrews 6 &c. But if we carefully look at falling away, and see that it means to cast off Christ and the hope of the Gospel, to which Colossians 1:23 warns us to not do, and revert to another Gospel, or no other Gospel, perhaps only going to total unbelief, these have never been saved in the first place, they are apostates or have apostatized. To apply this to all of us, when we see that perseverance means faith to the end, not necessary "faithfulness" then we see how we should be cautious, we should make certain we are saved and have believed, that we are bearing the fruit of a regenerated soul, and that we trust in Him to save us alone, being thankful to Him for His work.
     
    #19 preacher4truth, Jan 14, 2011
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  20. annsni

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    Well, note that is before Christ. If my heart is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, how can it be desperately wicked?
     
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