Perseverance of the Saints

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Reformed, Jul 19, 2014.

  1. Reformed

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    In a previous thread on OSAS Rev. Mitchell made the point that Perseverance of the Saints could be cooped by others to mean something other than what the term has historically stood for.

    Perseverance of the Saints is a Protestant creed. I know there are Baptists who disagree that Baptists are Protestants, and that is a worthy discussion in its own right for another thread. The following link shows how certain Baptists defined and used the term:

    http://www.reformedreader.org/ccc/1689lbc/english/Chapter17.htm

    Perseverance of the Saints is more than just a teaching on eternal security. It has to do with the progressive sanctification of the believer through trials and failures that are only able to be overcome by the mercy and grace of God.
     
  2. The Biblicist

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    However, not all trials are overcome. Not all saints are sanctificed equally or progresses at the same stage of sanctification. Not all sanctification is manifest visibly as much is unseen. Progression is according to the measure of grace and faith given and God's purpose which may be very brief (Thief on cross) or may be low scale (Lot).

    The problem with the Lordship view of perseverance is that "works" are made essential to salvation as in the Seventh Day Adventist doctrine of Salvation. SDA will claim we are justified by faith without works performed in our own person, but then demand that there is no ultimate salvation apart from progressive sanctification by works in our own person, or keeping of God's commandments. Hence, the fruit of salvation actually become a necessary essential of salvation - thus final justification by the unholy combination of grace works. This doctrine denies the sufficiency of the works performed in the Person of Christ to completely satisfy the Law's demand for righteousness, but demands in addition that, good works MUST be performed in our own Person according to another standard ("characteristically") than the standard demanded by the Law. Hence, a new standard of righteousness is added for works in our person in contrast to the Law's standard for works done in the person of Christ. The works of Christ must meet a sinless standard, whereas the standard for a true born again person must be "characteristically" without sin. Two different standards for righteousness, when the Bible provides but one standard for righteousness.

    However, the objection for rejecting this dual standard for righteousness is that those who oppose "characteristic" sinlessness as the necessary fruit of salvation are teaching lawlessness or giving a liscence to sin.

    This is a false alternative, a false charge. The truth is that regeneration has changed the inclination of the will permanently toward righteousness (Rom. 7:18 "to will is present with me" "I delight in the law of God after the inward man." But the "power to perform I find not." Thus, a true child of God sins more than they want to, but they still sin. Hence, part of progressive sanctification is not necessarily OUTWARD PERFORMANCE but the internal unseen struggle which is only effectually made outwardly manifest for good when we depend on the power of the Holy Spirit. When we do not (which is quite often) then although no OUTWARD manifest sanctification is seen, the inward struggle is part of progressive sanctification. In addition, when we continue in sin for a season (undetermined length) then chastening is the only manifest progressive sanctification made visible in the life of the child of God (Psa. 32).

    God determines the proportion of internal versus external progressive sanctification, as he has determined the good works we do (Eph. 2:10b, Philip. 2:13). In some cases, as in the case of Lot, VERY LITTLE external manifest righteousness is seen. Much is said about the life of Lot, but very little external evidence can be found in the description of his life that would externally indicate he was a child of God. Even Peter, does not list any external evidence but points the reader to internal evidence "his righteous heart was vexed." However, when we look at the description of his manifest life, if Peter had not said this, you who hold to "characteristic" righteousness from purely an EXTERNAL view would have to claim Lot was not a child of God.

    My view is that progressive sanctification occurs in every child of God but it cannot be judged externally by the term "characteristically." The difference between a true and false professor is not sin, but rather a person can get away with sin and whether they rejoice in sin. What is true, is that which is born of God (the spirit) cannot sin as it is created in "righteousness and true holiness" thus restoring the "image" of God (Eph. 4:24; Col. 3:10) even though that righteousness may not always be outwardly manifested. What is true is that the inclination of the will to do good has been permenantly changed but it requires POWER to overcome indwelling sin and that is not always overcome. However, there is always the struggle, there is always chastening in lieu of absence of manifest righteousness. Finally, partial incomplete good works in our own person provides assurance of personal salvation but manifest righteousness does not always provide evidence that others are saved (Mt. 7:21-23) and the absence of "characteristic" manifest righteousness does not prove a person is lost ("Lot").
     
    #2 The Biblicist, Jul 20, 2014
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  3. Revmitchell

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    I remain unconvinced that use of either term works to stay the error you assert. I do agree the error exists but the answer to it lies in discipleship not in the use of terms or phrases.
     
  4. evangelist6589

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    Whats the best book on the Doctrines of Grace in your POV? I have one by RC Sproul, and one called The five Points of Calvinism by David N. Steele. You say you are Reformed so my guess would be you are not a Calvinistic/dispensationalist like me and your eschatology is not Premillennial.
     
  5. kyredneck

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    :thumbs: Yeah, but He sees it, it's all manifest in His sight, He instigates it, He's the Author of it:

    12 For the word of God is living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart.
    13 And there is no creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him with whom we have to do. Heb 4

    4 (for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but mighty before God to the casting down of strongholds),
    5 casting down imaginations, and every high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ; 2 Cor 10
     
    #5 kyredneck, Jul 20, 2014
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  6. Reformed

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    Since we have discussed it in a God-honoring way, let's agree to disagree and continue to press on in the faith.

    Blessings.
     
  7. Reformed

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    Willing to Believe by R.C. Sproul is a good read.

    No. I am not a dispensationalist or premillennial.
     
  8. evangelist6589

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    If you are open to it check out the book Charting the End times and read every scripture and do all the homework and after you will be a Calvinistic dispensationalist. The author does not use logic, clever stories, or other ways of bypassing the bible. He just uses the entire bible and no newspaper to clearly teach his position.
     
  9. Revmitchell

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    Sure, I appreciate the discussion.
     
  10. Iconoclast

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    John Murray in Redemption Accomplished and Applied wrote the following:


    In order to place the doctrine of perseverance in proper light we need to know what it is not. It does not mean that every one who professes faith in Christ and who is accepted as a believer in the fellowship of the saints is secure for eternity and may entertain the assurance of eternal salvation. Our Lord himself warned his followers in the days of his flesh when he said to those Jews who believed on him, “If ye continue in my word, then are ye truly my disciples, and ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31, 32). He set up a criterion by which true disciples might be distinguished, and that criterion is continuance in Jesus’ Word (pp. 151–52.)

    In contrast Perseverance of the Saints emphasizes that truly regenerated believers will persevere, or keep on going in faith throughout their lives, since it is God who, through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, keeps or preserves the believer. As explained by John Murray who was once professor of Systematic Theology at the Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. [Emphasis in Original] The doctrine of perseverance is the doctrine that believers persevere; it cannot be too strongly stressed that it is the perseverance of the saints. And that means that the saints, those united to Christ by the effectual call of the Father and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, will persevere unto the end. .. It is not at all that they will be saved irrespective of the their perseverance or their continuance, but that they will assuredly persevere. Consequently the security that is theirs is inseparable from their perseverance. Is this not what Jesus said? "He than endureth to the end, the same shall be saved." [50] J.I. Packer stresses the difference between the two doctrinesLet it first be said that in declaring the eternal security of God's people it is clearer to speak of their preservation than, as is commonly done, of their perseverance. Perseverance means persistence under discouragement and contrary pressure. The assertion that believers persevere in faith and obedience despite everything is true, but the reason is that Jesus Christ through the Spirit persists in preserving them. [51] - See more at: http://www.inplainsite.org/html/doc_perseverance_saints.html#sthash.c3uJuCbt.dpuf
     
  11. Iconoclast

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    http://banneroftruth.org/us/resourc...e-doctrine-of-the-perseverance-of-the-saints/

    God sovereignly decrees that none of his elect shall perish. As a result the goal of election is assured. All of the elect come to repentance. All of the elect come to faith. All of the elect are saved. None of the elect perish. R. C. Sproul

    The grace of… perseverance to the end [is] given to all the elect, and to them only. David Dickson

    God’s decree is the very pillar … on which the saints’ perseverance depends. Thomas Watson

    The saints’ persevering in a way of holiness unto glory is … the fruit of electing love. Jonathan Edwards

    God never repents of his electing love. Thomas Watson

    The infinite, mysterious, eternal love of God for his people is a guarantee that they can never be lost. Loraine Boettner

    God hath given this charge to Christ, that whomsoever he elected, Christ should preserve them safe, to bring them to heaven. Christopher Love

    Did Christ finish his work for us? Then … he will also finish his work in us. John Flavel

    God never finally forsakes his people. Martin Luther

    God will never cast away his jewels, but [will] gather them into his cabinet of just men made perfect. William S. Plumer

    Perseverance is the rope that ties the soul to the doorpost of heaven. Frances Roberts

    No soldiers of Christ are ever lost, missing or left dead on the battlefield. John Charles Ryle

    An inheritance is not only kept for us, but we are kept for it. Richard Sibbes

    God may for a time desert his children, but he will not disinherit them. Thomas Watson

    All our progress and perseverance are from God. John Calvin

    God, by the exercise of his grace . . . infallibly prevents even the weakest saint from final apostasy. Loraine Boettner
     
  12. Iconoclast

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    Michael Horton;

     
  13. convicted1

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    :applause::applause::applause::applause:
     
  14. convicted1

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    :applause::thumbsup::thumbs::jesus:
     
  15. The 5 solas

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    Iconoclast, you gave all excellent quotes on this thread!

    Perseverance of the Saints, which can also be called the Preservation of the Saints is a glorious doctrine. It is a shame so many people often get confused and think that when one embraces the doctrine that they are incorrectly labelled as OSAS, it leaves so much place for error. Antinomianism abounds in the OSAS crowd so the time it takes to flesh out the difference is well worth it. Great to see this thread!
     
  16. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    It might suprise you to know I agree 100% with everything Horton says. The highlighted portion above is strictly, in my opinion, within the purview of the Lord Jesus. Even though we may see no evidence of sanctification in a person, is is impossible for us to say "that person is not saved." The truth is, we don't know if sanctification is taking place or not.

    We cannot see is what is happening in the heart and the mind of that person. Christ through the Holy Spirit may be doing a great work in that person -- all on the inside for the time being, convicting, chastising, encouraging and blessing. The power for that person to resist is gradually being worn down through the word, the work of the Spirit, and the encouragement of the Saints.

    I believe, Icon, if you agree with that assessment, we may have found our common ground in this venue.
     
  17. Iconoclast

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    thisnumbersdisconnected

    :wavey::thumbs: We should be able to find more agreement as some who disrupted every thread are not here now.
    I have only heard Michael Horton teach a little bit, but he seems Christ centered in what I have heard or read.
    While AGREEMENT IS A GOODTHING....
    133 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

    2 It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments;

    3 As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.

    What is even valuable is those times when we can provoke some good and Godly thoughts in each other so we can be better equipped to serve our Lord.
     
  18. Iconoclast

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    The 5 solas

    Welcome to BB brother:wavey:


    God has given so many gifted teachers to the church that we are without excuse if we are not pressing on to grow in grace and knowledge.
    I have seen some of your solid posting already and am confident you will contribute much good to these threads.

    Some have not heard any good teaching on these issues to a point that for many they never consider it a vital issue. we can do our part to occupy until He comes:thumbs:
     
  19. convicted1

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    Ummmmmm....she's a "Sister".....:D :wavey:
     
  20. Yeshua1

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    That is where the difference seems to be here, as their seems to be ateaching that unless one has fully become submissive to the Lordship of jesus, that would indicate lack of true conversion has happened...

    They seem to blend the two truths that in Christ we now have a full legal standing before God, but that we still me confirmed more into image of Chrsit here as a resullt of being justified before Him!
     

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