Perseverence of the Saints

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by J.D., Nov 22, 2007.

  1. J.D.

    J.D.
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    There was a time that I considered myself a 4 1/2 point calvinist owing to the fact that I beieved the "P" should be "preservation" instead of "perseverance". But as I eventually came to see, this was based on a misundertanding of what perseverence means in the calvinist system. The one Bible verse that gave me problems was 1 Cor 11:30 "For this cause many [are] weak and sickly among you, and many sleep." I thought, if many died, then they didn't exactly "persevere", did they?

    But the reformed confessions make it clear that perseverence does not exclude the chastening of the Lord. Let us note that there is nothing in the verse I quoted that states that those that were weak and sickly, and "sleep", died in a state of unbelief.

    Someone said that Moses did not persevere because he did not enter the promised land. But Hebrews 11 says that Moses "endured". He was punished for his disobedience but nevertheless he persevered in faith.

    The doctrine of the Perseverence of the Saints simply says that no born-again child of God can re-enter his or her previous state of unbelief. Their faith can be weakened, but not annihiliated.

    The saints persevere because they are preserved. Preservation is the cause, perserverence is the effect, and the continuing work of the Holy Spirit is the means.

    Here is the enitre text of Chapter 17 of the 1689 confession copied from http://www.reformedreader.org/ccc/1689lbc/english/Chapter17.htm:

    Notice there is not one appearance of the word "works" in the chapter. Perseverence is not in works but in faith.
     
    #1 J.D., Nov 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2007
  2. J.D.

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    Btw Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!
     
  3. Amy.G

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    Thank you JD. That is what I was trying to say in the other thread. I am glad to know that I understood it right.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and all the bb! :wavey:

    :godisgood:


    :1_grouphug:<-------------For everyone!
     
  4. Allan

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    I think the word is needful of adaption to our understanding.

    They understood the same thing we do theologically but their word throws up a red flag to those who do not dig deeply to grasp THEIR meaning.

    It does no damage to the understanding by stating 'Preservation' than to maintain 'Preserverence' :) and you will find more people agreeing with what you understand useing the same words they understand. It is more a word problem than anything else.
     
    #4 Allan, Nov 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2007
  5. Alex Quackenbush

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    If a person dies in unbelief, then they never believed. Your point here is rather meaningless regarding perseverance vs preservation.

    The reason the text does not state anyone died under in unbelief is because that is impossible regarding believers (unless you believe on can fall away from the faith but then that is verbotten with most modern Calvinists though it was once held by many). Once a person believes they are a believer.

    The fact is this passage is reflective not of perseverance, but preservation. Perseverance is NOT reflected in unfruitful lives but in what Calvinists demand are fruitful lives. One dying under Divine discipline is exactly what preservation is; that in spite of our unfaithfulness after we believe, even to the point of suffering death in Divine discipline, our salvation is preserved by God's integrity.

    The demand by Calvinists that perseverance will be reflected by fruitful lives (even if temporary indulgences of sinful excursions mark one's life) or that the unfruitful believer will at some point return to a more faithful life, certainly isn't reflected in Divine discipline that leads to death.
     
    #5 Alex Quackenbush, Nov 22, 2007
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  6. skypair

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    Here is the difference, J.D., between "perserverence" and "preservation."

    Perserverence regards the secular realm of the flesh. You give an exact illustration of some that didn't "perservere."

    But "preservation" regards the spiritual realm where your salvation is eternally secure.

    This is a HUGE issue throughout the NT because there are 2 issues for a Christian in salvation: 1) am I saved eternally? and 2) am I saved daily?

    Rom 5:10 highlights this very well. "...we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." We are reconciled eternally (PRESERVED) by Christ's death if we receive Him. We are saved (PERSERVERE) daily by living His life.

    Therefore, sin is not an eternal problem for the believer -- we're forgiven -- but sin still has daily consequences for us. This is a huge issue for people to get straight! We are preserved monergistically by God but we need to perservere synergistically with God.

    skypair
     
  7. saturneptune

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    Either way, I agree with the op. The Saints will make it to the Super Bowl.[​IMG]
     
    #7 saturneptune, Nov 22, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 22, 2007
  8. psalms109:31

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    Endure to the end

    Matthew 10:22
    " You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.

    Matthew 24:13
    " But the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

    Mark 13:13
    " You will be hated by all because of My name, but the one who endures to the end, he will be saved.

    The saints will endure to the end, we are not to let trials and tribulations choke out what God is given to us, but count trials and tribulations as pure joy.

    Luke 22:
    27For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. 28You are those who have stood by me in my trials. 29And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, 30so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

    2 Thessalonians 1:
    Thanksgiving and Prayer
    3We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. 4Therefore, among God's churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring.

    5All this is evidence that God's judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.

    11With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. 12We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.[Or God and Lord, Jesus Christ]

    James 1

    1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
    To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
    Greetings.
    Trials and Temptations
    2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.

    1 Peter 1:
    Praise to God for a Living Hope
    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. 6In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

    This is what we are to do as believers.

    Hebrews 3:13
    12See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. 14We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

    If you do not have anyone to encourage you and you think you stand alone and have no one to turn to, Jesus will always be with you through His word that is in your heart. He will always be there to turn to.

    2 Peter 2:
    7and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men 8(for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard)— 9if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue godly men from trials and to hold the unrighteous for the day of judgment, while continuing their punishment.[Or unrighteous for punishment until the day of judgment]
     
  9. npetreley

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    Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I know it will be difficult eating all those goodies, but endure to the end!
     
  10. psalms109:31

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    Thanksgiven

    Amen to that:1_grouphug: !!!

    You have a good one to and Happy thanksgiven to you all to
     
  11. TCGreek

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    1. I understand what you are saying, but I get the impression that you are depending more on the Confessions than Scripture for the formulation of your doctrine.

    2. I think if we see in Scripture that God deals with us at two different levels in his judgment--as a judge and then as a father who disciplines--we will guard against much misunderstanding in Scripture.

    3. Scripture points to both the perseverance of the believer and the preservation of the believer by God and we must present that in our teaching and preaching.

    4. Amen, to that!
     
  12. J.D.

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    1. The original question that spured the OP had to do with the proper understanding of the reformed doctrine of perseverence. It was not a question of scripture. We can post the supporting verses if needed. The confession provides some scriptures proofs.

    2. I prefer not to that God is both a judge and a father of believers but rather is a father the judges (chastines) His children.

    3. Amen! Good teaching will separate and then connect the two aspects.

    4. It's good to walk together in agreement!
     
  13. psalms109:31

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    Die in unbelief

    I wouldn't want anyone to die in unbelief or give someone a false hope that one can die in unbelief will be saved because they believed some time in thier lives.

    I understand that people don't want to believe that a loved one died eternally.

    If we did all we can do to bring them back into belief and they still died in unbelieve, then all we can really do from there is send them up to prayer and petition to God and go on with our lives and do what God wants us to do.

    Hebrews 3:13
    12See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. 13But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. 14We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly till the end the confidence we had at first.

    Death is a reminder to us to take care of each other, because we are not promised another second
     
    #13 psalms109:31, Nov 25, 2007
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2007
  14. J.D.

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    My editing timed out. Here's what that should have said:

    I prefer not to think that God is both a judge and a father of believers, but rather is a father that judges (chastens) His children.
     
  15. J.D.

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    I think you've touched on a key factor. I can agree except I would say "they professed to believe some time in their lives." Or as John Gill would say it, they were "temporary" believers.
     
  16. Allan

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    Not to be argumentitive, but... :laugh:

    How can a person be a 'temporary' believer?

    Either they believed and were saved or they never believed.

    To postulate one can believe the truths of God and never be saved is a complete contradiction according to my bible. That would presume we can believe God/His Word, and in so doing, even serve God but never be saved by God because we eventually just stop believing. Maybe I'm just not grasping the full context of the quote.

    THIS quote however, 'would' give credence to the argument between the words 'Preserverence' and 'Preservence'. That type of quote illistrates (to many) one must persevere in faith to the end to be saved, rather than God preserving their faith of salvation to the end.
     
  17. psalms109:31

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    belief

    Let just say you had a friend murdered to avoid them finding about your affair with their wife and the child that she was bearing. The penalty for this sin was death, but not you but her's and your innocent child had to pay your debt. Wouldn’t that change your life, could you go back and live the life you once lived.

    Jesus is innocent and He paid the price for your sin can you go back to your life you once lived?
     
  18. Amy.G

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    Mat 13:20 "The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
    Mat 13:21 yet he has no {firm} root in himself, but is {only} temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.


    I agree with you that the person who temporarily believes was not saved. We do not fall from grace or lose our salvation.
    Some do believe one can stop believing. Remember the ME debates?


    I don't think anyone has said that one must persevere "rather than" be preserved. We persevere because God preserves us. I think that is what has been said repeatedly.
     
  19. webdog

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    The seed in that parable is Truth, the Gospel, not salvation. One can become excited about God's Word and the Gospel message without putting their faith in Christ. I've seen this in my family with my wife's Aunt and Uncle during the death of their son, who was saved a couple weeks before he died. They understood the message, but never "rooted it in themselves" (faith).
     
  20. Amy.G

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    I think that's what I said later in my previous post. :)

    My point was to show that one can respond to the seed of truth with joy, but fall away before salvation takes place. They "belielve" it, but not with saving faith.
     

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