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Preserving Grace in John

Steve Lawson on every Arminian’s favorite verse:


Those who put their trust in Jesus Christ never perish in the spiritual sense. They receive eternal life, which delivers them from suffering eternal destruction:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” —John 3:16

Jesus promised that all who believe upon Him never perish. That is, they do not suffer eternal destruction in hell. They do not endure everlasting damnation in the flames of hell. imgCalvin states, “So it follows that until Christ set about rescuing the lost, everyone was destined for eternal destruction. . . . God specifically states that although we appear to have been born for death, certain deliverance is offered to us through faith in Christ. So we should not fear death, which would otherwise hang over us. . . . In this way we are freed from the condemnation of eternal death and made heirs of eternal life, because through the sacrifice of His death He has atoned for our sins so that nothing will prevent God from acknowledging us as His sons.” imgCharles H. Spurgeon proclaims, “This proves the final perseverance of the saints; for if the believer ceased to be a believer he would perish; and as he cannot perish, it is clear that he will continue a believer. If thou wert to lose it, it would prove that it was not everlasting, and thou wouldest perish; and thus thou wouldst make this word to be of no effect. Whosoever with his heart believeth in Christ is a saved man, not for to-night only, but for all the nights that ever shall be, and for that dread night of death, and for that solemn eternity which draws so near.” This is to say, believers are eternally secure, forever safe, and kept in God’s saving grace.

—Steve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 296.

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Posted  in: Charles Spurgeon · Foundations of Grace · Gospel of John · John Calvin · Steve Lawson
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