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Perseverance in Pursuit of Godliness


Although the doctrine of Perseverance only makes sense in the context of monergism (Calvinism), it is commonly believed by many synergists (Arminians & semi-Pelagians) as well. Parents of ungodly children seem especially prone to employ “eternal security” as a soporific for their grief, clinging to that day long ago when their child “asked Jesus into his heart.” But perseverance means more than “once saved, always saved.”

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The fifth point of the doctrines of grace is preserving grace. It is often referred to as the perseverance of the saints or eternal security. Others speak of this doctrine by means of the pithy phrase “once saved, always saved.” This is the biblical truth that all those who have been brought to faith in Christ will never be lost. But this doctrine is about more than eternal security. It also includes the lifelong perseverance of the believer in the pursuit of godliness. While the doctrine of election reaches back to eternity past, this doctrine—preserving grace—reaches forward throughout the entirety of one’s Christian life and into eternity future. This doctrine simply establishes that all those chosen by the Father, redeemed by the Son, and regenerated by the Spirit will pursue holiness and be kept secure in Christ forever. The preserving grace of God rests upon the immutability of His sovereign grace to save His elect forever.

—Steve Lawson, Foundations of Grace (Reformation Trust, 2006), 434–435.



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2 Comments:


#1 || 12·12·20··18:10 || Carl Cunningham

In Jesus foretelling the disciples' persecution he ends in Matt 10:22, "and you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved". Later in Matt 24:13, He's foretelling events of the end of the age and concludes with "But the one who endures to the end will be saved".
My question is, do these references have anything to do with the doctrine of perseverance of the saints, in the sense that Dr. Lawson is describing (ie. God's preserving grace to keep genuine believers saved all the way into eternity)? Or, in context, does 'saved' here have more the sense of 'maintained' or 'delivered' through dire circumstances? I strongly affirm the doctrine, but have never been able to understand how/if these texts fit into it.


#2 || 12·12·21··10:09 || David Kjos

I think those passages have to mean preservation in the faith unto final salvation. We aren’t ever guaranteed anything else. We may be persecuted and even killed, but we are promised grace so that our faith will not fail.


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