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What Is the Doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints?

Category Articles
Date October 26, 2010

They whom God hath accepted in his Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by his Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved. Westminster Confession of Faith

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

Scripture Proof:

I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but 1 will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. (Jer. 32:40)

He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil. 1:6

And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. (John 10:28)

The Lord . . . will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom. (2 Tim. 4:18)

The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me. (Psa. 138:8)

What Warnings Against Arminianism Does This Doctrine Give?

A consistent Arminian, with his doctrine of free will and of falling from grace, can never in this life be certain of his eternal salvation. He may indeed have the assurance of his present salvation, but he can only have a hope of his final salvation. Loraine Boettner

The . . . last point of Arminianism implies . . . that those who are loved of God, ransomed by Christ and born again of the Spirit, may (let God wish and strive ever so much to the contrary) . . . perish eternally at last. Christopher Ness

This mistaken doctrine of the Arminians teaches that a person may be a son of God today and a son of the Devil tomorrow. Loraine Boettner

What Practical Lessons Does This Doctrine Teach?

The perseverance of the saints reminds us very forcefully that only those who persevere to the end are truly saints. John Murray

The vigilance of Jehovah over his saints is as admirable as it is necessary. William S. Plumer

It ought greatly to humble us to be taught . . . that our safety entirely depends upon our having a Keeper (Psa. 121:5) William S. Plumer

From first to last salvation is all of grace. William S. Plumer

Taken with permission from ‘A Concise Calvinistic Catechism’, compiled by John Brentnall, in Peace and Truth, 2010:4, the magazine of the Sovereign Grace Union.

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