Perseverance of the Saints Eternal Security
Westminster Confession of FaithOf the Perseverance of the Saints… • I. They, whom God has 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 FaithOf the Perseverance of the Saints… • II. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which arises also the certainty and infallibility thereof.
Westminster Confession of FaithOf the Perseverance of the Saints… • III. Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and, for a time, continue therein: whereby they incur God's displeasure, and grieve His Holy Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.
Common Misunderstandings… • Perseverance does not mean that Christians are exempted from all spiritual danger just because they are Christians. • Perseverance does not mean that Christians are always kept from falling into sin, just because they are Christians. • Perseverance does not mean that those who merely profess Christ without being born again are secure.
Verses in support of the position of Eternal Security • Joh 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. • Joh 6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh." • Rom 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. • 1Jn 5:13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
Common arguments against Perseverance… • Heb6:4-6 For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. • Heb 6:9 Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things—things that belong to salvation.
Common arguments against Perseverance… • 2Pe 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. • 2Pe 2:2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. • 1Co 9:27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. • Matt 25 “The Five Foolish Virgins”
Approaching the Difficult Passages… • Category One: Those passages that suggest that we can “fall away” from Grace. • Category Two: These are passages suggesting that our salvation is uncertain. • Category Three: Warning Passages.
Undeniable verses that teach Perseverance… • Php 1:6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. This verse is self-explanatory in that it states that God finishes what he starts. • Joh10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one."
Undeniable verses that teach Perseverance… • Rom 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Assurance of Salvation • Definition: Assurance is a Protestant Christian doctrine that states that the inner witness of the Holy Spirit allows the justified disciple to know that he or she is saved.
Assurance of Salvation • Assurance rests upon the character of God • Assurance of Salvation rests on the work of Jesus Christ • Assurance of Salvation rests on the truth of God’s promises
Ways that we experience salvation assurance… • The inner confirmation of the Holy Spirit • The presence of the attitudes and actions the Bible says will accompany salvation
Self Examination… • Do you share the intimacies of the Christian life with other believers? Do you fellowship with other believers? • Do you have a deep awareness of your sin against the word and love of God? Do you acknowledge sin in your life? • Do you despise the world and its ways? • Do you long for the return of Jesus Christ and to be made like him? • Do you habitually do what is right more and sin less? • Do you love other Christians sacrificially and want to be with them? • Do you discern the presence of the Holy Spirit within you? • Do you enjoy listening to the doctrines of the Apostles of Jesus taught? • Do you believe what the Bible teaches about Jesus Christ?
Things that work against our sense of Assurance… • A true Christian may lose a sense of Assurance of Salvation because he or she refuses to deal with known sin. • A true Christian may lose a sense of Assurance of Salvation because of spiritual laziness. • A true Christian may lose a sense of Assurance of Salvation because of satanic attacks. • A true Christian may lose a sense of Assurance of Salvation because of trials or harsh circumstances. • A true Christian may lose a sense of Assurance of Salvation because of illness or temperament. • A true Christian may lose a sense of Assurance of Salvation because God seems to withdraw a sense of His presence and blessing.
Sources of a false Assurance of Salvation… • A public commitment or outward response to the Gospel • Baptism • Involvement with a church • Strong Christian family heritage • An abundance of good deeds • An extraordinary experience • A dramatic personal or lifestyle change • Material blessing and financial security • A false understanding of God • A false understanding of sin and Hell
Characteristics of the Falsely Assured… • They are either unconcerned or angry when warned about false assurance • They are either legalistic or loose with spiritual disciplines or duties • They are either very weak or very confident in their Bible knowledge • They have a vicarious Christianity or an overly independent spirit • They may be constantly resisting the truth or never able to come to the truth
Perseverance of the Saints Eternal Security