Monday, April 9, 2012

Defining P in TULIP

Perseverance of the Saints is the Biblical doctrine that teaches that the elect whom God has chosen for salvation will eternally reside in His sovereign care. There is a divine certainty the elect will be brought to dwell with the Lord in heaven. Christ assures His own they will not be lost but will be glorified at the last day. What Christ has promised, He will perform. The perseverance of the elect does not depend upon their good works, but upon the faithfulness of God.

Based upon the truth of the previous four points, what may we say about the salvation of the elect? To say that it is anything less than eternally secure is to undermine everything which we have already shown to be Scripturally true. If salvation can be lost, then I have to think that it is inevitable. If the security of our salvation hangs upon nothing securer than our own will, then we are eternally on thin ice. If God can't secure my salvation now, why should I think He can in the eternal state?

If, as Scripture says, God's calling is "irrevocable" (Rom. 11:29), then we cannot imagine God electing a man to salvation, only to get fed up with him later and unelecting him. Furthermore, if salvation is not of works, then it is not of works! Works don't earn salvation, neither do they maintain it. Anyone who says this is a license for sin is a fool and anyone who uses it as a license for sin has been "designated to this condemnation" (Jude 4).Paul explicitly argues that precisely because justification is not of works a saved man will walk in the good works God has prepared beforehand for him (Eph. 2:10).

The Father always hears the Son (John 11:42). The Son expressly asks the Father to bring to Heaven, both His original disciples as well as all who will believe on Him because of their preaching (John 17:20-24).Christ ever lives to make intercession for them for whom He died (Heb. 7:25). How can I say that He intercedes only for those for whom He died? Hebrews 7:25 says, "He is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them" Note the words "draw," "save," and "intercession" We have already seen that only those whom God draws come to Christ (John 6:44). Moreover, it is these for whom He died. And it is only these for whom He intercedes. Jesus tells us Himself, as we eavesdrop in on His High Priestly prayer, "I am praying for them (those whom the Father has given Him). I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me" (John 17:9). Tie all these strands together and you have this: Those whom God elected and Christ atoned for and to whom the Spirit applies this redemption, are eternally secure because no less than Jesus Himself intercedes for them based upon the Father's satisfaction with the Son's atoning work. To deny the eternally secure nature of the elect's salvation is to deny one or more of the aforementioned explicit statements of Scripture.

Again, we must remember that the perseverance of the elect does not depend upon their good works, but upon the faithfulness of God. In the words of the Psalmist, "Not to us, Oh LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness" (Ps. 115:1).

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