Lesson 36 – Preservation and Perseverance of The Saints
We come now to the final point in our study of the doctrine of the salvation of God’s people. We have studied the truths of Total Depravity (Mankind Dead in Sins), Unconditional Election, Particular Redemption (Limited Atonement), and Irresistible Grace. Now we conclude with the truth of the Preservation and Perseverance of all the saints unto eternal glory.
Briefly stated, this truth means that all the elect will be preserved and will persevere in grace and will finally be in glory forever with God. None of them shall be lost. These five points that we have studied really comprise one unified system of Biblical doctrine. Each point necessarily follows the other. They stand or fall together. If the other four points are true, this fifth point has to be true. For example, according to Ephesians 1:4, election is sure. If that is true, it necessarily follows that there must be preservation of the saints. Deny preservation, and election means nothing. This is also true concerning particular redemption. If those for whom Christ died could fall from grace, to that extent Christ would have died in vain.
From Two Perspectives
Why do we refer to this truth as both Preservation and Perseverance? We do so because from God’s perspective it is Preservation. God’s people persevere in grace only because they have been preserved in Christ Jesus. From man’s perspective it is Perseverance. If a person is truly saved he will give evidence of his salvation. He will not completely lose his faith and die in a finally impenitent state. Only the wicked will die in his sins (John 8:21). The combined truth of Preservation and Perseverance is clearly seen in Philippians 2:12-13: “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”
The London Confession
To study this doctrine, let us examine the London Confession of Baptists of 1689. We will include one of the articles on Perseverance in this study sheet and other articles later on:
1. Those whom God hath accepted in the beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, and given the precious faith of his elect unto, can neither totally nor finally fall from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved, seeing the gifts and callings of God are without repentance, whence he still begets and nourisheth in them faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, and all the graces of the Spirit unto immortality (John 10:28,29; Phil. 1:6; II Tim. 2:19; I John 2:19) ; and though many storms and floods arise and beat against them, yet they shall never be able to take them off that foundation and rock which by faith they are fastened upon; notwithstanding, through unbelief and the temptations of Satan, the sensible sight of the light and love of God may for a time be clouded and obscured from them (Ps. 89:31, 32; I Cor. 11:32), yet He is still the same, and they shall be sure to be kept by the power of God unto salvation , where they shall enjoy their purchased possession, they being engraved upon the palm of his hands, and their names having been written in the book of life from all eternity.” (Mal. 3:6; I Pet. 1:5).
1. What relationship do the five points we have been studying bear to one another?
2. Explain the relationship between Preservation and Perseverance.
3. Who will die in their sins?
4. Will the belief that we are Preserved in grace make us lazy? Why or why not?
5. Does this doctrine mean that a child of God will never fall into sin?
6. Will every child of God be brought to repentance?
7. Will every child of God be finally glorified and live with God forever?
Let us memorize Philippians 1:6 and John 10:27-30.