Bible Doctrine Drill – Lesson 13 – Preservation
The “P” in TULIP is for Preservation of the Saints.
We have already shown that all men are by nature dead in sin (Total Depravity), that God chose His people in Christ before the world began (Unconditional Election), that Christ died for the elect and the elect alone (Limited Atonement), and that the Holy Spirit brings eternal life to all those for whom Christ died (Irresistible Grace). Now we must go a little further.
After the Holy Spirit brings salvation to a child of God, God keeps that person saved. We have no more power to keep ourselves saved than we had to get ourselves saved to begin with. If God got us saved and then left the rest up to us, we would fall and be forever lost. This is so because we are still sinners even after we have been saved.
After a child of God is saved he is always saved. He cannot become “unsaved.” He cannot “fall from grace.” Why? Because he is kept by the power of God.
Some people teach that a person can be saved one day then be unsaved another day because of his disobedience — but they are wrong!
It is true that a child of God can disobey God and lose sweet fellowship with God, but the child of God can never lose his salvation. God may chastise (spank and correct) His children, but He will never cast them into hell. A child of God may for a while be a disobedient child, but he will never stop being a child.
When we look at this doctrine from God’s viewpoint we call it Preservation. When we look at this doctrine from the viewpoint of the child of God we call it Perseverance. Persevere means “to continue doing something in spite of difficulty and opposition.” The child of God perseveres in believing in God, in loving God, in wanting to follow Jesus, and in hating his sins. He keeps doing these things even though Satan tries to get him not to believe in and love God. Satan tries to get him to love sin.
It is true that there are times when the child of God does fall into sin. There are times when his belief in God may grow weak. There are times when he won’t love God or follow Jesus like he ought to. There are times when he will enjoy sinful pleasures for a season. But he will never finally fall away from his God. God will renew him to repentance. He will lift him up when he falls. God will never let his faith die and will finally take him to glory.
The only reason the child of God perseveres is because God preserves him. If a person claims to be a Christian, but falls away from his profession in Christ and dies in his sins, he was not a true Christian to begin with. He did not “fall from grace” because he was never in grace.
1. What does the “P” stand for? Preservation of the saints.
2. What does this mean? That every child of God will be completely saved all the way up through his eternal glorified state.
3. Does God save the sinner and then leave the rest up to the saved sinner? No! God saves the sinner and then keeps him saved.
4. Can a child of God ever become “unsaved”? No!
Why not? Because he is kept by the power of God.
5. What happens when a child of God disobeys God? He loses fellowship with God.
6. What will God do to His disobedient child? He will chastise him.
7. What do we call this wonderful doctrine when we look at it from the viewpoint of the child of God? Perseverance.
8. What does the child of God persevere in? In believing God, in loving God, in wanting to follow Jesus, in hating sin.
9. Does a child of God ever fall into sin? Yes.
What can he then hope for? That God will enable him to repent and to forsake that sin.
10. Can the child of God brag when he perseveres to the end of his life? No.
Why? Because God is the one who gave him the grace to do this.
11. If a person claims to be a Christian but dies in his sins without repenting of them, what does this mean? He was never really a Christian to begin with.