A Study of Theology III – Part 15

THEOLOGICAL DICTIONARY
Salvation
Perseverance
1 Peter 1:5
A Study of Theology III – Part 15 (Dr. Thomas Figart)
Those who are chosen of God and saved by grace are preserved by the power of God and are eternally safe. This definition is from God’s viewpoint; from the human side, all true believers will persevere because of God’s sustaining grace.

 

A Study of Theology III – Part 15
Dr. Thomas Figart

 

VIII.    Perseverance of the Saints.

A. Definition: Those who are chosen of God and saved by grace are preserved by the power of God and are eternally safe, 1 Pet. 1:5; Jude 1, 24. This definition is from God’s viewpoint; from the human side, all true believers will persevere because of God’s sustaining grace.

B. Ten reasons why our eternal salvation can never be lost.

  1. The sovereign purpose of God, Rom 8:28-30; Jn. 6:37. If even one part of His purpose can fail, then God is not God.
  2. The supreme power of God, Jn. 10:29; Jude 24; Eph. 3:20.
  3. The sacrificial love of God, Rom. 5:7-10.
  4. The death of Christ, Rom. 8:1. If any condemnation remains, then His death was insufficient.
  5. The resurrection of Christ, 1 Cor. 15:12-20.
  6. The present ministry of Christ, 1 Jn. 2:2; Heb. 7:25.
  7. The regeneration of the Holy Spirit, Jn. 3:3-7. Once we are born again, we cannot be unborn.
  8. The indwelling of the Spirit is forever, Jn. 14:16-17.
  9. The baptism of the Spirit makes us members of His Body, 1 Cor. 12:13.
  10. The sealing of the Spirit is until the day of redemption, not just until we sin or fail God, Eph. 4:30.

C. Eternal Salvation is NOT any of the following:

  1. Lawlessness: Those who are lawless are not saved, 1 John 2:3-4.
  2. License: Those who misuse liberty are not spiritual, Gal. 5:13.
  3. Lack of assurance: Those who do not trust are not satisfied, Eph. 4:14.

D. Eternal salvation does include all of the following:

  1. Full assurance of faith in what God has done for us, Heb. 10:22-23. We have One Who is faithful to His promises, v. 23, cf. Rom. 4:21; Phil.1:6.
  2. Full assurance of understanding in what God is teaching us from His Word, Col. 2:2. This is called growing in grace and knowledge of Him, 2 Pet. 3:18.
  3. Full assurance of hope in what God will do for us, Heb. 6:11; 2 Tim. 1:12. Paul could say, “I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.”

E. The Central Passage on Eternal Salvation is Rom. 8:28-39.

The introductory portion, Rom. 8:28-30 gives the basis of God’s hold on me, which makes me safe. This basis is the eternal purpose of God. When I am assured of this, it is my hold on God which makes me happy. Five questions are asked:

  1. “If God be for us, who can be against us?”

No Opposition: The Power of God’s hold on me, 8:31. There are no verbs in Greek: God—for us! who—against us? This is done for emphasis about our all-powerful God; who can oppose such a Person!

  1. “How shall he not with him freely give us all things?”

No Limitation: The Provision of God’s hold on me, 8:32. In Rom. 5:7-10 God’s great love was overextended in the gift of His Son. “Much more” is repeated. Now here in 8:32 the “much more” idea is expressed in the statement, “freely give us all things.” If He gave us His best, (His Son) surely He will give us the rest! His provision is without limitation!

  1. “Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect?”

No Accusation: The Principle of God’s hold on me, 8:33. This is legal terminology, “who shall bring a charge against?” a person is justified (declared righteous) no charge is possible; it would be a personal attack on the integrity of the Judge Himself! The question continues, “Shall God Who justifies lay a charge against His own elect?” He is the only one who could accuse and yet He declares us righteous. So, if He, the Judge is satisfied, there can be no accusation!

  1. “Who is he that condemneth?”

No Condemnation: The Protection of God’s hold on me 8:34. The Greek construction in 8:33 allows that more than one might accuse, but here in 8:34 it is definitely, “What one person could condemn?” The question continues, “Shall Christ condemn us?” No, He is the One Who has given us a fourfold protection from condemnation!

a. Protection of His blood; He died for us, Romans 5:9.

b. Protection of His resurrection life, Romans 5:10.

c. Protection of His ascension; He promised that He would send the Spirit after He left, John. 14:16-17.

d. Protection of His prayers, Hebrews 7:25. He is still active on our behalf.

5. “What shall separate us from the love of Christ?”

No Separation: The Position of God’s hold on me, 8:35-39. Our safety resides in the love of God, and that love is in Christ. Thus, in order to remove us from God’s love we would have to go up to heaven and tear God’s love away from Christ, Colossians 3:1-3. Seven questions to consider:

a. Can experiences separate us? 8:35-37.

Experiences may seem to indicate that God has forsaken us, but no, He does not love us less because of our problems. Nay, we are more than conquerors! How can you have more than victory? Well, there can also be profit from our experiences.

b. Can death separate us? 8:38a. No, death merely brings us into His presence, 2 Cor. 5:8-9; we are taken home to be with the Lord!

c. Can life with all its circumstances separate us? 8:38b. No, circumstances of life always eventuate in hope. Romans 5:3-5.

d. Can heavenly beings separate us? 8:38c. No, they may hinder us, but never separate us, since “greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world,” 1 John 4:4.

e. Can things present or to come separate us? 8:38d. No, because our times are in His hands, Psalm 31:15; 37:23-24.

f. Can height or depth separate us? 8:39a. No, because no matter where we go, He is there, Ps. 139:7-12; Ezek. 48:35, “The Lord is there.”

g. Can any other created being, which includes ourselves, separate us? 8:39b. No, because as creatures, we cannot match Christ’s exalted position at God’s right hand, in Whom our secure position rests, Col. 3:1-3.

D. Scriptures which are misapplied by those who reject the eternal nature of salvation.

  1. Texts which do not refer to the Age of Grace, Matt. 24:13.
  2. Texts referring to the falling away of false teachers, 1 Tim. 4:1-2; 1 John. 2:18-19.
  3. Texts referring to mere profession, Lk. 11:24-26; Heb. 6.
  4. Texts referring to proof of salvation, James 2:14-21.
  5. Texts referring to rewards, 1 Cor. 3:15; 9:27.
  6. Texts referring to “falling from grace,” Gal. 5:4.

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