By David J. Stewart | March 2009
Psalm 37:28, “For
the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints;
they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.”
Chapter 4 — Preservation; Not Perseverance
The Word of God teaches preservation concerning His saints, not perseverance. Here are some more Scriptures that speak concerning the preservation of the saints.
Luke 17:33, "Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it."
1st Thessalonians 5:23, "And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Jude 1:1, "Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called."
Notice in Jude 1:1 that the Christian believer is "preserved in Jesus Christ." The word "preserved" in Jude 1:1 means "to guard from loss or injury" and to "keep an eye upon." God keeps His eye upon us continually and protects us. Hence, our salvation is safe and secure in the Lord's hands. There is no chance of losing our salvation. We are "preserved in Jesus Christ," that is, we have eternal life and no one can take it away from us, nor can we mess things up and lose it. Those who trust in Jesus Christ are preserved unto God's heavenly kingdom...
2nd Timothy 4:18, "And the Lord shall deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
The word "preserve" in 2nd Timothy 4:18 means "to deliver or protect." Hence, God will make good on His promise of eternal life to those who believe on Jesus Christ. God will deliver as PROMISED. The Bible teaches that God will finish what He has started in each and every Christian...
Philippians 1:6, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."
This means that salvation CANNOT be lost. The Bible teaches that God begins "a good work" in every believer at the time of salvation, and God "performs it" until the day of Jesus Christ. To say that salvation can be lost is to say that God doesn't finish what He has started in every believer.
The Bible only mentions the word "perseverance" once in relation to prayer...
Ephesians 6:18, "Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints."
The Perseverance of the Saints is a false doctrine that John Calvin popularized. The Bible teaches that each believer is PRESERVED in Christ Jesus unto God's heavenly kingdom. We do not need to put forth effort, nor live a certain type of lifestyle, to maintain our salvation. The change that genuine repentance should bring in the life of a believer has absolutely nothing to do with saving-faith itself. We are saved by God's merciful grace through faith in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. God's preserves His own; this is, He delivers us as promised unto His heavenly kingdom and we are safe in the hands of the Father. John 10:28, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." Notice what Jesus said, "they shall never perish." This is a divine promise from the Lord which teaches Eternal Security. If we can never perish as believers, then we cannot lose our salvation.
John 10:29,30, "My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one." Jesus said that "no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." "No man" includes one's self. It is impossible for anyone to lose their salvation, for God has said that "no man" can remove us from God's divine hand of protection, and that must include our self as well.
The Bible speaks plainly concerning salvation, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish" (John 10:28a). When Jesus says, "they shall never perish," He is simply saying that every born-again believer is "preserved in Jesus Christ." God watches over His children and delivers them unto eternal life as He has PROMISED. God does not require His children to persevere as part of saving-faith; no, rather, God preserves us by His mighty power, sealing us with the Holy Spirit, and finishing the good work He hath begun in us. Perseverance places the burden of salvation upon mankind, which is sinful self-righteousness; BUT, the Word of God teaches that salvation is solely of the Lord, and God preserves each believer in Christ Jesus. We are saved by HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, i.e., the righteousness of Jesus Christ which God imputes (attributes to) our record at the time of salvation. 2nd Corinthians 5:21, "For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." Amen!
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