TheoThought 300

David W. Hegg

 

Eternal Security and Perseverance of the Saints

 

 

Introduction: The question of the security of the believer is crucial. Given Adam’s fall from fellowship into estrangement, it is to be expected that Christ-followers would ask “can the same thing happen to me? Can something happen either to me or in me that would put me back into a state of spiritual death? Can I lose my standing in grace, and my place in the family of God?”

 

This question is really two questions: 1) Can I lose my salvation? and 2) What assurance do I have that I have been transferred from darkness into light, from the arena of death to the kingdom of Christ and eternal life?

 

The answer to the first of these questions will be determined by previous convictions in the theological areas of:

 

the effects of Adam’s sin on mankind

• the role of God the Spirit in regeneration

 

What we will find is that the security of the believer, as well as the perseverance of the believer in grace is either dependent on the believer’s ability to remain in grace, or God’s ability to keep the believer in grace. And, further, the question will largely turn on how the believer gained acceptance before God in the first place.

 

1. Definitions:

 

• Eternal Security: This phrase has long been used to describe the belief that once someone is saved, they will always be saved. The mantra usually used is “once saved always saved.” Phrased this way, it can be misunderstood to be a license to sin, or that once someone is “in” they can live anyway they want to. Opponents often turn to the passages that speak of “persevering to the end” to show that salvation is “conditioned” on right living,

 

• Perseverance of the Saints: “The perseverance of the saints means that all those who are truly born again will be kept by God’s power and will persevere as Christians until the end of their lives, and that only those who persevere until the end have been truly born again.” (Grudem, pg. 788)

 

This phrase is more in keeping with the teaching of Scripture since it emphasizes both the keeping, sealing power of God, and the necessity of the believer’s perseverance in righteousness.

 

Roger Nicole, the French theologian, has redefined the whole matter in this way: “The perseverance of the saints is better understood as the perseverance of God in his saints.”

 

Note: Both phrases (eternal security, and the perseverance of the saints) consider that salvation is not conditioned on anything we can do, but always dependent in what God has done, is doing, and will do.

 

God has saved us, is progressively working to bring us more and more into conformity with Christ, and will ultimately bring us to glory.

 

• Conditional Security: “Since God has chosen to deal with his human creation in terms of their personhood, by influence and response rather than through cause and effect, he allows us to resist his grace –through he has enabled us to receive it … If, however, as persons, we exercise our God-given, personal freedom after salvation and reject the Christ who saved us, then logically we must admit that it is possible for one who has been in Christ to exit by the same door God had ordained as being the way into union with Christ.” (Stephen Ashby, in Four View on Eternal Security, quoted by Michael Bird, Evangelical Theology, pg. 596).

 

2. The Issues:

 

Here we see the two sides issues involved in the debate over the question of the security of the believer:

           

On the one hand we have biblical statements as to the faithfulness of God to seal and hold onto those that are “in Christ.”

 

• On the other hand we have biblical statements that strongly demand the continued perseverance of the believer: “Those who persevere to the end will be saved” (Mark 13:13).

 

3. Considerations:

 

1) What is “salvation?”

 

It is important to understand the nature of “salvation.” Salvation is not a commodity. It is a position, a standing before God.

 

Col. 1.12  giving thanks  to the Father, who has qualified you  to share in  the inheritance of the saints in light.  13 He  has delivered us from  the domain of darkness and transferred us to  the kingdom of  his beloved Son,  14  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 

2Cor. 5.17 Therefore, if anyone is  in Christ, he is  a new creation.   The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.  18 All this is from God,  who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us  the ministry of reconciliation;  19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling  the world to himself,  not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us  the message of reconciliation.  20 Therefore,  we are ambassadors for Christ,  God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.  21  For our sake he made him to be sin  who knew no sin, so that in him we might become  the righteousness of God.

 

1John 3.1   See  what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called  children of God; and so we are. The reason why  the world does not know us is that  it did not know him.  2 Beloved, we are  God’s children  now, and what we will be  has not yet appeared; but we know that  when he appears   we shall be like him, because  we shall see him as he is.

 

Rom. 8.1   There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  2 For the law of  the Spirit of life  has set you  free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.

 

John 5.24 Truly, truly, I say to you,  whoever hears my word and  believes him who sent me has eternal life. He  does not come into judgment, but  has passed from death to life.

 

2) How does one gain a position of acceptance before God (justification) and membership in God’s family (adoption)?

 

Here we must reach back to previous lessons and remember the conclusions we have already come to. The biblical teaching here is clear: salvation is not won, or earned, or merited by anything we do. In fact, if our rescue from the domain of darkness, and our transference into the kingdom of Christ were dependent in any way on our effort or righteous action or worth, no one would be saved given that we are all dead in sins, and even our best efforts are tainted with our sin. On our best day we fall far short of God’s standard.

 

Rom. 3.9   What then? Are we Jews  any better off?  No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both  Jews and  Greeks, are  under sin,  10 as it is written:    “None is righteous, no, not one;

11  no one understands;   no one seeks for God.

12  All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;   no one does good,   not even one.”

13   “Their throat is  an open grave;   they use their tongues to deceive.”    “The venom of asps is under their lips.”

14   “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.”

15   “Their feet are swift to shed blood;

16  in their paths are ruin and misery,

17  and  the way of peace they have not known.”

18   “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

 

Rom. 3.19   Now we know that whatever  the law says it speaks to those who are under the law,  so that every mouth may be stopped, and  the whole world may be held accountable to God.  20 For  by works of the law no human being  will be justified in his sight, since  through the law comes knowledge of sin.

 

Rom. 3.21   But now  the righteousness of God  has been manifested apart from the law, although  the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—  22 the righteousness of God  through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe.  For there is no distinction:  23 for  all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  24  and are justified  by his grace as a gift,  through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,  25 whom God  put forward as  a propitiation  by his blood, to be received by faith.

 

Eph. 2.1    And you were  dead in the trespasses and sins 2  in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following  the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in  the sons of disobedience—  3 among whom we all once lived in  the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body  and the mind, and  were by nature  children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.  4 But  God, being  rich in mercy,  because of the great love with which he loved us,  5 even  when we were dead in our trespasses,  made us alive together with Christ— by grace you have been saved—  6 and raised us up with him and  seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,  7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable  riches of his grace in  kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.  8 For  by grace you have been saved  through faith. And this is  not your own doing;  it is the gift of God,  9  not a result of works,  so that no one may boast.  10 For  we are his workmanship,  created in Christ Jesus  for good works,  which God prepared beforehand,  that we should walk in them.

 

Titus 3.5 he saved us,  not because of works done by us in righteousness, but  according to his own mercy, by  the washing of regeneration and  renewal of the Holy Spirit,

 

So, if our standing before God as justified, and our membership in his family as beloved children was not due to something we did, it must be that our new standing and position is due solely to God’s sovereign grace and love.

 

So, the question then becomes: What would it take for God to throw us out after having rescued us1, given us new life2, brought us to repentance and faith3, justified us4, baptized us by the Spirit into the body of Christ5, and charged the same Spirit to dwell in us6, and seal us until the day of our final redemption7?

 

1 Col. 1.12  giving thanks  to the Father, who has qualified you  to share in  the inheritance of the saints in light.  13 He  has delivered us from  the domain of darkness and transferred us to  the kingdom of  his beloved Son,  14  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

 

22Cor. 5.17 Therefore, if anyone is  in Christ, he is  a new creation.   The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

 

3Eph. 2.8 For  by grace you have been saved  through faith. And this is  not your own doing;  it is the gift of God,

 

2Tim. 2.25 correcting his opponents  with gentleness. God  may perhaps grant them repentance  leading to a knowledge of the truth,

 

4Rom. 5.1    Therefore, since we have been justified by faith,  we  have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

51Cor. 12.13 For  in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body— Jews or Greeks, slaves  or free—and  all were made to drink of one Spirit.

 

6James 4.5 Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit  that he has made to dwell in us”?

 

7Eph. 1.13 In him you also, when you heard  the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him,  were sealed with the  promised Holy Spirit,  14 who is  the guarantee  of our  inheritance until  we acquire  possession of it,   to the praise of his glory.

 

The answer: Nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus!

 

Romans 8:28-39: And we know that for those who love God all things work together  for good,  for  those who are called according to his purpose.  29 For those whom he  foreknew he also  predestined  to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be  the firstborn among many brothers.  30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also  justified, and those whom he justified he also  glorified. 31   What then shall we say to these things?  If God is for us, who can be  against us?  32  He who did not spare his own Son but  gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?  33 Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect?  It is God who justifies.  34  Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God,  who indeed is interceding for us.  35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?  36 As it is written,    “For your sake  we are being killed all the day long;   we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.” 37   No, in all these things we are more than  conquerors through  him who loved us.  38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

3) What does the Bible say?

 

“Shall not perish” texts:

 

Matt. 18.12  What do you think?  If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So  it is not the will of my  Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

 

John 3.16   “For  God so loved  the world,   that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not  perish but have eternal life.

 

• “eternal life” texts:

 

John 3.36  Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life;  whoever does not obey the Son shall not  see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

 

John 5.24 Truly, truly, I say to you,  whoever hears my word and  believes him who sent me has eternal life. He  does not come into judgment, but  has passed from death to life.

 

John 6.47 Truly, truly, I say to you,  whoever believes has eternal life.

 

John 10.27  My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. 28  I give them eternal life, and  they will never perish, and  no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father,  who has given them to me,   is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of  the Father’s hand. 30  I and the Father are one.”

 

Note: These texts state that the believer “has” eternal life. That is, eternal life begins with regeneration. The life God the Spirit gives is eternal.

 

• Other texts:

 

John 6.35   Jesus said to them,  “I am the bread of life;  whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37  All that  the Father gives me will come to me, and  whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For  I have come down from heaven, not to do  my own will but  the will of him  who sent me. 39 And  this is the will of him who sent me,  that I should lose nothing of  all that he has given me, but  raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who  looks on the Son and  believes in him  should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

 

John 17.11 And I am no longer in the world, but  they are in the world, and  I am coming to you.  Holy Father,  keep them in your name,  which you have given me,  that they may be one,  even as we are one. 12  While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have  guarded them, and  not one of them has been lost except  the son of destruction,  that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

 

John 17.15 I  do not ask that you  take them out of the world, but that you  keep them from  the evil one.

 

Rom. 5.8 but  God shows his love for us in that  while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  9 Since, therefore,  we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from  the wrath of God.  10 For if  while we were enemies  we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by  his life.

 

Rom. 8.1   There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

 

1Cor. 1.7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you  wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ,  8  who will sustain you to the end,  guiltless  in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  9  God is faithful, by whom you were called into the  fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

1Cor. 10.13 No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man.  God is faithful, and  he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

 

2Cor. 4.14 knowing that  he who raised the Lord Jesus  will raise us also with Jesus and  bring us with you into his presence.

 

2Cor. 4.17 For  this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,

 

Eph. 1.5  he predestined us  for  adoption as sons through Jesus Christ,  according to the purpose of his will,

 

Eph. 1.13 In him you also, when you heard  the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him,  were sealed with the  promised Holy Spirit,  14 who is  the guarantee  of our  inheritance until  we acquire  possession of it,   to the praise of his glory.

 

Eph. 4.30 And  do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God,  by whom you were sealed for the day of  redemption.

 

Col. 3.3 For  you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  4 When Christ  who is your  life  appears, then you also will appear with him  in glory.

 

Phil. 1.6 And I am sure of this, that he who began  a good work in you  will bring it to completion at  the day of Jesus Christ.

 

Heb. 9.12 he  entered  once for all into the holy places, not by means of  the blood of goats and calves but  by means of his own blood,  thus securing an eternal redemption.

 

Heb. 9.15   Therefore he is  the mediator of a new covenant, so that  those who are called may  receive the promised eternal inheritance,  since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

 

1Pet. 1.3    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  According to his great mercy,  he has caused us to be born again to a living hope  through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,  4 to  an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and  unfading,  kept in heaven for you,  5 who by God’s power are being guarded  through faith for a salvation  ready to be revealed in the last time.

 

1John 2.19  They went out from us, but they were not of us; for  if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out,  that it might become plain that they all are not of us.

 

1John 2.25 And this is the promise that he made to us — eternal life.

 

Jude 1  Jude, a servant  of Jesus Christ and brother of James,    To those who are called,  beloved in God the Father and  kept for  Jesus Christ:

 

Jude 24    Now to him who is able  to keep you from stumbling and  to present you  blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,  25 to  the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord,  be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.

 

Note: In all of these texts it is clear that, in the mind of the writer, the end result of salvation is a fixed certainty. The use of past tense, the assertion of present possession, and the finality of the statements all testify to the fact that, for the original authors of Scripture, the question of whether or not a regenerate child of God could ever lose their standing or position was a resounding “No!”

 

4) What about the “conditional” texts?

 

• John 8.31   So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him,  “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth  will set you free.”

 

Jesus is here warning those who were “religious” that the once undeniable evidence of saving faith is continuance in obeying Jesus’ words.

 

• Col. 1.22 he has now reconciled  in his body of flesh by his death,  in order to present you holy and blameless and  above reproach before him,  23  if indeed you continue in the faith,  stable and steadfast, not shifting from  the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed  in all creation  under heaven,  and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

 

Paul and other of the NT writers were aware they were addressing a mixed audience when writing to the various church communities. Some were true believers but not all. And given that Paul could not know the state of every heart in the audience when his letters were read he was careful to declare that profession was never enough. The evidence of true, saving faith was a life of persevering righteousness.

 

• Hebrews 3.12   Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from  the living God.  13 But  exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by  the deceitfulness of sin.  14 For we have come to share in Christ,  if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.

 

Here we see again that the evidence of salvation is perseverance. Vs. 14 gives the all important “if”. How do we know we have a share in Christ? If we hold our confidence to the end.

 

Note: Perseverance in righteousness is not the cause or ground of our position and standing before God but the fruit or evidence that God the Spirit has given us new life and come to dwell in us for the purpose of bringing us ultimately to glorification.

 

• Hebrews 6:4-6 For it is impossible, in the case of those  who have once been enlightened, who have tasted  the heavenly gift, and  have shared in the Holy Spirit,  5 and  have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come,  6 and  then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since  they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt. 7 For  land that has drunk the rain that often falls on it, and produces a crop useful to those for whose sake it is cultivated, receives a blessing from God.  8 But  if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed,  and its end is to be burned.  

 

This text speaks to the fact that those who do fall away from God may be indistinguishable externally from those to whom God the Spirit has granted eternal life, and in whom he is now dwelling.

 

In this text, the author uses an agricultural illustration to show that those who finally fall away are those whose lives bore no fruit. While they may have had some eternal characteristics shared by the truly regenerate, ultimately they did not bear the fruit of true salvation. Rather, they bore the “thorns and thistles” associated with worthless land.

 

Elsewhere in the Bible useful crops, or good fruit, is associated with genuine faith leading to salvation:

 

Matt. 3.8 Bear fruit  in keeping with repentance.  9 And do not presume to say to yourselves,  ‘We have Abraham as our father,’ for I tell you, God is able from  these stones to raise up children for Abraham.  10 Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees.  Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

 

Matt. 7.15    “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are  ravenous wolves. 16 You will recognize them  by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 So,  every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. 18 A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. 19  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will recognize them  by their fruits.

 

Matt. 12.33    “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad,  for the tree is known by its fruit. 34  You brood of vipers! How can you speak good,  when you are evil?  For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35  The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

 

Note as well the actual terms used to describe these who appear regenerate but prove by their failure to persevere that they were not:

 

• enlightened: This simply means they came to understand the truth of the Gospel, but not that they actually trusted Jesus Christ. The demons “understand and believe” but this is not the same as saving faith.

 

• tasted the heavenly gift, and  have shared in the Holy Spirit, and tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come: Tasting is temporary (see: Mt 27:34 where Jesus tasted but did not drink). This probably meant these folks came to see and experience the power of the Holy Spirit among the church. Perhaps they saw healing, or even experienced. Many in Jesus’ day were the recipients of miraculous power, and the ministry of the Spirit without actually coming to trust in Jesus Christ.

 

Lastly, while admittedly this is a difficult text, it still must be interpreted in light of the overwhelming number of biblical texts that are adamant regarding the security of those in Christ.

 

What we find in this text is a description of those who have been intimately associated with the church, and have as a result, been the beneficiaries of great spiritual blessing and information. They have had the best introduction to Jesus possible. And, if they do not respond with true repentance and faith in this best of all situations, they never will simply because falling away now can only be accounted for by the presence of a fully hardened heart. If their hearts are hardened by all this information and experience, then

there is no hope for them.

 

• Hebrews 10.26-31  For  if we go on sinning deliberately  after receiving the knowledge of the truth,  there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,  27  but a fearful expectation of judgment, and  a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.  28  Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy  on the evidence of two or three witnesses.  29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one  who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned  the blood of the covenant  by which he was sanctified, and has  outraged the Spirit of grace?  30 For we know him who said,  “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again,  “The Lord will judge his people.”  31  It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

 

This text, one of several warning passages in the book, is a final attempt by the author to warn his readers against a half-hearted trust in Jesus Christ. His Jewish readers were used to ritual being the basis for their association with God. But this was never enough. True faith and repentance, evidenced by a life of progressive righteousness was the only true evidence that eternal life had been given.

 

The author here is simply stating that those who come to understand the gospel and then turn away in preference for their life of intentional sin, are left without a sacrifice for sins. If they reject Jesus’ sacrifice, there are no other options! Only Jesus’ sacrifice can be the basis of forgiveness, and if they reject it, they are out of options. There are no other choices, no other options. Thus, to reject Jesus’ sacrifice is to invite God’s judgment.

 

The author’s point is powerful. Reject Jesus and you leave yourself with no remedy for the sinful crimes you have wracked up against the court of heaven. There is only one remedy, and that’s Jesus. Reject him and you have trampled under your feet the only means of salvation. To do so is to deserve being thrown into the wrath of God.

 

4. Assurance of Salvation

 

Given then, that perseverance is not the grounds of our standing and position before God but rather the evidence of it, how can we be sure we are “in Christ?”

 

A. Are you trusting in Jesus Christ alone for your salvation today?

 

Col. 1.22 he has now reconciled  in his body of flesh by his death,  in order to present you holy and blameless and  above reproach before him,  23  if indeed you continue in the faith,  stable and steadfast, not shifting from  the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed  in all creation  under heaven,  and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

 

Heb. 3.14 For we have come to share in Christ,  if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end.

 

John 3.16   “For  God so loved  the world,   that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not  perish but have eternal life.

 

Are you, today, right now, trusting in Jesus Christ for your eternal well-being?

 

B. Are there bona fide reasons to believe that God the Spirit has granted you new life?

 

1) I have trusted in Jesus Christ alone for my salvation and Jesus has promised that all who do so are granted eternal life: John 3:16

 

2) The Bible assures me that the God the Spirit comes to dwell in all those who have been granted eternal life:

 

Rom. 8.15 For  you did not receive  the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of  adoption as sons, by whom we cry,  “Abba! Father!”  16  The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

 

Eph. 1.13 In him you also, when you heard  the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him,  were sealed with the  promised Holy Spirit,  14 who is  the guarantee  of our  inheritance until  we acquire  possession of it,   to the praise of his glory.

 

3) The Bible guarantees that all who are truly justified will be glorified: Rom. 8:29,30

 

C. Are there things in your life (spiritual growth, growth in Christian character, delight in God’s Word, etc) that can’t be explained apart from the presence of God the Spirit in your life?

 

Are there evidences in my life that God the Spirit is producing his fruit in me?

 

Summary: Assurance of salvation in the Christ-follower is based solely on the work of Christ in salvation, and the promises of God the Father that God the Spirit indwells, sanctifies, and seals the believer as a guarantor of eternal salvation. However, the work of God in the believer will be evidenced by progressive sanctification and final perseverance in righteousness throughout this life.

 

 

 

 

Resources

 

Books

 

Systematic Theology, Wayne Grudem; pg. 788-807

 

Evangelical Theology, Michael Bird; pg 595-605

 

The Five Points of Calvinism; Steele, Thomas, Quinn; pg. 64-71

 

Articles

 

Lee Gatiss on Hebrews Warning Passages

http://www.theologian.org.uk/bible/hebrews-warnings.html

 

John MacArthur

http://www.gty.org/resources/articles/A218/perseverance-of-the-saints

 

 

http://www.gospeloutreach.net/perseverance_of_the_saints.html

 

 

John Piper

http://www.desiringgod.org/sermons/by-series/the-doctrine-of-the-perseverance-of-the-saints