What Is the Perseverance of the Saints?

The perseverance of the saints is the fifth and final point of the system of thought known as Calvinism. It maintains that because God’s grace is effective in accomplishing the regeneration of those whom He has called to be His own, those who have been born again and exercise faith are sealed with the pledge of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 1:22) that guarantees the Christian eternal life.

Topics: Salvation

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But you do not believe because you are not of My sheep. My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 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. John 10:26-29

“They, whom God has accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which arises also the certainty and infallibility thereof. Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and, for a time, continue therein: whereby they incur God’s displeasure, and grieve His Holy Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.”1

The fifth and final point of the system of thought known as Calvinism is called the perseverance of the saints. This topic is substantially related to the article “Can A Christian Lose Salvation” and so the reader is advised to check that out as well. Because of the rather comprehensive treatment which is received within that paper, we will only briefly hit upon the topic here.

As we saw in the work on irresistible grace, God’s grace is effective in accomplishing the regeneration of those whom He has called to be His own. Those whom God has called will surely respond in faith. Those who have been born again and exercise faith are sealed with the pledge of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 1:22). As Ephesians 1:13 reads, the Spirit is given as a seal of the promise and we know that all of God’s promises find their yes and Amen in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20).

The work of Christ has redeemed us from darkness. The Spirit has been given to us to show that we will surely overcome. Though, if the Lord tarries, we will meet with physical death, the Christian has no worry of losing salvation. It is to eternal life that we have been called, and eternal never ends or is broken.

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Footnotes

1 Westminster Confession of Faith