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Nothing can separate them from the eternal and unchangeable love of God. They have been predestinated unto eternal glory and are therefore assured of heaven. It is saints -- those who are set apart by the Spirit -- who persevere to the end. It is believers -- those who are given true, living faith in Christ -- who are secure and safe in Him. Many who profess to believe fall away, but they do not fall from grace for they were never in grace. True believers do fall into temptations, and they do commit grievous sins, but these sins do not cause them to lose their salvation or separate them from Christ.

Sam Morris, a Baptist preacher, adds, "All the prayers a man may pray, all the Bibles he may read, all the churches he may belong to, all the services he may attend, all the sermons he may practice, all the debts he may pay, all the ordinances he may observe, all the laws he may keep, all the benevolent acts he may perform will not make his soul one whit safer; and all the sins he may commit, from idolatry to murder, will not make his soul in any more danger.

The doctrine of Perseverance of the Saints is based upon the false assumption that the elect sinner is clothed in the personal righteousness of Jesus Christ. Therefore, when God looks at him, He does not see the sins of the elect one, rather He sees the perfection of Jesus. Thus, one does not have to be concerned with doing righteousness if he is one whom God has elected to save.

To impute is "to credit to a person or a cause…to credit by transferral.


Calvinists believe the guilt of Adam's sin was imputed to the whole human race -- that all are sinners by virtue of the fact that being descendants of Adam they inherited the guilt of his sin. The remedy Calvinists offer for imputed sin is a second imputation. The perfect life of Christ is imputed to the elect sinner. God, in viewing that individual, only sees the personal righteousness of Jesus, not the sins of the sinner. This allows the elect one to continue to sin because Christ lived a sinless life in his stead and the innocence of Christ now clothes him.

He is relieved of any responsibility for living a godly life. He does not even have to correct his wrongs because he will not be judged by his own actions but by the perfect life Jesus lived. John Calvin, speaking on imputation, said, "…I answer, that the grace which they call accepting, is nothing else than the free goodness with which the Father embraces us in Christ when he clothes us with the innocence of Christ, and accepts it as ours, so that in consideration of it he regards us as holy, pure and innocent. For the righteousness of Christ as it alone is perfect, so it alone can stand the scrutiny of God must be sisted for us, and as a surety represent us judicially.

None of these verses states that God imputes Christ's righteousness to anyone. The Bible clearly states that one who is considered righteous by heaven is one who practices righteousness 1 John 3: A sinner becomes righteous by pardon made possible by the atoning death of Jesus, not by imputation of His perfect life.

The Calvinistic Doctrine of Imputation

The argument Calvinists base on this passage is that the believer, the saved, has present possession eternal life. Since eternal means "unending," if the Christian could be lost he could not possess eternal life. Therefore, since the Christian has eternal life, he can never lose it. The answer to their argument is that eternal life is used in two senses in the Scriptures: The eternal life Christians now possess would not be altered if they lose it. It is the life that is eternal, not the possession of it. The fact that one may leave it behind does not alter its intrinsic nature.

Possession of eternal life is conditional upon walking with God in accordance with His will. The argument on this passage is that noone can snatch any of Christ's sheep from out of the Father's hand. Therefore, noone who has been saved can ever be lost. To answer this argument, it is true that no one is able to pluck the saved out of the hand of God unless the person is willing to go.

Becoming a "sheep" and being placed in the hand of God is conditional. It takes hearing Christ v. As long as a person remains a faithful follower of Christ he "shall never perish" v. I use this quote to ward off any misguided arguments that this is not a valid confession explaining the meaning of Perseverance of the Saints. If it is good enough for the Founders, it is certainl good enough for this discussion.

The key to understanding perseverance is exactly that… persevering. That is what the term means. If one does not continue walking in faith, the inference of POS is that he was not saved in the first place. While it is true that this is a fine line, fine lines in theology do become great divides.

Notice what the LC of actually says: Like it or not, that is what Perseverance of the Saints means. The language and the words dictate that meaning.

Perseverance of the Saints

It is black ink on what paper. Perseverance maintains the monergistic salvific thread in sanctification that it does in conversion and that is the reason the language is what it is. I fully understand that Calvinists today believe preservation means the same thing as perseverance and that POS is the same thing as eternal security but the facts are, they are not mutually exclusive and they do not say the same thing.

Perseverance is sanctification by works: While it is true that one perseveres because he is the elect, it is still the persevering that validates the election. I read the following statement somewhere: Perseverance by necessity does not give the Calvinist any real assurance because none of us know what we will or will not do. Here is the real question and the difference in eternal security and the perseverance of the saints.

Both Calvinists and Arminians appeal to Biblical passages such as 1 Cor. Otherwise, you have believed in vain" , Hebrews 3: If we disown him, he will also disown us". In addition to fitting neatly in the overarching Calvinist soteriology , Reformed and Free Grace advocates alike find specific support for the doctrine in various passages from the Bible:. Some Calvinists admit that their interpretation is not without difficulties.

One apparent consequence is that not all who "have shared in the Holy Spirit" [Acts This is a consequence Calvinists are willing to accept since the Bible also says that King Saul had the "Spirit of God" in some sense and even prophesied by it, [1Sam Some challenge the Calvinist doctrine based on their interpretation of the admonishments in the book of Hebrews, including several passages in the Book of Hebrews , [15] but especially Hebrews 6: The debate over these passages centers around the identity of the persons in question.

While opponents of perseverance identify the persons as Christian believers, Calvinists suggest several other options:. In general, proponents of the doctrine of perseverance interpret such passages, which urge the church community to persevere in the faith but seem to indicate that some members of the community might fall away, as encouragement to persevere rather than divine warnings.

That is, they view the prophets and apostles as writing "from the human perspective", in which the members of the elect are unknowable and all should "work out [their] own salvation" [Phil 2: The primary objection to this Calvinist approach is that it might equally be said that these difficult passages are intended to be divine warnings to believers who do not persevere, rather than a revealing of God's perpetual grace towards believers.

The passage is understood by some to mean that "falling away" from an active commitment to Christ may cause one to lose their salvation, after they have attained salvation either according to the Reformed or Free Grace theology. However, numerous conservative Bible scholars do not believe the passage refers to a Christian losing genuinely attained salvation. 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, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, 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.

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. But if it bears thorns and thistles, it is worthless and near to being cursed, and its end is to be burned. The primary objection lodged against the doctrine is that such teaching will lead to license. That is, objectors contend that if people know they can never lose their salvation they will feel free to sin without fear of eternal consequences.

Perseverance of the saints

Traditional Calvinists see this charge as being justly leveled against the Free Grace doctrine, which doesn't see sanctification as a necessary component of salvation, and in the controversy over Lordship salvation , traditional Calvinists argued against the proponents of the Free Grace doctrine. Traditional Calvinists, and many other non-Calvinist evangelicals, posit that a truly converted heart will necessarily follow after God and live in accordance with his precepts, though perfection is not achievable, struggles with sin will continue, and some temporary "backsliding" may occur.

The central tenet of the Arminian view is that although believers are preserved from all external forces that might attempt to separate them from God, they have the free will to separate themselves from God. Although God will not change His mind about a believer's salvation, a believer can willingly repudiate faith either by express denial of faith or by continued sinful activity combined with an unwillingness to repent.

In this manner, salvation is conditional, not unconditional as Calvinism teaches. Traditional Calvinists do not dispute that salvation requires faithfulness. However, Calvinists contend that God is sovereign and cannot permit a true believer to depart from faith. Arminians argue that God is sufficiently sovereign and omnipotent to embed free will into humanity so that true Christians may exercise free will and fall away from the saving grace they once possessed.

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Sproul, an influential Calvinist, disagrees, expressing God's sovereignty over salvation as follows: It is as though God wrote the script for us in concrete and we are merely carrying out his scenario. Respecting these parameters, Catholics can have a variety of views as regards final perseverance.

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On questions of predestination, Catholic scholars may be broadly characterized as either Molinists or Thomists. The views of the latter are similar to those of Calvinists, in that they understand final perseverance to be a gift applied by God to the regenerated that will assuredly lead them to ultimate salvation. They differ from Calvinists in but one respect: Thomists affirm that God can permit men to come to regeneration without giving them the special gift of divine perseverance, so that they do fall away.

Calvinists, by contrast, deny that an individual can fall away if they are truly regenerate. Like both Calvinist camps, confessional Lutherans view the work of salvation as monergistic in that "the natural [that is, corrupted and divinely unrenewed] powers of man cannot do anything or help towards salvation", [22] and Lutherans go further along the same lines as the Free Grace advocates to say that the recipient of saving grace need not cooperate with it. Hence, Lutherans believe that a true Christian that is, a genuine recipient of saving grace can lose his or her salvation, "[b]ut the cause is not as though God were unwilling to grant grace for perseverance to those in whom He has begun the good work… [but that these persons] wilfully turn away…" [23].

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Part of a series on Calvinism John Calvin. Afrikaners Huguenots Pilgrims Puritans other English dissenters. History of Calvinist-Arminian debate. This section contains too many quotations for an encyclopedic entry. Please help improve the article by presenting facts as a neutrally-worded summary with appropriate citations.

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Consider transferring direct quotations to Wikiquote. This section uncritically uses texts from within a religion or faith system without referring to secondary sources that critically analyze them. Please help improve this article by adding references to reliable secondary sources , with multiple points of view. February Learn how and when to remove this template message. Conditional preservation of the saints.

Grace, Faith, Free Will. Retrieved 14 August Teologins historia [ History of Theology ] in German. Translated by Gene J. Systematic Theology , 3. Can You Be Sure? More recently, however, a third view has emerged [i. They will be saved even if they immediately renounce their faith and lead a life of debauched atheism. Many people today find this view attractive, but it is blatantly unbiblical.

There is much in the New Testament that makes it clear that discipleship is not an optional extra and that remaining faithful is a condition of salvation.