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Thursday, April 06, 2006

Guaranteed Inheritance 

You finally made it to the last day! I'm not really going to make much of an argument today, because, after all... once you are firmly convinced of your own inability to save yourself, you realize your utter dependence on God's intervention and begin to understand his eternal plan to redeem you, and you see Him working that out in your life through the effectual working of His spirit and through no desire, intent, or effort on your own... you really ought not have any doubts about whether or not you can lose your salvation. If you didn't do anything to make God give it to you, how could you possibly do anything to make Him take it away?

But if for no other reason than a good sense of feng-shui, we will complete the loop with a brief discussion on the last letter of the acronym used to defend the reformed perspective - (P)erseverance of the Saints. While this (at least on the surface) seems to focus on the aspect that those whom God has saved will persevere to the end (which I think is true), I would tend to lean toward the aspect that God will preserve those whom he has saved until the end. Thus I conclude with the fifth doctrinal pillar of our Guaranteed Inheritance.

First some passages on the need (the perseverance aspect):

Matthew 24:13 - "But the one who endures to the end will be saved."

1 Corinthians 15:1-2 - "Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain."

Galatians 6:9 - "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."

Colossians 1:21-23 - "And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, 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, 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."

2 Timothy 2:11-13 - "The saying is trustworthy, for: If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he also will deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful - for he cannot deny himself."

Hebrews 3:6,14 - "...but Christ is faithful over God's house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope... For we share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end."

And then some passages regarding the guarantee (the preservation aspect):

Jeremiah 32:40 - "I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me."

John 10:27-29 - "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, 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."

Romans 8:28-30 - "And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 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. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified."

1 Corinthians 1:8-9 - "...who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord."

Ephesians 1:11-14 - "In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. 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, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory."

Philippians 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."

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 - "Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it."

1 Peter 1:3-5 - "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, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

Jude 24-25 - "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, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.


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