TULIP: PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS

“TULIP”

Through the centuries, some of the doctrines of God’s grace have been set forth by the acronym “TULIP”, which stands for

                                                          Total Depravity

                                                          Unconditional Election

                                                          Limited Atonement

                                                          Irresistible Grace

                                                          Perseverance of the Saints

“PERSEVERANCE OF THE SAINTS”

Today we come to the final letter in our acronym which stands for the “Perseverance of the Saints.”  What does this mean? It simply means that those that God loved before the foundation of the world, that Christ died for, that the Spirit called, can never be lost but shall be eternally saved.  Is this a truth that can be documented by scripture?  We can be sure that it is, and is taught extensively throughout the Bible!  I will give you a few for your comfort today.  And I must say that surely, no one should be upset to know that their salvation is perfectly secure by the finished works of Jesus Christ. This is a God honoring doctrine that every saint should rejoice in!

            First, we should know that this was taught by our Lord.  Listen to His sermon on the subject: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 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.”(John 10:27-30). My, how simple is that language!  Jesus said that no one could pluck even one sheep out of His or His Father’s hand.  Surely, this is good news to the sinner!             

            We have heard some advocate that a person that Christ died for could lose their eternal salvation.  This doctrine always springs from those who advocate a man-centered gospel, man’s free will. We would have to concur.  If we believed that the sinner has saved himself by his own free will, by a decision, or some act performed, we would also have to believe that they could also make another decision, or perform some other act that would damn them.  But when we see that salvation is by God’s grace, by the works of Jesus Christ, we see that Jesus would have to be dethroned before any could be lost.  It is a sad testimony to hear people say that God loves His people with an everlasting love, that Jesus came down from heaven to pay for their sins by His suffering upon the cross, and the Spirit quickened them, but He is helpless to save them from an eternal lake of fire and brimstone.  We must ask, “What kind of love is that?  What kind of payment for sin was that? And what kind of power does God really have?”  We would have to give the victory to the devil if just one of God’s sheep was eternally lost, if only one was plucked from our Lord’s loving hand.  That shall never be!

            It is true, the child of God can lose their fellowship with their Lord through sin and disobedience.  They can lose the joy of their salvation.  But they can never lose salvation itself.  David experienced this with his sin with Bathsheba.  But listen to his repentance, “Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.” (Psalm 51:11,12). David didn’t ask the Lord to give his salvation back.  He asked the Lord to restore their fellowship, which is the joy of our salvation.

            Paul boldly announces the perseverance and security of the saints with a cadence of security texts: “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect?  It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Romans 8:33-39). How simple!  Paul covers all the bases. No thing, no one, nothing in life, nothing in death, no angel, no creature, can separate any one of God’s little sheep from Him.  They are eternally secured by the blood of the everlasting covenant. They are “more than conquerors”.  How can they be more than conquerors?  By winning the battle and not losing one, single soldier!  Not one sheep will be left out, left behind, forgotten, or taken captive by the devil.  Surely, the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints is a truth that should be believed by God’s people.  It is a doctrine that every sinner should rejoice in.  We hope you find comfort in these truths today!

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