Of Perseverance of the Saints.
Chapter 17, Paragraph 2.
“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 and Union with him,…”
Romans 8:30, 9:11,16
So then it does not depend on the man who wills or the man who runs, but on God who has mercy. -Romans 9:16 (NASB)
Imagine if your perseverance depended upon you! Waking every morning, constantly reminding yourself, “Do better. Try harder.” Crawling into bed every night, reflecting on the day, we would either succumb to despair over our performance or preen with pride at our supposed success. How does God get glory in such a situation? He does not, for if perseverance is dependent upon me, then I become the focus of my Christian race, not Jesus. Rather than being the perfecter of my faith, He becomes my support. When our theology fails to give God His rightful place as sovereign, faith becomes the crutch unbelievers accuse it of being.
Thankfully, our perseverance is not dependent upon the strength of our will, but upon the steadfastness and power of God. God’s decree of election does not change. You are not in one day and out the next. Those who are His have been chosen since the foundation of the world. Not only has God decreed thus, it is through Him that we persevere. Jesus’s life and death on our behalf is abundantly beyond what is needed for our salvation, and His intercession ensures our preservation. Found in Him, we need not fear being cast out.
Running the race of this Christian life, therefore, cannot be done looking at ourselves. Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, we are encouraged to press onward, knowing that our victory is secure. Not because of our will, but because of His.
Questions to Consider
- Are you looking to Christ for your preservation, or to yourself?