Perseverance of the Saints – A Works Salvation
Posted by Pastor Szekely on December 4, 2006
Calvinism says that “those who are sovereignly elected and regenerated will continue in the faith”.
Romans 8:29-30 says, “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinated to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified”.
These verses tell us that God knew that, in His foreknowledge, we who are saved would believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; and with God knowing this, He predestinated us to be conformed to the image of His Son, or to be made in His likeness or resemble Him through sanctification after our salvation! But the Calvinist will use these verses to say that the saints will and must persevere in the obedience which comes from faith. They say: Election is unconditional, but glorification is not! Man has nothing to do with salvation, but man has everything to do with losing salvation. So to a Calvinist, faith must endure to the end if a person is to be saved!
John Piper, “the Pastor for Preaching” [quoted from his own website] at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, MN, an author of more than 20 books and a featured radio program, and also a staunch Calvinist [he calls himself a “seven-point” Calvinist, half-jokingly, because of his belief in ‘double-predestination…] cited in a position paper entitled, TULIP: What We Believe about the Five Points of Calvinism: “No Christian can be sure that he is a true believer. Hence, there is an ongoing need to be dedicated to the Lord and to deny ourselves so that we might make it.”
I just need to ask right here: Is THAT Grace…OR Grace PLUS works for salvation???
This is just another reason why I am a Baptist and not a Calvinist! The Bible clearly teaches the Eternal Security of the Believer! It is the Savior who perseveres [if you will], not the saint, to maintain salvation! The believer is kept; the believer does not keep himself saved!
Ephesians 4:30, “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption“.
John 10:27-30, “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 [Jesus is saying that I cannot even pluck myself out of His Hand ~ Praise God!]. 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 an my Father are one.”
To the best of my knowledge, we Baptists are the only people who hold to the eternal security of the believer. Yes, we are “once saved, always saved“. When we are saved, we have a new relationship with God ~ we are now His children. We also believe that it does make a difference how you live! Not that we would lose our relationship with God, but we would affect our fellowship with God.
For example: When Father and Mother have a child, that child will always be their child. That little baby is connected to them by birth. Now, when that child disobeys, or if that child runs away or acts like a prodigal, he or she may break fellowship with the family, but the relationship of child of those parents is always in force.
Calvinism’s Perseverance of the Saints is a Works Salvation. We do not work to keep ourselves saved. God saved us, it’s His salvation, and He keeps us saved. We may break fellowship with Him through our disobedient sin, but a born-again believer can not lose the relationship of child of the Heavenly Father!