Grace Bible Church

4000 E. Collins Rd.   P.O. Box #3762   Gillette, WY  82717   (307) 686-1516


- Preaching the Living WORD through the Written WORD - 2 Tim 4:2 -






Grace Bible Church, Gillette, Wyoming

Pastor Daryl Hilbert


I.     The Brief Explanation of the Perseverance of the Saints


A.    Rev 14:12 uses the phrase “perseverance of the saints” (NASB). This phrase has been a concept used by the church to explain the biblical teaching on the state of a true believer.

B.    True believers are the ones who persevere in their faith and obedience while on earth because they have been divinely regenerated and given perseverance (cp. Rom 15:5; Col 1:11).

C.    This concept does not teach that a person can lose their salvation by not persevering. Rather it teaches that only those who have been truly saved (not a mere profession of faith) will persevere in their faith to the end.

D.    Neither does this teach that a believer will be perfect, sinless, or never fall. It simply teaches that in spite of those realities, the believer will respond to the Spirit’s work in his life and continue in the faith.


II.    The Concept of the Perseverance of the Saints


A.    The Perseverance of the Saints is the “P” in the Calvinistic form “TULIP.” It is the opposite of the possibility of “falling from grace.”

B.    Calvinism: All who are chosen by God, redeemed by Christ, and given faith by the Spirit are eternally saved. They are kept in faith by the power of the Almighty God and thus persevere to the end. (David N. Steele and Curtis Thomas; The Five Points of Calvinism - Defined, Defended, Documented.)

C.    Note: Synonyms in some theologies for this doctrine would be Eternal Security or Preservation and even Assurance. The bottom line is the same; the God who saves is the God who keeps. Yet “Eternal Security” focuses on God on behalf of the believer; “Perseverance” focuses on God in the believer; and “Assurance” focuses on the believer’s own subjectivity.

D.    Arminianism: Those who believe and are truly saved can lose their salvation by failing to keep up their faith. (ibid.)


III.  Perseverance of the Saints and the Westminster Confession


A.    WCF 17.1 They, whom God hath accepted in His Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.(1) - (1)Phil. 1:6; 2 Pet. 1:10; John 10:28,29; 1 John 3:9; 1 Pet. 1:5,9.


B.    WCF 17.2 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;(1) upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ;(2) the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them;(3) and the nature of the covenant of grace:(4) from all which ariseth also the certainty and infallibility thereof.(5) - (1)2 Tim. 2:18,19; Jer. 31:3.  (2)Heb. 10:10,14; Heb. 13:20,21; Heb. 9:12-15; Rom. 8:33-39; John 17:11,24; Luke 22:32; Heb. 7:25.  (3)John 14:16,17; 1 John 2:27; 1 John 3:9.  (4)Jer. 32:40.  (5)John 10:28; 2 Thess. 3:3; 1 John 2:1.


C.    WCF 17.3 Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins;(1) and, for a time, continue therein:(2) whereby they incur God's displeasure,(3) and grieve His Holy Spirit,(4) come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts;(5) have their hearts hardened,(6) and their consciences wounded;(7) hurt and scandalize others,(8) and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.(9) - (1)Matt. 26:70,72,74.  (2)Ps. 51:(title), 14.  (3)Isa. 64:5,7,9; 2 Sam. 11:27.  (4)Eph. 4:30.  (5)Ps. 51:8,10.12; Rev. 2:4; Cant. 5:2,3,4,6.  (6)Isa. 63:17; Mark 6:52; Mark 16:14.  (7)Ps. 32:3,4; Ps. 51:8.  (8)2 Sam. 12:14.  (9)Ps. 89:31,32; 1 Cor. 11:3.


IV.  Perseverance of the Saints and John MacArthur (MacArthur Commentary, Jam 1:3-4)


A.    Eternal security enables the endurance and perseverance of believers.


1.     “The one who endures to the end, he will be saved,” Jesus said (Matt. 24:13); and on another occasion, “If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” (John 8:31). Paul explained to the church in Corinth, “Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain” (1 Cor. 15:1–2).

2.     In other words, if their faith was not in vain, if it was genuine, it would be proven by their holding fast to the Lord. By its very nature and by God’s divine provision, saving faith is permanent faith. Endurance, or perseverance, is a means by which security is worked out and is a certain evidence of it.


B.    If a person renounces faith in Christ, he simply proves he never had saving faith at all.


1.     Speaking of spurious Christians, whom he calls antichrists and who left the fellowship of God’s people, John explains, “They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:19).

2.     “We have become partakers of Christ,” the writer of Hebrews explains, “if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end” (Heb. 3:14).


C.    Perseverance is inseparable from holiness.


1.     A life that is consistently immoral and unspiritual cannot possibly persevere because it does not belong to God, does not have His divine protection, and has no real desire to persevere in the faith. It is for that reason that the writer of Hebrews not only says, as just cited, that true partakers of Christ will hold fast to the end but also that believers are to “pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification [holiness] without which no one will see the Lord” (12:14).

2.     Godly Job understood that “the righteous shall hold to his way, and he who has clean hands shall grow stronger and stronger” (Job 17:9). Pursuit of holiness is almost a synonym for perseverance. The Westminster Confession of Faith includes these profound words: (See WCF 17:1-3)