Cork Free Presbyterian Church, 10 Briarscourt (Annex) Shanakiel, Cork, Ireland Pastor: Colin Maxwell. Email: cfpc@esatclear.ie

THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD BIBLE STUDIES STUDY SEVEN

BY COLIN MAXWELL

Read: Romans 8:28-39

The Doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints

This is the last of the "Five Points of Calvinism" although not the last in this present series of Bible Studies.

  1. THIS DOCTRINE IS THE LOGICAL OUTCOME OF ALL THAT IS GONE BEFORE:

Underlining premise: God has a plan and that this plan must see complete fulfilment without any real let or hindrance. Sometimes the road to completion bends etc…but the counsel of the Lord stands for ever (Psalm 33:11) Remind ourselves again: What is God's plan regards salvation? Hebrews 2:10

Would this be possible if any son intended for glory apostatised and went to hell? Where would this leave the counsel of the Lord? And Psalm 33:11 with its bold statement?

Therefore God states unequivocally:

John 10:28-29

1 Samuel 2:9

Psalm 37:28

Romans 8:33-39

2) FALSE PROFESSORS CANNOT CLAIM SECURITY:

We need to bear in mind that there is such a thing a false professing Christian - someone who has never really come to Christ for salvation. Perhaps self deceived or just deliberately living a lie…whatever: Such are not saved and therefore cannot lay hold on any of the promises of God's word for true believers.

[1] What all did the folk in Matthew 7:22-23 manage to do? How do they address Christ?

Were they saved? Indeed…were they ever saved?

[2] Although there may be many empty professors of Christ, yet does the nature of the Bible in any way give grounds for any reason why this should be so?

John 20:31/1 John 5:11-13

3) TRUE SAINTS EVIDENCE THEIR FAITH BY GOOD WORKS & OBEDIENCE TO GOD'S WORD:

Obviously we are going to ask ourselves: Am I a real believer? Or just an empty professor? How can I tell?

[1] Inwardly: Romans 8:16

Objection: Surely we can be deceived in our feelings? It need much more than a mere subjective "gut feeling" type experience - such as those in Matthew 7:22-23 probably had. Fair enough…

[2] Outwardly: We evidence that we are true Christians by

doing the things that Christians do.

a/ We come savingly to Christ alone for salvation. Not depending on any sacrament or rite or deed done by any other or ourselves but Christ's work only.

b/ Such coming entails a desire to forsake sin completely. We want to live obediently to God's word without any "ifs" and "buts"

c/ We attend the appointed means of grace: The word of God/prayer/fellowship/service of God.

d/ There is a noticeable work of grace in our hearts. Ignorance gives way to knowledge. Zeal -steadfastness- even opposition to us because of our Christian faith etc., may all indicate that we are Christians. We love God and desire His will to be done in our hearts. We constantly seek His face and especially the ongoing cleansing blood of Christ (1John 1:7)

[3] Note the 5 evidences of the new birth in 1John

a/ 2:29

b/ 3:9

c/ 4:7

d/ 5:1

e/ 5:4

Warning: We can be forever chasing our tail in this matter. Such evidences do not demand absolute perfection. Although strong faith is preferable to weak faith, yet even weak faith is an evidence of salvation. The question is: Are the evidences there? Do I trust Christ alone for my salvation in repentance? If so… Luke 7:50 is for me…personally.

4) IT IS GOD'S GRACE THAT PERSEVERES IN THE BELIEVER:

[1] Discuss: Salvation is not so much me holding unto God but God holding unto me. Explain without denying that the believer has responsibilities i.e. Philippians 2:12-15/Isaiah 26:12/Hebrews 13:20-21

5) THE BELIEVER OFTEN FALLS IN TEMPTATION…BUT ALWAYS RISES UP AGAIN:

[1] What does Proverbs 24:16 teach?

[2] What was the difference between Peter and Judas?

[3] If you fell grievously…what would you do?

6) WHY THERE ARE WARNING PASSAGES IN SCRIPTURES ADDRESSED TO BELIEVERS:

[1] Discuss the thought that God not only appoints the end but the means to that end. What means has God employed thus far to bring us to our present state of justification?

[2] Some argue that this doctrine leaves room for Christians to live in sin, knowing that their mansion in Heaven is reserved for them. Is this a logical argument? What would you say to a professing Christian who was living in sin?

NEXT STUDY: THE EFFECT THESE DOCTRINES HAVE ON THOSE WHO HOLD THEM

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