T.U.L.I.P. - Lesson 8

Perseverance of the Saints

Even though believers are accepted in His Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, and slavery to sin is broken, sinful desires progressively weakened by the power of a superior satisfaction in the glory of Christ, yet there remain remnants of corruption in every heart that give rise to irreconcilable war and call for vigilance in the lifelong fight of faith. All who are justified will win this fight.

John Piper
Lesson 8
Watching Now
Perseverance of the Saints

Perseverance of the Saints

I. We Must Persevere in Faith if We Are to Be Finally Saved

II. Those Whom God Has Justified Will Be Kept by God for Final Salvation

III. Falling Away from Faith and Holiness Shows that We Never Belonged to Christ

  • Romans 8:28-30 focuses on the idea that God works everything together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose. The Bible holds up Romans 8:28 with foreknowledge, predestination, calling, justification and glorification. The essence of idolatry is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of him. We imagine things about God and act as if they are true. Verses like Ephesians 1:4 and Revelation 13:8 refer to God's plans that were in place before the foundation of the world.
  • Dr. Piper explains his assumptions about the authority of scripture, the importance of understanding and applying what it teaches and the role of the Holy Spirit in making it possible. The five points of Calvinism were first articulated in response to five objections that Arminians had to Calvin's theology in the 1600's.
  • Irresistable grace means we are brought to the place where grace gives us faith. Conditional talk from God to us should not be taken to mean he is dependent on us to meet the condition or that we should consider ourselves self-reliant in meeting the condition he has laid out. He intends to enable us to meet the condition so he can act. If grace were not irresistable, we would not incline to God because of our condition of total depravity. In summary, total depravity means that apart from any enabling grace from God, our hardness and rebellion against God is total. Everything we do in this rebellion is sin, our inability to submit to God or reform ourselves is total, and we are therefore totally deserving of eternal punishment.
  • "Total" depravity doesn't mean you are as bad as you can be. The point of unconditional election is that there are no conditions we must meet to be among the elect. God chooses individuals he will bring to faith. The Arminian position is that God chooses a corporate entity, so that it is not that individuals are in the church because they are elect, but that they are elect because they are in the church. We don't belong to God because we come to Jesus, we come to Jesus because we belong to God.
  • We are unable to believe in Christ but we are accountable for doing so. In election, God had a design in mind when he chose the foolish, the weak and the low to populate his church so that no human could boast in his presence and so we would praise and exalt God.
  • Is God's election based on his foreknowledge of your faith, or is faith the effect of your election? (see Romans 8:28-30) Faith is the effect because all the called, believe. Romans 9:1-23 is an argument for the justice of unconditional election. The heart of the righteousness of God is his unswerving allegiance to always uphold his glory.
  • God's aim was the revelation of the riches of his glory for the vessels of mercy prepared beforehand for glory. The apex of that glory is the glory of grace. The supreme demonstration of that grace was the death of Jesus. The atonement is the work of God in Christ, by his obedience and death, by which he cancelled the debt of our sin, appeased his holy wrath against us, and won for us all the benefits of salvation.
  • Even though believers are accepted in His Beloved, effectually called and sanctified by His Spirit, and slavery to sin is broken, sinful desires progressively weakened by the power of a superior satisfaction in the glory of Christ, yet there remain remnants of corruption in every heart that give rise to irreconcilable war and call for vigilance in the lifelong fight of faith. All who are justified will win this fight.
  • It's important to determine theological truths by basing your ideas on scriptural texts, not just logic. These scriptural truths can encourage us to live our lives in relationship to God, worship him, tell others about him and look forward to his kingdom being realized on earth.

God is sovereign and has planned everything about our salvation from before the foundation of the world. Romans 8:28-30 focuses on the idea that God works everything together for the good of those who are called according to his purpose.

We are thankful for John Piper's willingness to share these lectures with us. Copyright 2014 by Desiring God Ministries. Used with Permission. For more information, please visit www.DesiringGod.org.

Dr. John Piper
Perseverance of the Saints
Lesson Transcript

[00:00:00] The following message is by Pastor John Piper. More information from Desiring God is available at www.DesiringGod.org. Why are you a Christian when you wake up in the morning? When you go to bed at night. Christ is real and precious and you pray and you enjoy fellowship. Why should it be that way when you wake up in the morning? Our emotions are fickle. Our wheel goes this way and that way. We change our opinions, we get blown around by events. Why shouldn't you wake up an unbeliever? Yeah, that's boring. Why did I ever buy into that? I was stupid. Why not? And there is one answer now. And to him, who is able to keep you from falling big Ori forever and ever. I certainly want it isn't automatic. And like I prayed my prayer. I believe in internal security. Therefore I can never be lost that period. Not the way it works. It keeps you. So that's the peak that I have about, I know, 17 pages of text. Self would do it and they're just juicy. So that's why we should linger over them. Going to skip Westminster and go to Bethlehem is affirmation of faith again. What's the doctrine? What are we arguing for from the Bible in this session? God's work in faith and sanctification is the heading in the Bethlehem Elder Affirmation of faith And the fifth paragraph and the sixth one say this We believe that sanctification, which comes by the spirit through faith, is imperfect and incomplete in this life. Although slavery to sin is broken and sinful, desires are progressively weakened by the power of a superior satisfaction in the glory of Christ. Yet there remain remnants of corruption in every heart that give rise to irreconcilable war and call for vigilance in the life long fight of faith.

[00:03:02] You will fight this till you're dead or you will lose. And Paul said, I have fought the good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith. Now I'm ready to be poured out. He made to the end. It's been war. And I have thought there's never a season of coasting. You coast, you go backward. We believe that all who are justified will win this fight. Not be spared the fight. Just guaranteed winning. They will. Persevere in faith and never surrender to the enemy of their souls. I don't mean there aren't seasons of backsliding. I mean absolute surrender here. I realize when I read that last night that it could be taken way too perfectionistic. This perseverance is the promise of the New Covenant obtained by the blood of Christ and worked in us by God himself, yet not so as to diminish, but only to empower and encourage our vigilance so that we may say in the end, I have fought the good fight, but it was not I. But the grace of God which was with me. So there it is, a series of questions or statements. First, the must. This troubles people. It was in preaching a sermon on this issue. We must persevere in faith if we are finally to be saved. That got me into trouble. Back in 1980, when I preached in Omaha at the annual meeting of the Baptist General Conference, and a guy came up to me and said, Young man going to have to watch out for your Armenian ism in this conference. And I thought, My goodness, I'm a seven point go on this. What does he mean? He meant I sounded like people could lose their salvation when I preach this sermon from Hebrews.

[00:05:40] And that is what many texts sound like. And you just have to ask, okay, what are those threats that require perseverance? Imply about God's people. Can they? Do they? Because a lot of people solve the issue of assurance and security by just avoiding the text that sound threatening to professing believers. So let's look at those threatening texts and be sobered by the requirement of perseverance. Before we look at the gift and assurance of personal perseverance. First Corinthians 15 one Now I make known to you, brethren, the Gospel which I preach to you, which you received, in which you stand by, which you are saved. If you hold fast, the word that I preach to you, unless you believed in vain, that's the kind of thing that shakes people up. They look at that. They say, It doesn't sound like Calvinism. To me, that sounds like we are dropping in and out of salvation or easily dropping out. And basically what it says is got to keep believing. You've got to keep believing You stop believing your belief was in vain. It was not that. Client one And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds, yet he has now reconciled you in his fleshly body through death in order to present you before him wholly and blameless and beyond reproach. If. You continue in the faith, firmly established and steadfast, not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven and of which I, Paul, was made. Minister. Paul insisted that continuing in faith, this is why the term perseverance of the Saints is the pea, rather than to Lee or to Lee's to you LDS eternal security. I believe in that term defined biblically.

[00:08:18] However, what that phrase carries to a lot of people is you're secure no matter what you do. That's not what the doctrine of perseverance says. The doctrine of perseverance says you're secure. And because he keeps you, you won't make shipwreck of your faith. God will hold on to you, and you must not make shipwreck of your faith. So these if these conditions are in the Bible, forcing us to think in terms of perseverance, not mechanical security. Fall 1980 brand new Pastor Pat. I get this couple to ignite each other. I'm 34 years old and zero pastoral experience, and they were about my age. 28 years ago. And I brought her in and I said, Now what do you do? What do you sleep with a guy every weekend? Not her husband. And I said, okay, we got to stop that. This weekend. You're not showing up. Okay. Oh, I. It's really hard. I said there's no question here. That's over. We don't do that. And then I said, Those who do such things, those who persevere in doing such things, will be damned. Her face just completely changed. She said, That's not what our previous pastor said. I was brand new pastor. He just left. That's not what our previous pastor said. He said, I'm eternally secure. And then she quoted me the text. Romans 837 for I am sure that neither death, life nor angels are principalities or powers, nor anything else in all creation. Separate me from the love of God and the devil can't. He can make me sin and commit adultery, but he can't separate me from the love of God. She had this thing theologically all worked out so she could sleep together every weekend, feel secure. I said, I know what that text means.

[00:11:21] I can cause some things like this. She was absolutely staggering. They're still married 28 years later. It took a while. I'll give you another illustration. Some comes to my mind because I get a Christmas card from this woman every year. She was younger. They were just married and he caught her in bed with the guy. And it was called Bethlehem. It was early years. And and so he's furious. And and she's a daughter of a missionary. They both are. They're both kids missionaries. So she comes in and I just said to her flat out, somebody here would would know her tone or let me just tell you that if you don't break this off, you're going to go to hell. Every year for 28 years, she has written me a thank you card, Christmas. She said, Nobody said that to me, but you know, it it scared the hell out of me. And I've never cheated on him again. Stories like that that make me not pay too much attention to those who say, Oh, you can't use bad news, you know, you can't use warnings, you can't use threats to help people. That's a practical illustration of believing in perseverance instead of believing in mechanical security. That was the point of those two stories. You believe in kind of mechanical security. Each each of those women would say, I'm a missionary kid. I would say Jesus was six, walked the aisle. I'm a Christian. I'm secure. So the Bible teaches you can't lose your salvation. What's this talk about? If they earn and do this and you'll be lost. They could all see that. But if you believe this way, then saying something like You get out of bed or you're going to hell, woman.

[00:13:55] It can have a saving effect. It did on these two women, so contributed to 11 to 13. It is a trustworthy statement for if we died with him, we will also live with him. If we endure, we will reign with him. If we deny him, he will deny us. If we are faithless, he remains faithful, though that does not mean faithful to us. If we are faithless, he remains faithful to himself, for he cannot deny himself. If you don't have faith, his faithfulness does not commit himself to save you. Mark 13. You will be hated by all because of my name, but the one who endures to the end will be saved. Enduring to the end. Know the obedience or holiness that comes from faith is necessary for salvation. So moving beyond faith to obedience and holiness. Here's another requirement for final salvation. Pursue peace. Hebrews 1214 with all men and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord pursue the peace and the Holiness without which no one will see the Lord. From 13. If you are living according to the flesh, you must die. But if by the spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live in, the living there means eternal living. In other words, if you don't fight the fight of faith and appropriate the spirit and attack the bit to sleep around every weekend, you won't live. Galatians five. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, empty strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, dispute disputes, dissensions, factions ending, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. Of which, I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom.

[00:16:57] He you you whose you? It's the church. It's not wrong for me to stand up on a Sunday morning, look out on seven or 800 people in this room and say, If you make a practice of doing such things, you will not enter the kingdom and mean it for everybody. I don't know who the elected are. I don't know who those are who will persevere. I just know this is true. I will say it. Similarly First Corinthians? Or do you not know that the unrighteous will inherit the Kingdom of God? I'm sorry, not inherit the Kingdom of God. Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do I be deceived either fornicators or idolaters or adulterers, nor effeminate homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revelers? So be careful. You hear the fullness of that. This is not just this. Also this. Nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. Then he goes on to say, And such were some of you. God saves all those people. Skip Visions five actor gets so many here can run out of time if I don't keep moving. We know that we have passed out of death into life because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death. Loving the Brethren is a necessary evidence that you are no longer in the grip of death, but have been born again to life. If someone says I love God and hates his brother is a liar. Okay. How many prayers you've prayed? What family you grew up in, What doctrine you believe. If you say you love God and you hate your brother. I give you another illustration. This one just came to my mind. I even thought about this for years for seminary.

[00:19:32] Just learning about these things as I read Stay Romans and Galatians and first Corinthians and Sermon on the Mount and all these exegetical classes. I was in five small groups my senior year at Fuller. I was in a class group and I was in a women's winning men's group and couples group. I forget all the people, of course, but but one of the couples group, the well, we were newly married, gets married in 68. This was now 71. And and there was this woman in a discussion one night and we were talking about grudges and forgiveness. And she said. Well, I can't forgive what my mother did to me. Sit here. Forgive what your mother taught you. I said, you got to. You got to. I can't. I said, if you don't forgive her, you're not going to be saved. He was absolutely blown away that anybody would say such a thing. You hate your brother. You have a, um, dealt with animosity and grudge and bitterness against somebody, and you're holding on to that thing in spite of the fact that Jesus has forgiven you all your sins. Then you're like the man in Matthew 18 whose ring in the neck of the guy who owes him $10 after he's been forgiven, $10 million? And what happens to him? He gets cut to pieces in the end because he really didn't know anything about forgiveness. So I said to her, you got I don't remember how that one got resolved. She was just really angry at me that I said that in the setting of that couple relationship. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed in him, if you continue in my word, then you're truly my disciples. Not just if you get interested in me or you know you through Christ weekend, or if get excited, you walk the aisle and like a good start, like the seed sown on the ground spring up with joy and then the sun comes out and you wither.

[00:22:21] No, If you continue, you are truly my disciple. Now get the good news here. Those whom God has justified will be kept by God for final salvation. And we've looked at this text enough times that maybe we should look at it one more time to underline its relevance for perseverance. God causes all things to work for, gether for good, to work together for good, for those who love God. Now that all things here working together for good. This good here is defined specifically here as it was to me for new he predestined to be conformed to the image of his sons of there's the good ultimately everything that God is doing to you and permitting to be done to you is serving to conform you ultimately to Jesus. That's that's what you see. It's all working to that good, not the good of prosperity, not the good of health. We're all going to die. And we all could lose our job and God would do us no role. But the good that he guarantees to do for us is this one. He predestined us to be conformed to the image of his son. So that to be the first born of many brethren and those who he predestined, he called and those we called, he justified it. Here's the perseverance. Those would be justified, glorified. Here it is. Nobody drops out who's justified. So I'm standing up and I'm talking to six 700 people, 95% of whom I pray God, are justified by faith, alone and born again. And I'm saying whoever does these things will not enter into the kingdom. And God takes that warning and by his spirit, applies it to the elect so that they are vigilant and persevere so that this never ceases to be true.

[00:24:52] The justified will be glorified. Nobody is justified and then lost. Nobody. So if you are a justified sinner today, you will be forever. That's what it says. Those to me justified. He glorified. So what shall we say? If God is for us, who can be against us? Nobody can be successfully against us. He did not spare his own son, but gave him up. First of all, how will he not with him freely Give us all things. So now we simply draw attention to the connection with perseverance. It's the logic, not sparing. Your son provides the foundation for the assurance and the reality that everything will be ours, including perseverance. John. 1026 to 30. You do not believe because you not have my sheep, my sheep hear my voice and I know them. They follow me and I give them eternal life and they will never perish. And no one will snatch them out of my hand. My father, who has given them to me, is greater than everybody in everything, and no one is able to snatch them out of my father's hand. And I'm the father of one. I can't get out of my hand and you can't get out of the father's head because we are one. And we have committed ourselves to give you eternal life that you will never perish. And we will raise you up at the last day. Oh, and Joy, that text. Know yourself there. Revel in that. Bathe in that. Go to bed with that. Get up with that. Preach that to yourself. I've heard his voice. Have you? Not only his sheep. Hear his voice. I have come to him. He laid down his life for the sheep. My sins are covered. And if he didn't spare his own son.

[00:27:30] But live out his life for me. Will he not freely give me all things, including this crack solid security in his hand? Oh, what a valiant people we should be. We shouldn't go limping through life as the who Poor us Christians, weak to bring security in America. This used to be our country. It was never our country. Our country is in heaven. America comes. America goes. Russia comes. Russia goes. China comes. China goes. We are the children of God. Go limping through life. Oh, poor Christian, We're not being treated nice. You know? Supposed to be treated nice. You're supposed to be killed. We are being killed all day long. We are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. No. In all these things, we are more than conquerors. It's this absolute rock solid chain of assurance that those who are justified will be glorified. Should make you walk with your head high broken, for you're seeing that swaggering through American media saying, look, a right wing talk show host, it's our country. It's not let's be different. Let's be radically different. Boldly different doctrines make us so confident, so powerful, so humbly different. I love this text because there's a piece of it that's on my mother's and now my father's gravestone. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, a man. Blessed be you, God. And according to His who? According to whose great mercy has caused us to be born again. Those whom he caused to be born again never are anything other than born again to a living hope. Yes, it is living and dying through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yes, it was. His triumph over death secures the future certainty and security to obtain an inheritance. It caused me to be born again.

[00:29:52] To obtain an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, not fading, all that supposed to signify security permanence reserved in heaven for you. Now, so far, we've got the inheritance firmly reserved for you. Now you get reserved yourself who are protected or kept by the power of God through faith for that salvation ready to be revealed. So it is kept for you and you are kept for it. Now notice something. This this is the phrase right here. That's on the gravestone. See all version kept by the power of God. So when my mother died in 1974 and my dad and I went out to the graveside to the blue business place there, we talking in the car as we're going. She would put anything on the stone. And I see how they put someone's time. And he said, What do you think we should put on the stone? This is the wife of 36 years that had just been snatched away in a bus. I said, I think we should put her of one flat capped by the power of God in this life and the next. He said, okay. So that was there on the stone. But now notice something. What is how does this relate to faith? Sort of make sure you you don't water this daily. Someone might take this phrase through faith and mean well, if you keep believing, it keeps you. Overview of what we mean, what would keep me if my believing depended on me? Well, keeping me alive to keep that is the keeping. He's not watching us. If you keep yourself in the faith and if you do that, I'll do something else. What's left in you? If I can keep myself in the faith, I don't need you to keep me in the faith.

[00:32:24] So I take this to mean kept by the power of God through faith. I mean, that's the way God does it. He keeps me through faith, that is. He sees to it that I get up and believe in the morning. So if you ask me why, why did you get up a believer in the morning this morning and not an unbeliever? My answer is he kept me. He kept me. He worked in my mind, which is always drifting away and draws me back. Oh, to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be. Let your goodness like a. Pain, my wandering heart prone to wander. Lord, I feel it prone to leave the God I love. Take my heart. Oh God. Select select for that court's above. I love that song. Just say have me, keep me, own me Chain me, feel me, buy me Don't let me go. That's my doctrine of perseverance. It's not automatic. It's not mechanical. It's day by day, moment by moment, working of the sovereign God to get my mind back on track. Now to him, who is able to keep you from stumbling and to make you stand in the presence of his glory, blameless with great joy to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ, our Lord, be glory and majesty and dominion and authority before all time now and forever more, that benediction that dux ology was elicited out of Jude's heart by the thought that he keeps us from stumbling. Let's keep the promises rolling here. Now, may the God of peace himself sanctify you entirely. Yes, I need that. I can't do it myself. You've got to do it, Lord. And may your spirit and soul and body be preserved, complete without blame at this coming.

[00:35:13] Coming of the Lord Jesus. And in this statement, faithful is He who calls you? He'll do it. See the justice? This is called to mean Romans eight. Faithful. Is he who calls you Those whom he called he justified. And those whom he justified He glorified faithful. Is he who called you to do it? He doesn't call and throw away. Same thing. First Corinthians one as Lord Jesus Christ will confirm you to the end. Blameless at the day of our Lord Jesus. God is faithful through whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son. And if you were called there, you will be kept there. I love Jeremiah 30 to 40. I will make. This is the New Covenant. I will make an everlasting covenant with them that I will not turn away from them. I will not turn away from them to do them good. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts so that they will not turn away from me. That was the text I used to preach the 25th anniversary, the 125th anniversary of our church's life back in 96, I believe it was. God promises in the New Covenant, which remember Jesus purchased with this blood to put the fear of God in our hearts in such a way that we will not turn away from Him. So any time you read the conditionality, if you don't turn away, he will save you always think command with our will and grant what thou commenced. I must not turn away. You won't let me turn away. Yes, there's conditionality in perseverance. If we don't persevere, we will be lost. So our security lies not in removing that threat, but in providing this sovereign work. Philippians one six. I am confident of this very thing that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ.

[00:38:53] Hebrews is a troubling book for some because it has chapter six in it. Chapter ten in it, both of which talk about falling away and whether you take that to mean you could be really born again and then fall away, or it looks like you're born again and then you fall away will depend on the way you understand the big picture in Hebrews. And this is a key verse for understanding the big picture. So look at this one. That's not the one I was thinking about. Or chapter three or chapter three. There it is. Hold everything I just said for about four more minutes. I guess I got out of order here. Last one I want to look at here on this point is look, 22. 31. I love this. This is so, so illuminating for the way our lives really work in our sinfulness. Here's the here's Peter. He's about to deny the Lord three times. And you remember who told him that? Peter, you will deny me three times. Jesus is saying that this is a prediction. He knows this is going to happen. It's going to happen. So how does Jesus relate to a man about the sin against him so grievously in the hour of his greatest need? Peter's glory. I don't know if I've known. Jesus felt as he looked at his rock. We'd been out on him and he's our greatest need for his what he really does to get him ready. He says, Simon, Simon, Behold, Satan demanded to have you that he might shift you like wheat. This is just like Jobe Amor. Joe goes to God, says, Skin for skin. The only reason he worships you is because you make everything go well for him. And God says, okay, we'll see.

[00:41:00] You can have him just to God. But he kills his kids and he gives them boils. And Jobe says the Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. That's where I want to be. I want Bethlehem to be. No matter what happens to us, every campus get blown to smithereens by some terrorist bomb. What gave the Lord taken away? We worship God. We don't need building. Say it. Have you that he makes you, like, weak? Peter. Here's what I think that means. Here's the picture that you like. We what's. What's going on there? I think it's Peter. And here's the here's the sieve. And I guess the way it works with weed is that you you throw it in, you shake it like this, and the weed falls through and the chaff blows away or separate out the wheat from the chaff. And so the picture is Satan wants to do that to you So he could push. And his aim is that Peter fall through and face Stay up here. That's what it means. I want to destroy your faith, Peter. That's what we would like to happen in the denial. So this is Satan's design, isn't God's design? God has a very different design in this denial. I have prayed for you. This is the intersection of Jesus modeled for us. I have prayed for you that your faith not fail. That has to mean utterly because you stated fail temporarily. I mean, he was not a rousing believer when he said, I don't know the man. He wasn't full of confidence, he wasn't full of trust. He wasn't banking on the all sufficiency of God to provide his needed in that moment. He was bailing on faith.

[00:43:02] His faith was temporarily failing. So this prayer is I prayed that you wouldn't fail utterly. And then he says, not if, but when you have turned strength in your brothers. That is such a sovereign word, isn't it? A sovereign word? Satan wants to have you. My father and I are giving him a leash and you're going to make the worst mistake of your life tonight. We're going to let it happen. It's all by design. But I have interceded with the father concerning Satan's extent of influence. And there's a limit to this. When you turn, it's going to happen. I'm praying for you when it happens. Now be a rock now be a rock. Strengthen your brothers because they're going to need you. You failure of a fisherman. I'm making something of you tonight are making of you are broken hearted strength of strugglers sort of make tonight That's a beautiful picture gives you a way to interpret your failures Some of them anyway, who has not denied the part by our attitudes or silence or behavior. We won't let you go. Falling away from faith and holiness shows that we never belonged to Christ. So now you asked him. You asked me last night. Are you going to address the person who who looked like they were Christian for a long time? Maybe they were a pastor, a deacon. And then you can't hear someone totally like the devil and sold out, left their marriage, left the faith, left everything. And they're just totally worldly and unbelieving. What are we to make of that? And here's the way John deals with it. They went out from us, but they were not of us. See, this is in italics. That's an interpretation. I think it's a accurate one.

[00:45:45] They were not of us. For if they had been of us, part of the born again called Justified. They would have remained with us. There's the doctrine of perseverance. You said. Generally they remain if they're of us. No, no, no, no. There's no generally about it. If they're of us, they remain. This is the doctrine of perseverance. Absolutely. Sure. Perseverance. But they went out. So obviously then it could be shown that they were not of us. So my answer to the question is, first, maybe a person is in a season of doubt and struggle and backsliding, and I can jump to the conclusion they were never a Christian and going after them, going after him for a long time. But if in the end it's over and they're not believing and they perish, having decisively renounced the Lord, there's no reason to believe they were ever saved. That's what I think that verse says. Now, here's the here's a verse that four or 5 minutes ago I jumped the gun on. Hebrews is a difficult book in chapter six and Chapter ten because it describes people who seem to have experience. So much of God tasted the powers of the age to come, some measure enlightened, and then they score the Lord and forsake the faith. And those who believe you can lose your salvation would go to chapter six or Chapter ten and argue, Well, there it is, proof that these people were saved. Now, I don't think they were. But do I have textual basis in Hebrews for saying that? And this would be one of them. Encourage one another day after day, as long as it is called today so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

[00:47:50] So there's the way we should live vigilance and helping each other. I like to say that eternal security is a community project. See that here. Encourage one another as long as it is still called today, so that none of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. And who gives the reason for we have. And there's there's the tense that makes all the difference. We have become partakers of Christ. It means we are in Christ and born again and sharing in his righteousness. We have become partakers of Christ. If we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm to the notice. It does not say we will become partakers of Christ. If we hold fast to our confession. It says we have become partakers of Christ. If we hold fast, our confession, which means perseverance or holding fast, is proof and evidence that you had already become a partake of Christ. Perseverance doesn't make you a poor taker of Christ. It demonstrates that you are a taker of Christ. Therefore, I don't think Chapter six or Chapter ten contradicts this paradigm. If we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm to the end, we have become partakers of Christ. So being a protector taker of Christ secures our perseverance. Finally, lest this section therefore, let us be earnest to make our calling an election. Sure. Second. Peter 110. I mean, I've prayed with a good number of folks to receive Jesus in my office or in various places over the years. How do you talk to them when they've just crossed a line? They just believed you. What do you say? Well, you give a big hug. Welcome to the family. This is thrilling. Oh, so glad you're a believer. We're brothers now. You talk like this.

[00:50:56] Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about his calling and choosing you. As long as you practice these things, you'll never stumble. Be all the more diligent to confirm or to make certain his calling is choosing you. You say, Now God has met you here and He is drawing you to himself. Let the next days be a confirmation of that. Confirmation of that. If this is what I do, I'm real. I don't know. This really happened. I said, you'll see. It will be confirmed to you. Give yourself to the word. Give yourself to prayer. Fight sin, Be in a fellowship with other people. Use the means of grace. And in all these, God will confirm that you're his. Yeah. Confirm Language is very good to use, not automatic language. But you can do anything you want. No good use Pray to receive. Jesus. It doesn't matter. You go to heaven. You don't use that kind of language. Fight the good. Fight. Have faith. Take hold of eternal life. So how should you think? Having just spent now 45 minutes on perseverance. How should you think? And the answer is they hold on it. They hold on. It reminds me of I don't think I have the text, but reminds me of Philippians 312. Not that I have already obtained or embody perfect, but I press on to make it my own because he has made me his own. There's the way we think and the way we feel about it. We get up in the morning and we push into our devotions and we push into the fight against sin, not with some kind of insecurity, like, oh, maybe, maybe today he'll save me if I do this, but rather because he's so massively, mightily securely saved me already.

[00:53:15] He has taken hold of me and I will lay hold on eternal life. I have fought the good fight. I finished the course. I have kept the faith. In the future there's light up for me a crown of righteousness which the Lord, the righteous Judge will award to me on that day, and not only to me, but also to all who've loved his appearing. Fight the good fight. Last text on this issue, then we'll take a break. So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as my presence only, but but more in my absence. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. Work out your salvation with fear and trembling. I'll have more to say about that in the last session when we talk about the emotional effects of believing these doctrines. But don't let this fear and trembling signify a kind of wimpy uncertainty about your future. Rather hear this. You work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you to will and to work for his good pleasure? Yeah, you've got to will it? And you've got to work it. But when all is said and done, you say by the grace of God, I am what I am. And his grace toward me was not in vain. But I worked harder than any of them. Nevertheless, it was not I, but the grace of God that was with me. First Corinthians 1510. Father, thank you for your persevering, keeping, preserving grace in our lives. And that it was secured for us by the blood of Jesus so that we can say He who did not spare his own son, but gave him up for us all. Will he not most certainly provide everything we need to persevere in Jesus name, I pray.

[00:56:05] Thank you for listening to this message by John Piper, Pastor for preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Feel free to make copies of this message to give to others, but please do not charge for those copies or alter the content in any way without permission. We invite you to visit desiring God online at w WW dot desiring God dot org. There you'll find hundreds of sermons, articles, radio broadcasts and much more all available to you at no charge. Our online store carries all of Pastor John's books, audio and video resources. You can also stay up to date on what's new at Desiring God. Again, our website is w WW dot desiring God dot org. Or call us toll free at 1888346 4700. Our mailing address is desiring God. 2601 East Franklin Avenue. Minneapolis, Minnesota. 55406. Desiring God exists to help you make God your treasure because God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.