(1) “Perseverance of the saints” (or preservation) of the saints (the word “saints” is used to refer to all who are set apart by God, and not of those who are exceptionally holy, canonized, or in heaven) asserts that since God is sovereign and his will cannot be frustrated by humans or anything else, those whom God has called into communion with himself will continue in faith until the end. Those who apparently fall away either never had true faith to begin with or will return to the faith.
(2) We do agree with Professor Calvin that the saints are all believers in Christ Jesus.
(3) Other than that small point of agreement, we strongly disagree with the assertion that once a person is saved they are always saved. Scripture has much to say about this. We will look at passages that point out the struggle which Christians have.
(4) Unfortunately, when a Christian comes to faith Satan works even harder to cause trouble and it he could turn us away from God.
(5) Paul speaks very clearly to the Christians in Corinth.
1 Corinthians 10:12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!
(6) Paul would not need to speak as he does in the previous passage unless, sadly, Christians can lose his or her faith.
(7) How might the teaching “Perseverance of the saints” encourage an attitude similar to Israel when they relied upon being Abraham’s children rather than having faith in God?
(8) The following passage John writes to the congregation in Laodicia, believers whose faith is weakening. John is concerned that they might fall for God does not appreciate the Lukewarm believer.
Revelation 3:15-16 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
(9) Paul wrote to the congregation in Galatia, they are Christians who are getting weaker, and Paul does not wish them to lose their faith.
Galatians 1:6-7 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you by the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ.
(10) Paul was writing about communion and those who abused the Lord’s Supper by not recognizing the body and blood of Christ. Then Paul points out that some have fallen asleep. He is not talking about death here, but about falling from faith.
1 Corinthians 11:30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.
(11) The following passages speak about the Christian struggle with sin. Christian leaders, be prepared to assist and teach our people to stand against sin and for Christ Jesus and the truth. They need to be aware of their sinful nature and the pressure that Satan will apply to their spiritual lives.
Romans 7:18-25 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!
罗马书7:18-25 我也知道，在我里头，就是我肉体之中，没有良善。因为，立志为善由得我，只是行出来由不得我。19故此，我所愿意的善，我反不做；我所不愿意的恶，我倒去做。20若我去做所不愿意做的，就不是我做的，乃是住在我里头的罪做的。21我觉得有个律，就是我愿意为善的时候，便有恶与我同在。22因为按着我里面的意思，我是喜欢 神的律；23但我觉得肢体中另有个律和我心中的律交战，把我掳去，叫我附从那肢体中犯罪的律。24我真是苦啊！谁能救我脱离这取死的身体呢？25感谢 神，靠着我们的主耶稣基督就能脱离了。这样看来，我以内心顺服 神的律，我肉体却顺服罪的律了。
Galatians 5:16-18 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. 17 For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.
Mark 9:24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”
Ephesians 4:21-24 Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
以弗所书4:21-24 如果你们听过他的道，领了他的教，学了他的真理，22就要脱去你们从前行为上的旧人，这旧人是因私欲的迷惑渐渐变坏的；23又要将你们的心志改换一新，24并且穿上新人；这新人是照着 神的形象造的，有真理的仁义和圣洁。
Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
以弗所书6:10-18 我还有末了的话：你们要靠着主，倚赖他的大能大力作刚强的人。11要穿戴 神所赐的全副军装，就能抵挡魔鬼的诡计。12因我们并不是与属血气的争战，乃是与那些执政的、掌权的、管辖这幽暗世界的，以及天空属灵气的恶魔争战。13所以，要拿起 神所赐的全副军装，好在磨难的日子抵挡仇敌，并且成就了一切，还能站立得住。14所以要站稳了，用真理当作带子束腰，用公义当作护心镜遮胸，15又用平安的福音当作预备走路的鞋穿在脚上。16此外，又拿着信德当作盾牌，可以灭尽那恶者一切的火箭；17并戴上救恩的头盔，拿着圣灵的宝剑，就是 神的道；18靠着圣灵，随时多方祷告祈求；并要在此警醒不倦，为众圣徒祈求，
1 John 1:8-10 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives.
约翰一书1:8-10 我们若说自己无罪，便是自欺，真理不在我们心里了。9我们若认自己的罪， 神是信实的，是公义的，必要赦免我们的罪，洗净我们一切的不义。10我们若说自己没有犯过罪，便是以 神为说谎的，他的道也不在我们心里了。
(12) What does Calvin’s assertion say to weak and struggling Christians?
(13) Why would Satan like this doctrine?
(14)If Professor Calvin’s assertion of the preservation of the saints was true what might that encourage church leaders to do regarding strengthening ourselves and our fellow members?