WCOF: Of the Perserverance of the Saints and the Assurance of the Grace of Salvation

Chapter XVII – Of The Perseverance of the Saints.

  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)          Php 1:6; 2Pe 1:10; Jn 10:28,29; 1Jn 3:9; 1Pe 1:5,9.

 

  1. 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)           2Ti 2:18,19; Jer 31:3.

(2)                Heb 10:10,14; Heb 13:20,21; Heb 9:12-15; Ro 8:33-39; Jn 17:11,24; Lk 22:32; Heb 7:25.

(3)                Jn 14:16,17; 1Jn 2:27; 1Jn 3:9.

(4)                Jer 32:40.

(5)                Jn 10:28; 2Th 3:3; 1Jn 2:19.

 

iii.                 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) Mt 26:70,72,74.

(2)                Ps 51:(title), 14.

(3)                Isa 64:5,7,9; 2Sa 11:27.

(4)                Eph 4:30.

(5)                Ps 51:8,10.12; Rev 2:4; SS 5:2,3,4,6.

(6)                Isa 63:17; Mk 6:52; Mk 16:14.

(7)                Ps 32:3,4; Ps 51:8.

(8)                2Sa 12:14.

(9)                Ps 89:31,32; 1Co 11:32.

Chapter XVIII – Of the Assurance of Grace and Salvation.

  1. Although hypocrites and other unregenerate men may vainly deceive themselves with false hopes and carnal presumptions of being in the favour of God, and estate of salvation;(1) which hope of theirs shall perish;(2) yet such as truly believe in the Lord Jesus, and love Him in sincerity, endeavouring to walk in all good conscience before Him, may, in this life, be certainly assured that they are in the state of grace,(3) and may rejoice in the hope of the glory of God; which hope shall never make them ashamed.(4) (1)  Job 8:13,14; Mic 3:11; Dt 29:19; Jn 8:41.

(2)                Mt 7:22,23.

(3)                1Jn 2:3; 1Jn 3:14,18,19,21,24; 1Jn 5:13.

(4)                Ro 5:2,5.

This certainty is not a bare conjectural and probable persuasion, grounded upon a fallible hope;(1) but an infallible assurance of faith, founded upon the divine truth of the promises of salvation,(2) the inward evidence of those graces unto which these promises are made,(3) the testimony of the Spirit of adoption witnessing with our spirits that we are the children of God:(4) which Spirit is the earnest of our inheritance, whereby we are sealed to the day of redemption.(5)

(1)                Heb 6:11,19;

(2)                Heb 6:17,18.

(3)                2Pe 1:4,5,10,11; 1Jn 2:3; 1Jn 3:14; 2Co 1:12.

(4)                Ro 8:15,16.

(5)                Eph 1:13,14; Eph 4:30; 2Co 1:21,22.

 

iii.                 This infallible assurance doth not so belong to the essence of faith, but that a true believer may wait long, and conflict with many difficulties, before he be partaker of it:(1) yet, being enabled by the Spirit to know the things which are freely given him of God, he may, without extraordinary revelation, in the right use of ordinary means, attain thereunto.(2) And therefore it is the duty of everyone to give all diligence to make his calling and election sure;(3) that thereby his heart may be enlarged in peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, in love and thankfulness to God, and in strength and cheerfulness in the duties of obedience,(4) the proper fruits of this assurance: so far is it from inclining men to looseness.(5)

(1)                1Jn 5:13; Isa 1:10; Mk 9:24; Ps 88; Ps 77:1-12.

(2)                1Co 2:12; 1Jn 4:13; Heb 7:11,12; Eph 3:17,18,19.

(3)                2Pe 1:10.

(4)                Ro 5:1,2,5; Ro 14:17; Ro 15:13; Eph 1:3,4; Ps 4:6,7; Ps 119:32.

(5)                1Jn 2:1,2; Ro 6:1; Tit 2:11,12,14; 2Co 7:1; Ro 8:1,12; 1Jn 3:2,3; Ps 130:4; 1Jn 1:6,7.

True believers may have the assurance of their salvation divers ways shaken, diminished, and intermitted; as, by negligence in preserving of it; by falling into some special sin, which woundeth the conscience and grieveth the Spirit; by some sudden or vehement temptation; by God’s withdrawing the light of His countenance, and suffering even such as fear Him to walk in darkness, and to have no light:(1) yet are they never utterly destitute of that seed of God, and life of faith, that love of Christ and the brethren, that sincerity of heart and conscience of duty, out of which, by the operation of the Spirit, this assurance may, in due time, be revived;(2) and by the which, in the mean time, they are supported from utter despair.(3)

(1)                SS 5:2,3,6; Ps 51:8,12,14; Eph 4:30,31; Ps 77:1-10; Mt 26:69-72; Ps 31:22; Ps 88; Isa 1:10.

(2)                1Jn 3:9; Lk 22:32; Job 13:15; Ps 73:15; Ps 51:8,12; Isa 1:10.

(3)                Mic 7:7,8,9; Jer 32:40; Isa 54:7-10; Ps 22:1; Ps 88.

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5 Responses to WCOF: Of the Perserverance of the Saints and the Assurance of the Grace of Salvation

  1. θ says:

    It is likely that John’s Gospel influenced by the Apocrypha Infancy Arabic Gospel.

    There’s a curious verse in John’s Gospel in where John says – without any precedence whatsoever – in Jn 1:3 “All things were made by him”. The term “By” (Greek: Dia autous) is equivalent to the Arabic word “Bi Idhni” (with permission) in Q.3, v.49 and Q.5, v.110. In Qur’an, the role of Agency in creation is correlated to the story in the Apocrypha Infancy Arabic Gospel, such as the creation of a living bird from the clay by a young Jesus.

    Muqatil ibn Sulayman, Tafsir, Vol. I, 280, On Q. 3:59:
    The Najran delegation ask, O Muhammad, why do you abuse and dishonor our master? The Prophet of Islam answers, What master of yours? And the Christians say: Isa son of Mary the virgin. The Christians pursue their request: Show us a servant like him in what Allah has created. He gives life to the dead and heals the blind and the leper, and creates a bird from the clay. At this point that the Christians did not say “by leave (idhn) of Allah”, this is the phrase which repeats in the Qur’anic accounts of the miracles of Isa at 3.49 and 5.110.

    Some important points:
    (i) Arab Christians of Najran confirms that their Infancy Arabic Gospel contains the story of the creation of bird from the clay.

    (ii) The insertion by John’s Gospel of the role of Agency in creation (Jn 1:3) didn’t come out of nowhere. Likely, John is influenced by the Apocrypha Infancy Arabic Gospel, such as the non-canonical narration on the creation of one living bird from the clay, that eventually establishes the theology of Agency of creation, as in John 1:3.

  2. θ says:

    Additions:
    (iii) Arab Christians have different versions of Gospel – that they also called “Injil” – other than what today’s Christians have. The Infancy Arabic Gospel is a canon for Arab Christians, not as a rejected book.

    (iv) The aspect of “High Christology” (that is, the Agency of creation) in John’s Gospel alongside the promise of Parakletos for Prophet Muhammad were already known very well by the Arab Christians.

  3. θ says:

    (iv) As John’s words on the Agency of creation come from the apocrypha – since three Synoptic Gospels never mention it – that means the 4th Gospel is also borrowed from the apocrypha.

  4. madmanna says:

    Arguments based on silence of one gospel compared with another carry no weight.
    Neither do arguments based on extra biblical sources.
    Both are just human speculation, not inspired by the Holy Spirit.

  5. θ says:

    At least, unlike the unknown author of 7th century Latin “Muratorian fragment” for NT canons (hence 100 years after Islam comes), we know Thomas is the author of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas which is source for the story of creation of a bird from the clay.

    Thomas was anointed by the tongue of fire (Spirit) during the Pentecost. The scholars give the earliest possible date of Infancy Gospel of Thomas authorship in the 80 A.D, the approximate date of the Gospel of Luke.

    Latin Muratorian can’t be canon because it is in Latin, from 7th century, and worse the author is unknown. The list of the NT canons is just human speculation, not inspired by the Holy Spirit.

    //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muratorian_fragment
    The Muratorian fragment is a copy of perhaps the oldest known list of most of the books of the New Testament. The fragment, consisting of 85 lines, is a 7th-century Latin manuscript bound in a 7th or 8th century codex from the library of Columban’s monastery at Bobbio; it contains features suggesting it is a translation from a Greek original written about 170 or as late as the 4th century. Both the degraded condition of the manuscript and the poor Latin in which it was written have made it difficult to translate. The beginning of the fragment is missing, and it ends abruptly. The fragment consists of all that remains of a section of a list of all the works that were accepted as canonical by the churches known to its original compiler. It was discovered in the Ambrosian Library in Milan by Father Ludovico Antonio Muratori (1672–1750), the most famous Italian historian of his generation, and published in 1740.[1]

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