Friday, May 20, 2011

Part 6: "P" is for plural

In the introduction to this series I said that I want to write about how my views and my love for the doctrines of grace (aka Calvinism) have been built upon by my new understanding of God's eternal purpose.

In the sixth and final post I want to talk about perserverence of the saints (it puts the "P" in TULIP) and how God's eternal purpose gives this doctrine some shape in Christ.

Also known as "once saved always saved" this doctrine is built upon the scriptures that assure us that God is the author and finisher of our faith who is faithful to complete the work He has started in us and no one can pluck us from his hand. To be honest this one has given me a bit of a run like the big "L" considering the Hebrews passages that seem to speak otherwise and the references to being blotted out of the book of life. But enough of my double-minded madness.

As I understand it (and of course I think I'm right) we are not saved for the sake of being saved so that we can be thankful for God's mercy and grace for all eternity and bow before His throne. Not that that would be a bad thing, in fact IF that were all there was to God's purpose in redemption that would be awesome and worthy of worship. But I don't think that is the end of what God had in mind before He bagan His great creative work. I think there is something much more marvelous than that in store for God's elect.

We are going to perservere because we have been saved to fulfill a purpose. Redemption is not an end in and of itself it's a means to a goal.  That goal is to bring all things into Christ.  Everything not in Christ will be shaken off and burned up.  That is the process every believer must go through.  Less of me, more of Christ.  He must increase, we must decrease.

If you look at the only four chapters of the Bible that are without sin (the first two and the last two) you will get a glimpse of God's eternal purpose.  Here's a hint:  there is a body made in His image, a bride, a family, and a dwelling place for God.  Too much of our theology begins in Genesis chapter three with the fall and goes forward from there but our God aint playing catch up.  

We were created for a purpose.  Notice I said "we" not "you".  The purpose of God cannot be brought about with individual precious stones until those precious stones have been built together.  That is the promise of our perserverence, namely to be built together into a holy habitation for our God.

I pray we all have this as our experience.  Christ will build his church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.  Perserverence is not only about you and me, it's about us.  We need each other because only the plural will perservere.


  1. Excellent series Bobby, thanks for writing it!

  2. Arthur,

    I enjoyed writing it. Thanks for the feedback you gave.


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