Oct 29, 2008

On Perseverence

"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." (I John 3: 3 KJV)

Perseverence is the proof of a prior regeneration. Indeed, if there be no real regeneration, there can be no perseverence. The question is, does a genuine divine "begetting" universally issue in perseverence?

There is no doubt that the scriptures promise salvation to the genuine believer, to the soul who has truly been born again, whose nature has been radically transformed. Further, there is no doubt that the scriptures promise salvation only to those who, having professed faith in Christ, persevere in it till the end.

Notice John's position. He speaks of a universal proposition, what is true of every individual who is a member of the class described as possessing the Christian "hope." He says "every man that has this hope."

What do Arminians and Calvinists say in regard to this class of people who have the Christian "hope"?

The Arminian, who denies "eternal security," denies that "everyone" who has, who really has, the "hope" of Christ, will "purify himself" thenceforth throughout his Christian life. But, John did not say such things, and he was therefore no Arminian on the point of genuine believers losing their salvation. He did not say that only some who have the Christian hope will be progressively sanctified, while some others would fail to continuously "purify himself," but contended that all those who have the Christian hope will "purify" themselves. John made it a universal proposition, Arminians do not. John said all who have the hope of Christ persevere. Arminians say only a few who have the hope of Christ will persevere.

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