Rebecca Stark is the author of The Good Portion — God, the second title in The Good Portion series, a series written specifically to encourage women to immerse themselves in the depths of Christian doctrine.

The Good Portion — God explores what Scripture teaches about God in hopes that readers will see his perfection, worth, magnificence, and beauty as they study his triune nature, infinite attributes, and wondrous works. 

Rebecca also blogs at Out of the Ordinary.


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Theological Term of the Week

perseverance of the saints
The teaching that those who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit and thus truly believe in Jesus Christ will be kept by God so that the persevere in faith until their death; they cannot finally fall away and be lost.

  • From scripture:
    Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (1 Peter 1:3-5 ESV)
    All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:37-40 ESV)
  • From The Westminster Larger Catechism, Question 79:
    Q79: May not true believers, by reason of their imperfections, and the many temptations and sins they are overtaken with, fall away from the state of grace ?
    A79: True believers, by reason of the unchangeable love of God,[1] and his decree and covenant to give them perseverance,[2] their inseparable union with Christ,[3] his continual intercession for them,[4] and the Spirit and seed of God abiding in them,[5] can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace,[6] but are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.[7]

    1. Jer. 31:3
    2. II Tim. 2:19-21; II Sam. 23:5
    3. I Cor. 1:8-9
    4. Heb. 7:25; Luke 22:32
    5. I John 2:27; 3:9
    6. Jer. 32:40; John 10:28
    7. I Peter 1:5
  • From Living for God’s Glory by Joel Beeke:

    This doctrine does not mean that believers are immune to sin or that they can never fail to exercise saving faith. Though their faith won’t die, there are times when, sadly, it will not be active. Apart from continuous influx of Christ into their souls, believers cannot continue or flourish. God alone gives the increase for He never forsakes the work of His hands. When we speak of the perseverance of the saints, we do mean that having brought the elect into vital union with Himself, Jesus Christ continually supplies them with His grace. He is the life of their life and the strength of their strength. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit, having selected the hearts of the elect as his dwelling place, never leaves them; He promotes their sanctification until He has made their souls ripe for entrance into heaven. The faithful, covenant-keeping God keeps alive in the hearts of His elect the spark of holy love, which He Himself has kindled, despite their waywardness, slothfulness, and disobedience…. God, and God alone, sees to it that his children never tear themselves loose from His grip and fall prey to Satan (John 10:27-30).

Learn more:

  1. Brian Schwertley: Perseverance of the Saints
  2. Loraine Boettner: Perseverance of the Saints
  3. Nathan Pitchford: Perseverance Scripture List
  4. John Piper: TULIP, Part 8, Perseverance of the Saints
  5. John MacArthur: Perseverance of the Saints (pdf)
  6. Curt Daniel: Perseverance of the Saints: Part 1; Part 2 (mp3s)

Related terms:

Filed under Salvation.

Do you have a a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it.

I’m also interested in any suggestions you have for tweaking my definitions or for additional (or better) articles or sermons/lectures for linking. I’ll give you credit and a link back to your blog if I use your suggestion.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms organized in alphabetical order or by topic.

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