Safekeeping: What the Bible Teaches about Final Salvation -- By: Willard Maxwell Aldrich

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 113:451 (Jul 1956)
Article: Safekeeping: What the Bible Teaches about Final Salvation
Author: Willard Maxwell Aldrich


Safekeeping: What the Bible Teaches about Final Salvation

Willard Maxwell Aldrich

[Willard M. Aldrich is President of the Multnomah School of the Bible, Portland, Oregon, and Editor of The Doorstep Evangel.]

It is in the interest of the balance of truth that this series of articles on safekeeping, assurance, and perseverance is being written.

God’s Word presents truths in equipoise. When any given truth is taken out of its proper balance or relation to other truth, it may quickly become heresy.

God is love, but God is also light. A theology emphasizing the love of God without a corresponding stress upon His holiness may quickly descend into a maudlin sentimentality.

We rejoice in the sovereign grace of God, but the precious truth of electing compassion may be so emphasized that man’s responsibility to obey the gospel may be neglected. Man’s free will does not contradict God’s sovereignty, but is presented in Scripture as a wholesome balancing truth. If we believe that God has from the beginning chosen us to salvation (2 Thess 2:13), let us also believe that “whosoever will” may come (Rev 22:17).

God’s Word speaks of an imputed righteousness which is perfect and eternal, but the justified are also regenerated, and the new life will manifest an imparted, practical righteousness. If this is missing, then there is reason to doubt that God has accounted him righteous. Whereas we are not saved by works, We are saved unto good works.

Likewise in consideration of final salvation, assurance is to be found midway between positional and practical truth. There is the divine undertaking in safekeeping and the human

exhibition of perseverance. The unconditional purpose of God manifests itself in conditions met and kept. It is true that “he that hath begun a good work in you will perform it” (Phil 1:6), and equally true that “you…hath he reconciled…if ye continue in the faith” (Col 1:21, 23).

Recognition, on the one hand, that salvation and safekeeping are all of God and all of grace guards against legalism. And, on the other hand, cognizance of the necessity of perseverance saves the doctrine from carnal security and antinomianism.

In presenting the three subjects—safekeeping, assurance, and perseverance—I would direct attention to the middle position of assurance. ...

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