Perseverance -- By: Willard Maxwell Aldrich

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 115:457 (Jan 1958)
Article: Perseverance
Author: Willard Maxwell Aldrich


Willard Maxwell Aldrich

In this third and concluding article of the series on safekeeping, assurance, and perserverance, we shall show that those passages of Scripture which teach or imply that the believer’s continuance in the faith (and endurance) unto the end are both a necessary condition and a practical proof of his salvation, and we shall show that they are not out of harmony with the doctrine that salvation and safekeeping are an undertaking of divine grace.

Rather, it will be seen that the very fact of a divine undertaking with the promise of ultimate perfection as an integral part of it both demands and provides a faith that will continue and a life that is being saved.

The divine undertaking in safekeeping will exhibit itself in human perseverance. The unconditional purpose of God will manifest itself in conditions met and kept by believers.

In general our plan for this treatment of the subject will proceed as follows: (1) we shall review those verses which indicate God’s purpose to save, keep and present faultless before His throne every believer in His Son; (2) we shall consider in general the passages which teach that perseverance in the faith is necessary to salvation, and (3) a careful exegesis will be given of several important passages which prove that unless one perseveres in the faith he has never been saved.

God’s Safekeeping of Believers

Inasmuch as the article on safekeeping presented a careful exposition of many of the verses which set forth God’s saving and keeping work, we shall review them but briefly at this point.

The Apostle John contributes several important verses. John 5:24 tells us that the believer has everlasting life now and will not come into judgment at the end of life. John 4:13–14 speak of the well of water springing up into everlasting life in the one who takes a drink of the “water” Jesus gives. In John 6:51 is the record of the Savior’s statement: “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever.” The promise of the Good Shepherd is found in John 10:28; “I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish.” And in John 17:24 the glorified Son of God expresses His will concerning His own:”Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory.”

From the Pauline epistles we cite thr...

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