Does a Christian have to persevere in good works in order to stay saved? Many people think so. This idea is based on Matthew 24:13, which says, “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” Calvinists use this verse and others to form the “P” in their T-U-L-I-P. It refers to the doctrine of perseverance of the saints. But does this verse really mean what it seems to suggest?
Let’s look at it from this angle: As you get ready for breakfast, you pull a hot biscuit from the microwave and grab a jar of peach preserves from the refrigerator. After blessing the food, you stick a knife inside the jar and spread some of the preserves on the hot biscuit. You raise the biscuit to your lips and stick it in your mouth — yum! It’s delicious!
Now would this experience cause you to say, “Wow, I’m so glad the peach persevered!”? Or might you conclude, “That peach was sure preserved well”? Everyone knows peaches don’t make preserves; cooks do. The credit would rightfully go to the cook who preserved them.
When a Christian gets to the end of his life, regardless of how holy he may have lived, he will not be able to say, “Praise the Lord, I persevered to the end!” He can only say, “By the grace of God, I was preserved thus far.”
Who preserved him? The God of All Grace. Our salvation — and our preservation — is all of grace. Aren’t you glad our preservation isn’t up to us?
As you read today’s devotional, you may be thinking of another Christian who is not persevering in good works. Perhaps you are doubting your own salvation because of sins you struggle to forsake in your own life. Rest assured, the God Who saves by His grace also preserves by His power. Your life is in good hands.
One of the outstanding glories of the gospel is its promise of eternal security to all who truly believe it. The gospel presents no third-rate Physician who is competent to treat only the milder cases, but One Who . . . is capable of curing the most desperate cases. — A.W. Pink
Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.