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WHAT BAPTISTS BELIEVE
Why They Believe It
by J. G. Bow, D. D.
CHAPTER VII-PERSEVERANCE OR PRESERVATION
"We believe that the Holy Scriptures teach that such only are real believers as endure unto the end; that their persevering attachment to Christ is the grand mark which distinguishes them from superficial professors; that a special Providence watches over their welfare; and they are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation."
Yes, Baptists believe that such as are real believers, "Being rooted and grounded in love," "Rooted and built up in him and established in the faith," shall endure to the end. We think the Scriptures abundantly prove this doctrine.
Unless this is true we have no definition of the word "save." Its primary meaning is to make safe, and all of its definitions comport with this idea.
Now, if a soul is saved, it is made safe by the divine, infinite power of God. We might rest the case here, but as the proof of this doctrine is ~o ample, we are not content to pass it over thus, lest someone fail to see the truth.
"He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life" (John 3:36). "He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life" (John 5 :24).
The Scriptures declare positively that a personal faith in Jesus secures to the believer the gift of everlasting life. Now, I simply ask the question, How long will it be till that life ends? Until it does end the believing, trusting soul will not be subject to the penalty of eternal death.
The word here translated "everlasting" is used in forty-three places in the New Testament to qualify life, or fix the duration of the believers life. It is the same Word the Saviour used to describe the duration of the punishment of the wicked and the happiness of the saved. (Matthew 25:46.) It is the same word used in Romans 16:26 to describe the character of Gods existence. The same used in 2 Timothy 2:10 to describe the duration of the glory of Christ: in 2 Peter 1 :11 to describe the duration of Christs kingdom.
Then just so long as God is, so long as the kingdom and glory of Christ endure, so long is the true believer safe. So long will his spiritual life and happiness endure.
Will someone say, "It is a dangerous doctrine to teach"? Well, I reply, I had rather risk the judgment of Christ on that matter than yours or mine. It is the doctrine Christ taught. It is simply our business to teach the Word. God will take care of the results.
Again, our case is clearly made out, but as if to make assurance doubly sure, Jesus says: "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who hath given them unto me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of my Fathers hand" (John 10 :28-29, ASV).
I like the term "preservation" better than "perseverance." The former indicates the power by which we are kept, the latter the result of that keeping. "Kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation (1 Peter 1:13).
Two children talking, one said: "How is it we are not lost and left and forgotten as we go on through this life?" The other answered: "God reaches down his hand, we take hold on his hand, and he leads us all the way through life." "But," said the first, "we go to sleep and could not hold on to Gods hand." The answer came: "I got that wrong. God takes hold of our hand and he does not go to sleep." "Kept by the power of God."
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