The

CAUSE OF GOD AND TRUTH.

Part 2 Chapter 6

Section 91 Peter 1:5.

Who are kept by the power of God, through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.


These words, in connection with the preceding verses, show that such as are elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, and are begotten again unto a lively hope of an incorruptible inheritance, are kept frourroume>nouv, as in a garrison, by, or in the power of God, safe and secure from a final and total falling away, through the grace of faith unto consummate salvation,, to be enjoyed for ever in heaven. In answer to which, it is said.[1]

1. "That this place only proves that all, who are preserved to salvation, are so kept by the power of God; but not that all believers are so kept." I reply, we do not say, that all believers are so kept; since there are some who are nominal believers, have no true grace, believe but for a time, and fall away; but then we say, that all true believers are so kept; otherwise the words of our Lord (Mark 16:16), would not he true, nor the will of his Father (John 6:40), be fulfilled; for how should every one that believes be saved, unless they are preserved unto salvation? And if those who are preserved unto salvation, are kept by the power of God unto it, as is owned; it follows, that since every true believer will be saved, and in order to it be preserved unto salvation, then every one of them is, and will be, kept by the power of God unto it.

2. It is farther said,[2] that this place "proves only that they are kept through faith; that is, if they continue in the faith, and hold the beginning of their confidence steadfast unto the end." But it should be observed, that there is no if in the text; faith is not represented as a condition, but as a means of preservation, engaged by the power of God, for that is as much secured by the power of God as salvation itself, or preservation to it. Besides, such a sense of the words is no other than this, that these persons are kept by the power of God, if, or so long as, they keep themselves; which, as it greatly depreciates the power of God, and ascribes too much to the creature, so it is in itself exceeding trifling. Add to this, that if this faith, through which believers are kept to salvation, will render them victorious over the world, enable them to resist the temptations of the devil, to prefer afflictions before the pleasures of sin, and even to suffer death, not accepting deliverance, in expectation of a better resurrection; and, lastly, engage the power of God in their preservation, and so cause them out of weakness to be strong, all which is owned by our author; this, surely, proves that they shall certainly continue in the faith, and so be preserved safe unto the kingdom and glory of God.


ENDNOTES:

[1] Whitby, p. 463.

[2] Ibid., p. 463,464; ed. 2.443,444; Remonstr. Coll. Hag. art. 5: p. 93.


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