Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 9, 2014

Preservation of the Saints

Today’s devotion comes from Deuteronomy 29:10-18.

“10 “You stand today, all of you, before the Lord your God: your chiefs, your tribes, your elders and your officers, even all the men of Israel, 11 your little ones, your wives, and the alien who is within your camps, from the one who chops your wood to the one who draws your water, 12 that you may enter into the covenant with the Lord your God, and into His oath which the Lord your God is making with you today, 13 in order that He may establish you today as His people and that He may be your God, just as He spoke to you and as He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

14 “Now not with you alone am I making this covenant and this oath, 15 but both with those who stand here with us today in the presence of the Lord our God and with those who are not with us here today 16 (for you know how we lived in the land of Egypt, and how we came through the midst of the nations through which you passed;  17 moreover, you have seen their abominations and their idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold, which they had with them);  18 so that there will not be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of those nations;  that there will not be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood.”  Deuteronomy 29:10-18.

—————–

We know that Israel received promises through the Scriptures of the Old Testament.  We know that Israel also received practices (that they were to perform) through the Scriptures of the Old Testament.  These promises and practices were sometimes difficult to understand;  they were clues or “shadows” as to glorious things that would come.  These promises and practices pointed Israel in the right direction.  “For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near.”  Hebrews 10:1.

So to speak, we do not see a photo (of doctrine as may be more clearly taught in the New Testament), but rather in today’s Scripture, we see a French impressionist painting of the promise of “Preservation of the Saints”, the “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation through verses 16 to 18: Israel traveling from Egypt through “the midst of the nations through which you passed” and Israel having seen “their abominations and their idols of wood, stone, silver, and gold, which they had with them”, and yet “there will not be among you a man or woman, or family or tribe, whose heart turns away today from the Lord our God, to go and serve the gods of those nations;  that there will not be among you a root bearing poisonous fruit and wormwood.”

This promise is not only for the Israel standing there that day.  See verse 15.  “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”  Acts 2:39.

This promise points all of us to “Preservation of the Saints” a/k/a “Perseverance of the Saints”, the “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  We too will travel through the midst of temptations, trials, troubles, and tribulations, but God will preserve us to salvation.

Article 3.  By reason of these remains of indwelling sin, and the temptations of sin and of the world, those who are converted could not persevere in a state of grace, if left to their own strength. But God is faithful, who having conferred grace, mercifully confirms, and powerfully preserves them herein, even to the end.  FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Perseverance of the Saints.  Canons of Dordt.  

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