Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 11, 2016

“Preservation of the Saints”, the “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation

Today’s devotion comes from Psalm 37:23-34.

“23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.
25 I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread.
26 All day long he is gracious and lends,
And his descendants are a blessing.

27 Depart from evil and do good,
So you will abide forever.
28 For the Lord loves justice
And does not forsake His godly ones;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.
29 The righteous will inherit the land
And dwell in it forever.
30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
And his tongue speaks justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart;
His steps do not slip.
32 The wicked spies upon the righteous
And seeks to kill him.
33 The Lord will not leave him in his hand
Or let him be condemned when he is judged.
34 Wait for the Lord and keep His way,
And He will exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you will see it.”  Psalm 37:23-34.

——————————

Today’s Scripture is filled with descriptions of the LORD’s “Preservation of the Saints”, the “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  In a briefest summary, God preserves His people to salvation.

Other doctrine instills fear in the child to not let go of the hand of his parent.

But, Reformed Doctrine comforts that God will not let go of the hand of His child.

“23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
24 When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.”  Verses 23-24.

Other doctrine warns its listeners to not forsake the LORD.

But, Reformed Doctrine assures its listeners that the LORD will not forsake His people.

“For the Lord loves justice
And does not forsake His godly ones;
They are preserved forever, …”  Verse 28.

Other doctrine teaches more laws, relying on wisdom and willpower, on how to walk more uprightly.

But, Reformed Doctrine builds faith in God and God’s work that He will put His laws into their heart and will not allow their steps to slip. 

“The law of his God is in his heart;
His steps do not slip.”  Verse 31.

Other doctrine continually worries and is anxious and panics both about the activities of the wicked and about their own activities that can cause them to fall from grace.

But, Reformed Doctrine steadfastly trusts in the LORD that He will deliver from their enemies and that He will preserve them to salvation.

“32 The wicked spies upon the righteous
And seeks to kill him.
33 The Lord will not leave him in his hand
Or let him be condemned when he is judged.”  Verses 32-33.

Here is what the Canons of Dordt state in part about “Preservation of the Saints” also known as “Perseverance of the Saints” in the section FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Perseverance of the Saints:

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.

Article 9.  Of this preservation of the elect to salvation, and of their perseverance in the faith, true believers for themselves may and ought to obtain assurance according to the measure of their faith, whereby they arrive at the certain persuasion, that they ever will continue true and living members of the church;  and that they experience forgiveness of sins, and will at last inherit eternal life.

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