Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 17, 2016

“You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me; Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.”

Today’s devotion comes from Psalm 40:11-17.

“11 You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me;
Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.
12 For evils beyond number have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to see;
They are more numerous than the hairs of my head,
And my heart has failed me.

13 Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me;
Make haste, O Lord, to help me.
14 Let those be ashamed and humiliated together
Who seek my life to destroy it;
Let those be turned back and dishonored
Who delight in my hurt.
15 Let those be appalled because of their shame
Who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
16 Let all who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let those who love Your salvation say continually,
“The Lord be magnified!”
17 Since I am afflicted and needy,
Let the Lord be mindful of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.”  Psalm 40:11-17.

——————————–

In verses 11 and 12, we see “Preservation of the Saints”, the “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

We sometimes wrongly think that it is a big surprise to God when we sin and that God will quickly change and withhold His compassion from us.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches “Total Depravity” of man, the “T” of “TULIP”, so that we correctly know that God is not surprised by our sin.

Reformed Doctrine teaches that if God had compassion on us when we were “dead in sin”, certainly now that we are in Christ, He will not change and withhold His compassion from us.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”  Romans 5:8-10.

“The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying,
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”  Jeremiah 31:3.

“Also the Glory of Israel will not lie or change His mind;  for He is not a man that He should change His mind.”  1 Samuel 15:29.

“For I, the Lord, do not change;  therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed.”  Malachi 3:6.

We may change.  But, God does not change.

We may be unfaithful.  But, God is faithful.

“You, O Lord, will not withhold Your compassion from me;
Your lovingkindness and Your truth will continually preserve me.”  Verse 11.

Here is what the Canons of Dordt state in part in 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 8.  Thus, it is not in consequence of their own merits, or strength, but of God’s free mercy, that they do not totally fall from faith and grace, nor continue and perish finally in their backslidings;  which, with respect to themselves, is not only possible, but would undoubtedly happen;  but with respect to God, it is utterly impossible, since his counsel cannot be changed, nor his promise fail, neither can the call according to his purpose be revoked, nor the merit, intercession and preservation of Christ be rendered ineffectual, nor the sealing of the Holy Spirit be frustrated or obliterated.

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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