Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 9, 2016

“The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.”

Today’s devotion comes from Psalm chapter 54.

“Save me, O God, by Your name,
And vindicate me by Your power.
2 Hear my prayer, O God;
Give ear to the words of my mouth.
3 For strangers have risen against me
And violent men have sought my life;
They have not set God before them.  Selah.

4 Behold, God is my helper;
The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.
5 He will recompense the evil to my foes;
Destroy them in Your faithfulness.

6 Willingly I will sacrifice to You;
I will give thanks to Your name, O Lord, for it is good.
7 For He has delivered me from all trouble,
And my eye has looked with satisfaction upon my enemies.”  Psalm chapter 54.

—————————–

“For the arms of the wicked will be broken,
But the Lord sustains the righteous.”  Psalm 37:17.

“11 Do not cast me away from Your presence
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation
And sustain me with a willing spirit.”  Psalm 51:11-12.

“Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”  Psalm 55:22.

“By You I have been sustained from my birth;
You are He who took me from my mother’s womb;
My praise is continually of You.”  Psalm 71:6.

Other doctrine relies on its alleged free-will to persevere until death and teaches that one can fall from grace if he or she is not strong enough to use his or her alleged free-will to keep faith until death.

But, Reformed Doctrine teaches that the Lord sustains (also known as preserves) our soul even to the end such that we will inherit eternal life.  This point is known as “Preservation of the Saints”, the “P” of “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

Here is what the Canons of Dordt state in part in the section titled 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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