“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Messiah Yeshua. For it is only right for me to feel this way about you all, because I have you in my heart, since both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel, you all are partakers of grace with me.” – (Phil. 1:6-7)
The perseverance of the saints is the fifth and final of the five points of Calvinism. It speaks to the promise of G-d to seal us with the Ruach HaKodesh as given in Ephesians 1:13-14.
Here we are told that the Spirit seals us to G-d with a promise. It is a pledge of our inheritance now that we are grafted into Israel. Just as G-d will never turn on Israel so He will never turn on us.
I believe it is due to our being grafted into Israel that we have eternal surety of our salvation.
Adonai’s covenants with Israel and the Patriarchs were decidedly one-sided. His promises were not conditional on anything Israel or their forefathers would do. He has promised to awaken Israel in the final days and restore them to Himself. In the same way, He awakens us from our spiritual sleep to bring us to Him by grafting us into Israel.
We are also told in Romans 8:39 that no created thing can separate us from the love of G-d. Since it is explicit in saying “any other created thing” at the end of a long list of physical and spiritual potential obstacles, we can be certain that Paul is going a bit over the top to strongly emphasize that nothing at all, not even ourselves, can separate us from the love of the Almighty.
Part of the reason we may not accept that we are eternally secure in our Savior is that we don’t always feel like it. This may be due to a temporary fall into sin, life circumstances bringing doubt, or a period of distancing our self from G-d by not praying, studying Scripture, or keeping fellowship.
These times can drag us down and make us ineffective for the cause of the Messiah. It can degrade our relationship with our Creator to the point of almost committing apostasy.
But just as an earthly father would not disown a wayward child, our heavenly Father will not disown us. Instead, He gently and sternly disciplines those He loves to bring them back onto the narrow path to reassure them of His eternal love.
The Apostle Peter went through times like these in his own life and wrote about the importance of keeping the assurance of faith.
2 Peter 1:3-11 encourages us to make our calling and election sure. We do this by living a life that builds qualities such as faith, self-control, godliness and love among others. These make us useful and fruitful as they increase in our lives, and make us certain about His calling and choosing us.
The writer of Hebrews also makes a case for pursuing the assurance of our salvation. He calls on us as believers to work to show love to HaShem, and to minister to the saints so that we can realize the full assurance of our hope until the end (Heb 6:11).
While assurance of salvation may be necessary to the spiritual health of a believer, it is not essential for salvation. Doubt, to some degree, may always be in and out of our lives while we’re walking this earth, but this weakness of ours will never stop the Father from fulfilling His will of saving His elect.
Yeshua still answered the prayer of the man with the sick child that cried out, “Help my unbelief.” Adonai, likewise, hears and answers the cries of His children even when going through difficult times and temptations.
Blessed are you, Adonai, our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, who preserves His elect for the day of salvation.