Perseverance of the Saints

John MacArthur | August 25, 2009

Peter’s life exemplifies what the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints means in the life of a faltering believer. Christ’s present intercessory prayers assure that genuine believers will be saved to the uttermost. This is the doctrine of the perseverance of the saints. Those with true faith will not lead perfect lives, though some have attributed such a claim to proponents of working-faith salvation. The teaching of “once saved, always saved” may carry the false implication that after “accepting Christ” a person may live any kind of life and still be saved. That leaves out the doctrine of perseverance, which carries with it the need for a holy life. Peter in his first epistle furnishes six means through which God causes every Christian to persevere: by regenerating them to a living hope, by keeping them through His power, by strengthening them through tests of faith, by preserving them for ultimate glory, by motivating them with love for the Savior, and by saving them through a working faith. Quantification of how much failure the doctrine of perseverance allows is impossible, but Jesus did prescribe a way for the church to deal with a professing believer whose life sin had seemingly come to dominate.

Vol. 4, no. 1 (Spring 1993)

Read article

Read complete issue

Cite This Article

MacArthur, John. "Perseverance of the Saints." The Master's Seminary Journal 4, no. 1 (Spring 1993): 5-24.