The One Who Endures: The Confession

We are often tempted to look for the source of our endurance in one place (our free will or our desire to persevere) when, truly, it is found in another (the unchanging decree of God)!

One should clarify, in this age of spiritual and religious transience, that perseverance really does exist. There are those who will not fall away and will finally enter into eternal rest. However, the Westminster Confession of Faith goes a bit further on that point, saying not just that folk WILL not fall away but that they CANNOT fall away. 

 

A friend of mine, a fellow pastor, spent some time as an ultra-runner. Most runners, who run with any sort of seriousness, seem to knock out a 5k or 10k for fun. Some of those will take some more time to train and get a 1/2 Marathon done. Fewer are those who go the whole 26.2 miles for Marathoner status. As a non-runner, that is a dream enough. But, then there are those who seem to have lost all sense of mooring: 25k, 50k, 100k races over trails, across the Grand Canyon–is there any end to the madness? Where do these people get such endurance? How do they persevere? Most runners I know, including my friend, will tell you that the necessary perseverance to run such distances is more mental than physical. The source of that endurance isn’t where you’d naturally think you’d find it. It’s in the mind, not the body. And so it is with our Spiritual Perseverance. We are often tempted to look for its source in one place (our free will or our desire to persevere) when, truly, it is found in another (the unchanging decree of God)!

First, one should clarify, in this age of spiritual and religious transience, that perseverance really does exist. There are those who will not fall away and will finally enter into eternal rest. However, the Westminster Confession of Faith goes a bit further on that point, saying not just that folk WILL not fall away but that they CANNOT fall away. Indeed, these persevering ones will be eternally saved. They are the ones that have been accepted in Jesus, effectually called, had the Holy Spirit of God sanctify them. In other words, the real Spiritual works done in them in time will carry them through to their appointed, eternal ending.

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