Last night my small group and I rounded up the subject of Perseverance of the Saints. We took note of the parallels between perseverance and good works.
In good works, there are two extremes: The first is downright reliance on good works to earn God’s favor. That means whatever religion you can think of. The other extreme is the total disregard for good works since “we’re saved by faith anyway.”
Parallel that with perseverance: The first extreme in perseverance is that people can lose their salvation. In other words, no definite perseverance. This is believed by more people than we care to imagine, since a lot of people in the churches are nominally Catholic anyway. (By nominally Catholic, I mean that many people in the church don’t really understand the why’s and what’s of their faith. Given no other choice, they’d switch to Catholicism in a minute; it’s not really a stretch since many Evangelicals today are more Roman Catholic than the Catholics.) The people who believe in this first extreme do all they can to “remain saved.” They are often easily discouraged.
The other extreme in perseverance is summed up in the words, “I can do whatever I want – sin all I want – since I’m a believer anyway. God will always forgive me.” This kind of thinking leads to licentiousnesses. It’s very wrong.
Do you see the parallel(s)? Belief that salvation can be attained by good works, will always lead to belief in non-definite salvation. Since you got saved by your good works, and since you’re not fully capable of doing good works all the time, there is always the possibility that you will lose whatever you’ve worked for. Dig?
And those who don’t see the importance, yes even the necessity of good works, in Christian life will… never see it.
“Finitum non capax infinitum.” Go figure.
PS. Suffix, my pet tarantula, refused to eat today. That means he’ll (or is he a she?) soon be lying on his back and molting again. Soon here could mean anything from six days to over two weeks. He’s a growing boy. Sniff.