Perseverance

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Sprint or Marathon?

Posted by on 14 Jan 2012 | Tagged as: Andrew Murray, Perseverance

Let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.

Heb. 12:1

The Christian life is a long distance race that requires absolute determination to finish and to finish well. Endurance is a “looking unto Jesus” through the up’s and down’s of life with the goal of pleasing his heart and being transformed into his likeness. The fruit of endurance is a deepening maturity and a depth of character that attracts lives to the gospel.

Endurance, or perseverance, is a willingness to stand in God’s chosen situation, or advance at his speed, so that, the full fruit of the Holy Spirit can be revealed. Believers must not bow to society’s pressures, succumb to false teaching, doubt God’s promises, or be angry at unexpected setbacks, but persevere into the knowledge and love of Christ. A heart that endures is a heart that trusts that God has an appointment in our disappointments.

True religion is not only drawing nigh to God once in the Holiest, but a life to be renewed there every day; it is not only the entrance upon a new and living way, but a continually abiding life and walk in it. It is running a race with patience.

Andrew Murray, The Holiest of All: An Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews (Grand Rapids, MI: Fleming H. Revell, 1993), 497.

 

“Uncomely a Sight”

Posted by on 04 Jan 2011 | Tagged as: Perseverance, Puritans

Perseverance

Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses.

1 Tim. 6:11-12 NLT

The Christian life is a long distance race that requires absolute determination to finish and to finish well. Endurance is a “looking unto Jesus” through the up’s and down’s of life with the goal of pleasing his heart and being transformed into his likeness. The fruit of endurance is a deepening maturity and a depth of character that attracts lives to the gospel.

Perseverance is a willingness to stand in God’s chosen situation, or advance at his speed, so that, the full fruit of the Holy Spirit can be revealed. Believers must not bow to society’s pressures, succumb to false teaching, doubt God’s promises, or be angry at unexpected setbacks, but persevere into the knowledge and love of Christ. A heart that endures is a heart that trusts that God has an appointment in our disappointments “God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12 NLT).

The believer is to persevere in his Christian course to the end of his life. We have known many who have gone into the field, and liked the work of a soldier for a battle or two, but soon have had enough, and come running home. There are so many professors and so few Christians indeed; so many that run and so few obtain; many go into the field against Satan, and so few come out conquerors . . . .

O how uncomely a sight is it to see, a bold sinner and a fearful saint, one resolved to be wicked, and a Christian wavering in his holy course; to see hell keep the field, while the saints hide their colours for shame.  Take heart therefore, O ye saints, and be strong; your cause is good. God himself adopts your quarrel. He shall lead you on with courage, and bring you off with honour. He lived and died for you. For mercy and tenderness to his soldiers, there is none like him.

Christ poured out his blood as balm to heal your wounds. He never turned his head from danger: no, not even when hell’s malice and heaven’s justice appeared in the field against him. A few days’ conflict will be crowned with heaven’s glory. In a word, Christians, every exploit of faith causes a shout in heaven while you slip out of enemies’ hands.

William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour, I:15-17, cited in Voices From the Past: Puritan Devotional Reading, ed., Richard Rushing (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2009), 3.

Security in Christ

Posted by on 19 Oct 2010 | Tagged as: Covenant, God's Love, Perseverance, Sam Storms

God’s Covenant Promise

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy,

Jude 24

When I first became a Christian, I was asked if I believed that a truly converted soul could lose their salvation. The question perplexed me, “Is my salvation dependent on my behavior or God’s faithfulness?” I determined that God’s covenant faithfulness was greater than my weaknesses, failings, and inadequacies.

Covenant is an eternal binding promise made by God to believers that he will love us unconditionally. This eternal covenant is not a contract. In a contract, the relationship is based on performance, if the terms of the contract are broken, the relationship is terminated under penalty. In a covenant relationship, love is the basis of the relationship. If the covenant is broken, the offended party pursues the offender winning back their heart through discipline, grace, and love (Jer. 31:31-34). Under the new covenant, God makes this very promise, “I will make with them an everlasting covenant, that I will not turn away from doing good to them. And I will put the fear of me in their hearts, that they may not turn from me” (Jer. 32:40). Notice the key phrase, “That they will never turn away from me.” God promises that even when we stray, he will pursue us, conquer our hearts, and win us back again to a life of obedience.

The basis for our security in salvation is not ultimately our righteousness or obedience but God’s promise, God’s power, God’s purpose, and most of all God’s passionate love for us in Christ. God is committed to preserving us in faith, for if we were to stumble so as to fully and finally fall away, God stands more to lose than we do.

Sam Storms, “A Defense of the Perseverance of the Saints – Part II,” November 6, 2006, www.enjoyinggodministries.com.