By Wayne Camp


 In this study of New Testament Church certainties it has been shown that it is certain the churches of the New Testament period were taught the doctrines of grace. We have seen that they were taught and they taught the total hereditary depravity of man. In teaching that they also were taught the natural inability of the unregenerate man to do that is spiritually acceptable with God.

We have also seen that out of the whole of the human race God did unconditionally choose an innumerable multitude of specific persons to salvation. This election was not based on any good seen or foreseen in those chosen; it was according to God’s own good pleasure that he made his election.

Then we saw that those same churches were taught and did teach the doctrine of the limited atonement. They were taught that Jesus laid down his life for his sheep. They were taught that God gave the elect to Christ and that Christ came to give eternal life to those given to him by his Father.

And, we further saw that those churches of the New Testament period were also taught and did teach the doctrine of the effectual call. This doctrine was abundantly taught and two articles were written, yet we barely scratched the service.

Finally, it is abundantly evident from the Word of God that the churches of the New Testament period were taught and grounded in the doctrine of the perseverance and preservation of the saints. Most Baptists will agree to the doctrine of preservation, but some object to the doctrine of perseverance. The same God who preserves also works in his people to will and to do of his good pleasure. The true believer has a persevering attachment to the Lord Jesus Christ and he does persevere. He will not, he cannot fall into a life of habitual sin. He may stumble; he may commit terrible sins, but he will not go on in this sin. That is evidence he was never saved in the first place.


Jesus taught this doctrine repeatedly. He taught that those who believe on him shall never perish but have eternal life. John 3:15-16 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. There are two things in this passage that prove that Jesus taught this doctrine. First, he assures that the one believing on him will never perish. If he will never perish he must be preserved. Second, he taught that the one believing on him has eternal life. That is long enough. A life that is eternal never ends. It is interminable. It cannot be terminated or cease. Eternal life is eternal life and those having eternal life can never perish, will never perish, cannot perish. Jesus reaffirmed what he had said in verse 15 again in verse 16.

Jesus also taught that first congregation that no believer will ever come into condemnation. John 5:24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. "Condemnation" is the act of adjudging guilty. It is the opposite of justification and refers to a persons legal standing before God. The believer is justified by faith and is therefore not condemned before God. Jesus made his statement with regard to the future. Not only is the true believer not condemned at the present, he shall not come into condemnation in the future. Jesus taught that the true believer in Christ shall never come into condemnation.

We find Jesus teaching his first church on this earth this doctrine again in John 6. As a matter of fact, he was even teaching it to some folks who were not saved, but members and apostles of that first assembly were present when he was teaching. He taught that no one who comes to him will ever be cast out. John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. Every one whom the Father gave him will come to him, according to Christ. And, when they do come there is nothing that can ever arise that will cause him to cast them out.

Of the expression, "I will in no wise cast out," Dr. Gill writes, "The words are very strongly and emphatically expressed in the original, ‘I will not, not, or never, never, cast out without." This very emphatically assures all who are truly believing in Jesus Christ for salvation that there is no reason or circumstance that will cause Christ to cast them out. Gill comments, "Christ will never cast them out of his affections; nor out of his arms; nor out of the family that is named in him . . . nor out of a state of justification and salvation; and therefore they shall never perish, but have eternal life.

Jesus set himself before this congregation as the good shepherd. He illustrated his care of his sheep with what these folks knew to be true of a good shepherd who would willingly lay down his life for his sheep. On the matter of preservation and perseverance Jesus assured his church that his sheep follow him and not one of his sheep will ever perish or be plucked out of his hand. John 10:27-30 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. 29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. 30 I and my Father are one. In this passage both the preservation and perseverance of the saved are taught. The sheep here his voice and they follow him. That is perseverance. Not only do they follow but he gives them eternal life and they shall never perish. And, there is no one who can pluck them out of the hand of Christ and his Father.

These are only a few of the instances where Jesus taught the certain perseverance and preservation of the saved to the church that he established and taught while on this earth during his personal ministry. 


It is abundantly evident that Paul taught the doctrine of perseverance and preservation of the saints. It is found in nearly every one of his epistles, if not every one. It is found in his teaching that is recorded in the book of Acts.

He taught that all things work together for good for those who are the called according to God's purpose. It would never be for the good of one of God's children to be lost. Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Note that this assurance is for those who are the called according to God’s purpose. God’s purpose of election stands in the ability of God to call his elect to salvation. And, the very ground upon which our assured preservation and perseverance stands is the unconditional, unchangeable election unto salvation. Since it is unequivocally true that all things work together for our good, how could we ever be lost again?

Paul also taught that those whom God chose, called and justified are also glorified in the mind and purpose of God. Romans 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Get this firmly fixed in your mind if you have a question about this doctrine. Before the foundation of the world, God set his electing love on a multitude of specific people. With God there is one eternal now; he is eternal; he inhabits eternity. What he purposes he may, and does sometimes speak of as already done, its accomplishment is so irrevocably certain. In this passage he speaks of those whom he chose to salvation as though every one of them were already called, justified and glorified. Since I am already glorified in the mind and purpose of God there is no way I could ever fail and be un-glorified, or de-glorified in his mind and purpose. God cannot determine something to be certain and it not be certain. My glorification is absolutely certain for he who set his electing love on me and predestinated me to be conformed to the image of his Son has also called and justified me, both in purpose and standing. He called me to his salvation and justified me by his grace. Since four of the things set forth in this passage have proven to be true because he purposed them, I can rest in the blessed assurance that every one of those whom he has chosen in his sovereign love, predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, called effectually by his gracious calling, justified by his grace and on the ground of the finished work of Christ, will surely be glorified. The last is as certain to come to pass as were the other four. This five-linked chain in God’s eternal purpose cannot be broken. Not one link will fail. All will come to pass. The saints will persevere and be preserved.

Paul taught those early churches that not one charge can be laid to the account of the elect. Romans 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Every charge that could ever be raised against any of God’s elect was met and answered in the death of Christ for his sheep. All our sins—past, present and future—were laid on him. He fully met every demand of God’s holy law and perfect justice. God made his soul an offering for each and everyone of the sins of his elect. When Jesus had fully and infinitely satisfied our sin debt God had seen the travail of his soul and was fully satisfied. Jesus paid it all. He paid it to the last farthing. If God had been pleased to save thousands more than he has purposed to save, no more would be necessary. He lifted up his holy, marred face on Golgotha and cried, "Tetelestai!" "It is finished, It is accomplished." If he finished it, secured eternal life for all those given to him by the Father as he asserts (John 17:2), how could man put to it anything that would assure his salvation? Or, how could he take anything from that which is finished that would terminate his spiritual life and cause him to land in hell? Perish the thought! Do not so demean the finished work of Christ!

Paul further taught that there is nothing anywhere, past, present or future that can separate one of God's elect from his love. Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Did Paul miss anything in his list of those things which cannot separate us from the love of God which is in Christ? I read the list and I can think of nothing. But, just in case something could be missing in the list of specific things, it is comprehended in the category of "any other creature." Only the three Persons of the Godhead are excluded from this designation. We are assured, therefore, specifically and generally there is nothing that can separate us. No created being or thing, no circumstance or incident can separate us from the love of God. Since the three Persons of the Godhead have covenanted together to accomplish our salvation without a single failure, without one chosen sheep being lost, they will not separate us from this love and Paul affirmed to the church at Rome that no created thing could separate us. We will be caused to persevere. We will be Divinely preserved in Jesus Christ.

This inspired Apostle boldly avowed that there is absolutely no condemnation for one who is in Christ. Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. One who is lost is condemned. One who goes to hell goes there because he stands condemned before God. But, there is absolutely no condemnation to the person who is in Christ, who is justified in Christ and by his blood. No condemnation! Absolutely no condemnation! Blessed assurance Jesus is mine. I am in him and he is in me and in him there is no condemnation! It is the Father who has justified us; he will not condemn. It is on the grounds of the finished work of the Son that we are justified; he will not condemn. It is the Holy Spirit who bears witness with our spirits that we are in a state of justification before God; he will not condemn. And, since God has justified us; no man or angel can condemn us. There is no condemnation, not one single charge against us that would condemn us, because we are in Christ. What assurance this must have been to the members of the church in Rome and all who read in the churches then and since.

Paul taught that one who has believed on Christ is sealed until the day of redemption. Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise. Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. The seal spoken of, contrary to what some have advocated in their religious sophistry, is not a seal like the seal on a bottle. It is a seal of authority, such as the Seal of the United States or the Seal of the President of the United States. These seals say that the only way you can remove the significance of the seal is to destroy the entity behind the seal. The Seal of the United States would be invalidated only if the United States were destroyed. The seal of the USSR is without any significance any more because the USSR has collapsed; it has been destroyed; it is no more. The only way one who is sealed by the Holy Spirit could ever be lost and condemned is for the Holy Spirit and the other Persons of the Godhead to be destroyed. That will not happen, therefore, those sealed by the great seal of the Holy Spirit are sealed unto the day of their glorification with Christ, sealed to the day of redemption of the body.

Paul taught those early churches that what God has commenced in the elect he will complete. Philippians 1:6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. The Apostle is referring to the great work of salvation. It begins in the elect in regeneration which produces repentance and faith. God is not a quitter. He always finishes what he starts. Once he commences in one of his elect the work of salvation, he will perform it until Christ comes and receives that person up into glory unto himself. He will perform it and no man can stay his hand from completing it. Absolutely none can stay his hand from this great and gracious work.

This inspired apostle of grace, this proclaimer of the gospel of the grace of God, taught that Christ is able to keep what is committed to him for safekeeping. 2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. I cited this verse in a debate once and the opponent admitted that Christ was able to keep us. He said something to this effect, "It is not a matter of Christ’s ability; it is a matter of Christ’s willingness. Will he keep us?"


Peter taught this doctrine of perseverance and preservation to the folks to whom he addressed his epistles. He taught that the elect are begotten to a living hope and are kept by the power of God through faith. 1 Peter 1:2-5 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied. 3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Peter taught that the inheritance of believers is one that cannot corrupt; it is incorruptible. Therefore, it will always exist. In does not fade away. It will always be there for the believer. Moreover this undefiled, incorruptible, unfading inheritance is reserved for all who are kept by the power of God through faith. The believer is kept by the power of God; therefore the believer is preserved for his reserved inheritance.

Peter also taught that we have a calling and election of which we can be certain. 2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall. The Apostle is not telling us that there are works that we can do to earn and thereby make our calling and election sure. He is admonishing us to examine ourselves to see whether or not we are in the faith. We must examine our lives to see if they give grounds for us to be certain that we are one of the called. We must examine our lives and see if we bear the fruits of a saved person. We must examine our lives to see if we have put on those things that will reveal we are of the chosen and called ones. When we see these things we can know that we are truly chosen and will be preserved and caused to persevere.

Peter taught that God is unwilling that even one of his elect should perish. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. In the past we have examined this passage thoroughly. In fact, when we studied the doctrine of election as a New Testament church certainty, I showed that this verse is not universal in its scope as some claim. God is long suffering to US. It was shown that the us of this verse are the elect. And, God is not willing that any of his elect perish. Not only will he bring them to repentance and faith, he will preserve them for their eternal glory with Christ. This verse is another evidence that the churches of the New Testament period were taught the doctrines of grace, including the doctrine of the preservation and perseverance of the saints.


Yes, here is another inspired writer who proclaimed this great doctrine. Jude taught the doctrine of the perseverance and preservation of the saved. He taught that we are preserved in Jesus Christ. Jude 1 Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called. Preserved in Jesus Christ. We are not preserved in our own righteousness. We are not preserved in our works. We are not preserved in our church membership. We are not preserved in the observance of the ordinances. We are preserved in Jesus Christ. He is our keeper and our preserver. That is preservation of the saved, the called in Christ Jesus.

Jude also taught perseverance of the saints. He taught that Christ is able to keep us from falling and is able to present us faultless before the presence of his glory. Jude 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy. Some affirm that the idea of the expression "keep you from falling" is "make you sure-footed." Christ is able to make his people sure-footed and is able also to present them from falling.


In recent studies we have proven that the churches of the New Testament period believed and were taught the doctrines of grace—the total depravity and inability of man, the unconditional election of certain persons of the human race to salvation, the death of Christ specifically for the elect, the sheep for whom he laid down his life, the effectual call of those chosen and for whom atonement was made, and the preservation and perseverance of those chosen, called, and justified.

An unprejudiced examination of the Scriptures clearly reveals those first churches on this earth believed and proclaimed the gospel of the sovereign grace of God. They did not hedge; they did not water it down; they did not cut the corners off it. They taught it boldly; they taught it clearly; and they taught it with thankful hearts. But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth; Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." (II Thes. 2:13-14).

On the grounds of this election to salvation and their being called to that salvation to which they were chosen, Paul admonishes them to stand fast by the doctrines. Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

How this admonition does need to be heeded by those claiming to be children of God. How sad it is to see churches that were founded upon Biblical principles and doctrines departing from those doctrines. It is even sadder that some are even changing their stands and openly declaring themselves to believe exactly opposite on these matters to what their forefathers believed.

When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? Only if we proclaim tenaciously, consistently, and repeatedly the precious doctrines of our Baptist forefathers. That is why we labor to produce and send out this paper. We believe those glorious doctrines of the churches of the New Testament period are still relevant to God's people today. They were important enough to Paul that he was willing to die for them.

But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.


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This page was last updated March 04, 2011.