P = Perseverance of the saints (aka true followers)

This is the 5th and final point of the 5 points of Calvinism and of the teaching tool TULIP.

Keeping the previous points in mind, P points to how an individual that is part of the elect will not fall away. In other words, they won’t lose their faith. They will persevere through every obstacle to the very end of life.

This perseverance does not come from the elected believer but from God. The work he does in the believer is effective such that they will not fall away from Him despite that it may appear as only barely making it through.

As this perseverance is ultimately from God, some would reword P to stand for “Preservation of the saints” as God is effectively preserving every follower of Him. I would admit that I prefer this wording as it appears to put the emphasis of staying in the faith of Jesus Christ back in line with the idea of being elect and a work of God. Perseverance seems to tilt toward the elected individual doing everything which Scripture does not show to be accurate. Yes, every believer takes an active part in their walk in Him, but it would never come to be without Him nor would the necessary changes have come that keep us in Him.

If you wish to dig into this topic further, it also goes by a fewer other titles/references:

– eternal security, “Once Saved, Always Saved”

Recommended further reading:

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2 thoughts on “Perseverance/Preservation

  1. Thanks for your article on “P.” Interesting to consider which word, “perseverance” or “preservation,” best fits the Scripture. Preservation has the connotation of a jar of pickles which is intended not to change over time as in “my cup is full and neigh a drop as been added or given out since”–i.e. stagnant. I do believe this can be the start of a good word study. “Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come” as the hymn states it, reminds me of “be ye steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain IN THE LORD (I Cor. 15:57)” and Philippians notion of “work out your salvation” for it is “God Who works in you” seem to suggest that Scripture supports a partnership of God and the believer in perseverance of the faith. Your thoughts?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like “preservation” as it seems to capture the idea that those truly in Christ will be preserved in Him through all difficulties, even until the end. This is the same idea meant to be captured by “perseverance of the saints”, that despite what may come, God always enables us to persevere through it all. Regardless of the word chosen, the original emphasis is on God’s work in us. Yes, we are each a participant in the process, but without God in it, we would all fall away.


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