Fishing like a Calvinist (6) -Finale

There’s a certain satisfaction that comes with completing a challenging task. Seeing the result of your efforts brings a certain joy to the soul.  For the evangelist, this bliss takes on a whole new meaning. It’s certainly not something that a person can say that they can experience in any other area of their lives. This isn’t just any work like a paramedic saving a life in an emergency (which I appreciate by the way), but a life that is saved through the gospel has effects in both this world and in the next. The grace that the believer embraces is an efficacious one that will bring about a true salvation from sin forever. It’s the feeling of having witnessed the salvation of a soul through the work of God and His using the gospel preacher as a means to accomplish this. You’ve witnessed the power of the gospel and the Holy Spirit work through you!

Those who have been elected by the Father, paid for by the Son and to whom the Spirit has come to apply the new birth, those who have faith in the finished work of the Messiah can rest assured in their salvation. The flower is a tulip not a daisy where God loves me and then loves me not. The evangelist who sees this person saved has truly witnessed a miracle. They’ve seen one of the elect come to their Messiah and in return you can be certain that they will enter eternity and the greatest blessing of mankind. Those who believe in Jesus can know today that they possess eternal life (John 3:16,36; 5:24; John 6:47) and they will never be cast out of God’s presence. There is a fixed assurance that they’ll be raised on the last day (John 6:35-40) and none other than the one who is rose from the dead Himself assures it. Nothing can snatch them out of the powerful hand of the Lord (John 10:27-30). The work of redemption which began before the foundation of the world, which the believer experienced at the moment of conversion, is continued throughout their life. The Lord who authored their faith is the one who we can trust to triumph and complete it until the end (Hebrews 12:2). Christ is the powerful saviour who John could say that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life (1 John 5:11-12). God will not only call and justify the sinner, but He will guarantee his glorification (Romans 8:30).

The Calvinist refers to this as the perseverance or preservation of the saints rather than once saved, always saved. While the latter is true, there’s more than meets the eye.  The scriptures also tell us that there is a command that a believer continue in the faith. It is expected that we abide in Christ (John 15:1-6) and there are warnings issued to the recipients of Hebrews to continue in the faith lest they should be cast out (Hebrews 6:4-6). While the saints that respond to the call will never be separated from Christ, they will sin, but the great high priest continues to intercede on their behalf, and He will save them to the uttermost (Hebrews 7:25). It is God who perseveres in the believer to bring them home! It is through Christ that we receive the justification that will save us from the wrath to come at the final judgment (Romans 5:8-9). Believers are those who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (1 Peter 1:5).

Technically, at this point, you’re probably thinking that the work is done and in one sense it is. In another sense, seeing an individual come to faith in Christ is just the beginning. The fisherman is not done with the fish. He is responsible for his catch and once you bring an elect home, a different endeavour being mainly the work of discipleship. This work begins with baptism and moves to being taught obedience (Matthew 28:18-20). Remember, we are not called to only preach to them and abandon ship, we are responsible to disciple the nations.


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