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rait own Master he standeth or falleth. Yea he shall be hold
en up; for God is able to make him stand.” “I know
whom I have believed ; and I am persuaded that he is etaz able to keep that which I have committed unto him
against that day.” “Who are kept by the power of God The through faith unto salvation.” “Now unto him that is Le able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless haid before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,-be
dominion and power.” “The anointing which ye have
ful who shall stablish you and keep you from evil. And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patient waiting for Christ."*
[2.] It is as the reward of Christ and in virtue of his intercession that God ensures the perseverance of believers.
First, they are kept in consequence of their election : and as they were elected in Christ, in other words, were given to him as a reward in the eternal covenant, they are kept in consequence of being thus given to him. “ As many as were ordained to eternal life believed.” Then none believe but those who are elected to eternal life : of course no believer can fall away: and this security arises from their election in Christ. “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” “ Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” That antecedent purpose and preparation stood inseparably connected with their perseverance to eternal life. “To sit on my right hand and on my left is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.”+
Secondly, Christ is the Mediator of that better covenant which, in distinction from the covenant of Sinai,
* Ps. 37. 23, 24, 28. Jer. 32. 38–40. Mal. 3. 6. Rom. 14. 4. and 16. 25, 27. 1 Cor. 10. 13. Phil. 1. 6. 1 Thes. 5. 23, 24. 2 Thes. 3. 3-5. 2 Tim. 1. 12. and 4. 8, 18. Heb. 6. 13–19. 1 Pet. 1.5. Jude 24, 25. 1 John 2. 19, 27.
† Mat. 20. 23. and 25. 34. John 15. 16. Acts 13. 48.
secures the persevering holiness of believers. “But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the Mediator of a better covenant which was established upon better promises.-For finding fault with them he saith, Behold the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord : I will put my laws into their mind and write them in their hearts; and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people."*
Thirdly, Christ, having died to redeem his people from all iniquity, did, by one offering, secure their salvation ; and God, after calling them to the fellowship of his Son, is bound, in faithfulness to him, to keep them to his everlasting kingdom. “For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified : whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us. For after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord : I will put my laws into their hearts and in their minds will I write them, and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more : now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” “Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto himself a peculiar people zeal
. * Heb. 8. 6–10.
ous of good' works.” “Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son."* .
Hence the whole work is every where said to be done through Christ or in Christ, and believers are said to have been raised with Christ. “God,—when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ,
-and hath raised us up together and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us through Christ Jesus.-For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works.”+
Fourthly, hence the promise of preserving grace is made to believers as the seed of Christ, or rather is made to Christ for them. “I have made a covenant with my Chosen.—His seed—will I make to endure forever. If his children forsake my law and walk not in my judg. ments,—then will I visit their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes ; nevertheless my loving kindness will I not utterly take from him nor suffer my faithfulness to fail. My covenant will I not break nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.—His seed shall endure forever.”I
Fifthly, Christ himself testifies that the perseverance of the saints is owing to their having been given to him. - This is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all .* 1 Cor. 1. 8, 9. Tit. 2. 14. Heb. 10. 14—18. † Eph. 2. 4—10.
| Ps. 89. 3, 4, 29–36.
which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son and believeth on him, may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” “Ye believe not because ye are not of my sheep.—My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: and I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me is greater than all, and none is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand.” “ Thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.” “ That the saying might be fulfilled which he spoke, Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none."*
Sixthly, Christians are kept and saved in consequence of Christ's intercession. A specimen of that intercession may be seen in that wonderful prayer which he offered just before he entered Gethsemane. “I pray for them :
I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast · given me.—Holy Father, keep through thine own name
those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one as we are. While I was with them in the world I kept them in thy name. Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition.— I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil.-Sanctify them through thy truth.--For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth. Neither
* John 6. 39, 40. and 10.26—29. and 17. 2. and 18. 9.