So let’s biblically discuss TULIP. Why is it true or false from scripture?
I believe the real sources of ‘Calvinism” are from the historical documents. There are lots of variations (in every view of everything). But the basics are in Dort https://www.rca.org/sslpage.as
I’d like to begin where I can win because you all already believe it: P
From the Synod of Dort
Article 8: The Certainty of This Preservation
So it is not by their own merits or strength but by God’s undeserved mercy that they neither forfeit faith and grace totally nor remain in their downfalls to the end and are lost. With respect to themselves this not only easily could happen, but also undoubtedly would happen; but with respect to God it cannot possibly happen. God’s plan cannot be changed; God’s promise cannot fail; the calling according to God’s purpose cannot be revoked; the merit of Christ as well as his interceding and preserving cannot be nullified; and the sealing of the Holy Spirit can neither be invalidated nor wiped out.
Of The Perseverance of the Saints.
I. They, whom God has accepted in His Beloved, effectually called, and sanctified by His Spirit, can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace, but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.
II. This perseverance of the saints depends not upon their own free will, but upon the immutability of the decree of election, flowing from the free and unchangeable love of God the Father; upon the efficacy of the merit and intercession of Jesus Christ, the abiding of the Spirit, and of the seed of God within them, and the nature of the covenant of grace: from all which arises also the certainty and infallibility thereof.
III. Nevertheless, they may, through the temptations of Satan and of the world, the prevalency of corruption remaining in them, and the neglect of the means of their preservation, fall into grievous sins; and, for a time, continue therein: whereby they incur God’s displeasure, and grieve His Holy Spirit, come to be deprived of some measure of their graces and comforts, have their hearts hardened, and their consciences wounded; hurt and scandalize others, and bring temporal judgments upon themselves.
Those whom God has justified, he has in effect glorified: for as a man’s worthiness was not the cause of God’s giving him Christ’s righteousness; so neither shall his unworthiness be a cause of his taking it away; God’s gifts and callings are without repentance: and I cannot think they are clear in the notion of Christ’s righteousness, who deny the final perseverance of the saints; George Whitefield, Selected Sermons of George Whitefield (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1999).
So, I say that Perseverance is clearly and fundamentally about the fact that the Elect can’t get Un-elected, that they are Eternally Security and cannot ever go from saved to unsaved, justified to unjustified.
The debate of can believers sin, must works / faith continue, etc., is connected to the ‘assurance’ part of the discussion. However, I believe the Bible teaches that all who are saved by faith alone in Christ alone are FOREVER SAVED….which is the essence of the doctrine of Perseverance. With Whitefield, I love Romans 11:29 on this, but John 5:24 is pretty cool too. Of all the verses, Hebrews 10 may be my favorite (I’ll share it soon). OF course, Romans 8:28ff is perfectly irrefutable.